by Marin Kosut
At four, I wore a fringed black dress formerly owned by a go-go dancer who worked at my grandmother’s bar. There’s a photo of me in the dress smirking in the driveway of my family’s ranch-burger house, eyes behind bangs, sweeping the fringe forward like liquid through my hands. I liked how the strands split apart and landed back into place.
The Female Fool
by Jenny Hatchadorian
It was 2003, I’d just finished my freshman year at Tulane, and I was thinking a lot about A Confederacy of Dunces, the picaresque novel that was basically required reading in New Orleans. The novel has flaws, but I drank up Ignatius Reilly’s grand, ungovernable, garrulous manner. He was insensitive but not cruel, his irascibility was shrouded in originality and humor that revealed the artifice of society. Not entirely a burnout, he was a fool or clown who navigated the world without following the rules – to me, he oozed possibility and invention.
Apocalypse! There are lots of possible scenarios—the “Don’t Look Up” one, where a massive comet strikes the earth like a fist; Ragnarök, where the gods die too (sorry, Loki); the slow iron decadence of Kali Yuga; the Christian Rapture, with its “See you in hell, from heaven!” schadenfreude—but they all pretty much agree that A Big Thing is going to happen, and then you’ll see: we’ll all see. And our own unsettled moment of climate catastrophe and virus and political convulsion invites the constant rolling question, Is this it? is this it? Is this the end of the world?
by Ariana Kelly
Lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, I thought about how my father was losing his driving leg and that the best conversations we had when I was a kid were when we drove together, just the two of us, first to do errands, then to travel to and from boarding school and college. Scattered around the cab of his Toyota pickup, receipts for building supplies intermingled with cassette tapes of jazz. I can still hear Bill Evans’ introspective piano notes hanging in the air against the white noise of moving sixty-five miles an hour through space. Alone in his truck, cocooned in a glass and metal bubble where we were together but didn’t need to look at each other, my father made optimistic statements about my future—which always seemed tenuous to me—as assured as if issued by a Delphic oracle.
All photos by Edwina Hay
“We’re a Black, feminist punk band. That means we’re trans revolutionaries. That means we’re Black revolutionaries. That means we’re feminist revolutionaries. And, this is the real test,” drummer Chardine Taylor-Stone pauses for effect, “we’re working class revolutionaries.”
Big Joanie are everything they claim to be and more. Their lyrics are reflective and probing, digging deep and pulling us into the ups and downs of relationships and self-identity. On stage they maintain that sense of intimacy while building a big, welcoming tent. People lost their minds when the British trio performed at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. The club buzzed with anticipation long before Big Joanie played. Even as the opening band, Frida Kill, ripped through their own sizzling set, they made it clear they were just as excited as the rest of us to see Big Joanie. Early in Frida Kill’s set guitarist Lily Gist declared, “We’re from here. Big Joanie is from across the pond. I’m going to hype them up the whole set!”
“Mom was at Bridgeton Psychiatric Hospital, four years before I would be, waiting for a bed at Seabrook House, a drug-rehabilitation center that still sees success in South Jersey, where we grew up. Where thinness moved me, heroin moved her.” A new essay by Jacquelin Winter explores mental health and generational trauma.
When Art Explains Art
by McKenzie Stubbert
For my album “Waiting Room,” I commissioned the painter Zachary Johnson to create the original cover art. It could have simply been a beautiful piece that, like many album covers, was incredibly vague. Instead, I got a portrait of myself that reflected back to me exactly what I had made: something far more autobiographic. Like a lot of music, my album drew inspiration from many places. But I never expected the album art to reveal to me what I had been trying to uncover.
This album took me seven years to complete. It began as a handful of unrelated pieces I slowly tinkered with, trying to find my so-called “voice.” I struggled to understand what I was making and what connected them to each other. Much of the music originated in film and other visual projects. I have been a full-time freelance composer for about fifteen years. Over the years, certain elements, moments, or, in some cases, entire works jumped out to me as rather personal and something I wanted to use for myself.
One sign of good fortune is having friends who recommend good music. They share links. They loan LPs. They call out across the store when you’re digging through the crates and they find that record you have to hear. My friends James and Steve go above and beyond. A promoter and club owner, they have set up countless shows for the musicians they most admire. They’re well versed in the jazz classics, but it’s the contemporary scene they celebrate most eagerly. They’ll tell you we live in a golden age of jazz, and they back it up. And whenever they ask, “You don’t know her/him/them?”, it’s not a judgment. It’s an invitation. There was an extra charge in their voices when they first told me about trumpet player jaimie branch.