I think in our professional/creative lives, one of the hardest things to do is to make space for the crazy, the unexpected, the new and the minty fresh. I mean, just look at that term: “professional/creative”. Dude … which one is it?! Am I supposed to Make Money, Be Consistent, Have A Product, and Succeed — or should I play, experiment, fail, and challenge every parameter?

I’m lucky that when I work on Parlour Tapes+ projects, I’m part of a team of people for whom wacky experimentation is, somehow, totally natural. These peeps are amazing. Compared to Jenna, Kyle, Andrew and Deidre, I am a YouTube-illiterate, tumblr-ignorant, prudish grandma. But they challenge me to be so much more than that.

My favorite thing about being part of the Parlour creative team is what Deidre aptly called “the ideastorms.” I’ll be sitting around the meeting table, taking notes, minding my own business, naively thinking we’re about to plan a normal concert. And then Andrew will say: “I don’t know what our next event should be, exactly, but it should be hosted by Parlour Taipei.

Andrew, already famous for taking Twitter to its banal extreme and only tweeting when he goes to the bathroom, created Parlour Taipei as a kind of international alter ego/cranky adversary of Parlour Tapes. Andrew studies Chinese, which allows him to engage in Twitter exchanges like this:


At the meeting table, Kyle nods, intrigued by the idea of a Parlour Taipei event. “It should be some kind of … international expo,” Kyle suggests. Deidre says, “We need a fun way to ask folks to sign up for our mailing list!” And then I find myself saying, “What if we made them fill out a job application?” And then we all say together IT’S A JOB FAIR IT’S A JOB FAIR!!

So that was it. That was the ideastorm. Ten minutes later, we were asking Peter Margasak if our date on the Frequency Series at Constellation could be the First Annual Parlour Taipei International Job Employment Expo. And he said yes. So this Sunday, we are throwing a concert of awesome music which will also be a corporate retreat, team-building exercise, and yes, Job Employment Expo. You should watch this video, which explains precisely nothing.

As a community of musicians and artists in Chicago, we’re all working super hard right now to invent and re-invent ourselves. Right? It’s tough out there. And Parlour Tapes is really committed to being part of that — to thinking about how new music can be fun, how it can turn heads, how it can be really high quality and really ridiculous at the same time. And sometimes when you’re having fun and being silly, that’s when you learn serious lessons about what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it.


For me, throwing The Guilty Party meant throwing out all my old ideas of what a concert is. It meant taking myself a lot less seriously, starting from scratch to create a totally new “frame” around performance. And once I did, I felt like anything was possible. The Expo is doing it all over again. It feels exciting, it feels scary, it feels totally hilarious.

So here’s what you do. First of all, get a ticket in advance so that we can make you a special nametag with your spirit animal. (And so that you can hear super exciting music by Sam Scranton, Jenna Lyle, Ryan Ingebritsen, and Mark Applebaum.)

Second, make a video resume naming your three biggest strengths and weaknesses. Like Deidre. Or Kyle. I’m still working on mine, but fashionable lateness might be one of my strengths.