As I dropped him off at City Hall to get fingerprinted for his new job, looking so clean and fancy in his summer suit, I wondered "why must Matt go be a lawyer?"--this is the man that just last night thought up "Purrtains:The Curtains Made of Real Live Cats Who Love Being Curtains" and "Himney: The Chimney For Him". Where is there a job in this world for people who love puns--thrive in puns--and dumb ideas?
I have been having nightmares, book anxiety nightmares mostly, that I go to my publisher's office, a cool store front/hairsalon in Brooklyn, which is inexplicably run by guitarist/author Peter Case of The Plimsouls. The staff is mad because I have written the book in English instead of Spanish. I cry "How was I supposed to know?" and they answer back "HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW, YESSICA?!" in thick Spanish accents, while washing the hair of elderly women in black bowl sinks. Peter Case opens box after box of my book in English, disappointed.
Shayla left me a message yesterday saying the book is for sale at the upscale supermarket by her house in Portland--which gave me comfort from the scolding Peter Case gave me.
Putting out the book, having it be almost all the way out, and having it be a thing I made, that is mostly me, made with some help (Anders drew the pictures, 20 ppl proofread, 5 ppl research-assisted) is totally all the way weird. I have put out a "magazineses" before, but that is different: I probably knew almost everyone buying a copy, we had 20-40 people writing for it sometimes. I promoted other peoples things they made for years. This is different. This is a book I wrote riding around in the grocery cart of a stranger. Matt is being very patient with me, as I have been pulling him from the edge of his sleep, or showers, or unrelated conversation with questions like "The people who bought my book on Amazon, it says they also bought The Frog Principle which is for little kids. What if they bought my book thinking it's for a six year old? Do you think they going to be mad?" Basically, totally freaked out crazy talk. BUT THATS NOT TO SAY THAT IF YOU LOVED FROG PRINCIPLE YOU WON'T LOVE MY BOOK AS WELL.
Benefit TEA PARTY & show for Clara Alcott's short feminist-technology film "Kick"
w/ treats, screenings & music INCLUDING Coupleskate and also my faves
Blue Ribbon Glee Club performing the music of "girl bands" (DUDE! THIS WILL BE RAD!)
Saturday June 6th, 6-10pm
$10 Suggested Donation
1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. 2nd Flr.
Last night me and Morgo and Kate were lamping by the photobooth at the Girls Rock Chicago benefit we missed (it only lasted 25 minutes), and this gaggle of cool 13 yr olds walked passed us and I said "Hey, you girls in a band?" and this girl with pink striped ponytails half-turns and shoots back over her shoulder "Yeah. We're in a little band called The Beatles, maybe you've heard of us?!" and all the girls cracked up. I have no idea who that girl is, but I bet US dollars that in about four years, we'll all be worshipping her band.
I take umbrage with this line:"It's as if riot grrrl actually happened."--but he's on the money for the most part. PEACE OUT LAD ROCK.
Austria? Really? And it's not glitched-out minimalism? SOAP&SKIN. She's got 18th century hair and a touch of Karin Driejer Andersson in that doomy multi-tracked voice. "Age of delirium/Curse of my oblivion"--lyrics are way metal, yet it's just her and a piano with the sustain pedal mashed hard to the floor. PLEASE COME TO AMERICA, WE ARE NOT SO BAD.
and less chill:
FATAL ERECTION from Long Island (duh), for those that miss Blatz/still have the Shit split in rotation/wonder if Cheesecake's appearance on Stars Kill Rock had a lasting influence. Mailorder some cassettes for the car! I am already planning my t-shirt stencil. HOW GOOD ARE THEY? I wish I had thought up this band name, or at least the shirt, in 11th grade.
also, if you are in Chicago tomorrow, and want a wild ride through the world of (YOUNG) ADULT BOOKS.... I am panelling at this:
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Young Adult panel at Pilcrow Lit Fest
with (total strangers) Jane Hertenstein, Daniel Kraus and (friends) Stephanie Kuehnert and James Kennedy .
Upstairs at Trader Todd's (3216 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 773.348.3250). 2:00-2:45 pm. This is all ages, open to the public and all the way free.
James Kennedy is in Brilliant Pebbles and is blowing up the YA fantasy-fiction landscape with Order of Odd Fish. Stephanie's book, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone you may remember, and she is about to follow it up with a new one, Ballads of Suburbia in July, which tells a story most of us have lived: teen punk chicks going bad.
Like an ebbless river of holy wtf:
Homemade song about the pleasure of being a big girl, while getting freaked by her stripper/rapper boyfriend "Ecstacy". Lets not even get into the dude playing the keyboard.
Discussing the writing of the song(s), the artistic process and euphemisms, awkward pauses and classic public access weirdness abound. What a couple! They are like the Kim and Thurston of fat-positive regional cable R&B talent.
Ecstacy's answer track, "I Need A Plus Size Woman (Around The Clock)"--he raps clad in his stripping outfit/fringey garters. The so-what-if-plus-sized- women-have-shorter-life-spans-yr-still-a-cutie line made my brain explode.
Some of this is no-duh, but what children are texting one another about a "Nude Club"? Perhaps the same kids that are playing the dijiridoo? Or is "nude club" some shit I don't know about because I work at home and don't watch LOST? This article should actually be titled "36 ways to know if your 7th grader is a methed-out Craigslist NSA cruiser."
I love him.
and I think Ebert does too.
Is it effed-up that the movies I am most excited about are The Road, Antichrist and Bandslam? Bandslam--which stars Aly from Disney-tween-megastars AJ & Aly (they write their own songs but blv evolution is a myth--I'm torn) as a high schooler in a ska band with her bff (A SKA BAND WTF WHOEVER THOUGHT UP THIS MOVIE EITHER LIVES IN ORANGE COUNTY OR FLORIDA OR IS JESSE MICHAELS BRAINSTORMING IN HIS IRON LUNG). Sure, the Lisa Kudrow & Vanessa Hudgens co-star is, as Miles put it, a collision of mediocrity and no I don't think it's going to be Times Square Redux but I bet it will be as good as
ONE BAND. ONE SUMMER. ONE DOG IN A NECKERCHIEF.
Ta-Nehisi Coates/The Atlantic debates/considers post-culture war hip hop and roundtables it; am writing about same-same right this very now-now.
Oooh, this is a good one, from The American Prospect: "Is the niche-ification of the Internet amplifying or ghettoizing women's voices?"
My publicist made me get a twitter (jesshopp), so if you want to follow that, put it up in yr tweetdeck, or whathaveyou, go for it. Maintaining five things of "web presence", three of which are requisite and quasi-promotional in nature--well, it is a bit of a baffler. "Modern conundrum, I suppose," she says looking up from her butter churn.
Coolest chick in the pit at the Heart Shaped Hate/Screaming Females show
The first few rows up front was wasted dudes smoking and being too close to Marissa, touching her, touching the mic, touching her equipment and occasionally punching each other. I wished a chix-up-front-posse would have appeared & formed a barrier, but I think the entire audience was way too wasted for that kind of thought. She held her own--more than her own. I was scared for her, but I was too scared to get up there.
The naked Drummer of the opening band stopped their set, moved past the pit and peed in front of the merch table. His band had a song called "If you have a blog, you're a pussy". Oh, punk.
Jesus christ shredderstar.
One of the best things about having Matt home from law school is that I have someone around who I can rope into my schemes. Not a sidekick, more an accomplice. Is that what true love is? Last night, after a long day of making an infomercial for my book, I made him learn this with me, as it seems the right thing to pair with "Moon River"--the Foxtrot via Foster and Judi Lampert. I love the way Foster says "the gal". I was not concentrating and every time I messed up I blamed Matt. The foxtrot is harder than it looks, even though it is only stride stride quick quick.
I just posted up an interview I did with Erika Anderson from Some Dark Holler & Gowns over at the GG2R blog. She's a real inspirational woman.
I bet my Wolves In The Throne Room Q&A is the only article in the Tribune today that mentions goat slaughter.
The best photo-mocking blog since that pictures with Diplo one.
My book tour is like this--if you would like to help make something happen or have a suggestion--holler, there are still some gaps.
7/13 Portland, OR @ Powells on Hawthorne 7:30 pm
7/14 Seattle TBA
7/15 Santa Monica, CA @ Public Library 2 pm (w/band)
7/15 Los Angeles, CA @ Skylight Books 7:30 pm
7/16 Minneapolis @ Magers & Quinn 7:30
7/20-21 Philly TBA
7/21-22 New York City/Brooklyn TBA
7/23 Providence RI @ AS220 7 pm
Don't you hate it when yr trying to present something really serious--like a demonstration of black metal--to your class and people just keep cracking up?
Total brilliance. Reporting that reads like good fiction kills me. Good to know that Walken is exactly like how you wish him to be, too.
“This is fantastic,” said López. “Isn’t this marvelous?” Karpidas exclaimed. “It’s just great,” said Blum. It wasn’t clear whether they were talking about the building, the setting, the crowd, or the art on display. Brant said he had designed the installation with Urs Fischer and a little help from dealers Tony Shafrazi and Jeffrey Deitch. “I don’t remember that piece,” said Metro Pictures’ Helen Winer to her business partner Janelle Reiring. They were standing over a small Mike Kelley blanket-and-stuffed-animal work on the floor. “When did we show that?”
“I never knew Dennis Hopper played a Nazi,” said Walken, coming out on the terrace where the crowd had drifted for cocktails. He had just taken his first gander at Piotr Uklanski’s suite of 164 head shots of actors who have all played Nazis in movies. “Jack Palance is there, too,” Walken added. “But I never want to see that movie.”
Shafrazi punched Hopper’s cell-phone number into his BlackBerry. “Julian Schnabel always does this, too,” Walken said. “Name comes up, a minute later Julian has him on the phone.” Shafrazi handed Walken the BlackBerry. “You played a Nazi, Dennis?” Walken said. “I never knew.”
Anthony's got a new band--Mikki Maus--kind of like a dirty boy's Bow Wow Wow, but the lyrics evidence that Anthony's might be the new century post-emo GG Allin. Or Lisa Suckdog. Or Andrea Dworkin. Or all three.
"nothing breaks my heart worse than sex/ i don't wanna deal with it anymore / fucking fucking fuckin / and not just fingering you in parents house / and I don't even like it"
"I wanna be in a porno / In another country / and I don;t wanna any of you assholes to see / it's what I wanna do/ and you don't understand / white women use dicks for power!"
Also from the mailbag, Ben L. writes:
Funny you should mention Mr. Michaels. I remember back in 1993 or so
hearing that he had become a monk. If I recall correctly it was in
Lookout Magazine and there was apparently an article about it in
Harpers. I wanted to investigate further and spent an afternoon at the
library reading back issues of Harpers' Bazaar and Harpers. I never
located the article and I went back two years.
Since posting this "whatever became of Jesse Michaels post Op Ivy" rumor-quandry last week, it's been clarified that "He lives in a really nice house"--not an iron lung-- and is married to Oscar winner/former Mocket bassist Audrey Marrs.
Michael Bott brings an item to the mailbag, for all the teen girls who suffered--a classic takedown from Cosmoetica, including a rehabbing of a poem: "Charles Bukowski would have long faded from the poetic scene had there not been such a perverse attraction, by poets, toward dereliction- in all its forms. CB- or Chuck Buk, as he was known in literary circles- was 1 of the last’s century’s premier vagrants. The film Barfly was his own self-absorbed & self-obsessed opus on the grandeur of inebriation. But none of that would matter if the man were capable of effectively conveying thoughts & emotions via the written word. His prose is largely generic & forgettable- although it inspired legions of wannabe losers in the 1960s & 70s. His ‘poetry’ is arguably worse- but I will say of the 2 ways to go CB would have been better off working on his poetry- it’s the more salvageable of the 2 endeavors. That said, it’s as universally horrible as it is available."
Studies suggest feminism fixes things: Two Canadian researchers recently set out to examine the bullying that pits women against women. They found that some women may sabotage one another because they feel that helping their female co-workers could jeopardize their own careers.
One of the researchers, Grace Lau, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo, said the goal was to encourage women to help one another. She said: “How? One way we predicted would be to remind women that they are members of the same group.”
“We believe that a sense of pride in women’s accomplishments is important in getting women to help one another,” Ms. Lau said. “To have this sense of pride, women need to be aware of their shared identity as women.”
Miles and I have decided that henceforth every preview we write for a German techno artist mandates a ridiculous breadaphor.
"As heady electronic music goes, it's like a loaf of hearty dark bread, an easy-to-grasp but deceptively intricate musical world with a strong sense of-- to stretch the metaphor-- nourishment."--Pitchfork on the GAS boxset c. 2008
Jean Smith of Mecca Normal, inspiration, feminist sage, confronter-songstress writes on her blog about the misogyny of the comments thread after a Mecca Normal story on Brooklyn Vegan:
"There is s a comment section after the piece with some of what I’d call typical nastiness that I see on YouTube and elsewhere. I wasn’t really expecting this as I scrolled down the page — to be called a bunch of names. There were positive comments too — mostly in opposition to the negative comments. After some time thinking about not taking these comments personally, and acknowledging that this is part of culture — people participate in media now and this is what people interject with in this quadrant of culture — that’s rather depressing, to think that there have been a lot of quiet people and now they speak in comment boxes and type things like — “hag” — and I thought about the sad, low state these guys must be in psychologically, and how men in general, have, as well as being socialized to hide emotions other than anger, have also learned to hide misogyny, allowing it to spew in blog comment boxes, anonymously — it’s some kind of barometer."
Dallas Clayton, our friend out west, has launched a new sweet site We Love You So that is an aggregate works-by and inspirations site for the many artists who worked on Where The Wild Things Are movie.
Katie Stelmanis and I have the same hair. Hair cut. It would be funny if we were attached by our hair. Shared hair tethering our heads together. She sang on the Fucked Up record, but she's an wonder of Canadian talent all her own and she's opening the Iron and Wine show here in chicago tomorrow (the 12th) and then Ronny's the 13th (weds). Here's the amazing video/cartoon for her song "Join Us"--I am into her pink sweat suit and the singing nuns and also her regal voice.
Hi, good morning! I need some suggestions, kind reader:
Blogs written by women in bands/women musicians. Which ones do you read and follow?
thanks in advance, you are a tender friend to help me.
I will return to regular blogging shortly, whatever passes for "regular". It was a busy week--my man has returned home from college, our LA bro4life David Scott Stone was visiting, there were TWO Lucky Dragons shows, Nora and I had to chill in the park--where we met a husky puppy so baby still that it's puppy breath was sweet and smelled like lotion, it was like a perfume, we sniffed our arms where he licked us and it had a humid yet undoglike bouquet. Morgan had a bunch of her teeth out and I drove her around while she was high and drooling blood. I made dinners and listening to the instrumental AGF record a few times loud. The book got back from the printer and I went to Fed Ex to get it, and I opened it right there at the counter with the Fed Ex ladies who I have been seeing for years and they told me they were really proud of me and since then I have just been carrying my one copy of the book around to show to people. I say "LOOK!" and thrust it into their hands "It's my book. It's here." My paper baby.
American Songwriter is profiling the thirty best Dylan songs, which is interesting really only for the Dylan-on-Dylan commentary--to wit, this morsel on "Like a Rolling Stone":
"The All Music Guide calls it “one of the most self-righteous and eloquent indictments ever committed to wax.”
Author David Hadju decreed it “his venomous rock and roll masterpiece.”
Dylan himself described it as a “long piece of vomit”
Seriously, why is this book about how to play the didgeridoo ALWAYS exactly one spot ahead of my book? BUYING A CHILD A DIDGERIDOO IS A FUCKING MISTAKE.
I am so nervous, but here it is, the official pow:
My book is called THE GIRLS GUIDE TO ROCKING. It's coming out June 4th through Workman. It is for girls aged 12 and up, but is totally suitable for any ambitious young lady between 10-34 or so. It's got 288 pages and multiple pictures of LaBelle and comes with a full-color pullout women in rock history timeline that you can add your band on to. It's endorsed by Joan Jett and Gregg Gillis on it's covers. The book tour begins in Portland at Powells July 13th.
The copy and cover on the GG2R Amazon page are not the right ones, but never you mind. The reason it recommends 30-some books with titles like "Mad Church Disease" is because I think after I did the Calvin Faith and Music festival all those folks ordered a copy. It's not a "R.I.Y.L" kind of thing. If you prefer an indie bookseller you can order through Powells and if you want to come see me on my book tour, it's like this:
July 13 Portland, OR @ Powells
July 14/15 --LA & Seattle
July 16 Minneapolis, MN @ Magers & Quinn
July 17-22 Chicago/NY/Philly/Providence/etc.
In case you are around a radio in Davis, CA or maybe also internet-connected at about 7:15 CST tonight I am going to be on The Jane Dark Radio Heure talking about bromantic comedies and my book (no relation).
This was the first song both written and performed by a woman to go number one in the UK: Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights"
Then there is a red dress/outdoor version:
Matt Shaer and I have been going back and forth about the post-Op Ivy rumor mill about what happened to Jesse Michaels after the band broke up. I said I had heard he moved back to Detroit and was living in an iron lung (DO THEY EVEN MAKE THOSE ANYMORE?), though I know he has had a band off an on for some time since (PERFORMING IN AN IRON LUNG=A GIMMICK WHOSE TIME IS NIGH). My substantiation: I heard it at the Punk Planet office in the late nineties, so it must be true, but Shaer found this in the "skapedia" (naturally): "There was a great deal of speculation regarding the fate of Michaels. He revealed in an interview that he became a Buddhist monk for about 6 months in 1992 . Legend had it that he had moved to Nicaragua." I know the internet is really useful in disseminating rumors, and not to be Amish/nostalgic/internet hater--but I kind of miss lore. Like absurd, unconfirmable mysteries--the long running speculation of what supposedly became of Steve Kroner after he left Nation of Ulysses would be impossible if it happened now.
What can you really say when you can sleep with the windows open all night for the first time months? I thought I got spoiled, being out west til 12/5, but the season hammered me same as it always does, as it does to everyone. Horrible winter is the great equalizer. In the midwest ppl blame all their malaise and funk and weird idle shiftlessness on that it's been a long winter and it's not quite spring the same way that people in LA blame things on astrology. A winter that wouldn't quite quit is our mercury in retrograde.
Got a couple few emails today about loving that Tony Hoagland poem, it's in a book called Donkey Gospel, which has a few other poems nearly of that caliber, and some that weirdly remind me of Joe Frank stories. One entitled "Lucky" which reminded me of the pentultimate saddest part of Rick Moody's Purple America (a book chockfull of sad parts); it's about giving his elderly mother a bath. It also has which is about defending D.H. Lawrence's work at a dinner party and has an ending I like a lot:
Or maybe I’ll just take the shortcut
between the spirit and the flesh,
and punch someone in the face,
because human beings haven’t come that far
in their effort to subdue the body,
and we still walk around like zombies
in our dying, burning world,
able to do little more
than fight, and fuck, and crow,
something Lawrence wrote about
in such a manner
as to make us seem magnificent.