Friday, August 27, 2004

My Favorite Gambit - Crescendo

Yes, there is in fact a National Rock Paper Scissors Championship taking place in DC this weekend. So, brush up on these gambits and head on down to DC9 tomorrow night.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Continuation of the Live Girls Series

I can't personally vouch for Michelle Tea's collection of stories, Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, since I haven't read it yet, but I bet it's damn good.

[I wonder how many people will link to this post after googling "live girls"...]

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Falling in Love with Texas_Charmer2000

Take this NARAL quiz to see which scary neo-conservative freak is your Mr./Ms. Wrong.

Monday, August 23, 2004

No Room for Poverty

"In the midst of the Presidential election and a potentially divisive political climate, we have an excellent chance to unite the nation and work together to eradicate poverty. Our feeling is that poverty is no one's fault but everyone's fight and, to that end, we encourage the presidential candidates, regardless of party affiliation, to support our rally and agree to convene a White House Conference on American Poverty."

-Derrick Span, national president of Community Action Partnership

Friday, August 20, 2004

Oui, ils sont des toxicos

Yes, yes, last night's show at the Black Cat featuring Les Sans Culottes and Asobi Seksu was fun and entertaining - and the music was fine and dandy too. In lieu of an attempt at constructive analysis of their sets, here are five highlights from the evening:

  1. A pre-set slice of vegan carrot cake from Food for Thought, a cute veggie-friendly café housed at the Black Cat. The perfect amount of thinly sliced carrot shreds and a satisfyingly dense batter sandwiched between sweetened-with-sucrose frosting. Combined with a bite of Jon's vegan blueberry pie and a previous experience with their vegan chocolate cake, the carrot concoction convinced me of this place's dessert genius.
  2. While Yuki is clearly the lead stage presence in Asobi Seksu, I was more intrigued by James Hanna on vocals and guitar and Keith Hopkin on drums (see #3). Hanna's laid-back vocal stylings were used infrequently, but oh so effectively. Plus, the boy looked like he should be rocking out alone in his basement to Black Sabbath rather than almost-fronting a bilingual pop-rock band, which made me smile.
  3. Keith Hopkin - I've always been fascinated by drummers and Hopkin certainly did not disappoint. He stared at his kit so intently, you'd think he had some sheet music taped to his snare. Also, his arm antics and open-mouthed gleeful expressions reminded me of a high school friend's drumming personality, which was a pleasant memory.
  4. Cal d'hommage - my favorite member of the underwear-less ensemble. Again prone to hokey, I'm-having-so-much-fun facial expressions, Cal was an entertaining and dynamic guitarist - with a nice striped sailor shirt and impish smile to boot.
  5. LSC's great cover of "Ces bottes (sont fait pour marcher)" - ["These boots (are made for walking)" for you non-francophiles]. I still have Nancy's voice running through my head.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Axis of Eve

Ahhh...sheer irreverance for a very worthy cause. I love it.

Support the Axis of Eve here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Humor's Edge

Last year I watched an excellent documentary on the various depictions of Geraldine Ferraro in editorial cartoons during her VP candidacy in 1984 - Running Mate: Gender and Politics in the Editorial Cartoons. The film also discussed the implications of having an appallingly low number of women editorial cartoonists on the content and slant of most editorial newspaper pages around the country.

Luckily, there are some fantastic women cartoonists who are seeking to overcome the masculinist tradition of their profession, including Ann Telnaes, whose works are currently being shown in a Library of Congress exhibit. Some of my favorites in the exhibit:

And especially this one: We Reject Legalizing Same Sex Unions--

Additionally, Telnaes and five other women cartoonists collaborate on Six Chix, a syndicated cartoon for which each woman contributes a strip for her respective day of the week. While some styles and topic areas of several of the cartoonists are certainly more interesting than the others, it is a unique venture nonetheless.

And just for kicks, you can check out the National Cartoonists Society's Women's Cartoon Index.

One last note: Signe Wilkinson, who is not part of Six Chix, is another awesome female political cartoonist and provides some excellent insight and analysis as an interviewee in the Running Mate documentary. She also offers an opinion on the state of women and cartooning here.

So here's a call for any woman with greater artistic skills than my own [which essentially consist of drawing spirals and making collages] to grab some materials and start some paper and ink Bush-bashing.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Womyn's Music 101

A great article from Z Mag on women, feminism, and music. From the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival to Righteous Babe Records to The Butchies and Mr. Lady, the article provides a stellar summary of what some pretty freaking cool women have been up to while intersecting the worlds of rock-and-roll and feminism.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Relationship Between the Eye and the Heart

I don't know much about photography, but I do know that the recent death of Henri Cartier-Bresson is a loss for all who admire and study art and photography.

Being a sucker for black and white pictures of Paris, I'm drawn to his photos for purely uninformed, basic, aesthetic reasons. Though I am also frequently struck and impressed by the seemingly spontaneous nature of his photos - see "Behind the Gare St. Lazare" below.

I was fortunate enough to see a 2000 exhibit of another photographic legend - Brassaï - at Le Centre Pompidou, a building which is a work of art in its own right. His images, including "Brouillard, Avenue L'Observatoire" [below], simply define Paris at night.

I'm not sure who would have come out on top if Cartier-Bresson had had a tête-à-tête with Brassaï, but one thing is certain - their combined portfolios present an amazing photographic history of Paris during a certain era.

A Wheelchair for Little Draggin' Bear

Yet another fun cat link. How dare they publish this story without a picture?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Pass the Flashlight; There's a Banana in My Ear

OK - I don't really need a flashlight to unearth a banana from my ear canal. Those are just the names of two tracks from the latest super-kinetic release from Minneapolis woman-led punk band The Soviettes - who I was lucky enough to see in concert at Black Cat last night.

Now, the first time I saw the Soviettes was a month and a half ago at First Ave. in Minneapolis, when my move to DC was impending in a frighteningly in-my-face way. Needless to say, I not only enjoyed their set that night, but they also became one of the symbols of the whole transition thing I was going through. So, the fact that they came to DC to play a show made the nice little circle semi-complete.

Following up an energetic and entertaining set by The Loved Ones [click here for a review of a June show TLO played at Black Cat that suits last night's show to a tee], the Soviettes rocked a small, but devoted, crowd of fans. [Apparently half of whom have lived in Minneapolis at some point, judging from the "woohoo"'s that followed Susy's announcement that they were a band from that city.]

The music was as intensely fun as at the First Ave. show - highlights included my current fave "Matt's Song," as well as some raucus cuts from their new album: "Ten," "Angel A," "Channel X," and "Don't Say No." One of the coolest aspects of this band is that everyone genuinely gets into the act; or, as they say on both full-length CDs, "everybody sings." Some of the songs that induced the greatest amount of floor-stomping and head-shaking were the ones that featured a call-and-response between one band member and the rest. For example, "Ten," which entails most of the band screaming out digits while one singer provides a list of 10 very particular reasons to love someone. And "Pass the Flashlight," which is a classic gals-answering-the-guy tune, was incredibly fun live. The track off of Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1, "Paranoia! Cha-cha-cha," also energized the crowd.

I was so pumped, I bought LP and LP II and have been listening to them all day at work, though at sinfully low volumes so as to not disturb less punk-loving co-workers. The albums are great and contain songs about politics ("There's a Banana in My Ear" and "Winning Is for Losers"), the media ("Channel X" and "The Land of Clear Blue Radio"), and love ("Matt's Song," "Love Song," "Tonight") that are effective and remarkably subtle and un-cheesy. Oh yeah, and super rockin' and fun.

Another positive aspect - all four 'Ettes seemed to be enjoying themselves and played two extra songs to please some rowdy, happy fans. And if you're interested in their bodily reactions to playing such an amped-up set, let's just say there was less need for sweat-wicking than at the First Ave. show, especially Sturgeon, who had redefined the meaning of *sweaty* in Minneapolis on June 13th.

My three housemates enjoyed the show, but I have to admit it was less fun being with folks who had never heard the music before, and at least one of whom is hesitant about listening to anything harder than Sleater-Kinney, than being with a real fan, as was the case with the First Ave. show. Which is why the circle was only semi-completed.

Taking words from "Her Neon Heart":
In the city, people live.
They take in all she has
To give, and breathing
Out they breathe life
In - So the cycle starts

While this is true, it's becoming increasingly clear that each city has its own unique cycle, and seeing a band that hails from one locale won't exactly transport you there. Though you'll come close.

Gallo Unfair

Check out the new website dedicated to the cause of Gallo of Sonoma workers who have been working without a labor contract for nine months now. Not only is it informative, but the site also has an amusing animated parody of Matt and Gina Gallo.

Oh, hey, and while you're in the mood for reading about justice-seekers, check out this article about environmental [in]justice with respect to impoverished neighborhoods.