Raised in Cincinnati, I attended Northern Kentucky University and earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus in creative writing. From there I enrolled in the English master's program at Xavier University. In my early 20s, I parlayed an internship at the city's alt-weekly, CityBeat, into a music-freelance gig, writing local-band features and record reviews, while even swindling a cover story or two. I've since been a firm believer in getting a foot in the door—it makes all the difference.
I graduated from Xavier in 2007 and soon thereafter moved to Chicago, landing a job as the music listings editor at the Chicago Reader. I dug my heels in at the alt-weekly, immersing myself in decades of Reader archives. By 2009 I was an assistant editor. In 2011 I became a full-time staff writer and eventually moved on to an associate editor role in 2012. I spent nearly a decade at the Reader editing, writing, and otherwise contributing to dozens of features, cover stories, and special issues.
I began freelancing for the Onion's pop-culture sister site the A.V. Club in 2014, while also writing for the instrument-focused marketplace Reverb and innovative music site Bandcamp. I've worked with Pitchfork and Chicago magazine and was a regular host of the Chicago Athletic Association's storytelling podcast series, during which I moderated live discussions with touring bands and musicians like Parquet Courts and Jens Lekman. I've recently become involved in event programming and curatorial work, disciplines bonded to the writing and editing I've done covering arts and culture scenes over the last decade. In 2018, I also produced a pair of short documentaries focused on outdoor recreation.
Years ago I was advised to pay attention to what's happening around me rather than what's happening to me—and I've done my best to stay true to that.
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