Punk nostalgia and Sisko

R.I.P. Lux Interior

R.I.P. Lux Interior

Lux is dead
The Cramps weren’t punk, really. Despite the fact that the band was a part of the early CBGB’s scene and frontman Lux Interior was as wild and dangerous as Iggy Pop, they were just a gritty, garage rock/rockabilly band that wore Rocky Horror makeup and wrote cool lyrics about being a human fly and a “teenage Goo Goo Muck.” That’s why I got into them—they were just weird enough to make me feel like I was in on a secret. As a high school freshman whose craziest cassette was The Cars’ first album, a dubbed version of Bad Music for Bad People that somehow made it into my boom box was about as hectic as I was ready to go.

Years later, in 1992, while living in Somerville, Mass., I got to see The Cramps play in Boston (with the Reverend Horton Heat!), and it was a wild experience, with Lux swallowing the mic, climbing speaker stacks, stripping down to tiny sparkly gold briefs and nicking his thin, ghost-white skin with a broken bottle. Good fun.

On Feb. 4, Lux Interior succumbed to a pre-existing heart condition and died in a Glendale hospital.

Punker than you?
Lux’s death, and the upcoming shows by aging surf/skate punks Agent Orange (Feb. 15, at Paradise Lost) and old-school reggae artist/producer and one-time Clash collaborator Lee “Scratch” Perry (Feb. 19, at the El Rey Theatre) has me feeling all punk-stalgic.

I entered high school at the perfect time in history (1984), and was sufficiently socially inept to have potentially become a punker. Redding had the beginnings of a punk scene in those days, and I had close friends who partook in the haircuts and jacket patches and introduced me to Agent Orange, Bad Religion, The Faction and The Meatmen (“This is dedicated to the little boy that lives in my bowels / It’s called ‘Mr. Tapeworm!’ ”), but I was never punk. I just liked the flamboyant side of rock too much to go as minimal/anti as my punk buddies were going. Plus, new wave seemed a more fun route, one that, back then, included a lot more girls. Actually, the stuff I was drawn to was a list very similar to the one my—gasp!—boss has drawn up this week (see In My Eyes).

Black Fork in your eye

Punker than I
Since we are waxing punk nostalgic: Last week’s CN&R arts feature profiled the tile-art-making Robin Indar and also mentioned her skills as a music-maker. Well, back in the day (early/mid-’90s day), Indar, née Tussin, and now-husband Josh Indar were vocalist and guitarist in the East Bay high-energy punk crew Black Fork. They hung out with Green Day, put out an album on Lookout Records and burned out by ’97. Next Friday (Feb. 20), Black Fork will play a reunion show at 924 Gilman in Berkeley with the also reuniting legendary Indiana punks The Zero Boys.

From Sisko with love
Muralist, billboard artist and third-generation Chicoan David “Sisko” Sisk has a special valentine planned just for you. That’s right, you, Chico, are getting one original sculpture made by the hands of one of Chico’s most visible artists. Thing is, you have no idea when or where it will appear.

24-Hour Drive bye-bye

Actually, Sisko has entrusted me with the secret. I know the exact details. At precisely some time or another, on a day that falls in the vicinity of Valentine’s Day, a love offering from Sisko to Chico will be on display at that one place. Right over there. Turn around, it’s probably there now. You know, by the thing.

What is the occasion for this burst of appreciation from Sisko’s arty heart? Change is happening in his life. The nearly two-decade-old Drive-by Gallery that he started is morphing into a new home for the fashion-design/performance art collective of Chikoko. Sisko will still be a part of the space; he’ll just be doing his art-making at his spread in Butte Creek Canyon. As he says, it’s “a new chapter.”