Dear Dust

Lately I have developed such an incredible attraction for Katy Perry. Even though I hate her voice and her songs are uniformly awful, I still buy her cds and watch her on the net endlessly. If it were twenty years ago, I’d have a lunchbox with her picture on it and a poster on the wall. Is this wrong? Am I a bad person? I used to make fun of people like me, and now I am one.

help!

Fanboy

 

Dear Fanboy

No, it’s not wrong. And although you may indeed be a bad person, it’s certainly not because of this. Having inexplicable crushes on pop culture figures, particularly those in the musical arena, is an essential rite of pubescence that may sometimes linger, like charred toast, well into middle age. But unlike much of the music industry itself, there is no objective criteria with which the float of the libidinal boat can be measured. The realm of pop infatuation is inured from cries of sell-out and rip-off, safe for Monkees and Menudos alike. Regularly locking yourself in the bathroom for a few quick choruses of Hungry Like the Wolf? No sweat. Only you, Fanboy, can determine what fits your grip. Therefore, the private offerings you make to the object of your desire should never be constrained by dictates of taste, coolness, or fashion.

My awareness of Katy Perry can be entirely summed by a rack and pair of cartoon eyes. So I think there’s a good chance you’ve chosen well. Why not? I can’t say I’ve ever heard any of her songs, and I’m fairly sure I never need to. Possessing a beautiful voice or genuine songwriting talent may stoke your ardor, but remains an ancillary benefit. So while communing with Miss Perry’s image late at night, take comfort in the fact that such behavior is not only beyond your control, it is embedded in your genetic code. By dreaming of the inaccessible, you are treading in the footprints of our earliest ancestors, who hunkered in their frozen caves and masturbated to the idea of a crackling fire. And maybe a nice wet mastodon steak.

So, feel good Fanboy. When it comes to musical longings, one man’s turophile is another’s rarefied connoisseur. And to make you feel better, I have listed below my own fifteen greatest early musical crushes. Take them for what you will. Mock me, ignore me, or marvel at my discernment. It matters not.

Note: I have designated each chanteuse as either make it (meaning my crush was one of pure rut) or hammock (meaning I loved and respected their voice or stature so much that all I wanted was to swing with them between two oaks, sipping lemonade, while almost imperceptibly stroking their arms with the tips of my fingers, until gooseflesh rose from nape to crux.)

You see, for me, some music is too pure even to be defiled by fantasy.

 

The Dust’s Youthful Inamoratas

 

1. Annabella                    from Bow Wow Wow…………………………make it

2. Kira                              from Black Flag………………………………..make it

3. Cherie Currie              from The Runaways………………………….total make it

4. Yma Sumac                 solo…………………………………………………hammock

4. Nico                              from The Velvet Underground……………diamond hammock

5. Tammi Terrell            solo/Marvin Gaye……………………………..make it slow

6. Wanda Jackson         solo………………………………………………..make it during a saloon fight

7. Gal Costa                    solo…………………………………………………hammock, whispery Spanish

8. Michele Phillips        from The Mamas and the Papas…………make it in the tub

9. Poison Ivy                   from The Cramps……………………………..make it drenched in reverb

10. Lulu                            solo…………………………………………………make it and then do homework

11. Puma                          from Black Uhuru……………………………..make it in dubstep

12. Esther Phillips          solo………………………………………………..make it a confessional

13. Tina Turner               sans Ike………………………………………….all of the above

14. Sarah Vaughn           solo………………………………………………..hammock

15. Terri Nunn                from Berlin……………………………………..make it on a crowded train

16. Iggy Pop                    from The Stooges…………………………….bi-curious hammock

17. The Skinny One       from Heart………………………………………make it in a gypsy caravan, eat celery after

18. Debbie Harry           from Blondie……………………………………make it with a sneer

19. Emmylou Harris     solo………………………………………………..hammock, brushing each other’s bangs

20. Lyn Collins              solo/James Brown…………………………..rock me again (and again and again)

 

 

Dear Dust

I can’t believe this is your twentieth column! It’s a true milestone! Are you having a big bash? Can I come?

Love, Bubbly

 

Dear Bubbly,

Yes, indeed we are. Remy and Roland are very excited. For days they have spoken of nothing but the enormous hammer and sickle-shaped cake that arrived via airmail and packed in dry ice. Of course, once he sees a candle (we don’t normally allow open flame in the house) Roland will likely siphon kerosene from the generator with a length of rubber hose and use it to burn a celebratory V for victory insignia into the front lawn. Or perhaps the V stands for Volta Redonda, the Amazonian hamlet he intends to machete his way down to the day he turns sixteen, in order to found a Utopian colony based on the precepts of Eldridge Cleaver. In any event, the preparations continue apace. The dogs are beside themselves, whimpering and quivering as hounds will when portent is heavy in the air. Fabian has never been quite so busy, refusing to divulge the purpose of his many errands and phone calls, some of which last well into the night. And, of course, Candy glides about the paving stones in her silk housecoat, a knowing smile on her lips that I can only describe as Bacall-esque. Something truly wonderful is due to happen at Castle Dust this evening, of that I am sure.

But I will admit these festal proceedings come with a small measure of melancholy, in the realization that the wonderful people of TNB cannot be here to share it with us.

Anonymity is sometimes a curse, just as it is its own advisory reward.

 

 

Most sincerely,

 

The Dust

 

 

 

Ask Me Anything.

Talk Shit. Be Vulnerable.

Go ahead, I know it hurts.


[email protected]

 

All contact info is entirely confidential.

 

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J. ANGELUS DUST is not much interested in biography. J. Angelus Dust wants to know where it hurts.

24 responses to “Ask The Dust – Vol. 20”

  1. Gloria says:

    #15 and #16 cracked me the hell up. Also, I admit to a near crippling crush on Justin Timberlake. Glad I got that off my chest.

    Wish I could be at your party, Dust. However, since I’m not anonymous, I can invite you to my 35th birthday potluck on Sunday. Please bring a Jello mold. Fabian can come, too.

    Cheers,
    Gloria

    • fabian says:

      Hi, I’m Fabian, The Dust’s personal assistant. Thanks for your query, Gloria! Mr. Dust says:

      “I’ve had to have a little talk with Fabian (Fabain’s note: It’s true, he did) about allowing #16 to stay. It was just a joke, you see, for his benefit, that was supposed to have been deleted. Ah, well. It was a wild night for all.”

  2. Becky Palapala says:

    Well, okay, but I don’t think that 2nd one is a real letter. Except in the sense that it is real, in the sense that I can see it right there, and that it is, by all appearances, a letter.

    I still get terrible crushes on musicians.

    Dave Grohl, Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley. These are my big ones. David Bowie.

    They’re almost exclusively crushes of admiration and envy. That is, I don’t want them, I want to be them in some sense. Grohl’s winning, hopelessly likeable personality, Rufus’ mind and apparently incalculable creative and technical genius, Buckley’s voice…Bowie’s…what the hell is it with him? Regality? Is he regal?

    Seems to me that envy constitutes about 80% of any crush/lust. Or are only women like that? Maybe it’s just me.

    That said, I probably wouldn’t kick any of them out of the sack, ignoring of course that the middle two–being gay and dead respectively–would be even less likely than the first and last to end up in my sack in the first place.

    • Gloria says:

      I think the second letter is a plant as well.

      Bowie is to music as Johnny Depp is to movies – unearthly, handsome, slightly odd, aloof, and good looking.

      I totally agree that envy plays into most crushes. The wanting to BE them thing accounts for all of the sex with women I had earlier in my life (which wasn’t all that much, but more than most straight girls.) Emulation by consumption. Once I figured out that motivation, women held no appeal for me anymore.

      • Becky Palapala says:

        But then I wonder if we don’t also crush on people who remind us of ourselves in some way.

        I know that I have, on some level or another, uber-sympathetic feelings towards all those people–or at least my perception of them–as well. Like, strong feelings of identification.

        So am I really saying that I wish my personality were like Grohl’s or my mind like Rufus’ or my more squishy side like Jeff’s, or am I saying that I suspect they already ARE like these people?

        Like, maybe it’s not that we wish we were like them but that we think we already are like them and just wish it were apparent to others. In that sense, a celebrity crush declared is kind of like a bumper sticker.

        • Gloria says:

          Well, I think celebrity crushes specifically might be motivated by two different objectives. One is just biology – the same thing that motivates any crush, i.e. that you’d like to merge your best bits with his (or her) best bits to create some amazing offspring that will be superior to both of you and more than the sum of your parts. I also think it’s motivated by the need to be seen as the same quality (actor, thinker, writer, beauty, etc.) person as the celebrity in question. Awesome by association. However, I think the idea that you may also identify that you’re already like them has merit. Like attracts like – only maybe we view the qualities that are similar to ours that celebrities have as superior just by nature of them being celebrities and we want our qualities to achieve the same level of notoriety and worship.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          …we view the qualities that are similar to ours that celebrities have as superior just by nature of them being celebrities and we want our qualities to achieve the same level of notoriety and worship.

          This is exactly my point. In worshiping them, we worship ourselves.

          And it may be less about celebrity crushes per se and more just about celebrity worship in general, though the line on that one is blurry to me.

        • Gloria says:

          Sure. It’s blurry to me as well. I mean I have massive celebrity crushes on people I wouldn’t ever consider having sex with if I met them in a coffee shop. Like Steve Buschemi and Bill Nye The Science Guy. It’s not the celebrity part, per se, so much as the brilliance I see in what they do, which has made them famous.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I would totally have sex with Steve Buscemi in a coffee shop.

          Yesterday I saw something where people photoshop steve buscemi’s eyes onto attractive women…

        • Gloria says:

          Oh dear god, Irwin. If you could find that link and paste it here, I wouldn’t have to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my day.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Dude.

          Just saw that today.

          http://chickswithstevebuscemeyes.tumblr.com/

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Ellen Page looks like a crack whore with Steve Buscemi eyes.

          But like, in a good way… Maybe?

        • fabian says:

          Hi, I’m Fabian, The Dust’s personal assistant. Thanks for your query, Becky Palapala! Mr. Dust says:

          “Yes, I agree. A celebrity crush is very much akin to a bumper sticker. Except that one normally affixes their crush to the wheel-well of their salaciousness instead.”

  3. I used to get crushes on musicians – and usually the odd one on the band (Jimmy Destri – keyboard player from Blondie, the late and beautiful Ben Orr – bass player from the Cars).
    But then I started getting crushes on, well, writers.

    My song ‘Jonathan” (used in the TNB trailer that was done last year, I think) is about my crush on Jonathan Ames. I was obsessed with his column in the New York Press. I also lived in his neighborhood and would see him from time to time. We did a bit of an email exchange at one point, which prompted me to write the song. My crush died down after we put out our album and I knew he had heard the song and liked it– maybe that was all I required, just some kind of connection. Or consumption, like you say, Gloria.

  4. Thank god someone has finally put Cherie Currie and Puma in the same post. It’s a new dawn for TNB. For me youth, Billie Holiday was hammock, and the woman on the cover of Jimmy McGriff’s Groove Grease was make it.

    • fabian says:

      Hi, I’m Fabian, The Dust’s personal assistant. Thanks for your query, Sean Beaudoin! Mr. Dust says:

      “God? That is one hippie who had nothing to do with Ms. Currie. Let alone Puma.”

  5. Dinosaur Neil says:

    Polly Jean Harvey- Make it, hammock, make it, make it, hammock, make it, hammock. I know she’s weird looking. What can you do.

    Also, maybe a B-52s double team harmony make it.

    And congrats on 20, Dust! You totally don’t suck too bad!

    • fabian says:

      Hi, I’m Fabian, The Dust’s personal assistant. Thanks for your query, Dinosaur Neil! Mr. Dust says:

      “Yes, I can easily Miss Harvey alternating between modes. It would be a very impressionistic hammock in any case. And the double-bouffant of the B-52’s had late seventies Make It written all over it. In fact, Dance This Mess Around (To Your Hammock) is one of their better songs.”

  6. Joe Daly says:

    Happy 20th, Dust. Hope the Festivities at Castle Dust were appropriately garish and overblown.

    Letter 1: Agree
    Katy Perry can really work it. Her personality and song choices diminish my attraction to her, but I nonetheless recognize her as a vibrant and super sexy pop gal. I used to have pictures of Tiffany splattered to my dorm room wall in college. It was intended to be ironic, as they appeared beneath my AC/DC and Judas Priest flags, but nonetheless, when pressed, I would have had to admit a powerful crush on her smoldering eyes, wild red hair, and pouty lips.

    Love your list of youthful music crushes. Poison Ivy especially. In the same vein, Dinah Cancer was one of my early faves. Rock on.

    Letter 2: Agree
    Bravo.

    • fabian says:

      Hi, I’m Fabian, The Dust’s personal assistant. Thanks for your query, Joe Daly! Mr. Dust says:

      “Garish? Never. Overblown? Certainly. I never particularly enthralled with Dinah Cancer, although I could easily have included Lorna Doom and Penelope Houston to my list (Fabian’s Note: both Make It).”

  7. dwoz says:

    I had a big hots crush on Angela Bofil when I met and worked with her briefly in the early eighties…but it was her manager, a diminutive smarmy sicilian with a coke spoon on a gold chain that wanted to bed me in his hotel room, not her.

    a triangle amour non partagé, all around.

  8. Erika Rae says:

    You’ve inspired me to confess a previous strange crush on Jason Momoa. I’ve been bothered by it for years, and yet late at night I would find myself with strong cravings for a Ronan / Teyla sandwich over and over again. On a feed loop. I’ve just visited his bookmarked picture online and am relieved to report that I no longer drool when confronted by those tangley dreads, but now I am left with a reproachful whisper of guilt that reminds me – nay, haunts me – in my dreams. Jason Momoa? Really? Who am I, The Dust? What kind of monster feeds these veins?

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