R.I.P. Dame Elizabeth, and thank you. Photo of a baby girl's room by Claiborne Swanson Frank for

Jewelry by Jonathan Goldstein as BevelNYC. Mateus Lages photographed by Char Alfonzo

Stand with Planned Parenthood

Donate to Save KUSF at

This site is named after a song by The White Stripes, "Little Room." Heartfelt thanks to Jack White and Meg White for the many years of amazing albums, live shows, and inspiration.

Edward G. Robinson on his knees for Joan Bennett or, below, dolled up in an apron in Fritz Lang's film 'Scarlet Street'

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481) was a scandal-ridden Japanese Zen master "renowned for his teaching and for his frankly erotic poems and revolutionary shakuhachi music. Headmaster at Japan's huge Buddhist training centre, Daitokuji, in Kyoto, he resigned after nine days, denouncing the monks for hypocrisy and inviting them to argue their differences "in the whorehouses and sake parlours" where he could be found. At seventy, he scandalized the Buddhist community by moving his lover into his quarters in the temple. His sphere of influence included the tea ceremony, Noh drama, ink painting, calligraphy, and poetry, and he founded what became known as the "Red Thread" (or Erotic) school of Zen." —Sam Hamill
You crawled right out of masculinity, /became the only justice that is ecstasy,/
performed it as life's only freedom ride,/got scared, reneged, became a man, and died.
from "Aim" by S.X. Rosenstock

Gwen Stefani in 1991, sweet, straightforward, creative . . .

“Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t turn on MTV or the radio without hearing a horn riff blowing out of control. In the ska scene’s heyday (a.k.a. the mid-’90s), No Doubt were selling millions of records worldwide while still playing local shows. Every coming-of-age movie had a soundtrack marked with a Goldfinger song. And Save Ferris, the Aquabats and Reel Big Fish were drawing consistent, thousand-strong crowds everywhere from clubs in Huntington Beach to warehouses in Anaheim before they got signed and cut record deals. As Reel Big Fish’s front man Aaron Barrett says, it did feel like a revolution, even as it was happening. “[No Doubt’s] Tragic Kingdom came out, and you heard the word ska in a lot of articles in Rolling Stone. Rancid’s ‘Timebomb’ and Sublime’s ‘Date Rape’ were out—it was huge, and we were all part of it.” Everyone in Orange County was in the eye of the storm—it was the spot on the map where “third-wave ska” was being made, after all. “—OCWeekly 

Shirley Manson's 2010 release: Pretty Horses



The Cramps! Photo © Ann Summa from The Beautiful & The Damned: Punk Photographs by Ann Summa


"SON," said my mother,
  When I was knee-high,
"You've need of clothes to cover you,
  And not a rag have I.

"There's nothing in the house
  To make a boy breeches,
Nor shears to cut a cloth with
  Nor thread to take stitches.

"There's nothing in the house
  But a loaf-end of rye,
And a harp with a woman's head
  Nobody will buy,"
  And she began to cry.

That was in the early fall.
  When came the late fall,
"Son," she said, "the sight of you
  Makes your mother's blood crawl,–

"Little skinny shoulder-blades
  Sticking through your clothes!
And where you'll get a jacket from
  God above knows.

"It's lucky for me, lad,
  Your daddy's in the ground,
And can't see the way I let
  His son go around!"
  And she made a queer sound.

That was in the late fall.
  When the winter came,
I'd not a pair of breeches
  Nor a shirt to my name.

I couldn't go to school,
  Or out of doors to play.
And all the other little boys
  Passed our way.

"Son," said my mother,
  "Come, climb into my lap,
And I'll chafe your little bones
  While you take a nap."

And, oh, but we were silly
  For half an hour or more,
Me with my long legs
  Dragging on the floor,

  To a mother-goose rhyme!
Oh, but we were happy
  For half an hour's time!

But there was I, a great boy,
  And what would folks say
To hear my mother singing me
  To sleep all day,
  In such a daft way?

Men say the winter
  Was bad that year;
Fuel was scarce,
  And food was dear.

A wind with a wolf's head
  Howled about our door,
And we burned up the chairs
  And sat upon the floor.

All that was left us
  Was a chair we couldn't break,
And the harp with a woman's head
  Nobody would take,
  For song or pity's sake.

The night before Christmas
  I cried with the cold,
I cried myself to sleep
  Like a two-year-old.

And in the deep night
  I felt my mother rise,
And stare down upon me
  With love in her eyes.

I saw my mother sitting
  On the one good chair,
A light falling on her
  From I couldn't tell where,

Looking nineteen,
  And not a day older,
And the harp with a woman's head
  Leaned against her shoulder.

Her thin fingers, moving
  In the thin, tall strings,
Were weav-weav-weaving
  Wonderful things.

Many bright threads,
  From where I couldn't see,
Were running through the harp-strings

And gold threads whistling
  Through my mother's hand.
I saw the web grow,
  And the pattern expand.

She wove a child's jacket,
  And when it was done
She laid it on the floor
  And wove another one.

She wove a red cloak
  So regal to see,
"She's made it for a king's son,"
  I said, "and not for me."
  But I knew it was for me.

She wove a pair of breeches
  Quicker than that!
She wove a pair of boots
  And a little cocked hat.

She wove a pair of mittens,
  She wove a little blouse,
She wove all night
  In the still, cold house.

She sang as she worked,
  And the harp-strings spoke;
Her voice never faltered,
  And the thread never broke.
  And when I awoke,–

There sat my mother
  With the harp against her shoulder
Looking nineteen
  And not a day older,

A smile about her lips,
  And a light about her head,
And her hands in the harp-strings
  Frozen dead.

And piled up beside her
  And toppling to the skies,
Were the clothes of a king's son,
  Just my size.
The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver was written by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) and published in 1922. The text therefore fell out of copyright and entered the public domain in the United States as of 1998. For The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver and several other works published in the early twenties, Millay won the the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923. The copytext for this on-line edition of The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver belongs to the University of Pittsburgh Library. 

Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists, Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. Seeing each moment as a continually existing place sheds light on why particles would then travel as a quantum wave, rather than linearly from point a to point b.  . . .

 . . .  if each moment of ordinary time is a solid, static, "block of now", or field of space, then time each new moment is a distinctly different universe. What we call time is a spatial direction that travels through many static three dimensional universes.

It may be that space must include all possibilities in order to seem empty to us.

Jack White Forever

Jack White , an astute critic of the internet and the ways it damages our capacity to engage deeply with music or meaning or each other, is an inspiration to my poetry, essay writing, and even the work I offer to the web he worries about. Jack White's remarks directed at “hipsters” at a gig at Don Hill's in New York increase my admiration for him. I reached for Ralph Ellison and Mae West, brilliant artists both, to praise the hell out of The Dead Weather live set I heard at House of Blues in San Diego. Learn more about the band by clicking:  


Buy the music. Attend the shows.

Listen. Read. Write. Think. Rock.

Peruse hipsters at Muse while you peruse all sites, including this one. Let your attention teach you its news.

Alison Mosshart of The Dead Weather

Be the song or poem or essay or perspicacity you want to see in the world . . .

Blues Master Son House
Author Ralph Ellison 


The highest ecstasy is the attention at its fullest. 
—Simone Weil


Hit the Playlist Player to hear The Cure

Two words for today's Making/Meaning entry: The Cure

August 18, 2010  Welcome. again,  Soundgarden
Heavy/ethereal: CLICK HERE to listen to Soundgarden's song "Black Rain" on their site

"Art is polishing god's shoes." 

What has death and a thick body dances before
     what has no thick body and no death. 
The trumpet says: "I am you."        
The spiritual master arrives and bows down to the 
      beginning student. 
Try to live to see this! 

(translated by Robert Bly)                      

Take on Joy Division in 4 discs? On a Monday? Open to " Love Will Tear Us Apart" and "She's Lost Control" and "Shadowplay" again" And again? In this set hear punk die into industrial, goth, glam, metal, neo-metal and the seeds of the post-punk we live with in 2010 . . . I agree with fionnchu on blogspot that it dates less than a lot of its parent punk. History as we live it keeps requiring access to the most astringent dark soundtrack there is.

If your Nerve, deny you—
Go above your Nerve—
He can lean against the Grave,
If he fear to swerve—

That's a steady posture—
Never any bend
Held of those Brass arms—
Best Giant made—

If your Soul seesaw—
Lift the Flesh door—
The Poltroon wants Oxygen—
Nothing more—

—Emily Dickinson 

(poltroon definition: cowardly wretch) 

My favorite living painter Paula Rego . . .