Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Hey, You:

You know, I think I must be subconsciously gearing up for The Matrix 2, considering the entry below.

My theory is that in The Matrix 2 (or maybe 3) we learn that the Matrix is only one submatrix of the supermatrix, which is only part of the supramatrix, and so on, and it is possible to exist not only on two planes but on infinite planes. This should make for endless sequel possibilities, and should also please the theoretical physicists in the audience.


HI, Summerfun:

This morning instead of doing what I needed to do, I watched a video. My roommate Jake turned on "The Others" while I was at my desk working. Usually when he does this I can tune it out and not give a shit, because usually it's a dumb movie I don't want to see anyway, so I don't care if it gets ruined. But this was one that I had been wanting to see. So I had to watch it.

I liked it. It was a good, creepy kind of scary. Just like "What Lies Beneath." I'm glad we were watching in the middle of the day.

The movie got me to thinking about layers of reality. It got me thinking about stuff I used to think about as a child. I used to wonder: What if I'm asleep? What if all this is a dream, and I am asleep? I remember distinctly in 1979, I got back from a year living at Stanford, and I decided I was quite possible asleep. Somewhere along the line in that year I had possibly fallen asleep, and didn't know how to wake up again. The thing is, if that's what happened, then everything in my life, or almost everything, is a dream. It's not real. It's possible that the glimmer I feel in moments, the glimmers of grandeur and other lives, other lives I've lived or am going to live or am even living right now, are real. Maybe those lives really are as real as they seem. Because I feel as if I have volumes of experiences that I've never actually had in this life. I feel as if I understand about living in a village. I understand about living in a war, too. I understand about becoming a teenager--in a much different way than I myself actually did. I never had the normal teenager experience. But I can imagine it. Also, I understand about music, about being consumed by your instrument, even though it's never happened to me. There's lots of stuff.

Does everyone feel like this?

Is this the DNA memory of my ancestors?

Then I started thinking, maybe I'm dead, and maybe everyone around me is dead, or somewhere on the live-dead continuum: Maybe the concept of being "alive" is only a quirk of our perspectives, and maybe all of creation is busting with all kinds of energy. Maybe some people are more alive in some ways than others, and maybe some aren't alive at all; and maybe some aren't all here, but are somewhere else. And maybe we just can't sense the nature of all this energy, or sense it at all. I mean, I can hear the high-pitched squeal a TV makes. It drives me mad. Jake, my roommate, can't hear it for the life of him. That doesn't mean it's not there.

right then

stuff to do

Plans to make, on this plane, in this life. It may be limited and I may be blind, but it's mine. Like first of all, I have to eat some food, man, like crazy, even if everything is crazy energy.



Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Whatup, Monkeyshines:

Yeah so I know it's been a minute. Or two.

I feel as if I've been away, on a ship, which took me to an island where I had to complete an obstacle course of ropes, walls, swings over swampy pits and froggy peats, hot dog eating contests and guitar solo playoffs. I had to write the perfect pop song in six minutes (it was called "lavender," in six-eight); I had to make the cutest boy in a group of 25 people kiss me inside of five minutes; I also had to sew an American flag by hand. Sweet Lord, I am tired.

I've been gone, I've been far, far away, and all I can say is: It's good to be home.

Thank you for leaving the light on.

While my soul was off on Obstacle Island, my body was here in H-wood, dealing with Real Life. I had some big deadlines. I had some big dates. I had a dying dog. I had a roommate crisis, kind of. I had a dying car crisis and a DSL meltdown. I drank a lot, smoked even more, didn't sleep a bit. I am tired.

This is Life, I guess.

What did I get from it?

Many things. Toppermost in my mind is, of course, the sweet-sweetass American flag Converse hightops, purchased Saturday afternoon on Broadway in downtown L.A. Me and a very special friend were strolling around in search of "crazy crap"--preferably crazy Asian T-shirts that say things like, "Tennis Sky" and "Nothing Last Forever But the Tomato" and such. No such luck, but we did get the sweetest pairs of matching American flag Converse you ever did see.

This made it all worth it, and as we strutted down the boulevard, it was impossible to ignore the stares of disbelief and self-doubt from passersby, wondering where it had all gone wrong for them. Wondering at which point they had lost the infinite coolness.

I should have been at Coachella, of course, and I could have gotten in for free with press passes and everything, but I turned it down. I refuse to believe that is a failure. Just because I dig rock music doesn't mean I fancy getting smushed under a brutal sun with a bunch of stinky druggies. That is not my scene. I got all the rock I needed this weekend, my way.

So today I started a new life: I got DSL, finally. The best thing about this, far as I can tell at the moment, is that I can finally read Tony Pierce's phat phat-ass blog.

Over the weekend I watched the White Stripes' performances on Conan, Tivo'd by my friend Kim. The first two rocked but the third was "The Hardest Button to Button," which is just a lousy song, by Stripes standards, and I can't imagine why they think it is worth playing on Conan. They looked fabulous, and had a large black bouncer onstage with them who prevented Conan from touching them. This was cool. Jack is clearly out of his mind. His hair is getting long and feathery and when he tosses it back he looks like David Cassidy, in the good way. Meg was outrageously lovely in long dresses with bare feet and big Loretta Lynne hair. So cool.

Last week I caught Evan Dando's gig at McCabe's Guitar Shop, a tiny rustic venue that seats maybe 100. Me and Kim were in the second row. He came out in the same ski sweater he wears in all his pictures, with a messy folder bulging with scraps of paper, and his acoustic guitar. He began to play and realized he had left his cord backstage, so he ran up the stairs for it. He has a pretty shiny black cat of a guitar.

He tried to play a song called Green Eyes but continually fucked up the prechorus. He couldn't find the right chord. So he said fuck it and went on to the next song. Later in the show he tried again, and a man in the audience yelled out that he might want to try B flat. So he did that, and it worked, and he smiled his beautiful enchanted smile, and sang, and between lyrics said, "thanks, man!"

He did everything you wanted: "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You," "Drug Buddy," "Stove," "It's A Shame About Ray," and an incredibly beautiful song I don't know whose lyrics went something like: If it's love you want, open your arms up wide. He had a wedding ring. He's in love. I imagine he and his wife have a deeply physical, human, sweaty love that flourishes on road trips and in motel rooms. I wonder if they do drugs. I wouldn't be surprised. but I also wouldn't be surprised if they don't.

He took a long time to relax, fumbling, fucking up strumming a lot, fucking up lyrics. He was nervous and awkward as a boy can be. I decided that this is the awkwardness a junkie experiences when he is clean. It's all so much harder, so much sharper.

The set was short--maybe forty minutes, and the audience wasn't clapping enough for an encore. So Kim and I did our best to whip the crowd into shape and get a noise going, and eventually he reappered. This was the longest encore I've ever seen, probably another thirty minutes of songs, including most of the hits and a cover of "Heroin," which became a Velvet Underground medley, no joke. "Who Loves The Sun," "There She Goes," and I can't remember what else. He missed lines and screwed up, but his voice was thick and clear. At one point he felt the need to sing so loud and pure, he had to turn away and sing at the wall, to let it resound clean and without distortion from the mike. He turned away from us with his head down, as if he were going to vomit, and sang at the ground, and it filled up the whole space. He's got a voice like crazy.

It was just a guy who really loves music. A really special child who's still got it. Star quality.

I have a friend who is a songwriter. He tries to write in a way that is not natural to him because he is trying to prove something. It's great, actually--but his own, natural voice is so pure and true, it'll make daisies cry, I tell you. I am waiting for the day when he writes with his own special voice, and the world can be blessed with his dreams of love and tender sorrow.

Really, though, in a way, I'm just talking about myself.

And speaking of me, I now have to have to have to go to sleep. i went on a two-hour walk tonight in Hollywoodland so i would sleep tonight. I walked by Rivers's house, accidentally of course, but the lights were off.

Lately I've been too tired to sleep, and too hungry to eat.

Wish me luck!



Sunday, April 20, 2003

Croque Monsieur:

Sorry for disappearing. I went to Aruba, where the wind never stops blowing. There I met Mr. Magic Finger, the master of candy time. He can take tomorrow, and dip it in a dream.

Today on Breakfast With the Beatles they did a "phoner" (as they say in journalism) with Ringo. I admire Ringo a lot. He's just having fun, doing cool things. He seems to have what the old song calls a "satisfied mind."* He mentioned that he just started a label and Liam Lynch was his first release--"United States of Whatever," remember?

Anyway, also today host Chris Carter played "McCartney" end to end. What a treat. My favorite song by far on that album is "Ooo You." "Teddy Boy" is also wonderful, feels very Ray Davies. I wonder what Paul thinks of Ray's songwriting.

People in L.A. have been driving like complete assholes lately and I'm hoping it's going to end soon. Has anyone else noticed? First I thought it was war anxiety and now I don't know what. General misery? Too much fabulousness? Dream-machine on the fritz?

It's hard for me to live in L.A. a lot of times. I am what you call an emotional sponge. I pick up whatever energy people are giving off. Like last night I was with this woman who was extremely loud and off-kilter, and just standing next to her was painful to me. She was radiating an intense, clearly chemical energy-mania that just hurt to see. She was displaying all the signs of a meth freak. And then she goes and buys a Red Bull at AM/PM and is trying to get me to drink it with her. I had to get away from her.

So anyway, being in L.A. can be tiring when you're really absorbent. You just pick up everything from everybody. That's why I'm so careful about which bars and restaurants I go to, and avoid driving in rush hour as much as possible. You absorb insane shit in traffic. I'm also extremely guarded around strangers, usually, even if it seems like I'm really open. I think this means that I get less attention from men, but I think that may be the way that I want it. i can't imagine what it would be like to be a model or something and have to deal every waking minute with the slobbering invasions of desperate men. I spose you build a wall. I wonder if it's any better to be a rock star. Maybe you can have more fun manipulating the energy you get from an audience, and feel powerful in it.

I am on deadline so I better go. I love everything people wrote in response to the stuff I was saying about Jack White. It's all really smart, thought-provoking stuff and I'd love to really get in there and debate it in real time with some of my kindred souls. I'm just figuring this stuff out, you know. Just because I say something with conviction doesn't mean it's my last word on the subject.

But it's good to say what you feel with conviction, and do what you do with conviction. That's how you figure out who you are.

right. love n kisses,


*When I went to Ireland, my cousin/aunt/whatever, Kate (who's 80 or something), took us in a van to the town where my daddy's peoples came from. The town is called Killarney, in county Kerry. She showed us the grade school, and also the stone hut where the old-school family had lived, like my great-great granny or something. The lived like middle ages people. I don't know where they went to the bathroom or how they ever had sex, because there were seven people in one room. (Maybe the fields? Some old barn?) Crazy. Anyway, when we were driving around, she sang the song "Satisfied Mind," just for the hell of it. Those Irish are very singy people. They're very into just singing and telling poems and playing guitar for the hell of it. This is why I am proud and grateful to be Irish. I also have a secret theory that Lennon and McCartney have a lot of Irish blood in them. But that's another story.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Come Clean With Me:

It's true, something's breaking with my relationship with the White Stripes. What made Jack wonderful as an unknown indie guy is making him almost insufferable as a pop star: his everything-sucks-and-I'm-the-only-one-who-knows-it, no-fun judgmentalism. The irony is that now, more than ever, he needs to hold onto that, of course. But it's hard, when you know he's making a lot of money off the machinery and, I believe, enjoying the recognition--as he should. See, my problem is not with people enjoying the weird fruits of corporate magnification. If you can enjoy it and still make great music, you've grasped the gold ring. My problem is with blowhard crybabies who play the game and then continue to whine about how they hate it all so dang much. It would be so much cooler if he could just lead by example and be done with it, and talk in interviews about Blind Willie McTell and everything he loves and leave all the complaining to the rap-metalers.

Also, I have a problem with the album. As I've said, it's got a darkness and a kind of narcissism to it that troubles me.

And it troubles me because I love it too much. too. Let's be real.

And the Strokes thing... I'm not saying they're not real guys with a real love of rock. It's not personal. My problem is that I don't feel anything original from them. Everything I feel from them is a variation of the crazy discovery I already felt when I heard the Velvet Underground, the Stooges and the New York Dolls for the first time--but with none of the actual danger involved in that music. I just want a band that rips my ears open with its own individuality, that's all.

Is that so wrong?



Thursday, April 10, 2003

Greetings, Acid Reflux:

isn't that such a hip name for a disease? it's very KCRW.

like some 2 a.m. wednesday night show.

i'm going to bed now because i have money now and i'm getting a facial in the morning. i am beat, man.

it's all a little much right now, specially the iraq thing. i was so happy yesterday and today i feel awful.



Kate:... I liked Pink when I met her.

A: You caught her on a good day.

K: Really?

A: I guess, yeah. She’s very--like, we all can have our good days aND OUr bad days. I found her to be very, like, sometimes i’ll see her and she’ll be cool and we’ve had great times before and whatnot, and then I’ll read something in a magazine and I’m like, hmm, that’s not very cool, or whatever. And then I’ll see her and she act completely like--just, you never know with some people. But that’s how I find her to be. I’m glad you found her to be sweet.

I don’t talk to her.

K: I’m not sure what the timing is on this piece. is there something you want to talk about?

A: The things going on in my life right now are returning from new york, of course the versace ad campaign that’s coming up in the fall, which i’m really excited about. Something new and different for me, kind of coming into the fashion world, kind of another element of the industry, where I was actually a model. So it was a little different for me. And of course there’s the tour coming up with ustin., Our first date with be June 4th. In the states we’ll start and then I’ll go off separately by myself in Europe. I haven’t really put a concert date for sale out there at all in the market, so having a tour in Europe is new to me, Then I think we’re going to be in Japan and South America, so it’s a big one. this is the biggest one to date. It’ll be exciting.

K: You’ve never toured solo in Europe?

A: I’ve done promo but as far as doing my own concert with dancers, set design and all this you know, I’ve never done it beofre. So it’ll be exciting, you know? And I’m getting to work with Jamie King, who I love his work.

K: Is he a choreographer?

A: He started as a choreographer but he doesn’t really do that anymore. He’s a set designer and his ideas are amazing. He did Madonna’s Drowned World tour and a lot of her things and her videos, and Janet--the big ones you like to see. And I love his work so I’m excited.

K: Does it feel weird to be going on tour when there’s a war going on and America’s image is weird right now internationally?

A: Um, it’s definitely a weird time in any sense just because no mater what you’re doing, the economy is affected, people’s jobs and everything. I say if you at least can get out there and do something and you have a job, I feel lucky that I have that security of knowing I do have a secure place financially to go out, and tickets are selling, thank God for that. It is weird but I can’t really look at the negative and be like, Oh ny God, let em stay in the house and lock all the doors. I’ve heard of artists and people not wanting to fly out to certain places before the war started just becuase of what was going on and the idea that it might start, or terrorism at any moment. But I cna’t live in fear, youknow, like that’s just not me. If I would make the decision not to get on a plane tomorrow, then i could go down the street, go shopping for some bread and some milk and get killed in a car accident. You never know. Anythign could happen. So I can’t live in fear that way. So i’m OK with it basically..

K: Last night being at the fashion show part of me was going like, there’s a fucking war. Shit’s going on and we’re wearing dresses and being hot--how do you feel about what you do in the context of all this super heavy hardcore stuff going on?

A: I think that’s why entertainment is important first of all--we’re not the ones in there with Bush making the decisions to go or not. We all have our own opinions, of course, I definitely have my own opinions, which I prefer not to speak about just because everyone has their own opinion, and being in the spotlight, it’s just so fifty-fifty here, it’s a little too crazy. And I feel like that’s what entertainment is for. You can look at it like, how superficial are we for going to this fashion show, or doing this or doing that, our country is at war, and we’re sitting here having cocktails and wearing pretty dresses and talking about fashion. but part of it is that, that’s why people are out there. You can’t sit in front of the TV constatntly 24 hours and watch CNN. Sometimes we need to take a break or we’re just going to go insane, and that’s why entertainment is there, to take you away from reality. Give you some kind of escape just for a minute, let me relax and think about other things. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to be involved and educated about what’s going on inside your country and outside but still, it’s that thing that takes you away and out of that kind of panicked space. It gives you that release. And thta’s what it’s needed for.

K: You’ve talked in the past about “I am an entertainer.” Some people are like, I”m a rock star; I’m an artist. You seem to understand that role [of entertainer], and I guess the difference between the reality of what you really are and the escape you’re offering to people--

A: You have to understand both sides of who you are. Of course part of me is defintiely the side that loves to sit down and write music. I am an artist, yes, i think part of being an artist is being creative on your own enough to write your own music and lyrics, be involved in the creative process of making your records, thinking of new video concpets, being involved in the process of making your videos and I think that’s important in being a real artist because the word artist is so casually used nowadays. So many people go in and barely spend two seconds--the kind of artist I respect are the kind of people who are hands-on in what they do. And the reaosn i always say I’m an entertainer this and that is because a lot of time people take so seriously what you do, what you say, what you wear and how you act, and it’s just like, OK, aside form the fact that I’m just being me, it’s me as entertainer, bringing to the table what i have to offer. Don’t take it so damn seriously. When I do a video like dirrty that doesn’t mean that I go home and wear hot pants to go to the grocery store, or chaps to go have dinner somewhere. That’s me being an entertainer, that’s me being free of my inhibitions. And music gives that to me. Music gives me that release to be able to act out in other ways I wouldn’t normally do on a daily basis as a regular person, whatever. But it definitely is a side of me and I’m so happy I do have that outlet. You do get parents--and coming from my background, how they don’t understand, I’m a 22-year-old young woman now. I’m not 17 years old singing Genie In A Bottle. It’s like of course you get these people who are like Oh my God, what is she doing, why is she chaning? It’s like I’m growing up!

K: YOu get letters?

A: I’m sure you’ve heard certain things people have said about my videos, or people might not agree with certain things I do/wear/say/act, and it’s like, God, I’m growing the same way you did in your life, only you didn’t have to do it in front of a zillion cameras and people judging every move you make. the perfect example is, you know my mom does a lot of my fan club stuff, right? This was right after Dirrty, and this mother writes in and she’s telling my mom, I can’t believe thhis video, dah dah dah, I would never let my two year old watch it, this is such a far cry from what she used to be. And my mom’s like, first of all, why is your two year old watching mTV in the first place with half the things that are on it, second of all, buy your kids some Sesame St. Some things are just not meant for a younger audience. It’s just not me to try and be MR. Rogers or Parent America, or be that kind of entertainer. That’s not who I am. I do like to try to empower women in feeling comfortable with their bodies, their sexuality, who they are as a woman, not having to suppress themselves to what society wants them to be. We’re always taught since we’re little to have our legs crossed and sit a certain way. boys are allowed to be rambunctious and --I’m going on about this topic but it’s true. You ask me why I say this but it all stems from the opinions of people not accepting a girl going out there and being aggressive and powerful in her own self, her sexuality and being free about it. That’s what Dirrty was about. being free of your inhibitions. But some people just didn’t understand. Even the covers that i do sometimes, I’m a 22 year old young woman, I’m of age where I should be able to express myself artistically/creatively/otherwise.

K: I grew up in the Eighties when girls were so fucked up about their bodies, it was a huge time for body image, so many eating disorders, women’s bodies were kind of a product even worse than now. To me when I see your iconography, it’s a fine line between Madonna-esque sexual empowerment and just--

A: Being objectified as a woman?

K: Yeah.

A: Well I think that’s also what society impresse supon people--it’s not OK for a woman to stand up and be ok with her body. I always say in all my interviews, you know, this is me being myslef. I’m no saying it’s for everybody, I’m not saying you have to go out there and dress this way or even dress sexual to feel sexual. You could be covered from head to toe and be the sexiest girl in the room when half the women could be Playboy bunnies wearing practically nothing. feeling confident with what you’re doing, it comes from the inside, you know what I’m saying? I’m just saying that a woman should not be criticized--cuz I’m not out there, I’m not naked, and if you look at half the videos, it’s such a double standard. Look at D’Angelo. I mean, come on, do we know what’s going on below what the camera angle is? No, we don’t, it’s obvious he’s supposed to be naked. [NOTE: this video is a fake-giving head video i guess...] That’s the way it looks. And you look at all these hip hop videos where girls are swinging on poles and having champagne splashed on them, whatever, and they’re obviously being objectified. They’re not in the forefront, they’re not demanding these guys to step off or whatever, and feeling in their---they’re in the guys’ environment. In my video, I’m in my environment. The guys have entered my world because I allowed them to be, basically. And in the shower scene with the girls, that’s me having fun with girls, and those girls are my good friends to, besides from--I would never do something that I would be uncomfortable with. And I think that anybody that looks at that and is like Oh my god that’s horrible for women this and that, i think that they have almost been brainwashed by society to the point where I’m supposed to look at that and be offended, because---because what? Because I’m up there not being objectified? I’m not being objectified. Nobody’s around me pushing my head down on the ground, nobody’s doing anything to me, I’m up on the forefront, singing my song--I’m boxing. There’s a thing where it’s tough and sexy at the same time. I’m not being all playboy bunny about it, and that’s not my thing either. {luaghs to herself] Like the [fashion show] last night. I loved it but I felt like I was going to the damn prom. You know what I’m saying? You saw my outfit. i was at the prom. Or I was a little mermaid. You know. Anyway. If you listen to any of the lyrics on my album you obviously know I’m down with the girls and i’m a girl’s girl.

K: We don’t have to keep talking about this!

A: I’m open to not talking about whatever--I don’t care what we talk about but I don’t like to shield anything. the more it’s spoken about it the more I can open people’s minds to understanding how society does brainwash you into thinking a girl who’s confident in her body---and you know, a lot of times when girls say that, it’s because they’re threatened. People are threatened by a girl that is so confident in her body. But whatever shape or size or body type you are you should be comfortable with whatever you are. And that’s just me being comfortable with me. Why criticize something you can’t understand or something you feel threatened by?

K: Yeah, but the other thing is you have a perfect body.

A: Not really but thank you. I’ve just entered the world of realizing you can’t eat everything you want all the time. That wonderful world--absolutely. I do have a trainer because I box in real life and I’m trying to get my stamina built up for tour, cause it’s a whole different ballgame when you go on tour you know? So getting all that said and done, it’s like, oh my gosh my body reacts differently if I eat certain things. Cause I’ve always been used to--my metabolism and my body type’s always been petite, you know?

K: Not to kiss your ass, but you look so much more beautiful and healthy and real than you did three or four years ago.

A: I do like having more meat on my body. I’m very comfortable being thicker. For a while there I was being so overworked and I had people trying to cash me in for a quick buck. My manager and everyone around me. Those people are obviously not in my life anymore but that’s also why i was thinner than i wanted to be at that time, I was being so overworked and having the wrong people around me wanting to cash in.

[[we got interrupted here and lost that track--which sucks!]]

K: As “Entertainer,” how do you deal with the weird energy you have to absorb from thousand of people needing to escape from escape and having their own shit and putting it on you when you’re onstage?

A: When I’m onstage that’s usually my best moments, because usually the people in the audience wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to see me perform. So i get love and that’s when I feel the most support and feel that coming back to me. Being onstage is my favorite thing ever. that’s where I feel most at home and comfortable. Being in a studio is very confining, I don’t like it as much, the headpohones and the mic are so distancing--it’s just i don’t like it, It’s claustrophobic. being in a room with nobody to interact with or play off of. I love live performing. That’s what i live for.

I love creating the tour and the vibe, and this record being so personal and having written pretty much all of it, sharing my heart, spilling my heart on this record, which i really did, everything is true, and comes from a personal experience, that’s why i called it Stripped. It’s about being emotionally stripped down from anything you may have thought of me and it’s just me telling my own story., And you get iut. You get a lot of raw stuff on there with songs like “I’m OK” and whatnot. I’m going to love interpreting all the visual things with the lyeics i have to offer. So jamie and i are working close with that.

but where I do feel the pressure is just---I don’t know, i learned early on that you cannot please everyone at the same time. It’s absolutely impossible. everybody doesn’t have the same tastes. It’s one of the things that disappointed me about this business is how superficial it really is. You hear all these things, you know it’s coming if you make it to that level of success mand all eyes are on you. but you really don’t realize how much until you’re really there. And it’s just really disappointing. I try to stay as close to my upbringing and my ground as possible, and then you have all these stories either blowing a situation out of proportion or you get other females talking shit about you and it’s just like, Man! Why? You didn’t do anything to necessarily provoke--some of these people you didn’t even meet before. And it’s just like, why do you have to be so negative? there’s so much negativity. And that’s why they do it, because it sells them their magazines. cause people don’t care so much about how pretty someone is, how sweet, how endearing they are. they wanna hear dirt. And that’s why tabloids are such big sellers, and why Us Magazine has basically changed --it used to be a little more respectable, and now it’s just totally gone to a totally glossed out tabloid. It’s sad. That’s what’s disappointing. It’s just something you learn you cannot take personally. The pressure comes whenever you do get so much put upon your shoulders to be here, to act a certain way--and as a female it’s lot more pressure. I was actually talking to the kid in Good Charlotte, benji, and I was like, yeah, i have to be at this shoot blah blah blah, and it’s just like people sometimes expect me to be so--when I walk into a shoot--in an interview I’m different because it’s more intimate and personable and I’m kind of introverted and I usually don’t talk so much. but whenevr I was into a room I kind of walk with my hat down low, whatever, whenever I’m not in the spotlight. And a lot of people expect me to walk up to them and be like, Hi! How ya doing! And I’m just not like that. I’m more of a shy keep to myself kind of person. Especially whenever you’ve had years of people wanting so much from you. You just get kind of shy.

But when I’m onstage it’s all worthwhile. And that’s when you remember what you’re in it for, and you can support your family. My mom has gone through it--we’ve always had financial problems and whatnot and it’s a blessing that I’m able to give her her dream life now. I bought her a house and my grandma a house. That’s why I’m in it. that’s what really matters. Not what somebody said about your damn hair in some article. It’s all bullshit. And you’ve got to remember why you got in it in the first place. And I got in it because I love it. When i’m singing that’s when I’m the most in my own element--I’m free. It’s always been my expression. And being on that stage and feeling that love, that’s what i do it for. No other reason. And that’s what i just have to keep reminding myself. because i’m human and sometimes I’ll read an article and laugh but sometimes, after a while you definitely have your days where you have to break down for a second. Like, shit, when does it end? But it doesn’t. You gotta keep toughing it out and remembring the good stuff.

K: When you say ‘I have to remind myself I’m giving my mom her dream life’ and all this stuff, it almost sounds like a routine, like, you’re convincing yourself. You still totally want to be a superstar, right?

A: Oh my gosh, well... I love the fact that--sorry if this sounds cheesy or whatever, but I love the fact that i can reach people and i do have messages in my music. through domestic violence, what I went through, I love speaking about that reaching people, helping people. I promised myself if I ever made it to a place a success--back in the day, i was 15, I was praying on my balcony in westberg(?) Pennsylvania. I said if I make it to that place one of my goals is to give back and really try to spread the word and build shelters, which I’m getting to now, in honor of my mom, in honor of other people going through it that need that voice to tell them it’s ok.

K: That kicks ass. You adopted one shelter in Pittsburgh, right?

A: yeah we’re doing it now--I think it’s called the Greater, uh--we’re just getting into it now and my mom is very active since I can’t be there all the time, and she loves being an activist. She just got back form speaking in DC about this and her own experiences, and she wants to write a book about it. And that’s where i get it from--empowering women and making them feel like we are equal. And if you’re in a situation like that, you’re better than to stay in it. And it’s a whole psychological thing--the biggest question asked is always, why don’t you just leave, right? But ti’s like there’s a whole mental abuse that is like--and if you have kids, how are you going to support them if you possibly don’t have much of an education or college experience background, whatever. It’s tough. And they just get your confidence to such a [makes finger gesture] this big, you have the lowest self-esteem, and you’re beat up and forced, basically brainwashed to believe after a while that you can’t make it without them. It’s messed up.

There’s all kinds of different forms of it, but you’ve got to recognize that you’re worth a hell of a lot more than that. And it happens to men too, women can definitely be that way too I’m not going to void out the men completely. But it’s something i’m very passionate about. And that’s why I went to the thing last night, giving 50 grand to the shelter [UNCLEAR IF SHE OR SPONSOR GILLETTE IS]

Kate: I get so bummed out by pop icons like J. Lo, who have no message--there’s no message, there’s no there there. It’s just, it’s me, and I’m fabulous!

A: Yeah, I just read Us, there was some dumb article [about me]--I don’t buy it but someone on the Versace set had it--and i look on my page, right, cause I always like to just look at it and see how sensationalized and stupid it is, so I’m looking and apparently someone had asked [a certain pop star] about the war, “So what are your views on the war?” And she said, “Oh, i don’t really think about that kind of stuff. I leave it up to him”--and she points to [her boyfriend]. I understand if you don’t want to get involved in that and say I’d rather keep my opinions to myself or something. but to admit you don’t have any opnion of what’s going on in your country and the world? I was just like, wow. How can you say something like that? OK, you’re an entertainer, but it just really bothers me when people don’t have brains. And when they just don’t think about things. And then openly admit it! So what, i’m just here to look pretty and entertain? It’s just deeper than that to me, you know?

K: Do you feel conscious of that element--a lot of female icons, part of their iconography is their attachment to a male, with the exception of Madonna: Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, Britney and Justin, J. Lo and Ben, even Gwen and Gavin. Is that something you think about?

A: it’s really funny you bring this one up because I guess the press has started getting ahold of the fact that I’ve been dating this guy for a minute, and he’s like a regular guy. It was one of those boxes on the cover of us, and I havent’ said a word so far so somebody said somehting. But it just disappoints me. this is another example of how superficial everyone is, becuase it was a whole article on how he was just some regular guy, Christina’s dating a “mellow” guy, which basically means not in the game, their sweeter way of saying boring. OK, why turn it into a negative just becuase I’m not all into hanging on somebody’s arm just because they’re a star. Or just because I’m not a starfucker, and I don’t want to be. I support myself. i don’t have to get with somebody for money. And there’s so much of that in Hollywood. It’s just like, OK, why not give me props for wanting to be, or accepting to be with a normal guy? I don’t need all that. And so far I really haven’t found anyone in the business--and I haven’t met that many--but i find guys that aren’t in the spotlight to be a little more interesting. They give me something. And maybe I’ll marry a celebrity someday, who knows. But it’s sad. And sometimes it’s so damn obvious that certain people are together just to be in the spotlight and make the cover of some magazine. It’s just so superficial and so disappointing. Dissing this guy for being regular, for not being a star, how messed up is our world when they’re talking about this shit, and yes, a war is going on? At least entertainment is entertainment, but why do you have to be so negative? Why do you have to spit out so much negativity? that takes energy to be negative and think up negative things.

K: I think it’s usually a story like they’re supporting their kids so they have some shitty fucking editor job at a horrible magazine--in my experience that’s their rationalization for it.

A: really?
K: yeah becuase how could anybody believe in those jobs?

A: Exactly. But I feel bad. That karma, that shit’s got to come back to you. If you put it out there and spend so much time putting energy into figuring out a diss or a slam or somehting negative, like they go home at night and they sleep and they’re like, that was my job for the day. but they don’t understand that can affect people’s lives, people;s relationships and people’s hearts. It’s got to come back to you. you’re affecting people. And people in middle America they’re going to read it and they don’t know what to believe.

K: you shouldn’t care abou those people

a: well obviously you have to learn to put up a wall, but you’re human and every once in a while you get one that’s going to hit you and you’re like, damn.

And when I do have those moments, i get mad, like, Christina, you just got back from doing the damn Versace ads and you’re having fun and getitng to do all this stuff, it’s like why are you letitng this stupid thing bother you? I get mad at myself. there’s so much to be thankful for and you’re letting this stupid article. We’re just human, You can get a thousand compliments on how pretty your outfit is, and it’s that one [diss] that’s like, and even though you’re like Oh I don’t care, it’ll stay right here.

K: It’s corrosive but it’s usually their own shit their projecting into you. but shit i’m running out of time!

have you ever heard Laura Nyro and LaBelle album “Gonna Take A Miracle”?

A: No.

K: Good, cause I brought it for you. (Then I go on to explain the album)

A; that’s dope thank you so much! I love checking out new music.

K: it’s out of print now i think

A: how’d you get it?

K: my sister always had it when we were growing up.

A: really? that’s cool. so you’ve always been a music fan?

K: yeah--you’re probably into Sarah Vaughan too right?

A: Sarah vaughan? OK, remind me...

K: OK, here i brought this for you too!

A: Oh, ok, ok.

K: You know, she was one of the great jazz divas along side Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald... one of the great black female singers after the blues singers, you know like, whatername... who’s that super famous woman blues singer from the ‘20s,

A: Which one?

K: not Ma Rainey, but the other one, she was a lesbain or bisexual and she was kind of fat and amazing--bessie Smith!

A: a lesbian? i don’t know about that.

K: [later after the interview I rememebered and I went to the bathroom and told her] It’s Bessie Smith!

A: You really know your blues singers.

K: What was the happiest moment of your life?

A: Giggles. Oh gosh. these are such broad questions.

K: Is that broad?

A: Your entire life? What’s yours?

K: Mine? New year’s Eve 1999 I fell in love.

A: Wow, you did? I’ve never had a good New Year’s Eve.

K: yeah.

A: Aww, how cute! That’s sweet. that’s a really good one. That’s so beautiful. i love that.

K: But what about you?

A: I’d have to split it up between personal and career. My favorite career moent has been the shock, because it was so shocking and crazy, of winnin gmy first Grammy. [best new Artist]. you only get one shot at it your entire life, and I’d had less singles out that the toher artists that i was up against. i was like, there’s no way, and i totally wrote it off in my mind, there was no way. i was just going to show up and be glad I was nominated and congratulate the person who won and that was that. There were three women up there--melissa Etheridge and i can’t remember the other two, but when they said my name I didn’t even get up. i had to be pushed out of my seat because I was so fucking shocked. My knees were buckling and I had no speech prepared. It was one of those on a whim amazing amazing moments, in front of all these people in the industry you look up to, when you don’t expect it whatsoever. That was a pretty amazing feeling. And i think just happy days in my life, like Christmas morning. Christmas morning is the best for me. probably one of the happiest ones was seven years old, I’d wake up andSanta Clause came, you know what i mean? You go downstairs, and my family is so into Chrsitmas, and my mom and everything, and i love it too

K: Mine too! She still does Santa!

A: My mom does too! Well I have a little brother who’s six, and it’s fun to keep it alive with him. It’s so much fun. and pretty soon now we have the Easter bunner coming! It’s gonna be so much fun.

K: SO tell me about Chrsitmas when you were seven

A; Well it was just me--after my parents had just split andit was me and my mom and we were living at my grandma’s house, i was raised by my mom and my grandma. I would wake up, the first one awake, and I ran downstairs and the tree was all lit up and the presents were under the tree--it’s just, oyu know.... just a warm, cozy sight. Then i ran back up and got everybody up. It’s that thing when you’re a kid and you’re so anticipating it, and it’s finally there, it’s all under the tree, that whole magical, mystical feeling that Santa was there, you know?

That’s what comes to mind whenever I think of really happy, happy times.

K: I’ll buy that.

A: It’s not a love thing. Yours is more exciting, cause it’s so like, wow, your first love on new years! Of all nights too! I’ve never had a good New Years!

K: I know, usually new years sucks.

I wanted to ask you about “Loving me For Me”--I think it was abou tGod?

A: It took you to that spiritual place! Actually that song was written about my very first experience with love. Why it was such a big deal for me to fall in love was because, maybe it was from my past, never having that father fgure, never really experiencing any kind of love from a male, like real love, and i was so always since I was six seven years old, performing, and entertaining in public--it was such a thing. there was nothing else I ever wnated to do but be a singer and do what I’m doing now. So being so focused on my career, i was never one of those girls in high school who was so goo goo eyed over boys, i was very much like, even if a guy liked me I was like, well, i travel a lot. I was very worldly by the time i was even in eighth grade. And watching what my mom went through, I was just like, I don’t get it. i don’t get the whole love thing. Why would you want to fall in love? I was very like, i want to do for myself. i don’t want to depend on a guy, i don’t ever want to let a guy hurt me. I looked at it almost as a game. i didn’t get it, I didn’t get anything about it. Why would you want to give up things for some guy?

but then when I finally fell in love--the song reperesents the beauty that i felt for the first time of like wanting to give to another person, and share that love, and getitng it back, and me being in the spotlight, it was like, this guy truly just loved me for me. he was just basically down for me. It was amazing. That’s why there’s a poem at the ending. He loves me without makeup. I never really like my freckles to show, it’s my own thing, whatever. Anyway I’m growing into my freckles.

K: Are you wearing foundation?

A: Yeah a little bit to cover them. I’m glad you didn’t notice. but anyway, yeah, he just loved me and itruly truly loved him and adored him and just wanted not to give up what i was doing or anything drastic but just to share my life. It was an amazing feleing to let go of that aggression and defense mechanism towards men because of my past. that’s what it was. breaking down all that and experiencieng love for the first time. And that’s why at the beginning of the song I go, that’s why [that prelude] is called Love’s embrace, it’s like, ‘I once was so afraid of love’s embrace,’ you know what i mean? i was so defensive. I didn’t want a guy to tell me what to do.

K: What’s so weird is that there’s such a liberation in actually giving to another person and being drawn out of your own narcissism.

A: Absolutely. It’s a freedom. Freeing yourself of your own fears and demons.

So that’s what I learned.

K: Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

A: Like what are we talking about?

K: Like really bad music that you like.

A: [cracks up] Oh my gosh this is such a crazy question for you to ask. Yeah, i do, and I can’t believe I’m admitting it. Actually if you look at it it’s really well produced and it works for what it is, but it’s so--when you

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Hi kids

I didn't mean to post two entries about whatsername. The drunk one i wrote but never posted. but blogger is really really idiotic and it decided to post it for me and then make it impossible for me to take it down. sigh.... I have gotten so used to being publicly embarrassed by Blogger it's just a crime.


Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Aw, Rats!

I fucking lost my journal today. Somewhere in public. That is bad. At least my whole name wasn't written anywhere in there, nor anyone else's, I think. I should not take my journal outside. Duh. That's just begging the cosmos to make mischief. My only solace is that the chances of anyone I know finding it are slim as hell.

It's one of those nights. Really hot and dry and I'm at sixes and sevens. (What does that mean again?) Maybe I'm at eights and nines. Just all outta sorts with 97 things to worry about and 47 deadlines I haven't started. One of 'ems an interview with Christina Aguilera. I interviewed her Friday night. We were drinking red wine but I had some whiskey beforehand and 20 minutes into the interview I realize I'm wasted. Losing my train of thought so she has to back up and remind me what we were talking about. In a way it was good because I blew all appearances of superstar ass-kissing and was able to ask a couple questions that would've been awkward sober. Stuff like, why do you objectify yourself and whatnot. Actually she used the word objectify first.

She's got a real thick gloss to her, like Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails: shiny and tough. There's a couple good things about her. One, she's not skinny anymore, thank God. She talked some trash about Pink out of the blue and that was weird. Also she's getting very into funding shelters for battered women, and domestic violence is her big deal issue now. She said the happiest moment of her life was her first Christmas morning after her dad left, when she was seven, living with her mom and grandma. She asked me what mine was and I told her it was this one New Year's Eve when I fell in love. She's all, that's amazing, I've never had a good New Years.

It's funny how most everybody has shitty New Year's Eves, even pop icons. You always imagine on new years what goes on at the big Hollywood parties with the glamour pusses, what sort of supernatural level of fun they must be able to access.

That particular year I was at one of those types of exclusive Hollywood parties with this fellow, and it was OK. But then we left and went back to his friends' apartment, a one-bedroom where three guys were living and he slept on the couch. All our friends hung around in the candy-colored glow of Christmas lights and listened to music and talked and drank. We had known each other for ten years or more at that point, all of us, but the history wasn't a weight around our ankles; it was a kind of emotional lubricant. I didn't have to explain myself to anyone and I didn't have to live up to past behaviors or anything. It was old and new at the same time.

The guy played psychic DJ with a series of songs that blew my mind. All of them were beloved, often "bad" pop from my childhood, stuff we'd never even talked about: "State of Shock" by Mick and Michael; "Xanadu," "Karma Chameleon," "Sowing the Seeds of Love," "Senses Working Overtime." I felt liberated once again by the ecstasy of pop and its eternal, valiant efforts to locate and magnify the sensation of joy.

All right, goodnight. I'm going to put my eights and nines in a row and see what they add up to!


Friday, April 04, 2003

aw, buckles!

i had such a fucked up dream last night. it was a sort of superficial, potentially satirical commentary on my life at this moment. first i'm talking to my mom about terrorism. she's telling me that L.A. is destined to be hit by bio-terror, something airborne, and I need to get out of the center of the city. she names several safer areas and i say, how about mount washington? and she says, mount washington would be great. (i secretly want to move to mount washington. it's a really beautiful and oddly rural area kind of near downtown. Exene and John Doe used to live there in the '80s. One time, i think I already told you this, me and my friend were 13 or something and we went to their house and peeked in the back room and snooped around the yard. about a year ago i met john doe and told him this story and he said "that's the creepiest thing anyone ever told me." huh?? he's john doe. surely he's got creepier stuff than that. sorry for namedropping.)

so in my dream i suddenly go to mount washington somehow; like all of a sudden i'm there. and i'm in this woodsy beautiful house where there's a party going on. i remember that it's michelle branch's house and i interviewed her there before. (not really. i did interview her like i told you before but it was over the phone. she told me she is into death metal and Slayer.) So I knock on her bedroom door and ask if i'm interrupting, and there's some people in there and they look at me like i'm covered in dead lizards. (i fucking hate walking into a small room/club/restaurant of fancy hollywood people who look at you. what's with the looking at you thing? why are people so uptight, man? i bet you cheech and chong wouldn't act like that.)

she's nice though, and some conversation ensues about how i have decided i absolutely have to move to Mount Washington. i say to the general group, "but i don't know if i could find anything i can afford here." And then i wonder if that's uncouth to say, but i kind of think, fuck, this is real life, i'm not rich and neither are most people, and rich people need to remember that.

Sometimes i'm proud of my lack of money. it makes me feel more rock. (it also makes me feel more smart, because i've figured out that being rich doesn't make you happy. living in hollywood and knowing this is like having a secret superpower.) and if the weird rich music people i'm talking to don't grasp the rockness of it, then i feel sad that rock culture has become so monetized. Some people get it. The smart people get it. And the ones who remember being poor and rock. Wealth really doesn't make rock stars happy, just FYI. It makes them sad. They feel they're losing the magic--and they are, usually. Wealth is rock's big enemy.

But right now rock culture and New York street fashion is about paying thousands of dollars to look like a Ramone. It's a careful simulation of the real thing. The Strokes are a careful and well-funded tribute to '70s New York rock culture, and that's about all I can say about them. Can't anyone else smell the money? Can't anyone else see what pale imitations they are, sitting at high fashion shows with their model girlfriends and their 500 dollar haircuts? Where's the danger? Where's the bravery and madness? Where's the erotic jesus?

Oh yeah. The bravery and madness, the blood and danger and sexual sacramentalism are in Detroit, wearing red pants.

This guy is really truly one fucked up cat, this Jack White. But he's also healthy, wise, intuitive, smart and organized enough to channel his fucked-upness and make art with it. But at the moment anyway, there's nothing easy about him, nothing easy about the ways he rips off other artists; it's all done so earnestly and with such conscience it's almost awkward. even when he's trying to sound like an old-fashioned delta sex god blues baller, it sounds kind of stressful, the effort.

That stress, that lack of ease, that subtle weight of "can't you see I'm a fraud? are all you people idiots? why do i want you?" -- gives the music a depth and conflict i really dig. plus there's just so much music-love in it. that's really what i get from it most. i just think jack white is the biggest, scariest music fan in the world, in the way that i like, and his music is an attempt to drown in history.

what a way to go!



Wednesday, April 02, 2003

here's the thing

on mad deadline, BUT...

the white stripes is SO HEAVY. it's a double vinyl album, for no good reason except:

1. It's COOL

B. they get to have one record WHITE vinyl and one RED.

3. and that is SEXY

4. Plus, double albums engender anticipatory belly-flutters from deep seated history in children who know about "houses of the holy," "the beatles," [name your fave double album here] etc.

turns out ELEPHANT is also a total hot-jeans makeout on the couch till you're immortal record--well, in truth, it's actually a do-it-like-the-world's-on-fire record. ME AND KIM decided that we both want to try it out as soon as we get the opportunity (with boys, silly) --and turning it over three times would definitely be a hassle. this is why i now have to buy it on CD. very tricky.

one more thing and then i gotta run: jack white comes off like one MEAN MOTHERFUCKER on this album. definitely the type of guy who you have to keep in line and kick his ass regularly, and remind him he's just a little man with a silly little guitar. he's one meanmouth jackrabbit. he's got the bitey little teeth.



Tuesday, April 01, 2003

she may be dumb, but she's the only girl on the planet!

(is that the line or something?)

Anyway, so yeah, the new White Stripes is out today and I have a copy in my lap here on vinyl and i can't wait to slice it open (it's a double album!) and drop my needle into its grooves but i have to wait until tonight when my secret spy club gets together.

now i must go write an article.