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.