Here's a long line snaking back to get in to see Patti Smith this evening at USC. Our Visions and Voices program brings in all kinds of excellent speakers and performers - for free - but this was surely the stand-out event of the year. Or, as I said on my way out, it was giving the students a sense of what it was like in the seventies. Or was meant to be like. In point of fact, one was never that close to the stage, let alone seated. One was a long, long way back, somehow shorter than everyone else, with a bad crackling sound system with feedback, and suffering from mildly stoned paranoia that maybe one's period had started and that one shouldn't be wearing white pants. Instead of which, one now gets to sing along, demurely, to Power to the People (probably the deep ironies of this choice of anthem resounding through an auditorium at USC weren't lost on PS). About eight songs in all - maybe nine - and a conversation with Josh Kuhn, who managed to be laid-back, informed, amusing, self-effacing, and to bring out the best of PS's iconoclasm.