24 June 2008

The Church Has Merch

My promise of a Church of Style promo has finally come to fruition! The Church has merch, y'all. I'm retailing these teeny little 1" buttons for $1. This design was created for me by the lovely and talented Derek Reitzel and printed by the VG Kids in Ypsilanti, MI. Hit me up before they become collectors' items!

20 June 2008

Back To My, Um, Roots

The proof that I am not--was not and never will be--a hipster is the fact that during my college years, the Lillith Years, if you will, I was very much enamored of folk music. That's right! Folk music--I liked it. I pored over Ani DiFranco's oeuvre. In the hot minute I took music lessons, one of the songs I asked my teacher to teach me to play on the bass was "The Million You Never Made." (The part at the end is one of the most wicked awesome bass lines you will ever hear.) In fact, I still have Not A Pretty Girl. Yes, all very tragically not-cool. In fact, I attended earnest coffeehouses in which local singer-songwriters performed and saw Cry, Cry, Cry in 1998 or 1999. And, though I haven't listened to it in years, I cannot imagine parting with the Indigo Girls cd I used to sing to in the Community Mercantile kitchen in 1996.

Once I was firmly entrenched in grad school, I tried to toe the line: Radiohead, indie band o' the month, etc. It was just impossible not to like the cool stuff--unthinkable. During a comm studies/mass comm class I had an epiphany: I didn't give a single flying fuck about punk or any of the permutations thereafter. Or hip-hop, for that matter. I didn't have the story to tell about how music had saved my life. I just didn't.

In the past year or so, I've started to reclaim my "cheesy" folk roots. I unabashedly tune in to "American Routes." I love The Be Good Tanyas. I am currently listening to Pieta Brown's latest album on Free Napster. And, yes, I have my theories about roots and folk music and vernacular cultures.

Obviously, it's more complicated than labeling myself a folkhead--what with my predilections for both hot house cuts and preferring silence. But now that I'm in my 30s, coolness recedes. I can get slide guitars and spooky harmonies and just go to church if I want to.

18 June 2008


Ok, I previously thought the SSION kinda sucked. No need watering it down. I saw them when they opened for Yeah Yeah Yeahs in, like, 2004. (This was during SSION's Animal Costume era.) Yeah, they were an art band, but I just couldn't go there with them.

Then yesterday I was looking around Bejeezus's myspace page--and SSION's one of their friends. So, I click over to there. Their song "Clown" is a hot mess! In a good way. And the Glass Candy remix is even better. The next thing I know, I'm googling Cody Critcheloe (he's from the other K state), reading about him online in The Voice and Kansas City's Pitch , and watching the video for "Street Jizz" on YouTube. SSION's had sort of a rethink about its aesthetic and mission, which I guess kind of happens all the time. And that's totally ok with me.

Photo from SSION's myspace page.

17 June 2008

Oh, Tap!

Ms. K sure loves her some tap dancing--whether it's burlesque, Tilly and the Wall, or some good old-fashioned Hollywood extravaganza. In fact, she took a tap class herself last fall. It ain't just for little girls, honey, and it's a hell of a lot more fun than step aerobics. Plus, it's gorgeous to look at and stylish.

That is why Ms. Kansas is eagerly looking forward to the screening of Roberta, a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film she's never even heard of, tomorrow evening at the Charles Allis Art Museum. What a dreamy way to spend a spring evening!

Photo from www.cavtmuseums.org.

13 June 2008

Freaky Deaky

You know, one of the things I love best about the anarchokids I know here in Illwaukee is their insistence on putting themselves--rather than some dipshit reality show, movie, cult DVD, or celebrity--at the center of their lives. It's a beautiful thing to see.

One of the most inspiring examples of living life to its fullest that I know of is Gene Gallistel--full disclosure: I dated him for, like, a hot minute--and his Dead Man's Carnival compatriots, co-freaks, and hell-raisers. I haven't seen their show, which promises "a night of comedy, burlesque, clowns, fire, performances, cabaret[-]style music, magic, escapes, and death[-]defying stunts" yet--resulting mainly from my own mulishness about not being on the guest list--but everyone I know was peeing in their pants over their April show.

Hell, I might even catch them at Stonefly tomorrow night since my dinner guests bailed on me.

03 June 2008

Can't Hardly Wait

I was going through people to add as myspace friends (I call it "friendstering" people because it's more efficient--though, I'll probably get sued for doing that now) and I thought about Michael Zadoorian, the Detroit writer, because I loved, loved, loved, his book Second Hand. I shed tears of emotion just thinking about that book. First of all, it helped me to formulate my consciousness as a thirtysomething living in the Upper Midwest. Secondly, it's about a guy who runs a second-hand store for a living! Omigod! Tears of joy! Hand to chest--must breathe deeply now. It was just such a great thing to read about because that's somewhat like my life.

Anyhow, Michael Zadoorian isn't on myspace (WTF?!), but I did google him and went to his website. He has a book coming out in Spring 2009 called The Leisure Seeker. I am so totally stoked! I had been wondering what he had been up to. I'm pretty sure he's cute, too. I hope he still lives in Detroit--because that would help me to further formulate and articulate the meaning of choosing to live one's life here in the Upper Midwest (as opposed to living on one of the coasts or in Atlanta or something) and cohering a sense of identity and place. Anyway, like I said, I'm pretty sure he's cute.

Fools' Goldring

I will not be attending the Goldring Arts Journalism Program at Syracuse University's Newhouse School later this month or, like, ever. I found out in April that I didn't get a scholarship to attend, and, honey, I ain't tryin to take out them kinda loans.

It was disappointing not to get a scholarship, of course, but not getting what I wasn't sure I wanted caused me to think about where I was going and the choices I'm making in life. And, to be truthful, I would not have gone down that road voluntarily.

Also, I left my copywriting job about six months ago--but folks knew that. So, for now, I'm still in Illwaukee--keeping kinda cryptic about my plans.