There is a house of trouble down at the end of the block. I am pretty sure there are some sales going on thereabouts, though sometimes it's just boys with their shirts off swearing. My favorite of them is this kid, Dre. He's about 4'11, at least a teenager, scrawny and white. I assume his name is Dre because thats what it says on his face. In jail-cursive, ear to jaw, a jagged poke tat in lieu of a sideburn. He hardly has any work on his arms, it's like 80% above the shoulders tattoos with him. He hangs out next to the carwash drinking Big Gulps. Anyhow, Dre is currently associating with a girl with stringy blonde hair who wears pajama pants out of the house. They argue often and loudly and when they do he walks away and just keeps walking. And she follows, going off, trailing 20-30 feet behind. He will walk all around the neighborhood, and never able to shake her, and she never quite catches up. I imagine that everyone within a two block radius of here knows their business. They are on their second trip around the block now, and she is still calling him a pussy asshole for fighting with her in front of her own mother. The first time by, he was hollering about what a fucking bitch she is, but now he's solemnly speedwalking punctuating her harangues with worn calls of "UUUGHHHHH!". He should really look into getting a bike or something.
Whomever thought of this is a stone genius.
I think that marker shading is supposed to look like the hood of a cloak(?), but it looks like someone with a dry sharpie tried to draw a long pretty ladies hairstyle on him, but then the train pulled in and they had to go, leavin the hairdo half done.
Hollywood Holt "Throw A Kit" via Miles. It's encouraging that desppite Floss' success, Kurt has kept his sideline in dealing scooters.
I was walking to my car and some pricks in their office clothes were eating outdoors at revolting Dunlays, and they took a break from their chewing to make some kiss-kiss noises at me and look me up and down and I was on the phone with Matt and told him. He was about to drive up to where they were. So he did. He got out of his car and went and stood by their table and stood there making kissy noises at them while they stared at the ground and then yelled at them a little while the other diners watched on. I dunno why I didn't walk back and do it myself. Sometimes it's nice to see someone else defend your honor.
New SSION video! Cody's mustache is epic!
Meanwhile. Everything is broken, and everything is dirty and I'm broke. I went to the grocery after I got my filling refilled. When I got it replaced the first time, my dental doctor--an amateur musician and real music enthusiast--may or may not have fucked up my filling since it's 5 months later and painful to touch. Perhaps it was because he was distracted when he was installing it because he was talking about his love of music. And then took a break from my dental work to do an air drum fill. To a Goo Goo Dolls song. Using the instruments. Including the little hook thing. Four inches from my face. So I had it replaced, and thankfully, the office XFM was on the Bonnie Raitt station--which he took pains to let me know--was the front desks choice, not his. SO. I leave dental town and go to the grocer and the checkout dude, ever friendly, asks me about my pictogram Z tattoo that Mike gave me in honor of my nana, Zola. I was trying to talk without spitting or letting my tongue slide out the side of my mouth and start flapping. "Uaah, zhith? It's auuh zthee. No. A THEE. See. ZZZEEE. Ahhfine, I thus hath zum dennal wuhk. A fiilung." Despite my Bill The Cat immitation, he asked what the tattoo was about, is it a swan, where'd I get the idea. " The zthee ith fuh my grawma. Huh name was THOLA. ZO-LA. It's a hewon. A zhee-bird. You know, hewons? My fwen dwu it." He made a face that was 100% pure huh and I was frustrated but was trying to be polite and I blurted "MY GWAND MA, SHE'S DEAD." and then out lined "Z" in the air and pointed emphatically at my arm and hissed "ZHEE!". I am not sure who felt like the bigger asshole, me or him, but truly, banner interaction all around.
Lessons from the last few days: Cobra Lounge is not a rock n' roll bar, it's a metal bar. Do not let anyone tell you different. I brought a set that leaned towards my idea of rock n' roll (The Troggs, Glenn Frey's "Smugglers Blues"), and so I had to make the most of what I had. Which meant I played an entire side of a Pussy Galore record.
Also: When you feel like shit, it's best to go to the pool. So we're gonna.
Also: When your mind feels spun out, consider retiring into your fort.
Also: Max has started opening his eyes.
Also: Being cynical about love is fruitless. It's everywhere.
What are you doing tonight? I have a surprise for you. I'm djing a benefit between like 10:30 and 11:30 at Cobra Lounge. Cobra Lounge is right by Union Park and it's been described to me as "the hot new rock bar" and so I am playing an "all rock" set. Do you think Little River Band still counts as a rock band? I guess we'll find out soon enough!
and then! It Happens Again! Sunday! Sketchbook Festival at Steppenwolf Theatre garage Theatre! I will DJ maybe 8 or 10 times for 15 minutes each. According to the literature, I will be creating a mood between the little plays. I'm not sure what kind of mood that will be, but perhaps a mix of "cocaine paranoia" and "last call at Mistakes" would be choice. What do you play between plays? Songs about acting? 89% of my of the records in my bins are about doing things to vaginas! And the other 11% are mid-period Lou Rawls and the first couple Boz Scaggs LPS. What do you play for people sitting in rows of seats and/or standing in line for tiny 4$ sippy cups of red wine? What kind of moods will theatre goers enjoy? I have the soundtrack to the original stage production of Annie! Maybe that will work. Meanwhile, SUGGESTION BOX IS OPEN.
Perhaps you are like me and have long standing internal dialog over what is the right way to listen or not listen and to feel and not feel about R. Kelly's music. He seems, by most all evidence thus far, to be a bad dude. Though much of music celebrity men and men in power, we know, are like this same style of bad dudes and R just got caught and also there was that day that the girls on WGN 6 o clock said that he would wait in the parking lot of their Jr. High in his nice car. Like, always. And you wonder why, if Steven Tyler supposedly BOUGHT a 15 year old from her family, did he never get prosecuted and is popular into Shea Stadium infinity. Was it cos he was white and it was the 70's? And sometimes you think"But, this song is so funny, R Kelly is singing about being a sex dinosaur, I do not have to take him seriously! He is like Ween, but better! If it is a joke, then he is a joke and so I don;t have to feel super awful about enjoying his products." Right? Here's my idea, it's a penance system, kind of like saying hail marys to absolve you of sins: For everytime you willfully partake of R. Kelly you must listen to the "dirty version" of The Game "Wouldn't Get Far ft. Kanye West" twice in a row. The radio version, it's hard to decipher if it's an ode of girls in videos, or the high price of being trying to love a rap dude, or about being a rich dick (or whatever)--but the dirty version makes it totally clear, and The Game sounds like he lifted his lines from an abusive drunk stepdad in a Lifetime TV Movie Event--because "If you could keep your legs closed" is usually the sort of thing that a scenary chewing character actor says right before he slaps a teenage girl. Go steal the song and listen to it all the way through the end-narration and see if your humanity doesn't shrivel a bit. Obviously, The Game is a real no talent knuckle dragging mysogynist who is probably mad that the dancers in the Busta Rhymes video have more of a career than he has at this point, and to that end, there is an argument for not taking what he does seriously or even validating it with attention. For me, though, there is no "just" prefacing pop music, you have remember what it is actually all about, whether it's sex dinosaurs or hating women.
Remember those other times I said "Hi, I need a roommate?"--I finally mean it. I need a roommate right here in my big sunny two bedroom Ukr. Village apartment starting in July or August. Rent is 462.50. Yr room has a big closet with shelves, 2 windows and enough space to fit a queen bed, unlike every other apartment in the history of Chicago. There is street parking and lots of plants and the kitchen is huge and new. Email me (link to yr right) and I can tell you more. Plus, there are these little guys.
Matt said "Let me turn this around so you can see the logo."
Miles said "Here, I'll give you the Chuck Close."
The sky was all purple, there were weird kids biking everywhere.
I don't talk about it much, but my number two concern most days is tending to my plants. I hedged a hopeful bet and planted special indoor-growing tomatoes, and I obsessively move them around the house to follow the sun and squirt them with a "tea" made of worm poop and look at them and think please please please let me grow what I want. And look what I woke up to yesterday: overnight baby roma tomatoes coming out of the blossoms.
Expect a miracle!
We took a day trip to the B'hai Temple up in Wilmette yesterday. I made us a pie and a special CD of No Age, Mika Miko, Sads and BARR for the ride. After the time in the temple garden we went to the fancy suburban beach that apparently you need a pass to tread upon. The gate keeper kid shirtless with hot pink skin and a lip fulla chaw asked us "Are you guys together, like, on a date?" and JR shot back "Is it part of your job to ask invasive questions?" and the dude felt like such a shit he let us in for free. I think he was probably intimidated because JR looks like he might be in the coolest band ever. Or maybe he thought he could fuck with us cos we were dirty, thirty and not wearing neon surf shorts or tankinis. We walked, as only best friends can, amongst throngs of born well white teens drying off 'tween trips out on the lake on their parents Hobie Cats. Pec'd out varsity bros walked in packs, splitting us, on perma-assumed right of way, as we waded with our shoes in our hands along the high school hallways at The Three Dollar Beach of The Chosen People.
Newsflash: I hyperlinked wrong. David's blog post about how JD and Maya saw Kanye crying at the accidental preggo movie is here.
OOOH, also, if you wanna get the Baltimore feeling, Double Daggers are doing a record release show at Ronnys tomorrow. Ok. I just had an idea. A challenge. Instead of googling their songs to see if it's worth yr time, lets do it old school and let it be a matter of word of mouth. Who do you know who likes Double Daggers? Is their taste reliable? In the interest of full disclosure I have never heard Double Daggers but I heard they are good. I got their record in the mail today, but as JR can tell you, he came over and helped me sift through some straggler mail of records that came out almost a year ago, a check for $30 on returns from Revolver on the last HIOQI where the check is so old it's invalid. I know in my heart I won't get to the DD record before tomorrow. Going to the show is easier. And really, just the right thing to do.
The May issue of Plan B should be available at finer shops (really, invest in a subscription) and it has a mega-column co-written by me and JR about Sebadoh, Hold Steady and Ween re-issues, which features misappropriated Crass lyrics and Chocolate and Cheese is described as "a vast labrynthine multiplex of shitting dog humor". It's a rage against nostalgia & I think it's some finer work from both of us. Bonafides, slobber and finesse, in unison.
PS> The strange implications: JD and Maya spot Kanye West crying at a matinee of Knocked Up.
"Your hair looks amazing!"
"Wait til I take it out of the ponytail. Look."
"It looks like a "metal" wig"
"It looks like that guy. Whats his name, the guy I saw on tv."
"The guy--the guy (sings) "Take me home tonight...""
"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST TOLD ME MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE EDDIE MONEYS HAIR."
(flip flops become projectiles)
"HEY! STOP IT! How is that worse--you just said it looks like a metal wig, but when I say it, it's suddenly an insult?"
"BECAUSE I AM A GIRL AND YOU TOLD ME I HAVE THE HAIR OF EDDIE MONEY."
I just made up a recipe and it totally worked out, so I am sharing it here in case tomorrow morning when you go to the farmers market and impulse-purchase some turnips you get home and are at a loss with what to do with them.
"NEXT LEVEL TURNIP SOUP (FREESTYLE)"
what you will need:
1 or 2 baby new potatoes
1 bunch of turnips -- meaning 3 or 4
1 big leek
2 cloves of garlic
2-3 tablespoons of cream/soy creamer/milk
a couple sprigs of rosemary and thyme chopped super tiny--about a teaspoon
a teaspoon of butter if yr not against it
Put on a pot of salted water on the stove and get it boiling
peel the potato and the turnips and then cube them so they are all about the same size--half inch or so & peel the garlic and slice up the white part of the leek
and then dump the vegetables in the water and boil them for about 12-15 minutes until the turnip are soft enough that you can mash them easily against the side of the pot.
scoop out the vegetables from the water/dump them through a strainer, reserving about a half cup of the broth. Put the vegetables, the broth water, the creamer/milk, the butter, the herb and a little salt and some pepper to taste in to the blender. Make the blender go til it's smooth and ouila! There's the soup. Enough for two people.
Yesterday dusk teenage neighborhood boys fought hard under the tree, breaking car windows out with the force of each others bodies.
Cops came quick, two boys went over a fence and down an alley, two boys stood dripping blood in the driveway.
Pyramided piles of Pontiac safe-t-glass are in the street, you gotta ride around em.
First things first. This new sectional couch is changing my life. I do not even miss having a table and chairs. The people who came and cleaned it told me that no wonder sitting on it was making me sickly allergic--the powder sprinkles all over it, in their educated guesstimation, was in fact, talcum powder, not PetFresh. The dude I bought it from, judging by his condo and his predeliction towards "soft pants", I can totally see him thinking "well, if it works on my feet, it'll work on the couch".
Morgan came over to help move it. As soon as we set it down, Matt made a joke. He said: "I haven't had a that much of a workout with two girls and a couch since my Sigma Pi days."
We went to go see Gang Gang Dance, and Nora and Al walked up and I was so happy to see them, I forgot to lock up my bike! They had on accidentally matching out fits; they looked like breakdancing squatters.
People are so particular and reverent about Gang Gang Dance that anytime someone mentions them we say "Oh, you mean Gong Gong Donch ?!" in a vaguely European lilt.
We went early for Teith, which is Trevor from Pelican, this kid with big teeth and the woman who is married with Trevor. They may sound like progressive soft metal (Isis at their most Mogwai-i), but the dudes are so hardcore THEY GLUED THEIR ANIMAL MASKS TO THEIR FACES SO THEY WOULDN'T FALL OFF WHEN THEY HEADBANGED. Gluing shit to yr face is in the top ten of most metal activity you can partake in.
Gong Gong was straight up wicked witch Kate Bush and funky Vangelis. I wanted them to kick my ass. Miles said "It was a grave mistake not getting stoned before this show." I love Kate Bush and I am open to rainstick, capes and shofar-blowing, but it their Trapped in The Rainforest pt. 1-12 was just perjoratively hippy and I am too punk to deal with that shit. Still.
Miles' review of the R. Kelly is out.
MY WHAT ARE YOU WEARING WITH MEG MCCARVILLE. She's a real scene legend in the making, I think.
I know that indie America is already primed and ready for the Pipettes to fully take over--there were collared shirt dudes outside the show scalping last night--but there is a place where that band could truly reign: Branson, MO. They are like The Andrews Sisters for Gorilla Vs. Bear readers. But whatever, I'm into Kirk Franklin records and vacuuming, not dainty glove bands.
Remember when the Fugazi movie came out and people complained about how it was boring, all these shots of out the window, flat blacktop infinite ahead--but thats exactly what tour feels like, it's rhythm is zombied zoom. David's blog captures that. Maybe if you read Cali's blog you are familiar with him already. Plus his blog is good for candids of J Mascis at Bubbleland and such. Finding out that J doesn't fold his laundry brings me to a whole new level of respect for him. It's a spiritual matter, rumpledness is.
In other news, I took the yoga-studio edge off the newly emptied-out apartment by impulse buying an oatmeal colored plush sectional off C-list. Unfortunately, if you drop a sectional in a baren apartment, it just looks like a porn set. Britt says getting a sectional is a sign I've really made it. I'm not sure what I've made it too, but I think I know what she means. My other re-decorating and rearranging efforts are stalled out, due in part to my adoption of the credo "What would Leon Jaworski do?"--I haven't even started The Right and The Power yet, so honestly I have only speculation what sort decisive action he might take with the table-less and chair-less dining-zone. Does anyone know what time the slow lap lane opens up at Holstein Pool? It's too hot to ride and check, but all I wanna do is soft paddle.
The Byron Coley written liners for the redone Daydream Nation (out next week):
1. are a snooze a minute
2. casually bougie
3. procedural at best, reveal nothing new
4. assert that all that matters is the bands intent, not the text, meta text or possible deconstruction.
5. a sign that he ran out of things to say four SY re-issues ago
6. better than the Pay Farrell liner notes that proceed it, which are inexplicable and plagued with grammar problems so serious that I noticed them.
7. wistfully reminiscent about the crack epidemic
8. discusses "back-in-the-day" when you used to be able to find a sandwich for under $5 before gentrification swept the lower east side, then backs it up with a quote from Steve Shelly about the same. (LISTEN, SANDWICH INFLATION IS A SERIOUS CONCERN AND JUST ONE OF MANY WAYS THAT EVEN WELL TO DO WHITE PEOPLE ARE TOUCHED BY GENTRIFICATION, OK?!)
9. fails to draw any conclusion beyond it was a landmark album that synthesized all kindsa stuff and was also popular
10. feature a funny quote from Thurston about how the dude from Bone Awl wrote him a letter saying that DN is considered the template for Contemporary American Black Metal. Which I think is maybe a little true, but it's funny that Thurston would example their influence over a shit-fi metal band that puts out cassettes in editions of 300 as a testament to just Sonic Youth's far reaching legacy extends.
Lastly: Can they not find some other little chores for By. Co. to do? Like hosing down the driveway or xeroxing Thurston's poems---something more useful? I thought that the last Daydream Nation reissues with the Jutta Koether liners which read like a grad level artists statement about the luxuration of the absolute were bad enough. Why can no one find anything to say, and instead it's all just gee shucks and genuflecting? It's not like a maje discoursive contextualization is needed, but like, ANY, would be a step.
PS: By. Co.'s a dude unafraid of mandals
I need a new spirit animal.
My old spirit animal is just not doing it for me anymore.
Two dead cicadas in a baggie--are you my spirit animal?
Wyatt'd be an easy choice, since he's around so much.
But these cats are lazy. I need a spirit animal with some pep.
Like Bookstore Voltron, but smaller, and wild.
Something a little more like this.
To answer Miles' query--here's why Kanye might be propping Kid Sis so hard:
1. She's the best thing on his whole mixtape*.
2. She's the only Chicago MC he knows now that Common moved away.
3. Shouting out people who aren't millionaires makes it seem like you know whats up.
4. Propping GLC more would just be embarrassing at this point.
(* Though when Kanye goes "Side! side!" on "Southside" he sounds like a rusty seagull, and I think pop rap could use more bird calls. PS> This is a FUCKING terrible mixtape. Kanyeeze sounds like he's reading aloud from the the J Peterman catalog while running on a treadmill. PPS. Making a 3 minute long "interlude" about how yr jokes don't come across as funny as you meant them in interviews is a such a high class problem it doesn't actually qualify as a problem.)