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Jessica Campbell

March 20th, 2018

Jessica Campbell, like all great comedians, finds the humor in abjection. Her comics and wall-hangings are darkly funny, mining daily frustrations and small humiliations for big laughs, and we discussed her influences, both positive (her partner Aaron, her friend Chuck Forsman) and negative (internet trolls and harassers) and her plans for the future. Where are the adults? Is life worth living? I'm still not sure, but I feel better after talking with Jessica.

Emma Sims and Hanna Elliott (HOGG)

March 13th, 2018

Emma Sims and Hanna Elliott are both visual artists, but they've chosen to devote a large part of their creative energy to HOGG, their collaborative music project. To date they've released two E.Ps of, in their words,  "Industrial Psycho-Sexual Abstraction, Ritualistic Anarcho Death-Dance", Bury the Dog Deeper and Solar Phallic Lion, but they spent several years before they began playing live and recording honing their sound and performance style in private. I was fascinated to learn about their unique approach to song-writing and their rare creative symbiosis, and I was deeply impressed by their insights on failure, meditation, femininity and transgressive art.

Tommi Parrish

March 6th, 2018

I was lucky enough to catch Montreal-based cartoonist Tommi Parrish during their brief trip to Chicago in support of The Lie and How We Told It, their latest graphic novel. They've garnered praise for their finely tuned dialogue and innovative visual style, and we discussed their artmaking strategies, mental health tips, lifelong love of learning and much more! At the end of our talk you'll hear the song Extractor by Lungbutter, so stick around for that-it's a ripper!

Margot Ferrick

February 27th, 2018

Margot Ferrick creates sequential art that's haunting, poetic and utterly distinctive, and it was a joy for me to read back over her books in preparation for our talk and discover themes and recurring motifs. Although I had difficulty remembering the name of an Alejandro Jodorowsky film (Endless Poetry) and a Joseph Campbell book (Hero with a Thousand Faces), we had a moving and far-ranging talk about motherhood, prayer, ballet, Long Island, sex, Catholic ritual, the enduring appeal of Eva Hesse and much more.

Ruth (Robin Hustle)

February 21st, 2018

Ruth, who sometimes works under the name Robin Hustle, is a visual artist, writer and registered nurse. How she got to where she is now is a fascinating story, and I picked her brain about self-education, eroticism in art, nurturance, and her stint writing articles for a popular mainstream blog. Ruth has a wide range of  experiences and interests, and we tackle the difficult topic of how to balance work and life as artists and human beings.

Stephany Colunga

February 14th, 2018

Stephany Colunga's jewlery is unlike anyone else's-she takes inspiration from diverse sources to craft unique and beautiful wearable art objects. Like many of the artists I've interviewed, she's also a musician, and you'll hear a track by her band Gula Gila at the end of our talk. Over the course of an hour, Stephany generously shared her tips on how to game the system when doing paid market research, told the story of a New Year's Day epiphany that took her to Mexico to connect with her father's side of the family, and discussed her more recent efforts to help with earthquake relief in that country. And we both got a little existential at the end.

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.

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!

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.

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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