KCRW's The Organist The Organist podcast is a monthly experimental arts-and-culture program hosted and distributed by KCRW. Edited by the award-winning monthly magazine, Believer, published in San Francisco by McSweeney's, it includes reported stories, interviews, comic radio drama, reviews, and more. The scope of the podcast reflects that of the print edition: its contributors take a thoughtful approach to pop culture, along with an irreverent attitude toward the highbrow. From philosophy to daytime TV, from poetry to martial arts, the show scrutinizes and interrogates the world with an affectionate and rigorous intelligence. Pieces from the podcast grow out of stories in the magazine, and vice versa. Weaving together the voices of its contributors, which include the brightest talents in literature and the arts, The Organist is an elegant, impressionistic, funny, and sharp cultural magazine that itself becomes an object of inquiry, discussion, and wonder. The program is hosted by Andrew Leland and produced by Ross Simonini.
KCRW's The Organist

KCRW's The Organist

From KCRW

The Organist podcast is a monthly experimental arts-and-culture program hosted and distributed by KCRW. Edited by the award-winning monthly magazine, Believer, published in San Francisco by McSweeney's, it includes reported stories, interviews, comic radio drama, reviews, and more. The scope of the podcast reflects that of the print edition: its contributors take a thoughtful approach to pop culture, along with an irreverent attitude toward the highbrow. From philosophy to daytime TV, from poetry to martial arts, the show scrutinizes and interrogates the world with an affectionate and rigorous intelligence. Pieces from the podcast grow out of stories in the magazine, and vice versa. Weaving together the voices of its contributors, which include the brightest talents in literature and the arts, The Organist is an elegant, impressionistic, funny, and sharp cultural magazine that itself becomes an object of inquiry, discussion, and wonder. The program is hosted by Andrew Leland and produced by Ross Simonini.More from KCRW's The Organist »

Most Recent Episodes

The Voice of God

Actor and writer Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World), and voice-over master Peter Coyote (Ken Burns' documentaries, including The Vietnam War) describe voices from heaven, hell, and everywhere in...

The Organist returns Thursday

From KCRW and McSweeney's, the Organist returns with its fifth season on July 12!

Bonus: Neighborhood Secret

New Edition was an unlikely boy-band from Boston that launched Bobby Brown's career and incubated the smooth 90s R&B of Bell Biv DeVoe.

Antigonick

Antigone is one of the most widely performed plays in the world. Poet Anne Carson's experimental translation of Sophocles' tragedy incorporates 2,500 years of its performance and interpretation. The play's emotional core persists even as we view Antigone through all of the ways she has been viewed and used throughout her history.

How to Be in Two Places at Once: The Firesign Theatre in the US and Vietnam

Four comedians trained in poetry and psy-ops, Firesign Theatre created dense, album-length art-objects that could take multiple spins to understand. Comedy in the form of abrasive soundscapes that reviewers were as likely to call "frightening" as "funny." This week, we explore how these albums were heard: in groups, at teenage house parties, in poet John Ashbery's pot smoke-filled living room, and on military bases in Vietnam.

How to Be in Two Places at Once: The Firesign Theatre in the US and Vietnam

The Gospel of Ndegeocello

Meshell Ndegeocello's debut album kicked off the era of neo-soul, inspiring Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and D'Angelo. Twenty-three years later, Ndegeocello is still making art, but she's expanded her medium with a new project that's part theater, part church revival, with an unexpected saint at its center.

A 700-Foot Mountain of Whipped Cream

From in utero to the studio, Clive Desmond gives us a history of the golden age of radio ads, featuring Frank Zappa, Ken Nordine, Linda Ronstadt, and Randy Newman. While the 1960s shift in print and TV advertising has been heavily documented and mythologized by Mad Men, Madison Avenue's radiophonic collision with the counterculture is less well known. Here, in Clive's private tour, each jingle becomes a Proustian madeleine.

The Ideological Organ

In Stockholm, an organist plays hymns in a cathedral; at night, he sleeps in a makeshift recording studio in the cathedral's basement where he composes otherworldly electronic music based on a Hungarian translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Incense, Sweaters, and Altadena: An Interview with Martine Syms

Fresh off her first solo show at the MoMA, Martine Syms talks with the Organist about how growing up in Altadena, a red-lined suburb of Los Angeles led to her fascination with DIY culture and conceptual art. Syms draws inspiration from both famed furniture designer Charles Eames and the Ten-Point Program of the Black Panthers as she pushes herself to continually experiment in new media and new forms.

Incense, Sweaters, and Altadena: An Interview with Martine Syms

Appendix: Still Not Dotcoms

At last! An unobstructed view of the internet's lacunae: Brian McMullen reads his Still Not Dotcoms, an epic catalog of one thousand unclaimed URLs, in its totality.

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