Since the iPod debuted in 2001, it has gone from portable music player to a medium in itself: Podcasts, like blogs, indelibly shaped the media landscape in less than a decade. The A.V. Club listens to a lot of them, and Podmass is our weekly round-up of the podcasts we follow.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Finally my friend came with the shoes that were too big for me. I wear a 9 and these were like an 11, and I shuffled in ridiculously. They asked me to whisper the password to the owl that opens the secret door that lets you go into the Magic Castle. And you know what I whispered? ‘Are you happy now, you stupid owl? I don’t look like a magician. I look like a well-dressed clown.’” —John Hodgman, Judge John Hodgman
The BS Report With Bill Simmons: Chuck Klosterman
Bill Simmons takes on a big week for pop culture by hosting a two-part episode
Culture Gabfest #128: Adonis DNA Edition
Doug Loves Movies: Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jeff Garlin, Dave Foley
How Did This Get Made? #5: Drive Angry/Curtis Gwinn
Judge John Hodgman: #14 Snob Vs. Slob
Pop Culture Happy Hour: Why We Keep Our Friends In A Freezer In The Garage
Sklarbro Country #31: Patton Oswalt
The Sound Of Young America: “Weird Al” Yankovic
Stuff You Should Know: What Is Stagflation?
WTF With Marc Maron #153: Paul Krassner
The Adam Carolla Show
Comedians and boxers rule this week’s Adam Carolla Show, which kicks off its third year with Amir Khan, the 24-1 English-Pakistani WBA junior-welterweight champ. Doug Benson, comedian and host of The Benson Interruption and Doug Loves Movies podcasts, weighs in on the addictive properties of pizza vs. those of McMuffins. Tonight Show regular Alonzo Bodden participates in a well-informed discussion of military aircraft after Dr. Bruce joins on the Charlie Sheen pigpile, offering his perspective as an addiction specialist. Jim Florentine, formerly of Crank Yankers and currently of VH1’s That Metal Show, dishes on dating Robin Quivers. And Holt McCallany, who’s even more likable than his title character in FX boxing drama Lights Out, trades friendly jabs with Ace. (Carolla didn’t address the abrupt cancellation of the much-loved Daves Of Thunder podcast, Ace Broadcasting’s No. 2 show, which had had conspiracy-mined fans in an uproar all week.)
All Songs Considered: Radiohead, Panda Bear, The Dodos, And More
Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton finally get around to discussing Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs (they love it) and preview a decent-ish song from the new Panda Bear album. The guys also check out songs from The Dodos, Alexi Murdoch, and James Vincent McMorrow.
The BS Report With Bill Simmons
Simmons talks Oscars and Charlie Sheen with Chris Connelly, who tosses out the idea of replacing Sheen on Two And A Half Men with Rob Lowe. The Oscars also come up when famed screenwriter William Goldman (The Princess Bride, Misery, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid) makes a return visit, but he and Simmons also talk about Carmelo Anthony and Goldman’s beloved Knicks. (Dan Silver also stopped by in this episode to talk about movies.) Simmons starts the week with one of his “buddy” podcasts with Joe House, who talks NBA trades, and JackO, who discusses his two favorite topics: the Yankees and Jersey Shore.
Comedy Death-Ray Radio #94: Ben Schwartz, Andy Daly
Near the beginning of episode #94, Scott Aukerman tells Ben Schwartz (Parks And Recreation, Undercovers) he has no plans for the episode, and it shows—#94 sounds like it came together minutes before recording. But Andy Daly—appearing here as Hot Dog, a racist wannabe member of Sha Na Na—is always hilarious. Aukerman proclaims for the seemingly 1,000th time that Jukebox Jury is dead—“I don’t know why any of you send this shit in”—but we’ll see if that sticks.
Filmspotting: #337 Army Of Shadows/ Top 5 Revolution Movies
Rather than sample the current dregs of the multiplex, Adam Kempenaar and Matty Robinson lead with a proper appreciation of Listener’s Choice selection Army Of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville’s bleak, uncompromising depiction of life in the French Resistance. As the hosts note, this is a movie about real sacrifice—not gung-ho heroism, not even martyrdom, but people willing to give themselves over to a cause.
Hang Up And Listen: The Battle Of Detroit Edition
After an episode off, Mike Pesca rejoins Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin for a survey of the latest violations of big-time NCAA basketball coaches like Bruce Pearl and Jim Calhoun, the Rip Hamilton-led revolt against Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester, and the baffling reports coming out of the NFL scouting combine, where potential draft picks are switching places almost arbitrarily. The “Afterball” segment is most essential, however, with Fatsis offering a history of the beaver as a college mascot and Levin doing a hilarious dissection of the “best shape of my life” cliché.
The Moth: Matteson Perry & Jeff Simmermon—GrandSLAM Stories
It’s a twofer on The Moth this week, with two slight-but-funny animal tales. Both Matteson Perry’s story about running with the bulls in Spain and Jeff Simmermon’s account of his time spent dealing with Outback pests and an obnoxiously rugged boss lack the sentiment/insight/emotion of some of the best Moth stories; but they’re both funny and to-the-point, with the polished delivery expected of Moth regulars like Perry and Simmermon.
The Nerdist #63: Nathan Fillion
Nerd hero Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) is surprisingly reticent in the first 10 minutes or so of this week’s episode—or perhaps his Canadian politeness is just preventing him from interrupting the typical excited jabbering from Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira, and Jonah Ray. But Fillion eventually opens up and talks about the fan cause to help him raise $300 million to buy the rights to Firefly (spoiler: He thinks the money could be better used elsewhere), his one and only attempt to write a TV pilot, and his desire to star in a Greatest American Hero update.
Savage Love #228
This week, Savage doles out advice to both a dude whose long-distance girlfriend won’t let him watch porn (dump her) and a woman who can’t find any femme-friendly porn to her liking (check out Lady Porn Day). Savage also announced that his It Gets Better book, inspired by the video project of the same name, will be out March 22 and is available for pre-order now.
Stuff You Missed In History Class
This week, Sarah Dowdy and Deblina Chakraborty deal with some of the more obscure corners of Black History. In “How The Stono Rebellion Worked,” they look into one of the earliest American slave revolts, and how it changed the American approach to slavery. In “Who Was America’s First Black Millionairess?” they detail the ups and downs in the life of Sarah Rector. Both episodes are interesting, but may be a little too obscure for the casual listener.
Stuff You Should Know: How Tickling Works
The answer: No one knows. Clark and Bryant get the most they can out of the topic, and the ’cast performs one of SYSK’s key duties by making listeners question what most people take for granted. But they can’t quite get past the lack of definitive answers in this enjoyable, but slight, entry.
This American Life #282: DIY
This episode originally aired Feb. 11, 2005, but it’s a great one—so much so that it figures on the series’ favorites list. Carl King’s friend is convicted of murdering a man he’s never even met, so King sets out to prove his innocence. After 20 years of DIY investigating, he succeeds where the legal system failed.
Sound Opinions: Gang Of Four
A lengthy interview with Andy Gill and Jon King of legendary post-punk band Gang Of Four leads to a surprisingly reverent discussion about Chicago blues, prompting Greg Kot’s “desert island jukebox” pick of Hound Dog Taylor And The Housebreakers’ classic 1971 debut.
WTF With Marc Maron #152: Comedy Film Nerds
Maron foregoes psychodrama and brutal introspection as he welcomes the Comedy Film Nerds over for an uncharacteristically breezy, trauma-free Oscar-themed conversation about movies, celebrities, and why Ricky Gervais is kind of a douche. Think of it as a light digestif following the heavy meal that was Maron’s showdown with Carl LaBove last week.