The Culture Gabfest is the one and only podcast that I never skip an episode of. Ever. The strange thing is, there’s really not anything all that special about. It’s three people (usually Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stephens, and Julia Turner) sitting around chatting about pop culture (but, please, let’s not confuse this with celebrity gossip which I have zero interest in). They usually cover a new movie release in each episode as well as some other current culture event (recent topics include the rise of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” the legacy of Dear Abby, and the new Vine app). They always end the show with endorsements–pop culture-y things that they’re currently into, like books, songs, and TV shows. Endorsements are not necessarily “new” things (Julia endorsed the early episodes of Law & Order recently), but I frequently get turned on to something new-to-me, and I like that.
I guess if I had to pin down what it is that I like so much about Culture Gabfest, I’d say it’s that it seems agenda-less and honest, and the three people are different enough that they have often have conflicting opinions and viewpoints. So it’s not just a bunch of culture snobs sitting around being highbrow and obnoxious. Or maybe I just like the way Stephen Metcalf says “Alright” (listen to 14:28 – 14:38 of this episode to hear it twice).
You can subscribe to the Culture Gabfest via iTunes or listen on Slate’s website here.
*I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts. Because I love to learn. Because it’s a medium unlike any other. And, mostly, because there are so many good stories being told through audio. Worth a Listen is my way of sharing things I’ve found that struck me as particularly thoughtful, or funny, or moving, or just…worth a listen. If you’ve heard something recently that’s sticking with you, please share!*