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Miami Newtime, november 2003
Portland, October 2003
Chicago reader, october 2003
Portland #2, october 2003


MIAMI NEWTIME, november 2003


Jean-Louis and Co. get you riled up
By Nina Korman

No, that's not the live version of the Paris Hilton sex video you're watching. Just a run-of-the-mill perfomance by French underground artist / musician Jean-Louis Costes. Currently trekking through 22 cities of this vibrant, tolerant country, he'll bring his Holy Virgin Cult Tour to Churchill's. It's an 11-act play, or as Costes like to call it, a "porno-social ritual", boasting intricate sets and costumes, and a cast of... 3. A figure not quite as beloved in France as Jerry Lewis, Costes, who often favors performing naked, can brag of being repeatedly dragged into French courts owing to the violent, racist, and brutal content of his songs and his tendency to incite violence via his art. One person you're guaranteed not to see at this show tonight: John Ashcroft

PORTLAND (OR), october 2003

La Langue du culte

French musician / thespian / psychotic Jean-Louis Costes humps his wildly theatrical performance-art-cum-pornograpy showcase into Portland for the Enteractive Language Festival. Costes and collaborators will rave and rant in broken english. Enact sacrilegious sexual rituals (e.g., sodomy.) Abuse all manner of bizarre toys, costumes and props. And essentially throw the most blasphemous bacchanal since the Viennese Akyionists hosted their scatological rampages in 1960s Europe. Needless to say, the inhibited, repressed and judgmental should not feel it necessary to attend

CHICAGO READER , october 2003

In 1997 a group of Jewish students dragged French absurdist Jean-Louis Costes to civil court for "inciting racist murder" with lyrics from Livrez la blanche aux bicots ("throw the White Woman to the Arabs", self-released in 1989), which contained over a thousand racial slurs. That suit snowball into a five-year or-deal that cost Costes thousand of dollars and had him facing the prospect of prison. In an interview with his ex-wife (and suckdog bandmate) Lisa Carver for 1997 issue of her fanzine, Rollerderby, Costes explained himself: "I wanted to do the worst possible CD, worse than the fascists, just to show them they are not so bad", he said. "I could be muche worse. Because, if they look bad, like the worst possible man, then they are like God, like the devil. But, in reality, they are basic, middle people, stupid, with no ideas - even about torture. I can torture a fascist better than he can do. I can imagine very bad things. So i thought I could do a CD the worst and show the skinhead bands are just rock 'n' roll, nothing special." Onstage Costes isn't simply trying to freak people out, though that he does - he's commenting on the ridiculousness of holding anything or anyone (including oneself) sacred. Through song and performance he builds himself up as a godhead, then systematically destroys this illusion of supremacy, mostly by humiliating himself (e.g., by sticking a plastic recorder up his ass while doing a handstand.) Meanwhile, his solipsistic declamations over stupidly simple keyboard doodles and guitar feedback degenerate into psychotically atonal caca talk. Though he's issued more than a hundred albums, videos, and books in his career, this is his first U.S. performance in 13 years; he'll be accompanied onstage by two other libertines in a "opera porno-social" called The Holy Virgin Cult. According to Carver it involves vomit, shit, six inflatable sex dolls, bells, a light show and small explosives - so you've been warned.

PORTLAND (OR), october 2003

Halloween needs to be brought back into focus: evil! Jean-Louis Costes keeps it real as only as French Absurdist can. Watch him fuck someone in the face.


One of the most sexually graphic and politically deviant performance to hit the U.S. for Halloween...