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Drugs Are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir [Paperback]

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Item description for Drugs Are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir by Lisa Crystal Carver...

In this eye-opening memoir, Lisa Crystal Carver recalls her extraordinary youth and charts the late-80s, early-90s punk subculture that she helped shape. She recounts how her band Suckdog was born in 1987 and the wild events that followed: leaving small-town New Hampshire to tour Europe at 18, becoming a teen publisher of fanzines, a teen bride, and a teen prostitute. Spin has called Suckdog's album Drugs Are Nice one of the best of the '90s, and the book includes photos of infamous European shows. Yet the book also tells of how Lisa saw the need for change in 1994, when her baby was born with a chromosomal deletion and his father became violent. With lasting lightness and surprising gravity, Drugs Are Nice is a definitive account of the generation that wanted to break every rule, but also a story of an artist and a mother becoming an adult on her own terms.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   250
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 12, 2005
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1932360948  
ISBN13  9781932360943  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Biographies > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Entertainers
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
5Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
6Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Punk

Reviews - What do customers think about Drugs Are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir?

True Voice of A Gen X-er   Jun 27, 2008
Lisa Carver's journey to self-discovery and realization isn't fueled by her daddy's money or a trust fund that supports a jet-set lifestyle. Carver writes from the perspective of a real person, a screwed-up person who became an influential voice in the alternative music and 'zine world of the early 1990's.

Although it's only a small portion of the book, Carver writes eloquently about wanting to make sure that her own child gets what he needs so that he doesn't need to seek out the basics of love, nurturing and affection from strangers, as she once did. As Gen-Xers, we are a transitory generation, most of us children of divorce, latchkey kids and caretakers of our own parents, while we were still children ourselves, and Carver's voice is a strong one, telling her own personal story in a way that touched a nerve with me. There's an entire generation of screwed-up Gen Xe'rs having babies, and only time will tell if the parentless generation will do a better job of raising their own children.
Enter the Underworld  May 7, 2008
Drugs are Nice is a dizzying and shocking autobiography that reads like a piece of fantasy. The life of Lisa Crystal Carver--once girlfriend of GG Allin, Jean-Louis Costes, and Boyd Rice and acquaintance of Anton Levy--seems unbelievable at times. However she is an inspiration for anyone who aspires to live their life on the edge of society.
The gem of this autobiography is the way that the focus of Carver's life narrows from a dreamlike shock culture full of sex and violence in Europe--to the glistening reality of becoming a mother of a child with a chromosomal deletion and having a lover who beats her. Over time, Carver learns what it is like to grow up without ever loosing a sense of who she is. Her thoughts and theories throughout the novel are enlightening and the book needs to be read a second time in order to fully understand all of Carver's musings.
The only problem with this book is that sometimes Carver doesn't explain exactly how she got to be wherever she is. This gives the book a dream-like quality. Her sudden journey to Europe at the age of nineteen, her days of prostitution, her success on stage--all seems too simple. This is because Carver spends much of the book reflecting on world culture in the early 90's, when she leads the post-punk movement of a generation that is now forgotten.
This book is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to fight conformity, break the rules, and live their life the way THEY decide. Carver is an inspiration for artist and visionaries. Her story will move you. You will never look at art and words the same way again.
I <3 Lisa Crystal Carver  Dec 26, 2007
I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind. I cant say its for everyone, but as a fan of Roller Derby (her zine) from my college days (I have been out of college for 12 years) and reading her articles in major magazines now and then, I love Lisa and her crew. its a good glimpse into the life of someone who has made her own niche in the world, who is talented and interesting. The title may be off putting for some, but I still recommend this read
This book is so good it made me burst into flames!  Jul 28, 2007
Read it. Now. Really, stop reading this review and go read the book. Go! Go! Go!
the soccer mom's pathology: a bad taste in men  Jun 5, 2007
1)At least Carver writes good sentences.

2)Her choice of subjects, always so lame.

These are two points that I raise when I think of Carver. Oh, and one more thing.

3) Her old work "Dancing Queen" was rather forgettable.

(I do not know why she wrote it except that she needed the money. As it turned out in this book "Drugs are Nice," she wrote "Dancing" for money.)

I had to groan to read the same lame themes of hers resurface in this autobio. I felt like pointing them out and criticize what was wrong with her decisions in life, which would be same as to suggest any cleverer narrative/editorial decisions. I do not know if it is ethical to see people's lives that way and usually do not like to judge especially women by who they date and mate with. But I cannot help saying her choice of men so lame. Her letting the men dictate her life believing 'this is the shock art' even more lame. The real issue here is that she perpetuated all the problems in the name of her trying to be the borderline artisit, her life is the art performance itself. She seems actually a regular type and passes as quite fine in a psychiatric evaluation. The only pathology that I found was her bad taste in men, which obviously was rooted in her Electra complex. But it could be an incredible damage if she perpetuated it whether she thought of it as an experiment, or another element that made her look different. In the book, though, she absolutely failed the iconocalst persona and appeared more of a soccer mom to me, which was fine. But I could not help focusing on supposedly the minor pahology, that made her life sicker than necessary even if she wanted it that way. The question that I had initially was what really made her want it that way; can people afford to make ones' lives more difficult just for fun? Can an artist just live and call it her work? Is Brit S now a shock artist? When Carver had to flee, there was no art to sacrifice herself for and that was the occasion where she and we readers have to examine what it really means to create and live at the same time. Or how to draw a ilne between art and a phenomenon.

I wonder if the author was lucid about her Electra complex and how much it dictated her life. She seems to be conscious of it but not enough to take control of her life. Why were her life events this lame and meaningless? Why did she always choose not only useless but harmful men? The book showed some reflection and insights about these agendas, but the real struggle was how much she could put the self knowledge into practice and would take advantage of it. To come to the point, She had to break up with an on again off again man who she had a child with, after getting beaten up badly and threw him into jail for it. It was disheartening. By this point, readers naturally question if Carver was playing with fire believing she was experimenting for art sake believing she took control over the relationship or she was really clueless when trying to protect herself from an abusive environment.

Here it comes the subject of 'shock' in her life. I believe she got involved with all those useless men to schock people and most of all, to shock her own father. If I play some indie shrink here, I'd summarize that all she attempted was to outshock her father, who had fatally beaten her to it in the beginning of her life. She was compulsively compelled to get people's attention by something shocking. This just went back to her initial shock caused by her drug dealer father, who had murdered people and served in prison. By the time they finally reunited, she was already a teeneger. In her psyche, to get attention from and validated by this 'powerful figure' in her life, she had to compete and outshock him. It might be the only way for her to compensate what was eternally lost in her early life as well.

All the attempt that followed was to shock and to be shocked. Getting involved with someone that would shock her more than her father ever did became her lifework. Her system was completely synthesized by this value of shock, which was defined by her father earlier. This value ultimately became something that represented power to her. She was, as she admitted herself, rather a mentally thorough, functioning and mediocre woman who was struggling to be different.

But the irony was all she did was more of a bad taste, lame or boring than anything shocking. The only interesting thing that she managed to extract from the series of attemps was her sex appeal, as she was mindful about it, and writing. She writes well as she put as 'the only way to take control and put some order in caos': she focused on it as the only security she seemed to be able to count on. That is the essence of what this book was all about. If she reached this realization, all those she went through including getting beaten up by the man (Boyd? who is he?) who was not really worth would be worth... Well, would it? I do not know.

This book came in handy as a source of US underground rock history as well to document how small the whole scene was and how late everything was compared to other parts of the world: what carver was at was a decade backward, or simply late.

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