When I ran into Berkeley performance artist Frank Moore’s  site – Eroplay.com – I was struck by a sense of familiarity that went back a vast stretch of years.

I jagged at my noggin to recall just where and when I had seen this guy, and the poster art kept ringing bells with a lot of far-back-in-time reverb resonating from them.  It took some digging down the complex tangled pathways of my memory to come up with the connection: but I finally managed to recall it…

It turns out that I saw one of Frank Moore’s very first performances.  It was way back in 1985, when I was 20 years old and going to school at Cal Berkeley. The performance had been held in  someone’s living room, at a house about two blocks from Barrington Hall–the wild co-op house I lived in while attending school at Cal.

I’d gone with two or three of my friends from Barrington to see that performance because the flyer for it had looked very psychotrippically suggestive.

I remember the show as having been a wee bit off-putting at first…although I might have had my take on things become influenced  by the reactions of my friends with me. I remember that they’d been turned off enough to have left the show about 20 minutes early.  One of them  later opined that evening,  “…that show wasn’t anything to do with art…it was just an excuse for a paraplegic dude to ogle naked chicks and get to touch them.”

When they’d left, I had basically just shrugged. I hadn’t left with them, because this sort of thing didn’t shock or offend me.  However, I do recall that I had felt a little bit disappointed:  I’d come looking for psychedelia–but I felt that it lacked in the “sights and sounds” element – which is a component that’s quite necessary for anything to have a “psychedelic” element.

That show, like Frank Moore shows in general, had primarily been all about the sense of touch.  But touch alone didn’t seem to carry an “experience” far enough for  me to truly get off on it.

These humble beginnings have since been developed upon and from what I can see, perhaps I would want to check out the next event that they put on. From what I can gather from the Eroplay site, the past 25 years have seen them develop upon the basic premise explored in 1985, but they seem to have taken it a lot further.  That audiovisual component which I’d missed in 1985 seems to have been added to the mix.  I notice on the posters for various events in the past 15 years or so that various industrial and experimental music acts (including Instagon and the Haters, among many others) have been billed along with Frank Moore, and also Frank himself seems to now be leading some sort of band, too.

I’m definitely curious about how he’d manage to do this. Frank Moore is a paraplegic with some sort of neurological disability which keeps him from being able to speak. He uses a rather ingenious kludge-hack to communicate with the outside world: a sort of keyless alphanumeric keyboard, which he jabs at with a stick mounted on his head for a pointer. (I can’t help but wonder if he might’ve gotten a chance to make use of the vastly improved technologies created in the current century for persons with such disabilities…which seem to have been designed with exactly Frank Moore’s particular situation in mind.)

He’s always been able to write, though, and he’s been creating a magazine that has both print and web presence.  (The content on the site is dated 2003, so I can’t really tell if this act has been dead for the past 7 years or not…)

There’s a fantastic archive here, of art and videos by Frank and his friends…including a gallery of flyers spanning the past 20 years created by Michael LaBash – who was the artist that designed the original 1985 flyer that had gotten my psychedelically-attuned attention.

"Pole Vault" by Michael LaBash

Frank Moore is assisted by his devoted (and quite lovely) wife Linda, who  is the emcee and diva.

At the 1985 performance, her role had been that of concocting and announcing the various elabourate roleplay scenarios, requiring the fifteen or so audience members in the room to doff various articles of clothing, and then engage in complicated forms of “Twister” gameplay.  “Play with the hair of the person on your left…”

None of it got too sexy, really–it was just about bringing down the initial walls between people that define their norms of “personal space”…She never let it get too pornographic.

There seems to be a more “sacred” feel to the performances this act has put on in the 21st century, rather than the undeveloped spontaneity I’d witnessed 25 years ago.

The basic message, however, is still the same:  Adults have forgotten how to play like children, who will interact together without their accumulated hangups causing them to be uptight, suspicious, scared and generally unfun.

The neologistic word “chero” that appears on the flyers and other propaganda means “playful life energy” – it’s a meshing of the concepts of <i>chi</i> and <i>eros</i>.

"Dancing in the Passion Cave"


Some incredibly delicate origami (and origami-like compugraphics) can be found at the gallery of the Space Collective, a broad-spectrum collection of writers, artists and scientist loosely falling under a “futurist” rubric.

(Don’t bother trying to register for any of the discussions – it’s by invitation only.)

I used to have a Rotten Tomatoes blog called “Psychedelic Fruit”. With any luck, this may become some sort of irregular featurette here: reviews of schlocky acid filmography.

Let’s begin with two movies from the late ’60s about the permissive drug culture that existed on the Spanish isle of Ibiza. For a long time, apparently, the laws in Spain were sort of hazy about drugs and what now gets called “drug tourism” happened there frequently, although nowadays they’re sadly apparently cracking down a lot more on it.

The first one of these films – More– is, in this writer’s estimation, fairly good. The second – Hallucination Generation –  was found to be about as lame as eating crap blotter and watching Dragnet for 5 hours, without some fun person along for the ride with you with whom you could laugh about how silly it was.

Filmic oddities were awfully hard to find in the days before these glory days of the Internet’s tentacles being able to provide anyone who’s got about $35 a month to spend for connectivity with instant accessibility to damn near everything ever made.  In my high school days–which were the early eighties– I was a rabid Pink Floyd fan, one of those “I-own-every-album-they-ever-made” types. I also had a coffee table book about Pink Floyd that mentioned that the album More was a soundtrack for a film made by Barbet Schroeder, although no further information was offered on the film. (Probably because it had not been too successful, and the band didn’t seem to care much for the album, either.)

So not only could More be found in nary a video store, it seemed that even information on it was scarce.  The same was true of Obscured By Clouds and Zabriskie Point, two other films from this era that Pink Floyd soundtracked. I had to wait until I became an adult – or rather, a Berkeley student – before I I finally got to see those latter two Floyd films playing at revival houses. I loved both of them, particularly the latter…which could have had something to do with all the acid, but I don’t think that was entirely responsible for my fondness for them.

But still, More was nowhere to be found: I thought maybe they ought to change the name to Less. 

Then a whole bunch of years and lots more messing around in my mental la-dee-dah lands went by and it actually wasn’t until this bloody year of 2009 that I was able to finally find Moreand watch it–although if I had a credit card, I could’ve ordered it years sooner. 

Continue Reading »

Paisley Print Park


The Retro Age Vintage Fabrics Flickr Pool has gobs and gobs of paisley prints, florals, geometrics, op-artish-moire-patterny eyeblinders, and other dayglo hallucinations.

Once upon a time, at some point likely somewhere between 20 and 40 years ago, these patterns all fell onto people’s clothing while they (or their cohorts) were having acid trips* and stuck there. And then, 20 to 40 years later, perhaps the Vulture finds it on a dress that actually fits her at Goodwill or at one of those “dollar-an-item” or “clothes-by-the-pound” places over on Valencia St. and she buys it, so that she can keep the hallucination alive a little longer.

Hallucinations stay alive by being seen by people–whether inside or outside their brains; they die when no one looks at them any more for long enough. However, with enough love and/or drugs, they can be resurrected…especially if some fashion manufacturer who’s willing to make big comfy stuff that actually also looks good uses bolts of fabric looking like stuff from this Flickr pool, to hold the hallucinations all rolled up nicely, until ready to be returned to wearability again.

*Or maybe just having some of those dreams that makes them say stuff like “Oh…Wow, man!” upon reawakening.

John Dies At The End

If you’ve got an hour or two to kill, and like to spend your time reading mindfuck novels, this is a good one for an afternoon’s stoned amusement.  It’s called John Dies At The End. Self described by this opening line:

“There is a certain chance that the contents of this website will have an effect similar to Satan eating your brain and shitting it back into your skull.”

Another mindfuck novel that’s worth a read is Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning by James Curcio. It’s a sort of sequel to Join My Cult, and it’s a sort of crisscross of mythical paranoias, like the bad acid trip you never really had. I mean that in a good way. P. Emerson Williams’ illustrations grace this as well. He’s a visual artist and musician, one of the originators of the Choronzon project. (I am the other one.  I’ve lapsed terribly as of late, but there may be new noise sculpting on the event horizon. For more on that, it’s best to read my 8-years-running Livejournal, Elevated Highway. The Vulture Does Not Review Her Own Work, that would be lame.)

On Fridays, let’s start throwing Psychedelic Fruit at you. This aims to be a somewhat weekly film review column–but the only films I review here shall be those awful lower-than-low-budget, grindhouse reels, all either from the late 60s and early ’70s, or just seem like they could have been, or should have. The kind in which the actors float and prance about, too high to follow the script–which hardly matters, being that there doesn’t seem to be one. Some of these flicks so bad you should probably call them ‘C’ movies.

Donovan’s Screedlings

Everyone has heard “Mellow Yellow” and “Sunshine Superman”…but Donovan wrote some other candyland poetry, which reminds me a little of that of Richard Brautigan, but less drunken, more flower-powerish:

I’ve never seen a jerking man touch a flower
never seen a fast man dig the slowness
never seen the dream-end of the ridiculous state the world is in

never seen anger in Joanny when the hate-words of confused
minds lap her shores.

I’ve seen Derroll Addams cry —
so full of us all that he spills over his cheeks
(I pray he sees tomorrow’s sun)
I’ve seen bewildered rambling streams of blood on black skin
I’ve seen V-Bombers growing in a field of insulated grass
daring their masters
I’ve seen the advertisement
beside photographs of mutilated Vietnamese children
I’ve seen the has-been, the could have been
an’ the should have been in the glazed gaze of “passers-by”
I’ve seen the “LITTLE PRINCE” in many people an’ felt happy
I’ve seen people scorn me an’ warn me it’s never torn me
I’ve seen the dream of Freedom ………
a sometimes fading image.

Donovan is also one of the few 60’s icons still not only quite alive, looking fairly well-preserved, but also he’s apparently still performing. He’s released a DVD this year, to be in step with the whole Woodstock anniversary schtick, and will be doing concerts in 2010. He’s not avoiding technology, and I’d have thunk he’d be the last one to actually get a website, but he’s got one, complete with blog, and it is at http://www.donovan.ie/ (Note: it’s a Flash site with music that you can’t turn off–his web designer needs a spanking) or if you can deal with MySpace pages, his is here.

The Vulture Flies

Okay, this is finally happening.

WordPress is much easier to use when you don’t have the thing on your own server, constantly failing and not updating itself unless you keep up with every little new eensy-ness either it, or SQL, adds to itself.

The author of this blog has spent the past–whatizzit now, two, almost three years–dealing with a long term relationship that went south…and then, after that, she then had to spend a bunch more time dealing with the fucking aftermath of it, the effects of shutting the brain completely down because every emotion is nothing but pain–until 3 years have gone by and it has been shut down for so long that half the brain forgets how to feel stuff and thus also loses the energy that makes it able to do stuff effectively, as well.

During this extended period, she has had way too much time on her mind. It’s better to have too much time on your hands. At least, in that situation, you’re picking it up and doing things with it. She wasn’t. Instead, for nearly four years now–Jeez, Louise, has it really been that long?!–the only thing she’s been able to muster the will to do has been downloading a lot of videos, plus a few podcasts and music files here and there, but mostly films and other videos–and also, looking at a lot of websites and .pdfs.

Most of what the Vulture picks out to distract herself with has some general tie-in with her interests…meaning, it’s either psychedelic looking, or feeling, or sounding in some way–and/or it deals with subject matter connected in some way to altered states and the sorts of people who experience them, and the phenomena that cause them to be able to do that, including but not limited to the big D word.

(Drugs won’t be blathered about too much here, but that’s only because there’s a “sister blog” to this one called Outlaw Anodyne specifically for that purpose.)

The Vulture is a middle-aged wacknut San Francisco woman who, even at the late age when people started calling her “lady”, still hasn’t grown out of the whole schtick of being a stoner chick. Odds are, she likely will not any time soon, either. She’s 44, as of the end of 2009, meaning that the 1980s were like the Sixties to her: she was there, so can’t remember them too well. So she makes a point of watching all the movies she saw back then again, now, so that they CAN be remembered…and also help dredge up worthwhile memories of a youth people tell her was misspent. But she knows better.

The Vulture has no shame about being a scavenger who just picks up stuff the rest of the world left for dead. It makes her live. It’s been the only thing that does, sometimes. Other net-wanderers are invited to gain the benefit of her experiences, and decide whether some particular item is download-worthy, or–if you do everything the legit way–worthy of actually owning or renting.

Note: Just because the Vulture might like a thing doesn’t necessarily make it good–and just because she dislikes a thing doesn’t make it bad.  Read the reviews, but think for yourself: a review is merely a monologue describing an experience: in this case, that of the Vulture.  Yours may differ wildly. Or tepidly. But hopefully, wildly.

PS: The Vulture does not always refer to herself in the third person: although for some inane reason, she tends to do it a lot here. This might have something to do with her being a creature who lives on carrion…especially the sort of carrion that gets discussed on this blog.