Fave feminist film crit Lisa Rosman on understanding Marilyn Monroe on new terms:"...or at the heart of the Marilyn Monroe legend beats that most American of stories: a wholly engrossing, Great Gatsby–style quest for self-transformation that starts (and too often ends) with nothing. Fragments reveals previously unreleased images of the star, all cocked eyebrows and adamant hand gestures, fully engaged by art and conversation; her stalwart support of friend Ella Fitzgerald's efforts to sing in white clubs; a voracious reader who favored such soothsayers as Steinbeck, Kerouac and Sherwood Anderson; and her scattered, sharply sensitive musings. The world's most famous sex object was also, it seems, a shrewd and compassionate subject, if one bombarded by her impressions. "For life, it is rather a determination not to be overwhelmed," she wrote in 1954. "For work, the truth can only be recalled, not invented."
It was a difficult edict for a woman forever struggling to reinvent herself as a way to transcend a past strewn with abandonment and abuse. It was also one this book suggests she accepted as the price of authenticity with her characteristic cocktail of grace, forbearance and grief."
Imagine what it is like to have this kind of time. To knit home furnishings for your Barbie.
My interview with/mini essay on Girl Talk in this week's Nashville Scene.
Last weekend saw the busting of as many as three Chicago seemingly legit music venues--bars that regularly host pretty underground shows. This week Time Out Chicago offered up one of the cities most vital residential warehouse show spaces for the busting, and then blamed the 'venue' when everyone in the scene got mad. Really, Time Out, you think your readers are genuinely interested in going to noise shows in someone's house in a sketchy neighborhood? Or did you just fully turn out a scene you aren't part of (or connected to in any way) in order to seem credible? There is a reason that blogs and other publications in town don't ever run the address when they write about places like that.
Here is a review of some of my favorite-r releases from the last 3 months in this weeks Reader: Shirley Collins, Oneohtrix Point Never single, Ben Rayner and the Pricks cassette and the Residual Echoes latest jamz. Heavy on the M in jamz.
Just refound this deep within my computer. Instrumental is just as sick.
You will wonder how you lived without it. The first Megafuxx song I ever made was built on a sample of that electroclap.
Gossip Wolf, early edition: Steve Shelley joins another Chicago band, Implodes signs to Kranky, Salem sucks and everyone knows it, Plastercaster runs for mayor, Ian Svenonious comments on the Nation of Ullysses reunion rumors, Kinsella gets his own pretentious burger.
If you are a feminist, a breastfeeding mom, a working mom, a dad, someone who cares about maternal health and/or you were breastfed by a working woman please sign this petition. Because evidence of the patriarchy is everywhere and no one gives a fuck about new moms and nursing babies. GO FUCK YRSELF, IRS. ("That is because the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that breast-feeding does not have enough health benefits to quality as a form of medical care." = acne sufferers can write off prescription zit cream, moms cannot write off breastpumps which run $150-$1000--and are needed if you are returning to work before your baby is weaned.) This makes me so mad.
William and I went to the museum today, for his first time, to see his dad play. White/Light only stayed in quiet mode for about 4 minutes and so we wandered off into the Luc Tuymans exhibit and up on the fourth floor they had some early Leon Golub. Early Golub, pre-radicalization/shitgotreal-ization, not my favorite but still real neat and the paintings seemingly entranced the baby. Once we got up to the Tuymans exhibit, we were close to the mezzanine right above where W/L was playing and when the big, mechanical self-opening doors would open as people came and went, it had an almost wah-wah like effect--releasing the guitar solos and the the crabby pump-organ moans of whatever the thing is that Jeremy plays out and up through the museum. About a third of the way through the Tuymans exhibit, just as William was passing out and drooling on my shoulder, we got stuck within the talking radius of an insecure girl, perhaps early college or mature high schooler, on a date with a man who could not have been more indifferent. He was blazingly indifferent. No show of displeasure or care. The girl was like the interior monologue plot of Dorothy Parker's "Telephone Call" being acted out--well, same desperation, different words.
(girl reading info on painting) "Ooh, Ghent. See."
"Ghent. And Amsterdam." (looking at dude)
"I know spring is a long way off. And after how I am acting tonight you might not even want to see me again."
"Obviously, I am annoying you so much that, well..."
"You might not even still like me then."
"But we could go. See Antwerp..."
It went on like that for two galleries. Her fishing, desperately, for some sort of affirmation that he either did or did not think something of her, prodding him for some sign of interest, of future commitment. I vaguely remember having monologues like that with an ex when I was like, 21. When you know he's a dick and there is no fixing it and he doesn't care and it just makes you act totally annoying and desperate for validation. So the worst. Hearing it made me feel ishy and nervous. I wanted to turn to her and stage a spontaneous intervention, interrupt their date and tell them "Seriously guys, fuck it. Dude, go home. Save yourself the resentment. Lady, go to Ghent on your own, it'll be a better time." It's hard to go out in the world when you run into the hungry ghost of your most desperate moments at the museum.
Also, apparently the new Claire Denis movie is going to have a national release:
Oh, jeez, in the compendium of rock critic cliches, few things are as annoying like the male rock comparing women artists to other women that they sound nothing like. Prime example: I missed this Glasser review on Pitchfork from 2 weeks ago. The review compares her to no less than seven other women, though, surprisingly, there is no comparison to Tori Amos or Yoko Ono or Karen O or PJ Harvey. Also tragicomic is the speculative characterizing of her bond with her best friend, Tauba Auerbach, as being that they are getting marginal fame together--like they are the motherfucking Kardashians, not ARTISTS. That said, if they start getting Molly Lambert up in there more often--I might have reason to stop bitching.
Liz Colville, cool lady of within the internet, is editor of the new Awl-for-the-gals site, Hairpin, where I just read this bizarre idea (nee LIE) from Cosmo about how to manipulate a mans perception of you by leaving things at his casa: "A toothbush:it's symbolic that your relationship is moving along". Really? I would assume that if you leave a toothbrush at a dudes house it's a sign that you value oral health. It's a very good sign you are a functional adult, and that you brush your teeth everyday. ALSO: What sort of imaginings would be sparked by leaving blush out on the counter? Like wondering how pale you are without it? Juggalo fantasies? The big fantasy is that your average dude is going to allot some brain space to YOUR BLUSH.
At long last, it's Hit it or Quit it #18, the podcast made special for you, discerning music fan! Or something!
Me and JR get very nervous and then talk to Mick Collins of the Gories about the Gories but then mostly about his love for techno and house. I sing a little song twice. Then JR sings a song about being proud to be an American because at least he knows he is free, a song that is traditionally song at sporting events, apparently. Then we talk to Lance from Permanent Records about the best band in town and he tips us off to the totally sweet Village People record they made when they went New Wave. Then Liz and Dan from Ida, and their daughter, Storey, all come into the studio for an interview and then! then! they all do a Bill Withers cover for us. THAT IS YOUR SYNOPSIS. Please subscribe on iTunes, we are in the Chicago Public Radio "store". It is a store where all is free, so it's not really a store.
Baby William in "Cat Hat".
Also, enjoys art.
The last time a shell necklace and keyboard looked this cool.
COLTRANE HI-TOPS. They don't actually exist for sale, but a girl can dream, yeah.
My 'Invisible Jukebox' feature with Mike Watt in this month's Wire.
I am bummed they took out all the instances of capitalized for inferences of YELLING and changed "prac'n" to "practising". They made him sound more normal, not like a beat poetry style free associative Tonto in a Hollywood movie circa 1950. The part about loving Bikini Kill and feminism's impact on The Minutemen where he says "D BOONS MA PUT ME ON BASS!"--he yelled it. Italics miss the point!
I think the new Antony record is out this week, isn't it? I was listen in the car and here is my initial diagnosis:
1. Its power is in its restraint.
2. Not a cryfest.
3. Every song sounds like one long bridge. There may not be choruses or verse, just interludes.
4. I imagined the entire thing was recorded in a ballet studio*. Both mood and acoustics made me think so.
5. It's drifty, gauzey, nearly hookless but not aimless. Its lack of anchor seems really purposed.
6. Sometimes Antony holds back the way Robert Planet did. Does. Did.
7. Way more the sound of theatre than the sound of rock music.
(Which made me think of Miighty Flashlight's "Ballet Skool". Dude was ahead of his time Miighty Mike.)
I also want a fountain of different kinds of rootbeer in my home, for personal use. Even a tap, like, next to the faucet would do.
Today Matt dressed the baby like the Hamburglar. Sans mask. Not on purpose, but not not on purpose. Garage sale outfit/old timey jailbird wear by Baby Gap. The other day Matt dressed William in head to toe baby blue stuff as a joke, to annoy me. He looked like the worlds tiniest orderly. Matt chastised me for putting him in a shirt with a bike on it and shorts overalls with a truck on it. He told me I was confusing the issue. I was thinking "transportation" as a theme, not a debate.
Until I was in the middle grades, I thought it was "Handburger" not "hamburger". I thought about this tonight as I made us turkey burgers or "Handturkers" as I will now call them.
We went to a reunion class of sorts for our summer birthing class. We told the story of our birth to the current class of still preggos. We tried to keep it chillwave, downplay some details. Like my almost 60 hour labor and William spending his first week in intensive care. The story balanced the other three birth stories that got told, which were all easy 6 hour births. My favorite was the couple who accidentally had a home birth. The mom told her husband to look and check because she felt the baby coming and he checked and saw nothing and then after the next contraction she demanded he check again and her water broke and literally exploded on his face. He said it was like getting punched in the mouth, the force and shock of it. The next contraction, the baby SHOT OUT and he caught it. My other favorite part of their story is when an entire fireman company shows up in their apartment to respond to the post-birth 911 call for paramedics and she is totally naked holding the baby still and she tells her husband to get her some clothes to wear to go to the hospital and he brings her some hightops and a terricloth bathing suit cover up. I feel like that is such a total panicking-husband-in-a-funny-story thing to do. You ask for clothes and he brings you some Dunks and a fucking mini-dress made from a towel.
Hit it or Quit it #17, the show. Mostly, it's us talking to Sara Marcus about her definitive Riot Girl history book, Girls to The Front, about how Riot Girl is remembered and chronicled. We also dialed Chad Clark of Smart Went Crazy/Beauty Pill fame and talked about our various obsessions with Kate Bush Hounds of Love. He also dishes on the potential reunion goss on some older Dischord faves. You will have to lissen to find out. We also talk about Apocalyptic Crust Fest and Joan of Portland takes the music quiz and we all get it wrong.
Nobody makes a better TERRIBLE video like Kate Bush.
Tigerbeatdown is back from a minor hiatus. If you are wishing for the days when this here blog was more on the 1000-word rants about sexism and keeping abreast of the feminist debates within the interwebs, thats the blog you should read. I mean, by all means, keep reading this Tiny Lucky space--I know there are certain things, as a new mom and breadwinner for my little fam, that I cannot give you right now. An attentive blogging is one of them.
I also know that most people reading this blog, your feminist interests do not likely lie in the zone of breastfeeding activism. Until I was a mom, maternal rights weren't exactly on my radar. Nor was the fact that the US is the only industrialized nation (of roughly 4 countries in the world) that has short, unpaid maternity leave while the rest of the world actually puts the concerns of moms and infants ahead of those of business and offers paid maternity leaves that are substantially longer.
One of the second wave feminists big concerns, rightly, was about women working--manifesting big destinies and freedoms, being able to be self-supporting. This is America, and we're generally operating on the freemarketcapitalism version of freedoms--those gains for second wavers were crucial and huge and unfortunately, predicated largely on financial freedom. Women wanted parity as earners, but there was no real attention given to maternal rights--because women wanted equality--asking for "exceptional treatment"--i.e. paid maternity leave, or a maternity leave longer than 90 days never really came to pass. Maybe second wavers really wanted to show they could do it without help. Or maybe were so desperate to move beyond being (only) stay at home moms--eyes were on the other prize.
Which is how, in 2010, we have situations like this, with fewer and fewer babies being breastfed because moms have to go back to work. And how we wind up with federal laws where crucial things like a private space to breastfeed in/certain aspects of maternity leave are predicated on women working at companies of 50 employees or more. I know like, maybe, maybe, a dozen people who work at companies that large. The moms I know who had to return to work, they are pumping breastmilk in bathroom stalls. Which is gnarly. I wouldn't pump breastmilk in my own bathroom. Women I know who are pregnant and have not even had their babies yet are afraid they are not going to be able to breastfeed past the time of their maternity leave because they have to return to work and the legal provision for their breastfeeding needs hinges on it not being "an undue hardship" for their employer. MEANWHILE: Some women wind up having to leave their jobs because of totally routine newborn issues because they are forced to go back to work while their baby is still waking up 4 or 5 times a night. It boggles my mind that the gov't is focusing their breastfeeding campaign on education and support initiatives--granted, an important part of the solution, surely--BUT if the main reason women aren't able to breastfeed for the doctor-recommended one year minimum is because they have to go back to work so soon, and are like, pumping breastmilk in their car in the fucking parking lot of their job and it's a big sad hassle--a zillion fucking pamplets and pediatric doctors reminding moms how good breastfeeding is for infant (duh) and maternal health doesn't make a shit of difference in the practical lives of women. Especially when only 24 states have laws relating to nursing moms in the workplace; only Puerto Rico is the only place that demands all public buildings need to have places for breastfeeding and diapering that are not bathrooms. Illinois law asks only that employers make a "reasonable effort" to provide a non-toilet stall space for nursing moms to pump. Meanwhile, in the EU, maternity leave is being extended to six months at full pay for all women. I imagine the gov't would have more success upping breastfeeding rates if there was any sort of legal providence that made it easier to be a new mom--you know, moving beyond just making it legal to breastfeed in public. In comparison to the rest of the world, America really looks like a nation of Milton Friedman worshipping baby-haters. BECAUSE IT IS. The flag, on the white striped parts, should just read "HEY MOM GET BACK TO WORK" and then the next one should read "FUCK YOU, BABY, FIND YOUR OWN FOOD!".