Thing of the Week: "I Am With You" by Ty Segall, Portuguese Man-O-Wars, Fishing with John/Willem Dafoe

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: "I Am With You" by Ty Segall

I'm a big Ty Segall fan. I love his big fat moony Nordic face. I love closing my restaurant to Twins and Goodbye Bread; I think it's a cool thing, "closing down a bar or restaurant" music. I love "Gold on the Shore" on the subway, the chunk of "Comfortable Home" where he's like "She said she wants to buy a couch/ I said "Why do we have to buy the couch?"/ I understand why/ She wants a comfortable home," and you're just like "Oh God. Dudes." He's like a scuzzier Beatles, one of the only guys who's ever been able to adequately articulate an audible John Lennon influence, a Revolver-y thing: it's cool, it's rock and roll, it's lazy and perfect, perfectly lazy. I like how he's just some crappy dude from today who is two years younger than me. This morning I watched a video of him doing that "What's in your bag?" Amoeba Records thing and it was so standardly 2013 and boring and I really appreciated it. I'm at an unromantic place in my life where I mostly just go to work and like work and think about making money; I'm not really in the mood for anything Kinks or George Harrison or any crazy meaningful shit to change my life or anything. All I need's some chill guitars for spring. 

"I Am With You" is my favorite Ty Segall song because it starts out a bit glimmery and psych-y, but quickly deteriorates into almost a whole minute of lyrics beginning with "I'm sick of..."- Ty Segall's sick of
so much shit! It's funny and great. I hear him. Then it changes into a different part, with sunnier and more laid-back vibes and he sings "Breathe the air/ Feel the sun/ Don't you know/I am with you" for nearly the entire rest of the song, but it never feels weird, like he shocked you out of the first place, where he's sick of things. It sounds very honest and natural, to switch up from being so hateful and negative into all dazey and sweet a second later. I feel like songs are often meant to represent only one emotion, and that's a shitty thing about music versus writing. You can explain like seven thousand emotions over the course of one novel, but songs are usually only a) happy or b) sad. Really cut and dry. 

In my life I hope to hear more and more songs that switch from nasty to sweet like that, take heed all songwriters who are reading, but for now I am cool with just this one. He's set the bar pretty high. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Pictures of Portuguese Man-O-Wars

THESE ARE REAL PICTURES OF ACTUAL THINGS THAT EXIST: Portuguese man-o-wars, as photographed by a dude in Florida named Aaron Ansarov. Here are three of my favorites:

You can see the rest here

My other thing of the week is I'm going to Memphis on Thursday to commune with Alex Chilton's ghost. Get in touch if there's anything else you think I should do/see/eat/experience while I'm in Memphis.

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: Fishing with John/Willem Dafoe

On Wednesday night I went to see Fishing with John episodes played at Nitehawk with John Lurie there doing a Q&A after. It was so fun to watch them there, and to see John Lurie, who was super generous with his answers. They also played a little film of images of Lurie's paintings, which I like, and a song by him, which I also liked. The Fishing with John episodes screened were: the Willem Dafoe episode, the Tom Waits one, and the Dennis Hopper one. I don't like Tom Waits and honestly, that is the worst episode. It's good, they are all good! Of the 5/6 (does a 2 parter make it 5 or 6?) it's the dud. Dennis Hopper is nuts and the rapport he & Lurie have is so fun to watch. The Willem Dafoe episode is A DREAM! They are both so funny and goofy and clearly enjoying each other's company. What a little sweetheart Dafoe is! The episode sparked a mild obsession/strong interest in Willem Dafoe for me (all of Fishing with John sparked this with Lurie for me. Right after I first fell in love with Fishing with John I watched Paris, TX and Wild at Heart without realizing he was in them!! Psychic connection). Part of my Willem interest is narcissistic. I think I look like him. I haven't had anyone back me up on this but that IMDB pic...pretty much looks like me! But older! I also just like him. During the Q & A someone asked John who was the most easy going, down to earth person to hang with while filming the episodes. Obviously, he said Willem! The Question Asker then said something like, "Oh weird, Willem seemed a little creepy". WHAT! I haven't read that book The Psychopath Test yet, but after I heard this guy's reaction to Dafoe I thought of my own psychopath test. If someone watches the Willem Dafoe episode of Fishing with John and DOESN'T like him afterwards I think they are probably a psychopath.


Boston is the Best Place for Becoming What You Are


I grew up in Massachusetts and I used to live in Boston, from when I graduated college (in 1999) to when I moved to Los Angeles (in 2003). When you're little Boston is for field trips to the Aquarium and Quincy Market and the Children's Museum and the Museum of Science, where there's a glass case displaying a piece of petrified lightning and a gigantic tank with a simulated ocean wave. And then when you get to be a teenager the best thing is getting your parents to take you and your best friend to Boston/Cambridge for the day so they can drop you off in Harvard Square and you can buy CDs at Newbury Comics and shop the Urban Outfitters bargain basement for quirky ringer tees and clever polyester skirts for hours and hours, and then just walk around and check out all the weird kids who are a zillion times cooler than you or anyone in your hometown. I really miss that about being a teenager in a town kind of near Boston - how there's this place you can visit every few months or something and everyone there is better and wilder but it's exciting and it inspires you and gives you all these new ideas of who you might be as you become what you are, or however you want to put it.
           So I made this Spotify playlist thing of songs from Boston that I love. It's purposely non-completist; I wanted it to be songs that sound like walking around Boston and Cambridge when I was lots younger and being romantic about what the city might turn me into. Of everyone I included, these are the bands/people whose songs mean the most to me:

MARY TIMONY/HELIUMMary Timony and I lived in Boston at the same time so I used to go see her every day, or at least about once a month. Once I saw Bjork at the Wang Center and then Mary Timony at the Middle East Upstairs, both in the same night, and seeing Mary after seeing Bjork was so good and restorative. I mean of course Bjork's a big genius, but Mary Timony is so much more my breed of weird, with her tiger tapestry draped over her keyboard and her cat mask pushed up over her forehead and her Pete Townsend guitar windmill thing that's totally not a joke because Mary Timony is no joker. Bjork wore the swan dress, or something kind of like it, and that essentially means zero to me. Who cares about a swan dress when Mary Timony is playing some long crazy version of "Poison Moon" that SEGUES INTO A COVER OF "ISOLATION" BY JOY DIVISION and I don't even like Joy Division very much but in Mary Timony's hands it's transcendent and perfect and everything.
           That show happened right around when The Golden Dove came out. Once on nogoodforme.com Laura Jane wrote the sentence "If I could describe The Golden Dove by Mary Timony in one made-up adjective, it would be "Elizabeth Barker-esque," which was a cool moment in my life.

JULIANA HATFIELD. Laura Fisher thinks it's fun of me that Only Everything is my favorite Juliana Hatfield record. And I was going to make some point about how I'm inordinately influenced by cover art when it comes to processing the sound of an album, and how Only Everything sounds exactly like it's cover art, like some heavy majestic animal painted in bright hot colors. Which is all true but the greater truth is that Only Everything is my favorite Juliana Hatfield album because it's the one that sounds most like me, all snarly and sludgy and sweet and shiny. My favorite song on Only Everything is "OK OK," and my favorite "OK OK" lyric is the one that goes "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."


Between Hopeless & Despondent On The Sadness-Continuum

A Track-By-Track "Review" of Comedown Machine by The Strokes 


1) I’m sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor eating Easter candy and drinking a bottle of Spearhead Hawaiian or should I say Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale. Oh God, I shouldn’t. I should never say that. 
        We’ve got Spearhead Hawaiian on tap at my restaurant. “I feel very passionately about it,” I tell customers, “There’s pineapple in the beer.” It’s the first beer I’ve ever felt passionate about, probably because of the pineapple. But the tap is fucked up. It’s a fast and aggressive tap, and pouring Spearhead Hawaiian is, to quote myself while pouring a pint of it yesterday, “the worst thing I ever have to do in my life.” The pints are top-heavy and it spills all over my hands. My hands are sticky and smell like pineapple-beer.

2) I’m sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor eating Easter candy and drinking a bottle of beer.
        I wasn’t even supposed to be working tonight. I was covering the busser’s shift, because the busser is on vacation. He’s in London and Paris, which are not places where the or any busser should be. Either you bus tables, or you vacation on the continent. You can’t do both. It’s illogical. Stop bussing tables.
         My shift got cut. I ducked into the drugstore within seconds of receiving my manager’s text; that’s where I bought all the Easter candy. There were actual things I needed to buy- conditioner, toilet paper, soap- but I was like, “Fuck it, I’ll buy them tomorrow,” and walked straight to the Easter candy. I bought five different kinds: a baggie of mini-eggs, a Caramilk egg, a three-pack of Cadbury crème eggs, a marshmallow rabbit, and a peppermint lamb.
         I knew when I got home I’d wash my lipstick off. I knew which pyjamas I’d put on. I laid out all my Easter candy on the floor in front of me and tried a bite of every kind.

3) I’m sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor listening to Tap Out by the Strokes and biting the head off a peppermint lamb. I’m ignoring my beer for a second; I’m too into the lamb. I’m the happiest I’ve been all month, but this song is making me sad.
         I hear the Strokes as being sadder than everybody else does. I know this is true for sure; it’s an ongoing thing. They’ll be playing in some social situation and I’ll say, or wistfully remark rather, “This song makes me so sad!” and then everybody else’ll make a big old everybody else-style fuss about disagreeing with me. Classic everybody.
         Sad is too big of a word for the particular little sad I hear in songs like Tap Out. This sad occupies the space that falls between hopeless and despondent on the sadness-continuum. It sounds like getting lost in one of the boxy old beige highrises that housed the optometrists, podiatrists and allergists of my childhood, trodding the carpeted hallways while crying out for my mom, quietly, too worried to panic.


I like this song because it’s the only one that sounds like the old Strokes, the Is This It Strokes, the Strokes I was once lucky enough to be sixteen for. They were the perfect band for a sullen sixteen year old from suburbia to fall in love all over: they were dirty, they were porcelain, they were from New York. They seemed tiny and collectible, like the Beatles must have. You could tell they all had radically different personalities; they were the kind of band where you need to know the drummer’s name. It’s all their fault I started smoking cigarettes.
        I had the biggest crush on Nikolai, will always have the biggest crush on Nikolai, was going to marry Nikolai, and would still marry Nikolai, if God came down to Earth and gave me twenty seconds to choose one man on the entire planet to spend the rest of my life with. I never saw him once the entire time I lived in New York City but two Octobers ago I was in a cab to the East Village from Port Authority, very early in the morning, and I saw him skulking across West Tenth Street at Sixth Ave, carrying a wooden child’s bike over one shoulder. He was wearing desert boots and corduroy pants.
        All The Time sounds a lot like Room on Fire, which is my favorite Strokes album. The melody veers off and takes you in a bunch of unexpected directions, like getting lost in that office building again, only this time you’re drunk and grown and falling all over your best friends, laughing, eating sour keys out of your tote bag.


Oh Just Some Cool Shit I'd Buy If I Were Rich

Straight up, first thing I'd do if I were rich is I'd buy us all these zodiac sign shoes. I mean, not all of us. Not all of us in the world. Just Liz and Jen and I. Off the Internet. Immediately. Then I'd go eat some dinner. 

The chartreuse bad boys on the left are for Capricorns, ex. Liz Barker. The nice pale ones in the middle are for super-femme-y Cancers, like me. It sucks how whenever there's a zodiac fashion feature in any magazine or anything anywhere, the Cancer option is always this exact shade of piglet-skin and if it's a dress, drapey and floral and romantic. These Cancer shoes are one of the first Cancer-specific clothing items I've ever not wanted to barf on. The badass blue ones on the left are for Scorpios like Jen. Leave it to Scorpios to score into having "blue suede shoes" be their zodiac shoes. How stupendously rock-and-roll but also classic at the same time. Some folks have all the luck. In other news, I probably will never say stupendous on this blog or anywhere ever again and it's really weird that I did but I'm also pretty tired and drunk right now so hey. Hi. Hi there. 

The other day I took myself out for sushi before work, I was really over reading this book called The History of God I've been reading- newsflash, the history of God is fucking BORING- so I stopped into a magazine store to buy myself a magazine to read for sushi, and I really should have just bought myself a tabloid, since they're lighter and easier to hold in your one hand while your other hand holds the chopsticks, but since I was being all "classy" and eating sushi I bought myself British Vogue, the one with Cara Delevingne on the cover. I like everything about Cara Delevingne except for the first of the two n's in her last name. That is such a stupid n. 

To make a long story short, I read about fifteen pages of the Vogue before my Bento box got in the way and I was like "Who am I kidding" and focused all my attention on eating really fast, but was moderately late for work anyway. Point being, all fifteen of said pages were advertisements, but as it turned out, the advertisements were the best part of the magazine. I saw this Dior ad, and all the models were wearing these short little flared blazers with flowers on the blazers as dresses, and I loved them. 

I loved them so much that when I got home from work that night, I looked the rest of the collection up on the Internet, and discovered that the floral lil blazer-dresses were merely the tip of the Christian Dior S/S 2013 RTW collecksh being cute to me iceberg! Not that I don't think the fashion industry is revolting or should exist or anything. Please don't think I think that. This is actually a sad thing, a sad blog post, a sad and tragic tale about the sad and tragic time the fashion industry brainwashed me into writing a blog post about how it's cool. So that's sad, I'm very weak, and check out at how beautiful these dresses are!!! 


This Summer I'm Going to Drink a Root Beer Inside a Willliam Eggleston Photograph & Maybe Listen to Foxygen

There's this place at home called Hot Dog Annie's; it's on a country road in the middle of nowhere and it looks like this. There's picnic tables out front and on Wednesday you can get four hot dogs for $4 and they serve them to you in a little paper box. I haven't been there in years and years, but on Sunday night I spent a long time looking at William Eggleston photographs and lots of them reminded me of Hot Dog Annie's, even though they were probably mostly taken in the South and not in Massachusetts. Here are some of the pictures I loved the most:


My Knees In The Back Of A Cab In April


Today is the four year anniversary of the day I went into anorexia recovery. I am not going to write about what that day was like because I have already written about what that day was like. And if I was for some reason forced to write about what that day was like I don't think I could make it feel too powerful or emotional or anything. I don't feel a tremendous amount of empathy for the person I was on April 15th four years ago, nor do I feel a tremendous amount of disdain for her. And I'm not indifferent; I love that girl. I love her, I think, the way a mother loves the one of her children she loves the least. 

Writing about my feelings on our old blog nogoodforme.com was an integral component of my recovery process. I'm happy I wrote those words but I don't think they are necessary for any single person to ever read again, unless said "single person" is a dude with a crush on me who is hard-up for things I wrote to read. Those words are dramatic at best. When I wrote them I wanted life to be dramatic and my eating disorder gave me an excuse to behave dramatically, which compounded my irrational belief that my life was meant to be dramatic. 

don't believe I was ever mentally ill. I think I was vain. 

I'm not proud of myself for recovering from anorexia. I think that the bare minimum of what can be expected of a human being is that they not go out of their way to starve themselves to death. I'm happy I did what I needed to do to get myself out of a place where I felt it necessary to starve myself to death and I am very grateful to everyone who supported me through the gigantic spectacle I felt it necessary to make out of that process. It was much, much harder than it needed to be. 

I am not 100% sure why we as a culture have decided to fetishize the emaciated and skeletal female form but I am definitely 100% sure that it's fucking insane. I think it's even more insane that hundreds of thousands of intelligent self-identified feminists restrict their caloric intake and then tweet or blog self-loathing shit about doing it, for (it seems) no reason other than that they want men they'd rather die than fuck to want to fuck them. I wouldn't bank on anything either way but it seems like when you die you probably die. You're probably gone forever. Maybe you'll be reincarnated in some vague sort of way you can't fathom right now but you're definitely not going to be Laura, or whoever you are, forever. 

I just want to have a good time while I'm alive. Eating beautiful food is one of the best things I ever do. I know you never get the chance to do it all over again and that's the whole thing about why life's life but if I could do it all over again I would have spent the three years I spent starving myself to death eating cooler shit while simultaneously learning to love my good old body for being it's tallish awkward soft chill self. I'm Laura and it's okay. Who the fuck cares what magazines say, they're just a bunch of shitty paper bound together to make rich people get richer. My eating disorder was nothing and it was worth nothing. When I was skinny I wanted to kill myself. Today I don't know how much I weigh and I never ever in a thousand years thought I could be this happy. But I am and it's magnificent. 


Thing of the Week: LJ's THE TRUTH Necklace, Liz's Bandit Boyfriend & Marijuana Earrings, John Waters's Bed & Chips

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: My Cool New Necklace That Means THE TRUTH, et al.

Hi guys! Here's a cool and slutty picture of me that looks like softcore pornography, or an American Apparel ad, or both. Something I'm really happy the world will never know about me is how insanely long it took me to choose, out of this photo and three that look basically exactly like it, which struck the most-bloggable balance of "stunning" and "less like the annoying constructed selfie it truly is than it truly is." So here is your winner! Learn it, love it, know it, or whatever. 

Great! I'm vain. In other news, I was recently hella-promoted at work. So, in the grand tradition of every person who has ever been promoted, I recently spent a lot of money on a bunch of cool shit I don't need. I bought an adorbs Karen Walker dress with pictures of the planets all over it at Robber, a lil purple Falconwright pouch,

which I allegedly "needed" for work (to carry around a couple pens and a wine opener since I never have pockets), and a pair of tan Kork-Ease Blythes. Ew. Not that I think this revolting display of indulgent consumerism isn't revolting or anything- it's definitely revolting. But whatever! If you live in a revolting world, you may as well be a baller. 

Anyway, the most important revolting purchase my baller new self recently made was the Melody Ehsani "The Truth" necklace I'm wearing in the quietly pornographic image seen above; it's badass and beautiful and from the first second I saw it I knew I couldn't properly be myself without it. The Arabic writing means "The Truth" in Arabic in case you're dumb and can't put two and two together, and I'm very happy to be constantly repping the concept of THE TRUTH to everybody who sees me maybe three to five days per week every week til the end of summer I'm guessing. Because I'm Laura Jane and I believe in SUMMER and THE TRUTH and THE SKY and THE OCEAN and DOGS and if you ever see me bragging about all the dumb shit I bought on the Internet again just punch me in the face and Snapchat my bloody dumb tear-stained nose to all the dudes I have crushes on. #PEACE

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: My Bandit Boyfriend & Marijuana Earrings 

On Tuesday evening my favorite rock star since I was 13 rode past me on his motorcycle, wearing a bandana beneath his eyes, like a bandit and an outlaw. I knew it was him because then he got off the motorcycle and took the bandana off. He looked elegant and hot. It made me really happy/sick to my stomach, and then I drove to the ocean to have a wine* on the beach and write in my notebook like a pretentious amazing person.

One of my other best things this week is my new earrings, from Luxury Jones:

Unfortch my ears closed up on account of the fact that I haven't worn earrings in about eight years, so now I have to get them pierced again. Should I go to Claire's? Where should I go, guys? I'm scared. Help me. You can get the earrings here, btw.

*I'm going to start doing that Jason Schwartzman-in-Bored to Death thing of referring to each individual glass of wine as "a wine," as if "wines" were actual units of measurement. Let's all do it.

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: John Waters's Bed & Chips

Really into both things these days.


Apart from Ryan Gosling's Pants, Suicide Is the Sexiest Part of 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

I saw The Place Beyond the Pines over the weekend. It's about five years long and I got very impatient in the last third of the movie, but the first third is kind of perfect. That's the part with Ryan Gosling, who has nasty/amazing bleached hair, a dagger tattooed on his face, some rad skull-print pants*, and a t-shirt for this now-defunct discount store in my hometown, called Spag's. Ryan Gosling rides a motorcycle and robs banks, and in one scene where he's about to make a terrible decision the song "Che" by Suicide plays, and it made my stomach hurt and my head explode in a really exciting way.

Suicide is maybe the best music for making doom sound all hot and gorgeous; it's so sexy and creepy and druggy and evil. My favorite thing about them is that the album Suicide came out the day I was born. I listened to that album three times in a row last night and it gave me the weirdest headache and I liked it.

I wish Suicide songs were used in more movies, and I wish there were an alternate version of The Place Beyond the Pines that's just Ryan Gosling's story, but with more motorcycle scenes soundtracked by Suicide: I want more scenes with Ryan Gosling riding his bike around a tiny cage with two other psycho dudes, more scenes with Ryan Gosling riding his bike through the cemetery and through the forest, more scenes with Ryan Gosling riding his bike down some empty street in the middle of a summer night with Eva Mendes holding onto him and being tough and awesome. That version would be a great movie to fall asleep to and it would probably give you cool and terrifying dreams, way better than the dream I had last night where I was back in college and taking a class where Megan Calvet Draper was my professor and assigned me an essay in which I had to answer the question "Should S&M Be Allowed?" (?????).

Since seeing The Place Beyond the Pines I've listened to "Ghost Rider" a zillion times while driving and it feels good. I wonder if they thought about using "Ghost Rider" instead of "Che" but didn't cuz the "Ghost Rider" lyrics are a little too on-the-nose. I'm grateful to the movie for giving me "Ghost Rider" back, after a few years of associating it with that M.I.A. song that means nothing to my life.

But the most important thing of anything is that Alan Vega from Suicide once made a record with Alex Chilton. I just listened to the whole thing and it's good I guess but kind of a drag 'cause Alex Chilton isn't the singer on any of the songs. Basically all I ever care about is Alex Chilton.


*I got to see those pants in real life; here's my picture of them.


Thing of the Week: Being Happy About a Green Door, The Philly Accent/Philly Boy Roy

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Being Happy About a Green Door

I got back to L.A. on Tuesday night and everywhere I went there were mint-green doors:

which was a nice thing to have happen. It made me think of the "science student" scene in
Don't Look Back, when the science student says something about deep friends and Bob Dylan's all "What's a deep friend?" and then asks if being deep friends means "you both are happy about a green door." Which is sooooo pretentious but always amuses me: I like Bob Dylan, I think. 

Anyway after recognizing my state of being happy about a green door, I had a fun realization. Mostly it has do with how, if this were last year or maybe any other year of my life up till now, I would have gotten all obsessed with trying to figure out "what it
means, that there are mint-green doors everywhere." I used to have Owen-Wilson-in-Darjeeling Limited disease, or whatever disease Jason Segel has in the relatively underrated movie Jeff Who Lives at Home; I used to think everything had to mean something that was going to change my life and make everything wonderful. 

But the thing about mint-green doors is they don't mean anything. I went some cool places I wanted to go to, and there were some mint-green doors at those places, and I liked the mint-green doors, they were pretty. That's all. The freedom of being happy about a green door is cool and sweet and refreshing - i.e., the mint chocolate chip ice cream of developmental milestones.

I have four other Things this week, which are:

this beautiful/heartbreaking Susan Straight essay from The Believer, about her kid brother who died young and loved Van Halen and had a Mexican fighting hen named Coco and was a citrus farmer. One of the paragraphs ends with these three sentences:

My ex-husband remembered that last week—"He never wore a shirt and he had blood all over him." Some drops of his blood are in the wood of the living-room windowsill. He must have been looking out to see when I would come home.

-the beautiful/heartbreaking book Carry the One by Carol Anshaw

-a glass of beer I had at home, which was apple beer with a cinnamon-dusted rim, a beer about Neil Young

-and of course Courtney Love's e-cigarette commercial:

Have a good weekend, guys!

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Philly Accent/Philly Boy Roy

I've kept up with my obsessive listening of "Female Trouble" by Divine. I mostly listen to it on Spotify, where I starred it. I star what I like. The next "song" that comes up on my star list after Divine's is "Rock, Rot & Rule" by Scharpling & Wurster. I love them/The Best Show. You know that. As a result of the order of my star-list I've heard Tom Scharpling say, "uhh, do I have Ronald Klontile(sp?) on the line?", about 1,000 times in the last 2 weeks after "Female Trouble" ends. I usually stop it so I don't start listening to an hour long comedy phone call that is EXCELLENT over & over again. Last Friday I was like, you know what, it's been a while. I clicked on Scharpling & Wurster, and I picked Philly Boy Roy. Philly Boy Roy is really, really, really funny to me. So I was like, whatever, I'm at work, let's see what he's saying this time. Philly Boy Roy talks about the running of the cheesesteaks, his son Roy Jr tricking him into thinking they Freaky Friday style switched bods and also that Roy Jr. is a psychic, and he also talks about Laser Allin, a GG Allin Laser show he really wanted to go to. PBR's voice is an exaggerated/bizarre/maybe exactly right Philly accent. We're talking LONG O'S. That night at dinner I talked with pals extensively about the Philly Accent. I love regional accents. We all did the Philly Accent, which would sometimes devolve into a British Accent. Later in the week I realized/decided my cat Spock has a Philly Accent. Then! There was this article. I can only hope this isn't true, the accent is not declining. We need to save it & say "nem hoagies" a lot.


Just Some Crazy-Gorgeous Pix of Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe

They're by Norman Seeff, outtakes from a photo sesh he had with Patti and Robert in 1969. There's a bunch here, at Retronaut, but these are my four favorite:

i. The most beautiful one. I'm totally hypnotized by her left shoulder, the blueness of her eyes, her Keith Richards haircut, the little glimpses of teeth between her weirdly perfect lips:

ii. This is a cool kitchen. Apparently it's Norman Seeff's friend's kitchen. At first I was like "I hope it's Patti and Robert's kitchen!" but, duh, obviously it's not. Did you read Just Kids? There's no way Patti and Robert had all those spices and baking powder and baking soda and vanilla extract and any other normal-kitchen things in their apartment. Patti ate at automats and shoplifted steak from the grocery store to treat her anemia: it's pretty unlikely she kept stocked up on coriander and poppy seeds.

iii. Supercute. I'm so into Robert's skull necklace, and his jewelry choices in general:

iv. And this one's my fave shot of Patti and Robert. I just love how there's so much love in his eyes - and in Patti's eyes too, even though her eyes are closed:

My other best thing today is this video of the Patti Smith Group playing "Free Money" on TV in 1977. Such good pants, such good "intensity dancing":



'Lost Wonderfuls' by Skating Polly Is My Favorite Riot Grrrl Record from 2013 (Or Basically Any Year Ever)


This is Skating Polly. They're a new-ish band from Oklahoma, made up of two stepsisters: Peyton (on the left) is 17, Kelli (right) is 13. Their second album comes out today - it's called Lost Wonderfuls and it's produced by Exene Cervenka and it's got a heavy riot grrrl kinda vibe but it's also catchy as hell, with a tenderness that kinda kills me. My favorite song is either "Mr. Proper English Man" or "Blue Obvious." 

I got into riot grrrl in college, but Skating Polly mostly stirs up memories of my first year after college, my first year in Boston. I lived in the town Sylvia Plath grew up in; it wasn't a cool place to live but it was on the ocean and I liked the boring/beautiful grayness of my little oceanside street in wintertime. My roommate was a friend from high school and he smoked a lot of pot and played a lot of video games and sometimes he'd get really stoned on go on these weird cleaning/cooking jags and scrub all our disgusting floors while baking brownies. We listened to so much David Bowie, and I was just getting super-into Mary Timony. There was also a major simultaneous Andy Kaufman obsession at some point.

Anyway: that was the year I started making zines, and Skating Polly has a sweet/creepy way of pulling me back to that I-just-started-making-zines feeling. Listening to Lost Wonderfuls feels like riding an ugly subway train from the ocean into the city on a gross November weekend, not really having anywhere interesting to go, beating up my ears with the song on my walkman, staring out the window at either black nothing or city things, and - above all else - getting all dreamy and stoked on everything I'm going to write about. You couldn't pay me to be 21 again, but I miss the freedom of all that. Lost Wonderfuls restores that sense of possibility and maybe even deepens and intensifies it, which is a very powerful thing for a 35-minute-long record to do.

Also: FULL DISCLOSURE! I wrote the publicity bio for Lost Wonderfuls, a few months back. But really the only important thing to note about that is that writing for a band as rad as Skating Polly was such a gift for me, and ever since then I've been itching for the album to come out so I could tell you all about it. Last year around Christmastime I did a Skype interview with Peyton and Kelli for the bio, and what follows is some of my favorite moments from that convo:


KELLI: Before we put out our first album, we ran into Exene at one of her shows. We played her some of our songs on our cell phone and she couldn’t hear them very well but she gave us her email address anyway. After that we started sending her our demos and eventually she said, "I can record your next album, if that's what you guys want." So we said yes and she ended up producing our album and it was really fun.

PEYTON: We learned so much from her. She wanted to help us make our music as good as it could be but she also wanted us to be true to ourselves. It was insane to work with her 'cause she’s one of our heroes.

KELLI: She has crazy views on things. One time we were in a hotel and she got this Bible out of the drawer and started ripping out pages and writing things in it, like "NIRVANA" and stuff. She doesn't listen to any new music, she stopped listening to new bands in the '90s. I would play her stuff from now that I would think is amazing and she'd just be like, "Nah, you guys are better."


KELLI: A lot of our songs are about little experiences with people who make us mad, people who annoy us. We try to look at every song as a new story and make each one different, even if the message is still just basically "I hate you."


KELLI: We like a variety of music. We like rap, we like Public Enemy and N.W.A.

PEYTON: I love the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, X, Television. But I like stuff that's not '70s punk too - like Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, Perfume Genius, Nirvana, Bikini Kill.

KELLI: We like Johnny Cash a lot, and Dolly Parton.

PEYTON: I really like Dion and the Belmonts.

KELLI: And then also the Beatles, of course.


PEYTON: We identify with riot grrrl not just in our style of music but in our attitude. Even if our style changes, we'll still be riot grrrl because we have the same kind of passion and energy. Riot grrrls are so deliberate with their music and lyrics - they're not trying to cover anything up with wordplay, they just shove it all right in your face.


KELLI: One of the things people tell us a lot at our shows is that we're authentic, or that we're really raw. A lot of teen girls playing music just want to make it all about being pretty - they put on a bunch of makeup and make their hair crazy. But we'll just wear sweatpants to a show. It's not about dressing up.

PEYTON: A little while ago I watched that video of Elliott Smith performing at the Oscars. He's putting so much into it, you can tell he's completely in it for the music. That's how I want us to be.

KELLI: Or like Nirvana - they're so intense and exciting. And if we're not being intense and exciting and true and real, then what's even the point of showing up?

Here's Skating Polly's new video for "Kick." Like them on Facebook/love them forever.