Lindy West (who wrote the brilliantly harsh review of Sex in the City I linked a few weeks ago) goes to a Gallagher show and discovers that more than just being a dude that smashes food, he is A RIGHT WING NUTJOB. I mean, who knew? Who is keeping tabs on Gallagher, granted, but like... wow. WOW.
Robert Christgau on the new Bob Marley biography, the man's myth, legend, godhood and discography:
"Marley's big Kingston concerts didn't prevent Jamaica from turning into the most gun-ridden state in the western hemisphere. Lee "Scratch" Perry relocated to Switzerland. The Maskani district has been plowed under to make room for a bank. And reggae has evolved into a beat-dominated music of crotch-first sexism and toxic homophobia that's far livelier than the Bob-worshipping hippie and Afrocentric crap that surfaces wherever spliffs are smoked or tourists go dancing. In short, Bob Marley has yet to remake the world—a failing he shares with just about everyone else who's tried. But that doesn't mean he hasn't changed it. Gandhi and King and Mandela didn't leave utopias behind either, and unlike them, Marley was merely a musician no matter how much praise he proffered Jah. His music is as firmly ensconced in the pop pantheon as the Beatles' or James Brown's, and it signifies a remade world even if that doesn't make it so."
Don't you wish you could smoke people with that sorta prose? Swift! Astute! No play for the bullshit!
Hit it or Quit it Podcast #10! we talk to a girls rock camper about her week at camp and her bands song about lava and decapitation; pretty illuminating and inspiring. And funny. Also, we review the MIA and Nachtmystium records. And giggle. I think you will like it.
Our city, full of storms.
Chicago's city motto is URBS IN HORTO, city in a garden. Too bad it isn't BURUS IN ORTO, that would be "Husband In Procreation", or "URUS IN ORO" which is something like "Ox in a fight".
It only took four months, but we finally unpacked some art and hung it. Matt wore his work apron and used a carpenters pencil to mark and measure. It was very official. It was very Norm Abrams. The midwife confirmed today that yes the baby dropped, and so it is more like 1-3 weeks for him to show up not five or six. So we nested in a hurry today. Power nesting.
My previous obsession with religious portraiture is over. All of the Marys are going to the garage sale, including Mary, the handless yard statue with wire where her pointing paws used to be. Seems kind of an ill fit for a house with a new kiddo. Jesus' mom with some real blind-you claws is surely perfect for someone else though.
I thought you might need this, for a maximum weekend: Glenn Jones "I Am Somebody". It's pretty jammin for 1983, weird space between discos last stand and "No Parking On The Dancefloor" funk.
I went and did the last bit of new planting in the garden before the tornado the other day. I planted beans near the tomatoes and realized that I got it backwards, NOT TO PLANT THEM THERE and had to dig them up. I gardened for three hours, which is a long time to do anything these days other than sleep, trying to get it ready as I can, so it can go for a bit, you know, like, in case. Nesting instinct is happening, but for some reason it's focused on our plants and future food, not the nursery or bathroom like its supposed to be. I do not have the special bag packed for the hospital, but of course, my pepper plants are weeded and the new lettuce thinned.
The baby dropped in position 6 days ago, and the book says that means 2-4 weeks until he will be here, which is earlier than his street date. I am merely a slow, movable house for this guy now. In the books and in our class they keep saying labor is like running a marathon, that we should expect 24-40 hours for your first baby if yr trying for natural birth. I have never been so tired or sore in my life, I do not know where the energy for that marathon will come from other than I really would like to get him out safe and healthy so he can meet me and his dad.
State Department changes gender requirements for passports. Congrats, trans friends. As stationary as our new times with Obama have come to feel (on a lot of issues), sometimes there is momentum and progress in spots and it's great to witness something that is going to be a meaningful change for people I care about.
Meanwhile, the trans doc Damelo Todo has a kickstarter campaign. Wu Tsang, the director, is a onetime Chicagoan--and the doc involves Wildness, the weekly queer party in LA that Wu and another onetime Chicagoan, Ashland, did. Perhaps you have a couple bucks to throw their way? Spread it around, heres the trailer:
Monkee crashed my hard drive to the floor the other day with it went half my musics, and according to the technical people it cannot be recovered for less and a grand. Dude, for a grand I could buy a nice yurt for us to live in--a grand is not a price I feel comfortable paying for a digital music anything, even if I did have that kind of money. So, I just said eff it since I went through the indexed songs list and realized there are maybe 20 things on there that if I never ever could re-locate or re-buy, I would be genuinely bummed, one of which was this killer comp of Australian post-punk 78-82 with the best Apartments song on it. That comp is like $8 to d/l the whole thing and it's just perfectly rad, not as menacing as you would assume from the combo of Australian and Punk in the title, much closer to giddy New Zealand stuff. Anyhow, lets all re-buy it, again, for the first time.
Also, on the short list of crucials: The nine-disc history of women in punk that dude from MRR did, Maxine Brown's "Oh No, Not My Baby", Crusaders "Street Life", Misfits "Where Eagles Dare", those two shape note singing tracks w/o names, Ellen Allien Berlinette, Bobby Caldwell "Open Your Eyes", Lil' Wayne "Prostitute Flange" and Aja, Joni's Hissing of Summer Lawns, first two X albums, Dangerhouse vol. 1, a couple Fugazi songs, Kind of Blue and the Bitches Brew outtakes boxset... thats the bulk of what I think of when I think of music I will need to hear and have for my whole life--and thats, like, $81 if I buy it all new. (I think the only thing I may have truly lost never to be recovered is something labeled "marching band funk" that was a white label 12" from 1999 that I put on every mix I made for anyone from about 1999-2004--if perhaps you have a mix I made you and it rings a bell and is a Miami bass style drum line track--do holler.)
Also, going through my entire iTunes list I discovered, somehow, along the way, that I have acquired and apparently burned Walter Becker's (of the Dan) 1994 solo album 11 Tracks of Whack and am a loss to explain how it that happened.
Monkee is sad she can't go outside and eat birds and fight dogs she sees. She used to be an outdoor cat and just cries at the screen for her old life.
I put a chair by the back window so Wyatt can sit there and watch squirrels properly.
We fashioned a little leash and took Monk on the porch and she loved it, she rolled and rolled, so happy.
Wyatt watched from inside trying to figure out wtf was happening. This is the first time I have ever seen him furrow his brow.
So when Monkee's turn was over, we tried to bring him out. He has only been outside properly twice. He was having none of it. He tried to jump back inside the house through the window, via Matt's head.
Aside from the experiments in cat leashing, we have been getting ready for our son to arrive. We have to move everything around, find new homes for our bullshit items, make room for 170 count boxes of newborn size diapers.
Supposedly he will be here in six weeks, but it could be anytime.
Feminists have a friend in Michael Miner. This week's Hot Type column in the Reader is a must read:
Writing About Rape: "How many of these articles refer to the woman as a prostitute, homeless, or drug-addicted?" Julie Peterson asked me. "How do they choose these terms? How do they choose what to call us? What court decides to sentence us to these labels?" Peterson told me she'd gotten to know "Michelle" (she wouldn't give her full name), and Walberg's thumbnail description of her fell far short.
By e-mail, Peterson elaborated: "Michelle did have a very difficult time in her life when she used drugs before the attack, but she was already in recovery when this happened. I question whether the newspapers label everyone who has ever used drugs as drug addicts, or if that's special treatment for rape victims."
Chicago poet Michael Robbins music crit is as sharp as anything--here's his opening salvo on Gaslight Anthem in this weeks Voice" "Give me fresh corn!" Walt Whitman wrote, and Bruce Springsteen obliged, offering redemption beneath a dirty Camaro hood. A dozen or so of his own records (plus three from the Hold Steady) later, four guys from Jersey upped the corn quotient considerably, first by calling their band the Gaslight Anthem, then by releasing albums with lyrics like, "I sat by my bedside with papers and poetry about Estella" (yes, the Dickens character). But corn works in American romanticism, where it's as ubiquitous as it is in the supermarket: Tramps like Jack Kerouac are cornier than Green Acres, but boys and girls in America like tramps, and vice versa."
Ritchey reviews Cocktail: "Suddenly Tom Cruise is in Jamaica making drinks for tourists. He's real good at bartending! Everybody says so. Elisabeth Shue comes up and says her friend passed out on the beach. Tom Cruise helps the friend; Bobby McFerrin music plays; people with dreds are like "come on bwuoy she be dead and stuff!" Elisabeth Shue is wearing a black leotard. The next day Elisabeth Shue comes back to thank him, gets a free beer ("Beer! My kind of woman."). Suddenly British bartender frienemy shows back up. Apparently no hard feelings--they immediately start their old hilarious banter about getting pussy and what pussies each other are. Frienemy immediately starts messing around in Tom Cruise's life again, showing him the foxy millionaire lady he married who walks around in leather g-strings and french kisses everyone. Her name is "Carrie" which I misheard for the entire film as "Gary" but somehow didn't find that remarkable. British Frienemy tells Tom Cruise he's a working class asshole who doesn't know how to hustle. Tom Cruise laughs. British Frienemy is honestly being a real asshole but Tom Cruise doesn't seem to mind; Tom Cruise doesn't seem to have a single other friend on the earth. Frienemy bets him some bottle of fancy booze that Tom Cruise will be begging him for a job within a month. Tom Cruise of course takes that bet, because ha ha ha, why would he need a job? He's a great bartender here in JAMAICA LAND"
Do it on your lunch hour, Rupert Holmes style.
This weeks new Hit it or Quit it podcast is up! DOWNLOAD IT, YOU! JR tells an embarrassing story about trying to lose his virginity and Superchunk singles, Mac from Superchunk talks about how to age with dignity and their new record and takes listener questions, JR disses Zappa, I report on the ghost of Ron Asheton, we talk to Cat from TheeSatisfaction about Seattle rap and Steve Haruch about the lack of female engineers and producers in the recording industry.
Dennis Lim's essay on Jarmusch's Mystery Train and it's humanism; Criterion reissued the film today. Even though Mystery Train wasn't mine, or of my generation when I first saw it in 10th or 11th grade, Jarmusch's pacing--that sweet drag--matched the nothingness, the constant boredom and seeking that is maximum teen ennui. Teennui.
I proposed this idea to Matt yesterday, that we start a short lived mid-80's political hardcore band called Reganomics, to pass the time before the baby gets here. He vetoed it and added that Reaganomics is a terrible name for a band. I think now is the time, esp. since everyone keeps telling us to get out and do stuff while we can. I think people mean things like "go to the movies" or "sleep through the night", but I think if we only have six more weekends--if the baby dude arrives on schedule--there is no reason we can't start a band and write a few songs about policy, the oilspill and maybe one about Petreaus passing out during the senate hearings in that time. Maybe Reaganomics is too old fashioned a name? Whats the modern equiv--Obamacare? Or what about Paganomics-- that could be a trickle-down witch effects/ halloween theme band?
I should of maybe made it more clear, but I really think that "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" is good, if not kind of great. Unironically. Also, upon researching him a little RUPERT HOLMES CAREER IS MILDLY FASCINATING though it's kind of comical that anyone compared him to Bob Dylan in any way; other than them both being white men who make records I don't see much connection, but, alas the 70s were a heady time where pop was weird, cocaine was at it's recreational nadir and free love's aftermath meant no one questioned adult men stepping out with 13 or 14 year old girls as their disco date. Being a creep was edgy!
Anyhow, Rupert Holmes also played the piano on "Timothy" the only charting pop song about cannibalism. He also produced Sparks Big Beat and The Jets (Minnesota represent!) covered his song "You've Got It All Over Him"--later covered by Britney Spears on OOPS. He also won a couple Tonys and then penned a book with a confusing sounding plot that begins with a 39-hour polio telethon and ends in graphic lesbian sex that went on to join, naturally, the canon of creepy (read: "sexy") Atom Egoyan-directed films. (The only Atom Egoyan film that is not bad pay cable art-porn with a naked teenage girl lust object at it's center is The Sweet Hereafter which, despite it's Cannes win and all, is just a moderately shitty moral tale about molestation and children dying in a bus accident.) I wonder if real porn directors look at Atom Egoyan and laugh, for wasting money on fancying up his plots with like, dialogue and actor-actors.
Also! Rupert Holmes sang on the The Raccoons album which I have not heard, but judging by it's Wiki page, seems like dogfood grade Chipmunks update with
Thats what happens when you grown up Canadian! You get a bootleg version of the Chipmunks fronted by Hell's on-staff songman and Rita Coolidge.
There are two songs stuck in my head the last week, which I hear in snippets upon waking:
John Doe and the Sadies doing "Stop The World"--I slept on that record until recently and it's really great, I bet you would enjoy it: country covers and Doe's gentleman croon.
The other...Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)", his number #1 hit in 1979....
a mere five years after Rolling Stone had called him the next Dylan.
The Times should give this reader-reviewer a job, replace AO Scott, for this alone:"Too Rapey, But Otherwise A Watchable Movie".
I keep forgetting to do everything. Except examine the lettuce which was too thick and wet and did not grow, it stayed dwarfy, so I turned it under.
Today at the midwife, I told her about this condition that is new where it is like I get a 1 day long sprained ankle in the night. She said the good news is that pregnancy is not permanent and so it'll probably go away soon. I bet midwives get a lot of mileage out of that joke.
We are debating whether it is alright to grow food in food grade plastic buckets that were pre-existing in the garage, drilled with drainage holes and looking lonely. I can't even finish that article about toxins in plastic in the New Yorker because it is as frightening as it gets. More frightening then watching Daybreakers, Ethan Hawke and all. Necrotic feasting seems right around the corner some days doesn't it? Not to be too doomy about it.
Pregnancy has turned me into an absent minded hippie.
Could be worse. I could be trying to get a rap career off the ground.
"I guess there was tons of sexism, but ... I was like, 'Eh, that's nice you wanted to grab my ass, and you just did grab my ass, but once you leave, I'm puttin' up the two-track tape, and I'm going to dump Rolling Stones songs to it, and I'm going to edit them. ... I'm going to teach myself to edit tonight, after you grabbed my ass. I don't care — you're stupid and ugly and fat. Too bad for you."
--Nashville Scene story on the decades-long lack of women in the studio as producers and engineers and how that's changing.
Michael woke up early this morning, so ouila--Hit it or Quit it podcast #8!. where we talk to Ian MacKaye about DC and longevity, Jenny Eliscu from Rolling Stone talks about the MIA/Hirshberg beef and musician/journo beefs, our pal Shayla Hason tells us the best band in PDX, Cex contributes his own weather report and me and JR talk about how much we hate Paul McCartney and the Beatles. You can download that shizz now. Unnnh. Aso, if you scroll down there is the web extra!: Ian talks about Lungfish at length and the album we will never hear. Srsly.
Feminist Hulk gets interviewed by Ms.:
HULK ONLY SMASH HEGEMONY, PATRIARCHY AND OCCASIONAL SKYSCRAPER. HULK NOT SMASH PEOPLE. PEOPLE NEED LOVE. BULLSHIT POWER ABUSES NEED SMASH.
How was everyone's weekend? Was it great? Or just good?
The garden is all the way in, save for some spare spots under/round the tomatoes where I am going to sow some herbs and I also have to build my compost-heavy mound for my Minnesota Midget Melons. Meanwhile, I must say, if all you have is a sunny bucket on a porch and you are wondering "is it too late to start something from seed?" I planted these beans on 6/1 and they are 3 inches high as of yesterday, no fucking around.Order some today if you are inclined. I will put up a picture later when it is a sunny and they look proud.
Cliff Doerksen on Black Metal doc Until The Light Takes Us, pinpointing some larger issues about Black Metal and the excuses people make for it's troubling spots:
Aites and Ewell's capacity to idealize these thugs appears to be informed by a credulous and highly selective response to what passes for political thought among them. Their worldview is a chowder of ideological cliches generously seasoned by standard-issue skull-and-pentagram aesthetics: they invest cosmic importance in musical anticommercialism, fancy themselves inheritors and defenders of pre-Christian paganism, and espouse a vulgar McDonald's-sucks line of anti-globalization. They sound more like cultural studies majors than shock troops of Odin ("I think it's to a big extent nauseating to see the beauty of specific cultures being contaminated by the not-so-beautful facets of other cultures"), and this is sufficient to get Aites and Ewell past their cheap, crypto-fascist nihilism and murderous homophobia. Burning the churches, burbles Ewell on the film's Web site, "was more about a symbolic negation of globalization, because the last big wave of cultural imperialism had been Christianity coming in and raising [sic] the heathen places of worship and erecting churches on top of them. It's so metaphorical, so symbolic and so doomed to misinterpretation."
Hit it or Quit it podcast #7, bang--just like that. If you look on the page you will now find a downloadable link for every episode. This last week is pretty silly. Matmos talk about Pink Floyd's quadrophonic joystick, Christopher Weingarten talks about his 33.3 book about Public Enemy, we talk about street fairs and cheese curds and Nelly's perfume. JR wishes for Sam Prekop to make a Testament style record and that is mostly it. In about... a month or six weeks, you will be able to subscribe and iTunes our little podcast.
Just found out about this band this morning. Dang.
I was looking at a blog of a cool New York girl the other night, a little younger, a writer, a gal on the scene, and every post was about the eighties--the eighties as they exist in rote YouTube nostalgia; an eighties built of pastels and hair metal and MTV. In one picture she was wearing a Garfield half shirt to work. A grim mish-mash of the wayback. Please don't think that me posting this video from 1981 or the Janet Jackson video from 1990-ish is me wishing for another time. I am glad to be living in the modern age, where I know about plastic's toxicity. I know about plastic's toxicity and now, suddenly, I am wondering what I will plant these cucumbers in.
In other news, t-minus two months until the baby's street date.
The garden is 85% in but I think my Laxton's Progress peas are getting too much water AND too much sun, the bottoms of their vines are yellowing--suggestions? The planter where my neighbors tried to compost their Big Mac, with the beets in it, well, nothing came up. I blame Mayor McCheese. I replanted it with some Dragontongue bush beans that look very exciting. The garden and it's beautifully painted boxes were largely the work of Matt, my baby daddy and strapping field hand. I am too preggo to till and pour the many cubic feet of dirt, so I was in charge of lemonade and the radio during that phase of construction. I did operate a staple gun a few times, though.