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amazing road trip destinations






make some noise


Contents FEATURES [JUN/JUL ’11]


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GO WITH THE FLO From “Dog Days” to the VMAs,


FUTURAMA Amazing auteur Miranda July is back with another mind-bending feature film. By Jenni Miller


THE CRAFT Creepy, kooky, and altogether spooky, a new brand of girl-dominated electronica called witch house is coming to a stereo near you. By Callie Watts


SOLID GOLD The season’s hottest looks modeled

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine has had quite a ride. By Mikki Halpin


RIDING IN CARS WITH GIRLS Have a blast from coast to coast with these gal-friendly road-trip destinations. By Lisa Butterworth


LINER NOTES Our loving tribute to three behindthe-scenes pioneers of rock: Cordell Jackson, Carol Kaye, and Lillian Roxon. By Erin DeJesus


by our favorite music makers. Starring: MNDR, Cat’s Eyes, Gang Gang Dance, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Agnes Obel, and the Raveonettes. Photographed by Michael Lavine, styling by Priscilla Polley

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Editor’s Letter Dear BUST


Broadcast Amy Klein of Titus Andronicus turns up the volume; The Smiths Project gives Moz a run for his money; Nomi Network offers trafficked women a way out; and more. 12 She-bonics Real talk from Erykah Badu, Lady Gaga, Lykke Li, and Janet Jackson. By Whitney Dwire 16 Pop Quiz Aretha Franklin for the win! By Emily Rems 18 Hot Dates Events to try in June and July. By Libby Zay 19 Boy du Jour Hanging with TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe is a lovely way to spend a day. By Jen Hazen


Real Life Make your own cigar-box ukulele; apply for a grant; grow a carnivorous garden; and more. 27 Buy or DIY Unbeweavable fabric necklaces! By Heather Loop and Callie Watts 31 Old School Grandma Jeanne’s icebox cake. By Brandy Barber


Looks Style advice from accessories designer Sue Eggen; putting teeth whiteners to the test; Hollywood-inspired designs by Geronimo; and more. 42 BUST Test Kitchen. Our interns make their skin gleam with body tint, face wash, and sunscreen. 44 Good Stuff Look your best at the next music fest. By Stephanie J


Sex Files Sex-positive readings, and more. 86 Questions for the Queen Dr. Carol Queen makes getting together feel better. 88 One-Handed Read Desert Oasis. By Janie Edwards

Columns 14 Pop Tart Saluting the delightfully bland royal fam. By Wendy McClure 15 Museum of Femoribilia Gals liked getting pinned when a corsage was involved. By Lynn Peril 22 News From a Broad Remembering the real Rosie the Riveter. By Kara Buller 26 Nickel and Dined When life gives you summer, make lemonade! By Isa Chandra Moskowitz 34 Mother Superior When her kid fails to retain his retainer, Mama goes Dumpster diving. By Ayun Halliday 46 Around the World in 80 Girls You’ll be glad you went to Ghent! By Courtney Davis 95 X Games Not So Hard! By Deb Amlen

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The BUST Guide 75 Music Reviews; plus, backstage legend Bebe Buell steps into the spotlight. Movies !Women Art Revolution asks “Who Took the Bomp from The Tree?” 81 Books Reviews; plus, Lynn Peril goes Swimming in the Steno Pool.


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BUSTshop The Last Laugh Tammy Pierce dances the night away. By Esther Pearl Watson




JUN/JUL 2011 – VOLUME 69

put another dime in the jukebox, baby


HERE’S HOW THINGS go, music-wise, here at BUST HQ. The stereo is in Laurie’s office, but the speakers face out to all of us. Right now Laurie’s playing something nice and melodic with a lady singer. I don’t know if she likes it, or if she’s listening to it to decide whether she likes it. She’s our resident Music Czar, and it’s her fine ear that decides which of the many CDs that come in will make the cut and be reviewed. I’m in the office beside hers, and I have my headphones on, but I can still hear what she’s playing. That’s because I’m not listening to anything, I’m just trying to place myself into a cone of silence so that I can concentrate on writing this letter. When I do listen to music, I get real lazy and let Pandora choose for me; I’ve been tuned to “Dengue Fever Radio” for months now. Over in the main space, crafty lady Callie is at the front desk with her headphones on. I don’t know what she’s listening to, but I can be certain it’s from the future. Callie is reliably a few trends ahead of the rest of us; it was she who told us about sissy bounce long before The New York Times did. I’m not sure what editors Emily and Lisa are listening to when they’re plugged in, but I can guess that Emily’s tunes will be somewhat dark and Morrissey-esque, and that Lisa’s are likely to feature ukuleles and quirky lyrics. Senior designer Erin is the wild card; she doesn’t often wear headphones nor comment on what’s playing in the office, yet she’ll pop out with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the latest up-and-coming indie bands. So how do we ever see ear to ear on what should be included in a music issue? That’s easy: we focus on the ladies. This issue is filled with female musicians whose styles are as varied as our tastes—ranging from riot grrrl to rockabilly to indie-pop and beyond. Far beyond, in fact. For this issue, Callie fills us in on a new trend: witch house. That is, house music with a sinister, witch-y vibe, which happens to be mostly made by women. But music reporting needn’t always be about the Next Big Thing. We also look to the ladies of the past, reporting on contributions made by “rockabilly granny” Cordell Jackson, Carol Kaye, arguably the most recorded studio musician in history, and Lillian Roxon, who’s been called the mother of rock ‘n’ roll journalism. Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine isn’t the Next Big Thing—she’s the Current Big Thing. You’d have to have been trying if you missed seeing her in the past year, as she was everywhere—performing on Saturday Night Live, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Grammys, and the Oscars. With her shock of red hair, her impressive stature (she’s six feet tall), and flair for fashion, she’s not the kind of performer you easily forget. So what’s it like to go from struggling indie rocker to international rock sensation almost overnight? Florence lets us in on all that, and her story is both incredible and inspiring. Music tours and summertime go together like ice and tea, and if you’re planning on hitting the road to catch some of your favorite bands, we’ve scoured the map from coast to coast to bring you the greatest, girliest places to visit along the way. We’ve even gathered some of the sweetest, ’70s-inspired gear for you to rock at those lovely outdoor concerts. And for even more style ideas, check out our favorite musicians of the moment in some of the season’s most eye-catching fashions. All that, plus a fabulous interview with filmmaker Miranda July, loads of great DIY projects (including how to craft a ukulele from a cigar box), and a recipe for an easy icebox cake that you’ll want to have made yesterday, will make this issue music to your ears. Rock on, ladies! xoxoxo

Debbie BUST a Move! BUST magazine is now all up in your iPad—download our free app from the iTunes store! Or subscribe to our digital edition, which can be read from any webconnected device, at 6 / BUST // JUN/JUL


PUBLISHERS Laurie Henzel & Debbie Stoller DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING + MARKETING Emily Andrews, 212.675.1707 x112, SALES MANAGER: BUSTSHOP + MARKETPLACE Stephanie DiPisa, 917.442.8465, EVENT + PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR Nikki Hung, 212.675.1707 x104, BOOKKEEPER Amy Moore, EDITORIAL INTERNS: Julie Alsop, Janelle Hawthorne, Eileen Milman, Kate Oldaker, Kristina Uriegas-Reyes, Jessica Wolford MARKETING INTERN: Samantha Peltz FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS Please email or call 866.220.6010 FOR BOOBTIQUE ORDERS Please email WWW.BUST.COM ©2011 BUST, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the permission of the publisher. The articles and advertising appearing within this publication reflect the opinions and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608 Canada returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2


THE GREAT APRIL/MAY DEBATE I don’t consider myself a cook or a e foodie, but I really got a lot out of the special Food Issue. The San Diego travel piece (“Around the World in 80 Girls”) was perfectly timed for my trip there, and my friend and I were cal complimented for knowing about “local hangout” Hash House a Go-Go (definitely worth a visit!). And I really enjoyed the article about women hunters (“View to a Kill”). I’m sure you’ll get a lot of blowback on that piece, but I applaud you for taking the chance to explore a pastime that us urban dwellers are quick to dismiss as barbaric. If more people had this kind of respect and connection to the meat they consume, I think it would be for the better. Shoshannah Flach, San Francisco, CA I’ve been a BUST reader almost since the inception of the magazine. Normally I’m in love with every aspect of BUST, but the “View to a Kill” article just about sent me over the edge with anger. Hunting may be a part of rural Wisconsin culture (and patriarchal culture, I’d argue), but that doesn’t make it ethical or something I want to see lauded in one of the only feminist magazines in existence. Do we really need to buy into the “women can do it too” line to justify the murder of innocent animals in our backyards? There are plenty of amazing ways for outdoorswomen to enjoy and respect nature and family traditions that don’t include such bloodshed. Diane Drotleff, Columbus, OH Please don’t sugarcoat the ugly, violent reality of hunting by calling it “harvesting” (“View to a Kill”). Hunting is killing, plain and simple, and it’s cruel. Many animals escape hunters wounded, only to die slow, painful deaths. Baby animals are often left orphaned after hunters kill their parents. There are countless ways to enjoy nature and spend time with the people we love without killing animals. And the choice isn’t between hunting or buying meat from the store. We can be truly respectful of all life—and enjoy better health—by choosing delicious plant-based foods. Lindsay Pollard-Post, Holland, MI I love BUST and promote it to all my girlfriends, but when Liv Tyler, whom I like, said, “Motherhood is not for pussies” (“Liv Strong”), I was completely offended that you highlighted that statement in the article and plastered it next to her face. I love the mag and will continue to subscribe, but please don’t let me be the only one to stop using the term “pussy” as a weak, negative, undesirable thing when everyone wants it and should damn well respect it! Sick Girl, via email

Get it off your chest! Send feedback to: Letters, BUST Magazine, 18 West 27th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Email: Include your name, city, state, and email address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


CONTRIBUTORS Tuesday Bassen, who illustrated the feature story “Riding in Cars with Girls,” is soon to be Brooklyn-based and is a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. When not busy illustrating (all day every day!), rest assured that she’s reading comic books, cackling at campy horror movies, conducting interviews for (her blog with designer Meg Lewis), and eating truckloads of quinoa. Though much else could be said, fellow Minneapolitan artist John Vogt summed Bassen up best when he said, “Judging by [her illustrations], she has the mouth of a trucker, albeit a trucker with a very sweet disposition.” Jen Hazen, BUST’s new associate music editor who interviewed Tunde Adebimpe for this issue, is an N.Y.C.-based editor/ writer who shares a closet-like apartment with a designer named Chris and a tiny dachshund named Talia. She has written about art, design, fancy clothing, beauty, music, and sex for years and recently founded, a Web site that’s basically her daily make-out session with music, bikes, art, design, and N.Y.C. Hazen’s work has appeared in Time Out Chicago, JANE, Chicagoist, Thought Catalog, Chicago Sun-Times, and Maximumrocknroll, as well as in the book Cassette From My Ex (St. Martin’s).

Shannon Taggart, who shot several bands for the feature story “The Craft,” is a photographer based in Brooklyn. Her images have appeared in such publications as Blind Spot, Tokion, TIME, and Newsweek. Her work has been recognized by American Photography, the International Photography Awards, Photo District News, and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, among others. Her photographs have been shown at Photoworks in Brighton, England, the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, Redux Pictures in N.Y.C., and the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles. She is working on a project about Vodou ceremonies in Brooklyn. For more info, visit 10 / BUST // JUN/JUL


Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, who wrote “Apply Yourself,” has been a BUST contributor since 2002. Author of five books of poetry, including the recently reissued Hot Teen Slut and Working Class Represent (both from Write Bloody Publishing), she also wrote the lauded non-fiction book Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam (Soft Skull Press). Aptowicz is the 2010-2011 ArtsEdge Writer-In-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and was also recently awarded a 2011 National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. To see more of her work, go to



revolution girl style, again!



RIOT GRRRL AS a cohesive movement may have petered out more than a decade ago, but its spirit lives on—and 26-year-old Brooklynbased musician and blogger Amy Klein is living proof. Klein is best known for playing guitar and electric violin in the New Jersey punk band Titus Andronicus, whose sprawling 2010 release, The Monitor (XL Recordings)—a concept album about the Civil War—was a critical favorite. Klein, who describes Titus as “a rowdy bar band,” became the only woman in the five-piece ensemble in late 2009, and though she’s incredibly sweet and somewhat shy one-on-one, her onstage energy is famous for being infectious and wild. (Google “Titus Andronicus” and “Rebel Girl,” and you’ll see what we mean—the clip of Klein performing Bikini Kill’s riot-grrrl anthem is totally captivating.) But rock is still a male-dominated arena, a fact that motivated Klein this year to help form Permanent Wave, a collective of creative feminist activists “that knows women are more than groupies and merch girls.” »


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broadcast as a grass-roots movement where girls met and engaged with each others’ lives,” she says. “I thought, Why can’t we do something like that now?” But despite all the excitement surrounding Permanent Wave, playing music is still Klein’s main focus. She recently released a sparse, folk-inspired solo album, I Know What You Want, and plays guitar in a noise-rock duo called Hilly Eye with her friend Catherine Tung. Klein also volunteers with Brooklyn’s Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, teaching the next generation of tiny riot grrrls how to rock out. “The kids are really inspirational, but the volunteers are probably just as inspirational for me,” she says of the women she’s met through the program. “To have that experience of being in a large group of women supporting each other and working together to get something awesome accomplished…I think that’s very unique, and it’s something I’ve tried to re-create and encourage.” [AMY PLITT]



IF WATCHING THE criminal-justice system triumph over rapists is your idea of riveting drama, then the new HBO documentary Sex Crimes Unit is for you. Directed by Lisa Jackson, the film celebrates the achievements of the nation’s first office solely dedicated to the prosecution of sexual assault and chronicles the heroic work of its N.Y.C.-based district attorneys. Don’t miss it when it airs June 20.


“Feminism has become more a part of my life as I’ve started working in the music industry,” she explains. “I’m touring most of the time, and all the other bands and sound techs and people who work in the clubs are guys.” Permanent Wave held its first event in February—a party featuring femalefronted bands that benefited a center for domestic-violence survivors—and is planning a feminist film festival and a concert for Japanese disaster relief. Eventually, Klein hopes to open a community center where women can hold workshops, hang out, and create. And it’s a dream that was a long time in the making. Growing up in Glen Ridge, NJ, Klein first became interested in feminism as a kid by pilfering her older sister’s Liz Phair CDs and BUST magazines. But more recently, it was the descriptions of the early-’90s riot-grrrl scene she read in Sara Marcus’ book Girls to the Front that prompted her to take action. “[The book] focused on riot grrrl


“My mother gave me a sense of wit. My grandmother Thelma taught me morality, femininity, manners, how to cross my legs at the ankles, the appropriate alcohol for ladies—those kinds of things. My paternal grandmother gave me a strong sense of spirituality. She made it clear that my words and songs had to mean something.” Erykah Badu in Arise “You have an obligation to follow your dreams. It takes courage to do that. At the end of your life, you need to be able to say that you gave it all you could. Life is short. It’s very fragile. I know that firsthand. If I have a chance to make art that people will respond to, I have to take it.” Lykke Li in Spin

“We have to let [our daughters] know constantly that they are beautiful as they are and they are special as they are. We are all unique. We’re meant to be who we are. A lot of times, I kept my feelings bottled inside. I would not tell my parents, and it came out in other ways like overeating. I think parents need to have that open dialogue to always know what’s going on in their children’s lives.” Janet Jackson in Upscale

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“I want for people to essentially use me as an escape. I am the route out. I am the excuse to explore your identity, to be exactly who you are and to not hate yourself. Because, as funny as it is that I am on the cover of Vogue—and no one is laughing harder than I am—I was the girl in school who was most likely to walk down the hallway and get called a slut or a bitch or ugly or big nose or nerd or dyke.” Lady Gaga in Vogue


bright lights, blue blood THE ROYALS ARE BORING (THAT’S WHY I LOVE THEM) THIS SPRING I got a little obsessed with the royal wedding. I think it started one day when I was surfing around on eBay and came across an awesomely hideous William and Kate tea towel. I loved it, because who the hell else gets their faces on

star train wrecks but at ladies in goofy hats. I know that whole monarchy business is supposed to be the reason the Windsors are famous, but frankly, it’s about as relevant as Lindsay Lohan’s acting career. If the royals are anything, they’re an ex-

If the royals are anything, they’re an extremely slow-paced reality show entering its 200th season. Like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but with tweed. a tea towel? Not Beyoncé or Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. (Well, maybe Gaga, if the tea towel were latex and she wore it on her head.) Miley Cyrus’ face may have appeared on every other piece of merchandise in the “back to school” aisle at Target, but William and Kate have their own coin. They have commemorative sets of china! They have an official thimble. It’s so dorky it’s cool, and maybe that’s what really fascinates me about the royal family. They’re icons of an alternate universe of celebrity obsession, a veritable bizarro world where we gawk not at pop-

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tremely slow-paced reality show entering its 200th season. Like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but with tweed. And I’ve been watching on and off for years. When I was 10 years old, I got up at 5 a.m. to watch Lady Di walk down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, wearing a puffy wedding gown with sleeve poufs the size of weather balloons. In the months leading up to that moment, I’d watched the media follow her every move as soon as her engagement was announced. I learned that you could get in trouble for trying to change your hair-

style or for not knowing how see-through your skirt could be on a sunny day. Because of Princess Di, I cultivated a fantasy tabloid in my head that kept tabs on my outfits and social activities. I sought both approval and shock from my imaginary press. “PARTY PRINCESS WENDY HITS THE ROLLER RINK…AGAIN!,” a typical headline might read, above a photo of me in my new Forenza sweater. Fame seemed like a fairy tale that could transform ordinary life, the way it did for this 19-yearold kindergarten teacher in England. Of course, fairy tales have their gruesome moments, too, as we would all see in the ensuing years on both sides of the Atlantic. The paparazzi followed Princess Diana through a failing marriage, a tellall book, and a divorce, all the way to her car-crash death. Since then, the only princesses in popular culture have been Disney cartoon characters relentlessly marketed to little girls, and the paparazzi have pursued scores of other young women as they stumbled their way down the red carpet. Then Lady Gaga wrote a love song called “Paparazzi,” and all the famous people got on Twitter. Fame has become a complicated game. This newest royal couple seems well prepared to play it, though. Kate Middleton is as winning as an actress on a hit sitcom, with enough media training to ensure that she probably won’t ever be caught in public without a slip (or any other undergarment, for that matter). As for Prince William, he’s always lived up to the Ralph Lauren preppy fantasy that his family represents. But compared to the rest of the celebrity universe with its nonstop media frenzies, the royals seem a little quaint. Unlike the rest of the famous world, William and Kate’s appeal still hinges on the idea that they have a private life—even if we all have a sneaking suspicion that it’s, well, kind of boring. I hope they stay that way. I hope that now that they’ve walked down the aisle, Prince William and Princess Kate get to hang out at home and add Mad Men to their Netflix queue and order Thai carry-out, just like everyone else. Living an ordinary life might not seem like it’s the same as living happily ever after, but these days, it’s happy enough.





DURING MUCH OF the 20th century, small, wearable floral bouquets known as corsages were given to women by their suitors before a formal dance or as a not-too-personal holiday gift. They were also common presents for older female relatives on Mother’s Day or Easter. “To one lovely lady add an exotically beautiful orchid or two and the result will always be a fluttering, feminine thrill,” summed up a fashion writer for the Los Angeles Times in 1934. Originally, the word corsage referred to the bodice of a dress, not the small bunch of blooms that was often tucked there. “Why will some »


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mothers permit themselves and their daughters to attend every function in gowns with corsages so low that a man can scarcely look them in the eyes and keep his thoughts where they should be?”complained a New York society matron at the turn of the 20th century. But a decade later, corsage was more regularly understood to mean the flowers. And though The New York Times reported that Paris had “abolished” the “corsage bouquet” as unfashionable in 1912, reports of its demise were premature. What had gone out of style was wearing it pinned to the breast; a more up-to-date look was to wear it on the shoulder. The 1920s fashion for shorter dresses also meant that a sassy flapper might “accentuate a pretty ankle” with a bouquet. This type of corsage, The New York Times reported in 1926, was meant to be “worn on the right ankle and consist of small flowers such as violets or pansies” in colors harmonizing with the rest of the wearer’s outfit.

POP QUIZ ARETHA FRANKLIN IS THE REAL THING! [BY EMILY REMS] RANKED NUMBER ONE on VH1’s Greatest Women of Rock ’n’ Roll list, Aretha Franklin is the undisputed Queen of Soul. Think you know why this 16-time Grammy Award winner deserves our R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Then take the quiz!

Like most fads, the ankle corsage faded quickly. The vogue for strapless evening gowns, beginning in the late 1940s, was more long-lasting and brought with it a special problem. Where could one pin a corsage on a gown with neither straps nor fabric covering the shoulders? A suggestion by the Los Angeles Times in 1950 that “lady folks” scotchtape a gardenia or rose “on the exposed part of their anatomy” was perhaps not the most helpful of solutions. The wrist corsage, however, worn on an elastic band or cord, not only solved the problem of the strapless gown, but it also resolved the delicate moment when, prior to a formal high school dance, a boy was expected to pin the corsage on the girl’s dress. The proximity of his date’s décolletage—and, frequently, her parents—could distract all but the most stalwart of men from the job at hand. Shaky hands also increased the likelihood of a slipped pin scratching his date or tearing a hole in her dress.

Whether they were headed to a school prom or a sophisticated nightclub, men were encouraged to find out beforehand what their date planned to wear, lest she suffer what a New York floral arranger in 1956 called “the embarrassment of wearing an unsuitable, unchic corsage.” Orchids were always a popular choice, perhaps because they were expensive. As historian Beth Bailey explained, in the economy of mid-20th-century dating, a corsage was less a private gift than a public symbol, one that said, “for the man, ‘See what I can afford,’ and for the woman, ‘See how much I’m worth.’” A carnation proclaimed for all to see that one’s date was a dud; an orchid announced he was a big man on campus. Today, corsages are mostly reserved for very formal occasions like weddings or proms. Modern women and their suitors have largely shifted their focus to diamonds as the ultimate fashion statement that declares what her love is “worth.”

1. Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in what city? a. Memphis,TN b. Buffalo, NY c. Detroit, MI d. New Orleans, LA

6. How old was Aretha when she had her first of four children? a. 14 b. 24 c. 34 d. 44

2. When Aretha was four, her parents split, and she was sent to live with which family member? a. Her sister b. Her aunt c. Her cousin d. Her grandmother

7. In what year did Aretha become the first female artist inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame? a. 1977 b. 1987 c. 1997 d. 2007

3. Aretha learned to sing and play piano at the Baptist church where her father was a minister. She was also influenced there by which visiting gospel great? a. Albertina Walker b. Mahalia Jackson c. Clara Ward d. All of the above

8. What song did Aretha sing as the only featured vocalist at Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration? a. “America (My Country ’Tis of Thee)” b. “Rock Steady” c. “The Star-Spangled Banner” d. “I Say a Little Prayer”

4. Aretha was only 10 when her mother died, and her father died suddenly in 1984, when he was ______. a. shot by a burglar b. poisoned by a lover c. stabbed by a rival preacher d. attacked by a dog

9. In March, Columbia Records released a 12-disc CD/DVD set of all its Aretha recordings. What is the collection’s title? a. Queen of Soul b. Sweet Inspiration c. Take a Look d. Freedom

5. How many times has Aretha been married? a. 0 b. 1 c. 2 d. 3

10. Complete the following Aretha quote: “I’m a ____ woman. I need big hair.” a. big b. famous c. natural d. Detroit

Answer Key: 1. a, 2. d, 3. d, 4. a, 5. c, 6. a, 7. b, 8. a, 9. c, 10. a 16 / BUST // JUN/JUL



hot dates


Through June 26

DIVING UNDER THE COVERS OF VOCALIST JANICE WHALEY’S SMITHS PROJECT IN DECEMBER 2009, Janice Whaley, 35, made a simple New Year’s resolution. She didn’t attempt to quit smoking or perfect her Warrior II pose; she just wanted to make music again. So Whaley cleared out a closet in the San Jose, CA, home she shares with her boyfriend and son, got the music-editing software ProTools, and started spending some time each week singing songs by 1980s English alternative-rock band the Smiths. But Whaley wasn’t simply imitating the lead vocals made famous by Smiths frontman Morrissey. Using ProTools, she began manipulating her voice to replicate every instrument on her selected tracks, coming up with haunting, imaginative, and utterly original allvocal arrangements for each song. The results were so intriguing, Whaley decided to create her own version of every original Smiths song (plus their cover of “Golden Lights”) over the course of a single year—71 tracks in all, recorded in countless, intricate vocal layers, spanning six albums—and so The Smiths Project was born. “The whole process was a surprise,” says Whaley. “The main thing that I got from doing this project was, as long as you are headed toward something that you love, good things are going to come from it.” In Whaley’s case, those good things came in the form of a Kickstarter grant she proposed online to raise money for licensing fees. Whaley offered a box set of her complete recordings to donors who contributed at least $60 and set a goal of $3,500—an amount that has now been met five times over thanks to the popularity of her music, which can all be heard online at Janice.Bandcamp. com. The buzz has also resulted in a collaboration with Curt Smith from Tears for Fears, and she’s now planning an upcoming album of her own material. A self-professed band nerd, Whaley first heard the Smiths in junior high in Joshua Tree, CA. After graduation, she moved to San Francisco to pursue music, but that fell by the wayside. Years later, Whaley’s wake-up call came alongside the sudden, unrelated deaths of two of her friends within five weeks of each other. She recalls asking herself at that time, “What do I want to leave behind—the regret of never having done anything with my passion? Or do I want to stop messing around and have my music be the gift I leave behind?” It was a moment that changed her life, and clearly The Smiths Project is just the beginning. To keep up with Whaley and her ongoing endeavors, visit [JENNI MILLER]

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June 2 – 5 BURLESQUE HALL OF FAME WEEKEND Mardi Gras isn’t the only time New Orleans gets naughty: this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend will transform the city into a celebration of tassel-twirling action. Top teasers including Michelle L’amour, Joyce Tang, and Nicollette Daly will strut their stuff at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, where all the Weekend’s other events are also conveniently taking place. Get the bare essentials at Through July 17 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP At the end of June, the stars of women’s football (aka soccer) from all over the globe will descend on the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Held every four years, the Cup consists of 16 teams competing this time around in nine cities across Germany, which just happens to be home to the two-time defending champions. Get in the game at July 15 – 17 LADIES OF HIP-HOP FESTIVAL Powerful female MCs from all over the world will be coming to New York City this spring to teach and perform at the Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival. Now in its seventh year, the fest hopes to challenge the male-dominated hip-hop scene and put women center stage with the help of top instructors from Japan, Canada, Sweden, and the U.S. Bust a move over to for all the details. [COMPILED BY LIBBY ZAY]


this charming woman

“ANNIE LEIBOVITZ: WOMEN” A traveling exhibit of more than 60 women-focused photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz will be on display at the Dorothy Jenkins and Emily S. Macey Galleries at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, FL, from early April until June 26. Portraits by the renowned photographer include such famous faces as Betty Ford, Gloria Steinem, Toni Morrison, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Drew Barrymore, Elizabeth Taylor, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Focus in on all the details at




TUNDE ADEBIMPE IS tall and handsome, with some smooth dance moves to boot. Handclapping, sauntering, and swaying through his unforgettable performances as the dynamic lead vocalist of Brooklynbased band TV on the Radio, he leaves audiences hypnotized with a voice that can belt out an effortlessly sexy falsetto and dip down to a deep, primal howl. And though rock star appears to be a part he was born to play, the Nigerian-born, 35-year-old is a renaissance man: he’s also an actor (last seen in 2008’s Rachel Getting Married), animator, producer, and director who counts among his credits the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Pin” video and episodes of MTV’s Celebrity Death Match. “That was before the band took over my life,” Adebimpe says jokingly when we meet up at N.Y.C.’s James Hotel to talk about his fifth album, Nine Types of Light. Since TVotR formed in 2001, Adebimpe and his bandmates (including bassist Gerard Smith, who passed away in April) have experimented with triphop, post-punk, soul, techno, and funk to create their genre-defying art rock. It’s a sound full of agitated guitars, driving drums, fuzzy synths, and massive atmospherics, and he fuses it all with an electric energy that’s even more palpable in person. »


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bag ladies NOMI NETWORK URGES SHOPPERS TO “BUY HER BAG, NOT HER BODY” WHILE CONDUCTING RESEARCH in Cambodia for her master’s degree in 2007, Diana Mao, 29, met a man from a rural, downtrodden area who offered to sell her his daughter. “It really struck me,” she says of that moment, “the relationship between poverty and trafficking.” Mao saw this incident as a call to action and pledged to do something to help the growing population of more than 800,000 people who fall prey to sex trafficking worldwide each year. Most are women, half are children, and the majority of them come from Southeast Asia, especially poverty-stricken areas of Cambodia, where it’s nearly impossible for underprivileged girls to earn a living except through prostitution. Mao envisioned an organization that both empowered Cambodian sex-trafficking survivors and allowed conscientious consumers here in America to support these women. So in 2009, she and her friend Alissa A. Moore, 26, launched Nomi Network, a charitable business enterprise that lessens Cambodian women’s reliance on the sex trade through the production and sale of totes, purses, and other accessories handcrafted by the trafficking survivors themselves. In its first year, Nomi Network sold almost 3,000 tote bags, many of which sported their awareness-raising slogan, “Buy Her Bag, Not Her Body.” Through these sales, as well as fund-raising efforts, Mao and Moore raised $23,000, which all went toward protecting the livelihoods of 23 at-risk women. Nomi’s employees enjoy sustainable employment, fair wages, medical care, job training, and literacy classes instead of experiencing the misery of being bought and sold. And hopefully, these successes are just the beginning. “It’s all about making that connection to the faces,” says Moore, “to the people, and to the issues.” To get involved, visit [GRACE BELLO]


Dressed casually in jeans and a simple button-down shirt, Adebimpe is ultrapatient during the hilarious first moments of our interview, a time we spend running laps around the hotel, unable to find the bar where we originally intended to chat and have a cocktail. We pass the lobby a few times, laughing. “Wait, weren’t we just here?” he says, before finally asking a doorman for directions. After 10 minutes of this, we find the bar—a dark, lounge-y cave where sauced-up hotel guests are shouting over the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing.” Adebimpe takes one look at the place and says, “Let’s go back to the lobby.” Once we settle in, Adebimpe’s magnetic personality shines. He’s thoughtful and pauses frequently, and it’s evident that he’s also extremely grounded even though TVotR has received a gazillion awards and accolades (the band’s second full-length, Return to Cookie Mountain, was named Spin’s 2006 Album of the Year, and Dear Science was named Best Album of 2008 by MTV, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian). “I’m really appreciative that people would choose to occupy their mental space…their listening space…with anything that we do,” he says. “I realize how many distractions there can be in the world. I feel like we’re all super lucky to be able to have done this and keep doing this.” After taking a yearlong hiatus to explore other projects, TVotR is back on full-blast with Nine Types of Light. The album’s first single, “Will Do,” Adebimpe says, is “about the feeling of waiting for someone. Sometimes you’re confident that you’re supposed to be with someone even though that person isn’t responding.” But don’t assume this means Adebimpe’s been getting any doors slammed in his face. Hardly. “This is the first album where I’m writing songs that are absolutely not based on my life,” he assures me. In fact, when Adebimpe speaks about his wife, an illustrator, it’s obvious that he has found his someone. “It’s so attractive when a person is very wrapped up in their art,” he says. “I knew I could be with [my wife] for a long time because we could sit down to make something together and not drive each other crazy. She once said to me, ‘I want to guard your solitude.’ And at that point, I said, ‘We should get married, because I want to guard your solitude.’ I don’t want anything messing with what she has to do. Whatever her higher purpose is, my job is to bat things away from it,” he says, smiling. As we leave the hotel, laughing yet again because we’re not sure how to get the hell out of the place, we see the same doorman, who says, “Oh, I can see you guys found the bar, then,” insinuating that we’re drunk. Adebimpe gives me a puzzled look, and we crack up again. The whole moment completes the fantasy of what it would be like to really be friends with Tunde Adebimpe. I’d totally buy him and his artist wife a round of drinks anytime. [JEN HAZEN]


248 BROOME ST. NYC 10002 212-674-8383

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broadcast NEWS FROM A BROAD [BY KARA BULLER] der if you’re protecting someone from an illegal act, a move some have dubbed the “It’s OK to kill abortion doctors” bill. When this didn’t make it off the ground, they passed legislation that requires women seeking abortions to first get “counseling” from a crisis pregnancy center. These centers are mainly run by anti-abortionists and are staffed by volunteers with no medical training. As reported in The New York Times, a year-long investigation by NARAL found that crisis centers often provide women with misinformation, like that women who have abortions have a higher rate of breast cancer, a myth long-dispelled. Already on the books in South Dakota is a 2005 law mandating that abortion providers tell women that they are “terminating the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Fine. But you know what terminates two lives? Pre-1973 abortion methods. One wonders if they care.

LAUNCH PAD Are free maxis good for girls or good for Zuma?

r.i.p. rosie FACTORY WORKER FOR TWO WEEKS, FEMINIST ICON FOR A LIFETIME THE FEMALE FACTORY worker who inspired the famous image of the redkerchief-wearing woman rolling up her shirtsleeves known as “Rosie the Riveter” recently passed away at her home in Michigan. She was 86. Geraldine Hoff Doyle was 17 in 1942 when she started working at a

became a popular symbol of the feminist work ethic for decades. The poster—which can still be found in its original version as well as on mouse pads, T-shirts, and coffee mugs the world over—was not even seen by Doyle until 1982, when she was flipping through a 1942 magazine. “You’re not sup-

This rendering of Doyle coupled with the optimistic slogan “We Can Do It!” became a popular symbol of the feminist work ethic for decades. factory near Ann Arbor, MI. But she quit two weeks into the gig after learning that a fellow worker had badly injured her hands on the job. (Doyle played the cello and didn’t want to risk the loss.) During her short tenure, however, a United Press photographer came to take pictures of women working in factories. An image of Doyle caught the eye of a commercial artist making inspirational posters for Westinghouse Electric’s factory walls, and his rendering of Doyle coupled with the optimistic slogan “We Can Do It!”

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posed to have too much pride, but I can’t help to have some in that poster,” Doyle told The Lansing State Journal in 2002. “It’s sad I didn’t know it was me sooner, [but] maybe it’s a good thing. I couldn’t have handled all the excitement.”

BAD MEDICINE South Dakota’s latest attack on repro rights First, South Dakota Republicans tried to pass a bill making it legal to commit mur-

Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, has announced he will provide disposable maxi pads to every menstruating girl in the country to improve gender equality. Menstrual care is a major issue in South Africa. Economically disadvantaged gals miss school and work during their periods because the newspapers and cloth scraps commonly used don’t protect against leaks. But some say disposable pads aren’t the way to go, either. They have to be incinerated, creating more air pollution, and they deepen women’s dependency on outside aid. As an alternative, some are pointing to Harvard MBA Elizabeth Scharpf’s work creating locally made banana-tree pads. Sidenote on President Zuma: this is the same Jacob Zuma who testified during his 2005 rape trial that he showered after sex with his HIV-positive female accuser to reduce his chances of getting the disease. He was also asked to step down from parliament after significant corruption charges. So should we trust his mission to help girls? Zuma’s up for re-election in 2013, and until then, he has every reason to court his most impoverished constituency. Maybe he should make more voters happy by sending out some banana-tree pads as well.






FOR FOLKS PASSIONATE about music but short on means, cigar boxes make the perfect resonator for a DIY ukulele, and there is nothing as jumpin’up-and-down awesome as playing your own handmade musical instrument. With some basic tools and a bit of woodworking, you can make a uke for less than 20 bucks! »


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real life MATERIALS •

Flap-top cigar box (The thinner the wood, the better the sound; available at cigar retailers, thrift stores, flea markets, and online at • 4 tuners (Available at most music stores; ask if they have any used ones for cheap or free.) • Ukulele strings (available at music stores) • Wood glue • Wood plank, 1½" x ¼" x the length of your cigar-box lid plus 13½" (approx. 26") • 2 small pieces of hard wood (1½" x 3⁄8" x ½" and 2½" x ½" x ¼") • Linseed oil or bee’s wax furniture polish • 12 small plastic cable zip ties • Rubber bands

INSTRUCTIONS BODY: The body of the uke will be made from the cigar box. If your box has a paper lining, remove it by cutting around the edges with a utility knife, brushing it with hot water until saturated, and peeling it off. To create notches in the cigar box to fit the neck of your ukulele, open the box as if it were a book, and cut a notch 1½" wide and ¾" deep in the center of each short side (top and bottom). Test the fit. Use a wood file to widen notches if necessary. With a compass, mark a pair of sound holes 1½" in diameter in each of the two top cor-

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ners of the cigar-box lid, about ½" from the edges. Cut with a handheld figure saw or a hole-cutter drill attachment. (Tip: brass grommets, available at most hardware stores, are a nice way to finish off the sound holes.) Set body aside. NECK: The neck will be made from the wood plank, and it will have four sections (see diagram). Use a pencil to mark the tailpiece line ½" from the bottom edge. Line up the short side of the cigar-box lid with the mark you just made, and mark the length of the lid on the plank. Mark the fretboard/neck by drawing a line 13" above the mark you just made. To mark the strut (the section of the neck that will be hollowed out), make a line ¾" from the plank’s bottom edge and ¼" below the fretboard’s bottom line. Secure the plank to a flat surface with clamps. Saw the plank at the strut lines, cutting ¼" deep. Using a sharp, all-purpose ¾" chisel and hammer, hollow out the strut by removing the wood between the two saw lines to a ¼" depth. (Face the bevel down and tap the back of the chisel to remove thin slices.) Sand smooth. To make sure the lid of your cigar box will close completely over the neck, use the same technique to chisel support notches on each side of the strut (between the tailpiece and fretboard lines) as deep as the thickness of the lid. Sand smooth. The lid should fit snugly and sit flush with the neck. Make any necessary adjustments. To complete the headstock, saw the neck ¼" deep at the headstock mark; chisel the headstock to this depth. Mark the position of the tuners: the first two should be about 1" above where the fretboard meets the headstock, ½" from each side. The remaining two should be about 2½" above the marks you just made. Drill the four holes using a drill bit the same diameter as the cylinder of your tuners. Sand smooth. (Tip: the top 1½" of the headstock is a great place to add personality to your ukulele—do some woodcarving like I did, apply a label, or use a wood burner to customize it.) Complete the tailpiece by drilling holes for the strings. Draw a line ¼" from the bottom of the plank. Measure ¼" in from each side, and mark. Divide the space between these two marks by 3, and mark these points. Prick the four points with a nail and drill through, using a 1⁄16" bit. Use a chisel or sandpaper to round the edges of the back of the neck starting 1" above where the neck meets the body and ending where the headstock begins. The more rounded the neck, the easier the ukulele will be to play. Use a fine grade of sandpaper to smooth the entire plank (use a sanding block when sanding the fretboard to avoid sanding it unevenly). Dust the wood off, brush it with linseed oil, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Buff with a clean cloth, and brush with oil again.

TUNERS, STRINGS, AND FRETS: To attach the tuners, push the eyelets through the holes on the front of the headstock. Put the tuners through the holes on the back of the headstock. Adjust the tuners, and mark the holes for the screws. Prick the holes with a nail, and screw the tuners to the headstock. The nut is a small piece of wood that rests at the bottom of the headstock and guides the strings from your tuners to the fretboard. To make it, cut a piece of hardwood 1½" x 3⁄8" x ½". Rest the nut against the ledge above the fretboard so that the 3⁄8" edge sits against the headstock. If your nut is wider than the neck, shape the sides so its edges are flush. Using the same measuring method you used to make the string holes in the tailpiece, make 4 marks on the 3⁄8" edge of the nut. With a piece of sandpaper, sand a notch at each mark about 3⁄16" deep (the strings will run through these notches). Secure the nut with a tiny amount of glue (so that it can be removed and adjusted if necessary when you fit the strings). The bridge is a small piece of wood, approximately 2" – 2½" wide and ¼" deep, that rests on the front of your cigar box, toward the bottom, supporting the strings and transmitting their vibrato to the body of the uke. The bridge isn’t fixed; it will be held in place by the strings. Rest the neck piece in your cigar box, close the lid, and secure with rubber bands. Tie the strings to the tailpiece, run them over the body, bridge, and fretboard, and thread them through your tuners. (For specific instructions, watch a video tutorial here: kyv7uOiXsbM.) Tune your ukulele to “G C E A” (if you don’t have a tuner, use an online ukulele tuner). Play around with the placement of the bridge until you find the best sound. To place the frets, use an online fretboard calculator (I used It will ask for the number of frets—12 for a ukulele—and scale length. To find this, measure the distance from the front edge of the nut, where it butts against the end of the fretboard, to the exact point where the strings touch the bridge. The fret calculator will give you the precise placement of each fret, measuring from the nut. Mark the precise placements, and wrap a plastic zip tie around the neck (under the strings) at each fret line, placing the eyelet on the left-hand side of the fretboard. Snip the excess plastic. Once you’re happy with everything, take the strings off, and secure the cigar box closed with a small amount of wood glue around the sides and on the supports. Hold it together with rubber bands until dry then string it up again. Now you’re ready to play your very own cigar-box ukulele! [SHELLEY RICKEY OF THE UKE BOX, WWW.SHELLEYRICKEY.BLOGSPOT.COM] To see progress shots go to

real life

NICKEL AND DINED [BY ISA CHANDRA MOSKOWITZ] INSTRUCTIONS First, make a simple syrup. This part is easy! Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a saucepot, and heat on the stovetop until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool. In the meantime, juice the lemons. You don’t need anything special for this. Just place a fine-mesh strainer over a measuring cup, slice all the lemons in half, and squeeze. (If you’d like to use a citrus reamer or juicer here, go right ahead.) The strainer will collect any seeds or large pieces of pulp, but honestly, if you don’t have a strainer, you can just pick out all of the seeds with a spoon after squeezing. Now combine the remaining 5 cups of water, the lemon juice, and the simple syrup in a pitcher. Refrigerate until very cold, and serve in chilled glasses filled with ice and extra lemon wedges. To dress it up, try one of the these twists:

pucker up HOMEMADE LEMONADE FOR EVERY MOOD WHAT COULD BE better than an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a hot, hot day? How about one made from the freshest lemons that you just squeezed yourself? You’ll really taste the difference—and never go back to that stuff in a carton again. At around 15 cents a serving, there’s no reason to! And if tangy, tasty lemonade is not enough for you, up the ante and try one of these fun flavors. Why not make them all this summer? By the end of it, you’ll be whipping up versions of your own. This recipe makes a really strong lemonade that won’t get watered down when you pour it over ice.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED A strainer A big glass pitcher (There are always lots at Goodwill. I bet you can even find one with lemons on it.) Loads of ice Glasses

INGREDIENTS 11⁄2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 6 big lemons, plus 1 more for garnish) 1 cup sugar 6 cups water, divided

BERRY LEMONADE Puree 2 cups of berries (try blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or even cherries) with 2 cups of the lemonade. Add it back to the pitcher and stir. MINT LEMONADE Add 1⁄3 cup of finely chopped mint leaves to the simple syrup after the sugar’s dissolved, while it’s cooling down. Proceed with the rest of the recipe. LIMEADE Replace half of the lemon juice with lime juice. VANILLA LEMONADE Slice a vanilla bean lengthwise, then scrape the bean out with a butter knife. Add the insides to 1 cup of lemonade, then add it back to the pitcher. LAVENDER LEMONADE Add ½ cup of fresh chopped lavender leaves to the simple syrup after the sugar’s dissolved. When it’s thoroughly cooled, add 2 cups of the water, and then pour through a strainer to remove lavender leaves. Proceed with the recipe. WATERMELON LEMONADE Reduce the water in the original recipe to 4 cups. Then puree 4 cups of chopped, seeded watermelon with 2 cups of the lemonade. Add it back to the pitcher and stir. MELONADE Reduce the water in the original recipe to 4 cups. Puree 4 cups of chopped honeydew or cantaloupe (or a combination) with 2 cups of the lemonade. Add it back to the pitcher and stir. POMEGRANATE LEMONADE Reduce the sugar in the original recipe to 3⁄4 cups. Reduce the water to 4 cups. Add 2 cups of pomegranate juice to the pitcher and stir. GINGER LEMONADE Puree ½ cup of fresh peeled and chopped ginger with 2 cups of the lemonade. Add it back to the pitcher and stir. MOJITO LEMONADE Combine directions for mint lemonade and limeade.




TURN YOUR OLD THREADS INTO A DIY FABRIC NECKLACE IT’S PROBABLY A safe bet that your dresser is full of T-shirts you don’t wear. Why not revamp those cast-offs into a supersoft, supereasy fabric necklace? Start with about 5 cotton shirts (leggings work too!) in coordinating colors. To make the main upper part of the necklace, cut 3 strips (we used 2 green and 1 plum) about 35" long and ¾" wide (you can slightly adjust the length and width of the strips to your liking). Use the end of one strip to tie the 3 strips together. Braid the strips until there’s about 5" of length remaining, and use one of the strips to tie it off. »


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real life


don’t break your neck

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THE GREATEST WRAPPER ALIVE Customizable thread colors make this simple design pop ($24,

SALMON SEASON This cotton necklace, crafted in Argentina, will have you lookin’ fly no matter what you pair it with ($31,

THE COTTON IS HIGH Thief and Bandit’s hand-printed maze-patterned fabric will trip you out, man ($65,

FUZZY WUZZY’S WHAT I WEAR Pile on the pom-poms to give an ordinary outfit big love (£60,

DAWN OF THE THREAD Work the rounds in this crocheted, sunrise-hued necklace ($32,

TEE OFF Avoid an outfit mulligan with this supersoft piece created from a vintage golf shirt ($80,


To make the lower part of the necklace that hangs down, cut 10 strips of fabric between 20" – 25" long and ½" – 1" wide (they don’t all have to be the same). Use these to make 3 braids—two with 3 strips, and one with 4 strips. To make the first braid, pin 3 strips to your pant leg and start braiding (making it as tight at the top as possible). Continue braiding until there’s about 5" of length remaining. Repeat to make a second 3-strand braid. Use the remaining 4 strips to make a special braid as follows. Gather the strands, and pull one of the strips up above the others about 6" (you’ll use this extra length to connect the hanging braids to the main braided neckpiece). Then use the end of one of the other strips to tie the 4 strips together. Pin the knot to your pant leg, and spread the strips out. Take the strip on the far left over the one next to it, and then take the strip furthest right under the one next to it. Then cross the two center strips right over left. Repeat this pattern until you reach the end of the shortest strip. To secure these hanging braids to the main braided neckpiece, take the 4-strand braid, and slip the starting knot under one of the loops in the starting knot on the main braided neckpiece, making sure to pull the extra 6" of strip through as well. Grab the other 2 braids and hold their starting ends next to the starting knot of the main braided neckpiece. Attach them by taking the extra 6" strip of the 4-strand braid and wrapping it tightly around all the braids at the connecting point several times. Knot the wrapping strip by pulling it through one of the wrapped loops and tying it to itself. Spread the wrapped part so that it covers the knots and braided ends completely. Wrap it around a couple of more times, then double-knot the end in a similar manner and tuck the end under one of the wraps to keep the design clean. To secure the hanging braids to the other side of the main braided neckpiece, hold the loose ends to the point where the end of the main braided neckpiece is knotted. Use one of the loose ends to secure the hanging braids to the main braided neckpiece in the same manner as above. Wrap it around the material right where the braided part stops so that the loose ends hang down decoratively. Once the three hanging braids are secure, use scissors to cut the wider loose ends of the strips in half to create fringe. To adhere beads, fold the end of one of the fabric fringe strips over the tip of a needle, and use the needle as a guide to push the fabric through the bead (the beads will need at least a 1⁄8" hole but should be small enough so that the bead won’t slip off). To add feathers, put the end of the feather through the bead before you push the fabric through. Now you have an easy, breezy, beautiful necklace for summer, girl. [HEATHER LOOP AND CALLIE WATTS]

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real life or writing to the next level? Would it be funding to help buy supplies? If so, how much money would it take to make a real difference? Would you prefer a residency, to give you time and focus? If the answer’s yes, for how long—two weeks, two months, a year? Be honest and specific, but don’t be afraid to be ambitious, too. RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES. Here’s the fun part. Collect as much information as you can on grants, residencies, and fellowships that fit you and your vision of where you can go with your work. It’s as easy as creating a Word doc and copying and pasting information: the name of the grant or fellowship, a sentence-long descriptor, a URL, and the deadline date. Put the information in chronological order, closest deadline date to most distant, and pretty soon you have a superorganized to-do list.

apply yourself A LADY ARTIST’S GUIDE TO GETTING GRANTS ONE OF THE hardest things about being an artist or a writer is finding the time and money to work on your craft. But there are some amazing career-rocking opportunities out there, in the form of grants, fellowships, and residencies provided by organizations both private and public— all you need to do is go for them. Grants typically provide artists and writers with financial support (aka money), while residencies offer a space to create for little or no cost, and fellowships tend to be hybrids of both. The process of applying may seem overwhelming, not to mention superscary, since putting your work out there leaves you vulnerable to rejection, but trust me, it’s totally worth it. I’ve broken the process down into a few easy steps, so take a deep breath, get a positive mindset, and get started.

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BELIEVE IN YOUR TALENT. Realize that you have skills worth rewarding and that your ideas deserve attention and support. Whether you are still learning or have been doing your thing for a while, you need to value what you bring to the table. EVALUATE YOUR WORK. Note I did not say “cast judgment on your work.” Look at everything you bring to what you create. What have you done? Have you won any awards? Has your stuff been published anywhere? Have you worked alongside respected artists in your field? Be specific, and catalog it all. Wherever you are in your career, there are grants and funding opportunities for you. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. What do you need to help you take your art

JUST DO IT. Don’t overthink the applications. As long as you qualify at the basest level, submit. The first application you do will be the hardest because you’ll likely be creating everything you need from scratch: bio, creative résumé, samples, project summary, etc. But once these have been devised, you’ll be able to repurpose them for every future application. BE PROUD OF YOURSELF. The moment you submit an application, you’ll immediately be obsessed with knowing if you’ve won or not. But it’s also the moment when you prove to yourself that you are worthy and deserving. Regardless of whether you win, that new sense of self is something you should honor and celebrate. Congrats, you did it. Woohoo! SPREAD THE WORD. As women, we need to empower each other to take these steps forward, and the best way is to match artist and writer friends we believe in with grants that would make good fits for them. If you stumble across a grant that you can’t apply for, try to sync it with someone you know. That person will surely be heartened and inspired by your thoughtfulness. »


The first few times you submit can be rocky, but as you get more comfortable with the process, you might even find yourself looking forward to it. Grant applications can be interesting new ways for you to examine your work and your process, forcing you to establish things (budgets, timelines, etc.) that will help further your art or writing in the long run, whether you get the funding or not.


• Google them. Just plug in your chosen art form (“writing,” “painting,” “music,” etc.) and the word “grants” (or “residencies” or “fellowships”) and see what comes up. I’ve stumbled upon some really great grants that way, so don’t discount it. Take into consideration that the smaller the pool of applicants, the greater your chance at success. So instead of just searching “writing grants,” try “poetry grants.” Search grants that are just within your state or your city (Googling the name of your city or state with the phrase “arts council” can yield great results). There are a lot of women-only funding and residency opportunities out there, too. • Look up the bios of artists or writers you admire to see what grants and fellowships they won when they were at your stage in their career. And then, of course, Google them. • Use the New York Foundation for the Arts’ NYFA Source ( source/content/search/search.aspx), an extensive national directory of awards, services, and publications for artists. In addition to being easy to use and filled to the brim with helpful info, it’s also absolutely free.


grandma jeanne’s icebox cake GROWING UP POOR as could be during the Depression did little to dampen the spirits of my grandma Jeanne. When she married my grandfather John, a decorated army officer, her natural tendency to look sharp and laugh often made her an elegant fixture at officers’ wives’ clubs from Germany to Panama. Later in life, Grandma Jeanne was elected mayor of her small Washington State town. She openly challenged sexist thinking, gave tirelessly to women’s shelters, was pro-choice, and could work a classy brooch and pumps like nobody’s business. My grandma taught me to be a gracious hostess and a fighter for all women—and to make a mean icebox cake to serve during any frisky gathering of gals. This is the ultimate two-ingredient, razzle-dazzle, “set it and forget it” dessert. It looks like a million bucks yet will only set you back a few clams. You’ll need one package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers and one tub of Cool Whip Frozen Dessert Topping—and an apron wouldn’t hurt. Using a rubber spatula, dollop about 2 tsp. of Cool Whip onto a single wafer. Top it with another wafer, and dollop 2 tsp. of Cool Whip on top of that one. Continue frosting and stacking until you’ve sandwiched about 6 wafers (don’t add Cool Whip to the wafer on top). Repeat until you’ve made 4 or 5 even stacks, and line them up on a serving tray. Then lay each wafer stack on its side so that the sideways stacks form one rectangular “log.” Use the rest of the tub of Cool Whip and your spatula to frost the top and sides of the wafer log—don’t be stingy! Crush a handful of wafers, and sprinkle crumbs over the whole shebang. Pop it into the icebox (aka fridge), and chill for at least 4 hours. Makes 8 – 10 generous servings. [BRANDY BARBER] Got an amazing family recipe? Send it, along with a photo of the recipe’s originator, to

TOUR DE FORCE Want to offer up your couch for traveling musicians? Tired of sleepin’ in your ride when your band hits the road? You can provide a pit stop or find a place to crash on, a site that hooks up hospitable music fans—across the U.S., Canada, and Europe—with touring artists who need somewhere to sleep.

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real life CARNIVOROUS PLANTS 101 PINGUICULA If you want to fill a kitchen window or tiny bathroom ledge, go for pinguicula, rosette-style plants that catch insects on their sticky leaves. They don’t mind drying out between waterings and, in fact, enjoy being overlooked in the winter. SARRACENIA Perfect for a sunny spot outdoors, sarracenia are tall, slender trumpets that catch flies, beetles, and other large-fliers in their conical tubes. They live naturally in bogs and are happiest in sitting water. NEPENTHES VENTRATA If you’ve got a shaded patio, look for nepenthes ventrata and nepenthes alata, which grow large, liquid-filled cups that hang heavy, awaiting victims. DROSERA For a spot with lots of bright sunshine, choose drosera, which have sticky arms that look like squid tentacles and seize more mosquitoes, moths, and flies than you can imagine. They grow best sitting in water. DIONAEA Better known as Venus’ flytraps, dionaea also like direct light and a home in water. Their “jaws” snap shut, trapping anything that dares cross their path.

feed me, seymour MAKE A BUG-KILLING GARDEN WITH CARNIVOROUS PLANTS IT’S THAT TIME of year again—summer soirée weather is finally here. Unfortunately, my skin may as well be a neon “all-you-can-eat buffet” sign for mosquitoes, but I keep bugs at bay with a uniquely green solution: carnivorous plants. Not only are they freakishly beautiful, surprisingly affordable, and relatively easy to care for, but this family of flora also ingests insects, helping to keep your arms from becoming a game of Connect the Dots. Depending on how buggy your home or yard is, a few of nature’s coolest carnivores might not leave you bite-free, but you’ll certainly see a difference. To buy your own crop of non-vegetarian vegetation, visit local nurseries, major hardware stores, or even carnivorous-plant club meetings (find one near you at The ones featured here grow beautifully inside or out, and if your thumbs show any trace of green, you can be successful with them. Read on for my tips.

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1. Pick the plant family that’s right for you (see above). 2. Don’t use potting soil. Try peat (partially decayed vegetation found in bogs), sand, sphagnum moss, perlite (volcanic glass), or a combination of the four. 3. Use only purified water (distilled, reverse-osmosisfiltered, or rain water). For plants that need to be constantly wet, keep their pots in a tray filled with water. 4. Carnivorous plants grow naturally in marshy areas where the soil lacks nutrients, which is why they eat bugs. Don’t feed them hamburger or any other protein. Whether they are indoors or out, they’ll catch their own meals. 5. Read up. If your plant comes without a care card, there are hundreds of online forums, books, and local clubs that can provide new growers with information and answers. [MEGAN O. ANDERSEN]



road to retainer ruin AN ORTHODONTIA DEBACLE MAKES MAMA HIT THE TRASH HEAP FOR SOME REASON I felt passersby deTo my surprise he stopped. “Ze zing zat served an explanation as to why I was rum- goes in ze mouse?” he asked. (Naturally, he maging through the mountainous pile of was both French and model-handsome.) leaking garbage bags parked outside our “My older son did ze same zing. You ’ave public school. Vanity was definitely a factor. my sympathies, but of course you cannot I didn’t want to come off as the world’s stu- expect to find eet, no?” pidest Dumpster diver, pawing through the So much for pulling rank on a less exsloppy remains of Burrito Day while others helped themselves to the much more neatly packaged bounty discarded by the dozens of nearby groceries, restaurants, bakeries, and pizza joints. I was also, on a subconscious level, convinced that some passing stranger might help me, the way perienced parent. In my heart, I knew Hot the fairy godmother helped Cinderella. French Daddy was likely right, but still, I “My son threw his retainer away,” I ex- had to try, loath to fork over 250 bucks for plained to anyone who would listen. “He a replacement but also because I felt for put it on the side of his tray at lunch and…” the boy. He’d been having a “terrible, horMy candor netted much heartfelt sympa- rible, no good, very bad day,” a designathy but no magic wands. No X-ray vision tion he rejects, insulted that anything from capable of spotting a scorpion-sized plastic a “baby book” could apply to him at 10. crescent lurking amid the slop. “One day, Admittedly, he was to no small degree the your baby will grow up to throw his retainer primary architect of his wretched day, but out with his lunch tray,” I predicted as a the expression of dawning, helpless horror fashionable dad maneuvered his stroller on his face when I interrupted disciplinary around this disaster, eyes averted. negotiations to inquire if his retainer was

in his pocket merited a temporary suspension of the rules of cause and effect. To those, including Milo’s father, who venture that no orthodontic crisis is worth cozying up to the refuse heap, I would reply that I’ve swabbed up vomit, changed the shitty diapers of friends’ toddlers, and emptied lunchboxes left marinating in school cubbies for weeks on end. What’s a hundred pounds of soggy, chewed-up garbage on top of that? Jesse, the school maintenance man, was one of the few who understood, volunteering disposable gloves just as he had the first time Milo’s retainer went out with the trash. “Again?” my friend Eli smirked as his children tugged on his hand, repulsed. His gallows humor was oddly comforting. I wasn’t some fragile flower to be handled with solicitous care but a filthy, hard-core warrior type! Unfortunately, there was little concrete assistance he could give me other than freeing a strand of hair that had gotten caught in my mouth. Left alone, I dwelled not on the expense, nor Milo’s misery, but rather, a time when my own orthodontic appliance went bye-bye, balled into the napkin to which I’d consigned it. My teacher freed me and my best friend to sift through the cafeteria's squashed crinkle-cut fries and befouled Salisbury steaks. Amazingly, we found it. Anna went off to share the good news while I finished cleaning up. On my way back, I patted the breast pocket where my retainer was supposed to be awaiting

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a good wash. Empty. Must have fallen out while I was shoveling our lunchroom glop into the Dumpster. Another hour of sorting and we found the little mofo again. Proof that miracles can happen twice. No wonder I refused to go with my gag reflex, wading into the fray on Milo’s behalf, not once but twice. Both times, the only thing I found was a shocking amount of food in unopened single-serving packets, which I harvested and left out as both reproach and service to others. Got to salvage something from the experience.


“One day, your baby will grow up to throw his retainer out with his lunch tray,” I predicted.

Looks Fa s h ion Nat i o n

Sue Eggen ACCESSORIES DESIGNER PHILADELPHIA, PA Tell us about this outfit. This dress is a personal favorite. It’s vintage and cost about $20, from a now-closed boutique in Portland, OR, called Retread Threads. The lace jacket was a handmade tunic I bought from a thrift store here in Philadelphia for $2; I reconstructed it myself. The leather belt was 50 cents, from the same thrift store. The shoes are by J Shoes, from a shoe store called Bus Stop, also in Philly. They cost around $150; they were a big splurge. I’m also wearing a Poppy Posy Fascinator, one of my own designs (available at It’s about $40. What’s your fashion philosophy? It’s about taking an outfit to the next level. I want people to look at me and think, “How did she come up with that?” or “Why did she put those colors together? Those textures are really different, but it works.” Does your sense of style affect your work? Absolutely. I think a lot of what I make relates to the way I dress. I love old photographs from the ’40s and ’50s, where women are wearing hats and little things in their hair. I make a lot of versatile statement pieces, something that takes you back to a different era. I like small items you can wear to feel beautiful, fancy, and put-together. Do you have any particular fashion icons or inspirations? My number-one inspiration is the film Pretty in Pink. My mom took me to see it in the ’80s. Back then I wanted to be Andie Walsh. Andie made her own clothes and wore vintage; she had an amazing sense of style, and she just owned it. She dressed the way she wanted to and didn’t care what other people thought. [TRICIA ROYAL]


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FASHIONISTA Fitting pieces with her pal Winona

Jenny Reyes kicks back

glamour girl GET SWEET OLD-SCHOOL STYLE WITH GERONIMO SLIPPING INTO A vintage-inspired dress or retro-print bathing suit from Geronimo will make you feel like a starlet on the set of a Turner Classic Movie. That’s because Los Angeles– based designer Jenny Reyes watches old films like it’s her job—and it kind of is. Reyes credits her friend Winona Ryder (yes, that Winona; the two met through mutual friends in the music biz) with turning her on to movies like Gidget and Baby Doll, which inspired Geronimo’s enchanting spring/summer line. “I’m always thinking of what old movie stars would wear now,” she says. The result is old-Hollywood sophistication refashioned into clever schoolgirl dresses with short, swingy hemlines; dainty, midriff-baring tops; and plenty of empire waistlines, soft pleats, and lace trim. Though she drew from films for her current collection, Reyes’ foray into fashion was originally inspired by music: the 29-year-old got her start as a tour seamstress for Jenny Lewis. “Jenny and I would go vintage shopping in the day and then come back to the hotel,” Reyes says. “I would pull out my sewing machine, and we would play with the clothes and do a fitting. It was so fun!” Three tours and dozens of designs later, Reyes was encouraged by friends to start her own line and, after an internship with Rodarte, Geronimo was born in 2009. Since then, Reyes says making clothes has become an obsessive outlet for her creativity. “Designing is a form of art,” she says. “Seeing someone wearing my clothes gives me the biggest satisfaction.” [HANNAH TAYLOR]

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TEETH WHITENERS ARE pricey and with so many different types, who knows which ones actually snazz up your smile? We tried a few to find out if they’re worth it.

keep on trucking ADORABLE SHOPS ON WHEELS OFFER VINTAGE DEALS BETWEEN RISING RENTS and a recession-weary economy, opening a boutique is harder than ever these days. But some creative entrepreneurial gals have eschewed the traditional retail route and taken to the road instead, filling refurbished trailers with handmade and vintage finds. Amy Lynn Chase, 30, spent a year hunting for an affordable yet appealing retail space in Boston before she decided to get creative with her business. After buying a 1954 Bellwood trailer, she turned it into a mobile shop called Haberdash Vintage (haberdashvintage. com), which she brings to open markets and other happenings in the area. “I pick the events that seem fun to me,” she explains. “That was the whole point of the business: to work when I wanted.” Flexible hours aren’t the only appeal of a mobile shop. Vanessa Lurie of Portland, OR, wanted to foster a sense of community. “The food-cart thing is a really big part of the culture here. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cute if there were also little mobile stores and you could shop and eat lunch?’” Envisioning parking alongside food trucks, Lurie, 28, and her husband bought a 1969 Cardinal Deluxe trailer and opened Wanderlust ( last September, stocking the shop with a mix of handmade goods and vintage items from the ’40s through the ’70s. “I have a big thing for ’50s party dresses,” says Lurie. In Canada, another duo, Erin Thiessen, 26, and Stefanie Hiebert, 23, of Winnipeg, MB, is taking their retro love one step further. “We want to create a whole ’50s lifestyle experience in our 13-foot trailer,” says Thiessen. Oh So Lovely (ohsolovelyvintage., their shop housed in a 1956 Cardinal, will make appearances at festivals and outdoor events this summer, hawking housewares and clothes from the ’50s and ’60s. “The trailer gives us a sense of freedom,” says Hiebert, “not having to be tied to one location.” [SUSAN JOHNSTON]

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This system consists of goop-filled trays that you’re supposed to keep in your mouth for 15 minutes per day. But the ooze made me gag, and when I got a bit of the caustic gel on my lip, it burned. I couldn’t stand to do this every day, so I can’t really say if it works. But even if it does, it’s not worth the hassle. [LAURIE HENZEL]

The main element of this kit is 14 single-use tubes of whitening solution, which you rub across your teeth— no thick film, gross taste, or sensitivity. But you’re supposed to use them twice daily for a week, and I just couldn’t keep it up. I still saw a difference, though, and the seven “touch-up” tubes are hands down the best way to get wine stains off your teeth. [CALLIE WATTS]


Erin Thiessen [left] and Stefanie Hiebert shop ’n’ roll

If you’re lazy and impatient like me when it comes to “beautifying,” Supersmile is your best bet. No trays, toxic goo, or hours of commitment, just a mostly tasteless bleaching gel and whitening toothpaste to brush with daily. It didn’t give my teeth moviestar sparkle, but I saw a noticeable difference after just a few uses. [LISA BUTTERWORTH]

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WHAT’S NEW, PUSSYCAT These limited-edition Hello Kitty high-tops are perfect for chasing tail all summer long ($55,


NOT A BEACH-BLANKET BIMBO Stop the rumors before they spread. This “I Am Not a Whore!” towel sets the record straight—unless, of course, you are a whore. Then you should rock it for the irony ($29.99,

Thanks to a rechargeable battery that lasts 12 hours, this portable Block Rocker speaker brings the beats to the bash, no matter how far you are from an outlet. Plug in whatever musical device you want— iPhone, iPod, it even works as a guitar amp—then take it to the streets, beach, or park, and let loose! ($179.99,


THERE’S SOME HOS IN THIS HOUSE It’s a red-light special! This reproduction of an 1800s brothel coin will have you looking cute while you give a subtle shout-out to houses of ill repute ($32, 40 / BUST // JUN/JUL


This earth-friendly picnic set for four includes trays, large and small bowls, utensils, cups, napkins, and a trash bag—all compostable. The box is made from recycled material, and if you keep it dry, you should be able to tote it around for about 10 wonderful picnics before you recycle it or turn it into storage ($25,

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the leather underground


Sprout Wellness Face Cleanser, $14,


This daily cleanser was light and easy on my sensitive skin. It didn’t dry me out, and all the ingredients are natural and organic, which is awesome considering the usual toxins face washes are made of.

I hate chemicals, which is why I loved this cleanser. It’s made from only a few natural ingredients, including two of my favorites: rosewater and tea-tree oil. What a great product.

I was absolutely crazy about this! Not only did it smell like chocolateybanana tropical goodness, but it worked really well, too. Although the tint may be too dark for some folks, it worked perfectly with my skin tone.

After seeing many a bad self-tan job, I was terrified of this product. No fear, though: after spreading it liberally on my lower legs, they were as wintery-white as ever. It didn’t seem to do much of anything at all.

Usually I hate body tints because they’re full of gross toxins that smell bad. But thanks to LUSH’s all-natural, organic ingredients, this was a product I actually enjoyed. Its tint was subtle, and it even smelled good!

Although this sunscreen did a great job protecting my skin from those South Beach rays on my vacay, I had a really hard time rubbing it in. It may be a little too thick, but it definitely worked like a charm.

This product smelled great, went on smooth, and protected me from sunburn even during an extended afternoon of patio drinking. A+.

In addition to the necessary sun-blocking chemicals, this also has tea and sunflower extracts, along with other organic ingredients, so not only did it protect me from the sun’s rays, but it also was actually good for my skin.

Glacier Creme Mineral Sunscreen, $25,


I wasn’t sure about this product at first because it’s liquid and I’m used to cleansing gels, but I totally loved it! It was really refreshing and didn’t leave my face feeling oily. Also, the scent was a perfect morning wake-up.

LUSH Charlotte Island Body Tint, $14.95,


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RACHAEL BECKER MAKES BADASS GUITAR STRAPS “IT’S A SAD story when really nice guitars—or even shitty guitars—have bad straps,” says Rachael Becker, laughing. Thankfully, since launching her handcrafted-guitar-strap line, Heavy Leather NYC, in 2008, the Brooklyn-based 28-year-old has kick-started a campaign against poorly armed axes. Becker combines inspiration from the ’50s German rebel-rockabilly photographs of Karlheinz Weinberger and the early look of heavy-metal bands like Judas Priest with her own “biker meets metalhead meets cowboy” aesthetic to create straps like the artfully studded Crazy Train, or the suede Ballroom Blitz, featuring metallic trim. Her pieces—which she cuts, sews, stamps, and stains by hand—have been shouldered by famous rockers like Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead and Girlschool’s Kim McAuliffe, as well as members of Eagles of Death Metal and Black Sabbath. Though Becker was raised on a steady diet of her dad’s dusty LPs, the New York City native didn’t grow up dreaming of outfitting rock stars. After earning a degree in fashion design from the Rhode Island School of Design, she reupholstered cars and made props for zombie movies. Her light-bulb moment came during a leatherwork apprenticeship, when she noticed a chronic lack of sick straps amongst her musician friends. After her first eBay guitar-strap sale topped $1,000, Becker’s reputation as a master craftswoman spread like wildfire, and now rock ’n’ rollers rely on her line. “My straps are just leather until someone puts one on, and then they become part of the music,” she says. “That’s the closest I’ll ever get to being on that stage!” And for those who are more Mick Rock than Mick Jagger, you’re in luck—Becker recently expanded her line to include camera straps, too. Get your strap on at [SIRI THORSON]

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1. 2.


5. 7.


12. 8. 11.

9. 10.

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Ghent is great!

Digging in at El Negocito

Peep the art on Graffiti Street


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AS IF THE superb chocolate and free-flowing beer weren’t enough motivation, Belgium has a secret weapon to persuade you to visit: the relatively unexplored medieval city of Ghent. Often overlooked in favor of touristy Bruges, Ghent is just starting to get its fair share of the spotlight. With a population of more than 240,000 people, a quarter of them students, this charming town is in the midst of a major reinvigoration, but the locals have long appreciated what the rest of us are now discovering. Ghent is a goldmine of historic churches, cobblestone streets, and pretty canals. Add to this picture-perfect setting a love of late nights, hundreds of local specialty beers, and a wealth of outdoor cafés, and you have the perfect European destination. Start off at the Graslei, a wide canal-side cobblestone street that serves as Ghent’s central meeting place. While Belgium’s weather is notoriously cool and gray, the moment it turns warm, this spot is swarming with people playing Frisbee, sunbathing, and picnicking. Grab a seat at corner café Zwarte Zee (Graslei 4), and order a Trappist beer—a special brew made by Belgian monks—while you people-watch. To sober up, head to the Patershol, an area of tiny winding alleys and streets perfect for a wander.

Pop into cute coffee shop Julie’s House (Kraanlei 13) for a piece of Julie’s must-eat cheesecake. Then walk it off at Het Huis van Alijn (Kraanlei 65), a museum made for lovers of vintage. Dedicated to the culture of everyday life, it’s chockablock with knickknacks from days of yore, with fascinating collections of lunchboxes, butter dishes, and more. For decidedly non-retro wares, head to Mieke’s (Baudelostraat 23), a divine fashion boutique that makes spending money far too much fun. Mieke herself will have you playing dress-up as if you were five years old, trying on adorable party frocks from small European labels. Then make your way down Baudelostraat to the Friday Market, an enormous square with a weekly outdoor bazaar selling cheap clothes and fresh foods every week. From here, stroll to Popville (Serpentstraat 26b), a musty record shop with tons of vinyl on a small block-long side street made for puttering. A few doors down, you’ll fall in love with retro-inspired Belgian designers such as Lovely Mariquita and Red Juliet at Zoot Costumiers (Serpentstraat 8), a women’s clothing shop. Around the corner is Pink Flamingo (Onderstraat 55), a rockabilly lounge bar with great music and La Chouffe beer on tap (warning: it’s 8.5 percent alcohol and delicious!), but it’s the kitschy


Ghent’s old-school architecture

Treats from Yuzu

Happy hour at Pink Flamingo

The Graslei’s got it goin’ on

Mieke’s trinkets

Barbie doll chandelier and funky red vinyl chairs that really make this place. Take a detour down Werrengarenstraatje, aka Graffiti Street (between Onderstraat and Hoogpoort), a pedestrian-only lane where street art is legal. Continue on to the towering Belfry of Ghent (corner of Sint Baafsplein and Botermarkt), a UNESCO landmark. For a laugh, try to spot the creepy carving of a woman breastfeeding a man on the top of the frieze. Next door you’ll spy the enormous and impressive St. Bavo’s Cathedral, crawling with requisite tourists. Having to pay to see the famous van Eyck painting Adoration of the Mystic Lamb inside is a bit disappointing, so keep walking until you reach a small stairwell on the left—it leads to the crypt where you can stroll through the original foundation dating from the 1100s, complete with faded wall paintings. If a fine but reasonably priced dinner is what you want, reserve a table in advance at the consistently packed Fin du Monde (Meerseniersstraat 3) to sample its small seasonal menu, or eat at Pakhuis (Schuurkenstraat 4), a former warehouse with high ceilings, a great wine list, and an oyster selection to seal the deal. Or just do as the locals

Yuzu’s chocolate fish

Get dolled up at Mieke’s

do and indulge in one of Ghent’s proudest culinary traditions, the French fry (Belgium’s credited as the salty snack’s birthplace) at De Dulle Friet (Vlasmarkt 1). Forgo the ketchup and opt for the classic mayonnaise, gravylike stoverij, or spicy samurai sauce instead. With your stomach safely lined with grease, you have officially earned yourself another beer. Grab one at Hot Club de Gand (Groentenmarkt 20), a nearby bar with an enclosed patio and tiny upstairs. Beware of the lethal staircase and equally killer Delirium—yet another potent Belgian beer—on draft. Then carefully tread the cobblestones back to the Patershol to seek out White Cat (Drongenhof 40), a trendy, tiny underground bar that often has music, whether it’s DJs or jazz musicians. The white-stone walls and low ceilings make it great for cozy conversations, but come 2 a.m., this nightspot can barely contain the dancing bodies. Stay up till dawn, then sweat out your hangover at Aqua Azul (Drongenhof 2), a small art deco spa next door. For about $30, you can strip down to your birthday suit and relax in the small steam room or saunas before cooling off in the whirlpool or the outdoor water

well. If coed nudity isn’t for you, every Tuesday afternoon is reserved for the ladies. Being suitably chilled out, you’ll be ready to embrace one of the best jazz spots in Ghent, El Negocito (Brabantdam 121). In addition to nightly music sessions, this laid-back Chilean bar serves up some of the most authentic Latin dishes; don’t miss the fried-fish platter with homemade salsa. For something more upbeat, head to nearby Vooruit (Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23). This former socialist building turned concert hall and enormous café is an ideal rendezvous point, given its central location. Keep your eyes out for posters of events and festivals, or flyers that will tell you where to catch a bout of the Gent Go-Go Roller Girls, Belgium’s first-ever roller-derby team. Last but not least, get yourself some proper chocolate at Yuzu (Walpoortstraat 11A). Splurge on beautiful squares of unique cocoa flavor combinations, like the dark chocolate Havana infused with sweet tobacco and whiskey. As you lick your greasy, chocolatey fingers in a drunken haze, you’ll realize that Ghent is the underdog of Europe: awesome, unknown, and totally about to kick some ass—and you got to see it first.

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From art-school dropout to Grammy-nominated artist, Brit singer Florence Welch is cool as hell. Here she reveals what it’s like to be a sudden celebrity, and what happened when she had the world’s worst hangover LORENCE WELCH CANNOT believe what I am telling her. “Whaaaaat?” she says into the phone incredulously. She’s drawing out her words, apparently in so much shock she needs to make the most of the few sounds she can produce. “I can’t belieeeeeeve it.” I’ve just mentioned that I saw a photo online of a fan who had one of Welch’s lyrics tattooed on her arm. “Oh, my God, I’m freaking out,” she continues, in a whispery-soft voice that’s very different from the powerful one she employs on stage. Frankly, I’m surprised that she’s surprised. Welch, the 25-year-old singer of Florence and the Machine, is a bona fide superstar. Her 2009 debut album, Lungs, has been at the top of the charts for the past year, she recently received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and she has toured and performed relentlessly, including a gig at the Grammys—an Aretha Franklin tribute that featured Welch


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singing “Think” with backup from Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, and Yolanda Adams. (Backup!) The London Times called her “the most peculiar and acclaimed female singer of the moment.” (She was also described as a “Viking bat-woman.”) She’s the kind of person who wears a custom Margiela bodysuit on stage at Glastonbury while dueting with the xx and Dizzee Rascal. She hangs out with Blake Lively and Drake. Even Gucci’s creative director, Frida Giannini, cites Welch as the inspiration for her last collection. Let’s just say I know some male musicians who have accomplished way less and would consider a fan’s tattoo no more than their due. Perhaps her surprise is because her breakthrough was so unexpected. Until last summer Welch was just another Brit musician with a carefully calibrated collection of bohemian-chic outfits, really great skin, and a small musical following. And things might have stayed that way, if it weren’t for Julia Roberts. “Dog Days Are Over,” Welch’s second infectiously intense single from Lungs, was used as the music on the trailer for Eat, Pray, Love, hurtling Welch into American consciousness on the back of a tune that she wrote using spare pans for instruments. But if it was the Roberts marketing machine that got her here, it’s Welch’s stunning songwriting and vocal ability that have sealed the deal. Lungs is a singular musical proposition, with gothic chants, ominous echoes, an insistent rhythm, and Welch’s warble, which recalls Sinead O’Connor’s unnerving ability



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to switch from screech to songbird. There’s enough angst for the emo crew, a heavy quality that hints at Welch’s love of metal, and a definite hip-hop influence, all within the context of a sensibility that can only be called neo-Nicks. It’s a sound that has Florence and the Machine selling out venues all over the U.S. on their summer tour. Even though I am neither Blake Lively nor Drake, I can confirm that Welch is, as they say, surprisingly down-to-earth. Born and raised in Camberwell, south London, the singer got her start in the school choir, performing at family weddings and funerals by the time she was seven. Her mom, an art-history academic from New York, and her dad, an advertising exec, indulged her penchant for performance with singing lessons that left Welch well versed in French and Italian arias. As a teen she discovered bands like Nirvana and Green Day, further fueling her love of music. After high school, she enrolled at the Camberwell College of Art but never actually graduated, dropping out to focus on her singing career, which exploded just a couple of years later. We spoke as she was walking home from the studio in London where she’s at work on the follow-up record to Lungs, due out later this year. With the runaway success of “Dog Days Are Over,” it seems like the pressure to write another trailer-worthy standout

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would be fierce, but Welch sounds blasé about feeling the need to produce hits. “I never really think about singles,” she says. “I’d rather the album feel like a whole than have any singles that stick out.” For the new album, she’s once again working with Isabella “Machine” Summers, a longtime friend, musical collaborator, and Florence and the Machine keyboardist—the band was originally called Florence Robot/Isa Machine. It’s a partnership Welch views as imperative. “I find I get a bit nuts if I do it by myself,” she says. “I need someone to bounce off.” The loyal Welch will also be bringing back the entire band that worked on Lungs. “I think it’s important to work with the people I know and who understand my process,” she says. “I’m going to do the writing, and then we’ll record it as a band.” That Welch is re-creating the vibe of the first record with the same contributors suggests that she views the new project as a bit of unfinished business. “I feel like we kind of hit on an idea for the first album, but we couldn’t make a 24-song record,” she tells me. “So we need to finish that up and resolve that idea.” And the idea is? “I’m still figuring that out,” she says. “You’re constantly looking for resolution, and it never comes. That’s why you keep making music: you’re looking for an answer, but you never get it, so you keep making it up.” Yes, she can sound a little woo-woo, but Welch’s approach to her work honors her esoteric ideas with practical solutions. While working on Lungs, producer Paul Epworth darkened the studio and projected a giant moon on the wall so Welch could feel like she was working in moonlight. The payoff was “Cosmic Love,” which describes a world without that light: “The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out,” she sings. Despite her strong persona both onstage (she regularly crowd-surfs, and several reviewers have noted her penchant for air-drumming) and off (she famously nabbed her manager, Mairead Nash, by following Nash into a bathroom stall and serenading her), Welch says that the studio brings out her quiet side. “I’m actually quite subdued. I guess people think I would be coming in and belting out stuff, but it’s not like that. I try to do things instinctively, but I’m big on analyzing stuff too, and I can spend hours trying to get something right. I can be very pensive.” To me, “pensive” often means “hung over,” and having seen several exuberant YouTube videos of Welch performing a bootyshaking version of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and initiating a dance party on her tour bus, I’m wondering how much alcohol plays into her creative process. I ask if it’s true that in art school, she made a tent underneath her desk to sleep in on particularly dark mornings, telling her teachers it was an installation. “I did do that!” she says. “It was an artistic statement.” Hitting the bottle, or at least its aftermath, has an effect on her music as well. “The song

‘Cosmic Love’ was written with the most crushing hangover I’ve ever had,” she says. “I went to the studio and was lying on the floor and the song just, like, appeared. I was trying to write the piano part, and then I hit upon these three chords, and suddenly I knew what to sing and I knew the structure. It was sort of a gift, like I’d been forgiven for my hangover. But I wouldn’t rely on it as a source of inspiration.” These days Welch’s long nights at the pub are interspersed with galas and red-carpet events. When I ask what it’s like to be suddenly hobnobbing with other celebrities, she seems genuinely unsure of herself. “It’s very surreal,” she says. “I still feel very much like a voyeur on the whole fame, awards-shows thing. It’s an amazing experience, and I’m always very happy to be there, while at the same time, I’m very surprised to be there.” Of course, fame has its drawbacks, loss of privacy being chief among them. Feeling like kind of a jerk, I bring up the rumor that she’s engaged to be married, something that has been going around the Internet since she was spotted by none other than Perez Hilton hugging her boyfriend with a rock on her ring finger. “No, no, I’m not,” she says. “I have a boyfriend, but he hasn’t even popped the question yet, poor thing. I was just wearing a ring on that finger. I don’t really think about those things. And then suddenly you’re in a magazine and you’re engaged, but we’re not engaged.” It’s not the only occasion on which speculation has led to elements of her life being blown out of proportion. A few mentions of trouble sleeping and difficulty getting over a breakup have led to assertions that Welch suffers from depression, insomnia, even dyslexia and bipolar disorder. “Those things got taken out of context,” she says. “Sometimes I get down, and sometimes I have trouble sleeping, like everyone. I’ve been labeled with all kinds of disorders I don’t actually have.” Using social media to connect directly with fans is one way to get around the rampant distortion of information that a lot of other artists have embraced, and Welch definitely appreciates its power. “It’s nice having something that’s so direct,” she says. “Before, you didn’t have access to something that gave you such a clear voice. With Twitter, it’s just you. You can talk directly, and nothing gets twisted.” But its immediacy brings other issues to bear. “You do have to be careful what you say, because it’s complete, direct, out to the world. I get too nervous to do it all the time.” And there’s another stumbling block: “I can never get it to work on my phone,” she says. Technology may not be her forte, but when it comes to fashion, Welch is on top of her game. In fact, much of the media’s interest in the striking songstress has to do with her appearance: a bright red mop of hair and her seemingly endless supply of enviable ensembles ranging from designer gowns to ratty shorts and tees that she somehow looks great in. (Being six feet tall helps.) She’s become a fixture at Fashion Week, sitting in the front row at Chanel, Givenchy, and YSL runway shows, but she’s also been a champion of young designers like Alice Halliday and Verity Pemberton, who designs Welch’s stage wardrobe. I wonder if Welch is already thinking about what she’ll be wearing on tour as she works on the new record. It’s a little early for that, she tells me. “But we were thinking it would be fun to get shamans’ robes for everyone

“It was the first time I knew that music could help form your identity. Me and my girlfriends, it definitely empowered us at an age when you feel kind of awkward. Music made us feel strong.”

while we’re recording. So everyone—the whole band—gets dressed for work, puts on their big robe, and comes down to the studio.” Shamans’ robes in the studio would be a joke for most artists, but it feels like a natural move for Welch, whose work is constantly referencing religion and its rituals. Her mother, a Renaissance scholar, gave Welch access to all kinds of images of martyrs, saintly passions, and bloody sacrifices, and they had quite an effect. “I’m not a religious person,” she says. “But sex, violence, love, death, all of the topics that I’m constantly wrestling with, all connect back to religion.” She reels off a list of obsessions that would make any goth proud: “Mexican Day of the Dead, séances, witchcraft, heaven and hell, voodoo, gospel, possession, demons, exorcism, and all that stuff.” The promise of ritual, its magic, is in its repetition. Every time is the same, but every time is different. It strikes me that this must be very much what it’s like to perform the same songs night after night, and Welch excitedly agrees. “Yes! There are always things you want to refine, and there are always different ways to play songs, so you have both continuity and newness,” she says. “And the audience is different. I like the idea that there is always someone in the crowd who hasn’t heard a song before.” Most of the rest of the crowd, of course, will have heard the songs before, and some will have even tattooed the lyrics onto their bodies. She happens to love the validation. “It’s so personal, making music, and there is always that voice at the back of your head saying, ‘Who is going to listen to this?’” she says. “It’s worrying. It’s a labor of love, but you want other people to love it too. So when people embrace it, it’s an amazing thing.” But Welch gets the response, especially when she recalls her own first foray into music fandom and how it affected her. “I was really into punk when I was very young,” she says. “Well, I still am, but I started a punk band called Toxic Cockroaches, and it was the first time I knew that music could help form your identity. The music you listened to dictated what kind of boys you fancied and the clothes you wore, everything. Me and my girlfriends, it definitely empowered us at an age when you feel kind of awkward. Music made us feel strong.” B

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Summer is the best time of year to pack up your car and hit the open road. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best, BUSTiest spots across the U.S., so fill up your tank and get ready to girl out.

Bisbee, AZ ( Take a step back in time at this vin-

Shady Dell

Las Vegas, NV ( Tip your hat to America’s most famous tassel-twirlers at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Gawk at vintage gloves, garter belts, and G-strings, and read the stories of the art’s most sultry stripteasers like Gypsy Rose Lee.

Burlesque Hall of Fame

Fort Worth, TX ( When it comes to the Wild West, men are often given the spotlight, but it’s the

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

Santa Fe, NM ( Nobody painted vagina flowers like Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the bestknown female artists in the world. More than 3,000 of her paintings, drawings, and sculptures are on rotating display at this desert-chic museum.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum


Learn about some of America’s OG sex workers at this opulent former parlor house, the most famous brothel in Cripple Creek. Get the history of house madam Pearl DeVere, a wellloved, savvy businesswoman who got her “soiled doves” top dollar during the 1890s gold rush.

Los Angeles, CA Francesca Lia Block’s 1989 book Weetzie Bat was the quintessential fairy tale for the Sassy-reading set. Simply being in L.A. will make you feel like you’re part of Weetzie’s slinkster-cool world, but complete your trip with a stop at this legendary roadside eatery for “the wildest, cheapest cheese and bean and hot dog and pastrami burrito.”

Cripple Creek, CO (

Old Homestead House Brothel Museum

Moab, UT Hopefully your trip won’t include a stop in Deep Shit, Arkansas, like those badass besties Thelma and Louise’s did, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the beauty of the spot where they met their end. Just don’t make like them and drive off the cliff in this spectacular state park.

Dead Horse Point: Thelma & Louise film location

tage trailer park decked out in midcentury modern. Stay in an authentically restored Airstream; visit the campground’s ’50s-style resto, Dot’s Diner; and soak up the air of Americana in the scenic Arizona desert.

Oki Dog

San Francisco, CA ( This tiny, one-room museum gives crafting its due, with a wide range of exhibits featuring the likes of contemporary artist Clare Rojas and West Coast Pop artist and renowned silkscreener Sister Corita Kent. Get your own craft on after hours on the first Thursday of every month.

Museum of Craft and Folk Art

North Bend and Snoqualmie, WA Twin Peaks, the location of David Lynch’s ’90s cult-TV classic, might not be real, but you can still indulge your obsession by hanging out where the show was filmed. Stay at the Great Northern Hotel (aka Salish Lodge & Spa), and treat yourself to some cherry pie and coffee at Agent Cooper’s favorite spot, the Double R Diner (aka Twede’s Café).

Twin Peaks Hub

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum

Mountain Lake Hotel, aka the Dirty Dancing Resort Pembroke, VA ( Have the time of your life at the Mountain Lake Hotel, which served as Kellerman’s Resort in one of the best cult classics the ’80s had to offer. Simply enjoy being out in nature, or

Chapel Hill, NC ( A trip to the South isn’t complete without some good ol’ southern food, which is exactly what you’ll find here. Mama Dip’s been running her restaurant since 1976—come for the epic fried chicken, stay for the peach cobbler.

Iuka, MS ( Necessary kitchen-wear, icon of domestic oppression, kitschy fashion statement—the apron is loaded with women’s history. See thousands of them on display, from simple Depression-era aprons to frillier ’50s versions, in The Apron Museum, part of Carolyn Terry’s home-goods shop, Pineslab.

Pigeon Forge, TN ( Skip Disneyland and Six Flags and head straight for the Smoky Mountains instead, to the Queen of Country’s amusement park. Ride the Tennessee Tornado roller coaster, check out Ap-

Mama Dip’s

The Apron Museum


Our generation’s been pretty lucky in the contraceptive department, but ladies have been trying to block that baby-makin’ since the beginning of sex. The various methods are brought to light here, from covering the cervix with a halved lemon in the 18th century to douching with Lysol in the ’60s.


Cleveland, OH

History of Contraception Gallery at Dittrick Medical History Center


Seneca Falls, NY Pay homage to our foremothers in this quaint city where the Seneca Falls Convention (held in 1848) planted the seeds of modern-day feminism. Visit seminal suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home, and the Wesleyan Chapel where the original revolution girl style began.

Birthplace of Feminism

Auburn, NY ( After escaping slavery in 1849, Harriet Tubman became a pivotal freedom fighter, leading more than 300 slaves to independence through the Underground Railroad. Her former home, where her bed and Bible are on display, is now a landmark, preserving the abolitionist’s legacy.

Harriet Tubman Home

Fall River, MA ( Spend a spooky night where America’s most famous alleged murderess supposedly offed her parents with a hatchet in 1892. Stay in Lizzie’s bedroom, peep the crime-scene photos, and scarf up an authentic late 19thcentury breakfast of scrambled eggs and johnnycakes.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast

Brooklyn, NY ( Get a healthy dose of lady art at this inspiring wing of the Brooklyn Museum. The collection’s permanent pièce de résistance is Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, an iconic installation that represents any feminist’s ultimate soiree guest list.

Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room Savannah, GA ( For some real southern hospitality and a taste of home cookin’, line up for lunch at Mrs. Wilkes’ (open 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. only, Mon – Fri). The former boardinghouse is run by Mrs. Wilkes’ descendents who still serve meals family-style at big communal tables, so cozy up to your neighbor and dig in.

go during one of their Dirty Dancing Weekends for guided tours, dances, and, of course, a late-night screening.

palachian craft exhibits, eat southern delicacies (like fresh-fried pork rinds), and revel in the magic that is Dolly.

Walnut Grove, MN ( Break out your bonnet and get in touch with your inner flutterbudget at this stop for Little House on the Prairie lovers. Wade in Plum Creek, visit a dugout like the one the Ingallses lived in, and grab some home-cookin’ at Nellie’s Café, a restaurant that relishes the legacy of Laura’s longtime nemesis.

Little House on the Prairie: On the Banks of Plum Creek site

Atchison, KS ( The skies weren’t so friendly for females back when Amelia Earhart took over the cockpit. This quaint museum inside Earhart’s childhood home honors the legendary pilot who paved the way for generations of lady aviators to come.

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

pioneer spirit of women that’s revered here. From sharpshooter Annie Oakley to cowgirl of the silver screen Dale Evans, honorees include all kinds of inspiring women who blazed their own trail.

Remembering the careers of behind-the-scenes rock pioneers Cordell Jackson, Carol Kaye, and Lillian Roxon— three women who changed the face of music forever BY ERIN DEJESUS

ASK ANY MUSIC fan about the rock ’n’ rollers who helped pave the way for women, and they’re sure to be on a first-name basis with the legends: Janis, Joan, Patti, Chrissie, Tina. But while the spotlight obviously embraced the ladies who would rank among music history’s fiercest performers, a slew of talented women also worked tirelessly behind the scenes from the very beginning, ensuring that the unseen sites of the rock business—like record labels, recording sessions, and music criticism— weren’t solely boys’ clubs. Here we honor three such contributors to

the history of rock. They may not be household names, but these pioneers—Cordell Jackson, America’s first female record producer; Carol Kaye, the most-recorded session musician of all-time; and Lillian Roxon, the mother of rock journalism—each made major contributions to popular culture, blazing trails for women looking to pursue music as a profession. In their efforts, they’ve loudly claimed a place for women in every corner of rock ’n’ roll. And we believe music fans should be on a first-name basis with the three of them as well.

Cordell Jackson in her Memphis, TN, backyard circa 1990



(1923 – 2004)

In the 1950s and ’60s, Memphis’ famous Sun Records Studio was churning out some of rock ’n’ roll’s biggest hits, by the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash. Ten miles to the north, in 1956, guitarist and songwriter Cordell Jackson (who would later be affectionately known as the “rockabilly granny”) launched the similarly celestial-sounding Moon Records and, in the process, became the first female rock engineer, arranger, and record producer in the United States. Jackson, born Cordell Miller, came from a musical family. Her father, a fiddler in the string band Pontotoc Ridge Runners, encouraged her to learn guitar, piano, and upright bass as a child. Upon her marriage to William Jackson in 1943, she moved to Memphis, where she quickly became involved in the local music scene. With her signature Hagstrom guitar, Jackson plucked spirited rockabilly riffs influenced by the pickers in her father’s band, channeling the energy of Chuck Berry. “I don’t necessarily term what I do rockabilly or rock ’n’ roll,” Jackson told underground music ’zine Rocktober in 1993. “Coming up, I was always playing what I’m playing, [ever since] Elvis was one year old.” In the 1950s, Jackson ended up in the studio with Sam Phillips, the Memphis producer who would later discover Elvis and found Sun Records. According to Jackson, when the

fledging studio’s unexpected success made Phillips unavailable to promote her 1956 demos “Rock and Roll Christmas” and “Bebopper’s Christmas,” she decided to release them on her own. “[Phillips] tells me that he’s not going to have the time,” Jackson told Rocktober. “So I come home and tell my husband, ‘Hey, I’m gonna start at the top! I’m fixing to call RCA Victor [now RCA Records] and tell them what I want.’ And I did.” Jackson said legendary RCA producer Chet Atkins advised her to start her own label, so she released her two Christmas songs under the Moon Records name in 1956. The label—run entirely out of Jackson’s home studio—also released several recordings by other rockabilly, country, and rock ’n’ roll artists (including Allen Page and the Big Four) throughout the ’50s and ’60s. In addition to producing and engineering each album, Jackson acted as a one-person promotional team, hitting the streets of Memphis to hype Moon’s records. Though Jackson remained a fixture on Memphis’ local music scene in the following decades (she sold real estate as her day job), the rockabilly revival of the 1980s brought her first taste of national celebrity. In 1980, Jackson printed Moon Records’ first anthology, then released an EP of new material three years later. By 1991, she’d landed her highest-profile gig to date, appearing as a “guitar-playing granny” who upstages Brian Setzer in a Budweiser commercial. “If I want to wang dang rock ’n’ roll at 69 years old dressed up in an antebellum dress,” she famously said during a late-night TV appearance in the early ’90s, “it ain’t nobody’s business but mine.” In 1997, at the age of 74, Jackson released her only fulllength solo album, Live in Chicago. “My crowds get larger all the time, so it’s all foolin’ me,” Jackson told Billboard magazine that year. “I just play rock ’n’ roll, but I live like a Southern belle.” It would be her final recording. But at the time of her death, in 2004, Moon Records held the distinction of being the longest-operating record label in Memphis, and Jackson’s fast-paced guitar skills (and boisterous, winking personality) reached a new generation when her 1989 music video for “The Split” was immortalized on YouTube.

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CAROL KAYE (1935 – )

The bouncing guitar riffs on the recording of “La Bamba” weren’t played by Ritchie Valens; that’s not Al Jardine plucking the bass lines on the Beach Boys’ seminal album Pet Sounds; and Elvis Presley isn’t the one playing bass on his single “Suspicious Minds.” Incredibly, all those credits belong to L.A. studio musician Carol Kaye, a powerhouse who, with more than 10,000 recordings to her name, owns the title of “most recorded studio musician in history.” Armed with her guitar and trademark Fender P-bass, Kaye put her indelible stamp on some of rock’s biggest hits, working with such top names as Brian Wilson, Sam Cooke, and Phil Spector, who kept her on call during Motown’s legendary “Wall of Sound” years. The child of musicians, Kaye first picked up the guitar in


1949 at age 14, and after just a few months of lessons, began playing professionally in local L.A. jazz clubs. According to Kaye, in an era when most record companies employed a stable of freelance musicians to lay down licks and lines for demos, guitarists with the ability to improvise were in high demand. “Producers always scouted the jazz clubs for the creative jazz musicians who invent every note they play,” Kaye writes on her Web site, “They were the musicians [the producers] wanted to invent arrangements to make hit records with. Very few knew anything about how to write for rock ’n’ roll.” In 1957, rock producer Bumps Blackwell spotted Kaye in a club and invited her to a recording session with Sam Cooke, whom she admits she hadn’t heard of. Kaye’s work in the booth ended up on Cooke’s celebrated cover of “Summertime,” and as Kaye earned notoriety for her solid performances and professionalism, record producers kept calling. “It was wonderful,” Kaye told LA Weekly in 2010 about her early career. “To come in every day and work with the L.A. Philharmonic or the horns from Artie Shaw’s band was just the highest experience you could have.” In 1963, Kaye picked up the electric bass—which later became her signature instrument—for the first time, stepping in for another musician who failed to show up for a session. After that, she never looked back. When Motown began recording in Hollywood that same year, Kaye supplied the bass lines, recording more than 160 dates with the legendary label and landing on tracks with the Supremes, Quincy Jones, and the Ronettes. Though very few women worked behind the scenes as studio musicians at the time, Kaye maintains that talent, not gender, was her most defining characteristic. “In the studios, it didn’t matter,” she told LA Weekly. “I didn’t get attitude from anyone for being a woman. It didn’t matter if you were a zebra if you could help make a song a hit.” Sadly, because the recording industry didn’t mandate that proper credits be given to all studio musicians until 1973, many of Kaye’s credits are now matters of dispute. But Kaye’s chops—and tenacity—are undeniable. At 76, Kaye is still working, teaching bass in Southern California and dispensing nononsense advice to aspiring players. “As a ‘woman’ musician, if you want to be successful, [you] should only think of yourself as a ‘musician’…not as a ‘female musician,’” Kaye says on her Web site. “Men never think of themselves as ‘male musicians,’ why should you?”


Carol Kaye hard at work in an L.A. recording studio circa 1960

Lillian Roxon circa 1972



(1932 – 1973)

Long before Rolling Stone or Creem ever printed the pages that would change the face of music journalism, Lillian Roxon was a rock-star reporter in her own right. Roxon, who’s been dubbed “the mother of rock ’n’ roll journalism,” was the first music journalist whose celebrity status was on par with the stars she interviewed. During N.Y.C.’s late-1960s heyday as a mecca for rock musicians, Roxon could usually be found holding court at the legendary club Max’s Kansas City, sharing her VIP table with the likes of Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith. “Lillian approached the rock scene from the point of view of a classic insider who was privy to the personal lives of the stars and their entourages,” writes biographer Robert Milliken, who published Lillian Roxon: Mother of Rock in 2002. As a result, “[she] was always the first to predict who was destined to become the next hot thing.” Lillian Roxon (née Liliana Ropschitz) moved to N.Y.C. from Australia in 1959, hoping to make it as a freelance journalist. In 1963, she became a correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald’s New York bureau, enabling her to move out of a rundown Lower East Side apartment into what would become her longtime home in the city’s Gramercy Park neighborhood.

It was a fateful address: Max’s Kansas City, the underground hangout that would later launch the careers of the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, and Iggy Pop, opened a few blocks away two years later. And Roxon was hooked. While mingling with the Max’s crowd, Roxon racked up countless bylines throughout the ’60s, in a variety of publications that included Crawdaddy and Women’s Day. But her notoriety was cemented with the 1969 publication of Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia, the first tome to legitimize rock ’n’ roll’s place in pop-culture history. Long before the Internet made artist biographies and discographies easy to find, Roxon’s well-researched encyclopedia gave music fans access to the histories and contributions of music’s most influential acts, from the mainstream (Frankie Avalon) to the underground (the Zombies). “It took me about a year to write, but I spent years researching it, by just living it,” Roxon said in 1973. Roxon’s enthusiasm for music was obvious in her prose. In Rock Encyclopedia entries she calls Aretha Franklin “the epitome of unleashed female passion” and Bob Dylan a “continuing autobiography of this country—its music, its confusions, the failure of its dream.” She also wryly pokes fun at rock journalism: “More gloopy, pretentious, pseudo-surrealistic, hyper-literary, quasi-mystical prose has been written about the Doors than about any rock group ever. Whenever the Doors are mentioned in print, the similes fly like shrapnel in an air raid.” The success of the Rock Encyclopedia certified Roxon’s status as a counterculture expert. Then in 1971, she debuted the syndicated radio program Lillian Roxon’s Discotheque as well as a weekly gossip column in the New York Daily News. Her circle of friends included creative minds like Linda Eastman, Danny Fields, Germaine Greer, and Lenny Kaye. And spurred by her rousing coverage of 1970’s Women’s Strike for Equality, Roxon began writing “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Sex,” a pop-feminist monthly column for Mademoiselle magazine. In the early ’70s, despite her encyclopedia’s unexpected success, Roxon expressed frustration with the changing trajectory of the music industry and her place in it. “I’m in the old school that loves a group when it’s down and out and battling and torn with strife and conflicts and emotional drama,” Roxon wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1971. “I keep thinking that ‘commercial,’ when teamed up with rock music, is an ugly word. That, I’m afraid, is very ’60s thinking...whether I’m ready for the ’70s is something else again.” Her words would prove prophetic: Roxon passed away suddenly in 1973 after suffering a severe asthma attack when she was only 41. But her legacy and influence is undeniable—a recent documentary about her life, Mother of Rock, included fawning commentary from friends and colleagues (Greer, Fields) and rock hall-of-famers (Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper) alike. “Like Dorothy Parker...Lillian Roxon was someone of whom many stories have survived about what she said and what she did,” Milliken writes. “Some of them happened, some of them might have happened. And if they didn’t happen, they still found their way into the realm of myth and legend.” B

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58 / BUST // JUN/JUL

IRANDA JULY MAKES art, and she makes lots of it. At 37, she’s already famous for her live performances, experimental short films, interactive Web sites, award-winning short stories, and imaginative work on two feature films, which she wrote, directed, and starred in. The first, Me and You and Everyone We Know, put her on the indiefilmmaking map in 2005. Her second, The Future, comes out, appropriately enough, this July, and at its tender heart is a feline narrator named Paw Paw. The Future is about safety and wildness, heartbreak and time travel, and an oddly comforting old man named Joe. If this description sounds vague, that’s because it’s incredibly difficult to describe July’s work in straightforward terms. The worlds she creates are abstract, symbolic, and spiked with elements of magical realism that connect directly with viewers’ emotions. In fact, months after seeing the film’s debut at Sundance, just thinking about The Future makes me want to cry a little. And that’s a common reaction, not only to this particular film but also to everything July puts out. Each adventurous offering is a raw exploration of human frailty with July positioned at its center, boldly mining the depths of her heart in that awkward space where razor-tipped insights about our own failures and disappointments lie. Here, July talks candidly about what her future holds, from building a community for female filmmakers to building a life with fellow filmmaker Mike Mills.


Do you feel that there’s more support out there among female filmmakers now compared with when you started making movies? The couple of female filmmakers I’ve met recently have been in Germany, where there’s more money, so it’s easier for everyone to make movies. They’ve been great, and in a way, their brand of feminism kicked my ass. It did make me think, though, that at the very least, the women who are here…we should probably know each other. The women filmmakers who are out there— Kelly Reichardt, Lena Dunham, Tamara Jenkins, So Yong Kim, and whoever else—I don’t know any of these women. Sometimes it seems sort of shameful to complain about the lack of women filmmakers when I’m not really reaching out to the ones I know of. And they’re not reaching out to me. I think to some degree, it’s a natural reaction, a slight recoiling—we are all sick of being called women filmmakers and having to speak on behalf of all women. Since your last interview with BUST, in 2007, you and filmmaker Mike Mills have gotten married, and now you both have very personal, very intense movies coming out. [Mills’ film Beginners will be released in June.] Do you think you have an impact on each other’s work? The huge impact that we have on [each other] comes with sharing a life. But we’re not work partners at all. We’re very independent people. I was one of the last people to give Mike

“What’s next— that’s very mysterious to me, luckily, because if I knew, then I don’t think it would be interesting to make the next thing.”

notes or see a cut of his movie, and vice versa. We really called each other in at the very end, and we were like, “Hey, you wanna see this before it goes out into the world?” I think we did that out of a sense of self-preservation for our relationship. We had to just find other people who could be the support as far as the nitty-gritty of notes and new ideas and stuff like that. But that meant that I hadn’t already exhausted him when I needed to fall into a crying heap, in a general sense. He wasn’t my workmate, but there’s no one’s opinion I value more. And that, perhaps, is why I’m very careful about when I ask for it. Watching The Future feels very personal. Does it feel personal presenting it to the world? I was looking at some interviews that I did for this movie, and I thought I wasn’t as open talking about it as I was with the last movie. The last movie wasn’t as personal, so I was able to be more articulate. I think part of me is kind of, like, I exposed myself quite a bit just in making the movie. Isn’t that enough? If Me and You… is a film about being single in your 20s, and The Future is about being in a relationship in your 30s, then what’s next? Right this very second I’m working on a book project about how I met Joe, the old man in The Future. I met him through interviewing people who were selling things in the PennySaver classifieds. So it’s a lot of interviews and pictures about the creative process. It’s a nice way to process the last few years and get back into writing again. What’s next—that’s very mysterious to me, luckily, because if I knew, then I don’t think it would be interesting to make the next thing. I have this sort of phantom-like presence, a preconception [of what the project will be]. Which is a nice stage to be at again. I remember when The Future was at that stage and it just…it’s so subtle, the things that you’re listening for. It’s like you’re really trying to listen to yourself. B

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Lauren Flax [left] and Lauren Dillard of Creep

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[From left] Jack Donaghue, Heather Marlatt, and John Holland of Salem

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WOMAN STROLLS through the woods in time to a foreboding beat as the German phrase das haus der hexe drones on in a distorted, whispered voiceover. In the blink of an eye, the woman’s teeth are suddenly fangs, and she has a gaping, bloody wound between her legs. Wolf hair then covers her face as she jumps on a man’s shoulders, attacking him. These are the opening moments of a video for the song “Das Haus der Hexe” or “House of the Witch,” by a band called Mater Suspiria Vision. The group is at the forefront of a delightfully disturbing new subset of electronic music dubbed “witch house”—a darker, slower, more malevolent strain of house—that is seeping from the underground into the mainstream. And though it’s characterized by suspenseful sounds and horrific visuals designed to get listeners’ hearts racing, the most exciting aspect of witch house is that unlike most of electronica, women are at the helm of this sinister scene. Witch house did not start out as a girls’ club. According to occult-music promoter Todd Pendu, the 37-year-old mastermind behind the Pendu NYC record label, the term first gained traction when two electronic musicians— Jonathan Coward from the N.Y.C. act the Shams and Travis Egedy from the Denver solo project Pictureplane— were asked to describe their sound while on a radio show in 2010. That’s when the pair explained that it wasn’t just house but witch house—because they were witches. “I started witch house in Baltimore around 2008,” Coward explains via email. “I called it that because I make house music and was performing rites and rituals as part of my live set.” Not long after, Egedy declared on the music blog Pitchfork that 2010 was going to be “the year of witch house.” There, he also name-checked creepy female-fronted groups like Modern Witch (a Denver/ Amsterdam-based trio led by 30-year-old Kristy Foom) and Tearist (a dark and dancey L.A. duo led by Yasmine Kittles). Though these women don’t claim to be witches, and their brand of electronica is not necessarily house, their appearance on Egedy’s list quickly made them the earliest examples of this trend. And as the term “witch house” spread like wildfire across the blogosphere, female vocals took center stage as hallmarks of the new sound. To listen to witch house is to be bombarded with heavy, synthesized loops that boom and crash beneath screeching, wailing, and whispering female voices. Or it might be more like an extremely slowed-down mash-up of hip-hop beats, occult-inspired samples, and a woman’s voice manipulated to

add a ghostly chill. White Ring, a Brooklyn-based duo fronted by 29-year-old Kendra Malia, are among the masters of this style, creating electronica songs that are as disturbing as they are beautiful. Take the track “We Rot” from their 2010 debut, Black Earth That Made Me (released by Disaro Records, one of the current go-to witch-house labels). The song starts with a slow cascade of Malia’s vocals, a tumble of words rendered indistinguishable by effects except for her occasionally audible pleas for help. Her begging is layered in a crescendo of anguish as the tempo quickens, then everything falls apart as a cacophony of screams, chants, and demented laughter envelops her. Her voice is a truly haunting example of why witch-house bands need a female singer. Modern Witch’s singer Kristy Foom agrees that a lady’s touch is all-important when it comes to making such heavy music. “I think the one interesting commonality in a lot of the witch-house bands would be very strong vocals,” she says. “It has to do with the sound and the spirit of the music. It’s very cold and electronic, but is warmed up by having some very emotional female vocals. If you think about the band Tearist, the vocals there are very different, very strong, and very unique. That’s a real minimal band—just synths and vocals with some effects on it. It’s the same thing with White Ring and Modern Witch. Really strong vocalists.” Though women sing in all these bands, vocals aren’t the only area they dominate. Lauren Flax, 32, and Lauren Dillard, 26, of the Brooklyn-based duo Creep, handle all their instrumental production themselves, looking to women outside the group to collaborate with on lyrics. When Kittles writes Tearist’s songs, she alternates between clear, catchy choruses and screeching howls before adding percussion accents with found metal objects. And when Foom composes for Modern Witch, her material is slow and solemn, with the flavor of a toned-down Nico. But no matter who’s doing the writing or instrumentation, the creepy female voice is an integral aspect of every witch-house song. And though this aspect wasn’t part of his original intention when he started witch house, Coward understands why it quickly became so female-centric. “I feel like it’s half an accident and half borrowing the aesthetic of ethereal female vocals from shoegaze,” he says, noting the commonality with the buzzy, droning, female-fronted alternative rock that gained momentum in the late ’80s and early ’90s. “The main influence on witch house is definitely shoegaze


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music,” agrees Cosmotropia de Xam, one half of Mater Suspiria Vision. “My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Curve, Lush—all of them have female singers with a really drowned-out guitar sound. That drone aspect is also in witch house.” Flax and Dillard also draw inspiration from bands of this era. “Maybe there are a lot of women in dark music today because of the music that moved us growing up,” explains Flax. “Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, Portishead, Baxter, Andrea Parker, Dubstar, Morcheeba…I could go on and on. They really were the ones to pave the way, I think.” Foom, however, contends that witch house “kind of has a no-wave influence,” referring to a noisy music/art/film movement spanning the late ’70s and early ’80s that launched the career of DIY provocateur Lydia Lunch. “In the ’80s there were a lot of women in bands, and in that movement in particular. So to me, it feels a bit like that. We use the same instruments but in a totally different way because of the time we’re in—with all the unrest and struggle and change. I think that women are very much a part of this change and are very involved in music now more than ever.” Women clearly have the upper hand in helping to define what it means to be a witch-house band, but Pendu says it was actually an industrious user of the popular social-networking

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music site who initially declared which electronica bands fit this new term. “This guy was making a mix tape with a bunch of bands like Zola Jesus (fronted by 22-year-old L.A. gothic songstress Nika Rosa Danilova) and Salem (featuring 26-year-old Michigan-based singer Heather Marlatt),” he explains. “He reads that term and says, ‘Oh, I’ll call all these bands on this compilation witch house.’ He then tagged the bands witch house, wrote a Wikipedia article explaining the term, and started promoting it in music forums. As bands like Salem started getting major talk, people would look them up online, and they would come up as witch house.” As a result, a ton of dark electronic bands with various sounds have been lumped together, and as far as their fans are concerned, they’re witch-house bands, whether they like it or not. Regardless of whether they agree with the moniker, it’s easy to see how most of these bands got saddled with the “witch” tag, considering their spooky sounds and frequent use of upsidedown crosses and triangles in videos and album art. Yet when asked about it, only a few claim to practice the craft. Foom explains that while she isn’t a witch, with a band name like Modern Witch, she sees where the occult connection is made. “It’s mostly from scenes in our visual art and us doing a lot of things that seem magical or mystical that weren’t intended to be at first,” she says. “Like, we reappropriated a lot of video from online and taught ourselves video-editing techniques that make the images look ghostly because we liked that aesthetic.” Foom does admit to finding the occult compelling and says fans’ perceptions about her being a witch have opened some very interesting doors. “I was invited to this party in Amsterdam, I think, only because I’m from Modern Witch, and these women—it was this party of 10 women, all these designers with really fancy jobs—threw this party because it was the full moon. They were casting spells, doing tarot card readings and things like that. And I realized I was invited because there were some assumptions made that I would know how to cast spells.” The band Salem also prefers not to combine their beliefs with their work. “We’re all really spiritual,” explains Marlatt, “but we’re not that into labels. We take from a lot of different sources. It’s not necessarily like we’re subscribing to one sect.” On the other end of the spectrum, Mater Suspiria Vision considers the occult a strong part of every aspect of their lives and are one of the few bands to embrace the term “witch house.” Asked when they last cast a spell, de Xam says it was about 12 hours before our interview but wouldn’t elaborate. He says he and his bandmate Aura started the group the day after they met—about a year ago at a séance in Kabul, Afghanistan— as a way to translate their mind-melting paranormal experience into something tangible. On all their albums, they use the same symbol: a combination of a capital F and an upside-down cross. But de Xam is tight-lipped on its meaning. “I don’t want to tell too much. When you hear it, you won’t be happy,” he says mysteriously. “There’s some kind of spell on it. It gives people who know it, and can use it, this power. And those people who


Kristy Foom of Modern Witch

don’t know how to use it, it gives them a bad power. It’s not good to know too much about it.” The band also casts spells on their audiences at shows, sometimes with the help of a witch named Shazzula from Belgium, whom he says “does some spells that she created in this magic book.” Whether their members are practicing witches or not, witchhouse bands are dedicated to creating haunting environments to go along with their music, engulfing their listeners in dark visual worlds heightened by mystery and anonymity. In fact, many groups prefer to have their artwork represent the band in place of photos of individual personalities in order to avoid any labels that may detract from their enigma (though these tactics only further perpetuate their categorization as witch house). Collages or still lifes rather than group photos often appear on bands’ Web pages; when they are photographed, members’ faces are routinely blurred or hidden from view under hair or clouds of fog. Cryptic symbols are also employed to stand in for band names, songs, and even members’ names, just to make Google searches for them impossible. Mater Susperia Vision, for example, created an alias entirely out of symbols, ℑ⊇≥◊≤⊆ℜ, which they claim is the name of a spirit. “This is a doppelgänger, some kind of virtualreality friend of ours. We haven’t met him yet,” says de Xam. “It’s some kind of entity, a virtual person. You see its reflection in the symbol name. One side of the name looks like the mirror of the other side.” Similarly, Modern Witch barely posts any images of themselves online. But if you look them up, you will find mixed media and paper collages that Foom and her bandmate Mario Zoots publish, along with other like-minded artists, in ’zines and comics under the name Drippy Bone Books. No matter how mysterious and camera-shy these artists are, however, the power to define this emerging genre is squarely in the hands of witch house’s women. These ladies are not only the lead singers; they’re also gaining ground as producers and are working in unprecedented ways, thanks to the Internet. “What’s great about technology now,” says Flax, “is that in order to work in a studio and be a producer and learn how to use all this gear, you don’t have to start by emptying trash bins in a recording studio for three years just to earn a little bit of time in the studio, where you’ll be harassed by men.” Recalling her early days as an aspiring producer, she

Mater Susperia Vision's Cosmotropia de Xam [left] and Aura

PHOTO: ℑ⊇≥◊≤⊆ℜ


emphasizes how electronic music is a realm where women can take the reins and educate themselves without sexism getting in the way. “Now that we have the Internet, we have our own ways to learn and the playing field is level,” she says. “I’ve been doing this since ’97. I went to a recording institute where it was all men, and it just didn’t appeal to me. I just wanted to do it on my own terms, and I feel like women need to know that it’s a lot easier now with technology.” Foom agrees, adding, “You can record from your laptop; you can put your music online. All these boundaries have been removed so people can play together more easily.” And as more women are playing, more fans are listening. These bands are steadily gaining popularity with music sites like,, and all posting witch-house mix tapes for eager listeners to download. And DJs around the world are hosting dance parties that combine witch-house tracks with trance, dub-step, and rap in innovative remixes. For musicians like Foom, the music is satisfying a multimedia craving to be engulfed by both music and art, and the droves of fans flocking to this demonic movement are helping to shape it. “Witch house is very much being defined by the audience,” says Foom. “There’s a mystique to it because everyone has a different idea of what it is and what it means. People are now trying to write music that’s specifically witch house, and that is blowing my mind. I think it’s very special.” B

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the bust guide


ARCTIC MONKEYS Suck It and See (Domino) The title of Arctic Monkeys’ fourth album, Suck It and See, sounds aggressive, but for a band that has peppered its brand of U.K. post-rock with plenty of punk, its 12 songs lean much more in the direction of pop. More specifically, a nervier, Southern California–by-way-of-Sheffield kind of pop. “Reckless Serenade” is the sunny West Coast counter to all those indie-rock songs about Lower East Side girls. “She’s Thunderstorms” opens with Monkeys frontman Alex Turner doing his best Julian Casablancas. In fact, much of Suck It sounds like the Strokes—if Nick Cave were principal songwriter. Lyrically, the band continues in the sinister, desert vein of its last Josh Homme–produced record, Humbug. But the sound rarely strays from shimmering melodies copped from late-’50s/early-’60s rock ’n’ roll, like those found on the title track as well as the Cure-tinged closer, “That’s Where You’re Wrong.” [DYLAN STABLEFORD]

ART BRUT Brilliant! Tragic! (Cooking Vinyl/ The End)


My kids (ages 10, 7, and 1) want to start a band. Their only song is about how miserable their lives are. I suggested writing about what they know: school, candy, Yu-Gi-Oh! But no, I’m their father. I’m an idiot. Well, this idiot is going to force them to listen to the newest release from Art Brut, Brilliant! Tragic! This five-piece English band writes from experience. They put the snot back in punk and the bounce back in pop. “Clever Clever Jazz” sounds like the moaning of a drunk who stumbled out of one too many bebop clubs. And when vocalist Eddie Argos sings about a “Bad Comedian,” it’s a dispatch from a beer-soaked realist who has seen it all. These songs feel authentic. If I can teach my children that basic tenet of art, and if they ever practice their instruments, then my little art brutes will be brilliant! tragic! too. [PETER LANDAU]

AUSTRA Feel It Break (Domino) I’ve listened to Feel It Break, the debut al-


A LOT IS made of Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender’s live performances, and for good reason—the woman is a fireball of entertainment adorned in bloody butcher aprons, threatening crowds with a rash of impromptu stage-diving. But on Sin Sin Sin, the trio—including Jonathan Hischke (Hella, Broken Bells) and Gabe Serbian (the Locust)—has accomplished an amazing feat: they’ve created an album that both lives up to the legend of the live performance and also informs it. Imagine the innovation of the Locust infused into pop songs that clock in past one minute with a frontwoman who doesn’t give a shit if you like her politics. Bender (on guitar, keys, and vocals) eschews traditional arrangements, opting for an erratic and dramatic shift in tone and allowing a certain freedom for Hischke and Serbian. On the opener, “Tonight,” she channels the throaty resonance and swagger of Beth Ditto along with imperfect harmonies à la Electrelane’s Verity Susman. As she belts out “It’s sin tonight/In my mouth, in my thigh/In my rib, in my backside/In the middle of my sleep,” it’s not glorification. It’s an accusatory and annoyed fury. Le Butcherettes create fearless punk that’s unafraid to split your face in one minute, thirty-eight seconds, then give you a five-minute track with a narrative thread that waxes and wanes and feels full when it’s finished. Teri Gender Bender has something to say. You should listen. [APRIL WOLFE] // BUST / 75

the guide MUSIC bum from Canadian goth royalty Austra, so many times that it feels weird to still be talking about it. Anchored by the classically trained vocals of Katie Stelmanis and supplemented by Maya Postepski’s rigid drum and synth structure, this record consumes your soul like a demonic possession. It rolls out a cold mist of thudding noise, traps you at its center, and then wraps you in a cocoon of stupefying choral incantation until you’re zombie-eyed and spent. Each track has its own specific allure, but “The Choke” best displays Stelmanis’ full range of near-operatic vocal abilities. If all I ever did for the rest of my nights was listen to this CD at full volume—eyes closed, forehead against a wall—I’d still be able to say that I lived a well-rounded and satisfied life. [KELLY MCCLURE]

BACHELORETTE Bachelorette (Drag City) Switch the Blade Runner universe from dystopic to heavenly (and give those wild-child replicants hearts of gold), and

you’ve totally nailed the Bachelorette vibe. This beautiful third release from New Zealand’s Annabel Alpers is megarobotic but in a spare, gentle way—the hazy midpoint between Goldfrapp and Brian Eno. Romantic opener “Grow Old With Me” floats in with hushed synths and pinpricks of percussion—anchored by the heart-wrenching lyric “Never know which memory will be the last.” The more menacing “Blanket” gets its power from a bouncy bass growl and little else. Even the pop-centric “Polarity Party” is minimal to the max, with only Alpers’ angel/robot voice (think Sinéad O’Connor all androided out), staccato bass, and a snare or two. It’s the perfect album for a drizzly summer night, especially if you’re a replicant in some neon-soaked, futuristic Gotham. [MOLLIE WELLS]

BEASTIE BOYS Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Capitol) It’s a little hard for me to accept the Beastie Boys as responsible adults, given that I spent most

of my high school years blasting Ill Communication, ignoring my parents’ repeated requests to “turn that noise down.” But on Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, their eighth album (and first rap record in seven years), the trio is clearly OK with embracing maturity. First single “Make Some Noise” finds Mike D rapping about sipping Prosecco and MCA saying, “We gotta party for the right to fight.” Are these the same guys who once sang about robbing a 7-Eleven? The LP showcases punk, reggae, and instrumental funk, and while it’s not as carefree or crime-ridden as earlier releases, it definitely proves that the Beastie Boys are still just as good at rhymin’ even though they’ve given up stealin’. [ELIZA THOMPSON]

CAT’S EYES Cat’s Eyes (Cooperative USA/ Downtown) Cat’s Eyes is possibly the most terrifyingly lovely collaborative effort ever. That’s a lofty declaration, but given the complexities of the duo’s self-titled debut, it’s apropos.

The yin is Rachel Zeffira, a Canadian soprano whose operatic upbringing results in beautiful, breathy vocals. Faris Badwan, baritone vocalist of dark British band the Horrors, is the yang. The title track kind of sounds like a Jim Morrison/Nancy Sinatra collaboration—that’s the balance these two strike when singing together. But when they’re apart? Not so much. Zeffira’s ethereal, echo-laden vocals dominate a large portion of tracks on the album and, at times, Badwan’s entrance makes the sound, well, scary. His voice is gorgeous, but coming off Zeffira’s fairy sounds, he might as well be Gargamel from The Smurfs, especially on the woozy “The Lull.” Despite the glitches in volleying songs, Cat’s Eyes possess something very rare in music today: a bewitchingly distinct division of dark and light. [KATHY IANDOLI]

CULTS Cults (In the Name of) The self-titled debut from N.Y.C.-based pop duo Cults is a ’50s girl group–in-

EVERETT TRUE’S FIRST LADIES OF ROCK The best girl bands you’ve never heard of [BY EVERETT TRUE]

PRIS One great way of judging music is by asking yourself: Is this band having way more fun than I am? Do I want to go get fool-stupid inebriated amnesiac with them? Are they the anti-Coldplay? The anti–Kings of fucking Leon? Do they perform in their underwear? Are they from London, a four-piece, and uber-bratty? Yes, yes, yes! Pris is spunky indie: tons of energy with snarky lyrics and a major attitude problem—all big pluses. Think: Manic Street Preachers, Shampoo, the “B” Girls Marilyn Monroe: 9 Marilyn Manson: 0 76 / BUST // JUN/JUL

LISPECTOR Julie Margat, aka Lispector, makes the greatest hidden music you’ll encounter all year. Her four- and eight-track home recordings, done in the south of France and New York, are created with obvious delight, surprise, and meticulous craft. With imaginative backings, odd little tape loops, and synthetic strings, her songs will linger in your memory for an age after the final sequenced guitar loop has subsided—a sound so personal you feel privileged to be listening in.

KASMs Hoxton is London’s version of Williamsburg, and KASMs is heartland Hoxton. Their album Spayed is fucking luminous—Pens, Lydia Lunch, awkward psychedelia, and a bit of Nina Hagen, too. KASMs’ songs are spindly, scuttling little beasts fighting for a better vantage position. Guitars are nasty. Vocals are nastier. It’s necessary; it’s no wave. Sometimes it’s a little too theatrical, a little too rock—but fuck it. That’s what the fast-forward button is for.

Think: The Blow, Ill Ease, kyu Portland, OR: 9 Detroit, MI: 3

Think: Lydia Lunch, Liars, Bratmobile Teenage Jesus: 9 “Personal Jesus”: 1

HELLO SEAHORSE! This four-piece from Mexico is vaguely operatic in the same way Foetus or Ariel Pink can be, but nowhere near as abrasive or upsetting. In fact, they’re often the opposite: Hello Seahorse! likes to linger in a sense of mystery and majesty. This is music that swims. It’s a little bit flouncy and ethereal, but dreamily and pleasingly so. Plus, singer Lo Blondo rocks the school-librarian look. Think: The Flaming Lips, Quiero Club, Natacha Atlas Portishead (the band): 6 Portishead (the town): 0

MUSIC fused concoction of Madeline Follin’s sugary soprano vocals paired with fuzzed-out guitar and melodic synths. Top that with a dollop of heavy reverb and danceable backbeats, and you’re in for a sweet treat. But not so fast—the band’s lyrics douse that charm like a chaser that burns going down, alluding to something more somber than slumber parties and pillow fights. On “Most Wanted,” Follin sings “Drifting away from my family toward my foes/My mother told me you’ll reap what you sow/What you most want is bad for me, you know.” And the mood darkens further with samples of creepy speeches by Charles Manson, Patty Hearst, and Jim Jones. [AURORA MONTGOMERY]

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Codes and Keys (Atlantic) Death Cab for Cutie is the go-to band when you’re anywhere from 16 to 23, driving your mom’s car back and forth between the Taco Bell and the Borders in suburban Illinois while experiencing a variety of feelings. The tracks on Codes and Keys, the band’s first full album since 2008, are missing the emotional oomph found on Death Cab champs like “Transatlanticism” and “I Will Possess Your Heart,” but that’s OK. This record is less epic, less soulful, and far peppier. It’s different from the slow-build guitar leading into an earthquake of expressive lyrics that we’ve come to expect from Death Cab, but tracks like “You Are a Tourist” are so upbeat and catchy, you can’t help but be happy that they’re happy. Maybe these Pacific Northwest natives finally got their hands on some vitamin D. [KELLY MCCLURE]

GANG GANG DANCE Eye Contact (4AD) N.Y.C.’s Gang Gang Dance knows their way around a synthesizer. Recently garnering attention as the band that sued Florence and the Machine for copyright infringement—the Flo track “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” borrows from GGD’s “House Jam”—they clearly make the music people want. Expect

more borrowing from their fifth album, Eye Contact; it’s pure sonic goodness. The 11-minute opener, “Glass Jar,” slowly builds momentum with random synths and whispers until Lizzi Bougatsos’ vocals push it into an all-out electro-jam. Other songs live up to GGD’s experimental nature. “Thru and Thru” starts sharp but goes underwater in the middle. It’s not really lyric-heavy, but with sounds that weigh a ton, Eye Contact is mood music. Which mood? Take your pick. [KATHY IANDOLI]

K.D. LANG AND THE SISS BOOM BANG Sing it Loud (Nonesuch) The grand dame of modern country returns to the musical forefront with Sing It Loud, a sumptuous collection of songs as timeless as her ever-velvet voice. The subtle honkytonk acumen that has defined Lang’s 25year career is revealed in twangy guitar solos and the classic country themes of romance and heartache, which she touches on in the blissful stunner “Sugar Buzz,” among others. Ultra-clean production complements the rich sound of Lang’s backing band, the Siss Boom Bang, to create straightforward country that is both emotionally resonant and technically proficient. Over that solid backdrop Lang croons of love, life, and heartbreak. On “The Water’s Edge,” her voice oscillates effortlessly between beguiling softness and howling intensity in the span of a chorus, and her cover of the Talking Heads’ “Heaven” is a stunner. [KATIE BAIN]

SONDRE LERCHE Sondre Lerche (Mona) Sondre Lerche may not be a household name yet, but he’s definitely got the chops to become one. From his 2002 breakout, Faces Down, to 2009’s semi-orchestral Heartbeat Radio, the Norwegian singer/songwriter’s albums overflow with swoon-worthy arrangements, warm poeticism, and that boyish cascade of a voice. Now, as if connecting even more to his current home of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Lerche’s taken his jams to the next level of effortless cool. Produced by Brooklyn mainstay Nicolas Verhnes // BUST / 77

the guide MUSIC (Animal Collective, Spoon) and featuring Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith, Sondre Lerche surges like river water through raw emotion. The noholds-barred “Ricochet” glides into an exuberant “Domino,” with the slinky sweet “Living Dangerously” acting as a folksy counterpoint. Plus, the album’s catchy as all get out; Lerche is at his hook-heavy best here, stripping each melody to its barest bones. Will 2011 be the year of Sondre Lerche? Here’s hoping. [MOLLIE WELLS]

MAKING FRIENDZ Social Life (Last Bummer) Social Life, the debut album from Making Friendz, is one big siren call from the dance floor—to get on it and shake your ass. A new project from Brooklynbased Tami Hart (aka the bass player of MEN), Making Friendz revs up with punk intensity on the opener, “Situation.” Hart chants each letter of the title through the chorus like a cheerleader gone demonic, before fading into the following sultry track, “Luv Cruisin.” “Don’t want to hurt nobody/ Just wanna touch your body,” she coos over synthesizers and staccato guitars. Thus begins the seduction that continues throughout Social Life. There’s a moment of vulnerability with “Reject Me”—Hart’s voice is surprisingly delicate—but in the end, this girl knows whom and what she wants (see “Don’t Make Me Cry”), and you’re sure she’ll get it. [MELYNDA FULLER]

METAL MOTHER Bonfire Diaries (Post Primal) Calling Metal Mother a band is something of a misnomer, since the album is mostly the work of musician Tara Tati. She wrote the songs, produced the record, sings, and plays keyboard. Her debut LP, Bonfire Diaries, shares the atmospheric, spaced-out vibe of bands like Beach House; the difference is that Metal Mother is a good deal creepier. Dark, spooky melodies are layered over pulsating, seductive beats while Tati's voice (which can be Björk-esque at times) ties everything together. Despite Metal Mother's moniker, these songs aren’t very aggressive. Instead, 78 / BUST // JUN/JUL

Tati has described the sound as "dark wave," which seems far more appropriate. The ambient, sexy Bonfire Diaries would work equally well as the soundtrack for a late-night road trip or an all-night make-out session. It’s not especially catchy, but it is definitely captivating. [AMY PLITT]

MIA DOI TODD Cosmic Ocean Ship (City Zen/Virtual) The tracks on singer/songwriter Mia Doi Todd’s ninth album, Cosmic Ocean Ship, closely resemble the qualities of Todd herself: beautiful, bohemian, and exotic. Like a drug, these songs slowly seduce you until they creep up into a full-blown addiction. The opener, “Paraty,” sets the earthy tone with its acoustic bossa nova rhythms and soft Latin beats. All the while Mia’s cool, gentle vocals float over it much like ’80s/’90s folk-pop chanteuses Anna Domino and Tracey Thorn (Everything but the Girl). The languid “Under the Sun” combines bongo drums, tinkling pianos, and subtle guitar leads that vibrate with a gracious fluidity and warmth. I’m more than ready to board Cosmic Ocean Ship, pour a summer cocktail, and drift off with Mia Doi Todd into the horizon. Anyone care to join me? [MICHAEL LEVINE]

THURSTON MOORE Demolished Thoughts (Matador) The Demolished Thoughts album is exactly what you’d expect from a Thurston Moore/Beck collaboration, and it’s nearly perfect. Produced by Beck, the album features muted acoustics and spacey meanderings à la Mutations and Sea Change alongside erratic breakdowns and background droning that is trademark Moore. Constants include acoustic rhythm guitar and hushed, detached vocals, woven together beautifully by dramatic strings. Songs like “Orchard Street,” with its violent, screechy, yet hauntingly serene breakdown, hint at Moore’s noisy side projects. Layer that over lush soundscapes that are somehow simultaneously eerie and organic, and the record is practically begging for a good rainy-day cry. Go on

and let it out, ’cause when Thurston Moore whispers “I know better than to let her go” over and over into the fade-out of the single “Benediction,” he’s practically kissing the tears away. [ERIN GRIFFITH]

PLANNINGTOROCK W (DFA) Remember the house of mirrors at the carnival? You stumble and fumble your way through the maze, while distorted reflections of yourself stare back at you. Which one is the real you? That sums up Planningtorock’s sophomore fulllength album, W. Planningtorock is the moniker of Berlin-based electro-pop artist Janine Rostron, who stretches and twists her voice into so many androgynous, dramatic arcs that W feels like a case study of Sybil. Take the opener, “Doorway,” with its heartbeatthumping drum pulse and plucky pizzicato; add Rostron’s unsettling, sexy, effect-drenched vocals and you have three minutes of beautifully unhinged melodrama. On “The Breaks,” soaring strings and baritone sax drape over her passionate admission, “I break too easily.” It might be the only time that we get close to the real Rostron. But it’s probably just another fractured mirror she’s holding up to reflect W onto you as she safely stays behind a barricade of glass. [JEN HAZEN]

ANNI ROSSI Heavy Meadow (Syllables) You can’t listen to “Candyland,” the opening track of Anni Rossi’s sophomore album, Heavy Meadow, for more than five seconds without thinking of that other Annie. You know, the Norwegian one with no last name? Both deftly deliver simple, earworm-y pop songs with a certain, confident air. And both apparently take bubblegum seriously, and literally—each songstress features it prominently in her lyrics. Coincidence? Perhaps. Bubblegum overkill? Probably. But does it work? Absolutely. Anni Rossi, however, doesn’t rely on that sugar coating alone. Heavy Meadow successfully experiments with sinister minorkey vocal harmonies and prog song

structures. Rossi, who both plucks and plays the viola, triumphantly channels the stripped-down, vocal-driven confessions of the Blow along with the well-crafted electronic-pop beats of Ratatat. [ERIN GRIFFITH]

SEAPONY Go With Me (Hardly Art) First, consider the connotations of a name as precious and benign as Seapony. This Seattle trio (two boys, one girl) makes agreeably straightforward lo-fi surf rock as pleasant as their whimsical moniker suggests. The charming indie pop on their debut LP, Go With Me, is built on basics—clean percussion and lightly distorted guitar that create a shimmering foundation over which singer Jen Weidl’s cotton-candy voice floats like a passing cloud. For all this breezy sensibility, though, Go With Me is tight, anchored by ambling guitar riffs that flirt with a rock sound in the more formidable moments. Imagine a boho Best Coast with a hint of the Bangles and a touch of Disintegration-era Cure. Lyrics like “My heart does not exist” suggest the romance alluded to in these dozen songs was of a dreamy, fleeting nature. [KATIE BAIN]

YACHT Shangri-La (DFA) For YACHT’s followup album to See Mystery Lights, electro-rock duo Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans have gone dark. Steeped in philosophy, Shangri-La references the numerous times humans have attempted to create a utopia and failed. According to YACHT, Utopia is in your mind. And apparently on a sweaty dance floor, too. Filled with pulsing disco beats, ominous synths, and inflamed lyrics about a scorched Earth, Shangri-La just may be the soundtrack to a pre-Armageddon dance party. On standout track “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire),” Evans pulls off a Blondie vibe brilliantly, riffing on lyrics from old classics, singing, “We don’t have no daughter/Let the motherfucker burn.” All tracks are club-ready, but time will tell if they’ll live up to the inflated concept. [APRIL WOLFE]

You’ve been part of the New York music scene since the early ’70s, but now you’re fronting your own act. How are you getting ready to rock? I’ve got months of touring coming up, so I’m trying to get into the best shape of my life. I owe it to my fans to just go out there and really kill. They call me Face-Melter. I don’t have a traditional voice; I don’t sing like a girl, and I know it. I work with that. I’m getting sick of these acts going on stage with 50 dancing people. What happened to being able to command the stage by yourself? I don’t need a guitar, I’ve got my weapon—it’s called a mic stand. That’s my instrument, though I might whip out my harmonica. There aren’t that many women who play harmonica, but Chrissie Hynde taught me at the Portobello Hotel in London in 1976. When you moved to N.Y.C., you ended up hanging out with some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. I moved here in ’72 and worked as a model, even though I wanted to be a singer. I hung out at Max’s [Kansas City], fell in love, and got very distracted. When you’re born in the ’50s, you’re given a fairy tale: you get a prince, he’s gonna take you off on a horse, and you ride into the sunset together. That was the image I had in my head. I was like a fumbling colt. I didn’t quite know what I wanted, and I fell in love with very powerful men who had big personalities that trumped anything I was interested in doing. I had good ideas, and I got very good at being the best cheerleader. I always stood by whomever I was with, to the point of sacrificing my own desires. In your autobiography, 2002’s Rebel Heart, you write about looking up to rock stars as a kid but also looking up to the women in their lives… I don’t think I ever “looked up” to rock stars. I thought I was a rock star, and I thought I belonged with everybody I admired. When I was nine years old, I told my mother I would hang out with Mick Jagger. I prefer the word admired because I’ve never been a person who has heroes. I’m a punk; we don’t have heroes.


BACKSTAGE BEAUTY BEBE BUELL RESUMES HER PLACE BEHIND THE MIC THOUGH YOU MIGHT not know her name, Bebe Buell has been in the public eye for nearly 40 years. Working as a model in N.Y.C. in the ’70s, she became even better known for the company she kept—Buell dated and befriended such rock luminaries and New York royalty as Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, and Patti Smith. A brief relationship with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler resulted in the birth of her daughter, Liv Tyler. Her circle also included young journalist Cameron Crowe who, years later, would use Buell as the inspiration for the charming “BandAid” Penny Lane in his movie Almost Famous. After years of supporting great musicians and dabbling in music herself, at 57 Buell’s taking the stage again. She’s in the middle of recording a new album and is preparing for a summer festival tour with the Bebe Buell Band (which features her husband, Jim Wallerstein). Buell’s music is pure rock, driven by her powerful alto voice, but it’s her storytelling lyrics that set songs like “Mother of Rock ’n’ Roll” apart. Buell has the energy of a 17-year-old, and when she walks into the restaurant at N.Y.C.’s Maritime Hotel for our interview, she’s wearing a fitted top and a floor-length leopard-print skirt because, she later tells me, leopard is her favorite “color.” Here, she talks about life, love, and hangin’ with Chrissie Hynde.

You happened to date a lot of the male musicians you admired. What do you think of the word groupie? I do not like the word groupie. Any kind of derogatory word that describes women in rock ’n’ roll…I’ve had just enough already. In the 1970s, that word meant a girl who would go backstage and offer blowjobs and sexual services. I would become indignant if someone used that word on me. The last thing in the world that I ever thought about when I started meeting people in the music industry was sex. One of the only times I felt that crazy animal passion, I had a child out of it. I’m not a real physical person. My physicality or sexuality comes out when I entertain. I’ll go straight from being Bebe Bulldozer back to being the loving, nurturing mommy again. You took on the mommy role at a very early age. Tell me about it. I was 23 and single in a time when it was not fashionable to have children out of wedlock. I took Liv home knowing nothing. Even after women had burned their bras and we had gone through the supposed sexual revolution, if you didn’t have a husband and a house and a man paying the bills, people thought you had just flunked out. It was always very offensive to me. Anything else you want to tell BUST? Getting back on stage now, yes, it’s for me. But it’s also for every woman who stopped doing what she loved because she thought she was too old, or because her jeans don’t fit anymore, or her kids have left home and it’s all too late. It’s never too late. All those stupid things you hear like, “Age is nothing but a number”—it turns out they’re true. [PHOEBE MAGEE] // BUST / 79

MOVIES Morgana Davies [left] and Charlotte Gainsbourg

THE TREE Written and directed by Julie Bertuccelli (Zeitgeist Films)

WHO TOOK THE BOMP? LE TIGRE ON TOUR Directed by Kerthy Fix (Oscilloscope Laboratories) “This is for all the feminists who make art!” calls out Johanna Fateman, one-third of the electro-punk ensemble Le Tigre, before one of their many performances in this heartfelt concert doc directed by Kerthy Fix. Formed in 1998 by former Bikini Kill front woman Kathleen Hanna, Fateman, and Sadie Benning (who was later replaced by JD Samson), Le Tigre was an unabashedly feminist, dance-your-ass-off band adored by many a BUST reader before its members went their separate ways in 2007. This hour-long story primarily contains footage from Le Tigre’s 2004 world tour. It delves into the group’s history and politics in a thoughtful and fun way, while giving fans plenty of musical interludes to sing along with. A playful and sometimes goofy sensibility runs through Le Tigre’s lyrics and performance style, and Fix explores this disposition throughout the film. Confronting sexism and homophobia head on, Hanna explains, must involve embracing the awkwardness and vulnerability that comes with creating music and being onstage. And the band’s electronic style, combined with the messiness and joy of their self-consciously feminist punk rock, merge to create a beautiful whole. Featuring songs like “Viz,” an anthem about butchlesbian visibility, and “FYR” (“Fifty Years of Ridicule”), the film highlights Le Tigre’s lyrics and celebration of queer and feminist identities while demonstrating the resistance they face. (In one scene, for example, the band must consider whether to be in a Jane ad campaign once they find out the mag won’t use the word “lesbian.”) Veteran riot grrrls and blossoming young feminists alike will walk away from this tight little film with new ideas for making social justice creative. Look for it at festivals and on DVD from Oscilloscope. [ANNA BEAN] 80 / BUST // JUN/JUL

In her second film, based on Judy Pascoe’s novel Our Father Who Art in the Tree, director Julie Bertuccelli tells the story of a family wracked with grief after the sudden loss of their husband and father. Charlotte Gainsbourg gives a heartbreaking performance as Dawn, the widowed mother who must learn how to raise her four children on her own. She struggles to even get out of bed and feed herself, so it’s clear that settling into her new role as chief breadwinner and matriarch will be difficult. The family’s healing process

The Guerrilla Girls

!WOMEN ART REVOLUTION Directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson (Zeitgeist Films) In the early ’70s, Lynn Hershman Leeson began videotaping her friends’ reflections on fusing the personal and the political in art. That these friends happened to be groundbreaking artists like Judy Chicago and New Museum founding director Marcia Tucker is a huge part of what makes !Women Art Revolution the most comprehensive documentary ever made on the feminist art movement. The film features 40 years’ worth of interviews with artists and curators, cultural history, and rarely documented performance- and video-art pieces, all under the direction of a woman who had the foresight to capture the revolution in process. Driven by a vibrant feminist ethos, the film

is further complicated when eight-year-old Simone (Morgana Davies) begins to think her father is speaking to her through a fantastically large fig tree on their property in the Australian countryside. When Dawn affirms that she, too, can hear him, the clan becomes preoccupied with lounging among the leaves, offering gifts and decorating branches. Coincidentally (or not), the seemingly harmless tree memorial turns into a menace soon after Dawn takes up with her new coworker, George (Marton Csokas). The neighbors call for its removal after its roots begin sucking up their drought-affected water supplies, and Dawn’s oldest son starts spending more time away from his family as they lavish increasing adoration on a thing that could literally tear apart their home. Bertuccelli and cinematographer Nigel Bluck do such an amazing job transforming the monstrous tree into a full-fledged character that viewers will start cheering for its destruction like it’s any ordinary movie villain. Dawn’s continued reluctance to chop it down is absolutely baffling in certain scenes, but overall, the film is a beautifully shot exploration of the way we deal with loss, as well as an intense (and sometimes scary) look at the power of nature. [ELIZA THOMPSON]

introduces viewers to a community of radical heroines. As a member of the community herself, Leeson elicits interviews that are candid, passionate, and inspiring. The late Marcia Tucker’s story about her job interview at the Whitney is a jaw-dropping look at the institutionalized sexism aspiring curators faced (questions about age, baby plans, and boyfriends!). And though the quality of the early videos is sometimes poor, the dynamism of content like this makes up for occasional forays into public-access style filmmaking. The movie also highlights the Guerrilla Girls, whose witty media attacks on the macho art world remain blisteringly astute and tremendously funny. And the culture wars that targeted art like Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” (referred to as “ceramic 3-D pornography” by one congressman) are an important reminder that challenging, political, and just plain female art is constantly under attack. Though her film celebrates feminist pioneers, Leeson avoids dry history. Carrie Brownstein’s original score, an all-star lady soundtrack (featuring Gossip and Erase Errata), profiles of younger artists like Miranda July, and an accompanying graphic novel and interactive Web database all give the project a cross-generational appeal. [JESSICA ROAKE]


the guide

the guide



DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION BY CAROLYN COOKE (KNOPF) CAROLYN COOKE, WHO won a slew of accolades for her 2001 short-story collection, The Bostons, returns with a novel sure to set off another round of honors. Daughters of the Revolution is set in an elite New England prep school in 1968, but it contains the sweep of postwar America in its cast of characters. There is Goddard Byrd (nicknamed God), the headmaster of the Goode School, who refuses to let girls and blacks invade his all-male kingdom; Carol Faust, the 15-year-old African-American student who, thanks to a clerical error, finds herself a student at Goode; and EV Hellman, the daughter of one of God’s beloved graduates who grows up hearing stories about Carol. Each of them takes turns narrating the story as the social and political movements in the country set off a chain of events that change the Goode School, as well as the characters themselves. Daughters is full of metaphors and motifs—EV’s complex relationship to food, God’s sexual admiration for politically radical women, the various meanings of the word “head”—that inform each other and build up a narrative about the intricate ways class, race, and gender subtly (and not so subtly) influence us. EV in particular embodies the questions modern feminists grapple with as she struggles to create her postgraduate identity, simultaneously influenced by Carol, God, and the dichotomies they represent. Do not miss this classic-to-be. [ERICA VARLESE]

THE BORROWER By Rebecca Makkai (Viking) A small-town children’s librarian tries to save her favorite patron from his ultra-strict, religious parents in this charming novel. At the story’s start, Lucy, a wry and prematurely weary 20-something who fell into her library post with no forethought, is itching for more out of life (literally, thanks to her rash-inducing desk chair and cardigans). “I hated that I’d started to look like a librarian,” she says. “This wasn’t right. In college, I’d smoked things. My first car had angry bumper stickers. I came from a long line of revolutionaries.” Then she notes how 10-year-old Ian, a regular at her story hour, is suddenly acting out and looking wan. Turns out Ian’s folks are restricting more than his reading list—they’ve begun sending him to a “reprogramming” class for fellas who seem too fey. So when Lucy finds Ian hiding in the library with a knapsack, she decides that slipping him good books (versus the Good Book) is no

longer enough, and together they hit the road. The result is a fun ride, full of humor and high jinks that involve Lucy’s Russian-immigrant dad and his dubious cohorts, her quasi love interest, and her own shifting roles as rescuer and captor—with allusions to kids’-lit classics sprinkled throughout. Occasionally, reading about their journey requires a suspension of disbelief even Roald Dahl might find challenging, but it all leads to a touching and realistic resolution. The Borrower beautifully shows how books—and sometimes even the bookish—can save. [PAULA SEVENBERGEN]

THE CHRONOLOGY OF WATER: A Memoir By Lidia Yuknavitch (Hawthorne Books) “Write like a terrorist just busted in and threatened to kill you all—like you have a semi-automatic machine gun at your skull,” acclaimed author Ken Kesey told Lidia Yuknavitch one day during a writing workshop. Luckily for us, she followed his advice,

crowding The Chronology of Water with intimate confessions of rage and longing. She takes us on a journey through addiction, sexual exploration, and perhaps most intriguing of all, through creation: of literature, of memories, and of life. Her sharp prose—witty, jarring, worthy of dogearing—alternates between gleeful postmodern exercise and wrenching elegy. So honest and unapologetic is her writing that you can practically hear her sigh in catharsis as you turn the pages. Yuknavitch leaves nothing to the imagination in describing the many lives she’s lived as an abused daughter, neglected sister, alcoholic divorcée, mother of a stillborn baby, teacher, writer, lover of women, lover of men, and finally, always, a swimmer. “In water, like in books—you can leave your life,” she writes. As a champion swimmer in her oppressive childhood, she was drawn to the water as a way of escaping. As a recreational swimmer in her booze-soaked young adulthood, she was drawn to the water as a way of rediscovering herself. And now? Now, she tells us, “I am learning to live on land.” [MOLLY LABELL]

THE HEART SPECIALIST By Claire Holden Rothman (Soho Press) Set primarily in Montreal over a period of nearly 40 years, Claire Holden Rothman’s debut novel is an epic that effortlessly navigates both complex medical concepts and the most basic human emotions. The narrative is delivered by Agnes White, a girl who wants to follow in her absent father’s footsteps and become a doctor, a matter that is complicated by the time: it’s the turn of the 20th century, and the most reputable schools in Canada do not accept women into their medical programs. Eventually, she attends medical school, though in a lessprestigious program, finds her niche in cataloguing medical samples—something it seems her male colleagues don’t have the time for—and becomes invaluable to her community. Agnes also pursues a series of romances, though it never feels as though her love of knowledge is derailed by her search for companionship. The rest of The Heart Special// BUST / 81

the guide


ist’s cast of characters are equally balanced; some of Agnes’ close friends and family don’t believe women should be allowed in the medical field, but they are neither demonized nor falsely redeemed. Inspired by the real-life story of Maude Abbott, one of Canada’s first female physicians, The Heart Specialist is a feminist-toned historical narrative that’s refreshingly unsentimental. [KATIE OLDAKER]

THE HOTTEST DISHES OF THE TARTAR CUISINE By Alina Bronsky (Europa Editions) Opening with an abortion by wire hanger, Alina Bronsky’s second novel does not shy away from sensational content. Narrated by the pitiless, tone-deaf Rosa, however, it avoids even the slightest drop of sentimentality or melodrama. It is Rosa, the matriarch of a Tartar Russian family living in the Soviet Union, who convinced her daughter, Sulfia, to submit herself to the improvised abortion, which results in the loss of only one of the twins she is carrying. Despite the fact that Rosa had been worried about the impact a bastard child would have on her reputation and her daughter’s future, the baby becomes the apple of her grandmother’s eye. Rosa, who has given up on Sulfia, calling her dimwitted and ugly, invests all her love and hope into her granddaughter, Aminat. As Aminat grows up, her mother and grandmother struggle over custody, each trying to raise her without the interference of the other. But when circumstances in the Soviet Union deteriorate and the women have trouble finding enough food, Rosa hatches a plan to improve their situation: Sulfia will marry a foreigner who will bring them all to a new, more prosperous country. The novel is full of painful events and difficult circumstances, and Rosa’s lack of feeling is occasionally too ridiculous—but Bronsky’s choice of such an unappealing narrator for this story deflects the expected plays for sympathy, treating with humor and irony the difficulties of life behind the Iron Curtain and the attitude one needs to cope with it. [EMMA HAMILTON] 82 / BUST // JUN/JUL

IF SONS, THEN HEIRS: A Novel By Lorene Cary (Atria) From the first chapter of Lorene Cary’s lush novel, I found myself in tears. This book is a rare thing: a historically accurate, poetic tearjerker. But don’t let the word “poetic” fool you—this is not a tale told with trite passages wrapped in a pretty, airbrushed cover. It’s a radical, racially charged story chock-full of compelling characters. If Sons, Then Heirs both embraces the ways of the Old South and examines how they can do harm through many generations. Rayne, a successful business owner, is summoned to his family farm in South Carolina by the woman who raised him, his grandmother Selma. The topic at hand is how to deal with the land that the family is set to inherit. What Rayne thinks will be a simple visit—one in which he’ll convince Selma to give up farming, sell the land, and retire—takes a suspenseful twist. A set of ancient, blatantly racist land-ownership laws threaten to strip Selma and Rayne of their inherited prize. What unfolds is a story that deftly touches upon troubled family dynamics, divorce, racism, class— even murder. Where a weaker writer might lean on her moral outrage, Cary imparts horrors—like a smalltown lynching and the backward justice that allowed it to take place—in a detached, almost sterile manner that underscores the characters and their struggles to do what’s best for themselves and for their ancestors. Have a box of tissues nearby when you read this. You’ll thank me later. [BRANDY BARBER]

MY BOYFRIEND WROTE A BOOK ABOUT ME: And Other Stories I Shouldn’t Share with Acquaintances, Coworkers, Taxi Drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers...and Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends but Have By Hilary Winston (Sterling) While browsing through a bookstore

one day, comedy writer Hilary Winston made a nightmarish discovery: her ex-boyfriend had written a “fictional” book and she was in it. Worse, she was referred to as My Fat-Assed Girlfriend. Naturally, a personal meltdown ensued. Then the bloodlust kicked in. In truth, perhaps a better title for this painfully honest memoir would have been I Wrote a Book About My Boyfriends. All of Them. Packed full of enough dating horror stories to make even Samantha Jones stay in for the night, Winston paints a bleak—and often clichéd— picture of today’s dating world. There are predictable misadventures (Brazilian waxes administered by stone-faced Czech matrons), saccharine personal insights (“the piece I was always looking for was me”), and a few stories that seem to exist only to justify outrageous chapter titles like “A Questionable Poo,” “Whore Bath,” and “My Broken Vagina.” But when Winston stops chasing punch lines, you start to see how vulnerable and insightful she really is. In the book’s most humble moments (dealing with her mother’s cancer, journeying through past-life regression therapy), Winston is most relatable and real. And funny. Turns out with the right words, even accidentally feeding your diabetic cat a cupcake on his deathbed can sound pretty hilarious. [KATHLEEN YALE]

NINA HERE NOR THERE: My Journey Beyond Gender By Nick Krieger (Beacon Press) Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to change genders? That’s what Nina Krieger chose to do when she became Nick Krieger, transitioning from a she to a he. As a queer 20-something freelance writer living in San Francisco, Nina felt inexplicably out of place among her circle of acquaintances, a clique of professional, driven, upwardly mobile femme lesbians nicknamed the A-gays. It wasn’t until she moved to an all-dyke abode in which two of her housemates were actively taking steps toward becoming men that Krieger became curious whether

she might wish to undergo a similar transformation. Uncomfortable in her female body, burdened by generous C-cups, and feeling out of sync with others’ perceptions of her womanhood, Nina began experimenting with binding her chest and packing a bulge, finally opting for top surgery and a name and pronoun change. In a twist on the traditional transgender narrative, Nick identifies as neither male nor female and invites readers to view gender not as a binary or a spectrum but as an infinitely beautiful “kaleidoscope.” Narrated with verve, charm, and humor, Krieger’s memoir doesn’t hold back on selfexamination and emotional honesty, and will likely upend some of your preconceptions. [RENATE ROBERTSON]

QUICK & EASY MEXICAN COOKING: More Than 80 Everyday Recipes By Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee (Chronicle Books) As she writes in the book’s intro, Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee (who also penned Quick & Easy Korean Cooking) learned the ins and outs of Mexican food while living in Los Angeles as a teen after her parents bought a Mexican grocery store in the San Fernando Valley. The ensuing recipes prove her mettle as well as the book’s title. Some dishes are incredibly easy, such as my favorite, chicken with mole sauce, which contains only two ingredients: chicken breasts and mole poblano paste (ay dios mio!). Other recipes require more ingredients and are made from scratch, such as the delicious and easy tortilla soup. I also made Lee’s bitchin’ beer-battered Baja-style fish tacos. (You can never go wrong with tacos. Or beer.) The book includes a pantry list of necessary ingredients, such as beans, corn, rice, garlic, and limes—lots and lots of limes—as well as other bonuses, like a handy primer on Mexican cheeses. Beautiful, enticing images of Mexican dishes taken by Leigh Beisch are strewn throughout the book. If you’re like me and you live in an area where good, authentic Mexican food is hard to find, this book is almost as important as breathing. [WHITNEY DWIRE]


As much as this book is a history of secretaries, it’s really a history of women working. It really is, because other than nursing and teaching, secretary was the other acceptable woman’s career, and it was the beginning of women in business. You read lots of old advice books in your research. Do you have a favorite retro tip? Oh, my God, yeah. My favorite bit is from The Secretary and Her Job (1939). On page six, it gives advice about how your boss is probably going to have a bar in his office, and he will probably mix the drinks when he has meetings, but he might want you to mix drinks, and you should know how to mix two or three of the most simple, widely known ones. And if you have a problem, you can just paste the recipes inside the bar in his office. And then of course it doesn’t talk about things like shorthand and typing—the actual nuts and bolts of the job—until page 120. Also, there’s one little slim book from England that literally tells you not to let your intelligence show! There’s a lot of jaw-dropping stuff. I’m still shaking over the passage in your book in which you quote Helen Gurley Brown, who said that at one job, the men would chase the women around the office and pull down their panties. Yeah, the on-the-clock sexual assault. It’s mind-blowing! And yet, she just thought this was crazy fun stuff you did in the office. The thing about Helen Gurley Brown is, on the one hand, a lot of the stuff she said was horrifying, and on the other hand, a lot of it was groundbreaking, too.

secretaries’ day


LYNN PERIL UNCOVERS THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF WORKING WOMEN IN SWIMMING IN THE STENO POOL WHILE MANY KNOW Lynn Peril as BUST’s “Museum of Femoribilia” columnist and as an obsessive historian of what she calls “pink think”—the “simultaneously earnest, kitschy, and offensive” objects and images that perpetuate “subservient, man-pleasing femininity”—few know that she also works as a secretary. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that her third book, Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office (Norton), would be a history of the profession. Starting with the first female office workers in 1862 who were hired by the U.S. Treasury Department, Peril tracks how secretarial jobs have long been dismissed as women’s work (the Treasury head appreciated that women’s “more nimble fingers” could do sums so well), giving gals new opportunities while keeping them in their place. She also keeps things lively with great anecdotes (did you know there was no such thing as a coffee break until the Second World War?), tons of retro cartoons, newspaper ads, pulp book covers, and great sidebars that explain things like a 1919 invention called The Telephone That Registers Calls in One’s Absence. Even if you’ve never aspired to be an “office wife,” this conversation I recently had with Peril is sure to spark a new appreciation for the path that early career women paved for all of us.

You get to this paradox in secretarial work, too—that it could be both empowering to women and demeaning. That is one of the most interesting things about the job. It was so empowering, a way for women to get out of the house. For all those women in the 19th century who got out of the house and got jobs, it was an amazing step forward. And then you move into the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, and they just start concentrating on the geisha aspect of it. To the point where the word [secretary] itself becomes anathema, and people begin leaving the profession in droves in the 1970s, in part because the job has become so demeaned. Is there anything from the retro days of secretaries that you think should be reinstated? The only thing that I think would be great to reinstate is that when you go back and look at the classified ads, you realize there were so many jobs available. At the end of the book, you write about how we’re all good typists these days, but that because of dictation software, “I’ll bet it won’t be long before executives (female as well as male) forget how to type all over again.” Does that mean there’s still a future for the secretary? There’s always going to be personal-assistant-type secretarial work— answering mail, setting up conferences, stuff like that. But the profession has also grown beyond that. I was visiting a friend at a big corporation, and they do not have secretaries. Instead, there are these people who are like mini-managers. You’re still a secretary. Does your boss know about this book? Oh, yeah, totally. I have two bosses right now—a male boss and a female boss. To be honest, I’ve never had a boss be less than supportive of my writing career. Will they read it? I hope so! I think my male boss is a little trepidatious. [PRIYA JAIN] // BUST / 83

the guide THE REALITY SHOWS By Karen Finley (The Feminist Press) Karen Finley is probably best known for the controversy her performance art provoked during the last round of culture wars, when, in 1990, Senator Jesse Helms spearheaded a successful campaign to revoke her National Endowment for the Arts funding. Although Finley is often associated with those bleak times, she continues to bring her feminist political insight to a contemporary audience hungry for meaningful content. In her newest book, The Reality Shows, Finley successfully translates to the page eight of her works created from 2001 to 2010. In “Make Love,” she dons the persona of quintessential New Yorker Liza Minnelli in order to discuss the emotional and cultural fallout of the events of September 11: Muslim Liza, Rehab Liza, Leather Daddy Liza, and many more appear in varying scenarios—a taxi to the airport, the security line, the plane ride, and of course, in the cabaret—all in pursuit of the question, Just what makes someone a real American? Other works in this collection engage fictionalized public figures such as Terri Schiavo, George Bush, Martha Stewart, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. But The Reality Shows is more than just transcripts of performances. Finley includes photos, drawings, cast lists, and contextualizing introductions, which combine to convey the experience of a live performance. With a forward by Kathleen Hanna, The Reality Shows manages to discuss tough issues in a way that is accessible and, dare I say it, fun. [TERRI GRIFFITH]

THE REPURPOSED LIBRARY: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life By Lisa Occhipinti (STC Craft) Book hoarders rejoice: all those random children’s books, encyclopedias, and unread paperbacks are about to find their purpose. In this adorable guidebook, artist Lisa Occhipinti presents 33 projects literally made out of 84 / BUST // JUN/JUL

literature. “As a child I adored books,” Occhipinti proclaims in the introduction, “despite the fact that I hated to read.” Attracted instead to the book as object—the look, the smell, the feel— it was only natural that she launched her career reconstructing books into pieces of art. The instructions in The Repurposed Library are simple enough for DIY newbies, and the majority of the projects can be made using simple materials, such as X-Acto knives, thread, and glue, as well as a common bookbinding tool known as a bone folder. Projects range from elegant sculptural constructions made of deconstructed books to quirky ways to adorn existing novels with “book tattoo” stampings; there are wreaths made of printed page rosettes, lampshades and chandeliers, decorative vases and wall hangings, and even a working music box constructed from an old book. While some of the simpler crafts (such as origami cranes) are not exactly groundbreaking, the use of printed pages and book covers does create a uniformly beautiful effect. Most of the projects will look best using vintage, hardcover tomes, but Occhipinti also gives e-books some love with instructions for making a rad Kindle cover from a “traditional” hardback. Furnished with cheery photographs and numerous hand-drawn diagrams, this endearing book will appeal to veteran crafters and literati alike. [ANTONIA BLAIR]

THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN By Siri Hustvedt (Picador) You get why Siri Hustvedt’s protagonist Mia Fredricksen wants a girly summer. Her husband of 30 years has taken up with a younger woman, and her response to this development—a short-lived bout of (literal) temporary insanity—leaves her embarrassed on top of scorned. Instead of rejuvenating herself with adventure abroad à la Elizabeth Gilbert, she retreats inward and inland, to her Minnesota hometown. There she meets the ladies at her mother’s retirement home, teaches poetry to teen girls, bonds with the salt-of-theearth young mother next door, and,

amid a familiar landscape, comes to grips with an alien identity: that of a single, 55-year-old woman. Hustvedt is a student of the mind, and she’s at her best rendering Mia’s surges of emotion toward her estranged husband. Our first-person narrator swoops swiftly from selfaware rage to unbidden tenderness, but rather than jarring, it feels moving and true. Less disarming is Mia’s penchant for intellectual name-dropping, which is what most of her lengthy musings feel like. It’s hard to warm to a narrator bent on showing her erudition, even if she is an award-winning poet and professor, caught at an insecure moment. Part of the problem is that her knowledge seems to dwarf her wisdom; in a characteristic scene Mia, surprised that her mother’s aged friend has a subversive side, thinks, “What do we know about people really?” as though it’s a revelation. Such reflections might fall less flat if the females who populated Mia’s summer were deep and textured rather than perfunctorily drawn and boring. Mia finds them fascinating, but it’s hard for us to share her enthusiasm when Hustvedt doesn’t seem to. [MARIE GLANCY O’SHEA]

WANTON WEST: Madams, Money, Murder, and the Wild Women of Montana’s Frontier By Lael Morgan (Chicago Review Press) The Wild West wasn’t just for cowboys and Indians, reveals Lael Morgan in this fascinating history—it was also for prostitutes. A miner’s heaven of gold, silver, and copper, Montana was leading the U.S. in per capita income by 1895, and with money and booze flowing freely, boomtowns like Butte and Helena quickly developed sprawling red-light districts. By the turn of the 20th century, Butte was renowned for having the second-largest redlight district in the country, causing one teetotaler to declare it a “cesspool of alcohol, tobacco, and sinful women.” But sin was beside the point for many of the enterprising women who found that the tenderloin could occasionally provide a working girl with independence, upward mobility,

and the chance to snag a husband. A prostitute named Chicago Joe was both a well-known Helena madam and one of the city’s major property owners; Cowboy Annie accompanied her gentlemen callers on their daily cattle roundups as if she were just one of the boys; Madeleine Blair transformed her brothel time into an acclaimed autobiography. Of course, many others found prostitution less profitable, like the numerous Chinese sex slaves who inhabited early mining camps and whom Morgan also reports on. Although at times it can be hard to keep track of the wide array of characters, overall Morgan offers a lively glimpse of the women from the “wanton West.” [ERICA WETTER]

ZAZEN By Vanessa Veselka (Red Lemonade) In an industrial wasteland of a city called New Honduras, Della is caught in a world of tofu scrambles and blackberry massacres, her days revolving around Rise Up Singing, the vegan restaurant where she works. Like most of the people around her, she gives little thought to the war that’s raging just beyond the borders. But when a bomb explodes in the bathroom of a nearby building, everything changes. At first, Della plans to leave town, but then she becomes involved with a group who may be behind the bombing—and several more that quickly follow. Vanessa Veselka’s debut novel is a reminder of how easy it is to become so self-absorbed that we miss the reality of what’s happening around us, even when we try to engage it headon. (At one point, Della tries to join the counterculture movement that’s arisen in opposition to the war but finds that those involved would rather engage in orgies than in activism.) Through Della’s judgmental, witty, self-involved narration, we watch her grapple with this, discussing veganism, bombs, Walmart, and yoga in the same sentence. “Every generation gets to decide its relationship with the universe,” she says. “And whether I liked it or not, this was my generation.” [JANELLE HAWTHORNE]

sex files

talkin’ dirty LADY-LED SEX-POSITIVE READINGS ARE ALL THE RAGE HAVE YOU EVER wanted to eat a cupcake while listening to someone tell the hilarious tale of her first threesome, or sip a cocktail as a steamy story is read aloud? Well, you’ll likely have the chance, thanks to the current proliferation of female-hosted sex-positive reading series, which bring together both men and women interested in sharing their fantasies and experiences in a nonjudgmental environment. The readings, which are variously rousing, raunchy, and simply sex-related, are popping up at bars, performance spaces, and even bookstores around the country. Most combine various aspects of performance art— storytelling, slam-poetry, musical routines, and beyond—with more traditional readings. It’s a trend that got its start in 2005, when established sex writer Rachel Kramer Bussel, 35, launched her monthly “In the Flesh” series at a bar in N.Y.C. And though it’s now on permanent hiatus, it luckily inspired a slew of women to start similarly


progressive series that are thriving. When Chicago resident Robyn Pennacchia, 29, saw clips of an “In the Flesh” event online, she was motivated to start her own sex-positive readings and began the “Sunday Night Sex Show” in 2008. “If I’m at a bar, those are the kinds of stories my friends are telling anyway,” she says. She also wanted to blow the lid off of taboo topics. “Each person figures that everyone else would die of shock if they found out what kind of horrid freak they are,” she says. “Finding out that everyone is their own kind of horrid freak is kind of liberating.” Since Pennacchia isn’t interested in attracting only erotica aficionados, she focused on building a diverse set of readers and attendees from the get-go. “It’s not all writers, it’s not all people who specifically identify as feminist, it’s not all white people, and it’s not all hipsters,” she says, adding that the stories go beyond being “about people getting laid and having an awesome time while doing so.” In-

stead, readers have touched on abortion, AIDS, coming out, adult circumcision, and how chronic illness affects one’s sex life. Diversity is also central to author and filmmaker Abiola Abrams’ “Kiss & Tell” night in Greenwich Village, both in terms of the performers and the types of performances. “I wanted to create more of a revue than a reading series, where calland-response and shouting back would be welcome,” she says. And Abrams works to ensure that no evening turns into “just a festival of heterosexuality.” In addition to “Kiss & Tell,” N.Y.C. is home to Audacia Ray’s “Red Umbrella Diaries” and Blaise Allysen Kearsley’s “How I Learned.” But N.Y.C. and Chicago aren’t the only cities getting in on the action. You can also check out Carol Queen’s “Perverts Put Out” and Tina Butcher’s “Sizzle” in San Francisco, and “Bed Post Confessions” is run by a collective of ladies in Austin, TX. In all likelihood, there’s one near you, too. [MEGAN CARPENTIER]

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sex files


Lately, I have been dreaming about my boyfriend’s friend—not in an explicitly sexual way, but I still feel guilty. Should I tell my BF about these dreams? How “open” should the lines of communication be in a relationship? I love him, but my eye does wander. Help! Dream Lover



Depending on whom you ask, dreams are either the key to a profound gateway of inner knowledge or a bunch of neurons ran-

domly zapping you from inside the fortress of your skull. Either way, they don’t seem to be under our control. Just ask anyone who’s dreamed of having sex with her therapist, boss, or one of her parents. Some dream analysts insist that everyone in a dream represents an aspect of yourself, and if you want to try to unravel your BF’s friend’s appearance in your nighttime meanderings, you might ask yourself if he represents some quality to you. It’s even possible that he symbolizes some element of your boyfriend— the part of your BF’s life that exists apart from you, maybe, and you’re laying a kind of claim to it in your sleep.

Or you may have included him in your nocturnal cast of characters simply because you think he’s attractive. Eyes do wander, women’s as well as men’s, and if that’s what’s going on, you may indeed want to get a jump on any sleep-talking you might do and bring this up with your boyfriend. (“Do you ever dream about people we know, honey? Because last night—it was so surreal—in my sleep I...”) But think about this first: is your BF the jealous type? Do you have any indication that his eyes wander? You didn’t write “I have a crush on my BF’s friend,” and if you don’t, this conversation may add a spice to the soup that neither of you will enjoy. With some partners, you can describe dream orgies with all their frat brothers (or sorority sisters) every morning over coffee and it won’t ruffle them a bit; with others, any denial that you consider it an erotic signal is enough to convince them that you’re already angling for an affair. If you don’t know where your partner falls on that continuum, this could be an important learning experience, but possibly not a comfortable one.

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Feelings of conflict (and shame) represent one of the most profound challenges to many women’s experiences of sexual pleasure, and it isn’t only dominance and submission that gets caught in the crossfire. Plenty of women can’t orgasm because they’re afraid they’ll lose control and embarrass themselves, and many can’t get turned on in the first place because deep down, they don’t believe nice girls give themselves over to such feelings. One challenge for you is to determine whether, if you could relax, you’d get into blissful submission or if it just isn’t your cup of tea. Try to silence the voice long enough to give this sort of erotic play a shot. Can you identify what’s happening (what he’s doing, how you’re responding) when it does almost work? Are there any things he says or does that are sticking points? If you are not already negotiating scenes, but rather, he just gets sexual and the dominance comes out, you may want to include more talk about your experiences, desires, and issues, and I’d suggest you institute a safe word that clearly means “stop” when you want him to cut it out. With protections that allow you a say in what’s happening even if the fantasy being acted out is that you’re under his control, the dilemma may solve itself. And would he switch roles with you and let you try being the dominant one? That might not be your thing either, but it may represent an erotic egalitarianism that allows you to relax more into bottoming. If the real question is whether you and your partner have an equal enough relationship in the first place to do power play in the bedroom, you might want to ask yourself if there’s any spill-over that rubs your feminist sensibilities the wrong way. If you can identify nonsexual aspects of this, it could mean that you two don’t quite fit in terms of your relationship needs and expectations.

Carol Car ol Que Queen en is a staf sstaff tafff sexologist sexolog sexo logist ist at Go Good od Vibrations. Vibrat Vib ration ionss. Got a sex or relationship question you need answered? Post it at



I have a boyfriend who likes to partake in a little light BDSM. He’ll take on a slightly dominant role, giving me commands and spanking me. I want to be turned on by this, and almost am, but as a strong-headed feminist, it’s hard for me to switch off my real-life independence to be submissive in the bedroom. I end up feeling conflicted about the balance of power. How can I reconcile my feelings and just have a good time? Girl Power Play


desert oasis A TRAVELING GAL GETS HER GROOVE BACK AT AN AFRICAN ECO-LODGE BY JANIE EDWARDS AFTER SPENDING A couple of years as a health volunteer in sub-Saharan Africa, Julie was heading back to San Francisco. Crammed into the back of a crowded truck bouncing down a dirt road, she thought of home and wondered how soon she’d break her two-year dry spell, during which her only sexual companion had been her right hand, urgently rubbing her clit in the privacy of her portable tent. The truck was still three or four hours from the airport when she spotted a sign for an eco-resort; since she had a full day until her flight, she decided to treat herself. Julie signaled to the driver and hopped off the truck, beginning the eight-kilometer walk up the path. She arrived in the early evening, and a young man about her age, scruffy and tanned, emerged from a two-story open-air cabana. “Welcome to Kngala,” he told her, offering a glass of tropical juice. “It means ‘dusty shores.’ I’m Marcus. You’d like a room?” Julie smiled apologetically. “Just dinner, if I can, and I’d like to pay for a spot where I can set up my tent.” “Tell you what,” Marcus replied. “It’s low season. You’re one of our only guests. How about you stay in a room for the price of dinner.” Julie considered objecting but was distracted by his handsome smile and strong jaw. “If I can take your pause to mean yes,” he said, in his deep-toned accent, “Wilbur will place your bags in your room, and dinner will be lakeside at seven. We customarily give guests the option to eat alone or with the management, but since my colleagues have gone home for the season, the management, in this case, is me.” She turned her eyes to the ground, embarrassed by her lack of practice communicating with attractive men in her native language. Deciding the best way to overcome the problem was to push through it, she grinned and looked directly into his eyes. “I’d prefer to have my dinner with you.” “Well, then,” Marcus said with a smile, before asking Wilbur to give her a tour of

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the grounds. Throughout dinner, and afterward when she and Marcus sat in the sand with a bottle of wine, Julie felt increasingly like herself, remembering how it felt to be a city-dwelling American, setting her sights on the most intriguing man in the room. But she also remembered the problems she’d experienced as a woman in the singles scene, and when Marcus lightly touched the base of her spine and leaned in to kiss her, her response was nearly automatic. “I’m not good at sleeping with strangers,” she announced. It was true: Julie almost exclusively enjoyed sex when it was rough—assertively controlled by her partner. And, for the same reasons that she liked to be dominated, she didn’t enjoy expressing her wants aloud. “That’s fine,” he breathed, as he grazed his hand up her back and neck before wrapping his fingers through her hair and pulling firmly. Julie exhaled sharply and felt herself become immediately wet. He tugged harder and slid his other hand toward her breast. Julie inadvertently moaned as he placed her nipple between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed, releasing his grip only when she scrambled to her knees to hurriedly remove his shirt and unzip his shorts. He lifted off her dress and laid her back, spreading her knees apart. “Are you not good at this, either?” he teased, biting along her thigh as he fingered her strongly, slowly moving his mouth closer to her clit. She reached under his arms to pull his face to her own. “Prove me wrong,” she gasped. He pinned her arms above her head almost painfully with one hand while he removed a condom from his pocket with the other. He quickly sheathed his cock, which bent upward, and entered her in one brusque motion. With each thrust he

pressed into her, creating a sensation that was both uncomfortable and ecstasy-inducing. Julie gasped again and squirmed backward. “Too deep?” Marcus asked. Julie shook her head. “Not deep enough,” she said, straining against his grip. He continued to hold her wrists with his left hand, while his right alternated between tugging her hair and softly stroking it. When Julie relaxed her struggle, Marcus released her wrists and rolled her over, pulling her hips up and back. He pushed into her from behind, then moved her hand to her clit and held her wrist in place. She stroked herself softly, at first, and then more urgently, bringing herself closer and closer to climax until she began to make desperate gasps for air as waves of relief rolled through her body. He came shortly after, deep inside her. They laid on their backs in the sand, enjoying the cool breeze on their warm skin. Julie slept in her cabana that night, and Marcus in his hut. She awoke to see him opening her door, carrying a tray that held coffee and breakfast. “So I was thinking,” he said, “that since I’m not such a stranger anymore…” She got out of bed in her underwear and pulled aside the mosquito net that covered the outskirts of her cabana, making an entrance through which he could join her. “Yes, we’d better try this again,” she managed to say before he set down the tray and knelt beneath her, pulling her thighs apart and biting them ferociously, silencing her ability to speak coherently. On the ride to the airport that afternoon, sitting beside Marcus as he drove, Julie felt satisfied with her final night in Africa. “Think you’ll stop by again on your way back into the bush?” he asked her as they unloaded her pack from the truck bed. Julie shrugged, smiled, and kissed him.

BUST (ISSN 1089-4713), No. 69, Jun/Jul, 2011. BUST is published bi-monthly in Feb/Mar, Apr/May, June/July, Aug/Sept, Oct/Nov, and Dec/Jan by BUST, Inc. 18 West 27th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY, 10001. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Subscription prices, payable in U.S. funds, are $19.95 for one year (6 issues). Additional postage: In Canada add $10 per year, and in all other foreign countries add $20 per year. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BUST, P.O. BOX 16775, NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA, 91615.

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not so hard! 61. Reggae artist ___-Mouse 64. Milieu for Lemieux 65. Pet-protection org. 66. Condo alternative 67. Gets the picture 68. Zaps with a weapon 69. Put in stitches


Across 1. Paparazzo’s wares 5. Oscar ___, company that drives the Wienermobile for promotional purposes 10. Support group? 14. Canyon sound 15. Laundry, for one 16. Pro ___ 17. Financial-aid criterion 18. Prepare to surf, perhaps


19. Clickable image 20. Musical genre heard in elevators 23. Boardwalk Empire star ___ de la Huerta 25. Gonorrhea, e.g.: Abbr. 26. Pound in pieces? 27. Majority Muslim sect in Iran 29. After-dinner selection 32. Suffix with racket or rocket 33. Butter slices 34. It can be either Duck or Wabbit, to Bugs and Daffy 36. Amy Sedaris’ 2010 book subtitled Crafts for Poor People 40. Lures 41. Actress Stone of 2010’s Easy A 44. “___ we having fun yet?” 47. Stylish Brits of the 1960s 48. Gray without age? 50. BUST columnist Chef ___ 52. Head, slangily 53. “i” lid 54. Military exercises that transform civilians into soldiers 59. Portland Trail Blazers’ center Greg ___ 60. “For ___ With Something To Get Off Their Chests”

1. Signature piece? 2. Rocks, to a bartender 3. Crackers with a hole in the middle 4. Scotch’s partner 5. Iconic female rapper whose real name is Lana Moorer 6. “Get ___ of yourself!” 7. Jellystone Park denizen 8. Cupid’s Greek counterpart 9. Landlord’s due 10. Pickling liquid 11. Phèdre playwright 12. In a New York minute 13. Reproductive-rights pioneer Margaret 21. Mach 1 breaker, formerly 22. ___ salts 23. Sony portable gaming device 24. “Got it!” 28. Egyptian fertility goddess 29. Many Facebook users 30. Diner sign 31. “___ was saying...” 34. Musher’s transport 35. At no time, poetically 37. Copycat 38. In favor of 39. A tad 42. ___ jacket 43. Army member 44. Shaded spots 45. Band aide? 46. Ancient Semite 48. “Take It Off” band, with “The” 49. Japanese sash 51. Settles 52. Bridget Fonda, to Jane 55. Vulgar term for a female dickhead 56. Civil-rights activist Parks 57. Intensifies, with “up” 58. Make out 62. Decorative pond fish 63. Well-put // BUST / 95

the last laugh [BY ESTHER PEARL WATSON]

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