Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ann Powers with Katherine Lanpher / Lolita / Feb. 25, 2005

I want to be Ann Powers when I grow up. She’s Superwoman! Highly respected pop critic, museum curator, mom, best-selling author… and she still takes the time to mentor all us little rock writer girls. We showed up in force for her reading at the Cupcake Series at Lolita, a bar on the Lower East Side, and we learned all about what it was like to write a book with Tori Amos. For example, Tori didn’t want to include the chapter about her public image. And she’s proud to call herself a feminist (which, as Ann pointed out, is quite rare for female musicians to do these days).

Ann also read a short, sweet piece about singing “Edelweiss” to her daughter, as well as a passage from her 2000 memoir/cultural history Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, in which she talked about how progressives have to protect their values from the brewing right-wing conservative storm. Journalist Katherine Lanpher, who I’m familiar with as the co-host of Al Franken’s show on Air America, asked Ann questions about making the switch from writer to curator, being a mom, and how she goes about successfully explaining pop music’s eccentricities to people who aren’t music geeks. She also made some remark implying that all male rock critics are cool hipsters, to which Ann replied, “Have you ever actually met any of them?” (Aww, snap!)

My only complaint: not a cupcake in sight! How dare they call themselves the Cupcake Series and lead me on like that?!