Just that Type

My plane to California somehow arrived an hour earlier than it was supposed to on Saturday night. A nice surprise, but I was kind of frustrated to learn about it, because why now? Why not always? I've been having the most wonderful trip home. I guess I can call it a vacation, I've been doing nothing but eating and sleeping, it's great. I spent the last week, maybe the last month in New York, in a pretty bad way. Eating nothing but junk food (even that, not enough). Drinking a lot of booze. Feeling just really shitty. I feel better for being able to sleep. And it's gorgeous here in sleepy Alameda.

I hung out with Cotton and Sam and James Brooks the other day. Cotton and his beau have skipped town for the holiday, so we only had one precious day together to catch up. It was so sweet. He's living in Berkeley now, and we hung out there, walked around Telegraph, then met up with miss Sam and headed into the city to visit James, where he's house sitting a very lovely bad in the upper Castro. Quite fancy. I begged off early as I always do, being super duper tired. I've been seeing my little brother and my aunt and my parents. I've still yet to catch up with Grey, which I'm supposed to do tomorrow, and today I'm going to meet up with Miss Jiddy No-No. I'm having a fantastic but not the most exciting time. I wonder, maybe this is exciting. Let me back up.

My good friend Cotton has the best taste in music and always knows the best and coolest stuff before anyone else. He's definitely been the biggest influence on my taste in my whole life. My friendship with him. There are, I'm sure, a few things I discovered before he did (or, like, got into) but I can't think of any. He taught my everything. I feel like Kathleen Hanna in that recent interview with Rolling Stone where she says about Tobi Vail where she says: "She taught me everything I know about music. She put me on the road of what records to get." It's kind of hard or counter intuitive (for me) to give the credit to other people, since I so often feel ripped off myself. So, I'm just saying: I feel like I totally rip off Cotton so hard. He seems pretty gracious about it, more gracious than I would be. I could write a whole book on how much he's influenced me. Hanging out in Berkeley, he showed me some music videos I hadn't seen, which are now obviously my new obsessions:

Madame X's "Just That Type of Girl":

Which, I feel like, is a sort of premonition of the Spice Girls' "Say You'll Be There" video. right?

Also this gem:

Gorgeous, right? We had gone record shopping in Berkeley. I'm looking for Taja Sevelle's first two albums, and 12"s (I guess Cotton didn't know who Taja was, so that was something). I didn't find anything. I guess we were talking about Prince protégés, which lead us to Madame X. Cotton found some stuff though, a copy of Evelyn "Champagne" King's 9th album, Flirt, and showed us this video from it:

I mean. So wonderful to have a friend who knows this stuff. I was going to write a best of 2013 list, but I think it's mostly an exercise in not wanting to die. Like a private thing. I had thought: "OK my life sucks, nothing happened this year, nothing good. Just me wasting more time, getting older and stupider. Feeling bad." But then I made a list of things that happened or that I did that were good, and there were a lot! I had some really great moments in 2013, so that's a nice thought. i still might do it, but it just takes so long to type everything out.

That's the thing about writing. It's like cooking. It's not hard, it just takes a lot of time (as much time as it takes). And that is the part that's hard.

So a Best of 2013 might come out. But no one reads this thing (and why should they). I sort of hate and sort of love being outside of New York, reading about all the fun things happening online. All these exciting things that make me ache to be there. But you know, the things I'm thinking of, aren't even about me. Brian finally released some music; he has a great voice, obviously hugely destined for star material. A cute boy posted naked pictures of himself posing with a laser disc(?), people all had fun at Christmas. Someone's new single is out. Another web series is wrapping and needs your support. You know. These things-- even when I'm in New York, they still make me feel left out. They're not about something happening or being left out. I'm just noticing.

Oh, god! I went to go see Brontez' band The Younger Lovers the other night, at this club called Eli's Mile High Club in West Oakland. It was so weird. Beyond a dive bar. It looked like maybe it used to be a garage. I ran into Brontez in the back patio. A youngish girl who worked as a nurse was bumming cigarettes to a drunk crust punk behind me, talking about how much she hated her job but loved her patients. Someone was smoking weed, and she asked if it was legal, to just do that, smoke weed outdoors like that. It's California. I don't know what's legal. They have these weird laws here in California which we do not have in New York.


- They charge $0.10 for a shopping bag when you're at a store. They finish your transaction at the cashier with "And would you like a bag for ten cents?" I think the idea is you're supposed to say "No!" but for me, being offered at the last second like that, I totally end up buying a bag.

- Spare the Air Days! What the fuck. I guess this is a smog warning? But nobody calls it smog up here, they call it "Haze". It's smog. It reminds me of Los Angeles in the early 90s, when I grew up knowing that you couldn't play outdoors all day. Or, you could, but your chest would hurt at the end of the day. And you could see a yellow-brown cloud hanging over the city, like a bruise. I saw one over Oakland when I woke up on Sunday. It's great. To be honest, I like smog. Or "haze". That's so Bay Area! So on Spare the Air days, you're supposed to limit your outdoor activity, and you can't barbecue or burn any fires, even in your fireplace, even on Christmas Eve. Walking around Alameda, I sniffed many a violator, in flagrant disregard for the law, seemingly unafraid of the threat of a citation.

So the place where the show was, Eli's Mile High Club. The bartender put five or six colored straws in each cocktail. Which I thought was dumb but then I understood the logic after I accidentally drank three. Also everybody there had a dog, it seemed. One crust punk brought his big ugly wolf-thing. A rockabilly guy with a potbelly and bald head had two little tiny dogs on leashes. Assorted other punk and rock and roll dogs running around unmuzzled. It was weird. The space was filled with balloons. The power kept going out, and people kept looking out the windows to make sure it was just the building, and that the streetlights were still on (this would never have occurred to me).  The bartender kept flipping the circuit breakers to turn the lights back on. It was cute.

Brontez' performance was PERFECT. And so exciting. I want to hear their new record when it comes out. he didn't have any copies at the show but said he did at his house. But I haven't been to his house yet. He said he might be moving soon?

Apparently, Eli's Mile High Club used to be a blues club. Brontez said his grandmother's relative used to play here in the 1960s. A photo of their display at the club:

I got some great presents for Christmas. I got new running shoes, a MIDI keyboard, the new Aimee Bender book, the Anjelica Huston memoir. And also! some holiday money. I might buy some cologne. Is that dumb?

When we got to the Castro to meet up with James, we all talked about how we're all going through our Saturn Returns. How it's also Venus Retrograde. I said: "That's my thing, this is my advice to younger people: DON'T GET TOO EXCITED. Get ready for everything to be horrible." They laughed. I guess I was half joking. My thing is about embracing the inner chaos. Or, embracing the chaos around us.

Because I think you can make friends with the chaos. Seduce it.
I've been trying to tell y'all. I guess it's a thing of, like, in that Marina Abramovic piece, waiting for someone to come drag you out of the fire. Not even really. Nonono, not a daredevil thing. Just a thing of being vulnerable. Being culpable. Being wrong. I think you can seduce the chaos, but maybe that's wrong. And I'm trying to make being wrong about that (maybe) okay with myself. But I guess you still have to choose.

So whatever-- my friends who are also going through it are experiencing it differently. But I feel like we're all talking about the same thing, just using different references? Is that fair. Sam was talking about more structure, more security. And I'm like: "I want it too because it is a lie!"

It occurs to me that Christmas is celebrating the miracle of hope. Of optimism. What a nice thought. Was texting with an ex I don't particularly get along with. Just to say how much we like each other. Just to remember things a little bit differently.

I guess it's just a thing of going through it, through everything.


POMBOY Wonderful

I've been a bit surprised this year at the surfeit of holiday parties. I thought I didn't really know poeple who were god-worshippers, holiday-celebrators. I guess everyone loves to party, though (myself included). I've been quite fortunate to have a lot of things to go to this week and last. To see old friends and new ones, to get to wear red and green and sweaters-- it's great. Even in the midst of so many yuletide invitations, I was totally bowled over and super psyched to get an announcement a few weeks ago about a new BABYSKINGLOVE performance: Pieces of Me Based on Pieces of You, which I saw last night. And which I totally adored.

I've long been a fan of the BSG girls, as you probably know, and was really excited to get to see a whole evening of them. It's been a while since I caught one of their shows, and as you can see from their website, they've been tremendously busy making lots of art and going all over the place, as well they should. I have so many really fond and exciting memories of seeing BSG perform at galleries, in rock clubs, anywhere, really, but always with a kind of wild-eyed excitement; they remind me of the fact that anything is possible. That everything is possible.

Their newest show, P.O.M.B.O.Y., is obviously based on Jewel's landmark debut album. All the BSG girls played Jewel, in 90s denim and tie-dyed tank-tops, with honey and amber and champagne blonde wigs. It was a feast for the eyes, seeing the crew fussing about the space before the show. Also a feast for the mouth, as the BSG members passed out popcorn and bubblegum for a pre-show treat.

I wonder how old BabySkinGlove's members are. I'd like to think they're not so much younger than I am. Certainly, I think, if you are very young, it would be easy to overlook the fact that when Jewel's first album came out, she was a very big deal. I was never a huge fan, but I guess I really do like basically all of the singles off that album, and I suppose I do actually love some things about Jewel the icon that I forgot I loved. Living in a car, having bad teeth-- it's weird to remember these things about a pop star. This could never be part of a pop star's story, now. I mean, right?

It was kind of a cabaret, kind of a musical performance. Kind of a talent show. It began with Jewels reading poems from her book, A Night Without Armor. For the first time, I find myself wondering if Jewel made the pun in the title on purpose or not. The poems are famously both expressive and opaque, full of the kind of pop-rock malapropisms that make 1990s nostalgia so dangerous. BabySkinGlove understands the stakes here. Jewel, at the microphone between songs, is gracious and yet terribly impatient. She's good-natured but she's a diva. She's sensitive (and she wants to stay that way) but she's strong. She's aggressive. She's mad, but she's not letting on. She can show you pieces of herself, give herself away, and not lose anything. It's a funny kind of vulnerability, the kind you beat the world over the head with. It's a funny kind of sensitivity, the kind that turns you into a pop star.

The BSG girls alternately played up or interrupted or undermined or sang along to the songs, creating entirely different styles, forms of performance. For one song, they sharpened knives, used them to eat ice cream, one of the Jewels slowly cut her arm onstage (for real) and dripped blood. For another song, lead Jewel sang beautifully while the other Jewels ran through the crowd, arguing hysterically with each other, breaking up in public. At one point they all swarmed an audience member and sat on his lap and sang just to him. It was heartbreaking and it was really scary.

So much of performance art in New York right now seems to either be capitulating to the oppressive demands of Theater or Gallery Work. It's like your parents got a divorce and you alternate weekends with different parents. BabySkinGlove, then, are something else. They don't live at one parent's house or another-- they live at the school, in the girls' bathroom, where they're smoking cigarettes. They live under the bleachers at the football field at midnight. These are bad girls, smart girls. Who can fault them for being so tough and brave and gorgeous? Even if they're a little scary.

I've been thinking a lot recently about CoLab in the 1980s in NYC, and specifically Cave Girls, the feminist art project organized by Kiki Smith and Ellen Cooper.

You can see a great article about them by Kara Carmack here.

This is the Cave Girls in the back of ABC No Rio, which, hi Kiki Smith cofounded. Also makes me think of the cover of the Slits' legendary 1978 Cut:

I'm not just trying to compare punk rock ladies in mud here-- I'm interested in the ways in which the kind of proto-primal imagery is used. CoLab and Cave Girls were literally occupying squats, terraforming a bombed our Lower East Side into a kind of punk rock Utopia (it seems like to me). The Slits were using this imagery as a way of deliberately commenting on their major-label status. Viv Albertine said, of the iconic cover image: "Nobody could see the strength, the joke, the little twist that we were all a bit fat. They were thinking we were trying a come on and sell our image. What would they prefer - us all dolled up in something fashionable? We wanted to write songs that wouldn't go out of fashion and we felt that about the cover, too. We didn't expect to have to explain it! But in the end, everything we did solidified our image; you get a lot of shit for not fitting into a box. And gradually we had to accept that we weren't going to shake off the Slits' Wild Women of Wongo image."

OK so what is my point: I've sometimes noticed BabySkinGlove touching on similar trajectories of feminist art discourse. They're not going back to nature, but they are, often, dolled up in the most glamorous detritus to be found in Bushwick. Check out the "Couture" section of their website, I mean god. It reminds me of what Wynne Greenwood said the original concept for Tracy and the Plastics would be: that they were these sort of human characters who remade themselves out of neon plastic things they found at the dump. The idea of recycling; I think is inspiring. Not the trash stuff, but the intrepid-ness. The Slits and Cave Girls seem to interact with a different kind of nature: BabySkinGlove, instead of pulling Jungle Exoticism "nature" or rediscovering a post-urban PreHistory, they dig into their own nature scene, their own history, to look for something to wear. What do they find to adorn themselves? Jewel's first album. Clad in the sort of topical, sort of dated, uncomfortably apt words of a semi-forgotten pop poetess, BSG finds beauty, strength, and danger.

I wish it was playing for longer! I wish there were more BSG shows to go to, you guys. You all need to be following them nonstop.

There's also a brand new fashion spread they just made. How gorgeous!

"Reptilian Intimates", shot by Dixie Parden. Extreme modeling by Wesley Flash, Marta Borozanian, Viva Soudan, & Bailey Nolan.

I'm in love with it.
Ok I'm gonna go to at least one and maybe two Holiday parties. But I'll be listening to Pieces of You on my way.


Inspire Days

What an inspiring week last week.Trying to hang onto my fledgling optimism. The weather's not so bad right now. Things are okay. On Monday I went to a reading with Tommy of writers talking about moving to, staying in, leaving, coming back to New York City. It was pretty fantastic, highlights being Emily Gould and Alexander Chee and the wonderful Mike Albo. I pretty much never feel at all ambivalent about living here (I love it here) but only in the last month or so did I start to have my doubts. I guess not even about living in NYC, just about living, being alive. The reading was funny and made me feel pretty resolute in staying. In whatever that means, I guess.

On Tuesday I met up with my friend Daniel to talk about this new MAPPLETHORPE project I'm working on. I like trying to have a conversation about an idea, or a theory, with someone who hasn't been briefed beforehand. I'm sometimes really shy to talk about m,y hunches or my ideas before they're fully-baked, but the more I do it, the more rewarded and challenged and engaged I feel. Maybe it's just that I'm asking better or different people? I was into the conversation. Nourishing, I think.

Speaking of nourishing, on Wednesday sweet lil baby darling star Colin Self came over and we had tea. I was also doing laundry, I felt so domestic. We talked about seltzer and how busy we were and how great everything is. Some secret and hilarious projects Miss Ting is cooking up. I got hungry so then we made pasta salad. My idea was to try to make super cheap pasta salad that in some way approximated tuna salad except I'm vegetarian and don't like mayo (at all). So here's what goes in the pasta salad we tried out:

- Whole wheat rotini pasta
- Shitake mushrooms
- Hijiki (go easy on this-- I overdid it)
- Chopped celery
- Raisins
- Goddess dressing
- Parmesean cheese

It was so good. I had some leftovers for work the next day. I was really into it except A) I would maybe use grapes instead of raisins next time, and B)) I used way too much Hijiki. Would maybe try with a milder seaweed in the future?

Thursday morning I got up extra early to have coffee with Jarrett. We talked about art and intimacy and the world. It was cool. Then after work and a quick trip to the gym, I went to see Nadia Tykusker's dance project Spark Edit do a showing of a new piece they're working on. I don't often see a ton of dance, especially in the pre-performance stage, so this was a real treat. I met Nadia through BAX and saw a tiny bit of her work then, and really loved it. I'm so excited that I got to see this new project! It will have another pre-performance showing in Brooklyn in the next few months, which i'll let you know about, and then a full run in the Spring. SO, so cool and inspiring. My vocabulary for dance work is really limited, but the piece made me think a lot about training, physical structures, exercise, the military, for some reason? Uniforms? Self-defense classes? Gangs? Bondage? Or maybe, really, anatomy. I was really struck. It gave me a lot to think about. I don't want to impose too too much of my own drama onto the project, but would only say that there's something really cool happening that she and her dance collaborators are making! I want you to come with me to the next showing.

Friday I went to my office staff party and had maybe a little bit too much to drink, but a lot of fun. Saturday I went to the gym for a long time and I cleaned the hell out of my bathroom, and then, I went to a surprise pre-birthday party for dear heart Tommy. It was all planned out by Lauren Wilkes and Maud. I think Tommy was really surprised. His actual birthday is this weekend and he's having an official real party, but it was nice for a room of his closest folks to come freak him out. Keeping a secret from him was totally excruciating. We had tacos and karaoke and so much fucking good times. I was worn out. Sunday I went to an awesome meeting of some fellow writer-performer folks. It was a very special and inspiring conversation-- I'm sometimes so freaked out by my feelings of insecurity or frustration or just questioning, curiosity. I'm not saying that we had a pity party by ANY stretch of the imagination. I'm just saying that it's so really, deeply helpful and encouraging to talk with someone who shares your questions. To realize that feeling insecure doesn't mean I'm actually failing, it's actually a logical and crucial part of the art-making process. At least for me and everyone I know. Such a fun day. I meant to go to a Wayne Koestenbaum reading last night, but it started snowing so I ordered Thai food and watched cartoons.

I meant to get up at 5am to go to the gym this morning, but I fucked up my alarm clock and ended up waking up at 8am instead of snoozing till 5:15 (don't ask how). Not the worst decision I've ever made. Tonight I'm going to a special meet-up of the Next Time organizers, then the Dirty Looks benefit/holiday party. Tomorrow night, I'm very excited to go to my hero Jill Pangallo's new show HOPE IS EXPENSIVE at the Wild Project. And then go immediately afterward to the official Afterparty at the PArkside lounge, where I'll be doing a little performing myself: HOMO FOR THE HOLIDAZE.

Another exciting inspiring week ahead. I'm starving.



Here is what I want for Christmas and Hanukkah and Holiday Time. Just putting that out there. If you want to send me something lovely, I'll get you my address. ;-)

Carte D'Armenia burning papers

Djuna Barnes' Nightwood

CdG jumpsuit

Odeur 71

Ann Demeulemeester suit

Undercover skull stuff

VFiles UES shirt

CdG Homme Plus shirt

CdG jumpsuit (I feel like I would look really cute in this)

Safe House USA Comp duvet set

Ecart International lamp

House of Ladosha shirt

Prada oil slick levitate shoes

BCalla mesh one-shoulder top

CdG SHIRT paisley pants

Telfar hooded t-shirt

Chanel nail polish in Magic

Ann Demeulemeester backpack

CdG Homme Plus jacket

Yohji Yamamoto animal shorts (we can count this as an engagement ring)

Yohji Yamamoto pants

Feeling sort of bored and antsy. Last night my room mate did a big purge where he got rid of a bunch of clothes that had ripped or he no longer wore or were ruined. I was so jealous! I never get rid of anything. And if I want to make room for my Christmas presents then I guess I'd better get started right?

Last night I got a haircut and then I dyed my hair.


Delete Yrself

Facebook e-mailed me about building interest in my page Max Steele. I haven't put much effort into it, so I feel like the alternative is to just delete it, since I post most of my stuff on my own page anyway. It does sort of feel like Facebook is telling me to go kill myself?  Or like, giving me that option. That "out". Just delete. Either commit to build interest in your page or just give up. Once upon a time, I promoted all of my stuff there. Or, I tried to. And then it became just a place to post extra stuff that wasn't new. But now I mostly just invite people to things socially. I think in part because I'm not doing stuff apart from living my life, and also I'm doing less, it feels like (it feels like?) and also because now everyone does both. Does everything. And there's more to do but it's also more seamlessly tied into the other stuff you do like buy stuff and talk to your friends about buying stuff or talk about what you want or don't want and aren't getting.  Maybe I should change my real name. Or a copyright lawyer. Isn't funny I think I used to work at an entertainment industry law firm, and I learned very little about the entertainment industry. But I had some great times. I still do, man.


Dallas Watcher's Club

I forgot to link to it here, BUT I wrote an article on Erica Jong and Fear of Flying (which is celebrating it's 40th anniversary) for Lambda Literary's site. Check it out HERE. I'm pretty proud of it, and so glad for the opportunity to write about one of my favorite books.

At the house we rented, we didn't have internet or cell phone reception, but there was a fireplace and a DVD set of the first two seasons of "Dallas". I had never seen it before. I was entranced. I don't think I would have ever watched it were it not for those circumstances, but there was something really dreamy about it.

Apparently, I'm really good at building wood fires. I was so good at building fires at the house. It did seem as though I could make the wood burst into flame by touching it. I have some kind of theory about how to turn and arrange the logs and kindling in order to make them burn. Probably it's not a secret. My friends are fantastic cooks; we ate very well and drank a lot. We visited distillery and took a tour, I understood nothing about the process. The barrel room was warm and dark and smelled fantastic, of ripe whiskey. The barrels were stacked to the ceiling and I found myself hugging one of the barrels. It felt great. In the morning, we'd listen to music and cook epick breakfasts. At night we'd build a fire and eat a huge meal and watch "Dallas" and I'd pass out on the floor, without meaning to, and miss a bunch of episodes.

It was just so fantastic. I'm glad to be back in New York, though. This month is a little less hectic, performance wise. It's more hectic socially, which is good. I'm determined! To get my shit together.

I'm on the host committee for this party to benefit Bradford Nordeen's film screening and performance / happening series Dirty Looks. it's going to be on Monday 12/9 and so much fun.

In January 2014, DL will relaunch our website as a national publishing platform for writing around queer experimental media. Dance through this winter night in support of our new project with some of the most exciting performers and luminaries our queer city has to offer.

8PM: M Lamar (performance), VIP Toast | open bar
9PM: Bottoms (performance), DJ Sets by Colin Self, Amber Valentine & D'hana Perry, Visuals by Josef Kraska.

Host Committee: Chris Bogia, Shannon Michael Cane, Brian Droitcour, Patrick Duffy, Glen Fogel, Greg Garry, Gordon Hall, Barbara Hammer, Pati Hertling, Juliana Huxtable, Jamillah James, Rich Juzwiak, Ted Kerr, Matthew Lyons, Sam McKinniss, Carlos Motta, Hunter O’Hanion. MM Serra, Max Steele, Matt Wolf.

8PM M Lamar + VIP Toast $50
9PM Bottoms + Dancing $10-20 sliding scale

All proceeds support the design of our online publishing platform and the performers.

The fb event, with different levels of tickets, is HERE.

Last week my favorite popstar Alexander Geist released his new single, "A Woman's Right to Choose". The gorgeous video is below:

Alexander's newest single "A Woman's Right to Choose" is available NOW with a special ltd edition poster by Sophie Iremonger from New Pangea.

ALSO, Ultimate Fantasy Boyfriend Brontez aka Younger Lovers has a new record coming out, and has a video for that gem as well:

The Younger Lovers' new album "Sugar In My Pocket" is available for pre-order from Southpaw Here.

In other news, I've been so obsessed with Scott Weiland right now. His solo album, god. I want to do a performance that's just reviews of that record. Spoiled Alert. And early Stone Temple Pilots. It's just so noodly. So deeply self-indulgent. On every level: musically, logically, aesthetically, contextually. Everything about it is kind of awful. There's something really bad about it. Part of me wonders at this fascination. Why do I sometimes want to eat only junk food? Why do I love smoking cigarettes? What is this death drive, this insatiable hunger for abjection? Why do I love awful things? I sometimes think maybe it's because on some level I think I don't deserve better. That's a very scary thought, so I want to go with it. I like to imagine that Scott's noodly junkie half-efforts are really meant for me. Are meant to really blow my mind. Like, this is what is for me. This is my claim. Okay then, let's take stock of it. Let's listen totally seriously to this music and pretend it's for us. For me. Like, the thing of looking for something-- looking at something awful and kind of hoping to find something transcendent in it. But not expecting to. But understanding that it's awful and will probably not be transcendent. Poor Scotty Weiland is of a dying breed. Like a dinosaur, the indulgent noodle rock god. I love noodles. Probably Courtney Love is the last of the great rock star noodles. I am, I gotta say, obsessed with Pasta sometimes.

It's like with other dinosaurs; we think we have a favorite, but we actually don't understand them very well. Brontosauruses didn't actually exist. Same with rock stars. But we can still put them in museums, listen to their records, worship them like gods. Hey there, mockingbird girl.


Sister Pico, Lola, Chantal, Perfect Little Daniel, Dr. Perez, Christopher and Charles and I all rented a house in the Catskills, in Narrowsburg, for the weekend. I ended up canceling the B0DYH1GH show tonight because it would have been too much of a hassle for me to get back and I'm also broke. I'm having the most fantastic time. We're eating a lot and making big fires in the fireplace and drinking and smoking and hanging out and watching "Dallas". There's been no internet in the house. We're in a cafe in town. We went to a distillery and I bought some fancy buckwheat whiskey (though I suppose it's not officially whiskey if it's buckwheat? I don't know the rules).

I've been in such a dark place this week, this month. This is good for me. To relax. Just laying around the house, nibbling, laughing at my friends' jokes. Wearing my eminently comfortable Eileen Fisher pants. I feel good. I want to bring this good-feeling back with me when i come home tomorrow night.

I'm sort of stressed out about some stuff in my life, but it's this thing of I don't know whether or not it's worth it to try to address it. I was hanging out with Erin and she said that as she gets older she has a better sense of what's worth it and what's not. In terms of how to spend your energy and which impulses are productive or not. My impulse is to Speak My Truth and Get Real, right now. But it might not be worth it? I don't want to complain. I don't want to talk about this anymore.

I'm tired of feeling bad. I'm tired of feeling tired. Maybe it's time (really) to get on meds. I don't know. I want to feel good and what makes me feel good is constantly changing.

I feel good now though. I feel okay. There's a tree-lighting ceremony in town tonight. I hope we watch more of "Dallas" and that I can catch up. I want to make more stuff. I want to suffer less? Whatever. The heartbreaking and fucked up part is that it hinges, at least a little, on me standing up for myself. Okay. Enough of this. Battletalk.

One thing I'm excited about is going home to California for Christmas and seeing my homegirl Cotton. The slippery thing of there being something no one can take away form you is that some people want to take stuff away form you. Some people are out to get you. This is natural. Let's not stay there.

I'm feeling a little foggy. I want to go explore the town a little bit more. I feel good. That's not me screwing up my courage. I'm relaxed. So, just putting a little pin in this to remember this moment.


These two art guys I know. One is an artist and the other is a critic. I know them both personally and like them quite a bit. They were talking about how there are no real performance artists anymore. On twitter. Ones working with words. With logic, or something. They named a few, I hadn't heard of them, and said where are the ones working with logic. I'm frustrated, because I feel like I know tons of performance artists working today and working with logic, and that I would be one, right? Like, I'm an artist. But I'm not among the ones that spring to mind because me and my friends perform in bars, in theaters, in clubs. Even in galleries, even in art world circles, but still there's something different. Something that distinguishes it as not real art. I feel like Lynda Barry. So I was walking through Chelsea last night, going to the CdG sale, but I didn't buy anything because I'm super broke and I want to wait until the Christmas stuff comes out. I passed by this gallery and one of the artists these two guys were talking about had a storefront exhibition or durational performance. I didn't go in. I wondered: ok what do they do for a living? Do they live off of performance fees? Do museums pay their rent? Do their parents pay their rent? It's frustrating. There's this invisible thing. Like, I'm not a real artist. The Art World people don't care and wouldn't care and it seems sort of natural. But I see other things that seem to take off. I'm tired of going to art shows for 25 year old photographers who do a lot of drugs. It's not that that's not cool and it's not that I'm bitter, but it's just that why does everything have to be so cool. This cult of youth, I get it. It's not that I resent it because I'm aging. Intrepid readers of the blog will know that I've always been pretty skeptical of it. It's that in the olden days we'd sacrifice virgins to the gods, right? That's one way of worshiping it. I wonder if it's me, personally. What am I doing, how am I not positioning myself better to be part of the thing I want to be part of.

Like this person I know who turned into a performance critic last year. They refuse to come to my shows or look at my work-- I want them to write about my work. They write about other work that's similar to mine. Knowing them I know that they'd get something out of what I'm trying to say. But they refuse to see me as a peer, an equal, a person or something. Maybe it's paranoid but I can't help thinking this is a result of my personality. I must really turn people off? It has to be my fault, right? It couldn't be that someone else is just checked out, doesn't care, wrapped up in their own thing. It's so annoying when someone won't take you seriously, once they realize you won't sleep with them. Maybe that's the kind of thing that turns people off, right? That flippancy? There's a subset of people who aren't turned off by that, who can handle that. Who can have a conversation which doesn't constantly and reflexively reaffirm them. Some people live in this place with me-- outer space. The vacuum. It's cold and it's dark and there's no air out here. And there's no sound. And we out here, you know? Some of us get it. I hate drawing lines in the sand. I resent feeling like it's my fault, innately, that I can't get my shit together and be who I want to be. I resent the idea that it matters, being real or not. Maybe I sort of just resent the entire conversation of looking for artists. No one's doing it these days, right? What a shame. The presumption of not looking. Because to look means to have to defend the rubric, I guess.

And then again, it's also this skepticism I have of taking yourself seriously. It's so weird-- I feel like this is the big thing, the big failure on my part, the thing about me, personally, specifically (just to make it about me for a second) that turns people off is the idea that I take myself too seriously. I guess I do bust mostly as a joke; mostly just to be nice to other people and not have to accuse other people of stuff. The idea that you could know you're a serious artist. Referring to your own work. That thing of knowing that what you say matters. That you deserve to be treated with respect, that you deserve to be happy. I don't know if that's really true, for me. Again, I'll leave other people out of it. The grass is so much greener, but I don't think I could in all honesty think to myself "I am a real serious artist". Maybe that's my problem, a kind of pessimism. But no, I mean-- I don't deserve to be happy. If I really deserved to be happy then I'd be happy, right? It's so silly. I see the logical fallacy here but I can't like... get through it. My whole thing is if you think you have your shit all the way together then you're wrong. Don't get too comfortable. I've been, I think, throwing myself into discomfort. Trying to really let the chaos inside reverberate out. Hoping to reach, as we all must, the logical conclusion of the feeling. Hoping to let the chaos and the uncertainty be a point of departure; this is something we surely must all feel, right? This uncertainty? Right? Like, we all don't know, deep down, what's going to happen and who we are. Right? If we didn't have our art careers or our identities, who would we be, right? It's scary. I sometimes feel like I'm the only one admitting it, and it's like upsetting to other people. Or like I'm being overly fatalistic because of some weird "death drive" (I heard that expression at my open studios) I have. I sometimes think it's only a matter of time before I'm diagnosed with some chronic or terminal illness. Or it's only a matter of time before I have some horrible injury. Some new disfigurement. Like, then, finally, my circumstances will justify my pessimism. That thing of precluding disappointment by refusing to get your hopes up. Is that why I can't be a real artist. Why people can't take me seriously? Because it seems like I'm taking myself too seriously? Because I'm trying to turn invisible? Is it gross? Does it freak people out? I feel like it would be so much less freaky in a gallery context, though. Is the thing. I think it makes more sense for me to get to perform in the white box.

They say you can't time travel but I know they're wrong. I know how to time travel. It's not as much fun as it sounds. You can't go back, or to the future. But you can stay still. It's tremendously painful and I would not recommend it. But, again, I'm unreliable. It's the kind of thing no one should take my word for. You'd have to try it yourself but I'm telling you; it's awful.



What a truly awesome and insane weekend. I definitely learned a lot and it felt like my heart was growing so fast that it would explode. On Friday I went to sweet baby Cole's show at the Duplex. It was totally fantastic and deeply inspiring. I'm consistently impressed by the connections he makes, the totally fucked-up and weird places he decides to stick a landing. The places he decides to be really brave and to take a stand are nearly always surprising and fantastic. I felt actually honored to get to see his show. It had the energy of one of those mythic, legendary experiences you read about. A "you had to be there" thing. Like Bette at the Baths, right? That weird liminal sense of "Oh shit this is something that's only going to happen right now, so y'all had better fucking tune in and remember it." A real treat.

I feel like I'm getting sick. My sinuses, no, my throat. Is it from the radiator? I hate being uncomfortable. It's a typical thing, that thing of not getting mad at myself for being sick. I want to blame myself. My mattress, too, needs replacing. Already. I blame myself for these things. My body hurts, I can't think straight: it must be my fault.

My horoscopes (I check only Astrobarry and The Yaddoo) said that I needed to resist the urge to wallow in self-pity. It's tempting. I want very much to complain about feeling like a failure, left out. But I'm not gonna. I'm just going to complain about my physical condition right now. It sucks. I did a neti pot for the first time last night and it helped a lot. Kind of life-changing. So few things in life offer instant relief like that. Really. I'm being a little hyperbolic but only a little.

But you know, that advice was good. I saw so many really brilliant and smart people talk and present their work in the last week. One person, Kembra Pfahler, said how important it was to forge your own path-- not let someone style you. Do your own thing. I think that's good advice. I'm trying to find a mentor, or someone or some people who can give me advice. Essentially, I want to get out of my head a bit. I'm too familiar with my patterns of thought and feeling. I want to know how other people figure out how to do stuff. I'm not looking for outfit or art project ideas per se, I still want to do my own thing. I just want to hear how other people do their own things. How do you know when you're done editing. How do you know when to push through with an idea and when do abandon it?

How do you deal with feeling petty and competitive? How do you feel present in your own life? I feel silly, a little. This weekend was a Full Moon. Maybe that's why everything felt so crazy. A convenient excuse.

This thing, I want to say. this clarification of: I'm not fishing for compliments, I'm trying to drown myself.

A Diver’s Rise, and Swift Death, at the Limits of a Growing Sport

A kind of awful article on diving, death, and the Rapture of the Deep.


Tonight I'm going to go see Mazzy Star. I'm excited and a little confused about that. Really? Really. I want to find something drape-y and dark to wear.

Everything feels weird and sensitive and temporary. Like water. Wet feelings.
Behind the ears, still. I guess.


I'm not waiting

Oh shit there's so much to catch up on and look forward to. And in between, the meat of the sandwich, the condiment (the spread) is right now, today. This second is the middle part. So last week I went to go see miss Penny Arcade and miss Mink Stole in Tennessee Williams' The Mutilated. I was raised by actors. It's not that I saw them perform a lot (though I did, sometimes), but my parents are artists, aesthetes. They know how to appreciate and understand acting. They don't go for cheap thrills. They think my admiration of Sharon Stone is cute, but I remember my mom specifically remarking how great this new actress Reese Witherspoon was in her big break Freeway. My point is: Penny and Mink are fucking fantastic in this show. They give deeply emotional, striking performances that more conventional actors would probably be too chicken to do. I was utterly transported and definitely inspired. It's kind of a mind-fuck, the show. The starring ladies have fantastic chemistry onstage. There's a lot of other things in the show, all of which comes together beautifully, but for me it's all about Penny and Mink. Literally a legendary show. In addition to miss Pennifer's fantastic feature in the Style Section last week, the show gets a very nice review from the Grey Lady. It's up until 12/1, and if you're in New York you should definitely go see it, very much.

Last Friday, I went to the opening of the new Yayoi Kusama show, I Who Have Arrived In Heaven at Zwirner. It was, of course, fantastic. It will be a madhouse throughout it's exhibition. I didn't even get to go to the infinity rooms or darkroom installations, as there were lines around the block to get in. The paintings are fantastic, there're a couple darling sculptures, it's Kusama. You kind of have to go.

Love is Calling

Party in the Dead of Night

Not quite an unknown quantity, but fantastic nonetheless. You cannot fuck with Yayoi Kusama. This is, in a way, almost as good as the retrospective last year, because this is totally $free, and all brand new stuff. I definitely love Kusama's work throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s-- don't get me wrong. But it's also pretty rad to see the energy and force of her creative mind today. As a woman, as a non-American, as a poet, multidisciplinary artist, abstract thinker, person with mental illness: Kusama is an inspiration and an indictment of so much institutional ignorance. Her work is (I know I use this word a lot) scintillating. Such a treat to live in New York City where, on a Friday night, you can go to a Kusama art opening and see all this really fantastic work for free. Like "Oh yeah, that's why I live here. Okay then."

Saturday night I had dinner with dear heart Ben Rimalower and we went to go see Mike Albo's new solo show, The Junket, at Dixon Place. I've long been a fan of Mike's work, and have been lucky enough to perform at the same events as him a few times. I remember specifically that I read on the same bill as him at a reading at the Hose, once, because that was the reading where I wanted to experiment with getting drunk before I read, and it seemed to go pretty well until I fell off the stool I was sitting on during my reading. Mike did great that night as usual. I'd never seen a full-length solo show of his, and I was totally blown-away. I'm specifically impressed with the way his sensibilities combine a few different practices. That sounds fancy-- he's a really brilliant writer, who's also a really wonderful, engaging performer, a painfully rare combination. The show seems like it moves pretty quickly; it covers a lot of ground. It's deeply funny and also kind of scary. I saw a really interesting interview with Mike about the show and the experiences that spawned it over on The Slant. The show and the novella that spawned it are about culture and media, but the bigger questions Mike is asking, about consumer culture, are really exciting to me. In the interview, he says "Shopping has turned into a lifestyle and we don’t know when we aren't shopping anymore because we shop for everything." I'm really interested in the ways in which the modern imagination and shopping have come to shape one another. I think the notion of shopping moves way, way beyond actually buying sweaters, for example, and I'm curious to see Mike Albo explore this. Anyway, The Junket plays again at Dixon Place this weekend, you should go see it!

Afetr the show we met up with PLD and went to the Phoenix to celebrate Guy's birthday. The Phoenix is fun and weird, huh? I couldn't remember the last time I was there-- then I did remember: the time I ordered a beer and it smelled like feet. This time the drinks were fine. After Phoenix, we went to Brooklyn to go to Clump, where the theme was Electroclash, and where I heard so many early 2000s favorite songs. It makes a girl feel old, but I was so young when those songs came out, so I guess maybe not all that old. After a little Clumping, moseyed over to Metropolitan for GAG!, where  La'Fem LaDosha was the featured performer:

God, I love her. I love that shirt. I love her make-up. I loved her new SONGS (including a very cute one she wrote on tour in Australia-- down under, you know?). The House of Ladosha is so near and dear to my heart. I'm VERY excited to see them listed in the OUT 100. I normally don't really care too much about the OUT 100, for a number of reasons (100 reasons) but if they're upping these kids then I think it's cool. So, kudos all. Right?

Sunday I rehearsed some more and then I went to go see The Blow perform at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. It. Was. So. Amazing. I had seen them do a few songs at the Kitchen a couple weeks ago, but they've spent the last month on tour supporting the new self-titled album, and they did the full set and it was just so fucking cool. Again, I'm biased: I've been a fan for over a decade, but the new record is so different, and complex, and exciting. It was really gorgeous to see the songs taken apart and put back together live. It definitely made me excited to see and make more performances. It reminded me of the possibilities of what you can do onstage, or around stage. What constitutes a song. I was surprised, as I am often am with The Blow, by the sudden poignancy of the work. Things will be coming together in a way that seems pleasant or easy to understand, and then all of a sudden everything kind of clicks into focus, and I have a kind of "oh shit" moment when I realize what's going on; when what's going on is suddenly revealed, to itself. The new record is a lot, to my mind, about thinking through things. It's a lot about reckoning; about figuring stuff out, about changing your mind. About deciding. They played all of my favorite songs from the new record, and at least a couple old chestnuts for the fans. A totally excellent showing. Afterward we hung out and I drank a lot of beers, and then we went up the street to This'n'That, where Hamm Sandwich was hosting Karaoke. I sang "Ooh La La La" (like I fucking always do). Carla sang "Just The Two of Us" because it's her and D's special song. Otherwise, she said, she'd do a New Jack Swing song. I met a very nice computer literate boy named Max, and he took the Tori Amos Challenge and sang "Jackie's Strength" and KILLED it. Another contestant sang Karaoke and we all cheered him on and it was a fantastically fun night and I got home at like 3:30 in the morning. Monday I was a ZOMBIE but eventually I made it to Max Bernstein's APOCALYPSE WOW comedy night at it's new home at Cameo Gallery. He was hilarious. I'm so glad that show happeend again!

SO NOW, today Thursday 11/14 is the beginning of NEXT TIME, a series of symposiums, screenings, events and performances hosted by Envoy Enterprises and Macie Gransion. Organized by Colin Self with help from Caroline Contillo, Isaac Pool, David Geer, Jessi Probus, & Max Steele, and Hannah Daly. Check out the site linked above or the Facebook Event Page for a full schedule of events.

In addition to the event series, NEXT TIME has put out a publication featuring: Bradford Nordeen, Brian Droitcour, Caroline Contillo, Crystal Palmer, Gordon Hall, Isaac Pool, Jamillah James, Jessica Posner, Jessi Probus and Charlotte Perkins Gilwoman, Johanna Fateman and David Geer, K8 Hardy, Marie Karlberg, Max Steele, Ratty St. John, and Sam McKinniss. You can purchase it at Envoy this weekend or online HERE. I have a new story in it, "KLLEPTO." It's my first attempt at drag.

I'm performing in  a reading at NEXT TIME this Sunday at 4pm, alongside Anthony Thornton and Isaac Richard Pool. I'll be reading my new story KLEPTO, and I really hope you can come! Isaac just put out a really cool new eBook called Alien She on Klaus eBooks, which is SUPER cool.

ALSO this weekend, I'm performing some new material at the BAX / Brooklyn Arts Exchange open studio series. My presentation is this Saturday 11/16 at 1pm. I'll be doing a few songs from my upcoming cabaret noir project MAPPLETHORPE. I hope you can make it. I'm pretty nervous.

Also this weekend is the legendary MIX NYC festival, celebrating it's glorious 26th year. There are amazing shows and screenings and parties happening literally every night this week at MIX. I'm particularly excited to see Valencia as well as this Saturday 11/16 at 8pm, when, in addition to screening Jasan Yamas' Not Me, Murphy, there will be screenings of two brand new short films by lovely boy genius favorite Jonathan Caouette, including a new music video for April March. What? Totally exciting. There's so much to do this weekend!

OK this is the end. There's a new single released by Planningtorock!

I'm excited. I can't wait. I'm too excited to wait.


Got Their Something

Two cute new videos from Wynne Greenwood, from the "More Heads" show that was up a Soloway. I wish I had hung out at the opening more! But I had to go to a performance I was doing. I love Wynne Greenwood's work. It made me, in part, want to move to a big city ("The City. Apocalypse. The Cit-TEH! Apocalypse!"), and now it maybe is making me start to want to live in the country? In the suburbs? In my own head. MORE in my own head, I mean.

Good old buddy James Brooks sent me the vinyl LP version of the Judy Experience album in the mail earlier this week. It features artwork by my homegirl Cotton. I had the CD version, but I'm so excited to get the full surround sound deep vinyl effect.

This record, which includes the songs used in James' film HI BI GIRLS is fucking amazing and one of my favorite things ever. You can buy it on the Judy Experience page. I'm excited to spend the winter sitting on my floor and listening to the vinyl over and over again. And burn incense. Like Carta d'Armenia.

Miss Greg Potter took this lovely photo of B0DYH1GH performing at La MaMa over the weekend:


I woke up at 5:30 this morning and listened to this song at the gym. I couldn't shake the feeling that the opening riff reminded me of another song.

It took me inordinately long to realize it reminded me of this song:

They're both from 2001 so go figure, right?

After reading the somewhat dismissive (if not downright damning) article about Eileen Fisher in The New Yorker a few months ago, I've been kind of obsessed. Then I started seeing ads for their harem pants. Made (joyously!) in the USA. I want them so bad. I watched this commercial about them this morning before I went to work.

Doesn't that make you so excited to go to the office? I decided that since I don't have my own pair of dignified, uptight yet relaxed professional female Eileen Fisher harem pants (at least not yet) to wear the closest thing in my wardrobe. Even though it's a little dressier than I normally wear to work.  I made it all the way to the subway this morning before the found a moth cocoon stuck my pants. My very favorite black wool BLACK CdG pants. I got to work and found two tiny pinprick holes in them. I'm really hoping that this moth problem can be solved. I JUST put my wool sweater back in the closet, and I bet it's getting eaten as I type this. I'm pretty mortified and definitely miffed. Ah well. At least I found a pretty cheap and very nice dry cleaner. Hopefully he can patch up these pants, my favorite pair. If not, then this gives me an excuse to replace them (probably with the Eileen ones, but knowing me with another pair of BLACK CdG pants in more moth-proof polyester). Fuck wool. Fuck cashmere and fuck wool. I want to only wear vegan clothing. But I do like leather shoes. I've made my peace with the animals.

The other night I went to go see Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore read from her new book The End of San Francisco. I've never owned one of Mattilda's novels, but I want the newest one, the memoir, real bad. Obviously, growing up as a queer in the bay area in the early aughts, Gay Shame was hugely influential to my thinking and feeling about queerness and power and the world around me. OBVIOUSLY, I'm a huge admirer of Mattilda's thinking and writing and voice and spirit and her work means a tremendous amount to me. We're not friends, we don't know each other. I saw her do a really fantastic reading at Dixon Place a few years ago (I think it was when Lady Miss Genius Sara Marcus was still curating the Queer Text series there), and I think I gave Mattilda a copy of my zine. I'm intimidated, a big fan, this is all to say. SO! The talk was great. I wish I had seen the other readings in NYC which Mattilda gave. The chapter she read was scintillating, literally, in the sense of throwing off light; illuminating. The questions and answers were also really great. Mattilda talked a bit about nostalgia, and how it's a kind of violence, and also talked about Patti Smith's Just Kids and how nostalgia figures into that too. I'm pretty much never trying to talk shit about Ms. Patti, and I didn't bother to read Just Kids because I thought it would depress me, and I don't want to paraphrase what Mattilda said, so I will point to this except from her most excellent blog (which is totally crucial reading, always):
"I’m talking about Patti Smith’s Just Kids and how she perpetuates this myth of New York in the ‘70s, that she was just hanging out and somehow propelled into the upper echelons of permanent stardom. That doesn’t happen to people who are just hanging out. It doesn’t happen to 99.9% of people who are trying to make it happen. There are many flaws in the book, but perhaps the most egregious ones in me is the way she keeps the mechanisms that propelled her to stardom invisible – she was just in the right time at the right place, right? We can never be there, will never be there, again."
And then again, in an interview with the LA Review of Books:
"It’s talking about a pre-gentrification New York, but through a gentrified lens. She makes it seem like she was just hanging out at the Chelsea Hotel and suddenly met every famous male artist of the moment and rose to fame by coincidence. Everybody knows that in order to get famous, you need to work at it. It’s interesting because she talks about all that Mapplethorpe did to get famous, but really doesn’t expose the mechanisms that enabled her to get famous. It’s a dishonest book: she doesn’t punctuate the glamour, and in that way she creates this nostalgia for a New York that never really existed. It’s a kind of dishonesty that participates in the mythology of New York. It was a different New York, and things were possible that are not possible now, but the romanticization shuts off the possibilities for honesty, and that’s something that I want to avoid in my own writing. I want to expose the dynamics in an honest, revealing, and vulnerable way, rather than participating in a nostalgia for the possibilities of the past.
A lot of people relate to the idea of the end of bohemia. My question is more: can it ever exist? For me, the end of San Francisco was the beginning. I never moved to San Francisco and found community and everything I wanted and felt amazing and transformed. There were moments, and then [whatever was created] was destroyed, and that destroyed me."
I feel really excited and inspired by these quotes, and not just because they're critical. Though, obviously, I do think that it's exciting to be able to appreciate something critically.I think there's a kind of  sleight-of-hand that people are expected to withhold cognizance of, and it's kind of infuriating. So it's a big relief to have someone articulate the elephant in the room, even if it's an elephant which has been turned invisible by the power of the elephant-lovers' imaginations. I find, as I often do reading Mattilda's writing, that I wanted to jump up and say "Yes. Yeah. Right on!" But we don't necessarily have all of the same political beliefs. She was pretty clear about referring to going to the gym as a kind of luxurious trapping of consumer lifestyle, and she's not wrong. I guess I'm not critical of my gym membership because I don't think of it as an aesthetic experience, I consider it a cheaper alternative to Prozac? I'm sort of backpedaling here. I guess I feel guilty sometimes. Like talking about wearing designer clothes. Does this mean I'm a hypocrite. If I'm a hypocrite does it mean I can't be right about stuff or do you need to be entirely consistent to make a point. This isn't productive. I like the idea of embracing a more nuanced, less easy to digest version of history. That lived experience is always so much more complicated, and that glossing over it, or romanticizing it, does erase that nuance, in a way. I mean, look: I get it. I see that impulse and in many ways I live there. But it was bracing and exciting to hear about how and why we can try to do something different.

Ok. Having some afternoon coffee since I'm fading. I guess I only got five hours of sleep. I'm going to go see The Mutilated featuring my heroes Penny Arcade and Mink Stole tonight. I want to wear my CdG pants even though they have a hole in them. It's a tiny hole. Is that gross? I PROMISE to take my pants to the dry cleaner tomorrow.

Finally, here's a video for the new song by The Blow:

I love this song and their new record so much! I can't wait to see them perform in New York on Sunday night. I wonder if there will be a pit. If there is a pit, a mosh pit or a dance pit, I wanna go be in it.

I just don't know what pants I'll wear into the pit.



Halloween was fun. I wasn't feeling it, actually, before. I didn't feel excited about it. But on Thursday I went to my analyst and we had a pretty good talk about bravery and being mean and being funny, or something. On the one hand, I feel like we're going around in circles, but on the other hand I do feel like that's kind of the point, it was a good talk. Then I came home and had band practice, then went over to the Halloween party at Mafew and Ryan's. They have a third room mate who I must have met at some point, but it's all about them. They're really good at being funny, having fun, apartments, and parties. I mean they're good at all sorts of things but this is relevant. I was totally blown away by their Easter party a few years ago, but I heard they moved and so when I went to the Easter party this year I was very pleasantly surprised. They have maybe the nicest house in all of Williamsburg? Insanely decorated. Amazing spread. Snacks, candy, everywhere. Candles on every single surface. A band of guys dressed in big fuzzy Sesame Street costumes played in the basement. The band was a stand-up bass, a xylophone and a ukulele. Spooky and old-timey. They had little dishes with cigarettes (for anyone!) on every single table. Insanely classy. My definition of luxury. There was also lots of booze. There's always some kind of freaky punch thing. When we got there, Ryan was making the punch so we had to wait for him to finish making it before we could have any. I watched him make it, but after he added like the 34th or 35th ingredient I stopped paying attention. Eventually it was ready and it was delicious! I don't know what was in it and I don't know if I want to know? It seemed like there was a lot of really important stuff in the punch. I had one glass and felt pretty insane, watching the band in the basement and chatting with dear heart Chris S. the writer-cum-publisher. Oh yeah, I was gonna go as Lou Reed but instead I went as a sexy Cheshire Cat, for like the 5th year in a row. I'm always a cat. What's new. Teebs and Deegs came, we had some more punch and ate some more candy and found a hammock in the backyard and played in it for a little while. I was going to go home early because I had work the next morning, and declared that I was calling in sick! to work! And proceeded to have two more glasses of punch and also two glasses of champagne and also a beer, I think. I had a beer in the basement, while I was hanging out with Rob boom boom Roth the legendary face. Such a fun night! Swollen with booze and candy, we made our way home around 4 in the morning.

Get this: I went to work the next morning anyway, like an asshole. It actually wasn't so bad, it makes me wonder if I should be going out at night all the time, right? Cuz fuck it, I hate everything. Whatever, Halloween's only once a year.

I'm in kind of a bad mood today, I realized. I guess it's a Tuesday thing?

So Friday was kind of hard, I was super duper tired and pretty hungover. I went to a screening of The Women which was introduced by Mx Justin Vivian Bond. But I got there too late to see vs introduction and just watched the movie. Which is, of course, amazing. I must have subconsciously known but this time I was acutely aware that there are no men in that movie. That's just great. More movies should be like that! Another thing I like about The Women, aside from everything Joan Crawford says or does in it, is that the moral of the story is sort of about how if you're an asshole and go around bullying people around and being mean, then unfortunate things will happen to you and the people you were mean to won't want to be your friend about it. This sounds rough, and it is, in a way, I guess. But it does resonate with my own values, which is that if you want to be a jerk, then that will be its own punishment. It's not up to me (or anyone else) to make people suffer. I'm all about karmic retribution -- see the 'revenge' up at the top of the screen, natch -- but that's more about having a conversation than about suffering, per se. You wanna be hard, then you will fall hard all by your hard self. Hardie. So the movie was fun.

Went to the Boiler Room to meet up with dear heart Max. Had fun talking to him and all sorts of cute interesting gay boys. Had that kind of nice, kind of weird experience of meeting new guys (this happened more than once that night) and thinking "Wow they really want talk about their lives in this kind of unguarded way, that's cool!" and then have the conversation start to veer with a kind of awful perfunctory rhythm back to their boyfriends, over and over again. Are you being nice or are you trying to make sure I'm not flirting with you, because you're boyfriend is here? By the way I wasn't flirting with anyone, I pretty much never flirt unless it's already a done deal. I mean, right? But whatever, meeting new nice interesting guys. Saw someone from my past I'd rather not have seen, whatcha gonna do. I begged off early instead of going dancing and I'm glad I did, I was hungry.

Saturday I went to the gym and then went to rehearsal at Dixon Place for the rehearsal of Roy Garrett's Hot Rod to Hell. SUCH a fun night! The other readers (Mike Albo, Jonathan Daniel Federico, William Johnson, Brian Kenny, Scooter LaForge, Casey Spooner, Joey Stocks) were amazing, of course. Here's a photo of us that Slava took in the dressing room after the show:

We're cute. It's fun to be cute. But it's also a big responsibility. 

Ms. Albo came to the reading straight from her show earlier that night at Dixie Pee, The Junket, which has HIT written all over it. I heard it was amazing and I'm excited to see it this weekend with my homegirl Ben Rimalower. Here's a great interview with Mike about the show. It sounds so exciting! I'm interested in his upcoming book, too. About shopping. I used to hate shopping, but then at some point in the last few years, it became about something else and I started to like it. I guess I've always loved shopping for certain things. Groceries. Records. Those are probably past-times for me. But only insofar as cooking, eating, listening to music or reading books are also pastimes. Can a love of shopping be hiding, actually, a love of libraries? I wonder. It somehow reminds me of this awesome blog post about shopping that Susan Ploetz aka Pash(ly) wrote. This thing of being simultaneously transfixed and repulsed by the spectacle. Like, seduced and also nauseated? Been thinking a lot about consumer culture and how consumer culture is sometimes used (at least in my imagination) as a kind of proxy to mean these other things. Like maybe a place or a way to ask different questions. Shouldn't be the point, though? Shouldn't that be possible? I guess there's no getting around the fact that it does boil down to capitalism, to some of us having more or less resources. Even if it's a resource that's more difficult to quantify like taste, or time to shop. This thing, I see it a lot in my social circles and in the world today in general. This thing of recreational shopping. Like with your free time. i'm fascinated and horrified and I guess reminded anew every time that these feelings are far from mutually exclusive.

Anyway after the hilarious and exciting reading, I went to Gio's house with some very nice kids and met his and Neil's cat, Too Shy, who wasn't too shy to say hi. We listened to music and talked about art and boys and traveling and it was great. I should have stayed up later but I was pooped! I never save any energy for the weekend. I went to bed at what felt like a really early time but I realize that it was because of daylight savings time.

Sunday B0DYH1GH did our show ALIEN AFTERLIFE at La MaMa. I think it actually went so much better than I thought it was going to, and I think we're fucking fantastic. We wrote some new songs which I'm really proud of, and we polished up some old gems which I'm also very happy with. Perfect Little Daniel made some delightful stage banter, I think it was a pretty perfect show. We got a lot of amazing feedback. I want to record another mixtape. We have so many good new songs that no one's heard outside of our shows. Not that people don't listen at our shows, but you know. Came home and ordered takeout and went to bed ridiculously early.

Such a whole bunch more to say, but I feel better now, and I'm late anyway, so I'll stop here.


Something Very Scary

I wasn't feeling very Halloween-y. But then last night I went to go see No Bra and the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, and now I am feeling the spirit. I believe in Halloween.

I LOVE TVHOKB. There was a time in high school when they were my favorite band. I saw them open for Switchblade Symphony and The Creatures in San Francisco in 1999. My dad went to the concert with me. I think they recorded their set for the live CD they made? The SF goth crowd could have been warmer. I loved it. It was so cool to see them in NYC! On home turf. I remember when they performed at the Armory and BFF Bobo was one of the TVHOKB girls, looking gorgeous.

So proud of lil Bobo. Doesn't she look great?

Anyway, the show last night was great! A hometown love-fest. During "Fuck island" when they cracked paint-filled eggs on Kembra's crotch (spoiler alert?), some white paint got on my blazer. I thought it was tempera... but it seems like it was not. So I'm taking my jacket (my FAVORITE vintage polyester blazer which I've had for YEARS) to the dry cleaner tonight in the hope that they can work some Halloween magick.

The opening act was none other than international sensation NO BRA, performing songs from her new album CANDY. Here's a video for the title track, featuring many dearly beloved NYC personalities:

And the album, which is AWESOME, has some pretty adorable cover art too.

You can buy it HERE. I really loved No Bra's set. Can you believe I had never seen her perform live before? I was turned onto her work in college when Bobo visited her sister who was studying in London. Bobo told me about this cool performance artist named No Bra she thought I would like. I was resistant but I fell in love. Her work is so smart it hurts.

Lyrics from "Date with the Devil":
Such a fun show!

This morning, The Business of Fashion posted an except of a new interview between Rei Kawakubo and Hans Ulrich Obrist in the Autumn/Winter 2013 issue of System Magazine. Kawakubo's manifesto, below:

Obviously, I love this. A kind of intellectual bondage, right? The idea of creativity as being only possible by working with constraints. Be these actual constraints in the world around you or, as in Kawakubo's case, entirely internal. I've often felt that, for me, creativity seems most easily understood within the context of some kind of formal constraint. This is why I like using vintage Casio and Yamaha keyboards. It forces me to work within the limited tone palette and the scope of the octave and a half. What I like about this manifesto is that it does seem to vindicate my interpretation of the SS14 collection, that she found the creative impulse in disregarding the idea of clothing. Another thing I like is that she stresses the importance of suffering. It reminds me of this John Waters quote from his book Role Models, wherein he dedicates a chapter to Kawakubo:

“Fashion is very important to me. My “look” for the last twenty years or so has been “disaster at the dry cleaners.” I shop in reverse. When I can afford to buy a new outfit, something has to be wrong with it. Purposely wrong. Comme des Garcons (like some boys) is my favorite line of clothing, designed by the genius fashion dictator Rei Kawakubo. She specializes in clothes that are torn, crooked, permanently wrinkled, ill-fitting, and expensive. What used to be called “seconds” (clothes that were on sale in bargain basements of department stores because of accidental irregularities) is now called “couture.” Ms. Kawakubo is my god. The fashion historian Kazuko Koike has described Rei as “almost like the leader of a religious movement.” I genuflect to Rei’s destruction of the fashion rules. She is formidable, reclusive, intimidating, and has described her work as an “exercise in suffering.”

And indeed it is. This takes me back to another somewhat gnomic Kawakubo manifesto:

"Something very scary" indeed! Happy Halloween! This reminds me of some other scary fashion advice from Miss Bitter Mommy Trash Pope John Waters:

"You don't need fashion designers when you are young. Have faith in your own bad taste. Buy the cheapest thing in your local thrift shop -- the clothes that are freshly out of style with even the hippest people a few years older than you. Get on the fashion nerves of your peers, not your parents -- that is the key to fashion leadership. Ill-fitting is always stylish. But be more creative -- wear your clothes inside out, backward, upside down. Throw bleach in a load of colored laundry. Follow the exact opposite of the dry cleaning instructions inside the clothes that cost the most in your thrift shop. Don't wear jewelry -- stick Band-Aids on your wrists or make a necklace out of them. Wear Scotch tape on the side of your face like a bad face-life attempt. Mismatch your shoes. Best yet, do as Mink Stole used to do: go to the thrift store the day after Halloween, when the children's trick-or-treat costumes are on sale, buy one, and wear it as your uniform of defiance."

Good advice if ever there was any. Why not emulate Mink Stole in everything? She is, as we know, the fucking bomb. I once wore CdG drop-crotch shorts to a rehearsal with her and she raised an eyebrow, asking, "Are those Comme des Garçons?" I said yes. "Don't they restrict your movement? Are they comfortable?" I said that they were, but the pants, with an even lower crotch, do restrict my movement. She shrugged and said she had a friend who wore nothing but CdG. I didn't ask, but I assumed it was Mr. Waters. Mink is a true style icon who, being preternaturally young at heart, doesn't need designers. Especially if you know how to thrift, post-Halloween, as she legendarily does. Speaking of Mink Stole, I'm SO excited to see her in Tennessee Williams' The Mutilated, co-starring with Penny Arcade, next week!


Buy your tickets HERE. I'm so excited. Miss Pennifer, perfect timeless face and legendary icon of inspiration, gets a long-overdue and appropriately glowing profile in thie Sunday's NYTimes Style Section which you should go read right now.

Finally, Contessa Stuto dropped the video for the debut single, "Reign in Ratchet" from her forthcoming EP Cult Classic. I like it so much. It's obviously gorgeous and well-made, but there's also something so... I don't know, exuberant? Present? I don't wanna say "real" but real. She's not fucking around. It's not a look, it's not a pose, it's not just an attitude. It's the real thing and god bless her for it. (recognize her from No Bra's "Candy" video?) Check out her SoundCloud for more news. Happy Halloween.