Archive for November, 2011

Greg Mariotti

Popspotting #174: “High Def Greg” (Dec. 1, 2011)

Greg Mariotti

Joining us to kick off the month of December is Greg Mariotti, owner and editor of Pixar Talk and the geek behind The Uncool, the official site of acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe.

We first heard from Greg nearly four years ago when we were still doing our primordial HawaiiUP podcast, and he’s stayed in touch through The Transmission and now Popspotting, and he continues to enlighten us on Pixar and other media. You can find him on Twitter at @gregmariotti and @pixartalk.

Before tackling the trivia, Greg shares his love of “Downton Abbey,” a British television period drama, the 2008 Australian thriller “The Square” from the Edgerton brothers, and Blu-Ray, the successor to the trusty DVD.

David & Amy Sedaris | Index Magazine

Popspotting #173: “David & Amy Sedaris” (Nov. 30, 2011)

David & Amy Sedaris | Index MagazineAuthor and humorist David Sedaris was in Honolulu last week, wrapping up his latest book tour. His live performance at the Blaisdell Concert Hall left us in stitches.

Even though his island vacation rental home was burglarized, and his laptop stolen, he hadn’t lost his wry, witty, self-depreciating and surprisingly dirty sense of humor. He read a few short stories and shared entries from his travel diary, commenting on everything from socialized medicine to potty practices to kids these days. A hapless, drowned gecko had a front row seat.

So inspired, this week we review his body of work, including six collections of largely autobiographical short stories. After recounting some of our favorite Sedaris tales, we also review the two books published by his sister, Amy Sedaris, perhaps best known as the star of the Comedy Central series “Strangers with Candy.”

Are you a Sedaris fan? Have you a favorite Sedaris story? Any other humor writers you think we need to check out? Please don’t hold back!

American Horror Story Logo 200x200

Popspotting #172: “American Horror Story” (Nov. 29, 2011)

American Horror Story 500x200

Back in October, we took a quick look at four new fantasy shows, including “American Horror Story” on FX. Now that we’re eight episodes in, we take a deeper look at one of the darker shows on television. The series managed to make a strong first impression, but have co-creators and producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk been able to sustain a solid story? Does “American Horror Story” strike the right balance between mind-bending mysteries and satisfying answers?

While Connie Britton continues to impress, Dylan McDermott seems to be taking a back seat to other members of the large and growing ensemble. Can we expect more out of Alexandra Breckenridge? And what’s the deal with that Realtor?

Duncan Jones & David Bowie

Popspotting #171: “Bowie Family Duo” (Nov. 28, 2011)

Duncan Jones & David Bowie

Today for Movie Monday, we explore an unusual family tie. We start with “Moon,” the feature directorial debut of Duncan Jones. Then, we revisit “The Prestige,” a magical film that features the acting talents of Jones’ dad, David Bowie. Both movies may have you questioning reality as you revel in some outstanding performances. Sam Rockwell shines in a part created just for him, while Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman face off in a battle to rule the stage.

Top Chef Texas

Popspotting #170: “1974 Chef Off” (Nov. 25, 2011)

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

It’s Black Friday, and Feedback Friday! At least here on Popspotting, there are no lines, and the fun is free. Our listeners chime in on the music of 1974 (and 1972 and 1987 and 1988), and share their guilty pleasures, including “Top Chef” and “The Sing-Off.” We’ve got some TV and book talk as well. Finally, Al reminds us that video games are distressingly underrepresented on our podcast. It’s going to be up to Al and other gamers out there to keep us up-to-date!

Nicole shared her love of “Raising Sand,” a musical collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, which yielded gems like “Battle of Evermore” and, embedded here, “Your Long Journey”:

Popspotting is powered by you, so help keep the show going by sharing your own picks for movies, TV, music, books, apps, and any other topic that strikes your fancy. Whether you agree or disagree with our reviews, the more voices the better. You can leave a voicemail at (815) 310-0808, email us at, or comment here on the blog.

We can also be found on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Google+.

Maggie Mack

Popspotting #169: “How I Met Pinterest” (Nov. 24, 2011)

Maggie MackForget the Great Pumpkin. We’ve got the great Maggie Mack (@ilea02) joining us for our Thanksgiving episode. Maggie is the host of Maggie’s World, and co-host of both Girls Night In Radio and The West Wing Podcast. She’s a pop culture fan (who loves Harry Potter in particular) and a preschool teacher.

Before being subjected to our trivia challenge, she shares her love of Pinterest (find her here), the show “Revenge” on NBC, and “How I Met Your Mother” on CBS.

The Secret Garden

Popspotting #168: “Favorite Musicals” (Nov. 23, 2011)

Les Miserables

Music is once again the focus of Wildcard Wednesday, but thanks to a suggestion from Daniel in Boston, there’s a twist: He challenges us to name our favorite Broadway shows. While we’re not experts in the world of musicals, we do love showtunes, and give the topic our best shot. A lot of obvious picks, perhaps, but with stories that illustrate why we feel a personal connection to each.

Do you know Broadway? Are you embarrassed for us, choosing such pedestrian fare? Well, we urge you to enlighten us! We probably won’t make it out to New York or London any time soon, but we’d still love to know what shows you think we need to know.

Popspotting #167: “Fringe of Anarchy” (Nov. 22, 2011)


In the past week, “Fringe” on FOX saw its fall finale, not to return until January 13, 2012, and the FX biker gang series “Sons of Anarchy” gave us a 90-minute episode to set the stage for the last three episodes of Season 4.

For better and worse, “Fringe” has given us more of the “monster of the week” format we saw in Season 1. And the question that kicked off this fourth season â€” “Where’s Peter?” â€” may still be a valid one. Will the second half of the story next year bring us back into the larger arc and bigger battle between universes?

And Jen declares this latest season of “Sons of Anarchy” her favorite, as everything comes to a head and threatens to fly apart. Did we ever really know Clay? Is there no way out for Tara? And Kurt Sutter reveals himself to be both a great showrunner and a great actor, as this latest season explores many of the SAMCRO members that started off as mere background.

The Muppets

Popspotting #166: “The Muppets” (Nov. 21, 2011)

The Muppets

For Movie Monday, we preview a Thanksgiving release we’re not ashamed to admit that we were really looking forward to, movie critic cred be damned. After a 12 year break, “The Muppets” return to the big screen, led by Jason Segel and Amy Adams.

We also review “Small Fry,” the latest Pixar short that further extends the world of “Toy Story. متى تاسس مانشستر سيتي

Popspotting #165: “Secret Life of Bison” (Nov. 18, 2011)

Descendants Movie

The Popspotting voicemail line saves the day for Feedback Friday. First, two unlikely shining stars from “The Descendants.” While George Clooney and Hawaii shine, two listeners remind us where else we might have seen Shailene Woodley and Matthew Lillard. Then a solid defense of “Once Upon a Time” and the second season of “The Walking Dead.” NBC, however, gets no love. On the musical side, we get an impromptu serenade from Daniel, and another solid music recommendation from dear Geoff.

We say it every day, but we’re not kidding. It’s hearing from you that keeps us going. If you’re out there and have yet to share a thought, retort, or suggestion, please don’t be shy! Note that the comments on our site are acting up, so your best bet would be to leave a message at 815-310-0808, or find us on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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