Archive for June, 2006


After four and a half years at stupid and crazy, my big lesson is this: A lot of deserving people don’t acheive due to circumstance, while others don’t succeed because they are just fucking dumbasses.

That is all.

June 30, 2006 at 8:55 pm 2 comments

Siltbreeze Is Back

While I have less interest in noise noodling these days (or mainly pretentious “free” folk noodling, which is taking the worst elements of hipsters and hippies and making a shit sandwich out of them), I have a lot of fondness for Siltbreeze (fave bands, pictured Monkey 101, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Yips, and brand new Times New Viking). I like noisy noodling, just more contained I guess. The Siltbreeze nights at The Khyber were a formative part of my 20s and an element of them is missing in the local music scene today, where everyone’s very tentative and cool, or tentative about being cool. People also confuse making challenging or unusual music with just being an asshole. For the record, the SB crew were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met, brutally honest and wickedly funny, but good on the inside. Being an asshole doesn’t make you punk rock or revolutionary. You’re just a fucking asshole.
My message is belated, but I thought it was worth noting.

June 4, 2006 at 4:45 pm 6 comments

Attention West Philly Friends


I’m spinning non-sucky new and upcoming releases on Tuesday Upstairs at the World Cafe Live, from 5-7. Free! 3025 Walnut Street. I plan on playing some Futureheads, but I might just play “Crazy” over and over again. No, this will not be broadcast on WPXN. Just whoever is eating and drinking right before the Southern Culture on the Skids show. (It’s not “cool” to like them anymore, but I still do).

So stop by and say hi. Unless you are Maria’s internet stalker who outed me as a “fag hag” on the Silver Jews message board. Oh, the horror! Hey, I’d be more embarrassed about being a stalker than a fag hag. And, the thing about fag hags, is that we know lots of angry drag queens who don’t take no mess. Never fuck with a man who can walk in heels — or his galpal.

June 4, 2006 at 3:31 pm 1 comment

Return to Pirates


An homage to Rona Jaffe and Cortney Harding

The Two Street Rock Critic House is experiencing extreme nature this weekend: a leaky kitchen ceiling, a sick roach and its dying hangers-on (despite lack of actual food consumed or cooked), and kittens in our backyard.
Last night I went to the first show in ages that wasn’t mine. Mary Timony/Tralala/Human Television/Rifle Nice.

I’m glad to see Rifle Nice getting more love in this town. They’ve been a favorite of mine since they thought to cover both the Action News theme and a Ween song on the Sixth Borough Comp. They really sound like nobody else, other than some Typical Girls band circa 1982. The best songs are the ones with the weird circus keyboards and when Jody plays the trumpet. I think I have a girl crush on Jody. She is really smart and nerdy and funny and badass all at the same time. She introduced one of the songs by saying, “This is about someone who’s afraid to dance because it shows that they are not human.” When I’m sober and drug free, I totally feel like an alien when I try to dance in public. Unless I am playing Mrs Miller. I missed Human Television because I was upstairs in the dressing room smoking and talking to Jody and Alicia and babbling madly, finding out crazy things about very bad people.

Tralala is part of a new trend in girl groups that I like. They were a cross between The Pipettes and Thee Headcoatees. I told Maria that me, her and Carolyn should start a band like this, but I can’t harmonize for shit. I can wear the dresses though. The girls reminded me of people I know: Jenelle, Honey, Camille, and Uma Thurman. Okay, I don’t know Uma Thurman personally. I just think that every tall blond with those perfect Roman noses looks like Uma Thurman.

As for Mary Timony, this is probably the best performance I’ve ever seen, as her live stuff is always inconsistent, and she’s best in small places. The second best time I saw her was at Ladyfest Midwest in Chicago 2001, accompanied by a weird little toy piano. She totally rocked a trio and was totally no bullshit about it. But then again, she can make singing about unicorns seem badass. That’s my word of the day I guess. Also, Mary’s sort of a doppelganger for Maria and years ago, she reminded me of Reyna, which used to cause me a lot of angst because a boy I used to date dumped me for her, and I was thinking that my life was over because I got dumped for a gorgeous Mary Timony lookalike.

Obviously, it wasn’t the end of the world. The world got better for all involved.


Frank Kogan: He cares about teenpop more than I ever will, but I’m forever indebted to him for Why Music Sucks, a fanzine he did over a decade with mere civilians like me and established rock crits and writers like Chuck Eddy, Rob Sheffield, Jane Dark/Josh Clover, Luc Sante, Liz Armstrong/Misty Martinez, Mary Gaitskill, just to name a few. I was honored to be part of such a unique and rare community that is unable to make its way into the internet age. (Sorry ILX). It completely demsytified the process of rock criticism and writing in general and levelled the playing field for everyone involved. And most important, it was non-judgemental. The printed page and the time and thought it took to put the thing out made it asshole free and utterly sincere. I had the most intense friendships I’ll ever have with anyone, which are predictably, a thing of the past. I keep bugging Frank to start a Why Music Sucks blog and keep the assholes out and the good stuff coming. Can someone else bug him besides me?

Cortney Harding: A very belated add. I just realized she was linking to me. Awesome fellow girlgrouper who named her blog after a 50s bacheleorette novel. I’m always honored when young smart girls link here (or any smart people for that matter). I’m slowly adding all the girlgroupers to the blog roll. If I’m missing anyone, let me know.

June 4, 2006 at 3:08 pm 1 comment

Work-Related Observations & Sightings


I’m going to ignore internet sociopaths from these past couple of days and return to form, talking about real life sociopaths instead.
A co-worker asking me where “da O’s are at.” We’ve been instructed to be encouraging and helpful. How do you encourage a bag of rocks? Any ideas?

Thin, weird, middle-aged smelly man pushing his belongings in a baby stroller, conducts imaginary symphonies while listening to headphones.

The Mall Walker, older gentleman who follows my co-worker around the store, bending her ear about anything and everything can’t take a hint.

The homeless and otherwise marginal customers seem to enjoy my new hairdo the most. One of them, we’ll call Mr Saturday Nite, or Rain Man. He listens to every set of headphones in the store and will yell, stomp and curse profusely when one of them is not working properly. No matter what he’s listening to, he sings along with Native American raindance chants. He usually looks right through me, which is the response I prefer. But the other night, he looked right at me and smiled, “Ohhh your hair is blond now!” I was afraid if I stared back too long I’d be turned into a Pillar of Crazy.

Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” still makes me sad for some reason. The same kind of sad as Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer for the Morning After” or The Left Banke’s “Walk Away Renee.” A different kind of sad from Eurythmics’ “Here Comes The Rain Again.” That’s got a specific memory.
Haven’t wished any one who writes or edits for a living to be without a job except for Andy Pemberton. He made Spin look like the retarded child of Blender and Vice. On his editor’s letter alone, he deserved to be smacked upside the head repeatedly. I like seeing new writers and new points of view but when these things are new and bad, I have to wonder if he just called everyone in his cell phone and said, “hey, wanna put out a magazine?” Especially the chick who did the two-page map of Philadelphia, coining it the next Williamsburg and never seemed to leave Old City. And can all magazines please put a moratorium on the floaty, disembodied head graphics?

Good riddance. The question is, can it get worse, and the scary thing is that the answer just might be yes.

Excuse the disjointedness of this post. I haven’t had a full night of sleep in about a week. And then last night, Andy the Boyfriend woke me up at 2:30 in the morning because he was locked out of his house and couldn’t wake his roomie so he called to crash here. I couldn’t be mad because of course he’d do the same for me, and much more. Of course, after the last week of July, we won’t have to worry about these sorts of things anymore.

June 2, 2006 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

Moving Along…

Saw my Aunt A tonight, who was visiting the area from Oregon. The last time I saw her was at my stepsister’s wedding a couple of years ago. She’s my father’s baby sister, speaks fluent Spanish, is whipsmart and doesn’t suffer fools gladly — at least not since she divorced my abusive uncle over a decade ago. Even before he came on the scene, that side of my family has a heavy history, subject of another blog post. The summer my parents’ marriage was falling apart, my little sister and I stayed with my Aunt A and cousins in Virginia where we swam, saw Grease for the first time (where I won a Frankie Valli 45), and played Barbie divorce (much to the dismay of my uncle).
My Aunt A and my cousins have been through a lot. A has a lot of health problems but married a sweet patient husband the second time around. My cousin B is living in Tucson and suffers from an eating disorder and paranoid schizophrenia brought on by a messy childhood and a traumatic assault from a couple of years ago. When I last saw B (few months younger than me) it was at another cousin’s wedding about five years ago and we hit it off, vowed to keep in touch and never did. My aunt says that B still cherishes that time. I want to contact her but don’t know what I can do to help since she can’t function very well these days. It’s really sad. D (a couple years younger than me) married and divorced a creep and got a beautiful kid and runs pilates classes, heading off the roundness that happens to women’s bodies on that side of the family. S, the youngest one, does special effects for big studios in L.A. and has won at least one Oscar. My uncle told him he would never amount to anything and still doesn’t acknowledge his success.

My Aunt A looked so happy and healthy tonight. I snapped a picture of her smiling on Moyamensing Street, right down the block from Cafe Valentino. It was the best picture ever.

June 1, 2006 at 12:35 am Leave a comment


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