The Underground Sound with Meri St. Mary: March 9 2014: The Iconic PLEASANT GEHMAN

Date March 13, 2014

Listen in as Meri St. Mary chats with Pleasant Gehman a true Renaissance woman: writer, dancer, actor, musician & painter, for a fast paced FUN hour that begins in 70’s Hollywood electrical energy sub culture underground movement with many a true tale & adventures that she documented in diaries, the fanzine “Lobotomy” & the LA Weekly LA DE DAH (can’t wait for “All Tomata’s Parties” Screamers fanatics know what I mean). Who wouldn’t love a girl who hands out a matchbook with “aladdin sane cosmic orgasm call me” on it? I mean good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go EVERYWHERE & so does Ms. Gehman with enough wit, savvy & street smarts to get away with it. Ever heard of Danny Shades’ infamous girlfriend applications? (i got one) .Know what an emergency break thru was? Spray painted Sid Vicious RIP on a Heaven Can Wait billboard on Sunset Blvd? Took bolt cutters & snagged a 7 foot Devo album advert with 3 people on quaaludes then hauled it up 3 stories? Wondered how everyone magically lived, toured & came home on no money? In an all girl band in the 80’s (Screaming Sirens, Ringling SIsters & Honk if Yer Horny)? What Hollywood fancy dresser piano man named his kid after Pleasant? Well, get yer fill cuz this gal has survived & THRIVED. Love her Cinderella moment dancing at a club in Hollywood that led her to her current occupation as world traveling belly dancer since the 1990’s (she is wildly devoted)! Told as a child she was “flat footed” & based on a pix from a National Geographic of an exotic Istanbul she kicked an eating disorder & hopped a plane to Greece, added on Cairo & got a costume.She was part of the neo burlesque troupe VELVET HAMMER as well. The name Pleasant does not translate in Arabic thus the moniker Princess Farhana was born & we can all thank the stars for this. But in case you don’t believe in stars, then check out her latest book “SHOWGIRL CONFIDENTIAL My Life Onstage, Backstage And On The Road” from Punk Hostage Press or Steve Balderson’s documentary “UNDERBELLY” a year in the life of Princess Farhana: or for her spoken word the CD “RUINED” & the reason she can die happy (cuz starred w/Mink Stole) in the flick “STUCK”. Actually Pleasant is having many pinch me moments as she exudes the old style glamour of a Hollywood health & that means just plain working hard, doing what you love & inspiring many a young lady (or older one) to dance belly dance w/ her 2013 belly dance handbook. I’m gonna give you her contacts cuz there is loads more & a dual life has dual accounts! Yer gonna love her, I promise…..(& btw danny shades WAS VERY selective with his girlfriend applications!) SO GIT YER GRRL ON & ENJOY the PLEASANT-ries…….YEAH!




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The Underground Sound: 8/25/13: Poets Bill Gainer and Joe Hall

Date October 3, 2013


Tune in as Meri St. Mary talks with Poets Bill Gainer & Joe Hall, both of whom are very active in the poetry scene spanning the USA. The Poets in general are a very motivated bunch & there are readings virtually every night in a city/town near you. There are a plethora of chapbooks available at readings as well as published works available at fine bookstores that support independent & underground press as well as from the poets directly! Both Bill Gainer & Joe Hall read from their latest books: “The Fine Art Of Poisoning” & “The Devotional Poems” in this hour that goes by so fast you will want to listen again & again. Is it possible to delve into the mind of a poet or is it enough to hear their take on life that is original and uniquely their own perspective? Ponder on this & revel in their words poetically put. NOW, is the pen mightier than the sword? Well, that’s for you to decide!!!!




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The Underground Sound - June 16, 2013 - interview with artist/musician/poet VAL DENHAM

Date June 23, 2013

Listen in as Meri St. Mary talks with Val Denham an artist/musician/poet from Bradford (Vallanda) UK. In this hour we cover the waterfront, so to speak, on a number of interesting events in Val’s life as an artist from the distant past to now! Val’s body of artwork is extensive both visually & musically: this year a book will be released entitled “Dysphoria” where you can peruse & ponder her works at yer leisure (a CD w/the same title will be released as well). Chatting with Val is a fun informative visit into the personality of a creative genius that is challenging to put into words & rather difficult to articulate so I will give you several queries (the answers lie in the interview) after which you will receive a prize! Why was headmaster Mr. Taylor concerned w/young Val enough to merit a visit to his office? What book would Val save from her library in case of a fire? Why was Val’s artwork deemed so disturbing that 2 detectives found her to be a “person of interest” in the Yorkshire Ripper case? What is it about the horrifying & dark side of the human psyche that obsesses & influences Val’s work? How did Auntie Betty’s picture cards from tea packets spark Val’s color fixation that exists to this day? How does one imagine smelling a strawberry? Why does Val thank the stars for estrogen? What & where does “Caligula On Acid” come from? How does an obsessive/compulsive deal w/dust? Why did Genesis P-Orridge get freaked out by a letter from Val? On whose albums has Val’s artwork appeared? Who wrote the forward to her new book? How many CD’s has Val released & with whom has she collaborated? If you are going to San Francisco why must you guard your Val Denham CD’s with your life? How long has Val been married & to whom & is she father/mother or both? All this & more, more, more PLUS original music from Val: “I Want Your Sex”, “City Lights” & “Thinking About My Girl” as well as an impromptu “Meri St. Mary Intro” song she gifted me with that is The Underground Sound’s new theme song! So here’s the prize: when you find yourself stumped in a conversation simple repeat this phrase: “IT’S A DUMMY & IT’S FULL OF CONCRETE”!!! & Thank the Stars for VAL DENHAM!!!
See links to all her projects below…………..




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The Underground Sound - May 5 2013 - interview with IRIS BERRY poet/publisher/performer

Date May 7, 2013

Tune in & listen as Meri St. Mary talks with IRIS BERRY a funny & smart word wrangler who hails from The City of Angels. She has been (& is) a poet, publisher, performer who has used her talent to chronicle the characters from the underbelly of Hollywood as well as her own experiences living at the notorious Disgraceland a mecca & hang out joint for touring bands & local musicians from the 80’s. Iris has teamed up with A. Razor & Pleasant Gehman (to name a few) to bring the written word to the world with: Notes From A Punk Rock Crash Pad, Daughters of Bastards, Tales from the Tropicana & most currently Jack Grisham’s (T.S.O.L.) new book on Punk Hostage Press: a non profit that goes to jails & institutions as well as internet access & book stores. Hear about the where & when of upcoming readings & events including the 60th anniversary of City Lights in SF featuring a mysterious trunk found in New Orleans containing unpublished works by many of the Beat Movement greats! Iris is on the board of Beyond Baroque & weaves many entertaining tales of Los Angeles from the past, the now & what’s yet to come. In this hour we also play some of her original spoken word/poetry pieces including: Punk Rock Royalty, Thank You Henry Mancini, Ode to Sammy & The Trouble with Palm Trees, her voice is a calm lullaby sing song with lurid content that makes you go ahhhhhh, yesssss, LOVE IT!!!! The hour zips by as we jump rope & double dutch lyrically. So git yer Uber Wonderfulness ON, take a sip off your Anarchy Drink & dig the hell out of your gurl Iris Berry!!!!!!!!!!!!




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The Underground Sound - November 8 2012 - interview & live performance with THE DEVILS TRAIN

Date November 9, 2012

Listen in as Meri St. Mary talks with local punk band THE DEVILS TRAIN for their debut on KVMR. We hear for the first time their upcoming 3 song release “Bloody Candyland” as well as live in studio performance (on an acoustic tip) of some of their other live material. All members: Akasha Hepcat, Alex Bone Daddy Scribs, Johnny K, Jamison Jamo (aka Slick Simmons) & Jo Jo Dinkenstein are from Grass Valley/Nevada City & play regularly in town on diverse bills bringing their “jazz punk from hell” music along with compelling & enthusiastic live performances. THE DEVILS TRAIN are a young band with their own style & are clearly into what they are doing & have that chemistry one longs for when seeing live shows. They are fun & down to earth as they talk about how they got together, what keeps them going as well as their strive for originality in a small town that has supported them with a loyal following of all ages & types who feed off the energy THE DEVILS TRAIN emits ( yeah mosh pits ensue) seemingly effortlessly so the songs & visuals stick in your brain long after you’ve experienced them live. This hour is a fun time for all so if you don’t want to just shut up & watch yer TV, git yer demon inside on & dig the swampy grooves & passionate/provocative vocals from THE DEVILS TRAIN: this is one ride you’ll want to take whether you’re showered in sin or pondering the inevitable rebirth of the soul, a new kinda soul train! Git on the devils train, stay on after every stop & ride bitches, ride.




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The Underground Sound - August 30, 2012 - interview w/Cole Palme, Bond Bergland & Joseph T. Jacobs of FACTRIX

Date September 3, 2012

Listen in as Meri St. Mary & Monte Cazazza talk with some of our favorite creative noise meisters: Cole Palme, Bond Bergland & Joseph T. Jacobs of San Francisco’s pioneering electronic/industrial band: FACTRIX. Formed in 1978 they had riveting & compelling live shows as well as 2 releases on Subterranean Records (SCHEINTOT & the Factrix/Cazazza collaboration CALIFORNIA BABYLON) now available as a spankin new reissue on Superior Viaduct. This interview is akin to an audio puzzle with the pieces flying at you in different directions. We cover dead, but not gone, ground featuring Patrick Miller, Tommy Tadlock & the quiet genius of Slava Ranko whose generosity of spirit, & support of audio alchemists enabled Factrix to record Scheintot, their 1st LP. This telephone reunion is as fun as it is informative on subjects such as: chaos, creating tension, teapot whistles, ringtone viruses, radio guitar, glaxobass & Joseph serenading Cole & Bond. In this fantastic stream of consciousness hour a few new songs were created that invite electronics to turn into a nightmare. So get yer Night Of The Succubus DVD ON (with surprise ending courtesy of Mark Pauline of SRL) & laugh like yer catching a straw in the wind!!!!!




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The Underground Sound - June 21 2012 - John Silvers Interview

Date June 25, 2012

Listen in as Meri St. Mary talks with San Francisco’s own JOHN SILVERS, drummer, bike messenger & insightful human being, who has played with legendary SF bands The Dils, Chris Isaak, Chimneylions & his current project Streetlions. We cover a lot of territory in this hour chat with John from his joining the Dils in 1978 a band he loved to changing the names of his favorite love songs to Clint Eastwood & Bruce Lee (cuz, ya know, it wasn’t “punk” to do love songs) their “World Domination Tour” & how he thought Chip & Tony were the punk Everly Brothers. The Dils also impressed John Cale enough that he wanted to produce them after they played What Goes On, but again, that wasn’t to be. You can see/hear John Silvers in the punk documentary “Louder, Faster, Shorter” & he has many a humorous tale of behind the scenes live shows including doing benefits for Coal Miners & Laguna Honda Hospital. John is a funny, self deprecating & kind person who tells it like it is & was, we also touch on some dearly departed including Olga de Volga & John’s favorite punk drummer Tim Mooney. John Silvers is a survivor & a hell of a nice guy who loved the early diversity of punk & still lives it, (we all hate those hard core bullies!) Now git yer dub on, go see the Streetlions, oh & ride yer bike!!!




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The Underground Sound - June 7 2012 - Martin Atkins Interview

Date June 12, 2012

Tune in & listen as Meri St. Mary talks with Martin Atkins; musician, teacher, lecturer, author, independent label person, documentary filmmaker & dad. Martin has played with such groups as Brian Brain, Public Image Limited, Ministry, Pigface, Killing Joke & Damage Manuel and more. When I saw PiL in LA years back I knew these guys were talented smartypants, however, Martin has excelled in many other areas of artistic expression. He is the author of Tour:Smart, Welcome to the Music Buisiness You’re Fucked & the forthcoming Band: Smart as well as an honorary board member of Chicago based Rock for Kids. Martin is something akin to a slightly older brother who is an encyclopedia of USEFUL information that would behoove you to pay attention to. He is clever, funny & frank in this hour that ranges from putting on a great show, making compelling art to the marketing side of things, touring, the music & bands he recorded in China. Working with “allegedly at risk kids” he came up with the t-shirt “at risk for not being BORING!” & I personally am looking forward to “Kickstarter:Crackpipe” the 411 on navigating the labyrinth of dysfunction & OCD that is Kickstarter. Now go git yer Band:Smart on & get inspired & informed!




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The Underground Sound - May 24 - WINSTON TONG of Tuxedomoon Interview

Date May 26, 2012

Listen in as Meri St. Mary talks with WINSTON TONG a SF native actor/playwright, visual artist, puppeteer & singer/songwriter. He is best known for his vocal work in TUXEDOMOON, and for winning an Obie Award in puppetry for “Bound Feet” in 1978 (about a rather atrocious practice of male oppression towards women in a rather twisted idea of “beauty”). Winston joined Tuxedomoon in 1977 sporadically recording & performing with the group as well as recording solo material including the electro-pop dance album “Theoretically Chinese” in 1985. Currently Winston is on a “humble little quest” translating Baudelaire & recites two pieces during the show. We cover all sorts of subjects ranging from gods, goddesses, bullies, devils, murderers, vampires, politics, poetry & all manners of the “ Flowers of Evil.” Joining us in the conversation is Lx Rudis another SF native who is teaching analogue & regales us with stories from technology to his bohemian upbringing & more. Of note is the 2008 book “Music for Vagabonds: The Tuxedomoon Chronicles” by Isabelle Corbisier (self published) available on internet & best of all at the SF Main Library. Winston Tong’s song “In A Manner of Speaking” has been covered a staggering 13 times (including a heavy metal version). In 2005 Tong & Tuxedomoon played SF for the first time in two decades. Winston continues to create fascinating works to this day & is truly an elixir for other creative types. In a scary world where the force-fed dumbing down runs rampant I thank the stars for the brave & beautiful spirit that is Winston Tong & his willingness & need to keep pushing the proverbial buttons in a gorgeous poetic manner. If you loved him then, you’ll love him now: articulate, humble, thoughtful, political & poetically representing all the outsider artists of the world. Stay strong we will have out day (& our say)! Now, go out & find everything you can from the multifaceted & multi-talented Winston Tong!




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The Underground Sound - April 26, 2012 - ESMERELDA of NOH MERCY interview

Date April 30, 2012

Listen in as Meri St. Mary talks with SF’s own ESMERELDA, an exquisite artist, musician, visionary woman who was (along with Tony Hotel) a founding member of the legendary femme punk duo NOH MERCY. In the space of an hour we hear of Esmerelda’s unique voyage from teenage runaway to finding her own tribe with the infamous Angels of Light. Simultaneously being addicted to glamour, anger & androgyny she found inspiration in the Butoh tradition & with Tony began their “No Boys On Guitar” minimalists punk band “On The Rag” in 1977 that was to become NOH MERCY. WIth scathing commentary, humor & relevance NOH MERCY played shows that delighted & demanded respect ending in 1980. Finally a full length recording of original material from 1979, recorded & mixed by the late SF genius Tommy Tadlock is available on Superior Viaduct Records w/cover design by uber talented Patrick Roques. NOH MERCY just played a record release party in SF after 33 years & it was FIERCE! Now more than ever you need to hear what ESMERELDA is saying touching on subjects as diverse as the end of the world to the scary trend of pharmaceutical company’s drugging our children to the art & discipline of the Butoh tradition, getting & staying clean & sober, being a visionary & individual as well as her successful solo career & what she listens to now. Humble & intelligent her story will captivate you, now, go get the new NOH MERCY CD/LP & make some art!




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