Popspotting Listener Edition: Wendy & Anna

The Booth at the End

Updated to correct link! Two podcasters from the golden age of “LOST” come together to share five post-“LOST” picks in a new Popspotting Listener Edition. Anna (@echobase77) and Wendy (@bunnieslrnow) recommend:

We’re honored to have been a small part of the reasons Wendy and Anna got into podcasting. And this great contribution, as with all Listener Edition contributions, is absolutely an inspiration and cherished treat for us. As we navigate through this craziest of years, with your support, we are confident that a return to Popspotting lies ahead!

Glen Hansard - Rhythm And Repose

Popspotting Post: New Music Review – Summer 2012

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.


  • “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.
The Newsroom

Popspotting Listener Edition: Heath & Matt

The Newsroom

Today, two good friends join forces to bring you yet another episode of “Popspotting Listener Edition.” Listen in as Heath Solo (@HeathActor) of “The Film List” and musician Matt Murdick (@musicalconcepts) of the “Musical Concepts Podcast” discuss Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series “The Newsroom” and the BBC reboot of “Sherlock Holmes.”

Popspotting Listener Edition: Maggie & Jennifer

We kick off the month of July with a new “Listener Edition,” this one from Maggie (@ilea02) and Jennifer (@jennielf). They discuss both “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” and the latest Disney/Pixar film, “Brave.” When not taking in vampire-archery double features, Maggie can be heard on “Girls Night In” radio and “The West Wing Podcast.”

Popspotting Listener Edition: Pete & Laurie

Pete & Laurie

Pete in Rockford, Illinois is a long-time contributing member of our podcasting family, and this week he steps forward along with his wife Laurie to contribute a special Popspotting Listener Edition. Today they chime in with their take on board games (Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, and Ticket to Ride), a book series, and a summer blockbuster movie.

District B13

Popspotting Listener Edition: Josva in Norway

District B13

We’re thrilled to have another Popspotting Listener Edition come in from overseas. Today, Josva in Norway recommendations three beloved European films. His picks are “District B13,” “troubledWATER,” and “Troll Hunter.” They should be available for American listeners through Amazon.com.

Josva is 24 years old, and is studying to be a priest in the church of Norway. You can follow him on Twitter @josva, but when he tweets, he tweets in Norwegian.

Popspotting Listener Edition: The Geek Generation

Geek Generation - Rob & Bryan

This week’s Popspotting Listener Edition comes from Rob Valois and Bryan Lipsitz of “The Geek Generation.” Rob was our PopTalk & Trivia Thursday guest back in October, and distinguished himself in many ways. Among them, by being our show’s first (and so far only) professional wrestler.

Today, Rob & Bryan share their top five television shows that were gone too soon. Among the notable series they mourn are “Undeclared,” “Dark Angel,” “Sports Night,” and of course “Firefly.” But there are surely many more deserving shows that never got the lifespan they deserved. Which would make your list?

Popspotting Listener Edition: Paul Fox & Kevin Ma

When Love ComesPaul Fox and Kevin Ma of “East Screen / West Screen [iTunes Link] bring us our first international Popspotting Listener Edition, in which they each highlight two of their favorite Asian films from 2011 that are now available video in some form that will work in the U.S. Their picks were:

Also featured, a song from Ra.One, called “Criminal.”

We are of course fully aware that these Listener Edition shows are only making our to-do lists even longer.  But we continue to be awestruck by the generosity and creativity of the Popspotting community. We do look forward to returning, and are still planning to head to San Diego for Comic-Con. But perhaps its best we’re taking a break, at least this week… Jen wants to see “The Three Stooges.”

Faith McQuinn

Popspotting Listener Edition: Faith McQuinn

Faith McQuinnShe’s a mom of twins. A teacher of film students. An editor of videos. And a blogger of lots of stuff. She’s Faith McQuinn (@fbeemcee), the latest generous contributor to the “Popspotting Listener Edition” series of shows.

Her topic for this Easter Sunday? “Top Five Lost Gems of the ’80s.” Faith goes beyond popular classics like “Ferris Bueller,” “Breakfast Club” and “Fast Times,” instead highlighting less celebrated favorites.

Your support has been invaluable to us throughout the run of Popspotting, and what we’ve valued most is hearing your thoughts on your favorite movies, TV shows, books, music and more. So we’re so grateful to the Popspotting community for contributing personal, thoughtful episodes to share with everyone while Jen and I focus on her health.

Thanks again to Geoff for kicking off the “Popspotting Listener Edition” project. We look forward to hearing from more of you!

Popspotting Listener Edition: Geek Girl Soup Em City

We continue to be inspired and humbled by the support we’ve been getting from the Popspotting ‘ohana. This week, the second Popspotting Listener Edition comes from Susan, Amelia and Chris of the Geek Girl Soup Em City podcast.

While they usually focus on the TV show “Oz,” for this special show they focus on comic book recommendations.

And as this goes out, a quick correction from the gang, “Y: The Last Man” is a 60-issue series.

Mahalo to the Geek Girl Soup gang for reaching out and speaking up and sharing some comic book wisdom… one of the areas of pop culture where Jen and I could surely use some schooling. Please be sure to share your own comic book picks, and check out Geek Girl Soup!

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