Whatever happened to '80s Brit band YAZ (also known as Yazoo)? They're the synth-ier, slightly happier precursor to The xx and they're my inspiration this week. Behold them in all their asymmetrical, Bowie-mulleted, neon-goth electro glory...
Whatever happened to '80s Brit band YAZ (also known as Yazoo)? They're the synth-ier, slightly happier precursor to The xx and they're my inspiration this week. Behold them in all their asymmetrical, Bowie-mulleted, neon-goth electro glory...
Scenes from my work days (and lazy days) in this early summer twilight...
Errant clouds often give way to Oscar Peterson sounds while golden sunsets pair nicely with balcony rosé and the latest issue of Lula. It's easy to write sweet nothings and/or impassioned scribblings in a faded Shakespeare notebook with a pencil that smells of 1960s Beverly Hills pink. And though I can't seem to shake the afternoon coffee, it's no bother when cooled by a side of green apples slathered in whipped peanut butter from Canada. Summer reading? The Paris Review with a dash of mini Tolstoy.
When it comes to writing about Grace Jones, I just need to quote Andy Warhol: "I never read, I just look at the pictures." I could write too many words about this amazing woman and her indomitable style, but I'd rather let the pictures do the talking. Let me say this first, though: a certain modern pop-star's "original" style comes to mind when I look at vintage photos of Grace Jones, who was a TRUE style originator. I just want it to be in your mind the next time you check out this other, much ballyhooed reigning pop queen or hear people freaking out about her latest funny hat, bondage, and crazy makeup choices--I want you to remember that she copped it (which is cool and all). But the inspiration is clearly all Grace.
Those are tears in the above photos. TEARS, people! Who does that for real anymore?
Tonight's the last night of the Scene: Brooklyn Film Festival hosted by the Brooklyn Arts Council. Come on out to Galapagos Art Space for a screening of some of Brooklyn's finest short films followed by a party featuring the debut of the dynamic DJ duo DAS SCHMUCK (aka yours truly + my pal Douglas Q. Smith). It's gonna be a grand time!
Dear Chan Marshall, I can't wait much longer for a new album from you.
Once I wanted to be the greatest. No wind or waterfall could stall me. And then came the rush of the flood, the stars at night turned deep to dust...
Punk pioneer. Feminist poet. Style macerator. Brace face. You were an inspiration and a true original. We will miss you...
I clambered over mounds and mounds
Of polystyrene foam
And fell into a swimming pool
Filled with fairy snow
And watched the world turn day-glo
you know you know
The world turned day-glo you know
I wrenched the nylon curtains back
As far as they would go
And peered through perspex window panes
At the acrylic road
I drove my polypropolene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun
The X-rays were penetrating
Through the latex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the rayon trees
"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain
Sometimes I daydream about what Kurt would be doing now. What he'd be making, what his music would sound like, if he'd still have long hair. I'd like to think that he'd be outspoken, that maybe he'd have shed his apprehension for the spotlight and embraced it, becoming the elder statesman of the misunderstood, enduring godfather of misfits. I imagine that he'd be serious but also more lighthearted. Spontaneous but allied to self-mockery. I see him in photos with Michael Stipe, both sporting matching grey beards, their heads tilted back in shared cacophony somewhere off the coast of France. I like to think that Kurt would have gone solo, acoustic maybe, as gentle would have been a better form of rebellion. I like to see him as a one-man poetry band, rasped rage embracing a powerful purr.
When life throws you grey skies, throw on some sunshine. Specifically, some Shonen Knife...
"Black is the uniform of poets. We lined them up and gave them new customs..." - Poem #2 by Richard Hell and Patti Smith
I have not wept openly at a concert since I witnessed Tori Amos sing "Me and a Gun" a capella in the firefly light of Austin, TX, sometime around 1996. Last night marks occasion #2. We arrived at Milk Studios around 8pm for Steven Sebring's ILLUMINATION: Who Are Poets exhibition expecting a short poetry reading, as promised, by his friend and subject Patti Smith. The entire exhibition celebrates the work of poets--lyrical and otherwise--such as Jim Carroll, Neil Young, Michael Stipe, Philip Glass, Joey Ramone, Richard Hell, and Ms. Smith herself. The performance that was given, however, was something else altogether.
The room was wall to wall with the usual black bedraggled fashion-slash-artist armada, and we all staked our spots in front of the small, piano covered stage an hour before anything started. It was sweaty and close, but no one cared, and when the music finally faded (REM over the loudspeakers, coincidentally), Michael Stipe took the stage to snap us to attention with his fingers. Patti emerged, her hands clutching several sheets of paper, and she gave a ferocious reading of Poem #2, dedicating it to Richard Hell, and finished by tossing all of her sheets to the nonexistent wind as the piano tinkered on, the rest of us hooping and hollering, happy with what we thought was the entire performance. But, lo, there was more...
What followed was Patti singing a soft, stripped-down version of Neil Young's "It's a Dream" (which started my tear-train), her longtime bandmate Lenny Kaye honoring his other former bandmate Jim Carroll with a song, and Patti reciting her emotional poem, Radio Baghdad, while her daughter Jessie Smith played a Philip Glass piece on the piano. Then there was the moment of true tears, the opening chords to REM's "Everybody Hurts." Everyone looked over at Mr. Stipe, who was standing behind the piano merely watching, mind you, clearly not intending to participate. Then, as Patti began to sing, she "accidentally" forgot all of the words, and he jumped on the stage to rescue her. Together they led us all in a sing-a-long which saw not only me, but several softies, bawling our eyes out as we shouted the lyrics with not one, but two of our heroes in a smallish concrete room on the westside of Manhattan.
I know I'm being dramatic as I type this, but it was that kind of night. This was not the song that ended the show, however. Joey Ramone was the last honored poet, and his musical homage included another sing-a-long which Patti insisted the audience lead, this time to "Blitzkrieg Bop." There wasn't a single person in that place--not even the coolest of the cool--who wasn't smiling and singing along to the chorus. It made me wonder, hope really, that maybe we could all leave that room remembering the importance of a poet's words, be they spoken, shouted, keyed, strummed, or read.
They're piling in the backseat
They're generating steam heat
Pulsating to the back beat
The Blitzkrieg Bop
Photographs by Hamish Robertson
"An atomic bomb in lipstick." --Bob Dylan
Feisty, ferocious, feral. Gravel-voiced and wink-eyed cantankerous. Today marks the triumphant return of Wanda Jackson, Queen of Rockabilly and First Lady of Rock and Roll. If you've never heard the early raucous ramblings of this septuagenarian sweetheart, you'll no doubt be hearing them now thanks to Mr. Jack White who is resurrecting her career with their new collaboration, The Party Ain't Over. Produced and arranged at his Nashville studio, it's a brash n' ballsy album of good ol' R&R, and I can't stop listening to it.
As an Oklahoma teenager, Wanda Jackson became the first female to write and perform straight-up rock. She influenced one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley and went on to carve her own DIY path complete with her trademark vocal grit and handmade, fringed costumes that she vowed would bring "glamour to country music." In addition to several top 40 hits and a plethora of albums, Jackson has also toured tirelessly (and been married to her manager) for 50 years.
I've been listening to Jackson's new album for weeks now; it has changed my life. Imbued with a whisky tinged spirit--and Jack White on lead guitar--the second her raspy voice rips through the first track, "Shakin' All Over," you're taken on a retro roller coaster ride which promises to, literally, do what it says it will do: "send shivers through your knee bone." Influenced by big band, blues, and country, featuring covers of Amy Winehouse's "You Know That I'm No Good" and Dylan's "Thunder On the Mountain," it's an AMAZING album, and easily my favorite of the new year. Officially out on iTunes today, I implore you to gift it to yourself then go and check out all that came before it.
Wanda Jackson, you are a most FANTASTIC WOMAN!
"I mean I can't be the saint people dream of now. People want a street angel. They want a saint but with a cowboy mouth."
The story of "Slim and Cavale"--or the birth of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith's play Cowboy Mouth--is yet another reason to read Smith's astonishing memoir, Just Kids.
I love you and your hair, Françoise Hardy. We all do.
I can't get enough of Danish clothing label Wood Wood's new Muzak project featuring eclectic music mixes from a variety of international musicians and artists. Available for download or for instant streaming, the current six evoke everything from tranquil daydreams and urban anthems to forgotten 70s disco jams. Simply click on one and infuse your work day with a new soundtrack!
DANIELS are Daniel and Daniel. One is from Massachusetts, the other is from Alabama, but they both live and work in Los Angeles. Together DANIELS direct, animate, shoot, edit, and sometimes act in groundbreaking music videos for the likes of New York's The Hundred in the Hands and Reykjavik's FM Belfast. Their narratives are full of fine young things of the Williamsburg variety frolicking hazed and haphazard through darkened streets, claustrophobic dance parties, and within the seemingly private confines of their bedrooms. Hypnotic, creepy, and often explosively beautiful, DANIELS are two dudes who are double-handedly making music videos matter again.
Over and over and over again I listen to Wild Nothing's Gemini. Every time I switch to something else for fear that I'll wear out these dreamy sidewinding lullabies, I end up switching right back because I simply can't get enough. I need to hear it again. I'm a Gemini myself, and I get bored easily, but I can honestly say that this is one album I don't think I'll tire of anytime soon.
The P.E. Hewitt Jazz Ensemble is not just late 60s jazz, it's AMAZING late 60s jazz. Young P.E. Hewitt recorded his first album, Jawbones, at the age of 16. It had a limited run of 50, and by the age of 20, he'd subsequently made two more albums each with a run of 100. These albums--though exceptional--became lost relics of the jazz fusion era. We're talking 24 timeless tracks that evoke late October walks through Central Park, cap on head, cigarette dangling off a bottom lip. Coffee time jazz and old typewriters, thick black-rimmed glasses and skinny ties. This is feathered fedora jazz and listening to it makes you cooler.
Thanks to Now-Again Records, this fantastic 3-CD collection is available again complete with display-worthy cover art. Take a look and a listen. Better yet, get in the autumnal spirit and add it to your collection.
At a faraway Japanese candyland lawn party, Pizzicato Five giggles over green tea and pink cake with the girls from Cibo Matto. Cornelius and Mellow, in their best pastel pinstriped suits, play a wicked game of croquet with the always dapper Fantastic Plastic Machine. In the background, sipping too many gin n' lychee juices, is a dude named HALFBY, or Takahiro Takahashi as he's known down the bicycle backstreets of Kyoto. Not content with the summertime tinklings and laid-back oohs and aahs elicited from his chilled out companions, HALFBY decides it's time to kick it up. "It's time to bedazzle this BBQ, fire up the bongoes, sugar the shisito peppers, and get these sake-soaked prawns dancing atop the grill!" HALFBY, you see, never forgets to bring the party.
Dear Intergalactic Space Diva from the Planet Disco 2000,
Please emerge from your techno cocoon and bestow us with your dancing pigtail madness! Bring back your platform sneakers, your late-night Tootsie Pop orange. Relive the days of raves and poses, make them brighter than neon junebugs and lady bunny heat. (We need your flippy banter, your cat-eyed giggle beat.) My supperdish, my succotash wish, now is the time to dance and have some fun.
Snipa (Former Princess of the Protean Beat)
I do. Cibo Matto, I miss your oddly lyrical Japanese street pop masterpieces. I miss your poster art courtesy of Mike Mills and your videos courtesy of Michel Gondry. I miss you asking me if I Know My Chicken (yes, yes I do). But do you know what I miss most of all, darling Cibo Matto duo? Your music.
What I have to say is this: Melissa Auf der Maur--or MAdM as she is also known--is awesome. Passionately curious and seriously talented, she's an indie rock legend and a creative whirlwind who conjures up her own brand of magic to independently write, produce, record, and film her musical masterpieces. She's not afraid to bring the fantasy world of her mind's eye to life. She's not afraid to ask for help from her friends (in fact, she can expound upon the creativity of someone else just as fervently as her own). She doesn't make excuses and lets the past enlighten the present. She's honest, talkative, and incredibly cool. She's the kind of role model I'd want my nonexistent daughter to have.
Aside from Melissa Auf der Maur being my latest FANTASTIC WOMAN pick, I had the opportunity to interview her recently for NYmag.com. You can read all about it here and check out her new multimedia extravaganza, OOOM, here.
Anywhere you go
Banshee sand echoes follow
Frozen petals wail.
I can't stop listening to this album.
As I sit here in my apartment in New York, window open, people walking silently en masse to the subway, the Jackson Five's "ABC" blasts from a car sitting at a red traffic light. I want to lean out the window and tell the driver to turn it up.
Like many of us, I discovered music starting with Michael Jackson. My childhood was magical with his sound, his moves, his childlike energy. Every time I went to a tap class, I tried to imitate the toe stand or moonwalk along with the other girls who were allowed to watch MTV. We would chat about the "Thriller" video--which I never admitted terrified me--and I would come home everyday hoping it would be on. I must have watched it a thousand times, hands over eyes during the zombie close-ups, mouthing along word for word with Vincent Price.
The one song that touched me the most, though, was "Ben." To this day it makes me weep. I dreamed of marrying a guy named Ben someday just so I could walk down the aisle to that song. Instead, I sang it endlessly to my first love, my cat, while dancing around the room with her in my arms. Our awkward waltz always ended with me in tears clutching onto her fur desperately, my nose nuzzled in a purring neck. I understood the sound of that voice because it was the same as my own--a child's heart expressing unconditional love.
Despite the bizarre direction his life took, my heart always went out to Michael Jackson. As an entertainer, he always gave us what we wanted, and he still delivers. I DJ'd a rooftop party in Chelsea a few weeks ago. After the big hits had already exhausted everyone on the dance floor, my friend Chad approached.
"You need to play 'Man in the Mirror.'"
"I don't have it, and you can't really dance to it."
"Trust me, you need to play it. Make it the last song."
With that, he handed over an iPod with the song (it's funny just thinking about being able to hold Michael Jackson's entire catalog of music in the palm of your hand). We played it, and I swear the night shifted, lit up. The wind danced through the eaves, and every last person gathered in the middle of this expansive roof to listen ("I'm gonna make a change for once in my life...") and to dance. It was beautiful.
That's Michael. Always keeping us on our toes, making us sing along with our hearts.
My friend Jorge introduced me to Kitty, Daisy & Lewis recently, a trio of North London siblings who play in a vintage tinged band along with their parents Graeme and Ingrid (former drummer of post-punk band The Raincoats). I was immediately smitten with their whole Rockabilly-von-Trapp vibe right down to the chola-chic hair mixed with Ritchie Valens swagger and their hunched over, rip-roarin' sound. Influenced by everything from 50's rock and roll, jump blues, swing, Western, Hawaiian, and R&B, their music is all about the spirited amalgamation of any and every genre they favor with xylophone, double bass, ukulele, harmonica, and trombone thrown in for good measure. For some reason, they look familiar to me--what I imagine the kids hanging out in downtown El Paso might have looked like back in the 50's, when ladies at the bus stop wore kitten heels and leopard print while flirting with gentlemen in fedoras smoking cigarettes in the sun.
I adore them.
Here they are doing their own version of Canned Heat's 1968 ditty, "Goin' Up the Country." Enjoy!
Some of my all-time favorite movies from the 80's (The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Footloose, and Mannequin) mashed up to my new favorite song. Ah, sunshine on this cloudy day! Also, why aren't we all dancing more these days? IT'S TIME TO DANCE!
I have decreed SXSW 2009 as the Year of the Woman after seeing some truly amazing performances by a handful of mighty talented women (and you're welcome to read all about it over at VanityFair.com). The one performer I can't stop talking about, though, is Janelle Monae. She's my current obsession and a most FANTASTIC WOMAN!™
I first heard about her last Thursday when I arrived at the Levi's/FADER Fort to see what was cookin'. It felt like a Brooklyn village up in there complete with a blogging tent, multiple Ray Ban outlets, and long-limbed ladies lazily fingering their neon headbands as they waited in line for the Port-a-Potty. Artist Shepard Fairey was spinning some tunes on an Obama adorned laptop, displaced Williamsburg-ers were crowding the free beer bar, and there was a distinct buzz in the air that something big had just happened.
It was then that I ran into fellow New York compatriot, Andrew, who immediately insisted that I check out "this AMAZING girl" by the name of Janelle Monae. It wasn't a suggestion, it was a demand. Everyone it seemed--from the lackadaisical hipsters on the bleachers to the security guards manning the exits--was talking about this pompadoured girl and her tuxedo clad backing band who had apparently "killed it" at 1:00 that afternoon. She was described as new and original, stylish, explosive, energetic, theatrical, and insane (in a good way) with a killer set of pipes and dance moves unseen since the heyday of Michael Jackson. Apparently, she was also a self-proclaimed "alien from outer space, a cyber girl without a face."
The next evening, I ran into my Austin-based chum, Marc, a music writer covering a large number of shows at the fest. Now, let me just say that Marc is a calm guy. I've rarely seen him raise his voice or go ballistic about anything. When he speaks passionately about something, it comes through in the words he chooses. When the words "Janelle Monae" popped out of my mouth, Marc's eyes exploded, his head flew back, and a sound from deep within exploded with this proclamation: "Janelle Monae is the SHHHH-EEEEE-IIIII-TTTT!!!!" The very thought of her kept a smile on his face for the next half hour.
I then did some research and discovered that Janelle Monae is from Kansas City, Kansas, but is now based in Atlanta. She moved to New York to conquer the world of Broadway musical theatre only to find (like the rest of us) that typecasting can often kill originality. Later, during a layover in Atlanta, she felt an intuition that she was supposed to stay and "start a movement." So, she did, and ended up creating her own musical universe and record label called The Wondaland Arts Society. The collective is heavily influenced by Fritz Lang's 1929 cinematic masterpiece Metropolis, and soon, through her own marketing and chutzpah, people like Big Boi from Outkast and Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs started taking notice. Combs contacted her through MySpace where he listened to her single--which was heating up by word-of-mouth--and offered her a contract with Bad Boy Records where she would have creative control. He proclaimed her "a visionary."
So, on Saturday evening at approximately 6:30 p.m., in a tented parking lot in downtown Austin located directly in front of the Hilton hotel, I finally took in a performance by Janelle Monae at the Atlantic Records showcase. There was a joyous feeling within the assembled crowd. Industry people who had already seen her twice were there for a third time. Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister and an amazing performer in her own right) and a group of friends excitedly wedged themselves up against the small stage. Then, a dapper gentleman in black and white announced Janelle's arrival as two other musicians in tuxedos emerged. Smoke filled the air, bombastic beats pummeled our hearts, and Janelle Monae's otherworldly tornado of fantasticness commenced onstage.
Folks, it's one of the best concerts I've seen. Ever. And it was only three songs.
She surpassed the hype and left me speechless, hands clapped over my cheeks. Bouncing from hyperactive dancing and perfectly belted cyber-punk show tunes to a classic rendition of Nat King Cole's song "Smile", Janelle Monae single handedly resurrected my love of music performance. There's no one like her, and I predict that she's going to be HUGE, so start checking your local listings to catch one of her upcoming shows opening for No Doubt this spring. That's a demand, not a suggestion.
In the meantime, check out her EP Metropolis: the Chase Suite on iTunes. Also, here's a little taste of the world of Janelle Monae, a most FANTASTIC WOMAN!™
This New York Doll has high tailed it down to her ol' stomping grounds in Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Music Festival. I've already had Casino el Camino's famous Amarillo Burger (it burns so good) and am about to get this party started! Stay tuned for more highlights including Playboy Bunny chasing, taco tasting, cocktails with the Vanity Fair crew, and one night with Perez Hilton.
My partner in crime, "Mr. H", just returned from a wild adventure in the trenches of glittery Hollywood. Lucky for me, he brought gifts back with him. Here are some new additions to our cabinet of curiosities courtesy of the always awesome LA stores, Time Travel Mart, Family and Ooga Booga.
A vintage book:
Mono Kultur magazine featuring Miranda July:
Back of Mono Kultur:
A book Jen recommended:
Here and There magazine:
Cosmic Wonder Free Press:
And some vinyl for the ol' collection:
Ah, The Sads. So fantastic!
This album from The Sads is designed by Mike Mills:
I plan to sit cross-legged on the floor to feed my brain and ears with these West Coast delights. Mr. H may have gone on an intergalactic flashbulb ride with James Bond and Princess Leia's mom, but I'm gonna come out of the sticks with new tunes to hum and new quotes to strum.
"Glad you're back. Next time, I'm a comin'."
My friend India just sent me this Ebay link pleading for someone to please spend their life savings on a phone number. It's one of the last working U.S. telephone numbers with the digits 867-5309 made famous by Tommy Tutuone's 1982 hit "Jenny". Allegedly, the digits originally belonged to a girl named Jenny who gave them to lead singer Tommy Heath to pass along to his lead guitarist, Jim Keller. Heath wrote the number on a bathroom wall, and Keller penned the song.
What's up for grabs here folks is a chance to own a legendary prank phone number that works anywhere in the U.S. and receives 8,000 - 10,000 calls per year. It's currently up for bid at $365,700.
What's the delay, Recessionistas? Break out your wallets!
It's wet and gray in Brooklyn this afternoon. I'm staring out my window into various cluttered backyards separated by rickety fences and tall dead trees. There is a big, black dog running up and down the back steps of a distant brownstone and a wayward squirrel on a rooftop who looks lost yet playful. I am listening to the perfect music. It's a band from Sweden called Melpo Mene. They are rain flecked cottage windows, rusty robots, lonely soda shops, black and white striped umbrellas, licorice, pink sunglasses, dancing dolphins, a French beach in 1967, dime store ukuleles, and fading rainbows. They are a beautiful dream.
Check out the whimsically illustrated video for their song "I Adore You" off the full-length Bring the Lions Out:
This makes me want to scream. In a good way.
Dear Senor Moz,
When I come to see you this time, I will make sure that I'm closer to the stage. I will also make sure to have my friend Zohra with me again because last time, at the Apollo, we were seated behind these two dudes who couldn't stop talking to each other about what? I don't know, maybe their new duplex in Murray Hill? Anyway, it was totally rude to us and completely rude to you. I mean, why even go to a concert if you're going to carry on a loud conversation the whole time, right? Doesn't that strain your vocal cords? Isn't it kind of a romance killer? Also, after I asked them, politely, to please take a convo breather so I could see the stage as well as you, they said "Sure!" and then kept on talking. At this point, I said to myself, in my head, "Please, please, please, let me, let me, let me, let me get what I want this time."
That, Moz, is when Zohra stepped in. Let me tell you, she was wearing an ink black tank top and a skirt that stopped above her mid-thigh. She was also wearing glossy red stilettos and an "I Will Cut You" face. Well, she'd reached her limit (and my wussy politeness is just not how she rolls), so she grabbed one arm on each guy and very firmly said, "SHUT. UP." And they did. And you were even more awesome from that point forward because I could see you and hear you better. Then, you took your shirt off, and they started talking again.
Can't wait to seeee yooouuu! Also, can I just say bravo on FINALLY playing a show in El Paso? We love you over there.
Your Hatful of Hollow,
I saw this album cover art in a Tribeca window. Turns out, the music behind it is pretty good, too. Check out P.T. Walkley's new single "Somebody" on iTunes. I also really dig the song "Up the Walls", which sounds like Supergrass, the Beatles, and the Arctic Monkeys all riding unicycles in pinstripe suits the day after Christmas.
Super catchy sugar-pop vocals? CHECK
Bouncy keyboard melodies? YEP
Music for jumping around dance floors? HECK YEAH
A Scandinavian all-girl group with a rambunctious fro'd lead singer? UH-HUH
My new favorite band? YOU BETTA BELIEVE IT
Ladies and gentleman, Those Dancing Days:
This band from Brooklyn, Creaky Boards, claims that Coldplay stole their song going so far as to suggest that they saw Chris Martin in the audience of one of their shows last year. Coldplay firmly denies it. Watch below and decide for yourself.
Also, since we're on the subject, check out Christian Lander's hilarious deconstruction of Coldplay's fan base on VF Daily.
Happy 2008! I swear I'm going to get better at posting this year, so let's begin right now. You have to buy this. I'm a huge fan of The Magnetic Fields and have been eagerly anticipating a new release for several years now. All I can say is wowzas...this doesn't disappoint. Dripping in sardonic wit and whiplash lyrics, this is a soundtrack for solitary times. I listened to the whole thing twice yesterday while doing manual labor and then again during a cab ride across town. Dreamy, hysterical, lonely, boppy, exuberant, reluctant, bashing, delicious music. Here are the lyrics to my favorite track "California Girls" (very fitting for the nation's current fixation on all that is "happening" in The Hills of Hollywood. Isn't everyone sick of this Britney nonsense by now??):
see them on their big bright screen
tan and blonde and seventeen
eating nonfood keeps them lean
but they're young forever
if they must grow up
they marry dukes and earls
i hate california girls
they aint broke so they put on airs
the faux folks sans derrieres
they breathe coke and have affiairs
with each passing rock star
they come on like squares
then get off like squirrels
i hate california girls
looking down their perfect noses
at me and my kind
do they think we wont, well nevermind
laughing through their perfect teeth at
everyone i know
do they think we wont get up an go, so
i have planned my grand attacks
i will stand behind their backs
with my brand new battle axe
and when they taste my wrath
they will hear me say as the pavement whirls
i hate california girls
And since we're on the subject of California, please AMPTP, for the sake of my friends who are out of work and for the rest of us who are plagued with soul sucking reality television, please give the writers what they deserve. And please start giving young viewers more shows like Ugly Betty and less shows about girls who spend most of their time modeling, talking about nothing, and getting wasted at beach bonfires.
My dear pal Jeff turned me on to the music of Nico Muhly recently, and now I'm obsessed. It sounds like dancing black bears in Sgt. Pepper clothing. Patterns of bumblebees flying at night. Lonely hearts skating on cracked ice. Sometimes you'll envision a Cherokee chief wrapped in a woolen cloak puffing on a wooden pipe. Other times you'll hear a cello and feel like curling into a ball. Or rolling piano keys will will incite solo, living room twirling...which I'm always up for.
Basically, you need to hear it to see it. Check out Nico's album Speaks Volumes on iTunes.
It's been years since I've seen The Raveonettes (easily one of my favorite bands of all time), and their show last night at Southpaw was sultry, pulsating PERFECTION. My heart trembled. The heels of my weathered oxfords clicked uncontrollably. And golly, by golly, people danced! If you haven't checked out this band before or ridden their molasses waves of 50's tinged melodies in awhile, I urge you to do so today. Their new album will wash ashore very soon, and from what we heard of the new stuff last night it's gonna be snazzy.
Tonight is BJORK night! We have been counting down the days until we gather for pre-show champagne at Radio City! I will decree this day BJORK DAY!
In other news, CONGRATULATIONS CITY MAGAZINE and photographer Horacio Salinas for winning the National Magazine Award for the Best Photo Portfolio of the year! The little magazine that could beat out Vogue (Annie Leibovitz), W (Bruce Weber), and Details (Michael Thompson).
Hi, Jeff. I know, it's your birthday and you'll cry if you want to. Well, I say, "What about breakfast at Tiffany's?"
Happy Birthday, dear friend.
I am currently loving the album below courtesy of new fave blog mexicovers which is written by Sr. Mexicant of Mexicantville, Mexico. Apparently, Sr. Mexicant blogs from "a small town surrounded by pinatas, tequila, and fiesta everyday with his own personal mariachi band that plays for him wherever he goes." I, for one, would like to visit this Mexicantville village the next time I'm in Mejico.
In other news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAM! This one's for you:
After nearly being struck by a bus on my way to work this morning, not having time to get my usual cup of coffee, being screamed at for accidentally bumping some woman's weighted down Tiffany hand in the street, and then being treated very rudely (as usual) by one of the many Mouseketeers I work with, I shouted...silently and in my head at my flourescent lit desk..."WHAT ELSE YOU GOT FOR ME, WORLD?!"