Sunday, December 23, 2012

New year, new changes in store for C.L.A.P.!

As 2012 comes to an end and we rejoice in the fact that the Mayans were apparently totally wrong, we've been reflecting here at C.L.A.P. headquarters about the future. That reflection has brought to our attention a few things that could stand to be improved upon, so in the spirit of new beginnings, here are some changes we have in store for 2013:

New publication schedule! 

Starting this year, C.L.A.P. will be moving from a quarterly to a biannual publication schedule. The reasons behind this are numerous, but can be summed up in saying that three months go by really, really fast and we want everyone (contributors and everyone involved with putting C.L.A.P. together) to have more time to do so. We love what we do and, as many a creative woman can tell you, one of the worst things about pushing yourself too hard is burn out. the spirit of being healthy and happy (two keys for sustained creative effort), we will now being doing a Fall/Winter issue and a Spring/Summer issue.

What this means for upcoming issues: We will have six months to work on each issue. Contributions for upcoming issues will be accepted anytime after the publication date and theme of the issue are released, which should be soon after the most recent issue is released. That gives everyone a lot more time to ponder and get inspired about how to best express themselves. Stay tuned to hear more about our Spring/Summer 2013 issue!

What this means for C.L.A.P. subscribers: Current subscribers will still receive four total issues of C.L.A.P., though it may take longer to fulfill this number depending where you are on your subscription cycle. NEW subscriptions will still be for a year, and are available at a 20% off discounted price through our Double Peace etsy shop.

What this means for the Winter 2012 issue:  In the spirit of having a more relaxed publication schedule, our Winter 2012 issue will be coming out at the end of January (yes, I realize this means it will technically be 2013, but just ignore that for now).

This means that WE ARE STILL ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE OUTERSPACE, DREAMS AND OTHER DEEP THEMES ISSUE! To contribute, email us at creativeladiesarepowerful at gmail dot com.

Our apologies to any contributors who were anxiously waiting to see the Winter issue before the end of the year—we promise the wait will be worth it! PROMISE! We have all kinds of trippy shit ready to run in this upcoming issue, from recipes to dream analyses (email creativeladiesarepowerful at gmail dot com to submit YOUR dream for analysis now!) to a tutorial on making god's eyes to an essay on my personal favorite band of all time, Fleetwood Mac.

What this means for events: C.L.A.P. will now throw two larger events yearly to celebrate the release of each issue. Stay tuned to hear more about our mid-winter party, in the works and guaranteed to melt away the winter blahs!

Questions or comments about our new schedule or to contribute, email creativeladiesarepowerful at  gmail dot com.

Happy holidays everyone! Hope 2012 ends on a high note for you all!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More than a Woman wishes you a Merry Christmas

Alright, ladies and babies, it's that time of year again. It's the Christmas season, and boy, is my wallet tired.
Just kidding. I'm just bitter because I almost had a panic attack in Bibelot buying a Christmas gift for my mother. She better like it, that's all I'm saying.

Because listening to Christmas tunes doesn't do them justice, I'm going to give you a visual run-down of my favorite holiday tracks.

A classic for many reasons, I present Ms. Eartha Kitt singing "Santa Baby."

Eartha Kitt was a multi-racial dancer, singer, actress and activist. In the early 1940s,  she danced as a member of the first African American modern dance company, the Katherine Dunham Company. In 1967, she played Catwoman on the "Batman" television series. She spoke out for GLBT rights.

She was a talented, strong woman, and a total babe because of it. The fur shawl she sports in this Christmas video doesn't hurt, either.

Second is a woman who has a special place in my heart, Ms. Dolly Parton. This woman has Christmas cheer written all over her beautiful, little face.

I'm partial to "Joy to the World" because of its grandiose cheer. Dolly's shiny wedding dress makes it even more cheerful. The Christmas special which this clip is from holds many treasures, including candid shots of 90s church-goers singing along with sweet Ms. P.

The next video I present to you is a true Christmas miracle. Perhaps it's a miracle that someone uploaded it to the Internet to be saved forever and shared with all.

Clearly Kenny and Dolly are one of the all-time best duos. This old-timey treat is wonderful because of them, and because everyone's pretending it's post-WWII England. (Ummm, what?)

Regardless of confusing fashion and video plot-line choices, Dolly really brings her joy to the holidays.

Next on my list is Mariah Carey. If you don't remember the "All I Want for Christmas is You" video from your childhood...well, it's not too late for you, yet!

How cute is Mariah in this video? Onesie snowsuit, snow ball fights with Jolly Ol' St. Nick...There are little dogs running around with antlers on, and baby bunnies, too! (I'm getting a bit excitable, but it's Christmas, and I just can't help it. Maybe it's all the cookies and eggnog.)

Ms. Carey is so pretty in a vintage beauty way. She looks like a pinup of generations past with that big, luscious curly hair.

This year, Mariah put out two new versions of this song.

The first I'll present is the cutest. It might even be cuter than the original, but what's an homage without a reference point? (There's an answer to that, but I'll let someone else figure it out. I'm just going to drink more eggnog.)

Mariah still has those amazing chops, which is why we all love her in the first place. (Full disclosure: I want "Emotions" to be my wedding song.)

With late night cutie Jimmy Fallon (yes, I did just call Jimmy Fallon a "cutie") and a choir of children, the real clincher is the fantastically talented band The Roots playing cutesy instruments as accompaniment.

So in summary, this video is cute cute cutie holiday cute.

The more traditional re-do Ms. Carey released for Yuletide features Justin Bieber.

Let's face it, I don't know a damn thing about Justin Bieber. I've only heard two of his songs; both while listening to the radio on my four-hour car ride to Thanksgiving. I was alone, and I started to lose it. Having no pop stations in my usual radio repertoire, I scanned the stations for the current chart-topping pop hits.

When this jam came on, I almost swerved off the rode in sheer befuddlement. What is Mariah Carey doing?

Ok, really, what is she doing? This video garners all kinds of critique, but since it's the season of giving, I'm going to give my forgiveness.

Dear Justin Bieber, I forgive you for rubbing your hands together so creepily and over-dramatically lip-syncing. I forgive you for that haircut.

Dear Mariah, I forgive you for awkwardly dancing sexy in slow motion. I also forgive you getting to second base with yourself in the last minute of this video. You still look good --even if you are exposing the weirdest part of the human body to show in a cutout, the stomach (literally, where your stomach is under your skin). Again, I love you.

Last but certainly not least, my favorite contemporary Christmas tune, "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Sir Paul McCartney.

Psychedelic visuals and spacey synth compliment Paul's Gryffindor scarf and Linda McCartney's outta sight haircut.

Maybe the songs on my visual Christmas list get overplayed every year. Still, no matter how many times I hear them, I can't help singing along.  

The ladies and gents that made this list sang these greats better than anyone, and looked damn good doing it. They are righteous bringers of the season, and for that, I salute them.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Monday, November 5, 2012

More Than a Woman: A PSA Brought to You by 2Pac

Election Day is tomorrow.
Among issues prevalent and important to me surrounding this years' elections is women's rights.

Really, y'all? We gotta keep talking about this shit? People are still oppressing other people and getting into their personal business? Can't we just live and let live?

Well, Republicans would rather live and let die.

Now before things get heated, let's take a step back, a journey back to 1993. 

Bill Clinton became president. Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic. The North American Fair Trade Agreement passed. And Tupac Shakur released the hit single, "Keep Ya Head Up."

At the age of 21, Tupac spoke deeply to women and youth. 

"They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor"

Nearly a decade after the song's debut and rise on the Billboard charts, the problems Tupac addresses are still the issues we face today. He raps on the struggles of youth in the ghetto, the hardships of being a single mother. 

In the last half of the first verse, respect for women take center stage:

Since we all came from a woman 
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women 
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don't we'll have a race of babies
That hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you're fed up ladies, but keep your head up

Growing up, Tupac himself was surrounded by strong women. His mother Afeni Shakur and his aunt Assata Shakur were both prominent members of the Black Panther Party in New York. He maintained a lifelong friendship with Jada Pinkett Smith, who appears in the video for "Keep Ya Head Up." 

While his early life was rich with female influence, 1993 also brought about a sexual assault charge against Tupac. Allegedly he and his crew gang raped a woman in his hotel room. In the end Tupac served 11 months of his up-to-four-and-a-half-years sentence. 

Serious violence followed him everywhere until he was shot to death in September of 1996. There is much controversy over the circumstances of the murder, including conspiracy theories on the identity of the murderer and the possibility that Tupac is in fact still alive. 

Ghost stories aside, "Keep Ya Head Up" samples one of my favorite songs, "Ooh Child" by the Five Stairsteps. 

With such a positive message, it's hard not to believe in the future. When I'm down, "Ooh Child" speaks to me. It feels like someone older and wiser is holding my shoulder, and saying, "It's going to be ok." (Nina Simone does a really beautiful rendition of this song.)

It's disheartening to feel like we're still pushing so hard for change. It's terrifying to think of what will happen if we take steps backwards. 

Whatever happens after tomorrow, be confident that you did your part to change America for the better. Go out there and vote! 

(Voting is easier than you think. If you need tips on how to same-day register, ask me. I'm the queen of procrastination and I just got my shit together today. You can, too!)

I'll leave you with a song --an anthem, really --that makes me cry just thinking about it. 

If you don't believe you can make a difference, think about all of the people just like you who have. Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Sandra Day O'Connor, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Shirin Ebadi, Ida B. Wells...please don't make me keep going. These are just a few, a very small few of the women that have made the world what it is today. They were and are real women with real problems that they've had to face, and still found time to improve the lives of others. You don't need a college degree or position of high power to do that. You just need your voice.

More than women, we are individuals who care for each other and need to stand together. Keep your head up.

So much love.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We are NOW accepting submissions for our Winter 2012 issue, themed "Outerspace, Dreams and Other Deep Themes." If you have a submission, a question about submitting or an idea you'd like to workshop, email us at

Deadline is DECEMBER 1ST!

We'd love to have you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Than a Woman: songs on Jane

Press play.

I know I'm not the first person to think of the possible connection between all the song titles including the name Jane. However, to preface certain selections on the playlist, I may be one of the few who has included the late, great Rick James.

I begin with the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" because the song has one of the best beginnings in the history of song beginnings. Exaggeration aside, isn't it exciting when an intro sounds nothing like the rest of the song, and would itself make a really great song?

"Sweet Jane" is from VU's album Loaded --right before Lou Reed left the band, and after Nico had returned to outer space. The album boasts a great country rocker called "Lonesome Cowboy Bill," and a sweet, sad uptempo drama called "Who Loves the Sun?."

The song on this playlist focuses on three characters: Jack, Jane and the narrator who is self-evidently Lou Reed. "Jack wears his corset/Jane is in her vest/Me, I'm in a rock 'n roll band."

It reminds me of another three character tune featuring a Jack. You might know it as a little ditty called "Jack and Diane." John Cougar Mellancamp wrote this American love story to be the most depressing song about small-town love that is coincidentally the catchiest as well.

To quote the Coug: "Sucking on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freez/ Diane's on Jacky's lap/He's got his hands between her knees."

Yum, romance. Nothing says love like eating a chili dog on your lover's knee while he's copping a feel. Is Cougar-Mellancamp attempting innuendo? I hope not. I'd rather not think about chili dogs and penises as texturally or fragrantly related.

In any case, just like Mellancamp, Lou Reed shows the lives of two lovers working to make it. All the while Reed interjects his idiosyncratic flare.

Speaking of flare, Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell loves the Velvet Underground and eyeliner. His song "Jane Says" could be paying homage to the Velvet Underground tunes featuring a woman saying something: "Candy Says," "Lisa Says," "Stephanie Says."

This Jane refers to Farrell's ex-housemate, a heroin addict named Jane. She and her condition are also the band's namesake.

I don't know much about Jane's Addiction, but I've been told they're the best band ever.

Nick Drake takes up the next spot on the list with his "Hazey Jane I." On Drake's second release Bryter Layter, the album also features the more upbeat counterpart "Hazey Jane II," and John Cale of the Velvet Underground on keys for several songs.

From Bob Dylan's sixth studio release Highway 61 Revisited comes "Queen Jane Approximately." Dylan offers a helping hand to Queen Jane, if she ever needs a reality check or maybe just a friend.

The jangly piano effectively brings the hook back around as Dylan coos, "Won't you come see me, Queen Jane?"

In 1973, Columbia released Dylan without Bobby's consent, comprised entirely of outtakes. While I don't believe that Columbia's actions were respectful, I'm glad we can all now listen to "Sarah Jane." According to the liner notes, the song is a traditional that Dylan rearranged for his purposes. A departure from the condescending tone of "Queen Jane," the endearing lyrics of "Sarah Jane"and its female back-up singers make it a feel-good toe-tapper.

The next two tracks focus on another Jane; Mary Jane to be exact.

Rick James gives a good-times vibe with his "Mary Jane." Flutes and light funk guitar accompany James' lyrics about a sweet lady. It all ends in a bass-heavy synth mess of passion.

The Mary Jane in Janis Joplin's blues track most likely refers to marijuana rather than a woman, but who knows. Joplin spends all her money on Mary Jane, and can see when other men are familiar with Mary Jane. Mary Jane keeps her company when no one else can be found. Drug addiction is great metaphor for the hopeless side of love. (See: Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love", Huey Lewis and The News' "I Want a New Drug")

David Bowie finds his way into the Jane playlist as Davie Jones and the King Bees. Saxophones rip it up in "Liza Jane", Bowie's first single that garnered little attention at the time of its release. 1964 wasn't the best of times for Bowie. He still went by his given name of Jones, and hopped from group to group attempting to find his voice.

Soon after "Liza Jane", David changed his stage surname to Bowie so as not to be confused with the Monkees' frontman Davey Jones. In 1967 his self-titled debut David Bowie came to introduce the world to the man who would become Ziggy Stardust.

And to think, it all began with a little woman half-named Jane.

Et la fin? Who else but Jane Birkin. The only artist by the name of Jane in this collection, Birkin is also the most French by association. "La Ballade de Johnny Jane", from what I can tell of the translation, is quite a sad song. Lines like "A search of love suicide" and "Time gnaws love as acid" resonate clearly as esoteric as they might seem. Translations never really express true nuance, but I'll take what I can get. Besides, a woman as cool as Jane Birkin can be esoteric.

Jane, she is plain. Yet, how many songs are written about her?
"Jane" is a muse. She is an archetype for the average girl.
She's more than a woman. She is woman.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Get in on this!: Woman-run publications from Zinefest

Where it all began...
September 22nd was the 7th Twin Cities Zinefest, the second of which C.L.A.P. has participated in, and it was, as expected, awesome. One of my favorite things about Zinefest, in addition to being able to talk to people about what we do at C.L.A.P., is connecting with other independent publishers, especially cool, creatively-minded women.

It's incredibly inspiring to see so many women putting out great publications in our area. Here are some of my personal favorites that accept submissions.


Wopozi: awesome art and writing, for FREE

You can pick up this new tabloid style publication put out by Oakley Tapola and Sarah Ann, for FREE at select locations around the Twin Cities. It is beautiful, in color, and all about art and arts-based writing. For more on Wopozi, check out their blog and facebook page.

W O M A N H O U S E 

W O M A N  H O U S E patch. Hells yes.

W O M A N  H O U S E  #5
From W O M A N  H O U S E press. Better than my undergrad intro to women's studies course.
W O M A N H O U S E is an feminist critique publishing house headed by Molly Davy. Check out their blog here, facebook page and their shop.

Whole Beast Rag

A snapshot of our neighbor, Whole Beast Rag,'s table at Zinefest

Between sharing a table at Zinefest and having her help out with our Fall Release party, I was lucky to spend some time with Whole Beast Rag's Katharine Hargreaves. She's awesome and from my home state, which is always a bonus. Katharine and Grace Littlefield are at the helm of the Whole Beast Rag. They are currently taking submissions for their next issue, TAMMY, "a parody, commentary, sublimation + examination of the contemporary woman’s magazine and problematic concepts surrounding the cult of womanhood. TAMMY explores our cultural fascination with the body’s ability to bleed while providing a subversive alternative to the (wo)manifestoes of our era." Deadline is November 1st.

 Check out their website, tumblr and facebook page for more info. They also have a whole bunch of "Bedroom Playlists" which are good for sexy times and make me wish that my friend Mary and I actually followed through on making our "Songs to F to" mix CD's back in college.

Postcard from Woodlock. Also has a poster-sized version, which is also amazing.

Let's face it, James and Donna's weird love triangle with Laura Palmer was a totes snooze fest, but this print is amazing. Also, not sure why there is a huge dark spot on my boob, just ignore that.

BONUS: I have to say that hands down, the table that I was most excited about was print artist Natalie Woodlock's. Not really in the realm of publications you can submit to, but totally, totally awesome. Someone who makes prints out of various scenes from Twin Peaks deserves an extra special shout out. You can check out Natalie's work at her etsy shop here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Photographic evidence of our Fall Release Party

How many people (and YouTube tutorials) does it take to tap a keg?
Last Friday, C.L.A.P. hosted a fabulous three part party to celebrate our Fall 2012 issue release. There was an erotica writing workshop led by C.L.A.P. contributor Ryn Gibson and Whole Beast Rag's Kat 
Hargreaves, featuring the beats of Phil Khalar from Tart and Andy Fischer; readings by local writers (including our very own "Dear Sheila" advice columnist Sheila Frankfurt) and jams brought by The Burglars (featuring C.L.A.P. contributor Shieva Salehnia), Kitten Forever (with C.L.A.P. contributors Laura Larson and Corrie Harrigan) all wrapped up by a set by DJ Fat Tyra (better known as contributor Amalia Nicholson). 

It was awesome, but in case you don't believe me, here are some shots of the festivities. 

That's us!

Shieva, our "More Than a Woman" blog columnist

The Burglars

Kitten Forever (because who doesn't love kittens????)

This makes me really happy.



Writing workshop

Sheila reads from her most recent "Dear Sheila" column
Got photos from the event you'd like to share (or of other C.L.A.P.-related events)? Send them our way ( to share!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Speaking with Tapestry Artist Erin M. Riley

Erin at work in her studio (photo by Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts)

The other day I was visiting my friend Cortney in Milwaukee and noticed a rad postcard on her fridge. Amongst the typical refrigerator decor of baby pictures, wedding invites and shopping lists, there was an image of a woven tapestry—featuring a chick sitting on a couch, smoking a bong next to a laptop. Say what!? As it was unlike anything I have seen in this lifetime, I asked Cortney about it, who exclaimed it was by “the lady that does the naked woman tapestries!” She then not only gave me the postcard, but also opened me up to the world of Erin M. Riley, a contemporary tapestry artist, based out of Philadelphia. Upon Cortney’s urging, I contacted Erin to see if she would be interested in sharing with C.L.A.P. her experience as an artist and was totally stoked to hear back from her almost immediately.

Keep reading to find out Erin’s thoughts on utilizing amature internet porn pics for tapestry subject matter, the struggles creative types face and advice for female artists. Be sure to check out our Fall 2012 issue for Erin's complete interview, and for more on what Erin is up to.

Shots (All following photos by Erin M. Riley)
C.L.A.P: Your latest collection is amazing. What kind of reactions did it receive from folks? How did it come about? How does it differ from past work that you've done?

Erin M. Riley: This newest work is the most nude I have ever done. I had been collecting "party girl" pictures for a while but then started getting really disillusioned and was looking for more personal imagery. I have always loved the images women take of themselves to pass along, newage keepsakes or tokens of love that end up on the internet for mass consumption. I can completely relate to taking a photograph in which you think your body looks great, only for a suitor to say, "show me your tits", or "take off your pants". I am completely interested in need for constant updated visual stimulation, which I think is a result of the internet. I am also so so so interested in the trends in pornography that end up in the minds of young men and women and become regular behavior. And that is where the images of girls being cummed on comes from.

C.L.A.P.: How does your creative process work?

EMR: I am constantly thinking of things to weave, so I collect images, take images or search out something specific and print it out. I trace the image, blow it up using an overhead projector and trace it to scale and i I use that as a template when weaving. I am really inspired by everyday stuff, by interactions with lovers, reality tv, life, etc.

C.L.A.P.: What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to how people view artists?

EMR: I find lately that young adults think being an artist is easy or because someone has gotten an MFA they deserve something. Being an artist requires a lot of hard work, people skills, business skills, organization, paper work!!, etc. And just because you might make something that is cool, if you never show anyone or apply for anything, you might never get anywhere. I am in my studio every day, from 2pm to 2am sometimes longer, very rarely shorter, but I am in my studio every day.

C.L.A.P.: I read a statement from you in which you attributed going to school for art as a major factor for being able to do what you do. In the face of difficulties getting paid work and dealing with student loans, do you have any advice for people considering going (or returning) to school to follow their passions?

EMR: I think for me, I was really young going to grad school, 21, and it gave me a really hard kick in the butt. It was hard, I had an assistantship at Tyler School of Art, so for the first year I had free tuition and a stipend but I was pretty much working 20-30 hours on top of going to grad school. I napped a lot in the studio. I think it really helped me get into a rhythm of making work despite being busy and having other things to focus on. I do think student loans are something to consider when you are getting any education, for me I make so little income that the IBR program has allowed me to pay very little each month. I may never pay off my student loans, but its manageable and I would rather pay a little each month than work two jobs to pay a huge sum to pay it off. Dont get loans from Sallie Mae if you can avoid it, government loans and try to get low interest loans obviously.

C.L.A.P.: Who are some other female artists you would recommend that people check out?

EMR: I have always loved Louise Bourgeois, Kathy Acker, Sheila Hicks and I am showing with the fantastic painter Pakayla Rae Biehn coming up, I also have a thing for Marisa Sciabarrasi's photograph/video.

C.L.A.P.: What do you have coming up?

EMR: Right now I am working on self portraits, working to keep the backgrounds and dye lots the same so that the colors are matching, trying to create a series of pieces that seem to have been taken on the same day wearing the same clothing, or undergarments. Creating pieces that are body shots, images that I think are flattering and beautiful but also images that are pure presentation. I started a series called Presenting, of images of just the front image of the vagina. The beautiful unique W shape, thinking about how in those images it feels like you're giving away a lot.

I am going to do some diptychs, comparing images. I have so many tapestries to weave, its kind of insane but thats a good thing. Ideas are flowing. I am showing in Los Angeles, Boston, Prague, and Brooklyn coming up and I have a residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in October.

C.L.A.P.: What advice do you have for women who want to work professionally as artists?

EMR: I think that all I can say is be authentic and real. Trust your gut and don't let anyone talk down to you or push you around. Get used to rejection, its just part of the life.

For more of Erin's interview, pick up our Fall 2012 "Peace, Love and Happiness" issue, available NOW on our Double Peace Etsy website and soon to come at select awesome vendors in Minneapolis and Iowa City. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall 2012 "Peace, Love and Happiness" Issue Out NOW!!!!

The front (design by Lisa Luck)!

The back (design by Lisa Luck)!
Just in time for last Saturday's Twin Cities Zinefest, we published our Fall 2012 "Peace, Love and Happiness" issue!

In addition to the usual fare (mix tape listing, "Vagina Speak" women's health column, "Dear Sheila" advice column and a creative exercise), this issue features some awesome illustrations, poems, an article on being happy alone, interviews (including one with amazing tapestry artist Erin M. Riley, which we will be featuring on here on the blog as well) and more.

Jen Hughes' Mix Tape listing (featuring illustrations by Molly Butterfoss)

Jen Hughes' hair do (featuring layout by Lisa Luck)

Erin M. Riley interview (stay tuned for more!)
Once again, Titi Phan generously donated her time and talents to layout this issue, and it looks fabulous. The white cardstock cover features the original artwork of Lisa Luck on front and back. Readers can have their choice of three "inside" colors, suited to our theme: green (peace), red (love) and yellow (happiness). A huge thank you is in order, not just to our contributors and designers but to our advice columnist Sheila Frankfurt and Paradigm Copying for putting the final product all together!

For those outside of the Twin Cities (and Iowa City), you can purchase a copy through our Double Peace etsy site. We will also have the issue available at select vendors soon! If you can't wait, swing by our Fall issue release party and erotica writing workshop this Friday, Sept. 28th, to pick one up and to have a really, really good time.

Note: We try our best to always avoid typos but sometimes they slip through. It should be noted that the fabulous drawings that accompany Jen Hughes' mix tap listing are by Molly Butterfoss, not Molly Butterfloss, as the caption on the page suggests. You can also see her drawings in color in this C.L.A.P. blog post. To check out Molly's other work, check out her website. She rules.

Monday, September 24, 2012

More than a Woman: Ms. Lauryn Hill

Every six months, I need Lauryn Hill. I may not recognize that The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is what I need, but it is. That album came out in 1998, when I was nine years old. Somehow now I connect that album to womankind and my woman connection. The timelessness of music amazes me.

I remember thinking she was so pretty when I was kid, Ms. Lauryn Hill --her, RuPaul and David Bowie. They were so beautiful and glamorous. They got me wanting to wear lipstick and eyeliner and cool clothes.

She wasn't over-processed and she had real talent. In an era when boy bands and Britney Spears ruled the airwaves, Lauryn Hill could be found doing her own thing. She won Grammys, NAACP awards.

Above and beyond award committee recognition and album sales, Ms. Hill wrote and sang a perfect album. A perfect album is one that from start to finish leaves naught to want. You can listen to it all the way through, or pick select songs. Either way, you're going to feel satisfied.

There are ballads, soul-crushing ballads, that range in topic from leaving a hurtful lover to a love song for God/Jesus/the Lord. Then there's the smoothest love jam duet with D'Angelo, "Nothing Even Matters". "Doo Wop (That Thing)" and "Everything is Everything" act as the most upbeat tracks, and even those songs have lesson-filled lyrics. The wisdom projected through the lyrics astonish when you remember that at the time, she was only 23 years old.

"To Zion" most wholly reflects Ms. Hill's musical ability and her heartfelt wordsmanship. Close to the beginning of the album, this mid-tempo track addresses Ms. Hill's decision to keep and raise her child, while it demonstrates her vocal range. The emotionally-charged melodies amplify the powerful and personal lyrical message.

Perhaps giving birth to a child made her grow up. Maybe it was the level of success she had already achieved with The Fugees.

However she crafted each song to be her own unique expression, Miseducation is a classic.

Apparently after that point, she appeared on and helped produce Carlos Santana's incredibly successful album Supernatural.

Artist, producer, mother: what can this woman not do? Apparently, make amends with the media or with sections of society.

Three years after her stellar solo debut, Ms. Hill released MTV Unplugged 2.0.

If you've ever been a confused, disheartened, creative, female millennial, and you've spent hours scouring YouTube for live videos of Lauryn Hill, you know what I mean.

The album received varying reviews, and the media started to portray her as a lost student of a strange Christian advisor named Brother Anthony. Now I don't know anything about a Brother Anthony other than what Wikipedia has told me, so maybe he was a crazy cult leader that convinced Ms. Hill of things detrimental and unfounded.

Between then and now, she's released some music and continued to create controversy. And she started touring again.

When February rolled around in 2010, I had almost forgotten that I had tickets to Ms. Hill's First Ave show. It had been so many months prior that I had woken up on a Saturday morning to wait for the online sale to begin. I hadn't done that kind of ticket buying in a long time.

Music is really big in Minneapolis, but we don't get many big acts coming into town. Ok, ok we get Parliament every year and Toots every year. But where's Erykah Badu, or even Prince?

In 2010, Ms. Hill was notoriously late to her U.S. concerts. Although I'd read a couple reviews, I kept an open mind because lord knows, this woman's music got me through being a small-town brown girl. When I couldn't relate anymore to the aggression of bands like The Buzzcocks, or the smarmy croon of Elvis Costello, I needed something real and relatable. Enter Lauryn Hill.

In that time in my life when I was just getting used to "womanhood", I knew little (and still don't know a whole lot), but I knew didn't want to be a quiet, subordinate version of woman. Ms. Hill is a powerful, talented woman that speaks her truth, and still feminine. By feminine, I mean that she never gives up any part of her womanhood to say what she has to say. She was and is a role model for the 21st century feminist.

I waited the two and a half hours in First Ave that February 2010. A room full of people yelled and pushed and grew more and more impatient as the time neared midnight.

Finally at 11:55 PM, she appeared in a fur vest, armfuls of thick bangles and enormous bell-bottoms waisted with a Chanel belt.

The performance covered much of Miseducation and the hits from the Fugees days. She began and ended the show with Bob Marley covers, and awesomely, Rohan Marley --father to five of Ms. Hill's children --showed up.

During several tracks I forgot to breathe. It was therapeutic, like a fast, or staying in a sauna for several hours, might be.

Ms. Hill urged her band through songs, waving her arm for them to keep pace. She kept saying, "Come on. Come on.", looking back at the two drummers, two bass players, three guitarists and several back-up singers.

The energy was incredible, and I couldn't believe I'd seen something so powerful. Although time has taken its toll on Ms. Hill's voice, she still sang like a beautiful bird, directed her band like a young Sly Stone or James Brown; she made every song worth the wait.

It looked a little something like this:

My expectations were nonexistent, honestly. I didn't need new songs, or punctuality. I would've liked to hear something from the Unplugged session, but beggars can't be choosers. Honestly, that's what we are at a certain point: just folks begging an artist to present themselves again so that we may see them, too.

I don't care why Ms. Hill doesn't pay her taxes. I don't even care if she continues touring. She created a masterpiece of human emotion, and all any artist can hope for is just one.

Ms. Lauryn Hill, you are more than a woman to me. You are the reason I keep my head up. You are the reason I believe in who I am, regardless of what anyone else thinks. You are the reason I am proud to be a female musician singer/songwriter. Your music makes me proud to be a woman.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall Issue Sneak Peek: Drawings by Molly Butterfoss

Since we are SO excited about our upcoming Fall 2012 "Peace, Love and Happiness" issue, here is a little taste of what lies ahead...drawings from the fabulously talented Molly Butterfoss. For this issue, Molly contributed these sketches for Jen Hughes' Peace, Love and Happiness mixtape listing. She has also created Hot Roxx sketches for Jen as well (some of which will be featured in the article).As you can see, they are brilliantly colored and we didn't want that to go to waste! You can check out Molly's website here, for more of her creative genius.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's almost Fall...

A sneak peek at Lisa Luck's original design for our Fall 2012 issue cover. Read more about it on Lisa's blog, Hello Lisa.
...and that means our "Peace, Love and Happiness" issue is almost out! In celebration, we are going to be putting up some other "sneak peeks" of what we have in store, including some beautiful illustrations by new C.L.A.P. contributor Molly Butterfloss and a look at our interview with the amazingly talented tapestry-ist Erin M. Riley.

C.L.A.P. contributor Ryn Gibson and I are also going to be featured on this week's Culture Queue on Radio K talking all about C.L.A.P.  and the upcoming issue. You can tune in at 6 pm this coming Sunday, or check it out later once they get it up on the archives. Through the process of doing the interview, I learned that Molly Harrington (now Hilgenberg)'s piece on going braless was a hit, that C.L.A.P. processes typically are connected to getting drunk and that I need to find myself a meaningful, well-paying job (don't we all?).

And THAT means that some of the totally awesome events we have been looking forward to for months are almost here. Events like...

Come check out the unveiling of our Fall issue, get your hands on a copy (hot off the press!) and check out tons of other sweet self-publishers. The event is FREE and takes place from 12-6 at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis this Saturday, September 22nd.

Poster by Lucy Voller

Our Fall Issue Release Party!  Friday, September 28th at Madame!

This one is gonna be a three parter, and it is going to be wild in the best way possible.

First up, from 8-9 p.m. Charge Your Meat: Erotic Beats Get those juices flowin' in an erotic writing workshop with Kat Hargreaves, artistic director for Whole Beast Rag, and Ryn Gibson, C.L.A.P. contributor. To RSVP to the writer workshop, or to find more details about it, check out the invite here.

Next we will have readings from local writers, including Sheila Frankfurt, Marissa Moore, Gregory Scott and Kat Hargreaves from 9-10 p.m. If you are interested in reading, please email!

Finally at 10 p.m.,  IT IS TIME TO PARTY with The BurglarsOn a Clear DayKitten Forever and DJ Fat Tyra. All the details can be found here. If you aren't familiar with Madame, and need the address, just email us at

If you really like to party and also really like to clean and/or help out with events, email us, because we are going to need volunteers to help out with the event, especially with the clean up afterwards. Because, you know, parties get messy and we don't want Mom to find out!