Natalie Bergman sees gospel music as “the true source of rock 'n' roll.” It's also the source of the Chicago-bred, Los Angeles–based singer’s forthcoming solo debut album, Mercy. Today, Feb. 24, marks the release of the record’s second single, “Shine Your Light On Me.” The song’s accompanying video is a nostalgic, black-and-white fever dream, sparkling with vintage Paco Rabanne sequins and largely inspired by a 1967 performance of “Reflections” by Diana Ross & The Supremes. Bergman enlisted her ex-boyfriend, Jean… Read more
This past year has been especially challenging for everyone. These challenges grow ever more prevalent when it comes to those combatting medical issues, even those separate from COVID-19. As the current pandemic has ravaged the American (and foreign) healthcare systems, other health issues have taken a backseat in the public consciousness. Providing the best possible care for those suffering from COVID-19 should certainly be prioritized during this time; however, major roadblocks have risen regarding women’s health and… Read more
Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat is a beautiful, complicated epic of agrarian life in South Africa from 1948 onward, and it explores the evolution of a relationship between two women who take care of one another. Agaat, for whom the book is named, is a nurse, farmhand, and nanny essential to the functioning of the farm, Grootmoedersdrift. The complex relationship between Agaat and the woman who takes her in, farm matron Milla de Wet, is the heart and soul of this book. Over the span of decades, love and tenderness are… Read more
I’m exhausted. He’s up there sleeping, and I’ve escaped to the living room couch for refuge. His loud breathing is really getting to me. I love him dearly, but holy macaroni, I need sleep. Over the past decade, I have laid awake and annoyed on hundreds of nights, listening to his breathing for an hour before slipping out to sleep on our daughter’s extra bunk, even on blankets in the hall, anything to escape the noise. Now, I risk the loud stairs to rest, maybe sleep, on the living room couch. We really need to replace… Read more
“In the 1960s, and until very recently, you could not be beautiful and clever at the same time,” Marianne Faithfull said in a 2020 Vogue interview. “If you were pretty, you were obviously just a bimbo. A dolly bird. A sex object. Blah blah blah. And that was obviously why Mick [Jagger] liked me, at least that’s what they thought. But it wasn’t.” Faithfull’s excellent 1994 autobiography, Faithfull, told her side of the story and, after years in development, her story is coming to the silver screen via a biopic of the… Read more

Cute! Cap Your Correspondence With A Teeny-Tiny DIY Flower Seal

By BUST Magazine  In DIY  On Feb 22, 2021

This super simple and very pretty DIY elevates any envelope, whether you’re sending holiday wishes, thank yous, or an extra-special love letter. Enclose your card in an envelope, and seal. Using a hot glue gun, squeeze a dime-sized blob of glue where you want the sealto be (the glue will expand, so less is usually more). Using tweezers, carefully pick up a tiny dried flower (like those used for nail art,available online, or dry them yourself using a flower press or heavy books andnewspaper) and center it on the hot… Read more

Ela Minus' New Record Is A Shimmery Punk Collage

By BUST Magazine  In Music  On Feb 22, 2021

While acts of rebellion could be described as techno, a closer listen reveals a wide array of styles under the surface. The album was written, performed, and produced by Colombian musician Gabriela Jimeno, who spent a decade playing in a hardcore band before moving to the U.S. to study jazz drumming and synthesizer design at Berklee. Jimeno brings a raw, political punk sensibility to tracks like “el cielo no es de nadie.” The percussion-forward approach makes her upbeat songs highly danceable (“Everyone told us it’s… Read more

"Nomadland" Offers An Unflinching Glimpse At Life On The Road

By Sylvie Baggett  In Movies  On Feb 19, 2021

Spare and lonesome, Nomadland follows Fern (Frances McDormand) while she navigates her new life after the loss of her husband and her community. Based on the Jessica Bruder book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the film offers a documentary-esque peek into life on the road, deftly handled by director Chloé Zhao. After the twin tragedies of her husband’s death and the erasure of her town, Fern dedicates herself to staying untethered. She packs up her rickety van with a handful of valuables — the… Read more
I was supposed to write this article, an interview with Spider-Woman writer Karla Pacheco, almost a year ago. I messed up, but the world is currently kind of on fire, so we're okay. I bring this up to you, dear reader, because the irony of the situation does not go over my head: I messed up writing a story about the amazing Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, who also at times has great intentions but f**ks up. Pacheco's Spider-Woman run has experienced a couple of setbacks because of the pandemic; however, these setbacks… Read more
She Shreds, founded by Fabi Reyna, has created a safe space for musicians—especially womxn of color—to heal. In 2017, She Shreds Media, initially a print publication dedicated to women guitarists and bassists, started an online challenge that encourages women and non-binary musicians to commit to playing and posting one riff (a 5-minute jam session) a day for an entire month. This January was unlike any other month of riffs, as participants met the #1RAD challenge while our social, economic, and political worlds… Read more

Here's How To Help Texans Right Now

By Laurie  In Living  On Feb 19, 2021

Texans need your help right now. The unprecedented winter storm has millions of people left with no heat, power or even running water for days. The freezing cold is making this a life or death situation — 34 people have died so far — and if you can help, here are a few links to ways to send emergency aid. VENMO:@feedthepeopledallas@mutualaidhou@austinmutualaid@trinitymutualaid@dawaheals DONATE:feedingtexas.orgfamilyplace.orgcrowdsourcerescue.comNorth Texas Food Top photo: Gabriella Shery is an… Read more
A former therapist of mine said she used to work as a switchboard operator. Only once, she admitted, did she ever eavesdrop on someone’s conversation: when Lionel Richie was on the line. Technically, I wasn’t eavesdropping on Tig Notaro and Sarah Paulson when I listened to the latest episode of Notaro’s “Don’t Ask Tig” podcast, but thanks to their explosive comic chemistry, it almost felt like I was. The podcast is a new twist on advice columns, where listeners write in with (mostly) serious questions. Notaro—the host,… Read more
Consummate New Yorker Kyra Sedgwick started off in showbiz in 1982 on the classic soap Another World and quickly became a bonafide movie star in films including Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, Cameron Crowe's Singles, and 2012’s The Possession. She is perhaps best known for her starring role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama The Closer—for which she won a Golden Globe and an Emmy—and now, she’s lighting up the new ABC sit-com Call Your Mother. On her A-List episode of BUST’s… Read more
On February 13, 2021, 22-year-old environmental activist Disha Ravi was arrested by Delhi police for her alleged involvement in the creation and circulation of a digital “toolkit” promoting support for Indian farmers. Farmers, who make up over half of the country’s workforce, have been protesting in Delhi for months in response to controversial agricultural laws that affect the sale of crops, as reported by The Guardian. In solidarity with Indian farmers, leading environmental activist Greta Thunberg shared her toolkit… Read more
When Big Thief’s spring tour was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, vocalist and guitarist Adrianne Lenker decided to use her unexpected free time to take to the woods and record. The result is a duo of albums, songs and instrumentals, whose uniting principle was Lenker’s attempt to make music she describes as sounding “like the inside of an acoustic guitar.” If that means she wanted to capture the instrument’s warm tones and association with intimate, comfortable spaces, then she’s succeeded. Sparer and quieter… Read more
The world of beauty tutorial channels on YouTube is vast. But L.A.-based makeup artist Bailey Sarian has found a way to differentiate herself with her weekly series Murder, Mystery & Makeup. On Mondays, her standard tutorials get a darker spin—instead of explaining makeup techniques and giving product suggestions, she tells a true crime story while still managing to paint a flawless face. Even applying eyelashes doesn’t make her miss a beat. (Don’t worry product fans, she lists all the makeup she uses down in the video… Read more
“Mr. Know-It-All is always right/And I think the only way out of this, is somehow they lose all their power,” multimedia artist Seth Bogart muses on the title track of his second solo LP, summing up the album’s underlying theme (and what the culturally and intellectually evolved children of this hell-world have already figured out): the patriarchal systems in which we are all raised are total bullshit! Men on the Verge of Nothing contains 10 fuzzy, post-punky, poppy tracks featuring a girl gang of guests including… Read more
Petrichor is singer/songwriter/violinist (and one-half of folk duo A Hawk and a Hacksaw) Heather Trost’s second solo album. Trost makes good use of these seven tracks, exemplifying her strong sense of journey and dynamic composition. Although written in 2019, the album is prescient of the current collective experience. Breezy, psychedelic opener “Let It In” declares, “Make the space for yourself/For others/We may not have the chance again.” Meanwhile, “Tracks to Nowhere” is dulcet heartache—a single guitar and layers… Read more
“Blondes make the best victims,” Alfred Hitchcock said in 1977. “They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.” In Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds, protagonist Melanie Daniels screams as crows, gulls, and ravens scratch at her until she bleeds. Leading lady Tippi Hedren’s horror was real: filming the scene had a traumatic effect on her, and Hitchcock was well aware of it. Like his iconic thrillers, which are chilling through both violence and psychological torment, the story of Hitchcock and Hedren is,… Read more
It’s no secret that the film industry took a major hit in the past year—cinema culture especially so. I spent the past year primarily enjoying older movies, and not really paying attention to new releases as I usually do during non-pandemic times. In reality, that’s quite a loss when considering how many truly idiosyncratic movies have been released online. In particular, the last twelve months have hosted a number of phenomenal films dealing with diverse accounts of contemporary womanhood. Here are ten that should… Read more
When Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, died suddenly on Monday, February 9, 2021, we lost a true legend. Her longtime friend and publicist Jay Schwartz released a statement deeming Wilson “a trendsetter who broke down social, racial, and gender barriers.” Motown Records founder Berry Gordy remembered her as “a trailblazer [and] a diva.” In addition to her multi-decade solo career, Wilson’s name is immortalized in the legacy of The Supremes and Motown Records. Wilson co-founded The Supremes as The Primettes… Read more
This past August, when the Regeneron Science Talent Search announced the recipient of its top honor, it wasn’t just college recruiters who took notice. The winner, 17-year-old Lillian Kay Petersen of Los Alamos, NM, had invented a tool called Crop4Cast that analyzes satellite imagery to predict harvest yields, and nearly a dozen international aid organizations contacted her about using her data to help address food insecurity across the globe. Now a Harvard freshman, Petersen started her climate experiments in the… Read more
Few things are as cliché as a character standing on the edge of a bridge, contemplating suicide, in the pouring rain, before being rescued at the last moment. But these scenes play out effortlessly in the opening chapters of This Close to Okay by Leesa CrossSmith. The narrative bounces between the voices of Tallie and Emmett (our “we’re not in love” duo), which is a fun way to tell the tale of two secret-keeping soon-to-be lovers. Without wasting any time, Tallie convinces Emmett to get a coffee instead of killing… Read more
A frozen dildo, a ghost cat, and a “fucked witch.” Who knew these could all be ingredients to a cohesive film. Director Azazel Jacobs, from The Lovers and Momma’s Man, blends these outlandish pieces into the puzzle of French Exit, a new dark comedy starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, based on Patrick deWitt’s book by the same name. The film follows Frances and Malcolm Price, a mother-son duo, who dip to Paris with their ever present black cat, after learning that the money from Frances’ late husband is running… Read more
Some of Saturday Night Live’s “Cut for Time” sketches are as noteworthy, if not more so, than the ones that make it to air (here’s looking at you, Kyle “Cut for Time” Mooney). On February 6, 2021, Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star Dan Levy hosted the show, and appeared in clever sketches such as a horny Zillow ad and a realistic “It Gets Better” campaign. But one of the most clever of all, “Men’s Cosmetics,” was cut from the live show due to time constraints and left largely unseen and underappreciated. “Men’s… Read more
At this point in our nation’s history, it’s not hyperbole to say that America is in crisis. Between COVID, mass unemployment, environmental destruction, foreign and domestic assaults on our democracy, the erosion of women’s rights, and nationwide civil unrest sparked by deep systemic racism, this country is crying out for help. But there is hope. The following young citizens—all under 35—are making big strides in their chosen areas of activism. And no matter what happens during this new administration, their inspiring… Read more
If you’ve ever yearned for a healthy dose of feminism in your high school English class unit on The Grapes of Wrath, consider your wishes granted. Kristin Hannah’s new novel, The Four Winds, reads like a feminist rewriting of history, calling out the sexism inherent in our stories of the Great Depression and the Dustbowl. “It was always about the men,” the prologue proclaims. Well, not in this book. Hannah is doggedly attentive to her female characters, punching up the text with great one-liners as her feminists fight… Read more

How You Can Combat Food Insecurity Right Now

By Marissa Dubecky  In Living  On Feb 13, 2021

Both globally and nationally, the worldwide health crisis and resulting economic instability has brought us some of the highest rates of food insecurity we have seen in years. A study conducted by Northwestern University researchers estimated that since the COVID-19 health emergency, food insecurity in the US has doubled overall and tripled among households with children. The research states that low income families have been especially affected, due to a loss of subsidized school lunches paired with a high level of… Read more

"Young Hearts" Explores First Love Honestly and Delicately

By Sylvie Baggett  In Movies  On Feb 13, 2021

Produced by the Duplass brothers (The Skeleton Twins, Safety Not Guaranteed), Young Hearts follows teenage next-door neighbors Harper (Anjini Taneja Azhar) and Tilly (Quinn Liebling) as they embark on their first romantic relationship. Immediately, there’s a naive sweetness to the film — it’s captured in Tilly’s moon dog eyes while he stares at Harper across the library and in the light reflecting off of Harper’s clear braces when she laughs. There's also a complication: Tilly is Harper's older brother's best friend.… Read more

“Promising Young Woman” Is Exactly What It Needs To Be

By Alison Lanier  In Movies  On Feb 13, 2021

Promising Young Woman, the debut film from actress and Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell, is a divisive movie. It tackles the broad and insidious horror of violence against women, in all its casual and brutal forms, across an intricate plot. A technically precise, beat-by-beat saga of how trauma consumes and destroys, Promising Young Woman takes the rape revenge fantasy genre and gives it an upgrade, told in technicolor vignettes. Fennell knows how this story has been told before and makes it new, shepherding a… Read more
Being more thoughtful about the clothes you buy means knowing what you’re dealing with. Which will keep you warmer: that old, handmade, 100-percent-wool sweater; or that stylish, vintage, acrylic one? It turns out, each type of fiber has its own distinct and quite magical properties. LINENHISTORYAt least 10,000 years old, linen is one of the oldest fibers ever used for clothingHOW IT’S MADEStems of the flax plant are wetted, beaten, and separated into long fibers that are spun into thread and woven or knit into… Read more
IN MY YEARS of shopping for sex toys, I’ve seen loads of strokers meant to aid cisgender men in jerking off. Recently, however, I’ve discovered that these types of toys—which users can penetrate during masturbation, and which can simulate the feeling of getting a blow job—exist for FTM/ transmasculine people like me as well, and can accommodate genitals in various stages of medical gender transition. And that’s important, because while taking testosterone will likely increase the size of a person’s clitoris, the extent… Read more
Sundance was presented as a virtual festival this year. That’s code for watching films on your laptop at home. Their website was very well organized and easy to navigate, with all the usual categories loaded with an incredibly diverse slate of narrative and documentary films, director interviews, and Q&A’s. All of this is way too much information for any one person to consume in a week. I watched 24 films and I feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface. Here are ten films that stood out to me and that I would… Read more
Rachel is 24 and ravenous; for her mother’s love, for her Jewish faith which she’s strayed too far away from, and for all of the food she’s forbidden herself to eat. She maintains a sense of control by counting calories and going to the gym. But her rigidly structured days fracture when her therapist encourages her to take a 90-day break from her mother. The effort of this estrangement weakens her to Miriam—an Orthodox Jewish woman and new employee at Rachel’s favorite frozen yogurt shop, Yo!Good—who is intent on… Read more
On the follow-up to Ana Roxanne’s 2019 debut, the L.A.-based ambient artist expertly stitches together droning instrumentation and sparse vocals, then layers in bits of spoken word (“Untitled”), atmospheric keyboard loops (“- - -”), and sound effects (“Venus”). The seven tracks flow into one another, creating a full soundscape best experienced as a whole. With inspiration drawn from themes of the body, gender, beauty, and more, the album feels just as much like a poetic collection of verses as it does a musical effort.… Read more

Dog Fashions So Tasty, You’ll Want to Sample Them Yourself

By BUST Magazine  In Style  On Feb 11, 2021

A special 7-inch featuring the trippy 1967 hit “Some Velvet Morning,” backed with the previously unreleased Kinks cover “Tired Of Waiting For You”—out in November for Record Store Day—is just the beginning of Light In The Attic’s year-long celebration of the legendary Nancy Sinatra. The singer, actor, activist, icon of the swinging ’60s, and self-proclaimed feminist (who remains an outspoken advocate for female musicians) boasts a body of work that spans nearly half a century. In February, LITA’s Nancy Sinatra Archival… Read more
Everyone deserves to find clothes within their budget that fit them, and that can be a tool of expression. However, most people can’t exactly afford to shop Prada’s latest collection, finding themselves in shops like H&M or on sites like Boohoo. When considering how these fast-fashion retailers are contributing greatly to the current climate crisis, though, supporting them feels… icky. And that’s not to mention the other human rights violations many fast-fashion giants perpetuate. Photo via Unsplash. So, how do we go… Read more
Lona, the main character in Georgina Young’s novel Loner, is just 19, but her plight is ageless. Having recently dropped out of art school, she’s unsure about her career prospects, questioning the point of dating and other social pursuits, and not convinced that art—her own or anyone else’s—is worth anything at all. She drifts in and out of her family, spending time with her best friend when she’s not taking shifts at a grocery store or DJing for middle schoolers at a roller rink, searching for anything that will make… Read more

For Vegans, The Birth Control Pill Can Be Hard To Swallow

By Molly MacGilbert  In Sex  On Feb 09, 2021

Some say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but the use of milk sugar (lactose) and other animal products in birth control pills may be hard for animal lovers to swallow. While eliminating their contributions to animal suffering through the foods they eat, the fabrics they wear, and the personal hygiene products they use, vegans still may not think twice about the medications they take on a routine basis. But, like many nutritional supplements and pharmaceutical drugs, the birth control pill is produced… Read more
Like every girl in Otera, 16-year-old Deka must undergo a ceremony which will determine her place in society. It is a test of purity: if her blood runs red, she’ll be allowed to join the ranks of the “pure” women in her community. However, already an outcast by virtue of her skin color, Deka’s blood runs gold and she is deemed impure. She is then beaten, brutalized, and tortured until a mysterious woman makes her an offer: stay in her community, or join the Alaki, an army of supernatural girls just like her, to defend… Read more

5 great female-focused French films to watch tout suite!

By Molly MacGilbert  In Movies  On Feb 08, 2021

When picturing French women, many of our brains conjure up images colored by stereotypes of chic, young, white women smoking cigarettes at sidewalk cafes with airs of cool detachment. The French stereotypes many outsiders hold are perpetuated in part by French film, and most notably by the popular titles of the male-dominated French New Wave. An overwhelming number of leading ladies in French films over the past several decades have been hypersexualized — as in the case of Brigitte Bardot in Et dieu… crea la femme… Read more
Tennille Teague has always been drawn to storytelling. As a veteran producer, coming up with ideas, leading integrated productions for both national and global brands, and bringing them to life has been the foundation of her career. As a longtime animal advocate and pet parent, animal welfare has been a driving purpose for as long as Teague can recall. Combining her two passions, Teague recently launched Just Fred, a cruelty-free pet-accessories brand that helps support organizations that care for dogs in need of a… Read more

Does Your Favorite Lesbian Film Pass This Test?

By Samantha Mann  In Movies  On Feb 05, 2021

The Bechdel Test, created by Fun Home author Alison Bechdel, is a measure used in critiquing works of fiction. The test asks a simple question: does this work feature at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man? In 1985, when the Bechdel Test was published, this idea was a novel and radical thought. The test gained popularity and ultimately became a fast-handed way to loosely assess a works of fiction. And although there are critiques of the test—mainly, two women talking about something… Read more
Voice is a mysterious thing. Was iconic singer/producer Genya Ravan born with that impossibly rich, heart-wrenching tone, or did she somehow inherit it along the way, picking up flecks of gold and gravel through decades of towering highs and devastating lows? One spin of her new single “I Who Have Nothing,” tells it all—and after nearly fifty years in the tumultuous music biz, there's a lot to tell. The track is included on a 7” split record featuring The Shang Hi Los, out February 19 (and available for pre-order now)… Read more
The City That Never Sleeps. The Big Apple. Gotham. The Center of the Universe. The City So Nice They Named It Twice. I’m sure writer and public personality Fran Lebowitz would gag hearing any of these nicknames for New York City, America’s most iconic metropolis. Pretend It’s a City on Netflix toes the dangerous precipice of New York City’s most irritating cliches, but Lebowitz’s grounded, derisive storytelling and director Martin Scorsese’s sensatory cinematography keep the show from ever falling into a void of… Read more
I was not a cheerleader in high school and I don’t regret making that choice. What I do regret, however, is spending literally any of my time over the past 21 years watching any film that doesn’t feature at least one high school football game. I miss drinking vodka out of a water bottle and pretending to know what's going on. I miss "spirit week" even though I hardly ever participated. Thankfully, there are plenty of films that feature cheerleading, a sport that is almost its own character. At this point, I am an… Read more
Michaela Watkins is a brilliant comic actor who has been cracking audiences up since she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2008. In the decade since she left the show in 2009, she has been in a bevy of beloved indie films and delightfully weird TV shows, including Joey Soloway’s Afternoon Delight and Transparent, Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said, the acclaimed hulu show Casual, and the Sundance hit Brittany Runs a Marathon. Most recently, she’s been lighting up the ensemble cast of the CBS comedy series The… Read more

A First Look At "Shadow And Bone," Your Next Favorite YA Show On Netflix

By Isabel Sophia Dieppa  In TV  On Jan 29, 2021

Excellent news for YA and literary nerds everywhere: the first images for Shadow and Bone, Netflix's upcoming adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's acclaimed YA novel, were released this week. The new photos come on the heels of the teaser trailer Netflix released in December. The show is set to premiere on April 23. I'm not sure if these images will hold over my excitement until April, but it will have to do for now. Because let me tell you: the story of Shadow and Bone is extra juicy. "Shadow and Bone takes place in a very… Read more
We’re officially a full month into 2021, and we’ve already seen it all, from a long-awaited Inauguration Day to a GameStop stock market battle. This year has already given us some great new shows, books, and music, too – and this week, we have even more recommendations for your favorite Spotify playlist, to-read list, and Netflix queue. Read on for our picks. MOVIES/TV Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready Last season, Tiffany Haddish introduced us to comedians including Aida Rodriguez, Marlo Williams, and Tracey… Read more