Archive for August, 2011

Matt Murdick

Popspotting #119: “Musical Matt” (Sept. 1, 2011)

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Matt Murdick

This week’s “PopTalk & Trivia” guest is Matt Murdick. A renown St. Louis musician and long-time podcaster (from the “Keys to LOST” and “U.S. Whocast” podcasts), he’s now the host of the “Musical Concepts” podcast. You can also find him answering questions and riffing on life over at Vyou.com where he’s posted over 1,300 video responses.

As a perfect followup to yesterday’s life-changing albums, Matt shares three recent musical picks. He then achieves a milestone never before achieved by any previous trivia guest.

You can find Matt on Twitter at @musicalconcepts.

Jen's Top Albums

Popspotting #118: “Life-Changing Albums” (Aug. 31, 2011)

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Jen's Top AlbumsIf you weren’t quite sure, this week’s Wildcard Wednesday should definitively confirm that music countdowns are Jen’s favorite topic.

Though not quite ready to commit to naming her top five albums of all time (a followup to last week’s list on the book side), she shares the five albums that changed her life, and a little of the story behind each. And there’s a wide range of sounds, from classic crooner to hard rock to lush Hawaiian.

We’d love to hear what albums served as the soundtrack to the greatest moments and epiphanies in your life, and of course any embarrassing stories that go with them.

Jen’s picks are:

Sopranos Poster

Popspotting #117: “The Sopranos” (Aug. 30, 2011)

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Sopranos Poster

After yesterday’s discussion of “Goodfellas,” the only natural choice for TV Tuesday had to be HBO’s original series “The Sopranos.” The film shares several actors with the Martin Scorsese masterpiece.

Created by David Chase, the show follows New Jersey Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) as he tries to balance his criminal empire and his personal life. “The Sopranos,” which ran for six seasons and 86 episodes from 1999 through 2007. The ensemble cast included Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Dominic Chianese, Tony Sirico, Steve Van Zandt, and many more.

Goodfellas Poster

Popspotting #116: “Super-Size DeNiro” (Aug. 29, 2011)

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Goodfellas PosterIt’s another movie double feature for Movie Monday, as Jen lines up a couple of three-hour films that star Robert DeNiro.

First up is “Heat,” written and directed by Michael Mann, which also stars Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, and Ashley Judd. (We don’t even get around to Danny Trejo or Natalie Portman, and many other stars.) This stylish cat-and-mouse thriller follows DeNiro’s Neil McCauley, a professional thief, and Pacino’s Lt. Vincent Hanna, veteran LAPD homicide detective.

Then it’s on to “Goodfellas,” a Martin Scorsese masterpiece which stars Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and a dozen other great actors. We follow Liotta’s Henry Hill, who says up front, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” He’s taken into the Lucchese crime family by Sorvino’s “Paulie” Cicero, Pesci’s Tommy DeVito, and DeNiro’s Jimmy “The Gent” Conway.

Would you have picked a different pair of epic DeNiro films? Is there another iconic actor that should get some Popspotting love? Let us know!

Game of Thrones

Popspotting #115: “Modern Thrones of 1972”

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Game of Thrones

Many new voices are heard in this week’s “Feedback Friday” podcast, covering “Modern Family,” and “Game of Thrones.” And a couple of listeners share their own top songs of 1972. (Alas, we can’t listen to “Stuck In The Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel without getting an earache.) We hope more of you make the leap to the voicemail line, helping give everyone a break from our voices! Again, the number to call is 815-310-0808.

John Norton

Popspotting #114: “Game Room” (Aug. 25, 2011)

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John NortonOur guest for PopTalk & Trivia Thursday is John Norton (@johnnorton). He’s an actor, director, host of “Zero Hour with John Norton” and co-host of “The Tribe: A Survivor Podcast.”

John — who is preparing for a cross-country journey from New York to California — shares his love of the miniseries “The Lost Room,” the book “Game Change,” and the many comedies of the FX Network.

The title of today’s podcast comes from John himself, who noticed that we had a Thursday naming convention before we did.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

Popspotting #113: “Favorite Books” (Aug. 24, 2011)

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For Wildcard Wednesday, it’s back to books, as Jen shares her top five books of all time (for now, subject to change). She also shares an update on what she’s reading now… including a wildly popular young adult fantasy series that she’s perhaps the last person on Earth to read.

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952)
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)
  • Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (2000)
  • A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving (1989)

Jen is always hungry for book recommendations, so please do tell… what is your favorite novel of all time?

Dexter

Popspotting #112: “Dexter” (Aug. 23, 2011)

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DexterFor TV Tuesday, we take a stab at a series on Showtime that epitomizes the idea of the “anti-hero.”

“Dexter” follows the exploits of Dexter Morgan, a Miami Metro Police Department blood spatter analyst who leads a double life. When he’s not solving murders, he satisfies his “dark passenger” by executing his own brand of justice.

The fifth season just came out on DVD, and season six begins in October. “Dexter” stars Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas, C.S. Lee, Julie Benz, James Remar, and Desmond Harrington.

Brick Poster

Popspotting #111: “The Big Lebowski” & “Brick” (Aug. 22, 2011)

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Brick PosterFor Movie Monday, a “Neo Pseudo Noir” double feature pairing “The Big Lebowski” and “Brick.” Both bring unique, contemporary takes on the classic noir genre, whether it’s following “The Dude” through Los Angeles or untangling a high school conspiracy.

“The Big Lebowski” (1998), the work of Joel and Ethan Coen, stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and Julianne Moore. A certified cult classic, it’s the inspiration behind the annual “Lebowski Fest in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Brick” (2005) was written and directed by Rian Johnson, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Noah Fleiss, Lukas Haas, and Emilie de Ravin. It was championed by the guys at Filmspotting, one of our favorite podcasts and one of the inspirations for Popspotting.

Not bowled over by this double feature? Then suggest your own film pairing, or share some ideas for a theme!

Tim Riggins | Taylor Kitsch

Popspotting #110: “Captain Riggins” (Aug. 19, 2011)

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Tim Riggins | Taylor KitschOur take on “Captain America” raised a few hackles, with listeners sharing some of what we missed in the Marvel backstory. But our love for “Friday Night Lights” was definitely well received. Despite some “sad realism,” the lives of the people in Dillon, Texas won our hearts. And the five-season run was satisfying enough that a new movie is not necessarily a good thing.

Also on tap, a “Breaking Bad” podcast connection, questions about the future of “The Walking Dead,” and two thumbs up for “Misfits.” Finally, “The Glades” makes a play for Jen’s attention by appealing to her Florida roots.

Your feedback is what keeps us going, so if anything we say (or fail to say) makes you laugh (or cry), please don’t hesitate to let us know. You can comment here on the blog, post over on Facebook, hit us up on Twitter, or send us an email at feedback@popspotting.net.

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