The Organist's Verbal Virtuosos

11 Episodes

Radio storytelling has a way of getting you to ingest complicated ideas without quite realizing what’s happening — like stuffing a pill into a glob of peanut butter to get your dog to swallow it. (In this example, the peanut butter is narrative, and you are the dog.) But ideas and arguments don’t ne…

episodes iconEpisodes

Which car is superior?

Drag Out

13:53

Erica Heilman’s show is a genre of podcast we might call the “wandering ear”: an omnivorously curious producer roaming the earth, interrogating whatever crosses her path, from lentil beans to the criminal justice syst…

Beginning to process the election

The Reckoning | Episode 10

48:11

In the NY Times Magazine, Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham are both weekly practitioners of the art of criticism, and their podcast, “Still Processing,” translates their intelligence (which is sharpened on the one side…

Driving around Morocco with Paul Bowles

Episode 72: Baptism of Solitude: Paul Bowles's Morocco Tapes

29:04

Our season four opener starts out as an album review, then decides to stop being an album review in order to tell an incredible story about the iconic novelist Paul Bowles driving around Morocco in a VW bug in the 195…

Tracing the circuits of global capitalism

37 Featuring Ben Lerner

36:02

Anshuman Iddamsetty produced 51 episodes of “The Arcade” for the Canadian literary magazine Hazlitt before moving on in 2015. To call it a literary interview podcast is to miss the remarkable things Iddamsetty accompl…

The birth of an art form

Secret Histories of Podcasting

40:10

Benjamen Walker works (with Erica Heilman’s Rumble Strip, above) in the “wandering ear” tradition. I think he might have even invented it — though I’m no podcast historian. So maybe I need to re-listen to this episode…

Why did Manson seem like a normal guy?

44: Charles Manson’s Hollywood, Part 1: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Manson Murders

37:44

The film critic Karina Longworth laces her addictive essays on “Hollywood’s first century” with music, movie clips, reenactments, and other dramatic adornments, transforming them into absorbing, epic biopics for the e…

On philosophy and eugenics

11. Hannibal and Eric André have a deep conversation about philosophy and eugenics.

1:03:06

You could argue that standup comedy is a form of criticism as art: the best comics riff on contemporary culture in elaborate, incisive verbal essays. Buress is in that class of comic, but I think the real reason I lov…

The safety myth of black colleges

And Not A White School

52:55

Podcasting was invented in the fourth century BCE, in Athens, by the Greek philosopher Socrates and his student Plato, who argued that philosophy was best understood not through books but in real-life dialogue, conduc…

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