Keith Richards on the Living Theatre troupe

From Keith Richards’ Life, page 221:

“Anita [Pallenberg] and I went to Rome that spring and summer [1967], between the bust and the trials, where Anita played in Barbarella, with Jane Fonda, directed by Jane’s husband Roger Vadim. Anita’s Roman world centered around the Living Theatre, the famous anarchist-pacifist troupe run by Judith Malina and Julian Beck, which had been around for years but was coming into its own in this period of activism and street demos. The Living Theatre was particularly insane, hard-core, its players often getting arrested on indecency charges—they had a play [“Paradise Now”] in which they recited lists of social taboos at the audience, for which they usually got a night in the slammer. Their main actor, a handsome black man named Rufus Collins, was a friend of Robert Fraser, and they were a part of the Andy Warhol and Gerard Malanga connection. And so it all went round in a little avant-garde elite, as often as not drawn together by a taste for drugs, of which the LT was a center. And drugs were not copious in those days. The Living Theatre was intense, but it had glamour. There were all those beautiful people attached, like Donyale Luna, who was the first famous black model in America, and Nico and all those girls who were hovering around. Donyale Luna was with one of the guys from the theater. Talk about a tiger, a leopard, one of the most sinuous chicks I’ve ever seen. Not that I tried or anything. She obviously had her own agenda. And all backlit by the beauty of Rome, which gave it an added intensity…”

“PARADISE NOW: The Living Theatre in Amerika” dvd is available for $29.95 postpaid now from The Arthur Store

Byron Coley and Thurston Moore’s “Bull Tongue” column from Arthur No. 30 (July 08)

BULL TONGUE
by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore

from Arthur No. 30 (Oct 2008) [available from Arthur Store]

This new Little Claw 7” on the Physical Sewer label which they had on their last roadtrip doesn’t even sound like them. But what do they sound like anyway? They sounded like the greatest goddamned fucking band on the planet the time we saw ‘em. Two minimalist drummers, a guitar dude with a nice underhook rhythm rip and a girl with a badass no wave slather tongue tearing hell out of her slide guitar given half the chance. And not all hellbent rage either—some nice licorice melt drizzle crud groove too. Fuckin’ awesome. This 7” sounds amazing but like some other weirdness was at play in the living room or wherever this beautiful session went down. You’re fucking nuts not to locate this—try their myspace roost.

Although the material is clearly posed, the new Richard Kern book, Looker (Abrams), is as voyeuristic as Gerard Malanga’s classic Scopophilia and Autobiography of a Sex Thief. Kern’s volume combines a feel of chasing a subject and photographing her without her knowledge, with some purely 21st Century tropes (dig the upskirt end papers), but the feel seems to also be a tribute to the ’70s Penthouse mag vibe. The nudes and font and the introductory essay by Geoff Nicholson all combine to create a volume with a much more gentle charge than Kern’s last book, Action. On the virtual opposite end of the photographic spectrum is David B. McKay’s Yuba Seasons (Mountain Images Press), which has some of the best nature photography we’ve seen in a long time. McKay has spent 40 years photographing this Northern California river and the area around it, and he has captured something really mind-blowing about the interaction of water and light and stone. The landscapes are great, but the river shots are beautiful, mysterious, fast and deep. You can feel them as much as you see them. Really fine.

There’s been a whole ark-full of gospel comps the last few decades and Lord yes they are always welcome but just when you think the well is dryin’ up along comes this motherfucker of a manic backwoods backstreet romper Life Is A Problem (Mississippi Records, 4007 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227 tel.: 503-282-2990). It’s been out a while and is even in a second pressing (without the first pressing’s bonus 7”) and is compiled by Eric and Warren from the Mississippi record store and label in Portland, OR and Mike McGonigal, who also annotated. It’s a 14-song set with some really raw guitar blowouts, handclap n’ chant fever stomps and sweet as ‘Bama honey singing. Some names on here we know like the lap-steel slasher Reverend Lonnie Farris but there are some straight up surprises. Particularly “Rock & Roll Sermon” by Elder Charles Beck, where he rails against the devil’s music, all the while kicking rock n roll ass. More sanctified sounds promised from this label in the future. Before this LP they issued a comp called I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore 1927-1948 which is also sheer beauty digging into tracks released by immigrants to America delivering early Zydeco, Salsa, Hawaiian slack key, etc.

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Jan 15-Feb 25, NYC: Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal #10 at White Columns

ep_journal7

(above: cover of sold-out Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal No. 7)

From White Columns:

ECSTATIC PEACE POETRY JOURNAL – ISSUE #10
Edited By Thurston Moore with Byron Coley and Eva Prinz

White Columns is proud to present Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Issue #10: an exhibition, publication, and a series of readings and performances.

Artist, musician, poet and publisher Thurston Moore began editing and producing Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal in 2001 as a forum to publish poetry by individuals who intersected the worlds of poetry, music and art. A dynamic range of writings, with various pages of visual work by Gerard Malanga, Richard Meltzer, Chan Marshall, Dennis Cooper, Kathleen Hanna, John Sinclair, Richard Hell, Jutta Koether, Gus van Sant, Rick Moody, Kim Gordon, Anne Waldman, Bill Berkson, Anselm Berrigan, Gary Panter and many others were published in eight issues in as many years.

Moore was inspired to publish Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal after years of appreciation, study and relentless archiving of post-war poetry publishing focusing on the activity of the “mimeo revolution” of the ’60s and ’70s. The stapled mimeo poetry journals produced from the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Peace Eye Bookstore in New York City, and Asphodel Bookstore in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a myriad of other subterranean centers of shared post-beat writing, rage, meditation and experimentation continues to inform the publication of Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal.

Issue #10 of Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal will be published and presented at White Columns as an expanded event/exhibition. A stapled issue will be created during the show. Pages from each of the ten journals will be exhibited as enlarged wall pieces, including the heretofore unpublished issue #9, [in keeping with the journals every-third-issue a theme issue, i.e., #3 was themed “cunnilingus,” #6 was “punk,”—with #9’s theme “pot”]. The main gallery space will feature a selection of historical poetry publications from the last fifty years culled from Moore’s own library, including original editions of Amphora, Change, Coldspring Journal, Copkiller, Fervent Valley, Free Poems Amongst Friends, Gaslight Poetry Review, Kauri, Klactovedesteen, LA-BAS, Outburst, Stance, Sum, The Willie, Trobar, Yowl and more.

Working as co-editor on many aspects of Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, including this exhibition is writer Byron Coley, formidable musicologist, essayist, poet and producer of music and literary arcana, ephemera and beyond. Select pieces from Moore and Coley’s catalogue will be reprinted in limited states for this exhibition. Eva Prinz, editor, co-publisher of Ecstatic Peace Library and curator of Radical Living Papers: Free Press 1965-75 (2007) brings additional organizational and creative force to Issue #10 as a gallery event.

Reading and performance schedule:

Friday January 15th:
6-8pm. Opening performance: Northampton Wools (Thurston Moore, Chris Corsano, Bill Nace)

Saturday January 23rd
7-9pm. Reading: John Giorno, Byron Coley. Performance: Thurston Moore

Friday February 5th
7-9pm. Reading: Edmund Berrigan, Anselm Berrigan. Performance: Thurston Moore

Friday February 19th
7-9pm. Reading: Richard Hell, Dorothea Lasky. Music: Thurston Moore + guest

Thursday February 25th
7-9pm. Reading: Thurston Moore and Anne Waldman accompanied by musicians Ambrose Bye and Devin Waldman

All performances and readings are free, admission on a first-come basis.

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