Queer Women to Watch: Spring 2009


Jillian Maddison, pop
culture blogger

Out lesbian Jillian Maddison runs Pophangover.com, a daily pop
culture blog that started in 1999. What started as "a place to parody
silly trends and poke fun at celebrities" has grown to include original
comedy sketches and spoofs as well as all kinds of snarky opinion-based pieces
and lists from Maddison and her sister, who also creates content for the site.

Because Maddison is out, there’s plenty of lesbian and queer
content to be found at Pophangover.com, comfortably seated between reality
shows and male-heavy topics.

"I don’t really consider it a ‘duty,’" Maddison
said of including gay content on the site. "To me, that implies a societal
pressure to do something I wouldn’t already otherwise be doing. We poke fun at
everyone and everything on Pophangover. We’re an equal opportunity
poker-funner-atter — that’s the technical term."

She does admit that being a lesbian gives her an edge on
that brand of snark, and uses a familiar TV show as an example.

"[Being gay] has influenced my coverage in that I write
about what I see and experience every day in my personal life," Maddison
said. "Jenny Schecter’s death on the season finale of The L Word — may she eternally rest in peace on a bed made of
manatee— you can count on that getting parodied on Pophangover

Maddison, who said she’s obsessed with Xbox, vintage hoodies
and lacrosse shorts when she’s not writing about famous people, hopes that
Pophangover will lead her to achieve her dream job as a comedy writer for a
sitcom or late night talk show.  "That,"
she said, "And getting Ellen’s cell phone number. In the meanwhile, I hope
to give everyone a bunch of good laughs and help get them through their boring

Rachael Cantu,

Photo credit: Rebecca Sirmons

When you have Tegan Quin singing background on one of your
tracks, you know you have friends in high places. But  singer/songwriter Rachael Cantu is a talent on her own. Having toured with acts like Tegan and Sara and making appearances on This Just Out with Liz Feldman doesn’t hurt, but her music speaks for itself.

"My world gets smaller and smaller every day," Cantu said. "When
you’re involved with music for long enough, it just happens. I’m thankful to
know some wonderfully talented people. I think it all comes from a mutual respect.
We all enjoy each others music and have fun collaborating.I can also say that
everyone I have worked with are amazing human beings as well as talented and I
am honored to call them my friends."

Cantu is a multi-instrumentalist, but started focusing on
guitar when she realized in high school that it was "on her own

"There were no lessons, no deadlines," she said.
"It was just me and a new sound with no rules."

Cantu has one full-length album under her belt (2007′s Run All Night, which featured the track
"Saturday" that Tegan Quin sings on), but her new EP is a glimpse into
what’s going on with Rachael in the present. 

"I was getting really frustrated about how long it’s been since I’ve put
something out," Cantu said of the EP. "So I thought that in the
meantime of making the next record I would record something simple and very
intimate.  So, I went down to my friend Beth Ladwig’s studio in San Diego and we recorded
this EP within about an hour. Each song was finished within one to two takes. I
loved that process. No frills, no over-thinking, just a song in its most
raw form."

Cantu will return to the studio in April to work on her next
full-length album. She’ll be recording with Futcher in Vancouver, who has
worked with The Be Good Tanyas in the past. 

"The next record  will be much more my style than Run All Night," Cantu said.
"I’m very proud of Run All Night
and thankful for it, but I think I will have more of a hand in the sound of
this next record. This is only the beginning."

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