Monday, February 26, 2007

Call me a hipster and die. Get snowed in and live.


I have learned that one should never try to "say something" when she meets someone famous whom she respects. Never ever.

I stood in line clutching my copy of "Killing Yourself to Live". Chuck Klosterman had just been interviewed by Mary Lucia and Tapes n' Tapes had played several different songs. Chuck was hilarious, arrogant and awesome. I thought about my earlier experience meeting Amy Sedaris and how I had been so idol struck, I couldn't speak. I swore the same situation wouldn't happen with Chuck. So I thought about what I would say. I thought about paragraphs in his books that affected me the most. And there is one that really REALLY resonated with me. I have this habit, with any music related book, of looking at the glossary to see what has been written about Bruce Springsteen. Because he's the man. Alas, Chuck hadn't thought so...

A chapter from "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" that refers to Billy Joel as an underrated artist because he was so anti-cool:

"But it's the constraints of that very relationship that give Billy Joel his subterranean fabulousity, and it's why he's unassumingly superior to all his mainstream seventies peers who got far more credit (James Taylor, Carole King, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, etc.)" (Pg 44)

Referring to the popularity of "Born to Run" (and Bruce as the epitome of cool) during the 1970's:

"But what nobody seemed to notice is that this song has some of the most ridiculous lyrics ever recorded. Half the time, SPRINGSTEEN writes like someone typing a PG-13 letter for Penthouse Forum: The lines "Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims / And strap your hands across my engines" is as funny as anything Tenacious D ever recorded, except BRUCE is trying to be deep." (Pg 46)

Chuck goes on to rip Bruce (and his fans, for that matter) a new one. I don't have the heart to continue to type this out. Or the heart to really debate it. Because for me, Born to Run is the greatest song of the last 50 years.

It's a testament to Chuck and his writing that I, that Bruce girl, could continue reading.

Aaaaaaaaaanway...I remembered that passage while standing in line at The Fitzgerald and thought "that's it. I'll bring that up. That will be funny. I'll ask him a good question about how anti-cool I am. Yeah, a good question. That won't be lame."

Oh how wrong I was.

I stepped onto the stage, handed Chuck the book, and had (basically) the following conversation.

Chuck (opening the book and signing): "Thanks Alexa"
Me: "Yeah. Thanks so much. uhh. Hey...if I fell in love with Bruce Springsteen in 2000, does that make me anti cool?"
Chuck: "What do you mean?"
Me (mildly panicking and completely rambling): "You know how you write how Billy Joel is cool because he's so anti-cool and Bruce Springsteen was the epitome of cool which makes him less so. Well i'm about 20 years late. So then i'm anti cool."
Chuck: "No way. Why would that make you uncool? Look at you. You're wearing a cut shirt. You're hip. You're a hipster."
Me (full on panic): no no no NO NO NO NO NO NO!

I then grabbed my book and ran off stage.

Oh god. No. I felt like I was reliving that scene from my highschool production of "Boys Next Door" in which I played a mentally handicapped girl whose only line was "no no no NO NO NO NO NO NO!"


I have a complex with this because it's not the first time someone has called me a hipster. Seriously, I'm so awkward and loud and uncool. And not in that ironic way.

(Evidence: My Friday Night Self Portrait Session that included 80's Monkey Loving)

But I do love ripped t-shirts and leggings and leg warmers and eye liner and Bright Eyes and all that shit. Still, I'm not a motherfucking hipster. MOTHERFUCK!

Sigh. Oh well. At least I have a signed copy of "Killing Yourself to Live." I still very much love you Chuck. Though, to you, I am that semi-retarded adamently opposing hipster.

I'm over it. Until next time, that is.

Chuck Klosterman with Tapes 'n Tapes at The Fitzgeral Theatre in St. Paul

Afterwards, Chipmunk drove us to the Cabooze to meet up with everyone. Unfortunately, we has missed Dance Band opening. Omaur Bliss was fun for the first two songs of their set. The rest were just boring and seemed like endless repeats of those first two songs (though they provided some stellar photograhpy opportunities.) So we drove to Seward Luce, naturally.


a day that left me with a new piercing**

a day that played "the storm of the century"

a night that snowed a foot

a night of spaghetti and several bloody marys

a night of midnight sledding and hot cocoa

a night of strange pants and hugging my Chipmunk and Little Lamb on the hill

a night in a strange master bedroom

a night that feels like it never happened

a next morning that had five of us in one bed together

with all our clothes on, mind you

one less familiar than others

all laughing and screaming staring out the master bed window

at the results of the snowed in blizzard "storm of the century"

for those twelve hours we were a family


Hungover with ginger beer, grilled cheese, a funny lesbian and a golden statuette.

**It's called the conch.

When Mama inevitably sees the piercing, if Mama acts shocked and/or disappointed, I'm just gonna tell Mama "at least it wasn't a tattoo."

While trying to remember the name of the specific piercing this Monday evening, the first word that popped into my head was chode. So very very wrong. And maybe just a little right. YOWZA!

PS While editing this entry, I am listening to my early copy of Jesse Malin's soon to be released "Glitter in the Gutter." My heart stopped when I heard Bruce's eiptome-of-cool voice. I had forgotten that he was a guest on the album. 'Twas a splendid surprise!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

That weekend in October of 2003, I was there.

In lieu of a project some of my friends and I are creating for this summer's Minneapolis Fringe Fest, I dug up this email I had written to my mentor/favorite professor at Olaf/second father. I had just returned from New York City where I had seen Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band play their final two concerts of the Rising Tour at Shea Stadium in Queens. This was the second and third time I had seen Bruce in concert (I am currently at thirteen.) My sentiments remain the same. It reminds me why I am still that Bruce girl who listens to a lot of music and struggles to find her place as an artist. It makes me so happy to read this as I am thrown back into that baseball stadium on that rainy fall evening. It reminds me of why I am, generally, so happy.

Here is the email, verbatim, sent on October 8, 2003.


Since I won't be there to throw a congratulatory shoe at your window...HAVE A GREAT OPENING PAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I talked to Anna yesterday for a long time and she has nothing but great things to say. I am so glad you two get along so well. I hear it has been an incredible process. And I do hope it goes well...please email me once life dies down for you a bit...
I saw him on Friday night a bit further back but we had a great view and you could see over the back of the stage and see part of the city so...needless to say...when bruce sang the song NYC Serenade, which I had just recently begun to get really into...which is about 3 different New's slow and very beautiful...and the power of hearing the song and seeing the city in the background...i burst into tears....ah life...then he said that there were a lot of people there (about 50,000) but a couple seats were missing because a firefighter, who had recieved these tickets as a 41st Bday present, had died in a fire the week before and his wife had written bruce about it, and then bruce sang "Into the Fire" written about the Sept11 fire fighters...and that too was very emotional...but NOTHING came close to the next night, which was the final night of this year and a half tour and maybe the last with the E Street Band...when we were much closer...surrounded by people...which was hard to get used to...because some of the people were really rude and it was making me so angry that we were that close and they were being so disrespectful of something that meant so much to me...but in a weird sort of way...i was able to funnel my anger a bit into the concert and sang along to Because the Night/Badlands/Prove It All Night/ like there was no tomorrow...I was screaming those words like they belonged to me...because they did...and the intensity of being able to control my anger and flip it around and make it powerful...and I started to cry for AGAIN...THEN...I hear the opening chords to Back In Your Arms...which is one of my absolute favorites and it was the only time he sang it on this tour and I have a huge emotional attachment to and I did my Found Text project at NTI based around this song and my relationships with people and with my mom and having her standing right next to me...I JUST STARTING SOBBING. It was incredible. This couple behind us handed me a napkin. Later on, when Bruce sang Bobby Jean, I looked back and this 35ish year old man, who was going crazy for most of the concert, was standing still, took of his hat, and just started wiping away tears. It is something else watching a grown man cry over this music. There are many out there like me when it comes to Bruce. So THEN...the first part of the concert was over and Bruce comes out for his first encore...AND THIS IS THE PART THAT YOU ARE GOING TO FUCKING LOVE...he was talking and said this man is an inspiration and the reason i got into music...i'd like to present Bob Dylan...and THEN BOB DYLAN WALKED OUT ON THE STAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The audience froze and just started screaming and screaming. They sang Highway 61 Revisited and you could just tell that Bruce was loving it, playing up there with someone whom he respected so much and was the reason he got into music. Two legends up there on that stage was extremely powerful. Towards the end of his second encore, he brought some producer people on stage and they sang a bunch of uplifting rock songs like Rosalita/Dancing in the Dark/Twist and Shout and people were just dancing in the aisles, including me and my mom. Which was such a release and so much fun. Then, Bruce ended the whole show by singing Blood Brothers with only the E Street Band and he got choked up in the middle of it and they sang the last verse just up at the front of the stage, holding hands and the camera scanned the bandmembers and tears were just running down the sax players, Clarence Clemons, the oldest band member's, face, and as they walked off, the pianist and other guitar player and his wife were wiping away tears. It was the most human I had ever witnessed him to be. He was so vulnerable on that stage. The concert was over and I was numb from the feeling of the emotional ride that I had been on and the knowledge that I had just witnessed something huge. The man who was crying during Bobby Jean and dancing all over the aisles grabbed me and my mom, hugged us, and kissed us, and said You both had a really good concert. And I did. We did. I was emotionally drained. And so tired. But so alive. And the tour is over. No more constant reading about what city he is in and what he played. No more maybe I'll be able to see him in NY in the back of my mind. No more making sure this NY trip could happen. It did happen. It seems like a dream. I was so depressed leaving NY, leaving that city, and coming to work on Monday. I sat in front of the computer all day just staring at what people had to say about the concerts with tears brimming in my eyes. I am not a constant cryer or anything but somehow this music and these concerts just grab me by the gut and put me in a place where I am more raw and vulnerable and excited than most, if not all, other aspects of my life. It's like any emotion or anxiety or fear or lonliness or complete happiness I have builds up and explodes through these songs. I wish that he was still touring and that money was not an issue for me. I wish that I was living on the East Coast so I could see a bunch of concerts and talk with fellow fans who understand this, who get this, as much as I do. I wish that somehow, I could find way to discover this within the reality that I live. I wish I could discover a way to make my days come to life like that, not just rely on random concerts to make me feel alive. My days are boring and that is not who I am. I have found freedom and escape in this music. I know this world he writes and sings about. I walk by these people every day. It is real life. Maybe that's wrong. Maybe it's producing a false world for me to esacape into, fall farther away from the realities of day to day life. But somehow I don't think it is. And I would be damned before I turned something that has been my strong hold and foundation for the past three years into something that was wrong for me. This has created a sort of independence for me, a hunger for life that I have constantly found within friends and theatre and, mostly, myself. As much as those concerts rip my emotions open, they inspire me to live the way I want to live and be the person I want to be. And that's who I am. And I wait for the next tour, listen to my hundreds and hundreds of bruce songs and strive to find a way to find this in my life. And I relish in the fact that this experience happened, that 2 1/2 years ago I saw him sing on HBO just by randomly flipping stations, saw him in St. Louis, saw him twice in NYC, that I was at the point in my life where I could really get this and that this music will always be here for me. that's that. I thought since I can't be there to tell you I would write you. I do hope you enjoy the rambles. That's me. That experience was me. And I do love telling you and sharing my life with you. So...I do hope you are in good spirits and that the show is all that you had hoped for and worked so hard for. Have fun. And, email me when you get a chance, and on two last notes, I would like to end this email with two moments of Zen:

1) Bruce Live In Barcelona is coming to DVD in a couple of months. It is the complete concert in Barcelona which was several months ago on DVD. Find it. Watch it. Enjoy it. You always asked me when it would come out on DVD and it is. And think of me sobbing in the audience like the day I was born

2) Check out the attached picture. After he ran across the stage, slid on his knees, jumped up on the piano, he did this. I saw this. Twice. I've never wanted to be a mic stand so much in my life. He is one fit 54 year old man. He will be around for a long long time.

Until next time Pappy,


A treasured picture of my mom and me in Shea Stadium right after the October 4th show

PS If anyone has a copy of that picture I refer to in number 2, please let me know (he's flipped upside down on a mic a stripper on a pole...a manly manly stripper....if you've seen it, you'll know the one I refer to.) I can't find it and need some good "material."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Two Days Ago, Two Weeks Ago

It was the perfect Friday night.

Anna and I parked in the lot of Java Jack's at 46th and Bryant. It was freezing cold outside and I was a little bit nervous. Excitement and anxiousness for my first Hootenanny experience.

We walked down the stairs into the basement. Right away I was overcome with feelings of happiness, peace and major deja-vu. We sat in old movie theatre chairs and Anna immediately went for the whiskey that Jim Walsh was offering freely. Already slightly soused, he held up the bottle and Anna poured it into the plastic cup. It was snowing a little bit outside. I was driving and there would be no alcohol for me. Besides, I don't like whiskey.

I took it all in with my mouth open and eyes a bit glazed over. The Terri Schiavo face, as Brian once called it.

I wanted the basement to be my basement. Anna said it would be someday. Except instead of a bird room, like my house back in Missouri where birds fly around freely, there would be a wiener dog room, which would actually be a giant field of poppies where wiener dogs leap out like dolphins. It is a very happy idea.

Recliners, couches, folding chairs and random movie theatre seats surrounded a small stage. The ceiling was sort of low and there were no windows to the outside. Album covers and flags and posters covered the walls. I immediately recognized Bruce's "Greetings from Asbury Park" and pointed it out to Anna. This was all too awesome.

Then I figured out what the deja-vu was from. This room reminded me of The Underground in Philly, another basement of another coffee shop with another little stage. Another sordid memory last May. I was pretty sure this Friday night wouldn't have me huddled in the alleyway behind the coffee shop with a major case of snot runs and beer tears. I was right, too.

I knew a good dozen people in the room. As a lurker/sometimes poster on, I knew these dozen or so as obsessive local music fans and cyber contributors. I follow what they write, their articles and reviews and pictures and websites. Occasionally I follow. Sometimes more than occasionally. I was a little bit intimidated. Sometimes more than a little bit. I caught myself staring, thinking if I would ever get up the nerve to have a conversation with these people. How much of an asshole would I make out of myself when I tried to talk? Would they ever be my concert friends? Would I ever stand in their circle or sit next to them at a Hootenanny?

I don't know.

But I do know that having Anna next to me made me really happy. I didn't have to worry about how much of an asshole I would be because it's understood. We would both be assholes together. We both kept our coats on because this perfect basement room was also bitingly cold. My feet were frozen and I wished I had about ten more pair of socks.

There were fifty or so people lightly packed into the basement. Jim Walsh poured more whiskey and the four musicians tuned their guitars. Jim Walsh had taken a night off of hosting and Stook stepped up. I kept thinking that, had we gone to high school together, Stook and I would have been friends. I don't know why specifically high school. It just seemed right.

The music started. Four local musicians (Jim Walsh as The Mad Ripple, Stook!, Brianna Lane, Bill Dankert) who played acoustic guitars and sang lyrics we could all understand. Some broke your heart and some made you really happy. There were a lot of songs, a lot of jokes, a lot of stories and still a lot of whiskey. Anna and I just sat against the wall in our movie theatre seats and laughed a lot. They all got drunker as my feet got colder, though I really stopped caring too much about that a long while ago. I was so comfortable and my mind was able stop racing for two hours. Anna said it was like I had found my people. I felt like I was on the outskirts of this club that wasn’t really exclusive at all. It was just nice.

Two hours later it was over. I spit my gum out; we bundled up and ran back into the cold. Back to the slippery streets and into Seward. We picked up Laura at her house. I drove into downtown. My nightmare, these one-way streets with drunken girls and frat boys waltzing awkwardly through lights. We parked and trekked into First Ave for Trampled by Turtles.

The club was packed with hippies, rockers, mid-lifers, beards, beads, weed and even a little treat who kept hitting on Laura. By the time we made our way around front, Pert Near Sandstone had ended, the one opener we had come to see, which was a bummer. A bummer soon forgotten once the girls got beers and we all started jumping up and down to the second opener, The Kissers (from Madison.)

I would have an orgy with every single member of The Kissers. I’m just saying.

Trampled by Turtles started and the club sort of exploded. Anna finished her whiskey and we were far enough back that Laura’s little treat was a distant memory. It was the three of us in the middle of a sausage fest sprinkled with ladies. We jumped higher and danced crazier to this blue-grass madness. We jigged and twirled and hugged a lot, linking arms, leaning our heads on each other’s shoulders and keeping rhythm on each other’s backs. I decided then that this audience would best be described as rowdy but respectful. They rocked around us, giving us a little space but not really afraid to sometimes jig right into us, as an audience should. I ran into a few people I knew. Danced especially hard with them. Friends from college and friends of friends. Close friends for just that night. It was like my earlier hootenanny had blown up in exactly the right way.

Trampled by Turtles rocked. Pros who fiddled and strummed so quickly that, at times, you couldn’t see their hands. They sang these songs that had us waving our arms in the air and dancing around and around. They created this audience.

Anna, Laura and I left. Sweaty and soaked in spilled whiskey. We ran out into the cold and I saw my First Ave bouncer who still remembers me from the one night I worker there over a year ago. He asked for a hug and I ran up to him. I jumped up and wrapped my arms around him and told him I was glad he hadn’t forgotten about me. He told me he couldn’t. That made me happy, too.

We ran into the parking garage, into my car and drove to the Seward Luce, a spot that is quickly becoming our spot. The waiter remembered us and even remembered that we were sitting in the same seats as last week. We chugged our waters. I got the same salad as last week and we continued on with our night, talking about music and boys and art and all that lovely nothing that three girls talk about at 2am.

We drove home and I crawled into my bed, under my covers, so worn out and happy I was almost sick.

Like I said, it was the perfect Friday night.

At one point during the Hootenanny, when Stook sang a song about his Valentine, he mistakenly referred to the holiday as two weeks ago. The audience laughed. If every day were as great as Friday, my two-week eternity would be heaven.

I took no pictures of my Friday night, even though my camera was at my side the entire time. I had to soak it in at the Hoot and cameras weren’t allowed at First Ave. I kept thinking I had to write it down to remember this night. And my words will help me remember it.

But then there’s the other side. Sometimes, for me, words don’t do an experience justice when photographs will.

My Valentine’s Celebration: SCARFTASTIC!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I can't believe I stayed up until 2:30 am to make a mini cyber version of me.

The soft glow of the computer screen illuminates our spastic movement as we jam out to Stook and Mark Mallman. We are creatures of the night, Mini-Obsessed and me. I, as Ms. Frankenstein, created the monster entirely in my own likeness. She is my companion as the time nears 3 am. Our true bat shit craziness reveals itself come midnight and beyond.

Are we playing air guitar? Or are we making seductive masturbation movements to Bruce singing "Millworker"? Who can tell the difference when we dance? Who really cares?


Okay...but seriously...I have that exact outfit down to the skull slip-ons and red hoop earrings. Plus she has my lazy pigtail hair! And Mini-Obsessed even wears my same black beaded bracelet Starsky gave me during the Marah concert!!

Okay...but seriously...I'm going to bed so I can try to wake up to live my life in this thing we call reality.

Goodnight, Mini-Obsessed. Your jammies are in your unmade bed, next to your kitty cat blanket. Just throw the clothes on the floor.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hearts n' Farts n' Crafts

I am single and ready to mingle.

Short of a couple blips, I have been single for a long time. A long long time. A long long long time.

Anna says she just can't think of anyone cool enough.

Uhhh...I'm not really all...but it's a nice thought.

I almost made out with my hand the other day.

But here's the deal...

I may have an extraordinarily cynical outer shell. I may hate PDAs. I may scoff and poke fun. I may mean it.

In real internal reality...

I am actually one giant vagina of romantic hope and excitement.

Seriously...slap some music on it and I'll probably cry...list my fantasies out and my grandparents will definitely cry.

I'm only twenty fucking five. I'm not worried about dying alone. Yet.

Soon to be twenty six...well not until May but for Jonesie that's soon enough to start planning my usual week of birthday extravaganza...did you know that it ONLY costs $250 to rent a hotel room next to the water park??!??!?!

Plus Momma Jones sent me some totally badass hotpink heart jewelry to wear tomorrow.

I surround myself with love. It only takes a real moment around me to see that.

Just like Davey and Holway on Friday were surronded by tits and ass from the Playboy Memory Computer Game at the bar in Northfield...

Yeah, even though I hardly played at all, they were definitely entering my name into the winners section. Sweet Playboy juices will be mine for all of eternity.

Jonesie is surrounded by love.

In honor of VD Day...


In no particular order...

10) The kickass Bday present I got my Madzie: a mini hookah, apple flavored tobacco, two chocolate bars & a box of evening tea...Our Thursday night Grey's Anatomy gathering is going to be quite an adventure this time round.

9) From

8) all of this... can bet your nads I cried buckets during this. Also, forced to decide (you know, during wartime or a good game of Would You Rather?), I would totally do beast over man. Mostly because Skidboot rules and that cowboy is a tool.

7) Local Musicians & Their (somewhat) Recent Albums that KICKASS! Obsessions of the week...
fav song of week: Death Wish
fav song of week: One Blue Teardrop

6) The lyrics to Bruce's "Incident on 57th Street" (One of) My favorite, tragic love song(s)'s all about the siren at the end.

Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm in a beat-up old Buick
But dressed just like dynamite
He tried sellin' his heart to the hard girls over on Easy Street
But they sighed "Johnny it falls apart so easy and you know hearts these days are cheap"
And the pimps swung their axes and said "Johnny you're a cheater."
Well the pimps swung their axes and said "Johnny you're a liar"
And from out of the shadows came a young girl's voice said: "Johnny don't cry"
Puerto Rican Jane, oh won't you tell me what's your name.

That final line of that of my top five Bruce lyrics of all time.

5) WE GOT A FRINGE FEST SHOW! There will be dancing! There will be video (there has to be...we are in visual fringe!) There will be stories! There will be Jonesie making an amazing a-hole out of herself onstage. YAY!

4) Coffee it covered in dark chocolate or pressed all cold like or all french like...I love you.

What's up lady biznasty looking coffee bean?

I'd drink even if the wiener dog whizzed in the mug.

3) My sister, who I don't talk to very often, has been calling me every evening for the past few days. She's having a lot of trouble with an undeserving friend of hers. Natalie left a distressed message today and ended with "I just need some good Alexa time. I love you. Call me." I love her back.

2) Man I love pooping at work. Seriously...I sit there an extra long time and think...I'm getting paid right now to poop...oh you damn Department Store...this one's for you.

1) Pappy (my college mentor/second father) once told me "Alexa, I know that when you find the person you are meant to be with, you will be really happy." Though my mother soon followed that lovely memory with "Alexa, are you screwed up in relationships because of what you've seen your father and me go through?", I still believe in the good.

Just imagine what naughty lingerie she picked out for her special someone...grrrrr....

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!