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Feature Thu Apr 23 2009
Damon Locks knows a thing or two about communication. In fact, as a visual artist, freelance writer, and former publicist for local music promotion company Biz3, you could say that information sharing is in his blood. That's why his new Web site, The Population, makes perfect sense: the site allows Locks to unleash all the interesting tidbits that are rattling around in his noggin, and in turn it gives readers a public forum and, ideally, a community.
Locks, who also performs as a DJ, musician (The Eternals, ex-Trenchmouth), and general gadabout, uses his business connections for good, taking The Population beyond the usual bloggy navel gazing. "As a music publicist for Biz 3, the opportunity to talk to the music makers and the music writers was a great position to be in. The music business has changed a lot, and the dialogue of publicity felt really different by the time I was done," he says. "After leaving Biz 3, I was given the opportunity to write some for Stop Smiling—it was amazing to generate ideas for that forum. But I couldn't do everything I wanted because it wasn't my project."
He worked around that hiccup, testing out the waters in thought-provoking MySpace blog entries that elicited a good response and a lot of conversation. Creating The Population was the next logical step. Think of Locks as the party's host: "Basically, I am creating an opportunity for myself to talk to people that I want to know more about. I think there is a community of inspired and inspiring people that should know about each other.
The Population features various interviews, essays, and profiles. It can be found talking footwear with Cedric Bixler of The Mars Volta and about the evolution of Celebration with Katrina Ford (ex-JAKS and Love Life). The site also discusses the politics of architecture, and features interviews with filmmakers Joe Losurdo and Christina Tillman about their documentary You Weren't There — A History Of Chicago Punk 1977-1984, and with his ex-bandmate and current SNL cast member Fred Armisen.
"At the moment the focus is weighted heavily towards music and visual art--those are the folks I am closely related to. But I am trying to expand, to fold in more stuff about film, fashion, architecture, and such," he says. "I don't want the site to be everything. I want it to give information to spark curiosity. Hopefully, someone will read something at The Population and want to learn more about it and do more research for themselves."