Archive for August, 2005

Rock, She Wrote

Red Flag has ditched all their freelancers, so these are my final pieces for them: All American Rejects and Gravy Train!!!.

Oh and for some golden oldies, all my Village Voice stuff from 1999, now available in the Voice archives again:
Sleater Kinney
Luscious Jackson and Cibo Matto
CMJ 99
Blondie reunion
(Scroll down to Dreaming Out Loud)
My take on the Jo Jo Dancer: two rambly e-mails Frankensteined together by Chuck Eddy
Ari Up

So why did I stop? The quick answer: meds, my then-dayjob, laziness, burnout, some combo of all. Meds are a big part because post-medicated me can’t write sentences like that anymore. The ones that are kind of insane or shine-on-you-crazy diamond, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Mostly because I was fucked-up and fearless. Lately, I’m just full of fear. The more I know about the sausage factory of rock and production and criticism and retail, the less I feel I can actually have anything to add. Throw blogs in the mix and I almost avoid writing about music on here just to avoid the din of being The First unless I feel like I have a truly unique or hearfelt take on something. I don’t just want to be an online version of all the faceless music/lifestyle mags out there. I’d rather be the online version of messy stapled together Xeroxed fanzines, maybe like these girls (Thanks to Philebrity for the tip).

Anthony and I talk about this a lot. That kid has it all figured out at 25. Then again most people do, or think they do. But what I like about him is that he leads a non-cluttered existence. It’s basically, I’ll write the way I want to and let them tell me what’s wrong, instead of changing yourself and second-guessing what editors and readers want. Easier said than done. The futility just grows larger by the day, and the year.

When I started out, as I’ve mentioned before, some of my heroes were Rob Sheffield and Chuck Eddy, because they just did what they wanted to do and people respected them for it (or didn’t, and they didn’t care). Now everything RS writes for RS seems to be five star reviews and some variation on “everything is awesome” saving his sharpest skills for the pop culture stuff, or most likely the mix tape book, which I won’t read unless I get better meds a year from now, or preferably a lobotomy. I’ll just read the word “the” and start to cry, and now ain’t the time for my tears. Chuck pretty much does everything but write, and with the Voice’s uncertainty, I don’t envy the pressures of his position at all. I look at other endgames: Chuck Klosterman’s smug royal “we,” as if all of us think Pam Anderson is our ideal, but shit, he gets away with it. How does he do it? I don’t hate the guy, I’m fascinated. Sasha Frere Jones trying to explain to New Yorker readers that an mp3 is not a spaceship and being literate without being McSweeney’s smarmy. Admirable as hell, but no way do I feel a touch of envy. It’s like being jealous of bike messengers who weave in and out of traffic, going through lights, doored, bruised, cursed, while I Scwhinn slowly, illegally on the big wide sidewalk.

I am still waiting on SFJ’s response to Lil Rob’s “indie rock is awesome” query. It’s a good one, and I had to reach deep inside myself and wonder why PJ Harvey’s mid 90s popularity fills me with love and Death Cab/Bright Eyes/Arcade Fire’s indie yuppie exploits do not. (At the same time I listened to PJ, I mooned over Death Cab/etc’s equivalent’s Pavement and Sebadoh). Truth be told I don’t even care about 05 Sleater Kinney as I did about say 99 S-K. Even in my Voice piece, it was my first, and I felt and I had So Much To Say, like my first album or something. In reality, I haven’t listened to Hot Rock much since I wrote that piece. When Gina Arnold once said that when Nirvana topped the Billboard charts, she felt like “we won.” Who is “we” and what did we win? Or going back further, please please let me get what I want, but what did I want in the first place and what do I want now? What about the music? The culture? Sometimes I feel like Ruth Fisher in the final episode of Six Feet Under, slumped on the couch, announcing, I’m never going to get what I want, and being kind of okay with that.

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August 31, 2005 at 11:16 pm 4 comments

Mannequins and Product Queens

mannequinhead

All good things must come to an end, so my Verizon-sponsored vacation from the internet is over, just in time for back-to-school! Anthony and I are in the process of setting up the Two Street Rock Critic Nerd Party House. As soon as I get all of my records out of the dining room, we will have a party where you get to ooh and aaah over our kitchen (marveling at the irony that neither of us really cook) and enter into the Trinity Staircase Climbing Contest.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for Stupid and Crazy customer stories, but I think the strangest customer I’ve ever seen is a dude who was on a listening station, gazing intently into the eyes of a mannequin head. Maybe he was studying for beauty school.

And finally, Andy The Boyfriend was outed as a big old product queen in the Philadelphia Inquirer. (There’s a cute picture of him shaving in his “Northern Liberties bathroom” that is sadly not online). If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know the joys of coconut-scented, glue-like hair products. But I’ll have you know that he’s the manliest man I’ve ever dated. Okay, compared to some of my exes (who I could probably beat up), that’s probably not saying much. But Andy’s the kind of manly man who will come to your house at 11:00 at night, drink a bunch of beers, carry an air conditioner up two flights of windy stairs, install it, put together a desk and two garment racks (the centerpieces in the Sara House of Fashion Floor of the Rock Crit Nerd Party House) and smell like flax seed at the end of the night. Andy Selke, strong enough for a man, yet gentle enough for Aveda.

August 25, 2005 at 9:12 pm 1 comment

Get off the Internet

If any of you want to reach me in a timely fashion, I won’t have regular access to the glamorous world of hi-speed internet for another week. So you’re gonna have you use the telephone (the cell, please) or letters or singing telegram. I’ll answer all of your messages in kind when I return to the intercon, as Smockey used to call it. My next blog post will be at the Two Street Rock Critic Nerd House of Fun.

August 4, 2005 at 7:07 pm 2 comments

Carolyn Is For Real

vespa

vespa

Carolyn wants to start an all-girl Vespa gang with me and Maria, despite the fact that I don’t know how to drive and none of us can afford Vespas. Now she’s taken her idea to Craigs List. Carolyn is awesome. Read her journal if you don’t already.

Packing is in the last stretch!

August 3, 2005 at 9:12 pm 5 comments

RIP Prince Buddy

princebuddy

Andy The Boyfriend on the passing of his childhood dog:

…That was his official pedigree name — but we all just knew him as
“Prince”. He was part of our family for over 15 years — but time
finally caught up with him yesterday and my parents had to have him put
to sleep. I remember when they frst got him — I was living at home
and I used to take him for rides in the country with the window cracked
a few inches so he could stand on his hind legs and smell the cows ~~~~
We had some great times. Thank You Prince, for the friendship, the
laughter, and your own special way of doing things…

August 3, 2005 at 7:37 pm 2 comments

How To Date A Jewish Man

Advice from a shiksa of all people.

Link from Ultragrrrl

August 3, 2005 at 7:29 pm 1 comment

Brian Pooptown Massacre

dig

Finally, someone on the internet speaks the gospel truth about these clowns, and doesn’t drool all over Dig.

Veen and I were calling them the Brian Pooptown Massacre years ago, like 100 boring variations on “Paint It Black.” Just because you own 100 sitars and can play them while on every drug known to man and fighting with your bandmates does not make you a genius. I sat through the doc and though it was fascinating and car wecky, but I still think they are way overrated. Besides, my fave guy is gone, the one with the tambourine that looks like a monkey.

August 3, 2005 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

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