Born on this day: May 27, 1957 - Punk rock and alternative music icon Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures (born Susan Janet Ballion in London, UK). Happy 60th birthday, Siouxsie!
Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe photographed by Norman Seeff, 1969.
“We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.”- Patti Smith
In her memoir Just Kids, Patti Smith details her intense relationship with
Robert Mapplethorpe in which they struggle to become artists in New York City. They lived together at the Hotel Chelsea – home to numerous writers, musicians, actors and artists. Patti supported Robert by working in bookstores, he soon flourished as a photographer and encouraged her to pursue visual art. As a writer, Patti eventually turned her poems into songwriting. For the cover of her debut album, Horses (1975), Patti used a portrait Robert took. Once Robert came out as a gay man their intimate relationship ended but they remained friends until his death from HIV/AIDS in 1989.
Tamar Kali doesn’t have bad shows, because that’s just not her thing. Sure, if regular guitarist Jerome Jordan’s onstage that night she’ll let him drop to his knees and play that nasty masterblastoff solo he likes to play, but other than that she puts her band through tight changes–no fucking around.
For Kali, that’s the only way to get to her sound, which for better or worse is wrapped up neatly (and without a total lack of mystery) in the title The Geechee Goddess Hardcore Warrior Soul EP she is currently finishing for release on her own Oya Warrior Records.
“If we’re in the basement, sure, act a fool” says Kali. “But what I don’t like is to be up on nobody’s stage and not have it together, because I will be infuriated and a mess.”
That’s a frightening prospect–the infuriated mess–because the image Kali has constructed for herself befits her chosen namesake of the Indian goddess. She has created an image of oozing black female sexuality crossed with a thundering hardcore authority that has attracted a mishmash of fans: moshing white boys, moshing black boys, and more recently, fawning, affirmation-hungry black girls.
One such black girl went to see Kali perform recently; things being what they are these days the chick was expecting Jill Scott and got something she later described as “kind of rock-y.”
That’s a gross misappraisal; though she can send the hordes to the floor with a stormy refrain like: Get down on your knees/And beg motherfucker/Beg motherfucker/Beg for mooooore, Kali’s voice commands any number of tones, from a deep blues hover to a back-of-the-neck church shout, and it’s all pretty–or pretty scary at times.
But as a survivor rather than a newcomer to the scene, Kali–whose influences run from Bad Brains through Kate Bush and PJ Harvey to the politicism of Nina Simone, for whom she directed a musical tribute earlier this year (“Nina was a punk rock icon to me, because she had more angst than a little bit, and she said what the hell she wanted and lived where she wanted–whereas folks today are caught up in some rigmarole bullshit.”)–isn’t stressed or pressed to be labeled.
“There’s gonna be a lot of terrible stuff put out in the name of black rock,” predicts Kali. “And I’m just glad I won’t have anything to do with it. I’m so butch, I’m so black, I’m so African, I don’t need to subscribe to anything. All I have to do is breathe.”
In 1992, when I wrote “we are all HIV positive” on my hand with a tattoo artist from Brooklyn, I said several things: One was that you may not separate the uninfected from the infected as so many so-called liberal doctors wanted to do, by putting the infected on Plum island outside of New York City. You cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by denying them access to your country. You cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by putting the infected on a separate floor that has red danger contagion signs and giving them crap to eat and instructing Catholic nurses not to administer painkillers to the guilty and allowing Catholic priests to visit them and inform them of their future in Hell if they do not confess that their entire life has been a crime. You cannot separate the infected from the uninfected by saying I do not have AIDS, I have syphillis, but most assuredly nothing to do with HIV, and then allow them to die an early death because they would rather die of the disease than the stigma, as so many did, and do, including my best friend– in 1996–who would be living today if he had not been petrified of the stigma and intentionally saw a doctor whose research was based on the option and the opinion that HIV did not cause AIDS. A second opinion, or better yet,my friend’s own research with other researchers would have been smarter. He knew better, but he told me when we first met in 1989 that he would kill himself if he were diagnosed with HIV. No matter what I said to him he continued to visit the one practitioner who would condone this denial for six years until it was too late, and the following year protease inhibitors hit the market—the year after he died. No, you cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by saying “I do not suffer from this virus: I have been spared.” Because one day, in one city, in one moment, you will learn that you suffer from some virus, some pathogen, something poisonous that will not exit from your body; and you will realize that you do not mourn the dead, you mourn the suffering of the living while they are still alive. No one can escape death, and worse than that, no one can escape the life of anything and everything that smells your blood and lives because of it.
•#icanteven / The Neighborhood
•if ur into kinda alternative punk rock, Icon For Hire is a good band!! All their music is lit tbfh
•Attention by Charlie Puth is a bop
•Like That by Jack & Jack
Here is the description of the first edition, from November 2015:
I’ve been dreaming up a Punk Rock Tarot for years now, and in September 2015 I embarked upon the DIY Tarot Challenge - which challenged me to create my own version of every card in the Major Arcana during the month of September. It gave me the opportunity to finally make the Punk Rock Tarot I’d been dreaming about, or, at least the Major Arcana. I made the cards cut'n'paste/Xerox art style, because it’s punk, and when I finished, I thought: why not make them into a zine?
This zine features all 22 cards in the Major Arcana, as well as descriptions about the cards and why I chose to represent them the way I did. Some of the cards feature punk rock icons (including John Doe and Exene Cervenka, Joe Strummer, Alice Bag, Laura Jane Grace, Jack Terricloth, Poly Styrene, and many more), others feature iconography relevant to punks (diners, tour vans, punk houses, riot grrrls, straight edgers…).
The second edition will have all the same cards, though some of them will be altered slightly, as my feelings and perceptions about some of the cards have changed. I am also writing more in-depth descriptions of each card to reflect the knowledge and insight I have gained into the cards since the zine was originally published. Finally, the second edition will include a few punk-inspired tarot spreads I’ve created, as well as a list of further tarot-related resources.
The first edition was ¼-size and 48 pages long, the second edition will be the same size and approximately 64 pages in length.
I expect to have the revised edition completed, printed, and ready to mail by mid-October, so if you order it now, you’ll get it in time for Halloween!