Michelle Threadgould

Journalist

Michelle Threadgould is a journalist who lives in Oakland, California, and covers the intersection between arts and culture and social justice. She has written for Pacific Standard, KQED, New York Observer, Remezcla, Racked, Ravishly, and many others.

Portfolio

Why Wearing Rosary Beads Is Controversial
Since the beginning, rosary beads have been a symbol of rebellion. An early legend asserts that Saint Dominic (circa 1170 to 1221 A.D.), the founder of the Dominican Order, saw...
Sin Sombreros: A Cinco de Mayo Playlist In the Spirit of Resistance
Contrary to popular belief in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. It commemorates the day Mexico's only indigenous leader and president, Benito...
The Fascinating Secret History of Protest Posers
On Wednesday night, I watched in frustration as NBC News fretted about the "out of control" protest at the UC-Berkeley Campus, led by "anarchists" against Breitbart editor Milo...
The Pink Ghetto of Women's Issues in Mexico: From Rape Whistles to Subway Cars
"No one ever asks me to take them to graveyards - except on Day of the Dead," my cab driver says as we make our way from the airport to my hotel in Mexico City. He talks...
The Cult of Selena and the Fiesta de la Flor Festival
I arrive to Fiesta de la Flor, the Selena tribute festival, right before the Tejano artist and Corpus Christi native Megan Chapa takes the stage. Chapa wears a pink and purple...
How U.S. Military Veterans View the Travel Ban
President Donald Trump supports America's troops. The troops, however, are more on the fence about their president. That fact might not have been obvious during the presidential...
Why Kimya Dawson, Killer Mike, And Other Bands Are Standing Up To SXSW Right Now
More than 500 musicians were scheduled to perform at the popular media, film, and music festival South by Southwest (SXSW) kicking off next week in Austin, Texas. Then, on...
Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson on Being 'Discovered' at 75
"Here I am, at 75 years old, and my work is being seen for the first time," says Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose retrospective Civic Radar is currently on view at Yerba Buena Center...
For Mexico City Musicians, There's No Hiding From 'El Futuro'
It's Halloween weekend in Mexico City, and my friend Mauricio Mendia is preparing for his DJ set at the American Legion. The theme for the night is disco. As Mauricio sets up...
How Dani Bander is Dreaming Up Mariachi's Political Future
I heard Dani Bander 's song "Los Condenados" for the first time on a rooftop in Mexico City, days before the election of Donald Trump. Clouds hover above us, while rain trickles...
The Art of the Steal
In 2010, when Boston-based painter Jessica Hess got a phone call from San Francisco's White Walls gallery asking her to be part of a two-person show, she thought she'd finally...
After Ghost Ship, Cities And Artists Clash Over DIY Venues
It's been a surreal week for Bay Area musician Mykee Ramen, who lost a friend in the fire that killed 36 during an electronic music show at Ghost Ship-an Oakland warehouse that...
Finding My Rebel Catholicism In Mexico City
Right before my first communion, my Mexican grandmother told me, "You should never be alone with a priest." "Then who will I confess my sins to?" I asked "Confess to me. What...
We're Not Going Anywhere: Growing Up Latino and Punk in America
"If you've got a hot girl in front of you, I want you to feel her up. Do it, 'cause she can't get away," says Fat Mike, lead singer of NOFX. It's the year 2000. I'm at the...
A Cipher Grows in San Bruno: Hip-Hop's Poetic Education with Janice Sapigao
"I really like the phrasing 'an imperfect English.' I like it, and at the same time I think that there are so many types of English and it's going to be innately imperfect...
Meet the Latina DJ Crews Fighting Cultural Erasure, One 45 at a Time
At the Aloha Club, boasting "the longest bar" in Oakland, Jahaira Morales dances cumbia with ganas. A DJ and founding member of the Bay Area chapter of Chulita Vinyl Club, she...
Of Love and Masa
On Saturday mornings, after dropping my father off at his job, my mother would crawl into my bed and ask: "Quieres champurrado?" She was speaking of the warm, cinnamon drink,...
How My Father Taught Me To Love Devil Women
I am six, sitting on the carpet of my parents’ living room in a quiet little Victorian in the Richmond district, watching a performance of Diamanda Galás’ Plague Mass; a...
Dani Bander's New Album 'Malacopa' Is a Complex Experiment in Post-Mariachi
After too many Dos Equis at a party held in a smoky apartment in Cuauhtémoc in Mexico City, I tell post-mariachi artist Dani Bander that his latest album Malacopa sounds like...
Iconic Drummer Michelle Gonzales and the Xicana Resistance of Riot Grrrl
When I found hardcore punk as a teenager in the Bay Area in the early 00s, I loved that I could be one of the guys without being sexualized. My favorite band was Fugazi, and...
Teaching Kendrick Lamar and Social Justice in and Outside the Classroom
Hands up, don't shoot. Pants up, don't loot. Black lives matter. White lives matter. We live in a white supremacist culture. We live in post-racial America. It is a frustrating...
Meet Robert Lugo, the Self-Proclaimed "Ghetto Potter" Turning Classical Ceramics Into Radical Art
Philadelphia-born, Puerto Rican-descended ceramicist Roberto Lugo creates in-your-face, radical, hip-hop influenced pieces of pottery that confronts the whiteness of the art...
Holly Herndon Returns to the Avant-Pop Platform
Holly Herndon makes music that sounds like now. Her songs are a mashup of audio clips from her browser activity, Skype conversations, and recordings of her domestic life that...
East LA Punk Band Los Illegals on the Dangers of Making Music for White Audiences
On the first day of my AP English class in high school, I came across a flyer that I'd passed countless times and never noticed. It featured an eagle with a stick of dynamite in...
Scenes From The Anti-Trump Protests Of San Francisco
"If what we need to dream, to move our spirits most deeply and directly toward and through promise, is discounted as a luxury, then we give up the core -the fountain of our...
Growing Up as a Latina Punk
The story featured a god named Conformity and a goddess named Non-Conformity (because apparently at 14, subtlety was not my strong point). Using a mythological frame, I told the...
Irony, Social Commentary, and Political Dissonance in the Dogpatch
Mitsu Okubu may create subversive commentary, but he also calls humor "the most sincere form of communication." "When I'm making something," says the San Francisco-based...
Meditate and Destroy
Noah Levine looks like a man who's lived a hard life and survived to talk about it. His shaved head says "I don't give a fuck" more than "Zen monk," although the swirls of...
Theresa Kereakes' Intimate Portraits Capture Punk's Latino Roots in 1970s LA
"About 20 or 22 years ago, I met this kid named Brian Warner, who everyone knows as Marilyn Manson. He hadn't yet become Marilyn Manson. But he was a very studied character.
Windows to the Future: Artist Joshua Mays Tells Stories in Murals
Joshua Mays brings a diverse perspective to his murals, which he views as an ode to Oakland, the city he calls home. He has completed two of three murals in a series he has...

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