Friday, May 25, 2012

Dear Sheila: Archiving the Past

Speaking of archiving the past, here we go with the Spring 2012 installment of Dear Sheila! Want some life advice from C.L.A.P.'s resident columnist? Send her your questions at She's ready to get real. 

DEAR SHEILA: I’ve been cogitating on what has appeared to be a thorn in the side of my new relationship—namely his ex-girlfriend. He (my BF) talks about her a lot, i think he is still processing and that's fine but i can see that a lot of the time he is just on automatic pilot, like yeah if someone was dictating your life for four years, they might still be part of your routine. and then and i don't know this for a fact, but i am pretty sure he hasn't deleted pictures off of his memory card on his camera since before the break up and for the sake of your column lets just say the whole 4 years are not archived yet. the question could be, there is an understandable reason for all of this, but at what time do you archive the past and is it ever okay to ask? and what then is my role: if he talks about her, am i allowed to weigh in with my opinion (usually something like, dude sounds like this was a doomed relationship, dude sounds like you dodged a bullet etc). or do i steer away from the conversation
----Romanstiche Bilder

 Dear R.B.:

steer away from the conversation!! avoid getting mired in discussing the ins and outs of his relationship with her AT ALL COSTS bc those are conversations he needs to have with his friends or his therapists, and absolutely not you.

 as far as the pictures go. well, is it negatively impacting your life? is he looking at them all the time? does he just have other stuff he needs to deal with besides that and its not at the topic of his priority list? maybe you could just do it for him. like, get a CD rom, put all the pictures on the CDrom, delete them, and give him the CD. actually, scratch that. that's a weird thing to do. let it go. its not a big deal. i have relics from my past relationships everywhere and check in with him, just in terms of "hey, i don't want to accidentally see pictures of you and your ex now. could you like make it so i don't have to worry about that? and that's all you need to say. and don't say why you don't want to see them, because duh, and you don't want to get into a bigger conversation about life with his ex because YOU'RE NOT HIS THERAPIST OR BEST FRIEND your his girlfriend and you need romance and mystery and he shouldn't get into the habit of dumping or processing on/with you because that will mess up the burgeoning dynamics of your own relationship. your relationship needs to develop/flourish fruitfully and with independence from mindfully referencing only his recent past relationship. you need your own patterns

 i mean, sometimes you want to get off the main drag of life, and want to go to where the streets have no name. as much as we like to think we live in somewhere as open and liberating as, well, Nicollet ave, 2 am is still closing time and then you might have to drag your ass back to dight ave. and then you wake up on Sunday morning and realize you passed out in the front lawn of lets-be-real-with-our-feelings-strasse. Anyways, it sounds like you’re gonna be fine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sign up for the C.L.A.P. Monthly newsletter!

In an attempt to streamline communications, C.L.A.P. is putting out a monthly e-newsletter! WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

In addition to being quite possibly the sexiest (not sexist, Momar), newsletter out there, C.L.A.P's monthly  message will be an excellent reminder for me to pay my rent on time (and if you also have your payments due on the first, perhaps for you as well. BONUS).

The newsletter will contain important info about submissions, advertising, deadlines, events and other news bits. We might throw in some other bells and whistles as well. In general though, it is a way for us to keep our contributors and readers in the loop with what we have going on.

I PROMISE this will only be a once-a-month deal. Nothing is more annoying than signing up for something that peaks your interest only to have your inbox flooded with messages about every piece of information an organization comes across.

Sounds good? Signing up is easy—you can simply fill out the box on the right hand side of this screen, under our list of social media platforms, or below! Technology at its best! Note: When you are prompted to put your name in, it will call the list "C.L.A.P. Contributors." That is an error we are working to fix. Even though we of course would love to have you all contribute, signing up will not force you to do so! This is for the newsletter, so don't freak out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's time to get WEIRD!

Brilliant thoughts, ideas, musings from the evening
It's hard to believe we are chugging through May so fast, but since it has been so much fun, who am I to complain? And part of the fun? Getting cracking on our upcoming "Weird Things" summer issue! Our deadline is JUNE 1st and we have already received our first awesome piece, by past contributor Erin Duffey, who wrote about (weird) people you find on public transit. It rules and we can't wait to see what other gems start rolling in! A big THANK YOU to Erin for getting her piece in first—you will be getting some sort of prize. We don't have the prize yet, though, so if anyone has any suggestions for weird prizes, let us know.

Thanks to Low and Kat, two of the lovely ladies from the Grease Rag, C.L.A.P. hosted its first ever brainstorming session for the upcoming issue earlier this month. New and old faces alike showed up to throw around ideas and to hang. As promised, we are sharing some of these ideas for those who were unable to attend, and may be looking for some inspiration/starting points for their own submissions.

So...without further adieu:


Going to the suburbs
Depression era carnivals
Stalkers (next to this, I wrote "just trying to network?")
Weird sex positions
"Swingers, that's weird"
Touching someone else's anal beads
Kombucha (I totally lucked out and went home with part of Kat's scoby, to start the resurgence of my kombucha production. Thanks Kat!)
Nude bike ride
Herbalism (tinctures)
Booty Bounce
Misinformation in sex talks
Weird jobs we'd like to do/have done: sorting human remains, cruise line entertainer, parasite doctor
Support networks
DREAMS (wrote this in all caps, four beers in)
Hearing and tasting color
Letters and numbers having personalities

We also did an exercise where we went around and said weird things we have eaten, touched, done (or have wanted to eat, touch or do) for inspiration. Finally, although our women's health columnist was not able to attend this brainstorming event, she is looking for women to share stories of things they didn't want to tell their doctors (if you have one you'd like to share, email her at:

Spread the love: the kombucha grows

Feeling inspired?! Still in need of some guidance?! Just let us know—we want all of you to be part of our next issue! Our deadline is JUNE 1st, so just email us at with any questions, ideas or submissions.  Remember, contributors get a free issue...if you have contributed to the Winter 2011 or Spring 2012 issues and have not yet received your complimentary copy, please contact us to remedy that situation. As a reminder, we are happy to mail issues to out of town contributors, but if you live in the Twin Cities area, we ask that you arrange a pick up of your free copy at Yeti Records—but please contact us before hand to give them a heads up!

We are also in the works of planning a midnight writing session as an incentive to get pieces done. While the timing of this can be flexible (take "midnight" as a general framework), we are in search of a space to do this at. If you would like to offer your home or other space for this event, or if you know of a space we should check out for it, please contact us as well!

Hope you are all enjoying this simply magnificent weather!



UPDATE: Had a flash of inspiration while doing the dishes! No time for a full submission? NO PROBLEM! Just answer this question (comments here are fine!): What weird thing(s) are you "into"?...we will share them in the summer issue! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lisa Luck Talks Yeti on Wheels Fundraiser

As you may have heard, our favorite local record store (and major C.L.A.P. supporter), Yeti Records, is
raising funds to transform their brick and mortar storefront to a mobile record shop. There are a bunch of great incentives packages that you can claim for donating (including an extra special C.L.A.P. music-themed limited addition!), and plus you get the satisfaction of supporting an awesome independent business! You can find more out about the fundraiser here. You can also check out how even the mainstream news is into it here with this sweet clip from KSTP on the shop and the fundraiser.

And now for the super fun part! A Q&A with Yeti co-owner, and C.L.A.P. contributor, the amazing Lisa Luck! 

1. What is the Yeti fundraiser and how did it come about?

Thanks for asking :) Our fundraiser project “Yeti Records on Wheels” was put together in an effort to raise enough funds to help our brick and mortar record store transition into a mobile store or “record truck”.

We are an all used record shop specialising in vintage vinyl and have been in business at our store front location (35th and nicollet in South Minneapolis) for the about 2 years now. Although it’s been a radical time, our overhead is nuts. We can barely make the payments and that is with us both having other jobs to try to supplement the costs. We love our shop. We love our customers. We love the community that is so supportive to us. We simply can’t afford the rent, the inflexibility of having a store front and we are simply not interested in being an online business. We don’t want to shut down and we don’t have to. We are just changing our approach and making it work for us.

2. What is happening with your business seems to be a reflection of the difficulties facing many small, independent businesses today—especially in the creative field! How do you see communities like ours supporting each other and evolving to ensure such culture still exists?

Gosh. What a question. The thing about businesses like ours... is that we aren’t business people. Our goal was never to make a ton of cash and if it was we would have gone into a different business. We just wanted to do something we loved and hopefully break close to even at the end of the day. Without “the man” in charge, big loans, investors.. that sort of thing running a small business where you can actually support yourself can just seem impossible. 

Oh gosh. Again. Hard hitting questions... I think the most important part of keeping independent business and culture alive is to simply support it. Eat at local restaurants. Shop at local shops. I’m not saying go nuts and never walk into a big box store again. Just remember that the unique shops you love can only sustain themselves if you actually shop at them. The independent magazines you love can can only survive if you buy them.. that sort of thing.

3. You’ve lived in quite a few places around the country—what do you think is unique and special about the Twin Cities in terms of creativity and community? 

Oh Minneapolis. Minneapolis is really one of my favorite places ever. There are so many creative and inspirational people here. For one thing, the music scene is fantastic. Now that I’m all super pregnant I don’t make it out to shows nearly as much.

That said, there are just so many great bands to see and a really welcoming music scene. One of the first places I have lived where I have felt that the music scene wasn’t exclusively a boy’s club. That in itself is special. As a woman, it’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded with so many other creative women. I have never been around so many confident and talented females in my life.

4. What are your future plans for Yeti and yourself as an artist?

The Yeti Records storefront will remain open throughout the summer. We hope to get the mobile store going by the beginning of July. This of course is dependent on whether we can raise the essential funds to get this thing going. We are already midway to our goal, so I’m feeling hopeful!

As for myself, independent of Yeti. I find myself transitioning back into working as a freelance illustrator and have recently gotten back into screenprinting. You can take a peek at a screenprint of mine on our indiegogo funraising page as we are offering some of these an donation incentives.

Now that I’m becoming a mother, a few things have changed for me. The first of which is the desire to work more from home, which is where my new home screenprinting studio comes in. The second is to make art and illustration work geared towards children.

While looking for decorative ideas for my baby’s room, most of the affordable (nursery friendly) art out there made want to “barf” a little bit. There were some gems out there but I see a need for better options. I’m sure a lot of other parents out there feel the same way.

5. What are some of your favorite female artists and musicians? Anyone you look to for inspiration?

My number one favorite female band in minneapolis is Cadette. They channel a part of me that hasn’t been awake since my chelsea cut days. Love them. Also Mother of Fire’s Naomi Joy is kind of girl crush of mine. Evident in this picture of us --->

Lisa and Naomi
 from Record Store Day 2012. Lets not forget Littlefoot in all her dreamy and weird glory. Love her. I could go on...

6. What advice do you have for would-be small business owners?
Do it! Plan ahead. Keep your chin up and don’t be afraid to promote yourself.

7. Why do you think business like Yeti are important?

Shopping at small independent businesses goes hand in hand with my philosophy on listening to Vinyl instead of digital files. It’s tangible. You can hold in in your hands. You can interact with it. Both are so much more rewarding then the other options. Independent business hold personal history and stories just as records do. It just feels more human.

8. You and Jake are about to be new parents—how do you see little Ira fitting into your creative lifestyle? 

He will be in charge of all future finances.

Think what Lisa is talking about is worth saving/doing? We do! To contribute to the cause, check out the fundraiser here! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

VAGINA SPEAK: Our breasts, as mother nature intended

VAGINA SPEAK: Our breasts, as mother nature intended.
By Molly Harrington
From C.L.A.P. Spring 2012
Lock ‘em up, girls. It’s time to venture into the public. Pad them, cup them, smooosh them together until you have the perfect cleavage, for that round boobylicious look.
Underwire. Still? Please, post on the C.L.A.P. blog if you want to share your story, as I am speaking from a less endowed lady’s standpoint and would love to hear others experiences; but why do we cage them in metal? Sure, many from A cup all the way to G cup may feel they need the support or aesthetic that underwire provides, but humor me and try a week without(of course with a supportive structure that allows you to feel comfortable, which, I dare say is quite difficult to find, but in the end, worth your research). It might give you better support than ever because you can stop contorting your breasts into that expected shape as envisioned long ago by the corset (let’s not forget who invented that tortuous apparatus).
I gave up underwire three years ago, and upon cleaning out my underwear drawer this winter I found the ones I was still saving for a rainy day/fancy event when I feel like I need to be wearing a real bra to appear “professional”. So I tried one on and almost broke out in hives from being so uncomfortably caged in and overly sensitive to the maker’s idea of what a breast shape should look like, starkly contrasted to the actual contour of my breasts, which, I’m discovering are shaped more like awkward triangles than round melons.
Now, riddle me this, women’s clothing retail...where in the goddesses’ name is the well merchandised section of those lovely bras or bralettes without underwire? Oh, the hideous ones hidden in the back. Or the three ugly uniboob bras for sale at The Gap. Or in the training bra section (no joke - bought a couple at Target but they were way too small). I honestly bought a nursing bra once because it a) had no underwire but b) was the only one with a cute floral pattern, unlike all the white matronly ones. (I did end up throwing this out because whoa...there’s a whole other world of discomfort with the weird snappy things holding in part of your breast and it gets all itchy and then you realize you’re wearing a nursing bra but not actually nursing anyone...after that experience, when I breastfeed some day I’m just gonna let those titties dance in the breeze. BTW, Mothers, you are amazing.
Anyway, I would like to put out a little PSA for our desperate need for a creative lady who can start designing modern, cage free (now for eggs AND boobies!), and non-synthetic material style bras (perhaps find a new name for these as well? goddess tops?) for the naturelle, creative womyn/transgender folk who want to walk around freely AND stop supporting Victoria’s Secret and other misongynist, evil bra empires. Until then, I’ll keep wearing a cami or the one bralette that actually fits, washing it every full moon or so.
Hang loose, ladies. Here’s why. Love, Scientific Research
I found a study that researched women and their chances of breast cancer, depending on hours of bra wear. How? Because the lymphatic system has major pathways and vessels in your breasts. The lymphatic system is essentially your daily waste filter, circulating throughout your body and excreting toxins that otherwise build up in the body and can lead to all sorts of disease. Therefore, if an area of lymph vessels is frequently constricted, it can harm your tissue health and lymph drainage: 97% of lymph waste collected in your breasts drains through your armpit lymph nodes. (phew! I just had to remove my yoga top with a built in shelf bra while writing this to release constriction)
Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer (a.k.a. DON’T sleep in your bra. Ever.)
Women who wore bras more than 12 hours per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.
Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.
Women who wore bras rarely or never had 1 out of 168 risk.
This above study was conducted by Singer and Grismaijer - see their book Dressed to Kill
*They also found that women who exercise frequently are at lower risk because the natural, bouncing movement in the breasts during exercise increases the lymphatic drainage.
**I personally believe practicing Yoga is one of the best ways to get your lymph moving and simultaneously a gentle form of exercise. Deep breathing and compression in postures boosts the circulation of lymph and promotes elimination of built up toxins. I’ve also heard trampolining is good. Both activities make for a great way to get involved in your COMMUNITY!
Now go find your friends and burn some bras.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Girls Got Rhythm Fest: Q&A with founder Dana Raidt

One of our favorite local lady writers/podcaster/lady music aficionado Dana Raidt of Metro Magazine and Girl Germs is one of the brains behind the fabulous Girls Got Rhythm Fest, taking place this weekend in St. Paul. It's going to rule, so you should check it out. For info can be found at the event page here or on the event's blog here

HERE, however, Dana was gracious enough to answer some quick questions about the fest, her experience planning it and women in rock for C.L.A.P. Check it: 

How did the Girls Got Rhythm Fest come about?

My friend Travis Ramin and I are/were both doing podcasts. I was doing Girl Germs and he does Jazzed Up and Bonkers with Dan Henry (of Soviettes/Awesome Snakes fame). We have a lot in common musically, so we were trying to think of ways we could collaborate. Travis had put on a festival called Rock Action at the Turf a few years ago, and brought up the idea of organizing one together. We started asking around and gauging interest, and it kind of just snowballed from there! Next thing we knew, we were talking to Ronnie Spector’s people and she was totally into the idea. It all sort of came together after that.

What can fest attendees expect this weekend?  What are some of the “highlights”?

One of my favorite parts of the fest is how cohesive yet diverse the lineup is. It all fits together, but everything is really unique at the same time. Generally speaking, Friday is a little more rock and Saturday is a little more pop. I can safely say that L’Assassins are going to rock this thing. They are perfect for this bill and the local press has really latched on to them recently—for good reason. They are super fun and talented and are a perfect up-and-coming counterpoint to the more established acts like Ronnie Spector and The’s. The’s haven’t performed in the Twin Cities since 2003 and they are making the trip just to play the fest, which is mind-blowing. Of course Ronnie Spector will be amazing.

What are you most excited about for the fest?

I think seeing Ronnie Spector is going to change my life. Lately I’ve been on a kick of seeing older acts I love (like Stevie Nicks, Wanda Jackson and Tom Petty), and seeing Ronnie will be amazing. As Travis has said, “You’ll probably cry.” I was at The’s last show in the Entry, so it will be great to see them in a completely different setting. They have really great energy. I’m really into White Mystery as well, and always love seeing Pierced Arrows.

Why do you think it is important to have lady-friendly fests like GGR in this day and age?

While I think there has been a lot of progress made regarding women in the music industry, there’s still subtle, or even subconscious, sexism. Talented female acts don’t always get the attention they deserve, partially because some people project all their latent sexist crap on to them—sometimes without even realizing they’re doing it. It’s tricky though, because while we want to celebrate, empower and showcase these women, we don’t want to turn the whole thing into a novelty—nor do we want to book a band only because there are women involved. We booked all these musicians because we think they are the best of the best, and they all just happened to be ladies. It made for a cool theme, and hopefully it inspires and empowers some ladies out there. And maybe enlightens some dudes, too.

Anything else you would like to share about GGR and your experience planning it?

This festival is pretty much my baby at this point. (Seriously, we started planning in August so it’s been nine months. It really feels like I’m preparing to give birth.) I have learned so much. If all goes well, I hope that the fest will become something people flock to every year and that helps them get exposed to some amazing, well-curated music.

Want to see what Dana is giving birth to? You can get info on tickets for the Girls Got Rhythm Fest here! Also don't forget that tonight at 7 p.m. is going to be our very special Brainstorming Session for our "Weird Things" summer issue! You can check out more details on that here. Hope to see you there!