We publish a new feminist podcast episode every week. Our hour-long show Popaganda digs deep on movies, books, TV, and media while Backtalk is a snappy conversation between two Bitch editors about the week’s pop culture. Subscribe to the podcasts on iTunes!
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B-Sides: Mr. Gnome's Riveting Rock

The covers of Mr. Gnome’s discography convey something sinister and dark, with evil-looking rabbit figures in apocalyptic landscapes, and even their name conjures something mystical and unknown. But their music is neither dark, sinister, nor mystical. It is, however, complex and captivating, and Madness in Miniature (El Marko) their new album released last week, is worthy of deep and multiple listens, and one of the best releases I’ve heard this year.

Bitch Radio: Gender Violence and Pop Culture with Rachel Griffin and Josh Phillips

Dr. Rachel Griffin is a professor at Southern Illinois University and has been involved with gender violence advocacy for almost a decade. Her partner, Joshua Phillips, is currently a PhD student and also an advocate for gender violence with a focus on getting men involved with fighting against gender violence, and the author of 1,800 Miles. Rachel and Josh are keynoting (along with Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti!) at the upcoming Roots of Change conference, dealing with social justice, gendered violence, and the media. Rachel and Josh both use pop culture as a way of examining how messages of gender violence are reinforced or challenged (they do a session on Rihanna and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie”), and how it can be used as a tool for deconstructing norms. Wrap up the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by taking a listen to these two advocates discuss how they use pop culture to talk about gender violence, their methods for reaching out to others and inspiring awareness, and their thouughts on Lil Wayne’s “How to Love.”

B-Sides: Shredding 101

Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve the amount of ridiculously awesome music here in Portland, Oregon. Earlier this year we had the Females of Color Festival, a celebration of anyone that plays music and identifies as a female of color (the lineup included, um, pretty much every great band in this town), and this last weekend saw the passing of Shred Fest, a festival for face-melters who identify as women.

Bitch Popaganda: Miss Representin' Edition

Welcome back to another episode of Bitch Popaganda! Tune in as we review Miss Representation and discuss the sixth season of Dexter. Links and transcript after the jump!

B-Sides: Colleen Raney

Call me old-fashioned, but I think most of the best voices in the world come out of folk singers. Maybe that’s just because you can actually HEAR the singing, instead of the beats or the effects (which both have their places in my heart, don’t get me wrong). Over the last year I’ve immersed myself in the Pacific Northwest’s stellar Celtic folk music scene, and Colleen Raney has been the clear standout on my playlists and concert-going schedule. I’ma let you finish, but her voice is the best one I’ve heard in years.

Bitch Radio: Media Literacy, Criticism, and Production Panel from GeekGirlCon

Kelsey and I traveled up to Seattle last weekend for two days of geekery at the first-ever Geek Girl Con! We went to panels on women in video games, race and gender in geekdom, women in horror fans, and way more. We were also honored to be on the panel “Media Literacy, Criticism and Production” along with some other really rad women. For this episode of Bitch Radio, here’s a good chunk of our panel for you to listen to. Along with me and Kelsey, you’ll hear from Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, director of the forthcoming The History of the World as Told by Wonder Woman (we saw clips, it’s gonna be amazing!), Anita Sarkeesian, the woman behind Feminist Frequency (you may know her from Mad World and Tropes vs. Women), Leah Wilson, editor of Smart Pop Books, and moderated by Maile Martinez, programming director at Seattle’s venerable Reel Grrls! Thanks to everyone who came out to hear us, you were a wonderful audience! Oh, and here’s the link to that Strong Female Characters post by s.e. smith I mentioned!

B-Sides: Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus can be hard to pin down. One minute, she smothers listeners with cold blankets of synthesizers, hitting them with some of the most uncomfortable atmospheres since Second Edition by PIL. Then her opera-trained voice (that voice!) bursts through the sludge and you realize “oh my god, it’s a pop song!” Live and on her latest record, Conatus, she drops a few more clues to the Zola Jesus mystery.

B-Sides: Extra Classic and the Vampire Weekend Theory of Appropriation

So it goes like this: “[your favorite music blogger]: Readers, please check out Band A. Band A hails from Culture A (represent!) but sounds exactly like underrepresented Culture B. Like, can you believe your ears, doesn’t it sound like Band A just sounds like all of these bands from Culture B that work hard and get little recognition in our giant Culture A?” This week it’s time to sit down and talk about Extra Classic, a band from San Francisco, California; their love of Jamaican music; and what I’m going to deem the Vampire Weekend model of cultural appropriation.

Bitch Popaganda: Chicks, Flicks, and Retro Pricks Edition

Welcome back to another episode of Bitch Popaganda! Tune in as Julie, Kjerstin, and Kelsey discuss fall TV’s “season of the vagina,” Mindy Kaling’s “Flick Chicks,” and the retro sexism of Pan Am and the Playboy Club. Links and more after the jump!

B-Sides: Savage Garden

As their biggest hits in the US were love songs, one may forget that much of Savage Garden’s music is decidedly dark, especially on their eponymous debut. Major themes on Savage Garden include depression (“To the Moon and Back,” “Santa Monica”) and troubled or abusive relationships (“Tears of Pearls,” “Break Me Shake Me,” “A Thousand Words”). As might be expected from a group named after an Anne Rice quote—”The mind of each man is a savage garden”—the gothic subculture was a major influence musically and aesthetically; the liner notes featured artwork from Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. The stunning song “Mine” was axed from the USA release for its reference to “crosses and crucifixes” and replaced by a cute track about how people shouldn’t break promises. Still, there’s no real losing with Savage Garden, because regardless of how bright or dreary each song is, they share an essential quality: terrific, poetic songwriting.