Happy PJ Harvey Day! Life Lessons on Art and Femininity

PJ Harvey is probably my favorite musician ever. Not just female musician, not just guitar player, not just singer-songwriter — I mean favorite out of anyone who has ever written and/or performed music. I have loved Polly Harvey for well over half of my life, when I first played “Oh My Lover” in my car when I was 16 and was instantly arrested by the first few doleful yet urgent notes. Sometimes I think I never really became a musician because of PJ Harvey, because she already made the music that sounds most like my soul. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsMXJ-CBfkk Polly Harvey is

On Becoming a City Girl Again, At Least for a Weekend

The past few weekends I’ve been heading into Chicago to see various friends coming in from out of town, so I’ve been gallivanting and flaneuring and gadding about a lot more than I usually do these days, especially since I moved from NYC. And it’s been super-wonderful: being a city girl is kind of in my blood. After all, I lived in them for so long during some very formative years. I have the instincts and inclination towards exploration, adventure and, yes, public transportation that living and working and playing in cities seems to spark in people. A city, of

Five Beautifully Brilliant, Inspiring Manifestos + A Few Thoughts on My Own

I’ve been thinking a bit about manifestos lately, about declarations that transcend time, create energy and fuel dreams. While manifestos are often really specific to a situation, there’s a timelessness to the writing that really speaks to me — which is why great ones endure. I’ve been thinking about it in terms of myself — I’ve been asked lately, in more than a few different avenues of my life, to define what’s important and true for me. I’m still thinking about it, pulling my thoughts together, but of course I had to dig up a few of the declarations that