by Kelsie Hogue
Now more than ever, the act of cultivating a safe space is imperative. A safe space is simply an environment where anyone regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religious affiliation or physical/mental ability are able to express themselves freely without fear of their comfort or safety being at risk. Over the past two years, sibling duo Donnie and Madison Moore have cultivated pure fun with their monthly LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and more) show Glitter Creeps.
Taking place every third Wednesday of the month at The Empty Bottle, Glitter Creeps features a broad spectrum of voices and styles, reinforcing the idea that queer nights are for everyone. To celebrate their official toddler phase we’re throwing a party for anyone and everyone on Wednesday, November 16th, featuring everyone’s favorite punk weirdo NOBUNNY, with support from PROUD PARENTS, BEV RAGE & THE DRINKS, and an interlude by drag entertainer LUCY STOOLE.
I got the chance to grab some pure unfiltered sound bites from both Donnie and Madison Moore of the Glitter Creeps as well as Justin Champlin aka NOBUNNY on the importance of such a gathering within the Chicago music scene. Allow their tender musings to tide you over until the big night. See you on November 16th!
Along with being at the helm of Glitter Creeps, Donnie and Madison Moore make up two thirds of local glam punk outfit ABSOLUTELY NOT. With Donnie on vox and guitar, Madison on keys and backup vox and Santiago Guerrero on drums, ABSOLUTELY NOT has carved out their own unabashedly queer and tenacious space in the Chicago music scene with multiple performances at The Bottle.
Where did the idea for Glitter Creeps come from and how did it end up at the bottle?
Donnie: Most of my young adult life I searched for cool rock or punk related LGBTQIA events, but the options were extremely limited. After living in Chicago for a couple of years, I found out about things like Fed Up Fest, Homocore, and Queer Social Club (QSC) night at Archie’s. After attending and guest DJing a few QSC events I became good friends with Pete, who was the organizer at the time). He asked Madison and I if we wanted to take over QSC, and refresh it with a new name and style. My dreams had come true! I was now a part of organizing a night geared toward the LGBTQIA+ community with the style of music and culture that I identify with. I was was excited to provide such an event for like-minded people that had very little options. After successfully doing many Glitter Creeps at Archies, Madison and I just couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of wanting to go even bigger where we could have live bands performing at our events. One day I walked my silly ass into the Empty Bottle, and had a very long, nice talk with Christen Thomas who was the talent buyer at the time, and she was 100% into the idea of Glitter Creeps. Three months later, on November 19th 2014, we launched Glitter Creeps at Empty Bottle with THE CELL PHONES, PAPER MICE, and SPACE BLOOD.
What does making an LGBTQIA+ inclusive space mean to you?
Donnie: Glitter Creeps is an event where everyone should feel comfortable. Gay, Straight, Black, White, Male, Female, Transgender, Genderqueer, etc, literally ANYONE with an open mind and an open heart are welcome. Obviously, the event is heavily geared toward the LGBTQIA+ community, but we’re not trying to be one of those events that say they are only there for one part of the community. In my dream world, there would be something for everyone in every establishment. Unfortunately, the world isn’t like that, so that’s why events like Glitter Creeps are extremely necessary. It’s a place where the entire LGBTQIA community are safe to express themselves fully, and feel very comfortable doing so! That same offer goes out to open minded heterosexual males and females as well! If you are supportive of all races, and all sexual preferences and identities, you are welcome at Glitter Creeps!
Any memorable Glitter Creeps moments from the past two years that stick out?
Donnie: Honestly, I have a favorite memory from each show. Every single band that has played Glitter Creeps so far has really given us spectacular performances. It really makes me happy beyond words to see bands going balls to the wall because they know there will be no judgement at Glitter Creeps. That’s literally what I live for. I love when music is truly genuine, and performers are bringing their highest levels of expression. GET WEIRD! GET REAL! You only live once, so BE TRUE TO WHO YOU REALLY ARE!
Madison: I couldn’t agree more with Donnie. However, if I had to choose, I’d probably have to go with the show where, along with SODDY DAISY, our band got to open for GOGGS (Ty Segall’s latest project). Such an awesome night.
Donnie: Oh yeah, duh. [laughs].
What do you hope to continue/change/explore with another year of Glitter Creeps?
Donnie: Honestly, we just want to keep having great bands and amazing shows. We are trying not to repeat any bands for as long as humanly possible, so wish us luck with that!
What does the 2 year anniversary mean to you?
Donnie: It means growth, and it means happiness. We’ve definitely experienced personal growth from running Glitter Creeps for two years, and hope we’ve helped encourage further growth in the happiness and comfort levels in punk/rock side of the LGBTQIA community as well. With bands like NOBUNNY, Micachu and The Shapes, Royal Headache, and GOGGS playing and showing mega love for the event, that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter for the community.
Any news about your band Absolutely Not?
Donnie & Madison: Yes! We are working on finishing the new LP, and we just released the first single/music video from it recently!
Interview with NOBUNNY
Justin Champlin crashed onto the scene in 2001 with his explosively lovable punk/rock n’ roll persona NOBUNNY. With gloriously crusty glam stage antics filled with costumes, nudity and a very special bunny mask, NOBUNNY has captured the hearts of cuties all over.
How long have you known about Glitter Creeps and what does it mean to you to be a part of the two year anniversary?
Nobunny: I met Donnie and Madison right when they started doing Glitter Creeps two years ago. I’m stoked they invited me!
Any favorite Empty Bottle memories?
Nobunny: Setting up an interview with a band when I was 19 and Bruce letting me in, as long as I stood on the radiator by the front door. Taking acid for free jazz improv nights. My grandmother attending a Nobunny show and commenting on how dirty the bathroom was.
How integral is your live performance when writing new material?
Nobunny: I don’t generally think about performing live when writing. I suppose sometimes though, I think “this is gonna sound killer live”or, “this will never work live”. One song at a time!
Can we touch base on the Elvis impersonation time in your life?
Nobunny: Elvis impersonation is a decent way to pay the bills, but Nobunny is more creatively fulfilling.
Fresh Streams is a new segment we’re doing, which will pop up as it fits with our calendar. On these posts you’ll find album streams of bands that are playing the Empty Bottle in the coming days/weeks/months. For music fans who are constantly inundated with music news and new records, we think this will be exstreamly useful (sorry! / you’re welcome?). There’s a lot to sift through each week, so if we miss something, shoot us a comment with the link and we’ll add it to the list (and maybe even comp you a ticket to that show)… Give a listen to the fresh new albums below — these bands wouldn’t be playing here if we didn’t like em!
Fresh Streams is a new segment we’re doing, which will pop up as it fits with our calendar. On these posts you’ll find album streams of bands that are playing the Empty Bottle in the coming days/weeks/months AND also have records streaming on the good old world wide web. For music fans who are constantly inundated with music news and new records, we think this will be exstreamly useful (sorry/you’re welcome?). There’s lots to sift through each week, so if we miss something, shoot us a comment with the link and we’ll add it to the list (and maybe even comp you a ticket to that show)… Give a listen to the fresh new albums below — they wouldn’t be playing here if we didn’t like em!
The new album by Ryley Walker, Primrose Green, out Tuesday on Dead Oceans, ebbs and flows effortlessly in all the right ways. It’s an album that’s easy to lose yourself in, one that helps you travel through time as it streams through your speakers. As a newcomer to the music of Ryley Walker, I was instantly captivated by his unique blend of jazz and folk. Learning that he had his hands involved in the noise and punk scene as a precursor to his current sound came as no surprise. His acoustic influences, paired with an affinity for improvisation make for an album that builds into a wonderful sonic landscape that is well beyond his 25 years and his songs have found their way on my playlist more times than I’d like to admit.
If you’ve have the pleasure to see him IRL (“in real life” grandpa!) you know that Walker’s live show is like a graceful, audio-enigma. No two shows are the same and you often times leave having bore witness to a genesis of new songs, songs in progress, and favorites that have been re-worked, stretching and expanding beautifully before your very ears. Walker plays alongside a rotating cast of some of the most talented Chicago jazz musicians, a collection of friends and colleagues developed over years of involvement in the underground Chicago music scene. From the first recordings to the photos on the covers, everything is Chicago-centric, showcasing the beauty of a city that collaborates and grows together.
I was fortunate enough to exchange some quick words with Ryley the day after his Chopin Theatre record release (and the day of his solo show at Permanent Records). When talking with Walker his intentions are unspoken but clear, and he intends on continuing to make music he likes, with people he likes. Lucky for us, the product of these collaborations continue to be damn good.
The Road to the Bottle for Moon Duo has not been especially long or arduous. The journey began in Portland, which these days is home for front man Ripley Johnson. From there they’ve made a line across the top of the country, with stops in Fargo, Minneapolis & Milwaukee before arriving at our doorstep to celebrate the release of their latest LP. We’re no strangers to Ripley and his work. His other group, WOODEN SHJIPS, celebrated the release of their breakthrough 2013 album, Back to Land, in front of a way sold out crowd right here at the Bottle. More reason to get here early tonight, since all the heads know this one is sure to be a ripper.
In this modern age full of knowledge and wireless Internet it’s rare to find a band with a minimal paper trail, but THE SUEVES have achieved just that. What they lack in an E-presence they make up for, in abundance, at their live show. The no-frills trio has been ripping through the Chicago music scene for the last four years and are showing no signs of slowing down, which is good news for you if a unique blend of garage-rockabilly-surf-rock is something your into. I caught up with THE SUEVES for some beers and to exchange some short and sweet words.
Glitter Creeps is a Rock/Punk/New Wave queer night hosted and co-curated by Donnie Moore & Madison Moore, who you may know as two-thirds of Chicago punk band ABSOLUTELY NOT. Donnie and Madison started hosting Glitter Creeps at the Bottle just last month, and we’ve got em booked on the second or third Wednesday of the Month through the winter (at least). Madison gets behind the bar and plays “Guest Bartender” (this month: Jello Shots) while Donny plays Mr. DJ from the good ol’ Piano DJ Booth. Don’t miss em THIS WEDNESDAY for Party #2!
On Saturday, December 6th, we returned to Bohemian National Cemetery for Cold Moon, December’s full moon that summons the beginning of the winter. For this performance, we ventured into BNC’s Cathedral, where we presented three outstanding performances by Chicago’s WREKMEISTER HARMONIES, RYLEY WALKER and CIRCUIT DES YEUX. The show was sold out by 8:15pm, just before we started, and the artists were joined by Brownshoesonly, everyone’s favorite multi-talented projectionist. Rob Sevier of Numero Group came through once again to set the sonic tone of the evening, playing some brain-melting records throughout the event. Consequence of Sound was there to catch the mystical concert, and at the end of their review the writer “wondered whether the whole event had been some sort of ancient rite, the incantation on the steps of some final initiation. Only time will tell… until the next full moon anyway.”
Pompeii’s Road to the Bottle has taken them to some interesting places, and the Empty Bottle will be their last stop on this long tour before returning home to Austin, Texas. They’ll play one last show in Austin with their tourmates Simian Ghost, who will then return home to Sweden. There is little doubt though that Pompeii and Simian Ghost will feel at home here at the Bottle.
After trekking all over the states on her way to Chicago, Alice Boman makes one last stop in the US just for us before going back to her native Sweden for the European leg of her tour.
She and her bandmates have gotten to see some great sights along the way, including a very memorable trip to the Hotel Chelsea while in NY. “We were kinda starstruck just by seeing that building,” Boman said of laying eyes on the legendary landmark.