July 30, 2006


I am saving the bulk of my musings for publication purposes later in the week, but today of Pitchfork was better. Here is my synopsis: So hot. Too hot. Watched in horror from about six feet away as the singer from Bonde de Role broke/dislocated her arm & elbow when she fell from the hands of the crowd onto a monitor. CSS was the deepest dream of riot girl come into a fruition in a way that was if nothing other than total liberation existed, only disco and fun. I will not detail the words fight I got into with some strangers after the CSS set, over their discussion of why the guy drummer was probably the band svengali, why the five women in the band couldn't have written those songs. It was the best set of all of the music I saw this whole wide weekend, and the svengali-theorists concurred. Fucks. Liars were wonderfully scary, ever thing that is a low hiss on the record is a really loud loud screeching in concert--Angus wore a waitresses uniform like a kimono and what appeared to be a jockstrap with colorful animal stickers on it--I tried not to actually look at what kind of business he was doing down there. The best part of Devendra's set was everyone over 34 in the VIP and backstage bitching about how The Grateful Dead became indie iconic. Catering ran out of food (chips/carrot sticks) and vacated thier little tent c. 3pm, but left a buffet offering of two large crates of almost ripe bananas. Mission of Burma were fiery though I could only see their eyebrows from where I was. Diplo was so good I had to leave after four songs. Does that every happen to you? Spoon opened with a new song that answered my question of how can they make a better record than the last one. Yo La Tengo played so quiet til the last song I did not know they were playing, the last song was pyrrhic (sp?) victory, a guy next to me leaned over and politely informed "They just hit the 20 minute mark." Good to know there are still stopwatchers on solo patrol these days.

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July 29, 2006


Finally found a CD player which my copy protected promotional copy of the new Hold Steady album plays on, and cottdamn. Joe Gross sent an email early in the week insisting it's "way Bruce" but I hear, structurally and sentimentally, a little Kiss and a lot of Replacements. It's like Craig wrote his Exile in Guyville style answer back record, but to the 'Mats Tim -- "Here Comes A Regular" hollers back; it's real Ghost-of-Stinson / knees on the filthy hard tile of the Chevron bathroom kind of living, all patina of romance rubbed right off this life and yr left with the unforgiving, brassy glare--but not having the balls or the crippling fear to give up on the party nights and their perdurable damage. I think yr gonna like it.

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July 27, 2006


nationaltrust 2.jpg

If yr coming to town for Pitchfork/Warped/Lolla, here's my suggestions for a good time, reprised from last years post on the same:

Chavas Tacos - it's on Grand, right before Western. Tacos are $1.25. Get 3 of them because they are teeny. Also, get chips with salsa, also $1.25. Get the salsa that the mix of the green and red salsas, they will also throw in some onions and cilantro, and you will not be able to stop horfing it down until it is way too late. If you are veg/vegan, FYI, they fry yr shit up right next to the lingua-meat tacos. The best thing about Chavas is the medium sized statue of a comically well-endowed bull that is positioned so if you want to check them out making yr food, or say "Can I get guacamole on there too?!" you have to say it through the bull's undercarriage and try not to get caught staring/laughing at the bull's pendulous balls. 1.5 miles from the park. 2006 Addendum: If you need Mexican food and it is after like 8 pm (Chavas closes early, but also opens at 5 am), just go to Chicago Avenue, west of Ashland (away from downtown)--you got options til dawn. If you are hungry and it's late-late, don't let someone bullshit you into going to Pick Me Up or Hollywood Diner. Go to someplace around Chicago & Wood, you'll do fine. PS. Get a Topo Chico (?) to drink. You will thank me for it later.

Handlebar - it's on North, 1 block east (before) Western. They got actual delicious vegan food, cheese plates that'll make you cry and the catfish tacos will make you want to move here. It's also the bike messenger bar, if you are looking for rowdy tattoo'd dudes in shortpants to oggle. 2 miles from park.

Red Hen Bakery - Milwaukee, 1/2 block east of Damen - in wicker park aka "the crotch". On the weekends only, they have this thing, I beleive it is made by God, or possibly Allah. It is called Chocolate Bread. Also see: Alliance Bakery on Division, half a block east of Wood. I think it's called Alliance, but I think I am confused because that's also a bakery in Mnpls. 1 mile from Union Park.

Atomix - Punk staffed/independently owned coffee shop. They have wireless internet there, small meals, muffins and cookies and coffee and all kinds of iced teas. Chicago & Damen.

Earwax - Milwaukee 1/2 block west of Damen next to American Apparel. Tons of actual decent vegan/veg options, and meat too, big patio, DJ Shadow records on eternal repeat. Coffee is kinda gross there, but the espresso milkshake is the jam. 1.5 miles blocks or so from park. Right off the Damen stop blue line.

Myopic - across the street from Earwax - awesome, huge used book store.
Open til midnight. Our BFF, JR, is working all weekend. Let him recommend you a book or two; their prices are reasonable and staff has bookworm love for days.

Zines/comics are at Quimbys and Quimbys is on North Ave, 2 blocks east of Damen.

Soul Vegetarian - It's on 75th and Harlem. Vegan soul food rest. run by the African hebrew Israelites with connecting juice bar. Is the best out of all the soul veg's. Sunday's they only have the dinner special, rather than full menu. Do not sweat it. Just go. I have no idea how to get there on the train, but if yr driving, it's a full 16 mins on 90/94 towards Indiana, exit 75th, go left, 2 blocks, is next door from Eternity Juice Bar. probably 9 miles from the park. 2006 Addendum: There is a lot of racist-ass ramp elimination going on down there, it can make exiting tricky. Also, if you keep driving down 75th, there are a minor slew of Jamaican joints and the like -- goat sandwiches and also vegan stee.

Garfield Park Consevatory - Garfield Park and Lake. You can take the green line. Conservatory is free, open til 5 daily, is totally magic, designed by Jens Jensen in 1909. The fern room is awesome, the cactus room is awesome - even if you do not give a solitary shit about plants. It's one of those places that, in kids books, kids run away from home and camp out/hide/stow-away at. Maybe 3-4 miles from the Park. You can take the blue line to the loop, hit the Green line there. 2006 Addendum: DID I MENTION THAT IT IS FREE and you can see the world largest indoor palm nut*?

PS--but this is really if you have a car or a little time to burn on blue line--the giant stretch of Indian resturants that will do you right is up at Devon and Western. Go West on Devon.

PPS--If you have a specific question about Chicago thing, I am totally happy to try and answer you. I do not want anyone to have a bad time in Chicago because they are working off of the VICE or SPIN or Blender guide or something.

(* yeah, har har, make all the nut jokes, but, it's a giant acorn that is like 6 feet tall with huge palm tree coming out of it.)

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July 26, 2006


The question on my mind is why aren't you listening to Bad Brains I Against I right now? No excuse unless yr on your bike or baby sitting the elderly or yr listening to Rock For Light already. Secondly, Rocktober maintains a version of their History of Black Punk 76-83 story from a few years back, which is constantly being updated and added to and has lots about Bad Brains, natch.

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"Others were pushing the measure to provide an opportunity for some lawmakers who are against abortion to make political amends after voting last week to support expanding federal research using embryonic stem cells."

Atoning for expanding scientific research by forcing teenage girls to give birth. What a clever way to keep America old school, on some real Code of Hammurabi shit! Now we get a cure for cancer and 13 year old moms-to-be douching with Drano and throwing themselves down stairs in order to abort, rather than having a doctor do it.

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July 25, 2006


While everyone knows about America's war for freedom/against terrorism, and how far reaching the tentacle of the war effort is, few people have probably imagined that it would ever come to this; a war on Canadian indie rock (link c/o Miles).

Being unable or too naive to pull together a visa to go play a basement show in Saugerties or Northhampton is one thing, being banned from the US for five years for attempting to do so, in the name of thwarting terrorism, reaches a boggling level of stupidity. Though, after Thomas Ricks interview on NPR this morning, about his time reporting in Iraq, the occupation and incalculable mess of it, "boggling level of stupidity" does not even begin to cover it.

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July 24, 2006


Not to be all prayer tree on you, but I know there is some xtian contingent and spiritually minded people who read this on the regular, so I have a prayer request: My nana, Zola, is v. sick, in a lot of pain and not long for this world. I would apppreciate whatever you can work in yr higher-power routine. Thanks thanks thanks.

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Lest we forget that midwestern emo began with Kinsella and cadre a full fifteen years ago. Pre-Promise Ring Davey Von B. on the left. With hair. Amen YouTube.

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July 23, 2006


I got down to the gnarls Wicker Pork (sic) street fair (sic) just in time to see the band rumble to an end as Tim attempted to get crowd participation in a rousing chant of "9/11 was an inside job!". By all accounts, as ever, Make Believe were buh-mazing. This is some phone video of them playing someone elses street fair. You cannot tell from this clip that they are the best punk band in a thousand mile radius but they are.

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July 22, 2006


Quickly before we leave: Peter Margasak has a new bloggerstein on the Chi-Boogie Reader site. PM is my #1 source for out-jazz and outside-of-America jamz, from India to Norway to Afro-everything, dude is all the way down with what you need to know a year before your need to know it, talking up Konono#1 like, 12 years before the band even formed style, knows the names of the varying thumb pianos of the world style. If you pay attention you will soon be able to discern and pick out some authentic bhangra mixes when browsing the Tower Imports section -- instead of continually buying India-mix "chillout" cds by accident.

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Your dream hut. 40 bedrooms and 40 fireplaces is kind of a lot. But if you got all your friends together, you could totally buy this place. 800,000 is kind of a lot of money but not for a castle.

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July 21, 2006


Keren Ann tours Israeli bomb shelters.

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Last night we danced to a phantasm of the discos-dream! Four Tet dude played records at Sonotecque, a one-off for the celebre of his new DJ Kicks series release, which I think is the best one of the Kickzzz series by a landslide (the Playgroup one was ok, but works better as a document of the moment before DFA exhaled) -- mostly because Mnsr. Four Tet has made the a mix tape ode to good taste and organic dancing music. Ultimate Party Mix 2 Go for those with most discerning tastes. Last night was 2-odd hours of the same hoo-boy--Magma into chopped 'n screwed into JB-funk into bhangra into This Heat into big beat wizard flutes into mantronix into freestyle battles of London into Showbiz & AG. It was the first I went a-prancing and only heard two songs by artists I knew, and was dancing the entire time. JR and I were in whites from the other party, looking like a painting crew on party wagon, and we stepped and stepped, and sometimes peered into the DJ booth hoping to get an understanding of What The Fuck. When I curate next year's Intonation*, I'm so bringing him back, so we can do it all again.

(* Do not underestimate the Power of positive thinking!)

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July 20, 2006


He held this pose for a good 51 seconds til my camera flashed. It is the week of dancing nights. Yestereve was Flosstradamus aka Flosstramoshpit aka Hump night means pour the beer down my shirt. Kid Sister was being interviewed for a Chicago My Block or whatever that show is called for TV. It's her and three Chicago platinum rappers that haven't lived here since the Pleistocene Era, alas it's best to rep Southside Chi than Private Jet. Kid Sister has no record, but a tight Myspace game and beat connections and nice airbrushed nails and huge earrings and raps to sass with. It was so crowded you could not move and people were going unprovoked bonkers under the glinting eye of the MTV camera light. One wonders--what now?

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Why isn't yr band covering this? The bridge after the solo is fantasticly soft.

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July 19, 2006


Fantastic and hysterical link, courtesy Bexxxy Smiff of BOCOMO:Rock For Life's list of "pro-abortion bands". The Butchies, The Coup and Bikini Kill--kind of "no duh", but David Crosby?! Or Eve's Plum? Dice Raw? Sophie B Hawkins? The Dwarves?! Rock For Life's comprehensive list is going to cripple the sales of 10 cassingles at thrift stores all over America!

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Best parts:
1. Inability to sync very simple dance moves
2. When the woman that looks like my step-mom bites Apollonia's hip
3. The mix of leotards and lingerie
4. Vague eroticism of the dance-slide into the saxophone
5. Lighting your friends cigarette as show of empathy
6. Un hot dudes in purple leather and teal silk
7. All band cuddle on the trundle/day bed

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My Carla Bozulich review from City Pages & her tour dates are here. Chicago on Friday at Schubas. Saturday is Minneapolis. Best go now.

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July 18, 2006


As if that Vice guide for Intonation wasn't bad enough (written by someone who hasn;t lived here in three years), the new SPIN has a guide to Chicago that if anyone abided by, save for the recommended stop at Reckless, would believe Chicago was a clean place inhabited only by soused whiteys. I think whomever wrote it actually hates Chicago. I mean, why else would anyone with a modicum of Chicago pride send an out-of-towner to the Pontiac for a good time? I mean, sure, if that personal is a beefy, shirtless dude looking to show of his tribals and nipple peircings to hungover jeep chicks who are turned on by that sort of thing--yes, that is the place to send them, by all means. C'mon, there are at least 80 other bars in the area where you can work on your base tan and drink off last nights bender. Also, why recommend Underdog as one of the five places in town to go to eat?! Everyone knows for dogs you go to Weiner Circle or Hot Dougs, and that you go to Underdog to see a dude in a white hat drop trou and put his nuts to the glass to cheer up his date, who has justed vomited last call into the street. Also, why would anyone recommend a stop at The Apple Store --and not, like...Rainforest Cafe, or Target for that matter? Fuck landmarks, the Sox, nice views or the 150-odd museums--VISIT STORES!

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July 17, 2006


My email is broken and won't send for the last 4 days, in case you sent me a message. I'm not ignoring you though I have been away. FYI.

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July 14, 2006


This story about a transgender scientist facing less discriminations after becoming a man, courtesy of Ritchey.

Quote from one of the scientists peer/detractors: "Is it essential to women's progress that women be indistinguishable from men?" he asked. "It confuses the issue of fairness with sameness. Let's say the data shows sex differences. Does it become okay to discriminate against women? The moral issue of treating individuals fairly should be kept separate from the empirical issues." Lawrence said it is a "utopian" idea that "one fine day, there will be an equal number of men and women in all jobs, including those in scientific research."

The irony is this dude's sorry belief that he can preserve the patriarchal ivory tower Mr. Wizard clubhouse is the real utopian vision at hand.

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Beirut live blogging links galore offered up on From Beirut to The Beltway.


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July 13, 2006


A group of us went to Treat tonight, excited by the prospect of something new from a former Lula chef. I feel bad saying it, but I would hate to see anyone waste 60$ like we did. The beer batter fish sandwich with "frites", according to Friend#1, were delicious, no complaints. We also enjoyed the "frites". I asked Friend#2 why she was not eating her vegetables--"They taste like semen." They did have a distinctly masculine taste to them, as if they had spent the day marinating in the pocket of a construction worker. The salmon/spinach/tomato thing was made revolting by being entirely dressed, fried by, wet with oil. The plate was also besotted with several cute MINI POOLS of brightly colored oil for decoration. Our friends who had the pasta said it was good, so maybe it's dish to dish basis, but I thought it was bad news bears and would not go back even if someone I hated was footing the bill.

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This is Haifa-- Lebanon is the far distance

Woke up early to check the news. Big, sad mess. Reading alonghere and following other links of Israel blogs here and reading and following links to Lebanese blogs here. Before I went to Israel, my ideas on the conflict/Israel/ the Middle East were as detached as my feelings about any country outside of my own: war, injustice and suffering were sad; I had theories and politics about the right and wrong, whats should be done, who should intervene or not. But now -- I just have uncomplicated feelings about it. It is very sad and very terrible. I have no political abstract I can summon beyond that, no debate I can offer.

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July 12, 2006


If yr not read this on the regular, you are missing out. Seriously, "duck whistles"?

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July 11, 2006


A day of total surprise! I thought Syd Barrett "left" Pink Floyd by dying, like 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, I have a partial list of my most favored records of this year in non heirarchacal order. Becauzzz that is what rock critics do, and somehow I got drafted on to thier team. Must list. Must snark.

1. Erase Eratta's Night Life is coming out in August : Eliptical funking and war against the war. Double nickelling all the way!

2. Fiery Furnaces' Bitter Tea: I never liked them until now, just thought it was tamed-up Beefheartian fardling. Eleanor's got that hot-plain voice, an East Coast art school Helen Reddy. Best mid-song reverse-tape hooks since Lennon/Ono "Meat City".

3. Thom Yorke Eraser: He works the contours of a limited range. He sings in a way of the traditionally feminine. Someone did it for J. Buckley--but there is a thesis about kicking off binary gender norms hidden in the folds of this fey minimal techno record.

That is all I know so far about the list.

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Listening to the six songs of The Germs from the Live At The Masque series and pondering the WTF ridiculousness of them "reuniting" (or rather "forming", pun marginally intended) to tour, this band that was notoriously, riotously, famously shambling, fronted by a restless, pimply force majeure--Darby Crash; way dead. The irony is enough to give you a contact high. Is it comic or disgustin? Who's zoomin' who?

On "Hang On To Yourself" the band is burning, Darby squawking like fuck all, right-on and righteous, gasping for air and desperate at minute-twenty, then at minute forty-four something goes wrong. There is a thud and the gtr just starts to squeeee and Darby shrieks "STUPID!" like your alcoholic stepdad in a Schlitz blackout. The gtr is nothing but fuzz, Bolles et Doom keep going steady pound pound pound in the deepening distance.
Cruel feedback.
Enter Kickboy Face, his frenchness on: "Queet be-ang so scrappy, you...scrappers in za front two rows."

And yet, this is probably in the top 5 of most coherent, linear or, uh, reasonable live Germs bits put to tape. Will Darby, re-enacted by actual actor-actor Shane West, be doing the Germicide version of "Grand Old Flag"? Will he scream like a torn-in-half newborn, sex boy ping ponging from a fake British accent to a thpptty lithp, words mauled beyond recognition?

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July 10, 2006


Hi, person in Chicago with show space in your house/bsmt/warehouse -- do you want to do a last minute show for two bands on july 16th?

Kiosk (2 ladies, one teen queer dude band, toured with Goxxip, from Australia, feminist polemics) and all lady punk trio from Austin TX, Finally Punk, need a show. Can you hook something up? I am relaying an SOS. If your answer is yes: email vivviangirl at yahoo.com.

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Detoured over a couple counties due to a late night call, other grandma, not the one I visited, the other one, now hospitalized again with a litany of awful symptoms. They said "it's not life threatening" but most anything can kill you at 87 as far as I am concerned, so I dropped in and surprised her. She was on a morphine drip and didn't have her teeth in and cried when she saw me. I laid in her bed with her and we watched the last 139 laps of a Nascar race on the wall mounted TV and we rooted for her favorite, Jeff Gordon, who won. When they would show certain racers, she would mention if she thought they were cute or if they came from a race family; we are a race family, so she keeps up on these things, lucid and proud despite her dementia. Once the race was off and we gave her teeth back, she got awnry as sin. She insisted there was a dog hair in her dentures and that we didn't care. She insisted I had come to visit because she is about to die. "If I thought you were about to die, don't you think I would at least stay overnight, Nana?" she snapped me with her plastic comb for that. She lectured us for about 20 minutes about her funeral arrangements, why were we all hanging around in her hospital room, calling upon her if she isn't about to kick the bucket, hmmm, why would they give her any EKG if they weren't checking to see if she is about to die? She filled us in on the color, type and arrangement of her flowers, even though we know and even though I told her to shut it. She has said she wants to be buried in a rose colored night gown. Today, her request turned to "a pink negligee"--though I think she means nighgown still, rather than a silky snap crotch teddy or the like. When I told her I had to leave and she gave me one last bit of oblique, narcotized advice: "I will tell you one thing," she said, pointing with her comb "you can't fight death. It'll come and get you. You can get hit by a truck and die from a broken leg, or you can die tomorrow, like me, in this hospital bed: when you go--you go! No two ways about it." I told her that in this modern age people rarely die of broken legs anymore, and that she is way too rascally to die in the next 24. She scowled at me and whacked me with her comb and laughed.

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July 08, 2006

July 07, 2006


Calling your car a "vehicle" and vehicle being a three or four syllable word. Teal and Cranberry accents. Covered dishes where chips are an ingredient. Decorating with old fashioned Coca Cola advertisements that are actually brand new. Women's Day and Chicken Soup For The Teenage Soul on the back of the toilet. Framed footprints prayer. Framed Serentiy prayer. Framed house blessing. Framed sad clown painting by hometown celeb Red Buttons. Framed jokey golf prayer. Glass dishes for jellybeans. Hints from Heloise on the tacked fridge next to the in door ice-cubing system. My house seems barren in comparison. My womb seems barren in compared to all my cousins: I am the only one over 19 who is unmarried and sans baby. Have not read The Purpose Driven Life, despite getting it as xmas gift three years in a row now. They don't ask about my church since I told them my pastor is gay. I don't explain my purpose-drive is loose but agressive; my holy trinity is Jesus, D. Boon and Andrea Dworkin . My dad told them I am writing for the Tribune now, so maybe they will stop suggesting veterinary school. They love me inspite my sin, I love them inspite of their Pope. I take the American Flags off the top of the cupcakes before I eat them.

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Aaargh. It was supposed to be a surprise, but it's now making the rounds on ye olde interweb--the original version of my final punk planet column--which is actually written by someone else. It's not the version that is running, but don;t read it anyway, it'll spoil the surprise.

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July 06, 2006


The woman sitting behind me and Cindy during the 7:40 showing of Wassup Rockers was Larry CLark's ideal audience--she gasped in horror, gasped in shock and said "Oh My God" and scoffed at the racist white people. Not so much for us --Cindy hoped the movie would be a flashback to her youth, but transpiring in LA rather than a border town in TX--but i think it was more reminiscent of my youth at the arts high, watching interminable films-with-a-message made by my 11th grade class mates, starring the cute seniors from the theatre department. What is the message of this film? Racism is bad but skating is fun? Everyone in LA has an unquenchable appetite for cock? White people are awful? Latino kids in south central have it rough but they make the most of it?! Ultimately, in Clark's efforts to ennoble the latino skaterat gang, he portrays them as so guileless, he turns them into a punxsploitation Cheech & Chong + 5, teen dopes on decks, starkly bewildered by the racist white world, their plight viewed only through the lens of Clark's fetishization of "the other"--though he primarily uses slutty latinas, predatory queers and vicious white ladies to manuever the consuming gaze. JR Jones compared it to The Swimmer in The Reader this week; it's like as if that scene where Burt Lancaster, coppertoned and barefoot in a bathing suit, jumps, in slow-mo, around the horse ring in slow with the hot babysitter--but it last for two hours. Actually, it's like this movie , but with more ollies.

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July 05, 2006


The unebbing sang-froid of Joan Didion.

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July 03, 2006


Note from a few days ago re: nu Superman movie. The solitary source of dramatic tension is the wresting emasculation of/between Superman/C. Kent and Lois Lane's cuckhold/fiance. The movie never asks us to wonder will Superman live, or save the day, will evil triumph--but rather who will stake final claim to Lois Lane's pussy. J-Dark speculates that it's good ol' fashion homosocial text at work, which would be about right; tremulant, willfull Lois, girl reporter with a past--is merely the fulcrum.

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July 01, 2006


"Rote bitching about PItchfork is to the web what hacky-sack is to an open quad." I don't think Dr. Octagon is worth going to bat for as signifier nor actuel, but I co-sign on Darnielles crit.

It is south hot and the town is a ghost town, maybe due to heat or holiday. I was alone on the street for blocks. Being unwittingly, cripplingly high on cold medicine made my bike ride feel like a screw tape, 1 mph against the wind, with no breath to breathe on. Dog barks reverberated off buildings, cars whirred and whinied, bass drops dopplering from passing cars; it's all-together menace was pure Psychic Powerless. Neighboor babies prammed pampers-only and all the old dudes porched it in their undershirts watching all the young dudes yell into cell phones, chains popping against sternum in time with thier gait, everyone sweating the same.

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If yr coming for Pitchfork Fest, get excited cuzKid Sister, femme party-rap sensaych qua Flosstradamus farm team is on the bill now.

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