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Anonymous asked: Where's a good place in Chicago to hear some good slam poets?

I’m not really familiar with the slam poetry scene in the city. I’m sorry. But if you’re looking for live performances, I recommend checking out some of Chicago’s live lit and storytelling events. My favorites are Grown Folks Stories at The Silver Room, That’s All She Wrote at the Savoy, and Paper Machete at The Green Mill. 

There were two stories published today which hurt my soul. 

The first, on a woman who faced nearly the exact same encounter that I did a month ago. The thing that killed me was that their suspect is a completely different man than the one I faced. There are multiple men out there, committing the same act of power and humiliation. These aren’t one-off incidents, but the norm. 

There was a moment when I was in the West Side police station when the officer taking my story had to call someone else to verify the charges.

"I was just going to do "public indecency," he said to his superior.

"No. It was an assault," I said firmly. He looked at me and said nothing. I had to clarify: this man was physical and violent. He touched me, held me down. It was not until my father stood up – my 6 foot, 250 pound father, mind you – that he finally uttered, “Right. Sexual assault.” I was furious. My story was not to be believed even as I stood there, not even two hours later, recounting what happened. It was my father who said nothing, but changed the course of the charges. 

The second story recounted multiple incidents occurring in Logan Square, a rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood near me. These too were broad daylight incidents, the only moments when most women are told that we can feel truly “safe.” 

It was too much, but also, a reminder of place. I have traveled all over and still sexual harassment here feels more pronounced and severe and violent here than anywhere else. I always assumed that it would be the opposite, that I would eventually get used to the everyday. But no, it is not until you have been someplace else that you are witness to the shame of your home. 

Summer in Chicago is both the best and the worst. At its best, like last weekend a I danced on top of a roof while dreamily admiring Matthew Dear play a DJ set, it feels like something private and special and perfect. But at it’s worst, it is a cesspool of complacency and despondency. The violence, the agony, the trigger of warmth … it will leave no stone unturned. 

"Mother & Father" by BROODS

Fell super in love with this song when I heard it a few months ago during their show at Schubas. The crowd was terrible, but they were excellent and ultimately captivating live performers. The chorus for this one is one of those tracks that you begin to memorize almost immediately. Like most BROODS songs, it is a testament to their pop craftsmanship.

This was the BEST to record. I would <3 it if you listened! Despite the fact that I was tired and hungover (only a little), when it came to discussing hotties like Matthew Dear, I was eager to step up to the plate. Thanks to Crystal and Megan for inviting me to chat with them. 

(via swoonstep)

EPISODE 4 - Britt Julious

Here’s episode 4 of Swoonstep, a podcast where cool babes talk about music cuties. This week we’re joined by Britt Julious, and Swoonstep turns into a light audio-only version of Post-Babestep, the dream video series by Britt co-starring the hotties who spin you tracks in the club. Before we get there, the three of us get deep into UK pop house, get real about Lady Gaga, and get curious about what’s happening with Angie Martinez. Three babes get complex, going from full-formed dissertation ideas dissection to silly teenage swooning.

Britt is a Chicago-based writer who just launched Inland Magazine, a publication focused on present-day Midwestern culture. She’s also a senior editor at This Recording and has written just about everywhere, including Noisey, Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, and WBEZ. You can find her at Smart Bar in Chicago, dancing the night way, or at her tumblr and twitter, talking about bleep bloops, fangirling about Shonda Rhimes’ shows, and advocating for crop-tops and sequins. She is basically a cool, smart, and gorgeous dream.

Shoot us a message if you’re a cool babe down to talk music and music babes, and thanks for listening!

"So Good" by Nao vs. A. K. Paul

I hear so many wonderful traces of what is clearly a Paul Brothers Signature touch. The falsetto vocals. The memorable synths paired with a brilliant guitar. Obsessed, clearly.

Gustav Klimt - The Dancer (c.1918)


I am perhaps too much of a daydreamer. I write down ideas and goals constantly, but most don’t become a reality. However, one is finally seeing the light of day: creating a publication. And now, after weeks of planning, organizing, and coordinating with my friend and graphic designer, Ria Roberts, I am putting out the call for contributors. 
So what is it?
Inland is an online and print publication of ideas that examines the post-industrial, post-factory identity of Midwestern culture in the 21st century. Inland will include a mix of visual art, photo essays, creative nonfiction, fiction, and journalism that examines identity in the Midwest and whether Heartland identity can translate to an increasingly globalized world.
Where do you come in?
I would like you to contribute if you can and are interested. Some of the topics we’d like to explore include the Midwest diaspora, immigrant communities, and individualism vs. community. Other topics we’d like to explore are available here.
The rest of the details
I have put off all other publication projects to work on this. This will be a one-off publication, more of a book than a disposable collection of papers. I am looking to create an online fundraising campaign (probably Kickstarter) to off-set some of the costs. The publication will be print first and online second. It is very important for me to create something tangible. We are aiming for a small print run in mid-August. 
The deadline for submissions will be July 25th.
All submissions/questions should be sent to:
Anonymous asked: Do you watch Orange is the new black? And if so, what are your thoughts on the representation of women of color, namely black women, on the show?

I do watch it and I’m very happy and excited by the representation and depiction of women of color and specifically black women on the show. In a word, it is refreshing. Most contemporary representations of diversity lack actual normal interactions between black women. It is so exciting to see their friendships over cat fights, their love over their anger, their sadness over their performative idea of joy. Basically, I love that they are complicated and not always right and complex and rich and human. 

“Writing requires courage, audacity. I’m not suggesting that there is something heroic about writing but I do believe that to commit words and ideas to the page demands something of the writer. Whether fiction or nonfiction, most writers are baring some part of themselves. They are making themselves vulnerable because the writing demands it.”
pearlsbeforeswine asked: Visiting Chicago for the first time in July. What are some good places to dance the night away?

Smart Bar, obviously. It’s my favorite. Check their website to see what the genre specialty is for the night (disco, house, techno, etc.) though any night should be good.

Primary is good, especially for Them Flavors Thursdays.

Spy Bar always has good lineups and if you get there before midnight, it’s often free.

Berlin sometimes, but not always. It’s been hit or miss for me, but specialty nights are usually best.

Also, check Resident Advisor’s Illinois/Chicago section for other local events and specialty nights.

#tbt ya girl stays fashionable and fly as always.

This feels like a personal accomplishment. Black girls everywhere celebrating with moscato.

Nicki as Judith

(via forwhenifeellikesharing)

A quick summary of my field reporting at Spring Awakening Music Festival last weekend:

My photographer Maurene and I stood on the lawn outside of Soldier Field after a couple of hours of shooting. Maurene liked to wade into the crowd, then turn around and snap the scenery as it rushed toward her.

A group of four teens sat on a blanket in front of us.


"Can I take a look at the shots you got?" I asked her.

"Of course," she said as we hovered around the back of the camera.


"Hey!" one of the teens, a young woman, shouted.

"Hi!" I responded.

"Did you take a photo of us while we took molly?" she asked.

"No, I promise," I said.

A long pause.

"Well why not? That would have been a great shot!" she offered.

And here came my incredulous face.

"Oh. Sorry?" I questioned.

"It’s ok. Can you take a photo of us?" another of her friends replied.

I turn to Maurene. She already had her camera ready.

"They were upset that I DIDNT get a photo of them taking molly," I whispered.

"Oh, I did," she began. "It’s a great shot."

"Max x Woman" by Full Crate & Mar

We waited close to six months for a video of Mar shirtless, so thank you Mar. It was worth the wait.