Mike Edison & The Space Liberation Army – Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, US (10 June 2009)

Mike Edison & The Space Liberation Army show at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, US on 10 June 2009.

Vocals / Organ: Mike Edison
Guitar: Jon Spencer
Bass: Dean Rippler
Drums: Hollis Queens

“First version of the Space Liberation Army, pumping out stories and songs from I HAVE FUN EVERYWHERE I GO. 2008, Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene, w Jon Spencer, Hollis Queens, and Dean Rispler. One of my all-time favorite gigs.. this was the beginning of an outrageous string of nights of story-telling, dirty blues, outlaw comedy, and literary mayhem that has lasted over a decade and five books.” – Mike Edison

Pop Matters feature:

“…we rolled through Wednesday at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (Fort Green), one of the best gigs I have ever played. Here is a short, non-time-wasting clip of us destroying “Jews for Jesus,” the story of going undercover to their bible meetings to expose them as a bunch of anti-Semitic creeps.

During the day there was no time to rest — Jon was getting ready for a Blues Explosion reunion, Dean is a singular type of Jewish missionary who roams New York making others happy, Hollis has a high-pressure publishing job for a magazine that you probably subscribe to, and I have my own phalanx of agents and editors and blogmasters demanding that I keep the writing up and keep pressing forward so someday I might be “successful,” whateverthefuck that means.” – Mike Edison / popmatters.com

Spin Magazine feature:

“Smart, filthy, and funny, Mike Edison is no ordinary author, and his reading/book-release party Thursday night in Brooklyn was, accordingly, a break from the expected. Jon Spencer — the madman behind the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash, and Pussy Galore — joined Edison onstage at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (Christmas lights up since 1974) in Fort Greene to blow minds for a gig appealing equally to the literate and the lowbrow.

And Spencer wasn’t there to just play a few songs at a book party. He was leading a working band, newly christened the Space Liberation Army, and featuring Hollis Queens (Boss Hog, Edison Rocket Train) on drums, Dean Rispler (Murphy’s Law) on bass, with Edison on keyboards and Theremin. And while they could easily blow minds just jamming their psychedelic blues, their witches-brew of outer-space jazz and punk rock is designed entirely to back Edison as he reads from his book and otherwise rants about sex, drugs, professional wrestling, and various other topics. And it all read like rock’n’roll.

On night four of a five-stop jaunt to promote the paperback release of Edison’s deliciously lowbrow yet highly literate (and lengthily titled) memoir, I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World, fans clung to every word during the hour-long set of stories, only breaking for a full-tilt rock’n’roll version of the folk standard “Cocaine Habit Blues.”

Still, it’s difficult to classify the performance: spoken-word that rocks? “I like to call it extreme storytelling,” Edison told SPIN.com afterward. “Literary mayhem. We’re 21st century beatniks. Troubadours for the new-world order.” Whatever it was, it worked, and it suited the spirit of Edison’s book perfectly. (For a deeper taste, check out the book’s accompanying CD, also titled I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, a studio-produced version of excerpts from his book backed by Spencer’s avant blues.)

But even without help from his posse of punk-rock luminaries to help illustrate the sleaze of Edison’s adventures in porn-mag land (his rollicking account of directing a Cheri magazine “Girls of New Orleans” photo shoot) or the wistfulness of the last time he hung out with friend and one-time bandmate GG Allin before his death (that’s right — an honest-to-God wistful story involving everyone’s favorite shit-hurler), Edison brings the stories from his book to life with the performance chops of a seasoned rock’n’roller and the humor and bombast of a former Screw magazine editor-in-chief.

My favorite story of the night was “Jews for Jesus” (sample line: “Was I ready to accept Jesus as my savior? Not even the promise of condomless sex with a disease-free shiksa porn star would’ve gotten me back into that theological kook house!”), which recounted his experience going undercover to expose Jews for Jesus as a Baptist organization. It’s a tale told in classic Edison fashion: hilarity, absurdity, a touch of raunchiness and indignation, and even a little poignancy.” – Catherine Davis / Spin.com