Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Hi Abba Zabbas!

Here is why I love Minneapolis (and St. Paul, Suzanne!):

From the Star-Tribune Weather page today:

"Yesterday's respite from jungle-like heat and crackling thunder was welcome indeed, but we'll start to feel the humidity again today. Last week, I mentioned that increased irrigation of farm fields might be one reason why it seems to be getting stickier in Minnesota, with more dew point days near 80. Here's another theory: New corn hybrids release more water into the air via vapo-transpiration, according to researchers in Chicago. More moisture in the air may fuel thunderstorms as early as this evening, with a better chance of roving gangs of strong storms tonight and Wednesday."

Anyone born and raised in a desert city knows how novel all of this sounds--the thought of cornfields, jungle-like heat, roving gangs of thunderstorms. But that's how it is.

When it rains here, it doesn't rain, it plops. The raindrops are fat as fuck and soak you like a warm shower. It gets dark and the air sticks to your skin and a breeze picks up and then you're running through a warm shower, hoping you don't get struck by lightning.

It makes your hair curly and your skin dewy as hell.

It makes you feel fertile.

The grasses, trees, bushes, flowers, weeds, dragonflies, mosquitos, squirrels, raccoons, lakes, algae, fish, chipmunks, birds, crickets, frogs, rabbits, and the rest of creation spawn madly, proliferating and vibrating, and you remember that we people are really squatters here. If we disappeared, this city would be overgrown and overtaken by Everything in three months. It's a constant battle to hold Nature back here.

Just like laundry. It never fucking ends, man.



Monday, July 29, 2002

Hi Honey Child:

One of the great things about being a girl is that you have easy access to the Great Well of Emotion, the collective psychic pool where all the world's joy and suffering resonates for everyone to feel.

Everybody can dip into this pool, but when you're a girl, sometimes you have no choice but to swim in it.

Like my GF Hillary.

This morning I called her at her gym job (where she has to answer the phone, "Hi, it's a great day at the Firm! This is Hillary.")

Anyway, she told me this morning that the miners keep making her cry. Every time she hears about them she cries.

So then after talking to Hillary I read the paper and I found that I, too, cried about the miners. One of them said that when they were cold, they "snuggled."

That was pretty good, but then I noticed that the newspaper was fucking packed with good news for once.

The evil former head of Adelphia Cable and his sons were taken away in handcuffs!

Qwest, the phone company here, is freaked out about being investigated for accounting fraud and have fired their head guy and come forward to admit they totally cooked their books!

Wilco's new record, which was rejected by Warner Bros., has sold more copies than any of their others!

The beauty part is that after Warner's bought them out of their contract, a Time-Warner subsidiary label bought their album. So Time/Warner paid Wilco twice for the same record.

Other great news: Afghanistan is going to have a land-mine ban.

People had nothing but good things to say about each other today in the sports pages, too.

Venus Williams, who just handily won a match in Stanford, said of her Belgian opponent, "To be honest, I thought she played very well too. She brought out the best in me."

That shit makes me teary.

Then an underdog named J.P. Hayes won a golf match with surprising grace--the same way his opponent lost:

"J.P. played great for two days," Gamez said. "He played a lot better than I did. It was nice to see somebody play well and win instead of me playing poorly and losing."

A guy with brain, lung and testicular cancer won the Tour de France for the fourth time. He broke away on a stretch of the race that looks like a moonscape.

One awestruck opponent said of him, "We went to the moon, and we saw the astronaut."

Why don't people speak so well of each other in other parts of the paper?

And super-shortstop Ozzie Smith was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, giving a speech based on the book "The Wizard of Oz."

What he said in his speech is the best thing I read in the paper today.

"I sincerely believe that there is nothing truly great in any man or woman, except their character, their willingness to move beyond the realm of self and into a greater realm of selflessness.

"Giving back is the ultimate talent in life. That is the greatest trophy on my mantel."



Sunday, July 28, 2002

Hi Robot Wars:

Sorry for non-updates. I'm feeling sad about leaving Minneapolis. I haven't told you half the stuff that happened here cuz I was having too much fun, staying out late and drinking too much.

Many pilgrimages to the sacred places: First Ave./7th St. Entry; the Red Dragon; the Turf Club; Nye's Pollonaise Room (best lounge in the world, with gold sparkle booths shaped like pianos); Lee's Liquor Lounge.

Lee's is a roadhouse/hipster/white trash place where you're dancing between four swingy 32-year-old office chicks and a drunk homeless Indian guy (you're supposed to say "Indian" here, dunno why). That guy Dan from Soul Asylum goes there a lot. They have beer in bottles and cans, a stuffed jaguar, a giant swordfish, a collection of Elvis statues and a bunch of JFK shit. The night I went, the World's Best Cover Band played, Two Tickets to Paradise.

When I say they are the world's best cover band, I mean it.

Not only are they a real band of actual musicians, they also do wacky intuitive medleys. They have the good sense to play "Jesse's Girl" followed by "My Best Friend's Girlfriend." But then they mix up songs that shouldn't fit but are connected by one thing: a bass line, a rhythm, an attitude. ("Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" + "Tubthumping" + Smashmouth's "Rock Star." Or "Comfortably Numb" + "Hotel California" + "Suicide Is Painless.") It's kind of sick.

They play T. Rex's sorta-rarity "Raw Ramp," including the prelude where he sings, "We got drunk on the day like a-hit was wine."

They are obsessives and nostalgists but they have no reverence, and no cynicism. That's a neat trick.

Their last song of the evening was "Can't Hardly Wait" and the bar lit up, including the aging ex-frat boys, singing all the words and swinging their bottles. Everyone knew that song by heart but me.

The lead singer, Mike, is moving to L.A. like half of Minneapolis, so it was specially sweet to see one of their final shows. I played tambourine on "Maggie Mae" and they christened me with my own band member name, Peggy DiCarlo.

Then the other night I went to my Minneapolis Ye Rustic Inn: the Red Dragon.

Someone played "Jane Says" on the jukebox. I hear more Jane's Addiction at the Red Dragon than in L.A. Then they played "Californication."

All this, and more, is why I love this place. It is eternally open to music. It just wants to have a good time.

Maybe cuz of the weather, people get it that you got to get it while you can.

Like my friend PJ: When he was in high school, he and his buddies got in the Guinness Book of World Records for playing foozball for two weeks straight.

He said it wasn't half as hard as touring.

His band's first gig was at New Band Night at the Longhorn, the same night the Replacements had their first gig. He didn't watch their set though because after his band played they went backstage and drank heavily.

PJ's moving to LA too.

Got to get it while you can, babies.

Go get it.

I gotta go get it.

I'll shut the fuck up now.



Thursday, July 25, 2002

Hi Wing Nuts!

They sure don't make pot like they used to.

Pot is about 20 times stronger than when I was in college. And back then it was like mushrooms. That's why I stopped smoking it--I didn't want to fucking hallucinate, I just wanted to get high.

It's funny that capitalism's best mechanism--the competition to constantly produce a more effective product at the lowest possible price--would be working most purely on the black market. I mean, look at gasoline. Has gasoline gotten 20 times more efficient in the past 10 years?

I never get high but last night my buddy J. smoked me out in his basement, which is a chaotic museum of Minneapolis rock history, and we watched a bunch of rare video footage of a few special bands: The Replacements, the Only Ones, the Raspberries.

J. has been trying to convince me for three years about the The Only Ones. I could never get over the singer's voice, though--it ruined it for me.

But last night, J. turned out the lights and sat me down real close to the TV and turned on this video and just sat back and crossed his fingers.

The tape started--it was the Only Ones performing live on TV in 1977 or something. The lead singer had this face, this girlish, lovely young face, and he sang words that expressed his heart--singing about feeling low. Not in a depression-is-so-fucking-rock way, just really straightforward.

After about 30 seconds I turned to J. in the dark and said, "OK, I get it."

He raised his fists and said, "My work is done!"

I recognized immediately that this delicate androgynous singer-boy had a magnetic emotional core every bit as deep as any superstar you could name, and deeper than many.

The guitarist was way too good and his solos featured flashy metallic riffage that said, we're not punks, we're not cool, we're trying to play really good.

They were the right combination of fucked-up punk aesthetics and hard-core musicianship.

I understood, too, that the singer's wandering, woozy vocal style is not affected. That's just how he sings.

And then I finally got the Replacements in a whole new way.

J. is really old friends with Paul Westerberg and the "Mats" and he said they all loved the Only Ones back in the day. They used to go to their friend Peter's apartment on Garfield and he would make them listen to records, and the Only Ones were their heroes.

The lineage from the Only Ones to the Replacements, far as I can tell, has to do with the need to express childhood damage and more adult pain in the most honest terms possible. Both these songwriters (Peter Perrett and Paul Westerberg) have a reverence for sadness and its lessons. It is their muse. I guess this is also why I see a lineage from the Only Ones to the Replacements to Nirvana. (Separate from sonics and visual aesthetics, even.)

I think sadness is a great muse. But it's also a dangerous one: It's tough to rock about sadness without being annoying as fuck.

Sadness is the soul of all good music. But maybe "sadness" isn't even the right word for it. I wish we had more words, like the French, for subtle, in-between feelings: the quality that makes a piece of music more than just a bunch of sound, but that gives it emotional texture. Music can't really be happy without a foundation, however buried, of grief. Take the the most ridiculously "happy" song you can--say, "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. It's a whole song about not feeling shitty. It really means nothing without the context of feeling shitty. I remember when that song came out. It was hard times.

(Then of course there was Earth, Wind and Fire, whose "September" is a really perfect melange of joy and melancholy.)

Every really good song, ever, no matter how lightweight, evokes in me a heady and demanding mix of pleasure and grief. Even Madonna's "Holiday" is sad, because it's a kind of a world-peace fantasy. Even a song like the Archies' "Sugar Sugar" makes me melancholy, because it reminds me of the dream of the groovy, magic, perfect crush, which has never worked out for me. Every good song reminds me how starved I am for union with others, with Love, with the All. I feel so far from that in daily life, and every time I hear a good song it feels like a window to that experience. It makes it seem possible, if only on a musical plane.

That longing not to be alone--that's what I'm talking about when I say "sadness." I just don't know a better word for it. Do you have one?

Music connects me, for a minute, to the Whole Big Thing. And also reminds me how unconnected we all are most times. That's why it's so thrilling, and so painful, at the same time. I guess this is the central defining quality of human experience: we all long for connection, we all grieve for the union we kind of intuitively know about, and maybe knew before we were born. When we are born and become individuated beings, we suffer.

I believe that we are actually all one big mush, all of Creation, and that the idea of individuation is a temporarily useful concept that will one day be outmoded by something closer to our actual experience. A conceptual model for existence that won't necessarily alleviate cosmic loneliness, but will at least explain it. Just explain why everyone's so fucking lonely.

I wouldn't want the loneliness to ever go away completely, because then we would have no music.

This sort of birthright-loneliness, or sadness, is not a wholly bad thing. It is something much subtler, richer, and nobler than it gets credit for. When people treat it with appropriate attentiveness, they make great music. (Ray Davies is my very favorite of all time for this. His song "Days" proves that joy and grief are part of one thing.)

The worst crime of all the fake-grunge wannabe Kurts was that they didn't have any real respect for sadness. They didn't take the time to understand it, to see that it's not just a heavy, angry, complainy thing. As Ray Davies knows, it is also a light and prismatic crystal that produces dancing rainbows.

It's just too bad we suffer so.

Like the Backstreet Boys sang, sadness is beautiful, loneliness is tragical. Ain't it the truth?



Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Hi Piledrivers!

I had dinner tonight with my friend Mark Mallman, who is a wonderful singer-songwriter. He always reminds me of Harry Nilsson, even when he doesn't sound like Harry Nilsson, because he also has a subliminal Randy Newmanosity--in a good way.

And Nilsson and Newman are forever fused as one in my heart, because the best thing either of them ever did was "Nilsson Sings Newman".

So many people are better when singing someone else's songs. I think they feel more confident, because it's not their songwriting on the line. They feel braver. This particular match was charmed because, as it happened, Nilsson's weak point was his songwriting, where Newman's was his delivery. He's just not sexy.

I like Mark's new album, "The Red Bedroom." He has two major strains in his songwriting: The singer-songwriter confessional, and the more Tom Waits-inspired story-song. I prefer the confessionals, but a songwriter has got to write what he's got to write.

I first met Mark when Hillary and I were called "Candygirl," and we were the backup singers/cowbellers for The Odd, a fucked-up glam/Stonesy circus that was, for ten minutes, the most exciting band in the world. OK, in Minneapolis.

The band was falling apart as Hilly and I joined, and we only had one gig with Mark--on the mainstage at First Ave. Mark told me the only way to play the cowbell was with complete conviction. He was really bossy and I hated him, but I knew he was right. And that's why I hated him even more. He knew the only way to play cowbell, or guitar, or keyboards, or anything, is with complete conviction. This is why Mark is better than a million other piano-based singer-songwriters. In his live shows he has the fury, chaos, and emotional grandiosity of a rock star. The Odd sucked after Mark left. (With all respect to Tom, the sweetheart leader who looked like the blondie from the Sweet, wore dresses and sang like Iggy imitating Mick).

Tom and I drank beers once driving to a gig. We were in this fucked-up van, and he popped open a couple cans and started the car. I was so impressed.

After dinner tonight, Mark and I went to Cheapo records and I listened to a bunch of freaked-out vinyl: Billy Squier, Split Enz, and the 1981 soundtrack to "Electric Dreams," which featured original compositions by Jeff Lynne and Culture Club. It's horrificifally cute: Jeff Lynne is trying to get with the times, and do a new wave song called "Video" (classic Cosmic Slop territory), while Culture Club is trying to do old-school R&B, with a really fine song called "Love is Love" ("...and love means everything to me").

I ended up buying an Eddie Money CD just for "Baby Hold Onto Me." The handclaps on that songs just won't quit.

I also bought an Argent tape out of curiosity. It is gruesome. It's like some Third World policemen tortured and brainwashed Rod Argent by tying him down and forcing him to listen to Steely Dan for two months.

In two weeks I am supposed to go and sit in on Cosmic Slop. The guys told me to compile a wish list, and said they'd play it and talk about the songs throughout the whole show.

Can you even believe?

The list is huge and spans from Dory Previn's "Mythical Kings and Iguanas" to Rick Springfield's "Love Is All Right" to Dwight Twilley's "You Were So Warm." (Why that song wasn't a huge hit is a total mystery to me.)

Gonna shut up now and go to sleep, and try to dream of the secret chord and buttery popcorn.

Love n stuff


oh, PS: I saw this new movie called "Lovely and Amazing" tonight, which is a valiant but flawed effort. In the bedroom of this 17-year-old boy, there were about 4,000 flyers on the wall from Tsar, my friends' awesome L.A. band. Isn't that cool?

oh my god, PPS: So, my friend Mark Baumgarten, a.k.a. "Wonderboy," went up to the front to get autographs after the White Stripes show last week. (I totally forgot to do that, but I think it was an intentional forgetting, because I cannot bear the thought of actually meeting Jack. I think I would start crying.) Anyway, so Mark's friend is this really absentminded guy who always loses his ID. So in order to get into the Stripes show, he brought his high school year book to prove he's 21. I told him before the show, you should have Jack sign it.

So the guy goes up and asks Jack to sign it. Jack takes it and writes, "Have a great summer! Love, Jack"

Then he hands it back to him and shakes his hand and looks him in the eye and says, "Don't ever change."

Monday, July 22, 2002

Hi Gobstoppers:

Sorry for the Harry Potter-gone-terribly-awry yesterday. It was so fucking hot and beyond humid, I couldn't think or talk or do anything.

Oh my god, yesterday I had the full Minnesota experience, in such an ishy way. I was at this cutesy cafe in St. Paul--I won't say the name, but it really should be called "Way Overpriced Cafe With Only Three Entree Options and Four Million Cat Paintings."

So, feeling Minnesota, I choose the walleye. Fuck it, I've never had walleye before, why not now kind of thing.

It costs $17.50--the cheapest thing on the menu.

So I start eating, and it tastes kind of the way the air smells around here on close, sultry nights when the lake is hot and and swampy and breathing out over everything--you can smell the lake hanging in the air, on your skin--the water, the pond scum, the fish, the millfoil, all green and fetid and fertile. Just before the wind picks up and the clouds rush in and all the madness breaks loose.

The fish tasted like a lake.

I thought, hmm, yucky.

I make an effort, but the whole food + taste buds + tummy connection is just not coming together. I figure, I guess I'm just not a freshwater fish kind of person. It must be the L.A-ocean thing in my blood. Give me raw salmon and I'll have seven ecstasies.

So I give up and order coffee and this insane chocolate glop that comes in a cup and completely rocks my world twice.

At four in the morning I wake up and my belly hurts, and I'm thinking, oh God, I probably have that endometriosis thing.

And then all day today that stupid fish has been torturing me.

My mom said, that's a bad fish. It was sitting out too long.

I called the Cafe and left a message but they never called back. I think I deserve a bunch of free desserts.

I think that I was right all along not to eat walleye. I mean, why would you ever eat something with such a hideous name in the first place?

Nuff bitching, I HAVE to go watch TV.

loving you is way easier than eating gross crap,


Saturday, July 20, 2002

Hi Fuzzbusters!

So last night was a Minneapolis rock triumph, at least for me. It began at a BBQ in "Nordeast," the area known as Northeast Minneapolis, even though it's actually located in the northwestern part of the city (just as West St.Paul is located in east St.Paul). Whatever. This place is a little bit stuck on its past, and old names will stick even when they're loopy as hell, not to mention totally wrong.

In this place, the local joke goes, a family called Smith moves into a house and the neighbors all say, "Oh, I see you've bought the old Svenson place." For ten years, the Smiths live in this house and the neighbors refer to it as "the old Svenson place." When the Smiths move out and the Browns move in, the neighbors greet them and say, "Oh, I see where you've bought the old Smith place."

But maybe being stuck on the past isn't always such a bad thing.

Exhibit A: "Cosmic Slop: Forgotten Pop of the Seventies," my favorite radio show of all time.

Cosmic Slop is right up there with popcorn and library books on my list of things that are right with America, and I know that after you grok their magic you'll feel the same way.

Cosmic Slop is a spiritual home for bubblegum detectives who get sexually aroused by the very concept of discovering a secret musical mine--an underground mother lode of once-and-future jewels of pop craft. Stuff even the actual musicians don't remember recording.

(At Cosmic Slop Radio you can live in love 24/7.)

During my final year of residence in Minneapolis (1998-99) Cosmic Slop became my Sunday school of secret music. I called Chuck and Joel, the hosts, with special requests, and they helped me to make a few soul-revealing mixed tapes for this guy in L.A. I wanted to like me. (It actually worked, and I blame Chuck and Joel entirely for this. The guy thought I was some '70s pop supergenius but really I was just a girl in Minneapolis with an AM radio and a tape recorder.)

I usually needed Chuck and Joel to re-play a song I had discovered through them: A ballad by Colin Blunstone called, I think "Let Me Come Closer to You." "I'm On Fire" by Dwight Twilley. A weird alternate version of "The Dangerous Type" by the Cars, which sounds way T-Rexy. "Ariel," by some Jewish guy from New Jersey whose named I forget. And, always, always, "Roxy Roller."

"Roxy Roller" is a lost gem of the North American glam-rock era (or "glitter rock," if you're Rodney Bingenheimer). I had the pleasure of referencing this song in an article I did recently for Spin on Nickelback. (Another story.) Roxy Roller's recording lineage connects Nick Gilder ("Hot Child In The City") with Bryan Adams and Suzi Quatro. It's that kind of song. You know.

So anyway, last night I'm at a BBQ in Northeast and who is there but Chuck. Sloppy Chuck!

So immediately we start talking about "Roxy Roller," and he's telling me all the trivia-stuff I already know. I say, yeah, but you guys never play the Suzi Quatro cover. He looks confused.

He didn't know the Suzi Quatro version of "Roxy Roller."

I had bested the bestest.

So then I go, well, I know you've dug the Jeff Lynne acoustic demo version of "Xanadu," yo.

He didn't know that either.

Suddenly I'm feeling floaty and cold, and the furniture and people in the room begin to recede as I see a black tunnel open up before my eyes. Something has changed, and I stand facing the entrance to the mine. The Magic Mine.

A cloaked figure appears before me. I can't see its face but I can hear it in my head. It doesn't speak with words, yet I understand what it is saying. And it says:

Do you, mortal, wish to enter the Magic Mine of Seventies Pop Flops?

I do, I say.

Then you must answer my questions correctly.

Ask away, I say, trying to sound like I've never not been mellow.

The figure pauses. At length, it asks:

"What group did Rod Argent, of the band Argent, come from? Name a famous Argent song, and tell me what Billboard chart oddity distinguishes Rod Argent's former group?"

Jesus, he must be kidding, I think. This is sad.

I roll my eyes and reply, bored-like: The Zombies; "Hold Your Head Up"; the Zombies had their big number one hit in the U.S. after they had broken up. Happy, Mr. Floppy?

I do not know mortal emotions such as happiness or grief. he says. I know only the Pop.

Oh whatever, I say.

"Number Two: Which power-pop also-ran created a concept album in 1980 about space aliens who rescue Earthlings with spaceships after a nuclear war?" he asks, bowing his head.

Duh, Billy Thorpe, I say. And he's from Australia, Mr. Snippy! And the record's called "Children of the Sun"!

The figure pauses again. I think he's about to surrender to my surrealistic popitude when he asks:

"Which L.A. glam-rocker was signed for a huge sum in hopes of becoming the American Bowie, but was painfully ignored by the American public, partly because of his overt, flamboyant, and genuine gayness?"

Fortunately I've just read the L.A. punk history, "We Got the Neutron Bomb," and am able to answer "Jobriath" as if I know what the fuck I'm talking about. And because they just played him on Cosmic Slop on Sunday, I add: And he had a song called, astonishingly, "Space Clown"! You big jerk!

I can tell, somehow, the Figure is growing bored with me. He wants blood. He wants to see me cry.

He quickly asks, "Which Todd Rundgren-produced '70s band wore heavy makeup and ridiculous clothing in a 'clever' American twist on British glam-rock, and featured numerous recording guest-stars, including Peter Frampton? What was the nature of their visual gimmickry? What was their best song?"

I feel my limbs go cold and my face turn hot. I suppress a gasp, and feel a sense of grief in my solar plexus.

I have lost, I just know it. I knew I would lose. I always screw it up right when I could win.

Forget it. I'll never be number one. Always number two. And we all know what number two is.

My eyes get all hot and wet. Goodbye, Magic Mine. You will never be mine.

What is your answer? asks the hooded figure.

Just as I am about to say The Nice, just because I can't think of anything, I hear another voice in my head. It sounds like a combination of Glinda the Good Witch and Ginger Spice.

I understand implicitly that it is my best friend, the best friend I have shared everything with, yet never met: It is my guardian angel.

"Kate, we have been waiting a long time for this day," the voice says. "Me and your groovies--you know, all the little floaty spirit buddies who hang around to watch out for you. Anyway, we've decided that since you always try so hard to be cool, we're going to help you out this time. So we're giving you the answer on the conditions that you: 1. Buy a goddamn turntable, finally. 2. Stop trying so hard to be cool and just be cool, if you dig. 3. Be kind to strangers, animals, crazy people, tourists, and telemarketers. 4. Don't fear the reaper."

Before I can even thank her, my mouth opens and I hear myself say to the cloaked figure in a light, musical tone:

The Hello People. They dressed as mimes. Their best song was "Future Shock."

The cloaked figure is gone. I am standing in a dazzling cave filled with uncut rubies, diamonds, and emeralds, loose, enormous pearls and chunks of gold and platinum. I approach one of these piles of riches, and reach out to touch a stone. As I do so, it turns into a Nirvana 8-track. The original Nirvana, silly. I then pick up a large, rough-hewn chunk of amber, and it becomes a Crabby Appleton LP. Each time I lift a gem to examine it, it turns into a lost recording that I can hear in my head without even having to play it. And then, when I touch a rose-colored amethyst, I am suddenly in a practice room, where a group of young men are playing a song. They look like wannabe Beatles, with moppy haircuts and short trousers. I don't recognize them but the song is familiar.

The lead guy is singing:

Do ya do ya want my glove?

Do ya do ya want my lace?

Do ya do ya want my Cottleston pie?

Just after the second chorus, the singer/guitarist stops playing and holds up his hands to stop the band. Everyone stops playing. The room is silent. The singer guy kind of smiles, then laces his hands behind his head and looks up at the ceiling. The drummer absentmindedly taps a cowbell. Everyone in the room knows: When the singer-guy smiles, that's bad. When he looks up at the celing as if imploring God, that's really bad.

At length, the guy speaks.

"The chorus lyrics aren't working. The Beatles would never sing that shite. Crikey."

He sighs.

"I mean, I just wanted to be a little femmey and English-boy Paul, but every time I try it sounds so bloody precious."

The band guys don't react: If they agree, they know it will only make things worse.

The singer-guy walks over to an amp and picks up a pack of cigarettes, lighting one. He stands, arms crossed, and exhales, watching the smoke waft upwards.

After 30 seconds or so, I can't bear the silence. I step forward into the middle of the room and say to him, as gently as possible, "Maybe forget the precious-boy Paul bit. Maybe this is a more aggressive and overtly sexual hybrid of all your influences, from Chuck Berry to that Bowie guy. What if you try less predictable words. Say, oh, heck, I dunno, 'Do you want my face?'"

No one seems to hear me. In fact, no one even looks at me. I may as well be invisible.

The singer-guy frowns. Then he frowns even more. Then he paces in a circle and smokes his cigarette to the filter in three hits.

The band smiles at each other. Then they pick up their picks and sticks and get ready to play.

"We are the Move," the singer shouts, "and we are an electric orchestra for now people!"

"That's it! An electric light orchestra!"

And he sings,

Do ya do ya want my love?

Do ya do ya want my face?

Do ya do ya want my mind?

It is 1971, and my work is done.

The End.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Hi Punkins:

Blogger's being a bitch and won't post the archives, so sorry. Blogger has been a bitch in general lately and I know I should just be grateful they exist at all, and that I can do this for freeeeee, but still.

more when i'm awake.



Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Hi Teddy Grahams:

I just have to say that Nelly makes me very happy every time I hear him on the radio. Nelly is the funnest summer radio pop since the heyday of Kool and the Gang. And he has the best use of vocal double-tracking since Lenny Kravitz, who definitely wouldn't have a sound without it.

Sometimes somebody actually pretty good gets to be rich and famous. Example 2: Eminem.

Also I want to say that I am completely in love with Alicia Keys--not so much her music per se but her. I have an unfailing gaydar when it comes to women and she sets it off like a four-alarm fire. Haven't you noticed it in her crooked smile?

I don't think anyone could make me a pure lesbian but she could make me a really good wannabe.

It's so blasted hot here--it was 90 degrees at 6pm and near-total humidity. There's nothing to do but take a cold bath and then forget about drying off, just get into bed all wet and turn the fans on and think of England.

And take a sleeping pill.

At least it's a clean, moist, wet heat, instead of a dry, dirty, smoggy heat like in L.A. This heat makes your skin dewy and rosy. That heat makes it cracky and dead.

This heat smells like the earth, and like water and green stuff. That heat smells like dry stuff and car fumes.

Not to get all down on L.A. But let's be honest: L.A. is a hell hole of hell fire during summer heat waves. It's like baking in a carcinogenic pizza oven, wearing sequins. Nuts.

Sorry so bitchy, I'm just boring and tired.

Loving you is still easy,


Hi Freshmakers!

Half my head is totally numb from Novocaine. Whenever I go to Dr. Feelgood and he shoots me up for some new excavation, I have the feeling I'm in line for a rave. Novocaine has a major adrenaline kick to it. My pulse races and I can almost feel the throbbing pulse of the universal tribal drum. (Just kidding).

I know you know exactly what I mean when I say, there is only one true drum. (Totally kidding.)

Just like I know you know exactly what I mean when I say, There is only one unicorn. (Totally not kidding.)

Doc did me right today, pain-wise, though he hasn't styled me with a renewal on my "V" prescription. Too bad, and I've been giving them out to people, too.

Well I'm way too out of it to start talking about music right now, except that I'm really beginning to understand what went wrong with the hippies. It may seem obvious enough to people who are smarter than me, or people who lived through it, but I am only now understanding with my brain, body, heart and soul that the core of rock 'n' roll is sexuality and rebellion. Without one or both of those, rock 'n' roll is flaccid. The hippies got too rich and too drugged out and they lost their sense of rebellion--and I'm including the Stones in this too, because for all practical purposes they were just high-end hippies.

Once the hippies got complacent they opened the door for angry youth.

I know this is like Pop Music 101 for Retards stuff but whatever. It's different to be told something for years, even to know it--and then to finally get it.

I'll have more rambling soon cuz I'm about to read this book called "We Got the Neutron Bomb," which is the oral history of the L.A. punk scene.

loving you is easy,


Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Hey Snakecharmers:

Blogger's having major "issues" so I haven't been able to post anything for days. Sorry.

(By the way, I didn't write that thing about "Blogger rocks!"--it's some automatic Blogger thing.)

This is a super-old thing:

So I totally went to the dentist today for more drill-jawbone action, and am currently high on "V" and about to go back to bed. But before I do, a word about the White Stripes show on Saturday.

I hate to be that guy, but I gotta be that guy. It wasn't 3/4 as good as the shows in L.A.

First, it was too short--barely an hour, and the shows in LA were closer to two.

Second, Meg was not happy and was looking (apparently) miserable. I couldn't see her face from where I was standing, but the review the next day said she was stone-faced like a zombie, or something. I did notice she wasn't doing her usual maybe-she's-a-little-crazy melodramatic flirtation-with-Jack stuff, where she waves her sticks in slo-mo like magic wands, turns her head funny with her eyes closed, and leans way back and looks at him like, "I guess YOU think you're something pretty special."

None of that.

Jack seemed to be almost sleepwalking through his performance, and his solos were short and undangerous. Usually his solos are dangerous, and you think maybe he's going to fall off the face of the craggy cliff he's scaling. (But he never does.)

He did very little slide and what he did lacked breath between the notes. It was too many notes.

Only one encore.

Something was going on that night with them, and I wish I knew what it was.

I had been expecting that a show in the Midwest would be much better than in L.A., since they hate L.A. and since the crowd in Minneapolis is so sweaty and loving. But maybe their feelings about L.A. drew a better performance from them. Perhaps they felt a sense of embattlement that kindled the magic fire between them. Perhaps they felt they had something to teach about passion.

But in Minneapolis, the show reflected only their basal passion rate. Pretty passionate compared to 99 percent of bands here or anywhere, but not what I'm used to from them.

Oh yeah, and there was NO AMERICAN FLAG.

(They had a huge sexy American flag behind them before.)

Usually, it is clear that Jack will be engulfed in flames if you hold a match near him. On Saturday, it was clear that his synthetic red pants would melt, but he'd be OK.

One thing that gave me the shivers (in a good way) was that apparently Jack didn't have any clean undies, and so he wasn't wearing any, and his pants sort of shouted a detailed description of what he's working with.

When he says he's got a little something to find his baby's mojo with, he sure ain't kidding.

I'm putting out a prayer right now that Jack and Meg were not fighting, or that if they were, it was a sort of sexy we'll-never-break-up fight that makes them excited and ultimately better as a band. I hope that maybe they were just sick and exhausted and dying to get home. Maybe breaking down--but not not not breaking up.

If you want to help me, say this out loud, or something better:

Dear Jack and Meg.

We love you.

Give us the rock!

Hang in there!

Amen and pass the bottle!



PS: My friends, however, were beautiful enough to make me happy as a turtle in a dragonfly disco.

On Sunday I went swimming/rowing on the magic St. Croix River. Lenny Kravitz was a major issue that day---because of all the dragonflies.

You know, Lenny wishes he could fly/up to the sky/so very high/just like a dragonfly.

He wants to get away, he wants to fly away.

Yeah yeah yeah!

But we noticed that dragonflies don't fly so very high. They keep it close to the water, actually.

But oh man, one thing they do for sure, all the time, is DO IT. Dragonflies do it nonstop. And they do it flying. And floating. Me and Suzanne we were swimming, and a piece of driftwood drifted past, and there were two dragonfly couples on it, both doing it. It was a very '60s vibe happening on that piece of driftwood.

The only thing is, when they do it, the guy sticks the end of his tail onto the chick's head. It's not very intimate. Not a lot of room for variation or special whispers.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Hiya, Muffin Men!

Frankly I'm sick of hearing myself talk about the White Stripes, so I'll just briefly mention that a certain my-favorite-band-in-the-world is playing tomorrow night at First Avenue and I'm going to be there with my soul brother Jim and my superGF, Hillary, and basically I can't hardly think of a better way to die. Not that we're going to die. But you know.

A group of us are going to drink at the Irish bar across the street first, O'Donovan's.

So let me just say that I know I have been completely sucking at maintenance of Superhero Thursday, Poetry Friday, and Six Degrees of Separation Sunday. But can we just say that I am on vacation, which I technically am, and so I don't have to do anything normal?

For example, today I could say this is Music Zine Friday, and tell you about my friend Mark's new magazine, Lost Cause.

Mark Baumgarten is only 23 but he's wicked smart, and he hates writing bullshit for The Man, and he believes in pursuing your crazy youthful dreams, and going for broke--literally. So he quit his job (which also used to be my job before him) as a music writer at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and decided to make his own local music magazine, which would treat the local (Minnesota) music scene with the same seriousness usually given to "national" music.

Six weeks ago he hadn't even started it, and today it is out there in the clubs like it had always been around.

Mark works as a waiter to support himself. He rides a bike. He likes to drink and smoke too.

He wrote in the first issue of the magazine, "All real music comes from desperation." That's where his magazine came from, too.

Desperation isn't necessarily painful. For a writer or any creative sort, it's pretty much normal.

His statement reminded me of the X song that says, "We're desperate/Get used to it."

It's maybe my favorite lyric of the entire new wave era.

It's funny--I quit the PiPress and moved back to L.A., Mark quit the PiPress and started a magazine, and now the great Jim Walsh, probably my fave music writer next to Lester Bangs, is quitting the PiPress too (and going to Stanford for a year to have a heavy relationship with his muse). He's got a similar sense of desperation, the same one he's always had: Desperation for the future.

And desperation for writing.

Jim's desperation always awakens my desperation when we talk, or when I read his writing. Writing-desperation is contagious.

Sometimes Jim reminds me how unsatisfied I am, when I've been going along, treading water, pretending I'm happy. I talk to Jim and I remember, wait a minute: I'm fucking miserable. And wait another minute: It doesn't have to be like this!

It's super-liberating to admit you're miserable. The amazing thing about it is, the world doesn't explode. Life doesn't end. You don't develop weird horns and scales.

It's very odd to admit when you're happy. It's almost harder, because you're afraid it'll end if you admit it.

So tonight I won't say I'm happy. I'll just say the sunset was lavender and peach as I was driving home from St. Paul, and the air was balmy, blowing through the car, and the Twin Cities Federal building said it was 8:49 pm and 81 degrees. The grasses alongside the highway were deep green and overgrown, buzzing with crickets and whatever those buzzy-things are. There was a train sitting on the tracks that run along I-94, as always--a long yellow train doing nothing. When I got home, LakeCalhoun had turned lavender and was as still as an empty swimming pool.

Now, my tooth kills so I gotta go.

Goodnight, Junebugs.


Thursday, July 11, 2002

Hi Pump 'n' Munch!

That is really truly the name of a gas station/convenience store here in Minneapolis. One time I went in there and they had a bunch of incense for sale. Each package had a pearlized/'70s photo on it appropriate for the flavor of the incense--sandalwood, jasmine, etc. One flavor had the picture of a black cat. The name of the incense was "Pussy."

It didn't smell like a cat at all. It just smelled like incense.

The '70s must have been really fun for some people.

So today is my favorite day of this week so far, for a number of reasons. One reason is that some cool people wrote me notes, including one sweetheart who told me that he's pretty sure McCartney, not Harrison, produced Badfinger. I know, I know. But see, the thing is that we're both right, because Harrison produced "Day After Day," as crazy as that sounds.

Another rad person, the most awesome food/music writer Jonathan Gold, emailed to say that I wasn't really right about irony and rock. He had a much more nuanced take on the issue than my Vicodin/beer cocktail could produce. If anyone else wants to get in on this, feel free. I'd love to be a referee. (Doesn't that word look misspelled?)

Here's what Mr. Gold (the coollest last name ever) had to say:

"I do think ironic rock had its moment - - not the sneery, ain't-we-clever art school stuff, maybe, but the brand of early grunge that was simultaneously really good hard rock and an ironic comment on hard rock, played so dead-on straight that nobody knew whether they were kidding or not. You know - - like Soundgarden. Or Mother Love Bone. Or the Melvins. Or Flipper. Or, really, Weezer, or Hole, or even freakin' Sonic Youth. It was a new flavor, honestly, and it kind of rocked really hard. The earnestness came later, I think.

Also, I am almost positive that the Chili Peppers were ironic at first, at least in their first few shows at places like Eddie's and Al's Bar. They were distinctly a joke band in the tradition of Thelonious Monster, and I think they were as surprised by the power of what they were doing as anybody else. Their ``real'' bands at the time were strictly art bands, still third-billed at places like the Anticlub and the Brave Dog."

I don't know shit about early grunge. But I think that the longevity of this music will prove its quality. So far, I don't think m/any of those bands are doing too well on the historical relevance count. Except maybe Sonic Youth (and Weezer, duh). Last night my friend Mark, who's 23, told me he just got "Daydream Nation," and we both agreed it's amazing. There was a virginity discussion, because I kind of lost mine to that album. (I kind of lost it twice, and I'm not even going to try to explain, because that would be a blogging blunder. A trip to the no-good side of the blogging spectrum.)

Chili Peppers-wise, I def. wasn't around for their first few shows, but I think we may be working with different definitions of "ironic." When I say ironic, I'm really talking about the dark side of irony: a kind of emotionally distanced, cerebral, seen-it-all approach to music history. There's a slight sourness to it that is usually considered very hip.

Obviously you can't look at "Freakey Styley" and not see the goofiness of it all, the pop-cultural irreverence that enabled them to bring together the aesthetics of George Clinton and the Germs and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. But they're playing on the light side of the force--they're completely in love with their influences, and they're ultimately more focused on making good music than on the trappings.

As soon as your irony is better than your melody, you're fucked.

Boy, I totally need to think about this without the drugs. Thanks, Jonathan, for making me think.

I am looking for story ideas about music and music-related culture in L.A. Anything pissing you off or turning you on?





Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Hi Jackhammers:

Two news items today are just plain weird.

1. A bunch of sickos, including a couple ex-NY cops and a retired firefighter, have been ensnared in an Internet child-porn investigation, part of a nationwide crackdown on kiddie porn called, fantastically: "Operation Candyman."

2. On Tuesday 400 Americans emigrated to Israel, many of them Jews who moved with the aid of $5,000 grants from American evangelical Christians, who want Jews in Israel for part of some scripture-fulfillment or something.

I'm going back to bed.



Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Hi Rubberheads:

I'm basking in the rock afterglow of the passion that is Weezer.

"From our hearts straight to yours," Rivers said, twice.

Irony is so over.

One day we'll look back on the ironic music of the '90s and shake our heads, and know that irony is a big bluff, the refuge of those who are still living in fear. Fear of looking dumb, of being exposed, and of not living up to the greatness of those who came before.

It's harder not to ironicize. It means you can't fake it; you gotta cut it. It's harder to play real arena rock than to make fun of arena rock. It's harder to play the blues than to make fun of yourself trying to play the blues.

My friends Tsar played around with irony, they went pretty close to the danger zone. But in the moment of truth, they mean it all. Every la la la and harmonized guitar solo is a distillation of their love.

Same goes for Weezer.

It's weird any of us got caught up in irony in the first place, but maybe it was an inevitable passage. Children of the '70s suffered so much. How can you experience the collapse of your own family, of love, of everything that makes a child feel safe, and not learn irony? As a child borne of the '60s but raised in the '70s, how can you sing songs of youth, true love, freedom, joy, personal power, musical majesty and spiritual redemption, with a straight face, the first time round?

The real test is what you do later, as an adult, after the war. Now.

What do you choose?

Weezer choose rock.

"You can't resist the rock," Rivers says. "You can't fight it."

It's time to step up without fear and proclaim everything you believe in.

This is also why I love the White Stripes so. The least ironic band I know---without being no-fun too-precious bitches. The Strokes are OK, but they're really too young to even come anywhere near my heart. There's something special about being a little bit older. And this is also why I know the Hives are lying like hell about their age--you can feel it in their aggressive simplicity. To paraphrase Nirvana, they know what it means.

The show tonight was weird in that they only played one song off the new record--"Dope Nose." A year ago, Rivers told me he was sick of all their old stuff, including their then brand-new Green Album, and he just wanted to play the new-new stuff. I don't know what that stuff was--if it was what became "Maladroit," or if it was a batch of songs that never came out. In any case, he dropped it tonight in favor of all the old stuff, sung with maybe even more conviction than back in 1995.

And Pat Wilson is a true rock hero (the drummer).

I am high on Vicodin and beer, and I really hafta go to sleep.

The new Chili Peppers is out today. I'm psyched to buy it and bond with it and freak out on the harmonies and the John underneath every song. Those guys completely sidestepped irony from the beginning. They were punks, and there wasn't time back then for irony. You had to put on a rock show or get pelted with bottles. They couldn't be ironic if they tried. You've gotta go for it, they would say.

Anyway, I'm off to the land of nod. Got a heavy date with my pillow.



Monday, July 08, 2002

Hi Lunky Doo:

I have to apologize twice:

1. For the dumb last post. I thought I had erased it but somehow it posted. Oops!

2. For never writing, ever.

I need my special desk in L.A. to write. The wang chung here in my parents' computer-room is all wrong.

Today was a stellar day for one reason, and one reason only: I got 16 Vicodins.

It has to do with a root canal situation.

I just took one but the Judy Garland feel hasn't come on yet.

Apparently me and my buddy Jim are gonna take some tomorrow night at Weezer. Then we're gonna check out the "Weezer After-Party" at First Avenue's Seventh Street Entry, where AM Radio will play, among others.

Question: When they were casting for the "Dope Nose" video, they must have asked for "Hip Young Asians Only," or something to that effect, right?

I wonder if that felt a bit completely lame.

What if Rivers had a black-fetish, and everyone in the video except band members were black, and the casting announcement said, "Hip Young Blacks Only"?

Of course, I find the Asian thing partly offensive because I have a crush on Rivers, and am not Asian, despite my father's obvious secret Japanese-ness.

Finally got the new Spin, with the Chili Peppers article. I still cannot bear to read it, but the pictures are great. I have gotten good responses from people, but my loved ones are obliged to be supportive.

Anyway, who cares what other people think. You have to learn to stop needing approval, and follow your own gut into the mystery.

It's hard: you're born alone, you die alone, and on a very deep level, you gotta live alone. No matter how in love you are, how much you love your friends. There is a place inside where we are all one, but there is also a place inside where we are all alone. There's a reason for that, as painful as it is.

I think maybe you can't have the all-oneness without the alone-ness.

I wish I had the transcripts with me from the piece, because the interviews had so much rich wonder that couldn't fit in the article. I feel so sad about that.

I was at the dentist today, my rock 'n' roll ex-hippie dentist, who always dopes me up good, listening to classic rock on headphones while he poked my jawbone.

Everything was OK and I forgot about the bone because ELO's "Do Ya" came on, which apparently plays whenever you really need it. Then Badfinger's "Day After Day," produced by George Harrison, with the totally Claptonesque guitars. Some say the guitars are Harrisony. (Course, it's always a fine line between Harrisonesque and Claptonesque--America's "Sister Golden Hair," for example.)

The bridge to "Do Ya" is melodically similar to the verse on "Day After Day."

And then there's that Joe Jackson song, "Breaking Us In Two," that blatantly rips off "Day After Day."

Watched the new version of "The Last Waltz" last night with some music-journo friends here. The couch-banter was relentless, because the music was so wack. I'm sorry, but I can't get solemn and reverent about the Band, especially the Band c. 1978, when most of their '70s coke-folk buddies were also settling into severe wackitude: Joni Mitchell singing a song with no melody but many words, words, words. Eric Clapton playing a song with no melody and many notes, notes, notes.

You see clearly why the Ramones were necessary.

At the dentist I also heard the "Doors" will be touring and recording.


Isn't that kind of like The Jimi Hendrix Experience announcing a new album?

But apparently Ian Astbury of the Cult will be the new Jim. The idea is so bad, it just might rule.



ps: send love/piss/skittles to me at heykate17@earthlink.net

pps: Fond goodbye to Timothy White, editor in chief of Billboard Magazine, who died last week of a heart attack at his office. A big fat music-geek brain is gone.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Hello My Dogs:

I'm still in vacation-mode so I'm being the World's Most Incredibly Lamest Blogger Ever. I have nothing much to say about the Rock today except that I just saw the videos for Weezer's "Dope Nose" and the Hives' "Hate to Say I Told You So" in a hip youth-culture shoe store called Journeys.

Re: Weezer

How many Japanese girls did Rivers sleep with making that video? I love Rivers but his Asian-fetish is getting to be a little creepy and retarded.

Re: The Hives

How badly does this song rip off Blur's "Song No. 2," a.k.a. the "Woo-Hoo" song?

Blur should sue.

I just spent the day at the mall with my best GF Hillary. She spent 40 million dollars on 97 outfits but all I got was some perfume and eyeliner. I hate all the clothes these days. The whole "Let's revive the worst of '80s fashion" thing is too pathetic. That shit sucked the first time around. You think I'm going to like it now because it's 20 years old and twice as expensive?

It's not like, say, Duran Duran.

Duran Duran was lame as hell in the '80s. But time has proven the quality of their songwriting.

Time has NOT proven the quality of synthetic lace fringe on denim skirts, worn with wide-wide belts.

Shopping made me depressed. I have total mall-ennui now.

The women who work at these stores are robotic, tan and skinny as hell, and when I talk to them, I feel like an interloper from the planet of neurotic, messy, fleshy women whose hair is always ratty, whose fingernails are always short and dirty, and who always have bruises on their shins.

I want to corrupt these creatures. I want to give them drugs and alcohol and lots of food, and give them copies of "Brave New World" and "The Color Purple" and "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas."

Can you relate?

Do you ever feel like something's really wrong with young women and the whole shopping culture?

I know you do.

Gotta go corrupt some teens.



Thursday, July 04, 2002

Hi Frankenfreaks!

Please go out and eat American food and French kiss, if possible.

And if you can't be with the one you love, honey,

love the one you love.

Fuck that hippie shit.

I am sending messy big love to L.A.

Hope it's all good in Hollywood. (Oh my gosh, didn't that sound like a Tupac lyric?) Be safe and remember, when it comes to fireworks in the hot tub, it's all fun and games till someone explodes.



Tuesday, July 02, 2002


I just wrote you a long and link-filled love letter about the new legislation in Congress to counteract radio consolidation, proposed by a Wisconsin guy and supported by the beloved Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone.

(Then the computer crashed and completely demoralized me, and destroyed the entry.)

Anyway, is it any surprise Midwesterners are pushing for good radio?


Midwesterners are culturally evolved and musically deep.

Oh yeah, I'm still in Minneapolis.

Last night I wanted to hang out with my soul brother Jim Walsh, but the final time I called him his wife Jean said he was seeing Paul Westerberg at the Guthrie.

So I called my GF Suzanne and we drove around Uptown, trying to think where to drink. The Leaning Tower of Pizza's electricity was all busted, so we drove by my fave dive, the Red Dragon (Minneapolis's Ye Rustic Inn), but the bug bit me for Liquor Lyle's. I never ever go there ever, but it just bit me, so we went.

It was totally packed and sporty and gross, but in the back room I get this special feeling and I look up across the room and who's smiling at me but Jim Walsh! With his best friend Craig Wright!

I guess the concert ended early.

Craig made us drink several rounds of tequila. You see, Craig's new play isn't finished and it is due to the theater today.That is why he was at Liquor Lyle's doing tequila shots.

This is how it is to write.

If I'm not mistaken, the play actually opens in two weeks.

Jim asked me to explain to him again what John Frusciante and Jack White had said about the importance of creative limitation in songwriting.

So I explain it. As you may have read on this blog, John's explanation began with a polemic assertion that there is no free will in the traditional sense, but rather a sort of a-linear perfection to all experience, which supercedes the concept of individual freedom.

So I'm explaining it, and Craig goes, "That is what I have been saying for six months--and not only the same idea, butword for word."

This is what his play is about.

We argue for ages because it turns out that I have fundamental problems with Craig's take on this concept. Unlike John, Craig seems to use it to say, personal ethics are obsolete.

This is pure bullshit.

Every time he said something, I disagreed with it passionately, and on many levels. But he said, Kate, everything you say, I agree with.

Maybe it was the tequila, or maybe it was something deeper than logic that was bugging me.

But I now officially love Craig. He's such an incredible wonderful insane freak.

He's moving to L.A. in a month to be a big-shot writer for "Six Feet Under." I never watch TV but if the show starts becoming good, you'll know why. Craig also has a new songwriting/publishing deal and is making outrageously delicious bubble-gum pop songs full of "sha na na"s and handclaps. When Jim played it for me I freaked out, it was so Radio Disney, in all the best ways. It was everything Radio Disney promises to be, and sometimes is: Smart, subversive, sexual kiddy-pop for grown-ups (and kidz).

So, at midnight Craig stands up suddenly and says, I'm walking home.

We try to get him to catch a ride with one of us but he refuses. He's walking. And so he leaves, and walks down Franklin Avenue all the way to St. Paul.

In L.A., this would be the equivalent of walking down Franklin Ave. from where it begins near Curson, near Laurel Canyon, to where it ends at St. George in Silverlake.

A month ago, I tried to explain to Craig and his wife that they need to live in Silverlake, but they're moving near LACMA.

You can lead a genius to Silverlake but you can't make him rent. (oof--sorry)

After Craig left Liquor Lyle's, we had a long talk about community and L.A. and Minneapolis.

See, walking to the bar last night, me and Suzanne pass by a basement-level apt. with the windows open and the lights on. Inside are racks and racks of LPs, a turn-table, old rock posters, junk and books everywhere.

This is Minneapolis.

This is Minneapolis.

This is Minneapolis.

I'll shut up now and go walk around Lake Calhoun now before sunset. The sun goes down here at 9 p.m.

Freak out!