A shamelessly self-promoting column
by Chris Auman, Wannabe Herpetologist
Shellter in Place
Pretty crazy, eh? This whole COVID-19 business. I'm kinda tired of thinking about it. Who knows what’s going to happen next week, next month, or even tomorrow. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker has extended the stay-at-home orders through the end of May. ¡Ay caramba!
I already work from home, so it's not unusual for me to be homebound for long stretches of time. I do like to get out and work in a coffee shop for a bit a few times a week. Can’t do that now. I still go to the grocery store and over to the practice space (the building is unstaffed but remains accessible). My freelance writing work has slowed down, but hasn't stopped and Sarah won’t lose her job, so we’re fortunate in many respects. I don't mean to downplay anyone's suffering either. Not at all. Just starting to get a little buggy is all.
For an introverted creature such as myself, it’s not too horrible a thing to have a lot of time to fill up with various creative projects. I’ve stayed busy and have the next few RoosterCow publications planned out. Empire Smalls did have a show booked for June at the Montrose Saloon, but we're not sure if that's gonna happen or not.
Anyway, here are some updates on a few things...
In the Can
The second installment of my Snakes minicomic is available at Quimby’s and Chicago Comics where both issues have sold quite well. The price is right, I guess. Until those fine retail establishments open back up again, you can buy them both from RoosterCow Press.
The Softies broke up in 2012 when I moved to Madison, WI. The band had been together for eight years by that point having gone through 3 drummers, 4 bass players, etc. The band released 2 seven inch singles, 1 split 7 inch, 2 EPs (one on cassette) and 5 full-length LPs. We played around town a bit on college radio shows, cable access, and at various dive bars. When we disbanded, there were still a few songs leftover from the last recording session that ended up being the Night After Day after Day digital LP. I debated whether these stragglers should ever be released at all but finally decided to make them available as a digital EP on Bandcamp.
The Ghosted EP is three songs that seem unfinished both as songs and as recordings. We recorded quickly, no overdubs, no added effects. The clock was ticking on the band and nothing became of anything from the session for six years after they were recorded. I will say that I like these recordings more as time goes on. They are what they are. A little rough, a little raw.
Very sporadically, I get an order for a Frog-in-the-Box or Turtle Tote. I realize that there is an inherent flaw in my business model though. These gift boxes are priced too low and are too labor-intensive for the business to scale, so you will not be seeing me on Shark Tank trying to convince anyone otherwise. That said, they make great gifts—each hand-painted box contains toys and assorted knick-knacks as well as a reptile- or amphibian-themed newsletter. They’re great for kids (4 and up, I’d say) and adults like them too. Order one today, but don't order 50. Actually, order 50 if you want. I'll figure it out.
In the Hopper
Used Records & Tapes #1
If you have been reading these updates, then you may recall that Mike Dixon and I have been working on a review zine for the past many months. Here is another update: the title, Used Records #1, has been amended to Used Records & Tapes #1.
It’s pretty much done, I just need to wait until my friendly neighborhood Sir Speedy opens up again so I can run off the covers which will then have individually handpainted accents.
That's all I got. Stay safe. Stay sane.