You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘“Chickenhead”’ tag.

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

But rather than let them sit on a hard drive forever I thought I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Mark Borchardt"

Mark Borchardt

I first “met” Mark Borchardt (over the phone) in 2000 when I interviewed him for Tastes Like Chicken (which, at the time, was named Chickenhead). The interview ran that July here.

A few months later—that December to be exact, while I visited my family for the holidays—Mark and I finally met in person at a screening of American Movie at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse in Wauwatosa. We had both seen (or in Mark’s case, had lived) the movie before, so after he did a little speech at the start of the film we wandered across the street for a few drinks at Walters’ on North.

Fast-forward to 2004. I’m living on Milwaukee’s East Side (literally in the Tastes Like Chicken headquarters). In those four years since we last spoke, a group of friends and I had somehow managed to turn our monthly alt-weekly in Columbus, Ohio into an internationally-distributed, real-life magazine.

Yet we still weren’t making money. I don’t get it! How did Tastes Like Chicken ever fail?!? Hmmm….

But I digress….

After launching blindly with a “Best Of” issue for the magazine’s debut, we soon found ourselves in contract with multiple new distributors. While this was a great problem to have it was also extremely stressful. We now had to create another issue, and so we scrambled to line up interviews for what would become our second (and Summer 2004) issue.

We did pretty well, managing to nail down interviews with the band Teargas & Plateglass, Troma Films’ Lloyd Kaufman, and musicians Mike Doughty and Melissa Auf der Maur. Our cover interview—which was always considered to be each issue’s main feature—was an interview with Kiss’ Gene Simmons. To this day, this is the only issue of Tastes Like Chicken to ever sell out every copy.

To be read: If you own a copy of this issue, sign up for eBay now.

To round out the issue, I decided to contact Mark for a follow-up interview. Unlike our first interview, which was conducted over the phone, Mark invited me into his parents’ home for the follow-up. Having seen American Movie a million times before, I was already very familiar with this house.

We sat in his parents’ living room and talked for about an hour. Sadly, the interview that took place would become lost forever (the reason for this can be found at that previous link), but when the interview was over I shot a few images of Mark sitting in his dad’s recliner. The best frame of these photos is what you see above.

An interesting side-note: Mark had recently gotten sober, so the beer in his hand was an NA beer. Still, most likely in an attempt to keep some amount of beer-drinking cred, he asked me to shoot a few images with the bottle turned around so no one would know what he was drinking.

After the second interview came out, Mark and I saw each other a couple more times before I moved to Los Angeles in November 2008. He made an amazing cameo in our 2005 Tastes Like Chicken Video Christmas Card. (NOTE: He’s at the very end.) He (and Ken Keen) also showed up at a house party we threw after moving into our new house in Riverwest. Mark ended the party asleep in the middle of our staircase between the first and second floor, an uneaten cheeseburger still sitting on his paper plate.

He was also completely sober at the time. That’s 100% true.

I haven’t seen Mark since we moved, but lately I’ve been thinking about getting back in touch with him. Maybe the next time we’re in Milwaukee I’ll call him up and offer to take him out for a beer. NA, IPA, or otherwise.

Wishing I also had an old image of Mike Schank,

-Shady

…after a year of running Chickenhead as our school newspaper, a group of friends and I attempted to turn our little rag into a citywide, tabloid-sized, free publication in Columbus, Ohio.

We had no clue what in the hell we were doing.

None of us had any experience in publishing. We were all just weirdo art school graduates/students who had a desire to create a publication that we would actually want to read. We also had nothing to show (save for a few stapled-together, Xeroxed school issues) that would prove we could actually do the job.

No one had any reason to believe that we would actually deliver that first issue, but that didn’t stop us from going out and asking local patrons to support us by buying ad space.

One of the first people to give us a check was a young woman named Jeni Britton who ran a tiny ice cream stand in the North Market. Jeni supported us before we sent our first issue to print, and continued to support us during our entire time in Columbus.

After leaving Columbus in 2003, I had heard that Jeni was doing well for herself. She opened her own store on High Street in the Short North, and was even selling her ice cream at a few retailers in and around Columbus. Since then, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream has gone nationwide (including a New York Times best-selling cookbook and numerous Food Network appearances), but I still had yet to find any of her pints in Los Angeles.

Yesterday, I saw this at a Vons out in Calabasas…

Support Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream because 15 years ago she supported us.

…and a quick search revealed that Jeni is looking to open a shop in Los Feliz.

All of this makes me happy for three reasons. First, it brings a little bit of Columbus to L.A. Second, in my opinion, nobody deserves this type of success more than Jeni, a woman who supported a handful of goofy art kids when she had absolutely no reason to do so. And third, her ice cream is insanely, ridiculously delicious. For real.

Can’t wait to fill up our freezer,

-Shady

"The Book of CLAV"

I went to a private art school for college and back then groups of kids would hang out in these… well, I guess you’d call them “cliques.”

Of course, that term has a terrible negative connotation to it, but I don’t mean it in that way because the types of cliques I’m talking about weren’t obnoxious. It’s not like we had a college basketball clique, or a date rapist clique.

Though we did have a smelly, dirty-hippie drum-circle clique, which is almost as bad as a date rapist clique.

Anyway, like-minded artists would inevitably seek each other out, and the product of that would be these clusters of creative kids; almost like individual art collectives moving around and about each other on campus.

Occasionally, these groups would overlap. Maybe an illustration kid would somehow bleed into a group of fine artists, or a photography kid would fall in with some advertising design geeks. This made it interesting and, especially looking back on it as I type this, I’m extremely nostalgic for those days now.

Back then, I was part of a clique. We were the goofy Chicken kids, and we were in charge of the campus newspaper which, at the time, was called “Chickenhead.”

Another well-known group back then was a collective of kids we always referred to as “The Bucket Kids.”

The Bucket Kids were brilliant. They were musicians and writers and photographers and painters. They did it all. They also had this great bar in their basement/practice space, and I downed quite a few drinks there.

Eventually, and like the Chickens before them, the Buckets grew up, graduated, and moved forward.

But that doesn’t mean they stopped creating great work.

Just as “Chickenhead” would eventually go on to become “Tastes Like Chicken,” the Bucket would go on and become Omnibucket.

Today, Omnibucket exists much as it did years ago: as a creative collective of friends who obviously are having a great time working on new projects together. Over the years, they’ve published a small magazine (“OLOGY”), an illustrated storybook (“God’s Acre: The Ravens & The Rhyme”), a book/CD combo of science fiction and poetry (“Eleventy Billion Miles Away”) and more illustrations, photographs and writing than most art school graduates do in their entire post-college career.

Their newest project (after that lengthy intro) is “The Book of CLAV,” which was just released earlier this year.

Now, of course, “The Book of CLAV” is filled with both great art and brilliant writing, but what makes it stand out as being more than just a collected sketchbook is its concept.

In their own words: “A frustrated artist, in the absence of his muse, finds a series of discarded paintings and becomes an accidental author, detailing the rise of an envied, yet anonymous painter (CLAV).”

It’s the story of a journal of collected art from an unknown artist, as interpreted and told by an anonymous author. It’s an idea Charlie Kaufman himself should envy.

Artist Tyler Landry plays the role of CLAV, and Scott Lambridis’ writing gives life to the anonymous author. Each compliments the other–the art the words, the words the art. A cohesive tone and feel is set from the beginning, and the reader/viewer knows from page one that they’re in for something they’ve never seen before.

The book had a very limited print run of only 75 copies, so grab a copy before they sell out by clicking here. The cost is $30, and it’s worth every nickel.

If $30 is a little steep for you during these crazy economic times (i.e. you’re out of a job) you’re in luck because Omnibucket is offering the entire book online for free. That’s right: free. There’s also a soundtrack you can download and listen to as you view the book online.

Now you have no excuse not to check it out.

If you know me, like me and trust my judgment, you clearly have some issues. But before reality sets in on that thought, hop on over to their site and pick up a copy of “The Book of CLAV.”

Great job, Scott, Angie and the rest of the gang! Congrats! Way to keep that Bucket spirit alive!

The Book of Justin,

-Shady

Old Poop!