"Punks and Poets: SF Subculture in the '70s"


PREVIEW Let's get punk-rock and have a slideshow, everybody! While Green Day not-so-secretly toils along its dejected piano-ballad path to Broadway, it's the perfect time for a bracing reminder of what actual punk in the Bay looked like, circa the late-1970s. You know, way before the final episode of Seinfeld. Zing!

Photographer Michael Jang — whose wry '60s home shots of his Chinese American family, collected as "The Jangs" and shown at University High School last year, opened a revelatory window into a 30-plus year career — was up front and snapping when turbulent San Francisco groups like the Mutants, Avengers, and Dils exploded onto the scene. You haven't seen so many skinny ripped jeans, torn Patti Smith tees, untamed hairdos, and askew lapel pins since your last trip to the backroom of Adobe Books.

At Pirate Cat Café, Jang will be projecting prime pics of the above legends in action (and meltdown), interspersed with images of outré icons like William S. Burroughs, Ishmael Reed, Michael McClure, and others to conjure up that rough-and-tumble period a couple decades ago when writers and musicians chose in-your-face tactics over Facebook updates. (The pictures from the slideshow will remain on display in the café until May 22.) Jang will also crack open his vault and treat us to some of his coveted Sex Pistols hangover shots, taken the morning after Winterland, a.k.a. "the day punk died." He'll be joined by veteran journo Jack Boulware — who is working on an oral history of SF punk — and special guests to discuss the images on Pirate Cat Radio, 87.9, FM. "I may even project the slides on a sheet," Jang tells us. "How punk is that?"

PUNKS AND POETS: SF SUBCULTURE IN THE '70S Fri/24, 7 p.m., free. Pirate Cat Café, 2781 21st, SF. (415) 341-1199. www.piratecatradio.com

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