Motherhood has not matured Madonna past her spotlight stealing ways as demonstrated at the MTV Video Awards. Madonna - at 45 is more than twice the age of show openers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera - pounced on the pair while her six-year-old daughter, Lourdes, was on stage. Great example. Get baby up on stage and then show her how to shameless preen for media attention like a media slut. That kid's gonna need some serious therapy.
Oh that Rush Limbaugh! So keen. So observant. Rush gleens that what was originally a shallow attempt at clinging on to teen stardom has inadvertantly stoked the fires of militant Islamic hatred of American culture. Heaven forbid there be another terrorist attack. But as Rush so subtly suggests, we can always blame Madonna.
Just a short drive out of Toronto, the Guelph Jazz Festival starts kicking Sept 3 - 7. Contributer Crisis Girl writes "The Guelph Jazz Festival is one of the best in North America, a connoisseur's line-up of a huge variety of performers and events. It ranges from a Paul Haines tribute (Evan Parker, Dean Mott, Michael Snow amongst others) at the Cooperators Hall, River Run Centre, to DJ Spooky at the Trasheteria." Further, in celebration of the festival's 10th anniversary, the jazz opera "Quebecite" will anchor the festival. Here's the quick info on Quebecite: The libretto is by Governor General's Award winner George Elliot Clarke and the music is by D.D. Jackson, directed by Colin Taylor. Singers: Haydain Neale (Jacksoul), Kiran Ahluwalia (acclaimed classical Indian singer), Yoon Choi (experimental jazz vocalist), and Dean Bowman (one of New York’s most sought after jazz and gospel singers). Musicians: Peggy Lee - cello, Brad Turner - trumpet, Jean Martin - drums, John Geggie - bass, and D.D. Jackson - piano. Includes backdrop visuals by digital artists Magda. It's playing in Guelph for one night only on Friday, September 5th at the 800 seat duMaurier Theatre at the River Run Centre. Tickets are $38 to $48.
Abrasion's official stance on the Britney / Madonna make out session on MTV last night: "Pathetic. 45 years old and still desperate for media attention. Sad sad publicty stunt gone awry. Transparent and orchestrated. It is so much better to just go away than to publicly fade away."
The ghost of interviews past finally appears for Arnold... drugs, gang bangs, penis size, and fags... all on the Smoking Gun.
Abrasion has certainly filled its daily quota of gay content, without even a single contribution from James Shameless. Despite circulating rumours of affable Nickelodeon cartoon character, Spongebob Squarepants, being a friend of Dorothy, we at Abrasion have done our bit of research to confirm the Spongebob is indeed: asexual. Perhaps with his slick Prada-esque outfits, a pineapple shaped, downtown marina townhouse and a proclivity for holding hands with his pink starfish friend, he is better described as metrosexual. Creator Stephen Hillenburg tells the Wall Street Journal that Spongebob is, indeed, not gay. "Everybody is different, and the show embraces that. The character SpongeBob is an oddball. He's kind of weird, but he's kind of special," he said. "I always think of them as being somewhat asexual." Teletubbie Tinky Winky could not be reached for comment, and both Bert and Ernie have not returned our calls.
Will this woman never acknowledge her limitations? Tone deaf to criticism, Madonna storms on embarassing herself, now in children's literature. The English Roses is set to sail as of next month. The teaser? "Have you ever heard of the English Roses? Here is what they are not: A box of chocolates, A football team, Flowers growing in the garden, A Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra ensemble complete with latex girdle and riding crop." Oops, must have made that last one up. Listen, Madge, just because JK Rowlings is rich don't make writing kids books easy. And they'll be no stealing ("mainstreaming") from street, gay or underground culture on this endeavour. Kevin Baker for the National Post muses the iceberg about to hit. Other books authored by Madonna, children's book writer: Sex.
New York turned bridge and tunnel New Jersey based punk darlings, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, are finally making their way to Canada. After cancelling their Vancouver appearance months ago (the speculation was SARS hysteria) they're now making the rounds north of the 44th. Opening for Bjork August 28th, the trio hits Montreal at the Parterre, Parc Jean Drapeau, Île Ste Hélène, following on the 29th solo at the Opera House in Toronto. Looks like a second snub for Vancouverites. Prefix Magazine gets the hype and then asks again.
A series of free events hit Toronto's Harbourfront Centre August 29 to Sepember 1. The billing: FRESH = Exchange. Free. Passion. FRESH is a snap shot of the contemporary artists exploring and creating emerging cultures. FRESH 2003 has three distinct parts –performance and exhibitions, a music summit, and a media confab-that dance and intermingle with one another. Isn’t modern living shaped by the way independent units shift and mutate? Think of the creative soul trapped in a 9 tp 5, wanting to bust free. Think of the ex-Pac Man addict who stays on the wagon by writing the generation of video games. Or better yet, imagine where underground music would be today without videos, the Internet or the digital revolution? FRESH 2003 celebrates the ways in which music and new media technologies help us to find innovative ways of working-and playing-together.
Abrasion's picks for FRESH live music:
Friday, Aug 29.
8:00pm - up and coming soul crooner Nasri
9:30pm - multi-instrumentalist, crooner and overall hottie Ivana Santilli
Saturday, Aug 30.
4:30pm - the illmatic, Asiatic hip-hop scratch monkey DJ Serious
9:30pm - film noir vs India vs electronic vs surf rock ecletica known as Ramasutra
Sunday, Sept 1.
9:30pm - live house, drum 'n' bass and funk combo The New Deal
Full listings here. Enjoy the freshest fusion.
Barcelona based visual media magazine, ROJO, makes its official Canadian launch tonight at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, in Toronto. The billing: Sonic and visual treats, dj's, live music, art and people with laptops. Not too shabby for a $3 cover.
Abrasion is eagerly anticipating the release of the final installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Return of the King. With the buzz machine in full gear, including the DVD release of the The Two Towers, we encountered some rather bizarre fansites paying tribute to the series during our researching web crawl. The rumours seem to run rampant regarding the off-screen "relationship" for co-hobbits Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Dominic Monoghan (Merry) (note to lawyers- we don't believe a word of it), so when we googled "Lord of the Rings" + "gay" we found hilarity in the graphic and narrative cheese fests that ensued.
The dreck being peddled by movie studios this summer has been particularly vile. With Freddy vs Jason currently ruling the cinemas and a spill of teen fluffage clotting movie houses coast to coast, Abrasion was most delighted in the timely article from the Toronto Star: 50 Ways To Save The Movies. Scathing and accurate, pare off at least twenty minutes for a read and chuckle. Some highlights:
7. Theatres should be fitted with yellow emergency-stop strips like they have in subway trains, which patrons can rush to stop screenings for cliché-alert offences like:
(a) A hairbrush being used by a cloying actress to mime to an old Motown song;
(b) An action hero magically being able to unlock an "impenetrable" vault combination or defuse a bomb seconds before disaster;
(c) The first sign of any irritatingly "cute" kid or clever dog;
(d) Anyone vomiting to indicate emotional distress.
9. Roger Ebert and his new sidekick Richard Roeper should be required to wear condoms on their thumbs. They've become way too promiscuous about the films they jerk skyward for.
10. Add salaries to credits. As in "Starring Ben Affleck ($20-million U.S.)"
25. Place warnings on movie posters and advertising we can really use. Like "Computer-Generated Cheese Content," or "May Contain Traces Of Madonna," or "Dangerous if Consumed Under the Influence of Thought."
47. All sequels should be called "Again." As in Spider-Man Again. Then Spider-Man Again And Again. Then Spider-Man Again And Again And Again. And so on.
Often a jobless person with copious amounts of money, often inherited from the family estate coffers (often a high six figure trust fund). The overprivileged affecting a hipster, bohemian lifestyle shielded from absolute destitution by the family financial safety net. Often espouses obscure literary or architectural references, unintentially exposing his or her Ivy League education when trying to parade around as world-scholarly and "soulful". Dreadlocks optional, but mixing vintage and designer duds paired with iPod and Jeep is a must. Often evolves into a Trust Slug.
Jewish, single and fiercely orthodox? Try Frumster. The billing: "Whether you are Modern Orthodox, Religious Zionist, Yeshivish, Haredi, or just plain shomer Mitzvot, Frumster is the place to find your match." Check how your city ranks in terms of memberships.
What could be more gratifying than simultaneously being labeled "The Armpit Of America" and playing the corporate shill to a product placement campaign? The celebratory event, dubbed The Festival In The Pit, included such sporting games as team roping, an armpit beauty pageant, a mud bog, the deodorant toss and a sweat t-shirt contest. The fete was sponsored by the clever PR monkeys at Old Spice.
The Dandy Warhols had some rather choice words of praise for Canada at their recent media fete at Revival last week. Some choice excepts from Courtney Taylor squared:
On name dropping, er David Bowie: "We hang out and stuff. It's nice to hang out with Bowie. He doesn't sit around and hang out and get stoned and stuff, but you know, he's very cool."
On his father meeting Neil Young: "He met him and said he was great. Neil Young is a beautiful man. A nice, quiet, groovy man. He's so great. He is just so great."
On the re-release of the Dandy Warhol's Black Album: "It's that one you did when you started out when you were doing a lot of narcotics. It is soooooo cool."
The Dandy Warhols head to Vancouver for an Aug. 29 exclusive showcase and then back to Toronto for two shows on Sept. 7 and 8 at the Opera House.
Cashing in on the low carb craze that begat more low carb crazes, there's new low carb french fries. With the no-longer secret incredient of cauliflower, you can now enjoy the taste of a deep fried potato in a delightful low car, high fibre deep fried cauliflower. An indifferent horrah...
Contributor earnest jones crashed last Friday's Revival party and intercepted headlining DJ Dimitri From Paris. Here's an except of what he writes in: "As I waved Dimitri over to join us for a drink, we were quite impressed by his rather unassuming demeanor. No handlers nor arrogance. But as we spoke to him about topics of his craft, whether his latest LP would be released outside of Japan, how the Big Blackout had usurped his original performance date, he answered directly and ineloquently, as if distracted by the fact that the crowd was very slow to gather. He seemed nervous for the night's performance and seem preoccupied on whether he and his promoters had sufficient prowess to drawn a crowd. He lamented the Paris scene as being rather wan and lambasted the superficiality of the fashion dj circuit. We parted, Dimitri to be fawned over by a trucker hat wearing fan and us to feign not noticing Daniel Richler make out with a woman in full view from the dance floor. After stumbling down to the basement lounge questing for the loos, we actually staggering into a private stag party. We were introduced to the groom- a visibly inebriated stocky man sloshing around pantless and slurring. He kept company with a trio of g-string clad hookers, each of which teetered around precariously on 7-inch heels and, interspersed between burst of maniacal, girlish laughter, repeatedly fisted the orifices of an inflatable sex doll. We stayed for a couple drinks, enraptured. After seeing that, Dimitri From Paris seemed pretty boring. But most things are compared to nearly naked hookers beating each other up with sex dolls."
For all those religiously devoted to the carbohydrate starved Atkins diet, the beer industry has finally a means of capturing your share of bulging stomache. Sleemans and Labatt's Rolling Rock are both introducing low-carb alternatives. "There are lots of people doing the low-carb thing," Labatt's President Steve Cahillane says. "You go out to dinner, and half the people are on the Atkins diet. There's something real out there. This is the next evolution of light beer." Considering the research that beer bellies are linked to genetics, is low-carb beer the answer? Maybe moving out of America is...
Last Wednesday, a cobble of Abrasion contributors dined at Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant in Toronto. Making the treck eastward to the 1220 Queen Street East unmarked location, we were more than thrilled with the delicious Italian fair including fabulous home-made gnocchi heaped high with parmesan, marvelously succulent lamb chops, the finest grilled portobello mushrooms and sinfully spiced olives. The drink favourite was unanimously the Ruby Cool, a breezy gin and grapefuit concoction that the entire table pounded back in consecutive waves. The decor of the retrofitted bank-cum-retaurant is invitingly casual with a fully exposed kitchen, plastic wrap covered tabletops, and found art giving that clutter chic for which Gio's other restaurants are recognised. Aside from the slightly opressive music volume, the only item that distracted from the delectables was out friendly male waiter's choice of undergarmets. Sporting a rather racy peek-a-boo black thong that rode quite visible above his high waisted pants, whenever he leaned forward to serve the table beside us, we had a full of view of the cheek dividing black triangle of fabric leaping out at use like a battle flag. We thank god the colour wasn't nude.
Abrasion weird organ punk favourites The Ewoks play their first gig since drummer Mar broke her hand in a tragic traffic accident. Catch their triumphant return to the spotlight as they play this Saturday night, August 23rd at the Brickyard in Vancouver. Also on the bill, headlining weird queer punk favourites Pansy Division and weird scratchy punk favourites The Skin Jobs. We pray for Ewoks in hockey equipment.
Well it seems official. Montreal's Formula One Grand Prix has been dropped due to federal anti-tobacco legislation. What do cigarettes have to do with car racing? Money. Lots and lots of sponsorship money. And restrictions on the financial support of tobacco companies means less funding for organizers. Whether a scare tactic to losen anti-tobacco laws or not, the blow to Montreal tourism is being anticipated. We were so upset, we had to step outside for a drag.
Beer Queer: A straight man who will pretend to be gay so as to solicit free drinks from an unsuspecting homosexual. Not to be confused with a Two Beer Queer, a male who seeks same-gender sexual encounters while intoxicated, but not while sober.
The phenomenon of flash mobs originated in New York. Consisting of a gaggle of random individuals linked by covert emails, the flash mob gathers in a random public setting, commit a ridiculous act and then quickly disperse. Part performance art, part urban hipster flock with way too much time on their hands. Well, the trend has now reached Toronto and is currently being embraced by none other that our spliffinati. We've posted our invite:
>Heard of flash mobs?
>Well, welcome to Flash Tokes --
>Toronto marijuana smokers
>who show up unannounced at random,
>locations smoke legal joints (100% legal as
>there is no more law due to court rulings)
>and peacefully disperse...
Now only if those lazy bastards would get off their asses and show up on time. Join the mob.
The Onion satorises the recent trend of ordering lower priced Canadian perscription drugs in the US via the internet. The pressure is mounting on US phamaceutical companies as the exact same drugs are being offered north of the border from between 20% to 80% cheaper. Plus you can get a prescription for that pot, too! Peel the onion.
By way of Trendcentral, Abrasion has learned that McDonald’s is testing ChefMac, an upscale version of the original. Offering pricier, gourmet-style food, the new restaurant hopes to attract more business people who don’t have the time to eat at fancy restaurants but expect a little more than your average burger. So whenever your feeling like upscale overprocessed, obesity enriched, assembly line food, you know where to go. The first ChefMac will hits this September in New Orleans.
Arnold is online! Not only is the beefy contender gone all bits and bytes, he's also posted his first television spot. Watch as he strings together lines longer than 3 words. We're convinced. We're Joining Arnold.
If you were still interested in grabbing advanced tickets to the sparkly celeb-infested Toronto International Film Festival, we'll tough. It's pretty much sold out. Shows you for not listening to Abrasion, ages ago. Now you have to wait in line with the rest of the sweaty plebiscites.
SARS hysteria, mad cow, west nile, nor the mighty Big Blackout can stop the carnie power of the Toronto Canadian National Exhibition (Aug 15 to Sept 1), albeit with reduced hours. Admittedly, Abrasion has never attended the CNE, but this year seem particularly special as we intent to ride countless fairground attractions hoping the rolling power outages send one of the rides to a terrifying screeching halt. Plus carnies are the new sexy so get your trucker hats out, you fashion lemmings.
Thanks to the Big Blackout, superstorming fashion runway deejay Dimitri From Paris retools the vinyl for an August 22nd appearance at Revival in Toronto. A much more intimate venue than the original schedule, it will be a worthy gig for funky fashionistas and groovy flower children. $20 in advance.
Embarassed with having no friends on Friendster? Lack any testimonials on your profile letting the 275,000 people in your network know how fabulous you really are? Well no more. Fake your friends with new Pretendster. Thanks for the lead, Ms. Sellars. That is, if you are the real Ms. Sellars...
Have you ever wondered if you write like a girl? Well, this marvelous web-tool allows you to dispell any misconceptions. Simply submit a sample of your writing and through magic techno-algorithms, voila! You get sexed. Check it out. Just in case you're wondering, Abrasion has been diagnosed: male. Fuckin' A!
While most pay to lose pounds, Renee Zellweger is being bonused to gain weight. Signing on for the Bridget Jones sequel, BJD: The Edge Of Reason, for a reported $15million, Renee will receive an additional $US225,000 for every kilo she manages to put on. Adds a whole new dimension to feeders and gainers. Regardless if the studio execs have a fat fetisch or feel obliged to compensate actors for abusing their bodies, it's a brilliant piece of pre-release publicity.
Nothing like vamping up a political pariah just for kicks. In fact, a series of sexy, brazen, and, dare we say, wanton digitally manipulated photos of deposed despot Saddam Hussein have been released by none other than the U.S. military. In an attempted to flush out supporters of the Iraqi leader, these photos are meant to taunt, antagonise and further infuriate Saddam's followers to 'out' themselves to authorities. The series includes tramped up version of Saddam as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Billy Idol, Elvis Presley and Rita Hayworth, Abrasion fears such titilating fare with 'out' us as well. Gay For Saddamy! Gay for Saddamy! Give us the scud stud!
Arnold is stacking the deck in the most glitzy high profile way only a Hollywood A-Lister could. Recent supporters to join the fold include: Actor and home porn producer Rob Lowe; bazillionaire stock wizard Warren Buffet and former secretary of state, George P. Shultz. Abrasion imagines Arnold's recruitment strategy: "Join my campaign, you puny human or I'll pound you into the earth."
It's been a while since Abrasion reviewed a CD. It's not for lack of buying them, but rather the lack of focus in reviewing them. Prompted by his appearance opening for the Libertines, the Adam Green's sophomore, Friends of Mine, record is a mixture of folkie psycho-delic sociopathic soul manure. It's campy, whimsical and contains lyrics as off-kilter as "Jessica, Jessica Simpson, you've got it all wrong, your fraudulent smile, the way that you faked it the day that you died". Mixing accoustic guitar, strings and Adam's man-child delivery, it's mainstream appeal is limited by its daft New York art star inner clique-iness.
15 tracks (33 min) Rough Trade
File Between: Ben Kweller and early Beck
Verdict? 6/10 - for infecting us with Adam Green's madness.
Anticipating the impending switch of on-line faux dating service Friendster to a paid on-line faux dating service, subscribers are de-camping in droves, leaving the site disproportionate weighted with Fakesters. In anticipation, new friend referral sites are sprucing up like weeds. Our favourite of the crop? Introverster.
In a comprehensive study funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Abrasion is shocked to learn that recovering alcoholics and drinking DO NOT MIX. "Our research suggests alcohol isn't a really good sleep aid," said Shawn Currie, an adjunct assistant professor in psychiatry and psychology. "It will decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, but then the rest of the sleep period is usually disturbed." Currie said a single drink - a nightcap - might not have any significant impact on sleep, but alcoholics who suffer from insomnia often use multiple drinks as a sleep-aid. While most of the alcoholics Abrasion knows use alcohol TO GET DRUNK, in an informal survey, we uncovered numerous other reasons drinking before bed can keep you awake:
a) I had to pee.
b) The hooker was snoring too loudly.
c) Choking on own vomit.
d) Was getting kicked in the head by baglady.
e) Drunk tank jailmate was feeling fisky.
Playing war has never been easier! No longer is ascension to the head of the union a requirement to play the crazed war-mongering destoryer of nations. Thanks to the savvy marketers at Blue Box Toys, any toddler or maladjusted caterpillar-frying teen-ager can "drop da bomb" with the new George Dubya Bush Naval Aviator action figure. It's so lifelike, it's certified to have the same IQ as the real thing.
Mix one of Vancouver's longest standing, YTV Achievement Award recipient punk pranksters in one of North America's finest Tiki bars and what do you get? The Smugglers 15th Anniversary Party! Book off Saturday August 30 over the labour day long weekend to join the Smugglers and guests the Leather Uppers, Los Furios and the High Balls at the ultra-swank Polynesian Room of the Waldorf Hotel Vancouver. Promises to be a memorable furious dance fiasco with gumboots.
Fashion heads may still be clinging to the eighties excess of the officially over electro ressurgence, but the new retro appears to be authenticity. The New York Times reports that America's merchants, stung by falling sales, falling prices and falling quality, are going back to the archives for their fall lines, hoping that designs that sold once can sell again. Though each season usually brings out one or two manufacturers promoting a "Return to Basics," this year's offerings are remarkable for the number of dead-on copies taken from the merchants' own past. Abrasion observes this trend as perhaps a comment on the overly test marketed flock designs blurring the identities of fashion retailers, as well as the expanding chasm between youth urban tribal dressing and middle American bland-chic. Whatever the case, Abrasion recommends firing up the ole Singer, unearthing all those the classic McCall's sewing patterns and putting the sewing pedal to the metal. DIY fifties fashion is just so damn cool.
After a relentless blitz of chat shows and party circuitry with husband David, Victoria Beckham is unleashing further media oversaturation a la Jennifer Lopez by stripping down to her underwear and high heels for a new ad campaign with Rocawear. The clothing label is owned by BeyoncÈ Knowles's rapper boyfriend Jay-Z. With its baggy tracksuits and trainers, the brand is usually associated with the drugs and violence world of gangsta rap. However, the association will benefit both parties. While Posh will help give the label respectability, her profile will be raised by her link to the R&B superstars. She is due to release a hip-hop inspired album, produced by Rocawear co-owner Damon Dash, who signed her to his Roc-A-Fella record label.
Unwed Victoria born pop tart, Nelly Furtado, is set to release her sophmore album, Fresh Off The Boat, November 25, but pre-empts with shocking news: she's preggers. No annoucement on nuptual plans with her boyfriend were made. In honour to the embryonic Furtado, Abrasion renames her international hit single to "I'm Like A Bastard."
It's embarassing. Not only do we fly our Sea King helicoptors into the sea, we have a habit of careening our armoured military vehicles throughout the narrow streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on Kabul's crowded streets and lanes are learning that a Canadian flag is a signal to get out of the way -- fast. "They don't know how to drive, these guys," said Baoud, a part-time driver for one of the dozens of international aid agencies that have set up shop in Kabul. "They don't know the rules: which streets are one-way; which way to turn in the traffic circles. It's not good because they're so big." The military has had to compensate some drivers hit by their vehicles and one pedestrian has been hospitalized after being struck by a Canadian LAV. His injuries were reportedly not life-threatening. Oh Canada.. such wonderfully clumsy good intentions.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) honoured visiting Latin pop star Ricky Martin on Friday by naming a yellow orchid speckled with crimson spots (Renaglottis Ricky Martin) after him. "Hello sexy, how are you?" Martin asked the dainty flower during the naming ceremony at Botanical Gardens."You're supposed to talk to your plants, right?" Yes, Ricky. Except this flower requires sunlight, so you don't want to keep it in the closet.
Photo blogging the Big Blackout from New York, Toronto, Detroit and all points in between. Check it out or contribute.
Is celebrity seeking car crash Courtney Love the secret granddaughter of Marlon Brando? Linda Carroll, mother of the rocker slash ex-stripper slash actor slash Verace clothes horse, is claiming in the London Express to have taken DNA tests to prove that she's a daughter of the Oscar winning Brando. "I am incredibly shocked by this news," Love told the London paper. "I've heard Mr. Brando has more than 30 children, so I can't imagine how many cousins I might have." At Abrasion, we await the most telling proof of Courtney Love's lineage to Marlon Brando: jaw dropping, career ending, mid-life weight gain.
The act of immediately and publicly looking to fault others instead of rectifying the situation at hand. A favourite tactic for those in need of covering their asses. Having exhausted the public's patience though the overuse of the terrorist threat panic button, American finds a new pointy finger target: Canada. Recently demonstrated by military and energy officials over the origins of the BIG BLACKOUT.
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