Pre-Order TSM 10!

Gahhhhhhh the biggest baddest glossiest issue of the Sick Muse is almost here…and for the first time ever, we’re offering a pre-order situation: so follow this link!

The Sick Muse 10 is centered around the theme of UTOPIA and will include:

  • an interview with rap duo Mother Nature about becoming hip-hop geniuses
  • an interview with »radiant devices«, Chicago industrial and downtempo electronics wonders
  • a guide to foraging wild life and growing food in Chicago
  • a foto series of queer nightlife by ColectivoMultipolar
  • a timeline of DIY Chicago from 2000-2036
  • an account of cooperative living
  • and uh, so much more! We don’t want to give it all away 😉

Printed on 8.5″ x 11″ glossy paper and 68 pages long, our 10th issue will include waaay more content by/about Chicago DIY artmakers than ever before. (It’s also way more expensive to print. We’re trying to keep the cost as low as we can while also creating a beautiful, exciting zine bursting with knowledge and fresh creations. We’ve cut down the number of zines we print yearly in order to create more expansive issues, so think of this as three issues in one).

The issue drops June 22 on the opening night of the World’s Fair 2018. Stay tuned for details about the release party!

We love you and thank you for your support.

The Sick Muse #9 Now Available!

The Sick Muse #9 was released at a smash of a fashion show/party last Saturday, December 2nd at Archer Beach Haus. No. 9 is housed within covers by Ursula Andreeff and Xander Black, and features:

  • An interview with performance artist Glamhag
  • An exposition of DIY venue bathroom art
  • An interview with Adam Zanolini of Afro-futurist free jazz collective, the Participatory Music Coalition
  • Poetry by Rui Carlos da Cunha and + (“Plus Sign”)
  • An interview with rocknrollers A Million Rich Daughters
  • Lyrics, illustrations, photography && more!

Letter from the Editors

To our loyal and disloyal readers,

People are still making music and art, so we still make this zine to make art and words out of the art and words others make. A regurgitation of sorts. An ordered, tabbed, aligned, italicized, bolded, kerned, edited, paginated, collated, folded, stapled, purchased regurgitation. But we can look at the regurgitation and see beauty in the transformation, sort like the pretty yellows, pinks, and reds one may appreciate after a good puke.

A big thanks to all who took part in the regurgitation; all of this issue’s contributors are amazing. We interview with multifaceted performer Glamhag, discuss bathrooms, taste the memories of a drummer turned poet, get lost in a photograph, read a magical/unmagical poem, interview with Participatory Music Coalition about freedom and music, dig some amazing paintings, as always ingest some wacky lyrics, interview with A Million Rich Daughters, and shout out some dope folks to close it out.

This issue just about marks two years we’ve been at this, and it has been a very fun and humbling experience all around. It is so exciting to realize just how little we can grasp of the relentless commitment to art that takes just in Chciagoland. Stay warm, and see you when the spring thaws out.

In sickness and in health,

the editors

Pick up your copy at any of our stockists, find us tabling at a show, or send us an email to place an order!

Huge thank you to all of our contributors!

Another huge thank you to everyone who participated or came to the fashion show release party! We’ll be posting pics soon!

Flyer by Ben Karas.
From the TSM #9 release party & fashion show on December 2nd. Garment: An Authentic Skidmark x Edaa Birthing. Model: Jesus Hilario. Photo: Eric Sowin.

You’re invited! The Sick Muse #9 Release Party + DIY Fashion Show


Celebrate TWO years and NINE issues of The Sick Muse zine with a fun & glamorous party. We ask for your support as we continue to grow into a sustainable publication that promotes DIY music and art-making as well as dialogue in the written form.

Throw on your sickest, punkest, glammest attire and strut to the tune of DIY Chicago. Free to enter, winner takes home a PRIZE!
Judged by Glamhag & Rae Bees & Kristopher Fraser

Chi designers will amaze and delight you with a showing of their very own creations!
Jupiter XI Apparel
An Authentic Skid Mark
Michelle Janayea

Prepare your hips to be shook!

DIY superstar performs a solo set with live projections!
Richard Album

$2 raffle tix
with items generously donated by:
Calie Ramone
Eric Novak
Mattie Hamilton
Pages Per Content
Móni Salazar
plus Sick Muse merch and a 160 GB iPod loaded up with some of the editors’ fav DIY Chi bands!!!



The space is on the second floor and not ADA accessible. Direct questions to Email for address.

TSM #8 Feat. Blood Licker

Blood Licker was the featured band of TSM #8. If you haven’t heard em’, go take a listen and then come back to read this post.
–> Blood Licker bandcamp

Blood Licker is a duo, a melding of two minds, and possibly…probably…brains. BL’s shows are distilled magic. Seeing them in a concrete building, you’re immediately transported to a forest: you know that below that building’s foundation, there’s fungus, roots, and decomposing plant/buggo matter. BL helps you remember that soil is alive. BL’s Whitney and Mark are the kinds of spirits who reveal things in the shadows, replenish energies, and rock super hard. Also, they love rats; that’s why we did the r thing there, to get that in somehow!

Following are excerpts from Jolene(isha) W/E interview with Blood Licker and lyrics from their 2016 tape Malignant. For the full interview pick up a copy of The Sick Muse #8!


How is the forest connected to Blood Licker?

Observing the divine represented in Nature fuels what we make.  She may be soft or harsh in Her instruction to us.  We take solace in spending time in the woods, listening to the rhythms of birds, wind, animals, and plants.  Much of the material on the demo cassette “Malignant” regards the destructive impact our culture has on Nature, and what actions She may take to exact retribution.  We make a tiny humans’ attempt to show our gratitude and implore chaos.   

Do you think it’s important to be comfortable with eeriness?

We do feel it is important to sit with, experience, and translate fear/terror into sound and performative gesture.  We would not classify this as being comfortable with eeriness, but rather paying close attention to environment and confronting instinctual dread to strengthen empathy and capability to communicate through that dread.  Comfort is never our objective.  Comfort may kill the urgent need to express.  We will never be complacent to the powers and currents we seek to confront.

Do certain feelings have sounds?

Most certainly.  We are intrigued by lending sensation to the opposite sound of what we might immediately imagine a feeling to have – – such as a deadly dangerous soft coo, an ecstatic scream of delight, a plodding drum cadence that induces anxiety, or a tape loop of blistering static that represents calmness.      

What things do you do to capture elements of horror in music?

Come see us play live.


Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 9.32.05 AM
Lyrics by Blood Licker


TSM #8 Now Available!

TSM #8 is now available online & in stock around Chicago! Hugging the issue is our first risograph-printed cover designed by Madeline Horwath and printed by Perfectly Acceptable Press.


Letter from the Editors

Hello loyal and disloyal readers,

Another issue you say? What makes this issue any different you say? Well, for one, we have these cool wavy lines goin’ all over the place, that’s neat. But also we have some amazing content. With this issue, feeling somewhat self-reflexive, we decided to look at what we are doing when we write about music. In the first piece, starting on page 4, we collect writing about writing about music from three professional writers. Likewise looking inward, editor Sasha Tycko wrote a very moving piece about how self journey, identity, and queerness are wrapped up in music. Looking outward, into that summery chicagoland, we present the world of Blood Licker, our featured band, follow up by an interview with a new DIY venue called VCR, and an article about autism and music. This issue also features out first risograph printed cover, printed by Perfectly Acceptable Press, and designed by the lovely Madeline Horwath, who also sprinkled this issue with many illustrative illustrations…Of course, some things never change, and we got the usual smattering of amazing lyrics/poetry/shoutouts. And, we again included the photography of Samantha Callahan, because we couldn’t help ourselves.

We are always looking for feedback, and we are always looking for new people to work with, so get in touch if you think you groove with us. We reaffirm DIY. We are here for all ages shows. We are here for affordable shows. We are here for venues that pay musicians. For safer spaces, for marginalized people in positions of power, not just on stage. Art that is for community, not for profit…We can’t control our environment but we can transform it. We do it ourselves because we do it better.

In sickness and in health, 

the editors