May 31, 2005


Smelly McSmellsmell, I like your blog and want you to write for Hit it or Quit it. If you are interested, please write me asap.

Posted by Jessica at 02:41 PM | TrackBack

May 30, 2005


J Shep, clear and shiny as a Diamonique™ necklace from Home Shopping Network, speaking truth to power, re: Anthony Miccio on Ying Yang Twins. These lines made me lose my breath: "Because actually thinking about the ramifications of pop culture in the real world, and your level of complicity within it, is a fucking struggle: you are forced to self-examine, to examine your level of privilege, and to acknowledge that the world and life are broad, and that there are more important things than music criticism and being right or even positing a contrarian opinion in order to piss people off. But what no one ever says is that IT IS OK TO BE WRONG SOMETIMES, even if the ILM culture, NYC's neverending phallocentric critical pissing contest, and yr Ivy League pass say it's not.

Posted by Jessica at 03:14 PM | TrackBack

May 29, 2005


Anthony Miccio giving Ying Yang Twins a pass in The Village Voice / The Village Voice giving Anthony Miccio a pass. What follows in my response to the first paragraph. Some other thoughts are also being sent, in conjunction with J-Sheps, in the form of a letter, to the Voice.

1. The headline of "call the porn rapper scum at your own self revealing risk" - particularly poignant, because yes, there is risk to critiquing any music's message, because people accuse you of taking things to seriously (see #3 below), you fear you will look like a puritan or C Delores Tucker and that will undermine whatever "legit" critical "authority" you have, you will be chided for putting the "personal" and "the political" where they do not belong, you are seen as too emotional (read: female/ not properly detachedly critical) and as a castrating feminist who is easily offended and cannot put aside your feminism ( as if one should!) to engage in some "real" criticism that's unfettered by your "feelings". Also, in this headline, the word scum is used like an insurance plan -- see the writer guy, the editor, the whomever, they are admitting scumminess, so they are not ignorant/co-signing on the clear RAPE MESSAGING of the hit song.

2. "Ying Yang Twins' whispered-in-your-ear "Wait," for better or worse, is a crass flirt mistaken for a date rape anthem" -- a few things I do not understand here: "for better or worse" -- ? The ambiguity is a little baffling. Secondly, the song is not a crass flirt, because beating someone's pussy up is not about sex, it is about power, it's about dominion, and I think there is no mistaking that. Sex can be about power and be ok, but that is not what the song is so absolutely explicity implying.

3. "by people who have no sympathy for lechers" -- Anthony, have you ever had your pussy beat up? Have you ever been raped? Have you ever started to leave the house and suddenly decided to change your outfit from shorts into jeans because you did not want to be harrassed? Have you ever been followed home in the day light or the dark? You ever been stalked? You ever been sexually harrassed by a boss? You ever been slapped in the face by an employer, in front of other people, for refusing his advances? You ever been beaten with a shoe by a man that insists "loves" you? Have you ever considered what it is like to be a little afraid anytime you are alone, even when you are in your own house, because of lechers? Have you ever considered how the women you know and see on the street and at the office and on stage live their lives because of "lechers"? See, I have , so I do not have any give in my heart for seeing the lechers side of things. So, in light of alla that I do not have a lot of humor around lechers. I do not have the luxury of a critical blind eye to a song, or a cannon of songs, a domination aesthetic present in music I like and music I do not NOR pop hits about hitting or hurting people, keeping bitches in line, etc. Nor am I interested in threatening forced sex anthems being dismissed (sic) or, rather, emboldened as catchy tunez fun timez. .

Living in a patriarchal culture, where the plight of womens lives is not considered and the sexual exploitation of women (and children) is what most media, "art" and marketing is based upon, and rape and sexual abuse (including all people, children, men in prison, etc) IS INVISIBLE and the problem of the raped/abused person -- it is absolutely NATURAL for you to take such a stance -- because "Wait" fits right in with the rest of culture. It is no big deal. Songs that casually advocate rape and abuse of women, for you and most of our peers, is just another discussion thread on the ILM message boards.

3. "or just miss the key-for-me "Naw I'm jus playin' less ya say I can/And I'm known to be a real nasty man." -- this technique is well known to any girl over the age of about 12. A man, a boy, a guy in yr class, your boyfriend -- he does something "bad" to you, maybe he says it, maybe he writes it on your locker, maybe it happens to you behind a dumpster, maybe it's something that he says to other people about you -- maybe it is sexual, maybe it is threatening, maybe it just innuendo -- but you feel fucking weird/frightened/violated. 90% of the time, if you confront the dude, or bring what has happened into the light of day, you will be told (by the boy, the principal, the cop, your boyfriend's roommate, your boss, your husband - whomever) that they were just messing around, it was just a joke, c'mon - they did not mean it, you took it too seriously, you misunderstood, you imagined it . It's the number one way to get a girl to shut up (save for hitting her or threatening her) - discrediting her, making her feelings and thoughts and fear INVALIDATED. She is forced silent, forced to feel crazy, forced to turn the blame inward and question herself, rather than asert her experience. Saying "Psyche!" is not a defense. Saying "I didn't mean it like that" is not a legitimate excuse, but is meant to further disenfranchise "her" and to keep her from further questioning the abuser.

See, I did not miss that part of the of the song, as you said. I heard that part loud and clear.

4. I preferred it more as a Web-only toss-off rarity—like some Redd Foxx album kids are playing when their parents aren't home—than as The First Song off Our New Album boomed out of cars with a "classy" video. FACT: White critical America, in large, is afraid to put real critical examination to hip hop and (some) R&B because they are afraid of appearing racist, of looking like an uptight white dude who does not get it, thusly losing valuable cache (culturally and professionally). They only feel "qualified" to hold Eminem ( or white indie rappers) up to the light about what they rap about in their songs regarding women/sex-entitlement/violence and the example he is being or not being to fans. Snoop's got rape charges, and meanwhile he's on the cover of the biggest magazines in America and the question never gets broached, but rather the "he's a good daddy on the comeback trail - Drop It Like It's Hot - it's crunktastical!" partyline is towed. My hunch is that it goes much deeper than just wanting to appear "down" -- my hunch is that the critical embrace of domination agenda in Cam'Ron songs ( long must we forgive in the name of hot beats? ) -- and how that may relate to the centuries-old envy/fear paradigm that white men/people have in relation to (percieved) black male sexuality? That black men are expected to be "savages" and so we need not ever expect anything from their art or expression other wise (the racism of low expectations), and in fact, as a critical establishment, rather, we will re-enforce and reward that savagery. While we may not actively think we are racist (hey, we like hip hop don't we?), we are still dragging centuries of cultural goading into any discourse or 5-mics awarding we are doing and to be ignorant of that is further tragedy in the making -- WHY ARE WE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS?!

5. But either it's defensible or it ain't; with "bitch" up to debate, I'm gonna go with "is." You're welcome to never want to hear it—just call the listener scum at your own self-revealing risk. I do not call the listener scum, and I will not call the critc scum. I will call instead, the critic lazy & blinded by male priviledge right given to him by a culture that taught him that he needn't not consider anything but his own pleasure, and for that, he will be reserved a prized pedestal in a prestigous music section of the biggest weekly paper in America.

yours very truly,
Jessica Hopper

Posted by Jessica at 03:21 PM | TrackBack

May 28, 2005


ALSO, before we start: If you live in Chicago metro area and have any interest in coming to/ putting a team together for A SCAVENGER HUNT in the very near future, please please please email me. I do not care of you are 11 years old, total stranger, whatever. If you have a car or bike, it'll help, but for serious. SCAVENGER HUNT. Cash prize? Delicious prize? TBA. But for certain: buh-nuh-nuh-uzz style fun.

next part:

Due in part to some of the heart and gut wrenching and inspiration-inspiring mail and letters I have been getting from ladies, girls and women/womyn/wimmin/Wyoming this last week -- I need all the chixxx and queerkids reading this to do me a solid: if you have a blog, a band, a myspace page, a tape label, a page about your knit crafts -- whatever you have that is linkable, I really want to know about it. I really want to know who and how you are and what sort of work yr putting into the world. Please do not be shy. Please do not hide yr blog from me and my prying eyes because you think it is not up to par. Stop making me findout who you are via backtracking and sitemeter traffick. I just wanna know, I do not want to be oblivious to your really special magick-in-action. If you do not have a band or a Winnebago-sized embrodery project or whatevers, or even a blog, and you are busting ass as a grad student or a mom, maybe just drop me a line anyway if you feel inclined. It's like a census, but personal and crucial and in the name of holy feminist solidarity.

No offense to dudes and mens who have links and sites and projects. Maybe i will put out an open call for yr stuff next week, but right now, we're still living in a patriarchy, and thusly your priviledge right is totes dominant, and plus, hella dudes are already emailing me their 411s, their myspace urls, corrections to my spelling and what i got wrong about like .. Climax Blues band or whatever -- at unfettered, breakneck pace. I am getting double scoops on that already, which is fine.

Lastly, a new low in Clear Channel bullshit . Is it ironic? Is there some word for like maxi ironic redonkuliss? This is that.

Posted by Jessica at 08:23 PM | TrackBack

May 27, 2005


Bobby speaks on Whitney's rehab stint and how it takes two to make a thing go right . The line about that he'll "hopefully" be appearing on her new record sounds a little desperate and the wrong kind of tenative, I think.

Posted by Jessica at 06:18 PM | TrackBack


Joan Didion on Terri Schiavo from NY Review of Books. Prime work... Oh man. There are few things that are as satiating, as truly gratifying to read, as Didion work. I think this is the most potent thing she has done since the SPUR posse essay in her California book from a year or two ago.

Posted by Jessica at 02:24 AM | TrackBack

May 26, 2005


I have some bad news: I cannot write. I am going to have to get a job at Sbarro wiping down tables and throwing crusts away. I might be able to make a living, perhaps, if there is a fanzine that pays a buck a word for slop and jibberish and made up words and no facts, but otherwise, look for me someplace, by summers end, in a filthy apron and a nametag, ringing up your order.

Posted by Jessica at 10:17 PM | TrackBack


Thurs - 7 pm at the Cultural center - Washington & Michigan - off the Wash Blue Line Stop, FYI - FREE! - the final night of the film series of shorts from the archives of the Chicago Public Library -- a showing of "Elsa & her Cubs", which as anyone who was in kindergarten between 1977-1981, knows or should vaguely remember -- it's the documentary about the animal stars of BORN FREE. I went to the documentary by the French dudes embedded with a platoon in Vietnam in 1968, that they showed on Monday, and it was pretty great, aside from the narration was done in heavy Franglish, the man whispering "on zen way to goot onto ze elli-cop-tare, boot eet crushed eentoo ze treeze."

Also, this from America's only rat-puppet hosted cable access dance party show: SATURDAY May 28 2005 -- 3pm-6pm
at CAN-TV Studio - 322 S. Green St. (Van Buren, 1 block west of Halsted)
please join us for a taping of CHIC-A-GO-GO!
Chicago's dance show for kids of all ages!
Please join us for an awesome taping of Chic-A-Go-Go, Chicago‚s favorite dance show!
The amazing live drumming of THE RHYTHM SISTERS
The pop punk magic of THE PLAIN WHITE T'S
The rocking awesomeness of KISS N RIDE
the robotic didacticness of TEACHER AND THE ROCKBOTS
the big bigness of BIG WHISKEY
& MORE!!!

Posted by Jessica at 12:38 PM | TrackBack

May 25, 2005


Were you giving him the TV eye last night? I couldn't tell.

No. I just feel like I am like, three days into rehab at all times lately. I was giving him whatever the inverse of the TV eye is. Whatever that is, I am that.

Because I was thinking "Is she flirting with him?" but I could not tell because I cannot tell the difference between when you are flirting or just acting extra retarded, because there is no discernable difference.

I have never flirted with anyone in my life. I have no idea how to even go about it.

Yeah, that's apparent. I figure you are flirting with someone when I suddenly start wondering what the hell is wrong with you.

Posted by Jessica at 03:31 PM | TrackBack

May 24, 2005


(Amended Weds - plz note)

An update on the plight and routing of the Al Burian/Jessica Hopper reading-tour. If you got a line on where we should go in New England, or you want to help set something up - email me asap: mcfrenchvanilla at yahoo dot com. Here is what is shaping up right nowish. Book stores, back yards, collectives, colleges, puppet theatres: holler.

July 15th - Cleveland TBD
July 16th - Library in the Poconos
July 17th - Philly c/o Sean Agnew
July 18th - NYC
July 19th - 21st New England zone - Amherst/Providence?/DC?
July 22nd - Baltimore
July 23rd - Ben Davis' wedding
July 24th - NC?
July 25th - Louisville
July 26th - St Louis TBD

Posted by Jessica at 01:37 PM | TrackBack

May 23, 2005


Pluot season has just begun. Find them at the whole foods/co-op type place starting this week or so, if you are not already stuffing your mouth with them. Pluots are hybridized half plum/half apricots and look like fresh hearts inside and out. They are little, so you can eat 6 or 10 of them a day no problem, because they are so amazing you can't not, plus there is no reason not to be compulsive about it because it's just fruit.

Posted by Jessica at 10:06 PM | TrackBack


I went to night tres of the Blackout! Fest at the Empty Bottle over the weekend, and I forgot to tell you'bout it. RIVER CITY TAN LINES, one of the many many endeavors of the hardest working lady in the the real for real real underground, Alicja Trout , was worth the 15 bucks all by them selves. While watching them play, I dreamt of a different world where Alicja was as revered as Ian macKaye. She is in 4 bands, is an incredible songwriter, was wearing a black witchy strapless prom dress, is a grown-up, plays guitar and solos like monkeys on bananas, she runs a mailorder distro and a recording studio and has this unselfconcioucess, uncocky but very tangible confidence on stage that I have never seen a woman have. It's an alien endowment, born of self-permission perhaps. But anyhow, River City Tan Lines' are so raw and so pop, they make (insert mainstream-celebrated any garage band of the last 5 years here) sound like goddamn Chad and Jeremy singing about leaves in the wind by comparison.

Other fun facts: In the first two nights of Blackout!, the Empty Bottle went through roughly 170 cases of beer (no figure on tap beer). 24 x 170 = 4080 Beers, divided by 330 attendees over 2 nights, is 12.3 beers per person. Per capita, it was the drunkest place I think I have ever been. A third of the crowd was having a great time, the other third was that weird silent scary drunk that happens when people get post-last-call blackout (no pun) drunk at 9 pm on a Thursday, and the other 1/3rd were like Darby Crash style wasted, all spittle flying from broken teeth, pinballing between you and the wall as they walk past, screaming the augmented lyrics to "Grand Ole Flag" ("Hummm ov da... fwee! / and land ov the.... day-ed!") before barfing into the pocket of their companion's dinner jacket.

Posted by Jessica at 08:18 PM | TrackBack

May 22, 2005


The first and last paragraphs of (feminist artist) Carolee Schneeman's 1977 essay "Women in the Year 2000" - taken from Carolee Schneeman: Imaging Her Erotics :

" By the year 2000 no young woman artist will meet the determined resistance and constant undermining that I endured as a student Her studio and istory classes will be taught by women; she will never feel like a provisional guest at the banquet of life; or a monster defying her "god-given" role; or a beligerent whose devotion to creativity could only exist at the expense of a man, or men and thier needs. Nor will she go into the "art world" gracing or disgracing a pervading stud club of of artists, historians, teachers, museum directors, magazine editors, gallery dealers - all male, or committed to masculine preserves. All of that is already falling around our feet."
"The negative aspect is simply that the young women coming to these vital studies will never really believe that we, in our desperate groundwork, were so crippled and isolated; that a belief and a dedication to a feminine istory of art was despised by those who might have taught it and considered heretical and false by those who should have taught it That our deepest energies were nutured in secret, with precedents that we kept secret - our lost women. Now found and to be found again.

Posted by Jessica at 10:31 PM | TrackBack


Took Wood to whatever street United Center is on.

Projects are still coming down slow - bent girders hang building bits outta burnt up bedrooms painted institutional peach and tan on the 19th floor, wrecking ball suspended and still. "New Development. New Neighborhood." says the sign outside the temporary trailer realty office. Pedaling the two block bracket between fallow glass lots that have stayed empty since 68 and the unmarred blacktop of the United Center parking lot, I think of what I know about these blocks: the tiny chairs I dumpstered when they tore down the project-school and the news anchor that got shanked in the neck by "gang youth" in the lot, and lived, and is now a motivational circuit speaker. Here's to overcoming adversity, tiny chairs and the brassy brick of new construction condos /genrtrifcation on blast.

As I turn to head towards downtown I notice my favorite tag is still up, on the back of a corner store: "ELOTES" in corn yellow bubbly script of graf past. I like to imagine this a reminant of the Eloteros' corn wars . It's on on Wood, 1/2 a block before the green line tracks, if you are heading south, in the alley. Check it next time yr en route.

Presidentially named streets are lined with M-F offices only, east-west corridors deserted Sunday at 3 - the street is mine. It is me, my ancient bike squeek-squeek, low freq freeway hum and the brown brick corners of the buildings holding sharp against the sky all starring in the movie. The movie was called Madddd Overdue III: Return To The Chicago Public Library -- which was not unlike Journey of Natty Gann with a bike basket full books instead of a wolf-dog guide. This movie, it is my favorite movie.

Posted by Jessica at 06:40 PM | TrackBack

May 21, 2005


I went to Blackout fest, and though I only saw Gris Gris and Reigning Sound, it was worth the 15$. Blackout is three days over the very very most terrific even-if-you-hate-garage-you-will-love-this stomp n' blaze. Tomorrow is River City Tan Lines opening. Scam tickets if you can, I think it's sold out though. Anyhow, I love garage shows for the people watching, for sub-genres of people - tonights tops were:
1. Rockabilly Corpse
2. Doppelgangers of Fred from Dead Moon
3. Riff Randall at 38
4. Guys that can smoke a whole cigarette without touching it or removing it from their mouth except to put it out
5. 90% Wasted
6. Existing on methadone and pomade
7. Young couples in love pogoing and shouting the words into each others faces
8. Obviously married to a tattoo artist
9. Couples with matching leopard print accessories
10. Long-Forgotten Ramones

Posted by Jessica at 01:13 AM | TrackBack

May 19, 2005


Ummmyeah. So, the DJ went missing and now Miles and I, Team Binoculars (CHI TOWN BRANCH MANAGERS) are DJing the Diesel Fash Event this eve at the Diesel store 923 Rush (Rush & Walton), 8-10pm. You are totes crapping yr gutz out with excitement over the chance to combine the fruity flavor of our DJ experience with the launch of the Diesel Upscale line and simultaneously miss the first night of Blackout ( the best garage fest in the country, ever) at The Bottle, MIA and LCD at Metro and Hawnay Troof's cum-rap at Abbey. Morgan is working the door, so ask her to let you in and pretend you forgot to RSVP. Tell them you are Jim DeRogatis or Whitney Houston's sister or in Mahjonngg, someone important and VIPish. Party with us as we get paid in "outfits"... Morgan and Miles have already launched their pledge of "SHILL SUMMER" which is like Revolution Summer (the posi revisioning of DC hardcore of yore) in reverse. Morgan is all about working at an awful Jeans and Heels bar where her rack will be earning her hella-tips and Miles says he's going corpo, though all I know so far is that last weekend he DJ'd for like 6 hours at H&M, playing only "clean rap".

Anyhow. Come see us.

Posted by Jessica at 02:09 PM | TrackBack


Do you know how to make a .mac account host the MP3 bloggulation? I got one, just ned to make it all relate and go, I guess.
Faculty Lounge is six months over due and J Shep and I are like... fucking Amish ladies darning socks with yak hair over here. If you know how to do this shit and you can tell me, email me and I will email you or call you on the phone. Our Mp3 blog is different than any other Mp3 blog, conceptually and I really wish i could just explain, but you will just have to wait for it to blow your mind. The sooner you help, the sooner the not-proverbial-but-infact-totes-literal mindbloje happens.

PS> The Clash's "Train In Vain" is quietly the second saddest song ever.

PPS> That new John Doe album is so terrific, but I was driving through Wisconsin Monday and I was listening to X, and I realized all I ever wanted from romance with someone else was to have being with them be like the part in "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline" where John and Exene's voices bend, and half step together, melt sick and wretched and low heavened angelic going "Pauuu-leeeee-eeeeeene" and John's voice gets a touch quivery.

PPPS> The actual saddest song ever is "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod" off that brand-new Mountain Goats album, the line "and then I'm awake and guarding my face/ hoping you don't break my stereo / because it's the one thing that I couldn't live with out " -- which is the brave truth shorthand for what some people mean when they say "music saved my life" - because sometimes that is where the joy and seperate world and dreams of future get grown and hidden and tended. Inside records you find a tether. So, making an album of linear narrative about barely living through high school because your step-father is beating the shit out of you is this tremendous ode. Darnielle lived to tell and tell it straight and with Aesopian* animal fable hues -- and that he trusts and knows how to do this with his music is just enough that the first time I heard this song I had to pull over on the freeway because I started choking on my breath it left me so fast. I was all hot sobs, because it cracked the pages to show this secret gospel of childhood for us, to see so plain.

(* I do not mean the rapper and his squirrel with a seatbelt shit. I mean straight up fables)

PPPPS> Would you still respect me if I told you I think Bob Seger does for musician/tour mythos & narrative what bell hooks does for feminism. God, I love the Silver Bullet Band.

Posted by Jessica at 02:58 AM | TrackBack

May 18, 2005


J Shep, Jazzbo, Kris Ex and El Toro and myself dole out sex advice this week on . I am really surprised they let me be part of it, considering I am still a virgin ( YES, it's true -- despite my brief marriage to Getty Lee ( it was a spiritual/platonic thing, like Erykah and Common) and/or what you may have read in the downstairs men's room at North Six!)

PS. They changed my answer. I said Cam'ron is "sexist", they changed it to "Cam'ron is sexy". Lanky dudes in flowing robe style track suits with casj choruses pimping rape chic and slangin' yay, despite how much patriarchal hate I have internalized, does not do it for me in 2005. Plus "sexy" is my third least favorite word behind "panties" and "plethora" and I would never use it.

Secondly, the hardest I laughed all day, save for Jazzbo's oh-no-he-didn't jokes about Spin editorial, was Teeter's reviews of falafel stands in NYC and Brooklyn which from the outset, sounds like as tired blog fodder than breakups/80's TV nostalgia, but you will laugh out loud to the point where everyone around will ask you " what's so funny?" -- I bet you a qaurter.

Posted by Jessica at 10:27 PM | TrackBack

May 17, 2005


Chicago crafter alert: I have a refridgerator sized box of new and vintage fabric that I am getting rid of. Prints, "weird" fabric, rayon, black matte rubber, 5 yards of vintage satin. $100 bucks obo, or fiddy for halves. Email me. You will never have to buy fabric again.

Posted by Jessica at 11:28 PM | TrackBack


I put that picture up on my blog just to offend your prudish sensabilities.

I'm not a prude. I am from Minnesota. Huge difference.

Sorry. Not a prude. You are a puritan. You have midwestern sensibilities.

I am just... disinclined to see any of my close friends in any sort of state of undress. It's hard for me to deal with.

Me in crime-fighter outfit offends your delicate prude soul. I love it!

Actually, my favorite thing about the picture is that your head is the same color as your underwears.

My head is not hot pink

According to my internet it is!

Posted by Jessica at 01:00 PM | TrackBack

May 16, 2005


Also, a warning, or a heads up: My Jessie-Does-Coachella diaratoria is hot fronting in section one of ze Chicago Reader. My churros "jokes" got cut in the edit, so that churro-centric headline don't make sense now, but none the less, it's on the stands in certain places circa: now.

Posted by Jessica at 09:41 PM | TrackBack


I spun off 90 thinking I needed coffee, maybe more just something coffee-like, but instead I wound up two miles from Wisconsin Dells - "home to more waterparks than anywhere in the world." I wound up at a Dairy Queen with an adjacent parking lot to an animal kingdom themed adventure park, which is entered via a boat shaped restaurant. I, at that moment, decided that my plan of retiring to the south somewhere, to write, in some decrepidated village, hunched over my manual typewriter should be spiked in favor of finding some modest benefactor to put me up at a room at the Seaside Inn for a summer. The Seaside is not near the sea at all, it is landlocked in Wisconsin on a major thoroughfare that leads to the Dells, and is perfectly situated between Tommy Bartlett's Sky & Ski show and Mr. Pancake. Mr. Pancake is a resturant modeled like a big white steam ship. It has portholes and an upper deck, and was at the height of convention circa 1966. It has Vegasy lights and I hope, hope, hope that they only serve pancakes. Mister Pancakes. I will live off a diet of chilled butter pats, traditional maple-flavored syrup and Mister Pancakes during my sabbatical at the Dells. I will spend my days by the big fiberglass whale shaped kiddie slide by the outfoor pool at The Seaside, watching loose skinned white Norweigen regionals turn day glo pink, and spend night typing away, or stalking the town by foot, or talking shit in the DQ parking lot with "Oana Of Romania" ( she is the lady that made my Blizzard™, and that is what her name tag said") while she waits for her boyfriend, the bottom-tier anchor skier from the ski-show to get off work.

The south can wait. The antebellums and red dust can wait for me. The Dells, though... the Dells are calling.

Posted by Jessica at 09:34 PM | TrackBack

May 14, 2005


Back tracking is not nonly the name of the game, but it is our only game once I am in Minneapolis. Our, meaning the royal our, so really, just me. But back to three, maybe four posts ago: I found out who is the person in Minneapolis reading my blog for a zillion hours at a go is, and I needn;t look no further than my own DNA -- "When you do not return my calls, what am I supposed to do?!" says my mother. "Please do not write anything too horrible about me. My friends all read it. They were mortified when you posted about how that one time I let you have a cigarette even though you were sick. They were all like "You smoke, Susie?!"

Posted by Jessica at 12:46 AM | TrackBack

May 12, 2005


I leave Chicago, and then upon my arrival, here in my moms kitchen in MN, I find out that tomorrow, in Chi-Boogie, ANTENA are playing at Hothouse. Antena issued a mere, like, 13 songs, ever, back in about 1980 on Crepuscle ( I think), which was like a farm team singles off-shoot of Factory. Antena, I think, were a four pc from Belgium, all ladies. ( I am sure roughly 54 nerd dudes are going to write in and really school me on the wrong facts I got, in advance: thanks but no thanks, save it for ILM) They are like Stereolab minus all that cutey-cute "j'taime" shit -- more like riviera as ghost town. More click-click coo, inversion and hush rather than synthy time for the perc-u-lator. If you are in Chicago and you are in Chicago tomorrow, Friday. Go. Go and tell me all about it.
The reissue is available on Numbero Group GET THAT TOO>,

Posted by Jessica at 08:17 PM | TrackBack

May 11, 2005


Minneapolis people! I know you read this blog. I know because at 4:47 am when I still cannot fall asleep and am rumaging through the yard maze of sitemeter's traffic copter, I wonder "Are these Minneapolis people reading the blog - do I know them? Did we go to shows together in 1993? Are they friend or foe?" Anyhow, Minneapolis people, be you friend or frienemy, I wanna share this: tomorrow at 9 pm CST, at the Walker Art Center, Miranda July's trrrfffc movie, Me You and Everyone We Know, is playing. I bought three tickets for it, so I can bring my mom and famous internet sexpert, Britt Barton Lindsay, on a date to see some life enriching cinema. I hope to see you there to, even if all our talks are like awkward babies crawling towards perilous ledges, or I hit you with a lunchbox in the pit of a Jesus Lizard show once. Tickets are only 8$, and after you see it, it will seem like the deal of a lifetime. If you are on the fence, you can watch the trailer here .

In other reading: On Miranda's movie tour blog, is a guest blog from the 2nd grader boy, Brandon who is one of the young stars of the movie.

Posted by Jessica at 05:41 PM | TrackBack


If you are not Jen in Orlando, please ignore this.

Jen. Hello, you do not know me but a sort of friend of yours is a good friend of mine. I hear yr coming to Cleveland for our tentative reading, for your birthday. I hear yr into black metal and skateboarding. Get in touch and we can totes go skating together, though Clevo is inordinately hilly. Or! Come to the Chapel Hill reading, even though it will not be yr birthday - Chapel Hill is a better time than Cleveland and closer to Florida. Anyhow, just a suggestion.

Posted by Jessica at 12:03 AM | TrackBack

May 10, 2005


It's on: The Al Burian/Jessica Hopper reading tour is official. Please look at the tenty schedule below and if you can help, or you want us to come to your city, or you have an idea, want to help promote us in yr burg, wanna preview the shit in the paper, have us over for a post reading swimming party = please email me at mcfrenchvanilla at yahoo dot com

July 15th - Cleveland-ish
16th-22nd new england zone - Philly/NYC/MA/RI/DC ish ?
24th - Chapel Hill/Carrboro
25th/26th Louisville/southern midwest, end of July: chi-town.

Posted by Jessica at 06:16 PM | TrackBack


We were off to Edmar, which is ghetto Polish and smells only like old grocery stores smell -- a little mildrew, a little grandma cologne and a dash of coriander. They are open til midnight and mostly sell jar food. I got a two dollar Polish hazelnut-ridden candy bar, it was big and thick like those kinds I used to sell in order to get to go on class trips back in public school. In the lot, I noticed for the first time, on my new-old bike, that I had one of the friction light generators too, the rub on the tire and get white-watts kind, same as on Cris' bike. The same kind of light 3 minutes before I was calling delightful Mr Wizard magic. And Ouila, it turned out I had one too!

We're in the lot and for the first time since winter I realized there is a light on the front of my bike. I flicked the friction maker on the back into it's lock-spot and with a mouthful of milch-chocolate and a quick start of pedalling, I illuminated a path into the wet Chicago night. "I'm shining!" I yelled to Cris and reached out to give her a minibrick of nutted polish choco. I have a thing for that simple science - I might of well been making the bike fly.

We rode towards home, pulling the tin foil off the candy and devouring it, powering our tiny lights in tandem. Cris would just hold out her hand and say "More". I was so happy. As happy as I'd ever been. I told the man in the jeep at the stop sign "We have lights on our bikes!" because i wanted him to notice, not miss the oppurtunity to witness such safety and inventiveness in motion. I got all the way home ( 4 blocks) and realized I could not be home - I had to go power the light some more.

Every time I saw someone I knew, I stopped, offered them a square of chocolate and showed off my new light, all Ben Franklin on the filament glow. "See!". They would eat the treat and then head in or out of the bar door, congratulating me on my luminescence. I ran into Telo, who was going into the Kill Hannah "half way to halloween" 18+ dance party at the nouveu Italian resturant. She coaxed me in. Over approximately 7 minutes, drank a water, wondered why every girl in the place thought push up bra/corset/underpants w/ a pair of Skechers was a costume, heard The Killers for the first time, bummed a cigarette I only took two drags of from a daddy goth who rocked both a sparkley cowboy hat and Shari Lewis' eyelashes called me "babe" and made that clicking sound like he was goddamn Telly Savalas.
I checked out some asses and got back on my bike.

I did not mean to stop at the bar with the big open windows where everyone looks good and acts wasted, but they yelled my name, beckoned me over. They were celebrating new tattoos and 23rd birthdays and dogs they loved and drinking "to Berlin!" with many small bottles of champagne. I gave them my last candy squares. Then, from around the doorway, a boy I spent six years with appeared, he was working the door. "You have treats?" he asked. "Nope, Those were my last ones." I said. It was not supposed to be weird, but it was - I think he thought I was just being vindictive for that time he ruined 1997-2002. I held up the empty wrapper for evidence - "Sorry!". I hopped back on my bike, waved to the faded, and floated home, my little light showing the way.

Posted by Jessica at 02:24 AM | TrackBack

May 09, 2005


For those of you who have been wondering "What has Teeter been up to since that internet-spar with Matador honcho Gerard Cosloy?" I suggest you check out her and SB's site, DateXedge which currently features an interview with her. I think the highlight, beyond the explicitness of her desire to "throw the f" on dudes 10 yrs her junior (and Gerard Way,for that matter), is the answer to question 7: "Please Describe the act of Wilmer Valderama pooping, as if you were writing a press release" -- to which she answers back with a press release entitled "Socially Meaningless Hispanic GayNotGay Actor Willder Valderamma Craps His Guts on Command During Tryouts for Lead Role In Miramax's Remake of HMS Pinnafore." , which was gross and funny.

Posted by Jessica at 04:12 PM | TrackBack

Squeek Squeek vs. the homerun kind

Today was my first bout with investigative reporting. Actually, it's more like fact-checking, and since what I write is generally 94% blaring opinion, facts rarely come into play. But at the Reader, editorial is serious... when you say something is a polka-beat, you have to play it over the phone and prove it's a polka beat. Or when you hear some conjecture on the back of a golf cart in Indio, about Bauhaus's thwarted plans to release bats during their set at Coachella...

Me: I am trying to find out if it's true that Indio City Council prevented an act at Coachella from releasing 50 bats during their performance by altering an ordinance that bars the release of birds at night, by broadening the definition of "birds" to also include "bats".
Mark, liason for city of Indio, CA: You mean bats like "sqweek sqweek" or do you meaning bats as in the homerun kind.
Me: Bats as in "sqweek sqweek".
Mark: No. City Council has not altered any bird releasing or bat-related ordinances and I am not aware of any formal petition. I never heard anything about it. Sorry, you might want to try the Indio PD public relations office.

Me:... I am trying to confirm whether or not a bat release during a headlining band's performance at Coachella was or was not thwarted by officials.
Ben, PD PR : I never heard anything about any bats getting let go. Nope. No bats... Though, I know at the end of thier show Nine Inch Nails band members threw their instruments in the air. Does that help you?

Posted by Jessica at 02:41 PM | TrackBack

May 07, 2005


They are ready, are you? -- your only source which tracks the news for signs, hints, clues and/or conclusive proof of the coming biblically prophesized rapture for you. Peep their handy RAPTURE INDEX (sadly, the "false christs" rating is at a mere 2) the site explains: "You could say the Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we're moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture.
Rapture Index of 85 and Below: Slow prophetic activity. Rapture Index of 85 to 110: Moderate prophetic activity Rapture Index of 110 to 145: Heavy prophetic activity Rapture Index above 145: Fasten your seat belts "

(link scooped from Jihad4dummies)

Posted by Jessica at 03:52 PM | TrackBack

May 06, 2005


I'm so glad my dad did not dress like Bjorn Borg's coke dealer when I was little.

Trevor Kelly, who no longer blogs, but is still John Gregory Dunne of Emo Journalism.

Dan Monick's birthday hamburger

Bauhaus. That's Peter Murphy hanging, suspended like a bat while performing a blazing cover of Bob Seeger's "Mainstreet".

Gang of Four, before they destroyed got all Wendy O Williams on the dorm microwave.

Mercury Rev had projections with hot air balloons and "hang in there" style inspirational quotes, like gnostic versions of posters from a pediatritians office.

Spoon on the jumbotron.

You have never seen publicists kiss ass until you have seen publicists around K Sanneh.

Dan, Justin Warfield and Cali DeWitt. Props to Justin for pulling that Dogtown&Zboyz look like he invented it.

Matmos against the projection of Drew getting a Germs burn. The gagging of the audience at that moment was louder than their laptop trunk frunk.

... and Sage Francis as Castro's understudy.

Posted by Jessica at 10:25 PM | TrackBack


Get Wacky tomorrow. 824 Locust. Milwaukee. 10-2. Let's dance.

Posted by Jessica at 06:03 PM | TrackBack


The straight up, from the messenger pigeon, as of this AM: My Warped Tour peice for Chicago Reader, "Punks Not Dead. Long Live Punk" has been selected for inclusion in the DaCapo Best of Music Writing 2005, guest editor JT LeRoy. Snap Snap Snap! Two in a row! I might have to forgoe working today and just ride my bike in circles out side the house yelling WOOOO WOOOO WOOO.

Posted by Jessica at 12:08 PM | TrackBack


I was walking across the street, leaving the janky irish pub with it's beer specials banners and it's fake-castle painted interior, thinking about the things I wanted to do to avoid finishing my Coachella peice. Aside from see Breather Resist and Melt Banana, which could now be crossed off the list. I had even casually volunteered to go to a bar I hate and "hang out" with my friends and former tourmates in Breather in order to not finish up on the writing. And it is not because I have nothing to say (I went 700 words over, actually). It is not that I do not love the writing or figuring out how to drill down and say what I mean. I do not like to finish, and I loathe to start, for no other reason than I am terrified of failing.

That said: I do not know what "failing" entails. I like and appreciate being edited, even when it is ardous. I have only ever had four peices killed, and two were on spec anyhow. I have only been asked for complete rewrites twice, and both were justified. I'm fortunate. But, even when I run down these stats everytime, to grease the odds for my fool heart, it is Sisyphysian: rolling all the fear and ego and shunted love up the hill, hoping it does not roll back down on me, flatten me out like Coyote in the cartoon.


Posted by Jessica at 04:19 AM | TrackBack

May 05, 2005


I could write about Los Angeles. I could tell you about the desert at night. I could tell you what it is like to hang out with people who you thought for years next time you saw them would be at their funeral. Instead, I tape recorded some of it, and it will go onto the MP3 blog when it launches, like, next week. A little story I am making. On Cali's porch a baby possum, smaller than my foot, crawled right past me, with it's stiff little tail like a fifth super arm, helping it get down the steps, and unfortunately, I have no way to incorporate that into a recording, so my telling will have to suffice. Baby possums are not scared.

I have been back in the Chi-Boogie since 1 am Weds, and I have already taken a vow not to leave the central time zone again, perhumps, for weeks, in tembling ode, or rather, commitment to Chicago and the Mid-Western states, so sturdy and dirty and loving you back with a hearty thunk, with it's earnest early summer. The big lilac bushes in front of the house are blooming, almost obscuring all the supermarket circulars and take out menus and metallic chip bags stuck in it's brancy bottom end. The yard is a fantasy of kid trash and perennials and weeds, with four shitty, rusted up and basketed Schwinns chains to the stoop as sentry. I love Chicago because everything here is broken or crooked and burnished perfect from it's previous 46 years of disrepair. It makes me want to press my face to the rails of the Green Line el trax and pledge allegiance to the fallow lots down Lake street, that have laid empty since they burned in the riots.

Posted by Jessica at 01:56 PM | TrackBack

May 02, 2005


Katia Dunn's Ian MacKaye/Evens story from yesterday NPR's weekend edition, complete with my "expert" "punk journalist" "commentary". Here's to sounding luded on national broadcast!

Posted by Jessica at 04:22 PM | TrackBack


I left during NIN, which was an accident. We were just out by the parking lot, getting free shoes and we got to the car to store them and Cali was all "dude, you wanna just... go?' and I was like "totes". Could not bring myself to stay for Conor, for Nebraska's latentest drunksco, nor the Blood Bros, nor Blackstar. Tho, if you were there, please let me know what it was like watching bands in the 40 mph wind sandstorm. The dry desert heat + smoking 170000 Parliments + hotel ariconditioning : I could write an entire blog post with my own snot.

Posted by Jessica at 12:34 PM | TrackBack

May 01, 2005


First off, Happy Birthday Britt Barton Lindsay, on your twelveth 18th birthday. Here's to a thousand, more. Here is to immortal life. Here's to spending retirement on a houseboat in the Ozarks together, too.

What I learned at Coachella yesserday: Immortal life es possible . I know, because Peter Murphy was there. And I would just like to preface my Bauhaus hyperbole with this --I never was goth, and have never liked Bhaus enough to even pick up a record. Now I will say this: BAUHAUS WERE SO FUCKING UNFADABLE ANG GOTH-SOME. PETER MURPHY WAS FLOATED ON TO STAGE HANGING UPSIDE DOWN LIKE A BAT VIA INVISIBLE WIRES AND HUNG SUSPENDED MID AIR AND DID "BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD" - ARMS FOLDED COFFIN STYLEN CROSS HIS CHEST MIC IN HAND GOING "UNDEAD/UNDEAD/UNDEAD" over that simple bass descention. I Screamed "OH MY GOD!" uncontrollably! I felt like Ultragrrrl or something.

I got the chills they were so... perfect . I got a gang of pictures of the bat dance in action. PM was wearing a little out fit that was probably really fancy but look't like 70's ski pants and a secretaries night out blouse. I think he was wearing a girdle too, he looked squished in the middle like a toothpast tube. Keeping the goth-skeletor steez into your 50s is an impossible ideal, surely, plus, dude lives 5 hours outside of Istanbul, like, who's he gotta look good for? Teams of oxen? Daniel Ash looked about 31 still. Here's to 45 spf and heavy reverb as youth preservation tools.

Aside from that, I will tell you this: There is not really much to "write" about. The bands were "good". Seeing them outside is "fun". There is not much "angle" on this thing. Coachella is (allegedly, according to SPIN) trying to bring the European style fest to US soil, but it's still working from a frayed template of Lollapalooza's too-much-of-everything ecclecticism & amuesement ideas -- terrible art exhibits, good cause booths etc. They were showing the Minutemen documentary ona big screen, but we found this out as we were leaving at midnight-plus, and Coldplay was playing "yellow" and it was like being the dressing room at Express, but with 97,000 other people, and then that's juxtaposed against someone rhapsodizing on D Boon. To that I was like "?". Also: I saw Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake in the vee-eye-pee. She was adjusting her boobs and pretending like she did not have an audience of 300. He looked mad scrubby. I have something against any rich white man who dresses like a dumpster dive B-boy. Sage Francis was fiery and looks Rasputiny. Perry Farrell had a Dj asst, and is totes keeping 97 globo-rave sounds alive, all while wearing some Victoria's Secret catalog bolo-blouse. Spoon was the best I have ever seen them, playing the new rec in this muted and speedy way that was like sinister Devo. Maybe not muted - clipped. Clipped! thats the word. Mercury Rev was pretty fantastic and I thought they would be more like, fat wizard-y dudes with long hair, all hobbity, caftans and long tone nails, but they were trim, queer-chic-y and couture piratey and brought theatre to the dramatic gtr dialogue they peirced all comers with. I saw Weezer and Wilco from like, a qrtr milkes away. Wilco felt good, and I have never even liked them. They were like The Band with just the quiet moments and the only dynamics come from B3 organ trilling, not um... solos and hats with feathers in them. Weezer - well, I hope they shrivel up. Soon. Like a turd in the desert sun.

An aside: I hope that one day there may be a day when certain people in certain bands, people who are known pervs/pedos, can no longer procure the service of 15 and 16 yr old girls, and that those people will not be staring at us from the cover of glossy newstand magazines, pimping them and ignoring the statutories in the green room cos that band sells mags, cos teen pussy is a god given right for the famous, and cos Amerikkka jacks to the vicarious fantasy. FYI: I'm not talking about any band in particular. In fact, I am probably talking about almost of them.

Also, I saw one Zap Mama song and they were such tite Ju-ju-disco. The Kills were "sexy" rather than fonking sexy. Ben Dickey and Ben Fasman both gave diligent texting performances all day long. MF Doom was solid, and after shooting like 55 RAD pictures of him and scribbling notes, I realized I now have a conflict of interest and cannnot write about him. I was mad at him, he had his baby (I assume it was his) ON stage in a stroller, no earplugs or protective ear gear. Actually, I was furious. A baby is not a decoration.

Was that interesting to you? Please circle one: Y N

Posted by Jessica at 04:23 PM | TrackBack