Album cover for Aphrodite by Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue’s Discography

A year and some change ago I became obsessed with Kylie Minogue’s 1990 album Rhythm of Love. The affair started after I saw a viral video of Kylie putting her whole back into a live performance of the song “Better the Devil You Know” to an expressionless and annoyed audience. Other than the few singles from her album Fever that drifted across the Pacific ocean and made their way onto American radio, I’d never really listened to much Kylie. …


AJayII dancing to “Ray of Light” by Madonna.

In addition to new episodes of The Great British Bake Off and Real Housewives of Orange County, last week I was eagerly awaiting the latest video from YouTube personality AJayII: a longform filmed reaction to her initial listen of the album Ray of Light by Madonna. Much like this season of RHOC, it did not disappoint. By nine minutes and thirty seconds in she’s depleted and out of breath, having spent however many real world minutes dancing in her seat to the album’s title track. …


Album art for Lady Gaga’s 2011 release Born This Way.

When Lady Gaga revealed the cover art for her wildly anticipated second album, Born This Way, fan reaction was overwhelmingly negative. The image was extreme and odd, a far cry from the avant-garde haute glamour of her previous visual offerings. On top of a black background was a metallic motorcycle with no rider, only Gaga’s screaming face and crazed hair affixed to the front like the figurehead of a ship. …


The late Andy Whitfield as Spartacus, Jai Courtney as Varro, and Peter Mensah as Doctore in Spartacus.

When Spartacus: Blood and Sand premiered on Starz in 2010 it was coming at the tail-end of the glossy rebirth of sword-and-sandal epics. Zach Snyder’s 300 became a bonafide cultural phenomenon when it released in 2006, launching a thousand frat boy Spartan Halloween costumes and almost as many movies hoping to capture some of the box office magic.

It seemed that series creator Steven DeKnight’s retelling of the famed gladiator turned rebel leader was looking to make use of the formula. In the show’s first episode we are introduced to performative masculinity on an epic scale, dozens of exposed breasts…


Bitch Sesh logo courtesy of Earwolf Studios

It’s been a weird year, right? Things have felt uncertain, like the world is spinning faster and faster and we missed our opportunity to get off the ride. I’ve been sending emails that nobody responds to. People close to me have been hit with bad news almost weekly. The Amazon rainforest is on fire. It’s all piling up a bit too tidily, as though this new stack of signs that the road ahead is going to be rough won’t be easily knocked over. Maybe that’s just growing older?

Unhealthy coping mechanism or no, I decided to distract from a recent…

Robert Balkovich

Oregonian, Capricorn, gay, writer for Lonely Planet and others, currently listening to Tropico by Pat Benatar on repeat, he/him,

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