Finishing the Hat

by Jessie Lynn McMains Since Stephen Sondheim died, I’ve had “Finishing the Hat” stuck in my head. “Finishing the Hat” is a song from Sondheim’s 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George, and in some ways it is the consummate Sondheim song; one of the finest examples of the way he blended music and…

Favorite Music of 2021

by Jessie Lynn McMains My 12 Favorite Albums and EPs Released in 2021 Anna B Savage – A Common TurnSoaring vocals, music that is somehow both sparse and expansive, achingly beautiful lyrics. Favorite track: Corncrakes. Arab Strap – As Days Get DarkTake the existential dread of some of Nick Cave’s work and mix it with…

All Men Are Free / DCxHC

by Jessie Lynn McMains Door County, Wisconsin. Land of shipwrecks, fish boils, caves water-cut into limestone cliff faces, and the balsamic, camphorous scent of cedar. Haunted by the ghosts of history, and many of my own personal phantoms. Door County, Wisconsin. The peninsula that made me punk. I have tried to trace my path to…

Let’s Be Bad

by Jessie Lynn McMains Sometimes, I want to do bad things. This is not a confession of nefarious plots or dirty thoughts. Maybe I should rephrase it. Sometimes, I want to allow myself to be bad at things. I want to let myself make crappy stuff. I want to let myself just make the absolute…

Mattias and I: A True Story

When I came across Mattias’ work five or six years ago, I became captivated by his highly-populated cityscapes and his rooms stuffed with bric-a-brac and odd technology. This is the kind of art I want to make!, I told myself.

Forget Paris on the Seine. I’ll Take the Louvre on Lake Michigan

Would you rather have a brat or a baguette? A Kouign-amann or a Kringle? Paris with its Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo is 4,100 miles away from here, and who needs the Louvre Museum when you can experience fine art (and engage in much more) at the Louvre on Lake Michigan, better known as Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery? Spectrum is located within the historic DeKoven Center campus in Racine, WI at 2050 Wisconsin Avenue and has served southeastern Wisconsin with culture, education, entertainment, and fellowship for over 40 years.

Drawing Tom Waits

As much as I love the sound of Tom Waits – blues shouter, field hollerer, junkyard dog howler, carnival barker – I also am jazzed by the man’s countenance and love to draw pictures of him.

It’s Like a Cross Between Sex and Christmas

It’s been a week of making art, writing, listening to podcasts, reading new books, and getting a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine. I look forward to engaging with mankind again. However, as I’m both an introvert and an HSP, my engagement will find me in the wading pool of society rather than its deep waters.

Superheroes with Pens

Writers are rock stars. I wouldn’t cross the street to see Mick Jagger, but I’ve driven 500 miles on two occasions to see my literary heroes, Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) and Robertson Davies (The Deptford Trilogy), in Stratford, Ontario. In early adulthood, I wore a maroon T-shirt with the J.D. Salinger book title, The Catcher In The Rye, printed on it, replicating the paperback edition’s cover.