Amoeblog

With Funding Support, SF Punk Renaissance 2015 Will Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Punk

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

While it might seem like you can't check your inbox or social media these days without being asked to contribute to yet another crowd funding project - some which may not seem quite worthy of your hard earned cash - there are some really excellent and needy projects out there that could only happen with grassroots-level crowdfunding support. Such is the case with the recently launched GoFundMe drive for SF Punk Renaissance 2015 (Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Punk) that happens in San Francisco in late September.

The event is overseen by the The Punk Rock Sewing Circlea volunteer group comprised of artists, musicians, and activists from the early days of punk rock in the Bay who organize art and music-based events to promote early punk culture and raise funds for social justice causes. Scheduled for a full week, September 20th to 27th, the SF Punk Renaissance 2015 is shaping up to be an eclectic week of "old school punk pop-up events celebrating the catalytic revolution of the first wave" and will incorporate concerts, spoken word shows, panel discussions, punk film screenings, and iconic punk art and photo gallery exhibits. While no bands have been named, "seminal bands of the era" that are promised to play during the week. There are so many incredible bands from that era, even if the lineups have changed, to draw from including The Mutants (whose music is featured in the GoFundMe video below) and The Avengers who, along with Jello Biafra, were among those at last week's the SF City Hall 100 Year anniversary.

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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

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IT'S THE AMERICAN IN HER: PENELOPE HOUSTON & THE AVENGERS

Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2007 10:08am | Post a Comment
   
Exactly thirty years ago, June 1977, pioneering San Francisco punk band The Avengers, fronted by a very talented and very young songwriter & vocalist named Penelope Houston, emerged onto the then very fledgling US punk scene to play their first show. Over the next two years, this band, which featured Greg Ingraham (guitar), Jimmy Wilsey (bass), and Danny Furious (drums), would go on to blaze a trail of raw, adrenaline-fueled, politically charged punk rock legend, tirelessly playing a hundred-plus shows that included countless gigs at their hometown punk mecca, The Mabuhay Gardens, booked by the late, great SF punk visionary Dirk Dirkson, and sharing bills with the Dead Kennedys, X, the Go-Gos, and even the Sex Pistols for their final show at Winterland in January 1978. 

The Avengers are one of those bands of legend that most people didn't catch the first time around but learned of them after they had broken up - thanks mainly to their releases most of which surfaced after the band's demise.  In fact during their whirlwind two year existence the Avengers only released one three-song 7" record on Dangerhouse Records.  Their second record (the four-song 12" EP on White Noise) didn't drop until after they had disbanded and the record that most people know them by (the self-titled pink album) wasn't released until much later in 1983.  But none of this mattered to the legions of fans who later discovered and fell in love with such timeless Avengers songs as "I Believe In Me" "Fuck You" "White Nigger" "Corpus Christi" and "The American In Me" whose lyrics are reprinted below  along with a video clip of the Avengers performing the song circa '78 (scroll all the way down to end of thithe avengerss article). 

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