Girls Can Tell

Gadding about

Tara McPherson
Tara McPherson (Photo By Melanie Haupt)

Not-So-Flatstock, If You Know What I Mean

We kicked off the day with a visit to Flatstock 8, the rock-poster show that gathers more cred every year and continues today at the Convention Center, free, 11am-6pm. I wanted to check in with a few of the female artists on hand, simply because there are so few of them.

- Strawberryluna does three-color screenprinting two days a week in a co-op in Pittsburgh, working in a soft palette of colors that has striking emotional resonance. A poster for a Sufjan Stevens show features dragonflies dancing in the moonlight, an image she conjured when thinking about the show's late-summer date.

- Eleanor Grosch of Push Me Pull You Design, out of Philadelphia, specializes in quirky animal prints, such as a yarn llama that has come unraveled on her Be Your Own Pet concert poster. Check out the display of Keds at her booth; a limited edition run of shoes featuring three of Grosch's designs hits stores in May; she was "discovered" at a previous Flatstock.

- Perhaps the best-known and most successful (to date) of the women artists at Flatstock is Tara McPherson of New York City. McPherson is a veritable monster of merchandise. In addition to her concert posters, including a very striking one for Depeche Mode, McPherson has buttons, stationery, stickers and toys for sale, and will soon launch a line of toys featuring her Orion character. If that's not enough, she's currently painting a comic for DC Comics.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Overheard at the Sub Pop/Merge day party Friday at Pok-e-Jo's: "When is a band gonna start?" That's the problem with Friday – there's too much cool stuff happening, and chances are you're going to land at an event right in between sets and you'll have to run off to the next cool thing before you get a chance to hear any music at the cool thing you're currently at. It's why we need cloning. I hit two parties and sat there burning daylight while waiting to hear even one band. Then I zoomed off to Waterloo Records in hopes of catching Beth Orton's in-store performance, as well as KT Tunstall's, and arrived to find the store jam-packed and a daunting-looking line snaking around the building. Sigh. I finally got to hear some music when I settled in at Pok-e-Jo's and Band of Horses took the stage.

Make-Up the Breakdown

While listening to the Joggers, my current favorite band outta Chicago, whipping out their angular Pavement-pounding rock on the Moonshine patio, I got my nails painted courtesy of Heidi's Night of Beauty. Run by Heidi Richman, the promotional gimmick out of L.A. provides makeovers and quickie manicures at rock shows. Hey, whatever gets butts into seats, right?

I Diet Dr Pepper, You Jane

Today's celebrity sighting took place at the Jane magazine party, courtesy of the Real World Miami's hottest cast member, Dan Renzi, who played doorman at the Beauty Bar in a baby-blue "I'm a Pepper" T-shirt. Renzi, recently appointed editor of, was very friendly and greeted me by name. "Hello, Dan from the Real World!" I chirped. "You realize I'm not going to let you into this party if you keep saying things like that," he drawled, then sucked in his cheeks and waved me in.

On offer at the party were swag bags full of Bioré facial cleansers, adverts, and, of course, a copy of Jane magazine with a cover that screamed, "Sex Tips So Good, Your Boyfriend Will Want to Pay You." Ah, feminism, what have you wrought? The spread (eh, food, that is) wasn't too shabby, either, with BBQ sandwiches, little cups of pasta salad, and teensy little cupcakes ostensibly made with Diet Dr Pepper (and I know this because I now have the recipe on a handy, glossy card), because girls shouldn't eat full-sized cupcakes, and they sure as hell had better not have sugar in them! Don't they know that shrinking cupcakes down to bite-sized pieces only makes it easier to eat 80 of them? And when you have to wait 30 minutes watching Baby Steps set up to play, it's easy to overdo it on the teensy cupcakes. I'm just saying.

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