March 31, 2004

"Banging like G. Gordon Liddy in the prison shower"

My other best friend, JR Nelson, has updated his blog. I don't mind that it's only every five weeks, cos the shit is really good, and plus, can we mention, that yes, JR's peice about Lester Bangs for HIOQI 16, every time I read it, it puts a walnut sized lump in my gullet. JR's got understanding and love and shade for Bang's work like a high school girlfriend. Like someone who knew you back when when you didn't know how to stick it but still laughed at your jokes and kind of half forgave you for screwing her sister. You know? JR spent his 30-th birthday with me this week, despite the fact that he works SEVEN DAYS A WEEK (You wanna see shitty job market, whiny freelancer? Come to Chicago and see that all the best writers I know re-stocking hangers in Juniors Department at H&M, tooth and nailing for a way out. No shit.) and currently spends his evening reading Moby Dick, he hung out, let me steal his cigarettes and gossip about my dumb life and said "You know, when NASA wants to send something to Mars, they have to shoot it around the moon. Right now, yr slingshotting around the moon. " and then took a drag of his Marb lite and flipped to ESPN2 for highlights. I must have saved babies from a burning orphanage in my previous life to get such amazing friends in this one.

His genius is on.

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March 30, 2004

Listen girl / I ain't saying you're helpless...

Here at Casa Hopper, we are celebrating Holy Week by taking the plastic off the windows, and trying to pry the windows open. We discovered last week that in fact the man at the Ace hardware sold us the wrong kind of seal n' peel caulking and that like an ass-hat, we have sealed our own windows with some permanance and now spend warmer mornings with our sharpest knife, contemplating and braying at the windows.

We are also celebrating Holy Week by listening to Prince all day every day since Saturday 11 am CST. (Yesterday there was about two hours from our favorite Black Panther and Chicagoan Chaka Khan's 1978 alb Chaka ), but as of 9:04 am this morning, we were listening to Prince again, in love with the whole world, wearing stripes and argyles together, brushing the teeth and hoping the neighboor likes to hear "Little Red Corvette" this loud this early.

Which brings us to the meat of our post: If you went on a "date" and were about to hook up with a girl and discovered that in her pockets, she had a bunch of condoms, some of them USED, what would you do? How would something like that make you feel?
Please post your answers below.

I mean, if I was hanging out with a dude and he had a bunch of used condoms in his pockets, I am not sure what I would do about that. I mean, thats straight up disgusting in a Howard Hughes-ian way, but it's also super-funny.

After reading this , you will be pulling out all your Prince records as well. You will miss Minneapolis even though you never lived there. P.S. My mom edited it. Full disclosure and props are a must, now that mom is reading the blog. Secondarily, props to Sasha for making me see that it's a terrible thing not to share your blog with your parents.

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March 28, 2004

Elephants are humping to Bonnie Tyler

My neighboor, upstairs, is having a party. On the one weekend night ever in the universe that I have deemed it time to work on my battle raps for The Ivory Tower, there is a low end plague upon me. I am trying to squeeze out 2100 words of "Pleeeeze lemme go into your school, pleeze ple-e-e-ze", after, as per my momma, I switched my thesis-y game plan 180 degrees and my brain is drinking straight from the dog bowl now and no words are right enough. MEANWHILE: Upstairs, there is someone with a lot of drunk junk in their trunk thugging the ancient hardwoods of 1809b in a box-wine influenced humpty dance to "eighties music".

So, I took off on the bike into the Chicago fake spring, and every three blocks pulled to the curb to say hello to people I knew out in their dapper weekend wear, clasping their lover's hand, making a trail for the smokey bar. Everyone I met and spoke with today, barring Julianne, was wasted, starting with my sister, who I picked up from O'Hare at 11 am after her 8 day college spring break in Miami, she returned with extra sunburn on one side of her face, puffy, knotty platinum hair, no voice and shoeless. She was like a hot pink hobbit.
Being someone who has not touched the stuff in eight years, it's still a funny context.

An hour later, my bandmate Dave calls and asks if I have seen Al. Apparently, after taking some super potent shamanistic use hallucigen, Al attempted to leave the house naked. They managed to keep his clothes on, but he slipped out the door undetected shortly after. Al told me later at band practice, "for 40 minutes I was overwhelmed by the falseness of the universe. I saw everything as it was - paved over. Everything became lego-like. Cigarette smoke and wearing clothes seemed like my biggest enemies." Totally.

Mid-bike ride, I ran into Dave and Al and Lauren, leaving a party with pink teeth, a wide slosh in their steps and pockets of fancy Euro-candy they pilfered from Lauren's advisors ritzy party. (This being the midwest, where we like our collars deep blue, any party they does not have a 55$ keg of Pabst in the corner is ritzy...). I walked them home the few blocks, smoked Dave's cigarettes and stole a cup of water, while Dave regaled us with new stories of their jr. Eminem neighboor, on house arrest next door, who because of his ankle decoration, stands on the porch, begging any and all passing company. He just got out of jail for stealing the other next-door neighboors car, and is lying in wait in his mothers home. Dave's drunken genius went like this "What sort of mother are you if you are screaming at your son "You Motherfucker" like, 12 times a day? Does she know the implications?.."

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March 27, 2004

Breathless reporting

You can hate me, but because of my priva-ledged polace in this universe, my friend Travis Morrison sent me the unmastered version of his forthcoming solo album TRAVISTAN, and track four "Any Open Door" is like Joni's "The Jungle Line" or even side A entirely of Hissing of Summer Lawns -- skewed moody jazzbo Eugene O' Neil toned bloodrites by the chorus - a stand alone song about aloneness, pure melancholy . He sings "Any open door / looks good to me now" with a woodblock going rumpshaker double time, rill quiet in the mix, then cops The Dan's "Dirty Work" with: "there is a time to reconcile yourself / with playing someone's fool". A sex-for-one rhumba, you are hating me that you cannot hear it too.

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Phono! Mono!

Dear Baby Jesus and/or God,
I wanted to write and thank you personally for making TV On The Radio come true. I know you have heard all my pleading foxhole prayers since 9th grade for such a band, and I understand that despite you being divine and capable of all things, that crafting a band that can make all the bullshit invisible, and only love and a sweet hum exist, radiating and billowing like a tie-dyed sheet drying on a clothes line -- I know that shit takes some power. I know it's not like manna, or making virgins magickly pregnant, it's a real task. Thats much is clear.

Tonight, at the Empty Bottle, I loved them because while they were extraterestrially good -- like it was impossible to wrap my mini-noggin around how they are the sound of all that is visceral, all that is deep within, that pinprick on the inside that you only get for a minute here and there, like in "River Deep, Mountain High" or when Joe Strummer sings "It ain't Coca-Cola/It's Rice" on "Straight to Hell" or when Bill Withers says "I know" nine times in "Ain't no Sunshine" -- when whatever divides us cracks and folds and all there is is is true soul shining witness on the chiaroscuro of our wrecked and mournful human hearts. It extends something winning and hopeful within, and clapping at the end of the song feels like a rip, when what your really want to do is take them to the river and wash their feet, cook them adventurous meals and have 6 hour conversations about people you loved and people you lost and people you used to be, while chainsmoking on the porch til 4 am. I mean, really, where does clapping come in? -- it's wholly inapprops, sullying jargon. To clap is to keep us bayed as audience, thats to the band are "performers" when it's just fact that they are mediums. They are the instruments, golden notes strumming from their beating breasts, some Taoist-deepness about a stream in spring. There is no way to not see that possession -- a defiant, rich luminessence in thier timbre and their beats, their songs are the incandescent harbour lights, scanning the coast for us out at sea, yelling "Find me. Find me."

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March 26, 2004

Weather Report

Discussing the weather is the domain of the all the way old, I know. I feel 100 today, so it's par for the course. I will tell you this: I half-slept through an hour of NPR fundraising until they got to the part where they said "and at O'hare it's 61 degrees" and I was like "Oh, oh! Time to get up" and I practicly levitated out of my bed. 61 is a lot of degrees to have all at once. I think it finally melted all the ice in the pipes under the house, because the water is back to tasting like it comes from a chimney, not a faucet. I imagine the warmness means the mouse thats been occasionally shackin' in my cutlery drawer will take leave. Once I knew he was in there, I just let him have it, stopped using the drawer. I read a lot of books as a child with mouse protagonists. I know he's just in their taking a nap in the soup spoon, eating peanut butter, using a match as a cane and a thimble as a cup. I am not about to put a trap down, get the mouse all shook and have bloodshed on my cheap Ikea forks, you know?

Also, The Microphones album Glow, pt.2 is the Olympia equivalent to Songs From The Wood . It's not hard to imagine the people making it live in a hollow and have bells on their slipper-shoes.

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March 25, 2004

Try or Die

I am forcing the whole office to listen to the new N*E*R*D, just to make sure that we are positive that it is really one of the most puzzlingly bad albums ever made, and aha! We are correct. It's like Joe Jackson without any gayness, or sex, or hooks. It's like mimes on a bike, waving. Someone needs to get Pharrell in the studio with nothing but Travis Morrison, A Jodeci album, a 3 foot grafix bong and Talk Talk's Laughing Stock and then turn back the hands of time about 15 months. This album is what I imagine Anthony Keidis' does power yoga to.

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Through the fire

I forgot to tell you about SXSW. Sorry, I was busy thinking about how I accidentally caught on fire in my nutritionists office this morning. My hoodie hood went into a scented candle where it caught a light. And about three minutes later I ask my doctor "do you smell something burning?' to which she responded by screaming and running at me. She put the fire out with her hands because she is a brave lady. My long locks did not catch a fire. I did not wind up in the emergency room with open wounds and a salved nape of neck. I wound up with eau de campfire and an album sized burn hole on my Jade Tree hoodie. My doctor cried. I laughed hysterically for about 34 minutes afterwards. Lucky for sure, I yam I yam.

Here's what I learned at SXSW. It's not super worth going into. I was busy and sick and people were trying to hand me business cards, and it felt like a bad dream when you meet people waiting in line for the bathroom, after looking at their nametag. Networking in the ladies room with women who have been drinking for 9 hours, their under-face muscles slack like maternity sweatpants. You know, thats not really my idea of a good time, but any time I am in the proximity of Julianne, same city, I am at peace. Alright, the highlights:

1.It's not possible to say "Murder Dog" without laughing. Just try. We watched Dizzee Rascal from a sandpit, where the chicks in the neon bikini's and the volleyball net had been replaced by the staff of Blender, Pretty Girls Make Graves and 150 critics from second-tier daily papers. Dizzee was like a teenage hyena, all hormones and cocksure talent, some message but mostly just he had killowattage.

2. Aesop Rock's favorite lyricist: Blake from Jawbreaker.

3. Har Mar Sean represented Minneapolis local from the DJ booth at the Fader party, playing The Jets "I got a Crush on You" and The Time. I once entered a contest to try and get The Jets to play my middle school. I am pretty sure they are still a band. My favorite Samoan act, tied perhaps with the dudes from Boo-Yaa Tribe. Quit acting like you have no idea what I am talking about. You do.

4. TV on The Radio, despite everyone with a badge decrying BROOKLYN NY saying they are like all skuzz and fuzz and z-z-z-z live, they took it to the street, their melodies and honeyed voices banging and richocheting off the walls of building across the street ( we were all in a tent, outside, on a hill, we were) that had NO TRESSPASSING written on it eleventy hundred times. yeah, right, TVOTR were all a hum on me, on everyone, what you would want it to be, how you would want it to feel. Like swimming in a pool with all your clothes on. Really, when you come down to it, thats what they are like.

5. Hanging out at the VICE afterparty which was maybe the worst party I have been to all year. I stood there w. Julianne, silent, as one of the Icarus Line dudes made call after call asking people if they were holding. If they said no, he just hung up on them. Outside, shitty but popular bands played, flood lights were in the trees, like the squirrels were doing a photoshoot. Everything was free. I saw everyone I knew in the world that I did not have anything to say to (except Andy). Inside the party house someone was playing my first DJ - like a caricture of a party, really, -- they spun Back In Black, a Missy Elliott mashup, The Rapture, Blondie and some shit you were tired of in 1904. I laughed outloud. Men with ill groomed moustaches came in and out the door by the half dozen, Ultragrrrl danced swan lake to a Kylie song and yelled to the people with her to make sure they got pictures. It felt like Brett Easton Ellis had concieved, perhaps drawn forth purgatory.

5. The Hold Steady are the new Jim Carroll band, and Craig was wearing an old school Twins shirt. I love that the represent local, even though they live in NY now. I mean it would take serious balls not to, and plus they just are not the type. Their shit was nine kinds of geniune genius.

6. We stumbled upon Pete Rock spinning at 4 am in a Mexican resturant, going all VH1 Storytellers style, monologue between cuts "I made this.... when I was a younger, happier man, when I was 23.... when I was... a different man.... YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE?! ( pleading, serious) When the whole world is telling you ... "you are the greatest"? You know what kind of fucking... weight that is to carry around?!" and then would throw the fader over to some track that I barely knew but was so so fresh, so from 1988 with love. he did this between every song, would stop songs early, discussed the death of his father, Jam Master J, apologized for being drunk, talking about stealing from his mom at age 10 to buy albums, and I think verged on tears. Every song he played was one of his, and it was genius. He did this in front of me, Julianne, Partymanica and 11 other headz and the people working the bar.

6. Friends of Dean Martinez did a seven minute version of "Summertime", which made my heart stutter. It was like hearing Metallica for the first time. It was like "whoa, people can do that?".

7. We missed the Record Collection showcase where there was a 5 foot tall (?) erection pinata, and Har Mar Sean beat someone about the head with a microphone, after the dude hit him really hard with the cock-pinata and then refused to play anymore because the dude had ruined the party vibe.

8. The Living Legends showcase made me excited about hip hop. I also had to turn down joints being passed my way about every 70 seconds.

9. Old Dominion showcase also made me excited about hip hop.

10. Rhymesayers showcase made me happy to be from Minnesota.

I remember a lot of other shit, but none of it is worth explaining. It's like going to summer camp and coming back and telling people about the amazing canoes you rode around in.

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March 22, 2004

And then there was none...

I have slept all of 20 hours in the last five days or so, as the SXSW commanded me. I am finally now into the rhythm of sleepless night and stomach rot due to my unwillingness to "nourish" myself with the perpetual food-for-dead-people cuisine offerings of Austin TX. I saw somethings, some bands, some rappers, that were pretty good. I can only remember three things I saw, and will not likely remember the rest until I sleep through the night. I do remember this: A man on his hands and knees, prone in the gutter, vomiting unceremoniusly, right next to a churros cart, while his friend, barely concerned ate a hot dog and ask, rather rhteorically, "You all right?".

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March 17, 2004

Fucking shit, my dear r r r

I only got 4.5 seconds to elaborate, but dear reader, I gotta share it out loud, cos it's just striking me. Tim K just dropped off the rough mixes of 5 songs from the new Joan of Arc they are making at his house, in a giant silver tented room w. mirrors on the floor. It's... it's like someone just swung an anvil at me these hot five. All the confidence of Scott Walker, really twinkley and sweet ( maybe it's the vibes), but it's Godardian stark, deep, mussed hair, post-coital and sexy. Handclaps, shakers, the guitar is repentant - simply just part of the show. Kind of absent minded and ephemeral at the same time. The piano in their studio is out of tune and it's just Tim wrapping his voice around it, not with a his usual warble, but in this man-voice, and there's also a great line about animal faces.
I'm shook.
It's putting all the air back in the room, all the stuff that was missing.

I love it when music is really good.

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March 16, 2004

Some more additions to the list

Just in time for the SXSW, get your pens and PDAs out, young and gifted, because here are new words to ban from all promotional and professional music writings in the 04 and beyond:

"is proof that"
"proves that"
Like _______ on acid
garnering attention
most notably
throws down the gauntlet
____ bliss
sonic nightmare
sonic equivalent of
bombastic combination
classic combination of
vividly etched
to surprinsing effect
avoids the trappings

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March 15, 2004

It gave me the once over twice

I think we are all lucky to be reading such good things .

Speaking of delightful writing, does anyone remember a short story from last summer that ran in the New Yorker, kind of Cheever-inflected magic realism about a family with a catering business, and the youngest daughter with a funny name like Patience, who rides on the back of her dog, and she "ruins" the wedding dinner by putting maraschino cherry sauce on the fish and then solves it by baking magic bread? All I need to know is who wrote it. And I need you to tell me who that is, because I want more of them.

In other news, I passed my audition with Al and Dave and Noah's band and will be spending a bit of this spring on tour. With three other bands on a package tour. I will be the only woman on the tour. With 24 guys. While there are base internal motivations and old-kid romanticism about the road and the stage and bass overdrive pedals that are harboured within my chicken-soul, this is fundamentally a political action for me. Not to strike the martyr pose, but I consider it more of a Shirley Temple Black style ambassadorial networking to young punk girls who go to shows at the Huntinton WV YMCA. All of that is predicated on a faith that punk music and examples and small actions can administer something real and tangible in peoples lives, which seems idealistic and grandiose, but at least it's worth trying.
I mean, as far as I am concerned.

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The Ben Folds with that NERD is so unnessecary

Whahappened? We managed to make it all the way through Fly or Die's twelve tracks, my theory is that they were aiming for a more bangin "Dr.Wu", but wound up with chico-lite Ben Fold funkenstien. I politely asked for sweltering and bumpin', and they brought me a Lean Cuisine beef stroganoff dinner entree thats still frozen in the middle. Zzzzzzztttt.

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March 12, 2004

I remember when I met you.

Last night, Miles and I went the Hold Steady show, and we wre psyched. As were some die-hards and some new fans and some people from Detroit and all in attendance yelled and hooted and mewwed at Craig Finn, who sang to us, afirming from under the stage lights about people who are un-carictured and the sliced away side-view like in a medical dictionary, of a last call wonderland,100 kinds of hopeless and Jesus too ("we didn't see the holy ghost / but the father and the son they seemed like regular folks/ jesus rolled his eyes when his dad made jesus jokes/ he forgave me for my sins/ he said let this famine end and let the 2 for 1s begin").

The boy playing drums in Hold Steady right now, Bob, is my same age and I have known him since high school, though did not recognize him til he was on stage. I have known Craig since I was in high school and he was back from college and just starting Lifter Puller. I was standing next to Damon, who I have known longer than anyone, since I interviewed Trenchmouth in 10th grade.

Bob was in a band called Arm who were really a people's band. A kid's band, like Minneapolis' Cap'n Jazz except they were not innovative and sounded almost exactly like Drive Like Jehu. They sold out all the suburban VFW and Elks Halls and Lion Clubs, and we saw them every weekend it seemed, for the entire duration of high school. The girls in my band, we would prank call them all the time very drunk. The last Arm show I went to, the bassist and I got in a fight, and he says he put a cigarette out on my hand, and we are pals now and he still apologizes for it, but I do not think it ever happened. Then again, my teenage years, is really little more than a blur of picking fights with young dudes in bands at some old man's hobby hall.

The only picture I have of Craig that is not a press photo in the Lifter Puller files in the cabinet, is a picture taken on the fron lawn of my parents former home in Minneapolis. It was the week after I graduated from high school, and my parents had gone on vacation and I was having a yard sale selling all the clothes and records I did not want to bring to LA with me the following week. (One should note I made $1100 on the yard sale, most of it on vinyl sales.) The picture of Craig marks an exact wrong turn of my young life. I was selling everything off and heading to LA, to be with a boyfriend. While Craig was standing there, the boyfriend called, after I had not heard from him in two weeks. He told me he was in love and getting married. To a woman he had met three weeks earlier. Who was 36. They were shooting drugs and living in a motel on Sunset and he said he hoped I could be happy for him. Craig made the kind suggestion that maybe I not move to LA. I took his picture. I moved to LA for three months, where I shaved my head and took to wearing old-lady wigs and a fake fur coat to shows. I stayed in LA for three months. I moved back to Minneapolis the week after my 18th birthday, and then moved back to LA 4 days after Bob Stinson died, that next winter.

The last time I saw Tad, the bassist for Hold Steady, we were in the back yard of some dude from D4 in St. Paul somewhere, and everyone was wasted except for me. I was wearing shawl and Tad asked me why I was dressed like fucking Stevie Nicks. Tad and I never really got along. I was barely paying attention to him because there was a dude behind him with half a hollowed out watermelon over his head running around the yard with his pants around his ankles. Later on, without the melon on him, while trying to shit under a tree, maybe to avenge something, someone stole his pants. The only person who would help him was his girlfriend, and she left in tears shortly after.

The first time I met Miles, I was babysitting the door for a minute at a show at the Empty Bottle. In maybe 1999. I know this story mostly because Miles told me. Miles asked who I was, despite knowing because he read my fanzine and recognized me. I told him my name was Jambalaya. A few minutes later, Miles stepped into the photobooth next to the door, and in the second shot, my arm appears above his head, flipping him off. He has the picture to prove it. Miles used to be DJ Innocent Bloodshed (back when we used to advertise him as "from Detroit", even though he's from Kalamazoo), but now he made a new name so we sound like a brother sister DJ team: DJ Yves St. Le Roc. Miles also just brought me back red/green/gold terryclothe sweat and arm bands from Negril last week. Despite the fact that his writing is just unbeatable , Miles, along with several of my good friends, works in the Young Trend department at H&M.

Thats all I remember.

Posted by Jessica at 09:58 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

PS. Hot Gossip!

Remember like, two posts ago where I was all "Someone's living in the practice space next to ours"? I am not sure who exactly it is, but it's someone in this band . No shit.

Posted by Jessica at 06:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

R. Kelly update

This just in. Judge in FL case says the digital pix of R having sex with an underage girl are inadmissable, charges likely to be dismissed.

Posted by Jessica at 03:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

People living in their practice spaces, go an brush your shoulders off....

This morning, I went to band practice at 8:30am w/ Al, and while tuning I hear this etched-into-my-DNA-familiar "eeet...eeet...eeet...eeet". Alarm clock. Whomever was sleeping through their alarm in the space next door was about to be ruined by our Hi-Watt/Ampeg greeting of the morning.

I wondered about the practice space dweller next door -- does he really live there or maybe did he just have a fight with his girlfriend? Did he run out of couches, out of sympathy and largesse from those who did not believe in his dream... that one day he would be recognized as the second coming of Bun E. Carlos or Midge Ure even. Is the dude living in the practice space by choice? Out of dedication? Because he desires to be able to solo loudly at a moments notice? Does he shower at his cousin's apartment and eat entire meals from the vending machien in the hall -- Nibs for breakfast, Andy Capp Spicy Fries for lunch, some Fun-yuns and a Pepsi for dinner? I want to know!

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March 10, 2004

Words to banish

These words, I believe are plentiful in every weekly, daily, online zine, fanzine, broadsheet and edition of Billboard because they are in every bio ever written. Please, lets banish these words and phrases:

breaking the boundries of genre
genre defying
genre defining
decidedly different
defies categorization
auspicious debut
ambitious debut
striking debut
thoughtful debut
willingness to reinvent themselves
distinguished by
a sound that is distinctly their own
unique, but familiar
singular voice
musical landscape (also see "traversing of")
musical tapestry
punctuating rhythms
punctuating bombast

Despite that almost all of these words are used in the new bio of my high-school paramour and self-proclaimed "grunge expert" Kurdt Rosenwinkle, they should be purged from all writings creative and promotional in 04.

Please make a note of it.

Posted by Jessica at 04:12 PM | Comments (168) | TrackBack

March 09, 2004

Triple A Ballin'

Tonight started off mostly alright, despite having a cough that makes strangers stare at me because it sounds like TB, went to pick Al up at the coffee shop and go to bass-practice. En route to practice, I declared we needed a snack, stopped at the other coffeee shop, threw on the hazards, and when we returned to the auto, ouila, it did not drive or start or turn over but rather, played what I think might be Phil Sherburne's fave schaffel track.

Called Triple A. Triple A said "one hour" and then "another 40 minutes" and after that another 15, and after the jump suggested I drive 20-30 minutes to charge the battery.

So we waited. We ate the snacks and pretended we were on tour in another city, to make the waiting more... exciting, purposeful and glamourous. I asked him if he ever wished he wasn't white. He said he had never thought about it. I explained to him that from the ages of 11-13, I wished for nothing more than to be relieved of my whiteness, because I knew that I would always be part of the problem, and the cultural entitlement of being white really got to me. Apartied was a big issue in my brain in the '80s. I remember crying about it, even, knowing there was nothing I could do about being white. Al said that white guilt is not a typical revelation for 6th graders.
I guess not.

Fortunately, we broke down in front of the best used book store in town , which is open til 1am on weeknights. Al read some book about the gay-luv undertones in Star Trek which had a drawing of Spock giving Cap'n Kirk a handjob in it and a then started in on history of the papacy. (I went to the Vatican with Al this summer ( his mom lives two blocks away), and I liked it more than he did. It made me angry, and I also cried during my visit. I did not see the Sistine Chapel because I am not about to shill 18 euros for the pope unless maybe I get a ride in the Popemobile out of it.)

I read some badly translated Irish mythology dictionary where all the women were virgins and had names that rhymed with Bleereaecugh, then moved to some feminist goddess/faery encyclopedia, where my favorite entries were as followed: A queen who could not be "sated" by normal men, so she married a giant. As if to quash the wrong idea before we go there, it quickly notes "And her greatest earthly pleasure became brushing yards and yards of her husbands long hair." Imagine if your greatest delight is brushing someone else's hair? No wonder no human man could sate her, no one had hair long enough.

The second was a woman who was a pig who birthed all of England by roaming to different ends of the country and birthing out a grain of barley and a bee, or a seed and a bee. I don't know who thought that story up, but it sure is a good one.

Lastly, Chicagoans and 227 fans take note: Jackee is in town all week

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March 08, 2004

My little pony / I love the way you shake your tail / I love the way you work the motherfucker

Randy Jones. Best song evrrrrr. Prance all night to this !

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ultra violence

I will be elaborating on this later this evening, when "free time" exists in practice, rather than theory:

Saw the Lee Bountecou retrospective this weekend, where many of the threads she is on about violence, war, the turning of the world into product, macho-death-fuck of Vietnam - is, to understate it, very immiediate and still-salient of a point. There was something really warm and non punishing about her work's take on all of it, that she clings to life through her works. Life beyond all the death.

Same night, watched Peckinpah's Straw Dogs knowing nothing of it previously. This movie is a different Life Beyond All The Death. I do not think I have been so angry at a movie, made so tense by a film to the point of nausea, to the point that I snapped at my boyf. for getting to close to me while watching it -- and then at the end say "Holy shit " eleven or thirty times and then "Thats the most important film, ever."

Both made me think of this is what Didion meant about that entire era, about how the center does not hold, the violence and tumult threatening to consume everyone. Both artists reaction, while there is a bit of polarity to them (not to quanitfy them, or exact them in some typical binary-gender male/female opposition) , Bountecou's soot-doused black holes are the same singed black holes in Peckinpah's fabric, the same unstopple ebb of violence.

Posted by Jessica at 12:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 04, 2004

The inexplicable

Ben Fasman and I went to dinner this evening, despite me being so high on Theraflu my side of the conversation was like a Fluxus happening, between fluttery words practicly falling off my tongue and stoned extended silences. Ben's sister was our waitress, and I kept ordering cigarettes from her to take the medicines speedy edge down a notch, complimenting her soft arm skin and kissing her cheek everytime she came by to freshen up Ben's whiskey. She obliged me, returned thrice times with purloined Gauloises, so I tipped her 65% gratuity, and later spent fifteen minutes trying to explain to her the phenomena of cat dancing and cats who can paint and how if I do not get into college I am applying for, I am applying for the grant to develop a Walkman for animal use .

Many people greeted us through the course of the meal, starting with my boyf.s ex-roomate, jason, who hugged Ben from behind in a way men who have not shared a bathroom do not embrace, mistakenly thinking it was my boyf, and Ben not having any idea who he was - both were nervous and startled, manhood confronted cantankerously and publicly, accidentally interlocked in a boldly sensual way. I forgot about my tilapia tacos and ate the shreded white radishes and mango salsa with my fingers while Ben and I gossiped as only publicists can gossip. We are in charge of all the secrets.

All of our friends who work in the area came in, as their shifts at the record stores and cafes expired, the came in groups and pairs and more groups. People from Ben's hip hop/Djing etherworld would come up, Ben would stand and greet them, bro hugs and enthusiasm were exchanged. I love hip hop cultural macho formalism, the overatures and explicitness of respect, the props, the props, the love, more props, a pound, a bro hug and an exit with a promise to hang soon. It's enchanting, almost old southern in it's expenditures of sweetness.

Lindsey and her boyfriend came in, Lindsey looking Butterfield 8, pearl earrings and a terrifically partied out hotness to her. She threw herself into the booth next to me, tugged her coat off, declared her absolute wastedness from hours at a work function. She put her face up to my face, and in a slurry sing song she declared that she had stopped in so her man can buy her more "al-kuh-haul". She stood up to show off the her black silk crepe dress that makes her look all the more alabaster. She then shows me her fresh pink manicure, her shoes, removes them, hoists her leg above the tabletop so we can witness the perfection of her glossy red pedicure through her white fishnets and then raised her dress to her hip to show up her garters, which had bows on them. Then she laughed like she was flirting with herself, stood and threw herself into the arms of her boyfreind, and kissed him like was going to eat him.
Lindsey knows how to have a good time.
I appreciated it all.

Posted by Jessica at 11:33 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


I just got through listening to the new Black Dice 2-song single on DFA, cursory thoughts:

Posted by Jessica at 05:33 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

Dear All Minneapolis Star Tribune Employees

You are the culprits. According to this mornings email, my mom has not found this blog yet . Please direct my mom to this site in the meantime. If she calls you on it, just act confused. Thank you.

Delivered-To: jessica@A
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 10:05:59 -0600
From: "Susie Hopper"

other people in here are reading it. so that's why I am asking. That's
fine, it's up to you. I just did not know you were writing one.

Posted by Jessica at 10:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

American City I love you too

Since enacting my lenten pact to only drive for work related errands, I am experiencing Chicago's deep mantic powers on the daily. This is not to say I did not love this hobbled city, potholed and blue collared, since the day I arrived here, six years and three days ago. But just that having to bike, sometimes to far, new and inconvient places, and often times on the same old route down Damen, when done outside of my Toyota 4-door, I might as well be seeing it for the first time. All the apartments singly-illuminated with blue glow of TV, the living room walls seized by mounted collector plates, clean scrubbed dudes in light-rinse jeans drinking can beer on a leather couch (easily viewed due to the 2-story basement to ceiling glass windows on the front of their new construction condos.). The patina'd crosses and gilded domes of all the easter egg bright Ukranian churchs. A dude in a red convertible Ferrari, with a vanity plate reading "Ferrari" (duh.) holding his dick.

You know, just stuff you miss when yr in the car with the B96 up too loud.

On Saturday, Al and the chainsmoking young sweetness he hangs with, Nora, and my boyf. Nathan and I biked (14.4 miles r/t) to the "fantasy"/psychedelic themed art show over at Texas , all the way over in Pilsen. On the way, I was not watching around me so much, as Nora and I were paired up, chattering in the bike lane about girl stuff . On the way back, Nora and Nathan lollygagged behind and I took off ahead, seeing just how fast I could go on Nathan's fancy track bike which only weighs 12 lbs and feels like flying without even trying, re-enacting scenes from Breaking Away on the barren byways of the heart of Cook County, at 2 am on a Sunday.

Taking Damen Avenue from one side of town to another, you get a swift consolidation of what is Chicago, a preview to the highlights reel that is Lake Shore Drive. On Damen, the easy necromancy of all the run down buildings and all that is old and burnished and lopsided, and all the people who like it like that is apparent. For me, it is profoundly comforting to live in a city that doesn't give a shit and loves you how you are, because it is just as marred, bereft and cocky as you are...

We came through Pilsen's shunted strip malls, past the 24-7 donut diner, over the freeway where all the trucks exit for the mills and factories, through the Latin revitalization and gentrification on 18th, through nine straight blocks of nothing but taquierias and store front churches and bondo'd cutlass that holler tinny ay-ay-ay and umpa-umpa at you, went five blocks through the tunnel underneath the train landbridge that is strangely clean because it's so vast and sketchy that no one walks through it (not even to tag it), which empties out into broken cement parking lots and sprawling brick warehouses that served industry that no longer exists, past public housing bungalows isolated far from it's twins they tore down at Ida B Wells on the southside, past little Italy's ass-end, through the hospital campus with it's wide, Presidential-appellative streets of Roosevelt and Washington -- it's spartan gutters - the direct arterials into downtown, over the bridge than spans 1-90, through a neighboorhood that is one of the last pockets of hold out against gentrification - what Nathan's realtor referred to as "Black Downtown", past trashed parking lots of the United Center post the Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors game hours earlier, the same parking lots where a local TV anchorman had been stabbed twice in the neck and lived to make a motivational speaking career out of it, past the long swath of empty lots and boarded up public housing high-rises, tinymountains of debris and glassy knolls on either side of the Green line train elevated tracks - an entire area that had never been rebuilt since it was burnt in race riots in the 60's, then underneath the elevated tracks where the best car chase in the Blues Brothers movie takes place, past two professional comfort women singing a Mary J Blige song together while strolling the corner, past a gaggle of hipster friends of friends in funny outfits waving & hugging while exiting a Square Dance at Open End Gallery, past the Drag City office, under my favorite train landbridge, then three more blocks, hung a right on Ohio and rode no handed the two blocks to my little house.

Posted by Jessica at 01:34 AM | Comments (157) | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

Thanks a lot, guys!

Ok, whichever one of you rascally writers or editors who are friends with my mother (I forget just how small the world of music journalism is, I guess), which ever one of you told her I had a blog, you are so in deep shit.
Do you know how hard it is to write casually when you know yr mom is reading and a. will either foster concern about you as a result b. remind you that excessive cursing is "unprofessional" and c. correct your grammar ?! Have you ever had editor parents before? Do you know what it is like? Apparently not. Thanks for ruining the party, homepeice.
I will make sure to send you an autographed Showbiz & AG shirt as a token of my appreciation.

Posted by Jessica at 06:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack