February 28, 2009

DEATH DON'T HAVE NO MERCY

My little story on Azita from the Tribune; she plays the Bottle, for free Monday 10 pm.

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February 27, 2009

REBORN AGAIN

My essay on Susan Sontag's journals, motherhood and ambition for American Prospect. Pardon that I don't start getting where I am going until about the fourth graph; this one was a hard one to write in part because Reborn was such a conflicting read, which I get to towards the end. I read it three times, the first I thought she charming, heroic and a little boring, second time I had a mollified empathy, by the third, I found myself agreeing largely with David Reiffs introduction, which initially, I did not. He is right--to paraphrase him--her judgement in turn invites judgement, you see her do these things and think--but wait! that woman doesn't love you. My reactions to it were polarized. I find myself thinking about it a lot still.

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February 26, 2009

MIDEVIL WOMAN

Howard G just tipped me off to this whoa-ness: Katie Stelmanis. Canadian, think she sang on a Fucked UP record, coming stateside shortly. I AM DOWN.

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February 25, 2009

MY WORLD IS EMPTY WITHOUT YOU


Why have I never even heard of The Belle Stars? Softball uniforms?! Saxophones?! (tip off c/o Pat Whalen, the man that brought you the Nation of Ulysses/Bikini Kill tour that changed your life and K-Tel's Gimme Indie Rock compilation.

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PRESIDENTIAL CLAPATHON

Quickly:
The post-play from Republican's real-boy puppet Bobby Jindal was the most condescending thing I have seen on television in recent memory--the first two minutes amounted to a hackneyed plea of "He's brown, I'm brown, you like him, so maybe you will like me, too." Plus the loopy cadence of speaking voice sounds like someone reading Goodnight Moon to a retarded dog. The GOP is high if they think a little tokenism will make us forget of what they are about, or if they think they can run him outside Louisiana.

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February 24, 2009

LITTLE J HAS A BAND

Duuuude. Taylor Momsen's band is gonna tour! I cannot wait. I wonder if by "dark" and "heavy" and not what we are expecting she means they sound like that Jarboe & Neurosis collab, because that is what I am hoping.

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February 23, 2009

GUITARS SAVING GIRL LIVES

Center for homeless girls in Manila empowers them through guitar lessons:
""When I play the guitar, I can express my heartaches, my anger toward the people around me who don't understand me," said a shelter resident who only gave her name as Diwata, and who was sexually abused while living in the streets."

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SHOW ME A CAT TOY AND I WILL SHOW YOU THE WORLD COME ALIVE

The train time tween here's home and the shithole formerly known as St. Louis is besting itself every week. Heading down Thurs. was pedestrian--no just-released-dudes in Joliet-issue sweatsuits trying to smoke on the train--just a seat share with a woman engrossed in a bodice-ripper paperback which must have been salacious because everytime I would so much as turn my head towards her she'd shift the book away. I was just trying to see over her to the kid doing his Photoshop retouching homework, diligently attempting to follow the 72 pt. Helvetica instructions typed over the unkindly lit portrait of a woman: "smooth chin whiten teeth". He did; eventually making her way back teeth gleam incandescently, her chin looked like Richard Dreyfuss' mashed potato mountain from Close Encountersonce he finished with it.

This time, rather unmercifully, there was a masse of people who brought nothing to do on the five and a half hour ride except their cell phones. The woman next to me called no less than 16 people, and after each would give me a synopsis, "He's going to call me back" or "No one was home." Later, after a half dozen abortive attempts to change her outgoing message (my favorite: "All y'all leave your message", which she scrapped) I offered her my library book, which I haven't read but she gave me a synopsis of the first few chapters--which she told to me with the sort of breathless recounting one saves for gossip; I wasn't expecting Coast of Chicago to be so dishy--now I am doubly excited.

While we had been in the ticket line, another passenger tried rather valiantly to pick her up. He had a deep fake tan and smelled hungover. For the duration of the ride, he would cruise her, hit her with blunt compliments for which there is no rejoinder and promises of a shared sippy cup of Bud Lite up in the treats car. He had no game and by Lincoln was resorting to high-fives upon his return from the bathroom, which is a presumptive and gross burden to put on a friend, let alone a stranger after you have just drunkenly pissed in a tiny, filthy, moving room that is only differentiated from an open sewer by it's employ of a stainless steel "mirror" and a little sign prohibiting you from flushing needles and diapers.

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February 21, 2009

SHE'S LIKE HEROINE TO ME

Giving a new twist to J. Uhlhelski's dream of being on stage in her Maidenform bra, the too-dumb-to-acknowledge bra band, (overview here in Ad Age), with strangely enough, a mention of Roby Newton performing topless on the Milemarker Satanic Versus tour.

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February 20, 2009

OY 'YE

Via Becky Smith: Kanye's reclamation of the word commonly used to insult him is a play straight from the riot grrrl handbook, but might be a little too playground rubber/glue style to get his desired effect. One does not imagine the straight men of the universe will begin complementing each other in earnest with "Wow, dude, you are lookin' crazy gay right now.That jacket: Next level gayness." Maybe he will write SLUT on his abs in sharpie next?!

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February 19, 2009

ALL THE YOUNG GIRLS

These will both make your day, I bet.
Swedish girl gang/band: Those Dancing Days and pre-teen Sacto pre-punx Dog Party.

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FUNCTIONAL NEW MODELS DISCUSSION

Creative Commons blog has some suggestions for Portishead, now set free in the market. Maybe they also have some suggestions for the labels dropped by Touch n' Go? (link via Daily Swarm)

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February 18, 2009

OH SHIT

Touch n' Go severs it's distro arm. Wow.

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February 17, 2009

LOVING CHRIST, HATING CHRISTIAN ROCK

The thing I am doing at Calvin College for their festival of faith and music can now be official and out-loud: in lieu of some boring-azz workshop, I am going to be "in discussion" with David Bazan of Pedro the Lion fame about his work, reframing faith in music, dealing with his secular and non secular audiences and coming up and out of "Christian Rock". IT'LL BE A JAM, even though I just used the word "reframing". The previous night will be Hold Steady and Cornell West, though on sep. bills--a dream, que no?

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February 16, 2009

ESTELLE

Ben Sisario's Estelle Bennett obit post-script: total heartbreaker of a story, but careful in all the right ways w/o hindering it's journalistic course. The last line is a tearjerker.

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THEY SAY I NEED SOMETHING

Do you own a copy of Betty Davis' They Say I'm Different and have a scanner? Cos I need a hi res scan of the cover pretty darn quick. Like, come Thursday. Can you help me out?
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thanks!!!

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February 15, 2009

I WANTED TO WRITE A POEM THAT RHYMES / BUT REVOLUTION DOESN'T LEND ITSELF TO BE-BOPPING

Not to floss, but you know you've got a good man when he presents you with a pair of "feminist mugs" (castration=womens lib so sayeth eBay) and has pins made for the fake band in your book for your Valentines gift.
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February 13, 2009

STEPPING IT UP

Jenny Wilson - The Wooden Chair

New Jenny Wilson coming out next month, and gee whiz, she's stepped it the eff up, and I am not just talking about those t-strap cha cha heels she's got on. Homemade zesty minimalist R&B (handclaps and vibraslaps!). Between that, the still-newish Frida Hyvonen (feminism y'all) album, the new Marit Bergman (with the ballad-duet with Frida "Travelling Companion") and Karin Dreijer Andersson's Fever Ray (scary butler voice never felt so right, to borrow from SFJ) albums coming next month and Mapei and the Perro Del Mar mini-album... it makes you wonder what the women of Stockholm do other than make authoritative and shimmery next level solo albums.

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ME YOU AND EVERY SWEATPANTS WE'VE KNOWN

The release show for the new These Are Powers rec along with the art show of the art from the album is tonight. I cooked up a fiction pc. for them and it will be avail free at the show/exhibit. The band is killer, and the rest of the art is all the cool folks you would expect like that Hisham dude.

TONIGHT at 8 pm @ Secret Project Robot
210 Kent Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11211
Cost: free!

AND IN CHICAGO! TONIGHT!
White/Light and Dan Higgs work in the same room!
Pssst-Ssshhh-- curated by Tim Kinsella
February 13, 2009
8:00pm - midnight
WHite/Light plays at 10:30 or so
Heaven Gallery
1550 N Milwaukee Ave 2nd fl.
Birthmark is also playing but I do not think it's Birthmark the Greek metal band.

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R.I.P.

Phil-Spector-and-the-Rone-001.jpg
There is now one less Ronette in this world.

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February 12, 2009

TOPICS FOR THINKING

Why was 1/3rd of the passerbys in the Buffalo airport profoundly sunburned? Why was it only people 55+ plus? Do many cruiseships disembark at Niagara Falls? Why so magenta?

The loft condos advertised and still emptyish on Division and Leavitt are listed on their sign as "visionary". As their big primary selling point. Can an inanimate object with no desires, no ideation of "the future", no eyes, no eyes of the mind even be visionary? Who wants a visionary condo?

I have made a product that will be retailed at Target. I think of my book, to a certain extent, as art. Is it a fantasy to think you can be art where they have 25 lb bags of dog food?

What sort of decorating need could be so urgent that my neighbor would have to drive multiple nails into the wall starting at 1:52 am? I understand those kind of needs as impulse decorating is a hobby of mine, I am just curious about what it is getting hung.

Is IUD's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" the feminist answer song to Black Flag's "Slip It In" that we've been waiting since, like, 86? Thrice as long and down to get it on, but so menacing, so wonderfully menacing-- in a supra-feminine way: drop d freedom grind. Not grind as in metal, grind as in Ginuwine.

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February 11, 2009

VDAY

What is listed on Walgreens website under the sexual wellness sub-heading "setting the mood". One stop shopping--scented candles, synthetic shammy throws, etc. Imagine what it's like to be the person who develops these categorizations and product groupings for this Walgreens LETS FREAK section from their stock..."L'eggs... maybe.... Tweety Bird sweatpants...no... footwide lollipop...maybe... Humanicare Dignity Bib for Adults...yes."

also, What you can and cannot bring into Canada these days under their hate speech/obscenity laws (via Rjyan's bloggunz)--basically a long list of revoltingly comic porn titles and albums. But it's good for the FYI: Dog Husband on DVD is a no go, but the Mangled Whore Flesh record is ok.

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February 09, 2009

CORPS PANT

The Anni Rossi record coming out on 4AD: all the personal precociousness of Mirah (sans romance), all the instrument slapping of early Ani DiFranco, but with the song topics of mid-period Cometbus=Thunky viola tunes about trainhopping.

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LYKKE LOW

Notes on show of Lykke Li/ Wildbirds & Peacedrums, in chron. order of revelation:
1. should have gotten here 20 minutes earlier to see all of wb&pd, they were 'mazing--like a drums only PJ Harvey & Bonham duo. GOOD CONCEPT WHOSE TIME HAS COME. SIGN ME UP.
2. Lykke Li looks exactly EXACTLY like my sister, if my sister had an unbrushed weave instead of mermaid hair. I got this excited shiver of excitement, some weird biological instinctual over-rule--because I knew it wasn't my sister, but I "recognized" her as my sister and thought "LAUREN'S ONSTAGE!'
2.5 Then I wondered if Lykke Li's sister is my twin.
3. Oh, whoa, stage moves in the formal tradition of "stage moves".
4. We agree she's: "very Shakira."
5. M.:"Very Anthony Kiedis. Classic Kiedis. I keep expecting her to do some "zing-a ding-a dong" kind of scatting."
6. Her stage movies ping pong from Stevie Nicks (side to side whipping hair and mic stand in tandem, twirls etc.) to like, hype man for rapper appearing on Warped Tour. Why the rap arm, Lykke?
7. This is not what I was expecting. Or wanting. I wonder if she attended a performing arts school. My kroners are on yes.
8. Why is she hitting her arm with the drum stick to keep time?--we can't hear that and she's going get a bruise. Ineffective one way, hammy the other.
9. Wildbirds and Peacedrums were really the act to beat tonight.
10. (sixth song) We must leave if I plan on continuing to like her or listen to or respect her work.

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February 06, 2009

THE BEST THIS BLOG WILL EVER GET

Click n' see. C/o Scheid.

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ARE YOU REELING IN THE YEARS?

Of all the pictures in the Smell story, I think this one sums it up. I also look at the kid on the right and think "Thats how I feel, too." I always had a best friend who would make that face anytime a camera was whipped out. That insane 15 yr old boy face, commonly featured in yearbook photos of the arcane and lesser science and language clubs. You could write a hundred stories about friendship of those two boys and that bike. They might read my story about the Smell, but they will think it's fucking stupid. I can't imagine what they do on the internet. Like do they play games? Do they download leaks of the Wolves in the Thronewoom record? Do they look up sick shit on Youtube? I imagine they listen to records together. And then they burn down the school, like in Over The Edge.

This picture proves that Dybek line about "most boys are washed up by seventeen" wrong. These kids are waiting to explode.
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February 05, 2009

IN CASE YR AROUND IN MICHIGAN THAT WEEKEND

I'm doing a lecture/workshop first weekend of April at the Calvin College faith and music festival. Other people presenting/performing: Cornel West, Baby Dee (lecture and performance) Hold Steady, Lupe Fiasco and Dave Bazan.

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SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER

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My cover story for the LA WEEKLY about No Age's success and it's impact on the Smell is out, uh, now. It flows a little strangely/mysteriously, but hey. It exists. I am pumped on that.

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February 04, 2009

RABBIT EARS

Oh heck yes! Digital delay. I'll be able to keep my rabbit ears up until at least the Lily Bass Gossip Girl spin off starts. Because I still have the TV I bought from ol' Josh Hooten eight years ago for $60. Because the only things I watch are Gossip Girl and Antique Roadshow and sometimes, my elder-man dreamcrush Charlie Rose and am not sure all that merits and upgrade. So what if I cannot read subtitles cos the ish is so blurry? It's only helped improve my French skills. Also, do not scroll down after any NYT article having to do with the digital conversion because it will infuriate you, as it's all just self-satisfied "screw ppl who can't get it together or can't afford a converter, no TV will do everyone good" sanctimony. Dude, there is a nation full of people who do not get the paper, or the radio, who only know about extreme weather via TV, and also the poor, the elderly, the lonely, the way rural and the infirm who need their TVs to keep catching channels and also-also little kids that need their Elmo time. Clearly those commenters do not know any Grandmas. Grandmas LOVE programs.

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YOU KNOW HOW IT IS

I awoke two hours too early, Wyatt perched on my chest, like the Mr. Bluebird on the finger, and in the rustles of morning incoherence I am gripped by the thought that I must go thrift for a high necked blouse before I do anything else.

Last night I purchased decaf coffee for home use, which felt conceptually strange, but ness. After I returned the final-final last-last chance-chance proof of the book back to it's publisher. But before I returned home to find that the cats had touched the 'puter and made it do something so that it NARRATED everything on the screen. It took me a long while to figure out what they did. I have had a fantasy, since my first cat, Bad Boy (c.1979) that my cats have a secret human-style life while I am away. I imagined last night that perhaps this is how Monk and Wy use the internet. They get the computer to go "out loud" because they understand English but aren't reading yet.

In doing research for the captions for my book yesterday, I learned that Tina Weymouth was a cheerleader before she in Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club, which I found inspiring. One minute, you got spirit, yes you do, the next--sample credits pay your bills.


Good morning. Good morning. Exciting links coming later this week.

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I GOT MY RADIO OZ

One of the great feminist artists of our time--Antony on Fresh Air yesterday. Gender revolution and feminist lib for all people.

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February 02, 2009

WE'RE JUST GONNA THROW IT OUT THERE AND SEE IF WE CATCH THE WHALE

Hi, so listen. Do you work at a bookstore, or something like a bookstore? Some place that would be reasonable for yours truly to visit on a book tour, mebbe do a reading, do a "book event", MC your all-girl battle of the bands, hawk wares? I am going on a short book tour on the airplane and then I am going to do a longer one in the car, because while Pittsburgh is a secondary market, it's a firstuary one in my heart. Anyhow, I WILL COME AND BOOK EVENT YOU, but need yr help to make it happen.
P.S. IT IS ALL REALLY HAPPENING. A veritable cascade of the actual.
meanwhile!
contact me at:
msjessicahopper AT the gmail dot commm

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February 01, 2009

OH DELIA

Missed this news item over the summer about lost Delia Derbyshire recordings being found, complete with song-samples. It kind of breaks my heart when she says "Forget about this.." at the start of the tape of her basically being Aphex Twin, except that IT WAS 1963 and Aphex Twein had not been invented yet. And she was sampling metal lampshades vibrations and using math to figure out how to loop them backwards and have them be certain notes because she was a whiz. And she couldn't get a job cos she was a girl. And you know what you get for being the genius that helped INVENT electronic music? A job in a bookstore while yr living and respect after yr dead!

QUIET SEETHING OUTRAGE: I HAZ IT!

The good news : ""The next thing that we want to do is make the archive available to everyone who wants to hear it," says David Butler. "
DO IT, David Butler. Best idea you have ever had, surely!

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MASTER OF PUPPIES

Sam McPheeters on Updikes passing. Sam said he was taking a blog hiatus, but he's blogging heavily about things of yore and reissuing old PP columns, which makes me thinks either he's collecting his papers to beqeauth (sp?) to a univeristy library or he's putting together a book. This is purely speculation on my part, but I have hopes for the latter.

Secondly, do you like recordings of singing that are fantastic? I got this Big Maybelle record from the Chicago Public Library and it's a wow-zilla. Here's a video of a 78 of her music playing.

I also got a Cure record at the library, and it was the first time I listened to a Cure album in it's entirety. I should have stuck to what I had before: the "Close To You" cassingle. The Cure--they are not as good as Big Maybelle. FYI. In case yr trying to save time or weigh the options amidst the recessionville shoe leather soup sitch that is 09.

Also, another Maybelle. This one is a Carter, and she's out in the rough hedges a-strummin. Also, what "they play like a bunch of girls" could really mean. WHY ARE THERE NOT FAMILY BANDS ON THE TV ANYMORE, ESPECIALLY WHERE THE MOM PLAYS A ZITHER-LIKE-THING? I would watch TV all the time if such was the case. All stabbing-scenes and CSI: New Brunswick et. al. should be replaced with old-old-Grand Ol' Opry (pre-Mandrells era) and 30 Rock re-runs. I would be bothering to get my digital converter if such was the case.

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