Tuesday, April 29, 2008

5 Reasons to invest in Gold

Last night Conan O’Brien had Santogold on as the musical guest and she was FANTASTIC. Santi White was amazing-- flanked by Devoesque, back-up divas in Che-colored, silken, new regime military numbers. It was TOO MUCH-- we were all working to keep up with Santogold and her percussive singing style, that musical segment almost made the sun rise, the day begin, I almost couldn’t get to sleep.

I love Santogold’s style-- skinny pants, glitter, ribbed tank tops, puffy satin jackets, a leopard cat suit-- Santi looks like the big sister I never had, the one who left home before I could drive, has an apartment in Amsterdam, and says she’ll come back for me, when I’m old enough.

Santi’s vocals on Les Artistes, a single on the new Santogold album (do people still say album? Well, I do. . .) is slightly reminiscent of Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons (who was also my big sister) but Santogold’s mix of electronic buzzing, fuzz-buster feedback, trance loops, dub, Afro-cuban rhythms, and God only knows what else is in a space-time-continuum all its own.

Listen to Santogold while dressed in clothes from Striking Kittens, straight outta Brisbane, Queensland. Lycra, cat suits, plunging neck lines, purple tiger print hotpants-- these gals ain't messin' around. Striking Kittens is a new streetwear fashion label started by Jade and Alicia two fashion design grads with a knack for
hot 80s wear that's FRESH. Got a big butt like mine? Well PLUS is not a four-letter word to Striking Kittens-- send them your dimensions-- everything is handmade by the designers-- they don't quit 'til it fits. Electro Candy, their first collection is perfect for stepping out like the hot ladytron that you are.

Scoot on over to Victoria for a pair of skinny pants from Thrashin' Threads.These metallic pants will complete your retro look-- top it with your favorite vintage tee, and you're Sterling, baby.

Oh my God-- as I write this, KCRW is working me hard with a Santogold remix. Damn-- Santogold is everywhere!

Before I get distracted, I have to mention another etsy store that got me going-- a great etsy shop based in Toronto:
Pretty Raccoon Clothing

I'm loving the gold paint on these lovely tops. Le Tour Eiffel, le chandelier, le chevreuil, and many other gorgeous subjects are depicted on soft fabrics, with a draping cascade that looks so rich. Pretty Raccoon Clothing-- chic, a little aloof and sophisticated, surreal, and beautifully designed.

I can't end this post without sharing with you a secret part of my heart that I like to call. . . Spandau Ballet. . .

This is the song I will be listening to as I speed across continents in this year's Gumball 3000 race, in my bio-diesel Aston Martin. Now all I need is an Aston Martin. . . and £60,000 to enter. Hey Max-- how about it? Put an indie-crafter in the race! I will crochet AND felt an electronring for all of the drivers and their crew before the end of the 3000 mile journey. How's THAT for a challenge. . .

Huh, okay . . . I take that look as a no. All right-- see you in 2012. But I totally intend on winning The Spirit of the Gumball Award.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

C'est La Vie, Sarkozy

I was leaving a local live music thing the other night with friends when one of my friends in the car said, “who’s that guy?” She was talking about a stencil on a stop sign. I live in a very arty town, pregnant with artists, making portraits, kinetic sculptures, creative people practically leaving art on the side of the road, in the street, obstructing normal traffic flow. Ceci n'est pas une stop sign, it’s ART. Even so, we were all sober enough to be collectively curious, so we flipped a bitch and doubled back to take a look.

“Marcel Duchamp,” I said, without thinking, like it was my own name. “That’s Marcel Duchamp.” On the stop sign, Duchamp’s disembodied head was in the center of one of his rotoreliefs, his cheeks elongated and sunken, more Voldemort than Duchamp, but there he was, only suggesting that we stop. “You may stop, or you may collide, your choice.” I was a little surprised that the surrealist was sitting cross-legged, on the edge of my tongue like that, and even more surprised that the girl with the unassuming English degree, who’d just swallowed two shots of Jameson (neat) could produce an art history factoid like a retired professor, sans peep. I babbled about the surrealists, Duchamp’s Ready-mades, WWI and Kurt Schwitters on the 4-minute ride home. Thank God for them it was a short journey.

Got me thinking about learning French, tho. The thought is IRRITATING, isn’t it, but somehow. . . inevitable. If I could speak French, I could say ever so eloquently. . . well, I could say a lot of things, eloquently, things that in English, sound like a roaring piss. This is as close to French as I can get right now.

à la mode - unique stuff with urban appeal

Oohh la-la. I love à la mode, and there’s plenty to love: bright and handy bags, light switch covers that make getting turned on and off a lot of fun, and pendants that say it all. à la mode is sophisticated, without taking itself too seriously, which I love-- the image embedded, resin pendants especially. "I'm not listening," "Oh Please,"and "No Whining," on sterling silver chains are defiant and fun, good-natured and stingy.

I can imagine President Sarkozy's new bride, Carla Bruni, wearing an à la mode pendant while meeting the current US President and his wife. "Oh Please" seems right for the occasion. C'est Bon!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

YES-- clothes. . .etherealWEAR. I'm getting to it. But I have to tell you something.
Stay with me. . .

I go to bed @11pm

I wake up to the noise upstairs: voices, stomping, music, movie, some form of merriment. Actually, it sounded like Tomb Raider 2, if it were also a raucous comedy.

4am--ish-- After finding something familiar and slightly ambient to loop (Roxy Music’s Avalon) I finally fall asleep.

5:17am I wake up to the sound of my upstairs neighbor MOVING FURNITURE or bowling with it, in her bedroom, which is right above mine.

5:17am I go upstairs to tell her to please stop doing that.

I am furiously writing while she pretends to be asleep.

5:37am It took me 3 minutes to write that sentence because I am BLIND with fury. This is the 3rd or 4th time this week she has kept me awake, or got me get up, I can't remember.

I will be staggering around trying to pull the shade of the night back down, while my neighbor sleeps. She will seem chipper and rested at noon. I will look OLDER and pissed but, and I will pretend to be normal. I am not feeling normal.

It's just not fair to live like the mother of a new born without the baby. And in fact, I was having a delightful tryst with a shirtless man named Konrad-- yes he was Russian WHEN MY NEIGHBOR DRAGS ME FROM DREAMLAND, AGAIN.

I hear birds chirping and the sun literally standing up, peering over the brick wall, which normally thrills me, but I feel like a werewolf who can't change back into a girl. . .

5:59 am

I go outside to garden to work, like an f-ing farmer. I move stones twice the size of me, I'm drenched in New England fog, plop a piece of sod on the end of a bamboo pole that looks like a severed head-- spoils of war. I dig, cut, slap, and beat the earth until it starts to rain. So, now I’m gardening in the rain. Then a flash of lightning. Marya 0 Mother Nature 1.

I’m so delirious. You know what I can’t get out of my head? My ridiculous theory that Albrecht Durer and Rick James share the same soul. Sometimes I wake up with this thought. Don’t ask me to produce the paperwork to support my claim-- I can’t. It’s just a feeling.

I mean, how much trouble can a 15th Century man have in Nuremberg? Look at those amazingly violently manic etchings he made-- come on, that man was in need of some F-You-Fun. Wouldn’t you be wicked pissed if at the age of 23, you returned from a too short grand tour only to find that you’ve been promised to the daughter of the local brass maker? BRASS? The Durers were goldsmiths and door makers. Marry the Brass girl? Well, he had to-- couldn’t start his own atelier unless his was a married man. It seems the marriage was loveless and childless, the evidence of the former being the portraits of his wife who appears more frigid than a winter frost. If I were Albrecht, I would definitely start making woodcuts of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, hoping to join their bloodless crew, as soon as possible.

Check out that coat with the fur collar. That’s pretty sexy. I swear he’s wearing an American Apparel T-shirt under there. His face, relaxed and boneless, possibly drunk, a layer of passion buried under misery, asymmetrical eyes devouring you across the aeons of time, throwing his, “I’m great with my hands,” gang sign, or is this the split fingers of some Nuremberg Guild of bad boys? Is that a jheri curl? Oh Lord, I do think so.

But honestly, I have had a hot/cold crush on Albrecht since I was in high school. If I had the chance to meet him, when he was a young man, galavanting around The Netherlands, I would ride my bike (time travel makes bike riding possible) all over town, looking for him. I know exactly what I would be wearing.


I am so smitten with the organic powers of Hierapparel-- check out the etsy store. Based in Philadelphia, Hierapparel’s, art pieces, quite frankly, seem to come with history, as if each item lived with an ancient, magical human, having been preserved just for you-- the rightful descendant to carry on the line. And yet, these clothes don’t just exist on a higher plane-- they aren’t costumes-- worn by extras in an off-off broadway, tribal version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. No. But these tunics, dresses and tribal adornments do seem to encourage the wearer to be ethereal, with emphasis on being REAL, earthy, and very much alive. Hierapparel uses felt, linen, bamboo, leather, canvas, and many other natural fibers to create one-of-a-kind clothing, constructed solidly, but pushing the boundaries of the enveloped body. Being encased in Hierapparel is probably the closest you’ll get to the ease, vulnerability and comfort of being naked. . . while wearing in clothes.

This is what I’m wearing after Albrecht marches up steep hill, breathless, and sees me working in the garden, like a crazy woman, at dawn. He grabs my. . . wait. . .maybe Albrecht likes humans of the male persuasion. . . I hadn’t thought of that. But, I’m so pretty like this, dirty, and beautifully dressed, your cotton-frocked Venus. . .

That’s it.
I need to take a nap.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Games! Cake! Booze! Truth!

Some kind of blogger I am-- no posts for nearly a month-- that’s like founding a goldrush town in the Wild West in the 1880s, and then instantly turning it into a ghost town, the wooden doors to the saloon hanging by juicy, loose hinges. But, I have an excuse. I do! I slipped and fell. (Make a sad face now). Yes, yes, it was painful, I could barely see, swept away in the current. See, I was standing on the bank of a river when I put all of my weight on a very slippery rock and fell right in. Oh wait, no, I was standing on a ladder, on that “this is not a step” step, while building an ancient wall, when I leaned forward and(bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-

Yes, I slipped and fell into Finnegans Wake.

What’s that? What possessed me to want to read Finnegans Wake? Well, I was trying to summarize the book, which I can honestly say is the literary equivalent to a suicide mission. Something in me has definitely died, only to be reborn, an alien stranger. I have heart palps, I eat strange food, I periodically stumble through my tiny kitchen shaking my EMPTY stainless steel flasks (yes, I have two-- one that is the standard sized, and the other, a small, 1oz. vessel fitted with a keychain loop) crying out, why . . . WHY??

As fate would have it, I found a pristine, old copy of A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake by Joseph Campbell and Henry Morton Robinson, written in 1945. It was just sitting on a shelf at a moldy, used bookstore. Needless to say, the key doesn’t quite fit.Joseph Campbell is involved. . . the "key" is just as maze-like as the Wake. I go back to the store to complain to the management when James Joyce himself comes strolling out of the bathroom.


Is there a problem?

Yes, the book doesn’t work. I need a key for the friggin’ key.


Would you like to borrow my spectacles?

James, you’re blind.

So are you, my dear, so are you. . .

He tipped his hat to me and walked back into the toilet.

(Elements of this encounter are true.)

James Joyce did not write Finnegans Wake as much as he gave birth to a sentient being made of text. The novel is a chimera that shifts and changes in meaning, EVERY TIME you look at the book. The cover is the lid to Pandora’s Box. Are you willing to accept an unmoored journey, adrift on a rocky and unrelenting sea of human history, from fall, to resurrection, and rebirth with the emerging and transfiguring “main character” the timeless Everyman, Finnegan. ARE YOU??

You’re not.
Just get out!

I need to shop. . .


If you’re like me, and you're feeling a little weary of the dark, and books that bite, you might want to grab a nightmare journal from Spiderbite. This particular journal’s name is Winston. SEE what I mean about sentient? I love Spiderbite’s journals: they are scary, fuzzy and strangely comforting and FIERCE. These Nightmare Snatchers™ are grizzly protectors of your secret truths. Scribble your fears, your gripes and your bizarre dreams on Winston’s tea-stained pages. Need a bodyguard for your words? Winston is your man.

Lovers. . .
Lovers write letters. . .
They’d better.
Can’t just leave your lover’s letters on the kitchen table now can you?

Tuck your treasures in lovely wooden boxes burnished by the Toronto-based by Six and Elm. The details on these boxes are deeply gorgeous, and flawless as Halle Berry's complexion. Want a custom piece created just for you? Six and Elm is happy to oblige.

Speaking of love. . .

I slipped on another rock and found the box set of Black Books-- a BBC show co-created by Irish Comedian, Dylan Moran. Moran plays Bernard Black, a miserable bookshop owner in London who's perpetually, hilariously pissed AND pissed-off and so not interesed in selling books. He is buttressed by his tiny circle of friends, (I mean, the only two people in the world who will tolerate him) Manny (Bill Bailey) and Fran (Tamsin Greig).

There’s slapstick, hair-brain schemes, drunken stupors and surrealism-- what more could you want in an entertainment experience?

How did I not know about this show? HOW?! I love Black Books, I feel like I know these crazy people, I LIVE in that bookshop, tomes piled to teetering heights, bread with jam stuck to the ceiling. The show last aired in 2004. Better late than never, I guess. Black Books would have been a hard sell for US television studio execs (excluding some cable shows) you can’t be drunk, depressed, mad and grumpy, unless you f-ing murder someone, hence all of the spin-offs of CSI and Law & Order, in perpetuity.

I’ll take Bernard Black miserable, irritated and hating it, any day of the week. That’s more authentic to me than all the fake hellos and how are you goods, we are socially obliged to say in real life. Makes me feel better about not suppressing my own not-so-sunny outlook that is more than occasional. Happy drugs from a doctor? Oh, that’s okay-- I’ll just keep drinking my drugs in the water from the tap. Thanks.