NEM#107: Barry Andrews (Shriekback): Objectifications of Groove

Barry started in ’77 playing keys with XTC and after two albums started his own band Shriekback in ’81, with whom he’s had 14 releases plus some solo albums. He’s known for inventive soundscapes placed over solid grooves and philosophical lyrics delivered in a low chant.

We discuss three Shriekback tunes: “Such, Such Are the Joys” from Why Anything? Why This? (2018), “Amaryllis in the Sprawl” from Glory Bumps (2007), and “Stimulate the Beaded Hamster”/”Pond Life” from Naked Apes and Pond Life (2000). We conclude by listening to a solo tune, “Virgin of the Ladder” by Barry Andrews from Contaminated Pop (2019). Intro: “Nemesis” from Oil & Gold (1985). For more, see shriekback.com.

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Pretty Much Pop #14: UFOs on TV with Investigative Journalist Paul Beban

TV news reporter Paul Beban (ABC, Al Jazeera, Yahoo, and now featured on the Discovery Network’s Contact) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the appeal of UFO narratives. Do you have to believe to be entertained? What’s the connection to humor, religion, and anti-government venom?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

Ep. 227: What Is Social Construction? (Hacking, Berger) (Part One)

On Ian Hacking’s The Social Construction of What (1999) and Peter Berger’s “Religion and World Construction” (1967).

Guest Coleman Hughes from Dilemma joins us to survey the types of social construction arguments: the “culture wars” (e.g., race, gender) and the “science wars” (scientific findings are not read off the world but emerge from history). Something can be constructed, yet still be an objective truth we have to deal with.

Don’t wait for part two; get the full, ad free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

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Ep. 227: What Is Social Construction? (Hacking, Berger) (Citizen Edition)

On Ian Hacking’s The Social Construction of What (1999) and Peter Berger’s “Religion and World Construction” (1967).

Guest Coleman Hughes from Dilemma joins us to survey the types of social construction arguments: the “culture wars” (e.g., race, gender) and the “science wars” (scientific findings are not read off the world but emerge from history). Something can be constructed, yet still be an objective truth we have to deal with.

End song: “The ConstruKction of Light, Part 1” by King Crimson; listen to Mark with Trey Gunn on Nakedly Examined Music #21.

NEM#106: John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions/Man Forever): Heavy Meditations

John founded the Brooklyn space-rock cooperative Oneida in the mid 90s and has put out 13 albums with them plus four as his solo project Man Forever and several others as collaborations or as Kid Millions.

We discuss two tracks by Man Forever from Play What They Want (2017): “You Were Never Here” and “Twin Torches” (feat. Laurie Anderson), then Oneida’s “All in Due Time” from Romance (2018), and listen  to “Nine Years of Facing a Wall” by Fox Millions Duo from Biting Through (2019). Intro: “Sheets of Easter” by Oneida from Each One Teach One (2002). For more, see johnwilliamcolpitts.com.

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Pretty Much Pop #13: TV Revivals Revived!

Revivals (not to be confused with reboots) can bring us back to the comfort of old friends, who are now really old. But is reviving a show really ever a good idea? Mark, Erica, and Brian consider some successes, failures, and hypotheticals.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

Ep. 226: Francis Bacon Invents Science (Part Two)

Continuing on Sir Francis Bacon’s New Organon (1620).

We cover more of Bacon’s “idols” and how Bacon divides religion from science (and what this means politically). We then move on to book 2, including Bacon’s novel update of the term “form,” and take a look at Bacon’s method of doing science by filling out tables before actually doing experiments.

Start with part one or get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL, like, get Patreon’s feed for a mere $1/month.

End song: “Stuck in a Cave” by Chrome Cranks; hear Mark talk to singer/songwriter Peter Aaron on Nakedly Examined Music #93.

Sponsor: Get three months of unlimited access to The Great Courses Plus at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.

Pretty Much Pop #12: Once Upon a Tarantino Film (feat. Wes!)

Wes Alwan joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood in the context of Tarantino’s other films. We consider T’s strange sense of pacing, his comic violence, his historical revisionism, and casting choices. Is this a brilliant film or a fundamentally misguided idea badly in need of an editor?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

Ep. 226: Francis Bacon Invents Science (Part One)

On Sir Francis Bacon’s New Organon (1620).

Bacon claims to have developed a new toolset that will open up nature to inquiry in a way that wasn’t possible for ancient and modern natural philosophy.

Mark, Wes, and Dylan consider how much what Bacon describes resembles modern scientific method, talk through Bacon’s “four idols” that interfere with impartial inquiry, and consider how Bacon’s method fits in with his larger political-ethical-religious views.

Don’t wait for part two; get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Ep. 226: Francis Bacon Invents Science (Citizen Edition)

On Sir Francis Bacon’s New Organon (1620).

Bacon claims to have developed a new toolset that will open up nature to inquiry in a way that wasn’t possible for ancient and modern natural philosophy. Mark, Wes, and Dylan consider how much what Bacon describes resembles modern scientific method, talk through Bacon’s “four idols” that interfere with impartial inquiry, and consider how Bacon’s method fits in with his larger political-ethical-religious views.

End song: “Stuck in a Cave” by Chrome Cranks; hear Mark talk to Peter Aaron on Nakedly Examined Music #93.

NEM#105: Wayne Hussey (The Mission): Salad Daze to Mission Accomplished

Wayne started in the late 70s, was on the first Dead or Alive Album, made his name as guitarist for The Sisters of Mercy’s first full album, then led The Mission UK from 1986 through 11 albums plus two solo albums and some collaborations.

We discuss “Wither on the Vine” from Songs of Candlelight & Razorblades (2014), then two Mission songs: “Phantom Pain” from Another Fall from Grace (2016) and “Tower of Strength” from Children (1987). We conclude by listening to a 2016 solo single “My Love Will Protect You.” Intro/outro: “Marian” by Sisters of Mercy from First and Last and Always (1985). For more, visit themissionuk.com.

Sponsors: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for $30 off a MasterClass All-Access Pass. Check out Mark’s new multimedia podcast at prettymuchpop.com.

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Pretty Much Pop #11: The Live Music Experience

Dave Hamilton (from Gig Gab) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to weigh concert-going (and theater-going) against the technological alternatives. Why are tickets so pricey? Do tribute bands fulfill our needs? Should audiences ideally be on drugs? These are but a few of the questions we breeze through.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is curated by openculture.com.

Ep. 225: Simone Weil on War and Oppression (Part Two)

Continuing on Simone Weil’s essays “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force” (1939) and “Analysis of Oppression” (1934) with guest Corey Mohler.

We talk about the self-contradictions of power, why oppression and war are so intractable, and her positive solution (what there is of it here). Weil cuts through our left-right political dichotomy in a way that might interest you. Plus, why the Iliad is so great.

Start with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: “Throw Down the Sword” from Wishbone Ash; hear Andy Powell on Nakedly Examined Music #51.

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Ep. 225: Simone Weil on War and Oppression (Part One)

On Simone Weil’s essays “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force” (1939) and “Analysis of Oppression” (1934).

How do circumstances oppress and dehumanize us? Weil describes the mechanisms that keep people at war and maintain oppression even through revolutions as inherent to the logic of power. With guest Corey Mohler.

Don’t wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Ep. 225: Simone Weil on War and Oppression (Citizen Edition)

On Simone Weil’s essays “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force” (1939) and “Analysis of Oppression” (1934).

How do circumstances oppress and dehumanize us? Weil describes the mechanisms that keep people at war and maintain oppression even through revolutions as inherent to the logic of power. With guest Corey Mohler.

End song: “Throw Down the Sword” from Wishbone Ash; hear Andy Powell on Nakedly Examined Music #51.

NEM#104: Dave Schramm: The Return of the Schramms

Dave was the original guitarist for Yo La Tengo in the mid ’80s and left to lead The Schramms for six albums plus two solo albums while being an in-demand guitarist supporting artists like Freedy Johnston, Richard Buckner, Kate Jacobs, and Chris Stamey.

We discuss three Schramms songs, “Faith is a Dusty Word” from Omnidirectional (2019), “I’ll Believe” from 100 Questions (2000), and “Wild Innocence” from Dizzy Spell (1996), and conclude by listening to another Omnidirectional tune, “The Day When.” Intro: “The Way Some People Die” from Walk to Delphi (1989). For more info, see theschramms.com.

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Pretty Much Pop #9: Cartoons with Dee Bradley Baker (from Clone Wars, American Dad)

Are cartoons an inherently juvenile art form? A guilty pleasure when viewed by adults? Dee, whose voice can be heard in substantial portion of today’s cartoons (especially animal/monster noises like Boots in the new big-screen adaptation of Dora the Explorer or Momo and Appa in The Last Airbender), defends cartoons as providing primal delights of humor, justice, and narrative meaning.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Ep. 224: Kierkegaard Critiques the Present Age (Part Two)

Continuing on “The Present Age” (1846), plus Hubert Dreyfus’s “Nihilism on the Information Highway: Anonymity vs. Commitment in the Present Age” (2004) with guest John Ganz.

Does K’s critique actually apply to our present age? We address K’s view of humor, romance, authenticity, actual community vs. “the public,” the leveling that occurs without anyone specific actually doing it, and the virtue of silence.

Start with part one or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: “Wry Observer” by Aaron David Gleason, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #71.

Sponsor: Get three months of unlimited access to The Great Courses Plus at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.

Pretty Much Pop #8: Spider-Man: Far From Home (and Elsewhere)

Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss the function of super-hero films and how this new one fits in. Do we need “realism” in such stories? When does a premise like this get too old to keep recycling?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.