This week we talk to Cynthia Connolly about her early punk days in LA and Washington DC, publishing books, photography, working with Maximum Rock ‘n Roll, meeting the Mackaye family, growing up with a single mom, and continuing to create rad things.
Cynthia Connolly is an American photographer, curator, graphic designer, and artist. She graduated from Corcoran College of Art and Designand worked for Dischord Records and d.c. space. In 1988 she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground (79–85) through her small press Sun Dog Propaganda.
One of Cynthia Connolly’s most well known works, ironically, is one of her first works of commercial art. It is the image drawn for the band Minor Threat, in 1983, when she was 19 years old, for the 12″ LP entitled, “Out of Step” on Dischord Records. This drawing, showing a black sheep with his eyes wide open, drawn in crayon, leaping away from a group of white sheep rendered in watercolor is used, particularly the black sheep, as tattoo art for many around the world and represents an entire movement and idea from a generation of people who find the band Minor Threat and that entire hardcore (music) movement influential in their lives. Many of the artists in the “Beautiful Losers’ exhibit were influenced by the work and music, and the record album was exhibited in this show.
Cynthia Connolly continues to exhibit her photography, create ephemeral objects using her letterpress and photographs, and is Special Projects Curator for Arlington County, Virginia.
This week we talked with Emily Flake and had a lot of laughs, got insights into her life, creative process, what she’s up to next, and general shenanigans. Her cat liked us, obviously.
Emily makes cartoons for The New Yorker, mostly, but also sometimes MAD Magazine, the New Statesman, and other places. She had a weekly strip called Lulu Eightball that carried the jokes that are too vulgar for grown-up publications and too racy for MAD, back when alt-weeklies were strong and we were young. She also does a bi-weekly cartoon for The Nib, usually about whatever the political or cultural shitstorm du jour is.
She wrote and drew a book called These Things Ain’t Gonna Smoke Themselves (Bloomsbury USA). She also wrote and drew a book of cartoons and essays called Mama Tried. It is about parenting and was published by Grand Central Publishing. You can buy it here.
She also performs – a hybrid of cartoons and stand-up wherein she shows cartoons via the magic of PowerPoint and then tells funny stories. She has done this at Union Hall, the Bell House, QED Astoria, UCBEast, and a bunch of other places from the fancy to the hopelessly vile.
She also co-hosts a quarterly-ish comedy show called Shitshow with NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg; it’s comedy about parenting.
Alejandra del Pinal was born in Guatemala and raised in the East Bay. She grew up in the Bay Area punk scene and ended up booking and becoming co-head booker at Gilman when she was 18.
She formerly worked as a cook at high end restaurants and changed career paths to work with marginalized communities in a harm reductionist capacity.
She currently sings in a band called Rapid Decline and formerly sang in MRSA and No Fucks Given.
In 2015, Alejandra and a group of friends formed Punks with Lunch operating out of her kitchen. That quickly changed her mindset and her goals and she eventually found work at the Homeless Youth Alliance.
This week we talk to Martin Sprouse about writing zines in the 80s, writing for Maximum RocknRoll, starting a publishing company, resistance art, the difference (and similarities) between punks and hippies, and so much more!
Martin Sprouse grew up in Southern California and has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area punk scene since the late 1980s.
Please welcome our first guest, Tracey Helton Mitchell (@traceyh415).
Tracey has dedicated her life to the care and treatment of heroin users. Tracey entered school through an ex-offender’s program where she earned a bachelors of business administration and masters of public administration. In addition, she is a certified addiction specialist and supervisor.
She was featured in the movie Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street. She has also been featured by CNN, Anderson Cooper, Vice, NPRs fresh air, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times.