Archive for December, 2004

2004 Music

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Pictured: Image of vintage cover of Judy Blume book by request of Rob Richardson. Sadly, I could not find the totally groovy ’70s version that I remember.

I have to put together my Pazz and Jop ballot this weekend so I have lots of work to do.

Things I liked:
The Paybacks
The Ponys
Fiery Furnaces
Franz Ferdinand
Loretta Lynn
Nancy Sinatra
The Futureheads
The Hold Steady
The Streets
Fur Cups For Teeth
Ebony Rhythm Band (re-issue)
Holly Golightly
Nelly McKay
The Espers

Midnight Movies
Junior Boys
Cramps – How To Make A Monster (re-issue)
Mr. Airplane Man
The Hives
Blonde Redhead
The Rogers Sisters
The Octopus Project
Blood on the Wall
Asobi Seksu

Stuff I need to hear:
Northern State
Chicks on Speed
Casual Dots
Joanna Newsom
Kimya Dawson
Rilo Kiley
DFA Comp
Puffy Amyumi
Sahara Hotnights
Candi Station (re-issue)
MIA and/or Diplo

Bettye Swann (re-issue)

Undecided: Le Tigre, Scissor Sisters, PJ Harvey

Comps I just bought:
Girls With GuitarsAce Records comp with some Girls in the Garage type stuff
Good Girls Gone Bad: Weird Wild Wanted – also from Ace, same idea but late ’50s stuff
Flowers in the Wildwood: Women in Early Country Music: 1923-1939 on Trikont (Can anyone suggest a similar comp but more like 50s-70s?)

Candidates for singles:
Rilo Kiley – “Portions For Foxes”
Kelis – “Milkshake” (2003 carryover)
Britney Spears – “Toxic”
The Von Bondies – “C’mon C’mon”
Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out” or “Michael”
The Hives – “Walk Idiot Walk”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps” (2003 c-o) and “Y Control”
Gwen Stefani – “What Are You Waiting For”
Benny Benassi – “Satisfaction” (2003 c-o)
Goldfrapp – “Strict Machine”
Basement Jaxx feat Lisa Kekaula – “Good Luck”

Further explanation later. Happy New Year and good riddance to this shit-ass year.

December 31, 2004 at 7:01 pm 5 comments

What’s Really Important

Sent to me by Donna Gaines:

“We can dream forever, but we have to do something now.”
Rell Sunn (the late, great Aloha Ambassador of Surfing)

A list of organizations providing aid and accepting donations for the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis in Southeast Asia. The death toll is now estimated at 114,000.

Action Against Hunger
247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
New York, NY 10018

ADRA International
Asia Tsunami Crisis Fund
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Air Serv International
6583 Merchant Place, Suite 100
Warrenton, VA 20187

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
JDC: South Asia Tsunami Relief
Box 321
847A Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

American Jewish World Service
45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10018

American Red Cross
International Response Fund
PO Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

88 Hamilton Ave.
Stamford, CT 06902

ARMDI, Israeli Red Cross
Tsunami Emergency Fund
888 7th Ave.
Suite #403
New York, NY 10106

Baptist World Aid
Asia Tidal Waves
405 North Washington St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

Bínai Bírith International
Bínai Bírith Disaster Relief Fund
2020 K. St. NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006

Brotherís Brother Foundation
1200 Galveston Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

151 Ellis Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303-2440

Catholic Relief Services
209 West Fayette St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Christian Childrenís Fund
Child Alert Fund
PO Box 26484
Richmond, VA 23261

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
South Asia Earthquake
2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49560

Church World Service
PO Box 968
Elkhart, IN 46515

Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Food for the Hungry
Asia Quake Relief
1224 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres
PO Box 2247
New York, NY 10116-2247

International Aid
17011 W. Hickory
Spring Lake, MI 49456

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
PO Box 372
CH-1211 Geneva 19

International Medical Corps
Tsunami Emergency Response
1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90404-1950

International Orthodox Christian Charities
PO Box 630225
Baltimore, MD 21263-0225

International Relief Teams
Asia Earthquake/Floods
3547 Camino Del Rio South, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92108

International Rescue Committee
PO Box 5058
Hagerstown, MD 21741-9874
877-REFUGEE or 733-8433

Latter-Day Saint Charities
Welfare Services Emergency Response
50 East North Temple Street, Room 701
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84150-6800

Lutheran World Relief
South Asia Tsunami
700 Light St.
Baltimore, MD 21230

MAP International
PO Box 215000
Brunswick, GA 3121-5000

Mercy Corps
Southeast Asia Earthquake
Dept. W
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

Northwest Medical Teams
PO Box 10
Portland, OR 97207-0010

Operation USA
8320 Melrose Avenue, Ste. 200
Los Angles, CA 90069

Oxfam America
Asia Earthquake Fund
P.O. Box 1211
Albert Lea, MN 56007-1211

Plan USA
Asia Disaster
155 Plan Way
Warwick, RI 02886

Project Concern International
Asia Tsunamis Press List
5151 Murphy Canyon Road Suite 320
San Diego, CA 92123

Project HOPE
Asia Tsunami Response
255 Carter Hall Lane
Millwood, VA 22646

Relief International
11965 Venice Blvd. .405
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Save the Children
Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880

SAWSO (Salvation Army World Service Office)
South Asia Relief Fund
615 Slaters Lane
Alexandria, VA, 22313

Stop Hunger Now
SE Asia crisis
2501 Clark Ave, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27607

US Fund for UNICEF
333 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016

World Concern
19303 Fremont Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98133

World Emergency Relief
2270-D Camino Vida Roble
Carlsbad, CA 92009

World Vision
PO Box 70288
Tacoma, Washington 98481-0288

Additional LINKS:


Action Against Hunger-

ADRA International-

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.-

American Red Cross-

Association for India’s Development-


Christian Children’s Fund-

Church World Service-

Doctors Without Borders/ Medicine Without Borders-

Food for the Hungry, Inc.-

International Aid-

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent

International Medical Corps-

International Rescue Committee-

Lutheran World Relief-

MAP International-

Mercy Corps-

Network for Good-

Operation USA-

Oxfam America-

Plan USA-

Project Concern International-

Save the Children USA-


U.N. World Food Programme-

World Concern-

You may also access the list, minus listed links,
online via CNN:

December 31, 2004 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

I’m Not A Fuckin Hippie

If you’re going to anonymously insult me, at least get your facts straight. It’s so weird how New York is so all about money and appearances that anything that even attempts to fly in the face of that is treated with derision. Philadelphia has the opposite problem. You get clowned if you have a whiff of ambition.

I mean, I’d expect to get insulted on the Ultragrrrl site if I made fun of The Killers or Interpol, but all I did was give the girl fashion tips because I like talking fashion with strangers. And not Style-channel, Vogue, runway fashion, I mean, the way everyday people wear their clothes, the line of a dress, the seam on the back of a pair of stockings, the cuff on a pair of jeans, the way a coat moves with you when you walk.

And besides, Andy The Boyfriend blows the sloppy hippie myth to pieces. He dresses better than most hipster men, if not all of them.

Am I hipster? I guess my writing, promoting and DJing would qualify, but I still think I’m too old just by mere definition. Then again, I have no interest in starting an Amanda Kimmel-esque discussion about my alleged hipsterdom or not.

At the end of the day, I’m just me. Whatever that is: a short-funny looking Jewish girl with small hair and big dreams. A lover and a fighter and a daydream believer. Like The Raincoats, I believe in fairytales in the supermarket. So alright, I might have a little hippie in me, but fuck if I dress like one.

December 30, 2004 at 9:16 pm 13 comments

Lit & Whimsy/Birthday Wrap Up

I’ll just add to Maria’s thorough take on the proceedings.

Doree Shafir, the PW A&E editor who runs the series, read a funny story about trying to be the “cool girl in the band.” As a person who spent her life wanting to be Joan Jett or Chrissie Hynde or Kim Deal (or pretty much anyone named Kim in a band), I totally identified.

Jonathan Valania read about Elliott Smith, with musical accompaniment on his iPod. (We were encouraged to use multi-media, but I didn’t want to be dependent on technology for a piece that wasn’t longer than 10 minutes). The difficult part about L&W is that not only do you have to be a “good” writer, you have to be entertaining, and JV usually is when he’s just talking off the cuff (I did an episode of the now-defunct WXPN show “First Impressions” with him once and I was terrible at it, as I’m not as funny talking about music off the top of my head. I’m better at writing stuff down). He turns a phrase beautifully but it seemed to get loss in the din of the bar, as some stuff is meant for reading alone and other pieces are meant for the public. Or is it that the heart of the thing comes across more on paper than being read aloud?

Gabe Boylan’s piece was all about his unabashed love for soft rock, complete with album covers to show as examples. Since I spent the 90s (or even current VH-1 programming) watching people trying to out-ironic each other, it’s always nice to hear people profess an undying love for something during its rise and fall of “coolness.”

Joey Sweeney performed and talked about a series of “name” songs, one of them about a cool older Jewish punk rock chick named Evelyn Rochman who changed his life when he was a kid. I wanna be someone’s Evelyn Rochman.

Erik Bader talked about lo-fi as punk rock and it was nice reliving that mid-90s promise: Lovable losers can take over the world by recording songs under their beds about girls who ignore them. And then VH-1 Storytellers style, performed those songs with his band, This Skull. And the thing is, (which obviously isn’t his fault), lovable king losers are always guys never girls. When men pour out their hearts, it is brave and adorable, when women do it, it’s time to go back to the bar.

It was interesting to watch the room, almost evenly split by gender. The bar half there for Erik, Gabe, and Joey and drinking and talking over everyone else but their friends. The other half a smattering of my friends (Maria, Ricky and Mekko, Keith Harris, visiting Megan from L.A., Janet , Scott, and a very sick Cathy and James). Taken as indivduals, Gabe, Erik and Joey are good people, but their group of friends and their din make me uncomfortable and remind me why Indie Rock led me in and drowned me out. It’s a mindset that really if you think about it, just supports the status quo and makes the unfamiliar invisible. Mind you, I don’t think anyone is going out of their way to exclude women or anyone for that matter, they’re just not going out of their way to include them unless someone tells them they’re supposed to. And all this is pretty much carrying over from dealing with them on the internet to trying to promote shows to people like this. It’s a major downer.

Doree has her heart in the right place and it’s been an honor just to be asked to show up at all, considering my lack of real writing for the past several years. But at the same time, I wonder if I should return to the Lit & Whimsy or just make my own.

After the reading ended (which went over because of Bader’s allotted 25 minutes extended to an hour), a bunch of my friends took off, because it was time for the bands to go on that were scheduled after the event was over. Carolyn and Rich showed up, and as usual, I didn’t get to talk to them as much as I’d liked. They’re people I’d like to get to know better. Then Ultra showed up, looking for a party, and found none and followed Megan off to the 700 Club with the rest of my friends. It seemed like my birthday was just pure coincidence to most people, which is why I’m glad I didn’t attempt to plan anything “big” this year.

The best part of my birthday was seeing just a few songs of The Blow Goes, who were up there, pounding away, not giving a fuck, singing “nomorewarnomorewar.” That’s why I continue hanging around this place.

December 26, 2004 at 6:50 pm 5 comments

Lit and Whimsy

I hate football. It makes my house smell like Doritos and strange men use my bathroom. So I’m hiding in my office writing another update for Pat Rapa and whoever else reads this thing.

This is what I read on Tuesday. The theme of L&W was music, and since I found the theme so broad I just picked something not-so-obviously rock critic-like and more personal, which is what works when reading in noisy bars. I wrote this for Daphne Carr’s fanzine, Front Row Center and that issue was all about music you can’t listen to and why. Many of you have probably seen this already, as it’s on myspace, where you’ll find lots of pre-Bees material:

I Love My Boyfriend But I Hate The Grateful Dead

My boyfriend and I agree on many things: junk food, dive bars, sleeping late, drag queens, The Ramones, Blondie, and basic kindness and respect towards each other and our interests, no matter how disparate they might be. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have spent our fifth Valentine’s Day together this year. The thing is, he likes The Grateful Dead, but because keeps up on his hygiene, holds down a job, and has all his brain cells intact, I hold my nose and look away. There are many things I’m involved in that he despises silently but still supports them because they are important to me, like gnashing my teeth over pointless rock criticism and booking obscure indie rock bands for no money whatsoever. That’s what makes us a good couple. I don’t understand these Joined At The Hip Couples who completely lose their individuality and turn into this sickening non-thinking organism of “We.”

I understand the sense of community he gets from the other Deadheads, talking to people from all over the country of different ages and walks of life on message boards and trading music with them. They are the kind of people who will assign someone at a show to go out and make sure the fucked-up people are okay. No one at indie rock shows cares if someone is fucked-up. Someone will take a picture of it and ironically post it to a message board. When my boyfriend got his tonsils out and extensive sinus surgery, a few of them e-mailed me to see how he was doing. When he broke his leg on his job two years ago, he had free legal advice from the lawyers.

I’ve tried to get down with the Dead many times in my life. Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, classic rock appreciation was mandatory. My friends consisted of a disparate bunch of freaks and geeks, from in-the-closet Smiths fans to prog-rock nerds to full-on burnouts. Even when I was obsessed with all things ’60s, compared to The Beatles or The Stones or The Who, my response was lukewarm. The songs weren’t nearly as memorable as The Beatles. I can’t hum a Dead tune and I hear them on a daily basis at my boyfriend’s house. Unlike Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix, the guitars had no forward motion. They just sort of twirl around like their fans at shows, all “wheedly wheedly weeee.” And the vocals just flat out suck. I like a lot of “bad” singers, but “bad” is forgiveable if the delivery is interesting or passionate or if the music is compelling in some way. You can’t say that about their sour vocals and harmonies that couldn’t find a key if you called a locksmith. And the rhythm? Two words for you: “Drums and Space.” And what the hell are they singing about anyway? What is a Chinacat Sunflower for fuck’s sake? Nonsense drug lyrics and meandering guitars are fine, again, if the music is not completely sleep-inducing.

When I got to college, I drifted between the punks and the hippies, unsure of where I fit in. I wasn’t mean enough to be a punk and too neurotic to be a Deadhead. I attended a handful of shows in the late ’80s and had a miserable time, all on different drug cocktails. Acid did not help me unlock the secrets of The Grateful Dead’s appeal; instead it gave my neruoses a color. It’s hard to enjoy a show when you think your teeth and your hair are falling out and you are convinced that you are never coming down, you’re going to end up just like Syd Barrett! The last time I went to a Dead show was at the dawn of the ’90s with a five-minute boyfriend who looked like Jonathan Richman but acted like hippie Johnny. He was going on about how everyone is special, and then ignored me to massage a girl’s back. I sat next to him and his distraction on the dirty floor of a nasty hockey arena known as Spectrum (which my boyfriend rightfully calls The Rectrum). Since I couldn’t watch Hippie Johnny massage a girl’s back, I watched a bunch of girls dancing. They were barefoot on the dirtiest surface on Earth. The bottoms of their feet were black, hollowed out eyes to the skies, arms ready to catch imaginary butterflies, skirts twirling. My acid brain turned the dancing women into skeletons. I never saw any butterflies. To this day, I never will.

December 26, 2004 at 5:53 pm 5 comments

If You Are Coming To See Me Read on Tuesday…


I go on at 8:15….

7:15–Doree Shafrir
7:30–Jonathan Valania
7:45–Gabe Boylan
8:25–Steve (Volk, I think)
8:35–Erik Bader

December 20, 2004 at 10:46 pm 3 comments

Please Shut Your Hole

Karoke at the Locust Bar was weird. I got there super-early and waited for friends to show and drank too much too early. Tried to do The Pretenders’ “2000 Miles” and couldn’t find the key. But then it started to snow while I was singing. Then I did Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache” which I need to smoke more cigarettes, and my old staple, “Echo Beach,” where I change the lyrics to say, “my job is very boring I’m a Tower clerk,” which was funny when I wrote about it 3 Pazz and Jops ago and my ex friend said, “You are Martha! You are the Muffins,” and I was easily amused. It was quiet when I first got to the Locust Bar, and then it filled up quickly with too much testosterone. All that was there to balance it out was Ricky, Mekko, Helen, Jeanine, and this lady that sings everything in German. A fight broke out. At first, I didn’t know it was a fight, I just assumed it was loud people talking boisterously over football and singing and music. They were in the booth right next to us. Jake the bartender had to come out to tell everyone to play nice. The second most polite statement came from one of the female companions who said, “Shut your hole. Please. Shut your hole.”

December 19, 2004 at 10:03 pm 5 comments

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