October 05, 2004


Part of the reason I often find displeasure in identifying myself, professionally, as a "publicist", (and prefer things like "pimp" or "ambassador to the gutter") is because publicists are terrible most of the time, and the snide and snobby and impudent things you can say about them can easily pass as fact. Today, in an email exchange, with another publicist - someone i would venture to say i like and maybe even respect a teensy bit, who was pitching me on an artist I had done work for, I said I liked the record, but, alas, was not in love, woould not be pitching. Their response "PITY -- I love it and everyone else so far is in agreement with me!" -- Yes, what a pity . How do most writers respond to that? How are you supposed to? Apologize for your fall out from the consensus? Bury your nose towards the carpet you just shit upon, out of shame? And how is that a pity? A pity is that in parks by my house and or his, there are people trying to catch squirrels so they can have some dinner tonight.


A few days back, I complained about the babies of my hood looking venomous from their strollers, and in retrospect, I feel like Rick Moody in The Black Veil, before he goes to treatment, crippled by delirium and a holocost of anxiety, when he thinks every man he encounters wants to rape him. I am happy to report: the children toddling amidst the dappled bright pre-winter light here on Ohio Street are back to looking angelic and amazed, and are returned my cooing holas from their gaping mouths with those newly-minted baby teeth of theirs. Hola from the horsey-shaped pushcart pushers, Hola from overalled stumblers clinging tight to abuela hands, Hola to the cupie-haired babygirl riding in the basement-workshop fashined, super dope and unwieldy small dresser drawer with castors on the bottom, painted to look like a car and towed with a jump-rope length .
Hola to the diapered and the wet-mouthed!


Last evening, I was graced with the rapt attention of a room full of freshman and sophmores at DePaul, as I have done, yearly, for the last four years. This lecture, I tried to tell them about The Things I Doubt They Are Going To Teach You In This Music Business School For Which You Pay 32,741$ Annually . My main points being: There is no money in this (for the most part), interning is terrible but you have to do it, that things are run by old white men and people who barely like music, that most jobs are just about making people believe what you need them to believe, thatyou can do what you want - and do it with integrity, but everyone will think you are crazy and you will likely be poor - at least for a while, and that there is terrible sexism and double standards abound in every aspect and facet of the industry. All the girls who had done internships, or merch or were already half-working in the industry nodded in agreement, and commented later about it, about Monica-jokes, expectations, groupie-assumptions. Once girl asked if it gets better, or goes away once you get more established. I told her that it is a little less in your face. Sort of.
You know, just stuck to the feel-good Chicken Soup for the Teenaged-Burgeoning-Music-Biz-Impressario-Soul kind of stuff.

Some kids, some terrific punk-dork kids, Deerhoof-lovers all, had shown up having no idea who/what I was talking about other than I had played in Challenger. During the Q&A, they asked about touring with the eyepatch. The girl amongst them accessorized her outfit with A JUMPROPE, which is fantastic look, really. The punk-dork kids have an internet-only radio show that comes on at 2 am on Weds. -- they made me swear to listen, and I will because their show is clearly, clearly a "futile cause", and they so do not care because it is fun and the middle fo the night and they love Deerhoof. They were giddy, they alternately had the world figured out, and yet were baffled by it. It reminded me that my favorite thing about tour is hanging out with teenagers. I really want to make friends with some kids who live in dorms and who have the energy of a nuclear reactor, or some mean 16 year old girls. You know, the age somewhere before you realize your problems are mad boring and you are obsessed with every band you hear because there is still room in your brain for rapture and introduction and a million detailed liner note facts to be stored. Those people, those people are my people.

Posted by Jessica at October 5, 2004 06:14 PM | TrackBack