Posts filed under ‘Writing’

Pot Calling the Kettle White

I’ll take pasty as an insult. The sun and I don’t get along much these days and I’d rather not turn my skin to luggage before I’m 40. An Irish dude making fun of a Jewish girl’s paleness sounds like a joke I’d hear at the Shamrock.

I could stand to be a bit more po-faced about my on-and-off again writing career. Otherwise, my writing would be appearing on more glossy surfaces in the present and not-so-distant past. A Serious Writer would have no time for drag shows and record stores. A serious writer also would have voted for Bruce, Dylan, The Hold Steady, and TV on the Radio, none of which interests me. Am I missing out? Quite possibly, but I’m too busy to care.

I’d be honored if my boring writing took down the Voice’s P&J poll, something that’s been on this Earth as long as I have, but I haven’t written for the Voice since 2000 at the latest, and it’s rare that my fave artists and albums ever even make the Top 10 or 20. There are plenty of other more important boring writers who’ve been voting and writing a lot longer than I have. And New Times is doing an even better job than all of us of killing The Voice and alt-weekly publications across the country.

If you’re wondering, I didn’t vote in P&J this year.

But on the whole, I’d rather be a pasty, po-faced, on-and-off again critic than a bully and a shill. A pretty, petty shrill one at that.

Also, a good chunk of my Idolator choices were pretty Philebrity-friendly (and Philebrity player) titles: CSS, Peaches, Camera Obscura, Goldfrapp. Hot Chip (I’m probably in the army of one with the Susanna Hoffs-Matthew Sweet record).

The last time I checked, a poll is for voting for records you heard and liked, not being a cheerleader for Philadelphia, which I did for four years and then some. Clockcleaner is more of a live experience for me, and I still haven’t heard Spankrock, and about 1000 other things. And that’s what keeps things fun.

In case you were wondering: babies and dogs, still cute.

I look forward to ruining more music polls with you.


January 9, 2007 at 8:34 pm 5 comments

Last Column on Last Day as a Record Store Girl


Right here…

January 3, 2007 at 1:51 am Leave a comment

Death of a Salesperson, Number 2 and 3


Here, here, and here.

Wrap-up forthcoming and more bees action soon, I promise.

December 26, 2006 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment


The reading I did at the Kelly Writers House is now on the internerd. I still haven’t listened to my own CD-R because I hate the sound of my own voice. Enjoy!

March 5, 2006 at 3:25 pm 5 comments

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.

August 31, 2005 at 11:16 pm 4 comments

Non-Daily News Music Writing

If you’re interested, here’s my Fiery Furnaces piece that I did for Keith at Red Flag Media.

In typical fashion, I fretted about the piece before, during, and after writing it, but here’s some nice feedback that I got, via another writer for the magazine who I’ve never met:

>The Fiery Furnaces piece in the last issue was quite good (and offered
>an introduction to the group that I haven’t really seen elsewhere). I
>have no idea who that writer is, but she should write more

When Maria shows me how to do more stuff on this site, I will put up some other links to music writing I’ve done that doesn’t suck.

August 4, 2004 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment

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