April 27, 2008


Thus far, I've been ambivalent about all the 33 1/3 books I've half-skimmed, but motherfuck, Sean Nelson's drop on Joni's Court & Spark is a blazer. Whether you like Joni or not (what's wrong with you?!) there is some fine rock critical in those 113 pages, a fine feminist awareness throughout. Absolutely worth the 9.95$. The only thing I think he gets "wrong", and he even kind of calls himself on it, is his take on the inflection of bitterness on Hissing of Summer Lawns, the album that follows. To me, I don't spot it as bitterness so much as a keen, keen awareness of being a woman aging out the demographic of too young too know better. It's about the blessing and the cruelty that your commodity within the patriarchy begins fade just as your sense of power and self is rising. I dunno if most dudes can pick that up, but that record hit me like a ton of oh-shit bricks at 22 while I was sparkling amidst that demographic. My mom and I were talking Joni yesterday before I finished the book up and she said those two records were about "who we were and who we would become". Hissing is the "become", it's what happened to the girl of "Car on the Hill" when she stopped waiting. It's a no, fuck you record down to it's jazzbo bones--but, bitterly--no. "Shadows and Light" et. al are not the songs of someone who wants their youth back, it's someone getting free from it.

Last saturday was Cex's return to the third coast. His new stee is deep-fi and in a very strange turn/manner, his most accessible work since the new century turned, since maybe ever. COMPLEX AND SURE. While the rest of Baltimore is attempting to turn their Nickolodeon fetish into a career, Rjy laid a live mix on us that was like Rod Lee meets Andrea Dworkin. The limited palette techno clap of Baltimore club at a fixed clip with recontextualized samples from vintage porn films. The set started with all the lights in the church turned off, a way-beardo Cexman talking about growing up Catholic with a little flashlight beam pointed at the cross above the old alter, about martyrdom and the measures undertaken at Guantanamo to prevent hunger strikers from dying. Then the flashlight went off and samples began, the girls voice unaltered, giggly, the male voices layered and slowed for max creepiness and boom, "Have you ever been with five guys before?" they ask. "I only have so many holes" she giggles. Then the bass drops mega and kids started dancing on the arms of the seats and grinding. I think they thought Rjyan was just giving them regular old shake it n' jiggle it jams but there is a collosal diff. between say, DJ Funk style nasty bounce and 40 minutes of centerpiecing gang bang samples as techno-treatise on contemporary American Imperialism. Less LET'S FUCK, more WE'RE ALL FUCKED.

Also, if you've got the day off: Monday 3 pm--Joshua Clover lecture at Columbia College on poetics and film. If it's even 1/9th as solid as his M.I.A. throw down at EMP (which Jonathan Richman hauling ass on the ring road round Boston and ended with the Birdflu-pocolypse c/o Tyson factory chicken farms, with slide show!) it should be a ripper. See ya there.

Posted by Jessica at April 27, 2008 10:08 PM | TrackBack