A Mixtape for Rising Above the Bitches and Pettin' Good Dogs in the Sweet, Sweet Sunshine


(I'm doing a thing where I custom-make Spotify playlists for everyone who wants one. If you want one too, read "the guidelines" here and email me here.)

This playlist's for Saaniya, who requests "a mixtape for when you're really sad because people are shitty and mean and talk only about other people but then you go out on a walk and listen to good stuff and pet some dogs and the weather is awesome and you're happy again." I made the songs start off all hotly self-righteous/indignant and then slowly transition to chill and reflective and transcendent and lovely. The turning point's "Obvious" by Jane's Addiction, which is a perfect song for when you're trying to rise above the trash-talkers -- I always sing the line "Fools don't fit in the boots that I tread in" out loud whenever I listen to it.

BTW, the middle pic above was taken by my friend Casey Revkin -- that's her dog Baxter, who often tries to dance with me and/or eat my feet. He's a good dog and a cool buddy.

Here's the tracklist:

Thing of the Week: Ray-Ban Aviators, The Summer of Sparkling Rose, Every Jeff Goldblum Movie Ever

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Ray-Ban Aviators

My Ray-Ban Aviators were my twenty-seventh birthday present to myself. I bought them at a Sunglass Hut in an underground mall. The aggressive salesman kept trying to upsell me and make me buy a second pair of sunglasses for 50% off and I was like "Ew, why would I ever want any pair of sunglasses besides Ray-Ban Aviators?" and I was also like, "Ew, stop caring about your job." 
        Aviator sunglasses can look a little bit douchey on the wrong frat boy but they look rock and roll as hell on cool rock and roll people like Keith Richards and myself. Usually I hate sunglasses because my eyes are the nicest part of my face, but Ray-Ban Aviators are nicer than my or anybody's eyes and I consider taking them off a massive inconvenience. Right now it is 9:20 AM and I'm drinking coffee and wearing pyjamas but I am also wearing my Ray-Ban Aviators because I prefer the light that way. 
        I've been listening to a lot of Stray Cat Blues since Liz wrote about Stray Cat Blues the other day, doing a kind of easy strut thing and wandering around the city, and I'm quite sure it's no coincidence that wearing Ray-Ban Aviators has made Stray Cat Blues sound about a thousand times better than ever. If Ray-Ban Aviators were a Rolling Stones song they'd be Stray Cat Blues, and I'm into capitalizing off those vibes. My spirit Rolling Stones song is Street Fighting Man, which can get kind of aggro and high-pressure sometimes. This summer I want to feel like Stray Cat Blues as much as possible, and I'm never taking off my sunglasses again. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: The summer of sparkling rose

These are my three favorite drinks I've dranked so far this summer:

-sparkling rose with Tazo Passion iced tea in a venti Starbucks cup

-sparkling rose by itself, in a venti Starbucks cup

-sparkling rose with Minute Maid Watermelon Punch (drinking vessel irrelevant)

The first two were consumed in public spaces where alcoholic beverages are outlawed (i.e. a meadow and a field outside a museum), so the Starbucks cups were used for subterfuge. But I think it's a good look, drinking pink wine out of a Starbucks cup with the big green straw: it's somehow both trashy and elegant. Now whenever I sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want," I hear the lyric as "I saw her today at the reception, a venti Starbucks cup of sparkling rose in her hand," and that's what everyone else around me hears too.

As for the third: it's wicked good, if you're into sweet drinks. Minute Maid Watermelon Punch tastes like watermelon Bubblicious instead of actual watermelon, and that's fine by me. Actual watermelon's so mealy and bland, although I wholly approve of the dude I walked past on Monday afternoon in Santa Monica, who was sitting on the sidewalk and eating half a watermelon with a plastic fork. That guy's really good at summer. We are the same.

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: Every Jeff Goldblum Movie Ever

I've been watching Jeff Goldblum movies with Joan and Charlotte more or less every week since the fall. We're going to watch them all. It's called Goldblum Night. Most of the movies are deeply weird, and a lot of them are awful. We went to see him at Seminar on Broadway in what became the Ultimate Goldblum Night- WE MET HIM. We flirted with him even! He loved us. This isn't even my thing- my thing is this website. I came across it this week while trying to find a clip of Jeff saying "Muthafuckaaa" from Deep Cover. This person is doing the same thing as we are and she even has a rating system! We're not really organized enough to have a rating system but we do a lot of snacks, and sort of vaguely use the same system to form opinions about the movies. Amanda, whoever you are, I salute you. We're kindred spirits. Respect. 



Hi guys! I wrote an article called My Take On Kitty Pryde is that I Love Kitty Pryde for my friend Lee Levin's killer music blog Knox Road and look what happened:

I made Kitty Pryde cry tears of joy! She is my homegirl for life and I fucking love her. Let's celebrate! 

Laura Jane

PS: Jen May did the gorgeous illustration obvs

Beauty Through the Ages, Starring Paul Simonon

Here is a picture of Paul Simonon being beautiful in the Clash. He is the guy on the right. Do you think that Paul Simonon's dazzling good looks made the other members of the Clash feel bad about themselves? I hope not. 

Here is a picture of Paul Simonon when he was a baby. Isn't he so cute you want to die kind of? I like how you can see the nascence of his future personal style in baby-his shirt/sweater combo. Baby Paul Simonon is an angel. I want to hold him. 


We Get To Have Lavender Diamond Again


The first time I saw/knew of the existence of Lavender Diamond was a February night in 2005 when everything was perfect. My buddy was in a movie and we went to see the movie and then went to a party for the movie at The Smell and during the party I went out to the alley and interviewed some dudes from a good band for my friends' magazine. Lavender Diamond played at the party and they opened with "You Broke My Heart" and it was wild cuz I was there with a boy who had, indeed, broken my heart. But we were doing all right that night -- like, really all right. After the party we went to the tranny bar where they give you little bowls of Fritos soaked in hot sauce and some dude kept singing the "Woo Hoo" song from Kill Bill and we drank tall boys in the alley and the whole world just seemed so fun and accommodating. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and drinking a glass of water in the dark in my kitchen, wearing Supergirl underoos and this rad gray t-shirt I always dress my main character in now, thinking, "Whoa, it's so cool how my entire life is completely wonderful all of a sudden." In the morning there was a funny moment when I accused the boy of stealing my socks, cuz I really thought he was, and we had a good laugh and then kissed in the street. I was a happy kid.

What ended up happening was nothing like I thought, I was actually wrong about everything, I hated it. I spent a lot of time listening to "You Broke My Heart" and, you know, crying and shit, but that song's really majestic and redemptive too. It changes you every time you listen to it. It makes you feel like you're free and full of light.

Last time I saw Lavender Diamond was at the Troubadour in February and they didn't play "You Broke My Heart" but they were gorgeous. Becky Stark told a little story before one of the songs, something about how she likes to say "Thank you" for different things all throughout the day ("Thank you for my toes, thank you for my teeth"), and afterward a man outside the Troubadour freestyled a rap about me, which included the line "Hey Liz, gonna shake it up, make it fizz," and my buddies and I went to Astro Burger for veggie burgers, and I stayed up all night and the next day flew to Argentina to visit my little sister. I can't remember whether Lavender Diamond played this song or not, but maybe they did, and it's lovely. Their new record Incorruptible Heart comes out in September and it's their first in five years and I'm just so, so happy to have them back.


Let's All Have a Very 'Dazed and Confused'-y Summer


Last weekend I watched Dazed and Confused for the first time in years, split up over several viewings, the bulk of it while ironing my hair to get ready for Friday night. For the first 45 minutes or so I had a bad feeling I'd outgrown the movie: the hazing stuff isn't all that funny or compelling to me now, I was bored and worried that I didn't need it anymore. But then it picked up around when Wooderson slow-mo walks into the Emporium and "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan's playing and everything is so cool, and by the time we get to the beer bust I was in love all over again -- kids drinking in the woods and dancing to scuzzy music and trying to become who they are will never not undo me.

What's weirdest to me now is how the setting of Dazed and Confused is only 17 years away from its release (i.e., the distance between now and 1995). I saw it in the theater, when I was 15, and the movie seemed to take place in such a glamorously distant past. It still does. All those kids are so cool to me, and I worship their hair and jeans and starry-eyed commitment to fun and "visceral experience." When Dazed came out, Spin ran an article with this quote, which I like: "The twin forces that conspire to do in its characters -- Boredom and Disillusionment -- lurk around every corner. There's nothing for them to do beyond driving around, getting high, hanging out, and watching TV. Everything else leads to grief or disappointment." I guess that's about a third of why Dazed and Confused will always be one of my favorite movies, and the other two thirds are the rock and roll and those kids I love so hugely and completely, even O'Bannion, who's the saddest. One of my buds once told me, "I love them so much, it hurts that they're not really my friends," and I still really feel that. I want to know what became of all of them, and I also wish Richard Linklater and the entire cast would time-travel back to the early '90s and make a sequel that takes place the following summer, the last day of school in 1977.

And I have two more wishes: one is for kids to keep watching Dazed and Confused for years and years to come (and for all of you to be good citizens and show it to your little sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews and children), and the second is for each of us to have a very Dazed and Confused-y summer, chill and sweet and wild, with many of the following elements in place:

BOYS WHO LOOK LIKE PICKFORD. The first movie character to help shape my notions of "what I want boys to be like" was Andrew McCarthy as the bitter, bongo-playing writer/romantic in St. Elmo's Fire, when I was in junior high. I didn't get Pickford till junior year of high school but my love has endured over the past 19 years and I still believe him to be the best-looking boy on the planet. He's also the coolest boy in Dazed and Confused: it's his hot orange Chevelle that slow-mo rolls onto the screen in the opening shot, he's the one with the drugs and the prog-rock-y bedroom and the guitar-playing girlfriend. His hair is so good and he's gorgeous at smoking cigarettes and I like how he moves, with the grace and elegance of someone who knows he's beautiful but you forgive him because he just is, and you're grateful for that.


Delia Derbyshire: A Study in Coolness


Delia Derbyshire is the coolest person who ever lived. We all wish we could be as cool as Delia Derbyshire, but we can't, and that's just how it is. We have to accept it about ourselves.
        First things first: Delia Derbyshire's name was Delia Derbyshire. There are few things I love more than a good alliteration, and the most charming alliterations tend to be alliterative names. Once I was bored a few months ago and decided to look through all my Facebook friends and count how many people I know have alliterative names. It was a pathetic number: like, twelve. And of all those twelve, no name came even remotely close to being as lovely as Delia Derbyshire, the loveliest alliterative name there ever was. I kind of feel like changing all my Internet passwords to deliaderbyshire or maybe deliaderbyshire with a number in it. These days, you usually need a number.
       Delia Derbyshire's job was "electronic music pioneer." She is from the adorably Britishly-named town of "Coventry," and was employed by the extremely cool-sounding "BBC Radiophonic Workshop." Think about the name of your job, and then compare it to "the BBC Radiophonic Workshop." Congratulations. Delia Derbyshire has outcooled you yet again. 

Delia Derbyshire wrote the Doctor Who theme song, so how's that for an excellent and whimsical contribution to society? I've never watched an episode of Doctor Who- I'm averse to anything that's science fiction or fantasy or whatever; I like REAL LIFE- but I'm big into this theme song. Listening to the Doctor Who theme song as if it were actual music is really great for: walking home drunk, walking home from the gym in January, walking while you are holding something in either hand so you have to keep your iPod in your bag but don't feel like listening to an album in full, lying in grass, and days when you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 
          This past January was the peak "listening to the Doctor Who theme song as if it were actual music" phase of my life. In January I was mostly working on a novel, so I wrote a bunch of parts into it about my female lead (the alliteratively-named Samantha Silver) being really into Delia Derbyshire too. Here are some paragraphs about it: 


A Mixtape for All You Teenage Dirtbags

So last week I promised to custom-make mixtapes (i.e., Spotify playlists) for everyone in the world and now it's happening; I'm doing it (and if you want one too, read "the guidelines" here and email me here). The first one's for Stephanie, whose requested theme was "teenage dirtbags/songs to listen to on the 6 hour car ride home, running on 0 hours of sleep and 4 ritalin that you snorted with a boy you used to be so innocently in love with before hugging him goodbye/bingeing and purging my youthful innocence."
This is the playlist and the track listing's below. It starts out rough and then gets dreamy, which I think is generally a good way to go. And btw, that picture's by Joseph Szabo, who's got so many beautiful photographs of teenagers who're rough and dreamy as well.

Thing of the Week: The Number 10, A Glittery Bad Company Iron-On with a Cannabis Leaf, Lenny the Cat

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Number 10 

This year, I spent Father's Day with my wife. My wife's name is Jenn, and we were friendship-married on November 23rd, 2011, when we went to see Jay-Z and Kanye West together. Jay officiated, and Ye was our best man. So now I'm married. 
        My wife and I have an extremely functional relationship. Mostly, we like to get stoned and walk around the world: exploring it, having our minds blown, and talking about the Universe (One of the cutest things about my wife is that she's really into Carl Sagan. She calls him "Carl," cuz they're buds). Last Sunday, we did just that, and wandered into a junk shop on Bloor Street run by a semi-annoying woman who guilt-tripped me about smoking and then showed us pictures of her real estate agent boyfriend on house listings she'd printed off the Internet. I kind of didn't believe her- shouldn't you have real pictures of your boyfriend? Not just house listings you printed off the Royal LePage website? 
        I found this box of Flinch cards and immediately felt cosmic energy radiating off of them when I held it in my hands. They're from 1913, and cost me $3. Inside the box are 150 cards, 10 of each number from 1 to 15- I e-researched the game, and it sounds like a pretty bad game. Basically, you put your cards in piles of ascending order and the first person to get rid of all their cards wins. 
        Times were tough in 1913. They didn't have a totally firm grip on "fun" yet.

Jenn and I walked to a pretty skeezy pub on College Street where Brown Sugar was playing. It had a killer patio, which is now our secret patio for Summer 2012. No more standing around waiting for patio space to free up at "cool" bars! We'll be too busy chillin' in a shithole with aging rocker dudes. 
        Jenn ordered garlic bread, and I decided that I was going to organize my Flinch cards into proper numerical groups because when I'm stoned mind-numbing tasks really appeal to me. Once the cards were in order, I took one card of each number and put the rest away.  
        "We're going to play a really cool game," I said, "I'm going to shuffle these cards, and then I'm going to spread them out on the table, and then we each have to pick the card we're most spiritually drawn to. The number on the card we draw is going to be our new spirit number for the entire rest of our lives. It'll always have special significance now, it'll mean something every time we see it, it'll be a good omen when it comes up. Etc." 
        Jenn drew 2, and I drew 10. We decided that Jenn drew 2 because 2 means balance, and I drew 10 because 10 means the ultimate, so that's my new thing: if it's not a 10, I'm not interested. This applies to everything

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Showing My Continued Support of Jessa from Girls by way of This Vintage Iron-On of Her Dad's Band

Here is my entire personal history of the band Bad Company:

1. The summer between high school and college I spent a lot of time sitting on a basement floor and watching boys play music, which included the night that the tallest boy I ever kissed wore a pink blazer with no shirt underneath and they did a grungy cover of "Feel Like Makin' Love" and he didn't have a guitar strap so he just used a rope. 
2. the part in Almost Famous when Cleveland is boring and the Band-Aids are dancing around the hotel room to "Reelin' in the Years" and Bijou Phillips comes out from the balcony and says really dramatically "Simon Kirke from Bad Company is by the pool"
3. A couple months ago on Mad Men/Girls night I was talking trash about all the goofs who posted that "Arrgghhh nepotism on Girls!!" jpg thing on their Facebook page. "Do people think being the daughter of the drummer from Bad Company really opens all the doors in the world for you?" I asked my friend Tim. "Yeah, that and 50 cents'll get ya a cup of coffee!" Tim replied, and we LOL-ed.
4. Six days after that guy was an asshole to me at the bar, I'm still very much supportive of Jessa from Girls; she's my favorite on the show (Hannah = second, Marnie and Shosh are tied for third but really I like them all). A little-known fact is that Jessa wrote the lyric "You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you" from Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." I can't remember how I arrived at this iron-on but it was five bucks and I bought it and it's really pretty and glittery, which you can't quite tell from the photo. At some point this weekend I'll iron it on to a white t-shirt and then wear said t-shirt in support of Jessa, the dude with the rope for a guitar strap, and the song "Burnin' Sky," which is my favorite Bad Company song by a million country miles.


My cat Lenny had surgery twice last week. It was really rough and scary and sad and just awful. He’s recovering at home now and doing really well. He’s psyched! I’m psyched. He purrs and rolls around with his conehead when you visit him in the bathroom, which is where he lives for the next week. The people who were looking after him at the emergency vet could tell that he would have a British accent if he spoke, which I found really impressive. He was in good hands. Love this little (huge) dude.


My Favorite Song Right Now: "Summer of Drugs" by Soul Asylum

It's summer now; happy second day of summer. "Summer of Drugs" by Victoria Williams is my favorite summertime myth: a boy sucks snake venom out of his sister's foot and then they spend their summer doing every drug under the sun. I favor the Soul Asylum version, cuz I like how the vocals are ragged and sweet and how it's got some fucked-up revival-y kind of vibe, with the plunky piano and the sing-along on the "Hey hey hey" and the "Oh-whoa-whoa." But I hate looking at Dave Pirner's hair, so in lieu of posting the actual video I'll give you this link and these beautiful pictures, taken by Marc St. Gil for the DOCUMERICA project back in the '70s. He's got 276 photos on that Flickr page and my favorites are the ones of the kids in the woods, like the picture above (titled "One Girl Smokes Pot While Her Friend Watches During an Outing in Cedar Woods near Leakey, Texas") and this one, which I used for the cover of my Long Tall Sally zine:

I love this one a lot too; I love the idea of climbing trees with dogs. In addition to walking around a lot with our buddies this summer, let's all climb some gigantic trees. --Liz

A Story I Wrote Is In A Really Cool Thing

Forty Stories is a digital short fiction anthology put out by Cal Morgan's Fifty-Two Stories. It's free, so go get it!

Inside you'll find a ton of marvellous writing by a great many heavy-hitters, and one of them is me! Laura Jane Faulds to be exact. My story is named Everyone Loves A Person Who Doesn't Give A Fuck About Anything, and I wrote it while I was stuck at home with a head-cold last September, which was my equivalent of the time Neil Young wrote Cinnamon Girl, Down By The River and Cowgirl in the Sand in a single afternoon while he was sick.

Some fun facts about Everyone Loves A Person Who Doesn't Give A Fuck About Anything:

- the male lead, Charlie Caswell, is named after my friend Amanda's dog
- the first sentence is 187 words long
- there's a part that goes "cut hipstery black guy" and I've spent the past eight months freaking out that Cal might think "cut" was a typo and change it to "cute" but he didn't so that's great
- I wrote it because I was mooning over a dude and imagining how fabulously wonderful my life would be if things had worked out with him the way I wanted, and I was bored of listening to my head go on and on about how much my life sucked compared to the idea of a life that I made up based on nothing. So I thought it would be a healthy therapy thing for me to write a story about the life I imagined gone wrong. I had a big banger doozy of an empowering-to-women ending that I wrote the whole story moving toward, but by the time I got there, a different ending wrote itself. The characters had come alive, and I couldn't control them. It was the most exhilarating thing. 

So yeah, check it out. Next time my name'll be on the cover.


Happy 20th Birthday, It's A Shame About Ray (Some Thoughts on Buddies, Wandering Around, and Pathological Optimism in 2012)


(It's A Shame About Ray by the Lemonheads came out on June 2, 1992, but I messed it up and thought it was June 20. So happy belated birthday, It's A Shame About Ray. You are maybe my favorite record from when I was very young.)

Once when I was 17 a girl wrote the words "This world is topsy-turvy, and it is mine to eat" onto a nice piece of paper and I knew right then I would love her forever.

Her name was Mary, I met her on my second night of college. I was in the coffeehouse drinking coffee from a paper cup, wearing a scratchy blue and black sweater, and Mary asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her and her friends. I went, and we drank cans of warm Natural Light beer in a corner and found out we loved a lot of the same things.

We both loved the Lemonheads; we loved Evan Dando.

After that we were together all the time. We'd go to frat parties for the free beer and to the roof of the science building to smoke pot; some nights we'd take the bus up to Providence, some nights we went to the beach and then Burger King; one weekend we went to visit her family out in the woods and made a great big chocolate cake from scratch and ate the cake for breakfast in the morning.

But a lot of the time we'd just hang out in her room and listen to CDs and tapes, lying on her bed and filling up the pages of the drawing pads we used to buy at the CVS at the edge of campus. They were the kind with thick white paper and we'd write out song lyrics in excessively lovely penmanship, then decorate our words with flowers and stars and half-moons and hearts and eyes and teardrops and raindrops. One day Mary wrote: "So we take off out Fiona's door, walk until it's light outside," which is a lyric from "Drug Buddy" by the Lemonheads. "Oh!" I said, because I'd never known Evan was singing "Fiona" -- I'd always thought the line was "out the owner's door." But no, not "the owner" -- Fiona! Fiona was so much better. I was so happy to find out it was Fiona.

The first time we met Evan Dando, Mary and I asked him to play "Drug Buddy" at the show at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel that night. Evan said "Suuuuuure" in this sweet and easy sort of way, drawling. He was wearing a corduroy jacket and he was so nice, such a nice, warm, corduroy-y presence. He addressed us each as "babe" and we loved that: "Thank you, babe," "You’re welcome, babe," "Of course I can, babe." After that we called each other "babe" too.

Mary and I met Evan the first time just about a year after we met each other, and by the same time the following year we weren't friends anymore. But that first year was really good. We were very good at being buddies.


Another Girl Finds Its Place in the Happy/Fuck and Run Continuum


Last summer was boring but in retrospect kind of beautiful. It began at the end of May, which is the color green, and at the end of May what I cared for was the song Happy by the Rolling Stones.
        That past January, I'd read Keith RIchards' book, which I called The Keith Book or My Keith Book or sometimes Keith: never Life, and I fell in love with the Rolling Stones, the same way I fell in love with the Clash, only that time, I didn't want to write about it. I didn't want to write about rock and roll ever again, I thought. Writing about rock and roll reminded me of the saddest thing that ever happened to me; it was writing about rock and roll's fault that it happened as I saw it, and I didn't want to put myself back in that place. I didn't want to open myself back up to the possibility of it happening again: highly flawed logic, I realize.
        So I fell in love with the Rolling Stones and let it sit and settle into me, get all deep and good into my bones, and by May, I was a little less sad that I'd been in January, and I listened to Happy: I only listened to Happy. In the world. 
        It made so much else. I related to Keith: "Mick's the rock, and I'm the roll"- he said that himself, in the Keith Book. And I liked that, the roll, it sounded so easy. Like a shell on the beach, letting the tide roll over you. It sounded chill as opposed to aggro: everything's got to be one of them, as I see it. And it sounded through my ears like it was in my gear, like every song I love: it's about me. It's about being a scrappy fuck-up who likes being a scrappy fuck-up and wants someone to love them for being a scrappy fuck-up but is coming to terms with how hard it is to find someone who can effectively love a scrappy fuck-up with their whole body and self, for being a scrappy fuck-up and not in spite of it. 
(Right now I am writing this on my friend Kritty's patio and she just put on Champagne Supernova and pushed a chair over to me and I put my feet up on the chair without even noticing I was doing it, like when the doctor knocks on your knees with the hammer or whatever. The chillest reflex ever- Keith's roll in full effect.)

        When I left my old blog last April, I made up a rule for myself: I was only allowed to write fiction, because writing anything else meant terrible ego-things about me. This was extremism, yes, but I needed it. I needed it more than this paragraph can hold. Point is, I wrote a short story based around Happy by the Rolling Stones, and I loved it. Every three months or so I get better at writing, and with that story I made a tremendous jump. I grew considerably more than I usually do when I grow. It was a gorgeous feeling, reading it back and understanding that I had written it. That I had written it. 
        But speaking of terrible ego-things: it wasn't good enough, to just have written it. Walking home through the park a few nights later, I made a deal with the Universe: I would sacrifice anything, everything, to get this story published. I asked for no man and no love, and would willingly rob myself of all the prosaic ego-pleasures that thrill strangers. I've always responded really well to the concept of asceticism: it's the easiest way in the world to justify self-sabotage.

Todd Rundgren Shirt + No Pants Is a Good Look

That's Bebe Buell. Speaking of good looks and Todd Rundgren, my friend Ben says he recently crossed paths with a woman wearing a dress with the same print as the cover of Something/Anything. So now I want a Something/Anything dress, as well as a Disraeli Gears dress (without the band's faces), a Blood Sugar Sex Magik dress (just the middle part, with the rose and the swirly thorns), and maybe a Merriweather Post Pavilion romper for summertime.

I also want a Revolver dress, to go with the Revolver notebook I bought in Argentina in February.

And a "Their Satanic Majesties Request detail" dress, which would be floor-sweeping and princess-sleeved. That one most of all.



8 Rolling Stones Songs That Helped Me Spiritually Destroy the Gross Dude Who Was Mean to Me in a Bar Saturday Night

So on Saturday my friends and I were hanging out in the lounge of a weird old French restaurant in my neighborhood, drinking whiskey and sparkling pink wine, sitting on the black-leather couches and having a time. A bunch of us left a little after midnight and were walking down Sunset when we realized we'd forgotten one of my housemates, who was still in the lounge, sitting at a big table and talking with friends of a friend. I went back to the restaurant to tell my housemate we were leaving, and some cool British girl greeted me when I got to their table.

"Look at you, with your hearts and flowers!" she said. "You're like a little love fairy!" I was wearing this dress and the below necklace (made by Danielle Petrosa), which is where the hearts and the flowers came from. I thought that was a nice thing to say, and I did a cutesy thing of pretending to sprinkle love-fairy dust on everyone at the table. 

So I was being silly and everyone was amused, except this one guy, who reminded me of the guy on Girls who also played the dude in Tiny Furniture who squatted in Aura's mom's apartment for like a week and was just the draggiest drag ever. The guy made a joke, a really stupid joke, kind of at my expense but mostly just generically crude and repulsive. I'm not repeating it here because if I'm ever going to type crude/repulsive sentences onto Strawberry Fields Whatever, it's going to be something really fantastically scummy and filthy, and not some boring vulgar bullshit that oozed from the mouth of a dude who quite obviously hates himself.

Anyway -- it was embarrassing. I wish I'd said, "That was weirdly hostile and unintelligent, what's your glitch?", but I was sort of stunned and all I did was go "Whoa, okay, eww," then told everyone else goodnight and left the restaurant and caught up with my friends. 

I still want to punch that dude in the face but I'm mostly over it, which partly has to do with having spent some time yesterday afternoon walking down the street and listening to the Rolling Stones and using their songs for gross-dude recovery. Some highlights: 

Mick Jagger is a Poet


Nobody's ever asked me "Who's your favorite poet?" but maybe someday somebody will, and if anybody ever does, I'm going to tell them "Mick Jagger," because that's my new opinion on poetry. That Mick Jagger is the best at it. 
        I have this Rolling Stones Greatest Hits double LP I thought I stole from my Dad, but according to my Mom, I stole it from my Mom. It's a really good Rolling Stones Greatest Hits record, so much better than Hot Rocks. I have Hot Rocks too, but I never listen to it, because of Greatest Hits- the tracklisting is very inspired, and 2000 Light Years From Home is on it. I don't know what kind of crazy drug addict you'd have to be to think that 2000 Light Years From Home counts as one of the Rolling Stones' "greatest" "hits," but whatevs man, your drugs are cool to me.  
        The Rolling Stones' Greatest Hits (or The Beige Album, if you will) is pretty much the only record I'm interested in listening to these days. A big thing I do a lot in my life is "come home from work deliriously exhausted and put Side A of Beige Album on and sit on my couch staring at the wall and then when the side ends I'm too lazy to flip the record over so I sit there listening to silence but then eventually I have to pee which motivates me to flip the record over," and it kills about five to seven hours. These cool Rolling Stones trances have provided me with a lot of time to reflect upon what an underrated lyricist Mick Jagger is (I'm assuming Mick wrote more lyrics than Keith- I don't know, it just seems like that, and I trust that my "Rolling Stones intuition" is in check). People don't talk too much about the Stones being a particularly "literary" rock and roll band; in fact, no one talks about it, ever. But I think it's time to give Mick Jagger credit where credit is due.
        As follows is a list of every song on this visionary Greatest Hits compilation, and my favorite one lyric from each song. I'm totally dying of sentence-envy over all of them, which means a lot because, personally, I'm literary as fuck.

Not Fade Away- This song doesn't count because the Rolling Stones didn't write it, but Buddy Holly wrote it, and I'm a deep believer in doing something to honor Buddy Holly's legacy every day, so I will take this moment to shout out my favorite lyric from Not Fade Away, which is My love is bigger than a Cadillac. Obviously. 
Tell Me- I hear the knock on my door that never comes. 
It's All Over Now- She hurt my eyes open.
Good Times Bad Times- Trust in someone or there's gonna be war.
Time Is On My Side- N/A (they didn't write it)
Heart Of Stone- Really just the phrase heart of stone in and of itself is beautiful enough to count here. 
The Last Time- Here's a chance to change your mind, 'cause I'll be gone a long long time is alright. The early ones are a little bit inferior because he hadn't come into his own as a great poet yet. Still solid "early work" though.
Play With Fire- You'd better watch your step, girl, or start living with your mother.
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction- When I'm riding 'round the world and I'm doing this and I'm signing that and I'm trying to make some girl tell me Baby Baby come back maybe next week can't you see I'm on a losing streak...


A Mixtape For Those Who Try Everything They Can To Escape The Pain Of Life That We Know

Let's do a thing: tell me a theme and I'll make you a Spotify playlist based on said theme and then post the playlist on Strawberry Fields Whatever and it'll be fun. I prefer themes rooted in some sort of emotional context and/or geared toward a specific situation (i.e., breakup recovery, songs for aimlessly strolling around on a scuzzy summer evening, etc.) rather than stuff like "Songs with Animals" and "Songs with the Word 'Pink' in the Lyrics" -- I'm into mixtapes as engines of psychic beautification. Howevs, I'm also totally into goofy food-related themes (e.g., "Songs That Sound Good With Strawberry Pancakes") and yesterday I had this idea that I wanted to make mixtapes for Dally Winston and for Joan Holloway, so fictional characters are a "go" too.
Here is a playlist I made based on something the sentence "Growin up=graciously accepting that many people enjoy the boringest bullshit & all u truly got is the punkrockness of yr own delightful head," which I wrote on the Internet last week and it seemed to resonate with some people. They are songs of pain and fun and the occasional moral superiority -- "morally superior" in a groovy, beautiful way, I mean. I so wanted to include "Vogue" by Madonna but I couldn't make it flow right, but lately I'm really feeling that song and its message of productive escape. And sorry that "The Valley of One Thousand Perfumes" by Mary Timony isn't Spotify-available, but you should really have that song/record anyway: it's an angel. 
You can email themes to me here. I'll probably post these every Friday.

xo Liz 

P.S./UPDATE: LJ tells me Spotify doesn't exist in Canada, which is sad, so here's the tracklist for all the gorgeous Canadians:

How I Fell in Love with the Clash in 5 Songs: Straight to Hell


"I don't need your jokes to fucking contend with," said Joe Strummer, "If you haven't got something serious to say, piss off." 
        "What is serious?" asked the reporter. 
        "You tell me," Joe spat back, "How about life and death?"


How I Fell in Love with the Clash in 5 Songs: Lose This Skin


HI. I need to say some things before you read this. 

1) This story features some EXTREMELY candid writing about eating disorder/body image things, so if that sounds like something that might make you uncomfortable, I highly recommend you stay the hell away from it. 

2) I very deliberately chose the words "make you uncomfortable" over "be triggering for you"- if eating/body issues are something you're dealing with/have dealt with, I DEFINITELY think you should read it, more than anyone. BE TRIGGERED. LIVE YOUR LIFE. 

3) Out of the 5 Clash stories I'm telling, this is the one that talks about the Clash the least. However, it's also the "Clashiest," because it's a story about fighting, and it was the Clash who taught me how important it is to FIGHT.


My Favorite Song Right Now: "Evan" by Juliana Hatfield

I wish this weren't a song; I wish it were a book. The opening lyrics could be the first sentence of a story I would read a thousand times:

"Evan, I've never been the same since the day I hit my forehead on the doorframe when I jumped over you and out of the bed to answer the phone in my mother's room."

And then the next lyric goes: "There was blood, but I was all smiles, 'cause I was in love."

So actually, no -- I want it to be a song, and a young adult novel, and a movie, directed by Richard Linklater or some other brainy yet chill romantic. 

If you're like me and born at the right time and of the right temperament to have spent much of your early adolescence fascinated by the mystery of Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield's friendship, then this song'll be a lovely and gut-punching and totally belated gift to you. I heard it for the first time on Sunday morning and I've listened over and over since then -- partly because I'll just never get over certain teenhood obsessions, partly because the Evan-Juliana dynamic is similar to the dynamic between the two main characters in my book (troubled/reckless/childlike boy + hyper-introverted/daydreamy/strong-willed girl), and so I'm studying them. What I've learned from "Evan" is that it's possible to still be a tender fucked-up kid even when you're not a kid at all anymore, and that the preservation of that tender fucked-up-ness is probably not good for much more than writing beautiful songs (/books/movies), and that people who write beautiful songs (/books/movies) are my favorite people in the world.
I don't know how you hit your forehead on a doorframe unless you're very tall, but I believe it happened -- we're clumsy when we're in love. But Juliana Hatfield is so graceful too. And in the second half of the song she repeats the line "Evan, I just love you, I guess" eight times, and every time it makes my heart hurt -- literally, physically, truly. 
(Btw, the above image comes from this Spin interview from 1993, wherein Evan and Juliana talk about a game they used to play when they lived together, called "Risky Purges," and then Evan tells Juliana she's a Waldorf salad. It's so good.)