Sasha talks to Conor, and it's conversational. I like this interview because it conveys Conor as dog paddling through his early 20s, just like anyone does. He could be any kid. As opposed to the other magazine stories that treat him like Stephen Hawking -- like it's a miracle he can do what he does.
Meanwhile, we are trying to include Conor in our next issue, as part of our 2005: The Year of Men in Rock full color spectacular, but we are getting denied at the gate, despite all my sweet please-pleas to the publicista. I do not know if it's because we are real low on the totem -- I understand that Hit it or Quit it is not blowing it out the journalistic framework, like, oh, Highlights is... but, c'mon. Perhaps we are getting the d because in the last interview with Conor, all he and Sean talked about was stalkers, boat shoes, cocaine and getting handjobs - and thats a bit scandy.
Cali has a blog , which is not a blog so much, but is lists and photos and in jokes and 411 on all the secret shows and secret parties and "exciting" tingle of the go-downs on the Cahuenga Boogie. The anti-celebration of whatever it is they celebrate. Cali has some really stellar bad tattoos, from a lifetime ago, including some sort of hindu/bodhisatva thing all over his arm which actually looks like smeared xerox of Garfield. While Cali may look like he's the bitch of the prison yard, he is a legitimate "high roller" and used to play me Linton Kwesi Johnson records when I was 16, trying to ween me off bad Minneapolis grunge (Vertigo ruled, it was 1991, give me a break!).
Props to your non blog blog, mon frere.
How as your weekend? Really.
Miles recaps our night as a faux brother sister djing duo. Binoculars III was may have seemed sisyphysian to the outside observer - because we're dance party djings playing to fans of very lake placid slow diminutive instrumental post rock bands where choruses are as gentle as a buddhist breath. Basically, we gave them the fucking they did not know they needed. No Metallica as we threatened, but M.I.A. "Galang" twice in a row and I put on Wink's "Higher State of Conciousness (Acid Tweekin Mix)" - which pleased only the men of Trizteza, and sent about 200 patrons to the door in a hurry, some with hands clapped over ears. Tristeza dudes were either drunk, or really just really loved our wildly haphazard style, and kept praising our style as "European" and said we were "killing it", and that it reminded them of the great club in Munich that they played at. If playing "Whole Lotta Love" to a nearly empty room 7 minutes to bar close is "killing it" -- I should really be making more at this. I chalk this up to the fact that Triztesa are from San Diego, and that the whole wide world outside of a city thats just beach, military bases and nazi tattoo artists and white drugs, Munich and Chicago and Kalamazoo mjst seem like the teacup rides at Disneyland in comparison.
Secondly, the Ana DiSilva record comes out this week, and I have to remind you about it, because I get the feeling people will be sleeping-bag snooze button on it. The esoteric spooky bricolage of Arthur Russell, and the girl wizard inchoate of Ellen Allien, with all beats sounding like they were made by a live pony on a brick street, hooves to stone - clip clop and unerring. It's on Chicks on Speed-label.
LASTLY, Happy Birthday to Sasha F-J, on his 104th birthday.
I spent the day at the massive plex of the downtown library, after teasing stops at other smaller local libraries, where I found that they do not have all six hours of Power of Myth on videocassette in one place, though they do have it on 3 laser discs. Thanks Bill Moyers, for merely halfstepping yr nerd ass into the future.
I had to go to the library because I got hungry for books in a way bad enough that spending an hour at Myopic could not fix for me. I had to touch more books, wander past the recently paroled and jr high homeworkers studious at the tables. I walked past a dad, nodded off at the literature section tables,with his kids, still with jackets on, reading a Superman collection. I imagined him with the kids for the weekend, with little idea what to do. Or maybe he's exhausted because he has them all the time. I made a tssst-tssst noise when I passed to wake him up, cos yr dad falling asleep on you in the library when you were four is totally the kind of thing you cry over in therapy 25 years later.
I left today with a list for next time, because as much as I want to check out 11 or 57 books, because a half stroll down the dewey decimal'd aisles just reminds me of dozens of things I forgot to learn, or i start considering what is stopping me from learning Vietnamese from audio cassettes....
LIST FOR 2/22
Coco the gorilla
Studs Terkel video
I have decided that I need to really follow up on questions I have more often. Meaning I need to know where squirrels live and where they sleep, because I never see them sleep, and there are not enough trees with knotty coves to suplly adequate housing for all squirrels, plus when I draw them, they keep looking like rabbity-kittens - must get down to the business of squirrels. Also, I need to know what Coco the Sign Language Gorilla is up to. My mom says Coco is interpretting for sick animals for zoo doctors. I could cry dreaming about reading about diagnostics and furry sociolinguistics according to Coco.
The video section of the library is a dream come true, in case yr sleeping on it, which, really, I was, I must admit. I got a PBS documentary on Anita Hill/Clarence Hill. They also had a documentary on Juju music - 51 minutes of King Sunny Ade. They had all 25 parts of the "Great Cemetaries of America" available for check out. They had every major episode of Frontline. They had six videos about teenage suicide (don't do it), instructional videos about introducing your dog to water ("Water Dogs!" pts. 1 & 2), two hours of Ntozake Shange reading her work, entire sections about dinosaurs, the big bang and math-tutoring cartoons. Once I finish crying with joy about Coco the Gorilla, I may have to shed more tears of joy over the hours of evolutionary biology docs and ancient Lena Horne footage I will be checking out shortly.
It is 6:45 on Sunday. If you are reading this before 10 pm and live in Chicago, come to the Empty Bottle, for happy dancing between mopey rock. Miles insists on his blog that if you get really stoned, both L'altra and Tristeza seem really good. Either way, my scrawn will be mopping the ones and twos with some hip house and Supertramp for the players and the skaters.
This could become my favorite blog . One could say that a blog mocking pr shills might be easy targeting to the nth, but really, speaking as someone who has spent the last 11 years writing press releases and promotional copy for a meager living, it's about time someone made a blog deconstructing the overstatements and sicklingly gratitous nuzzle of it all. Kudos to you promo-bot, for your brave foray.
The rascal kitten Monkey chewed through the dsl-line, so I am at the Atomix coffee shop near my home. I am sitting close-enough-to-listen distance from a new couple, the man is discussing his thoughts on recently meeting the woman's mother, and his unease with the mother's overbearing, suspect niceness, her deceptively "Aunt Bea quality".Whoa, pony, whoa. The girl is laughing , tittering uncomfortably. Maybe she hates her mother to death, cos she is still holding his hand with both her hands. His shirt is bottoned tightly all the way to his adam's apple and he does not look at her when she talks, but her gaze never leaves him. I loathe this date of theirs.
That is all I have to share, good evening and good night.
I saw Turing Machine last night and I got sidecramps from crazy-dancin'. The guy next to me was much a-do wif hi-karate air manuevers like it was Oi!-Fest 89 at the Piddle, NH Elk's Club. He was even doing this enthusiastic aggro-thumbs-up between songs. I love it when musiclove retards all sense of decorum and we turn into fresh baby dorks, lunaticing over the kraut-rock band.
I also have this to say: I would move to New York only if Jerry Fuchs would be my drum teacher, and I had it on good authority that one day I could play at least half as furiously as him. Jesus made Jerry Fuchs special. My former Challengerbandmate, Noah Leger, who is like some twin spawn of Jerry Fuchs and Don Cab's Damon Che, he was next to me at the show, and I think he was choked up. In my case it is true, all music journalists are frustrated funna be musicians. I am a no-confidence gtrist who never practiced because all I really wanted was to be a baby Bonham, like the rest. Secondly, I would almost be willing to take a corpor-shill job if it meant I would have the ching to be able to afford all six pedals, the Rat rack, screamy-siren Orange cab that Justin was playing last night. With a Peavey Roadmaster head. I used to have a Peavey Roadmaster, bought it for $200 from a pawn shop in Hollywood, because Dave Stone said thats was the de rigeur Thurston Moore equip-peice c. Daydream Nation. It was 200 watts, and even when I played shows, it was lethal to turn it up past 2 on the volume dial, and weighed so much it took at least two people to carry it. But that might have just been cos I was just a sissy girl in a band with other sissy, underfed people.
PS. Speaking of underfed sissies rolling deep, Miles and I are djing at the Tristeza/ L'Altra showdown at Empty Bottle on Sunday, for Binoculars III. I will be playing M.I.A. and the Doobies, and maybe some Metallica, because it would be deeply inna-props, and I am still on that "confrontational" tear that I started off strong with in 89. Shit is $8 and 21 plus. Come if yr already going, otherwise, hold out til the parties that Becca and I are throwing in March.
Amy Phillips writes and says it's not Caryn Ganz, but rather Caryn Brooks doing double duty funny town snaps and hijinx up in her blogulation.
Conor Oberst writes and says he in fact does know how to skateboard, hates being white and enjoys long early morning walks along the Jersey Shore, jello shots and bell hooks' Talking Back, Talking Black before bedtime.
Ben Fasman writes saying that his mom reads my blog to keep up on his goings on.
Joan Hiller writes and says "have you ever thought about the fact that US WEEKLY is the most misnamed magazine ever? it should clearly be called THEM WEEKLY. anyway."
Teeter Sperber, of the 718 Imaginary Linguistics Club, called to say she's "rill surry" for not getting back to us, but she's been "totally in the weeds all week" and her "sosh life is totally rubber banded" these days and she's "totes sars" and will be in better touch. With all of us.
I put Randy Jones' "My Little Pony" (Orac) on my year end Pazz and Jop. In exchange, he sent me the best thank you I have ever gotten. The only way it could be better is if he rode that horse to my house, galloped around me and yelled "thank you". Aspiring micro-house producers: this is the way to win people over.
Amy Phillips's blog , which is also half-sorta Caryn Ganz' blog, is all drum rolls and screamy giggles and oh-snap that's binoculars, it'll make you want to beg to do drops on their mixtapes, and get drunk and flirt with them hard, lean in and whisper whiskey breathed on their napes little jokes and about the time you were standing outside North6 at 4am, trying to get your near-carnal desire to dance to disco til dawn off yr brain, and Partymanica dared Jonah Weiner to freestyle and instead Jonah did a too-perfect immitation of an Aesop Rock song about a squirrel wearing a seatbelt and how Jonah was wearing tight leather gloves, which was much more OJ than, say, Chromeo.
Which is to say, this is what I would do if I got to hang out with Amy Phillips. Which is to say Amy writes for Hit it or Quit it. Which is to remind you that the younger girl writers at any weekly in America are the foot soldiers, because the j.d. (job descrip) always includes being the ones editorial will trot out to pony the unpopular and harsh but unspeakable opinions held by editors and older writers who cannot risk rep to sling them arrows themselves. Ask around, it's the secret truth with no name, the juniour staffer feminine mystique, papi.
So, much propulation to Ms. Phillips, and also that hot spark Ms. Ganz -- for using "pazzjopping" as a verb.
Teeter's blog , if yr not checking it, is so giggles 3000.
Also, my paper about how I got into punk be being a grunge poser got accepted into EMP. If your are heading to flannel city and gnoshing with Ann and Eric in April, holla so we can "party" or at least so I can ask you rude questions after your panel, like I did in '03, when it was fights and sweaty palm-shakes and Rob't Christgau picking his nose (not a metaphor) during the day and dance parties and discourse all night. Julianne is coming and really, it'll be live. You cannot wait to meet us, seriously.
Old man winter came and blew my DSL off it's hinges, and so the internet reality only exists when I go play office at Biz3, or now, where I am sitting in Miles' bedroom ciphening a signal from the Empty Bottle offices next door. I know you are longing for the days when I was posting bi-hourly -- those days will return soon, my pet.
Without the realm of 'the web' to use as avoidance device hours a day, I was forced to read hard-paper magazines. Seeing as I had about four tubs of unperused magazines to look at for "work" -- I got around to that. I read all six major national-publication articles on Conor Oberst, barring the Rolling Stone one, and I learned almost nothing. Really nothing. Jaan Ulhelski's in Harp (or was it paste?) was the most in depth, but also made the most loving references to his hair, and was light on Q and A. Jon D.'s SPIN article was straight ahead, and I wanted him to put the pinch on him, dismantle the myth (is there one?) -- but it was still up on the boy genius is still genius tip. Boy genius is still drunk, and together we got drunker. Jon Dolan, whose writing I like, who is in fact my Friendster (is that a conflict of interest?) says he was convinced that Conor is truly unassuming and has no bent towards media manipulation, of towing something other than barstool-warming bluecollar prolific prole. Dude, it's true, because he is giving everyone the same non answers. Or maybe just no one is asking him THE QUESTIONS. But as Kiyoko Lerner said in the Henry Darger doc last night, sometimes just because there are questions, it does not mean there are nessecarily answers.
I feel some fifth gear sympathy for Conor, I do. Everyone is gagging to come up with clever "boy genius"/ "new Dylan" sub headlines, with quasi puns in them - he's 24, when does he stop getting to be the boy? Is the next record going to be "boy genius grows up" -- when do we qualify his genius as adult, or at least pubescent? What if he's not the New Dylan but the new Dylan Thomas? Or what if he is simply Ryan Adams with out the rumpled streak and punkness to prove? I, like all hungry Americans, want to see the idol fall as much as I want to witness acendancy. I would love Conor to age ungracefully and turn into Jim Morrison, self-immolating and assholish in leather pants - expatriating and covering us in beer spittle, of perhaps more gracefully - ala Greg Dulli - undulating and singing about fucking and race, hirsute and freaking us out when we happened to remember him. The closest he gets to opening up is the closest he gets to admitting eminent mess - to our own Trevor Kelley - in AP "Whats the word? Functioning alcholic. I think thats what I am." Sweet revelation to put out in the teen mag: not sure whether to chastise the bad example or applaud the honesty.
I am wondering, does Conor get the soft questions because people cannot unearth enough in these double albums ( I have not heard them, I spent all my CD trade money on catfood, man)? Are his politics armchair and schemes ungrand? Or are we just grateful that he has the sentiments (post emo's John Kerry?)? Is he just at the point of fame where being famous is the story? Are people unwilling to call him to the carpet because they see him as the fragile baby Jesu Christu, so we do not question his will? I just figure that if this tandem album shiz is bold and relevent enough to get such in-depth play, something would be said. Instead we get his since jr. high discography, everyone buying him drinks, Winona jokes, discomfort with fame, saying something that belies an innocence, saying something about his beyond his years-ness, his admitting he drinks constantly and hates Bush, then pushes his long Danzig like skater bangs from his pretty eyes and dissappears down some New York City street, sloppy, tender, rising to heaven like a mist - what? I wanna know, is it the writers fault, or is it Conor's fault? Why am I left with only the unknowns I do not know here?
I wanna know how he feels about being white. I want to know how it feels to be a rich anti-capitalist. I wanna know just how normal of a kid he was, and why he went to camp so many summers in a row. I want to know if he ever wishes that he sang like Desmond Dekker or Nico instead of like a riot girl on hormones (not a bad thing - Ed.). If he was this sort of hedonistic and drunk before he was famous or is it a coping mechanism. Can he ride a skateboard? How does it feel to be responsible for the Omaha spotlight, and that he's towed the fiscal come-uppance for good bands, bad bands, his brothers, his life long freinds, and people who are counting on his pony to ride them into the sunset. Thats the shit I have to ask.
Conor, babe, if you are listening, please, illuminate. Tiny Unicorn minds wunna know.
We had a mini blizzard. I am dissapointed in it's mini-ness and that the snow is only up to my knees and that the city plowed my street today. I had ideas today about making a facsimilie snow-brick maker out of a shoebox, but alas! - there is not a shoebox in my house. As a child, I had a snowbrick maker, and would make igloos in the yard, that were only big enough for me to sit still in. Igloos, defying all common logic, are actually warm. I was seven, and already desiring emancipation from my parents and their devotion to my just born sister, and when I built my igloos, it was always with the intention that perhaps I could live out the winter in my own snowfort, accessing the house through a series of tunnels TBC (to be constructed). Craig Finn once told me about how his sister and he both asked for EZ bakes ovens for Xmas, because they thought that that would allow them to cook their own meals, liberated from their parents and consisting on a diet of cakes and brownies baked by a lightbulb.
Tellingly, the ideas about how to get free and independent that I shuffle around these days are just as redonkuliss as they were in 1984, and taking up residence in my yard sounds like a hell of a plan, still.
I got a couple emails this week saying "Are you ok? I have been reading your blog. How are you, really?" - all the people that ask, they are on the coasts and mos def enduring winter differently than those of us who rock the 270$ monthly heating bills up in the 312. I went to the record store today, to do some bartering and trading, and I whispered to my friend, the clerk, "I am thinking maybe I should buy those Bright Eyes albums, whats up with that?" - he did not have an answer since the mail man was just delivering a package of a Lost Weekend 7" - 1965 Indiana soul band singles outweigh personal conundrum over potential Bright Eyes fandom, and he had a summer-glee look on his face. I asked the three other clerks I knew how they were, and all of them answer "ah, you know. Fine, I guess." This is my dispatch saying, if you live here, you understand, everyone is feeling the deep funk of winters bitch turn.
Most of my friends, they are content to drink and fuck it off or turn it from a Blockuster nite into a Blockbuster week. I do not have those obliteration lifestyle choices - I do not drink, and the man I smooch is 17 time zones into the future, I got hella fines at the video store and can only rent when that kid from Mahjonng is working cos he does not care about my $46 late fee.
So, I use disco records like drugs, nurse my water (light on the ice, please) at the tumble-weed populated dj nights my friends do, stomp out crop circles in the snow while on my 3 am smokebreak, wait for my New Yorker subscription to show, play tricks on the cat, spend a few hours unfreezing the pipes every couple days, stare directly at the sun when I can in hopes it releases some narcotic-level seratonin in to my skull's neighboorhood, imagine life in equatorial climes where I drive a car made from coconuts and am accompanied by a fez wearing sign language spidermonkey named Chim-Chim, who keeps me amused by signing dirty jokes and playing the accordion.
So, you know, fine. Fine.
The DSL modem ate itself, so I bribed Ben Fasman to let me work out of the Biz3 offices, where I am enjoying full use of his vacationing boss' swivel chair and enourmous, ergonomic desk. Not having internet access inside the apartment cave, having only the radio, and Monkey the feral cat as furry-messenger-dispatch/makeshift Saint Bernard, well, I feel isolated, like I am living on an ice-floe. It is winter dark all morning and day and night, and it does not matter whether you pull the shades or not, it is dark and cold just the same.
I scraped ice off the car this morning with a promotional calendar from PETA, and I remembered that last year, I used a Simple Minds record, which held up all winter. Considered what record I could use once the Peta calendar dissentigrates.
Last night, it snowed some perfect snow while I was away at the Jean Grae show. I went out on the porch to smoke and there was no wind at all and the snow flakes were so big they had their own shadows to warn they were coming down under the street light. I walked a circle into the newest driveway snow, and compared it to yesterdays driveway arc I stomped out to mark yesterdays snowfall. I pretended I was Andy Goldsworthy. I felt very acomplished, despite that they were really crooked. I also felt very old world, measuring the 24 hours snowfalls by how much of my footprints has disappeared.
According to my sitemeter: If you do an MSN search for "young girls sucking cock", the number one site that comes up is this here Ye Olde Unicorne Teare . I will take this as an accidental and ironic feminist victory, that someone looking for cock sucking babes is being directed to my Dworkinist platform.
Took Sean to the airport last hour, as he embarks on Australia and five straight months of away games and stunning the kids. Jackie and I head to the airport in an hour to embark on our trips. Jackie's off to Argentina, for a glorius early 20's cultural bailout. I head home to a freezing Chicago apartment and my still-new cat, which, by all accounting, is in fact, feral and undomesticatable.
I came to Minneapolis a month ago, thinking I would stay a week. Going home does not feel like going home now, it feels like I am some space pod being discharged from the mothership, birthed into foriegn orbit. The funny thing about touring, which, in fact is not funny, is that it sets in motion, this option or desire for weightlessness, the always-go blots out the at-home compassing. Since touring much of last year, and even though I am not built for it so much, spiritually or physically, it bit at me, and jumped me in, Dracula-style. Now it's like a sonambulent tide of it's own, viral. There is, yes, in fact, something in me that desires "home" and waking up looking at my bookshelf with my books, but there is something with much more of a bloodroot that makes me much more swiftly inclined to, once I hit the ground at Midway's ATA terminal at 5:59, head home only to charge the ipod and pick up my road atlas, and pilgrimage slow to Hot Coffee, Mississippi and look at shade trees. The purpose in no-purpose has a narcotic romance, always.
I do not know where you are, but just might be there soon.
Sasha has started a fun semantical debate amongst the blogs over whether "nostalgia is a rock critics heroin". Speaking as someone who has never done coke nor heroin, but been around enough of it to "know" (know what?!), and someone who has been around enough nostalgia and rock critics to "know" -- I say this: Nostalgia might be cocaine, because nostalgia is the trick drug of the critic, the feel wonderful for a second, but it's all myth. It's all come down and feel bad from there. Nostalgia is about romance with a past, a scenario with a utopian cast, and there is nothing but sad clouds upon you when you drag that into the here and now. This, perfectly exampled, is why reading Magnet Magazine is a total bum out, because it's delusions of the past projected on a scrim over today's reality. It the idea that nothing can ever live up to yr BITD (back in the day)-hood, which is different than being obsessed with a song from 3 years ago. The today-relevancy of Robert Pollard is tied sailor knot style to the juniour year of college, when "Kicker of Elves" was the song you whistled on your way to your cool job, back before school loans and turning 30 were kicking your ass. Nostalgia is cocaine if you are bitter enough that you complain about how every band now sucks and kids have no ethics when someone puts on a Fugazi record. Thats the critical key hits in the bathroom stall.
I can tell you what is a really good song: Book of Flags, the single (non alb) version by Q and Not U. Jon Davis does a drum roll on the woodblock and it's CNN-streaming urgent. I like that shit. You know who is a great dancer: Julianne Shepherd. I have danced with her a lot, and she routinely performs in her living room, so you should try and parlez and invite, or just go stand outside her apartment some nights to catch a glimpse of her serving an imaginary dance floor.
Me? I am still in Minneapolis til Monday, and my snot freezes inside my nose everytime I leave the house. It is not pretty at all.
Even though I am 289% sure that i missed the comments deadline for the pazz and jop village voice 10k fun run, I am turning them in, via carrier pigeon today. I can tell you this much about writing it: Fuck music, my crosshairs frame tight my peergroup alone. Megafuck the crit-mass, and the editors they rode in on. I forgoed writing about the revolution in demurebass that Luomo did not bring in favor of writing about rockism, rape aestetics in the chorus and your and america's favorite: the casual rascism of the critical status quo.
(And the whole time I was writing, I had that annoying song that the candy sings at the beginning of the movie trailers in head ("lets go out to the lobby! lets go out to the lobby and buy ourselves a snack!"), lodged perma like some cornfritter in the dentures - which served to only triple my scathe.)
I do not know whether the anger is coming to, with this expectation I grew, like some crystalline fifth limb -- that music writing was and could be and should be this jubillant and relevent and insightful thing, it could be a slickery golden bridge of revelation, it could be so much more than a series of brill creem ads on the side of the county road, selling quietly. Anger over some dream deferred, maybe it's finding out that the patina does not rub off and the lamp is really just baby shit green and there is no amount of rubbing that's gonna change it. I always try bringing justice and girl plight into the scope, and it always screws things up, there is never room for it.
So, I'd like to have a toast: to four more years of a tender lapping of Cam'ron's cock n' balls, more fete'd jack-white saviours in the spotlight, more Jeff Tweedy Poco-tributes, more girls in corrective orthodontia hiking up their bra straps in the front row of Good Charlotte shows screaming for consumption, and to all those late night nights where we laboured, nay! toiled over - the articles and insightful sidebars about who the Beastie Boys were voting for . Cheers all around, kiddo - here's to a glorious 2005!
Thank you to all the people who emailed me telling me, offering me, etc copies of their Pistol Pete 12" with the Ghostface "Run" vers. on there. Fortunately, Pete sent me 12 copies to call me own on Friday. (Pistol Pete, the producer, not to be confused with Parsnip Pete, the 24 inches tall milkchoco easter bunny / candy statue who starred in several films I made as a high school film student.)
In reading news: I must reccommend the letter to the US gov't from Chief Seattle that appears on page 64 of Joseph Campell's book, Power of Myth. The Gov't want to get the injuns to sell land to them. Chief Seattle insists he cannot sell the land, because they do not own the land, and how can you own the land. He says he could no more buy or sell the land, or the sky, than he could sell the body heat of his pony. It's a tremendous and articulate fuck you, and I enjoyed it very much. I also would like to say that if you could sell pony body heat, I'd buy it.
I have nothing to report to you other than this. Minneapolis is Minneapolis. The punks all look like punks. The snow is delivered fresh every morning. All the bands still sound like Drive Like Jehu, just like when I was in high school.
And teenage girls still tie their shirts up to showcase flat bellies and faded summer tans in the front row of rap shows, and flit their eyes back and forth between examining their own selves (hiking bra straps, tugging down jean tops, throwing hair) and laser-eyeing the MC in hopes of locking a meaningful glance down - they do it here just like in Florida and France. I watched it for 90 minutes last night, and found it less depressing than usual, maybe because all the front row girls here rock mall grunge hippy chic, a smell-able-from-here effort to dirty up their blonde Norse-innocence and give in to that more adult full bore keg-mystique that says "I spent spring break in Daytona, and you will not believe what I did." The funna-slut steez of a 19 year old Lutheran Minnesota girl is so inherantly overt and thumb-handed, it's easy to feel a zoo-keep sort of love for them. Their perfume always smells like the cheap peach-scented candles from Walgreens.
What might have been the weirdest drug deal in history.
Someone had given him some free cocaine, as a present, reward, maybe, for being in a band. He was asking us "what should I do with it?" -- this he is asking to three people that do not ever do cocaine, hate cocaine, are stone-cold sober. Another one of Mr. Free Cocaine's band mates hears this and his eyes go into a sick peircing, and the offers begin to flow
"I will give you 20 for a bump.I will buy some off you.Let me buy a bump for me and one for my girl."
"We're in a band together, I am not going to sell you free cocaine. I think i am just going to save it for another time."
"C'mon man. Just a bump."
"I am not going to sell it to you. It was free."
"Ok, then I will trade you a hug for a bump. A hug from me and a hug from my girl. Thats a real deal. Two hugs for two bumps."
"Then how about two bumps and I never bring up the time you pissed my bed, ever agian. Slate is cleaned, and it's cashed"
"Ok, deal. Line one up for me then, too." (passes him mini envelope)
I have never done cocaine, and though have heard much about it, seen plenty of it's grossness on the creep, but I have never imagined that you could trade it for two hugs and some forgiveness.
Otherwise, the show was great. Seeing Sean with his band makes me incredibly proud of him, in his new rapper-as-bandleader role, and detailing beyond that might embarrass both of us. Plus, you would likely assume it's all bias, critical reasoning and opinion veers into the ditch, replaced by goo-goo love mush. So, I will just tell you "It was great."
Last night, I saw the band of my boyfriend for the first time and it was terrif. I have seen him play about 47 times this year, as if I wanted to kiss him it meant flying on to a Warped tour stop outside Pompano Beach, but that sort of show was different it was all rappy rapper and Dibbs with his broken paw behind the record players and 77chachalillion baby kids with thumbs in their mouths and Midtown's hands in their wallets. These shows, the one last night, I mean, they are v. different.
Last night, it was me, my mom, Susie Hopper, Dan Monick, some people who are unGoogle-able, and Peter Scholtes. And a couple hundred boys who want to be rappers too, and some goth hot girls that get misty-eyed during the slow tracks of relational terrordome shiz of God Loves Ugly. My mom wanted to get there early to see Brother Ali, and stayed through all of Sean's set, despite being tired - "The last time I stayed up this late, I was giving birth to you." She liked all the songs, especially the song that where Joanna Newsom did the surprise guest beat-boxing.
You know, my mom is an understanding gal with open embrace of what the NEA calls "artist speech", but really, it was a little intense, for me, at times, ie "I am standing here, with my mother, while we watch the man I love rap to a roomful of strangers about cheating on the road with a too-young groupie and ejaculating on her stomach, and his internal debate about such." She did not blink, she would just periodically ask "Is this song about you?" "No, it's about the girl before me/ No, it's about hip hop personified as a woman" "He is referencing the "metaphorical pussy"" etc. Oh, The worn soliloquy of the rapwife. My mom, she would just smile and go back to tapping her little toy feet to the bass boom.
My friend Teeter Sperber, who is OG binoculars, my elfin twin and former roommate, who the year I met her, only wore three colors in various combos all year, and now, she has a blog. She wrote me a fan letter before we met saying sshe enjoyed my fanzine so much it made her want to "dive headfirst into piles hot New York trash" -- Six years later, she only addresses me as Blink 182 frontman "Mark Hoppus". She writes:
HI HOPPUS ITS ME TEET I MISS YOU MY FAKE BAND IS BLOWING IT OUT THE FRAMEWORK MEETING WIF LABELS AND SHIT WE ARE NOW GOING TO EAT AT KATES JOINT I LUV TREVOR SO BAYAD BUT NOT IN THAT WAY - HOW DID I NOT KNOW HIM MY WHOLE LIFE? I THINK ITS BECAUSE I CONFUSED HIM WIF CHRIS RYAN, TOTES INTERCHANGEABLE!
XOXOX TEET SPER B
We were trying to be "pro-active" and counteract the bitch of winter, of Minnesota winter, where the sun shines for a full 17 minutes around 9 am and sets entirely by noon. I was trying to rescue Britt from -itis of the Full House re-runs, I was trying to rescue myself with the slightly more noble sounding artistic malaise which is the space occupied between blowing off deadlines, but not actually doing the laundry, and just wandering from room to room of your boyfriends house pretending like you would actually be-being more productive if only you had all your paints and rub on letters and sewing machine stuff around.
So, we did the most intellectual thing we could think of, the deepest, smartest thing Minneapolis offers: we went to the museum. We saw plastic and jade teacups and danish jazz poster art and modern painting and some really old chairs. After about an hour, we were so tired, I was ready to hitch a ride with the next nana that drove by on a Larkô. We are not brave New Yorkers, walking eight blocks to and from the subway, invigorated by the chilly air, we are atrophying Minneasotans, unwilling to move outside of a three foot radio of a reliable heatsource.
Our friends Mr. Lopez and Jojo, stars of the Academy Award nominated french documentary Etre et Avoir have thier own blog, which follows their personal obsession with the "next blog" phenom. The Gentle Voyeur
While we ponder changing the official name of this blog to "Shitting Where I Eat!", I will be heading over to Britt's house so we can work on and launch our joint blog about "next blogging" via Blogspot, our blog which is to be titled "the Gentle Voyeaur", our blog which you will book mark and then read in fascination and horror, daily, as we link you to the world of depressed teenagers, frat boys trying their hand at rock criticism, peppy christian teen virgins and the office slut.
My Pazz and Jop submittal follows, and the unofficial explanation (non official comments) follow.
Jessica Hopper, your votes have been recorded.
Your Pazz & Jop albums ballot was submitted as follows:
1. tv on the radio - bloodthirsty babes - touch n' go (30 points)
2. jean grae - this week - third earth (10 points)
3. sonic youth - sonic nurse - dgc (10 points)
4. pj harvey - b-sides (10 points)
5. animal collective - sung tongs (10 points)
6. brother ali - champion - rhymesayers (10 points)
7. psalm one - mixtape - vinyl addicts (5 points)
8. weather - demo - self-released (5 points)
9. perfect panther - demo - self-released (5 points)
10. kiki - june dj mix - B-Pitch Control (5 points)
1. My actual comments submitted to the voice are primarily about race, rockism, why most everything written about TVOTR calls them "america's premier black rock band" (and not americas premier band) and why yet no one will put a tough question to Cam'ron or Snoop for their rape-raps, because hip hop is not "the community" of senior editors at Blender (para exemplo) and they are afraid to come off as misunderstanding whiteys, striking critique where they should not, and thusly, Jack White et al. stays in the spotlight, Tunde and the remarkable girl bands get railroaded into the sidelines, black rappers go into a velvet lined holding pen with a stocked bar, and white rappers get shuttled to a cheap room at the Airport Radisson where they can be put under observation, so they can be asked again and again, baitingly "Sooooo... why do you think so many girls like your music?"
2. I like Jean Grae best for her songs this year that were not on her album, but I cannot vote for those alone. She's been in the trenches for 15 years, people finally care and she is still bitter, and I like that. Thats real. Not everyone can be Ted Leo, genuflecting with catholic humility at the feet of the audience.
3. I have listened to this record four times, and I liked it everytime.
4. Could not stand the album, but the B sides were indulgently raw and it all made me wonder what she is hiding and why she keeps showing us her panties.
5. I like the "doo-doo-doo-doot-doo" part, like they are little elves coming down a curly slide, percussing with their wooden shoes clacking.
6. I like it when people rap about loving God and children, and everyone else is voting for Kanye.
7 - 10 is because I like those bands live. I should of put q and not u and hold steady on there, but whatever, I forgot.
Your Pazz & Jop singles ballot has been recorded as follows:
1. Ghostface - ""run" (pistol pete remix)" - white label
2. randy jones - "my pretty pony" - Orac
3. snoop dogg - "drop iit like it's hot" - major label
4. anthony hamilton - "charlene"
5. T.I.feat Bun B, Chingy, UTP crew etc - "fucking crunk hat" - white
6. YYY's - "Y control (tommie sunshine remix)" - warner
7. de la soul feat MF doom - "I forget the name of the song" - major
8. M.I.A. - "Heroes" - virgin germany
9. hold steady - "the 80s" - frenchkiss
10. lady stush - "" lady stush"" - white label
1. I downloaded this, I think, from Fluxblog, and listened to it 3 times a day most every day. I put "white label" because that is my hope, I keep looking for it in the bins.
2. Julianne emailed this to me, and I listened to it for an hour straight on repeat two days in a row in Febuary, have not listened since. But I can sing it to you, because it's legacy is in my mind.
3. I voted for this because I love the dance Julianne did to it in her living room, and because Pharrell cannot sing even when there are 16 generous tracks of his voice on the chorus, and I love amateurs who do not have regard for propriety.
4. I think that is the name of the song. I put it down because he sounds like he means it, because he sounds like a bullfroggy D'angelo and because he admits fur coats ain't shit when yr not home taking care of the baby while he is out on tour.
5. I got this off S/FJ's best of 2005 list, because America is a free country and that song really drives the message home. It was either that or Beastie Boys "Voting is Dope" for "message" songs for 2004.
6. I heard this in the club last week. I danced.
7. Someone emailed me this song, this spring, and I loved it til the fall. I never bothered to learn it's name, I never managed to pick up the record, but it is on the list because what is actually important here is that I liked it. Sean told me last night it is called "Rock Kokaine Flow". I saw them on TV last month, Pos seemed angry. I wonder what that is about. Maybe him and Jean Grae got in a big fight.
8. M.I.A are great live, and I do not like this song that much, but despite it being in German, I have listened enough to know it phoentically.
9. The Hold Steady may or may not actually have a song called "the 80s", but it is more a vote for the sentiment of Reagan-era hedonism and resentment, that they manage to encapsulate, lyrically. It is a vote for THS's coverage of the Eighties, really.
10. I think this is what this song is called, because it's all I can really understand what she is saying - her own name.
(Also, what i would of really voted for, but forgot was again, Q and Not U, but I voted for them and El Gaupo last year and I think I was the only person who voted for either of them, so lets call it pre-emptive, because yr all voting for them next year.)
As an act of indifference, laziness, recoil and revolt, I did my Village Voice pazz and jop ballot with no care, mostly just put down the albums whose names I could remember. Only mistake is that I forgot to put Hold Steady on entirely, and the real shame of it that there is not some measure where I can vote for only the first half of the Anthony Hamilton album. Everyone in the critical compass huffs and puffs for the last 66 days of the year revising and reviewing their piles so they can make sure their arrows point to poignant, with a touch of obscurist love, cocks to the sky over the annointed dead, the new Dylan (or the old one) and the bootylicious, tossing the whole thing around on their tongues like the holy host.
The only record I could put a geniune fist in the air on was Tv on The Radio. Because I cannot vote for Nina Simone record that came out in 1964, and I cannot vote for my boyfriends album that comes out 9/7/2005, which is a great thing, it being a rap album draped in truth about boy life anchored in the patriarchy - a topic which capitivates my brain. I also cannot vote for Joanna Newsom, because I only vote for humans, not precious kittens.
I swear I am not bitter and I swear I am not bored, but all I know is that the Pistol Pete remix of Ghostface's "Run" is the only song that came out in 2004 that made me want to fuck. "Lean Back" was ominous and sinster and Cam'ron is the new rape rock of rap, and "White T" made me root for the communist blow up plot, and after spending three weeks on Warped Tour I suddenly believed that Thursday was the most important band in America. The best hardcore band in America is Make Believe, despite not being a hardcore band, though I could not vote for them because did a little work for them once a while ago and that is "conflict of interest". I think it's funny that at major magazines, people get all up in arms over conflict of interest, despite eating off the maje labe publicist dime, despite the fact that editors are fucking artists they write about (not even figuratively), despite that writers are fucking editors for promotions and hires, despite that it's all Halliburton/Cheney at every magazine not held to some public transparency hardline. Everyone is trying to be the meat in the handjob sandwich, if you are dealing with any place paying more than a buck a word.
It's no longer fuck me feminism, it's fuck me capitalism, mon babes.
Speaking of 10th avenue freezeout, I spent the New Year in frosty Duluth Minnesota, seeing Heiruspecs play to 40 people in an unheated theatre that seats 1200, and the MCs rocked the mics with mittens on. They sold veggie dogs at the concession stand, and mix your own hot choco. The wacky "morning zoo" radio personalities tried to ignite the crowd during the 15 minutes leading up ot the 2005 clock strike, with the glacially paced raffle. I did not win the remote car starter, the 1 month of unlimited tanning at Midnight Sun, nor did I get the weekend lift pass to Fantasy Mountain or the $75 liquor store gift certificate. I would be lying if I told you I did not want that remote car starter, though. Raffles are a big part of Minnesota culture -- a lot of blue collar bars over northeast, at least -- have meat raffles a couple nights a week. I am tempted, once I live here again, to do an investigative report -- make the rounds, try the odds, see if I can win some pork chops. I do not know what I would do with them, but winning meat is an omarion prospect for sure.
Happy New Year everyone. You are the greatest and you deserve a great 2005.