Saturday, March 02, 2013

Podcasts of the Week

OK, "podcasts of the week" has turned into "podcasts of the year" because that is just about the frequency with which I post.  Sorry about that.

Some of you might have heard about the documentary that musician Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) made about a famous recording studio in LA called Sound City.  Many classic 70's, 80's and 90's artists recorded there, including Nirvana (the iconic Nevermind).  This studio was closing and Grohl saw it as symbolic of the passing of a generation of music.  He purchased its one-of-a-kind custom-made sound board, interviewed many of the artists (Neil Young, Cheap Trick, Rick Springfield, Stevie Nicks, etc)  that used it, and made some new music on that board with those artists   And he documented the whole thing.  What transpires is a great rock documentary.  Here's a bit more about the documentary:  Sound City.

In this podcast interview with Nerdist, Grohl talks about Sound City, but also just about everything else.  It's nostalgic and funny, irreverently so as is often the case with Nerdist.  It might not be safe for listening to at work for that reason.  Here's the podcast:  Dave Grohl on Nerdist

For another great Nerdist podcast, also check out this one with Tom Morello, political activist and guitarist with Rage Against the Machine.  Morello is one of my heroes for his music, his erudition and his political beliefs.  Tom Morello on Nerdist.

And, finally, I'd like to recommend an NPR interview with Tony Kushner, screenwriter for Lincoln.  I liked Lincoln a lot, more so than my wife and kid.  And for the very reasons that they didn't like it ... the political "wheeling and dealing" minutiae.  What makes that political banter so enjoyable are the words of Tony Kushner and the great actors speaking those words.  Kushner is a great writer, known for Angels in America and Munich, and this interview gets into the process of how he wrote it and how he helped to convince the sublime Daniel Day Lewis to act in the movie.

I've just recently started working through all of the episodes of The West Wing on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I'm not exactly sure why I never watched this show before, perhaps a combination of timing and receptiveness to the subject matter.  I'm about halfway through season 1.  It's become obvious to me that I'm an idiot and deprived myself of a remarkable show.  Aaron Sorkin's remarkable writing is in full force here.  Even though the episodes that I'm watching are almost 15 years old, the topics could be about today ... gun control and budget battles.  Why I bring this up is that the oratorical style of the main character, Josiah Bartlet - played by Martin Sheen, involves frequent folksy story-telling to illustrate a political or moral point.  Though often met with grins and rolling eyes by those present, the stories make their point.  This style is exactly how Abraham Lincoln, as portrayed by Lewis, directed by Spielberg, and written by Kushner, makes his political points.  There's a lot of Lincoln in Bartlet, perhaps intentionally so.  Do yourself a favor and check out the Kushner interview here:  Kushner's 'Lincoln' is Strange, but also Savvy.  And why you are at it, watch The West Wing.


wunelle said...

Excellent recommendations. The Dave Grohl thing sounds especially interesting, and I loved Lincoln and feel like I could stand more of the same. I also never watched the West Wing, part because of my knee-jerk antipathy to television (I DO watch some TV series, but usually only after they've been vetted by the passage of time--WW qualifies at this point!) and because I've had a rather hit-and-miss relationship to series like this.

On your recommend, I'll take a look. Maybe a good thing to collect.

dbackdad said...

I'm like you on TV. There are a lot of shows that I've heard were really good over the years but I resisted because they were TV and thus something that you need to dedicate time to. Watching a whole season/series rapid-fire changes that quite a bit for me. I might even get around to things like Mad Men or Breaking Bad.

wunelle said...

Both series about which I've heard great things. I actually have the first couple seasons of Mad Men (from China) but have only watched the first couple episodes. Susan and I are going cable-free in the new house, so we may go to these series (on DVD or Hulu) for our "community watching." (Currently that genre has mostly cooking shows!)