Grinding. Are you familiar with this concept? It generally occurs at a nightclub; dance music is playing, loudly, and a schlumpy dude is blessed with a really sexy woman bending backward anywhere from 45 to 90 degrees, protruding the junk in her trunk, and "grinding" at various speeds and frictions into his pelvis. It requires the dude to do nothing, really, except squint through the strobe at the woman's back and look cool. If Thursday's Princess Superstar DJ set at the Baltic Room taught me anything, it's that I'm incapable of executing even this simple non-task without said sexy woman looking up after 10 seconds and laughing.
(That, incredibly, was only my second most humiliating dance-floor moment of the weekend at about 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, I responded to the " . . . so take off all your clothes" hook to Nelly's "Hot in Herre" by (a) pursing my lips, (b) lifting my T-shirt to show 3 inches of my belly with one hand, and (c) using the other to do the rodeo with my baseball cap. Ricky Martin has nothing on me, except for more convincing public declarations of heterosexuality.)
In many ways, I deserve this. Just last week, in possibly the biggest alternative weekly overstatement since, oh, two weeks ago, when Weekly music editor Michaelangelo Matos claimed that the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines was the "premier mainstream female vocalist of our era" [Whatever you say, emo boyEd.], I promised that Princess' Thursday afternoon Bon Marché set would be "as call-off-work-early-worthy an event as Game 7 of the Series at the Safe." Instead, I withstood 20 minutes of a vaguely uncomfortable Princess spinning F-word-free 50 Cent and Madonna to a knuckle-dragging assemblage of Dave Matthews bootleg owners before retreating in shame.
Since I bullshitted the city about the Superstar experiencewhich I'll give a C-plus thanks only to her spirited 1:30 a.m. Baltic rendition of "Bad Babysitter"I was victimized by more crippling, midweek tragedy, and I don't mean salsa legend Celia Cruz passing on from brain cancer on Wednesday. According to New York Post gossip mummy Liz Smith, Winona Rydercurrent rehabilitating felon, recent star of masterpiece Autumn in New York, reputed serial rock 'n' roll dater of Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner, Beck, and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, ad nauseamis now dating "musician/composer" Page Hamilton, ex-frontman of Helmet, the most important band in rock history [Keep it up, laughing boyEd].
There are a number of ways I could voice grievances about my idol railing the only actress on the planet who could blow the line, "my teen-angst bullshit has a body count," but if contributing riffs for the new Limp Bizkit album didn't nuke his cred, I guess the guy can do no wrong. Yeah, what I'm mostly upset with is Smith referring to Hamilton as a "musician/ composer." Try pioneering metal superman, Liz.
I get pissy with journalists a lot, especially rock journalistsprobably jealousy residue, since I barely qualify as one. Take Sean Nelson's deconstruction of popular dating/socializing Web site Friendster.com in last week's Stranger. Sean whiffed on the real appeal of the siteyou can accumulate virtual friendships with fuckin' rock stars!which makes sense, since he is, in fact, a fuckin' rock star.
Har Mar Superstar is on Friendster. Le Tigre are on Friendster. Trail of Dead are on Friendster. Any local rocker worth their track marks is on Friendster, and I want to "befriend" them all. It makes me look cooler, a more integral cog in a community that I have nothing to do with other than, like, going to shows and writing about them. Derek Fudesco of Pretty Girls Make Graves recently deleted his Friendster account, reluctantly re-created it, but didn't re-establish Friendstership with me. Sure, we've only shared three two-minute conversations in our lives, but he's got Friendster cred off the fucking charts. I want him back. I want his fucking bandmates. Sean, I'll take you, too.
See, rock writing is, more often than not, assumption and pose, and nothing confirmed this more than reading Lester Bangs lacerating the 1979 "obituary" of Sid Vicious in Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader, forthcoming from Anchor Books. Bangs shrugs Sid off as a "simple, mediocre asshole," asserts that he and Nancy were "two of the most pathologically tortured humans on the face of the earth," but admits guilt that he'd, um, never actually met the infamous bassist.
I don't know Winona, Princess, Page, or many of the proper nouns I just name-dropped. This occupation is fantasyland. I'm sure Bangs had loftier professional aspirations, but I'm fine with make-believe friends . . . and the occasional grinding. [You're firedEd.]