As Ragged Band’s inaugural summer draws to a close I’ve continued to receive tons of positive feedback regarding the site’s interviews and profiles of young artistic lions like Dan Wysuph, Vern Moen, and Jordan Butcher. Thank you so much for swinging by, spreading the word, and showing a genuine interest in the talented men and women whose creative voices Ragged Band exists to amplify!
Summer might be winding down, but there’s plenty more fun on tap this fall. Our autumnal calendar is quickly filling up with a slate of incredible characters working across a range of disciplines, including the following diamonds in the rough.
– Fashion designer Michelle Williams founded Quail, her quixotic debut label, on little more than her mother’s sewing connections and a whole lotta drive. Our Silver Lake interview proved to be one of the most engaging of my journalistic career, with Mrs. Williams bringing unparalleled candor and vulnerability to topics including persistence in the face of crushing disappointment, navigating the fashion industry as a woman of color, and her marriage to Brett Williams, manager of indie dark horses, Foster The People.
– Illustrator Jon Contino seems a man born out of time and place. His hand-drawn fonts and lettering harken back to the golden age of illustration, decades before computers would vie with pen and paper for dominance in the quivers of commercial artists. We discussed the challenges faced by the children of the early 80s, many of whom are now working on the bleeding edge of Web 2.0 technology and media, and who constitute the last generation to have grown up without cell phones and the internet.
- Among the stories venerable television news concern 60 Minutes will be featuring this Sunday is a piece on the killing of Jeff Hall, the leader of a Southern California chapter of the National Socialist Movement. 60 Minutes’ coverage features footage taken by photojournalist Julie Platner.
After a period of time spent winning the NSM’s confidence, Ms. Planter was admitted entry to a cloistered world. Following Hall’s death at the hands of his own 10 year-old son, her photographs of the white supremacist group’s marches, rallies, and more mundane domestic moments were featured in the New York Times. I spoke with Ms. Platner about the time she spent with the NSM, the personal cost of her work, fear as an occupational hazard, and her upcoming gig with NPR.