Lets make up for lost time, shall we?
Monika Bukowska of the keening party band Brilliant Pebbles; they are like post-wave b_52s, but evil, though just as queer and campy. Not pictured: her howling in Polish, t.p.-ing herself, her tossing candy to the audience like a parade. Brilliant Pebbles is the band that last summer I kept referring to as "Soft William". Meaning Soft William is up for grabs then.
Germy Lemos was also there, though he's not now.
So was L'Roy. If you want to know about where to get soil and vegetables from yr garden tested for pollution and contamination, Leroy can tell you. Along with everything else, dude grows his own foods.
One day Meggo came over and took some pictures, and I took some back.
And then another day newly-employed Kate and currently-in-Bratislava Nora came over. They are best friends. Neither of them thinks they know how to smile in photos. They came over and practiced, and now I have like 40 toothy portraits of them learning.
Wyatt, the one cat welcoming committee.
He's kind of a slut, but he's so good looking he can get away with it.
Penpal Jen May sent him a hat along with her new zine. Dapper in origami.
Mia, our long lost book club member has blessedly returned to the Chi-Boogie. Over tea she shared her great news--her and Sara Jaffe's book on touring is coming out later this year! Details TK. So psyched!
Megan Holmes posted some pix of No Age playin' a grocery store; sweet.
Fascination street: So, trolling YouT. for Pussy Galore vid's other than "Dick Johnson" (the sixth punk rock song I ever heard, and so my idea of punk was pitched "pigfuck noise" rather than Circle Jerks, but that's neither here nor there) I got to this video here--which led me to another which concludes with someone lauding "She's so pussy!" in amazement (which I think should be our official catchphrase for Spring 2008) which in turn led me to someone's channel documenting a crew in the current queer vogueing/ball scene in Cincinatti, from windowless basement bedrooms where the catwalk is low pile and bracketed by bunkbeds to battle royale dressed as Santa's helpers. Beautiful secret universe / Nan Goldin afterworld.
Best news of the week: Callum Robbins turned two.
Props to whomever is trying to introduce a word to define "the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you."
I have some things to show you, but I'm woozy from 6 hours of locomotion, pre-dawn to noon, St. Louis to Chi-Boogie, and I feel utterly disinclined to bother uploading pictorials.
Meanwhile, the word of the avenues:
Tonight, rolling a rumoured 36-strong, Blue Ribbon Glee Club for FREEZIES! AT THE BOTTLE! If you are old enough to go, come on down. Click upon that post for their pro-recorded version of that rebel-rousing chezznut "California Uber Alles".
Also, in St. Louis, at this old-fashioned underground record store I got this wonderful record:
the music is almost as good as the cover. A choral grip of jeune filles doing Frenchie standards. Worth the $2.99
The record store had a lot of weird everything except almost no indie rock, which was refreshing. You never see record stores anymore that strike a balance between that creepy-questionable-Jim Goad/Boyd Rice-post-no-wave-nothings-shocking-conspiracy-theories-n'-swastika's aesthetic and like, a good cheap jazz & calypso LP section. The place could go pound for pound against the experimental/noise section at Amoeba, but it's in St. Louis. Seeing that someone, somewhere, is keeping the entire Clock DVA discography in stock made me feel a touch nostalgic.
Just so no one ever repeats my same terrible mistake: Don't confuse The Allman Brothers with Lynyrd Skynyrd, when you are looking for their keyboardist's post-band new band. You will think you are getting Chuck Leavell and Jaimoe's rad fusiony fusion ensemb, Sea Level
(the album cover looks like they sound; like the sea breeze in a'rustlin' their chest hairs and billowing their blouses...)
But because of your confusion between these two mystifying bands of the south, you will wind up with Billy Powell's untender foray with The Rossington Collins Band
which is hells waiting room, despite having a pretty sweet cover. I had early indoctrination from Neil, and thusly, I pretty much equate Skynyrd albums with, like, klan rallies and am mad that this hick work is loitering in my home. SO, hey, if anyone has any Sea Level records they wanna divest themselves of, holler.
While we're on topic of flip up sunglasses: Kool Kim's hxc band c.83, Europe-ish.
Casual, potent, direct. "Love $$$" shoulda been the single. This era Mary Timony was so intimidating, I couldn't listen to it until I was a few years older. She made good on some riot girl promises without even trying. Post-grunge feminist detour. Anyone else remember that Puncture cover story (c. 1996) on Helium where Jay Ruttenberg (I think he's at Time Out NY now?) presumed much about M.T.'s red nail polish and sexual nature. Did you ever notice how after all that speculative press attention positing her as some hypersexual temptress, she just started making records about imaginary fairy lands, pure princesses and unicorns--the sort of stuff you couldn't really distill or project much on to/out of it? I noticed and I'm still pissed 11 years later.
I'd wait my whole life for a band like this, over and over.
Gone, but not totally forgotten.
After "work" yesterday, I met Kate at the caf and somehow I got talking about the long-forgotten but canonical hair do of Richard Marx, because of this amazing thing Jeff wrote. And she told me about how once, when she was maybe seven or eight, she saw an episode of 21 Jump Street where David Hasselhoff played a sexual predator who'd been raping retarded people at a community pool. To her, his hair looked so much like Richard Marx's that she began to believe that the character was actually R. Marx, which made the show become "true" in her mind; so, since childhood, she has believed Richard Marx to be a rapist. There is not clip of such a thing on Youtube, so I am not sure this episode really exists. Meanwhile, we still have ample evidence of the cumulous doo of Marx that must be seen to be believed:
Have you seen this movie yet? Spirit of The Beehive? THE BEST!
It manages to be a thriller despite that it's mostly about an older sister convincing her younger sister that Frankenstein exists in rural Spain in 1940.
Birthday coming up? Maybe if you are real good, someone might get you this full sized taxidermied lion for sale, right here, on Chi-boogie craigslist.
JR offers some post facto weigh in on everyone's year end cobble: Kala offers serious blunted trauma for thee patriarchy and seems like an "event" more than just a record...fact is, I think M.I.A. is one of the fabbest talents going and much more of a rabid synthesizer of juicy rich ideas, scrambling around and grabbing them off of every available (not just record) shelf, rather than being just merely competent, or even super-competent, much as Mr. Murphy may be. She set her heart on the controls of the sun, and I think she turned the lights out on everyone else this year. Too bad about that Timbaland rap on the last song. Seriously, the guy might be richer than Warren Buffett's breast milk, but has anyone ever embarrassed themselves on a song even remotely this much? I mean, not even bad rhymes. Just totally misreading a fellow performer, her worldview, artistic agenda etc. to the nth degree. It was like she wanted him on there to prove what a jackass he is. If I'm right, I nominate her artist of the millennia.
Peter Margasak, the authority on anything half weird says Dolly C. is pictured behind a portative pipe organ, which is a kind of wooden mini of the real thing. According to a google search, you can buy a build yr own kit for a portative model. It's still early on in winter, it could be your project! Imagine being able to brag that your are building AN ORGAN in yr spare.
To be sure, it was the most teenage I had felt this side of thirty. Though Kate and I had pacted to lie if asked, to say that we were looking for multiple relatives graves and we could not remember where they were. Yet, when we were pulled over by the gravedigger in the dumptruck and he asked Kate "Are you learning to drive?" we both blurted in unison "YES." To which he replied "Not here you aren't!" and we switched sides and hauled ass outta Graceland Cemetery. I was thinking it was a sure fire no getting busted zone, but in hindsight given that it's the chosen crypt-zone of the city's founding families and most of the folks buried there have been dead 40-100 years, anyone hurking at 6 mph in a dusty Honda is not looking for Grandma, unless nana was Ida Noyes.
I love the hairstyles of Shirley and Dolly Collins as much as their music.
A maidengown, a curled sprig of top tail, a family band, a--what is that--a calliope? Talk about having it all.
(PS. Remember when Jim O'Rourke told The Wire magazine he was leaving Chicago because no one listened to British folk music? Leaving town because people aren't as in to Anne Briggs as you are is as good of a reason as any.)
Still wondering about the how-to on getting my hair to be like this:
Nora and I talked a lot about whether you perm your hair like Anouk Aimee and pull it off, not look matronly. I think you have to go to a blue-hairs-only kinda place and ask for "a permanent wave".
Though, Monica Vitti in L'eclisse and L'avventura has the #1 Best Cinematic Hair Dream Of My Dreams. Her hair is the meta-text of that L'avventura; When it gets wild n' looser in it's curl that dark night on the rocky island, getting hassled by her missing BFF's loser lover, then more strangely bouffier and teased as things run their fucked course, then in the end, eerily to still and shiny and perfect.
Her hair, here, really communicates someone that's truly living life. It is the size of two hats--an immaculate fluff.
Tie a string around your finger. Mats Gustafsson is at the Hideout tonight. Here is a video of him from like 49 feet away. Can you hear towards the end where he starts to scream into his horn? It is not much of a surprise that dude was a hardcore kid before he started freeing the jazz. See you there, son.
In case I forget to mention it, closer to the time of when it's happening, but Chicago's pride Cococoma, who are a very loud rip of garage (like Minneapolis-noise-band loud) are going on a strangely routed European tour next month. Just in case you are living in Hamburg already, and you fancy a din.
I'm a touch sick and deeply unmotivated to do anything much other than carefully re-arrange my Netflix cue and read Cook's Illustrated and wait for Charlie Rose to come on; our nerd king, Alex Ross is on tonight. Nothing exciting is going to happen here, so, go to Peter Margasak's blog and follow the post-link to the African radio station record archives. Access to afro-pop 7"s are just about the only thing that the internet has going for it.
Art inspiration por vida, Pippi Zornoza, now has a website. Pippi is a Providence based artist who took the RI crazy-intricate style in a whole diff. direction. She is one of the ladies who helms Dirt Palace, the feminist art collective space in the old Olneyville public library, where Al and I read on our reading tour 3 summers ago. Dirt Palace houses some of the old Fort Thunder artifacts and weirdness, but more notably, is a a fount of feminist can-do.
I went to St Louis. And plum forgot that the time for a leasing was nigh:
Nora, who often appears on this blogginz, needs some upstairs roommates in her Pilsen-side punk house. It is, to be sure, a punk house. Formerly the Milemarker residence, also the Skeleton house and the Bird Names house, in case you know it as those things. It is 2500 sq ft, 4 bedroom, $600 total. It's really huge. Very colorful. A potted palm tree grows in the living room. It has a backyard with firepit, heat, water, a porch, and you can play music there. Like as in practice with your band. Or do your home recording. It is right by the pink or blue line, which also runs above the backyard. It's open starting in Feb; animals welcome. If you are interested in a grade-a punk hovel, hit up norasnice at yahoo dot com. No jerks!
Lifelong Friend, Teeter says her and her sis' radical bags n' shoes n' cute totes and stuff with horses on it is having a crazy sale--$5-15-25 at their site: 31 Corn Lane.
Friend of the old times, Josh Hooten is attempting some paper-free action with the new issue of Herbivore, America's only vegan magazine, thats certainly worth supporting. The paper version--also rad. Him and wife Michelle also just opened an Herbivore store in the Portland vegan mini mall. YES VEGAN MINI MALL. They just started publishing cookbooks. Josh was the reason you loved those first few years of Punk Planet, 'member? When he pranked Rye Coalition? That was the best.
Just in case you are poking around the interweb today, looking for ways to spend money.
1. Does it seem like a CTA conspiracy that as part of the 80-bus-line chop, that between United Center and Fullerton, the only bus running downtown is one the Chicago Ave 66? Aka "666 The Bus To Hell" aka the worstest slowest bus on this side of town that takes 40 to get the three miles from Damen to the MCA? That bus is naturally pandemonium and 30 minute waits. Now it will be the only downtown bus line for miles. Come Jan. 21st, the 66 bus stops are going look like the Saigon airlift.
2. U of C Doc Films schedule is is a dream come true most every night of the week for the next few. Monday is a Fuller retrospective, Tues is a Tati/Demy trade off, Weds is Almodovar, Thurs is Noir of the 50's, Friday late showing is roots-of-porn--Misty Beethoven, Behind the Green Door, Swedish Wildcats etc. Last night, Nora and I saw Lola and got lost in Anouk Aimee's eyeliner.
We nearly expired in the heat of the auditorium. I guess paying 32.6 a year in tuition means you can expect every building to be kept at 80 degrees. They got rid of the vending machines in the basement, so make sure you pick up your can of Squirt and Andy Capp Spicy Fries before you get there.
It is Jan. 8th in Chicago, Il and so warm I have been sleeping with the windows open for two nights. I do not mind this, but ice bears (Knut, Iorek, etc) and others are surely effed. Chris said he saw a bumblebee last night. Maybe they are waking up/thawing early. Enviormental karmageddon, dudes--HIGH OF 64 FUCKING DEGREES. See you at the pool!
Also, on the totally depressing tip, the segment from yesterdays 848 about whats happening to people who got forced out of Cabrini and Robert Taylor Homes and the new work requirements for people in public housing: it's as bad as you assumed it would be. I'm looking around to find if there are any sort of related advocacy volunteer ops and those kind of things. Will post it once I do.
Also, still reading/re-reading Mamet--more helpful snaps for New Years Resolutions. His sister's inferred line in "True Stories of Bitches", when he complains about eating the pastrami sandwich he ordered: "You are a fool," she was saying "you are a fool to be eating food you disapprove of. Your inability to rule your life according to your perceptions is an unfortunate trait." At the White/Light show last night, inside and outside in the smokers line under the overhanging, people complained abt. resolutions on habits that are not being held to. Doing stuff they don't want to be doing, because the tide of their life and habits is taking them there, inexplicably taking them on dates with dudes who are a-holes. Perhaps it's time for one big holistic resolution, shorten an impossible to manage epic list of feelings and actions to be curtailed or expanded, and pledge, simply:
RULING YOUR LIFE BY YOUR PERCEPTIONS IN OH-EIGHT!
Quit ordering the proverbial pastrami sandwich you hates!
Also, The Julie Doucet book, 365, is hard to put down. Hard as heck. Not because of a feeling of anticipation of what will happen next, but because what won't. I have always felt that true artists surely adhere to a gilded/rigorous path that doesn't look terribly like normal life. You know, solitude and tortured drinking, sensual feteing all the live long, breach birthing ideas, untenable disciplines. But reading this, Julie Doucets diary of 2002-03, it is the routine of it that is comforting. The boon of worth and productivity she feels when she gets a check in the mail. Hovering just above poverty. Slogging through creative lulls, wanting things to be exciting. Being envious of the ease of other peoples creative successes. It's pretty wonderful to read. Reassuring and inspiring--that you don't have to be Mark Rothko, pacing and cursing and suicidal, in order to be an artist.
It's finally up. a super abbreviated version of my interview with Nikki Sixx for MSN, about his diary book, THE HEROIN DIARIES, which is a real trashterpiece and captures the full tilt boring-routine of drug addiction.
Juno, if it had been made in the nineties would have been a Parker Posey vehicle; it's a Hal Hartley film where confused precious protagonists are girls instead of fringe-28 y.o. dudes--but it's updated to the now as everyone speaks in a contempo dialect of Myspace comments. It got right the Minnesota moms in turtlenecks, and served 90's cool-grunge what it was due.
An idea whose time has come: cooing oohs and aahs 30-strong on "Spanish Bombs".
There is a right way.
And then there is a wholly 'nother way to use a talkbox while staring unblinkingly into the future.
I do not want Christmas break to be over--I still have not finished addressing the New Years cards I made on 12/14. I read that in France, people exchange cards for the holidays well towards the end of January. As expression of my desire for a more French system--primarily socialised medicine--I am sending my cards the French way.
Plus the kitchen is still not clean. I got it almost all the way clean after the New Years meal for ten. I cooked saffron rice, butter beans with mint, gingerbread cake with poached apricots in a vanilla reduction, a salad with oranges and fennel in rosewater, naan, and vegetarian corn dogs with "special sauce". Miles brought a butternut squash and Gruyere casserole, Ben made green beans. It was too much and so I had more people over for dinner last night otherwise I'd be eating this rice every day until Arbor Day. Now everything is dirty again, but I can't stop reading long enough to get hand with the mop.
The NYE meal was lovely and candlelit; I think everyone was in a mood, or half sick, utterly allergic, stressing, spiritually fatigued, hungover and near barfing, unaqquainted with others, or internally miserable over non-dinner related happenings. Megan came over today and she said the benefit was that everyone seemed to be having a time of it, so at least no one was left out--it was a fellowship of the weirded out.
After dinner, the plan was we were to burn lists, in the lot next door, of what we wanted to leave in 2007 and not bring with into the new year. I had asked people to bring their lists prepared, but only Megan did. So as a result, everyone sat down with their afterdinner coffee and pondered on of all the bad shit, unwanted feelings and past that was living in the present. Lists were scribbled, boots tugged back on and out we went.
We put our lists in the jar and Matt rolled his like a wick. The wind kept blowing the lighter out. The notes were folded too tight to light. Matts note smoldered. It snowed hard and the wind blew and meanwhile, the physics of burning stuff in a jar was against us and we went through a whole pack of matches. Everyone got nervous and joked about the bad omen. Ben suggested we take them inside and burn them in the bath tub, but by the time we got up there, the jar was smoking full of smoldering notes and so I held it out the bathroom window while we tried to decide what would become of the notes in their fiery state. It smelled terrible and so it was elected to drown them. Instead, I accidentally turned the shower on myself. The house stank like a campfire. The notes met a watery grave and are resting in peace, dissolving the mason jar on the backporch. Next year, we will drink them.
I was reading David Mamet's Writing in Resturants last night and came across these bits in the beginning of the short essay "On Paul Ickovic's Photographs" which seemed right for sharing in these baby days of our newest year:
"I would like to live a life free of constant self-examination--a life which may be ruled by the processes of guilt, remorse, hope and anxiety, but one in which thoses processes themselves are not foremost in the mind.
I would like like to belong to a world dedicated to creating, preserving, achieving or simply getting by. But the world of the outsider, in which I have chosen to live, and in which I have trained myself to live, is based on none of those thing. It is based on observation."
Baraboo Wisconsin Stop N' Shop five hours into a blizzardy drive, two aisles of dried meats, we stocked up on food, in case we wound up all nighting on the drifts in the median.
I tried to make my mom look in my eyes and tell me she loves me and Lauren as much as her mini-ewok dogs, but she couldn't. I don't blame her.
Back in 1980, our family was just me and my mom. She was an editor at a newspaper and 26 years old, we lived next door to a hospital in Michigan.
My mom circa 1983 at a journalism conference.
Before she was my mom, she was a state and national champ, a horserider of all styles.
Now she keeps her horse in a decorative aritfical nest-in-a-bowl on the island. Matt gave her that pony in her stocking.
My mom says one of the big plusses of being single is decorating your apartment however you want. It's true and she has.
I took Matt to the Walker, and we spent all day looking around. The Frida Kahlo exhibit was filled with people who don;t know how to visit a museum, tapping on the glass of the picture frames like it's a fucking aquarium, shouting to one another with their walkman-guide headphones on. We peaced out after about 12 minutes.
Upstairs, Matt and the animated computer dolphin that you can ask questions of got into it. The dolphin teased Matt.
We watched a movie of women working at a dry cleaner in the Ukraine. In one of the movies, after the woman works, she goes home and cooks dinner for her teenager daughter and the daughter complains about it. It was intense. Teenagers are by nature ungrateful.
We had an epic Scrabble game. I won. I took 200 pictures during the game because everyone takes 12 minutes for their turns.
We went to the Russian museum with Dan and Craig, and my mom tried on some traditional head dress in the gift shop.
After we had lunch at this antlery place and I thought about maybe I was running my mouth too much during lunch but realized that these two dudes have known me since high school, and they know how I am by this point--a mouth runner by nature.
We had to go to Southdale Mall five times during the visit. The final time, I died of boredom waiting for Matt to decide on his new winter coat. Now we are matchy-matchy.
Brown and yellow matchy matchy coats with toggle buttons.
Guess who else was hanging at the mall?
Menswear was bumpin' for a Thursday.
I had to take Matt to the Sculpture Garden, so if anyone ever asks him if he has seen the cherry in the spoon, he can say yes. It was 11 pm and the nightsky was as white as the ground. We ran through the whole thing to keep warm, stopping briefly to check out the Calder whipping in the wind. Calder sculptures always make me feel like I am a tiny tiny person on some executives desk.
More importantly, if you kick snow at the ewok dogs they jump in the air and try and catch it. This picture is mere seconds after a mid-air collision.
Catch it an' eat it, they do.
My sister, now of Manhattan.
A personal note from Burger King itself. It reads more as a poem than a note to me, though.
A truck jack knifed outside of Osseo and we sat for two hours. I got these mittens for xmas from my step mom. They are nuclear.
A few hours later, at the truck stop, I ran up the 15 foot tall snowdrifts for exercise.
The sort of dinner on offer in Janesville, WI.
Imagine being the person who dreamt up Grillquitos.
I have to sort through the million and three pics I've taken this week, but for a preview of sorts, Megan Holmes photoblog has a preview, and a drawing she asked me to make of Marvin Gaye. I couldn't conjure a picture of him in my mind, except a vague recall of the cover of Whats Going On.
"What does Marvin Gaye look like?"
"He has on a beanie. And he is smiling."
"What kind of an outfit?"
"A shiney leather jacket. Probably long."
"What type of pants?"
"Pressed with a pleat kind then. And some Gucci loafers. Here."