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If you’re in the Northeast this weekend, you should really check out Ladyfest, a 3-day art and music festival featuring workshops, vendors, readings and discussions by feminist organizations and punk legends (Alice Bag!), and over 20 bands. Ladyfest goes down Feb. 3-5 at the YMCA in Cambridge, MA, organized by volunteers with the goal of creating a safe, empowering space for women in the arts.

Just when you thought you might die of the midwinter blues, the greatest reality show of all time—RuPaul’s Drag Race—has returned to cure your Seasonal Affective Disorder. Based on Monday night’s premiere, it looks like season four is gonna be good, with synthetic hair, catfights, and gloriously bitchy insults galore. Before the episode even properly begins, the preview montage gives us, “Go back to Party City where you belong.” Oh Ru, It’s been too long.

I'm coveting at least four of these iPhone cases by Brooklyn-based illustrator Sirin Thada. I first saw her art on Tumblr a few months ago, and was struck by her sense of humor (the "Animal Print" drawing was the first thing I saw). All of her designs have that same playfulness, cute but not too cutesy. The only problem is that I don’t have an iPhone yet ─ I still have this stupid old sliding-keyboard dumbphone. It’s barely a step up from two rusty tin cans and a waxed string, and it draws jeers from my peer group.

Gotye’s highly-anticipated third release Making Mirrors (out now on Samples'n'Seconds/Fairfax/Universal Republic) is filled with percussion-driven songs in a wide range of compositional styles. Recorded in a barn down under in remote Australia, Belgian multi-instrumentalist Wouter "Wally" De Backer creates an intricate, expansive sound on what's sure to be a breakout album (FYI: Gotye is pronounced "Gauthier," from the French translation of Wouter). The lead-off title track is a quiet one-minute introduction, with layers of echoing vocals over waves of synths.

  In a total mindf*ck for me and basically everyone  interested in women's sports, sources---from The Guardian to ESPN---are confirming that the Women's Professional Soccer league has been cancelled, even though the United States National team just qualified to play in the Olympics.  The reason seems to be that team owner Dan Borislow, who has a history of clashing with WPS officials, is battling it out big-time with league owners in the court room. Some will try to continue bending it like Mia Hamm  in 2012, but it looks the league has officially been cancelled till 2013.

Bjork makes me believe in music. Since my first listen of Venus as a Boy, I have been entranced by what she can do with her voice, ingeniously combining it with unconventional instruments, sounds and collaborators. The genius mega-artist has released her eighth album, Biophilia, to breach the gap between nature, science, technology, and music. Not only does  Biophilia feature Tesla coil instruments, it is accompanied by an education program for middle schoolers that explores the ties between music and science.

Let January 31, 2012 be known as the day that it happened: the day that Born to Die (out now on Interscope) finally dropped. After months of furious Internet opining, illegal downloads of leaked tracks, tons of grainy live footage, and one questionable Saturday Night Live performance, we now have an entire record of moody, lilting pop songs with which to rightfully judge Lana Del Rey. So what is the verdict?  It is—wait for it—not that bad. Some of the songs, in fact, are actually pretty good.

Okay, so I know that isn't technically a brand-new track (it's been out for a couple of weeks), but Santigold's new song "Big Mouth" is making me all kinds of curious about her forthcoming 2012 album. Santi White, aka Santigold, revealed that the highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2008 debut will be called Master of My Make-Believe; the Brooklyn-based artist told V Magazine, "I want it to be about creating your own reality." If Santigold's reality is anything like the video for "Big Mouth," then damn: I want to go to there: [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxdQ_uD5IWk&feature=youtu.

Remember your do-or-die New Year’s resolution to ditch your soul sucking dead-end job? It’s now February and you’re still selling out -- spending all your after-work hours sobbing bitterly into pints of Guinness (or salted-caramel ice cream). Craftcation Indie Business & DIY Conference on March 22-25, 2012 in Ventura, California is coming to the rescue! This three-day indie business conference, sponsored by BUST Magazine, focuses on starting or growing an art, craft or food-centered small business.

As a kid, I never really understood the appeal of paper dolls. I needed a toy that could survive my rough and tumble antics at playtime, and the wispy slips of people-paper just couldn't keep up. In my tiny yet destructive hands, paper dolls easily (and often) became confetti. Since I've grown up (I guess... I'm taller now, at least) I've mellowed out a little and have taken to watching online TV as an alternative to destroying my belongings. My newest Netflix addiction: Arrested Development.
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