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: Abigail Washburn

Sometimes part of what makes a musician so compelling is the story behind them. Were the White Stripes married, or brother and sister? Would Sid have been the character he was without Nancy? Is the girl in the “Cry Me a River” video REALLY supposed to be Britney Spears? (I have strong feelings about this one because I was young and impressionable when Britters and Justin dated and broke up. But that’s another post entirely.) The same is true of Abigail Washburn. Her music is outstanding on its own, but the road she took to fame is too serendipitous not to share.

B-Sides: Video Dance Party!

As much as I adore music videos at dance parties, watching choreographed dance moves on a giant screen in public typically does one of two things to me: infuses my limbs with rhythmic possibilities (rare), or yanks the slippery beat from under my dance shoes (less rare). Sometimes if I'm not in a dancing mood (or able to shake it in my current location) watching someone else dance provides a kind of psychic fulfillment. I hope Austra and CocknBullKid's new singles give you just that! Directly after sits a sedentary vogue-free video by Planningtorock. Apart from inviting you to a video dance, this B-Sides provides hope for the swarms of PTR fans who, like myself, have been chewing their nails impatiently for five years on the edge of the dance floor waiting for her sophomore release!

Read My Bitch: Jennifer K. Stuller Reads "The Buffy Effect"

Jennifer K. Stuller isn’t your average Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan–she’s a charter associate member of the Whedon Studies Association. In this episode of Read My Bitch, the podcast for Bitch magazine fans to read out loud a favorite article from the archives, Stuller revisits Rachel Fudge’s article “The Buffy Effect: or, a Tale of Cleavage and Marketing,” which was published in 1999, after the second season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In our discussion afterwards, Stuller, a pop culture critic (author of Ink Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors and Grrrl on Film Bitch guest blogger), goes beyond what Buffy represents to feminists, but what legacy the Buffy has left–and what the future holds in store for small-screen heroines. Stream the audio below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, or download from archive.org. Transcript available (.doc) More after the jump!

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!