Gothic Lolita Theory, 1st Semester

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I have an unreasonable interest in the Japanese cosplay subculture.

It’s not age or culturally appropriate, but whether the tiny Japanese girls are dressed as little maids, little vampires, Victorian baby dolls, or just some sort of doll that’s been employed as a maid but is for some reason dead, it makes me smile….I had to stop buying the Gothic Lolita bibles after the fifteenth, because I ran out of three-foot tall bookshelf space. I like watching trends run through Lolita-land in Harajuku. One Summer, inexplicably, everyone had a bloody eyepatch, like all the dolls had a fight over the cutest coffin-shaped handbag.

I made a Lolita dress for myself for Halloween two years ago, and I am still waiting for an event where a six-foot tall Western lolita might be appropriate.

Last year, I wanted to do Strawberry Switchblade with my extremely easy-going spouse. I don’t think there’s another hetero male in the world that would agree to dressing as half of a defunct Scottish girl-group, and don’t think I don’t know I’m lucky. Here’s my initial sketch and a reference picture-

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Strawberry Switchblade

Strawberry Switchblade were an adorable pop duo who had a hit with “Since Yesterday”, and later a minor ripple with a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” They were best friends who later split up messily, and the tiny one, Rose McDowall, went on to work with Death in June, Coil, Current 93, Nurse with Wound and Psychic TV, and has thus developed a certain amount of street cred. I think that Jill is driving a cab in Glasgow.

Here’s how our costumes turned out:

While I was doing my Strawberry research, I noticed that there were a lot of photos of Strawberry Switchblade touring Japan in the early 1980’s, and then <“http://www.strawberryswitchblade.net/” offered up this nifty pic of an early Visual Kei group, Velvet Eden, that used to dress as Strawberry Switchblade, and who also covered their songs. Half the group, a drag artist named Dada, is also involved with/models for Lolita clothes label Arachnophobia. Which brings us to the question: was anyone dressing like a doll who was not first into Strawberry Switchblade?

What does it all mean? Did Strawberry Switchblade invent Gothic Lolita?

 

Bulldog Vs. Roomba

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If anyone hasn’t seen this brief film documenting the difficult relationship that our Frenchie girl had with the little robot that cleans your floors, here it is. Eventually, Hazel killed that Roomba by jumping on it until the battery wiring broke, and I discovered the power of the extended warranty when the robot company had no desire to discuss repair. Broken robot was replaced by a functioning robot that Hazel and Chico have hammered out an uneasy peace with, which is good, ‘cos I can’t sweep anymore. Not now that I know a robot wants to do it.

Texas’ Weirdest

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Raise your hand if you’re going to see Jandek at the Hollywood Theatre on Thursday…I’m really excited about attending his first West Coast performance.

Spooky music? You think you like spooky music? You ain’t heard spooky music until you’ve heard a six foot blonde moaning to a discordant guitar (*not* Nico). He’s self-pressed some 40-odd records, most of them mentioning suicide, european jewels, and/or janitors.

Anyway, Marilyn Manson can kiss my ass.

Jandek was great- there was a lot of Jazz/Skronk flavored “jamming” with local hero Sam Coomes and a drummer named Emil Amos. He did ask the audience that if they wanted to leave, to please do so between songs, so there was this herding phenomena when songs ended after ten or fifteen minutes.

He was everything I thought that a middle-aged outsider musician could be, and more. He sang about love, depression, and the speed at which his friend Eddie the Wino can down a bottle of Wild Irish Rose. He helped me solve a lot of problems I have when trying to sing and play guitar at the same time. His solution is: when he is singing,the guitar hangs limply around his neck. When he is done singing, he plays his guitar some more.br /The Jandek-loving masses wandered out of the theatre in a daze two hours later. I really did feel hypnotized. The non-Jandek loving 10% left the theatre during the first hour, stupefying the fans. He was totally un-charismatic, but in a hilarious way. No chitchat, very little acknowledgement of the audience. At the end he got a standing O (mostly in stunned amazement) while he packed up his own guitar and got his lyrics sheet and walked out the door.
For a weirdo ex-Texan, seeing Jandek perform ever was a little like seeing the tooth fairy.

Caption These Photos:

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I have a cool-ass friend who is doing contract work in Japan, and because he knows I am still obsessed with Gothic Lolitas, he was kind enough to send me photos of Japanese teenagers in full plumage that he took in the park. I have realized too late that I need to develop a skill set that will get me contract work in Tokyo. Anyway, here are the pics, please help me with captions, there are just starters:
1. Yuki’s friend believes that she is pushing a cart in an invisible supermarket. Yuki believes that she is a Scottish show-pony.

1A. Ami’s outfit “American fashion plate” won first prize!

Photo 2: Two tiny maids wish they were cool enough to hang out with Blue Blocker-wearing nerd when it’s not photo time.

2A: Tourists from Hokkiado are soooo easily amused.

Photo #3: You have to be careful, because when the combination of dreadlocks and platforms results in nose breakage, people tend to point and laugh.

3A: Worst mashup ever – Rasta-goth.

Photo 4: Hey, that’s my pose! Bitch stole my pose!

4A: Hot ghoul-on-ghoul action.

Thanks to the Sizzler for playing!

If A Double-Decker Bus

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Spouse had an exciting Johnny Marr sighting last week at his place of work: Marr was purchasing an XTC record and looked every inch the Modest Mouse producer. Today was even more exciting when Spouse was careening down a major street and stopped short at a door swung open on a red Mustang, and found that he had almost killed the king of jangly, layered guitar. I’m really glad he didn’t.

Post 2: I’ve decided I’m going to keep all my nerdy Marr sightings here.  In the Spring of 2009, I got a call that Johnny Marr was at Nike, visiting shoe overlord Parker Green.  I was so excited, I hid in a cubicle and took very bad pictures with my phone.  He was travelling with his kids, who also got shoes, and as he walked out (towered by his children) a woman asked “Who’s that?  Is that the Jonas’ brother’s dad?”  Yes, that’s who it is.  It’s funny working somewhere that Kobe Bryant and Lebron and Michael Jordan regularly show up, but I don’t care until Johnny Marr appears, and then nobody else pays notice.

Dec 2010- Made plans to do the Helium open mike with Stacey Hallal, picked up spouse at Crossroads records for dinner, and suddenly in walks the mushroom haircut of the Marr.  I froze like a rabbit in the path of a freight train.  I had to move away from him so that I would not start blathering smart-sounding things about Kanye West.  He talked to Spouse about a record he was looking for, and that he had been working on soundtracks.  Spouse said, oh, how do you find that?  and Johnny said, well, you know I did a lot of the Inception soundtrack, and that went alright.  And he didn’t even Know that spouse nearly ran him over in a car once!  And he probably never will.

200 Rounds!

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I guess the most important thing to know is that our neighborhood is still ‘in transition’, so when we were working in the front yard yesterday and Spouse found 200 rounds of handgun ammunition stashed in our lavender bushes, we were not entirely surprised. We called the police, who were pretty casual about the ammo but who were glad to come pick it up, and who let us know that we might also be on the lookout for a gun, and not to touch it. It’s nice that they reminded us not to handle, or get fingerprints on, a strange gun. It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot!

We’re Baaack!

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The spouse and I have just returned from a trip to NYC, celebrating the occasion of our fourth wedding anniversary. I don’t think it’s so impressive that we have been married four years so much that it’s been consecutive. I celebrated a lot of it by following him from record store to record store to record store.br /br /One of the high points of the trip for me was seeing Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, and Nellie McKay in the Threepenny Opera. Alan shocked everyone by playing Mack the Knife as if he were a bisexual hustler, or as if he were still in Cabaret. Nellie was fantastic as Lucy, and Cyndi looked mighty foxy in her Pirate Jenny hooker-wear. Costume design by Isaac Mizrahi, who is a hack. I could put rubber pants and a priest’s collar on a chorus member as well as anyone. We had a great time attending a party for the Ron and Fez XM radio show, and one thing led to another and we sat in on the show the following Tuesday. I really enjoyed it, despite being nervous, and if I had not looked at the message boards for that show immediately afterwards I never would have realized that I am am unfunny asshole.

Here is Ron imagining himself as a baby chef, from a bit he did on the show I sat in on, pic courtesy Photoshop Mike./ppbr /Our only surprise celebrity sighting this trip was Russell Simmons, enjoying a vegan brunch with an attractive young lady the day before his break with Kimora broke in that bastion of newsworthiness, the New York Post. Beloved Spouse thinks he saw Karlheinz Stockhausen, but he frequently hallucinates.br /br /Another feature of the trip was seeing the Munch exhibit at MOMA, and you may think you’ve seen a lot of Munch, but it included a painting that was just discovered in 2004. It looks like a nightmare Gauguin, and when’s the last time that lazy, dead Norwegian painted anything new?

We enjoyed hanging out with our gracious hosts and some other friends, and we got to see Stephin Merritt at his DJ night at the Beauty Bar, where we were showered with candy and girl-group hits, so it was really a nice time all around. When we landed, it was 65 and sunny, and when we left six days later, it snowed for an hour, so we enjoyed a lot of variety.