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MFNW: Y La Bamba, for Portland's Lonely Hearts

Did you Bounce a little too hard yesterday? Need a comedown for day two of your MFNW marathon? Look no further than Portland's own indie-folk outfit Y La Bamba. Their gorgeous, soaring harmonies and quirky, thoughtful lyrics (not to mention mega crush-worthy singer Luz Elena Mendoza) will be on display at Someday Lounge tonight at 11:15.

Ready for warm fuzzies? Check out this...

Tube Tied: "Let's Go Somewhere Darker": Mad Men's Season Four Journey into Night

For all the media flutter about Joan and Roger and Pete and Sal, I'm one of those people who feels she would be perfectly happy to watch a "Mad Men" composed exclusively of scenes between Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss). Hamm and Moss have, for one thing, an acting alchemy that's fairly unique on television right now, the kind of skillful play off each other than leads...

Tube Tied: "Teen Mom" and the Problem With Social Realism In Reality Television

MTV's been having a good summer. In part, that's because the second season of its reality series Teen Mom has been generating huge ratings for the network—it is this summer's third-most-watched original cable series in the coveted 12-34 demographic. The show, which documents the lives of four young women after they gave birth to children as teenagers, along with its sister show and predecessor...

Size Matters: Running the Hamster Wheel

The plight of the fat celebrity illustrates our expectation that fat people should be constantly fighting the battle of the bulge, and we get a kick out of watching their weight rise and fall. From Oprah to Kirstie Alley, we are obsessed with the constant attempts to beat back the inevitable regain of weight. Kirstie Alley capitalized on our obsession by producing not one, but two shows...

Films to Watch: The Black Girl Project

Image from Super Hussy

From the Awesome New Project files, Aiesha Turman, who heads the blog and media company Super Hussy (read her reclamation story here), has set out to capture the lives of young black women by asking the simple question "Who are you?" to Brooklyn high school girls. Turman created The Black Girl Project documentary, in order to let young black girls tell their own...

MFNW: Big Freedia, The Queen Diva

It's MusicFest NW week here in Portland, and though it takes a lot for a shorty like me to brave the crowds of unbelievably tall dudes who magically appear out of thin air during music festivals, tonight I am heading out for one reason and one reason only: Big Freedia. It's Bounce time, y'all!

Push(back) at the Intersections: Sick of This: Mental Illness in Pop Culture

One area of pop culture where really problematic and questionable depictions of people come up is that of mental illness. The way that mental illness is depicted, whether it is within the context of a celebrity scandal; the characterization of a person in a film, comic, or television show; a book; or music, can be extremely dubious. For those of us with mental illness(es), pop culture can be a...

sm{art}: Mierle Ukeles

How, exactly, does one become an artist-in-residence at a sanitation department? If you want to do it the way Mierle Ukeles did it, first you get expelled from Pratt for making "pornographic" abstract art. Then you have a baby. Then you write a rad manifesto that redefines everyday maintenance work as fine art. Then you make landfills into beautiful public parks! Easy peasy.

Push(back) at the Intersections: 'I Just Don't Like That Many Female Characters'

As I read discussions about pop culture and see responses to female characters, I see a lot of hate for female characters, but not a lot of basis for that hate. Take Tara on True Blood. People say she's 'whiny' and 'boring.' These aren't really criticisms that add in a meaningful way to discussions about Tara; what exactly does it mean to be 'whiny'? What makes Tara 'boring'? Are...

Tube Tied: Sometimes the Real Housewives are a Little Too Real

I'm not one to guilt anyone for caring for lowbrow culture, not least because for so many years my bookish university friends made fun of me for watching television at all. (I've felt no small degree of satisfaction that The Sopranos, The Wire, and now Mad Men have had them eating their words more recently.) But every time I've tuned into any version of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise this...

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