NEM Ep 49: Scott McCaughey Minus 5 Plus Young Fresh Fellows Equals Magic

Scott established himself fronting Seattle’s Young Fresh Fellows starting in 1981, then around 1994 joined R.E.M. as a recording/touring member and started The Minus 5 with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck.

We discuss The Minus 5’s “In the Ground” from Dungeon Golds (2015), “All the Time” from their Old Liquidator (1995), and “Weymer Never Dies” from their Of Monkees and Men (2016). We conclude by listening to “Another Ten Reasons” by Young Fresh Fellows from Tiempo de Lujo (2012). Intro music: “Two Lives” from their Topsy Turvy (1985). For more information, see minus5.com and youngfreshfellows.net.

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Episode 168: Darwin’s “Origin of Species” (Part One)

On Charles Darwin’s 1859 book, ch. 1–4, 6, and 14. What are the philosophical ramifications of Darwin’s theory of evolution? We go through Darwin’s arguments, compare his views to other theories of evolution like Lamarck’s, and talk about how an evolutionary way of looking at things has influenced philosophers.

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Episode 168: Darwin’s “Origin of Species” (Citizen Edition)

On Charles Darwin’s 1859 book, ch. 1–4, 6, and 14. What are the philosophical ramifications of Darwin’s theory of evolution? We go through Darwin’s arguments, compare his views to other theories of evolution like Lamarck’s, and talk about how an evolutionary way of looking at things has influenced philosophers.

End song: “I Live” by Jason Falkner, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #47.

Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Part Two)

Continuing on David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), with guest Stephen West. We get further into what’s wrong with the design argument and why Hume thinks that it’s merely a verbal dispute whether we want to say that God designed the orderly universe or just say that the universe is orderly. Also, the problem of evil!

Listen to part 1 first, or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: “Shittalkers” by Ken Stringfellow, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 39.

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NEM #48: Thalia Zedek’s Slow Burn Memory Games

Most famous for her ’90s Boston grunge band Come, Thalia has since 2001 put out six albums and some EPs, with a stripped-down yet not acoustic sound that makes good use of her low, smoky voice and tasteful electric guitar, often accompanied by viola and/or piano with prominent drums.

We discuss “Northwest Branch” by The Thalia Zedek Band from Eve (2016); opening music is “Afloat,” also from that album. We then cover “Desanctified (Full Circle)” from Been Here and Gone (2001) and “Hell is in Hello” from Trust Not Those in Whom Without Some Touch of Madness (2004). End song: “Regatta” from the self-titled debut album (2016) by a collaboration called E.

Learn more at thaliazedek.bandcamp.com and Thalia’s Facebook page. Hear bonus audio for this episode by supporting NEM at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic or through a a PEL podcast network membership.

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Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Part One)

On David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). How should the scientifically minded argue for God’s existence? Is the order and complexity of nature enough to prove an infinite God of the traditional sort? With guest Stephen West.

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Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Philosophize This! Crossover) (Citizen Edition)

On David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). How would a scientifically minded person argue for the existence of God?

In Hume’s dialogue, a character named Cleanthes argues from this point of view for God’s existence based on the complexity and order apparent in nature: It looks designed. But how good is that argument, and is it enough to prove an infinite God of the traditional sort? With guest Stephen West.

End song: “Here Comes the Flood” by The Security Project. Listen to Mark’s interview with Trey Gunn on Nakedly Examined Music #21.

Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Part Two)

Concluding on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) and Tractatus Politicus (1677).

What’s the relationship between ethics, reason, and revelation? What could “faith” possibly mean to a hard-core rationalist like Spinoza? Is it possible to buy into the non-denominational “true religion” without believing any of the dogmas of traditional religion at all? And what kinds of limits on free speech is Spinoza committed to?

Continued from part one, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: “Shittalkers” by Ken Stringfellow, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 39.

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NEM #47: Jason Falkner: Mid-Fi One-Man Moments

After stints with The Three O’Clock and Jellyfish, Jason co-fronted The Grays and then worked solo, also playing with Beck, Aimee Mann, Paul McCartney, etc. and acting as one-man-backing-band/producer for other artists.

Songs: “Sincero Amore” and (ending with) “Horror Show” from Make It Be (2017) with R. Stevie Moore, “The Lie in Me” from All Quiet on the Noise Floor (2009), and “Both Belong,” by The Grays from Ro Sham Bo (1994). We conclude by listening to “Horror Show,” also from Make It Be. Opening music: “I Live” from Jason Falkner Presents Author Unknown (1996). For more, see jasonfalkner.com.

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Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Part One)

On Benedict de Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 12–20 and the Tractatus Politicus (1677).

What’s the relationship between ethics and political power? Given that religious factions tend to create strife, what’s the optimal role of the government in mitigating that damage? Is theocracy in any way a good idea?

Don’t wait for the rest of the discussion! Get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition right now.

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Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Citizen Edition)

On Benedict de Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 12–20 and the Tractatus Politicus (1677).

What’s the relationship between ethics and political power? Given that religious factions tend to create strife, what’s the optimal role of the government in mitigating that damage? Is theocracy in any way a good idea?

End song: “Shittalkers” by Ken Stringfellow, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 39.

Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Part Two)

Continuing on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11. We go more into natural laws vs. ordinances; does it make sense to say that God makes rules for people? Also, how does Spinoza deal with alleged miracles given that natural laws are absolute regularities?

Continued from part 1, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

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NEM #46: Chandler Travis: Strongman of North America

Chandler was a comedian in the ’70s, launched a rock group in the ’80s, and has released dozens of albums, fronting multiple bands at a time.

We discuss “The Strongman of North America” by The Chandler Travis Philharmonic from Waving Kissyhead Vol. 2 & 1 (2017), “The Crutch of Music” by the Catbirds from Catbirds Say Yeah (2012), and “Fluffy” by the Philharmonic from Llama Rhymes (2003). We conclude by listening to another Kissyhead track, “By the Way.” Opening music: “Long As You Have Somebody Else” by The Incredible Casuals from That’s That (1987). For more, see chandlertravis.com.

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Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Part One)

On Benedict de Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11.

For Spinoza, the Bible was a political issue, and he was interested in a way to read it that didn’t lead to people fighting wars and persecuting each other. Spinoza argues that a respectful reading is one that looks for the central message and doesn’t paper over many places where the text was tailored to its original audience’s prejudices, or where for historical reasons we can’t now really know what it meant to them.

Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Citizen Edition)

On Benedict de Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11.

For Spinoza, the Bible was a political issue, and he was interested in a way to read it that didn’t lead to people fighting wars and persecuting each other. Spinoza argues that a respectful reading is one that looks for the central message and doesn’t paper over many places where the text was tailored to its original audience’s prejudices, or where for historical reasons we can’t now really know what it meant to them.

End song: “Spinoza’s Dream” (2016) by Dave Nachmanoff, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 20.

REISSUE-Ep. 24: Spinoza on God and Metaphysics

Discussing Spinoza’s Ethics (1677), books 1 and 2. God is everything, therefore the world is God as apprehended through some particular attributes, namely insofar as one of his aspects is infinite space (extension, i.e. matter) and insofar as one of his aspects is mind (our minds being chunks or “modes” of the big God mind). A 2010 discussion with a new intro by Dylan and Mark.

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Nakedly Examined Music: Steve Hackett, Nik Kershaw, Ken Stringfellow, Robbie Fulks

PEL Network crossover magic, featuring clips (a full song plus explanation) from four recent episodes of Mark’s other podcast. Hear the full episodes and many more at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com. Steve was the guitarist for Genesis in the 70s, Nik wrote 80s hits like “Wouldn’t It Be Good,” Ken played with The Posies, Big Star, and R.E.M., and Robbie will change the way you think about country music. Read the NEM FAQ.