Amoeblog

Four Decades Later, Penelope Houston & The Avengers Rocking As Hard As Ever With A Full Weekend of Cali Shows

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2014 12:14pm | Post a Comment

Exactly 36 years ago on May 19th, 1978 Penelope Houston and her seminal San Francisco punk rock group The Avengers played the Mab (né Mabuhay Gardens - the beloved and bygone SF punk palace on Broadway in North Beach) on a bill with visiting LA punk pioneers X. That show was just one of many they would do at the Mab and one of countless gigs that the hard-working, high-energy, and highly politicized West Coast pioneering punk rockers would do that year.

On January 14th of 1978 the band, who only formed a year earlier, had the fortune of being chosen as the opening act for the Sex Pistols at Winterland in what would be the Pistols very final show. Fast forward to today to almost four full decades later and Houston and the Avengers (albeit with a different lineup...the original Avengers officially broke up in 1979 but started playing select gigs first as the scAvengers and then sporadically again as The Avengers a decade ago) are back doing their thing, and sounding as great as ever with the current lineup featuring Houston and fellow original member Greg Ingraham along with Joel Reader and Luis Illades. This coming weekend, the Avengers have three Cali shows booked back to back.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #4: The Met, RadioVision, CMJ, Penelope Houston, Radio City, Classic NYC album covers + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 17, 2012 11:48am | Post a Comment

CMJ Music Marathon, RadioVision Festival, PopSpotsNYC's revisiting of classic album covers, Radio City Music Hall, Penelope Houston on New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and NYC-themed music videos by Robin Thicke and Sting  are among the items covered in this fourth installment in the New York State of Mind. This is the new Amoeblog series in which I report, from a New York City perspective, on music and other entertainment and happenings in the Big Apple.

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Wall of Sound: West Coast Punk Art Retrospective at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 12, 2012 03:45pm | Post a Comment
Focusing exclusively on the West Coast's punk rock art movement of the 1970's, Wall of Sound at
Exene Cervenka art
Exene Cervenka, Dick, 2008 
Steven Wolf Fine Arts (July 12th - Sept 8th) features work by artists who are better known as musicians, and by musicians who are better known as artists. 

The rise of punk rock in the 1970s provoked an explosion of collage-based visual art. A new generation of rebels reworked dada aesthetics in the design of flyers, zines, and studio art. Some of the most interesting work was done by the musicians themselves. The bridge that formed between music and visual art inaugurated a hybridity now common in studio practice where art history shares equal space with movies, music, and television as source material for artists. 

See work by:
David J. Hastings
Tomata Du Plenty
J.C. Garrett
Fayette Hauser
V. Vale
Matt Heckert
Raymond Pettibon
and more....

Che-Che-Che-Che-Che-Che-Cherry Bomb: Women Rockers in the Seventies

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2012 03:50pm | Post a Comment
          
The Runaways "Cherry Bomb" (Live in Japan 1977)

In honor of Women's History Month I have gone back and dug up some of my all time favorite female rockers from the seventies via the series of music videos above & below. An obviously subjective list; it is based on both quality of artist and availability of corresponding YouTube video clips on said artist. Including both all female bands and female fronted bands these videos are culled from sometime in the decade of the '70's and range from hard rock to punk rock. Topping this list of artists/videos is the pitch perfect Runaways timeless hit "Cherry Bomb" from a show during a 1977 tour of Japan.

Others included below are the late great Poly Styrene with X-Ray Spex performing "On Bondage! Up Yours!" (from 1977 Punk In London documentary), Patti Smith and band doing a spine-tingling version of "Gloria" live in Germany in 1979, American born, British rocker Suzi Quatro's 1973 hit "48 Crash," and the early 70's killer American female rock quartet Fanny (who I saw Job O Brother also highlighted in a recent Amoeblog) doing two songs on the UK TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test. The other female rockers spotlighted below are Penelope Houston with the Avengers live in SF in 1978 care of Target Video, Siouxsie  (Sioux) and the Bansheesin 1978 doing "Hong Kong Garden," and The Slits from their 1979 debut album Cut and their song "Typical Girls" - featuring the late great Ari Up (Ariane Forster) who died of cancer two years ago.


X-Ray Spex feat Poly Styrene "Oh Bondage Up Yours" (1977)

SAN FRANCISCO'S LATE 70's PUNK SCENE BY BRUCE CONNER (RIP)

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2008 05:14am | Post a Comment
Bruce Connor collection @ BAM/PFA
There is just a week left to catch the recommended BAM/PFA (Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive) photo exhibit by Bruce Conner, who sadly passed three weeks ago In San Francisco, reportedly from a liver ailment. The exhibit focuses on the one year period in the late seventies (77-78) Conner spent taking photos of both punk bands and punk fans at the infamous West Coast punk palace the Mabuhay Gardens (aka "The Fab Mab" -- the dismal failing Filipino supper club that would be saved/immortalized by punk rock) on Broadway in San Francisco.

The fifty three Bruce Conner photos on display at the BAM/PFA, which act as an excellent historic overview of the early SF punk scene, include wonderful action shots of bands and artists including Frankie Fix of Crime, the Mutants, Penelope Houston of The Avengers, and Negative Trend's Will Shatter (who later went on to form Flipper).

Multi media artist Bruce Conner, who the curators at BAM/PFA aptly describe as  "a proto-punk provocateur who scavenged cultural waste to construct his assemblages," ended up doing the photo series by mere coincidence. In the late 70s, Conner was 44 years of age and an established avant-garde artist who created film mash-ups from a mixed bag of found sources and whose rich legacy dated back to the SF 1950's Beat scene. While attending Devo's first ever San Francisco show in 1977, Conner crossed paths with V. Vale, now the publisher of RE/Search magazine, who was about to launch the seminal punk zine Search & Destroy