Maybe I'm being optimistic when I say that this is not an approach that it working. I would like to think that intellection is not predicated upon domination. I know, though (I guess) that every relationship probably is a relationship in which power and privilege are unequally distributed. But even so: I am trying to make it okay with myself that I feel like shit, again, for "basically no reason".
I mean, not "no reason" but not a good enough reason. I never think I have a good enough reason. They're all probably equally good reasons. I am just not trying to deconstruct what the feeling is and what it means about me. Cause it doesn't (or does not have to).
(Look: I'm from a working-class background. I live and work in a really bourgeois culture that likes to glamorize grit and poverty and utterly disdain nice, middle-class life. That's fine, but for poor folks like me and my family, there is absolutely nothing more glamorous in the entire world that living in Uptown Manhattan. I get made fun of a lot for it, but I am a Walk-Up Queen. I am a Bay Windows Queen. My dreams involve a quiet apartment-- some of them. I'm getting over it).
I'm not gonna get into everything I love about My Original Homegirl Cotton, not in this blog post (I'm tired, I have no time) but suffice it to say that Cotton has significantly shaped my entire life since we met when we were 15. And I love him very much. The apartment was full of these really cool fellow SF runaways and we all sat around eating popcorn and listening to Patti Smith and talking about friends and dogs and cats and stuff. We went up to the roof to stare at the stars and neighboring apartment buildings through binoculars and talked about the sex we're all having. It was sort of magickal and amazing. Cotton told me a joke he had heard from one of his friends in Philadelphia, this woman he met at the bus stop and nicknamed Chug-a-lug Donna. Here is the joke:
What's the difference between a virgin, a whore, and a wife?I guess that makes me a wife and a virgin and a whore. Or none. Anyways I laughed my face off. Cotton played us this really cool cassette audio collage he had made in 2001 and recently found. We all listened, rapt, to the various mix of radio commercials, Gloria Steinem, Penny Arcade, Lydia Lunch, and Susan Powter. Really amazing and inspiring and reminded me of so much of what I love about getting to know Cotton and have him in my life. It made me feel really lucky, but then really sad that he was leaving. And his whole time in Philly I never made it out there. I am the worst. I will frogive myself but I need to spend more time with people who are interested in Feeling Good (as opposed to Looking Cool). Super nice.
The virgin says: "Slower, softer."
The whore says: "Faster! Harder!"
The wife says: "Beige, I think. Beige for the curtains."
I'm working on a new story tonight, about one specific sense (out of our five, you know). When it comes out I'll tell you which one but I think I'm pretty well-equipped. It's been so long since I sat down to just write. I hope it goes okay.
Then also, thinking about:
Comme des Garçons' Spring / Summer 1997 Collection: "Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body", affectionately known as the 'lumps and bumps' collection, which wound up being the basis for Rei Kawakubo's collaboration with Merce Cunningham.
Thinking a lot about volume, the space we each inhabit and what we do with this space. The whole premise of Comme des Garçons is like a sort of fucked-up version of Chanel (I didn't come up with this comparison-- I don't remember who did but it is apt). The premise is that rather than making clothes for people who live a specific lifestyle, a woman (let's imply PEOPLE when we say women-- just as a general rule, especially I am speaking to white NYC faggots here, ok?) a woman can derive pleasure and meaning from her clothes. That the act of dressing can be a conscious communication apart from the ongoing patriarchal discourse of looking pretty, looking cute. Both Chanel and Kawakubo mine traditional men's tailoring as a site of raw material-- will to power, etc. Uglypretty.
Mais non, je ne suis pas le PTA.
Maybe this is a really fucked-up sentiment to vent, but I'm going to do it anyways here on my personal web log. I'm a sort of uptight person, I've got a lot of hang-ups, and the nice thing about having a lot of hang-ups and being really uptight about certain things is that it makes me a more sympathetic and understanding person. I can spot other people's hang-ups, too.
The fucked part of this is that other people don't necessarily see this about themselves. Like, I'm not always totally aware of how weird I'm acting. I know other people aren't aware of it when they do it. Or, if they are aware they probably don't realize how uptight or weird they're being. Cause we would all like to think that our actions and feelings are in line with each other, and what we're doing is right. No one (basically) walks around knowingly treating people like shit-- they think they're doing the right thing.
Does that make any sense? So it's super duper frustrating lately to feel like I'm watching people be super weird and suffer and feel utterly powerless to a) help them b/c b) even pointing out how fucked they're being would cause various avalanches (I imagine) of self-pity or -doubt and probably piss everyone off. Usually we have to keep these things to ourselves.
I'm getting a really good sense lately of when people are actually talking to me and when they're talking to me as if I am a figment of their imagination, like I am comprised of nothing but their feelings about me, when someone is having a one-sided conversation with the movie they are projecting onto the Screen Called My Face.
It is as if the curtains have just been thrown open. The lights flicked on. And the kind of suffering that I thought had been my own private anguish, that only I knew about, is in fact now happening to everyone else all around me all the time. Like I learned how to hear the animals speak and now they won't shut up.
And now I don't know how much to let on that I let on.
Then last night when I was walking home, someone asked me to pay them money to hear a story. And the story was: "Don't fucking move. Gimme all your fucking money". It was a solo performance art piece by this Dude With A Knife. I opened my wallet and gave him all my cash, which could not have been more than $15. I never carry cash, which means I'm usually woefully unprepared for this kind of thing, and I often have to run to the ATM. But Warhol wrote that rich people never carry cash, and this seems like such an easy, effortless way to appear rich (which in French the word for 'rich' is chic). SO I gave him my cash and then he asked for my phone. We switched positions (he wasn't standing his ground very well).
"You don't need my phone man."
"Gimme your fucking phone."
"Y'know, they don't even make this phone anymore. It doesn't even get internet. You won't even get anything for this phone."
"So you don't call the police." I almost said "Why would I call the police? All you got was $15." but then thought better of it.
"Well, can I at least keep the SIM card?"
"What do you need all my numbers for?"
"I'll take out the card."
I sniffed. "You don't know where it is, let me do it."
I disassembled my phone and took the card and handed it to him. He grabbed my shoulder bag and asked what was in it. That part scared me, because I had just bought a sandwich and was really hungry. And also had bought pot and was really feeling like I wanted to smoke some of it. So he kept grabbing my bag and asking what was in it, and just out of reflex I kept pulling it away from him since he really doesn't have any business with my shit. "Dude," I said, "My fucking hat's in my bag, ok?" and he took off.
He didn't hurt me, or even touch me. Once we got closer I could see that I was a little bit taller than him, and he was sweating. I could tell that he wasn't, really, interested in hurting me. And he also wasn't really interesting in getting a lot of money (or else he could have counted the wad of cash I handed him). I was so disappointed. I should have just run the other way when I saw him coming, or just walked away when I had the chance. But you never know. In a sort of morbid way, I had been sort of waiting for this to happen to me in NYC. I had never been mugged or anything before. Well, once someone asked me for $13 to get a bus ticket and when I refused told me he had a gun. I guess that counts. So now: I got held up, really though. With a rusty knife (which didn't look like he was really gonna use for stabbing me) and everything. I still have to look at the bright side: I got to go home and eat a sandwich, smoke a joint, and lay on my big comfy bed. I didn't have to spend my Wednesday night trolling around in the dark for lonely-looking scared white boys. I guess I do that for free? At least, not on Wednesdays.
This story was definitely not worth the $15 and the phone it cost me. Very Bad Theater. I was more annoyed than anything else. But to be perfectly honest, I got a splinter in my left foot this morning when I got out of the shower, and I was much more annoyed about that. So this was dumb theater and I think I could do better and hopefully won't have to use a knife to get people to listen to me.
Friday night I went to the Knitting Factory and I saw the Raincoats. The opening acts were Viv Albertine from the Slits and Soft Power, Mary Timony's new band. I saw the lead singers of Sleater-Kinney in the audience. Pretty mind-blowing.
Viv Albertine was fucking transcendent. She told some stories in between her songs, which were so beautifully arranged. Some of her stories seemed at first like she was maybe free-associating, but then she'd arrive at these little points, right before her songs, and everything would click into place. Really genius stuff. She began onstage by talking about how so much has happened in the 25 years since she stopped playing music (in the Slits). Saying (I'm paraphrasing) "There's so much to write about. So many things have happened." One thing she spoke about is her father passing away a few years ago, and realizing how heavy that was, how her relationship with her father has affected her love life, and how her current love life isn't really working for her. She said "Yeah, so now I don't believe in love. I only believe in things I can see and feel." and began playing her first song. Really smart, and very heavy. She looked fucking amazing. She mentioned her clothing in a story involving Sid Vicious, saying "Y'know, by the way, that look, I started that. Y'know, Madonna, nobody wore combat boots with a tutu before I did, and I wore them to run away from trouble I got into with Sid." Kind of surreal to hear b/c actually Viv Albertine did in fact "start that look" and a million others. The sounds she makes on her guitar, the way she thinks about music have influenced generations of other artists up to and including yours truly, of course. A wonderful set. Here she is performing on Friday night, the song "Confessions of a MILF"
I was really amazed. Soft Power was next and they were so good! I got their 2-song CD but I haven't listened to it yet. But they were pretty heavy. I would definitely use the word "groovy" to describe them. Thoroughly enjoyable, and I had never actually seen Ms. Timony perform live before. Pretty magickal.
Then the Raincoats took the stage. It was a totally perfect set of nearly every Raincoats song I could ever dream of hearing them play. They sounded fucking fantastic. They played a couple gems off of my favorite of their albums, Odyshape, including my favorite Raincoats song ever, "Shouting Out Loud". There was only one song I couldn't place (and not to brag but I have every Raincoats record ever, just saying). Vice Cooler was drumming and did, I thought, a really fantastic job. The crowd was not so huge that it was intimidating, but I definitely had the sense that we all knew the words to nearly every song. It was really a trip.
I never in a million years thought that I'd see the Raincoats perform. Really. I had seen Gina Birch do a solo set, playing some of the brilliant Hangovers songs in 2000 and I figured that was as close as I was ever likely to get. This was amazing.
A lot of people listen to the Raincoats because of Kurt Cobain. He was seen as largely instrumental in helping to get their first three albums reissued on DGC, and encouraging them to reunite, and ultimately make 1996's brilliant and underrated Looking in the Shadows. Personally, I listen to the Raincoats instead of Nirvana. They are, to me, the bread and butter of punk-rock. Theirs is the standard to which I measure almost everything else. They're like basic elements to me. I am as surprised as anyone else that there wasn't a bigger deal made about this recent reunion tour, though I suppose them selling out the Knitting Factory sort of kept the event quiet. We all felt so lucky to see them. I sort of assume that everyone else likes the Raincoats too, and we all know everything about them. There seems to be little to add here. They're brilliant. They're the Raincoats. Duh.
The next night, I opened for Ana Da Silva and the Hawnay Troof each doing a set at Starr Space. We all went out to dinner with the really amazing organizer Joseph before the show. It was something of a trip to be talking about music with these folks. Vice Cooler / Hawnay was really inspiring and amazing, both personally and onstage. Ana's set, comprised of songs from her solo album The Lighthouse, was really beautiful. The always correct Anthony Thornton DJ'ed the event. It was pretty much a wonderful time. Viv and Anne Wood (Raincoats violinist) joined Ana onstage for two songs: "Adventures Close to Home" in which they had googled the lyrics and projected them onstage (so we could all sing along) and their cover of "Lola". Everyone in the crowd seemed to feel like we were all part of something special. After the show I had a chance to tell Viv Albertine how much I enjoyed her set, and she had watched mine and said we were similar because we both talked a lot onstage. We also spoke breifly about clothes. My mind is kind of blown. Sort of a really amazing special night.
Went out for some ill-advised drinks with the crew, ill-advised cuddle and late sessions ensuing. Spent Sunday foraging in Chinatown for various condiments and went home and got very ill. Spent all of Monday laying in bed and then, now, feel sort of okay again.
But I still have a cough.
Starr Space, a Brooklyn-based performance art venue founded by artist Jules de Balincourt, is pleased to announce an evening of live performance that will take place on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Organized by Joseph Whitt, this event will feature live sets by Hawnay Troof, Ana Da Silva, Max Steele and the Party Ice, and special set by DJ Anthony Thornton. Doors open at 9:00 P.M. Show starts at 10:00 P.M. Cost is $7.00 at the door, until filled to capacity.
Ana Da Silva is a founding member of The Raincoats, a British post-punk band formed in 1977, frequently cited as a seminal influence by bands such as Nirvana and Sonic Youth. In February 2005, Ana released a solo album, The Lighthouse, on Chicks on Speed Records. Stuart Moxham of the Young Marble Giants collaborated on one of the album's tracks “Modinha.” Since the release of The Lighthouse, Ana has played several sporadic solo sets in Europe, and this will be her first ever appearance as a solo artist in America.
Hawnay Troof is an Oakland-based one-man electronic/rap/dance/funk unit consisting of Vice Cooler, also a founding member of punk bands XBXRX and Kit. Since his teens, Cooler has traversed the globe several times, performed countless live shows, and earned resounding praise from the likes of Henry Rollins and Solange Knowles. Peaches has called Cooler "the world's greatest performer," and Aaron Rose once described him as "one of the most talented entertainers alive."
Max Steele is a go-go dancer, writer, performance artist, and singer who currently lives and works in Brooklyn. This year, he was profiled by Interview Magazine and The New York Press recently described him as "that boy at the party who you really resent because you either want to be him or fuck him." Max Steele and The Party Ice is Steele's "gay soul" disco band, and this is their second appearance at Starr Space. With The Party Ice, Steele's lead vocals inspire all manner of gyrations and bounding sexual thrusts from a bevy of accompanying dancers.
Anthony Thornton is a Brooklyn-based artist whose output has included a private-press tape label, free-form ceramic sculpture, essays on female iconoclasts, and several unreleased compositions in power electronics. As DJ, Thornton will round out the evening with a polarizing set of gabber, coldwave, ethereal Italo and dissonant female rap, converging all disciplines for an unparalleled listening experience into the wee hours.
Starr Space is located at 110 Starr Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237.
Directions: Take the L train to Jefferson St., exit at front of train, then walk 2 blocks down Starr (past Maria Hernandez Park) to 110 Starr St.
A: Yeah. Yes. I sort of go back and forth as to whether or not I'm happy about that. For the last six months my excuse has been that I don't have time for a boyfriend. I guess that's unfortunately true. Single by choice, definitely.
Q: Do you hook up with a lot of guys?
A: No! I hook up with the exactly right number.
Q: What kind of guys do you like? Nice boys or bad boys?
A: I like everyone the exact same amount. I have a soft spot for bad boys but I don't respect badness / selfishness, so it never works out. Nice boys win in the end.
Q: Have you ever cheated on a boyfriend?
A: Of course. I’m not proud of it. It definitely wasn’t worth it, I dumped my boyfriend soon after, I felt so guilty. But everyone cheats. If someone cheats on me, though, I'm gone.
Everything starts with fire, begins there. I am sorry to say. The schoolyard's burned down. Isn't that it says on the back of the cassette? I'm embroidering references to make it real. Writing and recipes: add a fact.
In the same vein of Tae Won Yu and Rachel Carns everything now is in fire, on a cassette, or up as in being a satellite. These are the pictures I look at when I am writing you your letter. Satellite is closest, but the sad fact of the matter is that it had been, secretly, a kind of ransom note. And since this ransom has not been paid (maybe should never have been asked for I mean demanded) we now leave Billy in the hands of his captors. That is okay. Burn it down. There are certain chemical compounds which are released only through fire. Distinct minerals are redistributed into their environments only through combustion. We know how to ask for rain but we don't know how to ask for this, we've never been trained. And when we do learn to ask for what we think we want we do it in the language of fetish, the vernacular of kink. The poorly translated bedroom. When I say I want to throttle you while we're fucking it's not because I want to hurt you it's because I want to know what it looks like so I can know what face to make. When I ask you to spit in my face it's not because I want to feel degraded (that implies a narrative).
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I'm organizing my thoughts. I'm trying to work on this new piece which I am going to perform on Saturday. it's going to be called ENCOURAGER and eventually it'll be a theater piece. Saturday it will be a disco piece, a song cycle. The things I'm thinking about with ENCOURAGER are also what I am thinking about in terms of spirituality and religion. It is about making a leap of psychic faith. The general idea is that if you're just nice enough eventually it will rub off on you. Maybe I can do a life art piece in which I only speak in the second person for a whole year.The other part of the piece involves suicide through narcisissm. I'll get to it later.What I want to convey is this impulse I've been having for the last handful of months. I feel like I have to keep doing exactly what I am doing and that eventually things will work out. That if I keep giving and giving and become a machine of giving, a mechanism for support and affection, that eventually someone will do that for me. Instead of, you know, asking me how I built the machine, can I build them a machine, can they use my machine, etc.
So maybe we need to begin with fire. Our own flammability. Where is the index on which I can find myself? And what are the qualities that my state embodies?
I want to be inert. Next to you.
Y'KNOW WHAT I LOVE?: THAT ANNA WINTOUR IS BLIND.
I wouldn't necessarily say I'm from a visual arts background, or that I'm interested in painting or photography or anything. Most of the theory / art history I've read was about visual arts. (I prefer performance, personally). I've sort of lost an interest in trying to ground my ideas or self in visual art practice. In fact, I would even say that I have lost interest in Visual Culture as such. And I would further say that a large part of my waning interest in Visual Culture (as such) is due to my eyesight, which is bad. Ever since I found out I had bad eyesight, I feel like I've lost my thrust for painting. Maybe my eyesight has always been bad and I'm projecting or using it as an excuse, but I feel like this was all precipitated by a trip to the optometrist a little over a year ago. Since being officially diagnosed with poor eyesight and prescribed glasses to correct it (which, um... do you ever see me wearing glasses?) I've had less of an ability to maintain interest (focus?) in the fine arts. I'm still, of course, interested: I can and do focus on things that I like or dislike or engage me. But as a practice, I am no longer as interested in the uninflected absorption of everything visual. I am not allowing my precious furrowed gaze to bother with everything. I'm not interested in everything ever. That's the point. Or, the first one.
The other (main) part of this Y'KNOW WHAT I LOVE? is about Fashion. In the last two or three years I've gotten interested in clothes and fashion in a way that I hadn't been before, or hadn't really acknowledged. This is part of a larger cultural trend in America, maybe. It could also just be part of living in New York City (probably). I haven't really followed the mass media descriptions of fashion, I haven't watched "Project Runway" enough to see anything. When I was watching the show it was only ever to ogle Daniel Feld and I don't want this to sound like I'm just being contrary but I am not part of the American public I've had the hots for that kid before he was famous, when he was going out with Grey, for like a minute. I digress. I have been desperate to find a way to explain, or justify, this interest. Fashion and it's attendant industry are absolutely capitalist and exploitative at every level. Style versus Fashion (a distinction lovingly, gently pushed by Miss Isabel Toledo) is one way in which I can locate and justify my desire for asymmetrically-striped t-shirts, but that doesn't seem fair. "I just like the way it looks" is not enough, for me. Sometimes it is but right now it's not enough because I've found a better justification.
And then I remember about Anna Wintour. Her iconic sunglasses are not, not just to create (maybe not 'create' but 'emphasize') the distance between her and the rest of the world. They are prescription sunglasses.
Anna says: "I have horrible eyesight, bad eyes. The sunglasses are prescription. I started to wear them when I first started to go to the shows because my eyes started to water and I would get the most awful headaches."
This is thrilling to think about. It's definitely one of those Y'KNOW WHAT I LOVE? things that always makes me happy. Wintour is regarded as the most singularly important voice in fashion. Her vision, from which the rest of the world more or less takes their cues (love it or hate it, what she says is good will sell) is flawed, and degenerating.
So maybe this is why I'm more and more interested in clothes. It's a part of visual culture, but not for the wearer. It's paintings that you put on. OF COURSE that's why Anna Wintour has this construction fetish, she needs to feel the clothes and be with them up close, because she actually can't see them on the runway, on the street, in the pages of magazines. She lives in it because otherwise she can't see it. So that's a good excuse, way to justify.
My other idea for justifying it was Cute Boys.
When I first moved to New York state for college in 2002, it seemed like the cute boys, the ones I wanted to date, were all in bands, into music. Then when I moved to Brooklyn in 2006 it seemed like all the cute guys had gone from music into nightclubs and then into the Art world. Then into the fashion (maybe I should be nice and say "design") world. I had a hit single (World Famous) in my mind called "The Indescriminate Love of a Boy In Fashion" about these guys. I dunno, that's not a very good excuse either.
Maybe I'm the only one who's been making these trips though.
Maybe I'm not so interested in fashion.
Saturday I woke up exxxtra early, did all my chores, cooked and cleaned and then got ready for the show. I was going up to Pittsfield, MA to play a show with Jen Urban and the Box and NYC's Most Best Band Ever, MKNG FRNDZ. Pretty fucking exciting. I've seen them play a bunch of times at QxBxRx and know both Daniel and Tami and have always had a friendboner and bandmusickboner for those two. I was super excited to get to go on a road trip with them. They picked me up in Brooklyn and we drove up to Massachussetts, blasting Madonna and eating delicious snacks. They had been at the Gossip show the night before and I was barely able to conceal my jealousy. After a few minutes of my incessant questioning ("What did they play? How did Beth look? Did people dance? Was it amazing? I bet it was amazing.") Daniel gave Tami a knowing look and said, "Well, Max, what if we went up to Boston after our show, to see them? Would you be down? We had been thinking about it..." = AMAZING.
The drive was so gorgeous. I'd never been to Massachusetts before and wanted to make a bunch of Juliana Hatfield jokes but thought everyone would make fun of me. In reality Daniel was super into it and beat me to the "Feelin Massachusetts" reference. I forgot that it's, duh, autumn, and all the leaves were turning colors and it was really amazing to see. We got to Pittsfield where we played this cool queer benefit at an Elk's Lodge. Tim, the organizer, and everyone there was so nice and sweet and we all had a blast. I tried a new performance 'look' and it's a keeper and I'm probably gonna wear it this weekend so I won't get too into it. All the bands were amazing. MKNG FRNDZ dance their cute little butts off and got everyone else to get down on the floor. It was really inspiring.
We were all super pooped after the show and drove to a strange but beautiful hotel (after a million other hotels were all full-- we felt like Mary and Joseph yukyukyuk) where there was this really cute family. We asked if there was anywhere we could fine some food at that hour and they said no, but that they'd make us a pizza. Totally awesome! Thanks, Econolodge! We got to our room and started watching this spooky documentary about the Jonestown Massacre but then we all fell asleep.
Woke up to a gorgeous New England day and went out to eat at a charming little French bistro downtown. Our waitress had been at the show the night before and gave us free coffee and the food was amazing and it was just... awesome. We drove up to Boston, also a first for me, singing along to Sleater-Kinney. We got really great Indian food and then went to the show.
The first band was Apache Beat, and they really worked it. I was amazed that the lead singer didn't even break a sweat. They had really sweet harmonies and were psychedelic and rumbly and rhythmic and awesome. We ran into the MEN kids in the club and Ginger asked Daniel and I to hold these cardboard signs onstage during their set. I was really nervous about that, for some reason, but we got into it and danced around and got to hear MEN really well. They were SO COOL. Really inspiring and affirming and really reminded me what I like about New York. Plus they're really sexy. Then it was time for the headliners.
I talked about the Gossip's new record and how much I love them a little while ago. I hadn't seen them since like 2002. They really blew my mind. I felt like I was going to church or something. Their music is really important to me, I sort of grew up listening to them. I came out listening to them. Yesterday was national coming out day, and it felt appropriate, I guess, to be seeing their performance. They were amazing. Beth looked and sounded great. The new songs sounded fucking phenomenal and they played a smattering of old jams too, as well as a really sweet cover too special to say (you should go see them on tour). Beth got into the crowd. It was way rad.
After the show we were all elated and after stopping off for snacks, we started the drive back to NYC. Fueled by soda candy and Li'l Kim, we arrived home just after last call and I fell swiftly asleep and I am super duper tired at work, AGAIN, but once more it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. And I pretty much had the best weekend ever. Yeah.
Some mentions have been made about Watanabe embracing the pantsuit, for the stylish woman who wants something to wear to the office. And no doubt these would do fine for that. Personally, I don't think that's what's going on here. I think of Watanabe's clothes in a similar way that I think of mayonnaise. Though I personally do not enjoy eating mayonnaise (though enjoy wearing Watanabe clothing, duh) I can appreciate it's sort of ubiquitous status. It looks, basically, simple. What we're talking about is an emulsion of basic elements: B&W palette, traditional mens tayloring, the implication of structure, the nod towards a clean line, a framework within which to play. But there's this kind of magic 'flavor' thing that happens to people who like mayonnaise, there's an ineffable taste that comes along with this basic suspension of protein and fat. It just works. These clothes are functional, intentional, studied, but they're meant to presume a kind of pleasure, play. Their simplicity is what is supposed to be enjoyable about them.
Of course, when I see this collection, especially the shoes, and especially the prosthetic hairpieces, I do not think of pantsuits for the office. I do not think of function and I do not think of a well-helled office executive desperate for something to wear to a lunch meeting. Rather, this collection makes me think that Junya Watanabe has been paying close attention (as everyone should) to the always impeccably-dressed, and I'll say it again possibly the most important performer working in American pop music today, Janelle Monae:
Who has been rocking this exact style for at least a few years and I think ought to get a lot of money from Japan, or at least a lot of free clothes.
First of all, THE NEW ISSUE OF TRY STATE MAGAZINE IS OUT NOW.
CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: Sylvain Norget, Caroline Torem Craig, Sean Cannon, Ryan Pfluger, Alejandro Caspe, Markus Bollingmo, Iggy Berlin, Rico JC, Azrul Dwi, Walter Cessna, Albert Madaula, Richard Haines, Olivier Valsecchi, Lauren Ezersky, Robbeyond, Christopher Summerfield, Ves Pitts, Bolang, Gio Black Peter, Max Steele, Michael Epps, MJ Styles, Caleb Iida, Adriano Batista, Austin Young, Vaughn Michaels, Alexandra Gibson, Mark Doering, Diego Ciccone, Robert Adams and an interview with Martha Davis of the "MOTELS".
I am really proud and excited to be included in the new issue of Try State Magazine. I am such a big fan of the first one, and everyone involved is super cool. This is really exciting. If you're in NYC, there's going to be a release party on 10/20, I will post more information about as we get closer. But get your copy now! Issue 1 sold out and it looks as if this one will as well.
Next! This Thursday night in NYC @ the Delancey is a really fun event:
This is, obviously, going to be a really huge and amazing event. I'm very excited to present another reading as FAG CITY. We'll be reading from 9-10PM downstairs at the Delancey. It's going to be a really great time because while we're reading there's an OPEN BAR. Also exxxciting because of our hunky readers: Tommy Pico, Robert Smith, Daniel Portland and Jeffery Self. The event is $5 when you RSVP to HIJINX@scenedowntown.com. FYI, lovers.
and then, show at Starr Space!:
LIVE PERFORMANCES @ STARR SPACE.
DOORS @ 9, SHOW @ 10
$7 at the door.
MAX STEELE AND THE PARTY ICE
ANA DA SILVA (of The Raincoats)
and DJ ANTHONY THORNTON
Directions: Take the L train to Jefferson St., exit at front of train,
then walk 2 blocks down Starr (past Maria Hernandez Park) to 110 Starr St.
Poster by Ptrck Dyer.
I'll post about my life or whatever, later.
Last night I watched Derek Jarman's Sebasitane. My spiritual adviser La JohnJoseph would not stop talking about it one night when we were in Berlin, and now I know why: that movie is 80% 1970s butt footage. No wonder he likes it! It's a cute movie, but I hate watching anyone get tortured ever.
Anyways. If you're in NYC this weekend, please be sure to head up to PS1 for the NEW YORK ART BOOK FAIR. I have been asked to contribute a new mini-zine in a limited edition of 100 for my pen pal Darin's "Box of Books". Go check it out! Here is the cover of the zine, Lingua, lovingly folded by me and PLD.
Been thinking again lately about Switchblade Symphony. I've already gone into how inspirational they were to me, but I recently found this really cute interview clip with them online:
Sidenote: Doesn't Susan Wallace totally look like a darkwave version of Bernadette Peters?
I remember going to see them perform a lot and always being really into the fact that other than a vintage Switchblade Symphony one, the only sticker on Susan's keyboard was this:
I want to tell you, friends, why I cannot relax. And why I cannot chill out. I guess I don't have a very good reason. I feel like chicken little.
I am pretty much done for the most part with these crackpot theories in which I explore (explore implies going somewhere unknown when I know exactly where I'm going and what I am looking for) the roots of this deep-seated anxiety. But I am still interested in boiling this down to it's conceptual elements in hopes of the problem revealing it's answer to me. Play the tape backwards and we hear that John is Dead.
So the basic premise had been that everything would probably be okay, good even. A number of counterclaims had been made through various measures and means but it has not swayed dramatically from what the world seems to confirm for us: put on a happy face, chill out. It'll be okay. And it has almost entirely been thus. But in a distinct point of time it's become necessary to re-evaluate the basic hypothesis of the game. In order to make sense of a situation, to have the outside and the inside syncopate in the same rhythm.
There is this basic fundamental disarming that happens. I'm reading Kathy Acker and getting really into it (again) and it's striking me as alternately desperate, romantic and hilarious. Come to think of it maybe this is why I can't stop freaking out. It's a book but I wish it were a YouTube clip so I could have anyone with an iPhone look it up I could say "See? See what I am talking about?" and there'd be another set of eyes. WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT IS KATHY ACKER WRITING: "When love dies, there's nothing and this world is only horror. Perhaps love has not died. Perhaps there's never been human love. Perhaps all that humans have ever meant by love is control." I might agree, I think. What's happened is that with fistfuls of scorched earth our hero is left with that awful, burnt matchtip conclusion. I am so sorry to have to tell you and sorrier to know as well that your worst fears can be confirmed, articulated beyond your wildests, babe. Your weaknesses can be exploited and the lowest common demoninator is sometimes true. I mean, not always, but sometimes. Which can be okay. I mean: these things happen we've all been there or done it to someone else or whatever. We all know that the thing they are hoping will not happen is actually happening right now and we have to be the one to tell them. That is unfortunate but it is understandable.
What's upsetting, though, is the taste in my mouth afterwards. I've often referred in my writing music blogs zines dances performance blood sweat shoes to the image of sucking on coins. There's a very specific taste of dirty metal (not, you know, blood-- blood has nothing to do with this). It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I bet I'm making a face. So now the thing is that we know that there is the capability for calamity, that these things can and do happen and now that you've seen it you can't stop seeing it and then everything starts folding in onto itself and we're noticing the heartbreaking desperation of those around us eager to help us engage in our own power plays and we're noticing ourselves doing it too and it's like someone took the cover off of a cash register and it's gory.
Toi qui, même aux lépreux, aux parias maudits
Enseignes par l'amour le goût du Paradis
Thinking of ways to make it, prettier, better.