Lexie Bean is back again for another reading! This time, they will be reading from their debut middle grade novel, THE SHIP WE BUILT.

You can get your copy signed here or get a copy if you can’t afford one here! If you are able to donate to Lexie’s Venmo, 50% of profits go towards giving free books to people who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise and the rest will go towards supporting Lexie! Just Venmo @Alexandria-Bean with subject line “Ship Donation”


Reading via ZOOM:

Meeting ID: 741 9195 8719

VENMO: @Alexandria-Bean

Lexie Bean is a queer and trans multimedia artist from the Midwest whose work revolves around themes of bodies, homes, cyclical violence, and LGBTQIA+ identity. Lexie’s writing has been featured in Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, Ms. Magazine, Bitch Magazine, Them, Logo’s New Now Next, Bust Magazine, Autostraddle, and more. They have also performed, curated, and facilitated around the world. Their most recent anthology, “Written on the Body,” with/for fellow trans and non-binary survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence was nominated for a 2019 Lambda Literary Award. Their debut middle grade novel, “The Ship We Built,” is out now with Dial Books for Young Readers at Penguin Random House.

BLUR: Short Line’s Newest Series on NYC-Raised, Not Based Artists

Short Line Review is releasing its latest project, BLUR, in June 2020 about NYC artists that tackle the elitism in the NYC arts scene.

BLUR is an ongoing digital series about NYC-raised artists/creatives and how they navigate their work alongside NYC’s current issues. With gentrification, socio-economic disparity, segregation, and art institutions prioritizing generational wealth and out of state artists, and more, what does it mean for actual New Yorkers to be an NYC “based” artist? 

“NYC- ‘based’ doesn’t mean you’re actually from this city anymore.” says Short Line Review founder and BLUR curator Dena Igusti. “I’m tired of people claiming stake to a place they’ve never actually lived in, while those of us who do face the repercussions. Even with this current pandemic, the people NYC prioritized all left. Us New Yorkers have to stay here, because this is where we’re from, and all of us have to survive or organize to help our own survive. Yet, we’re barely supported, especially in the arts in our own city. I wanted to hone in on these issues and highlight the artists I hold near and dear to me.”

BLUR will release its first interview in June, featuring interviews with musicians, writers, artists, photographers, producers, and more.


SHARUM Completes First Show Week

SHARUM wraps up the first week of its NYC debut at The Players Theatre, with two weeks left under its Self Production Residency. 

SHARUM, written by Mohammad Murtaza and Dena Igusti, is a documentary theatre piece that follows a Muslim family based in Queens, New York. The story follows the wedding of the oldest daughter, Mariam. Throughout the events of the wedding, all 4 of the siblings are forced to come face to face with the reality of their identities, battling the stigmas around mental health, arranged marriages, drug addiction, and queerness. In the midst of this ceremony, these secrets get exposed to each other and the community around them. SHARUM recalls true events in these scenarios that capture the responses of their parents, and the ways it permanently affects their family dynamic. 

The Muslim-written production had its first run in late 2018 at Hunter College, and is now having its first Off-Broadway run directed by Ray Jordan Achan and co-produced by UNCOMMON;YOU and Eat At The Table Theater Company at The Players Theatre till July 27th. 

“Sharum is an experience that needed to be staged in order to represent the everyday internal and external struggles that Muslims fight through behind closed doors” says Mohammad Murtaza in SHARUM’s end notes. “This play is my love letter to my community – a story for and by Muslim Americans. It’s also my fight with my community –  a shout at the uncles and aunties, and mulvis, and imaams, and ammis and abus, who don’t recognize their children for who they are; a mix of two cultures.”

“This production is a love letter to every haram auntie, uncle, sibling, cousin, and family friend who stops showing up to the mosque during Eid.” says Dena Igusti. “Shame manifests in ways beyond the jeering eyes of gossiping folks at the mosque. It can be internal, external, presented as protection, concern, and sometimes love. Muslims are constantly forced to navigate life and identity though shame from both Islamophobia as well as community stigma that comes with their other intersecting identities. SHARUM not only addresses various perspectives of what it means to be Muslim, but how there isn’t a ‘right’ way to do right by those around you.”

“So often in our theater cannon do we not see stories of Muslim Americans depicted. This production offers a perspective into the conflicts that arise as generations and cultural values clash. It is a story about love and family and the lessons we learn from them.” writes Ray Jordan Achan at the end of SHARUM’s program. 

SHARUM will continue its run till July 27th at The Players Theatre. For tickets and discounts, click here.

Guest Column: Five Hot Artists on Music They’ll Never Get Over

PINK NAVEL on Just Got Back From Discomfort — We’re Alright

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(photo by Michael Taylor)

An album I’ve been heavily revisiting is “Just Got Back From Discomfort — We’re Alright” by The Brave Little Abacus. I think this band is the definition of hopeful emo, as well as one of few bands that really subvert the genre while being so supportive of it (along with another fav, Crying). This record has a certain mix that is almost inviting you to play along with the closest instrument to you. It feels like you’ll be adding onto endless layers, as opposed to shoehorning in another track of sound. One of my favorite things about this band is their last show video. The room is filled with family and friends as opposed to diy figures making sure they were seen at the gig. Band members share easter egg-esque information like how the movie “Mallrats” is playing in the background of the whole album. Hell, the singers dad hops on drums for a Tom Petty cover. What is more pure than that?


Being asked to write about why I love “Just Got Back From Discomfort…” so much helped me more accurately realize that it’s the wholesomeness of the whole affair. This quality is something I find slowly creeping back up to the forefront of New England diy, but The Brave Little Abacus will always take the cake for me! The open, sincere, pure vibes from these songs are qualities I strive to incorporate into my own music.


Lunamariposa on Spa 700

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This collaborative album between Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa) & DJ Haram (Zubeyda Muzeyyen) has been on my top albums to listen to since it came out last year. “Living” & “Ring the Alarm” are my favorite tracks in this album to play out when doing a dj set. The first minute and a half of “Living” has such an ambient vibe to it at first, it really makes you feel like you’re in a literal spa. However once that southeast asian rhythm kicks in, & the truth that are the lyrics glide on the beat miraculously, it’s nothing but greatness. Both of these underground artists bring light and power to reality via their art so check out their work outside of 700 Bliss, as well.


VINCE on Foxwarren

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(photo by Fox Hillyer)

Foxwarren released their self-titled album recently and I can’t stop listening to it. Everything Andy Shauf is a part of makes me feel so nostalgic, my heart aches for moments I can’t identify, for bright days that may not have even existed in times darker than I can allow myself to remember. His voice, lyrics and arrangements are always so intentional and this project is no exception. If you’re not familiar with Andy Shauf I suggest you definitely check out The Bearer of Bad News and The Party as well, they’re two of my top 10 favorite albums ever they’re so meticulous and beautiful.


Timothy-Anne on Locket

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(photo by Misbah Khan)

I first heard Crumb when they came on some random Spotify playlist a few years ago and ever since, I’ve been annoyingly hooked. Their title track Locket, encompasses all of what Crumb is. The band is clearly made entirely of amazing, trained musicians but all give space to each other to shine in a very subtle, respectful way. The synths are other-worldly, bass and drums are tight as fuck, and Lila’s guitar playing and vocals, though more subdued than the rest of the psychedelics happening around her, never have to beg to be heard. Their attention to space in between notes is especially evident in “Plants”—after the first guitar chord is strummed, you’re like “Wait…wait when’s it coming? WHEN’S IT COMIN—oh..okay, thanks”. I’ve never heard of another band (besides Earth Wind and Fire) that puts so much emphasis on stretching time and sets such a trippy swirly scene without being overbearing or “jam-band”-like. Crumb is dreamy and whirly and warm and feels like a hug from déjà vu.


Aubrey Haddard on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars

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(photo by Darius Hale)

This album has been with me since the beginning. I remember secretly worshipping my sister’s Best of Bowie CD, burning my own copy and eventually diving into his full discography when I was about 13, and truthfully I believe he was my first real musical obsession. He somehow manages to make you feel as if you belong to the world but the world belongs to you, like you are both an alien and a child of humanity. Bowie’s mastery is on full display in Ziggy Stardust and as an adolescent I was glued to the rock and roll of it, belting along to tracks like “Suffragette City” and “Moonage Daydream”. But behind every energetic, genre-bending song is some profound meaning, and the distinct intimacy of Bowie holding your hand while you come to realize it. As I’ve gotten older I still regularly return to Ziggy, and as I’m preparing to perform the album live I find myself in awe of the dramatic catharsis and effortless storytelling that goes on front to back.

You can catch Aubrey performing Ziggy Stardust at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge on March 15 & 16.