Tuesday, August 23, 2005

hodge podge

Now reading "Old Gods Almost Dead."
By 1961:
1. Brian Jones has already impregnated three different women.
2. Keef is shy, generally unliked, a geeky Chuck Berry fan and completely in the shadows of both Mick and Brian.
3. Mick is already shagging a bandmate's woman. (Brian's girlfriend).
4. Musician blokes are calling Mick "Marilyn Monroe" behind his back. Ha.
5. The boys are so poor they steal eggs and stuff for survival. Sometimes Keef's mum comes over and brings 'em food and clean clothes. This bit made Jessica remind me (again) that I should read the bio of Motley Crue. I will continue to resist.

Today's "round-up" (as Paul S. would say):

For some reason, this seems to be the most...well, wrong cover ever imaginable. I 'spose it's not all that horrific, it's just that I cantstand Chris Golden God/I'mjustaregularbloke Martin anymore. I just can't take it.

Coldplay Pay Tribute To Johnny Cash

Way to go Babs! Allright, Mick!!
This War, As Set To Their Music
Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones and Green Day have songs and videos relating to the conflict in Iraq.

Finally watched the Finale of All Finales last night: The end of Six Feet Under. It was...perfect. Claire "driving into her future," with the images and dates of all the major characters (future) deaths was exactly what the fans needed--ultimate closure. I couldn't have asked for more. Alan Ball wrote and directed his complicated, brilliant heart out.

The best bits: the precious, totally-genuine laugh of Maya with Ruth and the stuffed monkey, Claire's dream with Nate and the song "I Just Want to Celebrate" (in all white, black shades, silly, joyous, dancing and lip syncing) is offically iconic and soul-warming, Nate's final comforting, go-out-into-the-world smile to David.
And this is cool; it's Claire's artwork that they featured in all the seasons. http://www.hbo.com/sixfeetunder/artwork/
I Just Want To Celebrate
Rare Earth

I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life
I put my faith in the people
But the people let me down
So I turned the other way
And I carry on, anyhow
That's why I'm telling you

I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
Another day of living,
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Had my hand on the dollar bill
And the dollar bill blew away
But the sun is shining down on me
And it's here to stay
That's why I'm telling you

I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
Another day of living, yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of living
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Don't let it all get you down,
Don't let it turn you around and around
And around and around

Well, I can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up my time by feeling fine, every day
That's why I'm telling you I just want to celebrate
Aw, yeah
I just want to celebrate yeah yeah
Another day of living, yeah yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of livin', yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Don't let it all get you down, no, no
Don't let it turn you around and around,
And around and around, and around
Around round round
'round and around round round round
don't go 'round

Friday, August 19, 2005


"It sounds like a po-mo ABBA. I imagine the group consisting of identical-looking Natashas, y'know, from 'Boris and Natasha.' Bored-looking," Cate commenting on The Capricorns' "New Sound." "Like a Robert Palmer video?" I suggest. "Yes, " says Cate.

In other news:
1. I am finally reading "High Fidelity."
2. It is, obviously, becoming one of my favorite books ever.
3. I am simultaneously concerned and fascinated with the fact that I identify with angsty grumpy male protagonists ALL THE TIME. (Denis Leary's Tommy Gavin, Holden Caulfield, Jack Kerouac/Sal Paradise, Chuck Klosterman, etc. etc.)
4. I am touched by how much Nick Hornby adores Bruce Springsteen.
5. I will continue to believe (until proven wrong) in the shallow theory that: "what really matters is what you like, not what you are like."

My favorite line so far: "I want to be a well-rounded human being with none of those knotty lumps of rage and guilt and self-disgust." And then he talks about how he'd just like his life to be more like a Bruce Springsteen song. Exactly.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hearing Rachmaninoff makes me think of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch"

I. Am. So. Obsessed. *sigh*
Music make me cry and smile like a fool. It's the best mind/mood altering drug there is. And you get addicted, and it costs money, but it's better for you than other drugs. So, I'm sticking with it.

This is from yesterday's Science Times--my favorite section of the New York Times, besides (of course) the Sunday Arts....

Music and Emotion

Q. Why is it that when I listen to particularly beautiful or moving music I get goose bumps and even cry?

A. It is well known that areas of the brain that recognize and process music are linked with areas that handle emotions, and scientists are gradually mapping these areas in greater detail with brain-imaging technology.
Last year, a study by English researchers at the University of Newcastle, published in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, drew important insights from a single case, a 52-year-old radio announcer who lost his emotional response to music after a stroke.
He was still able to recognize music that had given him particular pleasure, by Rachmaninoff, but he no longer experienced the intense emotional states that used to come from listening to it.
Ordinarily, the researchers said, a stroke that causes loss of emotional response is accompanied by a loss of musical perception, called amusia.
In this patient's case, however, they were able to separate musical perception from the emotional response and thus to identify a particular area of damage, called the left insula, as being involved in the emotional processing of music.
It is part of a widely distributed brain network recruited by other powerful emotional stimuli, producing arousal of the autonomic nervous system and leading to various physiological reactions.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

leos (not like I believe in that crap)

This is a happy birthday for the Lady Madge (and a get well!?! she fell off her horse and broke some bones, but she is in such kick-ass shape, I can imagine that her bones will somehow heal in a superhuman fashion) Madonna is prolly my fave celebrity/dancer/singer/icon/face/etc/etc of all time. And happy b-day to Phil! AND let's not for get that Elvis died on this day in 1977.... OK, that is all.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mystery Girl Meeting...more to come

So, I met Julia. The 14-year-old goddess of the mix cd! She walks in wearing a fucking Clash t-shirt and homemade saftey-pin earrings. Perfect. She was, of course, just as wonderful as I'd hoped. Soulful, smart, sweet, thoughtful and beautiful-- a joy to talk to. I will be writing about our meeting in a few (days? weeks?).

My life feels a little crazy right now. Nothing major, just chaotic. Things will change for the better soon. I know this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Politics of Experience (for Elizabeth)

Until a couple of months ago I associated the name/icon of Kathleen Hanna with three things: as one of the key kick-starters of "riot grrrl" everything (I actually "studied" this and her lyrics in one of my Cultural Studies classes in college); hailing from the Olympia, WA-band Bikini Kill and currently fronting Le Tigre and sadly, the most persistent association with her name is the memory of hearing about her 1995 run-in with Courtney Love. Backstage at Lollapalooza, Love called Hanna "Ratface," flicked a cigarette at her, pelted her with candy, and punched her in the face-- wotta classy lassie.

These associations have changed. I used to be ignorant (I always kinda thought that Bikini Kill was way too cool for me and just over my head). I now know better.

My good friend Elizabeth took me to the Le Tigre show last night for my birthday and it was ab-soul-utely awesome (she had seen 'em twice before-- that cool girl). I now have a huge girlcrush on Kathleen Hanna. Turns out, she and Courtney do have one surprising (or, not surprising at all, depending on how you look at it) thing in common: they both were strippers in the fine state of Washington. But, fuck. Look at Courtney now. Love is one of the most pathetic characters in music (I say this with huge respect for her as a performer, "Live Through This," was a very important record for me). But, fuck. Look at Kathleen Hanna now. She seems to be in a constant state of creative productivity and political and social activism.

It was so joyful, playful, but carefully designed and totally layered. Part bo-ho performance art (they wore matching homemade dresses/pants with "Stop Bush" emblazoned on them and used megaphones to make their point), part riot grrrl punk (Hanna on guitar was a sight-- totally at home there and an inspiration as she slammed out power chords effortlessly) and...so much more.

It seems as if Hanna has found her perfect outlet for her talents and passions: make 'em dance, shake their ass and they'll listen! They'll listen to feminist philosophy and GLBT anthems and anti-suicide messages. The anti-suicide song, "Keep On Livin" ("Hold onto your pride and/ So don't let them bring you down and /Don't let them fuck you around cuz /Those are your arms that is your heart and / No no they can't tear you apart/ They can't take it away now/ This is your time this is your life and You gotta keep on...keep on livin!") might completely remind me of the fictitious Big Fun's "Teenage Suicide, Don't Do It!" ("what's yer damage, Heather?") musically and (duh) lyrically, but it still rules. It rules because it is just as effective as "Everybody Hurts," maybe more so-- now, anyway.

The show was a show. A performance full of wonderful, kinda funny, but fun choreography (at times I thought that it might be a good idea if Hanna became the new Jane Fonda: activist celebrity makes work-out video. Seriously. I think this would sell. Big.) Communist/socialist musicianship (they switched positions on most songs and played each other's instruments). And then there's Kathleen Hanna and that voice. That voice of a movement. Monotone, melodious, shrill, smooth, cute, girly, powerful-as-all-hell. And her, herself, man. She's fit, curvy, cute-- she does this little closed-smile thing that is just killer. She allows Johanna and JD to strut their stuff-- they are equally great showpeople. And JD. Wow. What complexities. A great character, a fantastically weird, consistent voice. Johanna is just this Amazonian presence commanding the stage with her guitar. Yowww.

But, it's Hanna who had me mesmerized. A total DIY inspiration. Today I feel so similarly to how I felt after I saw Patti Smith for the first time (with my friend Jim at First Ave. the day we found out that First Ave. might close forever, but that's another yarn). I felt all inspired and fired up and in total awe of these supremely talented women. It's the politics, the uniquely powerful voices, the sensuality of their stage presence. [ps Hanna has this heart tattoo on her upper right arm--like, "heart on her sleeve"?! fuckingrockawesome.] [pps she completely has "Twin Peaks" beauty; like a combo of Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn. She has the dark hair, blue eyes and light skin. Irish Exotic. A perfect David Lynch ingenue.]

Ultimately, it's pure hopefulness. These chicks keep on keepin' on, even with Bush taking his 319th day of vacation in Crawford, Tex. while the number of dead Americans approaches 2,000 in Iraq and the 13,877 wounded come home warped and defeated. As defeating as that is, we have to hold hope for positive change, because what hell else are you going to do?

Thursday, August 04, 2005


To the people that are actually reading this blog (you're so rad): you can now post comments! I have spiffed it up (check out my links to the right! woo!) That is all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My mom took me out for an early birthday dinner last night. I don’t see her very often; I actually had a good time, though. She left me and my dad when I was 5. We don’t really get along, but it’s getting better these days [insert Ani DiFranco’s “Not Angry Anymore,” substitute “mom” for “dad” and you’re partly there—well, I’m partly there]. She’s Irish Catholic to the core and went to Catholic school growing up. (she told me some great stories I had never heard before, I’ll get to those later).

I was telling her about The Magdalene Sisters, a recent Netflix treasure I recently saw and sobbed to. (Powerful, knock-out acting and story-telling). It emotionally wiped me out. I had heard about the Magdalene Laundries for the first time just a few years ago. Here are the disturbing facts that haunt me, but that I think everyone should be aware of:

  • *30,000 Irish women were sent to work in the laundries, over a 150-year time span.
  • *The last laundry did not close until 1996!!!!!
  • *According to an Associated Press report, “The system began as a means of rehabilitating prostitutes, but quickly expanded to become a dumping ground for any woman deemed to have committed a sexual wrong -- from giving birth out of wedlock to flirting. Each woman was given a new name and forbidden to use her old one. They were confined to the building and barred from receiving everyday news from the outside world.”
  • *In the film and in reality, young women were “put in” for sickening reasons such as: being raped, being “too pretty,” and one woman from the 1950s (quoted from this CBS news report done several years ago) was put in because she was sneaking out of the orphanage she lived in to see movies and the nuns thought she was engaging in premarital sex acts. !?!?!
  • *The “point” of sending the girls to the laundries, according to former inmates (at least that’s what I would refer to them as) was that “by scrubbing, they were supposed to wash away their sins along with the stains on the laundry of the orphanages, churches, prisons and even the local butcher shop.” But, as the documentary I saw (it accompanied the film on DVD) said, unlike Mary Magdalene herself who was finally forgiven for her sins after her repentance, these women were left to suffer and die in these bizarre religious prisons.
  • *The horrors of these laundries finally gained public attention beginning in 1998 when 133 unmarked graves were uncovered in a Magdalene-affiliated convent in Dublin, near houses for women who died while working at the convent, due to illness, or old age.
    *Not surprisingly, the Irish Catholic church still has not officially issued any sort of apology.

When I first started telling my mother about the film she had this hint of recognition in her eyes, even though she said she wasn’t sure if she’d heard of the laundries. After I had told her she told me something unbelievable. Two of her best friends, they’re twins, from high school were adopted from Ireland, from a woman who was sent to a Magdalene asylum. They never found out who their mother was, just that she was in one of the laundries in the 1950’s.

Coincidentally, I was in California (where my mom and dad are from) when the twins found out that they were adopted—they were 38 years old. Apparently (understandably) they are furious with their adoptive mother. It is fucked. But, it is amazing that these two women came out of that horrific situation and are now living in the Bay area, relatively happy and successful and independent.

I don’t really know why I have such a fascination with Irish Catholic culture. Obviously, it’s party due to my heritage. But, I am only about a quarter Irish and I never even knew my Irish grandfather (he died, an alcoholic, when my mother was 19).

I guess I’ve romanticized all out of proportion because I was never actually raised Catholic, myself, so I am intrigued by it. My mother told me these great little antecdotes after we got all sad about the Magdalene stories. We talked about her in Catholic school, how the nuns weren’t so bad, but she got into trouble all the fucking time. Ha. She said, “I would roll and hike my skirt above my knees and the nuns would puuuuuuull it down. Then I would puuuull it back up. I would put mascara on in the bathroom and the nuns would taaaaaaake it way. I had more, and I would but that on.” Fantastic. The Rebel O’Connell sister prize does not, however go to my mom, but rather to my rock ‘n’ roll-to-the-soul aunt Linnie, who apparently (I just found this out, too) smoked heroin in front of my (comparatively) innocent mother. She also saw the Stones at Altamont. Fucking-a-right. I know I really, really shouldn’t be proud of that, but I totally am.

Monday, August 01, 2005

If you watch "Six Feet Under," you are probably just as bummed as I am today. (to top it off, I'm listening to All Things Must Pass...yikes). Nate's death was sort of expected, I suppose, (from someone like Allan Ball who kills off Lester Burnham, etc. etc.) Death is in the air for me in my real life, too-- not just the tv I'm watching. This poem had a huge impact on me in 11th grade A.P. literature. Looking at it now, it's got Nate Fisher all over it.
by William Cullen Bryant

excerpt: Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed/ By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave/ Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch/ About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

The full poem: http://www.msu.edu/~cloudsar/thanatop.htm

Grasping out, I went to hbo's web site and looked at the message board for the show for the first time. There were 21,001 replies to this particular posting. That's gotta be a few more than average, I'm guessing. It sums it up pretty well.
Re: About the Show Posted: 1 Aug 2005 09:03 AM Reply I would
just like to say that I have never in my life written in to a message board..... just not my thing. But after watching last night's episode, I felt compelled to do so.....This is the first show EVER that I have watched since DAY ONE (Claire free-basing coke just before she finds out her father is dead - awesome!!), and I have remained a loyal viewer ever since. This is the only show that has actually touched me and my life in some way. It has given me an opportunity to think about death, explore it, and even start to learn to accept it. It has opened up lines of communication with my husband in terms of our own deaths and our wishes, etc. It provides a very realistic view of death and reminds us of how fragile we all are.I am not a huge TV person, but this show has been a staple of my life since its birth. Every time a season ended, I waited for the new season anxiously. And I am just not that kind of person.....I am also embarassed to say that I CRIED MY EYES OUT when Nate died. Like a baby...... I couldn't believe it (though I knew it was coming) Smoking weed with his brother and dad was the perfect ending, too. Perfect. Peace. That's all it was about.
All I kept thinking was - those poor people, that poor family.... and to know
that things like this happen to families everywhere, every day. Peter Krause
should be nominated and win some award for this season! And the show itself deserves some more critical acclaim!! I would finally like to say that I will truly miss this show every Sunday night. It has been a part of my week for as long as it has been on. The writing and acting are brilliant, and I will be hard pressed to find another show worthy of my devotion. This has become my all-time favorite tv show. Thanks for a great run. It will be truly missed.