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Emily Elhaj

February 6th, 2018

I spoke by phone with professional bassist and all-around badass rock & roll star Emily Elhaj, newly returned to New Orleans after a work trip to L.A,  about her start playing bass in the band Mayor Daley and her current gig touring and recording with Angel Olsen. We discussed the pressures and stresses of touring and how to decompress during and after long months on the road, and Emily described a transcendent experience playing for a live audience on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In addition to pursuing music and photography, Emily also runs a record label, Love Lion, and she's just released Grid City, a compilation featuring many beloved Chicago bands, which is now available in select shops and online.

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Daniel Luedtke

January 31st, 2018

I traveled a short distance from home to interview musician and visual artist Daniel Luedtke at his studio space in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. I've been a big fan of Daniel's ever since I first encountered him performing with his legendary Minneapolis-based band Gay Beast, and it was great to catch up. Should you settle for a partner who's not into reading? How can the American pharmaceutical industry be improved? Should you print show posters for bands you don't like? How do you uphold your principles and find work you love? When and where did punk go wrong? What is process-based art? (I just looked up the definition and...oops...) Tune in to find the answers to (most) of these questions!

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Yusuf Muhammad

January 24th, 2018

By their late teens, Yusuf Muhammad was already one of the most influential members of Chicago's underground music community. They quickly gained recognition for their distinctive guitar work in the bands Haki, Bloom and Ono, and  they're currently playing bass in the newly formed experimental rock group Hagspittle, and making visual art as well. We sat down over tea and I barely noticed the time passing as we discussed ambition, collaboration, spirituality, romance, family, Black Sabbath, addiction, recovery, and the perfect show, where every single audience member would be wigging out in their own totally unique way.

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Mike Centeno

January 17th, 2018

Cartoonist and musician Mike Centeno doesn't shy away from difficult autobiographical material in his work, so we skipped the small talk. Topics covered include the punk scene in Caracas, Venezuela, the undeniable allure of Catholic iconography, even for atheists, and Mike's battle with a life-threatening illness, during which he observed that time, in hospitals, is measured not by the clock, but by an endless procession of sitcoms.

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Chloe Perkis

January 10th, 2018

 

I temporarily overcame my fear of snakes to interview cartoonist, printmaker and ceramicist Chloe Perkis. Over the course of our talk we faced down ghosts, bullies and mansplainers, and celebrated heroes like resourceful single moms, DIY music festival organizers and the tormented former scientist Alex Olsen, whose chemically bathed body reacted with the vegetation of the nearby swamplands, transforming him into the shambling, muck-encrusted creature known popularly as Swamp Thing

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Jill Flanagan

January 2nd, 2018

For the inaugural episode of Mindkiller, my podcast dedicated to creative struggle, I interview Jill Flanagan, one of my oldest friends and a former bandmate in Coughs, a Chicago noise-rock sextet. Along the way, we discuss the challenges she's faced in her decades as an experimental musician and performance artist, and what keeps her motivated and inspired in the face of adversity. Topics covered include an illuminating acid trip, a bloody accident with a dried puffer fish, year-end top ten lists and Jane Fonda's workout video.

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