Picture Book

Photo by Julia Gorton from "No Wave: Post-Punk.Underground.New York.1976-1980"

When Eric and I were doing photos for the album recently, I thought "God I've been doing this a long time." Like some old actor who trots out a variety of expressions that have worked for him year after year. Only there's a few more lines and wrinkles to compensate for. Still, we had fun acting out little scenarios while our friend Karen snapped away. At least in "band" photos there's someone else to interact with. I always sort of liked doing photo shoots. It's the one time I feel like I can control how I look - in real life my hair is straggly, the acne scars show too much, I'm self-conscious and awkward. I can stare down a camera lens in a way I never can with real live people.

I started getting my picture taken back in college days, by my friend and dormmate Julia Gorton. I hadn't done anything much with my life except for going to art school and knowing how to put on eyeliner and thrift shop clothes and loving music, but I figured in Julia's photos somehow. I got excited when I heard about Thurston Moore and Byron Coley's No Wave book that came out a few weeks ago. I heard there was one of Julia's photos of my brother Michael and I in there and I couldn't wait to see it. This was taken before I started posing as part of the job. Like most everything else at the time, it was all just for the sheer novelty and excitement of doing something, even if that doing something was just sitting around trying to look bored.

I can't wait to get my hands on the actual book. Looking at a few of the photos online was kind of a shock - at the time I was so intimidated by the whole scene, and now I just marvel at how cute and fresh-faced everyone was, while acting tough. Young & odd. I like how we fit in, a little.