Thursday, May 03, 2007

Los Angeles Honors Pleasant!!

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There was no better time than punk rock to act out your favorite pulp fiction characters.

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Camp and kitsch have always been tropes in the subculture known as the underground, and punk rock was no different. From the toilette to the boudoir, with the wardrobe to support the roles, here is Pleasant, aged just 17, playing dress up for the camera.

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One thing about LA Punk that set it apart from London punks and NY punks: Hollywood. British punk rebellion against the whole institution of the Monarchy was epitomized by the singles “Anarchy in the UK” and “God Save the Queen” by the Sex Pistols…and further taking the piss by bringing the Queen down to their level on their picture sleeves and all the artwork associated with the band's image.

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NY punks were just a grittier version of the everyday teenager. The Ramones wore jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and leather motorcycle jackets. Blondie wore thrift store chic.

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Debbie Harry is wearing a vintage fuschia and chartreuse bias cut shift that Pleasant and I found at the All Saints Church Rummage Sale; neither Pleasant nor I looked good in it...


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The NY punk uniform was jeans and leather jackets

Mumps looked like normal people… they were just “quirky” as people like to say when they can’t really put their finger on an appropriate adjective…otherwise, why would anyone use the same word to describe both Mumps and Talking Heads? Talk about normal…they all looked like exactly what they were: Ivy Leaguers.

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Los Angeles punks were informed by the sunshine and the glamour industry. LA’s greatest cultural claim to fame – film noir – was all about darkness in sunshine, and punk claimed it too. Songs ranging from X’s “Los Angeles” and Black Randy’s “Trouble at the Cup” to F Word’s very topical “Hillside Strangler,” Los Angeles and her phenomena were integrated into the punk text. LA punk had its noir requirements fulfilled by femmes fatales from Pleasant to Alice Bag, the Go Go’s, Exene, Iris Berry, Hellin Killer and Trudie… the list is endless. Hal Negro, one-time LA punk rocker and now a respectable lawyer, said on the record that LA punk was full of the ugliest women… but clearly he had his head buried in the sand or somewhere else the sun doesn’t shine.

But back to noir…LA punk girls applied the punk filter to the glamorous styles of the starlets found in thrift stores and our favorite shopping ground: Beverly Hills All Saints Church Rummage Sale. This meant ripping a gown to shreds, safety-pinning it…or not. It meant translating Lauren Bacall from Raymond Chandler’s LA of the 1940’s to the Sunset Blvd. of 1977 as our fave It Girls do here.

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Los Angeles knows just how important Pleasant and her partners in crime are... please note, and cheer them on if you're in LA on May 6!

Cardoza Muller Promotions & Events
The City of Los Angeles
IRIS BERRY, PLEASANT GEHMAN & S.A. GRIFFIN

May 6th at
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
213 308 9422

These three L.A. writers
IRIS BERRY PLEASANT GEHMAN & S.A. GRIFFIN
will be presented with Certificates Of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles

given by the office Of Eric Garcettii.
Hosted by Rafael F J Alvarado & Carlye Archibeque

Reading & Award Cermony
Time: Sunday, May 6, 2007 7:00 PM
Special guest Razor, Lorraine Perrotta

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1 comment:

Robbie Fields said...

Theresa, In the last photo, who is the third girl on the right?

Robbie