February 28, 2010


I emailed a lady on Craigslist about whether she would separate a set of twin beds. In reply she sent me a crazily detailed email about mattresses that I didn't ask about she would not be throwing in for free, which I didn't reply to, followed 8 hours later by this email:

Hey Jessica
my guy (husband) said
that if you wanted to pick up a cse of miller hilife cans they r on sale at CVS for 12.99
and he would deliver curbside for u
but you would still have to come and check the bed frame out prior to
delivery and pay the monies and beer and then he could just
follow u or if your taking public trans u could just travel back to your
place with him if u take it
either way
he does no deliveries prior to u seeing it -
but is more than willing to deliver it for the chump change of beer
take care
let us know if your interested (or not) smiles

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February 25, 2010


Everyone pick up the Reader this week! It is exciting! 4 new pages of music content--c'est bonkers, yes? The links on these have gone up and then down 4 times this morning, so if they don;t work now, try again later: There is also my review of Holly Miranda's record in there after the Newsom, and after the debut of GOSSIPWOLF, which is our new music news and gossip column from me and JR. My Billy Corgan shit memoir joke got cut, but other than that I am pleased about my collaboration with my dear pal JR. Also, this means the Reader music section is like 1/3 former Hit it or Quit it people, which I think bodes well. Also, my pal David Wilcox, who you might know from his occasional stories on This American Life did a great, personal cover story about "retard" and the portrayals of the retarded in the media and recent outrage about it. It's a must read.

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February 24, 2010


This blog is about animals and dinosaurs and birds in a really neat way. Really neat.

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February 23, 2010


I reviewed the new Jo Jo Newsom album. I bought it this morning with one of the itunes gift cards the public libraries give you in lieu of honorariums for events now. The Oak Park library paid for my legal download of that and a couple Ohio Players songs I needed. It felt super... legal.

If I was Joanna Newsom, I would go by Jo Jo and I would call my next record Jo Jo Newsom Your Life is Harping, a reference likely to be lost on the majority of her eighties baby audience. Maybe not. I was a centennial baby and I saw that movie like 11 times on Showtime in the year that my parents had the fancy cable channels. Until they caught me watching St. Elmo's Fire--an R rated movie--without permission, and got rid of it. I didn't even get to the infamous 22 minute point, where Rob Lowe lets loose on the sax in the Irish bar, the seemingly universal "there's no fucking way I am finishing this" point.

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February 22, 2010


I have not been blogging because I am packing. Packing to move in 4 days and taking too many breaks to watch Olympics. The TV-enabling box is going to get hidden in a box that we will not look forward to opening, maybe the "TAXES AND OFFICE PAPERS JH" box that is the size of a large microwave? Or maybe we will keep it in the freezer, like I did my smokes when I was really trying to limit my cigarette use. I lived so long without the knowledge of exactly what was happening on Antiques Roadshow and now I feel I cannot. So the box must go. Maybe it has to do with that I am pregnant and feel like I need what I need and might freak out if I do not have it. Being pregnant is kind of like being a baby. No one tells you that part. I am fragile and fat and tired, just like a giant baby.

In my dream last night I went to the beach and had some metal hippies blow weed smoke on my pregnant belly to chill out the baby. My other dream, I had to do an 80 page interview with John Mayer and was horrified that I found him so charming. We spent a lot of time in his jeep. It was very real and confusing to wake up from, this feeling of endearment towards John Mayer.

I ordered some overalls off eBay. When I went to my organic gardening from seeds class, all the other preggos there had on engineer striped overalls and we spoke and one of them said she gave up pants at 3 months and has worn the same overalls everyday for 4 months since. I almost cried. Overalls, why had I not thought of overalls! I will do the same. I will not seek fruitless pants based solutions anymore! Pigtails, hoodies and overalls is preggo classic™. As soon as my growing out hair gets past this weird Ethel Kennedy spacehelmet bowl stage, the pigtails are going in.

In my gardening class, which took place in the big park center greenhouse so jungley and warm, there was an older man who kept Kanye-ing the teacher. The teacher who is a Master Gardener for the Botanical Garden. He would finish her sentences with the wrong information. Correct her with his non-organic technique and make asides, never raising his hand, dragging the class down with his exercise of his male right to be a non-stop and vocal authority without being an authority at all. I got so mad, even though he was totally a grandpa and sometimes that is just how grandpas are and there is no amount of coughing or annoyed looks that could possibly stop him. The first 49 years of his life his everyday just enforced that he was the boss of the gals. Any and all gals.

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February 18, 2010


This is way too funny.

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David Bazan went with band to Electrcial and dropped a live-in-studio album, Three tracks are hearable here and it's just a whole 'nother beast of a band, turns the songs into new creations--Casey's drumming put them in a new frame, Dave's voice is roughed up and more rock singer. So fucking good. This is the sort of thing I've wished Richard Buckner would do for the last decade, an end of tour straight to tape LP, no overdubs, no improperly jazzed up drumming (sorry McEntire) getting in the way of his squall.

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February 17, 2010


He's a 44 yr old vampire ruler holed up in rural MN going by Jonathon the Impaler, he's going to announce his candidacy for governor on the Ides of March, he's in hiding with his 16 year old runaway girlfriend who he met on a vampire forum--whom he just met for the first time 5 days ago. Her mom says she's been brain washed, she says her mom is a abusive bitch, and says she's not being mistreated by the Impaler, which she proved by updating her Facebook page with a picture of her eating pizza. And that doesn't even cover the weird YouTube video and the Impaler's epic vampire treatise in the comments section of the stories: start here and work your way back.

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February 16, 2010


Ken Gormley's interview about his epic book on Ken Starr's investigation of Clinton on Fresh Air today. I forgot about some of the crazy details, but also he unearthed plenty more.

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Confirmed: Cap'n Jazz official reunion begins with July 17 date at Bottom Lounge, dates and deluxe reissues to follow.

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I wrote about the horrible new season of Big Love for This Recording--it's it's mostly spoilers, but you know, let me save you the hassle of actually having to sit through it.. I watched all five episodes in a row on some low res Korean bootleg site when I was confined to bed in a fit of preggo nausea the other week.

Also, speaking of TV: How gripping was the 5-hour Reagan presidency American Experience? We finally just got the receiving box for the television and NOW THERE ARE HALF A DOZEN PBS CHANNELS. I am losing my mind! This is just the thing for my always-tired condition, cooking a baby is hard work and some evening I really do not like to move and then, like a treat--my number-one art historian celebrity crush Simon Schama is dramatically intoning about Rothko's Seagram murals while chopping carrots! There is nothing better. Between than and the 'lympics? I LOVE TV RIGHT NOW.

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February 15, 2010


Get it while it's up. 1984 Prince practice sessions: "Erotic City"

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February 12, 2010


Here is the press release and info about Matt's slash White/Lights MCA month long gig next month:

Experimental music duo White/Light -- musician Matt Clark and sound engineer Jeremy Lemos -- create an interactive music installation. Two tape machines loop drone sounds and minimal electric guitar samples in the darkened gallery, while a glowing microphone entices visitors into the space which triggers a sensor that alters the sound frequencies. Twelve tracks of looped recordings are created by an analog synthesizer and a shruti box, a wooden instrument that originated in India. Clark periodically visits the gallery to create new electric guitar samples for the loops.

Acclaimed musicians -- including Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, Disappears, Tim Kinsella of Joan of Arc, and Lucky Dragons from Los Angeles -- join White/Light for special performances throughout the duration of the exhibition, that opens on the evening of March 5, 2010 during First Fridays.

White/Light discuss their work at an Artists' Talk on Tuesday, March 9, at 6 pm, followed by a performance in the gallery. White/Light began in 2003 as a recording project with Lemos layering analog electronics, synthesizers, electric bass, and shruti box underneath Clark's electric guitar. The duo began performing live in 2004 and they have played various venues in the U.S. and Europe. They have recorded two full-length albums and are currently working on a collaborative album with Disappears and Steve Shelley.


* White/Light accompanies all of the artists, except Roman Mars.

Roman Mars: Saturday, March 6, 3 pm, Free with suggested museum admission
Roman Mars' performance coincides with the Third Coast Filmless Festival that takes place in the MCA Theater. Mars is an audio producer, sound designer, and writer.

Disappears: Tuesday, March 9, 7 pm, Free
Disappears is a minimalist rock group comprised of members from Chicago's The Ponys, 90 Day Men, and Boas. They played at the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival. Drummer Graeme Gibson will not be at this performance.

Tim Kinsella: Saturday,March 13, 3 pm, Free with suggested museum admission
Tim Kinsella is the founder of the longstanding Chicago band, Joan of Arc, and has been a member of Cap'n Jazz, Owls, and Make Believe.

John McEntire: Tuesday, March 16, 7 pm Free
John McEntire is the drummer for both Tortoise and The Sea and Cake. He is also joining Broken Social Scene for their upcoming LP album and owns and operates Soma Electronic Music Studios in Chicago.

Steve Shelley: Saturday, March 20, 3 pm, Free with suggested museum admission
Steve Shelley is the drummer of Sonic Youth.

Lucky Dragons: Tuesday, March 23, 7 pm, Free
Los Angeles-based trance group Lucky Dragons consist of Luke Fischbeck and Sara Rara.

Félicia Atkinson: Saturday, March 27, 3 pm, Free with suggested museum admission
French sound and visual artist Félicia Atkinson currently resides in Belgium and she recorded two solo albums.
White/Light: Sunday, March 28, 3 pm, Free with suggested museum admission

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February 10, 2010


I was struck by this same thing--Gatsby to Catcher covers a pretty small slice of life and experience. From the Regarding blog, the accepted idea that while male experience, heroes, protagonists, stand in for the universal:

"In Adam Gopnik's eulogy for J.D. Salinger, he's talking about how Salinger managed to tap into the way Americans talk, nailing it brilliantly in page after page of wonderful dialogue. Then he starts talking about how "Catcher in the Rye" is timeless--how he recently gave it to his own 12 year old son and the son loved it as much as had the father, 30 years ago. Okay, that's great! I love that book too, it's completely mind-blowing, obviously. Then he says:

"In American writing, there are three perfect books, which seem to speak to every reader and condition: 'Huckleberry Fin,' 'The Great Gatsby,' and 'The Catcher in the Rye.'"

What he means is that those are three really great books that should be called "classics." But he claims this status by arguing--or, not even arguing, just POINTING OUT, like it's self-evident--that these books are somehow universal, that they somehow speak to "every reader and condition." And I find that amazing. That a group of books in which each protagonist is a young, white man somehow contains all conditions. I'm not harshing on those books, which are all totally genius and beloved by me. And, Gopnik is of course not a jackass; he doesn't MEAN it like that, really...and yet, that's the way he thinks. That's the way we ALL think, basically. He would probably agree that something like "Beloved" or "Invisible Man" should be considered a "classic," too, that those are similarly Great (with a capital 'g') books, but he would never describe them as "speaking to every reader and condition." Those books speak to the AFRICAN AMERICAN condition, or to the AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN condition, and no other. By reading them, we gain insight into a different condition from our own ("we" being "white men"). They are great because they provide that insight, not because they are universal. Yet somehow freaking "The Great Gatsby" IS universal.

The apparent belief that a young Maya Angelou would read Catcher in the Rye and think "My god, it's like he's known me all my life" is pretty depressing."

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I think I forgot to tell you this one, though it seems like maybe it's gaining it's own steam since the page name is now "1.14 Million Views", but Chicago's 2009 rap sleeper hit "Panties So Wet", which is seriously bad good. His old bio was way better, it was super detailed about being in the same place as Kanye like nine years ago. Like locations, not en route to pre-blowup. Someone should write a response of "Manties so wet" or "Paintings so wet", about the frustration of working with oils.

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February 08, 2010


Gowns final endowment to their too short, but yet epic history: 17 min shedded epic. Erika Anderson is a monster. Reason # zillion to be stoked about 6 years from now: Erika teaches guitarring at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. Imagine being 13 and the woman teaching you to play guitar is this fucking epic, making songs that are like Nels/"Pissing in the River"/"Scooter & Jinx" mashes.


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February 05, 2010


Real life friends at the All-Ages Movement Project are in the running to get 50,000$ grant from ye olde Pepsi Co to do a bunch good work and mentorship and initatives all over the country to support DIY community show spaces etc. The hitch is you have to vote everyday, not just once, for the next week or so. You do it here.

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Miranda July on her early days:
"I remember searching the crowd for the eyes of one woman who looked like she might know what I was talking about. I would do it for her; that would get me through it."

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February 03, 2010


The new Bagel place on Damen has Stumptown Coffee. You know how some preggos talk about oh, once this baby is out, I am so having a giant wine, or whatever? I hope this place stays open past the end of July, because once this baby is out, I am so going go the bagel store to have a medium or small Stumptown coffee, get shitfaced on caffeine.

In the 70's midwifery book I read where most all of the births in this big hippie nature commune were happening in the back of residential schoolbusses or in a tent, with 4 of your neighborly lady friends tending your birth, if the women started to have some labor and the midwives were elsewhere or if it was too soon to get started, the women would just have a couple wine coolers and pass out. For some reason I think that is the funniest thing ever. Newborns and parents tipsy on wine cooler, having a birth with their neighbors on the wooden platform in the woods where their parents live. In the dads testimonial about it, they talk a lot about working on getting their lady high with their vibes during birth, per the midwives. Sometimes they would be cast out of the tent or bus to go fix their vibe, so as not to inhibit the birth. The book is really great, all the kids get biblical names in the end.

Another great story in the book is a woman who previously had lived on another commune that was not as rad and was a single mom and she built a birthing tee pee all by her preggo self and all these stoned hippies came to her birth, like 20 people crowding in the tent to watch, and she looked up and there was a guy she didn't know playing the flute and she was really not into it was but was too busy laboring to cast the wannbe Ian Anderson out of her birth tee pee. This was given as an example of the importance of not having strangers or strange vibes at your birth.

Yesterday we got to hear it's (the fetal baby's) heart beat at the doctor on the baby doppler, it sounded like a little dog in snowpants running very fast. 160 bpm. That's almost techno. My heart sounded like a big dog, far away, barking. Me and our baby, our hearts are dogs together.

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February 02, 2010


U.S. Girls video. New album is a thing of greatness.

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February 01, 2010


A Sasha Frere Jones classic from the Chicago Reader archives from 1997, on class, privilege, Hamptons references and Pavement's Brighten The Corners.:

"Malkmus claims the words on Brighten the Corners were inspired by John Ashbery's Hotel Lautreamont; thus we're to infer that they aren't about him. But had he in fact stolen every line of the record from Ashbery, it would still tell us something about Malkmus--he didn't borrow from Anne Rice or quote Pulp Fiction, for instance. I don't need to believe that Malkmus his actual self is the protagonist of any of these songs to hear that the words rolling off his tongue are comfortable in his mouth. But my aim isn't to praise or call Malkmus to task for using certain words. In the context of Pavement (as opposed to the world we all live in), the words work as well as any previous lyrics, albeit leaning toward a new grace and swing and away from the old freaky and foxy. The thread I'm pulling on is class: how did it get in here? "

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