October 30, 2008


Last night after the show at the nameless number-named only exclusive sneakers and Yamamoto Y3 700 eu cape store the models (all five people I met last night (non-american) were models) put on the Talk Talk Live at Montreaux 86 DVD and we swayed as they collected bottles and I the headphones. CONCENSUS: GERMAN MODELS LOVE MARK HOLLIS.

If I was Mark Hollis, and oh how I sometimes wish I was, I would just sing, emote hard, never talk, intone so ferociously. I would carry a mic stand and bear my snaggle toofs (I never wore my bottom retainer either) and shake my hair like it pained me. (it meaning life, not the hair) . OOOOOO The hair of Talk Talk in 1986... c'est incredible. Long, long mullets. Mullets pulled ponytail-wise so as not to catch in those many roto-toms or like.. what is that dude playing? Is that a half size midi-keytar or something--it's the size of shoebox--nonetheless--totally amazing. Why hasn't someone Coachella'd them for the big bucks yet? Why are people eternally trying to rig a Smiths reunion (an idea so old it has it's own nostalgia-wave), when we could have Talk Talk. Talk Talk and Crass c/o headline whatever indie rock throwback revivifications festival exists post- gloabal recession. The sensual bummer band and the righteous brick in the face more appropros than ever band. Perfect bill come summer. I dunno if there is still big bucks in Talk Talk--but there are clearly like 18,000 people--a bonafiable half stadium of Spainards in attendance for an ART ROCK band, which is more people than show up to see Yoko Ono and/or Vampire Weekend or whomever the post-Africa fetish tend/popular nu-hammer band of May 09 will be. "Nu Hammer" and "Funky" are what I have found out about in my time in the Europe, both are bad bad news. Nu Hammer is as in Jan Hammer, and may already be encroaching n yr Brooklyn ex-urb-borrough. Funky I can't explain with out links, but I think it might be too awful to catch on in America, plus the name is too stupid. You'd never want to say it out loud, that you are really into "Funky". White Americans would be way embarrassed by the prospect I would think, unless there is an upcoming Mad Decent podcast dedicated to it, in which case FUNKY IT IS.


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October 29, 2008


White/Light's LP Black Acts came out yesterday on Smells Like. There are some fine free downloads on that page n' such. They go like this: reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewaaauhwuaaahuwaaahhwuuaaah ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

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October 28, 2008


I feel like I'm in the ditchweed-fueled fantasy life of a 17 yr old Lou Reed obsessive: I'm holed up in Berlin trying to write while high on pharmaceutical-grade narcotics. There is a picture of a young Muddy Waters on the wall above the bed, which kind of seals the deal. Have I mentioned, prior to this, I have not done anything harder than extra strength Tylenol in 13 years? I'm only taking 1/3rd the dose the nice doctor prescribed, for fear of being in a tongue-out stupor. I'd rather be in pain AND be able to go to the market for ribbon and spicy tea AND stare longingly at the giant posters of the new Benno Furmann movie pasted up everywhere AND be properly sketched out when I accidentally got off the train on the wrong end of Kreuzberg and was suddenly amidst vigorous drug trade between dudes with vacant Cindy McCain eyes AND study the cool looks of passing P-berg girls so I know what kind of dresses to make when I return home AND be alone not talking to anyone all day AND notice the severe arches of the heavy kohl'd brows of the Turkish teen girls on the street in Neukolln THAN be nodded out dead asleep all day and night and day and night, Berlinvanwinkel style.

I had long forgotten why anyone might want to do drugs, you know, recreationally, but I remember now. I already feel like an alien on a drift, so they still don't really appeal to me.

This morning, I pulled out my x-rays and checked them, like I knew what to look for. Perfect hips, crooked back, one leg one inch longer than the other as before. No bruises and no breaks, says Dr. Appel, whose exam mostly involved carefully pressing on the top half my butt with his thumbs for a few minutes. You will be fine he said. I am taking him on his word.

Come Halloween I will be stateside, come election day hopefully home.

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October 26, 2008


1. Berlin, for a good time on headphones, heres yr options

The Sads

10-26-2008 18:30 at Appartement
Prenzlauer Allee 242, (Corner Metzer Strasse)

10-29-2008 21:00 at No.74
Torstrasse 74

2. I spent the night in the waiting room of Charite Hospital in Berlin. The good news is my tailbone isn't fractured, the old break is just regular re-hurt, and I was discharged with my x-rays just before dawn. In the waiting room, there are no magazine, only pamphlets on STDs, teen smoking cessation, organ donation the nearby Brazilian Waxing spa and cocaine psychosis. In German. I read them all and discussed them what I thought they were probably saying with Dave, who was there keeping me company. The dope they prescribed me knocks me f out, which might make this last stretch of headphone-management a toughy. Making sense and staying awake might also proov a toughy as well. Look for me curled up asleep at a Sads show near you.

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October 24, 2008


After a long string of going-wrong last night was all right all night--The food curator at the "taste of art" resturant upstairs, Mr. Kukkelkorn, gave me this beautiful African teapot after I complimented it, and we ate a meal that bordered baccanallian, we met the mayor of Gerleen and took our picture with him and we did not stop laughing for hours. It wiped my mind free of the earlier homicidal/suicidal feelings that the near-disaster morning brought.

We ended the lovely, lovely welcome-to-Holland evening with Aska playing the grand piano in the lobby until 1:30am while we interpretive danced, sang along to "Moon River" and made movies. That was until the drunk jock dudes leaned over the balcony above and yelled "WHUUT AAH YOU DUUINK?"
We all froze. Aaron righted himself from some hunched animal move--
"We're rehearsing!"
Aska put down the mirror.
"Yeah! We're doing a special performance!" I said.
"We're artists, we're doing a show at the museum across the street tomorrow night."
They were holding beers and had those Belgian-style mullets and giant beer cans and kicked the balustrade as they walked down, and then pushed around some furniture for good measure. I don't know what "faggot" is in Belgian, but I am pretty sure that is what they were muttering.
When they left, it was hard to get back into our dancing--I think we all have residual jock-sensitivity--they muffled our vibe only temporarily. Aska played The Carpenters "Superstar" real slow and it took us on a sweet note.

Right now we're setting up in the doorway of the Glaspaleis in Gerleen, which last night the curator-person described as "the bollocks of Holland". For those at home in Berlin, the show is the 26th at The Apartment, I blv 8 pm.

P.s. I still need a roommate.

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October 22, 2008


I wouldn't say there is anything politically or socially ambivalent about her, her lyrics or this record. I mean, I know bios aren't like, supposed to be anything more than cursory and factual, but that's just stupid. It's more unsettling than the first record, since it's largely about not being a vessel--for a baby, for someone elses desire, for adult womanhood as it is expected of us. There is not as much fun, not as much songs about doin' it. It's more somber. To sing in a clipped remove about one's own abortion is in no way unpolitical. It's thunderously fucking political. It is feminist. Feminism is by nature political--even in Sweden--even when yr hot and blonde and six feet tall and sing harsh toke pop songs while you play the piano. Feminism is dexterous like that--it's portable--because it is a real life, whole life, all day long thing.

I am in Paris. I accidentally concussed myself. I slept a whole five hours last night. I fell asleep at dinner. Today is working and then a long day of plugging in headphones at a museum and bossing.
See also: BO$$

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October 21, 2008


No Age at Upset The Rhythm party lasssnite. Note the expressions of dopey glee plastered on everyone's sweaty faces.

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October 20, 2008


Dudes. I need a roommate starting in, uh, 10 days.
Holler upon me if you are a Chicagoan in need of a place to be living next month. My apartment is rad and not expensive at all. And unlike every place in Chicago it has closets and tons of windows and working heat and no pests and laundry.
msjessica hopper aaaatttttttttt gmail

also, in a totally unrelated side note, I saw the best punk show of the year tonight, c/o No Age, in Camden, where they rocked the 1200 people at the legit venue, walked across the street and played punk covers to 100. I watched them learn "Where Eagles Dare" in the back hallway--someone dialed up the tab on their iphone and they found someone with it on their iPod, and 5 minutes later they were playing it to seething swarming ebullient punx. The floor very nearly got broken from people bouncing, so everyone sat down so we didn;t fall into the basement; it was a pig pile pit, people laying on each other singing along and finger pointing. I forgot my camera, so I used Randy's--pictures should be forthcoming on their blog. You know, you see them play to a ton of people, and in that context, you know, they are a great band, a fun band. But you see them play a party, to die hards and drunks who are screaming "PLAY D.Y.S!" (Dean obliged with the chorus of "Wolf Pack"), 100 kids packed tight all the way to the ceiling (there was crowd surfing aplenty), suddenly, they are so much more than a band, they are everything--they are everything everyone says they are--everything we wished and waited for.

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October 17, 2008


Aska told me today that part of my job as tour manager is to tell them when their singing sucks. Unsolicited, she said. Just notify them. I said no, as "tour manager", I can't get involved. No critical commentary and no packing up backline. I gotta have rules, or else you die by the non-rules. I cannot soft pedal my opinions or hold them back in most situations, so really, lucky treat I can keep my yap shut for once. Xmas miracle perhaps. It is funny to be tagging along in the Euro, which seems opulent and worldly, and I cannot shake the feeling that I'm orbiting the unreal. Back home JR is feeding my cats for me, and I had my lowest paying week as a freelancer in years ($49.50, and huzzah to those weak American bucks) and I'm waking up tomorrow and living on someone elses dimes/pence in the second most expensive city in the world simply by virtue of the fact that I was available to leave the country for the rest of the month and my friends believed I had the skills required to untangle 64 pairs of headphones and remind them where we have to be and at what time. If I was at home I would be panicked, hustling for work, very possibly even a real-ish job, but instead I'm going to the wholesale flowermarket at 8 am for arrangements for the show and then Tuesday I go to Paris with my friends. I'm not fully into the relaxed gratitude part, it's more just the jetlagged over caffienated weirdness--baffled gratitude--and wondering what is the possible next? My life is an unholy WTF dream.

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October 16, 2008


From the hipster runoff comments section on preggo MIA:

mia is selling her baby to the kgb
babies of terrorism
so sad yall :(

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We figured the time wrong for the debates, and didn't manage a middle of the night CNN jammies party. I managed to wake up for the second half, but meanwhile, three floors below, a jetlagged and deadasleep Joe was already awake after getting 22 texts alerting him to the fact that he'd just become central to the final McCain/Obama debate.

So far this "tour managing" gig is pretty sweet, mostly it's just a matter of doling out stern warnings and being places on time. Right now I'm sitting in the carport of Dazed and Confused magazine, while the band teaches Joe the songs. I will be untangling and testing 40 headphones shortly. This is pretty much the bulk of my job, the headphones. Jarvis Cocker just walked by; he looks like the Unibomber as designed by Thom Browne; older, tweeded.

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October 14, 2008


For the record, I like and love (loke) Los Angeles, it's people, it's scene, my friends here more than ever. Doing this story, and talking to all these kids and post-kids about The Smell, Smell bands, friendship and community, and how it all makes them proud and feel good and inclusive--it really makes me believe that if punk ever did one thing right, one thing quietly perfect--it is this thing. Whatelse in punk was good for it's whole life cycle (like good meaning unassailable)--Fugazi made The Argument, so that's a strike. Riot Girl was like everything else, fraught with good intentions and trouble. Sam McPheeters four issues of ERROR might have been perfect. But I think that might be it.

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October 13, 2008


I leave tomorrow, and the Sads tour looks something like this:
Oct 18 2008 2:00P ICA (Institute for Contemporary Art) London, UK
Oct 19 2008 2:30P ICA (Institute for Contemporary Art) London, UK
Oct 22 2008 8:00P Palais De Tokyo Paris
Oct 24 2008 8:00P Glaspaleis Heerlen
Oct 26 2008 8:00P TBA Berlin

See you there with the headphones. Given my return I fear I will not be homeChicagohome in time for the election as driving cross country in 3.5 days while jetlagged seems dumb at best. I fear I would be too slow and tired and wind up celebrating Obama's win in, like, southern Nebraska. Which, as me and Scheids matching tattoos will say, "Could Be Fun". I dunno if I could really do election night in LA, I'm not sure it would mean the same in a coldless city wombed by a creative class who might cite their problems as "astrological". Not to be typical mid-l-class lefty punk that fetishizes suffering and confuses it with visceral/authentic (hey, it's a living), but I want to be around my min. wage people who're going to get blind blubbering drunk and cry their eyes either fucking way.

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October 10, 2008


I need these for le radio, so help help:
1. Decent Obama songs that aren't played out/ultra known
2. Any decent pro-McCain/Palin songs.

email me at the spot on the side. Just click.

Also, I'm tagging along on the Sads tour, in case you live in Netherlands/Paris/London/Berlin next week. Also holler if you are coming.

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October 08, 2008


No one makes fanzines anymore. They are too busy greenscreening weather forecasts for Girl Talk concerts in their bedroom.

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Jeff Johnson catalogs his personal history of being a Cubs fan: :
"Oh well. I also, like every good fan in 1998, just thought Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire lifted a lot of weights. Evidence of McGwire's neck acne never alerted me to anything other than that he reminded me of a more jock James Hetfield. I hate Metallica. A semi-rock star I know once talked about sitting around doing coke with them. Doing coke with Metallica would be like seeing Satan's taint. I'd rather lose all of my possessions in a flood. And I'd rather do community service until 2028 than listen to Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro (former Cub) mumble angrily about 'roid usage.

The 2003 season was great, then maddening. No one could have made Steve Bartman up. No one could have made Juan Fucking Pierre up either. I ended up dumping my Series tickets to some middle-aged pederast that would only buy them from me in a moving vehicle. Why? I have no idea. All I knew was that I had to get rid of them."

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October 07, 2008


and even more amazing: SSION doing "Credit In The Straight World"

I'm pretty sure Cody is the only person in America making music that qualifies as art.

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The Atlanta Magazine story about Creative Loafing (parent co. of the Chicago Reader), it's owner and it's recent Chap. 11 filing; I really hate to use the word chilling, but yes, chilling works just fine for me. As a freelancer, you know, there is usually very little you have to worry about in terms of job security--you are usually the last to go--you are cheap and you don't have dental, etc. But the top down all blog-aggregator model idea is... um, I have no idea how that could "save" a weekly newspaper, per se, so it's all falling somewhere between baffling and frightening.

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October 06, 2008


I got sudden notice that I need a for-real author photo today for le book (due out May, kiddos, s'official) and called Dan, who obliged me on an hours notice, letting me pull him away from the project we are both working on. We faced down the issue of my butch hair don't, and tried to resolve it by cropping from bangs down, with arms up and my much jewelried hands piled atop my head, baubled Carmen Miranda avec doorknockers and mass $2.80 rings from F'evs 21 and extra helpings of lipstick, tattoos not visible. The guiding factor: If I was a hockey maahm with a 13-year-old daughter into metal, would I buy my book without fear that there is some indoctrinating or corrupting info in it? Safe but fun, rock but not punk. And It worked until Dan noticed something "Dude. Pits." Despite my femme'd charms working overtime, from the clavicle down I looked like I'd been harvesting tubers out in the midday Georgia sun.

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David Scheid convinced me at some point it was real, and now he mocks me for even thinking anyone would dump real blood on anyone else. David Scheid also said to me, in reference to my 1/4 inch long haircut "You look like you've never touched a dick except to cut it off." This is the man in my life that I most commonly call "my long-lost brother that I never had" and I feel like he's really fulfilling the typical definition of what a brother is supposed to act like.

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October 05, 2008


Did Slayer dump fake or real blood on the audience during the Reign in Blood tour? Do you know for sure? I need to know asap.


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Van the Man is getting in the wayback for Astral Weeks. I feel pretty fuck yes about this, but the big but is that in his years, his range has gone from wild and precious to gravelly and flat and foghorny. Croon done gone yelp. Can he conjure all the tint and whisper of that record? His doggy voice is better suited for a return to TB Sheets, which is all wide turns and mourning. Never the less, I would pay money to try and find out bout the pip-pip flutes revivified forty years after the fact. Against my better judgement. Against my rule of no re-enactments and no reunion tours. There is enough parts where dude doesn't sing that are magical that even if he "sux" it could still be a banner eve.

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October 04, 2008


Happy Birthday, Little Trouble Boy a/k/a my imitation cousin-brother.

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October 03, 2008


I wide-awake woke at pre-dawn not on purpose, just on brain clock, because I'm on another coast where my normal wake up time means 5:13 a.m. here. Before I saw the clock I knew the winter was here and that it must be morning even though it was pitch black, because there were too many cars. Morning cars trafficking hard already to work. In summer, the sun is up by the time the cars are up. It could not be night or summer anymore.
Then a siren came by and the street was lit up with the sound of dozens of braying chi-wah-wahs, who do not howl like normal dogs, they horrible howl like something scared, and it sounds like they are deflating with a high whine. All the windows were open because California is weather neutral. I was home in Chicago yesterday wearing a skull cap indoors because I shaved my head (clippers accident, as ever) and now I am cold all the time because 1/4 inch of hair is bad insulation. It is winter, my head knows, but California, forever heatwaving even in the night-morning, is full of tricks to trick me.

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October 01, 2008


In case you aren't already following it, The Chicago Reader's parent company, which also owns some other alt-weeklies filed for Chap 11 bankruptcy this week. Peruse the comments sec for the follow-up goxxip. Other shoe dropping seems imminent.

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:33 PM | TrackBack


"I call a guy I said larry youíre not gonna believe this Iím standing outside the lobby of the bellagio I canít move, I got shit everywhere" . My favorite part--more favorite than the entire idea that anyone would recount multiple stories about shitting your pants in such detail--is the guys he's telling it to who're just trying to stretch and inch away from him and escape the horror of George Brett's shit filled loafers squishing through the lobby of the Bellagio--and his obliviousness to their discomfort.

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