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RE/Search Publications
Part II

The first part of this article was published in Full Moon 5.

coverpic RE/Search #13 (1991, 228 pages)
Angry Women
Interviews with sixteen innovative female artists. The best known names here are probably Lydia Lunch and Diamanda Galas, at least for the musically interested. But we also get to know several cutting-edge female performance artists (for instance Annie Sprinkle and Karen Finley). While some of them can be described as radical feminists, other artists here are working with sex and eroticism in ways that probably make many feminists react negatively. Not a stereotype selection, in other words. Some of these women appear to be more angry than others, but none of them can be accused of being particularly dogmatic, so even (perhaps especially) men should be able to enjoy this book. Besides, they do debate other topics than the male / female issue.


coverpic RE/Search #14 (1993, 206 pages)
Incredibly Strange Music Volume I
This guide to obscure vinyl recordings is based on 14 interviews with various record collectors (including the Cramp's Ivy & Lux and the people behind Norton Records) who are showing off their most beloved objects, mostly from the '50s-'70s. The humour factor seems higher here than in Incredibly Strange Films, the people interviewed being more interested in giving us a peak into their amazing collections, than discussing the records' artistic value in objective terms. Many of the items displayed in this book must be difficult to get hold of, while I wouldn't be surprised to find some of them cheaply priced at garage-sales or record-fares. Mind-boggingly covers and bizarre titles are often the main reason for inclusion, and many of those are probably more fun to look at than to listen to. Still, some of the collections focus on exotic instruments or eccentric music styles, making them interesting also from a musical point of view. This book is a must for vinyl addicts, but is recommended to all music listeners with a sense of humour.


coverpic RE/Search #15 (1994, 220 pages)
Incredibly Strange Music Volume II
More of the same excellent stuff. A long interview with Jello Biafra starts off another journey to the fringes of the vinyl world. Robert Moog (he invented the Moog synth) speaks about the Theremin, an instrument which seems to be re-discovered these days. A companion CD/cassette (no vinyl!?) is also available.


coverpic RE/Search #16 (1994, 148 pages)
Guide to Bodily Fluids
After the last two solid books, this is a rather weak RE/Search product. Compared to any other RE/Search book, it seem very unnecessary, and don't quite fit into their row of chosen subjects. Paul Spinrad dips into every bodily produced fluid you'll ever think of, be it mucus, saliva, sweat, vomit, urine, feces, earwax or toe cheese. He even covers farting. By "bringing bodily functions out of the closet into polite conversation..." it may serve a purpose helping to normalize our thoughts on these functions. Large parts of the book are based on the results from a questionnaire with 106 participators, which is barely enough to make the results interesting, but as a statistical research this seems far too few. Revealed here are facts like, of the 96% of us who pick our noses, only 26% throw it in the garbage on some form of paper or flush it away. Where the others go? 34% is tossed away (often after some rolling), 9% is wiped onto the undersides of furniture, 21% wiped on other places (carpets, bottoms of shoes and even on boyfriends!), and 10% gets eaten. If you enjoy or need facts like this, this book has lots of it. But it's a misfit and a low point in the RE/Search series, both when thinking of quality and subject.


The future: V/Search Publications and Juno Books
RE/Search has now evolved into two new publishing ventures; V/Search Publications and Juno Books.

Copyright © 1997 Knut Tore Breivik e-mail address

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