Greatings! No cataclysms are occurring but good things nonetheless. First of all and most marvelously, I have a library internship at Utne magazine starting at the end of the month through the end of August. For those unaware, Utne is compiled from thousands of alternative and small-press publications, zines, books and internet sites, serving up eclectic, progressive and often under-the-radar media six times a year. I will help manage the massive acquisitions that pour in very month (week! day!) and learn collection building, research, reference work, indexing and all around kicking ass.
I am quite excited. For well over a year I have been flirting with library employment and possibly higher education in library and information science—this will provide more experience (I worked at a campus library as a student) in a killer organization and atmosphere. Yay!
I will be dropping to part time at my current employment (with no intention of returning to full time) and the internship is unpaid. Though I can adequately survive for the summer, I may be in the hurtbag come September when I’m expected to re-sign a lease (I’d hate to do so when I’m not bringing in a lot of cash). There is no chance of being hired at Utne, by the way—that’s just not how they work). So! The future is precarious but lookin’ fine all the same. The next adventure awaits.
What else, lessee… Goth Prom 2005! It was a smashing good time (on May 2 at the Saloon in Minneapolis). I deferred my confirmed presence for a while—it was a weeknight (always bad news when I’m up before six) and gosh darnit, I didn’t have anything to wear… until I found a pink dress on a clearance rack.
That’s right: a dress, pink, with lace and sequins. It was awful! Horrific! Disturbing! Terrifying! And perfect for Goth Prom! It was also girly and hot and ridiculous all the more so with me actually wearing it. I did wear pants underneath (hee hee) to better kick me heels up. I also had a load of carnations and roses in my hair—simply dahhhling! Ha ha. Sorry for the gushin’, but it was quite the experience. Me dressing up like a girl was a lot more estranging, bizarre and, well, kinda fun, than any amount of gothicity I could’ve displayed—again, faked—for the sake of why the hell not? it’s a special night where anything goes (and a lot of things did. Rawr.).
See more pictures here, along with Anna in the ghastly white and her sister Ashley, who adorably forgot her ID and had to take the bus back to her dorm. Buhm baum.
Anna has been hard at work on her senior project involving a series of on-campus installations and performance pieces (she and Ash were featured on the cover of the Minnesota Daily, oooo!). In one of them, I wore a creepy dress and a creepy creepy boa made of silk and human hair.
This went down May 6 inside the Washington Avenue Bridge. It was a nice day so most pedestrians were on the outside (not inside the covered part), so not many saw it—and those who did pretended they didn’t, playin’ cool like this sorta stuff happened all the time. My instructions were to twitch. See more pictures. Please note that the shocking ugh crap I do with my back is a talent—in other words, yeah, I’m thin, but my bones are ripping out of my skin because I’m making them do it. If anyone is concerned, totally, take me out to eat or send me gift cards to food stores, but no, I am not anorexic. Just vegetarian. And poor.
I’ll be wearing the same dress in Anna’s segment at the Voltage Fashion Show on Wednesday night the 25th at First Ave. Come on down! The Deaths and the Soviettes are playing (Fargo alumni, give it up) and, among others, the loverly Violettes and that kid-band Melodious Owl. It should be a helluva show.
Last night I saw the Mars Volta for the first time. Earlier in the day someone asked what they sound like. I didn’t know what to say. It’s rock. I know that. But how to describe the vocals ricocheting through unexpected scales, unlikely combinations of trills, skills and crooning screams, lyrically sick English spitting with the interspersed Spanish sexy slinking in. I’ve always liked Cedric’s lyrics (now and with former band At the Drive-In) and his vocal stylings, too. His bombastic yer-kiddin-me tenacity and showboated range grates on some, I’m sure, but I think it’s admirable to see and hear. He’s not the guy who sings, he is the vocalist, his voice is his instrument, and he pushes and punishes it masterfully.
Musically, they’re masturbatory—and I mean that in a great way, a ’70s guitar rock way, a Lost Highway blistering saxophone way. The percussion is intense and asks a lot, layered with background conversation clippits connecting the guitar and piano synths. I don’t know the names of any of the songs because the Mars Volta don’t write songs, they create albums, and on stage everything was recognized but shoved to breaking, eight-minute pieces swelling into twenty minute jams of flute and sax and animal howls.
There’s melody and catching riffs but so much is open wide, desert roads dusk to dawn of lost breath and lost time. They played about half a dozen songs that lasted over two hours—at least that’s what it felt like. I can’t be sure when/where if something ended, another began, latching onto lyrics that floated back forty minutes later, a pound of sweat lighter, the crowd rough sensuous and not minding when I let myself go limp to it, collapsed against the backs of strangers.
In the dark empty open of the last song (there were no encores—they did us in all at once), the crowd stilled and my chi dripped and burned. I obliged the tingling, playing with it slowly, and practiced pranayama. I hadn’t breathed for over a month. My body went numb, relaxed and raptured. Post-qigong my hands moved independently, floating like passing smoke over my head, a single slow-motion sweep that lasted several minutes then strained for the tip of my spine.
Crumpling to the floor I carefully removed my scapulas. Felt myself flow over the toes of dirty sneakers.
I feel cheap trying to describe it. A little bit like an idiot. It’s kiss and tell. It’s a heathen proselytizing. A girl bent down to make sure I was all right and several I’m wonderfuls later she believed me, let me be, let me realize over the course of my concert going, years of dj revelries, disco darkness dirt pit dancing, what I choose to show and what I hold inside shift with my states of mind, the calm or calamity of being, and I’ve come to find if someone doesn’t think my active presence odd to the point of intervention, watch the weird with more than fascination this is unworldly unnerving disconnected if someone doesn’t ask if I’m all right something’s wrong.
And I’ve been feeling all right.
Read Don DeLillo’s White Noise not long ago—I highly recommend. The language gets a little too thick for its own good here ‘n there, but so much is so dead on I forgive its pretension (as it forgives mine).
VNV Nation plays the Fine Line June 3—les hope they play some old stuff, ja? 😉