Thoughts on an epic duel–Scott Pilgrim style

Disclaimer: These are some very late night thoughts, feel free to dismiss them as none other than wandering thoughts from someone who honestly should be sleeping right now, but is currently running strong on that great post-show-adrenaline, which you’ll hear more about tomorrow, provided I can rouse consciousness to make a blog happen.



You know that scene in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World where it’s band vs. band? Remember, the poster with too many exclamation marks? The amp vs amp? The epic scene where the music roared to life in ways that you wish would happen at a real show?

Well, here’s a question for you. Do you have bands that you’d like to see at an amp vs amp, band vs band situation? Because after tonight, I definitely have some thoughts on the matter!


On one side, we have Stolen Babies, from the sunny state of Cali fronted by the leave-no-holds-barred-attack-now-ask-questions-later-accordion-slaying Dominique Persi. They are heavy. They are brutal. In short: they kick ass. Need convincing? sure, okay. I can work with that. .

Okay. On the other side of this band vs band you have a band that thrives on frenzied punk rock of the play fast, play hard variety. Piñata Protest was founded by another equally badass accordion player by the name of Alvaro Del Norte as well as drummer JJ Martinez. Now these guys don’t shy clear of  heavy. In fact I think my favorite way to describe them is to ask you to get the song by Gogol Bordello “Immigrant Punk” in your mind. Remember the lyrics: “they’re coming rougher! They’re coming rougher! They’re coming rougher every time”. Yeah that’s these guys. they’ve got a sense of traditional tejano and hardcore punk and a huge variety of influences that makes them what the punk rock revolution of our generation SHOULD sound like. And live—these guys leave no survivors. Need some proof? Okay. Here ya go.


So back to the subject that brought me here…..Can you imagine an amp vs amp battle between these two bands? Epic would be an UNDERSTATEMENT.

I don’t expect this to ever happen, so until then, Universe, if you’re listening: please throw these bands together on a tour or on a festival stage, because these two bands need to somehow work together in some form. It’s a match that’s got to play out. Somehow. Someway.

And on that note….If you were to chose a winner from this round of Scott Pilgrim style amp-vs-amp battle, who would it be? and Why? and do you have bands you’d like to see in a battle till the death amp vs amp match? feel free to share in the comments!


Behind the IHOP Papers

Remember that post about the IHOP Papers I published so long ago? Well, here’s a surprise for you–an interview with the author herself, Ali Liebegott.
A few words about Ali: Her book length poem The Beautifully Worthless was published in 2005 with critical acclaim. As Curve mentions, the book is part epic poem, part love letter, part to-do list and part road trip opus. In her 2007 book, the IHOP Papers, Liebegott continues to prove that she is a major contender in the literary world. Her prose is reminiscent of authors like Kerouac, but she shines in her own light.
In addition to writing, Liebegott has contributed and performed her work with Sister Spit.
So with no further ado–the interview with Ali Liebegott:

1. How long have you been writing? When did you know that you wanted writing as a career?

I’ve been writing since I was young. By the time I was in high school it felt like a serious ambition. I was going to readings and participating in poetry groups, etc. I think it’s hard in the US for writing to be someone’s career. My other career, (how I pay the bills is by teaching), but I long for the day where I can just focus on writing.

2. If you weren’t a writer, you would be…

something with animals… a petting zoo manager…a goat hugger… a geese anger management counselor…

3. Of all the characters you’ve created, have you found yourself identifying completely with one of them? if so, which character/why?

I think that in a way all my characters have pieces of me in it. I’m definitely one of those writers who expands on real life experiences.

4. Where is your favorite place to write? Do you listen to music while writing? (If so, what kind/songs?)

I need to be at home to really write. I really need to be alone. A shut door. Psychic space. For two years I rented a studio space for 180 dollars a month that was all mine and it was amazing. I wrote there. I’ve also written while at other people’s homes. But they can’t be there. Or at least I need another room alone to write in. I’m all about a door that shuts. I can’t listen to music with lyrics. For my first two books I obsessively listened to Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3. It’s so sad and amazing and great to write to.

5. Would you rather have the monetary and extremely mainstream success of JK Rowling or the notoriety of Poe?

I’d take either one of their situations!! Without being too earnest, I’ll just take inspiration, my health and time to work on my stuff.

6. Where do your ideas come from? How much of your fiction is inspired by actual events in your life/the lives of people you know?

Most of my work starts from autobiography.

7. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had (all in the name of supporting the lifestyle of the starving artist career…)?

Wow. There are so many to choose from. I’ve had many bad waitressing jobs.

a. Manhattan Chili Company (NY, NY)–turquoise polo shirt and black pants coupled with homophobia and ten different chilis that were supposed to be differentiated by eye.
b. Fire and Ice (Providence, RI) basically waitressing at a shopping mall buffet with sorority girls and trying to convince customers they should tip you at a buffet.
c. The Crest Cafe (San Diego, CA)I worked for the most miserable person ever to walk the face of the earth– she used to take money out of people’s checks if they forgot to charge a customer for cheese on a hamburger, etc. One older man I worked with would have to pay 15 dollars almost every day for forgetting things! I only lasted about six weeks there! I just realized that this bad job list is a kind of Pandora’s Box and I could go on and on forever!!

8. Do you consider yourself a feminist/riot grrrl?

No. I’m not a giant label person. But I of course support rioting and feminism!

9. What is your favorite pop culture obsession?

I’m not sure if this counts but I’m a total sucker for COURT TV. Especially Forensic Files. I could watch it for 14 hours straight. Even though I believe it’s really promoting terrible things, violence toward women, etc. I love those bullshitty 48 hours shows. Thank God I don’t have cable TV! I’m also a huge baseball fan. Mostly, The NY Mets. But I live for April -September. I like to draw ducks and listen to the baseball game on the radio.

10. In The IHOP Papers, Francie discovers that she can save money by putting it literally into the walls…was that a creative ploy or have you ever had success saving money by that method?

I actually worked with someone who used to keep their money and jewelry in the wall.

11. Images of bisexual women and lesbians are much more prevalent than they used to be, which is, in several ways, a double edged sword. Some of the images are harmful and exploitive (just look at the treatment L Word co-stars Jennifer Beals & Cybill Shepard’s were given by the View hosts Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck) and there are a lot of positive images (such as the L Word & South of Nowhere–though none of these shows are perfect!)….where do you think our culture is in regards to realizing the GLBTIQ movement is a reality for many people within our society–how long ’till mainstream society embraces it and stops calling the “other”?
What do you think are some of the most harmful stereotypes and how can we, as writers, musicians, activists, students, etc, combat these stereotypes?

Wow. I just saw The View with Jennifer Beals & Cybill Shepard!! I have to say it’s amazing publicity for UPS. For years UPS has benefited from bull dagger slurs!!

I remember when there weren’t even lesbians on TV so as far as culturally– I do think we’re moving in the right direction. I feel much happier for queer youth today that they can see images of gays and lesbians on TV and in books, etc. There are gay groups on high school campuses, too. People are trying to get gay marriage passed. It wasn’t that long ago that homosexuality was actually categorized as a kind of mental illness, so… I know it’s hard sometimes when people have their heads up their asses, but I do think some things have become better. I could never choose the “most harmful stereotype”. I just think as artists and writers we need to keep including lesbians in our work when it’s natural to do so, not compromise on content for the sake of capitalism. Critique each other when representations seem problematic. Be willing to look and work on ourselves constantly as human beings on the earth.

12. Any words of wisdom to inspire people everywhere?

Don’t kill yourself! Stay alive! Remember life is to be enjoyed not endured. And lastly, never feed ducks bread! Give them cracked corn instead or popcorn with no salt!

What Would Happen…?

As much as I’ve loved Meredith Brooks-I only recently saw the music video for her way-too-sexy-to-be-legal song “What Would Happen” and is the video ever appropriate. it makes me happy. so here’s the song/video for your viewing pleasure:

Now, one more thing. Seeing as how multiple blogs are celebrating their favorite things of 2007, I figured I’d put in my two cents. However, I have to add that some of these won’t be new as of the year 2007–but they will have been new to me! and that is what counts. So with no further ado…here are some of my favorite things of 2007:

*The used section at FYE-it’s enabled me to get so many good CDs from the 90s and for good prices. Imagine: $15 for 4 CDs. really-this is NICE. So thank you FYE for your awesome used selection and thank you you crazy people who give up classics like Paula Cole, Heather Nova, the Cranberries….(the list goes on)

*MY RUIN. My latest musical discovery-they’ve been around a while & in fact the first My Ruin album (Speak & Destroy) was a solo effort by Tairrie B – then she met the rest of the band and My Ruin turned from solo effort to a band effort. Any album you get you’re bound to be blown away. My first CD by them was their 2003 album-The Horror of Beauty. I was blown away. I had to have everything. so I bought it all. and Speak & Destroy I just heard for the first time two days ago and the very first song blew me the hell away. THIS is what music is, folks. It’s raw, it’s passionate, it’s a call to action. It’s really not just about the beat, it’s about something that inspires passion.

*Zines-So just this year I’ve discovered some pretty awesome zines and they are some of the most awesome things I’ve come across. Each zine is its own unique work of art. the people behind zines put so much of their creative effort into the making/designing/writing of each issue and then send it out to share with the lucky people who have discovered them. My favorite zines right now are Danger!Hole Zine, Pulse & She’s So Very… The zines differ in content…while D!HZ & Pulse deal a lot more with feminism related issues, She’s So Very… is a much more personal journey by the writer-and needless to say she is prolific, making reading it a pleasure and a journey of its own! So anyone who doesn’t wait anxiously for the mail should give these zinesters a shot (and look for more!)

*French pop/rock- yes, I’m serious. I may not understand all of their lyrics, but they have enough songs that are in English and enough cool videos that I almost don’t need the lyrics. my two faves: Superbus (a band with a female lead singer who I’m pretty sure is bi…unfortunately there’s the language barrier and the lack of a English-speaking website, so I cannot be sure..but come on, in “Let Me Hold You” she’s singing to a girl and the words go as such “Let me hold you/let me touch you/please make up your mind/let me hold you/let me touch you/I know I’m not a guy”!!!! So anyway, Superbus is pretty awesome. Plus they know how to make manygood video The other: The Plastiscines. They’re like the French equivalent of the Donnas. and they’re equally good and equally fun! so check ’em out if you haven’t already…maybe you’ll love ’em too ❤

*Tegan & Sara-The Con: easily the best new album of my collection. It’s beautiful both musically & lyrically. it’s still mind-blowing to me that Robert Christgau (a well known rock critic) said of the album: “Tegan and Sara don’t have men to lash out at, put up with or gripe about. This may be why their uncommonly detailed love songs are so short on drama…” Short on drama, Mr. Christgau? Did you really listen to the lyrics? Or did you file it under ‘lesbian music’ and not really listen to it at all? There’s drama a plenty…though none of it quite as dramatic as Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”

Since I’ve taken the liberty of writing novel accompaniments with my favorite things, I’ll end this list here. but don’t be too surprised if there ends up being a part two.