SXSW Recap: Tuesday, March 17

The first day of South By Southwest tends to be my favorite: my feet don’t hurt, the douchebags haven’t yet descended en masse, and I can actually see most bands I try to see. I met up with friends at the airport, took a cab to our Airbnb, and caught an express bus (Austin has bus rapid transit and it’s awesome!) to Cheer Up Charlie’s for the No Play Music day party, where I hung out for most of the day before eventually heading over to Hotel Vegas for their St. Patrick’s Day kickoff. Click here for the rest of Tuesday’s Recap

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Forever In Mean Jeans: Weekend Agenda March 12th – 14th

We get a new Mean Jeans album one week from Saturday! Their collected singles are coming out on an LP from Dirtnap, and in preparation I’m going to drink malt liquor every day to purify my body and focus on reaffirming my belief in the teachings of the Church of Mean Jeans:

1) Don’t stop partying.

2) Be tight to each other.

3. Did you stop partying while reading this? That’s bogus, and you should get back to partying.

Thursday, March 12th

Gym Shorts, Dirt Cheap Date
Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, 3156 West Diversey Avenue
5:30pm / AA / BYOB

Death Injection, Abduction, Scary and the Scrapers, Ritalin OD
Old Mount Happy
7pm / $5-7 sliding scale

Archie Powell and the Exports, Me Like Bees, The Noise FM
Archie Powell’s been around for years, but at this point I think they’re gonna be “that band that did the Malort song” forever.
Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 Milwaukee Avenue
9pm / Free / 21+

Flesh Panthers, Gym Shorts, Absolutely Not, Bihari Beach, Basement Family
Wally World
9:05pm / BYOB / donations please / 21+

Friday, March 13th

Christines, Friendlys, Perfume, Sueves
Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, 3156 West Diversey Avenue
5:30pm / AA / BYOB

Brain Tumors, Public Assault, Thumbsuckers, Udusic
Old Mount Happy
7pm / $5-7 sliding scale

Sin Orden, Scoundrel, Youth Crush, Angry Gods
Sin Orden have been around forever and it’s rad to get a chance to see them. Classic Chicago Latino hardcore in the tradition of Los Crudos.
The Friendzone
7pm / $5

The Rubs, The Fuckers, MAMA, The Obleeks
Auxiliary Art Center, 3012 West Belmont Avenue
7pm / $7 / 21+

Killermoon, Vamos, Bad Dreams
Y’all know we love Vamos.
Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 Milwaukee Avenue
8pm / Free / 21+

Paul Cherry, Bogrot, Mope Grooves
Weirdo femme meme-artist and pop star Paul Cherry is going to be hosting a meat auction. I’m going to place the chances of some sausage-based sex act happening on stage at about one hundred percent.
Cole’s Bar, 2338 North Milwaukee Avenue
Free / 21+

Nones, Buckingham Palace SVU
This is such a weirdo loud noisey show to happen in a tiny one-room bar with no stage and free cheez poofs. Which is exactly why I want to go.
Archie’s Iowa Rockwell Tavern, 2600 West Iowa Street
10pm / Free / 21+

Saturday, March 14th

Haki, Evasive Backflip, Truman and His Trophy, Post-Child
The Flowershop
8pm / $5 / ends at midnight

Jollys, Glyders, Dumpster Babies, The Rubs, Dad Jr
South side house show fun times. Dumpster Babies are Store Brand Soda fam. Look out for ya girl having an anxiety attack in the corner because I don’t leave the house anymore.
Ratt House
8pm / Free

Yeesh, Oshwa, Advaeta, Kangaroo
Yeesh record release!
8pm / $5

Brendan and the Black Jackets, Richard Album and the Singles, Male/Men
Male/Men is one of Magic-Ian-of-Wally-World’s five million bands. They’re pretty rad and not associated officially with the United States Postal Service.
Cole’s Bar, 2338 North Milwaukee Avenue
10pm / 21+ / Free

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Weekly Agenda: Jan 20th – 24th: Are You Goth or Are You Glam?

Tuesday, January 20th

Get Up With The Get Downs
Super fun James Brown cover band, complete with a full horn section and a bunch of really great dudes. This seems like a nice generic date to take an OK Cupid boo or Tindr match to, but really, do you want to date anyone who wouldn’t accompany you to a drone show in an unheated basement in Pilsen? Nah.
High-Hat Club 1920 W Irving Park Rd
9pm / 21+

Lamp, The Symposium, mtvghosts, Strange Faces
You still have a few hours left to RSVP for free for a bunch of local weirdo pop.
Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
9pm / $8 or Free with RSVP / 21+

Slushy, Yeowulf, American Breakfast
Nod along to lofi pop, woogie to female-fronted garage, finally beat your personal record in Ms. Pac-Man.
Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 N Milwaukee Ave
9pm / $2 / 21+

Wednesday, January 21th

Pharmakon, Oozing Wound, Death Factory
I think there’s like 500 people RSVP’d to this so, like, good luck. And you thought the “four thirty on a normal Friday” Owl was a shitshow.
The Owl, 2521 North Milwaukee Avenue
10pm / Free / 21+

Thursday, January 22th

Bloom, Gnar Wave Rangers, Rathammer
According to Noisey Rathammer is one of the best punk bands in Chicago? I know we all hated that article, but whatever, Rathammer are indeed rad. And you can go get a bougie tiki drink next door after shows at Bric-a-Brac now!
Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, 3156 West Diversey Avenue
5pm / Free / AA / BYOB

Negative Scanner, Weird Science, Soddy Daisy
Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
9pm / $8 or Free with RSVP, 21+

Friday, January 23th

Carbonleak, Melkbelly, Harebrain, Amanda X
The Friendzone
7pm / $5 / BYOB /message admin for address

Oscillator Bug, Absolutely Not, Mr Ma’am
Queer rock-n-roll weirdo pop vibes forever, y’all.
Door #3 (Double Door Bsmt), 1572 North Milwaukee Avenue
8:30pm / $5 / 21+

Destroy Everything, Liquor Beats Winter, Bill Ura Dik, Mandatory Abortions
Punk punk punk punk, like, the Elmer’s Glue in the hair and forty pound studded leather jacket kind.
Liar’s Club, 1665 West Fullerton Avenue
9pm / 21+

Gnar Wave Rangers, Soddy Daisy, Perfume
They had me at “Goth vs Glam Birthday Party.” I wouldn’t miss this for the world and I am looking forward to busting out the black lipstick. Did you know that you can spill beer all over a latex dress and not get wet? Now you do.
Young Camelot
9pm /donate for bands / $2 beer/wine donation / costume party

Blizzard Babies, Son of a Gun, Fake Limbs, and Bleach Party
All four of these bands are totally awesome and the show is free and Son of a Gun is releasing a tape so yeah, you should probably leave the house, grandma.
Cole’s Bar, 2338 N Milwaukee Ave
10pm / Free / 21+

Saturday, January 24th

Fake Limbs, Rad Payoff, Gnar Wave Rangers, Jolly Korea
the flowershop
$5 / don’t be a dick

Gula Gila, The Gold Web, Cornstar Farmer’s Market Pornstar Coinstar, Daymaker
Wow. What…what is going on with that band name. You know which one. Wow.
Eco, 2042 W 21st Street

Yeesh, Den, Swimsuit Addition
This is a particularly stacked lineup for Quenchers, which is a chill spot and cheap as fuck!
Quenchers Saloon, 2401 North Western Avenue
9pm / 21+ / $7

Dust Bunnies, Hanging Gardens, Savage Sister
Cole’s Bar, 2338 N Milwaukee Ave
10pm / Free / 21+

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Dumpster Babies & Harebrain Play Saki Tomorrow


John Bailey is a weird dude with a weird mustache who makes weird art. Tumid action figures and doe-eyed anime dolls, the denizens of sugar-spiked Saturday morning cartoons, are dipped them into corrosive acid so that their plasticy skins burble and drip, tongues fork, and new eyeballs pop cheerily out of foreheads.


Tomorrow, some of his work is going on display at Saki. Rock-n-roll trash goblins Dumpster Babies are playing the reception, as well as Harebrain. In-stores are the best because they’re early and you can bring your own beer and they’re free, which is ideal for me as a seventy year old grandma who lives off a stipend and has to be in bed watching Gilmore Girls by 10pm. And this one has snacks. SNACKS, Y’ALL.

John Bailey Opening Reception
with Dumpster Babies & Hairbrain
3716 W Fullerton
6pm – 9pm
Free / AA

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Weekly Agenda: Party with a Pizza in the Pit

“All ages punk show in a pizza parlor” sounds like a fantasy scenario that’s too good to be true, like “velour waterbed full of corgi puppies” or “looping river you can tube down forever with a magic cooler that never runs out of beer.” Unlike the second two fantasies, however, the all ages show actually exists. Big Tony’s Pizza on Fullerton at Spaulding has a big back room with a stage, and they’re experimenting with holding punk shows.

If this is something you’d like to see happen on a regular basis, the best way you can show your support is to turn up and turn out! Let’s show them we’re not all a bunch of scumbags; respect the space. Don’t sneak in booze, don’t smoke two inches outside the front door, don’t wreck the room or leave trash everywhere, and if you see some little baby punks who need guidance in Being Chill, pass down your hard-earned lessons. Bonus points if you manage to crowd-surf while eating a hot slice.

Wednesday, January 7th

Homewrecker, Modern Pain, Dress Code, Paranoid Chant, Hate Force
I don’t wanna be no personal pizza, I just wanna live my life…
Big Tony’s Pizza, 3276 W Fullerton Ave
8pm / AA / $10

Uh Bones, Paul Cherry, Todayshits
Lofi slacker pop overdose, bruh. Free records for the first few who arrive.
East Room, 2828 West Medill Avenue
10pm / 21+ / Free

Friday, January 9th

Mal Intent, La Armada, From the Chest, Ox King, Bitter Thoughts, Heavy Down
Chicago Hardcore Showcase.
Beat Kitchen, 2100 West Belmont Avenue
7pm / $8 advance /$10 at door / 17+ to attend / 21+ to drink

Youth Funeral, Itto, Lord Snow, Torture Love
Mousetrap runs on super punk time and there’s nothing to do in the neighborhood, so show up late or you’re gonna be freezing outside / in an empty basement with a sound dude staring at you.
The Mousetrap
email for address
7pm / $5


Forced Into Femininity, Haki, Logorrhea, Garbage Friends, Daymaker
This is a record release show for Haki!
Pith House
9pm / Donation

Heaters, Wet Socks, Son of a Gun, Spike and the Sweet Spots
One of the dudes from Son of a Gun used to pick up the mail from a place I worked at. Sometimes we’d be late getting it ready for him and he’d regale us with tales of doing acid or whatever while he waited. Nice dudes.
Wally World
9:05pm / byob / cheap bar / donate

Saturday, January 10th

Bleach Party, The Bingers, The Uglies, The Jollys
Celebrate the release of Bleach Party & The Bingers split tape on Dumpster Tapes! And the Jollys either just came back from tour or are about to go on tour, I dunno, but hug them goodbye/hello/nice2meetcha.
The Dandelion
9pm / Free / BYOB / FB message for address

Unmanned Ship (7″ Release), House Sounds, Vamos!, AM Stations (cassette release)
Go RSVP now or you deserve to spend Grandma’s Christmas check at the door.
Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue
9pm / $8 or Free with RSVP / 21+

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The Art is Not The Artist: On Holding Abusers Accountable & Enjoying Problematic Media

There are a lot of people who argue that you should always divorce the artist, as a flawed human, from their work. Indeed, it’s a tenet of our culture; no one ever argues that John Lennon’s abuse of this first wife Cynthia precludes The Beatles from being regarded as the greatest band of all time.

I’m not arguing that we need to set Guernica on fire because Picasso was a controlling, abusive womanizer who threatened to throw Francoise Gilot in the Seine and burned her face with a cigarette. I’m not saying you’re a horrible person if you occasionally nod along to Ignition – Remix. However, more critical thought is required before we defend art produced by abusive people, and in many cases, continued support of their career is unjustifiable.

This is the thought process I go through when I’m considering the creative output of a horrible individual, and the questions I ask myself about whether I can consume the work in good conscience.

Does this artist benefit, financially or otherwise, from me consuming their work?

I have an old James Brown record that was originally sold before I was born. The only person who made money off me buying it was the owner of a kitschy record store in Palm Springs; when I play it in my house, it makes no one any money at all. While I honestly wouldn’t mind money going to the many children he never acknowledged during his lifetime, if I occasionally put aside the knowledge that he was a real piece of work aside and throw on Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag while I vacuum, no one is hurt and no one benefits. And if I threw it into a fire in some grand gesture, again, no one would benefit.

Does the art have anything to do with the abuser’s crime?

People argued a lot about “separating the art from the artist” when Woody Allen’s molestation of his daughter became impossible to ignore. However, here’s the thing: almost all of Woody Allen’s work is about a thinly guised version of him. A lot of it is about some old weird creep having a sexual relationship with a younger, beautiful woman under a clear imbalance of power. How the hell am I supposed to separate the art from the artist?

I have no desire to see Woody Allen make a movie about a professor entering a relationship with his student. I have no desire to hear R. Kelly sing about sex. It’s disgusting. It’s them describing their loathesome crimes through art.

Could I be promoting/boosting/enjoying/supporting the work of a marginalized, ignored genius instead of this widely recognized talent who happens to be a piece of garbage?

Like, I could go see Woody Allen’s new movie. Or I could go see A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I could listen to Modest Mouse, whose lead singer is accused of rape; or I could listen to In School, a feminist hardcore band who openly talks about injustice and abuse.

I mean, I’m not saying those examples have anything to do with each other. But a big part of continuing to enjoy the work of abusers depends on complacency. I’m not going to find any new bands to listen to because I can’t be bothered. I’m not going to care that this artist did horrible things because I can’t be bothered.

I paraphrase this sentiment on Twitter a lot: you guys know there are bands with no members who killed someone while driving drunk or committed rape, right? You know you can just go find bands that didn’t do those things and listen to them instead, right?

How are other survivors of abuse affected by my support of this artist?

Imagine you’re on a third date with someone who you’re really hitting it off with, and you launch into a long-winded defense of Woody Allen and separating the art from the artist. It’s just conversation, right? You guys keep dating, and now you’re a serious item. How long do you think it takes them to trust you enough to confide in you that they were molested? Do they ever trust you enough?

How do you think survivors of abuse (and believe me, you know PLENTY, even if you don’t know it) feel when you defend abusers on Facebook? Are you contributing to the culture that told them “there isn’t enough proof, that you can’t ruin your abuser’s life like this, you should forget about it and move on”? How does their opinion of you change?

Could I be spending the time I’m spending defending an abusive person/project on supporting victims of abuse, fighting against the type of abuse they perpetrated, or boosting marginalized groups instead?

I enjoy Ru Paul’s Drag Race. I also think their use of the t-word, and their subsequent non-apology, is BS. I would like to keep watching the show; however, I have absolutely zero interest in defending their use of the slur, their “right” to use it, telling activists calling for the end of the use of the slur that they’re overly sensitive, etc.

Instead, I use that precious time and energy to tell people I hear using that word in public that it’s inappropriate and hurtful and not the correct word to use. I write emails to companies producing adult entertainment that uses harmful slurs to describe their performers, asking them to start promoting their products differently and explaining why it matters so much, not only to the performers but also to the consumers. I also tell all my friends about queer media I enjoy that is empowering to transgender performers, rather than insulting.

I donate to and help promote Trans Tech, Project Fierce, and Chicago House, which are all charities local to me that help transgender people find employment and housing. I try my best to be sensitive in my own speech and own it when I make a mistake.

None of this is intended as a sort of “carbon offset” to make up for the fact I watch Drag Race; it’s just an issue I care about deeply. But you have to ask yourself, am I doing more to perpetuate and support a culture where these sort of abuses are seen as ok and forgivable, or am I working to make the world a better place?

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