Category Archives: music

how… easy to be hard

a hell of a week, between the crazy Texas laws restricting abortion, the Zimmerman verdict / injustice for Trayvon Martin, Cory Monteith dying, just a lot of crud.

inspired by last episode of Orange Is the New Black.



so i am blogging in multiple places right now, at the cost of only intermittently blogging here. which i suspect will be the way things will be for the Spring 2013 semester while i am working on this internship.

in addition to this SchmattaLUV blog….

i am doing a private blog (private due to permissions / rights issues*) that is my own personal process blog: Activist Women’s Voices

and i am doing a public blog via the CUNY Commons: Graduate Center Special Collections CUNY Activist Women’s Voices

the CUNY blog is going to be more formal, with less tangential forays into free associations (think less Library of Congress / public domain images, less YouTube videos, etc.).

so i’ll still have this one, and will post when i can. but feel free to visit the others, if you want.

*will try to unlock selected posts if i can get them approved to be public

Mark freaking Mothersbaugh

i stumbled upon a great video about the creative wonderfulness that is Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame.

first off, i want his glasses. so aluminum and shiny!


shiny! — L.A. Eyeworks makes these for him

second off, his office building is that weird circular building on Sunset i always drove by and wondered about when i lived in El-Lay….

it mystifies me that more buildings aren’t circular. it makes much more sense to me than square. i think circular, more pod-like, egg-like structures would create a more welcoming and organic work and living space. big fan of the circular.


circular! Mutato Muzika building
BY MARCUS SCHALLER SEPTEMBER 2, 2012 West Hollywood (8760 W Sunset Blvd)

it was white back in the day, but i love this color — lime green!

and then, thirdly, there is what Mark Mothersbaugh talks about when he talks about Devo. which totally blew my mind.

this is from the video.

Mark Mothersbaugh:
DEVO, when we were starting as a band it was right after a shooting and not just
at Kent but other campuses around the country there.
Students were saying, hey!
We don’t want to be part of this Vietnam War.
You know, we were watching it on TV and we are like who are we defending and
why and why are we attacking people over there?
They didn’t do anything to us.
What is the point to this war?
It’s not a good war.
During that time period Jerry Casale who I’d collaborated with on a few
visual things already that year, he came over and he started playing music
with me and he was a bass player and he was playing in a blues band to make some extra money.
I was a keyboard player but I was playing like synth stuff and it was more like
Soft Machine or something.
It was kind of like more acidy and we were trying to figure out what is this
sound we were thinking. Oh!
It’s like Flintstones meets the Jetsons.
You know, like I was playing kind of space age-y kind of sounds and he was
playing like kind of primitive bass sounds, blues, blues-y kind of things.
We started talking about what was going on around us and then what was happening
at school and what was happening in the world.
We came to the conclusion that what we were observing was not evolution but
rather de-evolution.
So, that’s where we’ve got the name the De-evolution band and then the
De-evolutionary army before we cut letters off the end and turn it into DEVO.
De-evolution was sort of our platform.
It became a way that we could talk about things that we were curious about,
that concerned us and we could make fun of things and we could draw attention to things.
So, we looked at people like Andy Warhol for inspiration.
We saw– and not so much in his messages but in his techniques.
We saw that was the perfect.
He was about ideas and it didn’t matter what medium he worked in.
I’d liked the idea that he wasn’t just locked into like playing guitar or to
painting watercolors on a piece of paper, the same exact thing every time.
He was into solving problems.
So, we kind of wanted DEVO to be like that.

Devo came from the idea of de-volution, a reaction to the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings and trying to make sense of the world at that point in time. it’s just all sort of brilliant and so much more connected and much more meaningful than i ever imagined Devo to be. just love this, hearing such a smart man talk about the ideas behind what made Devo Devo.

and more to the point, the name Devo and the idea of de-evolution, and the ideas of doing things however they came to be (i.e., Warhol example) was also about parsing process and vision and intention in the most organic and revolutionary, naturally evolving way. as Mothersbaugh describes, it was about solving problems. and agitprop.

Agitation propaganda (commonly shortened to agitprop) is the systematic spreading and thorough explanation of political, philosophical, economic, historical, as well as scientific, technical, and other types of ideas by the political leadership of a movement, society or organization, advancing the effectiveness of political persuasion and training on the target, leading to rapid action, or mobilization. In a simplified sense, Agitation Propaganda is focused on causing an excitement of emotions in the target, with the aims of stimulating action.

it’s a great example. a great example of inspired thinking. makes me want to keep it on the road, keep going, keep at whatever i’m doing that’s working….

the history of my Devo-revolution

and on a more personal note, my earliest memories of Devo were their record (below) i think my brother Michael had.

and then of course i remember a high school performance of the annual Roadshow (i think that was it) by my sister Claud’s friends (including Saybert) where they did a song by Devo, wearing the same outfits and hats. it was so cool. i loved her friends.

this picture isn’t that but it captures how awesome these guys were.

Devo-cool friends of my sister's

Devo-cool friends of my sister’s, from the Omaha Central High School 1982 yearbook

some video awesomness. my favorite Devo song, “Uncontrollable Urge”.

holiday time


Wishing you a merry Christmas. Digital ID: 1585592. New York Public Library


for a long time now i have not been a huge fan of holidays.

my family is one of those fractured families of the 1970s and 1980s. not saying this as a sob story scenario, just the way it is. so there is no traditional big family holiday gathering with presents and the like. i had that growing up sometimes, and it was great. but it’s not my life now.

although i went to my sister’s for Thanksgiving this year, traveling during the holidays, well, forget about it! travel is stressful, especially for the zaftig / non-crowd lovers. so it’s happily home for the holidays.


so i am trying to set up a plan of things i want to do this holiday season.

the amazing resource, “Ask A Manager,” has been a great voice of reason during my job search. i especially appreciated her advice on what to do during the holidays — or even during “regular” times — when applying for jobs. apply and then move on, keep going, but try not to obsess. grateful for the smart words of wisdom.

i have been spending a lot of time applying for jobs. but since it is the holidays i am going to take this time to work on skill building, will resume the job hunt — and will probably start temping and/or trying to volunteer somewhere interesting in January.

my websites need to be completely overhauled. it is a bit shameful at this point. i don’t feel super equipped technically, though, with web design. so i am going to focus on training myself — using the fabulous


it’s important that i listen to myself — and focus on the technical things that i enjoy doing. then build from there.

i am very intimidated by a lot of this technology, like PHP and MySQL. heck, i am intimidated by coding and computer languages, have never been great at learning new languages (see my college transcript). oy. so i am going to heed my instincts and passions. and move on from there.

the great thing about the videos is that they are in movie-length bits. if i can manage to watch TV and movies, i know i can get through these videos. and enjoy them.

for some inspiration, the awesome Scott Miller playing Neil Young’s “Hawks & Doves.” (i prefer Scott’s version…)

Ain’t getting old,
ain’t getting younger though
Just getting used
to the lay of the land
I ain’t tongue-tied,
just don’t got nothin’ to say
I’m proud to be livin’ in the U.S.A.

and so it goes…

and my favorite New Multitudes track:

Vivaldi and the end of the world

Vivaldi time

much thanks to my lovely cousin Alyssa for sharing this wonderful music with me.

i didn’t know anything about Max Richter or his work, Vivaldi Recomposed, but i absolutely adore Vivaldi. this reworking of the Four Seasons is both modern and evocative of the past. perfect holiday music.

Max Richter

Max Richter

the end of the world, or the Mayan calendar

the world is supposed to end today, and while i don’t want to mock this concept and poke it with a big stick, things have been feeling very cataclysmic lately.

the first page of the the Popol Vuh, which prophesies the end of the world

the first page of the the Popol Vuh, which prophesies (?!?) the end of the world

the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut was definitely psychically damaging. the weather feels weird — family and friends in the midwest are dealing with severe blizzard conditions. and instead of snow there is rain and strong winds outside, making the original windows in my hovel shudder and shake.

the end

and then there is the extreme feeling of ending that i am grappling with on a personal level.

burt reynolds was so crazy good…. The End (the movie), what a cast!

the end of this month officially ends my time at Credit Suisse. the end of 14 plus years (plus at least a year more when i worked as a temp before getting hired). which all seems to be an anomaly in today’s world: it seems rare for folks to be able to stay at one employer more than five years, much less during such extremes of highs and lows that have categorized the investment banking industry during my tenure there.

working — even in a support function — in the financial services industry for this long, i have had a front row seat to what feels like a very shaky economy. and speaking of scary stuff, this fiscal cliff is something to look forward to in the new year, isn’t it?!?

anyway, as this year wraps up and i take a good hard look into the future, this is all swirling around.

a lot of anxiety — and during the post-Sandy shooting news glut i needed an escape. nothing couldn’t be more perfect — or tragic, than Roman Holiday.

Annex - Hepburn, Audrey (Roman Holiday)_02

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, downtime on the set of Roman Holiday

ah, the beauty of young love… (cough!)

Audrey Hepburn smoking

Audrey Hepburn smoking

such a nice change, to immerse myself in the gorgeous black and white images. i need to re-watch more of these films.

the kiss

the kiss

Gregory Peck was so amazing. and i fell in love with Audrey Hepburn yet again.

which reminded me of one of my favorite tweener shows of the recent past, 10 Things I Hate About You (the TV show), which introduced the world to his talented grandson, Ethan Peck.

enough with the end!

ok, after all that, i am going to try and ease through the rest of this December — enjoying the remaining time as much as possible.

and look forward to next year, with new beginnings.

i have been applying for some interesting jobs. most are outside of New York, which makes me look around me with a bittersweetness.

ah, bittersweet! i loved the Hoo Doo Gurus so much!

onward, bravely!