Wed, 31 December 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the final Blerd Radio podcast of 2014!
Anyway, picking up where we left off on Part One, the panel wanders through the highlights and lowlights of pop culture in 2014, including:
-The return of Prince, which elicits a massive yawn from super-huge Prince fan Dr. Z
-He also gives a thumbs-up to the small screen's Mike Tyson Mysteries
-The panel shakes its collective head at the ongoing Bill Cosby saga, one of the weirdest WTF episodes of 2014.
-We say goodbye to Philip Seymour Hoffman & Robin Williams.
A few 2014-wrapping round robins commence:
-Best Concert of 2014, in which we give props to Stevie Wonder, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Living Colour and the late Ian McLagan.
-The "Person of the Year" category leads to a discussion on the recent civil unrest in the U.S. as well as brief chats about the state of the modern music industry.
-Most anticipated Kany...uh, album of 2015.
(also: new albums from Chic, Kendrick Lamar, The Decemberists and Giorgio Moroder get mentioned)
And, finally, the panel picks their three favorite albums of the year-this part of the discussion cuts a swath through The Afghan Whigs, Julian Velard, Big K.R.I.T., Flying Lotus, Big Freedia, White Lung, The Gotobeds and more.
The Blerd Radio Team thanks you all for listening and subscribing. Wait till you see what we have in store for 2015! Happy New Year!
Sun, 21 December 2014
Ladies and gentlemen!
Welcome to The Blerd Radio team's 2014 wrap-up; or at least the first part of it. True to form, we gabbed so much we had to split the episode in two; lest we be responsible for your being glued to the computer for two hours plus.
-D'Angelo: Black Messiah came out on the day we recorded this podcast, and the surprise release was heavy on everyone's mind.
-The biggest-selling albums of 2014, including the Frozen soundtrack, Taylor Swift's 1989, and Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour. We discuss Taylor's ubiquity and business smarts and question how involved she is in the construction of her music, while wondering if British pop can give us something a little less beige than Mr. Smith.
-Is there still hope for pop music? Betty Who? comes up in conversation as a non-cookie cutter pop artist that might break here in the U.S.
-Jeff Giles, friend, occasional Popblerd contributor, media Grand Poobah, introducer of Ariana Grande.
-The panel imagines Cunningham as a rebellious prep school girl (after he expresses a taste for Lana Del Rey.)
-Why does Ryan Tedder poison everything he touches, and why is he so damn popular?
-Cultural appropriation at its worst-personified by one Iggy Azalea.
-The U2 Songs Of Innocence/iTunes fiasco. Is Bono the white Kanye? (or, is Kanye the Black Bono) Also, how much disbelief do we have to suspend in order to imagine that Rolling Stone's voting of Innocence as the best album of 2014 wasn't an example of the Old Boys Network at its best?
Give this podcast a listen in the player below, or direct download it at this link.
You can also download/listen on Ye Olde iTunes!
Wed, 10 December 2014
One thing we didn't properly cover on our 1989 podcast from earlier this year was director Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. Over the course of many conversations, the Blerd Radio team (myself, Michael Parr, Cunningham The Packet Man and Dr. Z) discussed dedicating an entire episode to Do The Right Thing specifically, or doing an episode on Spike's oeuvre.
Then Ferguson happened. Then Cleveland happened. Then Staten Island happened. And it seemed like the most obvious (and timely) thing to do from a pop culture perspective was to talk about Do The Right Thing and how prescient the movie seems in light of current events.
We all knew going in that discussing the movie was going to lead into a greater discussion about things like race, police brutality and the general state of this country. Any time you get four passionate people in a room together (as "virtual" as this room may have been,) you're going to get an interesting discussion. What we ended up with is , to my ears, one of the best podcast episodes we've ever done.
Yes, we talk about the film at length. If you've never seen Do The Right Thing and you've been curious (and trust our opinions) , you'll hopefully find plenty to enjoy over the course of 90 minutes. It is a tremendously important movie for a variety of reasons. It was the magnum opus of a critically acclaimed screenwriter and director, it was the film debut (or an early-career screen turn) for a number of soon-to-be superstars like Samuel Jackson, Danny Aiello, Rosie Perez, Jon Turturro and Martin Lawrence, it was beautifully shot, it contains great music and it's a compelling story. We cover all of that. And, as befitting a film that's probably more comedy than drama, there are plenty of light moments throughout the podcast.
We also wind up having the sort of discussion that great film should provoke. It's not always an easy, or comfortable discussion (and I'd like to think that we handled it pretty smoothly given our disparate backgrounds) but it's an important one. And in this case, hopefully an entertaining one.