Right now I turned on the radio, mid Kerry address, and it was just the static wail hitting fever pitch pulsing of the crowd. A roar oscilating - jhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhzzzzzzz - and breaking apart. Which, for the isolated, seven-second stint it breathed alive, perfectly replicated the heaven squeal of the 59 second guitar-apex-apocolypse with release at the end of Silver Rocket , which in case anyone ever asks you, feel free to confirm: it is, in fact, my favorite song.
Kerry sez: He accepts our nomination. Oh, sweet, dude. Now I don't have to vote for Bush!
In matters unrelated to the future of the world: MP3 blogs! Spizzazz is posting some blend mixes that are killing it.( People use kill as a verb a lot. More than all our NY pals say en fuego. There is a real romance to overstating things.) Spizzazz mixes are killing it en fuego (at least once a week. Biblical 40-days ambition mission is applaudable, but fuck the Usher mixes.) Hot Like We !
Again, not to ride you on this, but Julianne and I, our MP3 blog of much mystery - Faculty Lounge - goes up next week. J-Shep and I conferred today. The good news: We might just make it new jack swing/hip house mp3 blog. No shitting, baby.
Last night I saw the future and it's pulsing sex/death stutter grinding neon hot for 30 minutes. It was unrepentant, convulsive and thunderous with screeching so rupturously violent -- it makes me wanna kiss the pavement with your teeth.
These Arms Are Snakes create that sort of tension thats only resolved through fighting, fucking or playing a show -- so -- I don't blame the kid that started punching grills in the pit, a fight that took out the sidebarrier wall, with kids spilling on to the newly polished bowling lanes then all the way outside (This right when I showed up. I was seperated from the club door by some drunk shirtless crazy hardcorester screaming "BRING IT ON YOU FUCKING F****TS!" - Andy and the other nutso doormen were blocking the entrance, Andy advancing nibly, brandishing a chair like liontamer, other bouncers armed with a wooden chair leg and a blade of a ceiling fan . Rumble, Chicago, Rumble! ). If the guy was serious about wanting to see gay dudes bring it, he should of just gone back inside and kept watching the band.
The fight happened during the most dark side of the moon delay pedal sprawl, with Stevie climbing and pawing the monitors like a cat on a carpeted scratch pad. He jumped off the top of Ryan's amp and landed, crawled over, grabbed my head with his filthy sweaty hands and kissed my forehead, then did the same to the whole front row, stood, screamed something cool and unintellgible, threw out a limp-paw, legs locked akimbo, pouted, sneered, lifted his too small shirt to show us his fish belly, resumed caterwauling, eyes rolling back into his head. He finished the song sitting on the bass drum, legs crossed, casual with the mic, flitting his hands with drama -- like he was Dean Martin at the piano bench. The rest of the band stealing the air with the whump-whump-screeeeeeeeee. whump whump whump screeeee. Mutiny is the bounty, kiddos.
I only get ensnared in the mythic thrust of rockstardom when I watch this band. They do not have the right kind of solos to be on MTV, but goddamn if they do not feel like the only band rightfully stalking the earth when they play.
Today, a Vice Records recording artists super duper full length - VietNam came in the mail. TERRIFIC!
I love it when sketchy hardcore kids turn a new leaf, especially, when the leaf is madd bananas junkie rock. Especially when the leaf is Neil Haggerty's solos, Polynesian VU teenage tribute band, TB Sheets with screwing in place of death and Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour bootlegs. Especially when on the cover, they look like the two most strung out dudes ever, putting on their sweatpants at dawn to go line up for their drizzle of methadone at the clinic. Purely speculation of course on the drug-usage. Some people in Brooklyn wear men's shelter outfits and grow facial hair and wear bruise make-up on their eyes because looking shook in yr being-core what being cool is about in some parts of the country. And if you do not understand wanting to be cool, if you can fault anyone for that, you are in denial, out of touch with your own soul or 1,000 years old.
Meanwhile, my asst. Casey, who had multiple high school bands with the VietNam dudes, just told me some great stories about them, back when they used to be in Carbomb and 100 Watt Clock and some other TX HXC bannz, all of which sounded like Fugazi meets Nation of Ullysses (Joe Gross will vouch for me on this), several stories of which involved the now-singer from VietNam hitting an extended VAMPIRE phase, where he wore a floor length red leather cape with a sticking-up collar for some time. Props to him for making the commitment public. Think about how cool you have to be to even consider getting your hands on a red leather cape of that magnitude, let alone, leaving the house with it on -- to go to shows even.
Young fashion ideas are the best part of my trillion-day stinting on Warped Tour this summer. Kids, age 13, with clumps of gluey substance weighting down flaccid schmoe-hawks. Jeans with the name of every band you have ever read about in an issue of Alternative Press written in blue Bic pen. Matching neon pink outfits. T shirts that on the front identify you as "J" and "Tiff" and on the back say "The Adventure of J and Tiff" -- when I see these kids, all I can think about is being 15 and trying to alarm the world with my appearance, writing FUCK really big on the leg of my jeans, like it was a commandment. Writing FUCK as if I knew what it actually entailed or something.
Props to all teenage ideas everywhere.
Word up to all people trying to convince the world that they are cool.
Today, for the second time this year, I did an interview for a local magazine after being named as one of "Chicago's Top 30 Under 30". The last one was horrible, for reasons small and innumberable - in the story I was placed between slicked-hair business proteges and a hot real estate agent. Today, I told the writer, who I think was given a one sentance bio and an my contact info as prep, that I would rather work under a bridge giving handjobs than have the profile be about me being a publicist. I know it sounds extreme, but I really meant it.
In other news, aside from Chris Ryan, I am the only person in America who is feeling Tipping Point . I like it for the reason that everyone else does not feel it. Because a meditation on mediocrity, with little hot ash piles of song stuffed into tiny holes in the mix is sometimes exactly what you want. I like it because I liked Whitechocolatespacegg. It asks almost nothing of the listener. It's just songs. It's just an album. It may not even have more than one track that takes up real estate in the iPod, but that does not keep me from enjoying it because it does not engage viscerally.
This morning, c. 8:04am, plodding heavy lidded through Northstar Court, the mall within the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Aeroport, past the epic-lined breakfast rush at Burger King, I asked myself, (maybe even out loud), what have I learned from all this traveling and touring of the last four months. The first real answer that came to mind:
1.White people are ugly, mean and ungrateful and they always look unhappy, even when they are getting their way.
2. Most men look sad and hungry. Esp. ones with breifcases.
Also en route: Freshman girls at baggage claim in de rigeur hangover clothes - messy ponytail, U of M sweats ( aka "public jammies"), one seen travelling with a 36-inch tall plush brown stuffed bear. I imagined she was on her way to camp, now after seven years -- she is finally a counselour. All her old friends from camp even know her bear's name.
Event horizon: packs and pairs of unaccompanied minors, pink faces mashed and squirting hot wet tears, too-large back packs with activity books popping out, being marched off through metal detectors, yelling for mom -- the shuffle of joint custody. I could hardly watch.
Still terrible: I thought it only happened in Chicago laundrymats after midnight, but parents let little kids eat Doritos and Pepsi for breakfast. I have seen diaper aged shorties all over the USA eatting fucking Slim Jims and Mountain Dew EXtreme at 7:30 am in BP parking lots, and it is upsetting.
The Mean Reds are a real punk band. They are from Tucson, and come into line somewhere right behind the so-tragic/so-genius Rhino39 on the richter of teenage bandom (early Dischord catalog has the top-end of the list on lock, natch). The Mean Reds have all the fire and all of the posturing of Nation of Ulysses, but instead of suits and manifestos, they have experimental 'scrips and Bob Stinson's closet. They look like scumbags that sleep in the desert. I am not sure they have any idea what they are doing. I just do not think there is any way for them to know the transgressive force being shit out by their furious nucleus.
They graduated High School in June. They are on the Warped Tour all summer, throwing down "I Slept In An Arcade" marred with lamaze birth SCREE and SCRAPE, making like the Weirdos at quintuple the speed, with blazing leads and solos and someone rolling on the ground screaming "HOLLA! PLAYA! HOLLA PLAYA!" as a close aprox. to a chorus - covered in cuts, naked 'cept for swim trunks and boat shoes. WTF?!
They are on Warped all summerdespite getting almost thrown off on the second day for running their mouths about what punk rock is and is not, what capitalism is and is not. Meanwhile, they are still on the tour for the entire summer (self idictment is the teen stee!), still on some 3 inch high stage at the back of the parking lot, looking filthy and wearing women's vests and having stinging keyboard solos, the eyelinered singer, Anthony, looking like a Keene painting of a rehab rat (better yet, a Vice "Do") screams til his eyes tear, streaking the dirt on his face, misses out entirely in taking pride in being the best wrong combo of infinite young ideas.
Once me and J-Shep's MP3 blog, FACULTY LOUNGE, "launches" next week, yr maw will be struck open and you will not be able to hold down a job. We are going to be spoon feeding you every hot bump from every best demo cassette. BEST! BEST! All around, BEST!
The heat is protracting the days here. Open arms for the respit in the cool nights that liberate us. Hands sticky on bike handles and bass necks and cigarette filters. We just wait. You can't do much else.
Last night I wanted air conditioning and lobotomizing entertainment. Instead I got air conditioning and Spiderman 2, which made me hate Kristen Dunst and that snaggletooth of hers equally. I spent the last 40 minutes of it wishing I had brought a magazine to read. I called Miles and Morgan, they had been dousing their coke Slurpees with whiskey, they were pink and wet looking when I arrived. They did not want to move. I joined them in their torpor. Morgan showed us scars from her surgery, spoke at length on her cat's urinary tract infection, made us watch Cool Hand Luke. Her and Miles argued about whose turn it was to buy cigarettes. The sweat from the back of my legs adhered me to the couch. No one spoke. No one moved. If I had not gotten up when I did, I am certain I would have died there.
Today, the humidity is the killer. All the babies in my neighboorhood are stripped to visors and diapers, slicking the arms of the women protectors with their stinkless baby sweat. Even the man with the Michocan cart has his shirt off, baring a portaiture on his chest of what might be a grey panther head or a map of Oahu or dress socks in a pile. All shirtless men will soon be drunk or fighting, as that is what the weather dictates.
Yesterday was spent under the sheltering cement span of a massive bridge in Milwaukee, idle in the bus lot-village. The in between hours, toddling round a waterfront ampitheatre. Smoking and sweating and making small talk and holding hands with my man.
Marveling. Always marveling.
Brought Miles with, so, he too, could cup his hand and sip from the kid-sewer, have his marrow quaked by the penetrating energy of three acres of America's greatest natural resource, Teenagers™.
Jonah called and we went over to the AP booth to hang out for a few minutes while he set up the tent for a Taking Back Sunday signing. He set up stools, laid out some fresh-from-the-pack Sharpies, scooted the too-anxious back into the 600-deep line. The line was fronted by a boy in a home-made with crayola special "I saw Taking Back Sunday on Warped Tour in Milwaukee today!" shirt, which had the date, some lyrics, band name, location of Warped (Morris Ampitheatre!) and was edged along the bottom of his white Hanes in alternating colored inks "Taking Back Sunday * Vans Warped Tour *Taking Back Sunday * Vans Warped Tour *" repeating, like ric-rac around the edge.
That TODAY IS THE GREATEST DAY! enthusiasm - the pre-emptive sentimentality that pivots on that exact moment - his special time in the AP signing tent with Taking Back Sunday - that public display of the act of cherishing something in a personal way, is what emo has instilled in the culture of fandom. The good times! the best times! most poignant heaving sighs of this young life! Stilted, lifted up! Encased for all eternity like Han Solo in molten lead! I will remember this! This pinnacle experience! Advance Nostalgia for this boy's life!... The sort of reverie that can old be manufactured from the hormones and confused sweeps of a sixteen year old person.
It is not super fandom, and it's not just about loving something, it's not just needing attention, it's not just that reckless 9th grade display of THIS IS WHO I AM, TAKING BACK SUNDAY IS WHAT I BELIEVE IN, WORLD!... This is how emo has taught the young to fan.
I am not sure how I feel about it, because I am not sure what it is setting us up for -aside from the immediate, enforced paradigm of BAND DUDE - FAN heirarchy (which is bunk, natch). Does it matter if it is sincere, or if it's affect? Boy or girl? Will this teach them to run the rah-rah-reverie for anything they are passionate about? Will it last past the summer? I need to find out. I really need to know.
All that said: If you have the mettle, teenage fervor is such an amazing thing to behold. To sweep into the tide of it, all it's impulsive bits, all it's visceral screaming pulse, it's bad tribal tattoos and it's unspoken social mores, the pungent desire to - at once - transgress and fit in perfectly. It is a curious world.
Last night, Challenger endured a stunted/stilted/shunted (can't decide!) writing practice for our European album, for Day After, the Czech label. I have not been a writing member of a "serious" (what you assume it means in capitalist punk rock USA terms) recording band in a paraqueets age, and I might as well be learning it for the first time. Being in a band is difficult for me because lots of times my hands just do not do what I want them to, my ideas do not come out like I want. I was trying for something heavy and catastrophic, scary (like Converge, possibly) but it winds up sounding like a band that plays the State Fair (namely Kansas).
Dispose of ego, do not get too attached to any one idea, try and get your parts worked out in two tries instead of four. We record in seven days, lets keep efficiency at the fore.
Al and I wrote a chunk of a song over the weekend, which we all worked on last night. Dave asked us what part comes after the chorus, and I said "I was thinking some big explosive solo" and then made noises sang him the "reeee-rowwwhhh-reee-reee-rooo" of my imagined "next parts" because I do not know the notes for him or I to play. "Do you know the notes? Do you you guys have something worked out?" -he asks. No. No. I just trust everyone can just jam shit out and make it feel pretty genius. Thats not the right answer. Naw, man, this is not a song it's just the shit that I sing up as I ride my bike around at 1:40 am, watching the street lamps trace arcing light on the contours of the cars. I am just trying to translate: turn the crimson ash ends of the smoking porch-bound ancients of my Ukrainian Village hood into some gtr-screed that feel ennuificent (A sharp into C flat minor? Wha?). Trying to make my best Kim Gordon less Kim Gordon. Milk inspiration into blood, or what might pass for a good idea or if I can turn my pockets out, maybe talent. Or something.
It's worth paying import prices for this if you have to. 18.99 at Tower, FYI.
The fear in Modern English songs is tenative, but the anger is real. There are bands that have neither. They have the affectation of mood. At work: Those 51 Interpol-imp bands that wear ties. I admit: It feels good to go into their atonal disco amnio-sac, there is no fear in their music, no gymnastic requirements of us as listener. Look good, stay high, keep dancing. Interpol is the handjob of modern bands. It's kind of like "sure, hey, why not like Interpol? I have nothing better to do" -- so, salud to stupid music that's not going to remind you about the war or remind us of the burdens of luxury and priviledge. Really, I want eternal dance-floor firmament as much as anyone else. I like polemics, but I also like the deus ex machina of epic Kylie remixes stretching the glorius hours between midnight and 4 am. Giving in is only natural: hence the popularity of Franz Ferdinand.
What I am trying to say is I think Modern English is your best option, if this is the course.
They are not affecting mood, they are genuinely a little scary. They were gearing towards dissonant disco but detoured in machete hack bossa nova, gtr drenching and really questionable effects processing. Sweet screaming, a cowbell break, stereo-panning phasered bass -- what the eff?! It's so right.
We met up on bikes while the sun was going down, we were early for the bad movie, so we slurped shakes in the BK parking lot across the street til it was time. Anchorman was terrible great, lobotomizing fun, but the previews were even more so. I want to see the animated shark movie, the White Castle movie, and the cab movie with Queen Latifah, but not the cab movie with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise. I'm not feeling hi-brow entertainment these days. I'm feeling discount night at City North 14 Multiplex.
Back on the bikes, they went home, I went to Kinkos for important faxing, saw my bandmate Al, who had sweated through his shirt with coffee fueled anxiety, as usual. I went over to JR's for lemonade, stole two cigarettes, borrowed a Gil Scott Heron record, left. Back on the bike. I held JR's bike while he went into the liquor store. Kids who really were just kids, rolling en masse (Denali, Celica, tricked out Cutlass) hung in the parking lot and greeted one another with a fluid and immaculate shake with butterfly hands that surrendered into a chest pound below the chains. A gentrified local exited the store and wiped out, flat onto his back, on a puddle, soiling his pleat-fronts and splintering his 12-pack of Lite. Everyone laughed, including me.
Back on the bike. Out in the city, everyone is on a date, and all the dates are going to parties, on bikes, on polished toes peeking from sandal heels, all the girls with bare shoulders. It must be a great thing to love those girls.
It's funny when the best idea and the worst idea are the same thing.
Over breakfast, JR & I thought that De La Soul was playing for free tonight. I searched the internet, and it turns out the show is $33. "33 bucks is not what we pay to see De la Soul in this decade" says JR. During my search, I found what might be the most useful site for touring Chicago, ever at SoulofAmerica.com
Also, over breakfast my dad, who was visiting, told us this exciting story:
In December 1989, my dad was a photojournalist based in Mexico City -- but was visiting his parents in Indiana for Christmas. His dad woke him up and told him that the US invaded Panama . My dad got up and onto a series of flights, landig in Costa Rica 24 hours later, with some other photojournalists. They chartered a prop plane, which brought them within 50 yards of the Panamanian border. They then paid a driver $300 to take them over the border. Not having visas, they bribed their way into the country. They paid another cab to take them as close to Panama City as they could get, which was not very close. They ended up walking the rest of the way -- lugging all their photo equipment and three transmitters (this is before the magic of email and digital cameras). My dad lied to some Marines, and checked into the Holiday Inn, to a room overlooking the the front of Noriega's Vatican Embassy hideout. He spent the next 13 days looking through the viewfinder of a camera, in eight hour shifts, alternating with another photographer, until Noriega came out, so that they could have the first pictures of his surrender.
We asked him to tell us the story about the time secret police beat him with his own camera, but he said it was not really a breakfast story.
Important ideas on whiteness (trad.): Yesterday's edition of Odyssey on race, cultural identity and tourism.
I hate to complain, I know they are really high class problems:
Someone made me listen to the new Magnetic Fields today. I had never heard them (him?) before. Man alive, it's really terrible. He's terrible. Listening to MF, all I can think of is Stephen Merritt, laying in a bathtub, or more so -- a hammock, dressed like Orville Redenbacher *, acting dandy snapping his suspenders, his smirking accompanied only by fitful ukelele strums (for emphasis). It is the whitest (and by white, I mean white) music I have ever heard. Is Swanny River the b-side? MF is so unapologeticly soulless, I wonder why people have not been lining up to call him a rockist cracker for years.
Secondly, a call, from an editor, saying no go: I was all set to interview a band, tommorow, for a cover story for a national magazine, no less, until a call came up from the bowels of management, ciphened cryptically through the publicist: "The band will not be talking to Jessica Hopper. Management would prefer someone with a fresh perspective. "
I wonder if they would think my perspective was fresh enough if I had slept with aforementioned manager when he came on to me, years ago, rather than make a "big deal" about it. Maybe my perspective would be to their liking if a long, long time ago (1998!), when the band was another band (a band of true greatness), I had not scared the shit out of both mgmt and label by explaining certain things in the bands contract to them - things they did not understand. Like "recoupable" and "in perpetuity".
Meanwhile: I rest easy at night with the knowledge that my perspectives are fresh to death . Does Alex Ross ever get this kind of hate? Like did Esa Pekka-Salonen ever beef with him over some back stage shit from '93?
I am ready to ride Cuddles into the dusty sunset, my tiny feets dragging behind, middle finger to the sky, cursing this whole wack industry, retiring into a life of leisure as a churro cart operator. Or start a commune for old riot girls who cannot exist out in gen. pop. due to how much beef they have cultivated.
* or if we want to fantasize with class, this man
Courtney Love once advised a young Kathi Wilcox to start a band with the biggest bitches in her town. Thus begat Bikini Kill. Taking this dictum to heart, since I am the biggest bitch in this town (or so the ladies room wall at the Empty Bottle attests), and all the other bitches are doing thier own thing, I started a new band, A Billion Dollars, with the two best-dressed people I know, Miles and Morgan, to balance things out. Miles could pass for a young Lou Reed and dresses like a hustler, he dresses like a man very sure about his sexuality. Morgan is a hair model, professionally. Interpol has taught us all we need to know: have a unified aesthetic, and your mediocrity will be assuaged.
The mission is to have a summer fun band, ala Cupid Car Club or Young Ginns -- ie. make a tape, show up with one classic song on a vinyl only 10" benefit comp, play some house shows, break up by the time school starts back up. Today, we wrote five songs, we are recording our demo later this week and playing our first show at a fashion show at the end of the month. Doing this band, impermanant and half assed, is an extention of our MUY ROMANTICO dogma of non professional, unpolished art work that refuses to honor nostalgia and sentimental ideas.
The way of being in a band in 2004 -- how we are socialized to be in bands, aiming for "career" but casting our eyes downward so as not to get busted, is bullshit. Studiously, earnest ideas are gutted for disco 4/4 and affecting the dark suits of dead men (or the blousey sail-boat outfits of real estate agents that almost OD'd on 'base in 1986,). The latent hedonisme et mode trend in rock is born from the velveteen comfort of irony and deep, deep middle-class white shame. No one will ever admit to wanting to capitalize on emerging markets. We are not really trying to get rich. We are not really trying to be popular. We are not really trying to get signed. We are not really trying to get blown after the show. Really. No, Really.
For the sake of simplicity, everyone should just 'fess up. Capitalism has castrated our artistic impulses, seizes them before we even speak their name. It's terrifying, but a good fight to spend the summer on.
I have conducted some minor research, and have conclusive evidence: "Ek Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya" - the Mohammed Rafi - Asha Bhosle duet beats out Jadakiss for the hot summer single, despite that it's 37 years old or so. "Dum Maro Dum" also by Asha Bhosle running a very close third.
Last night, Rjyan and I celebrated my return from eternal tour by doing some performance art. After eating a pound of cherries each, we started mashing them in our hands, replicating stigmata, rubbing the pulpy bits them all over our mouths and faces, staining our arms and hands, putting the juice all over Rjy's shirt. We wanted to look like we have been devouring a carcass of some sort, like jackals. Judging by the looks we got at Walgreens when we went to by the disposable camera, we succeeded. We were stopped by a large cabal of pubscent boys, who asked who hit me. Joking, I told them Rjyan did. He had to evidence cherries from of his mouth to prove that it was all just a funny game we were playing with fruit so they did not start pounding him. "Doo, you can't be hittin on girls!" they told him. Amen.
In other news: Julianne and I are starting a joint mp3 blog.
I swear I did not get married. In case you hear anyone discussing otherwise, loudly, in a barroom bathroom, you can refute it.
Last week, in Vegas, I witnessed the marriage of Dibbs to his special lady, as they honored the impromtu impulse with a legal touch, at 9:30 at night, at the appropraitely named Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. The vibe of the LVWC is funereal, with a touch of the DMV, augmented by fake flowers and trelaces. They wanted to be married by an Elvis, but he was another $300, and the Elvis that does AC/DC songs was booked. They marched up the aisle to "War Pigs" -- and exited to "Made Ya Look" as we all looked on, misty-eyed. The ceremony lasted under ten minutes, and was as much a testament to modern romance as any wedding where the groom is not clad in a band t-shirt.
The reception consisted of everyone smoking cigarettes out on the sidewalk, then taking off to make bus call. The newlyweds shuttled off in the complimentary white limo.
Just got off a red eye flight from LAX, after being part of the flow of the teenage sewer for seven days and nights. As JR once said: teenagers are genius. They are so flawlessly themselves, in all their absolutes, in all their confusion, in all their rapturous tastes, milling about the San Diego sports pavillion parking lot in a mesh-back cap that reads "My Balls Itch" at 11 am on a Sunday. In their every item of clothing carefully constructed, arranged, deconstructed -- worn -- to elucidate who they are in this world. It's really calculated and really honest -- even when yr a fake teenager, yr bound to be real-er than real adults. They are front and center with their two modes: ennui and desire.
Yesterday, I sat on the grass and talked to a girl, who is 17 and loves Deerhoof. She cannot wait to be done with high school. She wants to move to Japan, because, as she said with Didion-esque simplicity: "California is ridiculous." I told her that being in Japan was the most overwhelming thing I have ever experienced she was, literally, all "Whatevs."
I think to write young idealism and inexperienced resolve off as quixotic is a failure on our collective adult behalves.
Las Vegas, NV, 20th floor of a green hotel, listening to Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" .
My first Vegas visit, hopefully my last, (though according to JD from le Tigre who I interviewed last week, Las Vegas has a huge feminist community.) --- not to pre-emptively hate. Whenever I see people gambling, all I can think is that they are going to lose everything, meanwhile their kids are sitting at home, eating Doritos for dinner and waiting for mommy to stop slurping 7&7's and hitting the blackjack table and come home and put them to bed. It's my midwestern Lutheran-by-proxy prudism that I soaked up in Minneapolis public school --- all sin and vice will get you is dead. Looking at the vertigous carpeting in casino, which we had to pass through, briefly, past middle aged people with ancient-eyes like two rats in sacks, the people in the elevator that smelled like Conor Oberst recommending "Do not leave yr room -- you'll lose it all!"... well, I got panicky.
In fact, we did not leave the room. Sat on the windowsill, ate room service and watched the fireworks go up all over the city. Explosions in the sky amidst the epic stretch of blinking big neon. It was redundant. The fireworks were still smaller than the Hilton sign. Vegas cannot be out-done.
Britt weighs in on celebrity eating disorders. I held Britt's hair shile she vomited once, because we're that kind of close.
Trevor K. on famous people who used to be famous and Conor Oberst smelling like an alcohol-steeped ashtray. Snap.
Elliot, who is en route to fame - or maybe omnificence, at least indelability, on the newly famous, Unicorns with nerve.
Partymanica on fame, the illusion, consequence, Jigga's pants.
On tour again, but this time not mine. Fullerton, CA - Vans Warped Tour - 10th anniversary edition aka Teenage Wallet Rape 2004 aka Orange County Mall Punk Expo.
There is a bus village, where all 400 or so people on the tour ride little BMX bikes and entertain sticky-pass girls who are about to find out what All Access really means. A ring of Bud cans and concert detritous rings anything that might pass for a trashcan. Walking the avenues that are formed between the lines of parked busses, is like Manhattan in summer --hot exhaust re-animates rancid urine and parking lot grit. It's L.E.S. in August to perfection.