Troll 2 | Filmirage | 1990
Saint Patricks Day Weekend AT Berlin!
Goblins, Queens, Art Angels and Prince
Leprechaun 1 | Trimark Pictures | 1993
Post by Enero J. Ray
Photo by Sam Doyle
"I'm going to talk about how i prep a new wig. Basic styling techniques and what i do to store them and keep them ready to wear again! PLUS i'm gonna show you all the basic tools you should have in your arsenal to tame that wig into a beautiful bouffant."
The ingredients that make the muffy
I stepped into the Digital Cocktail Lounge this week to talk shop with the bright and 'hyper-colored' maven, Muffy Fishbasket, about all things retro, camp, and creative, plus the importance of a cause.
She is a Cabaret Circus Broad from the Near Future. Mix in some Madeline Kahn, a dash of Mae West, a pinch of Halloween, a sprinkle of cross gender casting and a whole lot of the above mentioned camp, let it marinate for about 10 years, serve raw and you have a Muffy Fishbasket!
Get a taste at her Pop-Up Puff & Fluff Wig Styling DEMO this Saturday, February 17th right here at Berlin Nightclub! She's hosting, taming, and answering your questions from 6PM til 9PM. You Won't Regret.
And now, The boy that became Muffy Fishbasket shares a story:
Where did young you originate? What did you want to be when you grew up?
How close is that to where you are now?
I grew up in Toledo, Ohio.
12 years of catholic school.
I am an only child and I lived on a house boat (it was my stepdad's dream).
The first thing I ever said I wanted to be was “A Trapeze”…I wanted to be a trapeze artist, which is part of the reason I started taking classes to do just that.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your background / education?
I have a BA in theater and have trained at the Actors Gymnasium and NY Trapeze school and, I’ve been performing on stage since high school so I come at my drag from more of an entertainment angle.
Photo by Greg Bell
How was the Baby Fishbasket experience?
It was full of being worried about what people would think, worried if I was too girly or sissy…I would say a lot of anxiety
What kind of pop culture do you recall as a child that might have inspired you as an adult?
"JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS" ALL THE WAY! I would rush home from school so I could see it. I loved the color and the clothes I wanted to be one of them…and now…I am.
Dreams can come true!
And what can you tell us about the upcoming Puff & Fluff DEMO?
What brought this to life?
I’ve had a lot of friends ask me for help on their wigs…and what they mean by that is can I show them how to do it…and what they mean by that is can I do it for them…and what they mean by that is can I do it for them for free.
So when I put it out on Facebook who would be interested in a class the response was huge, and so Joe Lewis contacted me and asked me if I would want to do it at Berlin
This is the first one so it will have room to grow.
I’d like to eventually get to the point where people bring their troubled wigs and supplies and we set up and I go around to each person and help them
What are you going to show us?
So for this Class/Demo I'm going to talk about how I prep a new wig. Basic styling techniques and what I do to store them and keep them ready to wear again! PLUS I'm gonna show you all the basic tools you should have in your arsenal to tame that wig into a beautiful bouffant.
I'll be there to answer any of your questions! Bring a troubled wig and I'll give you advice and if I have time I might be able to help you a bit with it!
There is no reason to EVER wear a SHAKE AND GO!
Plus some raffles and giveaways!
In addition to Hair Clinics, Trapeze Magic, Acting, Cabaret and more, you find time to be involved in Story time with Drag Queens. What inspired you to do this project?
Story time with Drag Queens has really grown since Women and Children Bookstore contacted me thru a mutual friend to do their Andersonville Lit Crawl Event.
I have a list of queens that want to be involved!
I’ve always worked with kids, either teaching theater or being a nanny or a camp counselor. Education is very important
What moves you to do what you do?
Every Queen - or in my case - Broad, should have her causes. Mine are Education, our Vets and of course, animals. I feel all of these are neglected in our first world nation. So when I can use my platform, however small it may be, to bring attention to and/or help any or all of these, it makes me feel, involved and accomplished.
We should all feel like this when expressing our creativity.
Photo by Troia Photography
Mark Your Calendars and Join us Pre-Drag Matinee
for Puff & Fluff Wig Styling Fun!
Post by Enero J. Ray
Photo by Erik Kommer
"I want people to feel like they can wear makeup and skirts and do nail art and have long hair and be who they are and create and demand respect in all circles. Because when I was growing up I had to figure that out on my own and there were a lot of pitfalls. Ideally I want that experience to have a soundtrack. If you’re queer, a person of color, strong, confident, or working on it...this one's for you.” - Thair
a conversation with the boy like thair
I sat down to chat with Thair, musician and lead singer of the neo-soul band Astro Samurai via email this week about his new solo project "Boys Like Me". As we cyber conversed I learned more on his background, his influences, his passion and his onetime dream of becoming a zookeeper.
Who is Thair (pronounced 'Tie-Air')?
I’m a 23 year old black, gay musician and songwriter.
Can you tell us a short story about the 'boy (like you)' who came from DC to Chicago?
Not to start off sad, but Maybe my most important story is that I was bullied pretty intensely when I was in high school and I would come home most days and play piano to get through that.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly? I probably always wanted to be a singer or performer of some kind but I thought for a really long time I would be a zookeeper because I loved animals so much.
How was kidlet life?
Kidlet life was pretty good! My dad was very much into playing the classic soul and Motown music. Meanwhile my mom was into like some late 80s, 90s R&B and Rap. Neither of them are really musicians but that became a big part of my musical taste and I’m really thankful. I feel like that’s where a lot of black culture is, in the music and it continues to inspire me now.
Can you describe what “Boys Like Me” is all about?
Boys Like Me! It’s about Boys Like Me! I’m really insistent upon representation in the media because the American public tends to treat celebrities like royalty and they are regarded as role models and icons symbols of excellence….(even if they aren’t good at it). But I feel like until maybe the last couple of years I wasn’t seeing Queer people of color on TV or on the radio or anywhere in those positions. So where was the voice that represented me?
Being queer in black/brown spaces can present some real difficulties… and vice versa… being black/brown in a queer space even presents some real challenges and I want us to have a voice and speak honestly about our experiences.
The sound of this project is coming from a blend of those spaces…boundary pushing electronic sounds that we come to expect from a queer aesthetic blended with soulful vocals and melodies that we come to expect from black music.
Who are some of your influences?
I’m influenced and inspired by virtually any other queer creator of color. We really are out here making culture and we’re so empowered and we lift each other up and we really are so special.
How does art/music give you a purpose?
It’s my method of communicating. It’s how I storytell, it’s how I cry and it’s how I laugh. It’s my job but I also don’t think I would be the same person without it.
How does it make you feel when you are creating/performing?
It feels like magic! Ideally I’m completely zenned out and just channeling all the emotions the music gives me on stage and off stage. Once that starts to flow every note feels effortless. Feeling connected to the audience and myself is important and if I want to connect that means I lose the cheesy smiles and winks and showy stuff and I’m just being myself.
Photo by Sam Auger
"Boys Like Me" will be a multimedia monthly installment? Where will others be able to catch it?
As of now I intend to release one music video per month, and they’ll be posted on my Youtube channel “boyslikeme” for now. Im talking with other queer creators about possibly being featured regularly on their sites but nothing’s set in stone quite yet.
What can we expect from each episode going forward?
I started with a cover just to kind of dip a toe into this creating process, but I plan to feature a lot of my original solo music as well. I take a lot of time to plan meaning and inject a lot of myself into these videos though so hopefully even when it is a cover it feels like an original.
What do you hope we, the audience will feel and experience from this project?
I just want people to sing along and feel validated and heard and represented. I want people to feel like they can wear makeup and skirts and do nail art and have long hair and be who they are and create and demand respect in all circles. Because when I was growing up I had to figure that out on my own and there were a lot of pitfalls. Ideally I want that experience to have a soundtrack. If you’re queer, a person of color, strong, confident, or working on it...this one's for you.
Check Thair and "Boys Like Me" Tonight | Wednesday 01.24.18 | Doors at 10PM!
The Red Eye | Chicago Tribune has composed a list of their favorite dance parties in Chicago. Two of Berlin's events made the list! Dance with us in the New Year if you have not done so yet!
DURO | BI-MONTHLY WEDNESDAYS
"Another party aimed at being inclusive, DURO welcomes everyone but pulls a playlist that focuses on Latinx dance music, making for a floor full of furious feet during its Wednesday night appointments at Berlin. DURO is one of the city’s newer parties, having celebrated its two-year anniversary in October. But creator Jesus Plaza was a longtime performer at Berlin before the party became official, and DURO has since grown to be a hopping party for all persons of color as well as LGBTQ persons."
@lucheezy | firstname.lastname@example.org
FEMMES ROOM | MONTHLY THURSDAYS
"Femme’s Room takes over Berlin Nightclub once per month, offering a celebration of queer and femme culture that also showcases local artists that might be otherwise overlooked: “alternative DJs, performance artists, dancers, queens and punks,” per the party’s Facebook page. Everyone is invited, but Berlin isn’t the place to be shy, so make sure you wear your dancing shoes. Oh, and probably a strong ’fit too –– Femme’s Room guests don’t mess around with their stylish vibrance."
@lucheezy | email@example.com
WAX TRAX! RECORDS was a huge part of Chicago Industiral/Alternative music history. Both the record label and the store on Lincoln Ave. were legendary institutions and significant to the city's underground culture. One thing Wax Trax! isn't often given credit for is it's impact on young gay people trying to find an identity apart from the mainstream LGBT culture.
For National Coming Out Day, DJ Greg Haus recounted his personal story on Facebook...
"I can thank Wax Trax! Records, along with bands like My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Skinny Puppy for my coming out story. Back when I was in college, I was depressed and distant for an entire summer due to being dumped by my first boyfriend. I looked far more punk/goth/industrial or whatever you want to call it at the time than I do now. I was alone in the car with my mom and dad, traveling on 90/94 to Ann Arbor to visit my aunt and uncle. Not long after we crossed the Michigan border, my parents started questioning me about my music, style of dress, and depressed state. Apparently they had seen an episode of Oprah that said these things were warning signs of something darker.
As the conversation progressed, they asked me point blank "Are you in a Satanic cult?" Naturally, I was shocked by this suggestion. I started crying and without even thinking I said something like "No, I've just been upset because I was dumped by my boyfriend"... I felt the car swerve and swear I thought my Dad was going to drive off the road going 75mph.
I truly believe that Wax Trax! being owned by a gay couple (Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher), and all of the out, queer, and gender non-conforming artists like TKK, Coil, etc. populating the label I loved made me feel comfortable with my sexuality in a way that mainstream LGBT culture simply couldn't at the time. If it wasn't for that, I might not have had the strength to be honest about myself with my parents until years later. Jim and Dannie were out, but their "gayness" didn't define them. It was just a fact of life, which is the way it should be. It's part of the reason the music and the store have such profound, personal meaning for me. Even now I work in a creative environment and still gravitate towards modern music and art that can inspire the next generation of queer weirdos to feel like they have a community when the mainstream might not speak to them. Thanks, Wax Trax Chicago for being this gay boy's icon of hope, even if you never wanted to be." - GH
(NOTE: Greg is pictured above during the same year as this story with the band Front Line Asseembly)
Berlin Nightclub also has a rich history with Wax Trax!, hosting release parties and special events back in the day. Former Berlin DJ/VJ Dion Labriola also created the stop motion animation/live action music video for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult's classic track "Kooler Than Jesus". It was produced for a $1000 budget. Check it out below...
For the past decade, Greg Haus & Jena Max have been hosting a seasonal series of Wax Trax! Records nights, keeping the history alive for new generations. Earlier this year, Richard and Patrick of Front 242 joined them in the booth for their 10th Anniversary celebration & pre-party for the test screening of the upcoming documentary "Industrial Accident: The Story Of Wax Trax! Records"
You can join us for the fall edition of Wax Trax! Night this Friday, October 13th 9pm-2am, followed by #CosmixFridays multimedia dance party until 4am. We'll also be featuring at TKK artist feature tribute set from 9pm-11pm.
For more info on the label, store, and history, visit www.WaxTraxChicago.com
*Feel free to SHARE this post! :)
GODDESS is a recurring event at Berlin celebrating kings, queens, and everything in between, hosted and curated by KAT SASS & LUCKY STIFF. The theme of tonight's edition is "FIGHT CLUB". Local multimedia artist / musician JACOB BJORGE crafted a killer short film to promote the event... check it out below!
The show starts at 10:30pm, and admission is FREE if you arrive before 11pm! #CosmixFridays with DJ GREG HAUS follows until 4am.
Check out this amazing recap video from our 8th Annual Lollapalooza Side Show, presented by Stardust, Do312, and Redbull. The video was produced by VAM Studio.
Every Stardust Thursday, we bring you exciting events featuring some of the most exciting DJs and performers in Chicago nightlife. Don't miss tonight's Bowie Ball, (8/31/17) co-produced by Heaven Malone!
Legendary recording artist PRINCE was honored this week with a specially developed custom shade of purple by PANTONE called "Love Symbol #2". As explained on the PANTONE WEBSITE, the color was "inspired by his custom-made Yamaha purple piano, which was originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57. The color pays tribute to Prince’s indelible mark on music, art, fashion and culture."
Tonight (Sunday 8-20-17), we bring you PURPLE REIGN: A TRIBUTE TO PRINCE, celebrating the the legacy of the legendary music icon and his protégés with music & video mixed by DJ Adam El (of the band Sixteen Candles) and Greg Haus 10pm-4am. Admission is FREE!
Berlin's Tuesday & Saturday Co-Resident DJ NEVIN (a.k.a. Nevin S. Hersch / VoxBox) is performing live music from his album & being interviewed on WGN radio 720 AM at 6-7pm today (Fri. 8-18), right after the news. He'll be supported by percussionist Megan Thomas playing congas! You can also watch them from the station's window at 435 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.
His new album, ISLAND STUDY I, is inspired by his experiences on Kauai, Hawaii's Garden Isle. It contains field recordings captured in the rainforest there, and you'll hear the sounds of endangered species nestled in-between Bollywood, techno & experimental beats, wrapped in lush interwoven melodies, and manipulated samples.
NEVIN S HERSCH OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.tonecardsounds.com/
LISTEN & PURCHASE VIA: http://cdbaby.com/cd/nevinshersch