Maybe you are not tired of reading about No Age in magazines and on Cali's blogginz (I'm not), which is like a pictographic filo-fax on Dean's goings on in particular, but hell theres an actual No Age blog being updated. You know, No Age from a No Age perspective--totally refreshing.
Miles and JR and I discuss, with some frequency (it's come up more than twice) about why, unlike, the LA people, we are not rolling out in groups 14 strong to eat dinner and paint murals. Why in the midwest, a big group is three or four people? Most everyone we know has a second job which alieviates discretionary time and income, plus it's too cold to voluntarily leave the house five months out of the year and the scene is fractious (esp. post-fireside). Not to be all defeatist excuses about it; I'm just wondering. What makes LA's positive-social-super-grind possible? Attitude plus hard-work plus folks being creative class types plus weather? Is it simply the natural tide pulling against decades of gross LA scenes? Could a positive scene rebirth like that happen in the midwest even? What are the economic forces at work there vs. here?
Miles reminded me this morning of the laugh riot of a press release for the new girl, err, femme fatale band on Hellcat.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov 26, 2007
HELLCAT RECORDS SIGNS GUTSY GIRL GROUP CIVET
“The Four Girls of Civet Have that Pretty-in-a-Dirty-Way Thing Going on Like They Own it” (Exclaim)
Civet, a wicked Long Beach, CA foursome aptly self-described as “femme fatale punk rock,” has joined the Hellcat ranks, home to fellow agitators Tiger Army, HorrorPops and Rancid. “We are honored to join the Hellcat family and to be associated with the artists that continue to keep punk rock alive,” says the band.
The girls of Civet (Ms Liza Graves on vocals and guitar, Suzi Homewrecker on guitar, Jacqui Valentine on bass and Danni Harrowyn on drums) do a excellent job of carrying on the long history of girl bands with broken hearts and an axe to grind – think early Distillers, Bikini Kill and the Runaways – but do so with a humor and brazen, in-your-face gorgeousness that sets them apart from the reflexive feminist stance that at times burdened their predecessors.
I like the creative thinking of this press release--Civet have found a work around on the stumbling block of wanting to be considered equal to their male peers--being brazenly hot and being a brazenly terrible Distillers-rip-off. It's good that they are building on the lessons of their forebearers, though, understanding the dear price The Runaways, Distillers and especially Bikini Kill paid for being attractive and feminist--if only they'd ditched the message and sexed it up---they could of been the next Tom Petty!
To paraphrase FEAR, new metal's alright if you like saxophones: Yakuza with Ken Vandermark c. 2002.
and, other local boys noize:
Cave, who I saw play their record release last night at the Bottle are going on tour all over this great nation this coming month. It's a dude or two from Mahjonng and some weirdo Co-MO kids and local enigma Rotten Milk singing. ( I saw him this summer, walking down 18th street wearing some sort of animal blouse and what looked like ladies slacks out of the Newport News catalog (bright pink floral print, high waisted linen psuedo jeans), his stride confident and eager, his long red hair puff like ctton candy in the wind, seemingly oblivious to the tween girl mocking him from the corner.) Liz's preview in the Reader is apt re the secret Steve Miller space vibes, but given the rainbo decor of their page and that the record is called "Jamz", you really think it's going to be one thing, but live, it was another. Think poor girl's Battles, except one dude thinks he's in Hawkwind, and Rotten Milk is kind of like:
Randee of the Redwoods +
non-scary Al Jourgenson
via Dan Deacon's butthole.
Which is scary, but just unsettling scary. Not brainstain scary. You might like them! They are more of a party band than the recording would have you believe.
Though it's been years since the all-ages mecca turned away from us, the mourning has never ceased. Meanwhile the website for our once beloved Fireside Bowl expertly wholesales it's authenticity--as a real bowling alley is perfect for hipper office parties. The pictures of dude with the fauxhawk and turtleneck and the text that suggests that it's Logan Square is safe for Wicker Park's most gentrified gentrifiers is a crueler epitaph than most though.
Via Peter, it's bon-bon-plus week for Peter Brotzmann fans. Bracketing the 10th anniv. show at MCA with the Chicago Tentet (god bless, I'ma see you there), theres a slew of shows, showcasing locals, the Swede giants and free-jazzers that'll buckle your world, beginning with the Thing feat. Ken Vandermark and a Brotzmann/Lonberg-Holm duo at Hideout on Weds.--which is real oh-fuck of a way to kick things off.
Secondly, Radioclit whose podcasts are better than most, are producing a Esau Mwamwaya full-length for 08, which I'm exceedingly psyched about; "Tengazako" is a reversion of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" that'll make you forget how truly bad her live show was last week. Thirdly, re: Cool Kids set at the House of Blues show--what was up with the DJ? I understand that when you use Serrato, you can cue things visually, and you can program an entire set, and rap along as you see fit--but the dude didn't use headphones, scratched intermittently, and spent most of the time adjusting what from our second-floor seats was a volume knob and every couple songs, the crossfader. I'm not bummed or anything--showbiz is as showbiz does--but if he's going to pretend to DJ, he should at least put on headphones and you know, pretend better. I know it's unseemly to "hate", esp to hate local, but honest, I'm not. I like Cool Kids live--better than on the internet--and also like that they wear their pants low and tight (strange), and their sweatshirts grandpa/pro shop.
And best of all: a brother and sister zydeco dancing in their kitchen.
I wrote a review of thew new albums from Celebration and Dragons of Zynth and the Chicago Reader published it. Celebration plays tonight at the Bottle.
addenduh: It seems that some people inside the internet and the comments zone of the Reader have mistook what I wrote in particular about Celebration--that I am being sexist towards Katrina by not giving her credit (though I do), and that I don't criticize DOZ as harshly because they are black. Thats actually a pretty funny accusation--that I'm PC enough to not be racist, but not quite PC enough to as not be sexist . Though it would be racist (and not PC at all) to not hold black musicians to the same standards as white musicians.
To be clear I think Celebration have all kinds of good ideas, I think Sitek's production saddles the work of every band he's worked with, for better or worse--and in Celebrations case--it's for the worse. I am less critical of Dragons of Zynth because they made a record that I like more, and it really goes somewhere.
There have been all kinds of things lately I made narely a mention of. But that's not important.
This is: St. Louis--the gateway to the midwest! That town, personal consensus sez: still a shithole, but that's where my baby be. Finally found food that was not alive with gravy pleasure--a thai resturant! Between that and hitting the mall to see a megaplexxed movie and a bike ride, I have stuff to do there now. Which is almost exciting.
Also note the giant black UFO flying thru the arch.
Some people might be pissed if you take a picture of them when they are choking. I knew he was gonna be ok, so whats the big deal?
Kate came back from Europe just in time for us to go see the grunge show.
A good old friend from the bad old days now plays in Puddle of Mudd, and nach, we had to go--I never miss an oppurtunity to see how the other half lives. And by the other half, I mean the people sitting in front of us in the booth--a tanked woman and her boss who were obviously having an affair, old twins who loved grunge and a woman who seemed to be guarding her dippin sauce for her hot wings, like we were going to steal it. We almost did, just to prove her right.
Then there was New York, where Jane does her ponytails and I did a reading--
and my sister and I went to the cinema for a cowboy flick.
I got home and guess who else is home from abroad? Forever young, it's Al Burian. We are talking about doing a reading tour the first week of March, out to New England and there abouts. If you have a book store or a library or a bitchin' collective in your power and would like to have us read, holler. Secondly, Al has a new book about to come out! It's been a dogs age, hasn't it?
Then, over the weekend, Kells and I hit up a furrie convention out by the mall.
We paid the fees and got our name tags, which listed our imaginary furry names. Kells was "Chuckles", I was "Brownie"--named for my neighbors new puppy. "Brownie? You might as well of just named yourself "Butthole"," said Kells. I guess I'll just have to save that idea for next year. Neither of us got assignments to cover it but the organizers knew Kells was "the media" and some lady in a funfur tail working security went boob-to-boob with her at registration saying if we so much pulled out a camera we'd be escorted out. Which meant we were followed all afternoon by fur-fan security. Fortunately, the whole experience was such a mindfucking brainstain I doubt I'll ever forget it.
Though, there is this: I managed to get a shot of this person dressed as a lion dressed a centurion on the way in.
Peter Schjeldahl, Minnesota native and art crit for the New Yorker is speaking for FREE at the MCA tonight at 6. Lecturing about the MCA and important stuff to happen in art.
Looking up Ketty Lester footage on YouTube, will get you two things, one not interesting and the other curious. One is old dudes karaoking Lester's "Love Letters", the other, related to her stint as the teacher on Little House on The Prairie: someone's YouTube channel of clips of Half Pint and Nellie Olsen getting spanked and "discipline" clips from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, with great titles like "Nellie gets the belt again".
Dear pal and Austin-based tipster Joe Gross emailed us this link to the wiki-page about the strange life of proto-feminist dude who helped conceive Wonder Woman comics. I, too, now have the same question now as Joe--why doesn't someone make a movie about this?
Just like in the pig's story, home again home again jiggity jog. Good to be back in a city where the babies dress like babies. The other best part is coming over the inky lake at night and suddenly you can see exactly where Chicago begins and ends by the lay of the amber street lights.
I was listening to the new Gucci Mane single, "Freaky Gurl" in order to write about it this morning, which is mostly a song about getting blowjobs, but also, he talks about riding around with his hand out the limo window so as to impress the ladies and the kids. Imagine how insecure you'd have to be to be trying impress little kids with your jewelry? Gucci Mane is playing at a country & western line dancing bar in Waukegan on the 23rd, in case yr wondering.
Goodnight, you dazzled-by-diamonds kiddos, and good night all.
I thought today on the way here, for what I think, if my count is right, is my 26th time in NY, about what Nelsen Algren once wrote about how loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose. I think loving New York is like being in love with your pimp.
My baby sis lives on the other side of the block from where I am staying. I feel xtra protective of her with in her newish NY confines-- as in do not bite my sister, or I will up n' kill you kind of feelings. I also want to buy her every apple in all of the Whole Foods, though it is evident that she is much tougher than I to even endeavor living out of the middle western climbs and makes a better living than I do. I asked her if she is getting enough to eat, and wished perhaps I could stay and just cook her dinners when she gets home from work for a week or two, to make sure. We discussed how my okie feelings never stray when I am here; like when I look through a copy of Vogue and wonder who would actually wear those Prada kneesocks with no toes in them and then you walk around NYC and ouila, toeless sock model mobs a-bustle! I spent half the Kara Walker exhibit point out peoples shoes to my sister and going "whoa...". I still dress first and foremost for frostbite prevention and wear my keys on the outside of my pants, which, at this advanced age of 31 means I'm hoosier-fer-life and there's nothing to be done about it; I'ma regular fucking Green Acres over here.
I have been obsessed with Randy Crawford for the last six years. Here she is doing "Streetlife" with the Crusaders, weighing all of 12 lbs, counting that lovely pantsuit. Secondly, how does that frilly manblouse that Joe Sample is wearing not get stuck on the piano somehow? Despite that it appears to be a quinceanera dress with baptismal gowns for sleeves, he pulls it off with macho aplomb.
Speaking of pants suit, check out the 12 seconds of spandex clad vulva thrusting at the beginning of this 1980 video for "And The Beat Goes On." That ladies outfit makes her appear at once to be both naked and made of plastic--perhaps there is no more apt an outfit to have worn as the 70's met the 80's, each leg of her glitter pants as a stand in for a decade. JR came over last night to work on our Diamanda review for Plan B, but first I made him watch this, while I danced and sang along. The moves that transpire between :59-1:09 will make you wanna live forever.
Saturday night basement show alert! Basements are where your dreams never stop coming true. SO: Matt, who works at the farm stand at the green market gave me a tape of his band Landlord, and it was top to bottom get-rad Indiana basement punk d.b.a Hoosier agriculture-core. It's the new band from gone but for'ver good The Door-Keys. Everytime I listen to the tape, I think is this kind of Times New Viking meets Seaweed-style teenager vibes, midwestern corn fed kid rippers? Is this new wave farm glam? Medium school skate rock? You know, like backyard ramps, solos and bong hits style? I am pumped to see them, and perhaps you are too. Where the fuck is Greenwood, Indiana anyhow--lets mass upon this show and find out, get the hell out of the hood for an evening and go be the older strangers in someone elses house:
Sat Nov 10.
3721 West Grand Ave.
8 pm. Donation doors.
Shawnee and Barlee
Why are there not old guy r&b groups with mustaches anymore? Scotty Scott looks like he's never been happier to do anything but dance around that stage with his suit sleeve rolled up. Let us study the PMA of Scotty Scott, and not forget for a second how truly perfect this song is.
Y'all being of good hardihood, perhaps you can find yr way to this thinger next week. In April of 08, you can say you were there, baring witness to music journalism in it's final glancability, as it existed before we were (sic--we is already) all reduced to blurbers and charticle churners. Sorry to serve such grim pie, but s'true! It could be as much fun as listening to Stretchin' Out In Bootsy's Rubber Band 2x through, and should take about as long.
Best Music Writing 2007 Reading featuring:
Monday November 12, 7pm
126 Crosby Street, NYC 10012
* W / R to Prince Street
* B / D / F / V to Broadway-Lafayette
* 6 to Bleecker Street
The funny thing about American Gangster is that it's a drug movie whose issues mirror addiction itself: numbing, repetitive, chronically refusing to address it's own problems, the movie never satisfies the way that first trailer did, and in the end there is no way to rationalize or justify it. Moralizing of any sort would be wholly inconvienent, but after almost three hours of turning a drug dealer into an idol over the fact that he was disciplined about making a living off death and drugs, the film resolves itself, making good by pulling some we're-all-in-the-same-gang cop/crook buddyizing solution, like it's The Fox and the Hound moving kilos.
8 and 3/4ths of a large thumb down-down.
My idea for my naked man costume never got off the ground; by late afternoon we'd just got done thrifting Joanie's Tammy Fae costume and I figured if haven't started sewing a penis by then, I'd never start, so I went as an Amish hooker, which people kept guessing was Laura Ingalls Wilder, though the gold cha cha heels made it more Laura Ingalls Wildest. Night deux of The Hold Steady was them in banditos gear keeping it tight for a live recording while the 21-ups high fiving and shitkreigged, livid with pleasure doing the emphatical Craig Finn arm move (slap head and then through your arm like yr a zombie stopping traffic) and SCREAMING the lyrics to "The Swish" at their roommates/broferlife like it's their mantional anthem.
We all got caught up the first night, so I let Miles do the talking and the topic turned to a hour long digression on taking acid, small town acid dealer homie ravers with sword collections, unknowingly getting dosed and then going to bed only to wake up in the morning frying. We happened to be in the company of another old friend, whom according to Craig, has the best story about the most ill-timed trip ever--on 9/11 in Manhattan. We tried to get him to tell it, but He was a little too drunk to oblige and says the experience made him feel deeply unpatriotic. I think the issue after this coming issue of HIOQI has to be a special issue devoted to people answering the question "Tell me about the last time you ever did acid." because it's always the last for a really good reason.
Those reviews I wrote about Jens Lekman, Boys Noize and Pylon is up. Goodnight party people and those dragging ass and dormward bound, slurring in their slutty ladybug costumes. Like that squirrel's ad, I saw you!