I'm in Berlin!
Today I turned in the manuscript! Book=made.
And that's all for now.
Home stretch of the epic stretch of little to no sleep.
Proofed manuscript is in Morgan's paws for the final just in case.
We've resorted to caffeine and Best of The Eagles Vol. 2.
Between us we've got three big scabs and hickey, but not from each other, sadly.
Welcome to our dorm style all nighter.
"I don't know the words but I know a little of the melody"
Despite the infinity-times I have googled such topics everyday for months, it's funny I found the best women-in-punk-music history blog going the day before I am done.
In high school I wanted to be Thurston Moore when I grew up. Then I saw Sonic Youth and realized that Lee played all the parts I had attributed to TM. And I didn't want to be Lee; he's not very glamorous.
Then I wanted to be Lester Bangs, as some of you who have read Hit it or Quit it surely remember that long phase of bluster... that has not ended.
But now I want to be Nona Hendryx when I grow up. Patti's big gospel swoop tends to steal the light, but Nona is a terror. After they broke up, Nona did a metal album, joined Talking Heads, did a bunch of insane disco singles with all manner of people, she still dresses in head to toe leather and wrote seven of the 10 songs on Nightbirds, which is the only record that matters to me right now.
Are there any girl rock stars that played a Les Paul or an SG? Gibsons in general?
Please ring the bell if you know an answer: msjessicahopper at G mail, dude.
The news of no news:
I have switched from Journey's Escape to the Stones Hot Rocks. I still start my work time with "Don't Stop Believin'". The 15 yr old me would of spit on the 31 y.o. me for liking Journey this much for real. The 15 yr old me would of hit me with my metal lunchbox. Used the pit at an L7 show as an excuse to kick me for sure.
The new feeding song I sing to the cats is sung to the tune of Journey's "Mother, Father" but it's "Monkee, Wyatt".
Quitting smoking and coffee before I finished the book wasn't the best idea.
I woke up for 90 minutes and went and bought three Pointer Sisters LPs, new Hold Steady and LaBelle Nightbirds on vinyl first thing. I promptly came home and accidentally fell asleep for four hours. I woke up and had no idea what day it was. Book as drugs metaphor still holding.
Chris Connelly works at the record store and he said that Patti LaBelle was girlfriends with Laura Nyro circa the first LaBelle record; he's up on all the early 70's rock lesbian gossip if you are looking for it.
Emil from Sweden writes--the song is called "Back Off" and the band is called THE INCREDIBLE RUBBER BOOTS.
Patti Smith 1975:"I wasn't born to be a spectator".
Marit Bergman writes with links with performances from Popkallo, Sweden's rock camp equivalent:
I don't know if the song or the band is called BACK OFF, but they are great.
"Hey! We won't be quiet! We won't shut up no!"
Tiny Tiny Electrones-Electronic Caveman.
Teen girl minimalism, plus they are wearing TRASHBAGS AND LOTS OF JEWELRY.
Electro sisters--Mysterious Love
First song sounds like Suicide, second song: cover of Bob Marley's "Jammin"
Holyfuckholyfuck the new Frida Hyvonen record Silence Is Wild makes the last one seem polite. "December" is about dragging her boyfriend with to her abortion appointment and it's totally conversational and jangley. Unsentimental romance, self-knowledge, books, boys and girls, piano, fuck you's and fuck me's and pure pop ambition; all together in one record. She's our Carly, but, listenable.
It's like John Lennon Mind Games meets Tracy Emin's Everyone I've Ever Slept With tent. "Will you be the dad of the children I most likely won't have / Is that how much you like me? / Or is it not even close?" Kinda Guyville without the gaudy American seduction and prove-you. It's your friends hungover Judith Butler-inspired breakfast table rant, but with more piano.
The biggest mindblower since... well, the last Frida Hyvonen record.
I just love her.
Ben says it, so it must be true: my long Lykke Li review is in the newStop Smiling. I freestyled it sometime while I was in LA mid-way through my long stint on the floor in Arlies guest room and I have no idea what it says other than I like her, which may or may not be discernable to the reader. Which I really, really do. Of the 11 records I have heard this year, hers was one of the best. I like it when she goes "donze donze donze" and her dancing in the video with the stuttering.
So I'm writing the book that is the exact book I wanted when I was 15, which is the book that by the the time I was 17 I wanted to write. Come September, 17 was exactly half my life ago. And to be honest, for some bullshit reason that I no longer understand, up until about two weeks ago I didn't truly believe that I could write this book. Now, if my current calculations are correct, on Friday I will have 85,000 words on everything I have learned and loved about music and how making it changed my whole life.
It's really the only thing I've ever wanted to do, and now I've done it.
There are 13-year-old girls all over the world making up pretend TV shows with their friends where they put on a glove and roll on their mothers freshly polished parquet pretending to be Karen O. with such an aching intensity that it breaks you heart. This is just one of them.
This time next week I'll be on my way to Berlin Germany for a few days. Do you live there? Whats poppin? I'm into going to the disco, baby animals and having good times. Are you having a birthday party?
ALL QUESTIONS AND ME-NEEDS ALL THE TIME, THATS ME.
Remember when this blog was about something? Me neither.
It could be way worse--I could be rapping in French all the time. I could be at your house in a dirty pink bootleg Juicy Couture tracksuit, sitting on your desk while you try to work and rappin' en francais ala Uffie, over the most busted coke-disco Justice re-fix that's ever been posted on Fluo Kids.
LaBelle doing "You Turn Me On".
They've got a new studio album coming out in a bit. What if it's good? 30 years is a long time to not be LaBelle and then suddenly be LaBelle again.
Nona's 1973 look is one of the prime inspirations for my hair being all of one inch long now.
Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if you'd bought LaBelle's Nightbirds instead of Dinosaur Jr. Green Mind?
All I want to eat is chicken and coffee, I listen to Led Zeppelin for upwards of of ten hours a day, my house is fucking destroyed, I never sleep and all I can talk about is gear; I think I've finally turned the corner--I'm officially every dude I dated in my twenties.
Finally. Out on DVD next month, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains.
The best movie a punk girl could ever ask for.
Now we can finally have the double feature w. Times Square.
To open up an earlier question much wider, since it seems like you nerd boys know allll about girls and Arps and girls and Fenders:
I need as much what-lady-plays-what-gear lists as you got. Float me whatever gearhound damage you got floating in yr skull, freestyle off top of yr head. i.e. do you know what Lisa Chapman was playing in her Prince & The Revolution days? What did Carol Kaye play on the Pet Sounds sessions? Lady Bo? Brody Dalle? Feist? Alice Bag? Tina Weymouth? Tegan and Sara? Sandy West?
I bet you know.
In exchange for your efforts, you get a good feeling and a thank you in the book.
Got these covered already: Go-Gos, Jett, Phair, MBV, Timony, Stereolab, C. Love, and every lady thats ever touched an Arp.
Again, our toll free number: msjessicahopper at the gmail, boo.
yours in love and oh shit,
Listen, sorry I'm being so needy, but every time I ask, someone has an answer:
Have you ever recorded, say, a band practice or a song in your bedroom, using your ipod and one of the cheapy plug in mics? I don't know how else to describe them--the little square one you plug into the top--that.
Genya Ravan, the first woman ever hired to produce a major label record.
Dug up by the ever-capable Nikki Darkling.
Women in known bands that play a Jazzmaster, Telecaster or Mustang? Actually if you are nerded up with knowledge on what ladies play what re: gear, I need you.
Women who've made records where they use an Arp?
I need your answers.
Help an exhausted girl out:
I need two famous pop hits other than "96 Tears" that uses a Vox Continental Organ. Don't say "Dancing Days" cos that's a farfisa.
msjessicahopper aaaaaaaaaat Gmail.
Terri Sutton was and is still the best. If anyone has her 12 Ways Of Seeing Janis Joplin essay posted up anywhere, (from the outtaprint Rolling Stone WIMMINZINROCK book of 1997, the one with PJ making jazz hands around her vag--yeah, that one), holler so I can make a link. I am (still) pretty thumbs down on the women in rock books written only by women writers practice; it's ghettoizing I think, and sustains the myth that women crits can't understand big boy music and that womens music is for women. Anyhow, behold, Terri getting it in the way no one else had:
"The rock critic seeking Janis Joplin watches a Big brother and Holding Company clip from the 1967 Monterey Pop festival. She listens to the headstrong voice spiral and thrust; she's heard it before. What she sees for the first time is a foot encased in a delicate white sandal slamming into the stage like a headboard into a bedroom wall. She catches her breath--and realizes suddenly that everything she knows about Janis Joplin could be complete crap. Every fact about her, every image, every song and film sequence, has been processed and shaped and spindled and manipulated by someone who was not Janis Joplin...Everything she has imagined about Janis Joplin is someone else's story, she thinks, and wonders whether that was also true back in the sixties for people who did get to witness Janis Joplin live."
Yesterday's word count was 5294 words. The most I've ever written in one day, ever. I am not sure I accurately remember what drugs feel like, as it's been 13 years, but cranking on the book feels like drugs. Or maybe this is what college is like? I live at my desk, day five in the same t-shirt, too little sleep, caffeinated within an inch "tripping", listening to Led Zeppelin IV for 8 hours in a row (with "Stairway" replaced by "Good Times, Bad Times"--much better that way). I am unwilling to talk to you unless you can tell me what I need to know Billy Preston. It's finals week here at my house except I'm trying to write a bible. I have never been so in love with my life.
Today's hot news, and somehow I forget every summer until the day it wakes me up: I live in the exact flight path of the multi-day air and water show. How well does blasting "Black Dog" cover up the scream of the trios of fighter jets passing every 8-12 minutes? I WILL SOON FIND OUT.
I keep seeing stuff that refers to Isaac Hayes death as "untimely". Is there such a thing as timely death? Like, if someone was like "oh he died" you'd never say "Perfect timing! Not a moment too soon!"
Willy Joy is what Chicago is really giving a shit about by first snowfall. Saying "next Flossrrrradamus" is all wrong because dude is doing stuff. I think W. Joy's going to pass up all the local, visible, on-the-grid folks soon enough. As dear Chrissy writes-- the Fly By Night mix is curveball central and it has a lot of crunchy fucked up noisey moments, which is that perfect mix of jackin' house and punch you in the face and is not too 80's or familiar.
REMEMBER: Bloghouse refixes are the patriarchy of disco: reject it in it all it's forms.
Not to be all C. Delores Tucker bout it, but um, yeah, Bikini Kill lyrics might be a bit much for an eight-year-old. Going to the media with it is redonkulis, but I can imagine that "it's hard to talk with your dick in my mouth / I will try to scream in pain a little nicer next time" might bum a mom out. I just had a rude awakening about this two months ago, when I was writing the chapter about lyrics and looked up the lyrics to every Bikini Kill song in hopes of finding something that would make sense to a nine-year-old. I had forgotten, in the decade since I actively listened to BK, that
1. almost every song says fuck at least four times
2. some of the songs are sarcastic and if you take them at face value, it's harsh
3. def. more mentions of both rape, dying and cocksucking than on a Hannah Montana album.
And while I think it's rad to start girls young on feminism and feminist culture, I remember being 14 and coming home from the BK/Nation of Ullysses show and cracking open the fanzine Kathleen gave me (BK#2) and being scared shitless by it; the first two pages were about some sort of power-imbalanced sexual relationship that ended with a line about "my pussy is handcuffed to you", which was difficult to wrap my head around as a ninth grader.
Chris Stover, unearther of the Patti-jam below, delivers this: Dr. Hook doing "Get My Rocks Off" on Old Grey Whistle Test. When the dude sings that he's gonna do coke and do your mom just to mix it, you kind of believe him. Plus, it looks like he keeps touching the mic to his balls. WHY IS TV NOW ONLY CSI:WHITE SANDS NEW MEXICO AND THE HILLS? Why isn't it this? Why is this man not doing this on the TV all the time?! AMERICA IS TERRIBLE!
PATTI SMITH SINGING "YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE" ON KIDS ARE PEOPLE TOO.
Unreal! 1979! KILLING IT! "DRACULA UP NEXT".
Last night me and NoNo and a re-emigrated Dave Laney (on his third move back to Chicago) heard the triumphant end of JR's story of the Swedish lady-man. It went like so, and features one of the all time best I-can't-do-you excuses:
So I walked back in from smoking with you, thinking my night was done and she just grabbed me and laid one on me. Just full on. And the vaguely Russian dudes at the next table are just like, flabbergasted.
Was that dude at the table she was at her pimp?
No, I thought so too, but he was just sitting there. And so I'm just like what the fuck, why not, I checked to see if she had an Adam's apple and she didn't, so we just kind of make out for a second and she's telling me that she loves my sportcoat and then she says "Hey, lets get out of here." And I'm just thinking, ok, whoa, weird, weirdly hot Swedish chick, totally wasted. Just trashed. What do I do. Miles is staring at me. I can't-- Anyhow, I don't know what I'm thinking, but I grab my necklace with the ring on it from under my shirt and hold it out to her and say "I can't. I have a girlfriend. She's not here. She's in China. Covering the Olympics." And she gets kind of mad, "You have a girl!?UGH!" and she walks away. And so the table of dudes call me over and are like "What happened?! She was all over you?! What did you say to her?" and I was like "I just met her, but I told her I wasn't going home with her," and they were dumbfounded. l. She just waved me over with her finger and said "I am Swedish, what do you think of that?" and that was the all there was, like two minutes after meeting she had her tongue down my throat. I told them that she said she liked my sportcoat. And as soon as I say that one of the guys says "well, let me try on the sportcoat!" and so he goes parading up and down the bar to see if it gets her attention. Then he gets back and the other guy says "Let me see if it works for me!" and on and on. She doesn't notice them, and I'm standing there while a procession of Russian dudes peacock about in my jacket, thinking "My life cannot get any weirder."
Gwen Guthrie. In case you didn't know, or you had forgotten. PLUS. She played in Cameo before it was Cameo.
Seb on the weight of fascist symbols in Germany vs. Japan. You should read his whole blog, all the time, for a good time.
A good time is maybe the wrong phrase actually. It's something on the internet that has big thoughts on popular culture and it's not Pitchforkian-getting-fancy-on-stuff-for-it's-own-sake (never mind the fact that, say, an Of Montreal single can't support nor merits a thesis, ahem) not Ivory Tower mind melt.
and then, there is this, which is a satisfactory mind melt of preggo bouncers, via Rjyan's blog. The tyranny of pregnancy. VISUAL METAPHORS! Love it.
Hello! Good morning! Did you love Pineapple Express like I did?
Story of my life.
Another weekend, another GutterButter throw down. I found an old nametag in the aux. pocket of my purse and fastened it to Kate's boob in hopes it might improve my rep and/or make people think she belongs to me.
I'm wasted with love for these best friends of mine.
We ground. We grinded. We sweat so bad. Someone had to leave cos they was bout to barf (not me). Serving eggrolls and cupcakes was maybe not the best idea, for future ref.
I thought the three straight hours of hands up screaming air-humping aerobics to house edits was the highlight of my night until I rolled up to Tumans just shy of three a.m. to say hi to Miles, and there was JR, holding (big) hands with a (wait for it) hot, very possibly transexual Swedish girl with blonde hair down to her ass, looking more scared than I have ever seen him, his eyes wide, mouthing the word "HELP" at me. I didn't think to take a picture of that and I'm pretty sure I'll regret for the rest of our lives.
Does anyone have a copy of the fanzine I put out of the tour diaries from the Challenger tour in 2004? I don't remember the name of it, but maybe you do, and maybe it's in your files. There may have been two? I needa borrowa copy asap. Yodel if you got one.
Are you a casual or actual expert on keyboards/synths/organs and playing them/playing them in a band?
If so, I would like to speak to you! On the telephone, and very soon.
Do holler if that is something you are amenable to.
msjessicahopper AT gmail
"You better come get your uncle--I just killed him." Some women in the city are really protective of their six packs.
Dude, I missed it, you missed it, we all missed it. The May issue of Plan B with my No Age cover story is order-able through the website. In the melee of early summer, I forgot it came out.
Ben and Logan, outside the confines of the leg-humpy nights at Tumans, well, really, it's the best dancing time in town and yes, there will be dancehall. Not to shit on their Tumans nights, but it makes me feel like I'm at the end of a wedding reception that's gone on too long, with shiffaced girls in polyblends tossing half a Mudslide on to you as they run to the dancefloor for their fave Beyonce song. It's got nothing to do with Gutterbutter and everything to do with that the chicks that work at my bank like to do on the weekend.
Secondly, do you ever wonder what contemporary literature would be like if Philip Roth's boner issues never came along? Like if you took him, Updike and Cheever out of the mix entirely? Would there be such a canon of internal, male-voice writing? Would that dominant strain had another catalyst?
I wonder, I do. I could give a fuck about Portnoy's Complaint, Rabbit I like him alright and Cheever's a bum out, but I kind of love him, inspite (and for) all the sauced bougie scenes where divorce is the worst thing that comes to pass.
Not to be the evangelical nag re: the Screamales, but: Screaming Females are comin' to town! Chi-Boogie! Friday night! Hey! That's tomo! and this is what I had to say about it. Vivian Girls the same or next night, the same or next bill, same dif, heard tell of both. Mostly, mostly, mostly, I just want EVERYONE to go see Melissa Paternoster shred. In her I believe.
Nora, of being Nora and wearing your underwear on the outside of your clothes fame, is heading to LA right now to play at the Boredoms-drums thing, and she has no pals in LA and if you are going, you should go sit by her and cheer for her, just scream Nora til you see her look in your direction. Then you can feel her incredible vibe, take her to a party and introduce her around, just powerchill with a real Chicago woman and talk about Lacan and ask her about the S.R.
This is what she looks like as of this week:
I should stop writing about music and just live blog the weather. At least no one would beef with me then. You can't argue about things that are on the Doppler radar. Here's what went down after the tornado, from 10:20 to about 10:23 pm on Monday, when it went from all lightning to sideways rain.
Tornado came and took the power and the interweb away. If you got a message, send a pigeon or an animal omen. Til then!
I hope Ida is like Lungfish or Ted Leo in that after a dozen years, people really get it or get back into it with a deep appreciation of their genius. I think it's kind of hackneyed to subscribe to that line that it's criminal that certain bands aren't more popular; I don't think the world would be a better place if any band was more popular. My reasons are selfish: want Ida to be more popular so they tour more and I can see them more often than every 18mos. It's the same 40-100 faithful, Tim Kinsella and me, standing at the back, so no one sees me cry when they play "Back Burner". That song kills me. Still.
I understand that people don't want to care about bands that have been around forever. There are new exciting things to be downloading, like a bananas Dan Le Sac vs. Fake Blood mash up or something. Buying a band's ninth album, when you remember buying the debut when it came out, it makes you feel ancient. Plus, most bands get horrible as time passes and it's usually a safe bet to give up after album four. Bucking all trend data, Ida just gets perfecter. More languid, more bittersweet, more angelic, more depressing, more devastatingly harmonic. Here's a live set of theirs in a church in Boston that you can listen to. It has a couple songs from the new EP that comes out tomorrow. They are playing as a drumless trio, so Dan leads the audience and teaches them the beat at the beginning of the songs. That's exactly what I want music to feel like, always. You and 53 other people are Ida's drummer for the night. There's an unspoken trust in those careful claps. What other band ever gave you trust? Fugazi, maybe? Ted, back in the day? Meanwhile, if you live in one of these five or so cities, Ida is coming your way. Don't fuck around and miss that shit.
You know when you're fitfully skeeting your brains into say, a sidebar about being frenemies with the clicktrack, and 97 mins and 1200 words later you wonder what writing and words are and how you are going to make some more, and so you go look at examples to see if you can try and inspire yourself into something that is at least coherent and in English? And you look at your best friend's blog, which he never fucking updates, and you read something like this and think what I'm doing, that is not writing, what he is doing, now that is writing. To wit:
"And then you might try to figure out how exactly Westerberg was able to channel Carl Fisher from Blitz AND Billy Joel, and you would fail and keep listening and realize failure is engraved on the turd-encrusted esplanade walked by all the faithful and faithless alike, and that the subtle empathy of "Androgynous", which sounded like a put-down to you for years was actually far from it and in fact a kind of very powerful medicine, cure/armor that kind of carries you for weeks in it's wake, in a surprising manner, and you want to tell people (friends, acquaintances, parents, government officials, minor and major deities) here is a song so catchy and sure and it's not saying "don't touch my jewelry" or "I don't love you any more" or "I'm gonna come on your face" or "your enemies deserve the worst your rage can fathom" or "Hold on while I count my amazingly huge stacks of money and BTW feel free to admire the prestige/honor/self-satisfaction/microwave burritos it buys me"...or something like that. Records are so great! I forgive everyone!"
Went on tour with Go! Team for a few days for the thing I am working on.
Courtesy of my brother from another mother, David Scheid.
2:20 am in Milwaukee, Kim and Matt freak their breakdancing teenage fans in the parking lot.
2:21 They become the Megatron of freaking.
The perennial Frankie Chan. Remember in that emo-is-sexist essay I wrote? The dude I'm talking to on the dance floor about having a problem with all of rock history? Him.
Next morning, I woke up from the coffin bunk, and went outside. We were at Jackson and State, at Lollapalooza. Note the Richard Serra sculpture in the middle of all that backline.
Cole had no idea Abe Lincoln was from Illinois, but was wearing an Abe necklace. Poser.
Lizzy Armstrong, Chi-town's leading transgressesse--now of NYC-- and Cody, sporting his Grace Jones inspired haircut. Geniuses, both.
I took Tod to the trainbridge for him to shoot some pics, and within eleven minutes, we were spotted by cops and hightailed it. In 8 years of venturing there, I'd never seen a cop car drive up. Tod's rep as a cop magnet is not proverbial, it is literal, actual.
After our non-incident, we went to Ben's birthday, where Morgan and I danced in front of the giant industrial fan while Ben and Logan threw down the hottest Gutterbutter set in f'evs.
Laurent loves Black Sheep. He was freaking the fan during "Strobelite Honey" and that's god's honest truth.
As it is Sunday, we celebrated Stephen Stills Appreciation Brunch by shooting an album cover in my living room. No one ate, the boys gaffed for the girls and the girls gaffed when the boys posed. As N. Diamond once sang: The good times never seemed so good.