December 31, 2005


DATELINE: Kitchen, 1:35
Dude, your blog! Ugh. You hang out with me all day, having the time of your life, and all you can post about is reminiscensces of dudes you frenched in 1981.

You gotta give the people what they want. And it wasn't 1981.


My old 55405 ball and chain deluxe model, Britt, is down for the holiday (nee "holladay") week/end. Tonight, showing her a good time involved taking her to the Hideout, Chicago's finest small cap venue (Fire Code Capacity: 27) to see Miles' band and Red Eyed Legends. Hands were shook, introductions made, but natch none of it was as fun as Britt teasing me mercilessly about every one of my exes, the way that only someone who you have known your whole life can, the kind of teasing you can only accept from someone who used to read you bedtime stories out of trashy garage sale novels (with all the voices and dramatic emphasis) like The Happy Hooker and Jackie Collins' trashterpiece Rockstar, from the bunk below yours. 1994 is only a classic in our personal/friendship canon in retrospect, though the picture I have of her trying to split a coconut with a hatchet-sized knife in our kitchen might imply otherwise. Now, I am retiree cat lady qua music hobbyist at 29 and she is a burgeoning Annie Sprinkle/Gloria Allred amalgam, and we both live in houses with heat. We've really come up in the world. Salud!

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December 30, 2005


A friend, over dinner, appropo of almost nothing: "Not to be too TMI, but yeah, MILF porn is what does it for me. Like 45 year old women? WHOO! Damn! (whispering) Older women are crazy like that! Oooh.(shakes head) Crazy, you know what I mean. (gets closer) Seriously, if I could hook up with some older woman -- I'm serious--I'd be her houseboy all the way. (looks around to other tables, leans in, as if telling the real secret) Older women know what they are doin' -- you know -- they're into it..."

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December 29, 2005


What did you get for Xmas?

A printer, some books, my mom got me some antique man dolls for my doll collection--

Dude. Those are not black man dolls, I saw the photo, those are Sambo dolls, don't front!

Ok, so my mom got me some Sambo dolls for Christmas!

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Links been updated. Now you can visit more blogs of my friends and become me and the kittens friend on myspace.

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Tiny Lucky reached out to the most knowledgable source we know on all things Vandermark, compatriot-critic Peter Margasak, in order to best answer the question that poured in yesterday:

Ok, I will buy a Vandermark album, but there are like, 46 of them, where do I start?

Peter says: "V5 hasn't made a record with Fred Lonberg-Holm yet. The last few with trombonist Jeb Bishop were less frenetic than the band's earliest stuff- when Bishop doubled on screaming, Sharrock-esque electric guitar. Of the recent, more muted offerings I really like Airports for Light (2003), but it you want more skronking Target or Flag (1998) would do the trick. I think Ken's best current project is the FME (Free Music Ensemble) with bassist Nate McBride and the Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love; the group's new album Cuts is an unholy throwdown of high intensity scorch, subtle interplay, and naturalistic ebb and flow [-ed.]. Super great. I also really dig all of the recordings by the large ensemble Territory Band, a dense mix of composition and improvisation, with the extended horn work--featuring the great German trumpeter Axel Dorner and Swedish saxophonist Fredrik Ljungqvist--set against amazing electronics, first by Kevin Drumm, and these days by Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkammer)."

Vandermark's website, which also has a special discography page where you can break down releases by ensemble, all 14 of 'em.

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Can you teach me how to say, phoenetically, "Thank You" and "Excuse me" in Polish? If you can, holler, because people at my local market think I am rudezilla when i am in there buying up blueberry peirogis and grapefruit tea and enourmous jars of the (vegetable) love of my life PICKLED BEETS. They do not speak anything but hella Polish and the place is so utterly my supermarket fantasy, just like the Screeching Weasel song, except I am not hot for the cashier, I am FASCINATED by the whole dried mackeral in tubs of brine sitting in the middle of the joint.

Fifteenthly, DID I MENTION THAT NEW YEARS EVE I AM DJING AT THE EMPTY BOTTLE? I am. In between and before Juan Mccclean (member that story in Vice about the time he shot crack? Rill naztay junkie biz, ew) and ye olde Spankrock. Come out.

PPS-thousand: Jonathan Goldstein's book Lenny Bruce Is Dead is not so much a story as it is 150+ pages of half paragraphs of cleverness and wit, with a mite of storyline in it. I skipped from page 7 to page 56 and it made nary a lick of difference. It was still jokes about the rabbi and him bored, but still screwing some chick named Mimi in the ass. Is that what transgressive fiction has come to? Injokes about temple culture and anal? I love Goldstein's other work, but this book is not something I am loving. Also, related sidenote: Has anyone else noticed that 80% (informal numbers here, of course) of the fiction in the New Yorker in the last three years, when written by Americans, is about divorcing couples, young women fucking and having affairs with older men, women sexually swindling, older married women as raggish, and men married and single having all manner of sexual daliance or at the least--bent with grave longing-- as the story's denoument? I have no truck with this, it just makes me wonder about the homelife of the fiction editor. (Perhaps it's just a Cheever scrim? Or is marriage so universally understood as a soul wasting function, a killer of spirit, that that's just like... the rule of it? The men get crushed in the permanance and spend years resenting their wives ever-sagging parts and spend years ruing, until their moral center collapses and they find some pert young thing to cut with? Is it that bitter? That bereft? I am someone who beleived in romance, for real, for the first time at 28, and now all the sudden take issue with how joyless a presentation of marriage exists in TNY's fiction section, but whatevs, topic for another time)

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December 28, 2005


My friend JR weighs in on the particulars of last nights Vandermark5 show and drummer Tim Daisy. Tim Daisy was wearing a hippie boy shell necklace I am pretty sure. The kind of thing your sister brings you back from spring in Cancun. But, honestly, dude plays like a cyclone wrapped up in a hurricane, jus' pouncin'.

Are you straight napping on jazz and not listening to what JR and I are saying about Ken V? Here are five bands that if you like, you will like Ken Vandermark 5:
1. TAR
2. The Ex (post 1989)
3. Honor Role
4. Fugazi bootlegs
5. Swans

I'm trying to convert you. I should not have to try so hard. DO IT.

Posted by Jessica at 03:43 PM | TrackBack


As JR and I were leaving the Bottle, in no haste, in case Vandermark5 decided to fire up again, even though I could tell by the way Vandermark and Fred Lonberg-Holm clasped backs and patted one another and said "Good one, man" (I was close enough to hear the exchange, same close enough even to tell you Vandermark uses Rico Sax Reeds gauge 3 1/2 and drinks his Sprite on the rocks) I could tell it was a night. I said to JR "Whenever I come to these jazz nights here, I feel like I am setting myself up for an "I Saw You" missed connection in the back of the Reader" JR finished the sentence " Me: guy with beard, wearing poncho--" I add: " you: only girl at show."

I know I mentioned I cry at Brotzmann shows, and I can tell you I choked up every song, everysong of the second set of the V5 tonight, and even with all the just cause for such, maybe you'd think I was a natural jazz crier. I ain't. I'm not some sissy, getting salty faced everytime someone free skronks. It's because something deep in my center gets corked during those solos and the good feeling holds, and when you see them play you know better that god is within both them and you.

(The first time I heard the Vandermark5 was during a two month period in which I was a clerk at a shitty record store in Hollywood called Arons. I worked with a bunch of used up record store lifers, Pete Stahl from Wool and a couple of raver chicks who knew nothing about music but enough about flirting. It was the last normal job I worked. No one there believed that I also did PR, that I had my own business and that I even worked with bands whose records we stocked in the store. Like, literally, everyone thought I was crazy and making it up. I asserted "If I was going to lie about something, why would I lie about working with Tsunami?!" Anyhow... we got a promo in to the store of Single Piece Flow and it was so burly and explosive, after half a play, I was "banned" from playing it. That and the Azita solo album that came out at that same time, were the first things that imbedded the wondering about what the fuck is going on there in Chicago? Noise deliverence right there on Highland and Santa Monica. I ate donut holes in the parking lot on my breaks and plotted a way out.)

About 10 days ago, JR, who lives above the Bottle, laid into Miles and Matt and I about how Vandermark is a living legend, the man plays like 37 times a month, plays the Bottle almost every week sometimes, and we never go see him, and how we are assholes for not paying 5$ to go see dude. He said "What if you, every week for years, had the chance to see Ornette--and years later you'd feel like a fool, missing the chance!" -- he's like David Sedaris' dad in that one book, lecturing the kids and making them listen to Brubeck sides, but less convienently snarky.

So tonight, we went, and yes I feel like King Asshole--he called it-- I have lived here for nine years, since the night Brian Case turned 21, kiddos, and fucking A, I have only seen Vandermark thrice times. Woe be unto me and my poor judgement. The V5 hit all the right and wrong notes and siezed and purred and oh, that reassuring diesel hum of the tenor--we felt it. Heavy.

The whole night was qua holy, and maybe I was lilting Catholic already. Spent two hours holed up in at a corpo-cafe talking about god with some womens I roll with. On the street I said goodbye to an old friend I hardly see ever these days, she comes out only occasionally now, revivifies in between rounds of cancer treatment. Four cancers last year, hysterectomy, double masectomy and a thyroid out. I told her my sister was home from Spain and she said "Oh, I want my ashes scattered around the Guell fountain in Barcelona." I wanted to shush and reassure her not to talk like that, you will live forever, but she's 50 and has had a multitude of cancers and is allowed to strike mortality in casual conversation.

We talked about Vatican and it's gaudy monuments to mortal (papal) men, and embalmed nuns in Montreal, and how she hated Catholic church as a child because of the dead waxied face nun in the glass case. I told her why I can't stand mass. Because they say "Christ Jesus." ( Fucking semantics, as ever). "It's like how gym teachers and coaches only call you by your last name, it makes me think the priest is taking attendance, saying his last name first. "Christ, Jesus" It sounds all wrong." Later, over the hot drinks, my friend Margaret talked about praying like you already got what your prayed for, "I didn't come up with that one. That's direct from the big guy." I love it when people call god "the big guy" -- like he's a CEO or the manager of the Red Sox. She also recited most of The breastplate of St. Patrick from memory, the part that's the hymn. I like the part about doing god's work in the world, but the part about "spells of women, smiths and wizards" is a bit much. Smiths? Like Blacksmiths? Wicked blacksmiths crafting evil horseshoes or garden gates? "Spells of women" is to be expected, as it was, like, 1150 AD, saints were weary of hoodrats in hoe frocks and round the way girls in the square, spelling them, and it was natural to be weary. Wizards are a given; wizardry has been known through the ages as totes problemic for Catholics in particular.

And yes, did I mention the weather? Tiny Lucky Doppler Radar is most pumped let you know: it is a blazing 46 this evening at 11 or midnight. The snow has melted into ashy colored heaps and left the ground uncovered, exposing slick leaves, empties and months of frozen dog turds now thawing. It rained and not snowed. Return to Bike Week is now on day two. I know these soft winters are bad for farmers and crops, but I like the solitude and slow pace of the bike and it's baskets and pedal-powered lights more than the 49B down Western, which is like Bellevue on wheels, but with a $2 cover. But now, it is above freezing, and the streets are ours again.

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December 27, 2005


Right now, your got nothing going, yr cleaning yr room, yr biding time in the sunset of the year, idling about and waiting for the binge to end all binges on NYE to wipe yr memory like some zillion proof lobotomy. I know it. But what i would suggest is that you take an hour and put yr mind to a task: WORKING ON YOUR EMP PROPOSAL!
They are due soon. And I wanna see you there. It's like a barn dance, but with talking!
Jessica H
EMP committee member 06

“Ain’t That a Shame”: Loving Music in the Shadow of Doubt

The 2006 Experience Music Project Pop Conference
Seattle, WA, April 27-30, 2006

What forces are at work when we like something we “shouldn't”? What role does shame, either shame succumbed to or shame resisted, play in the pleasure we as fans and interpreters take from the music we love? Is loving music passionately (collecting it, critiquing it, fashioning one’s identity around it) itself becoming a guilty pleasure, i.e. something increasingly rare and in need of explanation, something self-indulgent or questionable? To what extent do these issues reveal hierarchies of taste, transformed subjectivities, the effect of politics on culture, or other lines of contestation permeating popular music?
For this year’s Pop Conference, we invite papers, panels, or other presentations on these topics. Related questions include but are not limited to:
--In what terms do “guilty pleasures” operate beyond the U.S. experience? How do different genres define the inappropriate?
--Who are the performers, the issues and the hidden pleasures, that you have wanted to write about but never dared, or who you loved and then forsook?
--What happens when you center your focus on “minor” histories?
--How do the desires for novelty and permanence, diaspora and roots, or for that matter extremity and conformity, play out against each other in music?
--Can we think in less whiggish and salutary ways about pop and progress, or how music functions in dark times?
--Does doubt affect the creation of musical works, and not only reception? What guilty pleasure do performers feel about their own social impact?
--How does technology and futurist rhetoric affect distinctions in pop fashion between the sublime and the ridiculous?
--What are the connections between pop shame and “passing”: sexual, racing, class, nationality?
The EMP Pop Conference first convened in Spring 2002 and is now entering its fifth year. The goal has always been to bring academics, writers, artists, fans, and other participants into an all-too-rare common discussion. Most presentations are of the 20 minute panel talk variety, but unorthodox suggestions are our favorite kind and we can support a wide range of technological experimentation. Previous year’s conferences have resulted in the anthology This is Pop (Harvard, 2004), the current special issue of Popular Music (“Magic Moments”), and a second anthology that is under preparation. This year’s program committee includes Drew Daniel (Matmos), writer Jessica Hopper, Jason King (New York University), Michaelangelo Matos (Seattle Weekly), Ann Powers (Blender), David Sanjek (BMI), Philip Schuyler (University of Washington), and Karen Tongson (University of Southern California).
Proposals should be no more than 250 words, should be accompanied by a brief bio and full contact information, and are due January 16, 2006. Proposals are judged by liveliness of prose as much as pertinence of topic. Email them, as well as any questions about the conference, the theme, your topic, or the application process, to organizer Eric Weisbard at For more information on previous conferences, including a full range of participants and abstracts, go to: the EMP site

Posted by Jessica at 03:30 PM | TrackBack


I voted. This is what I told the Village Voice about how I felt about this years music. Contrast/ compare with the list of mine that runs in this weeks Chicago Reader -- note last minute substitutions of Kate Bush and Mary. I feel funny about so much indie rock -- but --it was a good year for men with guitars, it's a tight field -- as a genre, they are making a strong come back--and I realized I could not deny Berman "I love you to the Max!"-best love-antho of the year, I think and plus, I gotta go for the underdog--everyone else had M Goats and Hold Steady in the ups. Also, for Common, I am actually on voting for half the album, technically, or even just "The Food" when it comes down to it. I wish I could turn half the Kanye and half the Common albums into one album, one super album. Also, last minutey, I bumped off Bun B and Paul Wall from the singles votes because I forgot how much I loved Safety Pin and MFA, Chi-Boogie drumz punk and kompakt-kronk, respectively. There were some songs off Trina's Glamorest Life, but they were beaten out by the better pussy-sing-a-long of the year, c/o Spank Rock. I voted for "Trapped in The Closet pt 3" but then realized that I voted wrong, I think it's part 1 that has the line "Oh My God / A rubber!"--which is the best anything to happen to anything all year. TO THE MAX TO THE EXTREME IN YOUR HEIRARCHY AND IN YO FACE!


1. sufjan stevens illinois asthmatic kitty 10
2. spoon gimme fiction merge 10
3. make believe shock of being flameshovel 10
4. mary j blige the breakthrough umg 10
5. common be geffen/umg 10
6. pelican the fire in our throats hydrahead 10
7. kate bush aerial emi 10
8. silver jews tanglewood numbers drag city 10
9. lungfish feral hymns dischord 10
10. sir alice s/t Tigersushi 10

Artist Title Label
1. spirit ditties of no tone deerhoof 5rc
2. dance my pain away rod lee morphius
3. sex wit you marques houston UNKNOWN
4. mjb the mvp mary j blige umg
5. luxurious (remix) gwen stefani ft. slim thug interscope
6. put that pussy on me spank rock white label
7. (i got the) bougeouis blues safety pin terry plumbing
8. trapped in the closet (pt 3) r kelly UNKNOWN
9. numb tomas andersson b pitch control
10. the difference it makes the MFA (superpitcher remix) kompakt

Posted by Jessica at 12:43 AM | TrackBack

December 26, 2005


Two story Veuve Cliquot-style condo w/ escape hatch roof, beautiful view, overlooks kitchen. Light enough to move with you when you run or chase toys inside of it. Outside features decor originally from "Memory foam" pillow.

We have plans, bigger plans, for something called "All Season Animal Playland" -- we need carpet samples, a pool kickboard, a feather and small pictures of Garfield and Fifth Dimension still. Oh, and a feather. Kittens love feathers.

Right now, it's still just proto-types.


RIP Derek Bailey.

Posted by Jessica at 03:38 PM | TrackBack


This whole time, when people were linking to Yacht Rock, I thought it was some bad Unicorns style band. But, no, Yacht Rock is the best thing ever, though they have their Michael McDonald chronology about when eh went into the Doobies/left Steely Dan wrong, but totes whatevs, I'll save it for the 33 1/3rd book I do on Aja. Meanwhile, lets keep our hopes up that they include Jay Ferguson, object of my obsession, in a future plot.

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December 24, 2005



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December 23, 2005


I picked up a copy of Babel at Myopic, this aft, for a loose $10.50. The name of the previous owner was on the first page, in delicate script, reading "Edith Frost".

In a yard down the street, someone has up a monolithic inflatable snowmen ensemb, a dad snowman flanked by two half pint snowmen, snowsons mebbe, all lit from withtin. The little snow dude on the left, has a defect, one would guess, and is now half deflated and bobbing forward, carrot nose folding up as he bobs facefirst into the larger snowman's snowcrotch-zone. The mittened hand of the larger snowman is affixed to the back of little snowdudes head. This slowly deflating snowman bloje-a-trois is in the front yard of one of those new construction condos with the 2-story living room windows: how are the owners not noticing? Perhaps they are face down drooling Corona-spittle onto their white leather couch. Perhaps they are subversive perverts who rigged the whole thing up themselves. Perhaps.

Banner day for statcounter keyword search results. To the two people who got to this blog by googling "Trent Reznor bottom or dom?" and "What the fuck is up with my leg?" - hello and welcome. I hope you find answers.

Posted by Jessica at 07:26 PM | TrackBack


E-Z Music Presents for those who have everything and are impossible to shop for:

1. Best of Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band. It's the gift you can give anyone, parents, girlfriend, boss--no one has Seger on CD, and no one can deny "Mainstreet" or "Against The Wind".

2. MC Lyte records. When was the last time you, or anyone, heard "Cappucino"?

3. Senor Coconut's Coconut FM: Latin Club Hits . Baile funk and Tego Calderon and otra jams. Large Greased Boobs on the cover. Everyone loves boobs.

thats my suggestions for you, last minute shopper.

Posted by Jessica at 01:08 PM | TrackBack


The man with whom I share this new house is out of town for the holiday, and though the living-together is still so new, the house feels "empty"--which makes me feel like some I'm in the Pajama Game, or some equally socially prescrptive 50's film where the well crinoline'd women make pork chops for men who carry briefcases and tip hats. Supplanting the "house is empty" feeling (which is actually more like a "where are my keys" feeling), I invited JR over for dinner because I prefer to cook for two, I prefer a bit of direct duty. I have some shadowy sense of shame about all of this.

Later, putting up dishes while the kitten chewed at the hem of my pants, thinking about Aerial , the best-ever stoner mom concept album about domesticity; I meditated on the idea that struck me earlier this week-- about how I have the option of domesticity and home-venture. I have the option to be sated by it and enjoy it even (which I do). My mother was the first woman in her family with the option, though she was married and a mother by 23. I'm almost 30, and I choose to make dinner for the man I love most every night. We live in sin and I do not have to iron Matt's shirts.

My dad's mom stopped working when she got married. She loved working. The last job she held at 22, she was the assistant for an accountant, she loved doing math and was good with numbers. She was a catholic girl in a small town in Southern Indiana. She was raised by the nuns and she married the first man she dated. She got pregnant the first time she had sex and spent the next few decades starching and ironing doiles, going to mass and being a mom. There was no option or choice in any of that.

When her husband died a few years ago, and she moved into assisted living, she said the strangest part was having someone cook dinner for her --and not having to cook dinner for anyone herself. She had been married for a week shy of 60 years when he passed, and she had cooked dinner for him, she said, most every night, unless she was in the hospital with illness or childbirth, or unless he had dinner at the K of C. She was dutybound to fix supper for a man who had no idea how, nor the inclination to, cook for himself, because ignorance of such was in his job description. He was not socially prescribed for anything other than being entitled to dinner.

Knowing this is what I am a generation removed from, and the fact that it's 2 am, I'm blogging in my kitchen while listening to Best of Gucci Crew II "for work", and the only obligation-to-feed that I have is filling Wyatt and Monkee's bowls with kibble everyday, as corny as it sounds, it makes me understand that feminist liberation was/is a revolutionary act which, put simply, allows women to live.

Posted by Jessica at 02:37 AM | TrackBack

December 22, 2005


I will not stop reminding you until every single one of you is checking his blog daily, JR Nelson. America. Read it. Read every single lick of it. Today, he talks about his coworkers impregnating each other and session players turned janitors. (The story about throwing a LIT 1/4th STICK OF DYNAMITE at his neighbors is true, and a great story in it's entirety. The blast was heard all the way downtown. Blew a huge sooty hole in the concrete-- which perhaps has been paved over--it'd be in the lot across from the Popeyes on Milwaukee, in case yr walking past on yr way to Rainbo* to pick up ho-unitards and 99 cent thongs for your special someone.)

(* Rainbo the clothes store, not Rainbo the bar where scenesters go to talk about each others bands and skeez up endrunkened SOIC senior girls about their "paper craft".)

Posted by Jessica at 02:43 PM | TrackBack


Earlier this week, Matt brought home Baudrillard's America, which the lady at Myopic suggested is better read as fiction, rather than philosophy ("It's much easier to stand if you think it's just a story about a snotty French guy on a roadtrip."). I like it. (Plenty. Lots at times. Does that make me choochy? If so, my choochiness is accidental.) His filet of Southern California is as stark as anything Didion's Play It As It Lays, especially for someone who did not grow tall amidst America's mood. He writes: "A camoflaged individual, with a long beak, feathers, and a yellow cagoule, a madman in fancy dress, wanders along the sidewalks of downtown, and nobody, but nobody looks at him. They do not look at other people here. They are much too afraid they will throw themselves upon them, with unbearable, sexual demands, requests for money or affection. Everything is charged with somnambulic violence andyou must avoid contact to escape potential discharge."

I do not know what a cagoule is, but somnambulic violence is the rattletrap DNA of that whole city. When I lived there, downtown was still rancid, as if time dipped out shortly after Day of The Locust , reappeared briefly around 1957 to install new counter tops at smoke stained diners and play dead for another 30 years while the whole place got tarred filthy. My friend Djinni, her friend Johnny had a corn yellow Cadillac convertable, ancient and boatlike, and he drove us through downtown one night, all night cris-cross like mapping a grid, really, it was like the end of time. Tumbleweeds through the street and sterile white tile tunnels with tags etched through the exhaust-cake, a coyote and no humans at all.

Los Angeles is a different place now, I think.

Posted by Jessica at 01:34 AM | TrackBack

December 21, 2005


The official search for a ride to Star Plaza Theatre in Indiana to see Andy Williams, aka "A-Dub" has been called off. I can't go now. Sadly.
But, in an amazing twist of fate, mere minutes after getting the news, I was presented with a close surrogate, an xmas present from my everloving man, my #1, Matt, of Andy Williams: Live in Branson at The Moon River Theatre . I have not watched it yet, but I cannot wait. On the cover, his make-up/tan is so dark and his face so strangely taut and aquiline for a man of 79, he kind of looks like Diana Ross . Compare/contrast. Spooky, que no?

Posted by Jessica at 10:31 PM | TrackBack


Every car in all of Chicago has been Priceline'd up due to the holiday and all my friends only drive sticks (me: not so good with that), meaning yrs truly is assed out for the Andy Williams show at Star Plaza in Indiana tomorrow. You, driving girl I know, half know, trust on a cellular level, want to go to Hammond Indiana tomorrow 12/22? If yr car is not a stick, I will drive it and buy you all the drinks you want. You can get TOTES PLASTERED ON MY DIME, I will be able to cover the show like I am s'posed to, and we all win. BE MY PLUS ONE TO GO SEE ANDY WILLIAMS, WHO TURNED 79 EARLIER THIS MONTH PLAY TO BINGO HOTTIES!

Posted by Jessica at 01:54 PM | TrackBack


TODAY, kiddos, a revisitation to landmark albums of 9th grade. (Goo or Daydream Nation - purchased around the same time, were the last CD I got in a longbox. Longboxes were phased out shortly after that, I remember this because the first task I had at the record store I worked at in 9th grade was building/assembling a rotating cardboard display that came from DGC to hold, specifically and only, GNR's Use Your Illusion I & II. Not to be all "those were the days" re: longboxes, but anyhow.)

My Patti Smith luv-a-thon is up now, c/o the CBC, though they confused me for Anthony Miccio --it erroneously states that I write for the Voice--but you knew that. God Bless Canada and it's peoples.

And my Sonic Youth's GOO is hot bananazz review is up as well.

Please note: I call both these albums "sweet" and "violent" -- I'm not lazy, both are.

Also, after 26 days without at-home DSL, my internet has been installed, I can now update this thinger with pictures of my kitten 24 HOURS A DAY. Blve it!

Posted by Jessica at 12:01 PM | TrackBack

December 20, 2005


Dudes do actually take their girlfriends to public places to break up with them so that they do not make a scene. I am watching this happen right now in the atrium of the public library, aka the place you must be the most quiet in all of Chicago. His plan is totes backfiring, as the ex-gf is sobbing, covering her face with her hands.. and now we are all looking at him, as he tries to do the "there there" pat on the knee and nervously peers back at the rest of us, who are now aware that his is breaking up with a chick the day before Christmas Break.
Note to young dudes who may not know break up rules and regulations do not, do not, do not, break up with a girl in the library. It's poor form.

Posted by Jessica at 04:05 PM | TrackBack


Kevin Erickson of Walla Walla writes in psuedo-defense of Jars of Clay: "I am actually writing my undergraduate thesis on this ridiculous evangelical christian magazine called RELEVANT, to which the Jars of Clay singer contributes a column, and I was surprised to find that they are totally rad people, like constantly lecturing the fundies about how they shouldn't be so homophobic and self-righteous and how they should care more about the AIDS epidemic and poverty. I can't say anything about their music because I haven't heard it in years but they were one of the first concerts I went to, 10 years ago, with my mom. And really, they were doing the whispery-voiced sensitive christian boy thing long before Sufjan"

Kevin's blog is called Holy Moly, where part of this thesis is posted.

Marius Kaiser of Germany writes with a rhetorical quandry about American Apparel's holiday ad campaign: "The perfect state of affairs should be: (sexual) equality. A society in which everyone feels like they are being appreciated on their merits of being a human not on sex, skin colour, etc. Surely, in such an equal society, such an add as the AA one would pass, right? A female, white ass is, after all, just as stuffable as any other ass or orfice or thing and stuffable by anything. It would be neutral. Truth is of course right now it is the "white, female ass" that is being stuffed and that is a sexist negative portrayal of the female gender. Now, how do we go about establishing this "equality" mentioned above where a female white ass is just one of so many things that can be stuffed?"

Tiny Lucky Responds
This is a good question. If people of all races and genders were presented equally in ads as "stuffable" (or even as attractive) then the American Apparel "Stuff This" ads (and/or if we existed in a paralell dimension where all things are just,) it would be a non-issue. We would have to suppose, then, for the evening of the playing field: total sexualization and exploitation of all people equally in all advertising--in regards to BOTH the advertising image and also the exploitation of the desire of the person being advertised to. That seems kind of over the top and apocolyptic, but it might also being kind of pleasant. Could we rearrange our desires, or our consumer DNA to handle hairy, shirtless, underweight 37 year old Puerto Rican dudes being presented with the same assumed sexual force as young svelte white women are, on billboards or in print campaigns? Or 70 year old asian women being marketed as "stuffable"?

Creating that alternate, utopian landscape may, for now, be a matter of resisting, on a personal day-by-day basis. Not accepting advertising that sells girlbodies, white dominion and affluence, and keeping that resistance vigilant. I do not know so much about what the more active change-point might be to getting all people equally sexualized and marketed to on a larger scale. Suggestions?

Thanks for writing,

Posted by Jessica at 02:57 PM | TrackBack

December 19, 2005


MY TOP TEN / sort of / stem off confusion from posting Miles' top 10/ based on how much I listened to them and nothing else / strangely "indie" after all these years:

Make Believe
Pink Mountaintops
John Doe
River City Tanlines
Rod Lee

My Voice poll shiz is different. For full comments on those above, check the Reader this week or next me thinks.

Posted by Jessica at 04:17 PM | TrackBack


I feel asleep, in the manner/style of Rip Van Winckle, somehow, and missed that Mark Donohue , the AJ Leibling of Team Hit it or Quit it, got a bloggerstein. Code Bananas all over!

PS. BUY HIT IT OR QUIT IT AT QUIMBYS / I have 600 in the porch of the old house still. XMAS IS COMING and it's a cheap gift that is much more tasteful than one of those fauxgina-in-a-king-can things.

Posted by Jessica at 04:08 PM | TrackBack


Several people wrote over the weekend asking "What do you think of the new American Apparel holiday banner ad campaign that is just girlass-in-panties and reads "Stuff This" along the bottom that's showing up on Insound and Pitchfork?" -- and my answer is I have not seen this yet, but will promptly go to Pitchfork and wait til it rotates up.

Ok, My first thought is that the porn zietgeist is in full flourish in America. The wink-wink nudge-nudge acknowledgement of awareness that, yes, in fact, the entire economic axis of the first world rotates in order to implicate and fuse to our very souls, this idea that if you spend money (and have money) you will get to "stuff" the ass of a white girl, or that a way for women to achieve power is to have a stuffable ass -- that this can be a harmless pop up ad because it is seen as MERELY ironic use of image and porn meaning-- it's a bum out. The trick is upon us like a cloud, kiddos.

Also, and, plus, that it's too bad that Insound and Pitchfork, who have women on their staff and thinking PC-ish dudes at the helm as well as purchasing/reading audiences that are likely at least 1/3rd women, and that they would not have the mettle to maybe tell American Apparel that they are not willing to post an ad like that is a little surprising. Maybe the "Stuff This" ad--maybe it's not "questionable" to them because they are excusing it by saying it's JUST ironic. Maybe they see it as just business as usual. Maybe they are into it and pissed they did not think of "Stuff This" first. I do not know. But I think the most "dangerous" idea at play here is excusing porn zietgeist as irony, which is akin to what feminists call gaslighting. The irony, here, attempts to disconnect us from the the truth that all images, including this one (of disembodied, "stuffable" girl ass) are suffused with meaning. If we can disconnect from meaning then we, as viewers/underwear buyers/hopeful holiday assstuffers, are NOT FORCED to examine what happens when porn zietgeist and objectified ass is being successfully used to broker us buying into certain products, who purport that their use of sexuality, is posed as liberation from shame, repreive from the hangover of PC, coming on strong to those who are tired of being denied our god given right to ogle/want to have it our way/consume women like we do any product/be unhindered by consciousness of others / and exalted and stabilized as (white) people with purchasing power... you know?

My question (not rhetorical if Ryan from Pfork or Matt from Insound want to answer), is, if that ad was for something NOT ACTUALLY COOL (qua Pfork/Insound relevent), like Miller Lite Ice/ Sofia Minis/Avenged Sevenfold/Jars of Clay -- that same ad, but with a different insignia somewhere, would they still say yes to it, would they still cash the check? Would those be given a pass, or because those products/companies are seen as being outre or mainstream, thusly we associate it's phallocratic steez with mainstream macho, and a literal mysogyny instead of an ironic, subversive, underground "cool"/punk-acceptable mysogyny?

I think this all, essentially, comes down to the post-PC hangover, where engaging porn zietgeist, casually (ab)using the word "faggot" like you did back in 3rd grade, cavalier dispensation of the n word, etc -- the nouveau cultural personae of this, the embrace of it, is about two things-- one, it's a totem of white identity (enough power/authority that you can betray accepted social norms/ideas -- or that it conveys that one is "beyond whiteness*") and/or , two, it says "I'm not a pussy". "Pussy-dom" is white shame by another name and I think, just like in the "real" world, it is the fossil-fuel propelling the economics of the underground.

(* "Beyond Whiteness" is something we will unpack later, input welcome)

Posted by Jessica at 03:33 PM | TrackBack

December 18, 2005


"new baby" is home from Animal Towne, where he came from. Spent Saturday in the bathroom (his temp quarantine) with him attempting to nurse my armpit, pawing and sucking on my sweater for 40 minutes at a time. Apparently, I smell like a lactating cat. I got out the shower and he was nursing the armpit of my t-shirt without me in it. That's fucked up.

He is nameless, other than I keep calling him "her" by accident. No name yet, but "Willie" has been thrown around. As in Dixon. Or Bobo. I dreamt up a Ghostfaced-magic name last night, a mash up of blues and a page from HR Haldeman's Nixon tell-all The End of Power(the only reading material in the bathroom, to discourage extended-stay shitters)-- anyhow, the name I dreamed: Willie Bobo Bebe Rebozo.

Matt has rejected this name. Wyatt, Juniour, Dr. Christmas, Merle, "feathers", The Lindberg Baby, Dr. Xmas II: The Reckoning are all still on the table.

Posted by Jessica at 11:43 PM | TrackBack

December 16, 2005


Do you need:

DSL router
DSL modem
about $300 worth of mosaicing tiles and supplies
A chandelier
like 15 buckets of house paint, varying colors
religous/graf/animal art framed and unframed

If you live in Chicago and want to come pick it up email me
mcfrenchvanilla at yahoo
and i will tell you where the treasure is buried
free to good home

You are special.No matter how you feel, you are special.

Posted by Jessica at 04:20 PM | TrackBack


Santa Matt (his slave name) is bringing me a Kitten.
I picked it out at the kitten shoppe just today.
It comes home on Saturday.
It does not have a name yet.
We have taken to calling it "Dr. Tim Kinsella Christmas",
named for our closest mutual friend and the reason we met
back in 97. "Doctor" is it's preofessional name, so it does not feel
"little" just because it weighs 3 lbs.

Posted by Jessica at 01:22 AM | TrackBack

December 15, 2005


Last night, JR (still undiscovered as America's greatest young writer and punk's foremost Lincoln authority) and I were sitting on the couch (still unvaccummed) at him and Miles' place (still mad bachelory, JR's shelf of several thou vinyl Lps still leaning more by the day). JR and I were racking our pea brains for NPR-approps songs about heresy or the effects of heresy or what happens whn you cold kick it heretically and Miles came in sat down next to me, folded up like a lawn chair those lank legs in tight jeans were, he hid the Miller Lite Can almost up under him, protected under his chicken arm. It was just slight to last call downstairs. He arrived just as we had begun to peruse, high speed, Hold Steady' Separation Sunday for the heretical inferability of young Holly in dem lyrics, Miles sang along, swinging the beer for punctuation. Every song we played, every 33 second snip, he would say "Oh, yeah, that is perfect. That one." "Are you drunk?" I ask once I bother to look up at him. "Totes" he slurs, holding his beer up as evidence. JR did not pay anymind, as he was furiously scrubbing the liner notes of Smithsonian folk collection boxes for mention of folks who do not beleive the bible-truth. I resorted iTunes to isolate il reggae, see if anyone is doubting in between shouting down Babylon. I-Roy and U-Roy offered nothing, Dr. Alimontado close but not quite. Miles, silent, stands, offers his nighty-night salutation: "JAH RASTAFARI!" and saunters to his room.

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December 14, 2005


(after presenting him my top 10 for The Reader, identical to Miles' on five or six counts) What did yr top ten come out like?

Dude. I had the rod lee mixtape on my backup list. It woulda been ridiculous if I'd used it -- mine ended up being spoon, hold steady, make believe, common, celebration, bloc party remixes, m83, david banner, the sexual life of savages and konono.

Celebration was on my b-list. Fucking a... still twins. schwarznegger and devito style. PS. Sex Life is a reissue, you cheat. They stipulated NO REISSUES, you fucking cheat.

Totes cheat. Totes twins. We should just get a big two-neckhole sweatshirt and issue our year-end proclamations like siamese twin style.

Only if I get to ring the bell, you get to yell hear ye hear ye though.

Sweet. Tricorn hats for sheeze. Tricorn hats and a giant kitten sweatshirt with two neckholes for me n' you. It'll be our new look for 06!

Posted by Jessica at 05:11 PM | TrackBack

December 13, 2005


Numbers sometimes more potent than any words about the war.

Link courtesy of Pygmailion in ze Sheet Rap networks uncovered in science .

Songs that are worse than "My Humps". Maybe.

Jane Dark's ever-unfolding franconalysis. Thank god someone speaks french round here.

Julianne on kate bush .

"If you’d like to hear 2 hours of cool music and my own special brand of vitriol once a week, be sure to listen to the show." Henry Rollins Special Vitriol™ goes public, again.

In a world where Trent Reznor rides around the desert landscape with groupies on a chauffered golf cart... How come a promotional film, created and funded by the Coachella promoters is seeing commercial release? I know, total non-issue, but why/how does that happen? If Coachella can do it, with impunity, how come we do not see the same for Brian Culbertson's EPK?! He's surely as deserving as those Grammy™-nominated fardles in Arcade Fire!

Don Cab is now the math rock answer to Doors of the 21st Century , which Damon Che as the Ray Manzarek, pimping the corpse of a dead band.

JR still has the best blog in America and/or Egypt-town

Posted by Jessica at 02:10 PM | TrackBack


Remember in a post I made, back in 1871, after the Chicago fire, about how I was going to be profesh-blogging? Well, here's the official word . Yours truly will be the "punk/alt/indie/hardcore/underground" Mp3 blogger for the URGE, the downloadable music service spawn of MTV and Microsoft, that launches in next years Windows. And you know what's even better than that? That Il Shepdini, J Shep with the pep, "Pretty Voice" and Grandwiz Cardio Funsktress will be heading up the R&B blog for the same.

Posted by Jessica at 01:15 PM | TrackBack

December 11, 2005


Suggestion to someone with more time than I: Make a Mash-up (so 2003, but it's time to reject "latering" in all forms!) of Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island" with The Andrews Sisters "Christmas Island".


I am real proud of my display of Y2K style survival skills last night. It was snowing and I could not get a cab from the old place to the new place, and I had laundry and trinkets to get home. Much more than an armfull. So I made a laundry sled from a fake Chanel chain belt and a mail tub. I walked the mile home and it was really easy because there was 2 inches of fresh snow to glide upon. The only people that gave me any smirks were two 15 yr old baby ganstas and I was like "whatevs, you just wish you could ride in it!" because they were standing in the street waiting for their mom to de-ice the wagon to give them a ride. Laundry Sled Por Vida!

Matt and I went to see Friends of Dean Martinez last night, they encored with a zillion minute version of "Summertime" into "Kentucky Waltz".Tonight is Nels Cline en ensembe at the Bottle. GUITAR BLAZERY. In 1996, I saw Nels Cline Trio do a vers of "Scooter + Jinx" at Spaceland to 11 ppl that was better than the Sonic Youth original. Peep Nels Cline cos he's rarely, if ever, less than tuff-ripz.

I got confirmation: 12/22, I AM GOING TO STAR PLAZA IN HAMMOND INDIANA TO SEE ANDY WILLIAMS AND I EVEN GET TO WRITE ABOUT IT. I luv AW : he's totes paleo at this point, olden leather-tan crooning machine; xmas melodies by the kilo. Hubba hubba. I will spend the whole time in anticipation of "Moon River" aka My Favorite Song, and also I will be screaming out for "Call Me" and "Summer Wind" as he does them better than anyone else. 12/23: CIARA (NOT A MANSVESTITE!), BOW WOW, TREY SONGZ, CHRIS BROWN, MARQUES HOUSTON AND MORE AT THE HOLLADAY JAM AT ALLSTATE ARENA. Marques Houston's "Sex Wit' You" (or is it "sexwhitchoo"?) is the best male R&B flo-gasm since Avant's quiveration in "I Can Read Your Mind". Me and 14,000 B96 listeners cannot fucking wait!

PS> Rest in Peace Puss Puss, your were fat and mean, two of my favorite qualities in animals and humans.

Posted by Jessica at 05:09 PM | TrackBack

December 10, 2005



Posted by Jessica at 03:41 PM | TrackBack

December 09, 2005



The move is done. Done-ish. Like 89%. The remaining 11% is salad dressing left in the fridge and comics piled on the back of the toilet. Unpacked two boxes of dishes at the new place and spent the rest of the time writing and rewriting and letting adjectives run through my mind like a hamster in a greazed up Hamtrack™ and pleading with god to help me find another word for "pummel". I will have links to show you soon, to prove that my mind is alive, though my wit is not so rapacious. Too busy. All I got for you is blank stares, but I can make a cup of tea and change the sheets still. Forgot to celebrate the anniversarial deaths of Lennon and Darby Crash (How does one celebrate ol' dead Darby? Draw on a Germs-Burn with eyeliner for a day?). Still no internet and thusly, it's only pilgrim-era fun time games like "give the cat an olive to play with" and "stare out the window" and "do dishes and listen to MCLyte". It has snowed 5 inches (see photo above) and Matt saw our neighboor, a lady, aged 70 or so, step out her front door to get the paper in the nude, in the snow this morning to fetch the Sun Times. That is a dedication I cannot fathom, not for any publication.

Julianne has been in France for 10 days, and I feel like half a person if I do not spend at least 37 minutes a day on the phone with "Pretty Voice".

Norah, who is wearing my old winter hat, is working the counter behind me her at Atomix punx n' coffee n' internet empori-orium. She has just put on Nirvana Nevermind. The week this album came out, I wrote to the Nirvana fanclub, run by Nils Bernstien back in his Sub Pop days, and told them I though it was terrible. I was 16 yrs old by a week and despite only having had worked at the record store for a month at that point, was a TOTAL SNOB, not even on some "sell out" shit. The one and only Nirvana fan club newsletter that came out, the opening line is something like "Thanks to everyone for the nice letters, except for Jessica Hopper in Minnesota who writes" and then excerpts some really "YOUR ALBUM IS TERRIBLE. BLEACH WAS WAY BETTER. BUTCH VIG IS AN ASSHAT. WHERE ARE THE HOOKS?" sentiments from the letter. I do not entirely stand by those statements, but In Utero is a way better album.

Back into the snow. Just wanted to let you know I was still alive and not stuck upside down in a snowdrift, my legs sticking out the top like a twin-pop.

Posted by Jessica at 07:00 PM | TrackBack

December 06, 2005


No blogging til I finish the move. The look in Matt's eyes, as my move stretches in DAY 11 is too much to bear. Packing is now furious and frantic, sandwiched between editing calls and redrafts and pitches. I'd rather leave it alll, here, save for my skateboard and all my wool socks and pitch it to a cleansing fire in the driveway, as i want to be UNENCUMBERED AND FREE, like Martha Reeves hair on the cover of the Vandella's Black Magic. Aaaliyah is on repeat! My drill is charged and begging to d'semble the desk! Previous precious mementos are headed straight for the trash! AMEN!

Posted by Jessica at 03:24 PM | TrackBack

December 04, 2005


Even when I am laying in bed, not even reading, not even perceptably doing anything but laying awake, know that I am busy writing. This is also the same reason I take a shower. I cannot write anything longer than 400 words without first showering. That shower may last about 20 minutes even when I am past deadline. The time of the shower is not porportinate to the wordcount of the article. I can do the dishes and write in my brain at the same time, but I cannot write and mop or write and do laundry or write and move house. I cannot write and walk, but I can bike and write, but I prefer to sing or have gratifying imaginary fights or receive imaginary awards or fantasize extended, beggy apologies from people I dislike while doing those things. Before I get down to really writing, I have to check all my friends blogs, I have to put on some tea, I have to read the TOTT columns in the New Yorker, and if I am stuck, not always, my horoscope in the LA Weekly online. I do not write while I sleep and I do not write while making out or doing it. I write while driving, but not while riding shotgun. While riding shotgun, since the accident, I imagine the van or the car, breaking through other cars that forgot to stop like a finish line tape. I imagine that every other car will forget car law, and plow straight into us, just like the other car did to me. I hold my breath and barter with god in quick seconds here and there, so fearsome that one of us would die and the other would have to live through it, with survivor guilt and left with the memory of the others dead face. When that is happening, I am not writing either.

Posted by Jessica at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

December 03, 2005


We tried to blow off the stress and go on a movie date tonight, but mistakenly, we saw tthis Japanese film with bad translation that we thought was a "scary movie", but, instead was a movie where black smudges appear on walls, lights blink, people do not die but instead get tired and then turn into little pieces of paper when they get upset enough, then, when that happens their friends scream their name and grab at the paper like they are in those catch a dollar machines. Sometimes they just scream their friends name at the smudges ("Junco! JUNCOOOOOOOOOOOO!") then collapse dramatically on to the floors of various store rooms (this happens about 10 or 11 times) around Tokyo. The best part is the ghosts; when they were about to show up, a modem sound would go off and the music would go BOOOOOO-OOOOO-OOOO all halloween haunted house soundtrack musicality. Then the ghost would show up and try rub it's extra dragon lady length weave on frightened women in ill-fitting pants that made thier butts looked like diapers, while the light blinked. The women would be frozen stiff and unable to run from the whipping weave... then someone would put red tape up somewhere (fuck visual metaphor, unless yr Luis Bunuel), and more modems would sound. Unscary to the max. If you are going to have people shooting themselves point blank in the head, you should also have a bullet hole or at least blood. This is America, we've seen JFKs head splat on Jackie's suit in slow mo... we know that shit ain't clean.
Then! the city disappears, stranger-friends escape the empty city and all it's mediocre CGI smoke, via a yellow banana boat.
It was terrible.
I think, really, it was supposed to be a metaphor about how the internet makes us strangers, but for all I could tell it was about the holocaust, Shoeless Joe or Ed Bradley's love-hate relationship with Harry Reisner. If I could remember the movies name, I would warn you not to see it.

Posted by Jessica at 10:50 PM | TrackBack

December 01, 2005


Are you fretting what to get yr finicky music snob for xmas? Numbero Group Subscription Club is my suggestion. Hit their site just to read their press release for the jokes --""Can't subtract? We just saved you $29.88, enough money to buy a VCR."" (Do not take this plug as a secret hint about what I want for xmas, because I already got the hook up, and you need that Miami Funk/Bounce from the Past comp more than I do. Plus, I already asked for a new mop for xmas.)

Also worth perusing: Becky Smith reviews Walk The Line . Becky Smith turned 23 last week. Happy Birthday woman.

People in NYC, ask for Hit it or Quit it, the best magazine in America, the new issue, ask for it 66 times in a row at Other Music. According to my distro-mice, shit is going to be going there soonlike.

There is little to tell you about my day that is worth repeating aside from after putting Seal n' Peel on every window in the house, filling the house with the gnarly smell of "topholene" I announced, unthinkingly "Ugh, I cannot get the taste of that caulk out of my mouth," to my boyfriend.

Posted by Jessica at 09:51 PM | TrackBack


The treasure found under the couch after we moved it was like a haiku about this house, or lyrics to an Animal Collective song:

Two mysterious* xanax, one chewed by a mouse
Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends - on cassette
Time magazine, July 20, 1981-- Sandra Day O'Connor nomination on the cover
The Rub's "It's the motherfucking remix" CD, broken in half
a heart-shaped bar of soap
a package of 40 sewing needles
a neon green feather

(*the nature of xanax themselves, if my recollection serves, is not by anymeans mysterious. Rather, the mystery is where they came from. Maybe 40 people have slept on our coouch in the last 23 months, and maybe three of those people would not have been 'scripted or popping that sort of thing)

Posted by Jessica at 01:08 PM | TrackBack