RIP CHRISTOPHER LEE – \m/ \m/ was last modified: June 11th, 2015 by Shane Jesse Christmass
In this series, writers share their favorite music videos.
Pelle at 2:38
“Hate To Say I Told You So” by The Hives came out the same year I stopped parking myself in front of the TV to flip endlessly between Vh1 and MTV and MuchMusic for music videos, and started parking myself in front of the internet to do pretty much the same thing. With the internet, though, I could obsessively watch my favorite videos over and over.
Many times, I tried to pause “Hate To Say I Told You So” at 2:38, but because YouTube wasn’t a thing yet and whatever sad music video platform I was using didn’t have great pausing capability, stopping at 2:38 was very difficult, and the few times I was able to do it I saw nothing more than a blurry smear of face. There was something about Pelle’s scream, which comes right after his bratty mid-song speech about rejecting authority and which climaxes at 2:38, that made me hornier and more fundamentally desperate than I even knew was possible.
If you told me at that time that I could be anyone in the world, I would have said Pelle, because this was also the year that I began conflating sexual desire with wanting to leave my own body and crawl into someone else’s skin with them. It didn’t even occur to me to desire to be the type of woman that Pelle might be attracted to. I made jokes about being a gay man trapped in a girl’s body, but I knew that wasn’t quite right. Despite my horniness, I didn’t feel particularly sexual. My horniness didn’t equate to wanting to have sex, gay or straight, with Pelle or anyone else. More than sex, I wanted to become that which I lusted for. I wanted to leave the trappings of my physicality and personality for something else, something better, something… I mean, I don’t know… maybe something sweaty and Swedish, who would stomp around like a hyperactive child, and who could scream like the exact guttural translation of the lust my body felt for the very object doing the screaming.
Despite exhaustive attempts to stop the video at just the right moment, 2:38 only ever yielded a fuzzy, unsatisfying image that didn’t match my feelings for what it should be. Pelle was always clouded over by some kind of beautiful but annoying lighting effect, the edge of his profile vanishing into the background.
Maybe this was an important metaphor for my wildly incorrect projections about what romantic relationships would be like, or what my place within them would entail. Or maybe I knew, somehow, that 2:38, and all that it represented, was forever unattainable, and that the act of trying to catch that feeling was symbolic of the sexual desire itself, as good or better than any end result.
–Chelsea Martin is the author of Everything Was Fine Until Whatever (Future Tense, 2009), The Really Funny Thing About Apathy (Sunnyoutside, 2010), and Even Though I Don’t Miss You (Short Flight/Long Drive, 2013). She lives in Michigan.
In this series, writers share their favorite music videos.
Suicidal Tendencies — “Institutionalized”
If you were a suburban teen in the 1980s, you were one of the following: a nerd, a preppie, a goody-goody, a hessian/rocker/stoner, or, like me, you were a punk. MTV knew we existed but they were too busy shoving Madonna and The Police and Dexy’s Midnight Runners down our throats to throw us a bone with a little punk grit and attitude in the marrow. Punk bands were making videos from the beginning, but the only place they received any airplay or love was on local access shows or—if we got lucky—sandwiched between clips from the midnight movie classic Heavy Metal on USA’s Night Flight show.
My friends in that time period were all really good skaters. I was not. Almost any time I got on a board, I broke a bone. I was, however, very good at getting high and listening to punk bands. I was also very good at getting high and watching television for hours at a time. We were all wearing down VHS copies of Suburbia and Decline of Western Civilization while sitting around filling up someone’s living room with pot smoke while parental units were out of town. This is what we did.
I remember a bunch of us sitting around at this girl’s house while her parents were skiing and someone said there was a Suicidal Tendencies video they had seen. None of us believed this could possibly be true. How could they have a video? Where in the world had this kid seen such a thing? The girl who lived there said she’d seen the video too, and switched her television to MTV, which, as usual, was flooding screens with Madonna and Prince. We all got high and stopped talking about Suicidal Tendencies and started making fun of each other for believing there was a video. Then it happened.
Coming right on the heels of a Judas Priest video, the familiar sloppy drum fill happened and then there they were—Mike Muir in his cholo regalia, the rest of the band rolling up in a beater convertible—Suicidal Tendencies had made a video for “Institutionalized,” and we were witnessing it, together. I remember everyone kind of looking stunned and smiling. The arc of the video was hilarious—Mike living out the lyrics of the song with a TV-made mom and dad who put him in a straightjacket and put bars on his window—just like the song. We were all so fucking happy. I don’t know how anyone else felt [we were so fucking high and nobody talked about feelings in the 1980s], but I felt like maybe things might change.
Well, I’m sure that this week we are all listening to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, get out from under that rock), so I’m going to run down 10 of my favorite Kdot tracks on this playlist (plus 1 bonus).
Ronald Regan Era — To get things started, one of the best tracks off Lamar’s “mixtape” (although a lot of people consider it his first album) Section.80. Kendrick is just having some fun here, still saying some ill things, and the beat on this is nice. Check out Ab-Soul doing the vernacular intro at the beginning of the track.
Black Lip Bastard (Rmx) — This is an absolutely sick posse cut off of Ab-Soul’s Control System, featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, and Jay Rock. Lamar has got the first verse on this track, but all of them are show-stoppers.
The Jig Is Up — This is just a throwaway that Lamar did with J. Cole producing the track, but, my god, is he sounding hard on this one. Catch the Shyne dis right around the middle of this one. Apparently Spotify can’t support this track, so here it is on YouTube.
The Blacker the Berry — I had to include just one off of Butterfly. This is probably the most “mainstream” track off this album, which is really saying something. Beautiful fusion of conscious raps and a hard sound, which is something Lamar really excels at.
Look Out for Detox — Another mixtape throwaway track for Lamar that ends up being better than most people’s best efforts. For the record, this is the first time I ever heard Lamar rap. This was all it took. “I’m at a level where I be amazing myself.” Damn right. And we have to go to YouTube for this one too.
A.D.H.D. — Another cut off of Section.80. This is like Lamar telling us what it’s like to be a part of his generation. The beat here is just perfect—captures the kind of newish, late-’00s sound that Lamar would become known for, but still has a slacker-esque kind of vibe that works with the themes of the track.
HiiiPower — Aaaaaand here’s the other side of his generation, the politically infused, carrying the weight of his predecessors side. So many quoteables on this track, including one of the best lines of Lamar’s career: “And I want everybody to view my autopsy / so you can see exactly where the government has shot me.”
Swimming Pools (Drank) — This was the charting single off of Lamar’s official first album, good kid m.A.A.d city, which again goes to show you how well Lamar can make damn good hip hip into something palatable to the mainstream. This is the story of every sweet, shy kid trying to fit in by drinking a little too much.
P&P 1.5 — Going waaaay back to Lamar’s mixtape Overly Dedicated (made back when he couldn’t give away his music), this is that song you want to listen to when life is stressing you out too much. The P and P of the title are pussy and Patrón, which I guess were Kdot’s substances of choice back in the day. Make sure to listen all the way to the end for Ab-Soul’s guest verse.
Black Boy Fly — To end things here, the conscious track to end all conscious tracks in Kdot’s career to this point. I’m sure academic theses have been written about this track alone. Also—it’s moving as fuck and sounds beautiful.
And lastly, to end things here, it’s kind of egregious that I can’t find “Control” anywhere on Spotify. (I know the samples were never cleared, but for god’s sake.) We just can’t end a Kendrick Lamar playlist without including this track. So here it is via YouTube. Big Sean outdid himself, and then Lamar followed him up by changing the game. And any track where Jay Electronica is an afterthought, well . . .
In my first Enclave playlist I showed you all some relaxed music. This time we’re going to go a different direction and listen to some of the music I run with.
I’ve been running for over 15 years. I picked up the habit in the summer of 1998, when I came home from my freshman year of college, having gained some weight and wanting to trim down. I made my first runs in the triple-digit heat of a Southern California summer; I don’t recall the exact distances I ran, but they must have been in the realm of a mile or two. I took to running immediately, and the habit had no problem sticking—since then I’ve run consistently at least two or three times per week—and sometimes as much as five—the only exceptions being the times I’ve spent out of country on vacations.
Nowadays, I usually do somewhere from 40 to 60 minutes per run. I’ve found that the ideal length for a playlist to accompany runs of that duration is 35 to 40 songs, somewhere in the realm of 140 to 160 minutes of music. That way, you’re not hearing the same songs over and over, but neither are you losing tracks in the depths of an excessively long list. Mixes usually last about 6 months before they start to wear out. I have made 13 running mixes since I began the practice in 2008.
I never run without music. Back in the early days, I would record cassette tape mixes from CDs and mp3s, and listen to them with a Walkman (portable CD players would skip too much if I tried to take them out running with me). Later, I graduated to the early MiniDisk players and eventually acquired a first generation iPod. The iPod has been my music accessory of choice while running; I now own a sixth generation iPod, which will eventually be my last iPod, as Apple has chosen to discontinue them. I will possibly have to look into a Touch, or something else entirely, when this one finally dies.
Here are 10 tracks from various playlists.
1. Dancin’ on Ya Grave (remix) — Get Busy Committee. Any good running mix will have at least a few club hits. This is hard to get right, as lots of club hits have atrocious lyrics that I simply can’t put up with, no matter how good the beat is. This here is a posse cut mostly featuring rappers that can carry an entire album, much less 16 bars.
2. 36″ Chain — Run the Jewels. Jamie and Mike kill this one. ‘Nuff said. Most albums are lucky to have 3 or 4 songs that I can make work for a running mix. Almost every track on a Run the Jewels album qualifies.
3. Writer’s Block — Royce da 5’9″. Wow, talk about bodying a track. The beat on this thing is crazy, and Royce runs all over it, using about 5 different styles of rapping. Eminmen provides a perfect hook. This song is just punchline after punchline after punchline. It really exemplifies the swagger that any good running playlist needs to have lots of.
4. Where You Come From? — Evidence. Evidence is a truly great rapper, but he can be a little tricky to get into a running playlist because his style of rapping is just so deliberate and monotone. In this one his flow works, and it benefits from two excellent guest verses. And also, check Philip Glass on the sample—you can hear it best at the very end when Alchemist lets it run for a few seconds.
5. Sorry — T.I. T.I.’s the kind of rapper with the breath control and attitude that’s custom made for a good running song. On this one he’s doing some talking from the heart, which any good running playlist needs its share of. (I like to have a good combination of sincerity and blatant bragging.) As good as T.I. comes off here, Andre 3000 completely steals the spotlight on the guest verse.
6. Damage — Pharoahe Monch. Pharoahe rapping from the perspective of a bullet over a truly sick beat. Ummm, yes. This is a bit of a slower BPM than I’ll usually use on a running playlist, but Pharoahe makes it up by keeping his delivery fresh and mixing in some seriously rapid fire. Complex syllables can compensate for slow beats on a good running track.
7. Jean Grae — Kill Screen. I could pretty much the same things I just said about “Damage.” I like how Jean Grae keeps on switching up the speed of her flow on this one, starting off slow and building it up, then slowing it down and layering it up again. & don’t miss the goddamn video on this one.
8. Wishin’ — Royce da 5’9″. I think this is, hands down, the best beat off of Royce’s new album. It’s brilliant the way Premier switches things up and incorporates elements of each “phase” into the other (you’ll see what I mean when you hear it). Common’s guest verse makes up for the lackluster album he released in 2014.
9. Payback — Immortal Technique. This song is great for about 5 different reasons. Two of them are the intro, which is one of the best uses of irony I’ve ever seen in a rap song, and the outro, which is seriously ballsy and so damn satisfying. Oh, and the lyrics—this is how you talk politics in a hype track. Who doesn’t love a little payback when they’re running?
10. Move On – Slaughterhouse. On any given album, Slaughterhouse will compensate for all the egregiously ignorant tracks with one like this, where they seriously elevate their game, give us lyrics on top of lyrics on top of lyrics, and show what the words “real talk” mean. I still get chills when I listen to this one.
I’m going to try and regularly share some playlists with you, my friends, the Enclave community. These lists are going to be hip-hop heavy, since I listen to a lot of hip-hop, but there will be other things as well.
This first one I’m going to share with you will be a mellow playlist. (We’ll get to some heart-pounding music later when I share some of the music I run to.) Mellow, but with a sharp edge, I think. These are all recent albums—many of them are hot off the presses, and each (I think) is less than a year old.
As a bonus, I’m going to tell you how I first discovered (or think I first discovered) each of the artists on this list.
Brother Ali — This is a really lame way to start, but it’s been so long I can’t really recall. I know the first album of his I listened to was Us. “House Keys” still creeps me out.
Atmosphere — Pretty sure I discovered The Family Sign one day back when I used to be a subscriber to eMusic.
Pharoahe Monch — Oh god, “Simon Says” was the jam for a while back when I was a junior in college.
Royce 5’9″ — The Slim Shady LP, “Bad Meets Evil.” He killed that track, but I never really checked for Royce again after that until around 2010, when Street Hop came out. Been listening ever since.
DJ Premier — Who in their right mind can honestly remember the first time they heard Premo production? I think the moment I realized DJ Premier was DJ Premier was when I was discovering Gang Starr with the Moment of Truth album.
Run the Jewels
El-P — “Patriotism” off the Soundbombing II mixtape. Still one of my favorite El-P tracks ever.
Killer Mike — Pretty sure that was “Bust” off of Big Boi’s Speakerboxxx. Mike has come a looooong way.
Lupe Fiasco — Pretty sure it was his verse on “Touch the Sky” off of Kanye West’s Late Registration. And, goddamn, like Mike, Lupe has come a looooong way since that verse.
ScHoolboy Q — That must have been Section.80 “The Spiteful Chant.”
Eminem — Pretty sure that was “’97 Bonnie & Clyde” off the Slim Shady EP (not the LP, which would come later, when Dr. Dre got involved). I remember telling people, dude, this guy Eminem is screwed up.
Natalie Prass — I just found out about her last week when someone I find interesting tweeted that Pitchfork was streaming her new album.
Ab-Soul — This must have been on “Ab-Soul’s Outro” off Section.80, although I didn’t realize Ab-Soul’s talents until Control System.
All last week I was enjoying Gabriella Coleman’s history of Anonymous, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. For anyone who is interested in the intersections between Internet and underground culture, this is a hell of a book. Plus: political discourse, the radical left, 21st-century dissidents, Occupy, pwning Scientology, and many, many other things.
One of the first things Coleman gets into in this book is the idea of the “lulz.” This is a very foundational concept, because the lulz is a core part of the Anonymous aesthetic, and, as Coleman tell it, the unrestrained pursuit of the lulz is essentially what got Anonymous going in the first place. Here’s how Coleman defines the lulz
If we keep in mind that lulz derives from the acronym “lol” (laugh out loud), it becomes easier to see that lulz is primarily about humor. Lols are familiar to everyone who has ever sent a joke to someone by email. Lulz are darker: acquired most often at someone’s expense, prone to misfiring and, occasionally, bordering on disturbing or hateful speech. . . . Lulz are umistakably imbued with danger and mystery, and thus speak foremost to the pleasures of transgression.
Coleman goes on to make the case Anonymous was essentially founded in pursuit of the lulz: she traces the group’s inception to an incident in 2008 when a bunch of irate hackers who had heretofore congregated on the message board 4chan decided to band together to go at the Church of Scientology for little other reason than the lulz of it. The exploit worked out so well that the group snowballed from there, attracting more and more malcontents and moving on to bigger, and more politically viable, targets—like strongmen in Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya, defense contractors selling out our privacy and civil rights for money, etc, etc.
But to get back to the lulz: when I read the above passage, I immediately scribbled “RTJ” in the margins, standing, of course, for the rap group Run the Jewels.
In this new series, writers share their favorite music videos. Amelia Gray kicks us off.
WAX — “California”
I love the way it starts, with this slow pan low on the gross piss-stained LA street in a corner of Hollywood. Right away the protagonist is introduced, the stuntman soaked in accelerant that is its own mess, really like he peed himself or rolled in pee or lay down in a trough of pee.
This corner of Sunset and Gardner looks almost the same today except for the fact that Freedom Guitar is closed now—their attempt to save the business by changing its name to Freedom Guitars weirdly didn’t work—and the payphone is gone too.
The stuntman runs past that homeless guy throwing the can, obviously just done to look good in slow-motion, dynamic, but it’s one of the first elements that makes you watch the whole thing again– like did that can make it into the trash? And then you’re watching the can so hard you miss the foreground.
Then past the g-man Scientology guy using the payphone and past that other guy in the foreground hunching in on himself, everyone so far wearing sleeves to their elbows, the old guy walking his dog—how is the dog okay with this man on fire? Usually animals know what’s up, maybe the dog was trained in fire—and then the newsstand guy and the matching couple. You could write a story about each of these people and link them together and call it, I don’t know, WAX/California? Up to you, let me know.
The man leaps onto the curb, either running to catch the bus or just waving in some general Western States welcome or farewell, maybe at the guy dribbling a basketball or the one sweeping the stoop, and as the bus blocks him from view our eye turns slowly to the girl! Oh, hey! She doesn’t return our enthusiasm, her head pressed against the window. She doesn’t even look up, and the deal is that the real insanity of Los Angeles is how its insanity goes unnoticed, someone sets a stack of mattresses on fire inside a daycare almost every day, and then there, in almost at very last second, you get this quick flashing rainbow halo around that girl, just half a subtle second, the kind of brilliant little fluke that comes in one take.
—Amelia Gray is the author of 3 books. Gutshot (FSG) arrives April 2015.
Who are you?
I am Nathan Baudy. I am a filmmaker, noise musician, poet, and writer.
What am I watching here?
You are watching a short film entitled “Ray’s Tattoo Party.” It is a film that depicts the conversations and events that took place during a tattoo party.
When + where was this filmed?
This was filmed in Pullman, WA in JAN 2015.
Can you describe the creative process?
The creative process was purely spontaneous. My friend Ray and I agreed to “get together and make art or something” so I went over to their place and they put an Olympus camera in my hand and I started filming. As I was filming I started doing in-camera cutting and thinking about what I was filming so that I could frame it around a central idea. The idea ended up becoming a film about millennial artists getting together and tattooing themselves and talking about america, pornography, art, and telling jokes.
Do you script in any form?
Sometimes. Not for this film.
Who directed this?
Is there a collaborative process involved?
Of course. Nearly everything I do is collaborative. The film is a collaboration between myself and all the performers in the film (who are just being themselves). Ray let me use their camera too. The film is kind of about artistic collaboration. It’s about sharing opinions, letting people tattoo you in your kitchen, and letting yourself be filmed and displayed for the world.
Describe your relationship with the internet and making stuff?
I mostly use it for marketing. In my past I almost exclusively created content for internet consumption, but I find it more rewarding to meet people in person and make intimate films like these. I don’t really care who sees my films. I put them online because I am saving them for myself and I make them public to attract more like-minded artists in attempts to continue making collaborative art with new people.
What other stuff have you been working on lately?
I’m writing an experimental novel. I’m curating noise/experimental music for a series I created called “Contemporary Experimental Music/Noise Anthology Series” where I release one album per month. Every track on it is by a different musician from across the United States. I’m making my own drone/noise compositions. I journal everyday.
You can submit noise/experimental tracks to me via facebook or here:
Inspirations / Influnences? It reminds me of ‘Wavelength’ by Michael Snow.
Warhol, obviously. Harmony Korine, Lars Von Trier, Hollis Frampton, Stan Brakhage, Michael Snow, Jonas Mekas, Richard Linklater. My friends inspire me. I film them because I am inspired by them. I want people to see them.
Why did you send it to me?
I thought you would like it.
Hey. It’s Sunday. You have to go to work tomorrow. Don’t think about it too much. Listen to this mix I made you instead.
Sometimes a song doesn’t stick right away, or even a whole album. You’re there to get into it because I’m/you’re a Fangirl and that requires patience and sustained interest, at the very least. Tonight I was on a walk in the freezing cold with my pug, who wore two sweaters, and listening to it on headphones I suddenly got Charli XCX’s “Body of My Own”– GOT IT in capital letters: the sped-up ‘80s English ska beat, the shouty punch of the melody, the lyrics “’Cause I can make it feel just like I’m hangin’ on/Yeah I can do it better when I’m all alone,” which by the way I initially thought went “Sometimes sex just feels like you are all alone/Yeah I can do it better when I’m all alone.” That same chorus sounds like a bratty girl version of Oingo Boingo’s most urgent songs, my favorite ones, all dork-circus with a blend of styles ranging from the American songbook to Broadway to cabaret to new wave rave-up.
When Marina & the Diamonds toured her Electra Heart album I showed up after Charli XCX had already opened because I hadn’t really cared for or about her. I only recently fell wildly in love with Charli’s first album, Nuclear Seasons, while working an office job I hated where Spotify was my main source of Good Life Feelings and emotional engagement. I had eight hours a day to listen to music I’d never taken the time to give a fair shake; it was during this exploration that I also fell hard for Dum Dum Girls. I’d somehow forgotten to note how much I loved “Coming Down” when that song came out & it’d play on the satellite radio station while I stood around gossiping with the other shopgirls at my then-job; Too True is this shiny pop glut run through a punk/late ‘80s goth rock machine with strong, throaty vocals spread on top thickly. At this same job I’d listen to Sam Cooke for eight hours straight, the Harlem Club Live album’s version of “Bring it On Home to Me” over and over, the demo for “You Send Me” that is just Sam singing so sweetly with a light, heartbreaking acoustic guitar: perfect.
I saw Inherent Vice at noon today, the first showing of the film in my fair city of Athens. While I enjoy PT Anderson films, and would go so far as to say that I loved There Will Be Blood, I was there with such a quickness not out of some affinity for the filmmaker or lead actor or even book (which I’d just finished) but for Joanna Newsom, who plays a character named Sortilege who also acts as a narrator for the film and appears in about three scenes. Everything goes out the fucking window when Joanna is involved: it cannot be anything to me before it is a Thing with Joanna Newsom.” This all because her music sits right in the center of my body and has since I first heard it, though it’s set up house there more firmly as the years go by and the songs keep coming. If you’re a lucky person this happens with lots of art and there are thousands of good, strong homes inside you that you get to share with all kind of interesting strangers on this planet, makers of art and the fellow imbibers, too. It’s one of the best parts of being alive, next to dogs.
Hey, ya’ll. It’s Friday, so I made a musical playlist for your enjoyment.
“It was almost like I had been burdened by something my whole life and then suddenly that went away…” she explains. “I can’t even describe how amazing it is… you suddenly realize why people are happy and why people enjoy things. I think I used to believe that being depressed was part of my personality or that I was born like that, but it’s quite shocking to realize that perhaps that isn’t the case.” –Marina Diamandis in an interview with The Line of Best Fit
Marina Diamandis introduces us to her new album, Froot, with an interview that includes the above snippet, but then shares with us songs that include lines like “Nature ain’t a fruit machine/She’s gotta keep her credits clean” and “Leave it too long I’ll go rot/Like an apple you forgot/Birds and worms will come for me/the cycle of life is incomplete” and “everybody dies (dies)” trilled in a high, shiny, minor key (which reminds me of the totally sick and funny “Super! Super! Super! Suicidal” cheerleader-chant from her last album, Electra Heart). Which is not to say that Marina has not actually experienced a profound change in way she moves through the world, but instead sneakily highlights the idea that newly-felt states of understanding/living do not necessitate one forgetting or disregarding our mortality, fear, sadness, desolation, anger, etc. Pop music is such a perfect way to play in all this big-time glitter and death muck, particularly the kind of pop music Marina makes which is majorly baroque, rococo, melodramatic, theatric, and glam, not to mention extremely beautiful and playful and sly, uniquely binding those qualities together and then giving them classic singer/songwriter-y outlines. That pop star’s magic ability to sing out an abundance of feeling in a way that cuts right through you every single time, even though you “know” it’s “just a pop song.” (You indignantly do NOT know and there’s no “just” about it.) See: Kylie Minogue’s “The One” or the entirety of Beyoncé’s B’Day, to start.
Two night after beginning this piece of writing I’m feeling some basic hysteria-lite after a few days off meds (by accident) and dealing with a year-long skin condition that is making me want to slice off my own face with a kitchen knife. Today an interview with Lana Del Rey was posted online in which she talks about a new song titled “Music to Watch Boys to” which made me think of that old “I’m a girl watcher/watching girls go by/my my my” song, the horror-accompaniment to every woman’s walk down any street lined by men (though if we’re talking about structurally perfect pop songs, it is a good one). I like the idea of Lana writing this song that flips that, that puts the leering men on the other end of the story, though I don’t think that’s how the song will actually be, will it– usually I find myself transferring my own desires onto Lana’s songs, in terms of what I want them to mean, and I’m also usually wrong. I thought “Brooklyn Baby” was totally funny and mean and sassy but then in an interview she said it was a pretty straightforward narrative of a time in her life and I was like, oh. But that didn’t make me love the song any less and I certainly didn’t lose any respect for her; she is making the art she wants to make, without me and my feminism/misandrism in mind, as everyone and anyone should. It just added to the feeling that I don’t understand who she is yet, and usually when I love a pop star it is because I think I know them, the core of them, and I love that core. But not with Lana. But also she doesn’t care.
That Diana Vreeland quote about women not owing anyone prettiness was on my twitter feed the other night and I can’t stop thinking about it, as I look at my face in the mirror each morning and feel I owe it to the entire world (as if the entire world cares; but aren’t we told it does?) to make myself look as little grotesque as possible (shades of TLC’s “Unpretty”?). Lana and Kylie and Beyoncé and Marina are all so, so pretty and I’m sure they feel like they owe it to us. The thing is I like to look at them, too.
I’m nauseous and light-headed and deep in the Tuesday night hysteria-lite zone and there’s not a thing in this entire world that sounds good to me tonight so I’m writing this. I am missing my friend Keith’s cheerful sensory-deprivation machine which would require that you to put on glasses and headphones which then pulsed out weird frequencies and patterns that temporarily engaged you in a weird-nothing world, so I guess there is one thing that sounds good tonight. There is a lot to be grateful for, pop music being amongst that “a lot,” and I want to mainline the essence of that, I want that perfect note sung just right over a good dance beat perma-playing in my ear, I want every new record NOW and I want my pop stars carefully considering life and death and despair and joy all in the course of three-and-a-half minutes and I want it now, now now now.
…to get a pair of fringe cowboy boots like the ones Ashley Monroe wears in this video. Also, more tank tops and belt buckles and giant rings from Junk Gypsy and to wear my hair bigger and wilder and find an even redder lipstick. So basically, same. HELLO 2015.
The music video For “Harlem Hopscotch” From Maya Angelou’s posthumous hip-hop album is now here. (Read more at HuffPo)
One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for hisself.
In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.
All the peoples out of work,
Hold for three, now twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That’s what hopping’s all about.
Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost, I think I won.