Rjyan Kidwell, in an essay for a UK magazine, detailing and advocating for some truth in phallic obsession .
I am up extra midnight hour late, fashioning a CV for the people down at The Ivory Tower™. A CV, says Julianne , who got the info on "how-to" from the internet, is a resume of your life. I have not made a resume of any sort since the year I graduated from high school (1994), so I had to be all bougie and resource out on this one.
I started by putting down everything I could remember doing, ever, in order to seperate the chaff out later, despite that it all feels like chaff ("Consultant, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Grunge Exhibit, 1995" -- I got $450, a trip to NYC and some free drinks to tell them "this is a bad idea,"). In the process of the long hand notes of scouring and remembering, I remembered that I organized a pro-choice activist group in SEVENTH GRADE (which had disbanded by the following summer, as eigth grade is a bit of a rough time for any girl, pro-choice or not), which marched, barracaded the capitol steps, fundraised and I even spoke at rallies about our concern regarding parental notification laws pending in the state legislature. 1988, Age 12.
To me, this may be the funniest thing I ever did in my life -- publicly mobilized and concerned about my right to abort FOUR FULL YEARS BEFORE I EVEN KISSED A BOY ON THE MOUTH. I've been honing my rhetoric since before I had braces, dog!
Jazzbo's Oscar roundup posting in an imaginary language , shortly after mistaking the Ambien for Chex Mixx.
How the fuck is it 4:15? Night!
The State of Illinois dropped 7 of the 21 counts against R Kelly in his child porn case (12 still pending in FL.). Even the lucid Chicago Tribune noted yesterday that it's "unusual" that after a year and 11 hearings, no trial date has been set or discussed. R is free to do as he wishes, and is supposed to avoid contact with children, and call a court-appointed contact to check in every day.
I am not sure if I would be being so "bring this man to justice" if it wasn't the glaring equation of what the charges are plus that it seems like the judge is taking a "whatevs" tact. Is it because no man can begrudge another man the right/desire to fuck fourteen year old girls that avail themselves to such a thing? It's just a continuation of the Jerry Lee Lewis/Elvis legacy, really, right?
More discussion and elucidation on this is available on this topic, in the comments section a few entries back.
Tomorrow I will come atchoo with some more uplifting battle raps. Promiz.
Lets work reverse chronological... counterclockwise if you will.
Last night: Young People/Mahjonng/Gossip. Notes from the show, written on the back of envelope for ACLU donations=
Young People always make me think of Willa Cather. She just has the turn of the century voice, and the music is like a wheat field on fire. Their primalism suggests safari trips and the immutable truth of nature. There is something classic (not rock) about them, their understadedness and that their flair is in the tiny lacy details of the hems of their songs makes every song a song someone wrote while traveling westword on horseback, to a trading out post. It seems like she should be holding a musket, not a drumstick or a bass.
Mahjonng need to work on encorporating Carol into the band better. Clearly the four of them are on the same sabulous brain waves, but, perhaps because she is in Portland half the time, or simply because she got drafted late in the season. As a result, she plays noodley in between the rhythmic breaks. She throws raps into the bridge and is the exclamation point at every sentance. It's discomforting to watch her watching the rest of the band for approvals and nods and signals. First time I have seen Mahjonng in a real hometown club, and there were about 200 people, dancing. I give the band 30 times the credit of any also-run 2nd wave post-2000 discopunk band because the people in Mahjonng are maybe the only real freax in this town and they they look like they have scabies. They look unkempt because they are, not for affectation.They look like they all live in a practice space.
Carol rapped/monotoned new lyrics to a song called "Africa's problems must be recognized", which was about AIDS, epidemic violence and an oil pipeline. She read names of locations of massacres and civil wars off a slip of paper. It made everyone a little nervous, maybe because it was backed by really juicy Konk-ish cowbell break funk from dudes who look like they have mange, and it seemed incongrous -- the audience was clearly not prepared to get some American-portioned guilt with that propulsive bass line. In general, I think all white kids at shows could stand to be nervousized, so more points for Mahjonng.
Before Gossip even launched into a song, some man/boy in the front rows yelled "BETH YOU LOOKING FUCKING INCREDIBLE, YOU LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT, YOU LOOK AWESOME!" apparently, not thinking. Thats not the sort of thing you yell at Beth Ditto, or at a Gossip show where about 67% of the fanbase is big, queer girls, for whom, Beth is thier gender-queer rockstar, who is pro-fat. Beth, who was galled SCREAMED back at him "NO, THAT IS NOT AWESOME. NOT AWESOME. NOT AWESOME. THAT IS SO NOT A COMPLIMENT! LOSING WEIGHT DOES NOT MAKE YOU AWESOME!". The audience went nuts from that point on. Gossip are always great. Not as in better than good, but of a greatness. Watching the audience react to them -- you can watch life being affirmed for marginalized queer kids, girls, dudes, trans-people -- and them grinding, and screaming a long in appreciation.
The night before, after the first installment of the Gossip/Young People 2 night stand, Colin and I took Nathan H. out to a shitty dive bar on Western called The Mutiny. We thought it was Djing, but it bands. And, perfectly enough, the best-worst bands any of us had ever seen, to the degree that nathan wondered aloud if perhaps we had died in an accident, and now were in heaven.
Firecrotch was amidst their last song when we walked in. For about the 12 seconds, we thought it might be kind of... Ani fan and male roomate with accoustic guitar, until the singer suddenly went all David Yow on us, jumped off the chair she was straddling, went into a deep yogic lunge, with her pants open/half off her ass, barking "I LIKE MY TITS! DO YOU LIKE MY TITS?!" and ripping at her clothes until we got an eyefull. The accoustic guitar w/ distortion was similarly angsty and sounded like a dog vomiting a tin can. The dude was super grunge high school 92, the singer, well, she looked like she worked at Old Navy, which solidified the weirdness, because she was so NORMAL.
Nathan and I asked for demo, where we could find mp3s, they had neither. She said they had an email address which she said was "www-dot-com" three times before realizing that was not an email address. Nathan asked what their other songs were called -- the only ones I remember were "Hey, I'm Italian" something about having a boner in the pool. Want them to play yr next Chicago gig: email@example.com
Nathan, always the smart one suggested that "if we could send Firecrotch back in time to have them play a show, it would change the course of history".
Next up were Gitney/The Gitnees? -- female singer looking exactly a young Etta James, wearing a dress that made her look like a Dirty Dancing extra - backed by a dude with a CD player, who played his guitar with what was either a debit card or his drivers liscence. The other guy had some pedals and rack effects or mixer welded to a shopping cart w/o the legs which I think processed the beats from the CD player. The music part was like playing every Prefuse73 song at the exact same time, minus all melody. (Bonus points for simply making a song OVER Ellen Allien's "Sehnsucht".). Vocally... Like Vanity6'/Liquid Sky but more...nonesensical 9th grade erotic.
Nathan described it best as "from sensous to fast abuse". Once the two dudes started singing, with her, in a round, it became "Like Boyz II Men without the cane" and "Electroclash Opry" and suggested that they should be featured on the dollar bill.
The only realy originality is coming from outside the sphere. The only hope for the future is in bands that are never going to be famous and that are lovable primarily for their blindness to convention and audacity. Totally sucking is the only true genius.
A reader comment:
Name: Hannah Tubman
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is unfortunate that you have failed to truly engage with Mr Claps' post regarding the sundry options we have to fight sex slavery and the institutionalized abuse of children around the world.
My question to you is, if you believe that we ought to stifle free speech, which is what jokes about child rape is, because through such efforts we will be able to terminate the practice of coercing children into making sexually exploitative material for the underground mass market of the stuff, then what else are you doing with your time? Do you regularly give money to charities that provide protection for victims of domestic violence and shelters for teenage runaways, most of whom are fleeing abusive situations?
Or do you favor lobbing distorted, self-righteous tirades at intelligent music critics and pop stars simply because they highlight the absurd and macabre severity of the violence in our world?
However you feel about the nature of my questions, I would encourage you explore the intersections of intimacy violence and the ways in which assaults against children can be stopped or minimized while preserving the spirit of free speech and public discourse.
After that, I will be interested in hearing how you situate your arguments about the suppression certain activities now protected by the First Amendment and follow you wherever it leads.
TINY HORN OFNTHE UNICORN SPEAKS:
I am glad your listening, because I have something to tell you:
I did not engage with Mr. Clap-Clap because I did not find his argument, as well-reasoned in his opinion as it is, to be really very engageable. I don;t agree with his process, or his fundamental jumping off point, so engaging him is not really where I felt like taking it. I think that government enforcement of the rights and protection of children is a part of whats needed, but that to start there -- ie. running for gov't and reforming from the top down is slow and ineffective and does not get us to a place of safety in any sort of sweeping and immediate way. Because legislation does not stop rape, and not only would you be having to reform policy, you would have to be reforming government just to get certain things in place...
I was not making the point that stopping rape jokes about children was going to stop child rape, I was making the point that a flippant reactionary re-dressing READ MY BLOG ploy of that nature is, at a generous best, crass. Speaking as a someone who has many friends and women I care about who have been raped and assaulted as adults and in their childhood -- My childhood bestfriend started being raped by her dad at age 4, so when people get all Vice-Magazine up in this chowder-wagon for yuks, you know, I don't have much affinity for that shit.
And, no, I don't give money to shelters that help teenage girls, regularly, I volunteer to work with teenage girls regularly, as I feel like mentorship and direct contact goes a lot further than $50 checks do. I also feel like discussing and writing about the plight of young women in the world, on a regular basis in forums that are both small scale and personal (like this) or more national-level (see my column in Punk Planet issues 60, 59, 56, 54, 52, 51, 47, 46 as well as issue 61 which hits the streets in three weeks where I specifically address the role of journalism in ebbing the child-sex trafficking domestically and internationally) are currently the best tools that I have to impact the situation personally. Thanks for asking and thanks for writing!
Also, I think people should be called on thier shit whether they are intellegent music critics ( I am one of those two, effectively Mister Clap's peer! Lucky him!) or magical donkeys.
Unicorn Horn Speaks
The new Tracy and the Plastics might be the most feminist album I have in my possession. And not simply because of the lyrics, but because it is so spare and the vocals are mixed loud and really makes it about hearing her voice REALLY CLEARLY. She makes apparent that this is really about the message, not about being a sensual centerpiece, or being vague and feminized anomoly. There is a DVD I have not watched that comes with it that is supposedly about how how image of people in a band influences how we think of a song. I think this band, while all synth-rifft and disco-y scutter and spiffle, are really more influenced by French Situationist views on spectacle, than the new school of white people okay-d dancing music that is safe and easy to like , which makes it really gratifying. Discomfort on the dancefloor is really what my 2004 is about.
Conversation with bandmember I work with this evening, who was calling to get guest list for Pensacola show.
them: what are you doing tonight?
me: going to get ashes on my head in about an hour.
them: (flustered) are you christian or are you catholic?
me: neither, I just really like church.
them: wow. I never would of... I mean.. you...
It is a difficult thing to explain to people liking church and liking Jesus, and being interested in spiritual community, but not actually being Christian. I went to church three times before I was 24, so it's kind of a new magic land, so I do not feel stigmatized and shamed like I shouldn't mention it aloud.
I also really like Ash Weds, it is my favorite holiday of Jesus for the last four years running. Though, I think my church uses really chintzy ashes, cos my little thumb-smudged cross was off my head within an hour. I want ashes like the latina grandmamis in my neighboorhood, who have smudges that look like the pope put a cigar out on their third eye. Like charcoaled exit wound. Not for the sake of visable piety, but really because it's just a terrificly freaked out sort of look. Wearing your forehead an xtreme-style of dirty like performance art.
I could not think what to give up for lent that would really qualify as sacrifice and put me a place to better align me with the suffering of the world... except driving. Only exception being for post office and out of city. So if you need a ride to the Gossip show tomorrow, or need a ride to the airport in the next 40 days...unless you can fit on my handlebars, yr out of luck, Cap'n Jazz.
I hung out with my friend Cale tonight, who helped me fold all the inserts for the MUY ROMANTICO album I made with him and Julianne and Rjyan and Miles and Andrea and Roby. Cale's family are, for multiple generations, Christian Music legends. Like, Christian grammy awards style. He told me about having to play drums through high school at the Evangelical church his parents were into in the 90s -- he was part of the praise team. I have never heard the phrase "Praise Team" before, but I insisted that we start a band called that, which sounds like Earth Wind & Fire meets early-80s Teddy Pendergrass. It will be very smooth and sensually explicit. We will cover "Street Life" by the Crusaders.
See, I cannot be in middling Fugazi rip-off bands my whole life, my dream of being in a classy funk band with a bunch of old dudes from the south side will and must be realized in it's fullest depths before 2006. As I am never going to write songs as good as Steve Albini or Paul Westerburg or even like, Jale (remember them? The 90s? I bet you loved them!), I might as well get cracking on being in a "Quiet Storm"-standards / steppers band that plays 2-3 sets a night at the Radisson ballroom in Oak Park on the weekends.
Because Fuck ironic NY fashion funk, it's really about just making music for people to get pregnant to.
Julianne and I, we have a question. It has been delegated to me to ask you, on our behalves. How do you get the Mp3s you download into the goddamn iTunes? We both missed National Dangermouse Day as a result of this.
Please answer in the comments section, mac user genius kid. First person to help us correctly gets a present from Julianne and I, special made for you.
help us get to the future.
You know, I have this 3x4 foot blown up xerox of a page from Bikini Kill #2 hanging in my bathroom (I know it sounds like both the punchline and the joke, ok?) that is like a little chart of the common reaction people have when you confront them with something that is sexist. Like something they did or wrote or particpated in. Perhaps the truest truth I know some days.
It goes something like this:
1. They say it's not a big deal / defer via sarcasm / "it's just a joke, can't you take a joke"
2. They tell you you are taking it too seriously / are blowing it out of proportion / "you do not have it as bad as black lesbians in wheelchairs"
3. They try and remove focus from the actual issue /change it into an issue of free speech
4. They tell you are crazy / aka "Gaslighting"
Tiny Lucky Emo Unicorn says: It's never just a joke. More people need to take things more seriously. And no, you are not crazy. I believe you, girl.
PS. getting mad on internet only does not count as anything at all.
PPS. Who wants to ride bikes with me later, it's super nice out.
Michael L Barthel of Brooklyn NY, nee Mr. Clap Clap blog posted yesterday, in response to my post below Fader's child-sexualizing "fashion" editorial, called TinyLucky "overheated". Lattes are overheated, dog, I am like LAVA -- and I do not mean the hand soap.
He then made the following "joke":
"I mean, it doesn't get to the key question: sure, they're revolting, but are they fuckable? I think you should never get so offended by child pornography that you neglect to tell me whether it's good jerk-off material."
Then, upon the commenting of many people, including gold medal ski champion Pikaboo Street, he confessed, perhaps writing, nestled in his nest made from back issues of Vice:
"I made a substantive response to the posts a while back about sex slavery. I didn't get a response then. So I say something flippant, and oh look, it gets a response. As long as you fail to engage, people will continue to say stupid shit to get you to respond--this is why I always engage, always respond. It's why we're here."
Excerpt from substantitive response:
"But if I'm implicated in sex slavery--and I'm not denying that in some ways I am--it's unclear why taking to the streets, or ceasing to buy pornography and treating women better, is going to do more to alleviate the problem than me running for public office and working to address the problem along with the non-systemic root causes, or learning everything I can about human trafficking and immigration issues and devising a sensible policy to address those issues."
I am not voting Clap Clap in 04, though he certainly exhibits qualities and ideas that would not have him out of place in any level of our current administration.
Wanna know what policy and initiative is in place to stop sex trafficking? Wanna know just how effective and proactive the gov't is? Want to know about the TWO domestic/American arrests of sex tourists since new laws were passed April 30, 2003?
Says Mike Garcia, asst. secretary of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs enforcement "We're sending a message."
1. When on excruciatingly long conference calls, we suggest you hit the mute function and casually play on Myth Web index search . Just type in a letter or two and see who it pulls up... like "Hector: Trojan prince. Hector was more noble than the prideful Achilles, the champion of the Greeks besieging Troy in the Trojan War. But Achilles was the better fighter, and he easily defeated the Trojan in single combat. Achilles dragged Hector's body behind his chariot around the walls of Troy. Hector was avenged by his brother Paris with the help of Apollo."
Paris avenged Achilles by killing him with an arrow, which was guided by Apollo (maybe paris was a crap shot?). Which is a pretty un-vengeful way to kill someone who dragged yr fucking brother through the city behind his chariot. Classy, reserved.
1.5) The first song on the new LIARS record bears a near-litigatable resemblance to the still-amazing Nitzer Ebb song "Join the Chant". If you know Nitzer Ebb, maybe bring this to their attention. Ever since Liars abused their oral contract with Gern Blandsten, in a debacle that much resembled the Butthole Surfers /Touch N' Go suit from a few years back, I am waiting for someone to avenge that dick move. Gern Blandsten was THE last mid-size 50/50 indie to still have verbal agreements, and still is run by honest people who totally give a fuck. I know giving a fuck about scene politics is really internet and 90's of me, but I guess I am old fashioned like that.
2. Skipped out on skating with Sparklemotion at the Got Bitch? night at the Metro, for a multitude of reasons, both complex and simple -- a. I read the new issue of bitch where Kathy Najimy discussed why she can not get into reclaimative use of the word bitch, and appreciated the argument. b. Nathan, my boyf. (who is the first dude in his family not to become a pastor), and I got into a serious discussion about THE BIBLE, where I outed my idea about how I would really like to go to divinity school = (Jessica Hopper, religous scholar -- you feel that?) that was too good to interupt for skating around in some tarty outfit that said bitch on the front as social experiment. I was too busy using my brain to shake my ass.
3. Dude, people are pissed about Nader. You know what ticket I think could get the country correct: The Ghost of Fela, with Hillary Clinton in the Ferraro seat.
It would not fail: Fela, rising from the dead, performing "2000 Black" with Roy Ayers live in the Rose Garden, backed, in a Grammys style clusterfuck We-Are-The-World jam-a-long featuring Aaron Neville, The Capitol Steps, Bruce Springsteen, Garrison Keilor and Don Henley on hand-drums. Imagine if everyone on in the world could just get the first 3-4 minutes of "2000 Black" into their souls, humanity, would be radicalized.
Hi, hi! I am at work, what are you doing?
"I have beats to last for centuries before I need your penis to be my DJ."
- Sasha Frere-Jones (note the hyphen)
You know, really, people, you should know, and just know -- being a really tough-ass bitch feminist is hard work. Being a take offence style, calling even people you love and even people you respect and bands and artists you just wanna like to the carpet for diesel-grade sexism and girl ignorance - because you want them to stop being dumb and oppressive and you want a better world for your genius college-Freshman sister -- all this, it takes mass energy. I know, soemtimes, maybe you read this blog, and I am STILL YET AND AGAIN aflamed by some body's "mysognyist aesthetic" or stylized R&B rape fantasy anthems or fucking whatevers.... and duh, it would be way easier for me to be all hot on some other stupid shit, and not fight all the time, and pick fights wisely, rather than take it to the streets like the Doobies... but I say this -- when people, smart dudes who are down for real, like Sasha here, and they are not putting up with the low-watt patriarcial fuckwittage either, it's redeeming. It's like, you go "hey, I am not in the tunnel alone!", and you pick up the shovel and keep digging, renewed.
Anyone else get their copy of the Fader this week? You know, the one with the 12 page fashion spread using pre-pubescent children, mostly girls? The one where the "funny" part where they are wearing adult sized shoes is overshadowed by that every single photo of the girls, they are not wearing pants - save for just One photo, a girl with a skirt on, but her shirt and tank top are falling off the shoulder, looking like someone tugged on them. The rest, just t-shirts that barely make it past top of the thigh.
Posed. made up. alone, behind a fence. showing leg on the stairs. multiple shots up the leg/skirt /focal point at crotch-level.
This is not edgy/transgressive fashion. This is not "cute".
Seven, eight, 10 year old girls staring blankly, leggy and akimbo, emotionally-burnished faces obscured by showdow, alone -- wearing ONLY a sweat shirt and tights in a magazine for adults / ADULT MEN. Thats not even to be all meta -- thats just dealing with whats on the fucking page looking back at us.
What message does scantily clad fourth grader put across, aside from further normalizing the sexualizing any child that's old enough to not be riding in a stroller? What is the Fader going for here, other than reminding in a real dash-off/human-consumption manner, that we are all just parcels of an R. Kelly kind of world? I simply do not feel like it is ok for the adult-aged fashion and photo editorial department of a major national "culture" magazine to sexualize images of children, as if it was as simple as turning them into 4 foot tall Nylon-style fashionistas. Do you?
Today, I have finally passed into adulthood: I have surveyed the sitch and the truth is conclusive -- I am an adult because I am tired. Always. Ok, maybe I am also tired because I do 99 things and a bitch ain't one all night andevery day, but alas, I think thats what beig a grown up is about, or so it feels: Exhaustion is always a-peeking it's little head from around the corner and yelling "Boo-ya!""
But, my only solace is perhaps, The Difference between myself and the adult-tired people on the train I used to see at the close of the day, their souls somewhere far away from their lumbering corporeal on the hard plastic CTA seats, with ties tugged away from the neck with a weak hand... People who had a look about them that has kept me self-employed and not shilling for no man no never for since 1993. -- the difference is, those people look like they had a hard day under someone elses thumb. They very much look like they spend the workday as a reindeer prancing for some fat man in a bow tie in order to make payments on the giant, dark teal leather couch in the living room.
Now, I may feel like shit, but I do not look like some cheap plastic McNugget, like a tv special dinner, like a little bug in a box. (to bite Sam McPheeters of Born Against). I look good. My hair is still the hairstyle of a young person who is having a great fucking time.
I can tell you also, what has been happening in my sleep: Dream on Valentines Eve: I had to save Bobby and Whitney's troubled Marriage. In the dream, they lived next door and a ring of tropical fruits orbited thier home. I intervened on Whitney, who was still wearing her outfit from the "How Will I know" video 13 years later, and I told her "For the sake of your kids, you need to get off drugs and leave Bobby -- I know you are high right now." we were not standing, we were hovering - flying. I then took her child, GOT ON A BROOM STICK AND FLEW OUT OF THE FRUIT NUCLEUS and went home.
Last night, I confronted R. Kelley, under the eiffel tower. He was in a white velour track suit, crouching down, talking young girls, asking them to recall their fondest memories of Jr. High on a tape recorder for him. I bend down to speak to him, and he has this fucked up, creepy voice, high and breathy, halting and giddy, like he was about to eat a giant steak. He tries to get me to talk about Jr. High, I fake him out, bend down to talk to him and instead take his tape recorder and throw it in the bushes and publicly berate him, then kicking dust on his track suit and yelling "What the Fuck is wrong with you?".
Dude, what the fuck is on and on in my brain that I am confronting R&B celebs on their public misdeeds while I sleep?
"Louie Louie" as performed by Toots and the Maytalls is truly the song of life.
True or False?
Please vote in the comments section.
""I decided then that I wanted to make films in which women didn't get killed, raped or married --cool films about cool women."
- Sarah Jacobson on her filmmaking impetus
My mom emailed me the obit/news item today on Sarah Jacobson's death on Friday, at age 32 of uterine cancer. Sarah was a feminist filmmaker I had done PR for on some of her film tours. She also worked at the decrepit indie/foriegn film movie theatre in Minneapolis, when I was in high school, where all the coolest film punks worked.
In recent years, she was responsible for bringing "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Faboulous Stains" into new light, viewing it with a doting, reclaimative eye. She directed two low/no-budge films, both iconic in the OG Riot girl first wave "I was a teenage Serial Killer" and "Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore" and then for four years, took them, blusteringly, to every single festival, house screening or show that would have her - in a station wagon. In the last few years she had done work for both Oxygen and segments for VH-1. The last time I saw her, in 1999. she was sleeping on my couch, during the summer time. I think we had dinner with Chris Wilcha. I barely remember now.
Sometimes, when people die, it's not a suprise, it's inevitable, it's part of their slow ascent into junkie abyss, or disspirited ways. And while the loss is impactful, and felt and makes a little slittery flit in your heart when you think their name or find thier picture by accident or hear their song, you knew it was coming, you had started mourning thier life, you had a head start. But when people who are very alive die, that is when it feels unreconsilable. Then the thought of them not being alive cannot be managed, and just hangs there, waiting til you call it truth.
From the rjyan.com update today, Rjyan gives us the new deal like Roosevelt. He has the correct method for the end times, and the now times and reading this and thinking that he is spending the Spring on tour with Tim Kinsella, who is BornAgainst/Chompsky angst trying to comb out into a Shambala retreat lifestyle -- between Tim and Rjy -- the holy war and voyage to the pleasure dome on the inner boy brain of the 90's after math STEEZ they raft upon,PLUS the mid-20s fallout, PLUS the sheer rawness of two dudes strung out on Catholic guilt, armed with free use psychedelics -- FUCKING A IF that is not know that those two dudes touring together will not create a power vaccum that might turn the world inside out..... It will be Star Trek, The Bible and the great beyond --- from Rjyan's site:
"So in Berlin I realized that my precious doubt, the gas I've been pumping hand-over-fist into this engine, is the cause of everything bad I have as well as everything good. Self-doubt is the old-testament God to my self-styled twenty-first century Job. Or even more accurately, Doubt is the old-testament God inside my self-styled and thoroughly new-testament Jesus Christ. Hasn't that been the deal all along? The Pharisees preach a glamorous and confident perfection from the top of websites and magazines and shitty records, doing everything they can to turn your attention away from the God that lives inside us all, but Doubt has been made flesh and as soon as he stops being twelve, the temples will all crumble. And the most devout-outfit zealout will see the leper and the whore as his brother and sister, and we will wash each other's feet. For a little while, the first will be last and the last will be first, and nothing will be cool, and so everything will be cool, and there will be a ferocious party beneath the great plumes of smoke issuing out from the burning temples--- and in a few days, all the minor worlds will fall together again, history will start over two baby steps forward and one baby step back from where it was when we were all born, and most older people and the boringest of the young will act like nothing happened... but I will be fast asleep, having paused my pause to take a first long, wonderful breath, and exhaling it back bit by bit into the dirty earthen stage where it all goes down, laying on a bed of the brittle bones of false prophets and the now-indecipherable blogs they clutch, all held together by long-unworking links to obsolete gossip items, opinions on opinions on things we couldn't recognize even if we were seeing them in front of us, much less having them seen for us twice- and thrice-removed (or worse) by a line of confident and devout observers."
Colin, my assistant, just half yelled "I forgot to go THE COCK last night! UGHHH!". The Cock is the new super-gay super-dance at the cheesy house club near our office where sometimes the good euro minimalist play too. Next weekend, anyone who is around -- lets all go to The Cock, so that on Mondays we are not yelling about how we forgot the cock this weekend.
But, I will tell you who was loving the cock this weekend. The lady on the balcony at the NUMBERS/ SSION show at Abbey Pub. The Balcony dwellers closest to the stage - clearly LOCALS, not fans - spending Valentines at the Irish Pub themed sports bar that had the show. She had a long spiral perm hairdo. And her man, in loose fitting acid-wash jeans gave her a sexy lapdance all through Numbers 19-minute set, which concluded, as all 150 of us hyper-dancing-attack kids below noticed, with an OTPHJ (over the pants hand job) and what may have actually been fellatio. Down below, we all just pointed it out to each other and then tried to avert our eyes, but you just couldn't. The dude was getting really flashdance for her.
This outdid the tremendous THROB of dance that held forth even on the floor downstairs, where every anti-fashion paper-mache art major from Art Institute gave their grind a good working. You missed it. It was a great time.
My other favrotie dancing was that of two boys, making the work-it play by play for the attentions of a girl in all white 80's casual wear who had a big mouth and even bigger teeth. One boy, a tiny effete boy of mayb 20-22, in a modish/small faces ochre on brown ensemble did a well-practiced PERFECT Mick Jagger cock strut. Ass out, back of his hand against small of the back, trotting around. The other boy, twice the size of the Jaggerite boy vying for her attention as well, was clearly new to the growing fash ways of the underground, but was willing to give it his all. Mock Turtleneck, t-shirt - and like most at the show (mee too) -- a sport coat. Except this was not a vintage/torn elbows sport coat, it was a long two button jacket that he had last worn to a cousin's mitzvah or a job interview. When the other boy would cock strut away, he would shimmy in on the girl real fast. They did not watch the band all night. They watched each other and secondly the girl. I thought one might take to peeing around her in a circle to mark territory, it did not happen. It is a tremendous thing to be a young girl with options.
Valentines weekend, otherwise, was fairly unremarkable, aside from the fact that for 5 straight hours, I handcrafted the last fucking 34 MUY ROMANTICO covers. If you are getting one, please appreciate the hand craftedness. If you are not getting one, please know that it is simply a lack of craft felt and time.
Happy Presidents Day everyone.
Last night, I went over to the Challenger punk house ( ok, it's an apartment) to watch the Lovitt label DVD w/ Al . In part because we have friends and bands we llike on it, but also because we are vain and curious creatures -- we are both on it (two videos of his band, me dancing in a cat head (not mask) on Chic-a-go-go while the Rah Bras played).
The DVD was funny because the DVD perfectly encapsulates 1997 hardcore, and that era of pre-screamo/pre-mo/pre-mersh. Back when we were a bit more unfettered and being in an underground punk band was more like being Amish, as everyone else was following the bat signal over to Sea and Cake remix records, Simon Reynolds was editing SPIN and money flowed up hill and did a little dance when that Prodigy video came on. America was trying to get that wafting smell of grunge off our hands.
meanwhile, as well-evidenced by this DVD documenting the VA/DC/NC scenes, every tru-punk band in America with a half-on for resistance and anti-fashion, they wanted to be Hoover. (And for those who are not Joe Gross or are over 30 -- Hoover were a Dischord band, like Fugazi set at low flame, sans Guy Piccoto's staccato sex squeal... anyhow...) In the DVD, 400 years and Sleepytime Trio ( a quartet) scorch the spock-cuts off the all male revue crowd with scarring, tuneless, punches! of! STOP! AND START!-core.
The look: inverse of dapper -- everyone wears grey on navy on faded black, short pants, low top shoes and white socks .
No band t-shirts.
No hairstyles but "short".
Work clothes that say "I am poor / delivering this package to your door step". This was also the advent of the grab the mic and hit the deck freak outs or being thrown into such a frenzied state of hardcorosity you injured yrself with your own instrument. That was a new trick and it worked wonders. I remember this well, as I was in a fairly terrible band doing the same thing about this time. I spent DAYS upon DAYS trying to re-write June of 44's "Sharks and Sailors" as my own. I was 21 years old, I wore shortened boys suit pants with a cuff and front pleat, and tight white t-shirts and shaved my head, just like all the boys. The late nineties, really, was about denying the post grunge/death/mersh boom era fire sale by saying "you cannot have me".
Everything was ugly and terrifically enough, had zero commercial appeal. Commercial appeal, mon dog, was just not on the radar.
I think that was really the last time that there was wide-scale rejection of the glamourous life. I do not think I am romanticizing it, here, either. Back in the day, back in the day like,like, like 6 whole super long winding and dusty road years ago, doing a single on Polyvinyl was your ultimate band-dream -- precisely because of all the things it wasn't and what that spoke of the character of your band. Being popular had more to do sometimes with being ethical than being good. Can you imagine that? I couldn't, except for this handy Iconoclast 7" I have here to remind me!
But, that infinite flashback to my editorial from issue #6 of Hit it or Quit it aside, my favorite part of the night had to do with my friend Dave, who shares a house and a band w/ Al. Dave recently got run over by a car . He is all crunkled up and just had surgery to armor-plate him. He has a giant sling that is special-made for his wounded side that is the size and make of a baby's car seat. His sweet, puckermouthed girlfriend who looks like she could be his blood relation (they have the same haircut) is over all the time, helping and helping. Al and I drank our tea in the kitchen as she helped him out of one sling and in to another so he could take a shower. He loves her and trusts her so much, he did not flinch. She was delicate with her hands on Dave's misshapen arm and joint, the yellowing bruise that covers one half his torso. Dave stood in front of us, shirtless, concerned about the new logistics, while she put bandages over his stitches and staples, then cut a plastic shopping bag and duct taped it over that, for sure waterproofing.
You could see how much she loved him in how tender she was. And Dave just being helpless. It was incredibly moving.
Al says watching it every day, reminds him of the Unbearable Lightness of Being, where the girl gets sick on the date and the dude must care for her. Yes, exactly, I said!
I am milking a neutral obsession (N.O. = when yr compelled by something, but as negative as your are positive on it (creating balance), but just obsessed still none the less) with this band The Sleepy Jackson . I am not sure if anyone likes this band because that website I linked has 5 "posts" in it's three fan forums and no like, fun splash page with excessive flash and videos of them, despite being on EMI.
I have to tell you that when I hear the first song, with it's OTT (over the top) strings arrangement, all I can think of is the episode of the Gong Show where the two 16 year old twins sit on the floor, in their nylon dolphin shorts and kneesocks, spead eagle and with tremendous, eroticized slow-care PEEL AND EAT BANANAS. Did anyone else ever see this?
The Sleepy Jackson came out last year on Virgin, it's like a good Air album and a second-rate ELO album mixed equally. The cover looks like a flyer for a show of Troubleman bands, and the songwriter has the made-up sounding name of LUKE STEELE. Telling yr parents you were going on a date with a professional musician named Luke Steele is the only thing more wacky than naming a newborn baby Luke Steele.
Travis Morrison has posted some new Mp3s of new songs, one of which includes the line "You wouldn't know decency/if it fucked you up the ass" and then goes into a 14 second guitar solo that drops in like a bird someone just shot out of the sky. Travis and Cex's new works, combined, are book-ending the encroaching apocolypse full-force, while the rest of their white underground peer group bats it's lashes and coyfully sighs "What war?" and presses repeat on the Postal Service CD.
I just got back from seeing Denali, a band I work with, who were great. The band that opened, Catfish Haven , are my newest favorite local Chicago band as of 8 pm CST 2/11/2004. The band name alone had kept me scared off for a year, as it's sounds like the result of a very-stoned band meeting or possibly a Phish tribute band. They have scraggly un-ironic beards and no fashion sense at all. So midwestern, or rather, old school midwestern, in that regard. Here is the equation for the raw power of the Haven: The Band's "The Night They Drove Dixie Down" from Last Waltz + In Utero's most wistful furnace blast + early Willy Nelson. The singer's voice has a vulnerability that I identify as feminine. Hooks so huge, they clearly have no idea what they are on to, with mid-bridge time changes into -- what are they called -- triplettes? -- the time/beat thats on the J.Lo/R.Kelly song that on the radio right now --
Anyhow, Catfish Haven , isn't like... Drag City hands-folded/dick-out kind of "country"-influenced musical-riddle we usually get around here, which is nice.
The CD is quite good, not as heavy nor as mournful as live, but more sublime and I hate this word - but "sexy"... Like, you know on Richard Buckner's records about his divorce, that splintered pleading air that shims the disgust and bereavement? Theres lots of that kind of sweet pleading here, but it's young, and hopeful, still believes in love and romance and just wants to get drunk and make out with you on the porch, regardless of whether you got a new boyfriend or not. The CD just swells with that. Listening to them makes me wish they were playing again tomorrow.
Also, some final details: Miguel, the bass player's mom fronted the money for the CD, and they are paying her back CD by CD. When you visit their website, a bird ka-caws at you, which scared the shit out of me, and thusly is total genius - animal surprise is woefully underutilized on the internet. And, at thier shows Catfish Haven plays in front of a white bed-sheet that is spraypainted in black with thier band name, like they are playing the high school talent show.
I love that!
The earth's thirst for Jr Nelson to update his blog is quenched.
Please, partake .
Hot on the heels of a string of local candy-manufacturing plant closings and labor disputes, Tootsie Roll workers are ready to strike !
As someone else put it yesterday " Is R Kelly even in trouble, still?". His Feb. 6 "status hearing" did not determine a trial date, but rather addressed a. That he could not be near Michael Jackson at the Grammys and b. That he had to retrun from LA by the 18th. Clearly Judge Gaughan is all "Whatevs" in terms of adressing the issue at hand.
As announced, yesterday, in a 84 pt type white on black FULL PAGE HEADLINE on the cover of Tribune off-shoot ass-rag, Red Eye, ANOTHER SERIAL RAPIST IS ON THE LOOSE. Perhaps it is still one the three from this summer that did not get caught? Maybe it's the one with the sweatband that looked just like Nelly, though in the police sketch the Chicago PD mistakenly identified him as looking like "rapper Ice Cube". That dude raped and beat three women in a month in a TWO BLOCK RADIUS and was never caught.
The Daley Machine is embroiled in more trouble, as the city truck leasing scandal unfurls, implicating Mayor Daley's cousin at the center. Daley denies allegations of nepotism and corruption and bribes and kickbacks and Mob connections. As usual. Mayor diverts attention by getting in the saddle on education funding reform, as in the last three weeks, suddenly, the state gov't has realized that having local school budgets/funding based on district property taxes means that kids on the Southside cannot read and pre-K kids up in Hyde Park are doing U of C entrance exams between nap time and snack time. I am hoping the mayoral scandal at hand continues, so that more please-the-people agendas and legislation come to pass, even if they are exclusively diversionary tactics.
The only man that ever fought the Chicago Machine and won was Harold Washington . May we suggest that now, in a seemingly interminable season of hopelessness and well-earned apathy towards leadership, election, presidency, America, voting -- that in the broken toaster oven of our hearts, we keep a warm meat pie of hope for change cooking. An e-z way to do so is go to This American Life , and in the corner search "Harold Washington" and take the 40 or so to listen to the full oral history of his campaign and election, which is a sad parable about race, and how scared white Chicago was (is, it was 1980) of Black Chicago having power. It is also a tremendous, fairy-tale-like story about how hard Chicagoans fought to have an ethical man in office, a black mayor running the city.
Listen! listen! It is the best thing you can do with yr day, I SWEAR TO YOU.
My body is a pasttime
My mind is a simple joy
I learned my lesson
The hardest way
But you don't know me
But you don't know me
A complete inhuman
- Sonic Youth "Inhuman"
Yesterday on NPR, Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times was interviewed about his series that ran in the Op-ED columns, on his travels into Cambodia to document and then free, by purchase, teenage sex slaves being kept in brothels in Poitpet.
In the interview , he talks about how he struggled with two things, one being that as a journalist, you are not suppose to involve yourself in the story - you are supposed to have distance, and that is the locus, the cynosure of the sort of reporting he is doing. He said to just leave this place, leave these young girls - 13-18 there to rot and die from AIDS, to just pop in, get his story, check his facts, hold thier lives ( or, rather, their lack of) and their plight up to the light for his own well-meaning ends was not something he could do.So he purchased them. And, secondly, that purchasing the slave-girls is not the best solution. It's not 'the solution" -- as it literally feeds the slave economy -- just as saying, buying a lot of cocaine does not end the drug trade -- but that just getting the two girls out and into new lives, real lives worth living is better than bailing, blind-eyed and long-armed in the name of journalistic restraint and professional propriety.
Also, he asserts that the only way for this merchantry of girls to stop, is for the lives of women, and girls to be fully valued and fully accepted as important, equal, as human as men. Worth educating, worth beyond the most basic purposes a woman/girls body can be used for.
He says : Some 700,000 people are trafficked around the world each year, many of them just girls. They form part of what will be the paramount moral challenge we face in this this century: to address the brutality that is the lot of so many women in the developing world".
It's nice to see someone is taking things seriously.
Earlier this week, I saw bell hooks do a reading at the Harold Washington Library. I was very excited, as I had never seen her speak, since discovering her work two years ago. I was so ravenous and hungry for her sweetness and, as they say in the Bible, 'the good news" that she speaks. I kind of felt like a new-divorcee on a date. I like it when people tell the truth, and I like that in her books are of a simple language, especially the later ones, as they cover topics that are usually unmercilessly coated in high-walled academic language. In one of the six or seven books of hers that I have read, she talks about how the big ideas that she writes about, anti-capitalism, feminism, community - the ideas that can lift people up -- need to be accessible to the people who need that most.
That idea liberated my life, and continues to.
I feel like with her books, she is Rapunzel, up in the Ivory Tower, throwing down her long, braided locks so "we" can climb up to where the most potent knowledge is.
Right now, I am extra in love with mz. hooks wild style as I am embarking on the embarking of applying to a program of education. Which is funny to me, seems strange even, that, finally; after 9 years since graduating from high school with a barely C-plus-ish average, after starting "successful" business, inspite of being auto-diactic and having thick books by Moyers, Cheever and Merton on the stand next to my bed right now --- I want to go to college. I want to go into the world of formal-education and let my world be revolutionized by ideas and teachers and worlds of books. And learn about poetry, Dinosaurs, air and goverments. Just thinking about it makes me sweat!
A couple male friends, who I assume are just curious, or maybe, flatteringly, they just think I am smart enough as-is, have asked "Why do you want to go to this college/this program so bad?" or "Why?", assuming it's about wanting into academia, or maybe some sort of professional advancement plan. Part of me understands the Why question and can explain that more and more I come up against what I do not know - theories, histories, language, ideas -- the advanced cartographies of higher knowledge - and cannot get around them by my lonesome -- and that I am very smart and it would likely benefit the world for me to be more educated because I am capable of good works...
The other part of me is sad why anyone is asking me "why?".
Maybe I should go with the simple answer next time: Three different guys who were trying to get in my pants gave me books on Marxism as presents, but all three books were super academic and I could not get through them, and here it is two years later and I am still very curious, but very unsure of what Marxism is. I do not want my sole education to be purgatorily via mix-CDs and book-gifts from dudes who want to fuck me.
In parting: I am reading the book of hooks' I purchased, The Will to Change: Men Masculinity and Love, and I called Julianne to read her some parts, ( I ended up reading her most of the preface) but, this was the part that made my heart stop and swell up under my ribs, and is the same passage that made Julianne reply by saying "Ho-LEE Shit, dude" at least three times.
"Women and Children all over the world want men to die so that they can live. This is the most painful truth of male domination, that men weild patriarchal power in daily life in ways that are awesomely life threatening, that Women and children cower in fear and various states of powerlessness, believing that the only way out of thier suffering, their only hope is for men to die, for the patriarchal father not to come home."
"The lack of such writing [on the topic of men] intensifies my sense that women cannot fully talk about men because we have been so well socialized in patriarchal culture to be silent on the subject of men. But more than silence, we have been socialized to be keepers of grave and serious secrets -- especially those that could reveal the everyday stratedgies of male domination, how male power is enacted and maintained in our private lives."
Holy shit, and then some.
If ever there was a band engaging a pedagogy of hope on the state ( could we even call it as state, does it even muster to get that hard?) OF INDEPENDENT MUZIK, it's TV on ze Motherfucking Radio , who are on a mission from the heart, are also, what's "right" with "things". Taking it to the streets with a hee hee ha ha and heave ho, on their blog.
It snowed all day and part of the night, between three inches and a foot, I cannot tell because there was a lot outside to begin with. It was tiny snow, like it was made for squirrels to enjoy -- and luckily, it did not keep the crafters away. I think the free dinner helped as bait, despite the broccoli being a touch -- singed... The innaugural monthly CRAFT NIGHT at my house was a hell of a time. Between the seven of is, we made 47 from-scratch CD cases from cardboard, felt, tape, lace, beercaps, yarn, feathers , glue, glitter and a couple empty LP sleeves ( I was never going to listen to the Cherokee 12", even if I foound it again). Supplies were 23$, and we did not even use half of them.
The only thing we did not make was yarn n' popsicle stick gods eyes with pouch for liner notes. Miles' sister, Erin, made some of my favorites - ultra-femmey, with "Muy Romantico" in pink markered bubble letters, bordered by either/both glitter and pink feathers. Everyone giggled, some other folks drank some beers and non drinkers had some Pepto-with-bubbles style drink from the all-Ukranian mart, and we applauded and oohed and aaahed each others latest tape encrusted/kitty stamped/heart shaped creation. We listened to the new life-rendingly delicious Beauty Pill record. Our night was a remarkable one and it was not about anyone getting laid, getting xposure for their band, making money. It was about the utility of yarn and being free. You are totally invited next month.
Andy Rooney moment: I was in line at the post office today, and the music in the PO is 95.5 W-LITE, the smoove jazz station, which I like just because you can hear my favorite song (ok, in the top ten) "Deacon Blue" by Steely Dan, all 7-8 minutes of it - at least 11 times a day if you keep the station on. And I was thinking "Why is Steely Dan seen as good-creepy and R Kelly seen as romantic, and not creepy until we found out, as The Dan has plenty of songs about the special use of younger women? Would we be scared of Donald Fagen if he sang "Feelin on Your Bootay?". Now, Donald Fagen is a man who's creepitude I am down with. R Kelly is someone whose albums I enjoyed, but am no longer willing or able to reconsile in light of his sex-moves with 14 year old female children -- (though his ish not that terribly different than other famous people who are less visible, and have not been busted, though are still notorius -- ie. that dude from Weezer or Evan Dando). Meanwhile, Fagen has a minor canon of songs about going to the boneyard with young youngins, and we do not sweat him. Is it his effete/ jazzbo (not Patel) manner that makes it feel ok to us as listeners, because one would assume that he is working from imagination, as making The Nightfly isn't the sort of thing that gets you much action? I think it's just cos R. got caught.
Would anyone like to come over and respond to the 400 emails in my in box for me? I am the busiest person I know and I have never been busier in my whole life. You should take pity upon me and come over to the office this weekend and help my pitiful azz out, because if I rest, emo-land falls off it's axis, entirely, and goes into a crunkley orbit where plus one's on the Denali guest list are just out of the question. Plus, I have a 43 hour-long nap I would like to take, and this week's New Yorker just arrived. I will pay you in food, whatever love I can muster and all the hot-pink felt squares you can get home on your bike.
The description below is actually of Robert Randolph and the Family Band, in fact, who will be performing at the Grammys (Grammies?) this Sunday, sayeth NPR.
Definintely some dashunds in that band, with bowties, playing a a peice of yarn strung between a bucket and a broomstick.
Get Up Kids, actually, pitifully enough sound exactly like how you would imagine any bad emo band, when described by anyone over the age of 24, sounds like.
K Sanneh's showing the GUKs the back door . Nice.
If you have a spare nine minutes, here is the best-worst emo band ever, who are Canadian and in 11th grade, by whom our whole office is fascinated, yet horrified by. Watch the video. It's filmed in the sunken living room of their parents house, behind a banner with their band name on it. My favorite part is where the singer grabs his pooka-shell necklace like it's noose, and then kicks over his full size keyboard, during the wrenching apex of a song about "being in like", while the band rollercoasters through a sort of Hey Mercedes/Journey hybrid-sound. Just unbeatable, really.
In case you, too, got the promo of the new Get Up Kids album in the mail today, and in case, you too were offended by the fact that someone thought you might actually like to recieve such a thing - let me save you a hassle.
It is like second helpings of Shit Sandwich.
Imagine a pack of fey, animated cartoon dogs in dapper hats and vests, dancing in the rain -- in a new school sub-Disney CG film -- they find a broken piano in an alley, and they sing the songs of this album. Ok, so I only listened to like, the first seven minutes.
My dad made a great point about why he does not trust Howard Dean. Dean rolls up his shirt sleeves half way, an affect of a working man, like when he finishes the stump speech, he's gonna take a look at yr alternator -- but meanwhile, wears his tie and collar Very Tight. When you examine this incongruity (sp?) -- it's v. creepy. Notice it once and you will start watching for it.
Customer comment card from "David" -- email@example.com
"You missed the point, I'm afraid. Your florid language exhibits only a love of run-on sentences and a passion for misplaced commas. I wish I could say something redeeming about the logic inherent in your words, but you obviously are deaf to criticism. Maybe when you get out of high school you'll meet an instructor who can teach you to form convincing arguments with properly spelled words."
Tiny Genius responds:
What am I supposed to post -- "Dear Mr. Radosh, you are sooooo right, I am amatuer, I am not as smart as you either - thank you so much for holding this matter up to the light as the experience was truly elucidating. I will stop writing entirely and retire to my room with a lil' Strunk & White, and cry myself to sleep." ?
I'm not deaf to "criticism", if I feel it's "valid"... My post was not about making a really solid, logic, journalistic, appropriate, well-reasoned, grammaticly-ace argument -- it, like everything else I write here, or in Punk Planet or In These Times or Hit it or Quit it, is what it is: Opinionated screeds. Topical angst in fourth grade book-report form. All of it sure to be ripe with 166 word sentances with minimal punctuation (OH THE TRAVESTY)! That means you will perhaps feel angry and frustrated, perhaps stop reading my blog and miss the exciting post about the rollerskating I did this weekend that's fortchcoming!
There are people all over this fetid (not florid) world catching bombs, and you, you will feel angered that I dare to blog what I think and feel from the core of my tiny, awesome & genius being and not punctuate it all correctly. Having ish with this stuff, having internet-only-manifested-talkback to me via the comments function on this page makes me feel like you are robbing yourself of the value of your efforts and your life. PS. I am sorry that your world is so insulated from feeling my volcanic awesomeness, you are really missing out.