Tag Archives: Lauren Bedford Russell

The Pride of Chicago – Back Lot Bash

It was my great pleasure to hit the Back Lot Bash Music Festival on Saturday, June 28th in Andersonville, Chicago. You may have read the review and seen the photos I took from the opening Comedy Night (if not, here they are again).

On Saturday, my wife and I headed off to the festival armed with an umbrella – because my aunt is brilliant and prepared. We grabbed a quick bite at Lady Gregory next door. I was able to get in a Revolution Anti Hero American IPA and a Two Brothers Domaine DuPage Biere de Garde while we ate our brie and hearts of palm salad. As it was time to walk back to the festival, the sky opened up. Bravely, I trudged to our rental car to fetch the umbrella. Being from California, of course, it was possible that I might melt, but I shouldered on. I am glad I did.

We were the envy of the entire festival as we rolled in with our bright red umbrella. The attendees were so jealous! Anyway, the rain had thrown what you would think would be a real kink into things. The lesbians had scattered to the various tents and were huddled up together. Everyone was hoping it would pass quickly.

At this point, I saw the festival organizers, Christina Wiesmore and Amie Klujian. They were keeping it together – not what you might expect from the gurus of an outdoor festival during a downpour. Christina was drenched to the skin, but she had a big smile on her face. She must have been feeling some stress, but she did not let it show. It will pass, she chirped. I said, let’s have a wet t-shirt contest!
Kiyomi McCloskey, Hunter Valentine

Kiyomi McCloskey, Hunter Valentine

The storm did indeed pass, and the music continued. The evening was being emceed by Lauren Bedford Russell, who I interviewed a few months ago, and we arrived in time to see Hunter Valentine. I had the pleasure of interviewing Hunter’s lead Kiyomi McCloskey last year. The show was powerful and they rocked the festival – especially when Kiyomi crowd surfed. After Hunter Valentine closed their set, a popular local cover band Your Villain My Hero closed out the festival with song after song that kept the crowd dancing.

Check out all the shots I took here.


Lesbianland: The Dinah

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We woke up this morning fairly early – 9. Texted friends to see what was afoot for breakfast. Both of us are tired because we went to bed about 3:30, but there’s an impetus to get back to the fun.

Like when you go to Disneyland (or any theme park) and you are so tired of walking by like 1:00, but you have to see the whole park, ride everything, not miss anything! Well, being at The Dinah is kind of the lesbian version of that. It’s lesbian Disneyland. Lesbianland. And you want to see it all. Not miss anything. Ride everything (cough).

So we are back at it this am. Last night was rad. We arrived in time to get our press credentials (“creds”) before they closed down the table. Then we zipped off to grab a bite. That was a funny fail, however, as we misjudged our timing. Can you bring us our appetizers (all we ordered) in take out containers? After getting our creds, we ran out to the car and ate our appetizers in the street. 3 lesbians trying to down giant Italian meatballs with only one napkin and one fork. Then, into the fray.

It’s my first time working the red carpet as press. I have creds, so behind the red velvet rope we go, along the step and repeat. We cram in and wait for the lengthy list of celesbians (that’s celebrity lesbians) to arrive and smile for us. I have my big camera rig (which looks very professional) and my wife is my second shooter with a smaller camera (still a serious one, tho). The plan is: figure out the red carpet, don’t trip, get at least a few good shots to show y’all. And maybe talk to a few celebs.

We were on target – mostly. The press line was way more crowded than we expected and it was impossible to get a spot along the rope. I’m tall, so I tried to make it work. Holding the camera up with one arm is hard. Shooting over the woman’s bun in front of me was even harder. I did my level best though.

We got good shots – more than I expected. I didn’t trip. Batting a thousand. No interviews though. But then, my friend Fortune Feimster came right over to say hi and we had a chat. I was really happy – I look like real press!

After the press line, my wife and I went out to stash the heavy cameras. Then, we got a chance to meet Lauren Bedford Russell and Kiyomi McClosky in the VIP area (love those press creds!). Recall that I interviewed Kiyomi last year. Well, I interviewed Lauren just recently, but both interviews were on the phone. It was really nice to make the in person connection with two such genuine and cool women.

After that, it was into the party for some drinks and dancing. We ended up sitting outside for a bit, and having wonderful conversations with friends, old and new. This is my wife’s first time at The Dinah. So far, so good!

I’ll share about today and tonight later. We will make it through the day. We have to. It’s Lesbianland. We are going to see everything. Do everything. Ride everything – just as a figure of speech of course!

It’s butch to go to Lesbianland. Be Butch.