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: Lucinda Williams

It's taken me more than a decade to come around to Lucinda Williams. When I was in middle school, my dad came suddenly into my room and put a CD in my stereo with no explanation. I set down my alg/trig homework and watched him carefully. He finally said, just before the music started, "Listen to this song, Kate. I've never heard anything so...gripping." And then he sat with his eyes closed until the song was over. And that was the first time I heard Lucinda Williams. I'm not even sure now what the song was, but that's the thing about Williams' music: many of her songs could be the most gripping song my dad (or anyone) has ever heard. I did not agree at the time, but remembered her name in association with her affect on my father. Now, on the event of her 10th studio album being released, I finally get it.

B-Sides: Video Rrrrround-up!

Here’s a video round-up of some tunes to keep your toe tapping all week! Up first…. Erykah Badu - Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long More after the jump!….

B-Sides: The Uke Revival

I did some of my growing up on the island of Maui, Hawai’i, but somehow only came to pick up the ukulele seriously when I was 23 and living in Los Angeles. I’m back in Hawai’i for a little while, and am taking every opportunity I can to sit on the beach and strum my uke while my brother the professional chef sears some mahi mahi for dinner. It’s raining here, and is supposed to for upwards of a week, but this little instrument brings sunshine and aloha spirit wherever it goes. In looking for new songs to play (ps if you have ideas, leave them in the comments and I’ll IOU a Youtube video when I learn it!), I realized that EVERYONE AND THEIR DAD is now playing the ukulele, and Youtube is basically used at this point exclusively for cat videos and people playing ukulele versions of Regina Spektor songs. So I thought this week, in the spirit of these islands I love, I would do a sampling of the best the uke has had to offer in what seems to be a full-blown Ukulele Revolution. 

B-Sides: PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey is no stranger to this blog. She has consistently distanced herself from feminism as such, but our love for her is inescapable. Her music is about independence—from marriage ("The Pocket knife,"),  from judgement ("Who the Fuck?")—and her vision for her autonomous career has never faltered in 20 years of music-making. Now she's got a new album, Let England Shake, coming out February 15th, and a short film to be released with EVERY SONG on the album! If you, like me, believe there is no such thing as too much Polly Jean, this is the B-sides for you.

B-Sides: Three Bands to Watch

Toss out those 2010 Best-of lists, here are three bands to keep an ear out for in the new year!

B-Sides: Jay-Z's Lyrics, "Decoded"

Jay-Z is arguably the most successful hip-hop artist in the world. He owns a sports team, created a clothing line, ran a record label and then started his own, and last year beat Elvis Presley as the solo act with the most Billboard 200 hits. This year, he decided to add "author" to his long list of titles. Decoded is part memoir, part argument in defense of hip-hop, part lyrical analysis of his work, both well-known and unknown, and part printed self-aggrandizement with expensive-looking art design to match—like a microcosm of hip-hop itself. (But with more avant-garde black-and-white photography.)

B-Sides: Do They Know it's Christmas (Music) Time?

I know there are some humbugs out there who don’t like the holiday season, and that’s fine. Cheer and snacks and the spirit of giving (OK, and stress and consumerism) aren’t for everyone, right? But when people tell me that they don’t like holiday music, I have a tough time believing it. Just about all of the musicians you can think of have recorded holiday music at some point during their careers, and a lot of it is really awesome. So open up your minds, scrooges! I’ve polled folks around the office and compiled a collection of some awesome holiday tunes, perfect for gift wrapping, wasting time at your desk, or dancing around the tree/menorah. Tracks and videos after the jump!

B-Sides: Nikki Lynette Defies All Kinds of Labels

If Kanye West’s new album is too self-centered and misogynistic for you, you can get fun melodies, great rhymes, and great samples from another Chicago-born artist, Nikki Lynette. She raps, she writes, she produces, and isn’t afraid to throw genre to the wind. Putting tight beats and R&B melodies over electric guitar riffs, a mixtape called Roses ‘N Guns, and a rousing update of Portishead’s “Glory Box” are just some of the ways she crosses rap, pop, and rock boundaries.

B-Sides: Iceland

Iceland has been called the most female-friendly country in the world, and Scandinavia is world-renowned for producing perfectpop acts, so it was only a matter of time before my obsession radar brought me to female Icelandic musicians. Here are a very few of my favorites, some new to me (Ólöf) and some newly re-visited (Björk, dear Björk).

B-Sides Bonus: New Mirah Video!

B-Sides Bonus! Because I couldn’t figure out a way to fit this into my Robyn post, but I didn’t want you to miss out on a brand new Mirah video! After all, not only is Mirah awesome, but this is just her second official music video ever! Check out “The Forest”: