8/31/10

Birthday of Secrets

So I went and saw Kristin Hersh read tonight from her new book Rat Girl. She also played some songs and gave an on-stage interview. It was amazing. I went with Perfect Little Daniel Portland of the band B0DY H1GH, newswoman extraordinaire and fellow 90s obsessed friend Ryan, and Brandon LaLaVek from Tayisha Busay. It was a very well-organized event, and because we are four enterprising young faggots we got there in time to have pretty good seats. Some people had to stand in the back, and though the view was, I would say, pretty much exactly the same, I would later learn that there was a vast distinction between Those of Us Who Got Seats and Those of Us Who Did Not Have Seats (see below).

The interview was fantastic. Well, first, let me just say that Kristin looked wonderful. Blonde, in a sort of sea-foam-y blue/green summer dress. Looking beautiful. Her voice was husky and she was very funny. The interviewer was talking as Kristin was getting her guitar on, asking for a little context on the song she was about to play. She said, "Kristin, you've mentioned songs being healthy, but also being evil. Is this song healthy or evil? Where would this one fall on the spectrum of--"

Kristin, adjusting the guitar strap and not looking at the interviewer responded into the mic "Oh, they're all evil."

"None of them are healthy?"

Kristen looked at the intervier then glanced at the crowd and said "I think it's healthy to be evil."

So you know. THAT WAS A HIGHLIGHT. In the hour-long discussion and interview, I think it worth noting, the name Tanya Donelly did not come up once. That was a disappointment. But it was mild. She played "Your Dirty Answer" and got really into it and I could. not. keep. it. together! For the LIFE OF ME! She read from various parts of the book, which is a memoir built around her teenage diaries. And y'know, you think "teenage diaries," right? "What do kids know, anyway?" Right? Yeah. But then you realize, and the discussion tonight framed really well: when Kristin Hersh was a teenager, she was a really big deal. It's strange to think about this kind of artist-career today, because the underground today is, such as it is, a very different place. But when Kristin Hersh was 18 she was diagnosed as Bipolar and was also putting out really insane beautiful records that everyone was buying. Not like in a rich way but in an influential art way. She had this weird experience and I am excited to read the book about it. Gosh.

So then they announced that Ms. Hersh would sign copies of her book, or CD booklets, or whatever. Those of us With Seats could line up first, and after she'd signed our books, if she had time, she'd sign those of the people Who Did Not Have Seats. WAY HARSH TAI. And then they called us into the line in groups of five or six. Kristin was seemingly really into it and posed for photos and had a few words with everyone. As we approached we talked about what we'd say to her when we got to the front of the line. I won't betray the other boys' moments, especially because this one was mine.

Kristin (signing my book): Hi. How are you?
Me: Hi. I'm good.
Kristin: So, MAX, right?
Me: Yeah... y'know you and I have the same birthday.
Kristin: Really?
Me: Yeah, when I am trying to name other people born on August 7th, I'm always like "Oh yeah, Kristin Hersh! She's so cool!"
Kristin (staring at me intently, because, I think, we are having a Leo Connection Moment): Well, you know who else is born on August 7th? Shhhhhccc--

(Kristin Hersh starts making an SH or SCH sound, and Ryan, who is in line behind me, hands his camera phone to the attendant who is taking the photos for people, and says 'Hey take a picture of those two!' and I am distracted but trying to finish Kristin Hersh's sentence, her "SH" sounds)

Me (excited like such a dork): CHARLIZE THERON!!!!
(Kristin Hersh stares at me blankly).
Krtistin: I don't know what that means...
Me: Well, she's born on our birthday, too.
Kristin: No, I was going to say, Scheherezade.
Me: Um, what?

(In retrospect, y'all, now that I'm writing this as a (screen)play I realize that I should have retorted with "WELL I DON'T KNOW WHO THAT IS, B'OKAY?!" But I guess this is why we have the Magick of Cinema. The woman holding Ryan's cameraphone readies the shot).

As she leans in, Kristin Hersh tells me, hurriedly and in her dusky, low, (evil) voice, "It's the Birthday of Secrets".

CLICK


So that was my night.

Her Cats Are Pretty Cool

Normally I work in the mornings, but today I switched shifts with the girl who works the afternoons. MORNINGS, usually my most productive time of the day. Here's what I've done today so far with my free morning:

-- Replaced a lightbulb in my bathroom
-- Edited some old short stories
-- Drank a whole pot of coffee all by myself and don't even feel it and am actually making some more as we speak (JUST KIDDING! We're not speaking. But we could if you want)
-- Listened to all three Deee-Lite albums, in chronoligcal order, to get pumped.
-- Washed my face
-- Answered some e-mails

Right? Totally fucking productive. I need, as a certain class of spoiled brat in NYC is often wont to say, an Assistant, or something. I've been thinking a lot about some projects I want to do. Like, ideas for things. I want to write an essay about Prada and how it helped me decide to live in NYC but then I think "Should this be a blog post? Should I write a really clear, concise, spell-checked Essay about this and try to send it to a magazine or something and try to get paid? Should I write it like a fan-letter and somehow send it to Prada's PR department in the hopes of getting a free pair of those fucking awesome shoes from SS 2011?

Shut up. It might work. Stranger things have happened.


Or, really, do I want to incorporate this into some kind of, what do you call it, performance? I'm feeling, obviously, pretty optimistic about the future, but also pretty reluctant to actually "pull trigger" and make this shit happen. I am blaming Mercury Retrograde, and not my own lack of motivation or follow-through. To my mind, imagination is the same thing as productivity. Part of the same practice. The first part, but part.

I'm also thinking a lot about a performance based on mix-tapes. Cause they're gone. And therefore: fair game. Also thinking about making playlists, etc. I've wanted to do a theater-drag music performance about this famous play involving mixtapes for a long time, at least since the beginning of college. But I'm scared to even hint at what this project would be because I'm afraid (not) that someone will steele it, but that I'll lose steam to do it if I talk about it too much.

ANYWAY I'M PERCOLATING. You should be too.

So this weekend, in central park. Also everybody don't forget to check out BOBO'S INFAMOUS MARSHMALLOW PINS on Etsy. They're really cute. Everyone says so.


So cute, no? Don't you just fall totally in love with Bobo? I also feel like, maybe just because I've been watching a lot of Grey Gardens at with the members of my drug cult / coven, that this video sort of seems kind of Beale. Right? Maybe. It also reminds me of the totally wacko video for Juliana Hatfield's "This Lonely Love".



OK: I totally adore this song. It features Bernard Butler. Juliana Hatfield misses Brit-Pop SO FUCKING MUCH, you guys. This song is basically a brit-pop song. But it's also (to my mind) a sort of Mark Ronson But A Couple Years Too Late effect. And it works showing off her voice, which only gets better with time. This song is ALMOST funky. It's totally genius, too. My favorite line: "I found myself in Brooklyn / It was as real as a dream / So I went back up to Boston with absolutely nothing but a feelin'" referencing (obviously) her own song FEELIN MASSACHUSETTS ("introduce me to someone really cool / not another crazy fool"). I listen to this song a lot at the gym.

ALSO THE VIDEO IS TOTALLY INSANE. WHY IS SHE HOLDING A DISCMAN? It seems to totally perfect for Juliana Hatfield that is KIND OF STARTS TO SEEM LIKE a postmodernist comment on her place in culture. Like, MOST PEOPLE are not going to hear your new record on CD, Juliana. We have MP3s and MP3 players. AND YET Juliana is just walking around town, listening to a CD, looking for all the world exactly as pretty as she did in her 20s. She has the Look. You know? The uninflected gaze of the video camera, Juliana's still-shy-in-front-of-the-lens-even-after-all-these-years performance both totally signify Grey Gardens to me as well. The whole former / future / eternal glamour thing. The dreams deferred thing. Juliana Hatfield is a very successful artist who has influenced generation(s) of musicians. But I don't think she sees herself that way. I wish she did.

MOON + ENCOURAGEMENT

Mercury Retrograde! Cleaning up! Going through the archives! I was going to save this text to use it as a new performance, but then I realized that it kind of references the Lunar Eclipse that happened in June, so might as well move on. I think I'm gonna save some of the ideas for future projects so if you are at one of my shows and I start talking about the moon, do us all a favor and don't spoil the ending. Also don't heckle me and say "I've heard this one before!" Because you HAVEN'T. And the reason I know you haven't heard this one before is because I have performed this piece only once, at the Queens Museum, on June 20th. And only a couple of my friends came (Thanks Dylan and Mordecai!) and it was intimate and special.

So anyways here is the text from my show about the Moon and Gay Pride.


FACT: The "sister" that this song refers to is the Moon. I dunno why the video is so weird and daytime-y but I have always loved this song for it's apocalyptic undertones and I often listen to this at the gym. Rise and Shine!

I wanted to find a way to connect my anxiety about the Moon perpetually leaving (as I had recently discovered is the case) along with the message of Gay Pride (which was the week after this performance and, for some unknown reason, foremost in my mind. Who knows?). So, again, you have to kind of imagine my voice performing this. I dunno. I hope you like it and I hope you understand it. I hope you understand (parts of) it more than I hope you like it. You know what I mean.



MOON + ENCOURAGEMENT


I’ve got some bad news. It’s not really news, it’s actually very old information, some of the oldest information we have. Maybe some of you guys are familiar with it, I dunno. I recently heard about it and I wanted to share it with you. Today I’m here to talk about the Moon.

As you may know, the moon is moving further away from the Earth. It’s moving away from the Earth by about an inch a year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, I know. Over the years we’ve developed new ways of measuring and visiting the moon, studying it. Seeing it’s backside and finding out what’s inside, so iut doesn’t feel so far away, but it really is moving further away from us.

The premise is this: that the Moon used to be part of the Earth (or something) and moved out of the Earth and is slowly rotating around us and moving further and further away. The premise is also that when the Moon separated from the Earth, it left certain various minerals in the air around the earth, which solidified into what we now call the Atmosphere. The moon shedding these minerals into our air is what has made it possible for the Earth, which was just a big blue puddle, to have life. Eventually the atmosphere trapped gasses above the surface of the water, and single-cell organisms breathed and breathed and now eventually we have air that makes it possible for us to live here.

The Moon did this. And the Moon also spins around us, controlling the tides. Basically all life on Earth is descended from the Moon. Once it moved away from us, however it’s been up to us to sustain it. The moon is moving away an as it does the bacterial life that it engendered on the Earth moves out of the water, onto dry land, evolved into the Human Bacteria and made skyscrapers.

And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that as the Moon moves further and further away from us, that our planet is becoming more and more unlivable. It’s literally getting warmer here. It’s like the Moon was some kind of reverse heat lamp. Like a cooling lamp, getting weaker every year. All of human existence and consciousness, all life on this planet as anyone has ever known it has occurred against the backdrop of the Moon leaving.

And by the Moon I mean Mom. And by Mom I mean the knowledge or the certainty that everything is going to be okay. That you’re beautiful even at night. That we’re being cared for. That all aspects of the spectrum of existence are supported. I say Moon I mean Mom and when I say Mom I mean the idea that there’s nothing to be scared of. That everything’s going to be okay.

And I feel like not just as the human bacteria becomes more complex, advanced, violent, but as we personally, as I am physically getting older, as all adults grow up, we do so with the knowledge that the Moon a.k.a EVERYTHING’S GOING TO BE OKAY is receding. Retreating, slightly. Almost imperceptibly, but still.

And that brings us to today which is Gay Pride day. The legend of Gay Pride is that it began with the Stonewall Riots and the stonewall riot began with Everything suddenly not being okay. With security being none. With Mom leaving.

I’m thinking about how the queers that night forty-one years ago were sad about Judy dying. They had said goodbye to their heroine, their underdog. The pop culture Icon through which they could understand mainstream American life. Judy Garland was the way for a lot of Queers to feel included in our culture. And forty-one years ago she died. The beautiful, white, cratered face, the light which mediated the darkness of night for so many people was extinguished.

I don’t like thinking of Gay Pride as being a beginning middle and end point. I like to think of us as continually engaged in one large project which is to thrive. Which is to affirm life on this planet, because the Moon cannot do that for us. Our larger project to connect with each other, more of the time and with more people. To encourage each other in new and better ways. Just as people here on earth have developed new and better technologies to measure and see the Moon, understand what’s inside of it, we queers here on Earth are developing new and better technologies to understand what’s inside of each other and ourselves. When we come out, we are investigating the elements within us which cannot be made on earth, but which are found on the moon.

My friend is a teacher in third-world countries and she told me about this test you can do all over the world. There is one thing that every kid around the world can do, without instruction. One test that every kid can ace, and it is this: you give a kid a pencil and a piece of paper and you tell them: make a picture of the moon.

In between next Saturday night, the full moon, and next Sunday the 41st anniversary of the Gay Pride movement, there’s going to be a lunar eclipse. It won’t be entirely blocked out, and it’s gonna happen in a part of the world where we may not get to see it. But I want you all to do something. When you see the moon Saturday night, say goodbye. And then, in the early morning hours of Sunday, say hello.

8/26/10

THE FACES OF TAJA SEVELLE

THE FACES OF TAJA SEVELLE

THE YEAR: 1997. I was 13. Exactly half my life ago. When I was in middle school. I saw a music video on VH1 for this song. (I watched kind of a lot of VH1 in those days but I was also secretly obsessed with a possible Heavens to Betsy reunion against all odds as well). And one afternoon on VH1, back when they showed music videos on TV, I saw this video, and I fell in love.

I & I



The song was darkly funny, the video was bizarre and dreamy, and Taja's Singing was haunting and really cool and I just loved it. And another part of that was the Face.



Taja, like Sharon Stone and certain other people I know, has a fucking AMAZING FACE. Like, FACE POINT FIVE. Gets extra credit, better than perfect, its got a Grade Point Average of 4.5 a FACE AND A HALF.

But that was in 1997. I was into that song and I loved it and didn't really pursue it much further than that until a few years later, when I looked back into Ms. Sevelle and found out about her rather extensive and impressive and pretty necessary back catalog. Of Faces.

SO this was Taja's fist big hit, "Love is Contagious". It's excellent. Taja Sevelle has a crazy amazing voice. That is a fucking FACT.



Additionally, as you can see, she's been making really incredible faces for a little while now.
BACKSTORY: "Taja was getting ready to begin her first year at the Berklee College of Music when she began her music career in 1987 when she was signed to the Paisley Park Records label by Prince In the same week she was accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston, she was offered a deal from Prince."

I quote from her Wikipedia page b/c y'know who else went to Berklee College? JULIANA FUCKING HATFIELD.

RAD. I mean, speaking of FACES. FACES POINT FIVES, I mean. She was a babe from the get-go:



Here are some more of her vintage faces, along with their attendant music videos.





POPULAR






WOULDN'T YOU LOVE TO LOVE ME?






More current Face, on the Montel Williams show discussing her 501(c)(3), Urban Farming.



SHE'S STILL GOT IT.


8/23/10

Empty Box Blues

Totally want to just do a blow-by-blow of this weekend, but I'm not gonna for two reasons: a) I would probably forget something or misquote someone and b) I don't want my blog to just be something about like "you had to be there". SO suffice it to say that I'm essentially living between weekends, which have been slowly creeping into the work week, to the point that PLD and I noted on Saturday that, really, only Monday and Tuesday are real weekday days. By Wednesday it feels like the end is in sight, which might as well mean it's the weekend. Friday is, basically, just a formality.

Anyways so I really like my new job. It's so cool to be working as an arts admin again. I am, though, totally broke now. I feel like I should really be more proactive about making money in any of the myriad ways I thought I knew how to. Two years ago it felt like I was constantly giving up odd jobs, not showing up for fun parties, passing up cool shows, refusing to work at fun nightclub parties, and turning down at least one real modeling contract so that I could do my office job. And now... I don't really feel like I have any of those opportunities. I guess I have to make some more for myself.

I'm just gonna nip this negativity blossom in the bud. It's Monday, in fact the first real Monday of this summer's Mercury Retrograde. So I don't really get myself into a downer spiral. I'm listening to Opal and spent exactly 20 minutes cleaning my room before it felt really boring and futile and I quit it. I guess I'm staying in tonight. Mostly just because if I go out drinking I'm scared I'll get either a hangover or really overweight. Who am I? Fuck.


Paps

Been thinking a little bit about my place in the sociocultural world around me. Like, thinking about how people of my generation (speaking in broad terms, as always) witnessed, essentially, the death of the Music Industry as such, the slow death of television and print media, in general. And thinking how this makes me special or something. I dunno. Thinking about doing art about shifting culture. And then, of course, it occurs to me that the real title for that art piece or art practice would be "YOU FUCKING BITTER OLD QUEEN". I guess I feel old.

Doesn't every generation, though, think that they have borne witness to the dying end of some kind of cultural era? Doesn't everyone think about the good old days? I guess, to an extent. I mean, it's true for every single person ever. But also, I think that the negative / sad thoughts imply their opposite. They must. So what's the upside of aging? Wisdom? Damn it.

I was at the gym listening to my iPod on shuffle and "Young Folks" came on and I still really like the drums in that song, and I was thinking to myself, sort of delirious with exercise and magickal snacks: 'Gawd, what I wouldn't give to be 22 again, making out with some hipster boy stranger with severe hair at Misshapes while this song plays.' Y'know, bein' all negative and melancholy. Then I thought to myself, immediately: 'Wait, I don't want that at all. I was fucking miserable in 2007, and I'm really glad I'm not that kid anymore. And besides Misshapes wasn't too much fun and those boys I was sleeping with, I guess for sport, almost uniformly sucked.' SO I guess the lesson is that a lesson was learned. Moving on.

Spent the better part of the weekend, the daytime parts, in bed. Time excellently spent. The weather is getting cooler, which I could not be more excited about. I'm doing a pretty cool reading on Thursday. I think I'm gonna read an old piece of mine, either "Come a Coven" or "Confessions of a Namer". Still deciding. Having to consciously remind myself that I'm worthwhile, yadda. I know I'm talentless but I also feel like: that's okay. It's okay to be talentless. And, to greater or lesser extents, everyone is like this. This is (hooray!) one of the infinite things that I have in common with my sisters all around the world. I dunno. Maybe I'm putting it the wrong way.

I have some ideas on how to put it the right way, but I'm saving some of my best ideas for a performance piece. But I don't really know how to begin with it. Maybe I should just jump in. Which means: booking myself a gig.



Anyways. Mercury being Retrograde, everything feels strange and uncertain. And I don't really know how to encourage anybody reading this, tonight. That's my goal by the way, in writing this blog and in everything I ever do: to try to find a way to express myself that could serve some function of encouraging someone else. Even / especially if the person reading it feels either of these two feelings: "I feel like that, too!" or, perhaps more realistically "I'm so glad I'm not as fucked up / freaked out as that Billy girl". These are reasonable. I think it's good to have goals.

SO whatever my message is if things feel weird right now then you are right in tune with the Universe, which is literally trying to make you feel weird these days. Because the Universe, and I, want to see how beautiful you are, how graceful you are, under pressure.

And it turns out that even when things are uncertain and scary,
you're still pretty foxy.
Keep it up.

8/16/10

Ribcage Like A Xylophone

I don't even know where to begin to describe anything. Pretty funny the ways in which we create our little narratives, without really questioning them. In a good mood, I can take a long view of How Things Have Been Going, At Least Sort Of, and it feels like my narrative is: "Something good happened, and then something bad happened, and then something else good happened..." etc. Essentially, something always happens. That's what counts though. So: stuff is happening. (By "happening" I'm referring not only to actual events and news and things that involve other people, but I am also counting ideas and thoughts and feelings and luck and astrology among the things that "happen" to me, maybe this goes without saying but it never hurts to point it out).

Well, I had a fucking excellent weekend. And I think I'd like to leave it at that.

Some exciting things coming up this week as well. There's a lot going on. At the risk of being business-y and boring, here are the things to look forward to. Mercury goes retrograde on Friday the 20th, but I feel like everything is going to be okay. It's all going to be okay or it's simply not going to happen at all. I think that's a nicer / more positive way of thinking about things. Everything's going to be perfect even if it takes a couple tries to get it right, even if you have to wait for it-- it's okay, because when it's finally ready it'll be perfect. How nice, right?

First of all, I'm going to play a show on Thursday night at the Delancey. I'm talking, of course, about
PUSSY FAGGOT.

I haven't performed as Max Steele and the Party Ice in quite a while, so this will be fun! I'm so thrilled about the other acts on the bill, of course. Gio Black Peter and House of Ladosha are two of my aboslute favorite NYC performers, and I'm really excited to finally be able to meet Ann Liv Young. Not to be missed! Check it:


Do RSVP!
It's worth noting that THE BANDS WILL GO ON EARLY (8:30pm-ish) SO GET THERE ON TIME, GIRLS.

Ok so that's on Thursday night. Then, the next night there's a double-whammy, which starts with a rare NYC gallery show by boy genius art genius SAM MCKINNNIS in Williamsburg, no less!
Seriously, though, Sam is a very talented painter, a brilliant little boy and a cool person. Here is a cute interview I did with Miss Thing for East Village Boys. Check his work out!

KIDS NEWS UPDATE UPDATE EXTRA EXTRA!
Sam's show has moved! See the flyer below! New location! Let's go! This is going to be so much fun.


Well so that's going to happen on Friday night, but then right after the art opening I'm going to hi-tail it over back to NYC to go to:
JEFFERY & COLE CASSEROLE: WRAP PARTY LIVE!
At Joe's Pub! (425 Lafayette St)
11:30PM $15

Of course it will feature new sketches and songs from Jeffery and Cole, as well as some of the favorite Casserole characters. But there's another very special reason to be at Joe's Pub that night. Here is the reason:
AUGUST 20TH IS ERIN MARKEY'S BIRTHDAY. And she'll be there! Performing! How could you possibly miss that? She's so fantastic, and on her birthday you just fucking KNOW she's going to bring it. I spent a good part of the weekend basking in her genius and getting a sunburn on her roof and I watched her literally improvise, from scratch, a musical about middle school, like it was no big thing. She just has these ideas and does them. She's the best. Come celebrate at the show!

Here is a super cute promo vid the boys made for it:


Okay but then after the shows, go get some sleep, because on Saturday is the release party for the new issue of BIRDSONG. I'm going to read a new story I wrote for this issue, called "fIRECRACKER" and it's sort of romantic and also sort of about sports. Like, desire/fucking/sex as a sport. I think you'll get it. Come to the party!



birdsong #13 zine release party!

with readings from the Birdsong Collective, music by PAPS, and guest reader Brando Skyhorse (The Madonnas of Echo Park).
6:30-9:30 at Rose Live Music
345 Grand Street, btwn Havemeyer & Marcy
Pretty equidistant from the Bedford and Lorimer L stops

God. I feel like this is a lot better than a mass e-mail. Anyways. Back to regularly scheduled TV soon.

I've been listening to Wolfgang Press while I was writing this. It's really weird. Sort of new-wave-y, sort of British club music "funkiness". Kind of perfect for such an ominous rainy evening. Pretty.

8/9/10

People Obliquely

Well. Saturday was my 26th birthday.

I had a really great time. My friends and I went dancing at my favorite dance party, JUDY! Erin Markey performed at the nightclub, and sang "We Are The Champions" and gave me a sweet shout-out. It was pretty perfect.

Friday night Bobo and I went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Kate's Joint, in the East Village, then out for iced cream. I stayed in, cause I thought I was getting a cold or something. Saturday I shot the season finale of Jeffery and Cole Casserole in McCarren park, and I went record shopping.

You guys know to be watching the CASSEROLE right? Here is a recent episode which I am very proud to be in, it's called THE BECKY II. Check it out.

Sunday I met up with Ptrck and PLD and Jenna Gross and Matanza at Ben Rimalower's house for Brunch. It was a lot of fun. So much, in fact, that it was the bulk of what I did on Sunday and I still consider it part of my Birthday Party Weekend.

A really great time. I have so many really wonderful friends and I'm so thankful for all of them. I feel really lucky.

But now Monday! I don't know. I feel really good about this weekend, but today I felt scared. Or something. Still definitely transitioning to a new job. I feel really stressed out, which I know is kind of part of the trip of starting a new job. And starting a new part-time job. Like, my income is cut in half. I am hoping (bravely, maybe stupidly) that having more free time will mean I'm more productive and that somehow I'll be able to turn this productivity into money, or some other kind of investment. In some way. It's been a week and I do not feel tremendously more productive at all, and have no new income sources, and I am really beating myself up for this.

The worst part / one of the worst parts is that I, like many people I know, have Feelings About My Feelings. So I feel really stressed out and uncertain, and then I feel freaked out that I am so freaked out. Like, I keep thinking to myself: This is what you wanted. Why aren't you happy? Why isn't it working out right now? What did you do wrong? Why can't you be happy? Is this not what you want? why did you fuck up? Which, I know, written out, sounds insane. But maybe you can relate. It's paralyzing! It's awful.

I have saved up some money, since 2008 when two very nice European men pulled me aside in McCarren park when I was walking around with my old room mate Jenny during a picnic (I think possibly we were smoking a joint?) and asked if I wanted to be a model. I remember that I was wearing this Marc Jacobs tank top I had liberated from a department store the week before, and thinking that my having stolen it made it magick and therefore made me magick (Like Winona / Don't you know her?). So anyways the guys gave me a lot of money to hang out for a weekend and have people pour me beer and light my cigarettes for me and occasionally take my photo. I used to make my money that way. THE POINT IS: it's time for me to buy a new computer. I have the money. I have the money saved. But I can't figure out whether to buy a MacBook or a MacBook pro because I plan on recording music. But also all of my current mp3 and file backup is on an external hard drive which uses FireWire 400 which neither of these new books support. I AM LOSING MY MIND over a simple problem.

This is an example of having Feelings About My Feelings. If anyone has any tips on computer purchasing, I would appreciate it.

Also if anyone knows any part-time or one-off strange, nice, lucrative gigs let me know. Never hurts to ask.

(Asking never hurts, I mean. Nothing ever hurts. Not for long. Well, not forever. And then again, if something does hurt forever, then how do you know it hurts anymore? I'd do anything to make you smile. I mean it. You think I'm kidding. You'll see.)

I am also sort of at a lull in my creative process. Kind of. I know what the next step is and it's very hard so I am kinda putting it off. I'm performing, as Max Steele and the Party Ice, next week at PUSSY FAGGOT. I am working on which songs to sing, and maybe some ideas in between the songs. I feel like maybe this is a new leaf for me, in terms of possibly bringing some concepts to the stage. Or even just performing these "songs" again feels new.

As you know, I've started a new band called B0DY H1GH with PLD. We recently got some cute press in NEXT MAGAZINE by the lovely Johnny Darling.

So now that I'm in this rock band with PLD I feel like "Max Steele and the Party Ice" can be a new thing and doesn't have to be so much of a band. It's barely a band at all. It's not, strictly speaking, musical. I don't know. I don't mean to disparage myself, especially as I am gearing up for a performance, but I am approaching it a lot more as a project. Does that sound pretentious? (Does asking if something sounds pretentious make it okay to be pretentious? Does using a word enough times evacuate it's meanings, eventually? and leave room for new meanings?). Basically, I'll be singing and talking but it will be a lot less about, say, the mechanics of song-writing. There will probably be a lot of covers. But I'm trying to wedge open some new spaces. I'm interested in using something band-shaped, to convey certain feelings. There're many conventions of performers and I'm interested in developing this character / approach I've been working on, which is: to win your heart.

Beginning work on some new stories. I'm trying this thing where when I believe in magic then that creates a space for it to happen in. There's also the unfortunate aspect that if you measure something, even in anticipation, then you change it. Is this making any sense? I'm basically saying that I'm trying not to jinx myself. But I am also saying that I am working within an aesthetic practice of jinxing myself. Sort of to prove that it's okay to be jinxed. Mortification of the personality. Ringing any bells?

I'm tired. I feel good for recording this transitory moment.

Also: I am so into the band Grass Widow. Is everyone else already over them? Am I late to the game? Cotton played me their record when I was in SF and I loved it so much. But I also never know about anything cool or hip or anything. But listening to their record makes me feel a lot calmer and more even-headed. it makes me feel capable and excited. People forget I'm a punk rocker. I count myself as people, obliquely. But gosh, I can't wait for their new record to come out, and I can't wait to see them perform.

8/5/10

Making it Back.

A little behind. Summer lazy. Heat burn sleep. Back from California, working at the new job, less stressed about certain things / people. Feel alright.


Hometown Alameda. You can see the Berkeley hills in the distance. And sky! Everywhere! So nice.


At DeLauer's Bookstore in downtown Oakland. I didn't arrange these like this I stumbled on it. Nice, though, huh?

In my last days in the bay I went by myself on a little walkabout in SF and it was, I mean, blindingly beautiful. So weird. I couldn't find any magazines I wanted to read at DeLauer's so I went out in search, by myself without a map or an iPhone or anything, in search of Japantown.


She found it! After much walking uphill. Got cute Japanese snacks and a relatively inexpensive (compared to NYC) copy of the Vogue Nippon with those nice 70s Terry Richardson 'secret crime' photos. Met up with my long lost buddy Arizona, who lives in a super cool hippie punk hours at the outskirts of town. She was doing a recording session for her new band Bo and Betsy. It was fantastic! Keep your eyes peeled, America. Zona's bathroom is also covered with fliers for punk shows. How cute!


Mandy Galas. Always nice to look at when you're going to the bathroom, right?


OK how cute does Miss Penelope Houston look here? It's kinda hard for bleach blondes to do the black and white photocopy moods but she just brings it with that pert little pucker of hers. Damn, Penelope, I would never guess from this photo that you'd eng up as a folk-punk. But now I think yr just punk-punk again. You are great. ALSO: why is Jeff Goldblum standing to the right of her? Did he travel back in time to join the Avengers? Did that happen? It might have happened and everyone else knew about it except for me. Is that so?

Anyways back in NYC now. This Saturday is my birthday, FYI. I'm going dancing at JUDY maybe I'll see you there.