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Wednesday , June 24, 2009
A NOGOODFORME MAGNUM OPUS: "Let It Beat," by Laura Jane Faulds
"Let It Beat" by Laura Jane Faulds is dedicated to everybody in my life who loves me, including myself. I love you too.
The photograph of me seen at left was taken in June of 2006, two months before I got sick. The photograph of me seen at right was taken seven months later.
I was initially hesitant to post these photographs, mostly because I consider it "beneath me" to use such a hackneyed, emotionally manipulative device as "the before and after photo." And it's true- I don't need these photos to make my point. But I want you to look at them.
Not because of the obvious; yes, I get it, we all do- it's shocking. It's jarring; revolting, even. My face got gaunt. Anorexia is sad.
But what I really want you to look at- to see- is my eyes. My eyes say everything. It is a blessing and a curse if I ever knew one.
Look at the girl on the left. Look at those eyes! Look at them!!!
She is alive. She is hopeful, focused, expectant. She is a ferocious little scamp, I remember being her: bong hits and booze runs and Brooklyn. I was a jerk, a card. I was angry at the world every day; I felt it missed the point. I was less loud, shyer, but was still- just the same- loud and shy; loud but shy. Look at that girl. That girl was going places, and everybody knew it.
Instead, two months later, I got sick. Five months after that, I turned into the girl on the right. I don't need to tell you what is in that girl's eyes. You can see it for yourself, clear like a windowpane. There is nothing to explain; no words but that, but nothing. When you look into that girl's eyes, you see nothing, because there is nothing inside her.
She's not dead, but she isn't alive, either. She's just, kind of, nothing.
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Tags: 24 on the 24th!!!!!, ANOREXIA ERADICATION FOREVER, eating disorder awareness, eating disorder recovery, Happy Birthday Laura Jane, Laura Jane Faulds, Laura loves the Beatles, life, The James Joyce of Fashion Bloggers
Friday , May 22, 2009
A STYLE ICON/MAGNUM OPUS HYBRID: For Raymond Douglas Davies; Sincerely, Laura Jane
"If I had to do my life over, I would change every single thing I have done."
-Ray Davies, 1967.
In some ways, I'm exactly like everybody else.
Like everybody else, my greatest assets and my fatal flaws are one in the same. They are:
1) I love the dudes.
2) I spend a lot of my time thinking about the way I look, and,
3) My tolerance for phoniness is zero.
Together, these qualities explain everything about why Ray Davies of The Kinks is my All-time Number One Style Icon. And now, I'm going to explain that.
PART ONE: DUDES ARE SCARY
I am terrified of dudes.
On a given day, I see about a trillion of them. I scope them out, because I am lonely, and then realize: they are all creeps. Even when I see a dude who at first glance looks like he might have a decent personality, or at very least is a babe, all I have to do is imagine myself alone with him for ten minutes, and then it clicks: Nope! You were wrong, Laura Jane! Dead wrong. All the dudes I've ever met, or seen, in my entire life, besides five of them, are tied for "The Universe's All-time Hugest Creep."
Also, more often than not, their shoes suck.
Tags: Canceminis, Cher, Days, dudes are creeps, Dudes Scare Laura, eating disorder awareness, eating disorder recovery, George Clooney, John Lennon, Laura Jane Faulds, LJ ON JL, microgreens, not like everybody else, Ray Davies, Ray Davies is a genius, Ray Davies' front-teeth gap, Ray-Davies-Perfect, Raymond Douglas Davies, S&M, sincerity, Sir Paul McCartney, style icons, wishing today could be tomorrow
Monday , December 15, 2008
Laura Jane's Magnum Opus #3: Love Is Just The Song I Sing
The coolest anecdote in my entire repertoire of cool anecdotes is that my first word was "book", and I grew up to be a writer.
For me, writing is a brutally active process, more dependent upon my hands than on my brain. Arranging words into patterns that Sound Good And Mean Something is more fun for me than anything else- it saves my life.
But, so much as my ability to write for pleasure solves all my problems, it often triggers them as well. I feel like I will die if I don't write, and it stresses me out, riles me up, and intensifies certain nothings to a degree that often tends, or bends, towards the negative.
Which is where the songs come in.
Music is writing's perfect twin brother; my relationship to it is wholly passive. Music balances out my nervy, frantic and ever-nagging impulse to write, write, WRITE, RIGHT NOW!!! I'd rather listen to songs than write them; music is something I disappear to. Writing forces me to exist; music permits me to retreat. It is a cocoon, cocoa, or blanket. Writing is amphetaminic; songs are straight-smoked opium.
This article is everything about both those things, the John and Paul of Laura Jane. When I wrote Magnum Opus #1, I decided that Your Art Is Not You, but: there is an exception to every rule. I like having my my art Be Me, it's all just the song I sing.
So, here I am, singing every song that ever meant the most, to me, from being born until tomorrow, to you, tonight.
I don't remember being a baby.
Some people say they do. I take that information in, and vacillate between being jealous and thinking they are lying. 50% of the time, I am wrong.
I know for sure that my Mother sang me "Lola" by the Kinks when I was a little baby because she has told me so a hundred billion kazillion times, in that uniquely Mother-y way. It's a natural fact: Mothers only know seven stories, but make up for it by telling you them over and over again, thirteen times a day, forever.
I am confident that my mother did not sing "Lola" to her newborn daughter because her newborn daughter was an irresistibly sexy transsexual. I'm sure it had a lot more to do with the glottological similarities between the words "Lola" and "Laura"-
And, because I need life to always be beautiful and special and literary, I am choosing to believe that I love John Lennon and Ray Davies and "Happy Together" and Curt Boettcher and "Blank Generation" as sobbingly hard as I do because my identity, before I had any control over it at all whatsoever, was shaped around "Lola"'s particular E A D G B E.
Well, I'm not the world's most masculine man, that's for goddamned sure. But I will always be the world's most "emphatically confident that 80% of her entire esse can be attributed to "Lola"-overexposure at a weirdly early age"-girl, which is is hell of cool at least.
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Tags: Adam Yauch, chimera, Halloween Scorpios, Laura Jane Faulds, Laura Loves Dudes, Laura loves The Beatles, Laura loves The Kinks, Leos, Magnum Opus, nostalgia, pulsatile tinnitus, River Phoenix, safety, sixteen and fabulous, Southern Gothic, Spice Girls, STEVE, The Pretty Things, Thurston Moore, transcending
Sunday , November 30, 2008
Laura Jane's Magnum Opus #2: The Day George Harrison Died, but I- and the music- Lived
Exactly seven years ago yesterday, George "No Middle Name" Harrison died from lung cancer-related brain business. I was sixteen years old, and, though his death did not kill me, I certainly did everything in my power to let it get me down. As follows is the most intimate and involved account I can possibly give of the roughest/toughest "Celebrity I Love Death Day" I've ever known.
There has always been this microscopic chip of my most idealistic self that believes, when a human being dies, they go live in some nowhere-never-nothing-nada nether-space, and sit alone in peace, their only entertainment being the letters that the living write them. I am 100% sure that this "theory" is fanciful, half-baked, impossible, and not true, but if not:
This essay is dedicated to you, My Sweet George. I'm not totally sure what you did- but, what matters is that you did it. And you did it for a million, and you did it for me. You were the Sazerac of Dark Horses, and seriously the Sexiest Man Alive, forever. "Blue Jay Way" is easily the coolest Beatles song there is, you were so hot in 1969 I can't even deal with it, and here is the rest.
Thursday , November 13, 2008
Stupid Love Songs: 50 Ways to Soundtrack Your Romantic Dysfunction
Like Paul McCartney, I wanna fill the world with silly love songs. But sometimes another kind of love song gets in the way: Let's call it the "stupid love song." Or, more precisely, "the stupid-love song" - 'cause it's not the song that's stupid, it's the love, and the only reason I didn't put the hyphen in the title of this post is I thought it looked lots cooler without.
To be clear, "stupid-love songs" are not the same as breakup songs, although many can be used in either situation. Stupid-love songs are the songs you play when you're like, "OMG, I'm horribly, flailingly, fantastically crazy for this 92 percent emotionally unavailable guy/girl and I know it's a bad scene but sometimes it's epically great and I'm just gonna go with my big dumb feelings despite all better judgment." Now, I know there are some girls/guys who never get themselves into these sorts of predicaments, but given the immense popularity of Bridget Jones' Diary, I'm gonna assume that some of yall out there can kinda relate.
So, here are 50 stupid-love songs I've found useful for dealing with those big dumb feelings in my own past bouts of romantic dysfunction. They come in all kinds: deludedly hopeful, tragic and melancholy, wrathy and ragey, worrisomely determined, etc. ("Songs written by Fiona Apple and Jenny Lewis" even emerged as its own category, and so I hereby crown those two "Queen and Queener of the Stupid-Love Song" - feel honored, girls.) In my experience, wrathy/ragey variety tends to be the most therapeutic, but sometimes a little wallowing in the tragic and melancholy stuff can feel real good too. Oh, and wherever possible, I've posted links to blogs where you can download the mp3, or to the Amazon mp3 download site for that particular track. There are some songs for which neither option was available, so I don't know: Maybe you could try going to an actual record store, or maybe you could call me up and have me sing it to you.
Let the oversharing begin...
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Tags: avuncular rock stars, Bridget Jones' Diary, Bruce Springsteen, Courtney Love, Dolly Parton, Fiona Apple, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I hate The Magnetic Fields, Jay-Z, Jenny Lewis, Juliana Hatfield, Lavender Diamond, Liz Phair, Lloyd Dobler, Madonna, music, obsessively soundtracking my life, obsessively soundtracking your life, PJ Harvey, Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, stupid love songs, stupid-love songs, the burdens of being Capricorn, The Shins ruin everything, Wes Anderson is a big jerk
Saturday , May 10, 2008
A nogoodforme Magnum Opus: The Men, I Mean Dudes, Behind the Magic
We love doling out little hits of fashion, style, music and other goodness here, but sometimes we like to get a little in-depth and super-obsesso about our loves and passions. Until we get to publish our epic compilation essay collection, which will no doubt be jam-packed with the verve and eccentricity you've come to expect from nogoodforme.com, we decided to start a longer essay series, which we encourage you to print out and read on the subway, at the cafe, at lunch, or when you're at the library and want to look like you're studying instead blowing off your Western Civ paper. (Unless, of course, you're the reckless type who likes to read long essays straight off the computer screen. I know some of you out there live on the edge that way.) Today, Laura Jane will kick us off with a characteristically cynical-yet-saccharine ode to four dudes, four amazing records, and pop music's quadruply magical capacity for getting under your fingernails and transforming you forever. This "hyper-solo essay" is the culmination of a lifetime spent monomaniacally scouring the world for the most dashing, potent, transcendental and euphoric songs ever recorded to tape, and it is dedicated to all you other foolish geniuses who recognize the worthiness of such a pursuit.
Some Preparatory Listening Material:
Roy Wood, "Songs of Praise"
Matthew Friedberger, "Up the River"
Paul McCartney, "Dear Boy"
Van Dyke Parks, "The Attic"
Roy Wood, "Rock Down Low"
Matthew Friedberger, "I Started Drinking Alcohol at the Age of Eleven"
Paul McCartney, "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"
Van Dyke Parks, "Vine Street"
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