Updates

10th Anniversary of LOST

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Check out the special 10th anniversary video that ABC put together for “LOST” this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Then, for cryin’ out loud, get on board with LOST 2014. Less than 50 days to go. We have to go back!

Glen Hansard - Rhythm And Repose

Popspotting Post: New Music Review – Summer 2012

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New Popspotting podcasts are still a few months away, but thanks to a Spotify subscription, I’ve been hearing a lot of new music that I want to share.

I consider Spotify some kind of minor miracle. For a long time, I’ve been the cranky old lady who doesn’t listen to anything made in this decade. Still, there are a few contemporary artists who excite me and make me want to listen to more artists like them.

I’ve caught up with artists I’ve enjoyed before as well, like Glen Hansard.

Rhythm and Repose” [Spotify, Amazon] is the debut solo album from the Frames frontman. Hansard went on to star in the indie musical “Once” and perform on the movie soundtrack, which contains original songs as well as covers of a few Frames’ songs. Hansard is also half of the duo The Swell Season.

Hansard is a master of melody. He manages to infuse his songs, which are largely quiet, somber ballads, with a groove. The track “Sleeping” from the Swell Season’s debut album lodges itself in my head quicker than anything on the radio lately. A few tracks on the “Once” soundtrack also achieve earworm status.

In “Rhythm and Repose,” it seems Hansard is flirting with classical structure. The instruments are lush; the melodies more complex. As a consequence, there are fewer of the hooks that keep me going back to the Once soundtrack. The lovely “Maybe Not Tonight” has the highest earworm potential. It reminds me of a country duet from the 70’s. The jazzy “Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting” is also groovy and reminiscent of Van Morrison.

I fell in love with the “Once” soundtrack instantly. I enjoy “Rhythm” a lot, but it’ll take me a few listens to fully appreciate it, I think. I believe that this is an intensely personal album. Its lyrics, like those in “Races”, seem to describe a period of contemplation and pain. The chorus of Races states “You never loved me”. I feel as if I’m peeking into someone’s diary.


Frank Ocean’s “channel ORANGE” [Spotify, Amazon] debuted at Number 2 this week. Ocean came out earlier this month. His announcement grabbed headlines and possibly piqued a lot of curiosity. Indeed, I was curious, because very little R&B from the past decade has interested me, and all of the reviews I’d read raved about “channel ORANGE,” praising its fresh, unique sound.

I love this album. Ocean is doing something different here, but he’s framing it in a familiar sound that I love. The track “Pyramids” is delightfully weird; almost nerdy, but contains irresistible hooks. It’s a throwback in the best possible way. Ocean clearly loves 70’s R&B even more than I do, but he loves contemporary R&B too and has a way to marry them seamlessly.

Ocean namechecks Forrest Gump in a track that features a subtle but infectious guitar lick. It sounds so different from “Pyramids,” which sounds nothing like “Bad Religion,” which reminds me of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” with its organ-heavy opening.

This album has really made me reevaluate my listening habits. I’m wondering what R&B gems I’ve missed these past few years.

Also:

  • Settle Down” by No Doubt. Love it. It’s surprisingly complex, insanely catchy, and fun. Maybe my favorite song of theirs.
  • Runaways” by The Killers. Not as edgy as previous efforts. Sounds like Gaslight Anthem. Still, pretty good. Some people might accuse The Killers of selling out, but it sounds like a natural evolution to me.
Car Talk

Popspotting #150: “Podcastville” (Oct. 21, 2011)

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Car Talk

For “Feedback Friday,” your recommendations for great podcasts, and your favorite cover songs. On the podcast front, we get a wholehearted “hear hear” for our love of “The Moth,” and we share our “We Were (Almost) on Car Talk” story. And when it comes to cover songs, we talk about some winners, from Anthony and the Johnsons to Marilyn Manson.

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.

Walking Dead Poster

Popspotting #93: “The Walking Dead” at Comic-Con 2011

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Once again, we’re happy to bring you audio from the San Diego Comic-Con. As always, the sound quality isn’t perfect, and audio levels can only be tweaked so far. Nonetheless, we hope it helps you feel a little closer to the wonder and chaos of this incredible annual event. We kick things off with the panel many of you said you were most excited to hear: “The Walking Dead.” Here’s the official synopsis:

AMC’s The Walking Dead— Stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden (The Mist), Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints), Steven Yeun (The Big Bang Theory), Jeffrey DeMunn (The Green Mile); series creator/writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption); executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator); executive producer Robert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic book series); and makeup artist and consulting producer Greg Nicotero discuss the success of season one of AMC’s series The Walking Dead and reveal what to look forward to in season two, which will air on AMC this fall.

It’s All Happening!

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We’ve been podcasting since 2005. Once happy to merely chitchat about our everyday lives in Hawaii, we were soon swallowed whole by the massive global fandom of “LOST.” Our podcast, “The Transmission,” has connected tens of thousands of hardcore fans around the world. But this year’s final season of “LOST” is also bringing about the final season of “The Transmission,” and the time is drawing near to write our next chapter.

Not surprisingly, our path forward finds its roots in our past.

For Jen, before there was a podcast, there was a blog: “The Pith of Pop.” I’d been awed by her vast pop-culture knowledge since we first met (she’s like a walking IMDB, but more reliable), and nagged her to flex that greymatter. So as far back as 2003, she’d share her take on all flavors of movies, TV shows, music, and books.  Her first taste of podcasting was actually a regular “Pith of Pop” segment on my Hawaii show, “HawaiiUP.” That segment was where “The Transmission” was born. And now, in a way, that segment is also the root of our new show: Popspotting.

After the final thud of “LOST” in May 2010, Jen and I will surely cry, and collapse in grief. But soon enough, we’ll take a deep breath, get back up, and begin unleashing Popspotting unto the world.

For our new show, Jen will shift into the driver’s seat. She is, after all, the pop-culture genius between us. I’m just the fast-talking producer.  Our scope will be purposefully broad. Movies, television, music, and books, of course, plus perhaps some art, some tech, and pop-culture news. There will also be regular segments, which Jen is furiously developing right now.

But most importantly, we’ll continue to invite — no, beg for — comments and contributions from our listeners. Our friends. You. The people we’ve truly grown to love and enjoyed chatting with over the past half decade.  Perhaps “LOST” was how we first connected. Or Hawaiiana, or photography, or Facebook or Twitter. Together, we hope Popspotting can become our new hub for rich, fun, wide-ranging conversation.

Watch this space. And if you have any suggestions, ideas, questions or even random thoughts to share, we’d love to hear them. Popspotting is us. Let’s get to it.

Popspotting in iTunes

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Popspotting in iTunes

Though Popspotting isn’t set to debut until Summer 2010, you can take a trip down memory lane today by subscribing to Popspotting in iTunes. We’ve added over 40 clips of the “Pith of Pop” segments we recorded for HawaiiUP. Fair warning, though… this is a flashback to the early days of podcasting, and our early days behind the mic. Revel in the low-bitrate rambling, but rest assured, Popspotting will be a completely different experience.

And a better one, hopefully!

We may also slip some extras into the feed over the next few months. As an added benefit, of course, you’ll be the first to get Popspotting when it launches!

Subscribe now with this iTunes link:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=349861385

Or, as long as j.mp is around as a link shortener:

http://j.mp/popsub

Prehistoric Pop: Mean Girls (March 9, 2005)

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From the archives. Jen’s second podcast appearance, from Episode #3 of HawaiiUP on March 9, 2005. We discuss “The Day After Tomorrow” with Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal (2004) and “Mean Girls” with Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams (2004).

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Prehistoric Pop: I, Robot (March 4, 2005)

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From the archives. Jen’s first podcast appearance, from Episode #2 of HawaiiUP on March 4, 2005. Thanks to some Netflix queue hacking, she ends up watching “I, Robot” (2004), with Will Smith.

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