Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

Magical talismans.

Yeah, material objects don’t matter, but some of them hold magical powers. TRANSFORMATIVE powers. Sometimes a leather jacket or a particular record album sharpens a moment in time to a brilliant point that cuts you a portal to a new self. Here, my friend Meredith tells us about the objects that did that for her.

Can’t Stop Wearing: Meredith, singer and guitarist in SHOPPERS

I am hopelessly obsessed with my all-time favorite article of clothing: my motorcycle jacket. I found it five years ago at an indoor flea market, the type where people rent 10×10 squares of cement floor and fill them to the ceiling with old crap from their garage to sell on consignment. There weren’t any mirrors around, so I had to decide whether or not to buy it just based on how it felt. One of the back seams is split completely open, most of the zippers are separated from the leather, and the taupe canvas lining has disintegrated into shreds, so when I put things in the front pockets they slowly float around to the back of the jacket (which is weird and disconcerting when my cell phone is on vibrate). I legitimately wear it every single day.

Can’t Stop Wearing: Judy, dancer/student

I am totally obsessed with this tartan schoolgirl skirt that I got at the thrift store around the corner from my house in Bushwick! Even though I was raised Irish Catholic I never got to wear the ridiculous uniforms my other friends in private school got to wear, so this skirt is kind of a nod to my childhood fantasies. When I first bought it, it was much longer, so of course I had to chop it to Cher Horowitz length (anything longer and I would have looked like a nun!). I love it wear it with the vintage Harley Davidson/Elvis tank top, vintage red Justin boots that I got a Metropolis in the East Village, and some cat-eye liner—it makes me feel like a bad girl in a John Waters flick!

Can’t Stop Listening: Janai-Chanelle, customer-service rep

I watched Bye Bye Birdie last year, and I developed the biggest crush on it. Just one viewing and I knew that I had found the love of my cinematic dreams. Like, I full-on swooned over Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke, the songs (especially the opening sequence with Ann-Margret singing the title tune), the hip-swinging, the clothes, the Technicolor film on which it was shot, just EVERYTHING about it!

Bye Bye Birdie takes place in the 1950s in the fictional town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, but it’s still relevant, especially when it comes to teendom. Sure, no one who’s going steady nowadays is getting “pinned,” but teens still go through puberty (uh, last I heard), kiss, break up, gab away on the telephone (or text away on their cells), feel like their parents don’t understand them, and get picked to appear on live TV where their celebrity crush serenades them before attempting to go to first base. (OK, maybe not that last part.) ♦

If you have a clothing item or other object with Special Powers in your life, send a picture of you & it and a description of your relationship to Leeann, and write Can’t Stop in the subject line, OK?


  • eggzonable March 27th, 2012 3:31 PM

    Can’t Stop Reading

  • missblack March 27th, 2012 3:43 PM

    OMG Meredith seems soooo cool so of course I googled her and she lives in Syracuse and I only live two hours from Syracuse WE COULD TOTALLY BE FRIENDS!!!!!!

    But seriously I’m loving this new feature.


    • Leeann March 27th, 2012 4:09 PM

      Meredith is legitimately the coolest! I saw her play a show in my boyfriend’s basement in Rochester (Western NY <3) and have been sort of obsessed ever since. Check the SHOPPERS Tumblr for tour dates:

  • mayaautumn March 27th, 2012 3:54 PM

    this is so good. but I have too many things that I’m obsessed with… I don’t think I could choose just one!!!

  • LBABUNNIES March 27th, 2012 6:00 PM

    OMG that is so weird!I live in Syracuse! I am absolutely loving meredith’s jacket!

    • Leeann March 28th, 2012 1:22 PM

      Western New York pride forever! I’m from Rochester, just moved to NYC but I miss my little hometown on the lake every day.

  • Lily March 27th, 2012 6:00 PM

    I bought a tartan school girl skirt from my local thrift store as well! I am obsessed with it!!

  • KinuKinu March 27th, 2012 6:04 PM

    SO COOL.I think I’m going to send one in :)

  • burn-your-flesh March 27th, 2012 6:50 PM

    I can’t stop listening to EVOL by Sonic Youth. It’s the first album I heard by them and is just so beautiful and I just can’t.

    • Leeann March 28th, 2012 1:05 PM

      YES, I love this record too! I heard “Dirty” first but I didn’t really GET the whole Sonic Youth thing til I heard the majestic EVOL.

  • MissKnowItAll March 27th, 2012 7:04 PM

    the one thing i always have is my sketchbook. It’s hard bound and has a cloth cover. I’ve had it since the beginning of 8th grade and it totally has magic powers. I used this book to try out for art shows and internships and I even got Raphael Nadal’s signature in it when I went to the US open. Yeah, so I’m totally in love with it.

    • Leeann March 28th, 2012 1:20 PM

      Oh, I love this. Send me a pic and a little blurb if you can, I’d love to feature you in the next one!

  • puffytoad March 27th, 2012 8:23 PM

    Haha, I clicked the link to the Shoppers’ music and was listening to it. Then my mom came in the room and said she thought she heard an electric saw!

    • Leeann March 28th, 2012 1:06 PM

      Hehe, I just e-mailed this comment to Meredith and we both agreed it is the BEST COMMENT EVER.

  • caro nation March 27th, 2012 9:03 PM

    I am absolutely mystified by The 400 Blows; I even attempted to cut my hair short to resemble the protagonist (ultimately not a wise decision).

    … and I love my Worry Doll belt. I wear it across my chest and it looks like ammunition.

    Also, for a little IRONY, I love Thomas Frank’s The Conquest Of Cool, which asserts that hip culture revolves around hip consumerism, in that the whole premise of cool is dependent on a person’s possessions, and companies cash in on that. Not spiritiual, just informative.

    • Leeann March 28th, 2012 1:18 PM

      Wow, wearing a worry doll belt like Rambo is the greatest. Emotional ammunition! I love that Thomas Frank book too, I love the way he explains the co-opting of radical ideas and underground culture by corporations, who then use their insidery-ness to sell us stuff.

      I would be thrilled to feature any and all of these in a future edition, please submit if you can!

  • Bren March 27th, 2012 9:07 PM

    The Bye Bye Birdie intro always reminds me of Mad Men, and Peggy mimicking it in her bedroom in fron of her mirror.

    • Leeann March 28th, 2012 1:07 PM

      Me too! I actually haven’t seen the whole film yet, but that CRAZY opening number makes me really, really want to. Can’t. Take. Eyes. Off. Ann Margaret!

  • starcollector March 27th, 2012 9:57 PM

    Seriously, rookie girls are the coolest girls ever. I could probably be best friends with every single one of you. Does that sound creepy? Eh, oh well.

  • queserasera March 27th, 2012 10:42 PM

    this is too awesome! i really love wearing my mother’s green corduroy jacket from the 90′s.

  • Adrienne March 28th, 2012 12:56 AM

    Woah I’m obsessed with that leather jacket! I’m actually in need of one right now. :P

  • yourenotfunny March 28th, 2012 3:57 PM

    meredith is so adorable. i’m not really sure if i want her to be my pet, my wife, or my big sister.