Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hi baby:

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

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

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

Dear Snuffles,

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


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

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

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


your pal,


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Happy Birthday Tony!

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

Good weddings will do that.

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

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

that has stood the test of time,

that's there when the sun comes up

and when the sun goes down.

you look at it and it just looks right,

it sounds right,

is right.

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

or written down on a folder during homeroom.

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

for the best ones have a romantic and improbable beginning,

a spectacular and beautiful middle

and no end.


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

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hi Mangle Pie:

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

But that is another story.

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

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



Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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

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

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

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

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



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

Monday, October 13, 2003

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

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

Freak out, Stephanie!

Sugar, Sugar:

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

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

Jeff was Jewish and Ellie was Jewish and Irish.

They were both singers and songwriters in New York.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supposedly Neil nicked his singing style from Jeff.

You thought I was done. Not hardly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, what he said.

Friday, October 10, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Thursday, October 09, 2003

Hi, Freewheelers!

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

Right now I gotta vent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mind-body split with a vengeance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in figuring out where those intersect, and how.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to join the chorus.



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

Get Drunk

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

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

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

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

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

Britney AND zombies AND frozen

Teen first fuck

Summery of oddessey

Taylor hanson groupie


"cause you are not here" like rain

ben Sullivan

Zac hanson and Kate girlfriend

Old fashioned cornershop pictures

"wearing white jeans"

pictures for a bull wears the American flag

ben Sullivan brit

"celebrity plumber butt"

sex "Pasadena hilton"



Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Let's Animal!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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



Monday, October 06, 2003

Hi, Cheetah Girls!

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


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

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

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

D: extra credit - I only did chap. 17

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

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

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


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

D: What does NASA stand for?

Need another seven astronauts.

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

misspellings left intact.



Sunday, October 05, 2003

Guy, Lombardo:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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