Micro-manifesto from some radical women in Chicago punk about band as liberation:



so after a 2 year hiatus, heather contacted me about getting back together for a summer tour. we still haven’t figured everything out, such as where we are going or who is buying the plane ticket and borrowing equipment, but i am excited to play with the ovens again. it isn’t even the music that i am excited about, but everything that i felt while being a part of this band:

-not feeling shut down creatively and musically by dominant men.

-being able to teach myself an instrument that i thought was impossible and intimidating while not feeling under intense scrutiny or marginalization.

-sitting down at the drum set and through sweat and exhaustion, briefly blacking out from screaming, i would tell myself that i can do anything.

-hoping that after every show, we made people feel the urgency to start a band and tell people SOMETHING IMPORTANT.

-the palpable anger at our unjust society felt at some of our shows.

-seeing people who are usually shunned or marginalized within punk communities dominating the audience.

-wanting to do something constructive with my anger.

-not writing towards, playing for or worrying about dudes. (this includes writing three songs called “stupid dudes”.)

-making connections to feminists throughout the country who also wanted to change the way in which punk is run by abusers and cheats. we were trying to make or reclaim a community of feminists and queers that no one wanted us to have in the first place. 

this is what i am the most excited about.

reblogging because this cool chicago (and ny?) band is doing a lil summer tour this summer, and they are playing a show in chicago on july 24th!

Nudes (WA), The Ovens (IL/NY), Tensions, Crude Humor, and The Bug. July 24th @ the 2040.


Real Life Techno Monthly: Age of Dance


Thomas Rogers, “Berghain: The Secretive, Sex-Fueled World of Techno’s Coolest Club” (Rolling Stone, February 6, 2014) // Moritz Von Oswald @ The Bunker, Output, Brooklyn (February 8, 2014) // The Man From Tomorrow (dir. Jacqueline Caux, feat. Jeff Mills), The Studio Museum (February 13, 2014) // Zeke Turner, “Brooklyn on the Spree” (New York TimesStyle, February 23, 2014)


One drizzly afternoon last November, I found myself in a bizarre situation: an hour-plus phone call with a magazine-features writer, providing background on Berlin techno culture and its famed Berghain club, which he was looking to cover for a prominent New York-based general-interest publication. He’d already written a few good music articles, expertly diving into subjects others would dismiss as skimpy, balancing analysis, insight and bystander-color to come up with the goods for both the lay-person and the nerd. And while I still harbor desires to tackle the subject of techno for the masses, such a dream (or the access to fulfilling it) remains obscure in the fog of my life. So I thought it better that this piece be written by a person of letters and ideas, rather than get slept-on by me, or tortured into being by one of the eminently employable critical recidivists, recently trying their hand at covering this beat due to the domestic EDM bubble.

The conversation went well. We were temperamentally simpatico, with enough in common (age, people, experiences, kids) that the posturing was minimal. He’d already been well tutored on the classics (Detroit, acid house, Tresor, Fabric, Ibiza), recognized the topic’s complexity, and showed to be sufficiently fluent in what may be morally questionable aspects of clubbing. (Win.) He was ready to go, and I think I was helping him get there faster. Still, it didn’t stop me from acknowledging the oddity of the moment: Here were some of my life’s most profound epiphanies, exposed to hi-beam levels of journalistic inspection, the kind usually reserved for proportionately weightier or sexier topics. It seemed odd that a micro-culture such as techno would now be ready for media Main Street (though that’s probably just another thing to blame on the Internet’s celebration of “the deep, authentic experience”). So despite noting the dissonance, my testimony was willing and unreserved, and for a few months now, I’d mostly forgotten both it and my interrogator.

The writer in question was not Thomas Rogers, whose piece on the Berghain and the Berlin scene Rolling Stone published last month, and which, knowing how big magazines work, may contribute to the spiking of my acquaintance’s story from ever appearing. But I’d be a liar if I said that reading Rogers’ piece didn’t reignite my concerns about cherished memories getting raided and cashed in for distracted effect. 

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This is a picture of CROISSANT BRAIN playing at the Ice Cream Shop on Valentines Day.

Croissant Brain was created a month and a half ago during a Rock lotto drawing in which volunteered names were randomly selected and bands were formed. Strangers are now friends. Those bands then had then next month and a half to write a 10 minute set in preparation for this show. 

they ruled and they covered fucking Like A Prayer AKA the best song EVER


R.I.P. Everyone


I used to write a website about movies and television with the occasional Think Piece on Gwyneth Paltrow’s spending power. It is a website that just happens to be closing up shop for good tomorrow, unfortunately. Ours was a love the world could not understand. R.I.P. 

By the end of my tenure at the soon (so soon) to be defunct pop culture website, it genuinely felt like I was reading the Entire Internet every day, and the only takeaway one can have from reading the Entire Internet every day is that the Internet is 100% Horrible. There’s a common sense that the Internet is just a collection of sad adolescent trolls hiding in their parents’ basements throwing digital feces through the proverbial bars, but the truth is much worse. Everyone is throwing the digital feces. The trolls just enjoy it a little more.

So, one of the most wonderful aspects of stopping writing for that website on a daily basis was that I also stopped reading other websites on a daily basis. With rare exception, I haven’t LOOKED at a blog in six months, much less read one. I still look at Tumblr most days, but Tumblr might as well be Instagram. It hardly counts.

And yet, I somehow have not managed to escape Blog Culture, because Blog Culture has become so pervasive that we are all doomed to a wasteland future of ad hominem non-jokes, knee-jerk unreflective judgements punched out on iPads during commercial breaks, and a Smithsonian’s worth of #selfies.

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  • BULLETT: I'm curious as to whether you'd agree that "Blackness is in fashion right now." If so, how/why do you think that's going on?
  • JULIANA: I think blackness (as long as that concept has existed) has always been in fashion. I think the ways in which blackness is addressed and used as the basis for creative visions of the world mutate over time. I think for a long time, in terms of appropriation, white men were allowed to take on black masculinity, which is where the concept of a 'wigger' comes from. I think that specific vision of white appropriate of blackness happened hand-in-hand with the popular dissemination of hip-hop to white America and the Western world at large. Although there were moments of white women incorporating elements of black style inter their looks (Bo Derek), it wasn't in the same way. There was no appropriation of larger ideas of dress, attitude, speech etc. I think as we enter the 2nd and 3rd+ generations of white kids globally who have ideas of what it means to be white and align oneself with black culture, we've gotten to a unique moment where white women, white gay men, and other races are playing with blackness; its notions of coolness, hardness, urban-ness and specific forms of hyper-sexuality. The internet has abstracted black cultural production from black people and we're experiencing, I think, the product of that separation. Racism doesn't exist less, but the merger of black cultural expression with any idea of authenticity or entitlementment-to- has faded as the internet archives and makes accessible any and every fetish desire, including the desire for or admiration of another culture.
  • BULLETT: Next, what do you think is lost and what is possibility gained with an increased visibility of racial/ethnic/subcultural/street dress in high fashion and pop culture?
  • JULIANA: I think whats lost is history. Although I find a lot of what is being widely deemed "appropriation" distasteful, I generally don't have value judgements or ideas of what anyone should or should not be allowed to do, take, wer, etc. What I find disappointing is when the reference of specific black cultural styles, looks or dispositions is done without any understanding of the fact that its tied to real people with real histories. I think there's a playful and witty way of taking elements of black culture(s), but to do so intelligently requires a basic awareness that just because an image was pulled from tumblr, pinterest, google images or a screencap from a youtube video doesn't mean that it exists in a vacuum of context or history and that the distribution of images impacts individual and collective ways of thinking about and operating in the world. If you choose to disregard that, so be it, but lets acknowledge the dynamics that are going on. The now-infamous steven meisel shoot has a long and complex history, ranging from conceptions of jigaboos in the south to the movie B.A.P.S. to the character Bunifa Latifah Halifah Sharifa Jackson on MadTV. So, on a purely aesthetic level Im excited by the fact that different aspects of blackness are being placed in dialogue with other traditions and canons and I think the result is fostering a creative explosion in visual culture, what is unfortunately being lost in most of it is a sense of intelligence and appreciation for history context and the link between aesthetics and political reality.
  • BULLETT: Do you believe that anyone should be able to wear anything? Inside of fashion? Outside of fashion? Or should we be cautious and educated in our appropriation of other cultures' dress?
  • JULIANA: I think those are two different questions. I believe anyone should be allowed to do what they want. If a white person wants to show up to a party in blackface, go HAM. But, dont' be surprised when you get the response that ensues. I think a lot of what goes on in terms of the more problematic appropriation of black culture is that its, at base, a joke, desire for attention, way to rustle feathers or expression of some deep seeded racial resentment that you couldn't let rest at racist comments on Youtube videos. I think we should all strive to be educated and maybe if that was emphasized more, we wouldn't find ourselves trapped in cyclical conversations that ricochet between angry accusation and dismissively ignorant arrogance. I've also taken on the policy of rolling my eyes and moving on when I encounter basic, reductive racist appropriation. The power of so much of what is being categorized and attacked as appropriation is that it was meant to get the response that it does. There are a long list of caustic performers, musicians, artists and public figures who act with the intent of getting zealous responses from those who one would assume were in the 'right' (advocates for black people in this case). I choose to focus on the dynamic work I see being done and on the few white people (assuming they're the subject at all) engaging or using as a source of inspiration black culture in informed ways.
  • BULLETT: Most importantly though, I'm looking for calls to action, possible solutions. What would you like to see change? What can change? And how you think that change can/needs to be carried out?
  • JULIANA: READ. If you like black culture so much, try to understand it - it will make everything you do cooler and smarter. otherwise ... I guess you're just a wigger.

Journo friends, just putting this out there in hopes we are never in this place again, collectively: If you need the input or viewpoint of a trans person and do not know anyone, I am happy to connect you with folks. Just FYI. Let us pray that we can all try to get it right from now on, learn ways to report and write and critique that respect the identities and struggles of our trans brothers and sisters (and those who live outside gender binaries) among us and on the fringes.


Julianne, on point as ever, though she is a little more charitable than I am feeling about this dudes piece, as a Chicagoan, as someone who has gratefully witnessed some friends survive serious heroin addiction and also seen a lot of people romance their time in it for the sake of their art, books, screenplays etc. People’s sobriety narratives, for me, are much more compelling than their drug narratives, especially when their drug narratives are not terribly instructive, per se. 


I’ve been thinking a whole fuckton about heroin recently, mostly because a very close member of my family—someone who is essentially my little sister—is going through it and my heart is fucking broken. But it’s nothing new to me; I’ve had dope addicts in my family and among my friends since I was…



For much of my life I’ve listened to R Kelly records without question. Even after that infamous sex tape. I kept listening, even though part of me knew I couldn’t be someone who claimed to care about women and girls, yet support his work.

There was this tension. The tension was created by the fact that R Kelly records had woven themselves into the fabric of my life. I can’t remember the first time I heard “Vibe” it’s the type of record most babies born in the late 80’s don’t remember learning, because they’ve always known it. R Kelly’s records are ubiquitous. Infectious. They transport you back to a moment. “I Believe I Can Fly” reminds me of an important period in my childhood when I was starting to ask questions about justice and mercy and why life sometimes doesn’t offer them to us when we need them most. “Ignition” reminds me of Secondary School. “Step In The Name of Love” and “Happy People” are magical records that make me think of family, friends, love, and nights where just the right amount of liquor (and loving) makes things better.

As much as I loved R Kelly records, I had questions. However I pushed them aside. “Focus on the music, not the man” I told myself. 

Recently I’ve resolved my cognitive dissonance. Pushed aside my musical tastes and thought carefully about what I choose to support, and critically what I speak out against. 

 I’ve been reading more about R Kelly’s lawsuits, looked at the mountain of evidence and questioned what our collective acceptance of him says about us as a society. At this juncture I’m forced to conclude it says that we value art above humanity. We will focus on a person’s contributions to the world, rather than defend the people they may have damaged in the process.

This makes me uncomfortable because R Kelly’s victims are the girls no one speaks for. Little brown invisible voiceless girls whose bodies are molested without their consent. Girls who grow into women who watch their predator being deified and exalted because of his music. Girls whose silence can be bought and swept under the proverbial rug. Girls who we really don’t care about. How R Kelly disturbed their bodies and minds doesn’t matter, what matters is that he’s a genius and we love his music.  

I choose not to support R Kelly and in this piece for xoJane I articulate why. My question to you is this - what will you do?