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issue 4 2014 the girl issue.











Our Blasted Lady of Cnidaria: Jasmine Sailing


Samantha Doom




DENVER SHE DEVILS Denver’s First All Ladies Urban Cycle Group


Jill Mustoffa: on the Early Days of Denver Punk and Current Photography Work




















Ladies Fancywork Society: A Punk-Rock Approach to Crocheted Street Art



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3105 EAST COLFAX AVENUE DENVER CO 80206 303.321.3604

A YARN ABOUT A GIRL Written by: Zobeda Fernandez Photos by: Circe Baumgartner


Moving from place to place has been a way

soft expressive eyes. Speaking to her, you

of life for me from the time I was a little

get the impression that her whole being

girl. Living in one place for very long brings

is absorbing and considering every word.

on an itch that can only be cured by a road trip, preferably with all of my belongings

Colleen’s world is a cartoon world; her

in tow. Some may say I have missed out on

ubiquitous crocheted beer sweaters sport

certain things by being constantly on the

three breasts or disgorge eyeballs with a

move, but I wouldn’t trade all of the people

squeeze. Cuddly monsters, shlong holders

I have met in my perpetual journeys. I enjoy

for male burlesque dancers and crocheted

being a stranger on the town, it lends a

dead foxes as adorable neckwear are a small

certain freedom. When no one knows you,

peek at the denizens that inhabit Colleen’s

you are free to meet whomever you like.

imagination. Colleen learned to crochet at a young age. You can feel her channeling

I have recently become acquainted with,

calm and patient demeanor as she helps

through my love of crafts, a creeper by

negotiate a difficult stitch or an unfamiliar

the name of Colleen Carson.

pattern. Her intensity of focus and ability




A creeper until


to engage makes her a great teacher/pusher

fabulousness suddenly creeps up and kicks

of crochet. Her passion for crafting is

you right in the ass. Don’t mistake my

evident. If there were to be a church of yarn

meaning; Colleen is a chica to be reckoned

arts, she would be an archbishop at least.

with. She is a feminist hippie chick, a

Colleen is a performing arts school alum

burlesque performer and a mixed media

and it seems she has decided to embrace

dreamer with just a glint of a razor about

the world entire as a stage. Burlesque, then

the edge; a punk rock tomboy channeling

comes as both a surprise and then again

the glamour of yore. Upon meeting her you

quite naturally. Whether wearing a candy

are faced with an impressive tumble of curls

colored wig or a sweater of her own making,

that fight with vintage frames to obscure

Colleen has a secret yet to be revealed. Costumes are a way to reach inward and outward at the same time; a safe playground for the ego with no lingering consequences. The sweater act has become larger than


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

life and certainly larger than she ever day dreamed it. A boring taco stand job and an infectious song by Weezer fueled what has become a signature act. It took a couple of years for Colleen to work up the tits to perform in public. Once she did there was no looking back. The sweater act has been performed in Las Vegas, Albuquerque and here in Denver to the delight of her audiences. From collaborating on an installation at the Denver Museum of Art to ruminating on burlesque gigs on the other side of the world, Colleen has big plans for the future. Colleen’s latest stint is at The Marvelette on Broadway. It is here she graduated from wage slave to self-supporting artisan. The Marvelette is a collective of women creating and selling deconstructed and upcycled clothing and accessories as well as leather crafts and carefully curated vintage schlock and memorabilia. Her exposure to her fellow artisans has served to expand her repertoire and led her to branch out. The weekly classes she teaches at The Marvelette are beginning to include some yarn bombing to “show some love and draw attention to” favored local businesses. When asked about her vision of the future of crochet, she says she believes crochet will become as common as sewing on a button as more people seek to react against a world that is increasingly mass produced and sterile. One might consider this a threat to her ability to sell her work, but she is quick to point out that she is always going to have customers that don’t have the time, skill, or inclination to produce what she has to offer. Not everyone is suited to a nomadic lifestyle. My philosophy embraces the words of an old Tom Waits song, “...anywhere I lay my head/ I’m gonna call my home…” I urge you to get out in your city and see what I see…no social delineation, no cliques, and no preconceived notions… just thousands of cool stories waiting for you to listen.


Our Blasted Lady of Cnidaria Jasmine Sailing Written by: Claudia Woodman Photos by: Heshphoto


was introduced to Jasmine as an obvious new convert to Cnidaria, the jellyfish worship weirdo religion she started. The longer you are acquainted with Jasmine, the more aware of how many fascinating things she has done for decades. Among other things, she started the underground magazine Cyber-Psychos AOD: The

Magazine of Mental Aberrations when she was 20. I got to look at the issues, lucky me! They are not online. Head to for much more information on a variety of topics! Producing a Magazine: Cyber-Psychos AOD (CPAOD), 1992-2001 IN JASMINES WORDS “Part of why I started a magazine was, I wanted to put a lot of self-publishing bands and lesser-known writers next to people who were known so people would actually read about them. There was a self-publishing band section for a while that wound up being replaced with Little Fyodor’s column, Under the Floorboards. It was international. I’d get people writing from Australia wanting to just pay a dollar for it and it costs a lot more to mail it there. And it’s like, aaah, big problem! Issue 3 is out of print, and 2 might not last much longer. I’m going to do CPAOD samplers as E-books, where I put out some stuff from some of the earlier issues. I think it was with Issue #3 that I switched to a different printer. Issue #2 was The Special Theological Issue- it was pretty heretical of course. The boxes came back from the printer with ‘PTL’ scrawled all over them. We had to switch to an out of state printer after that. Some people lack senses of humor. I always tried to account for that

Photo by: Sara Tice 0012

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in CPAOD.”

“Whenever I could I’d throw in a sudden out of character review,

rift that led to the band breaking up and three of us forming Goon

like there’s a cassette of songs Elmo did that came out so I reviewed

Patrol, playing and recording music through mid-1995. The main

that and put it in the cover picture. I always put in something that

guy I was doing music with was John Kerper and we played in art

people would look at as terribly strange and uncool to make sure no

galleries and such as Goon Patrol. We did some little side things,

one mistook me for hip!”

one was called Ludicrous. We did a one-shot thing with Gordon Klock plus John Graves from Dark Shadowz called YHVH, but John

“I met a lot of interesting people through CPAOD and I really

Graves died so we never ended up doing anything more with that.

liked those days. I can’t think of any issues that didn’t have some

We want to put some CDs out of some of the old stuff soon. I haven’t

really good stuff in them. Sometimes the magazine got called really

done any music in a long time. I’d like to do more now that I’m doing

schizophrenic and unfocused, but I think people were missing

things again. The biggest music show outside of Death Equinox I put

where the focus was lying. They couldn’t deal with it, that it had

together was called the Local Electronics Extravaganza. Somewhere

the spectrum of fiction, music, art, comics... but there were plenty

around 5 bands, and Uzi, which was a BDSM/fetish store, fringy,

of distinct themes, and of course the magazine subtitle was The

gothy fashion I suppose- they did a fashion show, and we had little

Magazine of Mental Aberrations so.... I generally ran ads for free for

offside things like that, non-music things, I did that at the Aztlan.

contributors. I don’t think I can say how I funded it. I didn’t have any money for paying people. Essentially with the print run and

When I was doing CPAOD, I would get comped to anything I was

distribution, I wound up basically juggling debts on 5 credit cards

going to review or photograph. Before that I was getting into shows

and using the balance transfer offer deals to keep moving them

for Colorado Music Magazine (CMM). John E. Graves and I went up

around. That’s why I am doing E-books right now, they don’t cost

to the Foetus show in Boulder at Ground Zero. I was up front taking

anything to make!”

a lot of pictures of Jim Thirlwell. At one point he came right in front of me and was posing, and I was all, “well, cool,” click, click, click,


click, click, click, click, and I wrote the review of the show. One of the pictures I took of him was in CMM with my review, and a day or

“I used to do music here, from about late 1991 on. There were 5 of

two before that came out, some little publication also had a review

us in Futura Ultima Erotica. We played at art galleries, once at Mile

of the Foetus show. In the second paragraph it goes into this long

High Con. We did one show at the Lions Lair. Then we had kind of a

overblown definition of the sheer testosterone-ness of Jim Thirlwell,


then right at the end of it, he throws in a few pelvic thrusts for the blonde

related to a lot of music I was listening to. Also, I taught my daughter

with the camera. I was running around laughing hysterically. And of

to use art and writing to vent the crazies from being in school.

course right after that my in-your-face picture comes out in CMM identifying the blonde with the camera… Oh god, I was just taking

There are 10 fiction collections I published with CPAOD Books.

pictures, people!

Mike Hemmingson had become a regular CPAOD contributor. He lived in San Diego. Mike was online, so I got to know him that way.

Not long after that was the Dr. Pain And His Exercises For Deformity

Back then there was hardly anyone online, it was pretty frustrating.

show, my first attempt at promoting. Dark Shadowz also played,

He wrote some pretty harsh stuff, that’s what I liked in fiction, I had

opening; there were Rod Ford’s robots (he sculpted robots,) there

an attitude of shoving the dark sides of society in people’s faces, I

were mad scientists with sound cannons, a massive Tesla coil with

think. Sue Storm was the other first one, a really depressing writer.

20 foot arcs or something…. We did it at the Aztlan and basically

She wasn’t well known, I hoped to help get her read a little. Don

you wanted to go to the back of the theater when they turned the coil

Webb’s a good established writer, a friend, I talked to him online a

on, and of course you see the obligatory crowd charge up to it… to


illustrate why you shouldn’t get too close to Tesla coils. Since I was basically the promoter for the Dr. Pain show and was photographing

When I was interviewing t. Winter-Damon for CPAOD Issue #4,

it, we had a little joke planned for the end. I was at the side of the

he was telling me about the Duet for the Devil book he co-wrote

stage taking pictures the entire time, and at the end there’s this weird

with Randy Chandler. They were trying for a long time to get it

little fight going on in piles of really really stinky fake guts, everyone

published, and it was way too harsh for anyone to publish. At that

was a mess. They were all just kind of playing around in the guts at

point they had two collections of some of the more strange stuff

that point, and so they were going to drag me into it and I was going

that got pulled out to tone it down enough for publication. I was

to arrange falling down on my back in the guts. Of course I had to

like, “Ooh, I want the collections of the extreme stuff !” And they

hand my camera off to someone else for that part and hope no one

[Forbidden Gospels of Man-Cruel] just turned into some of the

noticed. So, we did it, and I heard this cry from the audience, “The

most cursed books ever. I think they are what made me decide to

blonde is on the floor!” At that point, within a few months, being

start publishing books in the first place, I mean fiction books, and

“the blonde” for these two separate incidents, I got really tired of

they wound up being the last books I published. After 10 CPAOD

being a blonde.”

Books, they were the last. I couldn’t even believe the trouble we all had. We were all losing computers while working on it, artists were

Writing and Publishing: CPAOD Books 1995-2001

having hard drive crashes trying to illustrate it… but I managed to get them out there.”

“It was Edward Lee who first talked me into writing something about sex. I wrote a short story called So Fragile is the Psyche and

Running a Convention: Death Equinox 1997-2001

I think my favorite description of that was Gordon Klock saying the ending felt like being trapped in a closet and beaten with wire

“I asked Little Fyodor & Babushka to play at the first Death Equinox

hangers for eternity. So... basically the way I looked at it was, OK, I’ll

Convention (DE) in 1997, and then they had to play at every DE,

sit here and write something. You’re going to regret it when you read

because people were insisting. They were still a two-piece, and

it! I always went very dark on topics like that.

they played my theme song, “I Am Insane.” I’m not sure about the attendance numbers. I have Death Equinox Amnesia Syndrome,

The first thing I had written, Without Pain, Without Death was for

especially since I was putting out the magazine and CP Books

a machine sex anthology. When I sent it in that editor said, “Oh,

and releasing them to coincide with the convention, and I had to

that’s beautifully written but way too intense and it doesn’t let up!

make the convention book and schedule. I would always talk to 8

And that’s not what we’re doing in this anthology, people are writing

million people about programming for DE, and I just wouldn’t really

stories about vibrators and stuff like that...” There I go again. People

sleep for the last month, and then I’d be powering my way through

think vibrators, and I think J.G. Ballard’s “Crash!” Eventually it

Death DE with lots and lots of drugs! And I had a flogger I’d sit

ended up in an anthology Mike Hemmingson did called “What the

there whacking myself with, keeping myself going through DE. I

Fuck: The Avant-Porn Anthology.” If it’s something self-destructive

did one of the big events and also took part in the play piercing

people can’t tolerate it, but if it’s murderous, it’s OK. Go kill as many

demos, got a bunch of needles through my arm or in my back,

other people as you want, but don’t do anything to yourself. We’d

and normally I would need to be on a couple of panels, at least.

kind of be better off if people were turning it inward more, and I don’t mean in some of the crazy ways I did but, you know, turning

It had a lot of good old fashioned Cnidarian Entropy going on; a

inward to art and music. I always vented a lot through writing and

lot of interesting talented people, and generally when it happened,


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I would just kind of say, “Eh, whatever happens happens!” If I had

going to Rwanda right at the same time they were killing journalists

my choice to go back in time to one place I would go to either DE

and Red Cross and such, but I was also glad because he would

‘97 or DE ‘98 and watch it as a spectator instead of the headless

write great worthwhile things about being there. He came back

chicken who’s flogging herself to stay awake! It pretty much got

pretty messed up, and I was pretty messed up, having issues with a

screwed up by 9/11, 9/11 killed DE. The last one happened a couple

junkie friend at the time, and Cnidaria kind of… I started writing

of weeks after 9/11 and there was no way to promote it. No one

Cnidarian stuff and sent it to him. “Really, we’re all a bit insane right

wanted to focus on something with “death” in the name, and it was

now, let’s start a jellyfish cult! Something to do!” It is all real for

a rather weird convention- a lot of dark topics, but intended to be

us, everyone should believe everything that comes out of Cnidaria.”

celebrating some of the negativities in honor of the rebirth. I was always kind of prudish. It was amazing how long I was able to remain prudish publishing things like Nice Little Stories JamPacked With Depraved Sex and Violence. One of my favorite Death Equinox Torture Readings, in 1998, was the one where I was on the St. Andrews cross and I was really really bloody. The Head Magus of the Temple of Set and his wife were officiating it, doing most of the torture, and they did things like carnal alchemy so they could be pretty hardcore. That was the hardest of the Torture Readings. I was knocked out after the last DE. It kind of flopped that year, not getting enough people. The adrenaline of getting the next thing done wasn’t enough. I slowed down and realized I was having a health collapse, not to mention a financial collapse that I’d been precariously fighting for years, and mental collapse at the same time, and I just went boom. I have Multiple Sclerosis and Graves’ Disease. I think Graves’ Disease did me in the most, just not getting treated for years. I was in real bad shape from it. Obviously I am doing better now but it was a pretty long struggle to get things together. I am occasionally doing IRC interviews of DE people to put together collections of DE interviews. I think there were a lot of fun stories from there, oh, there’s lots of shit. There’s lots that shouldn’t be forgotten… and things that should be forgotten, generally to protect the guilty. Starting a Religion: Cnidaria “Cnidaria cropped up through Cyber-Psychos and DE. This was the CP crowd, it had a lot of weirdos, fiction writers, artists... so yeah, we were messing around a lot with it on the CP Discuss mailing list we had at the time in the ‘90s, then at DE we had annual Cnidarian Sermons. Since DE was something that people flew out or drove out for, we had the whole far-flung Cnidarian contingent that normally wouldn’t be in Colorado. After DE stopped, in 2001, we didn’t really have any good excuse to get everyone together like that so we weren’t doing as much. Recently I decided I can do more of it locally and with a different array of people. Cnidaria is… illuminating. Since Mike Hemmingson was one of the few that was online, we wound up goofing around online a lot, which is also why he was one of the first Cnidarians. He’s St. Hemmingson in Cnidaria. He had just come back from Rwanda. I was kind of freaked out that he was W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

No joke. Cnidarians are one hundred percent serious!


R E V N DE S L I V E SHE D rou p Cycle G s Urba n ie d a L ll s Firs t A n D en ver’ Wo o d m a

y : C la u d ia Wr it te n B so n H it c h c o c k : Ja en P h o to b y n L o re n z n by : Ev a o ti ra st lu Il

Denver She Devils is the first all-women urban bicycle group

road with cars, the male-dominated world of racing, or anything in

in Denver open to cyclists of all skill levels and bicycle types.

between. As Mia puts it, “We just want to let girls know that they can

Whether a woman wants to build her confidence riding in an

ride, and they can ride hard no matter what kind of bike they have!”

urban environment, go on a sisterly group ride, or race bikes,

Women can do so much more than cheer their racer boyfriends

all are welcome. Though Denver She Devils work with sponsors

on but many seem convinced that they cannot race. Some of the

to cover travel expenses and entry fees when they travel out of

Denver She Devils are proving how inaccurate that is. Annelise

Denver to race, they are not partnered with a business, unlike the

is another member of the core group and is rarely not on wheels.

Bicycle Village Women’s Group Ride, which specifically caters to

Ashley, who holds a degree in graphic design, maintains the website

intermediate riders and is not specifically urban. They are affiliated

and designed the snappy logo for the Denver She Devils. Kirsten,

with Denver Chain Chase, a monthly race, and The Street Kings

who previously functioned more primarily as moral support for the

Bicycle Congregation (SKBC), a larger bicycle group. Denver She

group, recently started racing.

Devils occasionally volunteer as bike valets at events.

Denver She Devils organize group rides several times a month. Particularly notable is their monthly ride, “The Menstrual Cycle,”

Denver She Devils was started by several fun, hilarious women from

which covers 20-40 miles. The first Menstrual Cycle was in May

the racing community who wanted to invite other women along for

of 2013. Their Sunday rides are shorter, 10-15 miles. In addition,

rides and to share information and resources- rather than simply an

they host Tuesday skill shares at Cheesman Park. Some of them

organization that organizes group rides, it is more like a community.

also participate in bike polo. They just competed in the “Babes in

Arising from SKBC, the group was started when Mia had just gone

Bikeland” race in Minneapolis, the largest female and transgender

through a breakup and needed time away from the fellas. Fellow

alley cat race in the United States, and they would like for this

founding members Ashley and Dani had wanted to start an actual

national race to take place in Denver in the future. Alley cat races

club for women.

are urban by definition and originated in the bike messenger community. You can learn more about these cool women on their

Their rides quickly became frequent occurrences and, along with

website, when they ride, and donate to help them cover travel costs

other events they put on, function as a supportive environment for

for competing in races here:

women of all skill levels who may be intimidated by sharing the


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Ashley. Dani. Mia 0019


Jill Mustoffa On the Early Days of Denver Punk and Current Photography Work

ill is a fixture of the Denver music and art scene, having been involved with Denver

punk music when the bursting at the seams music landscape we enjoy here was very much in its formative stages, and, in more recent years, showing her photography. She also owns some livestock... chickens, a horse and a donkey.

Written by: Claudia Woodman


Photos by: Tammy Shine

Booking and Promotion:

Artwork Photos by: Jill Mustoffa

“I started booking shows in ’81 or 82. Headbanger booked the Misfits show in Denver and said, maybe you can get them up in Fort Collins. I didn’t get them to play in Fort Collins, but I did get three shows up at The Grange (a place usually used for housing meetings for farmers in the community). The shows were all Denver local bands. We didn’t have any clubs back then. Shows were in warehouses or someone’s basement, the Eagles Lodge, or an art gallery. If you wanted to see a band play either you waited for someone to put on the show or you would write the band a letter and ask them to come and play a show. I booked a tour and went on a few other tours. Harvest (Junior Achievement) and Dirt Clods (Zany Guys), what a fucked up tour. I learned my lesson to NEVER tour with newbies and all men. Crime and the City Solution? That was a luxury tour for me- seasoned musicians who knew how to tour. I went on two tours with them. Bands would come through and back in the ‘80s it was DIY. You had a phone (not a cell phone back then), and you had to write letters. Writing a letter to book a show is ridiculous, so you would get stolen credit cards, or there were these other ways where you could get really cheap long distance. How do you find out about who the promoters are? You go to Maximum Rock’n’Roll or you go to Flipside. I have this thing about chipmunking information, I’m a networker, I’m really good at that. Every band that would come through, we would exchange promoters’ phone numbers. I made a tour book organized by state and area code. The punk rock scene were all in their adolescence- a lot of these kids were 15 years old to in their 20s. At the time, I was 21. There was hardly anybody in their 30s, that was unheard of ! Harvest tour, we were in Mississippi, and I’d heard stories from C.O.C. (Corrosion of Conformity) and a few other bands that the bar there was really good that we were going to play at. But for us it was shit. And then the promoter was 15 years old. He didn’t make any fliers, didn’t advertise in any way. But, we stayed at his house, and they had a pool party for us, and Mom and Dad barbecued! So that made up for a shitty show.


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A lot of people will give me credit for

friends, because I think I was a horrible

at things so that’s how I learned a lot,

shows that were not my shows. I did

person. I was in my early 20s. Still,

and if I have questions, I ask people

promote shows and they would say,

there’s no excuse.

who have learned it, and I sponge off

“Razer Productions,” “Razer Pride,” or

them. I have a comprehension problem

“Raze and Brew,” on the flier. I worked

My last show was COC and Blast at the

with understanding what I’m reading,

a lot of shows for a lot of people. At

Aztlan [974 Santa Fe Drive]. And that

so I will video everything or I will ask



was in ’87? ’88? For me, punk rock was

somebody to show me how, or I will

2389 N. Broadway] those were all


dead then. The scene just went to hell.

have people explain it to me.

Headbanger’s and I always worked the

The skins were destroying everything.

door because I would try to make sure

It wasn’t fun to go to a show. When I

After my divorce I bought myself a real

I got our guarantees. I would milk the

moved to Germany I got rid of all of my

nice camera! Then I’d start going to

door for every penny I could get, and

stuff. I was there for all of the ‘90s. I

shows to photograph bands. It kind of

then, you know, the totem pole- the

taught animal husbandry to children.

blossomed from there, because going

touring bands, and then the sound

That is how I learned the language,

to a concert, not knowing anyone, and

engineer, and then if you’re lucky, the

working with kids. I didn’t really have

that stems back to being a promoter…

local bands. And then after that, the

anything to do with music there.

because I still can’t go to a concert

promoter, if they were lucky, they got

without having a job. I have to have a

paid back for their fliers. You hardly

job! I get bored. I started photographing

ever made any money.

bands because this camera likes low light. Each camera has its personality

At the Funhouse, [Brian Nelson’s

and this one wanted to photograph

club at 23rd and Curtis] I was either


working at the door or kicking skins out of the show. He booked Mojo Nixon

My Lumix LX-3 was the camera I used

and Skid Roper. They were vegetarians

for concerts, and I just bought a Canon

and they wanted a deli tray and I’m

Rebel T3. That one I’m still learning,

like, aw, fuck that shit. Let’s go get a

and the reason I got that is because I

platter from King Soopers. So I got a

keep hearing the purists say one should

cheap meat tray. They were so pissed!

use a DSLR so I got one. To them a

And I’m like, what the fuck were you

phone isn’t a camera. Well in a way it’s

thinking? This is punk rock. You’re

not but a safety pin isn’t a button either,

playing a warehouse. You know, so, you

and a crayon isn’t intended for making

want a deli tray?! Really? I mean, that’s

art, nor is spray paint. I think you can

unheard of. You don’t do those things.

make art out of a fucking toothpick.

So, I mean, I never dealt with riders,

My Lumix, I love that camera. I usually

I never dealt with contracts, it was all

never crop my photos or Photoshop. I

word of mouth, handshake, you know.

might mess a little bit with the contrast, brightness, slightly- and the curves.

Now... I have to make a disclaimer


because then, I was “Razer,” then I was

Otherwise, that photograph is finished. I like the colors, it just has beautiful

drinking and then I was drugging and I

When I moved to Germany I started

colors. Now the Canon, I haven’t gotten

wasn’t eating much and I was drinking

taking photographs. I wouldn’t go out

there yet. I haven’t figured out how to

a lot of coffee! So you get somebody

on photo shoots but I took thousands

set it up where it takes the photograph I

who doesn’t eat… I have a really BAD

of photographs of the kids and the

like. But I also look at things differently

temper. And if I don’t eat that makes my

animals there. I have always loved

too, with that camera, than with the

fuse a little shorter. Then you give me

photos. I have collected photos since

Lumix or through my phone.

drugs and alcohol and you make that

I was a kid. I have no art training

fuse even shorter. And THEN you get

whatsoever, but my mother, went to

Sometimes I take a photograph to

me wired on caffeine and I am a living

college for it and I learned a lot from

remember a color, or a shape, or of a

time bomb. I don’t know why I had any

her. My mom taught me how to look

moment, or of something that I saw. 0021


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

Sometimes I just take photographs because I just find it aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes it’s these jokes, like with the shopping carts, or these tags that I just find funny, like abandoned furniture. “Nothing really mattress.” And so there are all these tags and you’re looking, and all of a sudden, this tag pops in your head. It’s another creative outlet. I have these memories of how the city used to look and to me, it’s very romantic the way Denver used to look, and I wish I’d photographed it. I still have these in

your honest opinion. When bands ask

my head, and now, instead of saving all

me what I think, I’m going to tell them

this in my brain, I don’t have to save these visuals in my hard drive, I have a snapshot of it. And so, there it is, and I don’t have to keep it up in my head, I have it there visually and then I can show it to the world.

wife, is a big supporter of mine and she invited me to show in her group show “Invisible.” We’ve done two shows in Berlin and Hamburg. In that show I had my photos of the homeless people. really



that’s the other thing I want people, my artist friends, to tell me if they like something or not. Don’t say, “That’s interesting,” but say what they don’t

My friend Danielle, Alexander Hacke’s


process. I’m a straight shooter, and


Each one touches me differently. Photographing people sucks because they always change their composure. That’s why I like that Lumix, because it’s really candid… and there are all these beautiful homeless people. Just gorgeous faces. There’s a guy who was huffing either glue, or spray paint, or liquid paper, fucked if I know what he was huffing, but he had a sack up by his face and he’s passed out, and his shoes are off and his socks on his face, and with the way the streetlight is, the shadow, the streetlight, there’s a cross, like the man is dead, it’s a very strong photograph. I was never taught how to deal with critique and rejection… I have had to learn how this all works by the roundabout way. Thankfully I have friends that will talk me through the

like about it- “I don’t like the crop on it,” “I don’t like the color,” “I don’t like the way you did this.” I want to know what you don’t like and why you don’t like it, and what you would have done to change it to make it better in your eyes. For me, that’s a proper critique because then I can see they way they see it.

what I think. [Jill’s current art project] “The Runaway Shopping Cart Show” Cafe Crescendo 2190 South Delaware Denver CO The exibit runs through March 31st 2014 with a reception party Friday March 28th. Jill has completed three 100 day projects, 100 Days With Horse, 100 Concerts with Jill and 100 Days of Rural Decay. [http://100daysofruraldecay.blogspot. com/]

I had a talk with Lauri Murphy, she’s an old friend. She and I have had long talks about this because she went to art school, and she has paid her dues in the artist world, and she has helped me too. As she says, “It’s a gift when someone gives of themselves their time to really think about your art or your piece and tell you their opinion.” That is a gift because that takes time out of their lives to think about you. And I’m like, “Ooh. I never thought of it that way.” I’ve had to ask some of my friends, “Dude. I really need to know your opinion.” They are afraid to offend or hurt your feelings. I’m not looking for anybody to blow smoke up my ass and to play that narcissist thing. When I ask you your opinion, I want 0023




W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

Written By: Claudia Woodman Photos by:: Jason Hitchcock

to elo c ate d o had r h w s d in t be g fr ien w n Poin llow ing o r fo C , a . 5 n as 1 and, India ce she w of t h e re n Point, in t s w u o o r r e g v C in en m was gett are s t h e ove to D nver fro bir t h s c ild ho o d e d to m d to D e d h e n il c v n h o e la C c m p “ ay s ose rks, had lan sin C o dy R e has a lw d y re m a t r y. She ,” her p h s o ld S ie u o C d d .” r .” e a in d d n m -ye a an c ts 29 ry explore underst mar r ie d cia l effe ve r mar st don’t t he sp e a lone to ids, get ere to e k ju ft h in t e le le k v t p r a s u o o a h o e w p into ew gh c e you it s ome a lot, sh nd was z y e n ou d of pla oing “sh wor ke d g h ar t a on e c r a d u y r , o e n s r a h u “t he k in t h o t o is it re rm g fam t he lim au s e h e w if t he e comin pushing top. B e c on’t k no s if not b d e y a h I t lw r d e a n v was re o of m e a t h at w e e d. She h shit out p e ople ’t a llow n y e b r ous e w it e d w te s cina g in a h t k ids s in o v li m f e s b e en fa o 21 s g iv s e d om age. e dishe she was and fre h g t il n t ts u h s n s o e u a r y w ry old inte ad hile you e at a v e 6 ye ars d, she h an d gor nera ls w she was as a chil fu e w g e im h t in h or ror s h e hen k now if watc m th r ies. W I don’t ing up nce fro “ te e , w ie s r o m e k r e r p G c a x “ ve. it, re m al e e in at ion a li e u nu s u it. C o dy she puts y at h o m h in t f r s g e o a d A v a d . im h e ls d e d r in my l fe k ya C o dy ne ar as w a s re m She st il t it kept t he b ac n’t e ven k ids, bu t hings.” nt ly she is ter y in e r e e d e u a m m q h e t e e o c h o s fr a on my ow e on d ar t.” e effe c t g iven h ag ine in o o s , an r e nt t a k , m a tt h fe im s t a t a if e n e , d a h r d t c o a of rI or r av e you e h or ro g afraid ab out h wou ld h it. A ll t h I t hin k ver b ein c k y ard o a . to b t ld e e r r g n u o o to w to n eal r y in y a llowe e ut t h e r a cemete s or t of H in k ab o h e t m hav ing ’t o n s o has oId ing I do es on. S Ev e r y t h e a lly go r t s or ies a h t d acces s shit n a a le g ib in r h or has clot h s she o om , a g item s of D in e ll k e a s C is a as rly o ssu ar y as well , for me ar y n y u s r s A r a s e u . d s iO it r s r o us Cu live Cur iO c ustom le c ur io e you tor of e p e op e t a ke s fe w hil k h li a propr ie S m r e u t. h t o t n o h be g y y n . W en dy is ? Wh e corat in m orou s cre ate d n d u t ly, C o “ e h s n h a t s e h r a d , r n s u to C he ar y orbid a ossu ar ie items s s plans ur iOssu h a m wa lk ing e ma ke r ib es C ng t he c e h o s s w e m , a d line w it ’t it n e e r g re . Sh sk ir ts a g buy in on e s . A cre ate d store b mplat in ts, and te n a lre ady n a to o d c e n c e n p pla ha gs, cle or at h e r t Ha n d b a re c e pt a h av e , r r y? ” a to u s e s k o ld li you r h e wou ab out t hing s e m o s s d she s e e t ro du c e . it d at ing in s a w r e cre ate e es h r ot h des cr ib an he r m y d m o A C . . e s ild le ou ror n r un w of p e op unte d h s of H o r ag inat io a g roup or ror h a y H im b f r d o e e s h T he Ha ll d ll rou n to let ante d to h e Ha a place e a lly w eing sur d w it h t r B d e r n .” lv e u e v o v e v fo a g h has ing dy got in g . G ett in I’l l e ver a ll she e d , h av rade, C o epressin r ror is emor ies as ho ok d o w m s H s t e . s h le s e In 3 rd g h s a t b d e out e r id n an “t he p, a n d is a ll ab w it h he more fu ou s e a s r h e g rou h e t fe o r iv d li t r to s a te o e r e n r H k e u h ma rs. et c hind h t he ha y re a lly lo ok b e re a lly g over fe a nce w it ve r y d a e n you e d her me ge t e h lp d is w e e h r n exp er ie lp o e e e ts eh ow re s hu m r o r h av il ar inte li ke Ha ll t here is an d h or h ou s e ] “L iv ing w it h sim n , d e s e te k r n w a o u ha a ll . S h e re m [in t he r me. H e wor k on sho cke r t r ush fo y s r e a g c a Mo o s s ig b y t he - from r e ve r is a o n d F e ia r t. d a a n c h I s love d li ke t oint, a lways I re a lly I row n P “ C t, , n s .” e r in e e k h m b it fa st mo y re m e m aus e it’s at ions w m Augu ds. C o d era l lo c t ain b e c e ar- fro v n y e u s o y r r g e to v t he c ur ir Fa ov e d a hu g e left e C o u nt y ou s e m it into he fair e h t k n r r a d e L tu te ft n e a d au an e th ov e r or ror h d insid uilding e to ok lls of H br ick b ou n d w gs lo c ate y r t g in p d ir m il T h e Ha fa e u d ig t b a ke a b uge gate dif feren wou ld t it is a h e e s L o dge to W u a c ! e s sb ou r g rou n d ce was t he fair hole pla w e h t mb e r to Nove 0025

I am a completed piece. I guess that’s when my life will be over, my story told. People that know me can look at my tattoos and they know exactly why they are there. They are the things that make me happy. The things I wake up nightmare- clowns, Leatherface, aliens, vampires, serial killers, chainsaws, fake blood, mass hysteria- the place had everything!” The Halls of Horror was attended by thousands annually. Cody describes the haunted house as where she grew up and “was able to think over the top thoughts and not get in trouble for it. What I learned from The Halls of Horror was so much more important than anything I ever learned in school. It showed me, if you can imagine it, you can make it.”

Trouser Snakes Having been cast as “one of the guys” in the past, to her chagrin, Cody has realized that there are benefits to being in that position. Male friends sometimes take things to a different level that involves, well, nudity. Cody refers to this as “the best of both worlds.” As she puts it, “I hate wearing pants and I like to make out! Most of my dude friends


know this.” She has a fascination with penises and is quite open

Cody’s mother took her to get her navel pierced when she was in 6th grade. She has always wanted to be tattooed. She got her first tattoo when she was 15 and was unable to stop getting them. Crown Point’s tattoo shop, Tainted Skin, was her second home away from home when she wasn’t busy with The Halls of Horror. She usually went to get tattooed on Monday nights, having endured all day at school in order to be at the shop, “where stupid shit didn’t matter.” Cody states, “My high school years were saved by those dudes. It taught me about honor, loyalty, and old school things.” The shop expanded her horizons- she traveled to tattoo conventions with her boyfriend at the time, Davey. The pain of getting tattooed doesn’t really bother Cody, as she finds emotional pain to be harder to handle than physical pain. Even people who don’t like her tattoos are able to appreciate the artistry of them. Cody notes, “I can’t even tell you what it will be like when


everyday and wish to see. They help me always know who I am and who I will always be.”

W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

about it. Cody is intrigued by the fact that no two penises are the same. Having been intimidated by them in the past, being nervous around men when she was younger, she describes herself now as “completely fascinated.” She thinks this is a natural development for her, due to the passage of time and willingness to be honest with herself about what she likes. Cody jokes about her fascination being the consequence of not having a penis of her own- “It’s just a foreign world to me I’m trying to conquer!” She has had a couple of girlfriends but admits that they would say she didn’t know what to do with them sexually. Cody remarks, “Ask anyone! Dick and balls are interesting!”



Ashley K. W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M


Written by: Lisa Cook Photos by:: Jason Hitchcock:


shley was bitten by the skateboarding bug when she was just two years old.

“I wish there were more girls out there. I wish

She noticed some local children

I could play on the football team at school

skating at a park near her house and little

because I›m good... I can›t play on the team

Ashley started pointing and became starry

because I›m a girl. I have to play on an all

eyed excited.

girl team. That›s not fair, I›m as good as a player as the boys. I›m not afraid. Why are the

When she turned six, Ashley received her first

adults afraid?”»

skate board. A pink Hanna Montana deck that came with a package deal. She would start lessons

Ashley continues perusing all avenues in

in a few months. By the time her instructor

athletics. She rides bicycles, rollerblades,

was ready to teach her the basics Ashley had

races around on a razor. She plays basketball,

taught herself inside the family home. Adam,

participates in track, swims like a piranha and is

her sixteen year old instructor was in awe

a player for The United Soccer Club, Colorado›s

and realized he had never encountered one of

number one soccer team in the state within her

his students attacking a ramp as fearlessly as

age group. She is the STRIKER and back up

Ashley did.

goalie. In her young life she says she is living her dream.

One year later Ashley was riding pro decks with all kinds of different trucks and wheels.

She is still an advocate for equality within gender segregated sports. She wants to see

Her mother would take her to many of

a big change in the limitations put upon

Colorado›s skate parks located in Highlands

girls in all areas of life. She is still proudly

Ranch, Winter Park, Evergreen and Estes

wearing pink and has added neon green to her

Park, along with skating the downtown

flying colors.

Denver skate park and Evergreen. Seven years old and keeping up with 12 year old

As the years pass, Ashley will keep proving

boys, holding her own and standing her


ground when the other skaters tried to jump

are what is important. Being a girl or a

in on her turn. She wore pink shirts and

boy shouldn›t matter. There is room for

colorful hoodies. Not daunted by all of the

everyone to become whatever they want.





saggin’ and baggin’ black street wear of the skateboarding masses.

She isn’t letting anything stop her. 

This little girl could skate! Her face was a mask of sheer determination and when she would hit a trick to perfection


could catch just a hint of her mouth turning up in a barely noticeable smile. Just recently, (she is now eleven years old) when asked what she thought about the ten to one ratio of boys to girls at the





replied. 0029


n a dark and stormy night

old I almost passed over. It was 1947, talk

away. She opened her eyes for just a

I made it to Phebe’s space

about little or no accessible health care! My

moment. Her smile was radiant, and she

in Capitol Hill where she

Grandma Webster contacted a Christian

pointed, saying. “Look …it’s beautiful.”

does tarot readings. I met

Science Healer Practitioner who prayed

She closed her eyes and I thought she just

her as a security guard,

over me all night. I remember waking up

went to sleep but actually she crossed over.

having no idea how many wild stories she

completely healed and asking, “Where is

I realized, years later, she was seeing her

has about rock and roll or the depth of

the man in the bathrobe who was holding

Sunset Trail and that I was meant to be

her spiritual path. Learn more at http://

my hand?”

there to receive her gifts as she passed. I! Phebe is originally from Chicago. Phebe: “I arrived for this lifetime on the magical number, the 13th day of September, 1945…a night my parents were celebrating the end of WWII, which may have set the tone for me to grow up to be a peace and love kind of chick! I was blessed to grow up in a spiritually unconventional and open minded family, with a metaphysical mother and my dad, who was in Seminary until he fell in love with my mother. He always said that’s when he discovered the word should be “celebrate,” not “celibate.” No particular religion was ever pushed on me. I was raised to be tolerant of all paths. At two years 0030

I had a great aunt, Phebe, I never met because she died very young in childbirth. My Grandma Webster, her younger sister,

still get emotional, all these years later, when I think of her. I know she is ever guiding me.

was present for that event and spoke of

So my life has been interesting. I’ve never

how she watched Phebe’s spirit rise from

really had a plan. Now is where I always

her physical body, cradling the spirit of

seem to be. I fell into the concert/event

her infant, smile, and turn her back as the

business in 1968 while living in a commune

wall seemed to open up into a scene that

on the north side of Chicago where things

Grandma always described as “The Sunset

were happening- Vietnam protests and the

Trail.” From that day, my grandma was a

peace movement, The 1968 Democratic

natural medium and was a participant in


séances during the Spiritualist Movement

marijuana and LSD… all of that. I was

of the early 1900s. I was 11 years old (the

working for a temp agency that sent me on a

number of personal power in Numerology)

2 week assignment filling mail order tickets

and alone with Grandma when she passed

for Triangle Productions. That evolved into

W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M




a permanent position and then segued into

8 years as a Customer Service and Account Representative with Ticketron. There were two other major promoters at the time, Howard Stein in New York and Bill Graham in San Francisco. I originally met Barry Fey in Chicago, back in those early days when he was breaking into the business that eventually led him to Denver where he started Feyline Productions and put Colorado on the concert map. Some of the Chicago Ticketron guys followed Barry to Colorado and started Ticketmaster. I have fond memories of 44 years ago, heading with friends to Woodstock in a flower- decorated VW van that broke down somewhere in Ohio. We missed that event of the Millennium, but most of us were somehow involved in the concert business so we saw all the bands eventually, so really just missed out on the mud and the legend. I have a Woodstock t-shirt that’s probably bootleg- I don’t think anyone was selling shirts at concerts back then. I worked a Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert in Chicago, the week before Woodstock. Joni Mitchell was the opening act and Neil Young made an appearance and it wasn’t even a full house. By the next week they were all super stars! I didn’t realize then that I was living through history in the making or I might have snapped more photos. I do have a few faded treasures of some of those bands, taken from my front row center seats. I have a rare one of Jerry Garcia without his beard! Life was good… then I visited a friend in Arizona and suddenly I felt I needed to go back to Chicago, quit my job, pack up, sell stuff off, and move to Arizona in 1978. A part of me was always exploring the Paranormal, Psychic Phenomena, Astrology, Reincarnation and past lives. In Arizona I attended classes taught by an instructor who was also a Hypnotherapist who specialized in Past Life Age Regressions and I did some research work with him. I was also introduced to other Spiritual and Paranormal teachers and Investigators that opened many new avenues of thought for me during that time. My Arizona experiences included working in a health food store, waiting tables in a high end restaurant, and an 8 month stint living in a tent in the desert near Tucson with a hippie boyfriend, mining his family’s blue opal claim and traveling around with him to fairs and festivals where he sold the jewelry he made and I did Tarot readings. I also managed to stay connected with the event business through Evening Star Productions, a promoter originally from Chicago. My gypsy years also took me to Hermosa Beach, California for a couple of years. I lived in Oregon for a little while, up in Eugene, and then fate took me back to Chicago in 1983 when my mother passed away. Mom had always dreamed of traveling to Britain to explore her heritage, but never had the opportunity. She left me a small insurance policy that enabled me to take that trip in her memory. I spent three months with a friend, backpacking the British aisles on an “Arthurian Quest,” participating in a Druid ritual on Equinox at Stonehenge and visiting the Sacred Chalice Well, The Tor and the graves of Arthur and Guinevere in Glastonbury. We then went on to the town of Wells to visit a famous 800 year old cathedral surrounded by a moat where swans are trained to pull the bell cords on the hour. We were having tea at a shop near the church when a lady passed the window where we were sitting and stopped to stare at me. I swear I saw my mother’s face superimposed on hers for a moment, she entered the shop, approached our table, and laid a one pound note in front of me saying, “You will know what to do with this,” and left before I could respond. Inside the Wells Cathedral is a massive clock with many moving parts. Two knights joust each other on the hour and the phases of the moon are also represented. Across the moon, there is an inscription in Latin that I was surprised to see the word “Phoebe” appear on. The translation was, “So Progresses Phoebe,” referring to Phoebe the Moon Goddess and her phases. However, it is also my mother’s name, as well as mine, Great Aunt Phebe, Great Grandma, Great, Great Grandma and on back for generations, except our name is spelled without the O, as it references St. Phebe, a Servant of the Light in Romans XVI of the Bible. Now, I knew what to do with that pound note. I went to the altar, lit a candle and tithed the money to my mother’s memory. Once again I reached a “life is good” point…then I got back to the States and instead of heading home to California, I got seduced into staying in Chicago for three years by a boyfriend from my past that I apparently had unfinished karma with. I finally escaped from my Chicago trap in 1987, with a transfer to Denver through my job with Black Angus Restaurant Company. I had a friend from my past who had also moved to Denver from Chicago, where he had opened a record store on Capitol Hill, Play It Again Sam, so I had support here, making the transition to Denver a positive one. I continued working for Black Angus until 1996. Another crossroads for me came when I took on a part time job for some extra money, as a night manager at a fast food place. An armed robber forced his way in as we were closing. Two teenage boys were also on staff that night. We were ordered into the office at gun point. I had to open the safe and was terrified I wouldn’t remember the combo, but it seemed to almost open on it’s own as soon as I touched the dial.  The robber also demanded our wallets. My purse with ID and keys was on the desk and I mentally envisioned it as invisible hoping he wouldn’t take it. He didn’t, but he proceeded to put his gun to my head, hammer pulled back, finger on the trigger. 0031

My spiritual programming kicks in when there is an emergency or danger. I immediately start to say the “Our Father.”(The Lords Prayer) That’s about all I managed to say when the room began to shake. I saw a glowing wing the size of infinity and heard a voice boom out. I knew instantly it was Michael the Archangel… at that exact moment, the robber simply picked up the money and left. Just as I was able to make my purse invisible, so I believe did Michael make me invisible, as well. I’m sure the other employees didn’t experience what I did and were just grateful to be safe, but I suspect the bad guy must have…there is no other plausible explanation except I became invisible to him. It was in the throes of PTSD in days following the robbery that I discovered my Tarot deck had been at the very top of stuff in my purse that night. I attempted to do a Reading with those cards but the Death card came up no matter how many times I reshuffled, so I believe it had something to do with protecting me as well. I consider that deck sacred. It is in a place of honor and I have never tried to use it since I had to sue that company for Workers’ Comp benefits, then ended up working as Legal Assistant to the attorney who helped me with the case, though her practice was primarily focused on representing victims of abuse of power. She was one of two women attorneys in Denver who pioneered taking on the Catholic Church for sexual abuse cases, and against anyone else who had abused their position of trust. That was in the 1990s. Because of that experience, I often recognize evidence of abuse durring readings. I don’t give legal or medical advice, but I am able to refer clients to a professional that specializes in their issues- legal, medical, therapeutic, or otherwise. In 1998, I took a part time Security/Guest Service Staff position with Staff Pro. They had the contracts for all the major venues back then: McNichols, Red Rocks, you name it but not Pepsi Center when it opened. I accepted another part time position with Pepsi Center, where I served as a Guest Relations Supervisor from 1999 until 2005, when I injured my back requiring serious back surgery that prevented me





walking for about a year. I was able to sit at my table and do Tarot Readings while recovering By the time I was healed and strong enough to consider returning to my other jobs, the attorneys I’d worked for were retired, I had resigned from Pepsi Center, and was so busy with Readings that I didn’t have time for RJs (Real Jobs) anyway. I did remain with Staff Pro which offered flexible scheduling and extra income, and  had also become like an extended family. I also became seriously involved with networking to support animal rescue and shelters As a professional Reader, I spent 13 years as the


Resident Reader at Spirit Ways Metaphysical Shop in Denver and have participated in the major Metaphysical and Psychic Fairs and Festivals in Colorado since 1999. I am available as a Reader for private and corporate events. I offer Medium Communication, Pet Readings, Hand Reading, House Blessings and Phone Readings. I teach a 30 week hands-on  Basics of






spiritual profession and event background has inspired me to create and connect a community network that supports each other. I am available by appointment at my private office connected with the spiritual group Jaguar’s Blessing, conveniently located in Denver, across from St. Josephs/Children’s Hospital, the Fit for Life Centre at 1761 Ogden (tri corner of Ogden, Park Avenue, and 18th Avenue). I have come to see Colorado as a magical spiritual vortex, drawing Light Workers by seemingly inadvertent means, one of the largest and most active Metaphysical communities I’ve experienced on my Path. This is where I found my true self. I know I am home. Every day when I look west towards the mountains, I think about how blessed I am to live surrounded by such majestic energy. 


sees, but feels pressure from his Southern roots to conceal or disguise it, generating a powerful engine of conflict to drive the narrative. Christie is currently seeking representation for her fiction. Unlike Christie, Ms. Payne, originally from Studio City, CA, who made Denver her camp in the nineties, has since relocated to Kansas City via the West Coast, where her video games coworkers renamed her “Synthia.” She specializes in live music jams with lovers and other strangers via ultrafast internet like Google Fiber as part of the Cyberjammer Network, having in recent years turned decisively toward music as her chosen mode of expression. Payne returned to these parts last year, at which time she took part in a presentation of spoken word and music with this reporter and Denver poet Ellen Feighny at Dorothy Tanner’s Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery. Later Payne did her own Cyberjammer Network multiplayer online live music jam at Lumonics with Feighny as guest poet. Despite some geographical ambiguity and its occasional lapping over from the written word into music or light museum curating (as far as my personal experience Throughout the nineties, this reporter

founded a digital publishing company



called Whaley Digital Press, so far


publishing one book by local author Mike

galleries throughout Denver as “Henry

Yost. She’s written two historical novels

Alarmclock.” I was trying to be a punk

herself, Concrete Loyalties and Blind

poet. When the slam poetry craze hit,

Tribute, also a book-length poem set in

women like Cynthia Payne, Mari Christie

the Mayan underworld, titled Sagil pa

and poets like then teenaged Suzi Q

Q’egu’mal: Light in Darkness. Concrete

Smith were instrumental in getting

Loyalties is loosely based on the East Coast

that scene bottom to top exposure from

origins of her father’s family in Brooklyn,

prankish venues like the recently closed

and Blind Tribute, an impressive literary

Smileys Laundromat on Colfax to the

production, is based on the journalistic

tonier Denver Press Club. Everybody was

career of her mother’s great uncle, focusing

changing their stripes. Even some of the

on the strife of a powerful newspaperman

women had pen names back then.

inherently conflicted by the Civil War.



number at






The protagonist, a newspaper editor with The previously mentioned Ms. Christie

a huge audience in the North, finds it

still lives in Denver and has since

immoral not to report on the injustice he


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

is concerned, anyway), Denver continues to be a fertile crescent for female creative expression. More often than not, this happens off the grid, but there is some exposure. Denver Persian/American slam poet Amal Kassir, who, based on her personal experience, was controversially in favor of military action against Syria at a time when popular opinion was against it, recently made the cover of Westword. I first about Ms. Kassir from Suzi Q Smiith, who has matured in intervening years to a whip-smart, deadly, benevolent “Slam Empress,” of sorts, flying cross country from slam to slam lending heart and soul to competitors (when not taking part in the verbal battles herself, as she does on a regular basis both locally and nationwide), in the form of a Facebook

Suzi Q Smith


Mari Christie

Syntia Payne

Elyse Draper

post in support of her friend. A young

Some more examples of the new crop of

related publications, including The Daily

woman named Bonn recently gave a

standout Word Grrrls: self made author

Doobie. Sometimes she appears as the

forceful delivery from memory of one

Elyse Draper has published four books

mannerly “Lady Cannabis,” answering

of her poems at the last installment of

so far, the Freewill trilogy (consisting of

readers’ questions about ganja etiquette,

the variety show I’ve started hosting at

Freewill, Consequences and Vindication),

a sort of pot smoking Miss Manners. You

Mutiny Information Café every other

also the darkly humorous I Am Morte,

can keep up with her doings, recently

Thursday, stealing the show and shaking

recounted from the perspective of death

including the advent of “cannabis fiction”

the room in so doing, and giving this

it– or herself. Ms. Draper’s style is a

and arrangement and production of

reporter the impression she’d also been

mixture of humor, science, fantasy, horror


trained in the slam school of elocution.

and fiction nearly defying description.


After the show’s conclusion, Bonn told

Her website currently features clickable

excursion to Seattle’s Hempfest, at this

me about the jazz/blues jam she’s started


link, or this one (but try not to disappear

hosting at Strange Grounds Café, which


seemed to share an angle with my variety

recently returned to the area, after years

shows, inclusive, communal, more fun-

away in New York City and its environs,

like. Further investigation along this line

is the founder of an imprint called Vulgar


has led this reporter to the discovery of

Marsala Press. Her collection of poetry,

thumbnail glimpse! There are others!

a comedy open mic at the same location

diatomhero has been described as “[a]

There are more!

hosted by something called Ultra Sex

tour of the human psychic and spiritual

Laser, also the regular appearance of

mausoleum.” Publication of work by late

For more information on these writers

performers at that venue, just like at

Denver genius Phillip Lee Duncan by

and other please visit:

Mutiny. I don’t know about you, but I’d

Vulgar Marsala is pending in the very near

say that speaks well for what joints like

future. Denver Cannabis Maven Susan

these are doing to repurpose the timeless

Squibb has staged street art and Mother’s

coffee house groove for our 21st century.

High Tea events over the past several

written poet

just Lisa






fashion her





down the rabbit hole, you know what they say about pot smoke) . . . readers!





years, appearing regularly in several MMJ



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Handmade clothing created with love 1147 Santa Fe Drive 0039


MEANS Out With Sara Century

Written by Zack Kopp Photos by: Christine Cool & Lance Stack

According to self-made rock star Sars Century, Denver has

artist of the first rank. She reinvents herself as a superized living

been magnificent, unique, and inspiring at different times in

comic, transforming her life to something epic by design, and

their relationship. “I experienced this in 2010 and 2011, when

Denver should feel exceptionally proud to have given her an

Titwrench festival was hitting its stride, and there were a lot

instrumental foothold. ”I know there are a lot of people that

of excellent, challenging local musicians, such as Night of Joy,

would never have gotten gigs in Denver if it weren’t for me. That

Lust-Cats of the Gutters, Hot White, Married in Berdichev,

isn’t arrogance; there really was just nobody else to set up certain

nervesandgel, and many other artists that absolutely blew my

shows. If touring bands got to have good shows, or if local bands

mind. There are still a lot of great bands, like Church Fire,

felt a sense of community based on the numerous events I have

Echo Beds, Architect, Lisa Prank, Tollund Men, and several

put on in my time here, that’s excellent. I do feel like people are

others. I don’t say that I’m too good for Denver. I would never

often inspired by what I’m doing as a strange encouragement to

be the person I am if I had not lived in Denver. I never really

fulfill their own artistic needs, and that’s great.”

considered myself a ‘local’ musician. Hopefully my art should transcend whatever city I happen to be in.””

There’s a clip on SoundCloud of Century beating up her guitar in a smoothly rhythmic manner which in this reporter’s opinion

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee and given to compulsive

is a testament to the current running through her as opposed

touring of the surrounding regions. Sara made Denver her

to any crafted pretense. Despite her devout contrarianism and

home base a handful of years ago. Now her travel bug has led

“an intense dislike of seriously asking for favors of any sort”,

to her impending move to the West Coast, where she’ll continue

Century’s looking for peace. “We should consider ourselves

to tour exhaustively and perform come fortune or sorrow. Self

more or less on the same team if we are all interested in bringing

made rock star Sara Century isn’t one for getting pinned down

music to the world on our own terms, I think. I enjoy people, but I

by geography, genre or sexual orientation. With a particular

haven’t spent a lot of time in my life attempting to gain approval.

affinity for NYC’s short lived “No Wave” scene, starring acts

In that way, I feel very true to the ideals put forward by the DIY

like Lydia Lunch (“Jesus and the Teenage Jerks”) and “James

community, but possibly TOO true to them at times.”

Chance and the Contortions”, Sara Century seems a postmodern


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Despite her stated intention of only playing one show during this

is to speak their own truth, and that is what I attempt to do,

visit (at Bar Bar with Olivia Neutron John and Between Youth),

regardless of the consequences, in all walks of my life.”

where brave souls came post-flood to hear her trademark energy, Century also made an appearance at Sidewinder Tavern on the

So what’s next for this life in the wind? “The next 6 months will

northwest side of town with Colorado’s own M. Sage and Boston

include multiple giant-sized art and performance art projects

acts Emily Reo, Peace Arrow and

that will eat all of my time starting in mid-November-ish in the

Cuddle Formation.

Bay Area. So, basically the long and short of this is that I probably need to find a warehouse space that holds shows to move into

Century has turned her hand to other creative endeavors locally

around that time, which probably shouldn’t be that hard, but

over the last few years, among them the graphic novel series

is probably harder than it sounds. So, any leads on that would

New Girlfriend, masterfully satirizing her loneliness via dreams

rule.” Be sure to catch Sara Century’s set at the annual Gatas y

and memories of lost former girlfriends, for which she threw a

Vatas fest, the latest stop on her “Perma-tour” This event will also

few release parties in Denver. She also conceived and hosted a

house another Denverite, Titwrench founder and frequent “Bring

female and queer friendly open mic at Deer pile above City O’

Your own records” party host Sarah Slater, aka “DJ Sl8er.”

City. “Baby Hair is a challenging thing. You have to speak, and you have to listen. We were open to people not defined as female or queer, but it seems in hindsight like such a stroke of genius

to include that tagline, “female and queer,” in all the promotions

we did, because it limited our audience in the best possible way.

I feel like it has been extremely successful compared to what I thought it would become. I have three more Baby Hair events planned here, and then I believe that my partner in crime, cofounder of Baby Hair, and platonic lifemate Erica Adams and I will have to make some changes, as I will no longer be living in Colorado. What those changes might include is taking Baby Hair on the road, and having more of a list of set performers as opposed to an open mic situation. I can’t imagine not continuing on with Baby Hair as a part of my life, but there will necessarily be some changes. View the Facebook page for updates.” Having recently called a halt to the New Girlfriend series, she says, “I feel like that zine was deeply sad, which is only a small part of who I am, so plenty of people just sort of pigeonholed me as ‘the depressed lesbian.’ I’m moving on to other comic and writing projects. I’m looking for publishers for a few different fictional and biographical narratives, as well as writing more about my touring life.” As evidenced by the title of her sometime band the Night Nurses’ 10 song demo, “Let’s Not Date”, Century’s mood these days is anything but fluffy. “As far as my love life goes, I can’t think of anything less interesting. Saying, ‘I’m gay,’ was an easy way to say, ‘You can’t speak to me like that, you can’t include me in that, because I have no place in that world.’ I am pleased to think that I (and unmarried straight persons as well) could visit their lover in the hospital due to the civil union law, but I truly balk at the idea of being integrated into society. I am not normal. I am not trying to be normal, and it is at this late of a date that society as a whole is attempting to tell me that I am normal when I never once asked for normalcy. It’s a lie that even they don’t believe. The job of an artist, in my mind,


Samantha Doom! Written by: Emma Waldo Photos by: Heshphoto

Samantha Donen, lead singer and bass player

only girl. But I think it’s really important to

for her band HI-STRUNG, came from the

step out of your comfort zone musically if

Canadian provinces ready to Rock-n-Roll.

you ever want to get any good, and it’s really

After playing clarinet throughout middle

important to always play with people who are

school Sam fell in love with bass guitar

better than you.” Despite gender bias faced

while searching for a string instrument to

from both girls and boys, Sam continued to

play. “I loved Rock-n-Roll, ya know? I just

challenge herself, urging herself to become

didn’t think that the clarinet would be a

a better musician. Finding music constantly

very Rock-n-Roll instrument, and so when

circling around her head, she began to look

I found the bass, it was perfect. I like how

for her own musical vision, combining her

it ties everything together. I think it’s a very

love of orchestra and rock. “I’ve always been

important instrument.”

a bass player for other bands, so I’ve always

Samantha has played in various bands, surrounding





challenged her. “I just wanted to play with the best. The guys were always really hard on me, like really, really hard on me, and it wasn’t always socially fun. It was more of a challenge, like ‘What do you got, girl?’ So I did a lot of punk rock bands and stuff, and looking back, I think part of me was really happy to be playing music, but on a social side I was really miserable, because I was the 0042

helped with other bands to write their music, helping them find their vision. But I had all these songs in my head, and I really wanted to explore them. I guess I’d never really been a front person, I’ve always sort of been in the shadows.” Stuck with heaps of songs of her own and no band to play with, she was forced to seek out an alternative. “I didn’t think that anyone would seriously want to be in a band with my music that I wrote,” she explained. “My friend, Jonny Barber... Him and I were

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joking around. I really wanted to start my own band with my own music but I didn’t really want to deal with other people and whether or not they liked it at first. I just wanted to get out there and play and sing my songs, so him and I were joking around about finding people to play with me and stuff, and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it just be so much easier if people wouldn’t look down on it if I could just get some blow-up dolls and go out and play?’ and he said he would pay five dollars to see that, so I went out and got blow-up dolls.” Samantha continued to make an entire show out of her idea. “I thought of all the worst things any front person had done to me onstage, and I did that to my blow-up dolls.” She took on the project, searching for the right blow-up dolls that would capture her vision. “I’m kind of a prude, so during all of my experiments, ordering different blow-up dolls looking for the right effect, I would put them in robes at my house. I needed to bond with them, so that when we played a show it would seem like I wasn’t playing with just blow-up dolls, that I was actually playing with people. So I had them all dressed up and my partner at the time, he’d come home from work and I’d be like, ‘Hey, Missy and Norm are gonna be hanging out with us until our first show, they’re going to stay in the guest bedroom.’” Onstage, she teased the dolls, using musician jokes to create a show that was both musically invoking, as well as unique and funny. Slowly, as her blow-up band played out live, other musicians became inspired by her music. “All these people who were really talented wanted to play with me and listen to my ideas, they could hear what I was saying.” Samantha found herself finally as a front person with an all human band. Its name... HI STRUNG. “I love performing, I haven’t ever had stage fright, ever. As an extrovert, I feel very at ease when I’m on stage. It’s like, ‘Finally, I can express myself without being fucking interrupted!’” Samantha will sometimes call her bandmates, saying, “I can’t sleep at night, I can’t get this song out of my head. Please let me just tell you all the parts that I’m hearing, because these might be the best ideas in the world, or they might suck, but until I tell you them, I can’t rest.” Her passion for songwriting is coupled with her ability to be constantly inspired and intrigued by everything around her. “I find inspiration in the lady that works at 7-11 that I buy cigarettes from.” “I think it’s because of how I grew up. I was the youngest, and we moved a lot, so I was always the new kid every year at school. I think it gave me a different appreciation that everything was always new, when everything around you is always new. There’s always something to discover,” she said, her eyes looking around at the colors in the coffee shop where we sat and a new song rising within her. Hi-Strung is: Samantha Donen-bass, vocals. Brook Crawford-cello. Jeremy Barber-viola. Shane Hartman-drums



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K I T TY Written by: Tobias Krause Photos by: Circe Baumgartner

Denver’s music scene is about as close to a volcano ready to erupt as any mid to major city can get. The constantly evolving community pulls just about every sound and genre one could think of. There’s been a strong, vibrant badass movement of local musicians doing venturing out on their own and really kicking some everyone’s fucking ass that gets in their way as of late. Kitty Crimes, the charismatic electro-clash meets electro pop princess is just that. Maria Koehler, aka Kitty Crimes is her own genre in itsel… er, herself and one hell of a fucking force to be reckoned with. Not many people, or women these days (I should be more specific) are spitting out electro hip-hop beats fueled by passionate and powerful lyrics that paint such a vast musical landscape.. On a sunny Friday afternoon I jumped on my bike and hustled








for a sit down with the one and only, Kitty Crimes..


I arrived several minutes after our allotted time to find Ms. Koehler

Koehler makes the music she wants to hear these days, adding themes

deeply rooted in her computer screen. She was intently tinkering

of sex, humor and feminism, all of which formulate a relevant theme

away and putting together some fresh new beats for her soon-to-

of counter culture to all of her peers, and she loves every minute

be-released EP, Crimes of The Kitty Volume 1 while sipping on

of it. “I think Kitty Crimes fills a sort of ‘void’ in Denver. I wanted

a fresh cup of joe. Her strikingly beautiful blue eyes caught my

to see more of it, so I made what I thought should be happening.”

dark and desolate brown eyes and after a brief intro she invited me to sit down. So I ordered my vanilla latte and grabbed a seat.

I asked what influenced her to become the lesbian powerhouse that makes up Kitty Crimes, and her eyes lit up. “It’s a matter

Almost immediately, Koehler strapped a pair of headphones on me

of being fed. Some people live to get married or start a

and went outside to rip a heater. I get my shit together and formulate

business, maybe because they are craving some sort of financial

some sort of a strategy to talk to this beacon of musical talent.

stability or emotional stability but there’s always a reason deeper than that. That excuse of stability, is what feeds me,

She comes back in the café and asks if I liked what she’s

I don’t really know anything other than what I’m doing. “

been working on. My eyes beam like a beacon light and we get down to the thick of things. Talking about what’s fresh

She is very much a part of this growing musical community,

around Denver, what inspires her to be Kitty Crimes and

“Denver is rad, I’m stoked to be a part of the constantly

honestly, how the fuck she landed on the name “Kitty Crimes.”

evolving music scene that makes this such a fuckin’ great city.”

“The name just felt right. The connotation of felines and criminal

The vibe thrown out at a Kitty Crimes show creates a visceral

activity had a great rhyme to it. Sort of like, an idea of pushing

experience for everyone in attendance. “I really just wanted

boundaries to their limits and not being part of the status quo.”

an excuse to walk around like I had a dick. And to make beats.”

After a series of name contemplations influenced from various

The rumblings of the local music scene are a series of diverse and

sandwich boards from around town that rang to the tune of Chutney

supportive musicians come together to create something special. Her

LaRouche or Duck Ruben, the name Kitty Crimes stuck with her.

stage presence is as if somebody pissed off the wrong person at the right time. People emit so much love and give off an incredible amount

Music has been her lifelong journey, which really began to

of energy when Kitty Crimes is performing and that’s a beautiful

take off after she dropped her first music video for the song

thing. She draws the crowd inward and delivers a ferocious bang.

“Find a Penny.” Her deep seated passion for making music started at an early age. Koehler kept to herself as a little kitten,

The New Year looks promising for Kitty Crimes. She promises

she felt alienated from her friends then eventually discovered

the aforementioned EP that is going to have a melodic flow

a voice deep down inside of her body that was screaming to

mixed with a strong R&B vibe that will hopefully wait, check

make music, Her first album was called Country Clubbin.”

that- WILL gain her the national attention she deserves.

She grew up in a messy time of shitty plastic pop music thanks

All hail Kitty Crimes.

to MTV and people like Christina Aguilera, Limp Bizkit and all

P.S. Parking was ample.

those terrible boy bands of the late ‘90s. Eventually Kitty was hit with a lightning bolt of discovery when she began listening to some colossal music giants like Radiohead and Queens of the Stone Age. That little kitten eventually grew into a full grown Kitty by exploring and genre hoping through various phases of listening to folk, rap, electronic and stoner rock — all of which she brings to her vast palette of musical knowledge. As she’s grown, Koehler tries to focus her constantly evolving musical path with its changing identity. “It kinda started off as this vougeyesque hip-hop meets electro hip-hop sound that’s now evolving into more a witch house feeling with more intense hip-hop beats.”


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Sandi Calistro Written by: Lisa Cook Photos by: Heshphoto Illustrations by: Sandi Calistro

here is a pile of business cards tossed into a drawer inside a small blue desk. One card stands out every time the drawer is left open, beckoning with its outstanding surreal artwork, to be lifted out, ogled and appreciated. There is a pile of flyers and postcards gathered on a table. Inspiration pieces used to fuel

the talents of a graphic designer. One flyer stands out amongst the many. The outstanding surreal artwork beckons to be lifted out, ogled and appreciated. Fulfilling their destiny, the card and flyer reveal through contact information the inspiring artist that has created them. Denver artist SANDI CALISTRO. Well known for her ethereal and fantasy style of drawing, she transfers her imagination onto paper and then beautifully onto human skin. She has recently become an admired and respected fine arts painter. Sandi moved to Denver twelve years ago from Southern Maine. Working tirelessly on her artistic skills, she has made quite an impact within the Denver community as well as other cities in other states. She co-operated along with William Thidemann, Matt Hays and Missy Rhysing) at the now defunct gallery/tattoo parlor KAZE (3245 Osage Street, Denver CO). Sandi now operates and works at RITUAL TATTOO & GALLERY (2033 West 32nd, Denver CO 80211. 303.455.1558). KAZE didn’t feel like a regular tattoo parlor, mostly because there was a gigantic art gallery that dwarfed the tattooing area. A wall with a mural of Sandi’s work separated the two areas. Behind the divider the walls were adorned with transfer paper that held hundreds of illustrations of tattoos the resident artists had drawn. A very large portion of these drawings belonged to Sandi. There were so many sheets of past tattoo mock-ups that they covered the entire wall leading to the second floor. It’s always an awe inspiring moment to absorb the many beautiful pieces and to realize most of the designs have become finished tattoos on real people. Sandi was not a stranger to tattoos as a child. She grew up with a dad that came home with new ink on his body regularly. Although she loved the artwork, she admits to being terribly frightened of the thought of needles carving a path across her skin. She finally mustered up the courage (with her mother as chaperone) to experience her first tattoo. Sandi’s first tattoo on her own body at the tender age of fifteen was of a flower on her pelvis that has slowly faded and lost its shape. A sweet memory and a reminder that all things will eventually change. Fifteen year old Sandi was also taught the art of Stick and Poke tattoos (or Poke and Stick... the artist


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pokes the skin with the needle and the needle sticks) by a friend of

He began booking art shows and worked with her on blossoming

her brothers. When she poked a few onto herself she was hooked

her painting career. With Kevin’s help, Sandi and her artwork travel

and started tattooing everyone in her high school. By the age of

with group gallery shows around the country and she tries to have

nineteen she knew she wanted to become a full time tattoo artist.

at least one solo show per year. Recently a circus themed show at

Sandi started creating flash sheets and selling them to local tattoo

BLACK BOOK GALLERY (555 Santa Fe Drive,Denver) brought a

shops in Boulder and Denver, earning her her first apprenticeship

large crowd and a fun time along with a show at the well known

at a Boulder shop called ROCK STAR TATTOO (1119 13th Street,

in the underground SUPER ORDINARY GALLERY (3350 Brighton

Boulder CO). She worked diligently and practiced tattooing on

Blvd, Denver).

grapefruits, pig skin and other objects that resemble human skin and are frequently used for learning technique.

With a grateful attitude to all of the Denver friends and artists who

When Sandi moved to Denver she began working as a tattoo artist

have inspired her along the way, Sandi describes the Denver art

at TWISTED SOL (56 Broadway Denver CO). She was drawing

scene as “a hidden gem.”

out tattoo ideas on paper and giving tattoos, but had not begun

With talent and determination like SANDI CALLISTRO, our

painting with acrylic paints on paper until interacting more with

hidden gem is going to get into the spotlight and shine brilliantly.

other artists in the community. She felt inspired and challenged by her comrades (local artists in

Sandi is currently living and working in Denver. When she

Denver) and happily pushed herself to develop her own skills to an

is between traveling gallery shows you can book your very

even higher level.

own appointment to receive a tattoo (she is extremely sought

Because of this happy push, Sandi has developed a style and medium

after and there can be up to a six to eight month waiting list).

that has allowed her to become a well know fine arts painter in Denver. Her paintings, much like her tattoos, pull influences from


the 1920s’ through 1950s’. Stylizing similar to art nouveau and art

Ritual Tattoo & Gallery

deco. A make up of beautifully drawn women with gigantic doe eyes

2033 W. 32nd Denver, CO 80211

(a style she admits was taken from Japanese anime). This mash-up

(303) 455-1558

and unique approach draws you into her paintings. Many collectors are gathering up Calistro’s works. Local restaurants and venues have prints and original SANDI CALISTRO’s hanging on their walls. Kevin Stawbridge eagerly convinced Sandi to become her manager. 0052

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The Technicolor

Universe of Tammy Shine Photos by :: Tammy Shine Written by : Sid Pink


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Tammy Shine may be a stage name, but

bloodthirsty Editor – prompting this

series of self-portraits created as gifts

it’s apropos; the woman simply radiates.


for her grandfather; images shot and

criteria that it sound sleazy and be easy to

Sid Pink: Hey, we’re both celebrities… I

mother worked.

remember, one senses that Ms Shine was

say we do whatever the fuck we want.

bestowed her nom de scène by Fate itself.

Tammy Shine: You’re right!! Whatever we

Direct and indirect tutelage from Mom –

do will be awesome!

along with the standard experimentation/

Whereas I chose my own AKA with the

processed in the Foto-Mat where her

“I like happy things,” she smiles. “Positive things. Fun things.”

trial-and-error in which any Talented Thus, we were in accord.

I couldn’t say with any certainty how long

I knew this

Young Mind finds itself mired – quickly

would be a doddle; easier than falling off

blossomed into a bold and distinct

a log.

understanding of lighting, composition,

Ms. Shine [Dressy Bessy’s Tammy Ealom,





when she’s at home] and I have known

Tammy Shine is nothing if not ebullient;

immersion set the table for a lifetime of

each other – ten years or more, I’d guess

boundless in passion, creative power, and

an ever-increasingly-astute and original

– but I don’t really know her at all; it’s

limitless energy.

photographic sensibility; one that Ms. Shine

more like we’ve been aware of one another

imparted [instructively and genetically] to

through countless orbital crossings over

“I haven’t had a smoke in eight days,”

her own daughter; a young woman who

time, weaving through the music scene.

she grins; a mixture of pride and duress,

represents the third generation of women

But here it is, we’re about to embark on our

immediately pulling on an oversized

photographers and designers who’ve made

first notable conversation ever.

electronic cigarette. “I’m trying this out.”

a seamless transition from Subject/Model

Seated on a gargantuan vintage sectional

We traded tales of smoking-cessation,

in the basement of the surprisingly-

clucked about how “this neighborhood

TS: I have so many pictures… Do you

voluminous house she shares with her

sure has changed”, rattled through a dozen

have kids?

husband/Dressy Bessy bandmate John Hill

names of mutual friends.


to Photographic Artist.

(also of The Apples in Stereo), I sip ice-






in demand.

water and marvel at the endless collection

TS: I’m… I… I’m not very good at being

of items from the 60’s & 70’s:

interviewed; I don’t really have a filter.

One cannot be within 50 feet of Tammy

Radios. Clothing. Artwork. Electronics.

SP: That’s okay; I’m not very good at

and not be ensnared by her magnificent,

More clothing.


singular Style. It’s kaleidoscopic,



Toys, furniture, dishes. signs,



instruments, and records. It’s a museum




Most things I write are rambling, quasi-

whimsical, relentless, purposeful; a larger

fictional memoirs.

and brighter-than-life visual symphony

of perfectly-blended pre-, post-, and mid-psychedelia with more mainstream

TS: [quick beat] Then

themes of the age put in place to marry


counter-culture with America’s Last Days

just fine!






of Innocence. When It’s truly spectacular.





[before such a term For the previous couple of weeks we’d been


swapping text-messages, attempting to

found herself poised

arrange a day and time that we were both


free [the exchanges also reveal that we


are longtime neighbors about half-a-mile


apart], and I was relieved to see that she


loves to punctuate SMSes with Emoji, just


as I do. At some point, a question arose


as to what exactly this interview might

to the flash-pop that

or might not include; what was expected


from Lisa Cook, my whip-cracking and

latest of a years-long



Shine at



an a

camera ten-second

ticking register

down her


so expertly executed that you forget

with a click or two on Ye Olde Innernets.


how incredibly difficult and unlikely it

This was to be an investigation of the

labyrinthine path through the basement,

is to find fashion success by blending

Person – admittedly not some stark and

watched over by a myriad of dewy,

arresting color, large patterns, different

bloody Frontline-esque tell-all – but a

oversized eyes; a laudable collection of

eras. She makes it look deceptively easy.

piece that would serve as a textured look

Keane [and Keane-pretender] prints and

Maybe I kinda hate her for it; the innate

at someone worthy of cover-story status

paintings cover every wall. I see the room

comprehension regarding the size and

for the GIRL issue; reveling in the true

where Dressy Bessy rehearses, with its

number of vermiculite accoutrements, the

Renaissance Woman.

home-wired patch-bay feeding a snake of

gift for cocktailing lines [both geometric




wires up through the ceiling, terminating

and time-based] forbidden by conventional

“Don’t fuck this up, asswipe,” Lisa growled

at a mixing console ingeniously built into

wisdom, the clairvoyance to confidently

over the phone. I could hear the sound of

the corner of the upstairs breakfast nook

dye one’s hair a thirsty magenta, knowing

crunching bones; likely some poor intern

that serves as an ersatz control booth as

it can be married to countless colors and

who’d brought her a skim half-caff latté

well as an office - John’s handiwork. It’s

clothing combinations that Mere Mortals

instead of a soy half-caff latté by mistake,

impressive, and it’s convenient.

would never dare to dream possible.

now being consumed raw for lunch.

SP: What was the best year in human history for fashion?

TS: We’ve been working on a new Dressy

“I won’t.”

Bessy record. Each time, the process and

“The GIRL issue is big. And this story

the energy have been different, of course

TS: [knots brow] How could you say?

is crucial.


– and this set-up, working at a pace where

There are so many great things.

heard the singing metal of a large blade

we can be inspired and immediately try

SP: People love shit like that: authoritative

being drawn [a machete? a kendo? a

things out; record vocal takes or track a

blanket statements.

broadsword?] and a horrified scream

couple instruments at any moment – it’s

TS: But that’s not real.

in the background; a dull thud and

been very liberating. There’s also no rush,

SP: It’s a magazine article, reality isn’t

quick rustling.

as there might be when you’re under the

involved. Besides – who could argue

gun at some studio…so not being in a

with *you*?

“Sorry,” she came back on. “Where

hurry has helped develop things for this

TS: [laughs] The Best Fashion Year was

was I?”

album that might not have been possible

1972. Double-knit polyester. Big fan.

“The, uh… the Tammy Shine interview,” I

on others.

So… ah, shit - hold on.”

managed, voice cracking. By this point in the article, longtime

“Right. That’s the story – it needs to be

This newest will be the sixth outing for

Tammy fans will be noodle-scratching –

right, and it needs to have some depth.

the group, who have long had a devoted

perhaps to the point of vexation – as to

Don’t phone this one in or I’ll rip your

fan-base and instantly-identifiable sound.

how it’s possible we’ve scarcely touched on

lungs out.”

Licensing tunes to television shows like

the subject of Music; the well-manicured Elephant in the Room.

Gray’s Anatomy and indie cinema [But, I

I’m a Cheerleader! -“One of my favorite


thought, before being snapped from

movies, ever”] has helped keep that most-

referencing the band and platform for

my flashback by Tammy turning up

evasive of music industry substances –

which Ms Shine is likely best-known.



money – coming in between tours, live

‘What of 40th Day?’ the Super-Fans flex

an adorable little dog in the process.

shows, and sales; affording more space and

their History Muscles.

energy to create.

‘What of C’est Tra La – the French

TS: Where… I just had that vape-cigarette.





So, they







cover band she’s launching?’ bleat the Current-Eventers.

TS: I know that I’m lucky – lucky to be That was true, and I hadn’t noticed where

able to make a living from doing music

it may have gone missing amidst the

and photography; being an artist and not

For one thing, my draconian and brutal

gallery of grooviness she’d darted through

having to – thank God – try to fit all of

Editor, Lisa, made it pointedly clear not

like a prismatic wash a half-dozen times;

my projects around a work schedule…a

to rest on the Easy Run of telling people

the woman has energy. A lot of Energy.

‘regular’ job.

who already know all about Dressy Bessy

She stood in an instant, nodding sideways:

already hard to make time for them all,

and its many-hued engine the things they

TS: Let’s go on a tour.

and balance that with… down-time.

already know all about or might find out

turn up.


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

Maybe it’ll

I have so many ideas it’s



W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M


She smiles. A struggle to get the word out,

immediately noticed, flying low under that

music I don’t like at all; because it’s so

almost; “down-time”. It doesn’t seem as

spray of color and stream of creativity. She

rawly obvious that they don’t have any

if Ms Shine is a natural at ‘taking it easy’;

is every bit a Complete Person,

choice but to give these ideas a space to

her output of media and catalog of ideas

even here, interviewing for an article, by

exist. I can be indifferent to a style or

is exhausting enough for me just to hear

someone she scarcely knows [who has a

a sound but still support a group that is

about. If she wasn’t also the Nicest Person

penchant for hyperbole and reputation of

unflinchingly genuine.

on Earth, one might feel a bit overwhelmed,

cheeky antagonism, at times, no less]. We

humiliated by one’s own lack of drive or

talk about her father’s record store and the

TS: That’s true; recently, I think there’s

meager efforts.

People with this much

transformation of adolescent resistance

been this trend toward trying to fit into

talent, for this many things, with this

to appreciation for a lifetime of musical

some “sound” as opposed to writing what

much ambition and follow-through, and


moves them; it makes things… softer.



Travel – from bouncing around the globe







Less Real.


in childhood to the rigors and joys of

m i g h t

be intimidating. But

touring with a band to the unlikely-but-

With her backup electronic cigarette

Ta m m y

Shine is human. Her

true fact that she loves hiking and camping

waving animatedly and my rattling ice



(I press her about keeping her platinum

cubes, we lament the seeming dearth

originality dazzle, yet

fashion standard in play whilst pitching a

of Actual Rock and Roll and commit to

she retains a measure

tent in the utterly-barbaric [shudder] out-

Keeping the Fight.

of-doors, but she assures me it’s possible).

‘rewarding “sameness”’ that seems to




that might not be

There is a sense of

happen in all commerce, but especially in For all of her genuine effusiveness and

music, and, sadly, particularly in Denver.

alarmingly-bright color palettes, her

Oddly, however - we both notice – groups

enormous heart and playful nature, she

that achieve a certain level of success on

is still a faceted soul that feels deeply,

their own terms seem to have good fan-

sometimes bleakly.

bases but at-times lukewarm reception/ expectations

TS: I think because of how I look, how we






event programming.

present ourselves… maybe the way I sing or the ‘sound’ of some of the Dressy Bessy

TS: I just remember being asked to play

material, a lot of people sort of assume

[expunged], and we did, and we killed it.

that it’s all very... not ‘bubblegum’, but

People loved the show and it was fun –

maybe just ‘pop’… but the lyrics [to

but at some point the idea of why didn’t

a lot of those songs] have a dark

[redacted] print a review of the show was

edge. There are all kinds of things

pushed back with “Oh, they’ve had enough

I need to express through music;

attention.”. That blew my mind.

not everything is light and happy. The fiery side, the starker side of Tammy This leads us to discussing the idea






Shine is a perfect foil for the 88% that could stand in for daylight and grow flowers. She


doesn’t let it out far, never getting away

resonate more strongly and

with her thoughts, even in the most trying



times. When her father died, as one can


That art [of any

only imagine, the loss was tremendous;

kind] that Simply Must Get


the struggle to not be submerged in rage

Out of someone’s mind and

or pain was relentless. Even in the midst

into the world has an urgency

of something fundamentally traumatic,

and a realism that is felt in those

she used her talents, her originality,

experiencing it – even if it’s not necessarily

her natural spark – to find opportunity

their bag.

to create; to focus and process without spiraling, without supplying more energy

SP: I respect a lot of musicians whose 0060

W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

to ‘the loss’ part of a Loss so profound.

She started taking a photograph every

later, she’s seated next to me on concrete

Sid Pink is the only man who is man

day, archiving images that bespoke the

stairs, showing me - in epilepsy-inducing

enough to write the cover story for the

immediacy, or the permanence, or the

rapidity - her process for adding filters and

girl issue.

light, the dark, the very granular, the

tweaking settings: exposure, color, gamma,

galactic in scope. A diary, of sorts. It was

contrast, and on and on. It happens so

a tool, a ritualized coping mechanism in

fast that her request for my assurance

some sense, to be sure – but it was far more.

that I will not divulge her techniques

It was a window of expression, a venue, an

is in fact unnecessary – her vision and

ever-unfolding tale told in pictures. The

understanding of manifesting a collection

story continues on, nearly three years later,


up to this day: sunshinesuperone – the


wonderfully-appropriate Instagram handle

seconds into an arrestingly stylized burst

for someone so ceaselessly resplendent:

of color and personality is so second-






nature that it pours forth as quickly as the TS: There’s really no need for negativity…

tools will respond. It’s awesome, in the

everything is hard enough.

most literal sense.

Outside, Tammy talks a bit more about

Some days later, my Editor, fresh

the new Dressy Bessy record; much-


anticipated and steeped in a bit of mystery.


She explains her alter-alter-egos, Pip


and Squeak, twin bunnies who appear in


highly-saturated photos sporting attire


that is almost, but not exactly, what Ms


Shine would wear. I learn more about her

“What in sweet Hell is taking so long?”

daughter and how proud she is of her; how

“There’s… it’s a lot,”

alike they are yet so dissimilar in some

I stammer. “Getting it tamed into an


article is…”



vacation Cambodian auction/

show/wine an


undisclosed Venice


location called


“…your fucking job.” Can fire travel SP: I appreciate your making the time to

over telephone signals? I hold it away

talk with me. I’m not sure how to capture

from my ear just in case.

and compress it all into an article – let

“I know, you’re right.”

alone an interview.



there’s only one of me… it’s not as if…” Just then, I see an alert on the screen. A

TS: You’ll do fine, don’t worry! [she grasps

text from none other than Tammy Shine

my arm suddenly, giving me a coronary]

herself. I open it to find one of the finished

Can I get a picture with you?!

photos from our interview; she is dancing mid-air, framed out from the waist up. I

Before I can respond that I’d be flattered,

am seated in the stairwell, looking on. The

she’s off, then back with her iTelephone.

colors are her signature bright, the mood

She leads the way across the lawn and over

capricious, the image is almost-painfully

the property line to a Spanish-modern


home with a side entrance. She confesses

“It’s not as if… what?” Lisa Cook’s shrill

that she often uses this – her neighbor’s

reminder that I am mid-conversation

house – as a backdrop for impromptu

loops part of my mind, but I squint at

photo sessions.

Tammy’s photo for a second until I pick up on the subtle surreality there; a double-

She sets the camera and we pose. of.


I’m never confident that any image

take stroke of genius.“I have four arms.” I smile.

of me will be worth viewing; but she’s put me at ease. A set of ten timer-clicks 0061

TARA LEEDOM 303.476.0025


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M



client’s needs. Unlike any other kind of art, there is a lot of back and forth with the decision making for the final image. In this way, tattooing is more like design Liz Greene is a smart, talented and friendly tattoo artist

work. I really like to do tattoos of animals, comic book

who currently works at CHAKRA TATTOO.

characters, and geometric patterns. I have also had the

Liz has personally given Jason and me three of our

luck of being able to tattoo while traveling, like going

favorite arm pieces. We both have the Denver f lag on our

back to California and trading tiny acorn tattoos with

upper arms and I have a pointillism and wood cut looking

Ben, who was the first person to tattoo me. I also got to

cat on my forearm.

trade tattoos in England with a guy called Craven - we tattooed teeth on each other. In Oregon this last summer

Liz has put ink on skin in several different places including

I got to tattoo some stellated polyhedra on some friends,


and a blackberry. All of these fit into ‘favorite’.”

and FAST GEEK BOUTIQUE,  [a print shop and fashion storefront, respectively]

Liz was born on the f loor of a house right off the beach in Santa Monica California. She had a unique way of coming

When Liz turned eighteen years old she received her first

into this world and she has an unique style to her detailed

tattoo from an old friend (Ben Poulsen) in California.

tattoo artwork.

Soon after the ink was in her skin, she headed back to Colorado and the intrigue to become a tattoo artist

Liz is one of many female tattoo artists in Denver. Years

was born.

ago the profession was mainly male dominated but Liz

An arose

opportunity in









believes it’s evening out. She is full of praise for fellow


female tattoo artists (as well as male) and she works with

on board. A dude had a basement setup that was

some great ladies at Chakra - Ala Lujan and Rochelle











aseptic procedure.

Liz elaborates. “There are a lot of great female tattooers around town. I think mostly of Sol Tribe, Kitchen’s

The first tattoo Liz worked on was on herself. (She still

Ink, True Blue, and Elemental Ink. I bet there are lots

thinks this is a good idea for anyone who is learning).

more. Denver is a great community! I feel like I’m

Several patient friends had her put some simple designs

getting to know all of the tattooers, print makers, young

on their bodies and she became more and more confident

professionals. There are so many great groups here -

in her abilities.

artists, queers, snack-masters, bikers, collective houses. I’m a universal sidekick for art installation, print making,

After the basement gig Liz got into the shop MYSTIC

and various odd jobs. I’ve worked for/with some excellent

INK. They put her through a brutal apprenticeship that

artists and designers like Clark Richert, John McEnroe,

she says she really appreciates in hindsight. “I have always

Rick Griffith, and Tom Parson. I would really like to pay

wanted to know how things work, so as soon as I could

off my friggin student loans and be free! Haha. Become

learn how a tattoo machine worked I was mesmerized.

an art behemoth.”

People I’ve worked with who have tattooed twice as long as I have often say that they learn new things about

Like Liz we would all like the economy to be “More

tattooing every day : the technical aspects of machining,

awesome, so that people with the best tattoo ideas are

different types of skin, it’s an ongoing learning process.”

not broke!” Wanting a tattoo and not having very much money

Through art school she found a unifying theme in her art,

has never been a problem for someone with the

which is to externalize things that exist within all people,

tattoo hankering.

to put outside what grows inside. Photography works well

Tattoos are affordable, if you want one bad enough. The

for this, and so does illustration. Tattooing especially so.

artists will work with you on finding something that is within your budget or work on a payment plan. Liz

Liz’s eyes sparkle when she answers the question “What’s

stays very busy making folks skin art dreams a reality.

your favorite tattoo?” She quickly replies. “I love any

I’m getting another Liz original soon   and I can’t f

tattoo that the client really loves. Sometimes this means

ucking wait!

more or less creativity on my part in order to fit the 0064

W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M


who’s that girl? Written by: Andi Todaro

Portraits by: Jason Hitchcock


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

I have a distinct memory of making tiny dandelion wreaths at the daycare center inside of my mother’s gym, sitting alone, at the furthest part of the field, where the chicken wire fence prevented by escape. I was a strange child, so I spent most of my time alone talking to inanimate objects and inventing ways to keep myself occupied. I could easily slip my hand through the fence to retrieve the best un-mowed flowers just on the other side. And, then, construct a tiny masterpiece and leave it there, upon realizing that I had no one really to give it to. My only friend, who didn’t last long, was a mentally handicapped boy who I had planned to marry, as kids do. We would draw pictures of the house would eventually live in, including a pink fire hydrant out front. He had an imagination, and so did I, and this was the space we spent all of our friendship in. Me and most other kids didn’t get along. Once, I was outcast from sitting at a table of girls in elementary school because I insisted we make offerings from our lunches to ‘Granny Smith’, a regular tree I had named such with an apple sticker and a popsicle stick stuck squarely in the ground in front of her. At home things were tough, and my little brother and I escaped into fantasy worlds, namely, the game ‘Billy and Vanessa’, which was our favorite, and lasted for many years. We were space



W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M


couriers/adventurers, and we made a very special fort spaceship, complete with a control helm made of radio buttons and gears and a manifold (pocket folder) full of ‘passports’, ‘teleportation equipment’, drawings of the likenesses of aliens we might encounter on each plane, their imports and exports, their weaknesses, their weapons and how to defeat them, if need be. Dad was pretty hands-off and his expectations were never inline with how we behaved. I think my brother and I switched roles; he has empathy and I have power. Middle school was no different, but with outlets for my interesting acuities: chemistry club, building a museum exhibit based on the ocean and rainforest, sewing every toga with my mother for the Shakespeare performances, wiring robots…. there were some nerds, but then there was a pair twins who went through puberty early, and their tits let them run things. My given nickname was Ta-Donkey. I had an interesting freshman year of high school, ran away from home, started smoking cigarettes and had most of my regrettable sexual experiences. I went to school with a lot of ‘winners’, and I say that as facetiously as possible. Things were strange and oriented around sports, I couldn’t make the poms team, I hung out under the stairs and so I transferred schools. Denver University High School, may you R.I.P., was a dumping ground for / well curated / group of weird, wonderful, startlingly intelligent young people. It, too, had an arbitrary hierarchy, but it was based on perceived intelligence and cutting wit- if you weren’t smart, you weren’t cool. I remember reenacting and recording an adaptation of Candide, becoming a muse in a fellow student’s made up religion and going-office-space on a printer with baseball bats we dropped out of a second story window. I acted in all the plays, either as the mother or the slut, and also created most of the sets. The school was liberal, and I did well, planting origami penises on the water fountain, covering chalk boards in penises, even sneaking the word ‘penis’ into my history papers, covertly starting each word with ‘P’, ‘E’, ‘N’… and still getting an A, burping loudly down the hall, and hearing it echo. My favorite teacher of all time named Stephanie died a year after I graduated suddenly in her sleep, and I stopped making art. College, I lived alone for most of it, I was lonely there, no weirdoes in Boulder if you can believe it. But then I found the Espresso Roma and Communikey and I took on dancing, and being exuberant, costuming and being expressive. The first selfies I ever took were freshman year of college when I wore zebra stripes, roofing nails in my ears, roller skated everywhere, brought my lizard to class on my shoulder and smoked a pipe. I got involved with illiterate Magazine when my dear friend Adam, at the time a stranger, made a point to meet me after a class we had together where I yelled the word ‘poop’ repetitively and at the top of my lungs at a useless teacher when she asked for a suggestion for a noun. When I graduated from the advertising school and the TAM program at CU, I felt like I had the skill set of a highly cerebral sheep and my options were either to go 0070

W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

to portfolio school or a firm, but neither sounded very appealing. I knew I had to work for myself lest I eventually get fired or have a bunch of guys steal my good ideas. But, hey, I’m incredibly thankful for the people and I have gotten to know, and the groups I’ve become involved in, the vision of a few loners that brought a lot of people together and figured out how to get people to rally around them. My brother is this way. I’m realizing I am a better creative and more acutely able to think abstractly because of TAM, physically expressive, embodied and more social thanks to Communikey and anarchistic and diligent thanks to illiterate, and developed sharp conceptualization in ad school… but, what I never really learned, and still really haven’t, is how to work WITH people. I still have the conception that I can do it better, faster, on time, -- I want the money—I like the work—and

to my lonesome, my inherent desire to be productive is

when I confront it- why am I so successful

all that I have. I might always be doing something, but

and creative and prolific? Loneliness

it maybe isn’t so much a compulsion that comes from

and boredom. The world has never made

joy as much as one of digesting chaos. I make things to

sense to me and the only time I feel truly

attempt to demystify the universe, and I’m constantly

captivated by life is when imagining, when

exploring that… or entertaining myself… but it usually

creating, when manipulating it to the edge

isn’t clear to me which. I make gifts to see people smile,

of the furthest part of the fence and still

design to make money, find value in my existence

struggling to smash my giant adult hand

because maybe it’s changing young people’s lives, take

through the chicken wire to grasp the

pictures of myself to remember I was never a fixed point

purest untainted ideas on the other side.

or that I was unchanging. My relationship to creating is the most difficult and purest relationship I have, and it

Now, I’m experiencing something I’ve never

came from seeing destruction in all other parts of my

had the pleasure of having in my life, -

life. Maybe if I could figure out how something is made,

popularity. My personality, a sum of quirks

if I could make it from beginning to end, that it would

that have always been a burden to me in a

make everything else a little bit easier to deconstruct

conventional society, are suddenly an asset.

and make sense of. The veil of reality is thin- I’ve just

I’m rewarded for being weird, innovative,

given myself permission, albeit occasionally, to listen

and unwavering in my expectation of how

to my impulses of the creative variety and act on them.

people should treat each other. I’ve never let

What I haven’t learned is how to be okay without

my friends or lovers or family off the hook,

control, or be truly vulnerable, I’ve written things in the

and it pains me that countless interactions

past which when I reread are such sob stories, prayers

I observe everyday are mildly disingenuous

kind of, and I got part of my wish to become a hardened,

reproductions or imitations of what it really

unwaveringly productive machine, but it just distracts

should mean to be part of each others’

from the chaos, it doesn’t really put it into order.

lives: which is accountable, respectful,

What you spend today doing is all that really matters.


And usually I think it might be best if I spent my




Eventually it feels as if those accomplishments are crammed so closely side by side into a narrow channel that it’s almost indistinguishable from doing nothing at all.

time making something beautiful, especially with In an honest account of things, I don’t think

dwindling attention spans and ever-increasing to the

I’m that interesting of a person. When left

speed at which it’s possible to ‘accomplish’ something. 0071


W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

hen did crocheting marry street art? In Denver, it began with the Ladies Fancywork Society. These four girls bleed creativity.

They look like

mischievous elves, sitting around a wooden table full

Ladies Fancywork Society

A Punk-Rock Approach to Crocheted Street Art

of crafts that could either make you smile or blow you up. It is called “yarn bombing”, after all. But the only thing explosive going on is the sound of their laughing and arguing above the strums of an out of tune ukulele. Their shop is Lowbrow, a fanciful mix of art supplies,

Photos by: Jesse Dawson

workshop and gallery space located on 250 Broadway.

Written by: Lisa Husmann

“A lot of people think we’re a kids store because we have lots of glitter and we’re non-formal about the whole thing,” says Maxine. Along with three partners in crime – Esther, Jeanne Lois and Lucy Lynn – she works to engender accessible art. “You don’t have to have gone to art school, have a big mission statement, or cry over your paintings at night,”


their crocheting along with craft beer and other awesomeness.. They’ve also been invited by other organizations to do some pieces for the community, including scarves for cow statues and a yarn flower garden on the chain link fence by Union Station. While following patterns can be mathematical, their art is born from an ability to create uninhibited flowers, leaves, and patterns of their own mental design, often on the fly. They would like to progress toward bigger installations and sculpting their own structures to crochet on. Jeanne Lois starts squirming in her chair and talking about a road trip to California. “We’d love to do the ‘HO’ in Hollywood. I’d get arrested for yarn.” “You can’t get that serious when working with yarn,” grins Lucy Lynn. Amongst some of their lighthearted creations are crocheted bikini tops and even a merkin (Google it for a history lesson). Lowbrow is the brainchild of the Ladies Fancywork Society (LFS). In 2007, Esther saw a piece of street art and wanted to elaborate. They started with small bike racks and trees. As the four friends sat around brainstorming, bigger, bolder ideas came to fruition. They put leg warmers on the Borofsky Dancer’s – the white, 60-foot tall anorexic figures that look like they’re about to take a shit on the back lawn of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. They also installed a massive yarn ball and chain on the Big Blue Bear that peeks into the Colorado Convention Center on 14th. These self-proclaimed “dragons in the night” have yet to be arrested or even caught in the act. “We’ve learned that if we act like we are supposed to be there, it’s fine. We did get a call after the Big Blue Bear. They basically said, ‘Come and get your ball.’ Later on we saw the woman that called us and she said she was sorry she had to do it for her job but that she really loved our work.” The ball and chain ended up at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) for a month. Since then, LFS has continued to develop a relationship with the MCA, recently participating in a Black Sheep Friday that featured 0074

W W W . T R U LY R E J E C T E D . C O M

“Sometimes we’re just making ourselves laugh. It’s not a political statement. People want a reason out of our art but we’re just making things pretty.” The group finds people often assume they have a feminist agenda. But they’re not crocheting bras and burning them on the 16th Street Mall. “We don’t have a cause other than we want people to see our shit and enjoy it,” Lucy continues. “Street art is a masculine arena so it’s surprising to see us there; I guess it’s an easy explanation.” Inherent within this form of street art is its impermanence. The concept lasts, not the physical yarn itself. Esther feels that is an important, even enjoyable part of it. Passers by have been known to pull out the yarn or take pieces of it. “Maybe they took it because they liked it. It’s like giving people a present that they can decide to take or not. In a way it’s really freeing. We make things in huge quantities so we don’t have to nitpick about the details. We enjoy the process of the thing, and its ok to let something go and move on to the next thing. If you’re not ready for that don’t do it. We

put our art on top of other people’s art—it’s a conversation.” They’re not throwing buckets of paint on sculptures. Nor are they crocheting blankets for the homeless. They’re reinventing the traditional notion of their craft and simultaneously blurring the lines between art and whimsy. LFS wants people know they can make street art in their community without a permission slip. Go out and make a little colorful acrylic cheer. Warm the hearts of the uptight suits that stroll the capitol building making complex decisions for the rest of us fun-loving, beer drinking, art-making community members. “We decide what we want to do and do it, we don’t use patterns. We beat each other up a lot, mosh and get drunk while crocheting, and pretend we have British accents.” Somewhere in the clamor of their musings, there is a certain Zen-like quality to their inner workings and outward creativity. LFS is more than just a crochet club; they are four best friends making art in its most transparent form—an accessible and unpretentious interpretation that is not put upon a pedestal. E


Emily J Moore Loves your eyes Photos by: Nate Written by: Adam Hester


he work of Emily J Moore is multi-media in the truest

doing when I sat down with her. Emily has shown her own work in

sense of the word. She utilizes just about anything you

galleries all over the country, most recently in San Francisco at the

can think of, from scraps of fabric to coffee stains, to turn

FIFTY24SF Gallery and in Philadelphia at the Black Vulture Gallery,

her canvas from a flat, boring white space into an inviting and

as well as having what I think is an incredible portrait of Walter

enchanting textural landscape. Colors and patterns, lines and curves

White showing at the “Breaking Bad”-themed show “By Any Means

all mix together as though they have known each other forever,

Necessary” at the Black Book Gallery here in Denver.

creating layers of tangible emotion. She likens each of her pieces

When asked about the development of her style, she tells the story

to “a journal entry” and it’s immediately apparent why. She has an

of the summer of 2010, one she spent with her family while her dad

amazing sense of aesthetic and the ability to bring many different

fulfilled a commitment as a travelling minister. Early in her trip she

elements together to form an image that is visually exciting and very

got her hands on a book of works by Egon Scheile, and the book

intimate at the same time, a snap-shot of a feeling very deeply felt.

was her companion on the road trip. His influence, with its stark lines and circles, is definitely apparent in her current work. In each

Originally from Kansas City, Emily found her way to Denver as a

city they stopped in, Emily made trips to the art museums there to

student at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, graduating

take in as much art as possible. There is an obvious slant towards

from there in the spring of 2012 with a degree in illustration. Since

illustration in most of her pieces, but also a deep love for painting

April of 2013 she has been the resident artist at the Love Gallery,

techniques of all kinds. She told me that during her pursuit of her

a cozy little space at 570 Inca Street just off Santa Fe in the Art

illustration degree at RMCAD she turned every assignment into a

District. In November of 2013 she curated her first art show there

painting, even for her digital medium classes. Hands and eyes are

“Origins: a Sketchbook Show”, something she was very excited about

very common features in her work, parts of the anatomy she feels are


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full of emotion and expression. Not at all afraid of experimenting,

have a certain soundtrack while she paints them. Lauryn Hill

Emily will take a painting “too far” as she describes it, just to

is her all-time favorite, listened to “almost every day” and the

discover what too far is. She maintains a regular schedule, working

sonic influence makes sense. The emotional space created in her

on her art six to eight hours a day, four days a week (with at least

paintings is similar to that of Ms Hill, and Emily’s choice of colors

a little painting every day), telling me that her pieces average 30 to

definitely reminds me of how “The Miseducation...” would look if

60 hours of work for each one. There is an incredible amount of

it were translated from sound to pictures (in my head, anyways).

discipline apparent in her canvasses, the kind that can only come

Emily also confided that the movie “True Romance” was another

from hours of honing your craft. It’s impressive considering that

daily vice.

she is a very recent college graduate and that her style, by her own account, only coalesced a couple of years ago. Emily cites life as

Stop in and see Emily at Love Gallery, check out the space and

an inspiration, but it’s the confidence in her concept that enables

enjoy the fine art there. If you’re in the San Francisco area she will

her to put such a fine point on each piece, to sift through all the

be showing in a group show at Modern Eden Gallery opening on

emotions life can throw at people and capture a pure moment.

December 14th. And please check out to keep up with this amazing artist. E

During our meeting she was listening to “Sticky Fingers”-era Stones “Wild Horses” and “Dead Flowers”, and it felt like the right kind of sound for the pieces she was showing at Love. She told me that lately she has been listening to a lot of Lana del Rey and Regina Spektor, and admitted that sometimes certain pieces


Emily J Moore 0078

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Truly Rejected issue4