February 22, 2011

THE VELVET HINTERLAND

In my brain fantasy, this is how I would dress all the time. Given the time and money, I would dress like "A Career Woman c. 1978" in a St. John button sweater top and a velvet blazer and SLACKS. Also, this entire Milly line made me actually go onto the internet (Etsy) and look up options of culottes and knickers. Whenever I start considering knickers, I have to remember I am 5'4 on my tallest days and not a model and thus I will look like a fool hobbit if I wear knee-button breeches. As Teeter might say, that look is "stumpifying".
Jewel tone velvet outfits, I want you still.
That said, I already know my summer look is basically ankle grazing dresses, you know, very fourth wife, lots of purple, modest, ponytails--very religious compound chic, very "au pair from a distant bloc".

Why do all bands sound like the Arcade Fire? It is only going to get worse, this already bad effect. I don't intended to put up with any more of it. TENSION BUILDING TRIUMPHANT EUPHONY!

I am excited about our new mayor, our major player mayor elect. Rahm. He was more handsome three years ago, but he is still handsome. I feel like he is a real git-r-done asshole, but also slightly creepy, but also really moral and is not going to put up with letting this city rot in the fetid sump trench that 186 years of Daley regime has dug us into. Huzzah! Fingers crossed.

And if you have not heard it you should get your hands on the song "Carolina" by Super Wild Horses. They are Australian girls and their words are clear and good and their notes are sour and tuff.

Posted by jessica hopper at 11:38 PM | TrackBack

February 21, 2011

CRSH

Chicago Bike Crash map. Turns out North, Division and Milwaukee are all as unsafe as they feel. When will Chicago get a bike lane?

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:18 PM | TrackBack

BUDDY MOVES

I was holding off on finishing Life, the epic tome accounting for Keith Richards last 89 years on earth--it had eaten up a week and a half of my reading times and I had gotten past his boring childhood, his unsalacious musings on his wild years, his appalling parenting techniques, a multitude of finely rendered details on the quantities and manners of a solid decade of torrential drug abuse, then slogged through the slow fade outro: Don Was, beefs with Mick, new model wife, bustin' his head on a tropical tree, the kind of books he likes to read in Jamaica, his belief that he now has a soul of a black man because of the life he's lead and the brothers he's hung with, how he rescued a cat once. The gamut has been spanned! I done spunned it and powered through those final three pages.

And, so, what is this book about, you might be asking, like I am? The real takeaway is it's a book about friendship. About Keef, for all his licks of genius, skating on the largesse of Mick Jagger, who you gather from what is said and unsaid--kept the Stones together and functioning, while Keef nodded out and set hotel rooms aflame and befriended hash dealers and brought the law upon hisself. Mick Jagger is either very smart or very generous. Perhaps both. He is looking out for his enterprise, but also, you guess he must love his friend. Meanwhile, Keef expects us to feel for him when sometime in the 80's, he gets off dope and decides it's time for him to tend to the band's business after basically being high as fuck since 1967. And he's livid when Mick tells him to fuck off. Plus he's drunk all the time, cheating on his live in girlfriend with his future wife and disappearing for days though all he is doing is shopping for reggae tapes in Harlem. And he's 39 years old, living with the murder of Ron Wood's myna bird on his hands.

There is some gossip in this book, but most of it you could have assumed (Ron Wood had a crack problem), and when there is some juicy shit it is about someone you do not care about. Like Bobby Keys. The piano player. Every time I would read "Bobby Keys" I was picturing "Bobby Flay" as in the Iron Chef Bobby Flay. I DON'T CARE WHO BOBBY KEYS SCREWED IN THE RIVIERA. Do you? Keef has probably had a life time of super high people laughing at his every anecdote, so he has assumed for nigh 500 pages that we care, that we too might delight in his musings. He was in a part time reggae band with Justin Hinds, the great ska singer, who sings one of my favorite songs of all-time "Drink Milk"--and I found this to be mildly redeeming. But there is like a quarter page of Justin Hinds gossip. Which almost held my interest.
SO. A book about Keef's black soul, bonding with Justin Hinds, hating Mick who is like his loyal wife, loving dogs, loving heroin, attempting to stone a turtle from fright. Several hundred pages. I'm done.

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:01 AM | TrackBack

February 17, 2011

NEWS AND NOTES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

Andrea, from my new favorite punk rock band I blv in circa 2010, Nu Sensae, is in another band with some people (the lady?) from the also spectacular White Lung (CANADIAN WOMEN IN HARDCORE EXPLOSION, TRUE LOVE ALWAYS, FROM ME TO YOU)--they have this other band Heavy Chains that I hope is opening the Nu Sensae/White Lung tour (a girl can dream!). It's Wipers-esque tension and driven beat, but like Hammerhead noise levels. There is no part of that equation not to put you in a pant, no?

AND.
Also, after a bout of outrage that lasted a solid 200 pages, I am totally feeling the tail end of the Keith Richards biography, because the final chapter reads like a really chatty email from an aged relative. Several pages devoted to his pets that live on his various estates, their personalities, names, the hired help who takes care of them--and he will bust out a sentences like "Now, myna birds I never did get along with." and follow it with an explanation about how in 1980 he killed Ron Wood's bird, like removed it from it's cage and killed it because he thought it was an alarm clock. But it was ok, because Ron Wood hated the bird anyhow. Also, a first person account from his brain surgeon about removing his bloodclot after he bonked his head on the tree. Also, he like hippopatumus' but is not into turtles. Because they will take off your hand.
I appreciate that he is ramping down into a docile, puttering out kind of conclusion. Long slow fade from burning down hotel rooms and introducing John Phillips to heroin, down into throwing a rock at a giant turtle in his lake because it tried to take his fish.
AND FINI.

Posted by jessica hopper at 08:02 PM | TrackBack

CRIMSON BRIDE

I want to make these Marchesa gowns, Pretty-In-Pink style, from like, curtains purchased off Etsy. Where is Harry Dean Stanton with some decrepit doileys when I need him? I need like, at least six couture fucked up wedding gowns, even though I dunno when we are getting hitched. It's the middle of the winter and I hardly leave the house 'cept to go to the grocer and the bank, and the main people who see me are six months old, our babysitter and Matt and the main thing I look for in an outfit now is the ability to breastfeed in it with ease--as tempting as it is to give up entirely on any semblance of a "look" or even the concept of "outfit", I am holding fast.

Posted by jessica hopper at 12:10 PM | TrackBack

February 16, 2011

KEEF

The saga continues. I am not quitting this stupid fucking Keith Richards book. I am just not. I can see the finish from here, from page like, 463. I am slogging through his fucking anecdotes about Don Was and making Bridges to Babylon (I blv that was the first record I ever reviewed for SPIN) and am passed the part that made my blood boil because he wasn't just a bad junkie dad, he was like CLICHE horror story drug addict parent who doesn't think they are bad bad, thinking making their seven-year-old their keeper is a way to be close with their child. I mean, that is the sort of decision I am positive makes sense when you are strung out and no one wants to wake you because YOU SLEEP WITH A GUN and the only person you do not want to shoot is your child so every night when it's time to rouse you to get you on stage, your kid, who has been eating room service ice cream for every meal and hanging out with your security detail all day and shooing away groupies from your door--your child is sent to wake you from your stupor. I went from thinking he was just like, hapless, typical rockstar, the cliche of who we think he is but maybe not as bad. But then he includes other peoples versions of a story after he has been explaining it and then it's like... oh, he's an enraged alcoholic and a total dick and terrible parent. He is just leaving those things out of the story, because they are in other peoples tellings.

Now that I am a parent, I have no patience or even the stomach for stories of bad parents. I caught sight of a headline somewhere last week about something like, someone abandoned a baby in a bathroom at a sports arena. The baby was "clinging to life". That's the part that gets stuck. It's like Joan Didion writes about at the beginning of Slouching Towards Bethlehem (I think) where she cannot process or fathom some bad story, and she obsesses and tries to unpack why something happened, but can't. In my head I think about what could be happening in a mom's life that she would think that is a good solution. Or maybe it was her only solution. Maybe that was the thing that had to happen to rescue the baby from a hurricane of future badness and now it will be ok. I don't understand how people can be terrible parents--I mean, I can, in that a lot of people live in conditions and with problems that are beyond my comprehension and people sometimes cannot get off drugs or have to do drugs to deal with the responsibilities of parenthood. But I hate Keith Richards for it.

Posted by jessica hopper at 12:05 AM | TrackBack

February 14, 2011

THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG

SEASON 2! Hit it or Quit it podcast returns! Episode #20! Our Valentines/Reagan Centennial special! Romance and Reaganomics! Perhaps in a fit of mercy Michael edited out J.R's moving/horrifying/hysterical story of losing his virginity to Best of The Doors as a college freshman--WHILE WEARING AQUASOCKS. To mask foot odor, not because the act was taking place on slick rocks at the beach. Also, I confess the terrible song that is Matt's an my song, and we give our callers--couples without songs--new AMAZING SONGS FILLED WITH ROMANCE.
Also, you can subscribe to the podcast if that is what yr into.

I came home the other night, and William was wearing this shirt, that his father had made him.
Photo 465.jpg

I have convinced Matt that we should start a band called The Hootles. Our first record is going to be us showcasing our country roots with "Fiddlin' with The Hootles"--naturally the cover is us holding our fiddles. Our follow-up is "Hoo Let The Hootles Out". We will practice on the weekends, during William's naps.

I am not sure why I am reading it (I BOUGHT IT NEW, NO LESS! WTF!), given my limited interest in The Rolling Stones, rockstars, drughabits, et. al-- but, I am exactly half way through Keith Richard's tome Life. As other people may have already told you, it's the stories you want, but all the details you don't care about and none of the ones you do. Two pages for Altamont, which can be summarized as "it stunk from the beginning, sad about the death, glad we had a helicopter to get us out!". Two pages elapse between finding out Anita Pallenberg is pregnant with his son and the son being born, but with no mention of how he felt about it, both tossed off like casual mentions. Roughly 8 pages dedicated to the breakthrough of open tunings on his playing. Many, many discursive asides about his "mates"--various handlers, hangers on, drivers, drug dealers, minor characters named shit like "Spanish Ricky", details of his drug habit, tripping with Counts, the particular qualities of Moroccan hash, him driving his boat on The Riviera high to get an Italian breakfast because Italians do the eggs right. It's like someone took an early Hold Steady song and gave the characters a million dollars and expanded it from 4 minutes to 500 pages. Props to him, though, for being a famous junkie and making having a drug habit sound as boring as it truly is.

ALSO: Truly boring childhood--The Glass Castle it ain't. I skipped from the founding of The Stones to right when "Satisfaction" hit because I did not care to read about how much they were making every night (MERE PENCE!) and how they all just wanted, more than anything to be "black motherfuckers". Duh.

At one point he mentions how they had been on the road non-stop for four years and were exhausted, but that is maybe like, the second or third time at all that you might even have a hint they are a touring band. So, basically, I am like, 300 pages deep and listing forward based on some Gram Parsons gossip--more or less. I am too far in to quit. More TK! I am blazing along, book a week now, for my 2011 reading pact! Tales of Spanish Ricky will not impede my progress!

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:28 PM | TrackBack

February 08, 2011

ELUCIDATING THE BITCHES

I am several of these, but I think #37 is probably coming closest to home these days. "What's your bitchnumber?"

How about some Ken Camden for ambiance? Ken Camden should get a solo-act name. Ken Camden defs sounds like middle management, not well-tempered guitar drones. Ken Camden is like saying Ken KenKen. Kenneth Camden at least sounds like he should be getting reviewed in The Wire, which I imagine he does. What if his name is not Kenneth, but an outre Ken-name. Kenberly.

Time to order your seeds. I am planting flowers this year as well, or as they are also know "ornamentals". It makes more sense to call them that I suppose, you break up the plants into edible or pretty to look at. I am only doing two, possibly three tomato plants this year, as last years 15 lb a week yield was a little heavy given I was really the only person eating them, though friends suggested I should have just done a micro-CSA/tomato delivery business. I am not so good with moderation in some respects. I want to grow 8 different types of watermelon and every kind of neon pink flower. I am trying to figure out how to petition our neighbors, who gardened half the yard and from what I can gather, let everything but some basil rot on the vine, to cede to my gardening will. I just want it to be wild and lovely, not feel like we are en route to a Big/Little Edie type situation, everything covered in overgrowth and welcoming raccoons as visitors. I will grow them the ingredients for mojitos or whatever, if they just let me go nuts with morning glorys.

I am reading more books than I expected for the pact. Not to floss, or anything, but I have been managing to finish at least a book a week. Finished John Water's Obsessions which is exactly what you want/expect it to be. It made me think of all the people I have known, back-in-the-day-era, who were the scene obsessives, the weirdos, the collectors. Not the nerd dudes who collected toys and kept them in the original boxes on display, but like, the dudes who used to trade videos with other weird dudes, who had vast collections of obscure zines and live tapes. They were encyclopedias of useless lore, the person you knew who owned a grainy dub of the Chuck Berry pissing in a girls mouth footage. Did the internet make those dudes obsolete?

Posted by jessica hopper at 10:05 PM | TrackBack

February 04, 2011

I WAS BORN A RAMBLIN MAN

Gossip Wolf: new Goth party in town, Broken Social Scene returns to it's "old lover" to finish a record that may or may not exist, other stuff, etc.

Also, I am totally needing to know details about the people who were trapped on the busses on L.S.D. in the snowstorm. Everyone not trapped on the busses were hoo-hooing like "duh, who takes Lake Shore Drive when the weather is shitty? They should know better..." but like, even when it's really wet or windy, WHO GETS ON A PACKED CITY BUS IMAGINING THAT THEY WILL BE TRAPPED THERE OVERNIGHT AND GOING THE BATHROOM IN AN EMPTIED BOX OF BABY WIPES? Yes, true story. So sayeth the Tribune! Personally, I think people must have been going in their pants. There is only so much elimination a box of wipes can handle, you know? Joan suggested perhaps people made a "snowtoilet" outside, but the wind off the lake was 63 miles per hour and the people trying to leave their cars once they realized NO HELP WAS COMING had to crawl because the wind was so strong.

Meanwhile, some people got helped by enterprising snowmobile owners. Thinking about the snowmobiles in action is pretty exciting, no? The headline for the snowmobile story was "Snowmobiles to the Rescue" but I think it should have read "Snomobiles, TO THE RESCUE!". The snowmobiles, where did they come from? Is their an organization of do-gooding snowmobile owners, like ham radio owners, who just k.i.t. and are like "ah, this is a job for us!" AND my big question is do those people live in the city? Did they just back them out of the garage? See, I don't think so. That's not a city toy. A ski-doo, maybe. I imagine that those snowmobiles drove at high speeds from Lake County--from the exurbs--down the freeway, to free the Lake Shore Drive drivers trapped. They would get two people at a time and were pulling people to safe haven on sleds! What beats a dramatic rescue by sled? NOTHING.

The woman who sits next to Matt at work was trapped on one of the busses and the cops were taking 5 people at a time off the bus, to the hospital, and the cops did not show til late at night and she did not get rescued until 3 am, by which time she had eaten her lone granola bar. I asked Matt to ask if people were peeing their pants, or what, but he said he was not comfortable asking. That's kind of all I want to know. I think, perhaps, because I can sort of imagine the terrible other aspects of it, but that I am just genuinely curious.

Posted by jessica hopper at 01:38 AM | TrackBack

February 01, 2011

BEX IS SACK

CEX IS BACK. TUNEZ IZ PROOF 2011!

Posted by jessica hopper at 12:51 AM | TrackBack

BIG GAY FAM

"We saw clearly for the first time something wild and heroic in her, an acreage of heart and valor beyond anything our male experience had taught us." Andrew Solomon on making his extended family. This family is my mom's other family, her second family outside of my sister and I, so I can attest how it all came together is as special as it how Andrew tells it. It's also a reminder that whenever I say I have a kid, or Matt and I have a son, no one is going to tell us it's disgusting or amoral or against god's law--it's the unearned privilege right of simply being hetero parents.

Posted by jessica hopper at 12:12 AM | TrackBack