September 30, 2008


We were walking to dinner tonight and my friend is rounding up her week to me--she who has the history of the most mind-blowingly awful dates ever (my fave is where a coked up dude attempted to bid her adieu with a kiss, she turned away and he wound up LICKING the side of her face instead)--and she says "I went on the worst first date ever. All I need to tell you is this--because this really covers it. He picks me up, there's a baby seat in the back of the car, he's doused in CK and I think I'm going to puke it's so harsh. He told me I smelled great and I wondered how the fuck he could smell anything but himself, and then he says "I love cologne"--which was obvious. Next thing he does is put in a CD, and Steve Perry "Foolish Heart" starts playing, he throws his arm around me, starts driving, but is staring at me, and singing along "I need a love that grows.." It only got worse from there." One wonders if that is even possible.

God bless foolish hearts everywhere. Sing it, Steve.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:11 PM | TrackBack


I need a room-mate starting in November, do you need a place to live in Chicago?

Posted by jessica hopper at 05:28 PM | TrackBack

September 29, 2008


(I saw this place in person yesterday, but Aaron Rose's picture of it from his early summer blog is better than mine, so I am swiping it.)

And so we are walking along the ocean beach, towards the sunset, talking about something neither of us probably intended to get on the topic of in the first place. I'm trying to casually explain the pessimism I have, a sort of atheism of romance. I do not remember the exact wording, but it was something emphatic and declarative along the lines of: "I don't believe in romantic love or marriage anymore. I think romance is bullshit."
Like the fairy tale kind of romance he says, half agreeing, half clarifying.
"No, like, all romance. It's mythology..."
I stop myself there, since GEE it's kind of a bummer to go an anti-sentimental hate scree amidst a second date. Nevertheless, the jig is up, there is no masking that my heart has been replaced by a finely crafted ice-carved Viking ship.
ice07.jpg oh well.

This morning on the way home from the airport, in the back of the cab that smelled like someone had freshly painted the inside of it with a thick coat of Love's Baby Soft or another teenage girl perfume, I got stuck on Love Dog for a four or five-peat. I was trying not to barf, the window was all the way down and it was pouring like it was when I left.
I was staring into the other cabs stuck in gapers delay on 94 trying to itemize what I believe in.
The redemptive power of music.
Or maybe just those electric piano bells at the beginning of this song.
Animal omens.
god (on a good day).

Knowledge of those is enough to hold down the viking ship for now, I think.

Posted by jessica hopper at 05:39 PM | TrackBack

September 26, 2008


I'm back to regular crit-worx! Is official! Due to mishaps of paper, it ain't in the print paper this week, but it is online, in the everlovin' womb of ye olde Chi-Boogie Reader, my number #1 spot for made up words and confusing non-joke jokes: Beats, Leaks and Lykke Li.

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September 24, 2008


It's a high class problem, a very modern feeling one, that when your computer bids you permanent ni-ni, you feel like your life imploded. Everything could be worse, way worse (I could live in Haiti); but I now fear that the all-you-can-eat shit buffet of this past week is perhaps a personal astrological issue. Either that or god is Catholic and he's pissed at how resentful I was about presenting the host at my grandma's funeral. The host is only wine and wafers and yes it was just about honoring my grandma's faith, but to paraphrase Joni's song, don't interrupt my sorrow with any crackpot tradition that involves standing near a priest.

Carl Sagan, in his all his turtlenecked wisdom, explains astrology.
I love that dude. No one on TV now talks that unbearably slow or moves their hands like that, all loose and sensual and up near his face, like his paws are birds and he's sculpting mashed potato mountain.

Posted by jessica hopper at 03:36 PM | TrackBack


It's a high class problem, a very modern feeling one, that when your computer bids you permanent ni-ni, you feel like your life imploded. Everything could be worse, way worse (I could live in Haiti); but I now fear that the all-you-can-eat shit buffet of this past week is perhaps a personal astrological issue. Either that or god is Catholic and he's pissed at how resentful I was about presenting the host at my grandma's funeral. The host is only wine and wafers and yes it was just about honoring my grandma's faith, but to paraphrase Joni's song, don't interrupt my sorrow with any crackpot tradition that involves standing near a priest.

Carl Sagan, in his all his turtlenecked wisdom, explains astrology.
I love that dude. No one on TV now talks that unbearably slow or moves their hands like that, all loose and sensual and up near his face, like his paws are birds and he's sculpting mashed potato mountain.

Posted by jessica hopper at 03:33 PM | TrackBack

September 22, 2008


I showed up at the wrong place at the wrong time and instead made my suddenly unpurposed errand purposeful by walking to the library. The book about lady authors of a certain age (the worlds, not theirs personally) was out and has been out and due back for exactly six months today according to the 7th floor (literature) librarian. I settled for Frank O'Hara instead. Settle is wrong. When all the big and small particulars seem wrong, or beyond comprehension, I wind up sticking to poetry until it passes or until sense has settled. I only have a slim O'Hara tome at home, so I nabbed the thickest volume they had--I want it all. It's unwieldy to drag on the plane, but I don't give a shit; I don't do drugs and I do not drink, there is little that works for getting lost in save for excitable narratives, gossip and Fassbinder films (respectable vices for the viceless).

O'Hara is new to me and he is a good one to be new to, it's first time wow all the time. (I got to the party late, I skipped the New York School it all seemed cool of passion, and I'm into hot gutz and drug blazes and America softly dying). I think of him whenever I get edits back from one of my regular editors who often adds in exclamation points to my copy and I think "I'm not Frank O'Hara, I'm not Lester Bangs, get these !'s out of here." Those are the only two whose frequent use of them is defensible--they are popping with jubilation and life life life--their use cops to an awareness that the ! is meager, it belies it's suffiency; the rest of us just sound like overemotional gaga sops when we dole them out.

Posted by Jessica at 05:42 PM | TrackBack


The only great (or even dece) pro-Obama song This Moment In Black History's "Obama (The prez is you the prez is me)" off the Raw Black Power 7". All hail Cleveland!

Posted by Jessica at 10:00 AM | TrackBack

September 21, 2008


This fulfills all my childhood fantasies about pets having adventure while you are off at school. All the stories I wrote when I was little started like this escape.

Posted by Jessica at 06:35 PM | TrackBack

September 19, 2008


My aunts house is about to fill with guests, far cast cousins and babies and kids in from college, so I shacked at the spare spot in the towns only b n b, with my other aunt. The whole place looks like doll house, except for the top floor--a rural Indiana approximation of India with a grip of potted palms and dozens of dark red brocade throw pillows. I feel like I'm in a harem.

Back at my aunt's house, there are four different kind of cakes on offer, including "dump cake" which crushed pineapple, cherry pie filling, applesauce (i think) with pecan crumb cake placed on top. I don't know how to make that, or how you would.

Today is the Catholic stuff, rosary, visitation, some open casket shit I did not know would be going down. I'm not sure why anyone would want to see someone they love laid out dead. I don't need proof. I am perhaps the only person here who thinks archaic religious rituals are the pentultimate freakshow. Burial at sea, having animals eat your corpse, a good old-fashioned pyre, having your ashes shot out of a canon or something--those are classy options. Spare me the cold cut buffet--my grandma has gone to see her #1 boyfriend in the sky, peaced out to the indignities of the nursing home, this mortal coil and dump cake.

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September 17, 2008


"Handknit Dookie Rope"

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Bike In Cinema is showing the soon-coming Silver Jews/David Berman documentary tonight.

We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen at 9, Silver Jew at 10:30
Reba Rar Rar's Side Yard
1441 W. Cullerton, Pilsen
Bring a blanket or chair!

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September 16, 2008


Since our fearless Jane Dark hasn't been posting movie revues on the regular, here's some good ones: "Why didn't they have Maggie Gyllenhall play the joker? They could've saved a buttload of money on facial prosthetics. Just slap some 10 year old halloween makeup from a garage sale on that beast and call it a day. Also, what was up with C-Bale's phoney-phone-call voice whenever he had the mask on? Is your refrigerator running?"

Posted by Jessica at 03:18 PM | TrackBack

September 15, 2008



I'm posting this shiz again because you can't forget to bring your art down to the instant art show under the bridge. I don't have time to flier cos I have to go to my grandma's funeral, so you'll have remind yourself and remind your roommate and friends. I will be there with my imitation Tracy Emin Grandma-tribute art and someone else's installation which involves my shower curtain (apparently).

This is me and her, last time I saw her.

I don't have any more grandparents now.

I've had enough of confronting familial mortality this year. Enough. Not to be glib, but I think I've hit my 2008 quota.

Posted by Jessica at 10:41 PM | TrackBack

September 14, 2008


Siskel Film Center is my home away from home right now, and will continue to be for the forseeable future. I spent more money on movies in the last two weeks than I have food. Next week?

Beautiful Losers, complete with Aaron Rose in person. Aaron mocked me for complaining about how in LA, the theatres only have Red Vines, which is like eating sweet candles--it's like communist country orphanage candy. The Siskel has Twizzlers because in the Midwest people don't settle for un-American budget candy.
Secondarily thru fourthly, in October, the Siskel is screening The Louise Bourgeois documentary 10/3-9;

Wild Combination--the Arthur Russell doc. 10/10-14.
Does "Keeping Up" make you cry when you listen to it? Me too.
Carolee Schneemann on Nov. 6th in person, screening FUSES (& other work)

Which back in the sixties, were considered porn, rather than groundbreaking feminist art.

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September 12, 2008


I dunno if you are anything like me n' JR, but you really blv in the internet's magic when you hit a small cache of early Martin Mull albums.

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September 11, 2008

T O' B



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High Places are like the Cocteau Twins of 08, except everything big is in miniature, all those sweeping pastorals are micro-clicks.

Posted by Jessica at 12:22 PM | TrackBack

September 10, 2008


31 Corn Lane is having their fall sale!. I know you bought those pony slip-ons last season. Now look at these rill cute treats and totes designed by Teeter and her twin sisters in Shrewsbury, NJ--$25 and under for these little pursey things.

Posted by Jessica at 03:10 PM | TrackBack


White/Light bonuz track free for the downloading!

Posted by Jessica at 09:06 AM | TrackBack

September 08, 2008


Why not have an art show in the grossest smelling corridor in the neighborhood? Art installation should begin no later then 1:55, btw.

Taste of Butthole, an art walk
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wolcott & Kinzie under the bridge, 2 blocks south of Grand

BYOAAF (bring your own arts and farts)
paper, sound, plastic, performance, wood, video, photography, fabric, whatevs. Install it where it counts, outside! We'll provide the mounting tape.
If your art is a live robot band or a particle accelerator with an erotic portrait of Mary Lincoln's thighs, please BYOG (bring your own generator.) Your Tom Brady fan art will find a home with us - at the 2008 Taste of Butthole.
Snacks are welcome. Artist bios are encouraged.

Posted by Jessica at 08:44 PM | TrackBack


Today, I was planning on finally ramping up from vacation mode but I got rained out.
So more hibernating, folding clothes as they get done drying and reading that Lavinia Greenlaw new book real slow. I don't want it to be over so I'm making it last six pages at a time. I was thinking about that book and how the music you love is a better biography than the proper records of you. A list of songs that meant everything to you would explain what your life was about and how you lived better than medical records and report cards. The book goes real well with Emily Lacy's I'm Here Babe which is perfect and romantic and narcotic folk, I like that hazy foil on her pure country girl clarion voice; it is good on repeat repeat repeat.
NoNo made me a banner for my birthday. I also got several deserts and a pants, Nora's bra, two fish tacos and no rap tacos. Wyatt presented me with the carcass of a giant grasshopper him and Monkee were chewing on before I left town, but I think that was coincidence. I also saw two movies about prostitutes, though 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is about language, cities, building, Vietnam and the ultimate bougie institution--marriage. It's Godard week down at the Siskel, FYI.
The other great news is that Kate got cable. She is the first amongst our friends who has it. JR and Miles' TV only gets video games, mine only gets WGN and PBS. WGN is only useful if you want to watch Sister Act II and ballgames. No one else has a TV. She has on-demand political speeches--we're going to build a tent in her living room and camp out and watch election coverage.
She said we could.

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September 06, 2008


The mail brought proof yessirday: My six pager on feminist art colony Dirt Palace is in the new ANP Quarterly, plus pics. Plus peep that austere and more distinctive ANP re-design. VOLUME TWO, with KAWS on the cover. TWO: The new Plan B with Rolo Tomassi coverhas a q&a I did with PDX solo-psyche artiste Grouper; her new album is real gauzy and warm and damaged.

Last night, me and Kate and Nora and Ben were hanging out on the secret bench, which is our teenager-like post-up ('member back when you were all ages and 89% of your hang options were loitering and the other 11% were taking bunk acid?) cooling off from well-deserted birthday high, gossiping, watching the parade of bar trash, consoling Kate after her second worst date ever, and suddenly God sent me my b-day present. A gaggle of people walked by, and in the middle of them was a mountain of a woman--she looked sturdy and straight from the Black Forest, a thick legged woman from a story book--and on her back, stoic or maybe stoned, expressionless and seemingly buried or tethered by the womans super-plummage of blond tresses, was a little teeny tiny Asian lady. I would have thought her to be a child but she had pumps on. Maybe she just looked that small in comparison to her carrier. They looked like a girl monster, tangled so seamlessly as one, a two-backed beast galumping along wordlessly on their Fri. Nite bar crawl in their Express Fall Sale finest. Kate buried her face in my shoulder so not to laugh out loud. It was Lynchian and deeply peculiar, hit all the right WTF buttons.

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September 05, 2008


We dubbed this kid Son of Superwolf. He's the baby of Matt Sweeny and Will Oldham and he's an ex-pat party DJ who loves Christine McVie. He danced like he was from Baltimore if you get my meaning.
And after the party theres the drunk Belgian teenagers with mohawks snogging on the club's pontoony chill-out room cum dock as the sun comes up.
Not disco
Squat disco

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Occasional commentator Mike writes:

I am interested if you saw P.Diddy's Palin thing. What's your vote? Best youtube clip ever? Worst? It's easy to deride it was ridiculous; it's an unskilled rapper conflating the Koreas and insisting there's no crackheads in Alaska but don't you feel that America is currently within some kind of perplexing pop-culture epoch and this election is either fueling or being fuled by said epoch; an epoch where P Diddy on Palin makes sense?; "Post 9/11", I believe pop (especially music) has actually been quite good and politically-alluring; years from now people will (hopefully) look back and define the Bush administration via the "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" mantras of 50 Cent before they turn to Neil Young, Green Day, or (insert any Fat Wreck Chords-ish band here)

I always liked that observation by Garry Wills from his book on Nixon that people elected JFK because tthings sucked under Eisenhower, then when things didn't get any better, people decided to rebel against the system as opposed to the politician. This social-theory probably explains the justified criticisms of Clinton from the Left ie Seattle/1999. However, unlike the post-JFK era, Clinton-time represented a COMFORTABLE kind of rebellion:the breezy, neoliberal 90s. the time history forgot-the era where one could talk shit about the IMF while listening to Blackstar and contend that the most pressing social-issue to befall humanity was possibly the breakup of Lifetime. Nowadays, everybody is a critic hellbent on proving that theyre more clever than the dyslexic president and instead of fighting against the human-rights violations of economic institutions, we're fighting for, oh i dunno, the constiution not being shredded, prisoners of war not being tied up and shat upon, Iraq not being converted into a parking lot, our phones not getting tapped, roe v. wade not being eradicated, death, destruction, decay, etc etc etc. what effect does eight years of THAT have on a culture? Eight years devoid of subtle analysis. just filled with cold, hard simple facts and visceral, justified (yet often embarrassing) reactions. Now there is a vp-candidate who loves ak-47s and hates abortion and people are chanting "USA!" in an arena like its the 1980s and Hulk Hogan just bodyslammed the Iron Sheik. It doesn't even feel like real-life anymore.

Which brings me to P. Diddy, who is the perfect person to comment on Sarah Palin, just like Paris Hilton was the perfect person to make a fake political-ad; the man who once infamously rapped that it didn't matter if he actually wrote his own rhymes because he "wrote checks", got political during the bush administration just like everyone else and led a charge to "VOTE OR DIE", when he probably meant to say vote AND die. His ascendancy from amusing, pampered pop-star to celebrity who voices political opinions via youtube is a flip that's unremarkable. its like an ex-drunk born-again becoming leader of the free world or a snarky creationist being defined as feminist. cold sweat creepout, indeed. In addition to having the ring of a cool band name, I suspect it could end up being the ultimate three-word summary of what will otherwise be known as the post-W era. Especially if McCain gets elected and we're all one heart-attack away from Robocop as Tina Fey leading us into Iran.

Posted by Jessica at 09:27 AM | TrackBack


DUDE! Klute is playing at the Music Box this weekend! Jane Fonda alive with power in the time of her feminist awakening, culling her performance as a prostitute from all the prostitutes she hung with over the years when her then-husband/frenchie creep Roger Vadim would bring them home and pressure her into three-ways in the name of the sexual liberation. If she didn't go along with Vadim's swinging liberation-plans, even his friends would give her a hard time. She finally got her libber-shit together, traded her helmety, femme-y pouffant for that tough girl shag (much to Vadim's chagrin), left Vadim, did Klute and won an Oscar for it.

Posted by Jessica at 09:10 AM | TrackBack

September 04, 2008


Good for at least two minutes of entertainment/burning off your creepy feelings about Sarah Palin. I didn't see the speech, I was at the disco, but I got the texts of panic from friends that did. The thing I like/hate about her most is that she is stealth and scary; she's ephemeral, seems harmless, Quaylesque, obvs/probs never been taken too seriously as she's kind of Stepford-hot--but meanwhile she's ambitious and totally fucking scary--I appreciate the cold sweat creepout of "You thought I was just an uppity former newslady, but I'm actually the hellbitch of your nightmares."

Posted by Jessica at 02:52 PM | TrackBack

September 02, 2008


There was a moment, when I was ambling through Munich when I realized no one I know had any idea where I was. I could of gotten runned over by the tram while looking at a castle museum or museum castle and meanwhile, back in America, no one would have been the wiser. I missed my connection back to the states and wound up put up in Halbermoos, a few km from the aeroport. I was in Munich for a couple hours before I remembered I had been there before. I was not so into it the first time either. Castles and watching rich tourists watching the chiming of the Rathskeller does not a good time make, though after the previous few nights of all night disco-til-dawn mode, the flat hamlet of Halbermoos and the ancient bougie majesty of Munich was not entirely unwelcome. I watched cable news hurricane coverage in Dutch and felt continental and alien at the same time. When I got to the room, the television was on and read "WILKOMMEN MRS. HOPPER"--apparently the TV had me confused with my grandma.

The austerity and blaring silence of Germany is a wonderful reprieve from the sticky swelter and trunk rattling bass and firecrackers that I have returned home to, though today I only heard "A Milli" four times and someone BLASTING Nina Simone, which is the best thing to pass under my window since that kid cruised by a few weeks ago on his bike playing the new Hold Steady on a boom box. I downloaded some sets of the Martinez Brothers, in hopes that it would twinkle some like their set I danced to the other night--which was like my coming-true everydream of hard thudding progressive disco liberation (seizure lights and volcano bass rumbling the body numb from ass to throat)--but it's not so magic in a 100 degree hot totally destroyed living room flecked with a ream of book notes that the cats carefully shredded while I was away.

I danced a little while I rifled though towering piles of unopened mail, digging for the checks and New Yorkers. Not the same.

I have touched back down into real life much to my chagrin, playcation is over, writing 4000 words a day is over and the manuscript is in, the sun was nearly down by seven-ish signaling the denouement of an epic summer. I turn 32 on Friday; a lot is over, which means everything else-next is about to begin.

Posted by Jessica at 10:07 PM | TrackBack

September 01, 2008


David on the preggo-plight of Bristol Palin. Meanwhile, I'm accidentally in a farmy exurb of Munich , chilling solo, which is kind of a plight, but a really high class one. I meant to be at home by now, but The Germany had other plans for me.

Posted by Jessica at 01:44 PM | TrackBack