Author Archive

Elissa Wald’s Holding Fire Is a Very Different Novel Today than It Was a Few Weeks Ago

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Elissa Wald’s second book, Holding Fire (Context Books, 275 pages, $24.95), is a very different novel today than it was a few weeks ago. When I read it a few weeks ago, I thought it mildly interesting that Wald had become so enthralled with firemen that she would spend roughly six years researching a novel [&hellip
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Ron Hall’s Playing for a Piece of the Door: History of Garage & Frat Bands in Memphis 1960-1975

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

It’s very easy to see why the garage rock revival appeals to an old guy like me, or Steven Van Zandt. This is music we grew up listening to, loving and playing. Of course we’re getting off hearing twentysomethings play it live again. And of course it also strokes our egos that twentysomethings are into [&hellip
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Marty Wombacher’s Fishwrap Is Worth Looking For; Wake Up Down There! Compiles Gregory Bishop’s The Excluded Middle;

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

"It’s a bad time for satire," Marty Wombacher sighs, and he must be right, because his satirical zine Fishwrap, despite being consistently wicked and funny, is getting harder and harder to find. In fact, you wouldn’t have seen his two most recent projects unless he made a point of mailing them to you. And they’re [&hellip
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V. Vale, Archon of Hip, Goes Back to Basics with Real Conversations no. 1

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Piercing the Vale Ballard and Burroughs, Charles Willeford’s noir, the Industrial Culture Handbook, Bob Flanagan’s Supermasochist and other classic s&m texts, the sideshow books of Dan Mannix, Incredibly Strange Films and Incredibly Strange Music. If some of the more recent Re/Search titles have not always shown the same infallible instinct for the cool (books on [&hellip
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19 Nervous Breakdowns as I Try to Tout My Book

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

19 Nervous Breakdowns At a red light the youngish driver, who’d been silent for 20 minutes, suddenly turned to me and asked, "Have you ever gotten the feeling everyone around you is really negative?" "Sure," I said, wondering where this was leading. "I guess so." "Really?" he demanded, very seriously. "…Yeah. Sure. I guess." He [&hellip
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Healed: They’re Here. They’re Queer. They’re Christian Scientists. Get Used to It.

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Every Thursday evening a small group meets in a spare, classroomish space upstairs in the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center on Little W. 12th St. (moving now to 208 W. 13th St.). The group’s two leaders, Bob McCullough and Bob Mackenroth, have been doing this since 1986. The Center provides meeting space for groups [&hellip
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Lauri Bortz Talks About Her Strange, Funny, Childlikeâeuro;”But Hardly Innocentâeuro;”Plays

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Lauri Bortz writes some of the strangest, funniest plays I’ve encountered this side of Charles Ludlam or Alfred Jarry. She’s by turns a Surrealist, Absurdist and ’Pataphysician in an era when any one of those qualities is rare. Her plays are so weird it’s really no wonder she has trouble getting them produced, and publishes [&hellip
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