Megan Amram is a genius whichever way you spin it- from her brilliant one-liners on twitter, the beautiful messages within her poetry, her amazing career that’s exploded at such a young age (Parks and Recreation writer/story editor), being named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30″ and Rolling Stone’s “25 Funniest People on Twitter”, or her educational accomplishments (eh hem Harvard University). But aside from being an intellectual heavyweight, the best part about her is that she is one of the most kind, genuine, compassionate, down-to-earth people I have ever known. Total marriage material- the full package! I first met this brainy babe in Miami for the O! Miami Poetry Festival, and I instantly connected with her- maybe because we’re both pale jews with the same favorite movie (A Clockwork Orange) and hot racks?: I wanted to talk to her the entire night and keep her all to myself. So, naturally, she came out with “Science… For Her!” which is a book of science written from the perspective of women’s magazines (see: cheeky gender commentary). She is the best person ever, so go support her and GET IT!
While in New York, I picked up two books to bring back with me on the plane: 1. “Is It My Body?” by my hero and Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon; a series of writings on art and music ranging from neo-Conceptual artworks to broader forms of cultural criticism, contemporary art, architecture, music, and the performance of male and female gender roles. 2. A University Press book entitled “Politics in a Glass Case” (best name ever) that a lovely employee of The Strand found for me: This book discusses what happens to art when feminism grips the curatorial imagination, and how sexual politics become realized as exhibits. I’m so excited to incorporate what I learn with my own curating.
I have not been as inspired by ANYTHING, in years, as I was with the film Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson. ScarJo plays an alien sent on a mission to seduce men in an effort to send their insides somewhere, most likely a portal to her home planet. My favorite films tend to be those leaning toward the surreal- those that are abstract and dream-like, describing an idea or a message without coming outright and saying it; Under the Skin definitely achieves this in a way that is cinematically stunning and unique. It evokes so much, but I really love the study of humanity’s vanity and superficiality, and also what happens when you become vulnerable and let the world penetrate you. SO GOOD.
I think I will love anything Grouper will ever make; even if she made a compilation of recordings of her blowdryer, I’d still probably listen to it on repeat. Grouper’s atmospheric, haunting and ethereal music has been a favorite of mine for years now- it puts my spirit at ease and I can listen to her albums all the way through, over and over. Ruins is no exception. Although quite different than her past albums, with a stronger, heavier use of piano, it’s still in line with her specific voice and creeps in the same way all of her other songs do. It’s like the background music to my soul.