Paving a Queer Aesthetic

June 29, 2015
/   Art Review

Photographs courtesy of Sarah Deragon from her project, The Identity Project. Sarah Deragon’s Identity Project — a prolific portrait series of queer-identified people — experienced its first taste of relative...

Public Explorations of Anxiety

/   Art Review

Performance artists Bow Ty and Udita Upadhyaya attempt to work against the comfortable and the predictable. Both artists emerge from “new media” practices, and engage their audiences through reexaminations...

Woman in Gold is Weak

June 24, 2015
/   Film Review

The hero of the story is clearly the American justice system, while the enemy continues to be Austria and the museum officials working at the Belvedere.

606 Trail

June 22, 2015
/   Chicago

Last year, likely expecting property values in the neighborhood to rise due at least in part to the 606, the middle-aged sisters who had owned our building sold it...

Caitlyn Jenner

/   Entertainment

As part of a reality television dynasty, Jenner is under the constant scrutiny of the tabloids. Thus her transition is introducing ideas of gender identity to a mass of...

A Flag of Fragility and Hate

June 19, 2015

South Carolina is still one of the only states in the United States of America that does not have a hate crime law, which makes a lot of sense...

In Brief

June 18, 2015
/   News

Michelle Obama Speaks at Kings College Prep, ISIS' Poet Laureate, and more news coverage.

Urban Diaspora

June 16, 2015
/   Chicago

The Urban Bush Women are not limited to dance. Moves stop to give way to singing on several occasions. There is humor, there is rap, there is femininity and...

Cash for Creatives

June 15, 2015
/   Chicago

Eight years ago the nonprofit United States Artists (USA) was founded to provide $50K grants to 50 artists around the U.S. each year.

Of Myth and Men

June 12, 2015
/   Art Review

In an Op-Ed entitled “Why Men Fail,” New York Times columnist David Brooks proposes that women are outperforming their male counterparts in myriad ways because they are more flexible...

Back To The Future Moment

May 20, 2014
/   Tech

This is just a place holder for people who need type to visualize what the actual copy might look like if it were real content. Don’t speak from a pulpit. Instead, imagine you’re in someone’s front room, having a one on one with them. After all, you may well be in their sitting room, and

Exploring “Europe’s Most Expensive Chapel”

August 24, 2014
/   Arts & Culture

Lisbon’s Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) sports a deceptively plain white facade, but the interior of the 17th-century building is home to some of the most prized (and allegedly expensive) Catholic art and architecture in all of Europe.

Instagram as a Canvas

May 25, 2015
/   Arts & Culture

Matty Davis, an MFA candidate at SAIC, travels over 480 miles by foot for an instagram-based art project entitled Between Heaven and Earth.

Yeezy Taught Me

May 28, 2015
/   Chicago

The Sunday before graduation, Kanye West decided to give a free artist lecture to SAIC faculty and students. Despite intense controversy among students, faculty and alumni, the artist lecture revealed an unknown side of Kanye to those present.

Pzzzt – The Buzz from Albania

July 29, 2014
/   Art Review

The narrow mouth of a communist-era air-raid shelter beneath an apartment building is the home to Tirana’s independent artist-run gallery space.

Compasses Not Maps

September 11, 2014
/   Technology

Speculative Design shies away from design for mass consumption, which relies on generalizing about groups of people to create one profitable solution. Charlesworth explained her past jobs in design consulting and service design as something she found “ethically difficult.”

In Brief

April 3, 2015
/   News

US Military in Cuba, Defense Against Pence, SAIC's Sexual Assault Policy, and More

Alternative Art Spaces in Chicago

August 5, 2013
/   Feature Stories

Where They Began and Where They Are Now


With identities as diverse as the neighborhoods they occupy, alternative art spaces operate on the same basic premise: to share contemporary art not exhibited in Chicago’s established art institutions.

Culture Wars Back with a Vengeance?

January 21, 2011
/   The Blog

Republicans announce plans to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Illustration/comic by Eskimeaux’s Gabby Smith.

“I know we’d hang out every day/ if I wasn’t 100 miles away.”  This lyric from Eskimeaux’s “Broken Necks” likes to echo in my head. According to google maps, Grand Rapids, Michigan (my current location) is exactly 179 miles away from Chicago. There’s no music at my current place of work, the radio broke nineteen days ago. Thus, the album that I blast during the fifteen minute drive to work serves as a minuscule boost of morale. Currently, Eskimeaux’s debut album, “O.K. has served as a bright spot amidst minimum wage mundanity.

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Eskimeaux is the brainchild of vocalist Gabby Smith who is also part of Frankie Cosmos. Smith’s lyrics possess a gentle, precise poetry that reads like a diary entry. They are devoid of pretensions or musical gimmicks resulting in an earnest, rolicking album.

Every song exists happily as a stand alone track but they also work together to form a meticulously curated record. This is refreshing. Although I love pop music, I often get the sense that larger record labels now view records as a collection of potential singles rather than a cohesive entity.

These songs can keep you company. They are catchy with ‘80s synths but they are also snug and echo in your head while you ring up grumpy people’s purchases.  Each track exists as a micro narrative — peering into aspects of everyday life that aren’t often expressed musically. Yes, there are love songs but this album also serves as an examination into the intricacies of friendship, taking time to point out that the friends we allow into our lives are just as important as the lovers.

“Broken Necks” plays on how draining it can be to attempt to protect your friends.  The chorus quips, “While you were breaking your neck trying to keep your head up/ I was breaking my neck just to stick it out for you.” It’s a song about how friendships take work and sometimes you have to let friends go, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on forging human connections. The last line is “nothing in this world is holier than friendship,” and I think that’s really fantastic because so much of the musical narrative focuses on romantic love and sometimes moves all the other important relationships in our lives to the sideline.

This record is full of potential. The band’s ability to make massively sprawling, consuming tracks is evident in “The Thunder Answered Back.”  Wherein Smith croons, “you spiderweb, you dance of death,” beneath relentless drums and sprawling guitar. Eventually, Smith starts to scream, “you coward/ you hummingbird,” and it’s full of this poetic concentrated fury that imbues you as a listener with your own sense of power. It’s a song that reminds you that you’re a physical entity on this earth, an actual person rather than scraps of khakis and snail buns. I like to listen to it while I’m on my lunch break, I turn the volume all the way up and scream “you COWARD/ you HUMMINGBIRD.”

The next track, “Alone at the Party” is a real bedroom jam, full of jangly guitar and pounding drums. It almost rushes the album a little bit, since the following track, “Pocket Full of Posies,” is an eerie ballad with the intensity of a My Bloody Valentine deep cut. At the same time, the track listing illustrates the dichotomy which Smith grapples with as a lyricist. Her lyrics are haunting and jubilant, and no matter the sentiment, they are propelled with an equal intensity. It takes a lot of power as a writer to examine joy with the same ferocity as misery.

I saw Eskimeaux live at the Pyramid Scheme a couple of days ago alongside Elvis Depressedly, Mitski, and Wayne Szalinski. The Pyramid Scheme is a tiny venue with orange and blue chevron tile floors that seem to be riffing off of David Lynch. It’s got pinball machines and PBR on tap so it vibes quite well with the lyrics of “Alone at the Party” which include lines like,  “while we danced/ at the show/ still holding our bags and coats.”

Onstage, Smith was bursting with energy wearing a worn oversized T-shirt and her hair in a high ponytail. She talked about eating at Stella’s lounge down the street, and performed synchronized dance moves with her band members. Her excitement never waned despite being perched on a tiny stage in front of an equally tiny crowd. There had to be less than twenty people on the floor, but that didn’t faze Smith. She still smiled and joked and seemed happy to be here, in this tiny pit stop to Chicago. A lot of times when bands come to Grand Rapids, they inevitably treat it as a sidenote to a bigger city (Chicago/ Detroit.) Smith was simply excited to be here, in this tiny overly-air conditioned club singing her songs for high schoolers and maybe a couple of parents at the bar.

It might as well have been a house show at a basement in Humboldt park. I felt at home for the first time since I left Chicago. My body relished in the bass lines and the proximity to amps and the gentle nudges from sweaty shoulders of strangers.

My favorite part of the record is how it explores the many facets of what it means to be okay. Music likes to concentrate on the highs and the lows and they sort of skip over the interludes — the bits that are required to build up to the grandiose. It’s a record for in-betweens, it’ll hang with you while you’re in between jobs and apartments, remind you that sometimes it’s okay to be just o.k.

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Everything Inbe-ZINE serves as both a tribute to zine culture and a prize in the cereal box that is F Newsmagazine. With every column, there will be a subsequent mini zine PDF . There’s a free download so you can  print it on a piece of printer paper (8.5×11) and fold it to start a zine library of your own. {You can download the first issue HERE}

Alexia Casanova

Marseille - London - Mexico - Chicago. Arts Editor of F Newsmagazine. Arts Management Grad Student at SAIC.

Jessica Barrett Sattell

Design & Tech Writer. Web Editor of F Newsmagazine + Arts Journalism Grad Student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alyssa Moxley

Alyssa Moxley graduated SAIC with an MFA in Sound. Using multiple voices, microphone techniques, field recording, music, sound design, and speaker placement, she plays with memory as both a personal and shared medium.

Troy Pieper

A writer and editor based in Chicago, Illinois. I provide fresh, compelling arts and culture content to a variety of publications and write powerful, targeted copy for a range of institutions.

Megan Byrne

New York & Chicago. News Editor for F Newsmagazine.

Sarah Wheat

Sarah is the Social Media Manager for F Newsmagazine as well as a graduate student in Modern and Contemporary Art History at SAIC.

Kimia Maleki

Kimia Maleki is a master’s candidate in the Department of Arts Administration and Policy at SAIC.