I’m listening to the new Feist record and wearing my first-ever pair of Levi’s jeans. What a time to be alive!
My mom told me not to bother with Levi’s. “They don’t work with our body,” she had said to me when I was a teenager, a statement I took as scripture. I never questioned how she specifically stated it as if we were one body, not two completely separate beings; I never once bothered trying on a pair of Levi’s after.
Mom, you were wrong. These jeans feel great.
Man, I’d love to rub this in her face right now. Who knows, maybe it was exclusively the 501 fit that doesn’t work for “our” body. I’ve got the 711, and I feel just like this.
So anyway: FEIST.
It’s been six years since Metals came out—I almost can’t believe it. I saw Feist the following summer at Pitchfork, in 2012, and I’ll be seeing Feist again this summer, again with the same friends. Maybe I’ll be wearing my Levi’s!
The new record, Pleasure, feels like a welcome departure from the last album—not that I didn’t really enjoy Metals; I did—and it’s one that her producer Mocky described as a “hard left” to the New York Times. Personally, I love the contrast of the notion of “pleasure” with the reality that the album deals with sadness and even despair. Because “pleasure” isn’t simple at all, is it?
As Feist put it:
“It’s such an inaccurate, one-dimensional word that, in fact, when you look a little closer, it carries in it yearning and loss and self-punishment,” she said. “Pleasure is implicit in pain, which is implicit in pleasure.”
I’ll be sorting through this record for awhile. That’s for sure. Current standouts: “Get Not High, Get Not Low”; “Any Party”; “Baby Be Simple” — and oh, fuck it, all of them really. It’s Leslie Feist.
In “Any Party,” Feist sings, “You know I’d leave any party for you/no party’s so sweet as our party of two” and it’s the most romantic lyric that’s caught me in some time. And then there’s “Baby Be Simple” … oh, just listen.
I’ve also recently fallen in love with a new poet: Morgan Parker. Her book There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé is truly marvelous, to steal a description Terrance Hayes used in his review. A preview, from the poem “Another Another Autumn in New York”:
“When I drink anything
out of a martini glass
I feel untouched by
professional and sexual
rejection. I am a dreamer
with empty hands and
I like the chill.
I will not be attending the party
tonight, because I am
microwaving multiple Lean Cuisines
and watching Wife Swap,
which is designed to get back
at fathers, as westernized media
is often wont to do.
I don’t know when I got so punk rock
but when I catch
myself in the mirror I
Parker was profiled in this week’s New Yorker, which really sealed the deal for me. I mean, c’mon:
"Parker lives in an apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with stacks of vinyl records, a wall of overstuffed bookshelves, a non-working fireplace filled with “Mad Men” DVDs, and artful preparations of crystals and candles. On an afternoon shortly after the publication of her book, she was wearing flared jeans, suede magenta boots, an eyebrow ring, and a gray T-shirt with “Phenomenal Woman” on it—a reference to the Maya Angelou poem. Her appearance made me think of a line from her poem “Another Another Autumn in New York”: “I don’t know / when I got so punk rock / but when I catch / myself in the mirror I / feel stronger.” She described her domestic aesthetic as “a little bit about avoiding the quiet.” Her miniature poodle, Braeburn, gnawed a toy while Parker made coffee; Carole King’s “Tapestry” spun on the turntable."
The only reason I’m not wearing my gray “Phenomenal Woman" t-shirt right at this moment is because it’s in the washer. Carole King. Mad Men. Vinyl. Miniature poodle. Hello. Hi.
One last thing: The Handmaid’s Tale! Let’s talk after I’ve watched Episodes 2 and 3. Holy hell! When Margaret Atwood showed up in the first episode, I screamed.
Previously: “something funny started happening”
Photo: Valle de Bravo, Mexico [via me]