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BA of the Week: Doctor Popular

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit — probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.


I first met Doctor Popular at a reading for The Rumpus. I think I’d only been back in SF for a little while after having lived in NYC, and Isaac Fitzgerald had asked me to read at the event. Doctor Popular was also on the bill doing some of his amazingly fancy yo-yo tricks. If I’m not mistaken I think he was a national yo-yo champion at some point. But then again I am often mistaken. Anyways, he’s also a dope musician and has a great new project out.

Doc Pop (as his friends call him)makes music on handheld gaming systems (also known as chiptunes). Old GameBoys are easy to find and super cheap, perfect for Broke Ass musicians.You can can pre-order his new album for just $1 here. Also check out his photo zines here. He’s a talented guy. Check out his kickstarter video below and his answers about brokeitude below that:

Name: Doctor Popular

Age: 36 and a half

Occupation: Musician

What neighborhood do you live in?: The Mission

Best money saving tip: Screw expensive gear, you can make cool stuff with a smartphone and a few cheap apps. I used the Nanoloop app to make my Beeps and Smudges album.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Cabs. I’d rather spend an hour walking home.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: A pair of jeans from Self Edge.

How’d that feel?: I wore ‘em non-stop for 3 years. Best investment ever… would recommend again!

Favorite cheap eat: $10 burger and a beer night at Dr. Teeth! We go every Monday night after climbing and fill up on the fantastic tater tots and beer.

Favorite dive bar: Doc’s Clock. No TVs and it’s never too crowded to talk to your friends.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: A $45 bike from Don Rafa’s Cyclery. I was still “just visiting” San Francisco at the time, but it was cheaper than renting a bike for a week and I figured I could just sell it back before I left. I never ended up catching my flight back to Minneapolis and that cheap Peugot is still riding great.

Favorite free thing to do: Making shit. Comics, paintings, songs, wallets, whatever. Nothing makes me happier than when I’m creating stuff.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A new mattress.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: As long as I have time to make things AND still pay rent, I’m good.

Do you own my book?: I bought your zine right after I decided to stay in SF. Does that count?

Best hangover cure: Just have another drink.

Are you a hipster?: Next question. Wait… that’s the last question? Seriously? What the fuck?

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".