Holy shit, someone gave Ryan Adams a bath. Maybe it's just a real old picture of him looking all Myspace goth and approximating health. I saw him eating a sandwich last time I was in NY, and he looked like he was going as Dan Higgs for Halloween. I wonder--did he shave special for the launching of his Cobra Starship tribute website? Which is more punk (punk in the transmutable, Greil Marcus sense): RA's rapping or his triple album tribute to the Dead?
Local kittenfaces: Saturday at 11am at the Wicker Park Fld House, as part of the nth annual Estrojam*, I am on a feminist fun-panel with writer Mairead Case, some ladies from Venus, Leslie from Drag City and Chic-a-go-go host Miss Mia. Swing by.
Secondly, and tangentally related--Annie Sprinkle, sexpert, is showing her new movie and doing a presentation at Early To Bed on Weds. It's $10 and you gotta RSVP, I think via earlytobed.com, but I would recommend you do so and even though it soounds skeezy, bring any teenage girls you know. I saw Annie Sprinkle's Sluts & Goddesses Video Workshop at The Walker when I was 11th grade baby feminist and it destroyed all existing cultural mythology about "the female orgasm" I had built up from years of reading my mom's Mademoiselle subscription and growing up in a patriarchy. Her work is still vital and important = go see her.
(* I know the name sounds like it's a vat of flavored lubricant/medication for hot flashes, not a festival, but please come anyhow.)
And another thing. Rock for Kids CD auction is this Thursday at Smart Bar. It doesn't say what time it starts, but I think bidding ends at 9pm. My contribution this year is not as amazingly packaged as last year's four CD megaset (that was 2.5 ft tall, made out of plywood and a door hinge, or the year before where the case was covered in mine own hair-cuttings), but thematically, and quality-wise, it's my best. And at least 67% more patently amazing than whatever Billy Corgan and/or Jim DeRogatis submits this year. It's a two disc set entitled: Fuck You! / Fuck Me! . One disc of fuck-the-world-and-it's-people-and-it's- ins'tutions, the other practically gaurantees pregnancy by it's end. Go and bid on that shit. Yr money will help homeless kids learn how to DJ and make music while they live in shelters.
It's the EMP time again, kids and gr'ups!
CALL FOR PAPERS:
Waking Up From History: Music, Time, and Place
The 2007 Pop Conference at Experience Music Project
April 19-22, 2007
Music happens, then it ripples. What is the relationship between the circumstances that produce music and our swirling notions of pop's past, future, and zeitgeist? How do the times affect the notes? What factors literally and figuratively change the beat of a city? Some decry postmodern "pastiche," while others defend pop concoctions as multiculturalism in action or intoxicating aesthetics. But what are the power relationships at work when music stops time and lets us dance in place?
For this year's Pop Conference, we invite presentations on music, time, and place. This might include:
*Reading time and place into musical innovation. The breakbeat as a refunking of sonic structure and origin myth; or the social history of changing time signatures.
* The racial, class, and gender components that constitute a pop place or time's "we"; the mutating New Orleans of the hip-hop, funk, R&B, and jazz eras, for example.
*Evolving notions of musical revivalism: retro culture, questions of periodization in music, and the validity of the concept of youth culture as a sign of the times.
*Geographies of sound, or how place is incorporated sonically. Lise Waxer called Cali, Colombia, an unlikely bastion of salsa revivalism, a "city of musical memory."
*The dematerialization of the album into the celestial jukebox and other new media. Does the Chicken Noodle Soup dance live on 119 and Lex or on Youtube?
*How dichotomies of nearness/experience and farness/history affect music fanship, music writing, and music making.
*The "place" of pop now, culturally, professionally, and certainly politically.
Proposals should be sent to Eric Weisbard at
The Pop Conference connect academics, critics, musicians, and other writers passionate about talking music. Our second anthology, Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music, will be published by Duke in 2007. The conference is sponsored by the Seattle Partnership for American Popular Music (Experience Music Project, the University of Washington School of Music, and radio station KEXP 90.7 FM), through a grant from the Allen Foundation for Music. For more information, go to
"Drunk and drug addled and/or being terrible live is totally acceptable for any male artist of any genre or cannon--those same things are often times considered totemic to their artistry;"---
See also: Isaac Brock/Modest Mouse .
Neon Golden was a full four years ago, but looks like Notwist is making a new record-- presented in real time!. If that's what you can infer from that pro-tools desk and the guy reading the paper on the futon.
I was googling the spelling of adderal and wound up finding this instead:
Acid, Crack and a stolen wheelchair: a three-day trip at/to Six Flags.
Line worthy of a t-shirt: "I still take acid to confront my problems."
Most genius Youtube discovery c/o Jenny Hoyston!
I don't even remember this song! Was this a song for Iraq War #1? What was this for? Best lineup ever: NELSON AND PETER CETERA AND LUTHER AND MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE CAST OF LA LAW AND DON KING AND BOBBY BROWN AND BRET MICHAELS AND DOWNTOWN JULIE BROWN AND TED DANSON AND MOTHERFUCKING MARK KNOPHLER SOLOING FROM A ROLLING CHAIR and what appears to be none other than BUD CORT (final shot, middle row). Has a greater force of starpower ever been so singley culled?! My mind is blown.
I had this talk/mini debate with my darling pal Trevor Kelley when he did this HARP cover story about Chan which was supposed to be about addressing Is Catpower CRAAAAZEEEY? and I can't stop thinking about it since the Times pc last week where she comes out about her drinking problem and everyone collectively (in and out of the blogo-tube) goes "a-ha!" and rehashed how bad some show was once this one time she sucked and she cried and it's good cos now she's normal ad naus. Personally, if I had to spend years on the road sweating under hot stage lights and weight of expectation while being given the panting fuck-eye by a thousand people a night I'd be on the bottle too. I think it's wonderful whenever anyone is attempting sobriety, and she is brave to come out and blink at us in the light, but here is my thought about the rest of it:
The Greatest is her worst album. As a song stylist, she is quite fine, she is much too young and too prime to be rolling out some parched "Moon River" shit over reverbed arrangements that signify "class", all the while sounding like a Thorazine ghost. It's not Dusty in Memphis , it's the type of album that female singers (see Joni, Ricki Lee, Linda Ronstadt) make to signal that they are going out to pasture with dignity-- you leave contemporary pop genre; you go see Nelson Riddle, you do standards. For Catpower, we like that she does this because it seems like she is trying, as we've been taking it to heart when she disregards our wants and expectations of being entertained. We want the beautiful woman to care about our opinion of her and to want to please us, to reciprocate our desire expressed through our $14.50 ticket.
We--writers/indie audience America is the we I am indicting here--have such a double standard about what is acceptable for women artists to be. Drunk and drug addled and/or being terrible live is totally acceptable for any male artist of any genre or cannon--those same things are often times considered totemic to their artistry; Daniel Johnston is a bona-fide case and but he gets to be called "genius". Why can't we hold Chan Marshall to the same standard as we do David Berman? (or even Evan Dando for that matter?)
I was thinking about this when I was watching the Coughs the other night; about what we assume about women when they perform--especially when they sing--about their control. About if they appear to be out of control, wild. We compare them to animals and we call them crazy. The idea of her being in willful possesion of herself, of her beauty, her talent, her expression-- to know what she is doing--or to know what is expected of her by genre convention or social contract (etc.) and to not give a fuck-- is too frightening, too loaded a prospect; the real triple threat. They are not allowed their full agency. Our ideas and imaginations about how women artists are don't allow us to ascribe them the full brunt of their will.
Local-run found cassette tapes website. Go to Week 26: Kids making a radio show 1973. Sweet baby christ on a donkey, I love technology for making it all possible. Also I recommend "Deer Calls", and this super sweet track Hung Jury - "Atomic" is worth checking for the aptly-named "atomic solo".
My sweet and tender fellow babies, passing the time within the internet, i have a message for thee: Tetine is playing tonight at the Empty Bottle. Sure, Black Lips is playing cross the hood, but Tetine are from far away, and the $15 cover charge for the Wire Mag. festival at which they are playing gaurantees a lower turnout, so there will be plenty of space to dance--you can hump air and not strange legs, which may be less fun, but is much more hygenic. Here's my feelings about Tetine , sans my thought that Tetine are what I always wanted LeTigre to be (real world danceable, not using sarcasm as crit, etc.). Tetine's myspace.
From the plane we saw a lightening storm from above the clouds that splurt it out. It was like a all-white light vers of Simon Says. It was like seeing the inside of a clock, mechanicals exposed and little bits spinning. Equal awe for god and nature.
Later, I thought I saw a person on the wing. I think it was just a reflection.
Sweet home Chicago with it's endless to do.
The gospel has been spread to me, and so I have to keep it going:
New album and US tour around Halloween, looks like he needs some fill in dates according to his Myspace. I know he may not look cool, but he was discovered at a donut shop by no less tastemakers than Shayla Hason and Aaron Rose. Jugaloos are the Matthew Barney of tomorrow.
TLG is on vacation in the Oregon beach-wild for another few, re-enacting scenes from Goonies, sans ship of course.
New favorite thing alert! Heart swollen with pride and excitement for my fellow scribe homes at the Reader: Crickets: the official Chicago Reader music critical bloggerstein. B'tween that and Margasak's post no bills blog bit of local and avant, really, it's much-heat all around. Monica Kendrick has been in the DaCapo b.o. like 3 or 4 times now and a-finally, she is readable in the internet ether.
Secondly, tomorrow is White/Light at the Bottle. Tomorrow is Weds. and White/Light is duo with Matt and his clear guitar in it. Collasal and loud, mostly big drones, with some ripping arpeggiation/solos. Mostly like Earth with a dappling of Billy Gibbons. There are no drums, just a wall of squeal. You are invited.
Last night I sat across a table from Joanna Newsom for one hour and fifteen minutes with a tape recorder. Upon meeting her I realized I hardly knew what she looked like a'tall. I had only glanced at one photo of her once, her little ear poking up through cascading rope hair and other than that had only seen paintings and drawings. In real life she doesn't look like either. I was startled by what an arresting sparkle she was. Is. The real quintuple threat: articulate, engaging, smart, funny and personable company. People like that, you expect an attitude of noblesse oblige, but one gets the sense she hardly has an inkling of her specialness and if she does, she's not about to bring it to anyone's attention.
Afterwards I felt like I should of brought her a present. Like a peach or something. The discussion of her use of the word "treacly" was worth a peach alone.
I did not like her music so much til this week, til Ys came in the mail. There is song on it about a monkey and a bear, about love held fast in a tender pact, when I listened, it gave me a feeling. When I read the words, it felt like I had swallowed a rock. Mostly stole my breath, pert near cried. The ending is so bittersweet. All last two weeks I was wishing for a record I could sink my brain and mind into, a record you have to revisit and read passages in books in order to coalesce a greater understanding, to goad yrself deeper into it's water; and I got it. This is it, a gift to marvel yr most curious "How?" about.
Touch N Go's official quincinera + 10--a review of partaking:
It is not the best thing to see bands on a dark thunderstorming day in a parking lot--even when Coco Rosie isn't playing. Being 5'4 insures you must be very very far away from whatever action is being actioned unless someone puts you on their shoulders, which is ok when yr seeing Toto at the State Fair, but not The Didjits. I was so far away for Scratch Acid I had to ask Matt if David Yow was fat or skinny now. I couldn't tell. Matt says he's "bout the same", fyi.
Negative Approach was more to my liking now as Brannon sings in his chainsaw voice of Laughing Hyenas era not hxc yelp of the baby years. Is Larisa Strickland alive? Why couldn't Laughing Hyenas of reformed? People would have cared. In the 55 minutes we stood in place in order to get a spot within 7 leagues of the Big Black mini set, Matt and I listened to a guy in his mid-late thirties tell a woman he was with about how his bass sound and style is copped more from Laughing Hyenas than Jesus Lizard, though it reflects both, like it was a topic sure to interest her. Her courtesy enthusiasm should of won her some awards, or at least a free weekend at a spa. We also heard about how many push-ups dude did in his hotel room. It was like Smog's "37 Push-Ups" except he's doing mixing in some Pilates.
I won't front--I was hoping Big Black would reduce everyone to rubble and dust. It didn't happen. There were certainly moments. Their desire to not engage nostalgia bled like pulling teeth rather than tasteful remove. I don't think most people cared though. They just lifted their camera phones and yelled "PLAY KEROSENE!" (they didn't.) Santiago was so out of tune it was like a foghorn signalling for sympathy, as if to say "See, guys, I haven't played in forever." I felt bad for him. And not just because he was wearing a braided leather belt and pleat front shorts.
But alas, they stayed stock still and jud-jud-judded along--granted, Jeff Pezzati on stage doesn't ever get all Gregory Hines in the first place. Sure, a little softshoe woulda been nice, but discernable enthusiasm woulda been even better. But I was just expecting something so much more ________. I think reading Yr Flesh at a too young age, with the wistful hyperbole about the back in the day days, with people going on about how seeing Big Black was like being skull fucked set the bar too high. I was expecting skullfucking; but when I left, I didn't even feel skull raped. Like, not even a tiny bit.
Albini played like Atomizer came out last Tuesday, natch, and that was the best part. My second favorite part of the Big Black show was right before they played Pezzati stood on stage in a white track suit top talking on his cell phone. While 5000 people watched. ("No. No. Other pants, honey. Not the tear away track pants. The creme ones. Yeah, velour. Yeah, bring those."). They closed with "Racer X", which was pretty rad.
Sally Timms was enchanting. Scratch Acid may have been enchanting -- all I can really tell you that David Yow is alive and still white. What else: It was cold and I would guess the average age of the concert goer was 35-45 years old and wearing their keys on the outside of their pants.
That, my friends, is the T&G scene report.
Kania Tieffer is a Belgian lady who sings over no fi dance music, which is just as fun as it sounds. Download her record for free here, on this cool/weird Italian label that is free mp3s only from Eastern European cool/weird bands . Or her song about a vibrator off her website. She's got a bowl haircut, a crooked tooth and may be a teenager. FANTASTIC.
Youtube highlights for those who couldn't make it.
Big Black killing it.
Man Or Astroman, somehow better with age
Coco Rosie backstage
The highlight: Scratch Acid
All old people and all greeting cards now make me cry.
I don't wanna transcribe, I just wanna watch this copy of Ben Hur we got at the biblioteca.
I rearranged all the books again, this time in better order. Poetry ebbs into mythology into science. Dictionary into reference/instructional into bible and religion other. Feminism: theory into history into essay. Watergate and biographies. Fiction. Fiction. Didion section, chronologically, Plays it As it Lays on loan. Anthologies into film/art crit and essays. Music (overfull). Comics and books too big to fit on other shelves. Dropped fiction on my head twice some, but twas not too Howards End. Totes ok. Mostly the cat's fault.
Mika Miko are playing tomorrow at The Metro w/Goxxip and Erase Errata on the best $5 bill since Fugazi/NOU tour 91, if'n you could hardly give a shit about T&G or Monorchid: go. Mika Miko are one of them Smell-posse bands from LA, they should of been the leads in "Another State Of Mind" except that it came out 4 years before any of 'em were born. Remember the part when Mike Ness smears his eyeliner to make it look like he's been crying, to give the kids something to identify with? Is that ultimate proto-eem or more of a punked-up Iron John moment?
But whats really impressing me is the music that punks are making for dancing and the lengths they will go to in order to keep it from being dance punk. Hence Soiled Mattress and The Springs (who may or may not be down with Keith Jarrett.)
Here's some shizz: Monorchid is playing a secret show Friday night at THE NOTE up in Wicker Crotch. HEAVY. In case you wanna skip seeing Brick Layer Cake with 5,000 amped dudes in a fenced corral. I might. I have a fancy plan. See the Ex. Muse with friends about back in the day, when Bike home. That street right before the now underconstruction North Avenue bridge--the one across from the Touch N Go Fairgrounds--used to be one of the prime spots in the city to get a rill cheap hando. One of the real shames about gentrification: hooker diaspora. Anyhow, play it safe in the Chi-Boogie if yr coming this way: The grocery store, Stanley's, that is right by the thing--cheapest limes in the city--10 for a buck. Compare at 80 cents PER LIME at the Whole foods down the street. ENJOY CHICAGO: Fight yr scurvy with inexpensive limes!
Right this instant I am at the Chicago ave library and this is what I saw: a male librarian go into the employees only bathroom about 20 minutes ago. A couple minutes later, he comes out, grabs two books about the Cubs off a shelf next to me. Returns to bathroom. He has still not exited. Who power-shits, WITH ChiPubLib check-outtables no less, at work? Imagine giving that little of a fuck?! Imagine having that kind of... I don't know--confidence?
Right this instant I am at the Chicago ave library and this is what I saw: a male librarian go into the employees only bathroom about 20 minutes ago. A couple minutes later, he comes out, grabs two books about the Cubs off a shelf next to me. Returns to bathroom. He has still not exited. Who power-shits, WITH ChiPubLib check-outtables no less, at work?
It's true! Me and Beyonce have something in common, it's B'day for both of us. I turned 1000 years old today! Who knew I could make it past 22, let alone to 1000. I'm not sure yet how I am celebrating, but it's supposed to be sunny all day tomorrow if anyone is up/down for a badminton game commemorating my 20's. Leisure sports is what I am about in between avoiding deadlines. Leisure sports and boat shoes is my steez for pre-fall. Regarding presents--I found a seven foot tall wooden giraffe in the dumpster outside the Moody Bible Instutute in only two peices this weekend--pretty much the best gift ever given to me (it's a prez from God, natch)--so don't sweat getting me anything, unless you can top that.
Chicago: I know it is so loverly this bright morning, but what I am suggesting is later, tween now and Monday some, but hop onto your bike and GO to the Gene Siskel Center downtown because they are screening all three films of Park Chan-Wook's VENGEANCE TRILOGY. I'm not really one for scary and violent movies, or gore, but I'd really recommend you see Old Boy and Lady Vengeance pronto because they are funny moral plays. Also bloodsoaked. Maybe a little more like fables. You will be real glad the bad people get their due, it's very gratifying. And wholly fucked up. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance--I heard the puncturing and squishing of the knifing sounds at the end echo in my brain for a week, which made me gag when I still think about it, so just a word of caution on that one.
Also, a link to a book review I did about party punks in Iraq.
I missed this, but it is, as ever, wise response from Jane Dark re: how we can stop old punx from coming back .
She was buried with her fishing pole and a pack of Winston Light 100s. My cousin took her fishing last week. She demanded they sit out the rain on the lake and she wound up catching the biggest fish out of all of them. My family all sat out on the porch the first night, they drank, we smoked, everyone told stories about Nana; condemming people at her nursing home who were Earnhart fans as "not real race fans", her iron thumbed rule and her Alzheimers intensifying for predeliction for swearing and blue humor . She was real judgemental, took care of you whether you wanted her to or not, told people to their face she was disgusted with them, her sense of humor wicked. My mom is my mother, but in many ways, I was my nana's child.
The service was bullshit. I said to Matt "The service was 89% about salvation in Jesus Christ and 12% about my nana." "Well, at least you got 101% of a service," he said. I think I am the only person in my family down with JC, and I was ready to give the pastor a curby against the casket's edge. The part that happens before they inter the casket into the grave was better, a poem she liked and balloons in IU red & white colors, a Bobby Knight joke.
There were hijinx and many many foods I could not eat including potato-chip, cheez-whiz hotdish and red velvet cakes and enough ham to pave all of the Kenneth "Baby Face" Edmunds Memorial Highway section of 65. My cousin took us off roading into the soupy mud of the woods in a beat up golf cart, til we got it stuck and had to walk back through the woods in the dark while it rained. Yesterday he gave us a tour of his deer stand after the funeral. We watched a deer and a fawn eat clover from a camofluage treehouse that seats three. He also showed us his weapons cache and explained bow-speed. I held a .357 Magnum, it weighed as much as my cousins baby.
I turn 30 on the 5th. My wish list now includes 100 acres of woods and a camo treehouse.