Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Superstitious

I interviewed writer Victor LaValle for Electric Literature. We talked about his Grand Unified Theory of Fear among other things.

Halloween is one of those things that often seems more fun than it actually is. I went to the 99cent store to buy toilet paper (that is only notable because my mother stockpiled enough so that I haven't had to buy any since July and it is now October) and I glanced at the Halloween costumes and said, "I bet there's a racist costume," and lo and behold there was a geisha costume and a fu manchu-like costume. I wasn't burn-it-all-down angry, I was just shrug-your-shoulders, that's-fucking-typical annoyed. I had this idea that if someone asks me what I'm supposed to be I'll just start singing "Listen, the Snow is Falling" and if they say "Oh, Naomi Yang" I'll say "Fuck you, I'm Yoko. We don't all look alike!" and if they say Yoko I'll say, "Fuck you, I'm Naomi Yang. We don't all look alike!" I look like neither of them.

My favorite Halloween was the time my friends and I went to a haunted house upstate. We waited in this long ass line and they played a black and white movie to help us pass the time. When I got close enough to the film projector I started making a shadow puppet so it looked like my hand was cupping and scratching the balls of the man on screen. The guy running the projector yelled at me and said, "There's kids here!" My friend's boy friend was really embarrassed but listen, it was past 10 o'clock. If parents let their kids stay up that late, a little shadow fondling is the least of their problems.

This seems as good a time as any to share a story of mine, "Superstitious". It's about an uncanny visit to a healer.

This song, "Superstitious," by Elisa Ambrogio is really good. Naomi Yang directed it!






Mr. Noah Lennox AKA Panda Bear released a new single, "Mr. Noah"






 Slicing up eyeballs?
Panda Domo cannot be contained.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No more books?

I interviewed writer J. Robert Lennon for Gigantic Magazine. You can buy a copy. It's about humor. He also has a book coming out in November, See You in Paradise. It's funny and affecting. Read it!

And another book I loved was Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis. It's about a girl who grows up in a falling apart Greenwich Village brownstone with a free jazz musician dad who's built a cult of acolytes around him. The book takes place in the 1970s, but it captures an atmosphere anyone who grew up in NYC in the 1980s will recognize. That time is long gone and is moving further and further out into Bushwick or Ridgewood, or wherever culture ends up living in this city. I walked around Manhattan this summer and realized I will probably never be able to live there again in my lifetime. I had 26 years there. I guess that's enough.

Two songs:
Ex Hex, "War Paint" check out that solo

Seeing Ex Hex at Glasslands. They're closing. Pretty soon we'll have to go to gigs in Long Island.

I'm really into this Purling Hiss record, Weirdon, but Drag City actually makes you buy their records (no DL codes on vinyl!) So check out this teaser. If you get the record, I'm particularly fond of the last song, "Six Ways to Sunday". I'm seeing Purling Hiss play a warehouse near a cemetery in the netherlands of Bushwick or whatever. I go to these places and all I can think is "where the fuck am I?" I'm bringing a friend because I don't mess around in NYC on Halloween.

The window at the recently shuttered Shakespeare & Company bookstore on Broadway. The graffiti reads, "No more books?"

"im bring booty back"





Of course not everyone is content to let Malkmus be the glory that is Malkmus. You know those guys. They have to stick it to Malkmus. They fret over his popularity, his conventionality, but what really bothers them is that Malkmus is too fucking handsome.

(That NYT article is full of laughs. That guy's mad because he can't discern if a woman's discernment is authentic enough.)

Did you see that? Malkmus led off a scrabble game with onanism. Sly dog.

BTW. I own two copies of Malkmus's live record of his cover of Can's Ege Bamyasi. Make me an offer.



Friday, July 18, 2014

"Who Do You Think You Are?"

 I don't know what's going to go in this space on Vanderbilt but this was spray painted on the outside. This place used to be a bodega.

I wish this was me.
This is actually me somewhere on the Upper East Side. I was born in Manhattan, lived in Manhattan for about 29 years, but I can't imagine ever living there again. It's not the same place I grew up in, and I'm sure most people feel the same way about the place they grew up but I suspect this is always true about Manhattan.


In June I was obsessed with this song, "Riding for the Feeling," by Bill Callahan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"You Can't Have a Tea Party Without T&A"

Corner trash can at 5th Avenue and 3rd Street, Park Slope.

I think your favorite "bad" Rolling Stones song says a lot about you. For today mine is "Little T&A". Here's an instrumental outtake.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Villain Works

 Somewhere in Park Slope.

This is an example of the "tattooed wood" artist Steve Keene has on display at the Brooklyn Public Library.
********
A friend told me that someone said this about me: "She has a sharp wit that's good as long as it's not turned on you." Part of me DGAF that this was said about me, but of course part of me does care. I don't think it's an accurate portrait of who I am now--this was said by someone who hasn't spoken to me since 1999, so...grain of salt, I suppose.  I do think it says a lot about the person who said it, though. It's clear that I said things that hurt her, that probably still hurt her, otherwise why the pointed remark? Anyway, that's not really my MO if it ever was. I was always trying to be funny to get closer to people, not to push them away.

I just conducted a lengthy interview on humor writing with a writer I respect, and admire. In the interview I asked questions about irreverence and empathy in humor and I hope you all get to read it in the future.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

"In a horror movie when the car won't start you give it one last try"

We are on a mountain where there is no cell phone reception. Right now it's mid-70s, near noon, and the wind chimes at my back, the cicadas in the brush, and the birds chirping are signaling PEACE, but everything changes once the sun goes down. Wind chimes should be illegal once the sun sets because everyone knows they are the soundtrack to your murder.

This boat was docked at the waterfront in Cold Spring, New York. Last night I ate a steak in front of Beacon Falls and it was delicious. The Pimm's Cup was refreshing but I realize that I will never have a Pimm's Cup as good as the one I had at the Napoleon House in New Orleans. The blaring classical music at Napoleon House made the experience just that much more cathartic. The waterfall at Beacon tried, but could not compete. Still, the company was great. We talked about terrible first dates and my friend told us about the guy who picked up his plate and licked it.