November 28, 2008


Ben's blog today reminded me that I had been meaning to post the link as well--Life's Archives on Google. It's a trove. I have been looking through the photos of Chicago, in particular this series from 1954 that are of "Chicago Slums" and trying to figure out where they are.

I feel like my neighborhood still looks like this.

I am guessing most of them are near South and West side., judging by the trains and the proximity to downtown building.

We should try to figure it out

One pic of Studs, none of Nelson Algren.

I am turning this one into a shirt. EVEN MEN!

Posted by jessica hopper at 03:43 PM | TrackBack

November 26, 2008


Dallas Clayton at his reading for his self-published book for children. It's about how to stay human and not grow cycnical, not let capitalism blunt yr dreams but it's truly, truly a kids book. And it's in verse. His book is more subversive than mine. I am a little jealous. Note his homemade corpo taking the piss paste up behind him.

The reading was also the debut of ASDSSKA, The Aska-David Scott Stone band. I like to pronounce it ASS-diSS-cuh, but I think Ahz-DZZ-ka is how they're rolling. Tevs.

A thick bank of fog rolled down Fairfax as they played. Reverb and fog and the pink street light made it very spooky. (Some spanish moss and Anna Paquins Chiclet™ teeth and it could of been the set of True Blood, the best-worst-nearly-unwatchable show on pay cable. (Where I am staying in LA has Tivo and it is changing my life.) If you have not seen TB, it's a vampire/werewolf/magical thinking show with all the plot tension of a One Tree Hill season finale, but with the hammy inuendo and dialogue you might expect from, say, an amateur porn. LOTS of exposition in the form of people talking to themselves, flashbacks and voiceover to explain the leaden/"sexy"/WTF story. Everyone on the show has a different, constantly changing, terrible southern accent... I hope it gets renewed into infinity!)

Lucky Dragons played at the commons in what I think was a mall. For the Hope-Gallery-goes-to-Hollywood show that was mall-adjacent. I coveted Luke's Michelle Obama shirt. The show was huge. Tons of people and tones and tons of art.

If you live in LA and are not going to Wildness every Tuesday, you are choosing wrong.

Tamechi performed "Poak Chops"--I witnessed internet phenomena in real-life motion.

Another thing we have to thank Tamechi for: inventing "Hammer pants" as a stylist back in the eighties.

I was a little bummed to be DJing with Ashland--I just wanted to be dancing.

Chicagoans may remember Ashland and Wu from their years in Chicago. Now they live here and do this party. The bumpin genderfuck night at the historic tranny bar with free chips and salsa and the salsa is homemade and delicious.

When I met Wu and Rhys, I think they were art institute drop outs or about to drop out. They are total inspirations vis a vis incorporating your radical agenda into every facet of your art, life and parties.

So, there is a mini-ranch a qrtr block from my LA house. With horses.

I went on a walk even though it was raining, so I could memorize everything before I leave.

LA in the winter is my favorite because suddenly there are seasons.

The flexibility of nature here is violent.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:17 PM | TrackBack

November 24, 2008




Posted by jessica hopper at 09:40 PM | TrackBack



Google.Gobyebye.nuts is telling me my 2100 mile drive from my pretend home @ Dude Mountain here in LA to Still Life with Cats in Chicago will take one and one half days. I'm aiming for a casually paced four days, but who knows, I could make it take a week. I might swap my Tulsa stop for Wichita, if someone gives me a good reason. Do you live in/on/around Albuquerque? Is anything popping off circa Thanksgiving? Like a parade or a Boogaloo night at the tranny bar or a horse party at your ranch? Also, I think I am djing tomorrow, here in LA at Wildness, but am not totally positive on that yet.

Posted by jessica hopper at 06:17 PM | TrackBack


From NYT: Secret Saudi straightedge skater girls seek girl drummer to fill out all-girl rock band. Thanks to Morgan for the link.

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:34 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2008


Search YouTube for "worst acting" and you reap genius:

Posted by jessica hopper at 07:18 PM | TrackBack

November 21, 2008


Soft Circle is Euphone for hippies.

Posted by jessica hopper at 12:48 AM | TrackBack

November 20, 2008


To clarify, because I got three emails today from men in the 30+ age range saying they are psyched to read my book, and maybe I just didn't mention it, and certainly there is no restriction on who picks it up, but my book is for girls age 10-16. It's a how to book about music, playing it, recording it, and all the various and sundry things you need to know... Like what the best Funkadelic record is. And how to buy a used drum set. It comes out in about 7 months and I will tell you the rest later.

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

November 19, 2008


From Miles' blog, via Line Out, the best worst best worst no way this is real but oh my god how could it not be bizarro-world where a band has formed with a get rich quick scheme/unholy trinity combining nu-rave with screamo and qua rapping with vocoder into a single song that is like a deadly vortex of everything that has existed in non-country pop music in the last 18 months and then mixed in some heinous sub-Cobrasnake-skank vibes and filmed it.
If it was a joke, it would be genius, but since the band is for serious, it's just heinous and ideal ammo to rickroll your co-workers and loved ones with.

You cannot turn away: BROKENCYDE--"Freaxxx"

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:47 PM | TrackBack


I asked him, because he's read 28 or 29 books on Lincoln and because he's my only friend I would call a "Doris Kearns Goodwin supergroupie", JR blogged some "Read Along With Obama" suggestions. Also, JR coined a new v. apt term in calling the news "Obama-porn".

P.s. I feel like when we get to the end of all the appointments and then confirmations for the cabinet, it will be a little sad, like a season finale. But then, suddenly, they will combine into one thing, like when the Autobots make the bigger, fighting car-robot in Transformers, so it'll be exciting again. I know, maybe "exciting new government" is the wrong thing to concentrate on amidst recession and trout going extinct in our life time. Nevertheless, I'm not exactly stoked on Clinton as SOS, because a) the Clintons are just drama drama drama, and b) Bill is so pink these days it looks like he escaped from a Bodyworks exhibit and I just do not want to have to see more pictures of him with that Chuck-Bass-esque bemused smirk on his magenta face though c) I think if she does get the job he will basically have to turn invisible until she is through, so it could be ok.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:15 PM | TrackBack


I'm still in book edit heck. Or maybe book hack? Not really leaving the house or returning calls and so I just need to take a poll to make sure I'm not giving out bad information, but Whats the best Bauhaus album? I AM UNCLEAR.

Secondly, have you ever noticed that every song on Babes in Toyland To Mother is basically just Bauhaus' "Dark Entries" at a different speed?

Photo 59.jpg
I have taped up a picture of an impatient looking Rahm next to my workzone to help me expel the bullshit from these pages.

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:44 AM | TrackBack

November 16, 2008


When you go outside, it is like walking into the smoking car on Amtrack, though you'd have to have taken a long train in the previous few decades to remember that. Or perhaps more like whatever room your grandpa smoked Winstons and watched Andy Griffith in, except the air is not stale and same-same rich with the high-notes hair tonic, and here it hits the eyes just before the lungs. It is not campfire, it is plastic siding and porch railing and dresses and trashcans and truck tires. During the day the sky is milky and thick and at night is hard pink striae and dark too soon.

How do Californians manage these disasters that you cannot prevent or predict and barely fight? In the midwest, we have shovels and tornadoes, you know they are coming. The naturalness of these LA disasters are foreign to me.

Posted by jessica hopper at 02:14 PM | TrackBack

November 14, 2008


What are the music history books that have really schooled you, esp when you were younger? I already have the good books on punk/indie rock--I'm looking for stuff that is broader scope and context, histories of particular genres, eras, scenes etc that are essential and accessible to non-adults. SUGGEST AWAY.
msjessicahopper at gmail

Posted by jessica hopper at 05:07 PM | TrackBack


It's not 1993, and no you aren't dreaming Aaron Cometbus and Blake Schwarzenbach have a band. Thorns of Life, and they are playing house shows in Brooklyn.

Posted by jessica hopper at 02:37 PM | TrackBack


Joan Hiller emailed this evidence from the road.
I think the only reason this shirt did not become a shirt-phenomena is because the catalog summarized it as something like "You love someone so much you text them a picture of a baby" which is a real maternity-wear style sentiment, and not nearly as exciting as it's actual meaning of "loving" someone so much that you are going to impregnate them through the phone.


Posted by jessica hopper at 02:21 PM | TrackBack

November 13, 2008



Attention Lifter Puller fans and people who were around "back in the day"!
Do you have any notable Lifter Puller related stories? Did you ever book, play at or attend a Lifter Puller show were something particularly insane/hideous/delightful happened? Did you ever have an epic party night with them? Did you interview them on your radio show and Steve Dude said something on air that wound up getting you suspended? IF SO, please write the story down in an email or word document and email it to me: msjessicahopper at gmail dot com.

Please include your full contact info (address, email, phone) and get it to me no later than 12/1/08 to be considered for inclusion in the special Lifter Puller thing we can't tell you about yet. Stories need to directly involve the band, not your relationship with the band's music, or the time when you were tripping and the Eye Patch Guy appeared and delivered a special message--though those are obviously valuable experiences--I don't need documentation of them at this time.

Thanks and pass it on.

November 12, 2008


In my dream last night, the Obama whitehouse turned the national mall into a giant skate park. There were magnets under the ground to keep you from falling off your board. Even on the rocks and grass. You could skate anywhere and it was magic. Along the mall there were little stations with ziplines where people who were paraplegic and amputee veterans and severely disabled people could go and get hooked up to a skateboard, and then attached to the zipline, so they would fly down the zipline so they could hit the sidewalk fast and skate around even though they could not push themselves. The magnet made it so they could skate too. Also, when I skated past the front lawn, there were people getting their picture taken with a drag Nancy Reagan.

I hope my dream comes true. I feel like it's possible. I feel like a lot of impossible is possible now. Including but not limited to an amputee skate park at the Lincoln memorial. As a Chicago author who has trouble quitting smoking and member of a progressive UCC congregation and someone who is bummed on America's foreign and domestic policy, I feel exceedingly well represented. But the rad thing, the christmas magic is that I think everyone feels same-same, like the president is your dude. I KIND OF STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT. I GET HAPPY EVERYTIME I SEE HIS FACE. HE IS OUR DUDE. I WATCHED THAT VIDEO OF HIM MAKING TUNA SALAD AND THOUGHT "THATS HOW ME AND MY DAD MAKE TUNA SALAD TOO!" AND FELT BONAFIDE EXCITEMENT. P.S. I LOVE RAHM EMANUEL TOO IN PART BECAUSE HIS NAME SOUNDS LIKE SPREADING FROSTING, ALL THOSE SOFT VOWELS IN A ROW ARE SOOTHING.


Posted by jessica hopper at 01:57 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2008


The only way I'd like this streaming puppycam more is if Rahm Emanuel was there in their little kennel with them.

Posted by jessica hopper at 03:05 PM | TrackBack

November 09, 2008


Emily Lacy, who plays hypnotic vaguely Portlandesque (reverb bliss) psyche-folk is playing in Chicago this week:
11/11 No Coast 1500 West 17th St. w/ Rollin Hunt and Anni Rossi, doors at 7 pm.
I'd listen to her even if her lyrics were terrible because her voice is so pretty. Her record I'm here babe starts and ends with songs that that are 13 and 21 minutes respectively. That is what we call round the house "a feminist power move". It reeks of confidence, and she's got the talent to back it the heck up.

Finally Punk are also a band I like. Ladies. Punk. Austin. Akin to Mika Miko.

Every five years, anticon. puts out a good record and this five years-s it's Tobacco. Dude is normally in the Rainbow band. One of 'em.

Peter Fox normally fronts that not very good band Seeed, who may or may not be a Bavarian answer to Sublime, and his subsequent solo album is I think what passes for "German rap" in Germany, but am pretty sure I can't front on it's production or using drumlines on your entire album and his creepy Will Oldham style black contact lenses. Supposedly he was going to do a record with Cee-Lo, but then Cee-lo did Gnarls Barkley instead. Now he's a big budget dude yelling in German.(For more white German rap video with people in masks google "sido augen auf". I think it's a tender one about teenage pregnancy.) Link c/o Travis Morrison.

Chris Richards got himself a blog. I am a shade jealous of the scope of his knowledge and enthusiasms, and that he's been writing like that from issue one of Torpedo Dialogues, when he was all of high school age, all the way 'til now at the way legit Washington newspaper he's at. LIFE CYCLE.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:50 PM | TrackBack

November 07, 2008


Piscitelli showed up at the Hope opening with lights so big he needed sandbags for them. He shot portraits for his zine Sticky Buns that'll be available at the next opening.

Tim art directed while Mike shot me "NO. LEAVE THE CIGARETTE IN YOUR MOUTH. NO. Just let it hang! Like Johnny Thunders style." Dude. I'm not that kind of punk.

Anthony is though.

Askas velvet heels. All night she kept cheerleading for the after-times "I want to have a fun time!" And she found us one at the sketchy bar where Lykke Li DJ'd. The hipkidz danced to the Cure; the regular clientele of trannies and gangsters lapdanced and got lapdanced upon.

Everyone calls the Caramel Bobby dog "care-a-mell". I say "car-mull". Caramel with all syllables extended is by nature a revolting word. Right up there with "panties".

Hope openings are pretty much just a parade of everyone you have ever met or half met in your life hanging on the sidewalk in packs of ten and then rotating out every hour.

For a good time, this place ain't bad.

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:29 PM | TrackBack


David Scheid in motion y'all. This is my favorite thing he's done on the internet since that blog post about the tripping half shoeless kid talking to the cop outside the Girl Talk show two weeks ago.

Posted by jessica hopper at 08:46 PM | TrackBack

November 06, 2008


The main things I miss about Chicago, other than my friends and like... everything, is V103. There is a serious lack of George Benson in my life/car these days.

"This Masquerade." Seventies soft feelings.

I am pretty sure "Turn Your Love Around" is about trying to turn a whore into a one man woman. Unclear whether the whoring is actual transactiony kind or more the town slut/free kind.

Also, I know Beyonce offered to play the inauguration, but I think Earth, Wind & Fire would be an infinitely better choice. Whats that video of her dancing in the leotard and Chies got on this? That lady dancing miniature under the rainbow in the culottes outfit is how I wished I felt inside. And that a giant Maurice White was peering down at me. While the Phenix Horns blared. They played on "Sussidio", man.

Posted by jessica hopper at 04:31 PM | TrackBack

November 05, 2008


Spending election day with a precocious five year old was choice. I told her she was precocious and she said "No, I'm a Cancer."

Bebel says she supports Obama because he is nice and she likes his face. Me too.

She said some magic spells and rubbed her hands on the sidewalk repeatedly, as part of the casting. Everyone used their magic yesterday.

Lock us in. Yes you can.

We were all watching CNN later on when they called Florida for Obama and all the adults screamed and Bebel told us that now she was going to go home and kill herself. We are screaming because it's a good thing, we said, it means he's going to win.

I was her age when Reagan won. I did not like his face. He looked like Deputy Dawg to me. The main thing I remember about his administration was crying myself to sleep because I was so worried about nukes. I was a friendless latchkey kid that read my parents Newsweek and US News & World Report front to back every week; encroaching puberty and mushroom clouds were my dual obsessions.

Aska and I were freaking waiting for polls to close and count up, so we went to Luke and Sara's Election Edition Sumi Ink Club to soothe ourselves and communitize.

It was calming. And messy. Luke and Sara hate swearing. They are so positive, it's kind of like staring into the sun. "Fake mean is still mean" they said. Words I am trying to live by. I don't want to be mean in Barack's America, do you? 1. Why bother 2. I don't want to disappoint him, do you?

You can see this thing we sumi'd at their art show at SiteLA tomorrow. I wish there was Sumi-ing everyday, I did it twice this week and it felt wholesome and real both times. Maybe I will start "Bootleg Sumi" in Chicago when I get home. Swearing allowed though.

After Sumi but before CNN and crying, Bebel accidentally shot her fortune cookie into her true love's soup, while he was in the bathroom, and fished it out with her little fist. She pulled out the fortune from the sopping folds and she said "Oh, it's a kids fortune, there is a little boy on here." What's it say? I asked. Without reading it she said: "Be Responsible." Mine said my life had "Foreward thrust" (sic) which is obviously a good sign about the book.

And then Bebel's "Baraca" won and we all cried and so did you. The neighbors down the hill blew a shofar, and people yelled up and down the canyon. After we left, and went out amidst the people, I saw men on the street, friends not strangers, walk wordlessly towards each other and grip each other in a silent protracted hug. When we walked past, one of the dude looked up from his embrace, tearing and said "We did it". I do not think I will forget that for as long as I live.

Posted by jessica hopper at 04:47 PM | TrackBack

November 04, 2008


LA people: Obama phonebank is over at 1918 Riverside, like three blocks from Nastroburger. BYOphone. Good morning. See you there by the coffee pot. We can ti-ti dial swing states together.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:37 AM | TrackBack

November 03, 2008


Lets start here:

The bitch end of jetlag means I lie awake for about two hours wondering what time it is and waiting for it to get light. I think about Pat Buchanan on CSPAN the other day, on booktalk, saying how he gets up and does all his writing in the pre-dawn. I'm not sanguine enough to write until at least 9 am CST. I am no Pat Buchanan though that might be fun for a day or two.

Before that:
The morning I got back I was awoken by freeway hum a mile a way. I got up and stood by the fridge. I tippied up to the microwave thinking maybe it was that. I went to the porch and deduced that I had slept all the way until Monday and everyone was going to work or maybe a national emergency and everyone was fleeing because there is no way cars should be that loud from so far away. Not hearing that whooshing for two-plus weeks was like I had never heard it. Berlin is squirrelless and library quiet, save for the wetted leaves getting crunched and the occasional diesel purr. America is filled with impatient people yelling and car rumble and 20000000 kinds of energy bars and it no longer makes sense to me. The capitalist tyranny of choice and the art/everything/everyone that ignores and co-signs on it is undignified and dehumanizing. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we're one long re-run of Hee Haw.

BARR played the Upset The Rhythm! nite in London. Brendan was there for the big art fair and was telling the audience that the art market bubble had officially burst. BARR enthusiasts in London were backpacked spazzy dancers half drunk and knowing all the words, I do not think they cared about the art market. The capital seeping out from art world only serves arts purpose, anyhow. At least Damien Hirst won't have to pay so much when he covertly buys his own artwork now. Also in secrets news: Brendan supposedly got married yesterday to his lovely girlfriend. They have the same cars, almost the same clean-cut skate rat haircut and are the same tall. Twins!

This message or similar was painted on every wall of the club where the UTR show was. I think this should be painted everywhere. Even the bus. The entire earth needs to be quieter.

What tour looked like. Sads @ ICA in London. I was in the museum like 8-10 hours a day for two days and never saw anything but the bathroom, gift shop and the theatre. We were finally leaving and I happened to notice Buckingham Palace was about a block away. Essence of tour.

Cali blog-pic'ing Sam McPheeters as Sam was telling a story about shitting on stage at a Velocity Girl show during his reading at the grotto next to the gas station which sells Health Foods. Oh, California.

A month an a day ago, I re-arrived in LA and went to the Smell to report on a story, except I slept through most of the show, until No Age. I might as well start carrying around a cut glass dish of Werthers Originals with me everywhere because I am a total grandma if I can sleep soundly while the Urinals play 30 feet away. I am an ancient hundred if I am a day.

Alleywalking with Kate circa mid-Sept. We made a pact that night. I did not keep my end of it. I miss my friends but I am scared of the snow thats probs happening back in the Chi-boogie.

Craig digging for a lost item in Greenpoint. We are working on a project, but that is still a secret for now. Not to not junx it, but just' cos it's slow going.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:41 AM | TrackBack

November 01, 2008


R.I.P. Studs.
Rick Kogan's obit.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:39 AM | TrackBack


After 23.5 hours of consecutive travel home, or pretend home of LA, I was rounding the corner in my car, exhausted, and feeling a teeny bit sorry for myself that I was missing Halloween, which is so deeply my favorite, and then, suddenly, there they were, two coyotes trotting alongside me, and they stopped in front of the school and howled at the moon.

Posted by jessica hopper at 02:54 AM | TrackBack