Relics From My Unsupervised Youth.

Here are a number of serendipitous findings that propelled me outward bound in my younger days. As a teenager far from the metropolis (and before the internet) I somehow got my hands on various media that set me daydreaming, no looking back. The commercial below is today's inspiration.

Joey Arias and Klaus Nomi Dancing in the Windows. This is amazing!

1. Mondo New York: first seen at age 15.
My favorite. It's bad, who cares. At the time I adored this. I recently re-discovered it, only available on VHS, at the one video store in all of Cambridge. Luckily my wonderful neighbor was keen to play it on his VCR. The performances below, and many others, are featured in the film. I can't believe that this isn't on DVD. It's an outrage. There is no better documentation of this part of New York at that time. The artists highlighted are some of the most important in terms of the downtown performance scene. Criterion, come on!

Joey Arias, Fish Out of Water
(sorry for the lame commercials on the above, it's worth it though)

Dean and the Weenies, Fuck You

Karen Finley, I Hate Yellow

The Dictator's, New York, New York
 Billed as Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, this song is played briefly though the band is not shown.

2. Emergency Broadcast Network: first seen around age 15.
I have been trying to explain this to people for so long. It's the kind of thing where you're not sure if the memory is real or not. But thanks to my local video store I now know that it really happened and I can finally put a name to it. Viewing was often interspersed with USA's Up All Night and onetime, Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. That came on during a slumber party. I didn't have my contacts in so the imagery was hazy, but some parts are very clear in my memory!

I didn't know it back then, but these EBN collages were made by a group of RISD artists. 

Get Down, Get Down

Don't Back Down

3. Kid Creole and the Coconuts. I found one of their cassette tapes in a thrift store (downtown Watertown, right next door to Dino's Shoe Service). I had read an article in Sassy or Seventeen about a magical place called the East Village where the greater collective of this band was based. That page was torn out and added to the growing collection of "someday!". I was thrilled to find this old tape, since it wasn't something you could get easily at the mall. 

Stool Pigeon

Lifeboat Party

After living in New York for less than a year I managed to wiggle my way (underage) into the classy Bar d'O for a Joey Arias cabaret show and later I had a chance to see Kid Creole and the Coconuts perform in Central Park. Aha! Dreams do come true.

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