Saturday, July 26, 2008


My book, FEVER PITCH, has gone off to print and is now available for purchase online here. Of course, I would much rather see you at the launch at Peres Projects (969 Chung King Rd) on Thursday, August 7th from 6-9 p.m. but if you're somewhere distant like either Portlands or Australia, I'll understand.

As a bit of a treat, I attached some of page screengrabs below (however hard I try, technology beyond screengrabs is still totally illusive!) The book was illustrated and designed by the brilliant Bay Area artist, Deric Carner. It took an entire week of straight work to lasso the beast and Deric did an AMAZING job. I could not be more pleased. Do take a look at some of the text and image below and I hope to see you next month!

A new essay about Mahogany will be published in the book alongside totally reworked versions of writings from these pages: Afternoon With The Beckhams, Kylie Minogue and Aural Transvestitism, Trying To Hear 'I Will Always Love You' and Grace Jones does 'La Vie En Rose.' And finally, the Kylie tome that I knew I had in me: The Absence of Difference. It ties together some various musings I've posted on Kylie here but in a far more honed capacity.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

In attendance at KYLIEX2008

This is an orphaned little piece that I quite liked but didn't end up fitting into either of my recently completed Kylie articels. I tried to tack it onto The Absence of Difference, but it never quite fit. I'll publish its original, fractured version here.

I was witness to a most fascinating form of spectacle yesterday. For the past 2 months, the Kylie Klan has been gearing up for X2008, her most expensive outing to date. 53 European venues, 10,000,000 Gbp, 4 acrobats and 9 costume changes. Speculation around the show had been bubbling in the forums for months. X2008 premiered in Paris just after the K was knighted by the French legion. If I were British, I might have been insulted. But, across the pond – and on vacation, no less – I sat riveted at my laptop, refreshing the pages of the forum.

You see, I attended the show through the infinitesimal remove of text messages, cell calls and camera phones. An attendant would call their friend and that forum-goer would input the information for the rest of use to revel in. I refreshed and news appeared, just as K was doing thousands of miles away. A click of the circular arrow and I would be updated: ‘Like A Drug.’ Yet just as banter in kindergarten telephone games becomes distorted, an unlikely event I had not anticipated came into play. Lies! People would write fictions into this ever-unfolding spectacle. At one point, early on, we the forum were informed that ‘No More Rain’ had been performed as a medley with Chocolate Rain (a viral Youtube video) and ‘It’s Raining Men’ (The Weather Girls, et al.). No wait – with Kylie’s single ‘Chocolate.’ In the end, however, ‘No More Rain’ would be played as an encore track all by its lonesome. French rapper MC Solaar was to have joined Mz Minogue on her final song, filling in for the absent MIMS on ‘All I See’ only to be revised with the click of the refresh button.

The real-time storm of info – true and false, vague and illegible, from Getty Images to near-abstract Nokia shots – was overwhelming, exhillirating and quickly became too much for this excitable spectator. I had to get out. Hours later, when I returned to the computer, the internet was abuzz with 30sec lo-fi cameraphone clips of tracks with French fans singing over Kylie’s vocals, bass so heavy that the only audible sound was the breaking of someone’s recorder function. Of course, the vast majority of this information comes from illegitimate sources – avid consumers like myself. Not the official ones. “It’s Not Official Until It’s On” an avatar reminds us on her homepage.

All of this focused my understanding. Was this event in which I partook not a frenzied version of the traditional ballad song passed from person to person, evolving with each voice? Did Kylie not function as a sort of modern-day folkloric or deity figure the people might speculate over and narrativize? The ballad perpetuated intrigue in the iconic or god and yet put them at the mercy of the people – their being lay in their proliferation by the people. A huge part of Kylie’s hype is tied to leaks, or unreleased tracks which have found their way onto the egalitarian internet. A dropped tune here and there can lead to months of hype when fielded into the correct hands. What we had on our hands in this instance was a whole carton of such treasures – A NEW TOUR!

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