Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Hi, you nutty nutters:

I use to work at City Pages a long time ago, and there was this genius reporter who wrote amazing articles about things that are Big News today, like killer flus and mad cow. Monika Bauerlein's a fucking genius. Check out this article she wrote in 1996 about mad cow.

I guess back then they weren't allowed to use sick cows for people food. i wonder when that changed, and why the news tonight didn't tell me.



ps: sorry to get all mad cow on you

Monday, December 29, 2003

hi, yeah

i forgot: "Elf" also borrows a fair amount from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure."




Saturday, December 27, 2003

Hello, Saturday Night:

I think you're all right.

I feel really lucky right now. I am having a potential streak of good movie karma. It's kind of like when you're on a roll in Yahtzee, or when you've been getting good parking. I have seen not one but two good movies in three days. What's interesting is that the only thing these movies have in common---and I mean the only thing--is Jon Favreau. First I saw "Elf" on Christmas with my brother and sister, and oh Lord, how I did cry. Jim Walsh, baby, I know you've seen it by now, right? How much did you love it?

Good Lord, what a classic Christmas movie.

Actually, I take it back: The other thing these movies have in common is Hal Ashby.

"Elf" borrows from lots of other movies, "Big" and "Being There" most of all. And the other movie I saw tonight, "Something's Gotta Give," made me think of my best movie of all time, "Harold and Maude." Both that movie and "Being There" were directed by Hal Ashby.

"Something's Gotta Give" is wonderful for many reasons, but the most surprising reason is Keanu Reeves, of all things. I think he may have actually given the performance of his life. He should be horribly proud. They should give out Oscars for Best Performance By A Traditionally Mediocre Actor, and he should win by a landslide. It's a terrible cliche, but he seriously lights up the screen in every shot. He is boyish and tender and lovely, and somehow his usual woodenness comes off as genuine human awkwardness. He is delightful to watch, and he makes every woman in the audience fall in love with him, not because he's kickass and hip and superhuman, but because he's totally human. I think his performance may have called up some of his deeper history, because I think he used this tragically romantic character as a way to express his experience of being in love way back, with the lady who died.

This movie also borrows from earlier movies, in a playful way---there are subtle references to "Manhattan," "Annie Hall," "Terms of Endearment," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and even "The Shining." In fact, another reason this movie is so good is that it sort of culminates what is great about both Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. And Diane Keaton definitely hits it out of the park, perfecting her character from "Annie Hall" and making me understand what the big fuss was all about back then, why she was so special.

I'm not saying it's a perfect movie--the editing is weird sometimes and some of the dialogue is pretty dialogue-y. But somehow it ends up working.

It's funny too because despite the age factor, the Diane Keaton character reminded me so much of myself. The scenes when she's crying compulsively at her computer, in the shower, on the beach, etcetera, were meant to be comic, but I wasn't really laughing. It almost made me feel that being in love is not really an individual experience. Falling in love is like tuning in to a secret frequency. Once you get the password, you're in, and in some ways it is the same environment for everyone who's there. I've seen it before in other people and I've kind of known how it would feel, and though it feels much bigger than all that, at the bottom, it feels just like I knew it would. It is a distinct feeling, distinctly different from not-love. It is a place. That's like that e.e. cummings poem.

When I was in tenth grade, I took an English class at Immaculate Heart from Ms. McNamara, a nun who understood about love. I mean, love-love, sexual and romantic, too. I don't know where she learned it, but she did. The entire year was spent reading the best high school books and trying to talk about love. I wrote a clearly Sapphic love poem for her class, before I even knew about such things as lesbian imagery; I was just trying to explain how it felt to love someone. She gave me an A+, and there wasn't a blush of embarrassment about any of it. Thank you, Ms. McNamara! In any case, something magic happened in her class. It was so special that a year ago when my friend Halle got married, she wanted Ms. McNamara to perform the ceremony, and I couldn't think of a better minister. It turned out that Ms. McNamara now lives in Northern California and works in prisons. That's the Immaculate Heart I know and love.

At the end of the year, we sat in the auditorium at long fold-up tables to do our final exam. It wasn't easy, but at the top of the first sheet of paper, she had written a note to us thanking us for the year and encouraging us, maybe not in so many words, to be confident. And at the end of her note, she included that poem by e.e. cummings. Sitting in that cold auditorium, being tested and codified for something as ephemeral as poetry, the note from Ms. McNamara reminded me what it had all been about, and what is was still all about, and what it was going to be about, regardless of our scores.

love is a place

& through this place of

love move

(with brightness of peace)

all places

yes is a world

& in this world of

yes live

(skilfully curled)

all worlds

It's funny I should be sitting here so many years later, reciting the same words that came to me like scripture at 17. I'd amend it myself, because love isn't all that peaceful, a lot of times. But what I have learned about love, and what this one movie said, too, was that the torture of heartbreak is a fucking bargain, as ticket prices go. And I guess that was also the main point of "Harold and Maude." That's what made me think of that film, more than the old woman/young man stuff.

It's like Maude said: Get hurt, even, but play as well as you can. Go team, Go!

Jesus, I'm Irish tonight.

By the way, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish a happy birthday to the Baby Jesus, in Prague and everywhere else he may be tonight. I'm often the first one to get down on Christianity, because I have a brain and whatnot, but the one thing I do appreciate about that tradition is its essential statement about Love. It was unique for its time and place, and that's why it has such staying power.

Gotta run. Rock on, babies----


Friday, December 26, 2003

Hello there.

This is one of Kate's relatives. She asked me to write here. Let's see...we've been talking about musical time travel across the dementia. She's Jeff Barry and I'm getting married. No, it's better than that. It's gonna be great

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Good Morning, George Bernard Shaw!

I have this letter on the back of my bathroom door. I've had it like that for a couple years, so that every time I go to the bathroom I glance at it. I think it's done something for me, but I couldn't put it into words.

I think it's by an Italian monk named Fra Giovanni, and it's dated 1513. I don't know if they had exclamation points in 1513, but the version I have uses them.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see, and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, the angel's hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.

Our joys too, be not content with them as joys--they, too, conceal deeper gifts.

And so at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends its greetings but with profound esteem and the prayer that for you, for now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

rock on--


Thursday, December 11, 2003

OK, Everybody (and that means you):

Finally I have a minute to get my blog on.

So, the record I'm into at the moment is the new release by Puffy AmiYumi, called "Nice." It's just super! I'm in love!

At first I thought there were only two good songs on it, kind of like their last compilation. It turns out, though, that this is a true album, written and produced cohesively and with great good care, delicious and full of discoveries all the way through. It's written and produced mainly by Andy Sturmer, who, as far as I know, used to be in Jellyfish, and who made the two great songs on their compilation. He's a dream.

Other than that, I've been travelling my ass off. To Minnesota.

The cottage is getting more and more cottagey. I've got a huge X-mas tree decorated with anything I could find around the house, including the cut-out satellite from ELO's "Out of the Blue" album, at the top of the tree, and a Rolling Stones keychain, a magic wand, a Wellstone button and my tiny Britney bear whose T-shirt says "Oops!" It's a good tree.

I'm listening at this moment to the new Nelly Furtado album, but I'm not feeling it. Oh well. I didn't exactly have my heart set on it.

Mostly I've been rockin' the KOLA-99 FM a lot, which plays "Hang on Sloopy" with appropriate frequency and also plays all the best holiday songs. OMG, Julio just played me the Christmas record by The Brothers Steve, a college band including members of Tsar and the Corvids and other friends. It's the most precious holiday record I've ever heard. Tender and delicate and full of boyish harmonies and heartfelt sentiments about Christmas, Chanukah, and Easter for no reason. I wish you could hear it. You would love it.

Boys act like they don't care about Christmas, but they totally do.

I wish I could write more but suddenly I am overcome with exhaustion. I've been working and staying up and not sleeping enough, and what with all the cyber-flus out there, it is suddenly necessary to sleep like 10 hours a night just to feel normal. Do you hear me?

talk to you soon,

stay gold,


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

boogly boogly,

I am all busy and everything. I took down yesterday's post--it turns out I'm just too private for such things. You know what I mean. I know you do.

I'm afraid I'm still not fully present on the time-space plane and thus I am unable to blog at normal capacity. You see, one half my brain is trying to find the perfect pop song of all time and the other half is in a meadow, dancing with Marc Bolan.

Monday, December 01, 2003

So I saw the third matrix last night---had to get it "out of the way" before moving onto "Elf" in the near future. what a lot of hooey. They really lost the ball, I'm afraid. I was really expecting some interesting multidimensional pseudo-theoretical physics/spirituality to make me think in new ways, but mostly I was amused by how the council of elders in Zion looked like the reunion of the original cast of "Hair" (with possibly some former members of Love thrown in).

I am the worst cryer at shlocky shit, and even i didn't cry at the "sad" parts. Trinity and Neo have gotten so smug about their perfect love, and she's got no sense of humor at all.

Jada Pinkett was the most interesting thing. And that lesbian sniper. She rocked.

well, as you can see, i am in a shit mood, so I'm going to sign off and spare you.



Sunday, November 30, 2003

I know, i suck. I'm just all into my stuff right now, like gardening and sleeping and working and listening as much as possible to the great beatles song "real love," which is really like a john lennon song, and it's so great i can't listen to it enough. i have to go listen to it again now. it's real love.



Wednesday, November 19, 2003

hi buggies

i have to tell you that I am in minneapolis yet again working on my top secret project, which is why i haven't been blogging for shit for a while. sorry. i will return to you when i return to l.a. in a few days.

i will have much rock news, probably, as I have seen a couple amazing shows lately---including Guided By Voices last night at First Avenue, which was by far the best GBV show I've ever seen---amazing, really.

i'll tell you about it later.



Friday, November 07, 2003

I am totally swooning to my download of Andy Kim's "Baby, I Love You." This is THE GREATEST Phil Spector song ever, though, strangely, Phil Spector did not write or produce it.

It's ALL ARCHIES, ALL THE WAY---straight to my heart.

And sleigh bells!

Thank you, Jeff Barry!

Long Live Jeff Barry, my hero!

If you want to know what makes me swoon in heavenly rhapsodies, download this song.


Hi Monkey Brains In The Cup:

You sweet talkers, you. I was going to write today to say that I can't blog for a while, but then I read a couple comments that made me feel like maybe I can still handle it a little. I mean, Tony Pierce says you don't have to write a ton---just do it every day and be consistent. Sounds pretty easy, right?

So I'll give it a shot.

I have zero time this morning, so how about a quick news roundup:

1. I was in Minneapolis for a few days working on the Top Secret Project. It was ice cold, like Outkast.

2. I was Steve Martin for Halloween, possibly the best costume I've done yet. I had been planning this since last Halloween. I went all-out: white suit, arrow thru the head, bunny ears, fish-in-pocket. ("Best Fishes!") Then at the last minute, before going out, I got an inspiration to do another combination-costume (like last year's Meg White-as-a-pirate). I got the idea to do "Stefani Martin"----basically, to take my Steve Martin costume and cross-breed it with Gwen Stefani. The idea was better than the reality. It was an idea before its time, I'm afraid. My friend Julio told me it was too much information to process. i think i understand. So before we left I switched back to plain old Steve Martin. But nobody at the party questioned why this Steve Martin had black liquid cat eyeliner and a big weird rolled-up curl in the middle of his forehead.

3. I am currently very into learning about early stone age hip hop--i.e., the 1970s black corollary to Andy Warhol. I am interested in the way that hip-hop kind of started in Jamaica, and also in the way that Kraftwerk inspired Afrika Bambaata and others. I am also interested in the fact that, as far as I can tell, early hip-hop kind of reinvented postmodernism--like if you thought the psychedelic-era Beatles or the Monkees were postmodern, this was that it the fifth dimension. Since I have heard this music, I now have quite a bit less interest in Beck.

4. I have to go now and learn more about Kraftwerk and hip hop.

5. I am super-psyched for the new "Let It Be." I wrote something maybe a year ago on the blog about "Let It Be," but I can't find it anywhere.

6. I feel happy. Like Donna Summer sang, I feel love. That song is commonly considered the first electronic dance hit. That song, recorded in Munich, I believe, is really a marriage of Kraftwerk and American disco. I am very excited, as I learn about Kraftwerk, to also discover everything about Giorgio Moroder, who wrote/produced Donna Summer's timeless and perfect album "On the Radio." He was a pioneer of electronic music in the 1970s.

7. I don't like techno, and I don't much like hip-hop, but I like the earlier versions of them both. I think this is because back then, it all sounded so new, and there was an unmistakable smudgy human thumbprint on all of it, even the most pristine synthesizer stuff. Kraftwerk was hooky and melodic and harmonic and romantic and human, with a back-story, a message and a sense of place. And, once again, they were hooky. That's why hip hop dudes used them so much. There was something so deeply sensually human about them, and about the best early DJs. This is why I like Outkast and Daft Punk, among a few others. They have some of the same bloody freaky humanness. It hasn't been bled out of them.

8. i really have to go.



Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hi baby:

I'm sorry for being absent and all. You know how it goes. sometimes, you're absent. It ain't that I don't love ya.

There's lots to write about, lots that other bloggers have been writing about. People died, some stuff caught on fire, some other stuff happened.

But that ain't where my head is at. All the stuff I want to write about is either too personal or too unprofessional to write about. I should try and write it in code, like a letter from Harry to Sirius.

Dear Snuffles,

Well, fall is here and the apple pie's gone missing. Can't eat the ice cream without it! Big red ball got popped on a rosebush, but Old Scratch patched it up. Too much raking to do and the groundskeeper's gone and horded all the rakes. We thinks he wants a ransom. Gas guy came and re-lit the pilot--like magic. Send bubblegum when you can and stay warm!


Haw haw. In truth, I'm just dried up right now. Sometimes you dry up. Then after a while you get some rain.

I am now going to go and attempt to find my dream Halloween costume, and I can't tell you what it is until I get it.

Have a great Thursday, my favorite day of the week.


your pal,


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Happy Birthday Tony!

A very special wedding (which you can read all about on Tony's site) happened on Sunday between two very special people, Bonnie and Charlie, and this wedding tended to overtake my entire life and week, much like a robotic party octopus.

Good weddings will do that.

Tony did the honors at the wedding, and wrote a beautiful and funny sermon (?) which made me tear up unexpectedly at the end of the following passage:

The best sort of love is the one that has always been there,

that has stood the test of time,

that's there when the sun comes up

and when the sun goes down.

you look at it and it just looks right,

it sounds right,

is right.

it's something deeper than could be expressed in a music video

or written down on a folder during homeroom.

It's a complete journey, but a special one,

for the best ones have a romantic and improbable beginning,

a spectacular and beautiful middle

and no end.


For such a hardcore bachelor, Tony seems to have a certain aptitude for romance. Who knew?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hi Mangle Pie:

I am only an appreciator of sports, not a true fan, which means that I will watch your world series playoff games, your NBA championships and the Olympics and whatnot, but I won't watch normal, everyday ball games unless there's some sex involved. Yet even I, the fake, fair-weather fan, had a couple of emotional moments watching the game last night, not because I feel allegiance to either team but because of the pure skill, and because the Marlins coach touched me (not that way!)--my mom just turned 70 and it tickles me to see an old geezer like that dude hanging tough. But can we talk about the fucking commercials? Every time I watch a ball game it's just like when I listen to Breakfast With the Beatles on KLSX--for a moment I have a window into the male experience of the media. They make commercials for men very differently than for women. And I think 90 percent of regular commercials are for women, so the difference is quite striking when you get a solid two hours of male-skewed ads. Male-skewed ads are way more rinky-dink, much simpler in their message, and much less visually complex. They state their message in really obvious terms and hope you'll buy it. It's kind of cute, actually. Are men's minds really that simple? Have I been playing a fool's game this whole time? The Viagra one is the best. I kind of wish men our media were a little more male in general--more blatantly mercenary, simpler, less sentimental and insidious. I wish people always said what they want.

But that is another story.

I have ten things to do today so i better toodle for now.

By the way, Tony, I know how you feel about the guy, but I have to say: I blame Billy Corgan.



Wednesday, October 15, 2003

one more thing: i read a long thing in mojo yesterday devoted to yoko. i have never been a yoko fan, but due to mojo, i think i am starting to "get" her. what i got, especially, is that she has changed an awful lot since the white album. what i also got is that her m.o. is to promote "female" values through "male" language. more later.
Kick out the jams, brothers and sisters;

today i'm too busy doing my life to write, but i wanted to direct you to two special blogs: Secret Private Inside Feeling by my sister maggie and Science Blog by my brother Ben.

There's a poem on maggie's blog called "Maggie's Comet" that I like. She goes, "I'm a magic wand waiting to be stolen."

Ben's blog has some crazy informations about pot smoking and those fake contact lenses they sell at Fashions of Echo Park, which i almost bought on a lark.

now i have to go. i want to know why nobody cares about ellie greenwich and jeff barry. are you people stoned?



PS: Maggie, your blog doesn't have comments, so here is what i want to tell you about the whole "getting somewhere" thing i was talking about back in september. I think maybe you have a different idea of what i meant, which makes me fear i am not as clear a writer as i need to be. i was actually trying to communicate my appreciation for the private moment of creation, the Zen (if you will. will you?) of working on your art. the daily practice of it, whether or not you're greatly advanced or going to find worldly success. i admire whathisname for pursuing his passion for trumpet though he isn't probably the next miles davis. and i admire how he says, i may not be the greatest but i can only be as beautiful as i can be. i do find merit in creating art, whether or not anyone sees it--I think the act of creation has a merit that is its own reward, which is something people who stifle their creativity tragically never know. incidentally, i think this is how art ultimately gets made--through work, and that it is a good thing when other people do get to see your work. but when he said he hopes to "get somewhere," i took it to mean, he hopes to manifest whatever unheard music is inside him, trying to get out. the end.

Monday, October 13, 2003

PS: I forgot to mention: Jeff Barry cowrote "Sugar Sugar" with Andy Kim--and he also produced Kim's version of "Baby I Love You." This version of the Barry/Greenwich song is maybe my favorite love song of all time. (Check out the mini-sound clip.)

This takes me back to the old Andy Kim/Neil Diamond cosmic symmetry thing.

Freak out, Stephanie!

Sugar, Sugar:

Yesterday was an important day in my life, for yesterday was the day I discovered the early architects of my musical dream life, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. I never knew two people were responsible for so many different things I have loved so dearly.

The story of this musical marriage is so long and complicated i don't even wanna begin to go into the details of it, most of which I don't yet know, but these are the basics:

Jeff was Jewish and Ellie was Jewish and Irish.

They were both singers and songwriters in New York.

They fell in love while singing and talking about music on dates in the early-early Sixties.

After college Ellie worked as a high school teacher, and quit after three weeks. Fortunately she got a job as a contract songwriter at the Brill Building, and then Nevins and Kirshner went ahead and hired her BF, too. After they got married, Ellie and Jeff decided to only write with each other. Together they became two of the most successful and influential visionaries of pop music. In fact, in my book, they surpass King/Goffin. To me, they're sort of on a par with Lennon-McCartney, not in terms of innovation or diversity but in terms of how they have shaped my heart.

Barry-Greenwich popularized nonsense pop lyrics with songs like "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Iko Iko," "Hanky Panky" and "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy."

They wrote tons of defining hits of Phil Spector: "Be My Baby," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "I Can Hear Music," "Chapel of Love" and "Baby I Love You." (I don't need to point out the influence their songwriting would have on Brian Wilson, right.)

(My new thing is to replace question marks with periods.)

They are also considered the founders of the girl-group sound and wrote songs for the Shangrila's like "The Leader of the Pack."

Pretty good, right. But wait, there's a whole lot more.

They discovered Neil Diamond and produced a shitload of his best stuff (his first nine hit singles), including "Cherry Cherry," "Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon," "Kentucky Woman," "Shilo," "Thank the Lord for the Night Time" etc. (Krayzee!)

Supposedly Neil nicked his singing style from Jeff.

You thought I was done. Not hardly!

You know how the Monkees sound like Neil Diamond, and you always thought it was because he wrote a couple of their songs? That's not the only reason. In fact, Jeff produced a bunch of Monkees shit including "I'm A Believer" and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You," and wrote "She Hangs Out" (I told you they were the masters of nonsense lyrics, dude: "doo-de-ron-ron-ron, doo-de-ron ron/she hangs out!"). Jeff was good enough friends with Micky that after the Monkees split with Don Kirshner, he went ahead and produced some more shit for them.

But wait, there's EVEN MORE, and I've saved the sweetest for last.

After writing some of the best songs of the Brill Building/Phil Spector/girl group era; after sonically birthing Neil Diamond and helping to create the Monkees (and after getting divorced), Jeff Barry went on to become the musical architect of the Archies, writing and producing all my favorite Archies songs: "Sugar Sugar," "Feeling So Good (Skooby Doo)," "Bang Shanga Lang," etc.

Lazy people think the Archies suck. I wonder what they would say if they knew the guy who created that music also wrote "Be My Baby," which Brian Wilson continually mentions as his favorite song of all time, and which he listens to every fucking day when he wakes up?

It's not that songwriters don't change and usually start to suck; the thing is, Barry wasn't sucking at all. He was kicking ass. And was almost 40. (He's like 70 now. Isn't that amazing?)

The discovery of Barry-Greenwich has opened my eyes to the secret legacy of Tin Pan Alley. You can draw a line from Cole Porter to Neil Sedaka to Jeff Barry to Phil Spector to the Monkees to the Archies to Max Martin (with some stops along the way to hang out with the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and the Ramones). What unites these songwriters is also what leads snobs to dismiss them: They were working on contract with a mandate to write hits. And starting in the Fifties, they were building a musical language for an American teenage fantasy life.

It was a fantasy. I like fantasy. Here's what Jeff Barry said in 1995 about snobs:

"There's a record by The Staple Singers that I wrote called 'Heavy Makes You Happy.' If it don't make you happy, it ain't heavy! The heaviest thing in the world for me is to make people happy, something that's not done enough of! So for people to say 'Sugar, Sugar' isn't cool, my answer is, well, I feel sorry for you."

Yeah, what he said.

Friday, October 10, 2003

PS: the idea that only men like the baseball card game is sexy, i mean sexist. i used to fill many bored hours in high school classifying the Beatles' songs by title: songs with girls' names; animals; celestial bodies; prepositions (e.g., Across the Universe); food, etc.
Reap the Wild Wind!

a couple notes and then i'm giving this a rest.

a. just because i mentioned compulsive crying as an appropriate response to good music doesn't mean i or my friends don't also simultaneously dig the craft, intellect and social relevance behind music--in fact, i'm usually crying in sheer joy at the nifty chord progressions, heroic key changes, clever lyrics and grandiose Statement of it all. I understand that knowing more about music also enables you, if you're so inclined, to be ever more deeply moved by music. so don't go projecting your own mind/body split on my words!

2. i never mentioned baseball cards. i wish they made music baseball cards.

c. dude, you know i'm right about the frustrated-rock star thing. it's a cliche because it's fucking true.

f. it ain't no copout to say pop music is all about style and all about art. you know me well enough to know that the "intersection" (ew) of Art and Popism is my chief obsession.

in fact, i have to go now and do some heavy thinking about this very subject, because thinking about art and style at the same time is practically my favorite thing.



Thursday, October 09, 2003

Hi, Freewheelers!

My buddy Keith Harris hated my blog about critics, and he wrote a really fun and angry response. Obviously we disagree on a lot of big points but I like how passionate he is:

Right now I gotta vent.

Most of the critics I know---that we both know---like, love, adore music (and more

music) much more than most adults. (Sorry, but most people our age don't listen

to music very much, and definitely not new music.) I've hung with said critics

quite a lot (I know, how "creepy!" of me to have friends with shared interests)

and I don't know one who needs "permission" to dance to Britney (really, what

the hell are you talking about?) Also they feel music as deeply (if not more) as

most people as well, though I didn't realize this was a contest (very unfeminine

of you to make it one), and they're not "loathe to admit to it." But they

also consider it part of their jobs to analyze how art works rather than just letting

their love flow. That's why they're, you know, critics, instead of people who

listen to the radio on their way to other jobs. And saying that crying is necessarily

how you "experience music on the deepest possible level" is reinforcing the

mind-body split with a vengeance.

Good criticism is actually not an exercise of "all-or-nothing thinking." Maybe

good polemicism is, but that ain't really the same thing as nuanced criticism,

even if a lot of published crit falls into that trap---though you'll find way

more dismissive polemics in blogs, zines, and everyday discussion. (Ask most "normal

people" why they don't like something.) And you'll find more polemics about

other subjects---politics, for instance--than you will about music. Plus, the alternative to all-or-nothing isn't everything-is-everything, and to say it's "simultaneously

all about the music and all about the fashion" is a cop-out---the "fun" comes

in figuring out where those intersect, and how.

If, that is, you accept that using your brain is a way of enjoying life, and not

just a way to kill free, natural, magical, "real" fun. "Musicians have a freedom

that most critics deny themselves." I�m not sure what this freedom is---not

to analyze your response to culture? (Jeez, talk about nothing left to lose.) That�s

just plain anti-intellectualism, and it plays so well in 99.9% of the United States

I somehow doubt that excess cerebration is really some sort of national epidemic.

"They get a little baby chip on their shoulders, that just grows and grows--especially

since most of them have musical yearnings of their own." Oh, that�s right, we�re

all frustrated rock stars, I heard about that somewhere. "You gain all your glamour

and mystique through the wild beauty of the animal you have tamed." What kind

of idjit goes after glamour and mystique by writing about records? If I have a

chip on my shoulder it's because every time I use a polysyllable to talk about

music some dimwit tells me I�m not rocking out enough, man. (See this for example.)

Sorry if this sounds a little defensive, but you basically spent a couple thousand

reductive words caricaturing the aesthetic choices of me and my friends and then

writing this misrepresentation of our world view off a kind of frustrated male pathology based on a single lame Chuck Klosterman column. Well, fuck that. Are most critics

jerkoffs? So are most musicians and doctors and plumbers and astronauts. Is there

a boy-culture baseball-card ethos run rampant? Sure, but that methodology has also

resulted in some perceptive, glorious, infatuated crit through the years. Maybe

I�m not being very rock and roll here, but know-nothing critic-hating bums me

out, and it's depressing when a friend whose opinion I respect feels the need

to join the chorus.



In other news, I found this awesome bit of writing on the blog of Mays Newman. It's by Baudelaire.

Get Drunk

One should always be drunk. That's the thing that matters. In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time, which breaks your shoulders and crushes you to the ground, one should be drunk without ceasing.

But on what? On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as suits you. But get drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of the palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the lonely gloom of your room, you wake up, the drunkenness already abated or completely gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that flies or groans or rolls or sings or speaks, ask everything what time it is; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will answer: "Time to get drunk. In order not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk. Get drunk ceaselessly. On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as suits you."

In other other news, these were the top weird search-engine terms that directed people to my blog yesterday:

Kate moss, I just don't know what to do with myself

Britney AND zombies AND frozen

Teen first fuck

Summery of oddessey

Taylor hanson groupie


"cause you are not here" like rain

ben Sullivan

Zac hanson and Kate girlfriend

Old fashioned cornershop pictures

"wearing white jeans"

pictures for a bull wears the American flag

ben Sullivan brit

"celebrity plumber butt"

sex "Pasadena hilton"



Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Let's Animal!

i am what you call very female today and so i am having a sick day today with vicodin, whiskey and a bunch of magazines. i felt the power of corporate music rags in action: while reading the interview with julian casablancas in the new spin (with dave matthews on the cover; no comment), i decided, fuck it, i'm buying those strokes tickets, man. i paid fifty bucks to see the stripes; i can pay fifty bucks to see the strokes, since i am getting ready to like them. their new single is sweet and it sounds from the interview like jc is getting way more emotional, singing-wise.

there was an article in there that kind of summed up for me why i don't hang out much with rock critics and why i am glad i don't live in new york, where all the rock critics hang out together (creepy!), and why i never fit into that culture. in this article, the critic basically admitted that he doesn't really grok music on the aesthetic level--for him, it's mostly about the sociocultural aspects: buying the record at the record store, wearing the clothes, taking on the baggage. what's weird is that he was describing this as if it were a good thing. worse, he assumed that the rest of the world is like him. he said, i suspect that no one even likes music anymore.

i don't even know where to begin with the multinefarious wackitude at hand.

one big problem with criticism, a problem lay people don't know about, is that in order to be a compelling writer you've got to take strong stands, be controversial, and fuck shit up. the difficulty is that this aids and abets a grave intellectual disability, known in psychotherpy-speak as "all-or-nothing" thinking. (i know this because my shrink just told me i have it. surprise.) according to all-or-nothing thinking, for example, it's not possible for pop music to be equally, simultaneously all about the music AND all about the fashion.

the problem is that, of course, that's exactly what it is.

for better or worse, my all-or-nothing thinking is mostly limited to my personal life. in my work, i am challenged by a lack of it. this is one reason i am a "female" writer, though i think i am a normal, androgynous writer, and most men are just way off the deep end of received masculinity. but that is another topic. to be quite honest, my ability to see other people's perspective is the reason i was able to write positive articles about some of the worst bands of the late '90s. it was a sort of malign, corporate-era misuse of a potentially beautiful quality.

anyway, the thing is, i recently figured out that life is a mostly all-and-everything proposition, because of the multidimensional nature of the Creation, and the fact that linear time does not really exist beyond our perception of it. bear with me.

we experience time as linear, but it is not anything like what we think it is. i think of it like a cell. inside a cell are miles of dna strands. if you look at things from the perspective of a gene on a strand of dna, you see yourself located on a long string, with miles of dna ahead of and behind you. if you were to travel along that strand of dna, you would feel as if you were moving along a line; it would feel linear, and you would feel like you were moving across space and, thus, through time. but if you look at a cell from a distance, you see that it is a tiny, contained and complete entity, and that travelling through a cell is not really moving across space at all. you're still in one place. likewise, i think that life happens in an instant, always, as a cell exists, complete and whole, with miles and miles of perceived space and time coiled within. i think our lives are already complete, but we experience them in a linear way.

since i don't believe in linear time, i also believe in a kind of triumphant originality in every creature. that is: no matter how many humans have fallen in love throughout history, every person who falls in love is the first person to ever fall in love. and of course every person who discovers led zeppelin is the first person to discover led zeppelin.

believing in this kind of multidimensional life goes hand-in-hand with my ideas about rock, and rock criticism. for example, i think rock is 100 percent style---and 100 percent art. you can't separate them, and why would you want to? it's too much fun.

i have a friend who has taught me a lot about loving music. he cries a lot, especially when listening to music. he cries to the spice girls. he cries to the beatles. he cries to the zombies. he experiences music on the deepest possible level; it transforms him, it has shaped his life story and his very identity and it has long ago replaced whatever religion he once was taught. he is music.

at the same time, he is also the greatest student i know of rock style and gimmickry. in fact, his favorite band is the pooh sticks, who were essentially a cartoon band like the archies--heartbroken triumph in the guise of hooky pop. he's such a good student of rock style that he'll happily give props to bands he doesn't even really want to like--sublime, limp bizkit, the strokes--because he appreciates their grasp of pop style. i think that in his mind it's all kind of one thing. and if the band is really gimmicky and really good--like the white stripes--he sometimes gets intimidated and can't admit they rock. (his dismissal of them only confirmed my belief in their brilliance!)

it is no accident that this friend--who could easily have become a critic and almost did--decided to become a musician. in my experience, musicians have a freedom that most critics deny themselves.

this is a freedom that musicians and music-lovers take for granted, and it's the whole reason i like to party with rock stars and normal people and not critics.

i don't know how to explain it exactly, but i think the process of having to critique music all day for money fucks with the way you hear it. because critiquing music becomes tied to your income, and your sense of who you are in the world, you can easily lose track of the real reason people listen to and make music in the first place. music becomes a platform on which to prove your intellectual superiority, a tool for the construction of your ascendancy--you have to become superior to the music. i understand this because i am a critic, too, and a writer, and i do understand the necessity of "mastering" your subject before you sit down to write. when you sit down to write, you have to feel that you can "kill" your subject--you have to become its master, or you're sunk. or so the logic goes.

the problem is that you start to build a kind of resentment toward your subject--and why not? it's your adversary. you're the gay vegas guy in a codpiece and it's the white tiger. you gain all your glamour and mystique through the wild beauty of the animal you have tamed. you think those guys would be rich fuckers if they were working with carp? critics secretly know that their whole gig is based on someone else's glamour and power and freedom. and so they get a little baby chip on their shoulders, that just grows and grows--especially since most of them have musical yearnings of their own.

and here's where the tragedy comes in. i guess because of all this stuff, and because of the all-or-nothing mind, and because of the ancient mind/body/heart disjuncture in western culture, critics are afraid to admit their inferiority to their subject. i don't mean "inferior" in the negative sense: i mean that in the moment of listening to music, they are affected, moved, and even transformed by art. it has power.

there's nothing more natural than being moved by art, but critics--men especially, i'm afraid--are loathe to admit to it. i think they feel like they'll lose their mystique. that's why, i believe, you rarely see critics dancing and crying and freaking out at rock concerts (though they'll write the most glowing and cerebral reviews the next morning), and why they feel so happy and free when they actually have a dance party and get jiggy to the new hot radio singles. (i've seen it happen--i recall one party in minneapolis where several future big-time ny critics got down to britney. they want to party, you see: they just need someone to give them permission. they also need to get much more drunk, much more often.)

i do know several big-fancy critics who have managed to maintain their jigginess, and are learning to integrate their hearts and groins into their writing. this must be encouraged. readers want this; they understand this; and they don't see it as a weakness.

this is the thing: whatever spin-guy says, normal people do like music--they love music, and they need it more than ever right now, which is why we have such amazing technology to get as much music as quickly and cheaply as possible, and why the dinosaurs at the major labels are freaking out. people find in music a world not reflected around them either in the physical realm or on radio: they find a world of beauty, fun, sex and inspiration, sadness and comfort, danger and triumph. a world they knew as youngsters; a world that still exists in their hearts. i knew this the night after johnny cash died: i was at the rustic, and every time a johhny cash song came on the jukebox, the whole bar--and i mean everyone--let out a kind of sad whoop and toasted the man.

hell, i knew this before he died: i heard the first time jed the fish played "hurt" for his catch of the day--and i saw how an explosion of phone calls to the station put that weird, beautiful-ugly enigma into heavy rotation. you think a corporate radio programmer--or a critic--could have predicted that?

if you give them a chance, people can be the best critics of all.

the biggest problem for critics is a fear of loving--we feel we won't be taken seriously for our minds if our hearts are too big, too bloody, and too wide-open. people have taken on the intellectual rigor of lester bangs, but forgotten that what made his writing sing was his mad crazy love.

it's such a shame, especially for the critic. can you imagine stifling the very love that defines your life?


in other news: i got the new outkast record yesterday. it's a double album: one by each guy. so far i've only listened to dre's side. "hey ya" is genius; the rest is watered-down prince. i know where prince's mojo went: dre stole it!

last night i went to spaceland and had a great time on beer and 1/4 of a vicodin, or "viking," as they say. i was chatting for quite a while with a lead-singer guy who happens to look remarkably like jc of the strokes. since i now look like drew barrymore, i thought it would be funny if we started dating. but we won't. he's 23, ok? not that i have anything against 23-year-olds. it's just... i don't know. young people rock my world but they lack the tragi-majestic depth of guys who've been to the races, if you know what i mean.


i don't know if i can go, but Tsar is opening for Shonen Knife this friday at ye olde knitting factory in fabulous hollywood, california. bubble-punk majesty a go-go!



Monday, October 06, 2003

Hi, Cheetah Girls!

Going through my old shit in Minneapolis I found a note passed between me and my best GF Debbie Urlik when we were teens at Immaculate Heart. I gather the space shuttle had recently exploded.


K: What have you done to prepare for the AP?

D: Yet? Nothing. I plan to start tonight, but i've been saying that all week. we'll see. I think I might make some sort of time line/study guide.

K: That's a good idea. Me too. How much chem. extra credit did you do? And on the test, when it said to calculate the concentration equilibrium expression, how were we supposed to know the numbers to plug in?

D: extra credit - I only did chap. 17

Next Question - We were supposed to know the #'s to plug in. You had to use the initial-used=final equation [].

K: OK - here's a joke (i heard it in Washington)

what's the last thing that went through Christa McCauliff's mind before the space shuttle crashed?


ok, so maybe it's not funny. Well, i can't think of any better jokes. Can you?

D: What does NASA stand for?

Need another seven astronauts.

What did Christa McColoff say to her husband before she left home?

You feed the dog, I'll feed the fish.

How do you know when a lady wearing pantyhose has farted?


K: What did that guy on the space shuttle say when his wife asked him that morning if he was going to shower?

"It's all right, honey, I'll just wash up on shore."


i think i made that last one up. it's too complicated to be a real joke.

sorry if i offended you, tony. teens have no mercy.

misspellings left intact.



Sunday, October 05, 2003

Guy, Lombardo:

I'm back in the saddle again. Just got back form Minny yesterday. Sorry no posts but I wasn't on a computer all week. trip out! Now I am sitting here debating whether to lay down cash for the Strokes and Bowie, who are both coming to town. Back in the day I didn't have to pay to get into shows, but I always felt like a jackass about it. I want to pay to see bands I like. It feels weird not to. I don't know. However, i draw the line at Kiss. Their good seats are $150. I'm sorry, but that is not rock. That is how you get a bunch of rich old people at your show. Fuck you, Kiss.

On my last day in Minneapolis I suddenly remembered how it felt to be young and fun in a rock 'n' roll town, and I decided to do what I'd been thinking about doing for a long time. So I walked into a hair salon and became a blonde. The minute I walked in they could see the fun-fire in my eyes and they said, we totally get it, and they sat me down and didn't ask if I was sure, and they went for it. So now I am a crazy blonde. I look like you-know-who in "Chicago," though I assure you this was in no way inspired by her. Anyway, it's not platinum like hers but the most unnatural shade of yellow you ever saw. It's either hideous or completely fantastic, and I haven't decided which. It seems to change with the time of day and my blood-sugar level, and whether I've had any Vicodin. I had to pop half a V. in the chair because the bleach was burning my scalp so badly. I was sitting there, trying to read a long article in the British magazine "Uncut" about the relationship between John and Yoko, but mostly my body was humming and thrumming and buzzing from this searing pain shooting from my scalp into my groin. Now whenever I get my hair bleached I will think of John and Yoko breaking up the Beatles.

I saw "School of Rock" today. It wasn't as good as they say and it wasn't as good as I expected from Richard Linklater, but the children saved it. And in their triumphant rock-show scene, I totally cried. The message of the movie is, you don't have to wait for anyone's permission to rock, and you don't have to be a grown-up to be real.

A fat girl tells Jack Black she can't sing because she's fat, and he says, Aretha Franklin is a big woman, but when she sings, she blows people's minds, and everybody wants to party with Aretha!

Don't you want to be like that? Don't you want to be someone everyone wants to party with? Well, i do.

My mom is someone everyone wants to party with. She turned 70 last Wednesday, which is why I was in Minneapolis, and her party (parties) were big and fun, and she seemed so alive. She is completely redefining my conception of age. She has changed radically over the course of my lifetime, and become this incredibly cool lady who loves Sephora and cheers me on when I do weird shit to my hair, and also gives me pretty golden boy-advice. What's great is that she's totally over the whole telling-me-what-to-do phase, and now gives me ideas but says, I am completely confident you know how to handle this situation. That's what you need from a parent. You need parents that don't make you dependent, but help you kick ass on your own.

I need to kick ass very badly right now. Always, but especially right now.

(yes, my mom had me very late--hey, she didn't even marry my dad till she was in her thirties!)

Looks like Gwennie is working on a solo album. i can't wait to hear it.

By the way, I did a new thing: before I left L.A., I totally cleaned my house and did all my laundry--I even cleaned my fridge and defrosted the freezer. It was the BEST thing ever to come home to a clean house. I can't recommend this enough.



Sunday, September 28, 2003

Greetings, Fussbudgets of the New Century:

Ummm... I'm in the middle of a long-overdue housecleaning, in anticipation of my imminent trip to Minneapolis, so this'll be short.

I decided to actually listen to some new records tonight while cleaning and do some flash-reviews for you. So here's what I got so far:

Saves the Day, "in reverie"

Totally not what I expected from KROQ darlings--this is what I'd call "small" music, which is not a diss--small romantic melodies and achy key changes, harmonies a' plenty, non-cheesy production and a lot of young heartbreak, and slightly whiny white-boy vocals almost like Ben Folds. Not challenging but earnest. Like the indie rock of ten years ago--a little boring, a little sad, a little smart--but much poppier, prettier, and less pretentious. No screaming demands that you feel their pain or anything. I liked it.

Aretha Franklin, "So Damn Happy"

Will someone please write this woman a song already? Like "A Rose Is Still A Rose," this is a lame record with one really good song, the first one, again. This time it's an uptempo torch song--a fun twist. "Deep inside I'm on the edge of tears/But I can't be cryin', sittin' round sighin'/Just 'cause you are not here.../No I ain't lonely!/This ain't no sad song!"

I like it because it's saying: Don't be a fucking crybaby, life is beautiful.

Plus it's a good song.

This is probably the first album to ever come out on Arista records that does NOT include the Lord in the thank-yous, either.

Rufus Wainwright, "Want One"

I could only listen to three songs before I reached my saturation point with his thick, thick voice. Great musician who I can't listen to. It's not his fault. Sorry I can't review it better for you. It sounds a lot like his other stuff--cabaret, opera, pop mixed into one. I loved what he said in the new Rolling Stone about musicians who are in the closet--he said, it must take incredible wherewithal and strength to be so dishonest--my hat's off to anyone who can stay in the closet!

David Bowie, "Reality"

Wow, this record is actually good! Crazy. The first song, "New Killer Star," is the hippest song yet about 9/11. Sounds a bit like "Heroes"-era Bowie--then he goes into a totally tweakin' cover of Jonathan Richman's "Pablo Picasso." His vocals are a little less interesting than classic Bowie but pretty much he sounds like himself. This is a rock 'n' roll record, no drum 'n bass nonsense or attempts to "innovate"--and that's A-OK with me. I'm actually listening to this as music, not as some historical oddity or obligation. Kool. It's as cold and cool as Bowie always is, with that weird cold-love of his bleeding through the cracks in his broken icy heart. (He covers George Harrison's "Try Some, Buy Some," which made me feel sadness for George Harrison, or maybe it was Bowie's sadness about it.) Some new wave bits and even a moment that, for a second, I thought was the Strokes--until I remembered, you know, where the Strokes got it in the first place. ooops. (by the way I way dig the new Strokes single.)

The Bled, "Pass the Flask"

This guy screams too much and it makes it impossible for me to listen to it AT ALL. In other words, I'm sure they're the next big thing.



Wednesday, September 24, 2003

i heart you too, tony.

tony wrote a way better review of the white stripes than mine, so go check him out if you really want to know what happened. he went on a different night but the power and the glory don't really change from show to show.

the white stripes teach me so much, but mostly what they're teaching me right now is that it's ok to be messy and on fire and human. they are the most human band i know. they celebrate the danger and consuming hunger of being human and they flout the values of containment, sobriety, peace and elegance that you get with almost all radio bands, especially your coldplays and such.



Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Hi, Funshine Bear:

madly on deadline BUT...

weirdly, got to see my two favorite bands on the planet in succession: Tsar on Sunday and the White Stripes last night.

the guy next to me at the white stripes said he's going to see radiohead three nights in a row. i'm all, why do you like radiohead?

his answer confirmed everything for me. he goes, "they're the smartest band around anymore."

right. they're smart.

i go, well, how do they hit you emotionally?

he goes, they're really smart.

yuppies are so fucked up.

that's why i like the white stripes. they don't place the body and the mystery of carnality below the brain. they are equally cerebral and carnal and that's why they're liberating me on every level.

the white stripes show was at the greek. i found it emotionally overwhelming and had to watch the last 20 minutes of the show on a tv monitor near the snack bar. it hurt to watch them. i can't explain this but will try later. no band has spoken directly to my body and my taste like this since the beatles.

tsar's show was staggering as always, even at a foreign venue, the derby, and once again i knew they are the best band in l.a. We're so lucky their record hasn't come out yet, because when it does, they won't be playing little clubs in los feliz anymore.

this guy i met after the show told me the band had just renewed his faith in rock. he just moved here from seattle and it was his first tsar show. i love seeing men get liberated by tsar.

They're playing thursday at spaceland, which is their home. their spaceland shows hit a whole other level. there's some kind of love-magic there. this is their last spaceland show for a long time so if you haven't seen them yet, this would be the night.

someone at the tsar show told me i look like meg white, which is always fun to hear, and he told me about meeting her at Reading or Leeds or something. He said that she is very nice if you are very nice to her. he also said that her teeth are hard-core smoker's teeth, which made me like her even more.

jack's guitar playing was great despite the finger thing, and his endless magnetism to meg is untouched despite everything that's changed for them. he did one solo with his back against hers, sitting on the drum stool. and when she sang her song and stood at the organ, he walked up behind her slowly with his guitar and just stood behind her, like he wanted to touch her, and then he wandered away. she kind of looked over her shoulder for a second after he was gone.

he also stood on top of her kick drum at the climax of one guitar solo and faced her, and jumped off as she crashed the cymbals and it seemed like everyone came right then, and meg was surely pregnant.

everything they do is like making a baby. they're the most fertile platonic lovers around. their love is making baby love, like bob dylan said.

their music is wet; not dry. it's green, not gray. it's phallic and yonic, not neutered. it has orgasms inside it and blood battles, not layers of alienation from sensation.

it's also american, not english.

and that is a little of why i like the white stripes better than the radiohead.

the end.

The fifth graders in Miss Kato's class totally agree with me. (thanks ken layne.



note: i love OK Computer and most of the Bends.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

hi Maggot Brain:

hmm... i just woke up a few hours ago. last night was a party and it turned into a 3 am hootenanny with some of my favorite songwriters and friends. i was so drunk on champagne and Becherovka that when i got home i had to make a huge bowl of buttery popcorn and finish watching the first "Lord of the Rings" video just to sober up. the sun started coming up and the film ended really abruptly, kinda like the last Matrix---just when the big Event is about to happen, the film is over. I didn't remember any of the book so this was a shock and disappointment, and I had to rewind and start the film all over again from the beginning.

The film was a disappointment. It's way too slick and CGI-infested, and terribly Disney-fied. The acting is really above-par, however--which is saying a lot, since the actors had to pretend to be completely gah-gah-in-love with a stupid piece of metal that looks like my dad's wedding ring.

I am now grappling with the ridiculous extent to which Harry Potter borrows its drama from Tolkien: the little-guy-with-a-lion's-heart; the weird amorphous Evil Force gathering power, followers, and physical form, etc. etc.

Oh well.

Got to run, but, oh yeah, Tsar is playing sunday at the derby with several really intriguing bands--the turn-ons (from seattle) alaska! and sunstorm. it should be the show of the weekend. Needless to say, anyone who sees Tsar live is doing herself a big favor, because they are really sexy and exciting and powerful and fun.



Tuesday, September 16, 2003

You Want fresh Meat

I know you. I'm the same way.

Welp, it feels like autumn today: The light on my front stoop is kinder and weaker and more slanting, and that's how I know the big wheels keep on turning. All my new plants will have to be moved now to accomodate the planet. I tell you. That Earth, man, it thinks it's SO BIG.

i love Southern California, though, because the days are still brutal even in fall, and you can get a sunburn and regret the heat for a long time into the autumn.

My friend Tracy Spuehler, who is a beautiful singer-songwriter, has a great song on a Nissan commercial. it goes, "Where do we go? Where do we go now? Bah-bah-bah-bah, bah-bah-bah bah."

I love "bah-bah"s and stuff. The bit they play from the song was unconsciously inspired by the breakdown in G 'N R's "Sweet Child O Mine." isn't that cool?

Tracy inspires me, always, to be more simple and clear. She has a gift for simplicity, and I learn so much about songwriting from her. She gave me my four-track, and she turned me onto this songwriting workshop I just finished with Peter Case. It was a six-week course and it was one of the best classes I've ever taken--in anything. Peter doesn't try to teach songwriting: his goal is to get your creative oven heated up and to help you make friends with your own subconsious, the source of all art and wisdom.

Art is everything that makes life worth living, he says. I agree-along with, you know, people, and love. Peter has built his life around art, and when i sat in his class, it was three hours of paradise on earth. We were all speaking a language I understand with my heart, a language I don't get to speak normally with other people, and the terms of this language are based on the things that matter most to me: invisible things, dreams, love, and burning desire. For everything. For rhythm, for harmony, for fun, and most of all for the sacred life you can't really talk about. My very special friend was once talking about the difference between religion and the spirit life of music. "Rock saved me from Chrisitianity," he said. "It's the closest thing to salvation. Sometimes when I'm playing or listening to music I get the feeling that I'm almost there."

You can't say what there is in any precise terms, of course. That's why music is such fun, and endless, like love. It's a mystery you'll never fucking unravel.



ps: on a much more banal note: I'm generally bored by most rock critics, right? They have two problems going for them: Usually they don't have very clear (or good) ideas about the music they're reviewing, and so you have no real sense of whether or not the music's worthwhile, or how it sounds. On top of that, they often don't have a developed worldview or sense of self. This wouldn't be so bad, except that they also feel compelled, thanks to the '70s, to insert themselves awkwardly into the review. So you get this sort of nascent half-baked perspective on something the writer is unclear about in the first place. (I am guilty of all of this, by the way.)

In place of this, I would happily take someone with no style but really good musical instincts and a facility with language. Today I have found that person. His name is Larry G.. I have no idea who he is, but everything he says is clear, concise, and based on reliable instincts. He manages to boil down everything that's right and wrong with the new singles by Jane's Addiction, the Chili Peppers, Evanescence, Audioslave et al. without any fuss. Take this line from his review of "Bring Me To Life," by Evanescence (or "Evanuisance," as KROQ's Tami Heidi calls them): "'Bring Me To Life' strikes me as one of the silliest hits of recent times. It brings to mind a bizarre mix of Linkin Park and the bloated Meat Loaf-influenced hits Bonnie Tyler had in the early '80s."

Nice, huh?

The End.

Friday, September 12, 2003

K: So you’re still smoking.

P: Yeah, I’m not that fucking evolved. (laughs)

K: How’ve you been?

P: Good. Everything. Up, down, and otherwise.

K: Your last record did really well.

P: I know, it’s kinda weird. It was a shock. More so with getting out to people, putting my tendrils around people’s souls than record sales, I think. It was a fuckin’ deep record. Every interview I had was like therapy. And then performing those songs every night—when I got off the road in January, I rescued some dogs and put them in the bed with me and slept for thirty days.

K: Was it hard to try and follow up such a big seller?

P: I told L.A. [Reid], don’t put that pressure on me--don’t tell me I gotta go in and record a bunch of hit songs so I can sell 11 million records. ‘Cause I never wanted to sell 11 million records in the first fucking place. I’m not even thinking about that. The album would have sucked if I’d thought about that.

So I started with Linda (Perry), because that’s my safe place, but even me and Linda were like, maybe this isn’t the time or place right now for us. I don’t know—with Misundaztood, our two universes collided, and there was a fucking energy there. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a different girl than I was two years ago. I was super fucking excited and putting everything I had on the line and it was like carrying a torch. And this time around it was just different for us. And then me and Tim [Armstrong] found each other. And that was just like, boom, two more universes colliding. Now I’m excited again. It’s a new thing, and like—wow, who would expect me and Tim to work together? That’s fucking cool. I wouldn’t have expected it.

K: How did you guys meet?

P: Tim came up to me at a video shoot and said, I’ve got some songs for you. I was super into the Transplants and I’ve loved Rancid forever. So I went over to his house and went on tour and went in the studio and it was done. It was very fatalistic—I don’t know if that’s a word.

K: It is, and you used it last time and you used it correctly and most people use it wrong.

P: Really? Good. (lisps) I am smart! I am special!

Anyway, Tim’s so versatile and so talented, plays every instrument, super humble guy. I needed a humble person around me. Someone who’s been in the game that long that’s still untouched by bullshit. It was fucking exciting again. I kinda woke up. All of a sudden I had shit to talk about. We did—fuck, we did ten songs in a week.

K: Were you on speed or something?

P: No! The Transplants were on tour with the Foo Fighters, and I went out and slept on the bus. He had Pro Tools on the bus, and we set up a drum kit in the aisle and fuckin’ recorded—so if you were to solo the vocals from Trouble, Save My Life and Oh My God, you’d hear engine. It’s so bad! Everyone was like, you’ve got to redo those vocals, and I’m like, No fucking way dude, that’s a vibe. Who does that?

Then the rest we’d just go in the studio--it ended up being me, Tim, Travis [from Blink-182 and the Transplants], and my bass player Janis (sp?) all just jamming in this room. I thought, Tim’s going to think I’m really cheesy because everything I’m coming up with is super pop melodies. But he’s so good for your ego—“That’s amazing! Fuck, that’s so rad!”

K: So I wonder if he’s going to go off now and become the new Linda Perry.

P: I don’t think so. He comes from a much humbler place than that. Of course, I’m sure the shit’s gonna hit the fan once this record comes out just like it did for Linda. But Tim’s different. He wouldn’t spread himself so thin. Because he’s an artist himself. And I think that’s what Linda is missing, the fact that she can’t be an artist.

Besides, Tim and I have a contract. We were joking around one night and made a contract that he can’t write for, produce, go to their shows, attend parties with, dance for, write a book with, make a movie with, have sex with—and he put all the names he wasn’t allowed to work with. It was a total joke, but I have it framed. It’s really funny.

K: Who’s on it?

P: Any American Idol. (laughs)

K: So I’m sensing you have some complicated feelings about Linda now.

P: Me and Linda have a very love-hate relationship--the most intense relationship [I’ve ever had]. And it has to be, or else we never would have wrote those songs together. I love her and I always will, but I hate her just as much, and she hates me just as much.

K: Did it piss you off watching Linda—I don’t know what I mean.

P: I know what you mean: Did it bother me that she was going on to work with these people or blowing up out of control and moving on? At first it did, I’m not gonna lie. I can be a very possessive type of girl. But I’ve learned that about myself in the past two years, and I’ve cured that part of myself through her. And I realized that I am really happy for her. Truly.

Would I have gone about things differently? Absolutely. It wasn’t the fact she was working with other people being successful. It was how it was done--sneakily and kind of egotistically and just wrong. But I’m not perfect. I love Linda and what we had together nobody can take away, not even her.

K: Your vocals are great on this record, more womanly.

P: Yeah! Well, I just turned 24 two days ago.

K: You say you’re 27 on “Unwind.”

P: I originally wrote the song about Janis Joplin. But I turned it around, I related to it so much, every line was true to me.

K: I read an interview with Linda where she said, “Pink’s not going to be yapping about her problems on this record” or something, and a lot of the songs dodn’t seem to be as personal [as on “Misundaztood”]—was that a conscious thing?

P: No, and I really resent that quote. I talked to her about it. That’s a very Linda Perry thing to say. We made a conscious decision last time to let down my defenses and be vulnerable, and talk about what I needed to talk about. That was a group decision, and it worked, because obviously other people needed to hear it too.

At the same time, I learned in the two years on the road with Misundaztood that I don’t want to do that again. Because I’m not the complaining type. There’s a lighter side of me that people aren’t getting from that record. I don’t regret it, ‘cause fuck, I got letters like, “I didn’t commit suicide because of that song, finally there’s truth out there in pop mainstream music.” But this time around I wanted to have more fun. It’s definitely not a party record, but it’s not lonely girls and family portraits and fucking dear diaries.

K: Is there anybody you want to work with still?

P: Yeah, the one person I wanted on this record turned me down, and that was Billy Joel. I was like, (pretend cries) No one’s ever turned me down before! Fucker! Who do you think you are!

I met him later at the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame thing in New York. It was a fucking acid trip--sitting at a table with John McEnroe and Barry Manilow—Tony Bennett’s behind me, Billy Joel’s over on the other side of the room. I was like, that’s Billy Joel. John, get me a beer. John McEnroe is fucking awesome. I went over to Billy Joel, and I told him, I’m singing tonight and I want you to see what you turned down. I just love him.

K: So what happened?

P: He gave me a standing ovation. I was so fucking nervous. You’re like, fuck, dude I just got to show all these people who have no idea what I’m made of. “Pink’s one of those little pop stars“--it’s like, this bitch can sing. And y’all gonna listen.

K: I just saw a Cher concert on TV—would you like to be like that at 60—doing Vegas, an incredible diva, yet human?

Pink: Yep. I’ll probably go back to pink and green hair when I’m 50. I never thought I’d live that long.

K: Do you still?

Pink: For the first time in my life, I want to.

K: Do you feel free?

P: As an artist, yeah. Absolutely. Sometimes I want to start a total side project and go fucking nuts--like dress up as a man and just fuckin’ set shit on fire. I don’t want to do side projects that are successful, though. I only want side projects with like 13 people in the audience.

But as a woman, I won’t feel free until I free everyone else. I see so many girls that are just… lost. Waiting for that knight in shining armor. When the knight in shining armor is inside their own self. I just think maybe part of my mission is to help women understand they need to love themselves first. Including myself. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have issues with self-esteem or body image or that notion of having a man come and save her. Look at how the world is right now. Men lead the world. Men got us into this shit. And I’m not a man-hater, I love men. But women have to lead this revolution.

K: Does it bug you to see your contemporaries working really hard to look a certain way—

P: No, if it makes them happy, absolutely not. I think it’s important to exercise and take your life in your own hands. (Grabs her belly) But I love my little bagel. I love my gut. People trash it all over the place—“Her once-taut belly now hangs over her Dickies.” I’m like, you know what? That’s just more lovin’. I just got more to love.

I love life and I love myself and I’m on a mission. That’s my mantra.
PS: the one fairy tale that really fucked me up big time was "Sleeping Beauty." It was such a beautiful story and such a romantic notion--especially the version I had as a kid, in Perrault's Fairy Tales (which is a gnarly ultraviolent scary book in general, with elegant etchings of dead babies and headless leadies and everything--it ROCKS!).

I wanted to be Sleeping Beauty, who is an even more purely passive girl than Cinderella or Snow White. At least Snow White has her own house and friends and work and stuff. :)

And Cinderella breaks the rules to go to the ball and shit.

Sleeping Beauty just snores, then she gets kissed and wakes up. Big deal.

And that is the core of the fairy-tale mentality for me.


Pink wrote a song about Janis Joplin on her new album. I like this lyric:

"My life is like a fairy tale

That nobody believes in."

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Hey There, Dragonslayers:

They've changed the way they make Carefree bubblegum, it seems, and I'm switching to Trident. Trident and Carefree have always been like Betty and Veronica to me: I like 'em both for different reasons, at different times, and I'd never be happy with just one. But you know, things change. People change. Gum changes.

I'm overdue on deadline, as usual, so this'll be short. Tsar, the best band in L.A., is playing tomorrow night (Friday) at the whatchamalcallit--Henry Fonda, yeah. Should be a fun scene cuz some long-lost loved ones are in town like Amy Langfield and Ken Layne and such. But if you miss it, don't cry too hard--they're having a party Sept. 21 at the Derby for the release of their single.

I interviewed Pink yesterday for Spin. I hadn't seen her in a year and a half. She has another record coming out, this time recorded with Tim Armstrong of Rancid/Transplants. Who knew?: Tim Armstrong is a candy-dandy pop songwriter and producer. Julio just turned me onto Rancid like three weeks ago--I mean, as in, I listened to an entire record, not just the singles they spun relentlessly on KROQ. They're really good. It's always a surprise and never a surprise when some very smart rocker turns out to also be a popper. You've got to be if you're going to write good rock songs. You've got to know a hook, a melody, and a bridge.

On a personal level, Pink and Flea are my favoritest-ever pop stars to interview, and I hope I'll get the chance to interview them for years to come. It's really nice when you click with someone right away, and you can have awkward silences and bum smokes off them and just be normal. I'll say it now and I'll stand by it: Pink is a hell of a lady. A hell of a woman, and a heck of a broad. She gets things that I could only say, and not understand, at her age. She didn't learn about women from a fucking women's studies class. She learned it by being smart and having her eyes open. She's going to be an amazing 50-year-old. She has the spirit of a great bartender, or diner waitress, and I mean that in the best sense. When I leave her, I don't feel fat or poor or unfamous or old or anything. I feel happy because I know I'm not crazy. There's some women whose whole ego is based on their sexuality, and she's just not one of them.

love n stuff


PS: Radio Disney is rocking right now. Hillary Duff's "So Yesterday" is a classic bubblegum torch song with a girl-power twist, and the Cheetah Girls' "Cinderella" has lyrics that might have changed my life if I'd heard them at 8. Over and over. And over. I'm not a big fan of the song, musically, but the fact that it's the number-one most requested song on RADIO DISNEY is a bit wow.

I don't wanna be like Cinderella

Sitting in a dark cold dusty cellar

waiting for somebody to come and set me free

I don't wanna be like Snow White waiting

For a handsome prince to come and save me...

Don't wanna depend on no one else

I'd rather rescue myself

I can slay my own dragons

I can dream my own dreams

My knight in shining armor is me

So I'm gonna set me free

Monday, September 08, 2003

Hi Fluffy Toy:

So can somebody explain what it means to have a private blog? Can't everybody still read it?

This morning was one of those mornings when you wake up feeling so uncool and lonely and weird, you just go, OK, we're gonna totally pretend this isn't happening.

It's really good sometimes to just completely deny how you feel, just steamroll right over it with some steamroller goodness. So I totally Frenched with Sloopy, and made some toast and coffee and turned on Heart's "Little Queen" loud. Heart in the morning is a sweet tonic to my soul.

Every ten months or so.

Seems like the people around me are all dealing with really heavy shit, and it makes me so sad to feel so sad all around. You gotta let that shit out, somehow: rock out with your guitar, write a bad song, go running, do it, or all of the above. Sometimes just keeping up with the overflow runoff of your emotions is all you can really do. I guess you can bottle it up, too. They say that the people who know how to bottle it up are much more productive and stable. I just read about a study on this stuff. But I think those people usually have heavy-duty breakdowns or crises later in life, or they get sick.

Everyone pretends the Sixties were so happy and wild and fun and free. That's bullshit. The Sixties were miserable and hard and that's why so much great art came out of them. You got to remember that sometimes things have got to be hard.

I mean, I have to remember. You don't have to do shit.

Well, you might want to look at this, if you like "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

I like Flea and I read his diary entries every so often on the Chili Peppers' website. I liked what he said recently about playing trumpet. He practices a lot. He just really likes to do it. And he said, I'll never have great technique. I can only be as beautiful as I can be. But it is my every intention to keep practicing and get somewhere.

The guy is 40 and he's still trying to get somewhere. I think that's neat. That's how he got somewhere in the first place. By really trying. And not going, oh, I'm forty, I'm too old. Or, Oh, I'm poor and 19 and nobody and I had a fucked up childhood. Or, Oh, I'm short and funny looking and have crooked teeth. Or whatever. He just does what he's driven to do, and works at it faithfully. I saw the movie Blue Crush and told him that after I saw it, I thought, wow, if I was a 14-year-old girl that movie would really make me wanna be a surfer. He said, "I'm a 40-year-old man and that movie made me wanna be a surfer!" (Which he is.) See? he doesn't go, I would, if only I were younger-different-better. He just goes, I want. I will do.

I get inspired by people like that and I follow their lead. People who really work hard. I just started reading the new Harry Potter book, and I was so impressed by her creativity, right off the bat, it inspired me to write something really goofy and fun yesterday, in the middle of a gloomy-ass shitty Sunday. You know, those books don't drop from the sky, perfect and complete. Somebody who goes to the bathroom and wakes up with morning breath and bedhead decided to take time every day to fucking pound that shit out. That act, as much as the art itself, is where it's at, baby.

Somebody next door is going through an "Aretha Franklin and the Southern California Community Choir" phase. I think that's all right.



Thursday, September 04, 2003

Hi Cult heroes!

The captivating and mysterious Emmanuelle posted a bit on her blog about Beck's new GF and her Scientology website.

I wonder. If I had my own Scientology website, say--like this one, would Beck ever want to make out with me?


Actually, I think this calls for a winky one


Isn't it weird (like Hanson said) how all the Scientologists seem to have the same template for their websites?

And isn't it even extra super paraweird how the "favorite L.Ron Hubbard quotes" sound like they were written by learners of English in commie China?

"Morale is boosted to high highs by accomplishment. In fact, it can be demonstrated that production is the basis of morale."


"Full responsibility is not fault; it is recognition of being cause."

To which I say: Blog is not different, it is proof of exception for difference meanie weirdo freakazoidies.

Look, I got better things to do than sit around all day talking about old fish lips.



Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Hey Hey Baby Fish Mouth

Like the guess who said, i got no time.

My brother Ben told me last night at the Rustic that they have found a new type of monkey man in Africa. It is six feet tall with 13 inch feet. I don't even want to know about the other body parts. This monkey must smell really bad. Crazy old monkey.

Is it bad to go to Bikram yoga and detoxify your whole body, then come home and smoke a cigarette?

Just wondering.

The best rock club in America, and maybe todo el fucking mundo, First Avenue--the club where Prince recorded much of Purple Rain live--has a big ass fun oral history this week in City Pages.

I wish I had some stories as fucked up as those in the article. Hmm. Let me see.

Well, First Avenue was where I met my first and only "real" boyfriend (i.e., we were fully codependent), whom we shall call Zac the Sweet. Zac and I loved each other to teeny-tiny bits, but we definitely lacked a certain sparkle, and we knew it. I remember one night when we had already broken up, we went to First Ave. to see Pavement. The show was so boring we ended up making out upstairs and getting back together for another year.

I have seen a lot of good shows there: Eminem, Beck, Stereolab, PJ Harvey, Built to Spill, the Zombies, X, Cibo Matto, Superchunk, Emmylou Harris (on her 50th birthday!), Jonathan Richman, Cornershop, Chili Peppers, and the late great Remy Zero. I remember me and Hillary hanging out with the two cute guys in the band--I liked the weird one and she liked the lead singer, but unfortunately they liked us vice-versa. Well, enough said about that particular evening.

The 7th St. Entry is my favorite part of the club--a tiny side-venue where bands usually play the first time through--like Nirvana played there and shit. The Entry is where a girl can easily become an indie rock groupie. Here's what you do. You waltz in and walk down to the "green" room like you live there. You put your coat and stuff down and sit on an amp and light a cigarette. Inevitably one of the band guys who's just gotten into town appears and assumes you know the ropes. You start talking. You tell him about a party afterwards. Instant groupie. The end. Next week, rinse and repeat.

Ha ha ha. I never got into that. It just seemed so... I don't know. So pre-Roe V. Wade.

Hillary and I sang backup for this glam-rock band there a few times, on both stages. I was on cowbell duty. Mark Mallman taught me angrily that you must play the cowbell with wild conviction, or not at all. I don't know why but we thought it would look cool to dress all glam but then wear cowboy hats. Can't say what we were thinking. That was where i discovered what it's like to be in a band before you go onstage. I also found out that you get FREE BEER before the show.

mmm, beer.



Monday, September 01, 2003

Here ya Go, Day Trippers:

Various people at various points have tried to tell me that writers have to actually like their own writing, or what's the point.

Some people told me I had to set five year goals.

People told me I wasn't bold and brave enough.

I've said all the same things to myself too. But it never stuck.

I still don't have any sure answers about Happiness, but I do know that I can't accept anyone else's ideas like gospel anymore. Everyone is so unique and so limited, they have no clue what's gonna work for you. Even the people who know and love you the best.

In Prague there was this insufferable crowd of the most insufferably pretentious East Coast would-be poets, called Beef Stew. I liked their leader, Dave, because he was so earnest in his pretentiousness, it was charming. Plus, his writing was funny. But many of them had this self-congratulatory thing about their writing that I just couldn't get with. I'm more of the loner school of writers, who hate almost everything they write and would sooner snort batshit than read in public. Not saying it's good or bad. (The blog is OK because of its seductive illusion of solitude.) Anyway, due to Beef Stew and its culture of Fancy Writers, I thought I must not be a real writer. Now I know that some writers are just like that--you know, self-loathing and all. It's how they improve. But fuck it: If you're into doing readings, then go kick some ass reading.

I like this: "One of the big songwriting things for me has always been: always think what you do sucks. Because the second you stop believing that, you suck. And that's a fact." That's what the guy from the Strokes, Julian Casablancas, said recently.

You don't have to feel rock at all times to be rock.

In other news, the Hanson show at the Roxy Saturday night was great. Girls screamed from the moment they appeared, and then they broke into two hours of nonstop crazy three-part harmonies and acoustic guitars. This is their stength, and it eliminated the cheesy vocal posturing Taylor sometimes does when he sings lead. They're still blonde, still brothers, still sing like candy and play their instruments real pretty. They work a crowd like stadium vets and shine like the sun, so I don't understand why I got to see them at the Roxy. Candy boy teen magic like that is usually on TV. This was in the flesh, no recorded vocal tracks, no autotuner, no makeup and no quick-cut video edits.

Zac sang one song on his own at the piano, a sweet ballad about daring to rock. They also had a fast one called "Rock 'N Roll Razorblade." I do believe Taylor sang something about "on the bus you shave your legs." They did my favorite, "Runaway Run," and "Mmm Bop"; "Where's the Love" and new yummy ones like "Penny and Me" and "Underneath" (which they wrote with Mattew Sweet). They really seemed to enjoy "MmmBop"--it wasn't painful, it wasn't ironic. Taylor had control of the room and often got everyone clapping their hands over their heads like on Donnie and Marie; he ran his hand through his hair and wore a T-shirt that said "The Music Lives."

I don't know any "rock critic" who would back me up on my loyalty to Hanson. Hanson are not "cool" anymore. Not even in in an ironic sense. Like Julio said, though, you can't really like anything purely ironically. You have to also really like it, or else you get bored. I really like Hanson. I like what they stand for. Harmony and fun.

One day the world will turn around again and deem them hip. That's cool.


Friday, August 29, 2003

Hi Hopheads:

In the middle of actually getting some work done today I passed out for two hours with no warning. Did this happen to you too?

I didn't watch the MTV Awards last night. I "should" have for my "work," but somehow I just kind of didn't. Sounds like it was a lot of shitty bands performing--Metallica, Coldplay... bummer I missed Xtina/Britney/Madonna but whatever. I have the feeling, somehow, i didn't miss shit. And you can take that to the bank, Frank. Plus, there were no good rock bands getting awards--all Good Charlotte this and AFI that and Evanescence whuh?

On that note, I want to give you this number to keep on hand: 1-800 SUICIDE. It's a number you call when you want to commit suicide. They will talk to you and make you feel better. I'm totally serious. It's a hotline. Just keep it around because you never know when someone around you might freak out.

I just found out suicide is the 2nd biggest cause of death among college students, and it doesn't surprise me a bit. When I was looking through all my youthful memorabilia in Minneapolis last week, I could see clearly that a funny, cocky 17 year old girl (me) had turned into a self-loathing, chronically depressed and overeating Steve Miller fan simply by going to college.

I blame my parents entirely for this. Sorry, Dad. Daddy, in his loving determination to see me survive and succeed, told me I would go to a UC away from home or I would be out on my own with no help from them. For whatever reason, my spine hadn't yet fully formed at 17. I truly believed I would die without my parents' support. I truly envisioned myself serving frozen yogurt for a while, then living in some crashpad in Fairfax, becoming a club girl, getting into drugs, having sex with 30-year-old cocaine dealers, becoming a go-go dancer and backup singer, wearing lots of thigh-highs, becoming a scenester/groupie, turning anorexic, and then dying in a bathroom stall either by some powder or a razor blade. To me, the idea of living on my own in L.A. at that time literally equalled clubs, anorexia, and drugs. I didn't have the confidence in myself to know I could totally handle the city on my own. It probably stemmed from the time I ran away from home at 10 or whatever, and my parents made me watch "Dawn: Portrait of A Teenage Runaway" starring Jan Brady.

Anyway. If I could teach that 17-year-old one thing, or if I could teach my future child one thing, it would be that parental disapproval is not the end of the world. There is no earthquake, or Ice Catastrophe, when a parent turns cold. The LAPD do not come and throw you in the squad car. Also, the Giant Locusts do not come and eat your earlobes. The Killer Bees still won't materialize, and Sasquatch will not appear to prove his existence. The Ghosts will stay in the way backyard like always, and Yertle the Turtle won't turn you into a slave.

Parental approval is not worth being miserable. In fact, nobody's approval is worth sacrificing your own instincts about what's right for you. It's a lesson I'm still dealing with, actually, because it applies to societal approval and personal relationships too.

There's lots of things I want to do that would prolly gain the disapproval of the people I love. Fuck it, man.

I wish I could jump the time-space continuum and go hang out with my 17 year old self again, and let her know she's OK. I think you can do that, actually. My favorite person does it all the time. He doesn't know he's doing it, because he believes in linear time. But I know that everything he does is to liberate the 13 year old back there, who's still stuck in junior high and can't get out. Since I don't believe in linear time, I know I can do the same.

This was a very personal entry and now I feel funny. I should let you know, in the next month I am going to turn this into a private blog. I have this pretty public project coming up that is going to make me want a lot more privacy. I don't know what the procedure is to gain access to a private blog but I guess we'll find out.

love n stuff