The Last Bastion — a new Lower Topanga documentary

Click to watch The Last Bastion by Anastasia Fite, a new documentary film about Lower Topanga starring James Mathers, John Clemens, Carole Winter, and John Judge.

New Lower Topanga pics uploaded (mid 2000s) to the Brass Tacks Press archive



Photo c/o James Mathers


King of Funk and Kickass Model Mel-e-o!


Insects vs. Robots (7-25-09)

insects vs robots flyer

Insects vs. Robots

7/25/2009 8:00 PM at Time Warp Music w/ CD6 and The Shrine!!
12257 Venice Blvd., Venice, California 90291
Cost: 5 moneys
awesome rockinroll freakout business!

James Mathers in Venice

James Mathers – Art in the Topanga Post Office

Belongings of former resident James Mathers (a.k.a. Toylit) found in trailer


James’s psycho-iridescent mattress




From Obliterature by Toylit




“That moment the artist began to trust the dream he was living in… surrendering over tea.”


Pablo’s trailer (a.k.a. Timeship Medusa)


Formerly parked in Lower Topanga, this trailer was immortalized in the comic Voyage of the Timeship Medusa by Toylit…


The New White Trash

New music from the NWT coming soon…

NWT cover

Big Fish Blue Water

These incredible images are from my pal John Harding and were taken off the Great Barrie Reef, Australia in 1975 aboard The Avalon with Captain Peter Bristow.  The footage of the Black Marlin was shot on 16mm film for use in the film Islands In The Stream, based on a Hemmingway novel.  Check it out:


MarlinJump2 (Medium)


Marlin Frame



Cause for Concern

While the fashion in rock for most of the 1990s was hard-edged and macho, Cause for Concern, a band that “just happens” to be all-female, produced music that is melodic, poignant, sweet, and at the same time, high-energy. Their music is a direct result of admiring female artists such as Joan Jett, Chrissy Hynde and Heart. CFC’s style is described as a combination of modern pop with a lot of rock-n-roll energy.

In this album, ALL I WANT, their songs range from introspective ballads to let-loose rock. Singer Suzanne Graham (who lives at the VAC compound) has been compared to Melissa Etheridge. With songs evoking loneliness, failed relationships, and hopes of finding love, her vocals radiate an undeniable rawness.


Charles Blass is Executive Director of  Lovevolv, dedicated to healing through arts and education.  Lovevolv services artists and educators with production and programming; research, restoration, archiving, marketing and consulting. For 25 years Charles has programmed Jazz, World and Experimental music at WKCR in New York at Columbia University, inviting artists to perform live on-air.  Charles serves as host and producer as well as mix and recording engineer.  He has produced and programmed dozens of marathon radio festivals in tribute to Jazz artists, including among others Sun Ra, Marshall Allen, Sonny Sharrock, Pharoah Sanders, Ronald Shannon Jackson, David Amram, Frank Zappa, Gunter Hampel, Thomas Chapin, Gene Perla, and Jimi Hendrix.  Charles has interviewed hundreds of musicians and maintains a huge recorded archives of interviews and performances.

Some of his live radio concerts include:  regular Sunday evening “Live Constructions” programs; Alice Coltrane Tribute; James Brown Tribute; multiple Jimi Hendrix birthday tributes; Vernon Reid; Debashish Bhattacharya; Samir Chatterjee; Ramesh Misra; Snehasish Mozumder; Gunter Hampel; Kali Z. Fasteau; Jef Lee Johnson; Brisa Roche; Forro in the Dark; Howling Makams; Robert Dick; Tom Chess; On Ka’a Davis; Nick Gianni; Sean Noonan’s Brewed By Noon; Haale; Morley; Monika H Band; M. Nahadr; Kenny Wolleson’s Himalayas; Tribo; Harriet Tubman; numerous Sun Ra ‘SunRadio’ Marathons; Live Remote from Sun Ra House, Philadelphia; Sun Ra Arkestra Live Remote from Brooklyn Sugar, Brooklyn, NY; Live Remote from Drom, NYC featuring Burnt Sugar, Pheeroan akLaff and Warren Smith.  In 2006, Charles collaborated with Colin Faber to form LiveWired Music, a music production network.  See

Some pics from Charle’s world…

cb translinear by colin faber 021807


cb in archive 071209

cb, bern kma

cb cave canem by james nichols

cb radio crop

Phil De Void, aka Andy Kravitz, of The New White Trash with Robby Krieger, Arthur Barrow and others

Phil De Void with Robby Krieger of The Doors at Arthur Barrow’s Lotek Studio:


With Norwood Fisher of Fishbone and Kristen Vigard:


With the amazing and masterful Arthur Barrow at Lotek studios:

AK and AB

Phil De Void with Norwood Fisher and camera crew


Phil De Void

Photo 39

And again…

Photo 264

Norton Wisdom and Jean Batiste @ The Muriel Kretchner Gallery (7-11-09)





After-party performance by Lynskey-Wisdom @ The Little Door

Mayumi Nishimura

Mayumi Nishimura is one of my favorite people.  I met Mayumi in Becket, MA in 1985 when she was living and teaching at the Michio Kushi Macrobiotic Institute in Becket, located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Mass. Mayumi taught me how to cook delicious, wholesome and healing food.  More recently, for the past several years (maybe 6-7) Mayumi has been the private and exclusive chef for Madonna and her family.  Very recently, Mayumi has decided to move on and persue teaching and writing.  The first pic is of Mayumi and her young family at Becket in 1985.  Mayumi sent the other pics just the other day from Japan.  Mayumi is a healer, big time, and one of the really beautiful people on this planet.


Becket, MA 1985



Mayumi today:


Mayumi JP1


Mayumi JP2


Mayumi JP3

Pablo is learning about Venice gangs


Click to find out what VXIII stands for?

From The Moon To The Earth

Tomorrow, July 20th, marks the 40th anniversary of the first human moon landing.  This pic is the lunar module making its way back to the mothership.  The moon below, earth in the background.



Beowülf is a crossover thrash metal band formed in Venice, California in 1981 by Michael Alvarado, Dale Henderson, Mike Jensen and Paul Yamada. The group never gained a large mainstream success, but is considered one of the first bands that defined the “Venice Scene” in the 1980s, along with Suicidal Tendencies, Neighborhood Watch, No Mercy, Excel and Uncle Slam, who all played a mix of skate punk, hardcore, heavy metal and thrash. So far, Beowülf has released five studio albums. They split up in 1995, but reformed in 2000.

Next show: August 19, 8:00 p.m. @ The Blue Monkey in Hollywood.

CARA TOMPKINS – Life Through My Eyes



Look out for the upcoming CD realease from NWT, a VAC Production.  This band means business.  Here is Wade De Void:




Venice, Abbot Kinney, early-mid 90’s

A slice of life from the Milwood/Electric Ave. neighborhood of Venice, CA.

Party at Jamie Cohen’s house on Electric Ave. (between Palms and Milwood).

From left:  Mr. Dougie, Bailey, Jane and Malia Lewis, Jamie Cohen with hat on, Maria Obrien in black dress…

Cecilia Pics

Jamie Cohen, Ramsey Midwood and friend…

Cecilia Pics_0001

Nina Sussman!!!

Cecilia Pics_0002

Kids birthday party in the backyard of 615 Milwood…

Cecilia Pics_0003

Happy Birthday Cecilia!!  At Jamie Cohen’s…

Cecilia Pics_0004

Jamie Cohen…

Cecilia Pics_0005

Larry Gilbert at right…

Cecilia Pics_0006

Jamie Cohen, Maria O’Brien and friend…

Cecilia Pics_0007

Cecilia Weiss, Jamie Cohen, Mark Brooks…

Cecilia Pics_0008

Jamie Cohen and Mr. Dougie, 615 MIlwood…

Cecilia Pics_0010

Bailey and Mr. D.

Cecilia Pics_0011

Malia Lewis…

Cecilia Pics_0012

Malia…waiting for cake…

Cecilia Pics_0013

Bailey, Mika and Maila…

Cecilia Pics_0014

Cecilia…Birthday Girl…with Bailey looking on…

Cecilia Pics_0016


Cecilia Pics_0017

…and again…

Cecilia Pics_0018

Stan Behrens with Andy Kravitz @ VAC

Stan “The Man” Behrens on the left with mega-producer Phil De Void, aka, Klaus Kertz, aka Andy Kravitz making music in the VAC studio.   Also a  founding member of THE CHEETERS  Phil De Void  and his clan Wade, Cross, Skip, Ova, Liberty and Cherry De Void have been recording their art funk and roll band, THE NEW WHITE TRASH.  More on the NWT soon…

Photo 741


A friend Arthur Robbins sent this funny story from Newton, MA:

Here in the suburbs of Newton I’m used to gigantic wild turkeys, all sorts of local birds, rabbits, raccoons, hedgehogs, white tailed deer in winter, and the occasional shy coyote, newt or garter snake. But walking up to the front door this morning, I didn’t notice a quiet green parrot perched on the handrail until I was reaching for my keys to open the door. Startled me! He was calm but seemed tired, haggard — demoralized. I fed him a chocolate chip cookie that was serendipitously forced on me at Whole Foods. He ate it with growing enthusiasm, and I gave him a big drink of water. He revived a bit, then fell asleep. I petted him, talked to him. He made as if to bite my, by then gloved hand, but didn’t. Started waking up my arm. Sweet, friendly bird. What to do? 

Was just about to start calling the town to see if anybody had reported a missing psittaciforme, when Steve, the UPS guy showed up and knew who his owners were. His name is Jimmy. Lives about a half mile away. Seems he’d gotten out of his cage and had been missing for a week or so. It’s been raining here for quite some time. Poor guy! I got him in a box, took him home, and as nobody was there, put him in his large outdoor cage and said goodbye. Snapped a few photos of our visit with my iPhone:

Jimmy 1bJimmy 2a

Jimmy 4a

John Goodwin

John Goodwin is a Nashville musician and songwriter.  Like many musicians, John G is a painter and all-around renaissance man!



















The Ellison

Forever at the corner of Paloma Ave. and Speedway in Venice.


The Ellison Jan. 10, 2008 001