THE FREE PILE
October 10th, 2017
Oh hey! A photograph of mine is featured in the latest issue of The Birds We Piled Loosely!
Found on pages 14 + 15 of issue 12, it's nestled between pause-worthy poems and eccentric images from a host of other artists.
I took the still-life photo while visiting a marketplace in Xi'an, China.
Fun fact: writers within these journals are called Nightingales, while visual artists are referred to as Peacocks.
A browse-able PDF of the issue may be viewed here.
Very grinny and grateful to be a Peacock today!
September 24th, 2017
Did you know that the writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner" owned slaves?
Did you know that Jackie Robinson wrote this line in his autobiography?
"I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a black man in a white world."
I didn't! Thanks to this article, now I do.
These are just two of the billions of reasons that research and education are imperative in understanding others, especially those who have been and are oppressed.
If you're not kneeling today, you're standing on the wrong side of history.
July 17th, 2017
I may currently be in far-off Arizona, but this weekend, a few photos of mine will be appearing in Seattle!
The shop's walls will be lined with pictures of past CHBPs by ten of Seattle's concert photographers, and local musicians will perform each day between 3 and 6pm.
Swing by to shop local, support the performers, and of course, ogle some fantastic images! No CHBP ticket/wristband necessary.
June 11th, 2017
Whoa, yes: I've been asked to write and read three poems at this event in Oakland on June 16th:
May 7th, 2017
I'm going to be in Seattle this week for Paulapalooza, a DIY arts + music fest!
A whole host of artists will be present, showcasing hand-crafted soaps, guitar pedals, board games, and more.
I'll be selling stickers featuring my photographs, as well as a zine of my sketches and poetry.
This primo, punk, premier event kicks off Thursday, May 11th @ Therapy Lounge as part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk.
Swing by and tell me about your life. The festivities run Friday through Sunday too, so come out for a great cause hosted by Sustainable Shred.
A portion of the proceeds go towards Shred Scouts, an upcoming rock camp for kids.
See you punks soon!
April 22nd, 2017
Happy Earth Day!
May you march for science, recycle everything you can, and spend quality time with Mother Nature.
Not just talking about today, neither.
I'm saying every GD day forever and ever, amen.
There are limitless volunteer opportunities with environmental protection agencies all across the world. Consider donating a day of your life to the thing that matters most: the very Earth sustaining us all.
No time to go through an official organization? Go pick up trash on the beach. Buy earth-friendly products.Utilize reusable canvas bags when grocery shopping. Grow veggies in your windowsill this spring. Be childfree! (Just a suggestion, but seriously.)
Whatever you believe in, wherever your loyalties lie, there's no denying that we should care about this wild round thing we're on.
As the saying goes, "There is no Planet B!"
March 1st, 2017
Best news I've read in a while: Nikkita Oliver is running for mayor of Seattle.
I had the honor of photographing Oliver as she hosted and performed at the Seattle Poetry Slam at Rebar a couple years back. This interview with the South Seattle Emerald proves how powerful and passionate she is:
"The question I ask myself is if people are starting to see this system as a problem then why not make a move? And while I openly critique the system, I have to acknowledge that I’ve been afforded privileges that allow me to mitigate immediate harm. As a lawyer with their Master’s degree in education that’s part of my responsibility."
"We will always put people over profit. We will not take any corporate money for this campaign."
"I wholeheartedly believe in impossible transformations. I believe they can be made possible. Do we want to win? Yes. Do we have an important message? Absolutely, we do.
I think it can push the conversation because it’s genuine and real and it’s coming from the people most impacted these last four years by bad policies."
January 29th, 2017
I'm thrilled to share this blog post by Mariângela Carvalho, a stellar friend and colleague of mine. As a DJ, feminist, and bilingual badass, she presents Supernova, a resource for music aficionados and female powerhouses.
She recently featured a few words and photos of mine on Grrrl Germs, the site's blog, regarding January's womxn's marches. I'm humbled and proud at the same time to have my work appear there -- and translated into Portuguese, no less! <3
Check it out to learn about my reservations towards -- but a few brights spots from -- the protests in Oakland and San Francisco, and her thoughts on many other important feminist happenings around the world.
January 22nd, 2017
A couple weeks back, I wrote a poem out of dismay. I'd just learned that Backpage had been shut down, cutting off income sources for many sex workers. Also, a certain magazine had published an article about the upcoming womxn's march -- but used a male gender symbol on the cover. Indignant, a poem called March formed in my mind.
I've just found out that Poets Reading The News posted that poem online yesterday -- the day of marches for human rights worldwide.
I protested this weekend, and will continue to do so, to show solidarity with POC, trans people, WOC, sex workers, disabled people, LGBTQA people, womxn, all marginalized communities. I will continue listening and learning from these voices instead of heralding my own, while also standing up and having their backs if/when they are being attacked. I will work to learn more about my privileges and how harmful they are to others, in order to keep them in check, and work to only use them against the very systems that created them.
Thanks to everyone who's fighting for human rights. Especially those who have been doing this work forever. When it's not televised. When it's extremely dangerous. Before there were hashtags. Before there were Facebook groups. I see you. I hear you. Thank you.
January 16th, 2017
Martin Luther King Jr., letter from a Birmingham jail, 1963:
“First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a 'more convenient season.' Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
For info on honoring MLK Jr's legacy without sanitizing it, particularly as a white ally, check out this astute article.
January 10th, 2017
While living in Seattle, I had the honor of being a volunteer photographer for The Nature Conservancy in Washington.
Today I'm elated to learn that I was recently given a little shout-out in a blog post highlighting this volunteer program.
For my fellow nature photographers out there seeking volunteer opportunities, I highly recommend this organization. You can donate your time and skills to a variety of projects of your choosing, and you'll learn a ton along the way.
Last week I reached out about getting involved with TNC offices here in California, and I'm pumped to start shooting their environmentalist efforts again!
October 31st, 2016
Come back from the dead this week by caffeinating yourself at Let it Bean!!
If you're in Seattle, swing over to Broadway + East Harrison Street for strong coffee, Beatles vibes, and the perfect outdoor seating area to rest your rotting bones. It will make you want to live again.
Check out my chat with owner Candance Smith over on The Capitol Hill Times now!
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
As of this Saturday, October 1st, I'll be back in Seattle for a bit after my summer hiatus in Minnesota.
That night, by the grace of all music goddesses, Webdriver Torso will be performing in the Timbre Room! Can't think of a better way to celebrate my temporary return than with the soul-scratching, brain-scathing sounds of one of my favorite local acts.
This event is being presented by Audioasis on KEXP, NBD, and also features youryoungbody (*both ears swoon simultaneously*), so you know it's gonna be good.
If you're in the PNW that eve, I hope to see you there!
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
I must say, the new music that's been released this month has been fittingly hot.
Frank Ocean, Ingrid Michelson, Kishi Bashi, The Dumps ... yowza. Yes.
As if those fresh tracks weren't enough, over the course of the past four weeks, I built a Spotify playlist perfect for a two-hour drive. That's how long it takes me to reach my BFF's place, so it's been an important transportation tool for me.
Since I can't send every single one of you a mix tape all at once, I hope that sharing my playlist here will do the trick.
If this was in physical form, it'd have "The Dog Days of Summer" scrawled on Side A's sticker. Definitely with a couple little hearts thrown on there, too.
Side B? "Forget About Fall", surrounded by little ink stars.
Select the snippet to the right or click here to see the complete set. I hope it throws some extra purple into your late-summer sunsets, escalates each kiss, and smells like the happy kind of future nostalgia.
Thursday, August 19th, 2016
Happy World Photo Day, all!! From filling up my first disposable camera in fifth grade, to receiving my first paycheck for my freelance photojournalism work, to taking pictures of black-capped chickadees just this morning ... I am thrilled to say photography has graced and guided just about my entire existence.
Cheers to all who admire, snap, and share photos across the globe. I love being alive during the existence -- and continuing rise -- of this powerful art form.
Sunday, July 31st, 2016
While I have been having a ball visiting Minnesota this summer, much of my heart is still beating back in Seattle. Terrifyingly, this season has seen a dramatic rise in druggings and sexual assaults across the city.
If you have any information regarding this dangerous issue, please consider speaking out via the contact info below.
Hopefully this will help stymie the onslaught, or even pinpoint some of the crud-people causing it.
Friday, June 3rd, 2016
Three Seattle high schoolers -- Alex White, Greta Zorn and Taya Christianson -- recently turned a class assignment into an activist project. Dubbed Uterish, the organization is selling shirts and other merch with feminist messages in order to earn funds for Planned Parenthood, and raise awareness of social justice issues.
Check out my email interview with the feminist trio over on the Capitol Hill Times.
Friday, May 28th, 2016
Finally picked up my copy of Clock Tower #9, a zine created by Spin Cycle manager and music aficionado Danny Noonan for Record Store Day.
He asked contributors the question, "What is the last record you would sell?"
Happy to have gotten to gush about The Beatles (as usual) and appear among such great company -- a whole cluster of local tune writers and reviewers and bloggers and makers. Thanks, Danny!
Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
On April 30th, The Nature Conservancy hosted an event called Wildflower Day at the Beezley Hills Nature Preserve in central Washington.
As a volunteer photographer for the organization, I got to travel out and stay at their field house there -- a gorgeous lodge surrounded by chatty frogs at night and busy birds in the morning.
The Nature Conservancy workers taught us wildflower names, details of their pygmy rabbit preservation plan, and the history of the land. It was a trip filled with environmentally-minded people and facetime with little sagebrush lifeforms. I loved every minute of it.
A handful of my many shots from the event are up on TNC's blog now. Check 'em out here!
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
All hail Miss Major Griffin-Gracy: activist, trans woman, community leader, hilarious badass. A temple of wisdom and warmth.
She's been fighting for the rights of transgender people since being present at the Stonewall Riots (!!) and a moving documentary about her life has recently been made.
MAJOR! will be shown at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian this Thursday, the opening night of Translations 2016: Seattle Transgender Film Festival.
The fest aims to celebrate the important histories of transgender communities, increasing positive representations of real transgender people.
They'll be in attendance at the screening Thursday night as well -- hope to see you there!
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
A memorial for Jon “Gash” Sanders, beloved member of the Seattle music and arts community, will be held at Neumos on Sunday, April 17.
Having worked as a security guard at Neumos and other Capitol Hill venues over the past several years, Sanders’ connections throughout Seattle run deep. His recent passing at 34 has both shook the community, as well as shown how strong it is.
For details on the show, as well as a few memories shared by three of Sanders' friends, check out my article on the Capitol Hill Times.
Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
No matter how much Seattle changes, the LoveCityLove crew is determined to live up to the organization’s name. Due to building closures and new developments, the nonprofit art collective and activist community has resided in four different spaces around the city in the past two years alone.
Rather than viewing gentrification as a threat, LoveCityLove has embraced the idea of being a moving project, incorporating its transitions into a form of performance art.
I recently met with LoveCityLove community outreach director Julian Genette, creative director Jessa Carter, and creative contributor Avi Loud about the collective's latest location at 1402 East Pike Street. Check out the article and photos published via the Capitol Hill Times today.
Sunday, March 20th, 2016
Bernie Sanders made a surprise outdoor appearance and speech at the KeyArena in Seattle 3/20/16. The first day of spring, before him were 5,000+ supporters, warm sprinkles of rain, and erupting cherry blossom trees.
I'd attended to cheer on the rally, but didn't think I'd actually get to see him because the building was going to be maxed out. Needless to say, my camera and I were thrilled when he came outside unexpectedly and delivered one of the most inspirational messages I've ever heard.
Afterwards, he headed inside to speak again to 10,000+ more people. As far as I've seen, heard, and read about the event, no violence broke out. There was only peace and an air of positivity.
If you live in the PNW and didn't have a chance to see him last weekend -- or if you did and want to hear him again -- head to SafeCo Field this Friday!
Bern baby Bern!
Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Have you experienced the heavenly vibes of Studio Paradiso yet? The art school, gallery, and event space is reminiscent of the studios of classical European painters -- a cove of swirling inspiration. So go figure they were recently slapped with an exorbitant fee for brightening up the building with a playful mural by Seattle-based artists They Drift.
Paradiso is currently collecting moolah via GoFundMe to help cover the charges, lest they lose their lease at the end of the month.
Check out my article with owner Wyatt Landis and assistant artistic director Victoria Aristeo for The Capitol Hill Times. Then scope 'em out, join a class, volunteer to model, and/or donate donate donate, if you're so moved.
This is a true gem right at home on the Hill. Let's keep it alive!
Thursday, February 4th, 2016
Seattleites: Celebrate Black History Month by checking out the Emerald City's newest art space: Re:definition Gallery within the Paramount Theatre!
Up through May 31st of this year, the opening exhibit is curated by Jonathan Moore, owner of 2312 Gallery in Belltown, and Tariqa Waters, owner of Martyr Sauce in Pioneer Square.
Both of these visionaries continuously influence multiple cultural spheres here, and wisely selected the talented Aramis Hamer and Ari Glass as Re:definition's inaugural artists.
The gallery's launch party took place Friday, January 29th, and featured Hamer and Glass speaking about their artistic inspirations and influences. Waters, Moore, and Seattle Theatre Group's Vivian Phillips also opened up about the space's origins and importance.
"Tangerine Dream" of Ty Segall & The Muggers
Friday, January 22nd, 2016
The landmark case of Roe v. Wade, which ruled abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, turned 43 today!
To celebrate, Planned Parenthood and #ShoutYourAbortion hosted soul-stirring events all across the country, in which women shared their personal abortion stories -- all without shame nor stigma. The Seattle Reproductive Justice Coalition also organized a rally to protest the Catholic church's involvement in trying to abolish women's reproductive healthcare rights.
I find it highly symbolic that Seattle's gathering sold out Town Hall. Thank you to everyone who made this happen, to everyone who takes action for intersectional feminism, and to everyone who came before us to fight for the truth: These are our bodies, and these are our rights.
Thursday, January 21st, 2016
Swear to god, there's nothing more romantic than making someone a mixtape. So how cool is it that the local music scene of Seattle has made one for you?? Pretty damn cool, especially considering that its sales benefit the Seattle Children's Hospital.
--> Album cover art credit: Terence Bonsey
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
I was recently asked about my favorite TV shows of 2015 by the neon-level-of-awesome blog Nada Mucho. Naturally I listed Jessica Jones at the top of the list, and got to write a lil snippet about its feminist importance.
Wednesday, December 23th, 2015
Seattle cat lovers are being called to unite in a common cause with an uncommon twist: NEKO, a cafe where cats can roam free, is currently seeking funding to open on Capitol Hill.
NEKO founder Caitlin Unsell recently chatted with me about her vision for the merry, meowy cafe. Read all about it over on the Capitol Hill Times, then donate to its funding to help make the awesomeness happen!
Saturday, December 19th, 2015
Tomorrow, tomorrow! Swing into Chop Suey for ArtAche, a fantastic, free, and art-filled exhibit.
Artists from all up and down the West Coast will be showing their stuff, while singer Briana Marela, DJ Explorateur, and DJ One Eye bring euphoria to your ears.
A galaxy-sized GRACIAS to art advocate Marz for chatting with me about this unique event. Check out the interview via The Capitol Hill Times, on stands and online right meow!
Marz, a local art advocate, loves bringing the community together through ArtAche.
Photo credit: Valerie Calano
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
In the words of Davie Bowie, "Freak out! Far out!"
Next weekend, FunkFarm presents the third annual Psychedelic Holiday Freakout, with three nights of shows at three Capitol Hill venues.
A big fat THANK YOU to creator and organizer Guy Keltner for talking with me about its trajectory, art installations, and effect on the local music community. Check out the article in the Capitol Hill Times today.
See you December 18th, 19th, and 20th, fellow freaks!
An installation by architect Darrick Leong within the Eagles Club at the 2014 Psychedelic Holiday Freakout
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
This and next Saturday, the Redwood Tavern is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in style. Created and organized by Seattle's
own Way & Co., concerts will be held on the 21st and 28th, each with a stacked lineup of local bands.
Redwood co-owner Mat Brooke and I recently spoke about these upcoming events, as well as the bar's impending closure and his future plans. Check out our chat over on The Capitol Hill Times.
Sunday, November 14th, 2015
The youth of Seattle are amazing. Yesterday a group of teens wrapped up a hip hop workshop at the EMP Museum, showcasing live and recorded performances of their beatboxing, rapping, singing, and instrumentation. The creativity, humor, talent, resilience, and connection in the room was out of this world. I was there as a volunteer photographer to try to capture some of the magic. (The below iPhone photo doesn't count.)
At the end, Microsoft reps plus Macklemore and Ryan Lewis all showed up to distribute a compilation CD featuring the students' work -- creating the first time each teen had ever seen their name on an album! They then received free tablets hooked up with audio engineering software and we all ate pizza together. What a day.
These kids are mega beautiful across the board: sweet, snarky, sharp, on fire with music in their veins and the ability to turn their experiences into art. I can't wait to follow their already-forming careers and enjoy what they produce in the months and years to come.
I'm also grateful there are organizations and adults who'll give their time and resources to the youth as well. If you have a young'un in your life, find a way to invest in their talents today.
Thursday, November 5th, 2015
Many many thanks to Shaina Carter and Courtney Sheehan for chatting with me about the upcoming closure of Capitol Hill's Value Village and its importance to the community over the past 19 years.
Check out the article and photos of the beloved store over on The Capitol Hill Times today, then hit the goodbye party to toast to it and the employees this Saturday night at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar.
Thursday, October 20th, 2015
I am beyond thrilled to announce that three poems of mine have been featured in this week's issue of Stackedd Magazine -- especially as the series is accompanied by the feminist paintings of Parisian artist Miss Van!
Our artwork appears in the SEXXXEDD section of the publication ... just a heads-up to those at work, or those who maaaay not want to read about my excursions. Can't say I didn't warn you!
Monday, October 19th, 2015
Tonight at 7pm I’ll be attending a community meeting in Ballard regarding the encampment site that’s being set up a few blocks away from my place for local homeless people in need.
Is this development a perfect solution? Course not. But it’s a start, and I do feel every human has a responsibility to help others however they can. Grateful that the city is attempting to create a safe space for those willing to use it.
Whichever way you go on this issue, check out the latest words on it by Seattlish, one of my favorite blogs.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Tonight!! NadaMucho.com kicks off their five-day #41for2015 Fest at Substation in Fremont.
Come catch a heap of local bands that're phoenixing right now at an underground venue whose doors opened earlier this year. Dig the details (plus a link to the best Billy Ocean video ever) via my preview post over on The Drainage!
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Another reason to celebrate Autumn: the third season of Gay City Arts is starting up!
Since 1995, Gay City Health Project has promoted wellness in LGBTQ communities in Seattle and beyond. As 2015 marks its 20th anniversary, it continues to be one of the strongest sources of health services, networking tools and artistic showcases in Washington.
Through a diverse array of disciplines, including spoken word, visual arts and music, Gay City Arts puts queer art projects in front of ever-widening audiences at the Calamus Auditorium.
Check out what Gay City Arts will be bringing to the stage over the next few months through my recent article for the Capitol Hill Times!
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
In this article, she describes Flying Lotus and The Melvins, while I wrote about and took photos of Bread & Butter, Peaches, and Built To Spill. Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!
Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Gracias to the great Sunita Martini and Jim Toohey for the accompanying photos within!
Thursday, July 31st, 2015
Zoom over here for a coupla quick words on this year's The Capitol Hill Block Party for the Capitol Hill Times, as well as a photo of Shannon Perry of Gazebos crooning, and a dude walking into stage lights in a way I still can't comprehend my camera capturing. Cheers!
Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Do something different for Pride this weekend! There are inspiring experiences to be had outside your favorite drinking hole. Naming them all is impossible, but I selected a couple cool options happening Friday-Sunday for The Capitol Hill Times' mini Pride Guide.
Catch a new policy announcement by Mayor Ed Murray during a Trans celebration, march in remembrance of the Stonewall riots, get tested for free, sing along with a queer youth choir, and much much (oh my stars, so much) more.
WE ARE LIVING IN AN INCREDIBLE TIME. There are rainbow-striped crosswalks on Capitol Hill to symbolize it being a QUILTBAG community, for crying out loud! Let's celebrate and increase visibility and be allies and express ourselves and dance and honor everyone who never had or will have the chance to be out and proud.
Love yourself, love others. Happy Pride, all!!
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Upon first learning about this chance, I was as "Huh?" about it as you probably are, but it was a fun, sugar-filled challenge I'm thrilled to have accepted.
Cheers, and hope to see you there next year!
Victoria Holt using her amazing skills in an amazing place: The Gorge Ampitheatre in George, WA
Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Getting to chat with my personally-favorite artists is always "OK, party, bonus!!" and my recent interview with concert photographer Victoria Holt was no exception. This woman is on her grind and perfectly captures out-of-this-world shows on the regular.
Check out my recent chat with her for the Capitol Hill Times!
Friday, May 8th, 2015
Tired of hearing people complain about Seattle and its changing skyline? Check out the upbeat outlook of Jonathan Atkins, lead singer and songwriter of Moon Dial. He and I chatted this week about his music, dramatic move to the Emerald City, and love for its communities for the Capitol Hill Times.
The indie jazz-rock trio will be playing this year's Capitol Hill Block Party, and Atkins' appreciative attitude is a great palette cleanser for sore ears.
Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
Smokey Brights are bringing their broody tunes to two of my favorite fests this year, The Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot!
I recently had the honor of interviewing them for the the Capitol Hill Times -- check it out to learn about their views of Seattle's changing scenes and how the PNW "champions the weird."
Monday, May 4th, 2015
If you're looking for a superheroine, give Mary Lambert a listen. This bipolar, gay woman -- who has overcome abuse, body image issues, and drug and alcohol problems -- is the real deal.
She recently performed and was interviewed by DJ Marco Collins at the EMP Museum for the Recording Academy's Pacific Northwest Songwriter's Summit, and yowza. Powerful stuff.
Check out my write-up and photos of the keynote presentation over on Nada Mucho!
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
+ Pop Conference
+ "Get Ur Freak On" theme
+ Chastity Belt
+ S (jenn ghetto)
my camera's dream come true
My photos of this radical event for the EMP are now up on its Flickr page!
I also had the honor of photographing the Pop Conference's opening keynote panel, and learned a ton about poptimism in the process. The intersections of freakiness, fashion, politics, and musical criticism never fail to fascinate me. Looking forward to what next year's EMP Pop Con theme may be!
Monday, April 27th, 2015
Yea, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil: for The Funhouse art with ye; its rod and its staff shall comfort ye.
[Behold, the venue reopened like god's forgiving fist, and lo, there was much rejoicing.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
Happy Earth Day!! May we all find time to walk, bike, sit out in nature, and recycle today (just like every day)!
Super flattered to share the below photo of me capturing the EMP Pop Concert with fellow photographer and friend Mitch Barchi -- caught on camera by Victoria Holt, another great photographer and friend! Check out more of her work here -- she's one of the best in all the land! (Plus her Wayne's World quoting skills are on par with mine, which is rarer than rare and freaking out of this world.)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015
Facts about last night:
1. While walking to the EMP, a truck drove past and someone inside yelled "Slut!" at me.
2. At the EMP, as I snapped photos from a new spot I was trying out, I heard someone behind me and to my right start talking loudly with an anger-tinged laugh in his voice. Glancing in that direction reflexively, I realized the guy was making fun of me to his friend. He was chuckling menacingly, purposely in my direction,"Oh that type of girl ... no, I'm not even gonna try to say hi to her ... not worth it ...." I couldn't hear it all, but he wanted me to. He was reveling in making fun of me literally behind my back to someone who was cackling. I caught them grin-glaring at me multiple times (and no I wasn't in their way at all).
3. The four bands playing performed songs about lesbians having sex, being left, feeling like a loser, identifying as a "cool slut", bleeding from your vagina, experiencing street harassment, and more. [Thank you CHILDBIRTH, S, Chastity Belt, and Tacocat!]
4. This made me think about how a guy I know messaged me this past week, unsolicited, to tell me I should shave my armpits because not doing so is "not a good look." [Recently I've been experimenting with *not*. For some context -- I've been shaving my legs since I was in third grade. I was eight. Years before puberty even hit. I'm 29 now.]
5. Hours later, I hung out with a group of my friends that included two male feminists. They were all affirming and brilliant and fun, as always.
6. While walking home from Capitol Hill together, a friend and I reached an intersection and were waiting for the walk signal when a car zoomed around the corner, grazing the curb, cutting a half-circle around us. "Sluts!" someone inside yelled at us.
7. We went a few more blocks and I noticed a man staring at us as he walked up to his car on the opposite side of the street. Just openly gaping at us threateningly. The second we passed him ever-so-slightly -- looking straight ahead into the city, with him out of our eyesight -- he made a "kissy" lip-shrieking sound at us as loud as he could.
8. THIS IS A NORMAL NIGHT FOR MANY HUMANS. Not even that "bad" compared to most cases. Others have it worse and experience more dangerous situations every single day.
9. In an ideal world, I am a pacifist. I believe in art and education. But I know I carry a switchblade and wear steel-toed boots for a reason.
10. Facts #3, #5, and #9 are the ones I will carry with me into all the evenings ahead.
Friday, April 17, 2015
The theme of the 2015 EMP Conference is “Get Ur Freak On: Music, Weirdness, and Transgression". One of those events I feel my entire life has led up to. I wish I could lean over to my 13-year-old self in the middle of class and whisper the details about it into my ear.
During its celebratory concert tonight, I'll be photographing musical artist S for the first time, whose songs are like rocks in my slingshot as I strut up to Goliath. And of course I have tons of love for Chastity Belt, Childbirth, and Tacocat! My lenses are dancing already.
As I've mentioned earlier, this week contains the four-year anniversary of my move to Seattle. So I'll be going to a music museum where there are panels that celebrate being "weird", and a stage where strong women (and at least one man!) will perform tunes about topics that are ultra-important to me. And on top of it all, I've been given the honor of contributing my own art to the production -- capturing as much of it as I can with my camera for the EMP itself. Excuse me for a moment, I think I'm disintegrating into hundreds of miniature hummingbirds and phoenixes and tulips.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me make this life happen. Here's to the freaks and losers and outcasts and nasto disastos amongst us. All the love.
Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Are you going? Expect quirky and controversial topics discussed by some of the best minds in the music industry. Yowza!!
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
by Jessica Murray
Do not touch someone's hair without their permission. Don't "other" them in the first place by asking to do so, by making a big deal about it, by looking all shocked that yes indeed, human hair grows in a wide variety of textures. It reinforces that you think your hair is "normal" and other people's bodies are just on display for your judgment and entertainment.
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
quick, glue quarters to the floor, shave your head, tell someone you love them, buy some vinyl, paint a picture of your love, carry a couch cushion around, pop some pills, designate your own celebrity nickname, bust out your combat boots, chuck an M&M at a friend, make out in a listening booth, throw yourself at a musician, shoplift a whitney houston CD, dance with a feather duster, make brownies, wear only an orange apron, go gambling with a force much greater than luck as your guide, freak out to gwar, quit your job, and host the best most spontaneous party concert of the spring on a rooftop!!!
Monday, April 6th, 2015
how can something be both heartbreaking AND the cure for a broken heart??
Sunday, April 5th, 2015
Forget about some zombie that today celebrates; THIS is the real resurrection of the ages!
Funhouse Seattle is back and the lineup of this first show is so good I could barf. The Witches Titties, Fabulous Downey Brothers, The Dumps and Wølfhämmer 3 are as wackadoo as the place's resident clown face. Plus, Brian Foss' beard shavings are sure to get thrown on the crowd, and I feel like that's gonna give people weird superpowers or something. This is a creepy science lab experiment gone horribly right.
I'll be there photographing it with my eyes drooling and my mouth in the shape of a heart. See you there, my favorites!
Friday, April 3rd, 2015
March 20th's MAGMAFEST show at The Cockpit remains one of my favorite events of this year so far. I wrote words about it for Nada Mucho, and the talented tastemaker Sydney Root captured it gorgeously with her camera.
An ocean of thanks to Hollow Earth Radio, Adam Way, Kevin Blanquies, Religious Girls, Gazebos, Great Spiders, and bod for this most memorable of musical nights.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
alright creepers, here's tonight's menu:
The Intelligence, Mudhoney, and The Sonics at the Moore Theatre
--absolutely legendary PNW lineup. rock til you drop.
Red Ribbon at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar
--entrancing sounds, enchanting lights, enthralling art. you'll be enamored.
Timber Outdoor Music Festival launch party at Chop Suey
--find out who's feeding your ears this july 16th-18th
Cold Guns, Gold Fronts, and Killer Ghost at Cha Cha Seattle
--a total homied out love-in so great your grandparents are jealous
some way, somehow, i am visiting all of these music things.
besides the Sonics show, each event is FREE!
see you soon, ya big baboons!
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
this is the perfect day to confess your feelings to your longtime crush!
because, you know, if you're rejected ....*april fools!* .... the joke's on them, and they'll just think your tears are of laughter.
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
The Capitol Hill Block Party lineup has been announced! Check it out over on The Drainage right meow!
Monday, March 30th, 2015
until i was 11, my family lived in a town in north central minnesota with a population of only a few dozen people. our home was surrounded by a thin layer of woods, with neighbors' houses and multiple lakes nearby.
once when i was really little my family's indoor/outdoor cats both gave birth within 24 hours of one another, meaning in one day we went from having two cats to eleven cats. to keep things fair, my three siblings and i each got to claim two kittens from the litters, with the leftover one being shared amongst us or something. i named one of mine "sticky" and the other "funny".
the time period before the bunch were individually given away, hit by a motorcycle, eaten by wild dogs, frozen in the night, or killed by a porcupine forever remains one of the best of my entire life.
RIP sticky and funny.
[perma-thanks to the prolific and peerless Casey Doherty for his illustration based on this brief, true tale!]
Monday, March 30th, 2015
One of my favorite fellow Minnesotans, Mitch Hedberg, died ten years ago today, so I'm YouTubing and Google Imaging the hell out of him tonight. I was introduced to his videos years and years ago, around the same time the internet itself was becoming a staple in my young life, and his sense of humor has permanently influenced mine.
Here are a few of my favorite lines out of the hundreds I love:
"I think Bigfoot is blurry; that's the problem."
"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."
May we all engage in extra puns and wordplay today in Mitch's honor.
Friday, March 27th, 2015
You know I love Acapulco Lips. And you know I love SASQUATCH! Music Festival. So you also know that, to me, it was the best of both worlds colliding like a universal high-five when the band asked me to write their bio for the music festival's website.
To learn more about the trio -- such as what crime they'd commit if they could get away with anything for one night -- check out my 2014 interview with them over on The Drainage. I am boundlessly happy for this group and can't wait to see them rock The Gorge in May!
Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Tonight! Kick off your Emerald City Comicon adventures with a true indie comic pARTy! The second annual I Heart Comic Art benefit takes place at Velocity Dance Center, and word has it there will be nerdy nail wraps and even a glitter station this year?!
The Ladykiller herself, host Danielle Davis, gave me the scoop on this unique event for The Capitol Hill Times -- check it out online and on newsstands today. [And pick up your tickets quick; last year it was so maxed out the fire department showed up.]
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
This evening I attended a monthly Happy Hour held by the Seattle Office of Film + Music at Spitfire in my (current-but-might-be-financially-forced-out-of) hood, Belltown. Many thanks to Jodi Ecklund, Jonathan Zwickel, Erik Blood, and Christen Greene for taking on the humongous task of talking about Seattle's music scene -- with only one hour allotted.
Friday, March 20th, 2015
Crawl yer way to the Cockpit for a MAGMAFEST event for the ages. Religious Girls, Great Spiders, Gazebos, and bod are gonna dazzle your eardrums, while Kevin Blanquies spins a hypnotic lightshow, Victoria Holt snaps your mugshot at the photo booth, and Adam Way celebrates his birthday with us all.
It’s a benefit for Hollow Earth Radio, so you can feel extra good about the mere $8 you’re laying down. Stay round and get down!
Friday, March 20th, 2015
walking home from work right now i was about to cross the street at 4th & Virginia when a motorcycle cop cruised into the middle of the intersection and parked, lights and sirens blaring. making sure all cars and the dozens of people around were stalled, he waved through three other motocops -- followed by a huge fancy bus decked out in a Seahawks design. didn't even think about it, i just instantly started yelping and cheering along with everyone around me and all the cars honking their horns joyously.
ha, i don't even know if that was their official bus or if anyone was inside, but sheesh did it make me excited for this upcoming season.
Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Gargantuan THANK YOU to Jodi Ecklund, Brianna Rettig, Erin Carnes, and Brian Houck for taking the time to chat with me about the rebirth of Chop Suey! Their passion for such a scrutinized and community-essential project is proving that the venue and its venerable bills are in very good hands.
Scope out The Capitol Hill Times this week to read my brief recap of Chop’s soft and grand openings, as well as my Q&A with the music lovers at its helm. Cheers!
Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Happy to share that I recently had the honor of working for the music blog NadaMucho.com for the first time. The site is an online cornerstone of the Seattle scene, having started way back in 1997 – that’s pre-Napster, even! When life was still in all black and white!
Last week, an organization called Gigs4u celebrated the launch of its new website with a mini music fest in Georgetown. The company works to pair local musicians with performance opportunities where they’ll actually make solid money (imagine that!). I can get behind just about anything that seeks to burgeon the careers of PNW artists, so I hit the event with writer Gemma Alexander to take it all in. Check out her words and my photos from the night, up on Nada Mucho now!
Monday, March 16th, 2015
sometimes when i listen to live versions of songs and they're really powerful and the audience is just freaking its entire face off i actually *tear up*. this is utterly ridiculous in every way but it's like i can feel their excitement in my very veins and picture all the glowing faces and i get so thoroughly overwhelmed with bliss FOR THEM that i turn into a vibrating little teary-eyed audience member myself despite the fact that i'm at work on a wednesday morning and the song's just meandering through my headphones. nuts i know, but i love it.
case in point: what i'm assuming is one of weezer's first times playing "pink triangle" to a crowd. acoustic no less. such wow, much ooh.
Thursday, March 14th, 2015
Zillions of thanks to the utterly prime Cozell Wilson for allowing me to interview him about his wide array of artistic talents!
[Did you know he's designing board games?! Dude is totally designing board games.]
Check out our chat for The Capitol Hill Times, online and on stands across the Hill this week.
Saturday, March 7th, 2015
saturday night in early march. rolling relatively hard but gotta keep my cool. scoping out a historical concert venue for the first time. meeting a certain man after. i button my teal peacoat all the way up and shake the hair out of my face. no use; the breeze puts it right back. smoke a single menthol cigarette with my stomach zigzagging beneath the streetlights. all sorts of dressed-up blank-faced black-jacketed slump-shouldered strangers weaving around me. i lean against the cathedral on 2nd, out of the way i hope, enough in the crucifix's shadow to melt out of sight for a minute. catch my breath though i've barely been moving. the cold hits. i glance at the theatre marquee half a block away. sliding back in, the same doorman as before re-scans my ticket, stares at my mooning pupils. i float through the crowd uncontrollably, as if my feet don't exist. water fountain. top balcony. songs with titles like "do we? we do." eventually i dance down front, convincing myself i'm invisible as my afterparty partner plays onstage, black locks flying. once the audience clears out i tractor-beam towards the exit, hands in pockets, hair over one eye. "waiting for a band member?" doorman asks and i nod with a grin, my mouth too big for my head, my head detached from my body. the rendezvous won't be for a while and i can't last half a minute in one place. "i need a drink," i bob and slink out, doorman chuckling, not knowing my veins are comets. 'remember you're a spy,' i whisper to myself clicking down the sidewalk in tall black boots. 'remember what you run.' stride into the Nitelite like i'm starting a fistfight. bar counter. tiny shiny water puddles. "cash only" sign. "i'll be back," i tell the bouncer and he juts out his jaw, an affirmation. fifteen minutes later there's a twenty in my pocket and that burn in my throat for a whiskey coke. back beneath the neon lights inside, the bouncer waves me down, saddles up to the bar. "someone was looking for you," he says. i look down, look around. "white guy, tall." i'm about to agree when he smirks, "shaved head." my cheeks freeze. that's not my date. "did he know my name?" i ask, fingers brushing back my bangs. "i don't know," he confides, raising his eyebrows. "he just said he was looking for the woman in white glasses."
Friday, March 6th, 2015
Woke up today feeling like one little lonely empty Snack Pack cup.
Sugared back up by listening to this Prom Queen song on repeat through my headphones in the sunshine. The entire film is fantastico, but this particular song gets me every time.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Big thanks to one of my favorite illustrators, Matthew G. Lewis, for speaking with me about his journey from Southern Baptist Alabamian to agnostic, Seattle-based artist. His dark images evoke childhood religious nightmares, auras of creatures equally grotesque and gorgeous, and the most twisted of love.
Check out my interview with him for The Capitol Hill Times, online and on newsstands across the Hill today.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
This article has me beaming. Lee Kindel and Nancy Gambin have permanently changed my life for the better, as they are the owners of City Hostel Seattle -- the amazing art hostel in Belltown that inspired me to move to the Emerald City. Now they've opened a neighborhood pizza and beer joint in Fremont right below Hotel Hotel, CHS' gorgeous sister hostel. Five bucks get you a slice and a brew -- just five bucks!
But even better than that, if you visit there, you may meet the dynamos Lee and Nancy themselves, two of the most generous, gregarious entrepreneurs I've ever met. Check it out to support a business that's helping build a community both global and local.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Congratulations to Athima Chansanchai for the release of her entertaining and invaluable book, 100 Things to Do in Seattle Before You Die! I am unspeakably honored that a photograph I took of the astounding Astra Elane performing at LoFi Seattle is featured within it. Thank you times infinity to Athima, Astra, and Chris Estey for it all! Viva la Seattle!
Friday, October 31st, 2014
Josie and the Pussycats: long tails, and ears for hats!
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
I love Randy Marsh, admire Kyle and Stan, and consider myself the lovechild of Cartman and Butters .... but tonight, Laura Tucker is my favorite character on South Park. In "The Magic Bush", she deals with sexist views of women's body hair so righteously, I found myself fist-pumping almost every time she was on the screen. Frustratingly, she was ignored and cut off over and over, so here's hoping we get to see and hear much more from her in the future.
This particular episode also touches on drones, Ferguson, and leaked nude photos of celebrities. Holy cow, you should watch this.
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Pssst.... Wanna make my birthday complete? Come celebrate it with me at this Electric Delta, Indigenous Robot, and Wooky show on October 18th!! Rad jams in a sick space with so many awesome people my hands are gonna hurt from high-fiving everyone. See you there, squares!
Monday, October 6th, 2014
"What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don't be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I've had four careers and three husbands."
Saturday, October 64h, 2014
Getting some cosplay inspiration for GeekGirlCon this weekend by watching "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" Oh my lord, around the 4:30 mark, Rockapella does a parody of "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" all about the Mall of America, which is located in my home state of Minnesota. Also, PUNS! Puns everywhere in this episode! Television does not get better than this!!
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
by Neha Prakash
My birth month started off with a few of my favorite fall things: crisp air, orange leaves all around, clear skies.
But then, my morning newsfeed provided a brutal reminder that even some of the smartest minds on earth are sexist.
You think my biggest and most serious goals involve tea, jeans, and vacuums? Nah, I'd like to see all women enjoy equal pay, access to birth control, and the abolishment of rape culture!
Sunday, September 28th, 2014
This music video feels like life lately. So grateful for this crazy-fun weekend with awesome friends and hilarious colleagues, I'm doing every kind of dance ever.
"TV news and cameras, there's choppers in the sky
Marines, police, reporters ask where, for and why
Pele yells, 'We're outta here,' Zina says, 'Right on'
We're making moves and starting grooves
Before they knew we were gone."
Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Happy fall, all!
Autumn lovers out there, celebrate with the below video. It's one of the best things I've ever seen in my life. South Park forever.
Sunday, September 21st, 2014
One evening back in March, I was relaxing at my apartment with a breeze blowing in through the open windows. Suddenly I heard some tunes being carried in by the wind as well, and was so entranced by them I found myself dashing across the street to The Crocodile and discovering Cabana. I've seen this awesome four-piece several times since then, and it's always a dreamy trip.
Check out my interview with them over on The Drainage, then mark your calendars: Their debut LP's release party is set for October 24th at the Sunset Tavern, and the next day they're performing live on KEXP. [Visit the event page to remind yoself: Cabana LIVE on KEXP!] Happy listening, all!
Saturday, September 20th, 2014
by Ian Shapira
The football fans in this story honestly make me want to barf. One woman cries and complains because she felt trapped into having to talk to American Indians about her support of the racist term "Redskins". Later on she tried to call the police to make them tear up her contract with the Daily Show. Riiiiight. You feel oppressed in this minute situation that you actually signed up for, honey? Oh, the sick irony!
Dear people in power over this debacle, just change the team's name and logo! For once, do right by others. You can go about living your little privileged life and thinking your disgustingly ignorant thoughts. No one is oppressing you. Just change the name and logo!
Friday, September 19th, 2014
by Dave Segal
Yesss! This is exciting. Congrats to Hollow Earth Radio and the Seattle music scene at large, which will surely benefit from this.
In related news, everyone should hit the Wimps / Acapulco Lips / Big Crux show there tomorrow night! A friend of mine is turning "Flirty Thirty", and the Hamm's are gonna be flowing like wine.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014
by Kelton Sears
Before this article, I never knew that some Italian people celebrate Columbus Day because of their Italian heritage, rather than for the actual man's voyage. Really interesting read. I am still all for changing the holiday's name to Indigenous Peoples' Day. Perhaps a new national holiday for Italian people should be created that doesn't have a name honoring a colonialist.
Sunday, September 15th, 2014
Such a dreamy, nature-graced, adventure-filled weekend, I feel like I'm 15 as I headbang through the city to this song on repeat:
Monday, September 8th, 2014
by Rebecca Rose
Best thing I've read on the internet in a minute. Growing up, the word "period" was never spoken in my house, and shame surrounded it. It was similar at school -- periods were thought far grosser (and talked about much, much less) than boners and boogers. Such misogyny starts young! I love that conversations about menstruation are more common and open now, thanks to geniuses like these girls. And rad bands like Tacocat.