Friday, July 29, 2005

Time to get into the groove for the weekend....

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My days these days are filled with:
1. My brand-spanking-new iPod. I know, I know. I feel like such a.......yuppie. But, like Bruce Springsteen said when he inducted U2 into the R n R Hall o' Fame: "Now, what I know about the iPod is this: it is a device that plays music." I tend to agree. This is a device that plays ALOToffuckingmusic. So, I will be sitting on the bus and I can hear The Smiths, Ray Charles, The Replacements, New Order, Ella Fitzgerald and The Misfits in the course of a 15-minute commute. This is rad. This is musical ADD and I like it.

2. Regularly watching three shows a week: No Reservations-- Tony Bourdain's new show on the Travel Channel. He is so kick-ass. I could hear him quip about delicious bloody meat or why France "doesn't suck" for days. He unapologetically smokes like a fiend and has a razor-sharp wit that surpasses anything on TV ever...Except maybe Denis Leary.
Which brings me to the second show I now religiously watch: Rescue Me on the F/X channel. It's mind-blowingly great. Great Leary-style-asshole comedy thrown together with intense drama. The key here is that it's on F/X, this crazy "normal" cable channel that lets everyone swear it up, sex it up and beat it up. R.M is filled with themes of religious guilt/imagery (Leary's character sees his dead cousin/best friend who died as a firefighter in 9/11, as well as a bloody Jesus and Mary Magdalene. yeah, I know), Irish-heritage-alcoholism, various other addictions, being gay, being homophobic, single parenting, adultery, and, well, smoking/swearing/being brutally funny/honest as only Denis Leary can.
The third show is an oldie, but a goodie. Six Feet Under has had me especially depressed lately (but in a good artful way, y'know?). It also has me identifying with Claire (Lauren Ambrose) more than ever and...well, that is kinda scary. And everyone already knows all about Six Feet...right?
3. I am listening to the fucking Mike Flowers Pops Orchestra right now. Why? Because the best radio station in the universe has the best dj in the universe playing it for me, right now. That would be Mary Lucia on The Current. Another obsession of mine. Ooooh, here comes Ted Leo; oh, Mary, you're the breast!
4. A mix that a 13-year-old girl made for my friend Jim that has now found a cozy home on *my* iPod. It's brilliant. It has the song "Thirteen," by Big Star on it. Yeah, I know-- this girl rules. And there is this incredible song on it that I have been listening to every day now, for over a week. It's by a band called the Capricorns and it's called "New Sound," and I cannot get enough of it. It features this totally mad, sick organ that menacingly plays this crazycool riff while these chicks speedsing about rockers and rock shows "the curtain goes up and the lights come down/ want to see the new look/ gotta hear the new sound...the crowd starts to dance when you hit that chord" AUGH!! I am SO IN LOVE. It's the sound of bored (can you hear Johnny Rotten snorting, "BORRR-ring!"? or is that just me?) girls that are excited about something-- that new sound.
So. I want to meet this mystery girl. I want to interview her. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

So, here I am in the land of the self-indulgent. It feels good to be here. It's very free and all that. I'm here, only in part, because of a certain male rock writer who has this certain book out right now. He drove around the country and visited locations of "rock deaths." He smokes pot and he divulges his inner-monologues about his ex-girlfriends and splatters the pages with his ultra-nerd grasp of pop cultural factoids and adamant opinions. This is cool, for the most part. I really dig his writing and love all his pop culture refs, because I have prided myself on being a supreme geek when it comes to quoting Seinfeld, or making reference to a Led Zeppelin song, or a Liz Phair lyric (which is what I owe for the title of this blog) or the sad, complicated life of Gene Tierney-- y'know, just whenever it seems relevant (and that's never for most people, and always for me.) But, in "my generation" (whatever the fuck that means) pop cultural references seem to be the great equalizer, our democracy. But, that's a whole other bag of cats.

So, for the most part, this guy is great. You know, he's really accessible, he succeeds at being funny and he writes about what's really important, like free-basing cannabis in a rental car using a car lighter. Or backing up why Paul Westerberg is brilliant songwriter with the fact that the high school in Heathers is called Westerberg High or how great it is to watch Christopher Hitchens on Charlie Rose (cuz that brilliant dude is always on Charlie Rose, man).

He generally has similar views on rock stars as I do. Like, on the subject of Sid Vicious (a dead pop culture god that I have been inordinately obsessed with this summer) he writes this: "Sid's inability to play his instrument is the single most crucial element in the history of punk...the fact that he could not do something correctly-- yet still do it significantly-- is all that anyone needs to know about punk rock...It's like that scene in The Breakfast Club...Anthony Michael Hall's character says "So, I'm a fucking idiot because I can't make a lamp?' 'No,' says Judd Nelson's character, 'You're a genius because you can't make a lamp." Sid Vicious was a musical genius because he couldn't play music, which is probably an unreasonable foundation to build one's life on. Which only grew worse when he met a terrible person and decided his love for her was so intense that she needed to die." After recently reading "El Sid," by David Dalton and re-watching The Filth and the Fury I really couldn't have said it better myself.

This writer is always hyperbolic and conviced that he is utterly right under all circumstances (he writes his opinions in fact/statement form and tone), now this is both charming and really annoying. The man is flawed. Deeply. He seems to be totally cognizant of this and extremely self analytical. This gets annoying when he delves into his relationship misadventures. Unfortunately, it seems as though he is a little (if not a lot) of a misogynist and doesn't really know it. (This is a guy who says that Robert Plant-- one of my all-time rock and roll heroes-- is "overtly" misogynist, which I REALLY disagree with!) (I can argue why he's not a women-hater, but rather a big "appreciater" of women if I am pushed. This is an articulate guy who can hold his own on Charlie Rose, not unlike Bruce Springsteen. But I digress.

The reason I started writing today and the reason I started a zine with my best friend in 8th grade is because I was reading the thoughts of men and I identified with them too much. That is to say, I loved what I was reading, but the assumption that only "young men have a Led Zeppelin phase," really pissed me awf.

There seems to be very little room in a lot of dude-writers' heads that concern the real thoughts and passions of women. I do not blame them for this; I cannot speak for all women, let alone other men. I would never pretend to. This is why I feel the need to write and read. I think that writers write because they want to connect with their reader, and they want to feel connected to the life they're living in general. There's nothing more satisfying or exhilarating than connecting with another person, understanding them. They're nodding their heads vigorously and so are you and you're "getting it." For me, writing is a struggle to achieve that. When you do, it's sublime.
This is the beginning.