Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Any Podcast Recommendations to Share? And Have You Listened to Marc Maron's Great Conversation with the Essential Normal Lear?

I am in the process of editing this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. It features a solid conversation about Star Trek and questions of gender, sexuality, and race.

[I also have to find a way to make Karl Marx interesting to a room full of underclassmen who were born after the end of the Cold War and think all of that "Communism stuff" is so unimportant...little do they realize how right and correct Marx actually was.]

I also believe in trying to "punch up" and not "punch down". Thus, while I may not be able to match the production qualities of great shows on NPR and elsewhere, I know that I can provide a venue for interesting and smart conversations with interesting and smart people who are doing interesting and smart things--as is the informal tagline for The Chauncey DeVega Show.

As a fan of the podcasting genre/format, I also listen to quite a few shows both for entertainment and learning purposes.

In the interest of sharing--and also soliciting some of your suggestions for what podcasts to either add to the blogroll or to mention on The Chauncey DeVega Show--here are some recent podcast episodes that I have enjoyed.

1. Norman Lear is one of my personal heroes. Mr. Lear is also one of the folks who with little effort or intent reminds everyone that yes, he is one of the smartest people in any room. In this conversation with Mark Maron, Lear talks about growing up with narcissistic parents, surviving World War 2, breaking into Hollywood, the colorline, and offers the genius observation about how Christmas is a barometer for how Americans turned into consumers instead of citizens.

And of course, Marc Maron's podcast is a gem (the Louis C.K. interview is considered by some to be the best podcast moment of all time) as is his TV show on Netflix.

2. Snap Judgement is an obligatory listen. The episode "Proof", and its story about a man who is falsely imprisoned for committing the crime of rape, and then has to confess to it in order to get paroled, is one hell of a moral and ethical conundrum.

Now where is the movie?

3. Love + Radio has produced some gems. Street harassment is problematic. Love + Radio's conversation with Jerome Master, an older brother from Chicago who offers up some guidelines and insights about the types of women he "hollers at" and the various informal rules and ethics about chatting up the ladies is damn funny and insightful.

Love + Radio's "Sesquipedalian" explores boxing, organized crime, fight fixing, and the fascinating and nebulous subculture of those who are part of  "low-life culture". This episode's insights into the controversy surrounding one of Mike Tyson's return bouts is a must listen if you are a fight fan.

4. I love professional wrestling. When I try to explain this lifelong hobby to those not of the family, I focus on how the sport is improvisational theater mixed with athleticism and classic storytelling tropes that can trace their roots back to Shakespeare and antiquity. Professional wrestling is also compelling because of the fascinating and odd personalities who are drawn to the business.

Professional wrestling also provides an amazingly sharp insight into changing American social norms--especially around race and gender. Colt Cabana's conversation with New Jack is surreal and wonderful.

New Jack is real people folks. He was one of the most popular wrestlers in the now defunct ECW federation. New Jack was/is a bounty hunter. New Jack has killed people. New Jack has also done amazing story-lines in racist Southern towns where he had to be protected by the local police. New Jack is also very wise, street smart, and damn funny.

What podcasts are you fond of? Any suggestions for good listening that can insulate you from the mouth-breathing troglodytes and their antics on public transportation?


balitwilight said...

Some good podcasts as well...
The Majority Report
This is Hell
Best of the Left
The Jimmy Dore Show

Filmspotting SVU (reviews movies available to stream on Netflix...)
Little Atoms
Quirks and Quarks

drspittle said...

Elvis Mitchell's The Treatment, in which he interviews writers and directors about their process. I love Maron. I plan to start my own podcast this year.

chauncey devega said...

I didn't know Mitchell had a show. Got to check it out. What is the theme of your show going to be?

chauncey devega said...

Lots of suggestions. What are the broad themes of those shows?

drspittle said...

I read about his show on Jim Wolcott's blog. Mine will be comedy. I've written a play which is a satire of politics and culture called "The God Blog", which was performed at my local Fringe Festival a few years back. I want to expand it and perform it on the radio as a pod cast. My dad wrote his own comedy for his radio show, in a career that spanned over 60 years so I'm a radio brat and love the genre. I'm having "issues" with getting my studio set up at home (translation" I'm a helpless technohobe). Also too, can be lazy and paralyzed by fear.

Werner Herzog's Bear said...

I told you about the 7 hour Conan the Barbarian episode of The Projection Booth, if you haven't checked it out, you must. Based on your interests Star Wars Minute might be up your alley, although I get the feeling you are more knowledgable on that subject than the hosts are. The Flop House and We Hate Movies are good for podcasts riffing on bad movies.

balitwilight said...

Good question... post now edited with brief descriptions of each podcast..

Buddy H said...

Harry Shearer's "Le Show"


OldPolarBear said...

I wonder if your students would sit still for a performance of Marx in Soho? (intro is I suppose worthwhile but rather dry; actual performance begins about 6:45 in). I have not seen the whole thing but have found bits of it very funny as well as informative.

As for podcasts. A few posts back, I mentioned Derrick Jensen and the draft of one of his books I had been reading (he posts prepublished work for subscribers to his Reading Club. He does a weekly interview for PRN Radio. I guess they are sort of like podcasts? He mostly focuses on environmentalism, but had an interesting one on pornography a few weeks ago. The interviewee, Gail Dines, is pretty strident, but makes some good points and provides food for thought. Another interesting one was with <a href="http://resistanceradioprn.podbean.com/e/resistance-radio-rachel-moran-013015/>Rachel Moran, and Irish anti-prostitution activist</a>. Jensen is not everybody's cup of tea, but he is definitely thought-provoking.

Christophe said...

I listen* to these (and many more):
Black Agenda Report: Glen Ford and guests. Gives the news from a distinct Black left perspective. They discuss issues related to race in America, international politics and history.

CounterSpin: This is the podcast to Fair.org a watchdog for fairness and accuracy in reporting. This show is only 30 minutes long and offers different perspectives on current news. I highly recommend it. it's short, concise and highly informative.

occasionally I also listen to the C.O.W.S (context of white supremacy), TWIB! (This week in Blackness), The Jalen Rose report, NPR fresh air, The Combat Jack show, The Black guy who tips, and the Joe Rogan Experience.

*Female voices are direly needed in my selection

kokanee said...

My poscast app has the following:
- Black Agenda Report (Glen Ford - lefty)
- Belabored (Sarah Jaffe - labor)
- Project Censored (anti-mainstream news)
- Unauthorized Disclosure (Kevin Gosztola & Rania Kalek - lefty)
- Democracy Now (anti-war, equal rights)
- Truthdig radio
- The Chauncey DeVega Show
- Economic Update (Richard Wolff - socialist)

And I listen to your old pal Joshua Holland sometimes - He's right on Israel and the Republicans but he's wrong, imho, on the Democrats):

chauncey devega said...

Lord. You listen to that COWS show. Noise has routinely been used as torture. How do you manage to survive that mess?

Joe Rogan's excuse-making for racism turned me off to him...which is too bad, I liked some of his shows.

I will check out CounterSpin.

chauncey devega said...

The best way to conquer being paralyzed by fear is just to jump right in. What is the worst that can happen?

Christophe said...

Actually I have only downloaded one or two episodes of COWS since the summer. There's something I don't get about the show.
Just started listening to Rogan and I haven't heard him speak about race yet. Speaking of noise as torture, I occasionally listen to The Champs w. Neal Brennan. His racist views are rather stunning. I have actually contemplated a Youtube channel where I would expose his subtle, and often blatantly, racist views. But I would have to listen to his old shows.

drspittle said...

You are absolutely right. Thanks! I needed that!

OldPolarBear said...

I had never heard of the COWS thing, but now you've got me curious and I will have to check it out.

Also, this maybe is kind of bad, but I was on a Tommy Sotomayor kick for a while. I was watching his videos every chance I got. He has that strange mix of saying sensible stuff and then suddenly he is of on something really awful. I haven't checked him out for a while though.

kokanee said...

I've come to the conclusion that all conservative doctrine is either lies, propaganda or spin as a cover for "more for the rich and less for everyone else."

Usually, what they want is exactly the opposite of what they say. For example, "right to work" legislation is anti-labor and the Internet Freedom Bill is anything but.

chauncey devega said...

As you likely know I was on COWS. The host and his callers are truly damaged by white supremacy. The host actually refused to post the show in the archives because I refused to play his game. Was tedious and torturous an experience. I wonder why anyone would go on that show. I learned my lesson about doing thorough research.

Christophe said...

I had no idea you were on cows. I read your articles on alternet and it took me several months to find this site. I thought you posted under an alias. So much for being tech savvy. Though I found your cows interview so there's hope...

gordon_gartrelle said...

The Combat Jack Show. He mostly interviews hip hop legends & a few new folks, but he also interviewed, for instance, Raymond Santana of the Central Park Five.