Call me pathetic call me what you will just don’t call me late to Cibo:
“America has become amnesiac,” says Henry Giroux, “a country in which forms of historical, political, and moral forgetting are not only willfully practiced but celebrated.” In a series of essays on the intersections of political power, popular culture and new methods of social control, Giroux explores how neoliberal discourse and the ongoing commodification of everyday life constitute an active assault on public memory, chips away at civil rights, and diminishes the public’s capacity to speak and act in its own interests. Alarmed at the increased authoritarianism creeping into all levels of national experience, Giroux looks to flashpoints in current events to reveal how the institutions of government and business are at work to generate false narratives that promote mass fear, quietism and passivity.
I had started, literally, ten other posts, in my head or off-line, plus the 900 or so visual cues stored in my SmartyPants hand-held pocket-device, but decided to punt all that to be in the avant gard of those reacting, in observable, if obscure (pathetic) ways to a 2014 book I grabbed on impulse, as my GF was paging me (same h-h p-d, for better or worse), at City Lights on a glorious Sunday afternoon, less that 24 hours ago. I saw the title — the book was face-out on a shelf near the reg — and did not flip thru it, or read any back-flap blurbs; I merely checked the date: wet ink, or near enough.
Gosh, this doesn’t even come out for another 3 weeks but already 19 Amazon reviews:
Rock and Roll in 10 songs: is it the last 10 songs I have heard, by those two twenty-somethings, guitar and drums, at Lytton Plaza the other day, originals enough? Is it the 11 new songs on the KFOG locals compilation? Tom Moon, meanwhile, has
500 1,000songs I should hear, or at least read about (and I doubt I have gotten that far with 200, in his book). Is Sleater-Kinney or X involved? (Which reminds, was that Exene with John Doe on Letterman or Jimmy Something, I taped, and then finally viewed, “Golden State”?) I have no idea what I even paid for this new book, hard-cover, certainly not $187, 373?
I have about 20 minutes to suss out what I can about this book, before being called back to 56 other more pressing matters.
I will edit to add, shortly. Meanwhile , The Daily Post here quotes land-maven and parking-czar Charles J. Chop Keenan IV (in his balls, not his arm, as far as i can tell) as saying he was a lifeguard instructed to look the other way when John, Paul and George swam at the Cabana 40 years ago today — weird that, even if true.
I get a lot of mileage out of “slack motherfucker” by super chunk (the jack mccook version): I am working. I’m just not working for you. Also, Patti Smith: people have the power. Step aside and let the man go thru, let the mango thru (Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty). When masturbation loses it’s fun (Green Day). If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me, Mary Laub, seventh grade dance or private function slow-dance, she pushing off a few minutes into the guitar-jam — “this is not even a slow dance” — Joe Jackson, plays us a slow song or dance. Elvis Costello, accidents will happen. Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meter — what is that, now Lucky 8? Mr. Kennedy I don’t want to be shot out into outer SPACE. (Or is that not really a song because it only took place in a movie about rock?) Stoned-angels weep. Ok, I admit there are a few blind spots in my map of the rock and roll universe: I have also on semi-Tivo, “a performance of MacArthur Park”, someone left a crack pipe in the rain. Purple rain. Who would have thought that something as simple as rock and roll or la bamba would save us all, including my old bud buddy Tim Harris learning to play the new Frank Turner but not the classic Frank Turner. If you want to save the $187, 373, clip this out and take it to local library, and if the spirit moves you — spirit in the sky, one toke over the line — send me two bits, or 18 cents. Keep on rockin’ in the free world.
I wonder if Greil Marcus’ auto-spell kept suggesting he change the title to rock AND roll? To be a rock and not to roll.
Uno, dos, juan too watch it now:
If GM lives long enough to revise this book, he will have to include, furry bear jumped over the ledge, in 1994, although I never noticed the electronic beeps and blurts until just now, thanks to the headphones — Maya, Allison, Tory, Brett —
I then I dumped from my phone, although it takes me like 20 taps, precise taps, to move the content from their to here, not 10 songs but 12 or 13 snapshots. I include jazz and even a tracks-act doing disco as “rock ‘n’ roll” if they are young enough or exposed, committed enough, lime on the street, street music, buskers
I also met, on break from City Council or hearings, a Russian emigree named Igor G_ who wanted to work with me on something that blends Shoskatovich and The Beatles, and Ihave his number and email. Someday, world enough and time — all these rock more than most of what comes out of the Capitol stack.
And here I updated with “plato’s republic” as a category in that street music, probably GM agrees, is a bulwark of Democracy.
Equator is a local band that frequents Lytton Plaza, Beauman on guitar, Dennis on bass: maybe I am ironically proving a Marcusism because I do not know the songs per se, something Primus and ChiliP derived:
esrever ni uoy gnitirw ma i si timda i melborp ym fo trap
As fate would have it, Lane and Tracey Wurster were touring the Bay Area the night of Superchunk’s first late night television appearance, on Conan in 1994. We just got in, or they just pulled up, as the hit came on, craning our necks up at the mounted monitor in what was my parent’s house’s play room turned home gym. Four good minutes to last us 30 years and counting now! Lane’s brother is the drummer.
There’s actually a plethora of performances of John Doe “Golden State”, but I linked to the one I captcha’d, from Letterman, June of this year, 2014. It took me a minute to suss out Cindy Wasserman and not Exene or Tift of Kathleen on vocals. She is Rob’s sister, perty certain. The song is a comer.
Ok now I might be confusing Greil Marcus with my fellow Indian Big Green Toughie Fayerweather Screamer Robert Christgau to mention that, even for a minute John and Exene and X were the greatest band in the world, a title later captured in San Francisco with a non-gratuitous shout factory shout out to not Richard Foos but Ian Brennan rrrn at Mission Doloros pre-Portlandia and very seriously rockin’ the free world Carrie Brownstein and Sleater-Kinney. Here is Miss Cin, very present:
(I did crack the book for a minute to read something about Bo Diddley; and a kid walked by with Outside Lands tee and I resisted shooting him — I am almost two hours not 20 minutes into this; p. 205 “Tom Dooley” Kingston trio, like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” it made everything else on the radio seem beside the point. Point, Marcus!)
Not to be confused with Thomas Dooley a German-born soccer player with an American father who played for the U.S. in the 1994 World Cup, including a July 4 2-0 loss to Brazil, me, my mom and my dad all saw at Stanford Stadium, walking distance from where I am hunkered down today, 20 years later, and he got about 80 more caps and apparently lives here, but in LA, in the Golden State and is head coach of the Phillipines national team, good luck with that! The U.S. actually had five German ringers on our 2014 squad –all mixed-race or black by the way, whereas Germany itself had one black, whatever that means — which is funny since I recall them saying in 1994 — and I actually worked in pro soccer, or semi-pro, at the time — that with the World Cup coming to the U.S part of its legacy or purpose would be that we would be less reliant not more reliant on foreigners, cold as ice and all that. You shook me all night long.
Okay more music music music or photos photos photos and somewhere in here I want to, sprung by Sam the Sham and wooly bully find the Gregg Rolie hit ok, actually written by Mike Shapiro, “Swami” with William Penn Fyve — certainly important regionally if not in the GM canon. Hark! What the heck was that!
edit to add: nearly three hours into this, I still have a couple more photos I uploaded from handheld to laptop and mean to strip in here, more out of a completionist sense (rare) than for the added nuance or iteration. Meanwhile, if anyone is actually reading 1,700 words in for political treatise, I will add here that the other book I bought at City Lights is “The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine” by Henry A. Giroux on a hunch, because it was in window, and did I mention I am running for Palo Alto City Council and casting about for platforms and planks. Beyond: tenant rights, Ventura park — parks deficit, enforce don’t flush Comprehensive Plan. I bought the Greil Marcus as afterthought, at register. I also bought a City Lights compilation on “Reclaiming San Francisco” which does actually have chapter on “tenants rights”; and keep in mind we were in SF because my girlfriend Terry Acebo Davis was taking down her part of the group show at the former I-Hotel. And I will also add here, terribly incongruent, the hard-rocking Pinay activist chick and hot mama (or grand-mama, truth be told) with a “PINAY” tattoo on her right bicep, Carmenita Choy and want to sign her for development deal of through-composed story and music about SF in the sixties, “Inside Llewyn Davis meets Carol Doda meets I-Hotel”.
So I am three hours into this and 2,000 words but not very deep into Greil, unless you argue that other of his works I have read, or tried to, shape my lense and what I say or how I say it. Next up is Michael Jackson track act, from Redwood City at Lytton, and I suggested he check out Foreeverland, which he knew of and were playing that night in his town: