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Making podcasts skimmable since February 2018. 
#4 ·March 9, 2018 · By Michael Yessis

10 Pod Takes

1) “I, for one, am very excited to stay at the Trump Pyongyang.”

Pod Save America: “Give Ruth a Break.” (LIVE from Houston, March 9 (6:05)

  • Jon Lovett senses a motive in President Trump’s acceptance of Kim Jong Un’s invitation to talk.   


2) “We all need to cultivate a more relaxed attitude about what we’re eating.”

The Sporkful: Why Won’t Anyone Invite Michael Pollan To Dinner?, March 5 (4:45)

  • Says Pollan, who is indeed the same man who says don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

  • Invite him to dinner, though, and he promises he won’t ask you the provenance of your eggs.


3) “When your life's at stake, it's easy to do research.”

Deviate With Rolf Potts: Adventure writer Tim Cahill on fear, and what it’s like to be dead for ten minutes, March 6 (15:55)

  • Cahill, the “godfather of literary outdoor journalism,” riffs on his motivations and his near-death experience in the Grand Canyon.


4) “The kids are born with information warfare in their DNA.”

The Bill Simmons Podcast: The “Infocalypse,” Conspiracies, and the Future of the Internet With BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel (Ep. 334), March 5 (25:27)

  • Says Warzel, analyzing the social media response of the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting vs. trolls.

  • Warzel focuses on the internet’s evolution. Prevailing thought: It’s gonna get dark. Much darker. 


5) “They hate us. They really hate us.”

Recode Decode: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg on techlash and #MeToo, March 7 (10:48)

  • That’s host Kara Swisher, with her take on Americans’ current attitude toward tech companies.

  • She and Sandberg talk Facebook and #MeToo at the Lesbians Who Tech summit.


6) “The Presidency didn't break him.”

“And he didn’t break the country.”

Still Processing: We Paint the Town Obama, March 8 (24:36)

  • Takes from Jenna Wortham (quote #1) and Wesley Morris (quote #2) upon seeing President Barack Obama’s portrait at D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery.

  • The pair recorded in the gallery, beautifully capturing their giddy, raw reactions and their extended analysis of Barack and Michelle’s portraits. A mesmerizing pod.


7) “[It’s] kind of crazy to say it's a crazy story about Josephine Baker, because her whole life is just unimaginable.”

The Nod: Josephine and the Amazing Technicolor Rainbow Tribe, March 5 (1:59)

  • That’s Emanuele Berry, on the entertainer/activist/spy’s attempt to build a “racial utopia” by adopting kids from multiple races and bringing them home to a 16th century French chateau.


8) “Love is a verb, and not a noun.”

This Movie Changed Me: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, March 6 (21:35)

  • Says Chaitanya Kumar, about lessons learned from the 50 times (!) he’s seen “Eternal Sunshine.”


9) “It’s kind of a bummer that only a certain type of dude is being allowed to play with these action figures.”

The Watch: ‘Star Wars’ to TV and ‘The Sopranos’ to the Big Screen, Plus the Shib Sibs, March 8 (6:20)

  • That’s Andy Greenwald’s take on Disney tabbing Jon Favreau to lead the “Star Wars” series for its upcoming streaming service.

  • On the other hand, with Favreau, the opportunity opens up for Greenwald’s slightly off-target “Swingers” joke: “Luke is gonna leave the longest series of voicemails for Leia.”


10) “If those farts are powerful enough to upend a demon, they’re probably going to be potent enough to disturb my competition for nine innings.

The PosCast: PosCast Draft: The Good Place Characters with Mallory Rubin, March 2 (57:15)

  • That’s Rubin, with a reason she made the (obvious) first pick of Good Janet in a draft of characters from “The Good Place.”

  • Good Janet, she suggests, can adopt Bad Janet’s, uh, superpower.

  • A flaw in the hilarious draft: Nobody picked Maya Rudolph’s Judge Gen.  

Go Deep

Eight Degrees of Bruce Springsteen

Celebration Rock: 20th Century Boss, Feb. 12-March 5

Bruce Springsteen “had one of the great runs in rock history” from the mid-70s to the ‘90s, says host Steven Hyden. He and eight musicians dig into The Boss’s 20th century work, in eight episodes that explore Springsteen’s cultural significance and rise. 
  • If you have any romantic ideas of New Jersey (it’s possible!), Bruce probably implanted them, says Hyden.

  • Hyden leads the conversation with a sharp critical eye, but it’s the musicians who lend a fascinating perspective.

  • Musicians Brian Fallon, Jeff Rosenstock, Julien Baker, Patrick Stickles, Phoebe Bridgers, Patterson Hood, John Darnielle and Tim Showalter all share their love.

If you listen to just one: Try Phoebe Bridgers on “Nebraska,” the rawest and most intimate of the releases covered.

  • Hyden places the 1982 album on a continuum with Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes and Bon Iver’s work.

  • Says Bridgers: “One of my favorite things about him as a writer is I feel like the craziest things are the things he leaves in the spaces.”

Spoiler: The best Springsteen album is “Nebraska.”

Go deeper: Hear Marc Maron’s celebrated interview with Springsteen, David Remnick’s New Yorker Radio Hour interview and The Moment’s Brian Koppelman on “Nebraska” on My Favorite Album.

Guest Appearances By...

Achatz, Grant The J.J. Redick Podcast

  • El Bulli made the influential chef feel like he was on Mars

Bosh, Chris The BIll Simmons Podcast

  • Two-parter with two-time NBA champ

Buck, Joe Pardon My Take

Callen, Bryan The Joe Rogan Experience

Carden, D’Arcy Lovett or Leave It

  • “The Good Place” actress plays the woman who’s never heard of Trump

Coe, Tyler Mahan Rockin’ the Suburbs

Eisen, Norm Pod Save America

  • Former Ethics Czar for Obama administration

Finley, Ron Forked Up

  • “Gangsta Gardner” talks changing underserved communities

Flake, Jeff The Axe Files

Gebbia, Joe The Tim Ferriss Show

  • Almost 3 hours with a co-founder of Airbnb

Grann, David The New Yorker Radio Hour

  • Shares his amazing story about Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley

Kennedy, Joe The Ezra Klein Show

  • The Democratic house member from Massachusetts

Kimmel, Jimmy The Bill Simmons Podcast

  • A post-Oscars debrief from the jet ski giver away-er

Mayer, Jane Fresh Air, The New Yorker Radio Hour

Medine, Leandra Skimm’d from The Couch

  • Convo with Man Repeller founder

Miller, Von Pardon My Take

  • Dancing with the Stars contestant/Super Bowl MVP talks football

Nash, Steve Planet Fútbol with Grant Wahl

  • Basketball legend talks about his passion: soccer

Oliver, John Fresh Air

Oprah The Goop Podcast

  • First guest on Gwyneth’s new pod

Oyelowo, David WTF with Marc Maron, Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Reid, Robert This Week in Travel

  • Travel media neglects Russia, says travel writer

Schiff, Adam Stay Tuned with Preet

Scott, Adam Armchair Expert

  • The actor/RU Talkin’ R.E.M. RE: ME? host loves Will Ferrell and Spike Lee

Shields, Kevin All Songs Considered

  • He goes deep about his seminal record with My Bloody Valentine, “Loveless”

Simpson, Sturgill The Joe Rogan Experience

  • Three-hour pod with critics’ fave country artist

Stone, Sharon WTF with Marc Maron

Whitaker, Forest Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air I Am Rapaport

  • He’s got a nuanced take on Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game

Pick From a Podcaster

This week's guest: Matt Elzweig, whose Falling Uphill is “a podcast about ordinary people in unthinkable situations, flying blind and hoping for the best.”

  • Adds Matt: “I made the first episode as a one-off with no specific purpose in mind except to record a friend’s insane job interview story. Then I realized it had a common theme which became the basis for the podcast.”

Matt’s pick:  Happy Hour: “Blend In and Stay Out the Sun”

Happy Hour, a podcast from It’s New Orleans, “is a cocktail-fueled 60 minutes of random conversation with folks who have nothing in common, other than being New Orleanians in a bar.”

  • Matt says: “If you love New Orleans, this podcast is the next best thing to actually being there. Even if you don’t, it brings together the most unlikely of companions and a host who isn’t afraid to push his guests’ buttons to get them talking. The latest features a singer, a lawyer, and a developmental psychologist.”

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Copyright © 2018 Michael Yessis, All rights reserved.

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