Last night at Sweat Records, zinester extraordinaire and Miami punk historian Erick Lyle guided a good-sized crowd (for a reading … in Miami) from the dumpsters of 79th street to the punk dens of the 90s to the police-barricaded avenues of the 2003 FTAA protests to the halls and walls of the Art Basel power structure and even into the chink in Shepard Fairey’s ego armor, all in the casually funny and punkishly poetic voice that characterizes his influential zine, Scam. We interviewed Lyle on Monday, so you can read more about his background there. The videos here are full clips from his reading last night, and each one is well-worth a listen. If you like what you hear, you can buy Lyle’s work from Microcosm Publishing, including his latest, an anthology of Scam’s first four editions. If you ask me, nothing says “stocking stuffer” like a document of career criminalism, art vandalism, hotel squatting, and generally punking around Miami in the 90s. Ho ho ho.
In this clip, Lyle pursues an “up-from-the-streets art career” by tearing up the ninth hole of the Miami Shores Golf Course and Country Club with a shovel and attempting to grace a blank I-95 billboard with “the perfect penis”, which he ingeniously portrays as a metaphor for Miami itself.
In this piece, which appeared on This American Life, Lyle goes on a quest for a pirate radio station along 79th Street. “I always thought of 79th street, and not the beaches or hotels, as the true heart of Miami. You could look at everything and think, this was once someone’s idea of a good idea.”
In this clip, Lyle reads his liner notes on the Stun Guns, who were, according to Lyle, one helluva local punk band in the 90s. The sustained contrast in the essay between these incorrigible losers and the perfect 1972 Dolphins is, according to me, brilliant.
Lyle also read sections of an essay about Art Basel 2009, which you can read in full on the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s website.