The MAYBE CHICAGO compilation (the answer record to NO NEW YORK and YES LA comps, 25 yrs after the fact) is so unbearably good, I can barely handle it. Punk rock how you like. Punk rock how everyone likes it. Criminal IQ is like the Dangerhouse of modern-age Chi-boogie. You can own the comp I speak of for 7.99 ON CD if you go here and scroll down to the right . Functional Blackouts, Tyrades (aka "the best live band in Chicago" - more on them later) and a half dozen more - all killer no filler. Twat Vibe could be super popular if their name was not so scary, they are fantastic... they sound like Tiger Trap as a drunk party band + The Waitresses (no sax). Sort of. I have listened to this about 11 times today, and it's been genius every time. 7.99 is a deal you cannot pass up. Not to be all Willy Lomax about it.
Secondly, we suggest you keep an eye on the Shit Sandwich label, which people keep saying is "the best label in Chicago" -- dude, you so want one of those shirts. Lady-run operation, to boot.
Special to the various grad student girls and folks doing related thesis' on Riot Girl who asked me for them and I forgot to send them and I totes lost all yr contact info: Issues 1,2,3 and 5 of Hit it or Quit it are back in print, for the first time in 12 years, just for your academic needs . Please hit me back up with yr mailing info, and prepare to be mollified by such fanastic things as yrs truly, age fifteen, asking Greg Dulli really insulting questions and incoherent mini-essays on David Yow as patriarchal oppressor or how Mecca Normal was bringing the revolution. Or something. It's way more or something than anything else, actually.
For the many, many adults of the world who missed Chicago Fest, I lived and died for your sins, and brought back proof:
Municipal Waste. They had the biggest, scariest pit of the fest.
Anytime the pit allowed during opening bands ( who often had a weak or sporadic pit), this kid, who had taken the bus for 22 hours, down from Winnepeg, would get in the middle and start doing push-ups and sit ups, and making fun of the jockiness of it all.
Stop paying import prices for Peruvian metalcore: shop at the Profane Existence distro booth!
The woman with the tattoed hands. And arms.
My favorite band of the fest: Condenada. Latino all-female feminist/queer band from Chicago's southside. The woman singing had a broken leg and was on a stool the whole set. With her glasses on, she is J-Shepherd's twinsicle. They did a Big Boys cover - in spanglish.
Hit Me Back!, Latino pride band that sounded like SOA. Note the gymnastics springboard on the stage, provided by the band, for the stagedivers ease.
This guy was standing in front of me about 11 hours a day all three days.
This is the band that made me go "fuck it, I'm leaving" on Sunday. Shortly after their roadie, unprompted told me that they had just driven 12 hours and "only stopped to shit". They are called THE FIRST STEP and they are from Albany c. 1988, and somehow managed to transport themselves into the future and play the fest. to wit:
"You know, we're a straight edge vegetarian band-"
(claps from audience of 150 straightedge vegans)
"And we get a lot of shit for that -"
( more claps)
Me: (incredulous, not really realizing I was saying this out loud) From who? WHO IS GIVING YOU SHIT?!"
"(addressing me) Well, like...uh...(fumbling) people that don't understand. (pause) This song is about having a higher taste. It's called "Higher Taste" - 1234!"
"Some people, coming up in the scene in hardcore, they try to get a reputation, get know, by stealing, by getting in trouble. We don't think that's positive and we think that's no way to live. This song is called "No Way To Live" - 1234!"
WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT?
These 4 french dudes would be hanging around, all normal, all day, then during the big bands, they would put on costumes and get in the pit.
The pit of Municipal Waste.
This is World Burns to Death. Thrice as scary as they look. They headlined Saturday. That singer guy, aged 35+, threatened to beat up the singer for 10th grader-aged Sat. openers Weekend Nachos, for inferring, from stage, that WBTD stole their merch table. The WBTD guy gave the kid the finger and screamed at him after Weekend Nachos played a 4 song set at 12:10 to roughly 11 people. The old dudes in hardcore, as a general rule: pervs sticking around for the chicks, or straight-up assholes who lord over all the little kids. They always look sunburned, smell like Bushmills and are talking about Iron Cross. Without fail.
They are returning to his homeland, where the streets are paved with jackin house mixes, Dan Higg's beard is on city council and the river runs deep with Old Bay's seasoning: Baltimore.
I stood in the back of the moving truck with my arms unsleeved, a skin-showing ode to today's high of 57, just doing a little softshoe to stay warm, a shuffle-step routine I picked up in Birmingham, AL, back, summer of '80.
They had decided it all a few days ago, and had been trying to ring me to tell me, but by the time they reached me, well, the announcement was "We're moving. To Baltimore. Tomorrow." So I went over to help, to gaurd the truck while they ran up and down the three flights piling the truck with everything they owned except furniture.
An eight-track recorder wrapped in a sleeping bag.
A medium sized pony from an amusement ride.
Buckets of house paint.
They piled it in, I would finesse and arrange it. I tap-tap-tapped in their abscense and thought about every time I move, I get closer and closer to getting rid of my cassettes. Am down to 10 precious cassettes documenting the moments of the nineties that still hold romance. Thought about every time I moved cross country like fire, ditching everything but my seven inches, my favorite shoes, my typewriter and my ferocious emotional calamity that was unebbing between the ages of 17 and 22. Remembered driving through New Mexico, en route from Minneapolis to LA, in the middle of the night, listening to Sonic Youth Evol, buzzed on the trucker speed that came with the van I was driving, overjoyed and scared shitless, because I had graduated from school the week before and now my life was wide open for me to really fuck up.
They left behind magic stuff I could not take: a collection of choir robes, a steamer trunk, ladders, a bag of butterscotch chips, raincoats and a curtain made from a wedding dress found in the trash. I did get a drawer, a tiara, some potted violets, all their tea, rice, garbonzo beans and nutmeg nuts, a collection of tiny jars they had painted the words "true love" on to and the backdrop from one of Roby's puppetshows that takes place in a foriegn land -- it's a handsewn tapestry of a downtown with a big red velvet castle. I was tempted, but I did not take their collection of corks.
I will miss them terrible, Rjyan and Roby, especially come summer, come bike weather. I will miss watching them being halves of the great thing they have become. I do not begrudge them the sudden move, as sometimes you just have to go. Sometimes you have to bail to the coast, even if you reason is "We want a bigger apartment with more sun light, for the plants and the cats."
I am prone to judgemental incredulousness, but you know, after spending the last three weeks rewiring my nervous circuitry trying to do and undo my un-understanding of the first three Dinosaur Jr albums, to spend hours on the phone with my editor editing, teasing out the love and turning my pockets inside out over their work, only to find out three hours later those motherfuckers are reuniting to play late night TV (link c/o SFJ). This makes me feel like I just fell for the "I'm sensitive/misunderstood" ploy the skeeziest boy in the school, and wound up with crabs and a Lowenbrau-fueled hangover.
I am disgusted by your gross trick, this wack made-for-TV shenanigan that suddenly makes your re-issues seem nefarious. Please return to your marginal solo careers and ride into the sunset, so we can at least still respect you, rather than watch you felate the corpse of your own legacy on national TV.
Jessica H, age 28
I knew during World Burns To Death I would not make it. I had seen 17 bands in the last 10 hours. I only had to make it through two more. Two more. Career Suicide who were "rumoured" to be awesome, and Riisteyt, the only band I had ever actually heard before, and who I was half-excited to see as their name sounds like a European breakfast cereal, though apparently they are THEE Finnish hardcore band, going strong since '82... I made it four songs into Career Suicide, the only band I was expecting to be good, the carrrot in front of my horse since noon... and it just did not happen. I needed a reason to believe (that's not a reference to straight edge hardcore band Reason To Believe), and I found no reason (again, not a reference to HXC band of same name). I felt like Shackleton, in the Anarctic, sans the pony-guides... I had to turn back... for the good of the ship.
World Burns To Death put me over the edge, they broke me. WBTD were scary looking (Samhain/gayleatherbar) and scary acting, singer was really prisonrage/FTW/failed suicide energy drink, and they sounded like old testament God splitting the earth into two halves. Which was a good thing ( good being relative) as I had just sat through 14 identical-sounding bands, which was a sea of 1984's punk money shots, and X'd up hands point at screaming heads -- all kabuki, no charisma to charm to beguile.
The other band that did not sound like that being Municipal Waste, who sounded like Septic Death and DRI, with a touch of Iron Maiden's queer mystique. They were kind of wacky, which was totally welcome and appreciated. The singer wore chaps and the rest of the band wore spandex bike shorts, despite being really rugged, ragged, dreadlocked crusties. The set started with one of the omnificent weird/costumed French dudes (I'll post pictures later) dressed as Jesus, stage diving... with a nine foot plywood cross. Then, Jesus and his cross got in to the 60-dude-strong high velocity circle pit. In trying to get pictures, I had to stand on the edge of the pit, which was the most scared I have been in a while. I felt like I was standing on the median of I-94.
The other 16 bands, again, were interchangable - except some singers did SOA-style Rollins, some did pre-Rollins Black Flag, and others did "feral dog", with the exception Hit Me Back who were all Latino, had songs in spanish and brought gymnastics springboards on stage to facilitate stagediving. They were from Albany ( I think thats what they said?) and they sounded a little like Los Crudos. Latino-punk was out in real force today. Which means, for a hardcore fest of 400 kids, maybe about 40-50 audience, and two all latino-bands. (Yesterday, there were four black kids in the audience, two in bands. Today there was two in the audience.)
A band that was staffed by 40 yr old guys who were still down for, uh, jamming econo and never leaving the 1980 Rock-Against-Reagan incubator in which they spent their teen years, a band known as The State, had the most casually offensive in between song banter of the day, equating "the war in Iraq" with "our war in the streets." I have a really hard time buying that the most volatile moments of the "punks vs. skins" scene war of greater St. Louis even comes close to say, Fallujah on a Tuesday morning. I expressed my disgust by saying "WHAT?!" loudly, in an indignant tone, to no one in particular, then continuing to read the Dan Rather profile in The New Yorker I brought with.
Oh, And I checked, I checked. It's not that I'm not too old to get hardcore, totes not just me syndrome. I asked my fest friend Shawn, who sings in New Hampshire hardcore band Bad Business, and is 24, and he said "Aside from being in this band, I hate everything about hardcore. All these bands are the same, the politics are totally unrealized - it's all false awareness." He then went back to crochetting the brown scarf he had started working on the day before.
I interviewed a lot of kids today, kids that took the bus 22 hours to attend, or drove from Huntsville, AL - where every hardcore kid in the state knows each other personally and they routinely go to shows in trailers, other kids who came from Bogota and France and Japan, kids from places where they were stoked they could walk around Chicago without getting harrassed for being punk... it really had me grateful for punk and hardcore and fests and bands that sell their records on cassettes for two bucks... but I just was not connecting on anything beyond "the punk idea" - we'll see if the highly touted FUCKED UP changes my opinion tomorrow.
The Stuck In Rehab with Pat O Brien blog we're loving. Link c/o Fitted Sweats.
Mini update from day one Chicago Fest:
0. I do not know if it that I am so old that all punk rock sounds the same, or if it really does all sound the same, especially given the Radio Shack boombox fidelity of the PA.
1. I need to wear all black and get a smaller notebook. I think the kids think I am a narc.
2. Need to either bring less cash or a bigger bag, and possibly my own folding chair. I practically herniated myself lugging around dinner, a water, my journalistic supplies, and my stash of a Kylesa 12" (gold vinyl, Pushead cover!), handscreened art poster of 3 baby buffalo, a button that says "MORE CLIT IN THE PIT" ("thats disgusting!" said Julianne), a zine compilation of girls outside America writing about sexism in hardcore, a $3 sleeveless t shirt with a Lichtenstein inspired graphic with a man saying to a woman "Look, Kitten, I don;t give a damn what you think. If I say I am a FEMINIST, then, by God, I am one!" - which makes no sense to me at all, a CD of headliners TO WHAT END? ( on the Crimes Against Humanity label, out of Eau Claire, WI) - who were from Sweden and sounded like Tragedy and had a girl singer with a voice like an air raid siren, and the MAYBE CHICAGO? comp on Criminal Record with all your fave locals like The Tyrades, Functional Blackouts, Twat Vibe, Vee Dee. I got all of that for about $26. God bless anarchist collective distros that run on a fifty-cent mark up.
3. I wish Belinda Bedekovic was headlining. She should totally be touring with Interpol and the Faint and blowing it out the frame.
I have eleven stories to tell you, but I cannot find my phone, and then once I do find it, I have to go be at a show which starts in 2 hours and does not end until 8 pm on Sunday, at which time I must "file my report". I will be in the jungle ( actually the Pulaski Park fld house), "on assignment", am trying to write about all 46 bands playing Chicago Fest . I do these things because, you, like me, are wondering about trends in punk patches, what the difference between the Fuck Ups and Fucked UP is (dude, not the F-Ups, this is not Warped Tour), and if Weekend Nachos is as good as their name might imply. So, what I am saying is: I will not be at Lungfish, I will not be blogging, you will not see me at church tonight, I will be at the hardcore fest with a lawnchair, a steno notebook and a backpack with homepacked lunches and vegan snacks, making friends (or, if we are talking "reality": enemies) with the kids at the fest. I am totes excited. See you soon. Have a great weekend. BFF. W/B. XOXO JH
My review of The Evens for City Pages is up.
The DJ booth was built for the Euro-trained and those who can manage 3 tables and a mixer like a 747 steering console. Miles is up in my favela hut helping me dig the crate, always looking ginsu with his Gay-Crip-T.Rex-roadie-rodeo look, fetching my requests for "water, lite on the ice" in exchange for the drink tixx I never use anyway. He is a concious co-pilot, watching the road, so I can check the map "The girl gang is dancing now, you should go with the Technotronic or with Jigga" or after I went with M.O.P " Oh.. oh! Yep, I think you lost them. M.O.P. is too black for these fucking white peoples... well, Fuck em!" - as he reaches over me and turns up the gain, throwing his hands up, hollering along 'bout "your life or your jewels?!".
I forgot, until Miles flyered me, Binoculars (#2 in the streets!) is slotted with our usual uphill holiday weekend slot at the Bottle this week. You missed us day after Halloween, day after Thxgvg, day after motherfunking Xmas and now, now! NOW! here is yr chance to enjoy the ass end of Holy Week with us. Thats right -- A Very Special Binoculars Easter, this Sunday at the Empty Bottle. Miles is threatening to dress as Jesus. I will be spinning direct from a basket filled with shredded plastic grass. Hot times. Hot times. Three hot girls we flyered swore they would show up get drunk and dance. There is your incentive!
1. I know I say it every week, but the Harold Washington Public Library downtown is #1 in my heart. I checked out a Pauline Kael lecture series/documentary (issued by South Carolina's PBS station) on VHS, N. Young and Crazy Horse records I don't have and Chicago 60's gospel reissues on some french import label, and plus the cute latina punk girl at the A/V counter was playing The Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" much louder than one should expect for the library. The library is en fuego.
2. Teensation rapper/dj Juiceboxx just emailed me his reviews for the next Hit it or Quit it, which were hubba hubba and verbose-explosive, and I found myself asking "why is Juiceboxxx working at subway and not running XXL? Oh wait, he's in high school! DUH." Anyhow, in case yr wondering if the Get Wacky danceparty in Milwaukee was as bizzerk as I hyperb'd it as - click and scroll down to see it's dork majesty unfurl . Note: the 60 yr old dude with coins on his eyes was the middle DJ, and the kid with the afro and the purple paper track suit is half of Team Wacky w/ J-bx.
I am indulging heavily on this new Oneida album that JagJaguWar sent. It's fascinating. I cannot tell whether they are down the rabbit hole for real and if so, if the mandolin death trip/Riders on The Storm is a statement against or a statement for. For/Against what? Braided leather wall hangings, moral gravity, forgetting your dealer's pager number are my best guesses.
It sounds like hippies in the forest coming down off of speed heavily cut with Borax. Ripping on early Spirit, but with lyrics copped from Dennis Cooper's office-use-only blog, with eeiry howling about watching someone you care about piss in Prospect Park (for the first time), braiding pubic hair and keeping yr drugs close at hand, foggy movement, unreality. It's a fragged, jammy mess that tries for "feeling good, infinte now, vibes" but is "bad trip, Death Valley, fucked a flaming skull and the skull was God." They could also be mocking the Brooklyn reclaimative beard-o neo-hippie school, or they might be trying to join in it, but overshooting it entirely with this morbid sizzlean Gentle Giant leather vest intent to deal vultures with marimbas shit. There is no glamour, no sex appeal, not enough wink wink nudge nudge to get any bearing - it's crisis making if yr trying to get the Oneida true north. The feel bad record of the spring, or the soundtrack for the week that finally sends you off to rehab. Well done Oneida!
Anyhow, what are you doing tonight? Are you living in Chicago? GOOD! You in posession of 5? EXCELLENT, cos I am djing 10:30-11:30 at Sonoteque, 1444 Chicago, for the Version fest benefit. See you there. I'll be the one with cat hair on my sweater and the crate of german minimal techno and Ashanti 12"s.
After my 226 hours of required critical listening to Dinosaur Jr in the last week, I am stalled at 900 words of hubba hubba overview for Ye Olde Chicagoe Readre, which is roughly, half way. Plus, the first 500 words were about me, my braces, my adoulescent unsexuality. The following 374 words are about solos. I might talk about Lou's hair on the back of the debut, which is just like that of my step-aunt, Pat, who lives in St Paul and works for 3M. It's very lady gym teacher casual, totes matches arch-support nurse shoes Lou borrowed from his mom. I will make fun on their hair and then discuss sexism for another 500 words and then peace out with some jokes. Being a "rock journalist" for real is hard work. Do not let anyone fool you otherwise.
Ahem, but in way more pressing news Teeter bids us farewell on today's installment of Fuck You Pay Me with a stellar round of pictorial ( keep scrolling down for full effect). While Gerard Cosloy pops the Cris in celebration, I totes wanna get some varnish and make perma-tear droplets running down over my cheeks to symbolize my sadness of the loss of FYPM. Teeter is now dedicating her talents full time with benefits to her latest endeavor with her platonic life partner, the inimitable Tizzy Saurez St. Germaine, DateXEdge their "anti-dating youth movement". Hurumphf.
Amy Phillips goes breathless over LCD and Sleater here.
You can also watch it all unfold on Cobrasnake SXSW which is full of Mean Reds semi-nudes, publicists in low cut hubba hubba, mass beardos, nipples, tennis fashion, Tommie Sunshine as Moses in Gucci glasses and pictures galore of people you and I know - totes drunk and en route hooking up with people that are totes not their boyfreind/grlfrnd - SCANDY!
( Top 8 Things I think when I browse cobrasnake: 1. I should shave my head 2. I should move into the woods 3. those girls will ugly up fast if they do not get sober 4. Oh, look - Har Mar enjoying a hot dog 5. Oh, look it's those suicide girls Sean introduced me to 6. I am very very old, I am from the Mesozoic Era, I was born of the back of a dinosaur. 7. Oh Look! Cali trimmed his beard 8. I will never ever live in California again)
I was going to post a post linking to all the voracious bloggersteins who detailed their SXSW go-downs, but I think it was summed up best by young dun Catchdubs, who quipped about spotting notorious a certain VH-1 soldja/Rolling Stone cryptkeeper:
"Yo, David Fricke, your pants are mad tapered".
Though, kudos to David Fricke for being bold enough to rock Dorothy Hammill's hair-do, which is the haircut I have always wanted but as it is look that says "I don't fuck, I collect china dolls" so I have never ventured.
A friend and I are making a 5 copies only zine that is nothing but explicit detailing of fantasy that ping pongs in your head all day long, and so we have often been discussing them and trading stories of where fantasy is taking us these days. Not like... fantasy as in like, Gael Garcia Bernal hanging out in my driveway in a baby pool of butterscotch pudding telling me knock knock jokes in Spanish, but as in what my friend and I discussed this evening:
I was in the car today, and something happened, I forget, and I started fantasizing about if I died in a car accident, who would eulogize at my funeral --
In mine, the ex-boyfriends I hate are always beside themselves with remorse and beyond being consoled, and people are apologizing to my parents for being such dicks, and I watch, vindicated, in heaven.
Yeah, in mine, quiet mousy people I know get up on the pulpit and eulogize me and say things like "this is an outrage!" and every friend, as well as casual acquaintances, break down and admit that they had always loved me and regret not trying to be with me when they had the chance. Then shortly after my death, you and XXXXX and all my professors band together and get my blog turned into a book --
-- And you are posthumously accepted as a literary genius? Oh, Me too, that's my favorite part.
And like, every email I have ever written is mined and about to be turned into a book, and then suddenly, there is some outrage -- someone objecting saying you don't have the rights -- and all my professors rally together and fight for it because the world needs and deserves my genius.
I have that one, too, except I become a Bukowski like figure, and new books of my unpublished work come out, like, 28 of them, due entirely to public demand. Then, I am named poet laureate, even though I am dead.
Oh, Of course!
Miranda July's Me, You and All of Our Friends , which I saw a mere 5 hours ago, for the first time, is easily and without any hesitation, one of my three favorite films of all time.
It is also the funniest film I have ever seen (yes, ever) - and then towards the end I mini-cried at four seperate scenes, and wanted to barf twice due to overwhelming emotion around identifying with the loneliness of the main characters.
All of that makes it sound like some real emo-manipulation is at hand ala Lars Von Trier. But it's just a movie-length extention of her other work and her illustration of absolute humanity. As Roger Ebert said of it, the other night, "it's a movie in love with it's characters". I think the closest line to draw is Paul Thomas Anderson/Todd Solondz in terms of "theme" and narrative arrangement, two directors whom I find panderingly ironic and emotionally pornographic, but both of them exploit the banality and awkwardness of human failing - places where Miranda treads - BUT! - Miranda comes at it with this Euopean sense of naturalness, treating the characters with so much tenderness, rather than a Californian/ Joel Peter Witkin-ish male sense. She comes at it with a feminist compassion. Unlike Solondz or Anderson,adoulescent sexuality is turned inside out rather than just turned out, and flung on you. She does not give into the American temptation to titilate or scandalize it, but treats it unobtrusively, quietly - she does not even paw it it, she just presents it in all it's grody mysterious weirdness, and you are immediately plunged into the primordial tarpit of 15 for a few raw moments.
Also, there is not any sort of moral application put to the fucked up, the needy, the perverted which stock/stalk the entire film. It is just people being -- both gloriously & unspectacularly.
The entire meta-text is a comment about desire. Maybe not a comment, but a poem. Every person in the movie needs something: an art show, constuctive feedback on a blow-job, a reconsilable marriage, a romantic love interest that is their own age, better judgement, classic home furnishings, a gold fish that will live. It is all about our peculiar orbits and desperation and curiousity and modern American sexualization and the truth in art and the truth in non-romantic love and the nessesscity of illusion for romantic love. Oh, and there is hope streaking through the whole thing. Not forceful, not hope writ large, but gracefully riding tandem with all the banked desperation and need. It was all as beautiful and fitfully awkward as being alive is normally, but with the frost of cinematic splendor.
It is not out until June or July in theatres. You would be tragically remiss if you do not see it and see it a half dozen times. I swear this to you on my cat's life and a stack of copies of Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Best best best best best best best.
Do not forget, at 5, today, Saturday, Miranda July's feature length movie is playing at the Chicago Cultural Center, for free. Thats at Washington and Michigan. Come by after you finish protesting the war, or after you get done returning yr library books, or off yr shift at Old Navy. Art is important - come see the movie, it will help you make sense of things that baffle you. Plus, I will be there, and we can share the experience.
Not really trying. Just quiet by natural.
How did you get so dirty?
I was laying in dirt.
Everything got too loud, I had to lay down some.
Morning was all people trying to make my acquaintance. too much.
I wish I had the stamina, or sweet grace to call upon.
Just singing songs outdoors and walking .
canzoni per la gente persa
We're supping on revisionist history.
& not calling anything by it's right name.
Discussion topic for next your local meeting of Teatime with Angry Feminists Dudes and Ladies: Use, signifigance and concepting of rainbows in relation to or signifier of feminist liberation fantasy/ ironic commentary/ utopian liberation aesthetic / within the work of modern female artists (Mary Timony of Helium, artists Nancy Spero, Ntozake Shange, Judy Chicago, Le Tigre's video projections, Kiki Smith, Barbara Aubin ). Holler at me if anyone has links to thesis', articles, insight or personal theories on this.
It's way the fuck into next week, but you should plan ahead, it will give you something to look forward to. I will be playing the Amerie 12" approximately 4 times in a row, and then a bunch of German shit that will make you want to hump the ground. Thats all I will say for now. Version Fest is always a guerilla polemixx blitzkreig where every event ends in impromtu dancing in the streets, riots on rooftops and nudity a-poppin. Past Versions were the closest I have come to being arrested in a long time (demonstrating, loud PA's, parading w.o permit etc),2003's Version "thong party" - an event I attended by accident - is still etched, or rather burnt, deeply deeply burnt, into my memory. Hopefully this event will be the same sort of ass-o-plenty dance-a-thon!
Version Fest fundraiser / War News release party
March 23, 9pm
Sonotheque 1444 W Chicago Ave.
$5-10 suggested donation
Join us for an evening of regeneration and serious dance party action on the
first day of Spring!
DJ Charlie and the Americas feat. Ken the Explorer & Coco Le Roq & Dj Logan Bay & DJ Rotten Milk
First phone call came in at 7:53 am. Thats someone in central time, calling to central time. How are people at SXSW up that early anyhow, espesh when they were up eating corndoggies and tequilla worms at 4:14 with some bands with boners who mistakenly believe that the free meals, the fluffing and the business cards mean something? 7:53 ay-em calls to my cell phone!? Offish Music Business people must forget: I am an independent contractor. Being awake at 8 is one of those habits of highly effective VP of regional marketing types. Or people who's commute to work does not consist of walking into the living room in "work jammies" and tapping the powerbook awake.
Anyhow, the people calling, they are calling about the little girls I work with. The people calling, well, they do things like dramatically pause after saying "Well, actually, I manage Bon Jovi." A casual pause where industry suck-ass protocol dictates yr supposed to flatter them or go "wow, reeelly?!" or comment on the incredible frosted highlights Jon has been rocking in his Oprah shaped man-mane as of late. I left him hanging on that one "Ok." was the extent of my answer. I still have the same mean punk girl blood coursing since forever, and I really really delight in telling people "We're not interested", though I stop short of suggesting only the slimiest industry cockhorse would have the mandacity to try and sign 7th graders to a six record deal and you know, PS, I am still asleep and yr interuppting my special morning time with all my favorite NPR radio personalities telling me about Rwanda right now, so please, please, if you would not mind terribly -- piss off.
Tonight, after refusing a "Do You Want To Spend Eternity in HEAVEN or HELL?!" chick tract from some jehovah bent folks outside the downtown library, for two blocks, a kid followed me with copies of the pamphlets in hand swearing at me for not taking them. At first I was like "Am I imagining this, or is there an 11 yr old walking five steps behind me muttering "what up, bitch? why din't you take a pamphlet? you can just ignore him like that? huh, Be-itch." I finally stopped and turned to look at him and he was still muttering and I asked him "Excuse me?" - like, curious "excuse me?", not like panelist on Maury about to rip someone's weave out "excuse me?!" -- and he gets loud, looks me up and down: "Yes, excuse you bitch! What, you don't want one of these? You don't need one? Think you can just keep walking?" - he says as he moves up right next to me. He is not even up to my shoulders, and I am 5'5. I have no idea where to begin to address what is going on, like, is the kid going to fight me or should I explain that I did not take a heaven/hell pamphlet, because despite identifying as a Christian (I know, being Jewish would be cooler ), and being stoked and actively celebrating Holy Week, that I am more a jesus-y bon vivant, and do not believe in the binary ideal of heaven/hell as something we experience in death, but rather something experienced as we live, and despite that being a murky place to tread, my idea on it is clear and so I do not need the pamphlet? I mean, I think the kid could have understood the jagged dicotomy of my personal theology - after all he was a 4th grade evangelist addressing an adult stranger as "bitch". Before I could say anything at all he snickers at me and says "Bitch!" once again for good measure, and then, mysteriously, turned and walked into a shoe store that only sells women's high heels - something I am still processing.... Like, are the jehovahs farming work out to children? Or was this something he took on himself, like some born-again independent contractor? Where did he learn to ape the cocky bravado of a drunk 28 yr old? Did he go into the shoe store to hand out rapture pamplets to bitches buying pumps, or does his mom work there, or is it a secret home base for his operation?
I doubt I will ever know.
I left feeling like I had bees for blood, swarming my heart, and swamping my arteries. Like, last year, when Sasha and Julianne and Crackamanica and I were all acting drunk over dinner, pounding the table about how M.O.P.'s avenue detonator "Ante Up" makes you feeling like you could fuck a brick wall, maybe the same way as Bad Brains "Pay To Cum" - it's all sex, destruction, chaos and creation - blistering creation/petite mort/punching a hole to the center of the universe as one inspiration force jacking the world straight from it's axis... well, Miranda July's body of work is the same, but kick in a little bit of feminist pride and -- something a little less primal and more chewy. Like being nourished by the font of artistic purity. Her films, her gawky-grace, her funny-troo stories all communicating the truth that cannot be spoken any other way, and sweet like a kiss, like a wink, like a note passed. The sap of which is the natural awkwardness of humanity, people's unflappable weirdness -- little movies comprised of the things that they always leave out of films and TV, but you can glimpse if you watch a lot of community cable access, or take the subway. Rather than peeping through the keyhole at "the weirdness" (as a tie-wearing man in the audience put it), it's splayed. Not exploited, not niched and used as titallating bait - but with this joyous acceptance, rather than some Todd Solondz creepy irony, some post 90's nothing shocking schlock. Imbuing adult characters with awkwardness we believe is left in childhood, but it's still there, just suppressed by banality and fear - and she takes it and put's it gentley into the daylight, as if to say "Isn't this great?"
She's got a furiously deep mind, but her work still stays so open, so accessible - despite being fundamentally experimental. She was funny and self-depreciating, and the woman seated behind me mused to her friend "Do you think she is performing, or do you think she is always like this?" Which I thought was such a strange thing to wonder because her art - audio, visual, film, performance and writing - is all branching from this same place, and it's all visceral and natural - the uniformness of it's aesthetic and it's fundamental themes are all clearly coming from within her . That's not the sort of thing people can conjur and calculate. It either exists or it does not, and from Miranda July, it radiates at a trillion watts.
Roger Ebert introduced her, and spoke of how he saw her film on accident at Sundance, and it was his favorite film of the festival. He melted over her work like so much butter, genuflecting at the feet of her work -- I mean, genuinely wowed by it. He even did one of the assignments off Learning to Love You More and held it up at the end of his talk. He was so reverent, and funny and careful in his honoring of her -- it was really moving. It is nice to see someone like Miranda, who came, perhaps sideways, or perif, from Riot Girl, able to translate and genesize that feminism, that love, that Olympia/Portland DIY fever, into this gorgeously funny, deep and invigorating body of multi-media work.
According to Miranda July dot com, her debut feature, which won best experimental at Sundance 05, is going to see national distribution this summer. Meanwhile it screens - furr frrree! - here in Chi-town at the Cultural Center (Michigan & Washington) Saturday afternoon, and then at festivals through the spring.
I got nominated for an a-ward! I got nominated for an a-ward! By the Chicago branch of the Society of Professional Journalists, for my Warped Tour cover story I did for the Chicago Reader in the "arts criticism" category.
I'm totes not lying, here is the internet proof. Kiki says I get to go to the ceremony/rubber chicken dinner to boot. Brushing against legitimacy can be intoxicating, even when it might just mean a free din-din with the flacks from the Sun Times in the banquet room at the Westin Downtown.
I hope I win.
The last thing I remember* winning was the coveted post of "most unique" - as voted by my jr. high classmates at Lake Country Montessori Learning Environment. I did not carry the distinction alone, but rather, tied with the janitors son, Nathan. Who wore a grey sweat suit every day. Who smelled like cold cuts. For him "Most Unique" was really on the money, as he was the rashiest and scrubbiest out of all the cities son's and daughters of founding fathers and CFOs that attended our tawny jr. high. "Most Unique," for me, was a special prize given, perhaps, as a thank you for being best friends with the school slut so the rest of the kids did not have to dig our social leper scenes.
This is way more exciting than "most unique"!
(*1991-97 are a complete blur. I may have won some shit then.)
We showed up late, straggling, bedraggled and jus' chillin. I will buy you that beer if you let me have as many cigarettes as I please and you laugh at my everwrong story. Simple equation. We missed the signs up, but managed to make it to the right night indeed, and Q and Not U were spinning, and we were hung with Chris and Harris' taste in home made t shirts and mom-styled sweatshirts: Chris's read: "DC in Purple Flames" and Harris, his sweat shirt had a puffypaint tiger on it. They dropped much baltimore house, the like of which no record store in this city bins up on, and then things that sound good club loud, like "Happy People" or "My Neck, My Back" done minimal tech style, all the bumps too crunkulated for a burnished wood sushi-serving bar that reserves weeknights for offshift wait staff and local alka-scrubs, and weekends for urban upscale date grind and people who do not beef with $12 appetizers.
We never really talked about anything much at all, aside from how pleased we were to be in each others company, all accidental. We complimented each others haircuts and bonded over our love of powerfunk and B96 trash jams, Chris was as ever that DC polite, I was sir snaps-a-lot, Miles was drinking on an empty stomach. Just holding out for spring miracles and things make sense, you know, just keeping company til then.
Back in NY for the 22nd time, and on the nicest couch yet, courtesy of the lady filmmakers who brought me here to talk in their emo documentary. Full time foil, part time shill - I'm always glad to go on the record and fly for free. NYC is still on my breath from 2 weeks ago, my compass still works, I am unfettered by it's pacing now. Due to being here on someone else's beckon, rather than business, or personal, or anything of my own need, the rudder is up - I can float sans plan, from the N or the R to the 6 downtown, from Carroll Gardens across the bridge and up FDR at 3 am, wondering if the toxic fish in the shit-fume river can "feel" cold and if they panic, or if they can remember the winter before and take solace in the coming spring and summer.
When I would come here back when I was a barely post-teen sprout, I did not feel choice in letting the city consume you, I felt like I had been drunk up into the belly. Initially, there was no comfort in it. Now, I love the equanimity, the deep embrace where you get lost in the folds, making like some botanical aggregate -- an organic mass teeming in unison: the camo'd toddlers rocketing up the avenues in their plasti-sheathed strollers, the 15 yr old boricuan girl on the Brooklyn-bound L running her long nails down her boyf's back while he attempts to harvest her virginity between stops, women on Sunday parade pinching poodles in the armpits of their fur coats on 86th, the long suffering staff writers drowning the hustle struggles with the beleagured 'sisstants siddled tight to mahogany bar tops deep into the week night, the enforceful stewards piloting the elevator at the Met killing weekends shuttling one floor up one floor down for eight hours at a go.
It is not my city, but sometimes I kiss it back.
Working backwards from now, I ate pudding with both meals today, took the train 11 times in 42 hours, lapped an easy quart of decaf mochas, tested out the bevy sweet smelling shampoos of my hosts shower, went to a NY muesuem for the first time ever and saw the Arbus exhibit where her suicide gets exactly and only one sentence of acknowledgement "On July 26th, she committed suicide", laughed the wrong way at the Falun Gong prisoner-reenactment in Union Square with sweatsuited and dramaticly sad folks in cardboard constrcution cages, had a drunk dude almost fight me at the Juiceboxx show because I did not want to converse with someone who was wasted and flicking brandied spit on my face , saw Juiceboxx redefine raw power, saw Airbrains play the most ironic set of ironic "electro" that was 9o% wacky outfit and 10% puppeting of signifiers of ironic ideas delivered with mock enthusiasm, met penpal Megan who was Hey 19 art school cute clad in all lavender and had a mouthful of goldfronts and tattoos of a bandaid and a bike on her leg, did a two hour interview for someone's film on two hours sleep making easy jokes about eyeliner'd emo bands and was thankfully not asked to reconcile my personal war with eem after years of repping At The Drive In, Promise Ring, Get Up Kids, Braid, Onelinedrawing, Alkaline Trio and Jimmy Eat World (Really, sorry bout that... but, honestly, I was only the lamaze coach on that whole thing.)
I hit the trail home tomorrow. Word to Manhattan and all the boroughs.
These are the things I have to tell you, well, more suggest than anything:
If you are feeling generous of spirit and wallet - for a mere $379.00 you can hook me up with a subscription to Journal of Pragmatics because the complimentary articles are not enough. I think I would only need a year subscription though, because the ivory-tower speak slows me, and a year subscription would def keep me busy until 2009.
Second-wise, I am in NYC tomorrow, and J-Shep and I are going to be hitting the Juiceboxx show , and you should come out and support the precocious teen-rap stee, Milwaukee's new wonder. Not to be real publicista about it, esp. considering I have only seen Juiceboxx DJ and not rap, but so far everything the kid dones is 1000-proof blowing it out the framework. Plus, you can say hi and powerchill with me and J-Shep. I just got a haircut today, and it's way less skaterat/"greasy Conor" than intended, andmuch more on this Ron Wood 1980 level that's totes not punk and asexual enough for me. So just look for a bad haircut, and I will be under it.
Lastly, my long standing grudge against Dinosaur Jr's consumate boy-dom via fetishized virtuosity and lyrical laissez-faire as signifier of everything I came to become alienated by in white male indie rock (we're talking the bedrock seeding implimentation that was tandem with the "revolution girl style now" / Oly Wa primalist "Love Rock" embrace c. 92-94) -- well it's crumbling under the weight of retrospection. Without recent listening to You're Living All Over Me, Bug or even Green Mind , it's hard to believe what Thurston said about J Mascis (being capable of) inspiring re: a Teenage Riot, but in the light of the first fuzzed out wah-wah womb of "Little Fury Things" -- it's enough to give you blisters it's so scorching. All the sudden, Magnet Magazines legion of 89-94 nostalicon critics starts making all the sense in the world, and visions of a back-lit J, hair waving like some low-mast flag, arcs of scree'd solo reposessing yr pulse while he lays into "Budge", jamming against that relentless bastardized hxc 1-2 beat, all nasally white soul building into an admittedly sisiphysian vocal harmony, well, it feels like love. Mascis' posession of anti-star power was perfectly converse to his posession of rhapsodizing talent.
Boutique T-shirt lines are the new bedroom singles labels, this one > is all polemical rather than obstuse anti-fash, courtesy of the former rock dude/current comparitive lit professor, Blake Schwarzenbach - launching with the beguilingly non ironic "I HEART IRAQ" t in multiple sizes.
There is some thing casually mortifying about this that made me watch it three times in a row.
I think it's the way she looks around, and half asses all her tricks 3/4ths of the way through, or maybe it's that she is singing along. Maybe it's that you can smell how self aware she is through the computer.
Tonight, I devirginized a teenage girl. I was her first car accident.
Her parents were outta town and she was cruising round the mall-zone in their Lexus SUV. Totes sweet. She kept telling the cop, tear-eyed, that she could only half-way open her door in a tone of voice that implied she wanted justice, like I should be arrested. She kept asking me "Didn't you see me?" I used my politest, most indoor voice to explain that if I had seen her, I would not have driven in to her. While we waited for the police, she sat parked next to us, fitfully crying and resting her head, dramatically, on the steering wheel. I do not know why she was so upset, she'll get grounded, and I will be the one having to pay a grand for a new sidepanel for her 'rents.
My car is garbaged and crunkled on the entire span of the passenger side. Miles, who could only say "whoa, whoa", as we mushed up to the other vehicle, has sweetly offered to cover the lacey-scraped damage by detailing, with auto-paint markers "a pride of lions, on a mountain-top, looking magestic". I bought him a six dollar meal at Denny's, as an apology for put his life in danger and potential down-payment for lion rendering.
First off, before it was time to talk to the eager froshes of DePaul University about "women in ze music biz", I inexplicably drank two cups of coffee, the first caffeine I have had in two years. I stuck by my mantra of "no fighting with audience or fellow panelists" but I think I sounded like I had just done a 30 foot rail of speed. Secondly, teenagers are genius. They are unebbingly awkward and have no time for any adult's bullshit. They have elaborate discourse and theories on the Omaha-scene-myth versus debunking Conor Oberst's talent in the daylight -- "Why is Spin Magazine so on his dick? Why do they keep saying he is the greatest songwriter of my generation? He's not! Everything I read is like "He's Bob Dylan! He's drunk!" Give me some insight that will make me care!" - said the sophmore sage. I was like "Totes. Totes." They asked me why thirty year old musician dudes are always dating their friends who are 19 and stupid, and does that creep me out like that creeps them out. Yes. It does. They asked me if all guys in bands are like that. I said, some but, it more has to do with being a 30 year old dude in an emo band, or maybe just being a 30 year old man in America, I was not sure. They told me about being treated like groupies at every internship they have had, and asked me what they can do so that the men they work for stop flirting with them and take them seriously. I did not know where to start with that one. They asked how when they are booking a show, and the promoter calls them honey, how do they deal with it, without pissing him off cos they need to get bands into that venue. They told me stories I had already lived a decade ago, and it was depressing. They gave me all the brownies I could eat, firm handshakes and I headed home. Huzzah to the ladies of DePaul Career Fest 2005 and their fighting spirit.
For those with $40 to spare, here is yr reason to come hang out in Chi-boogie: CHICAGO FEST 2005 March 25th - 27th ! -- All the best, best crappy and best, best amazing punk bands in the whole midwest and beyond are playing. Plus, on Sunday night line up is totally comical: Fucked Up /I Accuse / I Object / My Revenge /Punch In the Face. Riisteyt are on Saturday -- I only know who they are because my old asst. only listened to european burn-core and left it in my iTunes - they are totes scary!, Plus, on Saturday, show starts at noon and there are about 22 bands playing -- the best-worst named band ever, Weekend Nachos headline. Oh, and the whole thing is at a Pulaski Park Field House, which is not terribly far from my house. We could ride bikes to the show together! I love punk fests! There is always a table that is only selling patches, and patches are ever only a dollar tops, and every band playing only has seven inches out, and they are only selling the seven inches for $2.25, or a four-way split 10", so for $7, you can totally clean up and get records by every band playing. Come to the punk fest with me!
Hold Steady last night was all hi-fives to the crowd and kids shotgunning beer on stage during the encore. The girls did not know not to pop the top, and so they just drank them fast. It's one of those classic gender barriers - like girls can never make a decent "gun noise" - they just say POW, while most dudes can make the machine gunning sound no problem. But Hold Steady were, as always, America's finest party band, and between song banter was as crucial as the songs themselves -- Craig provided a health warning about never shot gunning red wine in a funnel because a guy who knew in high school did it and fell into a bush and cut his eye. I also realized, as they were playing, the strange resemblance Craig bares/bears (?) to Glen Humplik . Kids from Ybor City and Brookline screamed when the songs of terrible parties in thier terrible towns came on, and when Craig asked the audience "Anyone here from Edina?" three kids yelled really enthusiastically, which means they were not actually from Edina, but just psyched to scream, to connect with their favorite band, because no one would actually hoot aloud when asked to rep for Edina, even if they were drunk and high.
Craig did his great moves, the kind that look like he's working out some minor fracture after falling off the monkey bars. Tad being a dad has gotten him strung on some Bible Camp look, effete scarfing and general hirsuteness. He and Bobby were massaging each others hands before they played, helping each other limber up, making back stage seem more like a little league dug out.
To whomever got to this blog by googling "what girls shouldn't do to their boyfriends" -- you are in the right place. Just keep reading.
1. I am about four epochs late catching the John Darnielle bus, as I realized this afternoon, I like his writing .
2. My brain is being teabagged by my vivid, best left forgotten high school memories (Sorry, I had to use a cringe-worthy analogy to really punch it home.) It started yesterday with Britt blogging about a prom I didn't remember being at (I wasn;t there, I was playing a show, says Britt), and the 10th grade vietnam-of-puberty flashbacks continued on through today, as I am listening to the Dinosaur J reissues for hours at a go, for review assignment.
While every Dinosaur JR album up to & including Green Mind is a shimmery rainbow of amphetamine'd Rust Never Sleeps riffs made so hooky they never exit the skull once they enter, each one of those same albums is also inextricably tied to the memory of some nameless dude who never liked me back . Or, rather, a series of nameless dudes, all bound by their bell-shaped grunge hairstyles, unebbing devotion to J Mascis and polite disinterest in me.
I remember hanging out with a dude in the woods (what all young Minnesotans do for fun), whom I had met at a Dinosaur show. We had hung out a few times, and I was hoping our woodsventure was going to go into some romantic territory... you know, us two sitting there on a log, at dusk, staring at our matching Converse hi-tops, him regaling me every bit of J. Mascis related fact or gossip he had stored up in his brain for a full 90 minutes (a common indie-rock courting ritual of the day). Me, hoping that nodding attentively was enough to charm him, and make him forget what I was aware of in every spec of my DNA: That despite being 16 I easily passed for 12, that I had braces and that if I let him know I knew more about Dinosaur JR (or all of his favorite bands for that matter) than he did, that it would intimidate him and make him not want to hang out on this log with me, so it was best to act a little docile and try not to show my braces when I laughed.
Finally when his Dinologue ended, he confided to me, with a very purposeful drama, about how the summer before, his girlfriend broke up with him, and he tried to kill himself by taking 25 tylenols . After his ball-less OD attempt, he immediately realized he wanted to live and so he got his mom to take him to the emergency room, where they pumped his stomach. I think he thought that sharing some vulnerable moment would bridge the emotional boy-girl chasm between us, or that it woould further demonstrate he was a deep soul and not a secret jock. Instead, it just made me think he was a total pussy for taking so few aspirin, and a dick for scaring his parents. Everyone knows 25 aspirin will not kill you. If yr going to go through the trouble of the "cry for help suicide attempt" - take 50, throw in some of yr parents 'scrips - at least make it worth yr mom's frantic trip to the hospital. With that confession, all desire or ability to span time on that log and listen to him talk about why Dinosaur was better without Lou Barlow floated into the ether.
And so, now, we move onto Bug and continue to till the emotional swamp that hold all of 1991-92's missteps with socially stunted grunge loving virgins of the Twin Cities.
It's been a mere eight years, but I am back writing for City Pages. Here is my review of Black Mountain . Huzzah!
Rose from Poster Children is finishing up her masters, and her final project is that she is selling tickets to the sunset in several major citites. Through Ticketmaster. Watch her site for details. Tickets range from 3-16$ and all proceeds go to a good cause.
I am speaking at the DePaul University career fair, about "women in the music industry" Weds at 8pm or so at the student center. I will be espousing my always dour view that the "industry" is a terrible place for ladies, to the about-to-graduate-women of the music business program. I have given this talk to these same people four times in the last 2-3 years and they still keep having me back, but that might just be because I swear a lot and tell them about spending weeks on the Warped tour. The talk will be moderated by Deena Weinstein and also feature Elizabeth Elmore . I made a promise to myself not to let it devolve into a fight, but it still might be moderately interesting, as Elizabeth and I have diametrically opposing view points. It will be like Crossfire, but much duller, perhaps. If you cannot make it, my friend Cali is threatening to put out Hopper: Live from Career Fair in a limited edition of 20 on his vinyl label, True Love.
Secondly, I will be in NY this weekend 12th-14th, please RSVP my time for drive by eggings or roundtable discussions on diaspora and Petula Clark etc. I already have much of my time on reserve, as Julianne and I will be recording for our MP3 blog, which will actually just be our conversations, for the downloading.
Short asian girls of the 773 and 312 Kanye and Common are looking for you! P.S. The casting is open to persons with "disabilities" -- perhaps Kanye's messianic streak is going to new levels - I'd like to see the video where he heals a leper who touches the hem of his garment, then recieves a dutiful grinding from legion of wheelchair-bound videhos.
The hunch was right. Not to be more than moderately hyperbolic, but driving 174 miles roundtrip to Milwaukee to see DJ Juiceboxxx Von PartyZone , plus gas monies, plus the $4 I paid to get in - absolutely, totally beyond worth it. Best DJ set I have seen since Tommy Sunshine devastated the polish bar at the Zwan afterparty three winters ago.
Miles and I roll up to The General Store, which is approximately a 12 foot by 30 foot space, and is in fact, a store that sells crafts - of the knit wallet/painted rocks/ceramic guns/ 80's trash variety of craft. Stalagmites and stalagtites are paper mached to the ceiling and floor, plastic jungle plants everywhere, and a bad feng shui fountain in the corner - like you would get at Walgreens - adding to the "cave" decor, and lending to the intimate steez of the dance party.
We did not read the Team Wacky blog closely enough and had missed out on the Team theme that could get you reduced entrance, but as Juiceboxxx offered as we walked in "There's candy, pop, beer or costumes over there for free." I am not big on donning other peoples wigs or jumpsuits, so I declined. Looks for ladies: Brooklyn jazzercize, looks for dudes: NJ mom tracksuits from the thrift, in neon colors. Lots of sweatbands, lots of breathable fabrics. Except the dude that showed up dressed like this, but w/o the ice skates , complete with the stick - and danced.
The other Team Wacky dude was djing when we got there and it was all horny-horn funk and James Brown and 8 people dancing aerobicly, taking turns on this podium box and jumping enthusiasticly. Miles asked Juiceboxx where the bathroom was "You have to go next door, the back of the shop houses a super fragile art collection right now, so no one is really going back there." The next door with the bathroom was someone's home/video store where they were playing, as Miles called it "fifth generation bootleg VHS dubs of Mexican TV shows from the 60's" - the counter was a rebuilt "island shack", behind which you had to walk through someone's kitchen /mail order office, down stairs in the basement, past huge piles of broken projectors and records and amazing art, into a bathroom from 1920.
Anyhow, so more people start showing up, the other Team Wacky guy cedes to the next DJ, who was at least 25 years older than everyone else in the room. Miles and I were the oldest by a few years, but this guy was older than my parents... maybe 55-60. He played weird songs that were undanceable and 12 minutes long, some E.U. and all 84 minutes of "World Destruction". He played a slow song, and Juiceboxxx got on the mic and declared it a "snowball" and made everyone switch partners, then announced "There are cookies over by the cooler, help yourself."
Miles and I went outside with some people to take a smoke/sweat break, and Juiceboxxx came out and introduced himself. He is missing a tooth which lends to his already young look. He looks like about 14 of his 18 years, and was wearing a papery track suit with a "flags of the world" motif on it, and was floating on Sparks laced energy. I asked him how he felt about month two of the Team Wacky dance night, how he felt about the turnout (which topped at about 35 - in a room that fits about 12) - and he says, with utter earnetness " I think we're off to a good start. I'd really like to build Get Wacky into something bigger. Model it after, like, Gatecrasher or Ministry of Sound - you know, have our own bottled water, our own magazine. Build the Team Wacky brand." Being a teenager and a positive thinker really says a lot about one's character.
We went back inside, danced, ate the homemade cookies, watched the explosive energy other people had come alive on the dancefloor... I do not know if it was the Sparks, or if there is a drastic cut in energy after 23, but everyone there did not stop dancing for three hours. Then, finally, Juiceboxxx was up to DJ and everyone started screaming and Miles and I were yelling "Oh my god! What the Fuck!?" over every perfectly, sickly matched selection - the kid was putting acapellas perfectly over shit that worked miracles together but was something you would never think of, detroit bounce into a New Order song with the highend turned all the way up for a blastro effect, MARRS into ghetto-tech classix into a DMX song played at +8, into some housey breaks record from 1990 into the accapella of "Lean Back" dropped over "Ms. Jackson". We were dying.
Anyhow, we're bringing him down to Chicago for some Binoculars event next month. Just... get ready.
This delightful little movie of horse and pony fun courtesy of Joan Hiller, Seattle-based Art Garfunkel enthusiast.
Frankie Fever is selling art $30 for a drawing is totes def a deal, let alone $15 for a "magical headband" or a knit watch that does not actually tell time, but look bewitchy and watch-y. Check out her performance of ONE MINUTE RAVE in NY next week, details on her page. word.
In case yr not checking P-furrk on the daily, J-Shep's new column is screaming yr name . That girl, she wears fire for a hat.
I got nothing to tell you, unless you wanna hear about my cat's rash or the snarky one-liners about The Singing Senators I am masting up into for my review of the Evens record. Oh, and if anyone in Chi-Boogie wants to ride, ride, riderideride w/ Miles and I to Milwaukee to the Team Wacky/Juiceboxxx dance party on Sat night, holla - p.s. like what you got going on is as hot as some 12th graders playing hip house and italo disco? Pleeze!
The new Mahjonng album is doing a thing that the other bands who have been beefing all along that they are not a disco punk band, even though they are pimp-tite with the signifiers ( that scampy dirty shuffle gtr, the bass lines funk hedonists prefer, thin nostalgic synth lines, that yalpy singing about dancing and the night and humping a mirror ball, damp snare sounds et al.), and growing more pimp-tite by the second... I s'pose I am really speaking of El Gaupo and Mahjonnhg (sure I am forgetting some others) here -- disco bands disavowing disco as distance from trend that they are in fact, being sweat up in the foam of the wave of. El Gaupo started as a fretless, footloose and fancy free jazz band eight years ago, and Mahjonng feign ignorance, which is almost believable because most of the band looks like they all sleep on the floor of their practice space, have no look to speak of - other than Hunter dresses like a white, scabbied Mr. T -- so you are almost inclined to believe they are snoozing on some trend, and arrived on accident. Mahjonng says it's all Fela and Nigeria they are pulling their moves from but, it's much to scuttley and sounds like Throbbing Gristle doing "Rock The Boat", even when they cut the hook and stomp out their ideas to further disavow what they are doing.
El Gaupo, in interview mere 2 weeks ago says their songs are about nothing, and they make them through trading cds through the mail, and the drummer only listens to R Kelly and world music and it was all very "we're not doing this on purpose"... it's all excuses! It's like 1997 and emo as the dirty word. Where are the people who are doing thigns on purpose? Is that territory only for NOFX and Yellowcard or something? Executive culpability, PLEEZ!
I can hear the skronky gtr lines of them all, like some foghorn in the distance "jink jink jink.... jink jink jink..." Why are punk kids, even when they are sluttering as disco kids, so afraid to cop to what they are up to? Ain't no difference from the hardcore kids putting that limp dick Wilco sheen on their emo-lean. We're all fluffing to hide whatever capitalist hunger pulses through our thin skins, all those years of reading HeartAttack like Kent McClard was Moses on the Mount leaving us with nothing but some scurriliuos white shame like some frat boy that knocked you up and left town. Not exactly a real problem, but keep everyone hiding their intentions, though you can smell it's stink following down the block.
Anyhow, the Mahjonng record is ok, and the El Gaupo record is ok, even though it's sound is living entirely off a blood transfusion c/o The Rapture. So in leiu of a night of giving half a shit about half disco/half scared bands, we will continue listening to this binoxxuloxx jam I picked up at the downtown public library entitled "String Music of Vietnam vol. 2" which has loads of clapping on it, and is as hot as whatever Dipset song is making you cum this week.
Sitemeter sez: TLG is the place to for all sorts of answers. We hate to have you leave empty handed. Here are some of the mistaken ways you can get to this blog via googling...
How to draw hamsters?
I have a hard time with hamsters, I always make them look like mice. Their ears are just little nubs buried in their fur, and they are puffballs with almost no definition - you could draw a little cloud and put a baby mouse face on it, and you pretty much have a hamster. Hamsters are pretty cheap, maybe pick one up at the store and do some "life drawing" if it's for a school project or a technical hamster manual and you need it to look realistic.
J Geils Band recently reunited , and are all still alive and playing around Boston, including ill-monickered harmonica player "Magic Dick". I suggest you write Peter Wolf and see if he can hook you up with some polaroids or something.
christian crip art
Art by Christian Crips? Perhaps ... here?
lyrics electro ride white pony if you wanna ride
The song is "White Horse" by Laid Back. It was the first song an adult ever explained to me. I think I was about six when it came out, and asked my dad about the white pony/white horse metaphor. My dad later put this same song on a mixtape he made for me when I was in 7th grade, along with Hendrix doing the national anthem, MARRS and Public Enemy. Thanks dad.
watch child birth videos
When I was seven years old, I filled in a couple times as my mom's Lamaze partner at her birthing class, where they projected canal-birth films on the wall. That shit will fuck you up, and shatter any "miracle of life" thoughts you have re: the force majeure known as "natural birth". I suggest you stick with illustrations if you can, unless you are trying to scare teenagers and stupid people out of concieving - then by all means... go for it.
sexy wooden shoes
I imagine this is a man in Holland looking for something special for his lady. I say go with anything you think a turn of the century virginal European milkmaid might sport. That says "confidence" and confidence is always sexy.
weird singing fat kid movie techno
I think you mean this.
I was at Rjyan and Roby's for evening tea and planning, where they told me about the two records they are working on (cex and sandcats), one of which, the vinyl version, the cover can be cut and by following the directions on the inserts, you have a puppet theatre where you can act out scenes with puppets (included, made from inserts) to go along with the 12 minute one-song rock opera that is somehwere in Side One of the Sandcats album, which is about 230 bpm, almost all the way through. I cannot tell you the plot, because it's just too good.
Rjyan and Roby look strangely alike -- not quite brother and sister, but def. cousins-alike, which is not creepy as it sounds, in light of them being married. Same color hair, and now, the same haircut (which are notable as I have never seen anyone with their haircuts), same glasses, same moon-eye Scandanavian features and immaculately ragged home-modified outfits. Rjyan started talking about the record they want to make after these next three come out, which is a hip hop record coming from the locus point of "What if Illmatic, and a lot of hip hop culture was not based around the movie Scarface, but some other movie, like "Some Like It Hot" - what would it all sound like?" -- the sort of stuff I stopped being able to access in my brain after I took all that acid summer of 92.
They are the only married people I am jealous of (no offense, other married friends, I like you, but jealous of your marriages is rare). When I arrived at their house, they had just finished 5 days of fasting together, and had built little sculptures out of all the lemon-peels they juiced while fasting, which they plan to use to animate part of the video they are making for the rock opera that they wrote together. They look at each other when they are making points, for nod, and they laugh at each others jokes with ease. The walls of their apartment are painted as mountain scenes. They wear matching strings around their necks with a little chicken bone tied to it. They made three records together since summer, from binoculars concept to extra-complex artwork, and then toured on them for a few months. You never get the idea they would rather be doing anything but riding bikes together, or welding trash to their front gate, TOGETHER. Plus, Rjyan, unlike most dudes (yes, I said most), does not merely give lipservice about wanting to be with a smart woman , but has the follow through and commitment to do so.
Anyhow, what I meant to tell is that with in the next week or two, you will be able to watch some snippets of all of this, via way in the future concept site Vimeo which is some side magic of Rjyan's best dude frnd Jake, who oddly enough, is one of the dudes behind CollegeHumor.com, which is slightly lower concept than Vimeo.
In the meantime, settle for the analog update they did of their website .
Yesterday, the TLG mailbox dropped a terrific letter our way, from Milwaukee's own burgeoning high school rapsturr, Juiceboxxx , who also is half of dj crew (dude, two people can count as a crew!) going by the moniker of Team Wacky who are throwing (by unverified accounts, mind you) Milwaukee's only dance party. Juiceboxxx's blog is the best music writing I have read by an 11th grader, at least so far this year. People of NY take note, Juiceboxxx is spending his spring break rapping at art shows in your neighboorhood. I have not heard any MP3s or such, I cannot vouch for quality, but kids usually have way better ideas than adults. For all you know, Juiceboxxx could be like... the white male Lil Kim of 11 years from now = get in on the ground floor.
Perhaps, even more curious than all of this is that four or five years ago, when Juiceboxxx had a normal boy name and was in all of 8th grade, I tried to recruit him to write for Hit it or Quit it at a Dismemberment Plan/Alkaline Trio/Promise Ring show in Milwaukee. It did not happen then, due entirely to missed connections, but we got it happening now. Hit it or Quit it's reviews section is all about deploying precocious midwestern teenagers, watch for their wiley post-pubescent styles blowing up the back pages of next issue. Word up to the Class of '05.
I went to Miles' house late night to watch the PBS Mythos doc I got from the library downtown, turned out the case I grabbed was misfiled, and in place of the VHS tape, was 8 hours of audio cassettes. Miles and I like to nerd out, and sometimes hanging out just means eating apples and reading books in the same room, totes nerdtivity, but planning to hang out, shushed up for 8 hours to listen to social science tapes together seemed a little much.
This morning, I saw Miles' face about 11 times it's normal size, on the side of a bus. He is in the Time Out Chicago ads with his mouth open so wide, you can see his molars. Miles and I have been pimp tite friends for about four years and I have never seen him look as excited as he does in these ads. I cannot imagine what they did to get him to make that face.