It's Been a minute! Also.........Full Tilt Boogie 2017

WHOA. I have completely neglected this blog lately. The thing is, I have been putting so much into Freelance Fiend, I haven't had time to really get on here to blog but I am about to change that. Between fulfillment of orders, arranging for future shoots, hunting for killer vintage, applying for business grants, designing new shit for fall release, and prepping for Full Tilt- I've been going a little crazy. But now the dust is settling and I'm already making new shit that, as promised, is bigger and better than the basics I started with.

Last weekend was Full Tilt Boogie- an event put on by Zac, of Heavy Clothing, Pete, of 7th st Tattoo in St Paul, and Spencer, of Tiger Rose in Minneapolis. Full tilt is a Chopper show that I have been to every year since I moved here about 4 years ago. It's pretty killer to see it get bigger, better, and more developed every year. Full Tilt combines Choppers, Music, vendors, and this year for the first time- Vans too. Music included local favorites Zig Zag Wanderer, High Graves, and Rover-from St. Louis. This year was a big turn out for vendors and there was tons of vintage, records, T-shirts, jewelry, chopper goods, and more. 

I have to admit I spent most of the show hungover as hell, dying of dehydration, hotter than hell in sun, confined to my shop space. But when you run the shop yourself- that comes with the territory. There was a really good blend of vintage between myself and 3 other vendors. Freelance Fiend had a good flow of business all day and it was really rad to meet new people and network- oh- AND sell-sell-sell! The good turn out at Full Tilt helped me get tons of business and made all my suffering worth while.

Having vans this year at Full tilt was so Rad! I didn't get to participate in van-hangs because I was busy working but it felt so good to have my little van there. I gotta cut this short so I can get to work here- but I'm including some shots from FTB2017!  

 

Vantastic Voyage: Part 1

I've spent many years wishing I had a van. In high school, my first boyfriend drove a forest green 74' Dodge van with a lime green interior- that thing was KILLER. Mostly a vessel for transporting band equipment, the vehicle soon became our camping van, our after-the-party crash spot when we were too toasted to drive, and our ticket to freedom. I thought of that van often on my quest for my own. Since this would be my very first van, I hoped for a shorty- I'm not a very experienced driver. I trolled Craig's List for months in every region of the country that didn't have shitty winters like Minnesota does. With all the rust and salt damage you find on vans over here- it's pretty common to search elsewhere. One day I found my dream van on the Fort Collins, Colorado Craig's list and 45 days later it was MINE. But let's back up and start from the beginning......

I had a specific list of qualities I wanted my first van to have: No rust, half ton, V6 engine if possible, no mileage over 150k, shorty, nice paint job, workable interior, no leaks, no major repairs needed, clean undercarriage, etc.

The ad had only this picture. Although I was very opposed to vans with back windows at the time, I decided to look into this one because it was a killer deal and looked like it could potentially be my jam. So I emailed the guy, Dave. After that first email, he requested I call him because he's not the biggest fan of trying to explain and make a deal going back and forth. The first time I called Dave, he was taken aback. He told me that from the massive response he had gotten from the Craig's List ad, I was the ONLY person who had actually called him- the rest continued to email or just dropped off after the phone-call request.

Dave and I talked for about 45 minutes that day. As an older wiser vanner, Dave had been around van's for quite some time and was selling this van- one third of his current van collection. We talked about vans and then about life and he explained to me on a personal level what his vans meant to him and the trials and tribulations he had been through over the years while owning the van. It got sorta heavy as Dave kind of bared his soul to me over this phone call. Dave told me he KNEW this van was meant for me and I was meant to find it. This was a hefty thing for someone to lay on you, but I thought I needed that van too so I agreed.

I can't fully explain it, but this van was symbolic. It represented the closing of a dark chapter in his life and was a beacon of light in mine. Without getting too personal, I had been on the brink of a very big life change that was extremely difficult for me to handle emotionally. After that phone call that day, Dave gave me his word that he was going to save that van for me. Dave also agreed to let me make payments on the van. I know- this sounds crazy. Who in their right mind would put a downpayment on a vehicle, in another state, without test driving or seeing it first, or even meeting the owner face to face? But Dave sent me pictures of every square inch of that van, every step he took to make sure it was perfect, he kept me updated on all the repairs he was currently putting into it, he put me in contact with the reputable auto shop to verify his reputation as a patron and to confirm the details about the van- and I also had them send me a full diagnostic report. Even so, I still felt a bit skeptical.

Call it fear or call it being hyper-realistic, but as sure as I was about the van, I was just as worried it may be a hoax. I made downpayment arrangements and notarized an agreement to make payments on the van. I was going to take about 1.5 months to pay it off.

But then things got a little complicated. Being emotionally attached to his van (and most likely selling it out of necessity vs. choice) he was hoping to get our payment plan over and done within a month. Ok, I could handle that. However, when Dave signed the notary contract, he changed and initialed so many things I was sure it made the contract null and void. I started to panic-- I HAD TO HAVE THIS VAN. On top of this, the whole notary process between here and Colorado was such a pain especially working around my two jobs and Dave's three jobs. I made a decision right then- I HAD to fly to Colorado and get that van NOW.............

Black Pussy, Buffalo Fuzz, Blinds @ Turf Club

Wednesday night I hit the Turf Club for the Black Pussy show. All controversy aside, I genuinely appreciate the sound Black Pussy has, and especially enjoy their live shows where they really come alive. The local supporters included two Minneapolis bands Buffalo Fuzz, and Blinds.

Buffalo Fuzz opened up with a killer set with fuzzy blues-heavy riffs and killer vocals. This was my first time seeing them play live and I was pretty blown away. I was especially into their Cream cover of "Sunshine of your love". Buffalo's singer, Jared, has a broad vocal range with soulful depth that can be as gritty as it is smooth- it was layered perfectly over the drums and guitar.  This two piece is without a bass player, but I felt like they pulled it off well with just guitar and drums. Let's ignore the bass players in the audience bemoaning the lack of bass- I was just fine without it. We can officially  add this band to the ranks of my favorite local acts. 

Blinds were sandwiched between the headliner and the opener. I felt like this was a sort of peculiar placement for the band as their sound didn't flow and transition well between the two. Though the show can go on without every band jiving, it felt somewhat choppy having them between. Self-described as a blend of "Kings of Leon, Interpol, and Ty Sygall", I was skeptical but approached their set with an open mind. I'm a big fan of Sygall and picked up on some of his influence in their music, but the range of style in each song worked against them. Variety is good but having a niche is better. 

Black Pussy. This band hailing from my homeland of Portland, OR, always seem to get plenty of attention and press. But I'm not here to talk about that. I wanna talk about their sound. Their aesthetic. Black Pussy is one of those bands whose recorded material does not do them justice. In fact, I prefer their live sound as it combines well with their overall vibe and gives you a chance to experience something. I gotta say I usually feel enveloped in their heavy psychedelic sound and entranced by their performance in general. This time was no different. Dustin's tripped out, distorted, dream-like vocals over layers of organ, solid riffs, on-point drum beats, and grooved-out bass lines- it was far out. And can i briefly mention how their wardrobe skills have really grown into something so well put together? I mean shit, they out-dressed me.  With their perfectly creased bellbottom slacks and patterned polyester button ups- I couldn't really compete...

Photos: 1) Buffalo Fuzz, 2) A picture of Zac just cuz, 3) Black Pussy

HEAVY THURSDAY

          Every first Thursday of the month, all summer long, Zac Doom of Heavy Clothing puts on a chopper night at the Cabooze in Minneapolis, MN. What began solely as a bike meet up for local friends has now rolled into something bigger and better each month. Each Thursday the crowd has grown larger, and the content more eclectic. The line up currently includes bands, local art and clothing vendors, DJ sets (including spins by yours truly), and now he is incorporating vans into the fleet (including a van brought by yours truly).

This most recent first Thursday, June first, I came to spin records as I will be all summer at Heavy Thursdays. It feels really rad to be incorporating some female energy into the mix and music is my ultimate passion so this is a WIN/WIN. This was also the first Heavy Thursday I brought my entire Freelance Fiend Pop-up shop to. This was a dry run to see how well I could juggle playing records while simultaneously running a mini store. The verdict? I think I like doing both things one at a time. I'm stoked on both things but I want to be able to answer questions and meet new people when they walk into my store space and playing records didn't make it as possible as I'd like.

Next first Thursday, I will just be playing records. I have chosen only to do the pop up at events this summer that give me a chance to focus entirely on that. Bringing out my vintage collection i its entirety, my line of t-shirts, and small collection of retro housewares- It's a lot to juggle while you're kicking out the jams.

Photo credz: 3rd pic:Missy Heitz-Goetz, 4th & 5th Pic: Ryan Kittelson, 8th pic: Gophers&Cheese

AAAAAAAND FINALLY! Launch Website or die trying, ammiright?!?

I have always considered myself a go-getter, but the amount of work i put into getting my brand and website off the ground....holy shit.

I really wanted to document everything as I went along, but as a one-woman-show, with a full time day job on top of this- no way man. I have been selling vintage through Etsy and Big Cartel for damn near 10 years, but launching a site with self-generated foot traffic is a whole new animal to me. this endeavor has been scary, exciting, spendy, stressful, trying, satisfying, and a big learning experience. Combining my love for vintage, my new line of vintage-inspired T's, my portfolio of graphic design work/wardrobe styling, and this blog- it's been a dream for a while and now I'm slowly making it happen.

My very first photo shoot with Photographer Kristina Labbe was KILLER. Kristina knocked it out of the park. Known largely for her photography in the hip-hop scene, and her wedding photography for Morningside Productions, she stepped outside of her comfort zone and made me super proud. Part product shoot, part lookbook, part website content- the first shoot was a lot to take on. With the help of models Nina, Shannon, Megan, Dane, Marc, Colin, and a few brief cameos from myself, we re created the 70's vibe fitting for the clothing I sell.  Here are some or her shots from that day.........

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