November 29, 2009


RE: Gift, the gift blog I am doing for the Reader for the next few weeks is up and active. If you have any tips about hot items that you make or know about, email me.

Posted by jessica hopper at 11:19 AM | TrackBack

November 28, 2009


Why does Elaine Mayes not have more books? Her one on Monterey Pop is proof enough that that should only be the beginning. I could kind of give a shit about more punk chronicles and coffee table memorials to scenes, but she needs a thick-paged career overview that includes her female gaze.

Posted by jessica hopper at 03:47 PM | TrackBack


Author Katherine Dunn defends herself against mugger. Despite being 64, the woman did boxing training for a decade. They left out that she has won awards for her boxing coverage, though. Supposedly her first novel since Geek Love was supposed to come out last year, but there was 19 years between that and Truck and Attic, so she's on pace.

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:21 AM | TrackBack

November 25, 2009


I know we have all come upon these sentiments ourselves sometimes but, dude, Glenn Branca is bummed and also--I know maybe Animal Collective is not his thing, and given that he's a New Yorker there is still a heavy hippejam fallout on the boroughs, but this op-ed should have been titled "Why Live?" or and also no editor should of let him open with a line about paradigm shift and then not support it esp. since the paradigm shift in question is a personal one and it's called "aging". Maybe he's just keeping up on the wrong MP3 blogs, maybe he is alienated by the Forkcast. Thurston needs to hook the dude up with some new 7 inches or something. Please remind me never to write an "everything sucks" op-ed in the Times when I get old.

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November 24, 2009


Terrifying Sickos. Mid-eighties Mississippi cassette weirdos, reissued via BULB. I learned about it here. I think I will have to cover "Tick or Teat" on my solo album I am making. Also, the funny thing about my solo album is so far it sounds exactly like Noras. Remember Nora? She is one of my best friends and she is in the desert of NM getting a doctor-ette.

Posted by jessica hopper at 06:17 PM | TrackBack


I had a dream last night where Quicksilver-era Kevin Bacon and I where in line for a party--he was my plus one, naturally--and he was giving me unsolicited SEX ADVICE. The advice was pretty bad.

This either followed or was part of the dream where I was literally trying to following in Chuck Klosterman's footsteps, which was both easy and dangerous because he was puking as he walked, creating huge slicks of orange child-with-the-flu vomit, and then tracking it everywhere.

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November 23, 2009


I liked this little NYT slide show on the New Yorker cartoonist couple. Matching glasses.

Artist couples making it work is a favorite topic--romantic proofs, I guess. I finally got to the Golub/Spero documentary the other evening, and the highlight was Golub in 86-88, explaining how he works, and also Nancy coming in and telling him exactly what was wrong with what he was doing. Also, him walking around New York, it is what you imagine it would look like if all you knew was Daydream Nation.

Also, a note about the things you/I don't remember about the eighties: men in bands wore shorts. Judging by the pics in the CHOMP reissue, the guys in Pylon only wore shorts.
Dude on the left in misshapen PIL tee not (making a muscle) holding the fence is kind of how I feel inside most of the time. Not sure I have a better explanation than "him".
Punk was for wimps, thank goshness.

When Matt and I watched Golub/Spero he told me a story about how he got in trouble at school for making an Ollie North-in-shades drawing on his book cover and had to go to the principal. I had an x-small Ollie North For President joke shirt I was fond of. I wonder where that shirt is now.
(Being worn with a pair of small, thin, red shorts I hope.)


Golub/Spero is pretty great save for that the Golub documentaries are well-done, high grade, cover his whole career and the Nancy Spero docs are blurry, do not have decent sound, zoom in and out on fragments of her work, and are super short. They're mostly document the process of installation of her work. There is better info on her work in the documentaries about her husband, though thats kind of how it went back in the day. It's available on the Netflix, as are the ARt 21 doc on her and the ultra-inspirational doc Our City Dreams which has Kiki Smith and Ghada Amer in it, amongst others. They talk about their feminism a lot. It is satisfying.


Posted by jessica hopper at 12:25 PM | TrackBack

November 19, 2009


I think you will like this Brilliant Colors record. Or the band. The band's record.

I saw Twilight New Moon last night to review it. I got there late and so I did not sit in the rows that were sectioned off for reviewers. Which is fine, because in my three prior experiences of going to crit screenings, there was a particular eau de coldcuts to some of my reviewer brethren. Or maybe it's just one guy who smuggles in a gently aging deli tray. Nevertheless, I sat in the middle back, amidst contest winners and the daughter of someone who worked for corpo-sponsors Smartwater™ and her 81 impatient best friends. Girls 12 and over all dressed fancy, there was a lot of hiking up of dress fronts and yanking down hemlines while precariously balancing jumbo popcorns. There was a lot of gasping and sighing and OOOOHing, as their should be at a virgin porn film. I kind of hate Kristin Stewarts whole schtick anyhow ( Adventureland really put it over the edge, the wiggling her eyebrows into the middle distance), but Bella is the most pathetic serialized girl character this side of--I dunno, early Disney? Sex In The City?--she's like princess in a story, made right by a man's desire to marry/own her. She's utterly guileless and SHE DOESN'T LOOK ANY MAN IN THE EYES--she is forever getting gazed upon. Her and her dragking boyfriend are perfectly drippy together, she literally has nothing going on save for her totally codependent relationship with the shapeshifting, non-kissing men around her. Also, why the fuck is Edward willingly in high school--this isn't Jumpstreet, dude. I am glad he is ghosting it a distant land for like 84% of the movie and Bella is just palling around with Teenwolf the mechanic. The girls in the theatre SCREAMED everytime his shirt came off. That was my favorite part. The screaming.

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November 17, 2009


Here is an essay I wrote in this weeks Chicago Reader about Kid Sister and capitalism as pop idiom. I know when you call things "fun", you sound like some auntie flossing her holiday earrings ("I know, aren't these FUN?!") but I think Ultraviolet is really fun. A more straight ahead review of it ran (runs?) in the McSweeney's newspaper edition (#33). It is fun top to bottom. It is also like is Neneh Cherry's second album of your (ok, my) fantasy, where every song was like "Outre Risque Locomotive" off Raw Like Sushi instead of proto-trip hop. There is some Monie Love and Ya Kid K thrown in too. It's very sassy 1990 club-crossover MC. Chicago should be proud.

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November 16, 2009


There were three of them, two watching the one in the parking space of the car they had just gotten out of. He was demonstrating, though not on anyone or anything, so his expertise wasn't exactly discernible, per se--there was nothing to measure the veracity of his skill against. He might be a master, but all I could tell was he was shitfaced and showing the others what appeared to be karate. It was 4:49 pm, on level two of the parking lot of the downtown Target.

Maybe he was showing them how he had beaten someone's ass in some bar parking lot circa Back of The Yards. Or maybe he was showing them, perfectly, how to defend themselves from an attacking dog--the kicks and chops were aimed kind of low. When he was done they were still looking down at his hands, which were animating his story, they weren't looking at where they were going, where the blackbelt was leading them, which was away from the Target and towards the ramp of oncoming traffic. Once headlights were upon them they realized they were on the wrong path and turned around, wobbling towards the store.

I was there for a lampshade. I imagined they were there to eat dinner at the Li'l Ceasars in the Target Cafe.

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November 12, 2009

November 11, 2009


My piglet flu is "over" but I think it might have doubled as an alien lobotomy. Or maybe it's just that the cough medicine I was prescribed was the heaviest duty drugs I have taken in a decade. Except for the muscle relaxers they gave me at the hospital in Berlin, those were kind of magical, but they did not make me half-drunk half-stupid. I feel mega dumb since getting sick. I also combined the tale end of a dose with 1/3 of a pack of night time Theraflu one night and got scared I was en route to OD-ing on nasal decongestant and made Matt bring me my computer to google what I should do because "Isn't this how Heath Ledger died?" In my less floaty sober-state the next morning I realized it was a bit more than a tablespoon of coughsyrup and a kid-dosage of Theraflu that did him in. I made Matt fix me a peanut butter sandwich and then insisted on sleeping sitting up--I thought it would keep me breathing, though all the medicine seemed to indicate I would be breathing clearer than ever. I was loaded and my tragic death due to nasal decongestant seemed immediate and pending and all I was working on was bad imaginary science and sad little instincts.

Meanwhile, I am upright and hacking, back to work and trying to write. My cough sounds like I spent the last 57 years smoking Pall Malls in the backroom bar at the Elks. My brain is like tar and writing feels slow and impossible, and every draft is shamefully on par with say, a freshman entertainment reporter for The Daily Appletonian. Maybe all the bad but so wonderful TV time I had last week just rotted my brain out. Real life and workable theories about capitalism as pop's idiom is not working. I just wanna get back in bed and keep watching Jean Painleve's life cycle of the French Seahorses movie:

Here someone synched it with a Current 93 song. Normally the Painleve movies have hot jazz soundtracks and subtitles and excited French narration. They are so pretty and magical, it makes me wish I was an octopus zygote.

Posted by jessica hopper at 11:09 PM | TrackBack

November 09, 2009


Do you have one of those moms that like the Shins? (Miles and I are not alone, I know this). This is a recommendation for you, for your mom: Natalia Fourcade. She is like the Fiest of Mexico, but the music is more cute than melancholy. She's playing a one off in Chicago at LSA on the 13th, if you aren't going to the GIRLS show.

Posted by jessica hopper at 09:33 AM | TrackBack

November 08, 2009


R.I.P. Jerry Fuchs. Miss you already, friend. Henry Owings obit here.

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:55 PM | TrackBack

November 07, 2009


Michigan lecture & reading dates next weeks are canceled due to my still being sick, they will be rescheduled. FYI.

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:46 AM | TrackBack

November 05, 2009


The questions for "Ask Big Bird" are kind of blowing my mind with their earnesty and totally what-the-fuckness. So many people want to know how big Big Bird had to be to be named "Big Bird" at birth. Never thought about that.

Posted by jessica hopper at 08:37 PM | TrackBack


I am on day three? Three and half? Of some crazy flu, a piglets flu in my paranoid fever brain. Netflix instant is my best friend. On day one, I learned the hard way, do not try to watch Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles the 3.5 hour feminist epic (largely silent) if you are medicated. It felt like it was 5 hours long and I had to restart it 4 times.

Also enjoyed during my confinement to bed: Pageant a documentary about Ms. Gay America. Trailer is kind of wack. Movie is worth seeing if you have even a modicum of interest in drag.

Bolt, worth seeing if you enjoy cartoon dogs, which I do.

Killer of Sheep essential viewing. I think the scenes of the kids playing and the girl standing around in the dog mask are my favorites since seeing Spirit of The Beehive, where she lays her face against the tracks.

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:28 AM | TrackBack

November 02, 2009


My friend Karen Soskin asked me to contribute to a radio thing that is happening as part of Performa 09. You can hear it this weekend on the internet. I do not know when exactly. I made an abbreviated radio play/dramatic reading/performative edit of the transcript of Chris Brown, Larry King and Chris Brown's mom on Larry King Live entitled "What Kind of Lollypop Are We Going to Get Tomorrow". Here's the info:

9AM - 9PM

Please tune in this SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, to participate in a temporary autonomous feminist space that will broadcast for approximately twelve hours on EASTVILLAGERADIO.COM as part of PERFORMA '09, the biennial performance art festival in New York City.

Jibz Cameron
City Center
Center for Urban Pedagogy
Cntrl Top
Barbara Ess
Madeline Gins
Tami Hart
Jessica Hopper
Jen Kennedy
Nana Last
Louise Lawler
Liz Linden
Ulrike Muller
Muscles of Joy
Eileen Myles
Tara Jane O'Neil
Barbara Schroeder
Molly Siegel
Danny Snelson
Tom Tom Magazine
Martha Wilson
Allison Wolfe

Posted by jessica hopper at 05:07 PM | TrackBack

November 01, 2009


Inspired by the double billing on the Music Box theatre marquee, Matt and I had the best idea in some time, and so I am going to put it out there in hopes someone with a little more time takes it up--are you ready?
Antichrist done ala Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Costumes, yelling revolting jokes, setting up "Chaos Reigns" and "You should never fuck your therapist" as punchlines, BYO log/safety scissors. The makings for high camp hilarity are all there--think about it!

Posted by jessica hopper at 02:09 PM | TrackBack