Culture Gabfest
Culture Gabfest
Slate Podcasts
New York Times critic Dwight Garner says “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop. For more of Slate’s culture podcasts, check out the Slate Culture feed.
Sound of Marvel
This week Stephen, Dana, and Julia take a look at Sound of Metal, the debut movie from writer/director Darius Marder, about a heavy metal drummer who loses his hearing. Then they discuss WandaVision, the new Marvel TV show that's loaded with references to classic TV sitcoms. After that they dive into the world of TikTok sea shanties and theorize about why the craze caught on. In Slate Plus, the hosts talk about vice president Kamala Harris' recent Vogue cover and the debate surrounding it. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Jan 20
1 hr 4 min
Country So Unreal
This week Stephen, Dana, and Julia talk about the National Geographic miniseries, City So Real, about the 2019 mayoral race in Chicago and the social and political issues that fueled it. Then New York Times writer Charlie Warzel joins the show to discuss conservative media outlets like Newsmax and OANN and the alternate reality of news that Trump supporters reside in. After that, the hosts talk about New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright's comprehensive article, The Plague Year, about the way U.S. officials have reacted to the pandemic. In Slate Plus, the hosts reply to a listener who wants to know how they distinguish between works of art that are "entertaining" and ones that are "good" and whether making that distinction makes them snobs. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Jan 13
1 hr 3 min
Snag a Duke
Steve, Dana, and Julia start by talking about Wonder Woman 1984 with LA Times film critic Justin Chang. Then they discuss Bridgerton, the new Netflix show produced by Shonda Rhimes and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn. After that, Justin Chang rejoins the show to talk about Movie Club, Slate's annual end-of-year movie coverage. In Slate Plus, the hosts expand on their Wonder Woman conversation in spoiler-filled detail. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Jan 6
1 hr 3 min
Live From Lockdown
This week, Stephen, Dana, and Julia present the Culture Gabfest’s annual listener call-in show, originally recorded live and streamed on Facebook and YouTube. They answer questions like, “Would you live in a muder house?” and “Are there any ways in which you are a snob about the culture you partake in?” In Slate Plus, the hosts field more questions from their live audience via Facebook and YouTube.  Click here for the video version of the show.  Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Live show production by Faith Smith and Britt Pullie. Outro Music: "200 Dont's" by Conditional Slate Plus members get a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Dec 30, 2020
1 hr 9 min
Pongs of the Past
This week Stephen and Dana are joined by Slate editor and writer Dan Kois. First, they discuss the new Steven Soderbergh movie Let Them All Talk, starring Meryl Streep, Dianne Wiest, and Candice Bergen. Then they talk to Slate TV critic Willa Paskin about the trends in TV this year and why "popular" TV isn't always "good" TV. After that, the hosts talk about a new project in the UK that aims to revive smells from the past. In Slate Plus, the hosts debate whether the labels "movie" and "TV show" have lost some of their meaning in the age of streaming. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro Music: "If Only I Was a Poet" by Staffan Carlen Slate Plus members get a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Dec 23, 2020
1 hr
Mile High, Inch Deep
This week Steve and Dana are joined by guest host Nichole Perkins, writer, poet, and host of the Thirst Aid Kit podcast. First they discuss the new film adaptation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which stars Viola Davis and features Chadwick Boseman in his final role. Then they weigh in on the HBO Max mystery thriller The Flight Attendant. After that, Vulture writer Mark Harris joins the show to talk about Disney's rapid growth and what it means for the movie industry. In Slate Plus, the hosts talk about which historical performances they wish they could witness. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro Music: "Go slow" by Daniel Fridell Slate Plus members get a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Dec 16, 2020
1 hr 3 min
Algorithmic Rosebud
This week Steve and Dana are joined by co-host Laura Miller, books and culture columnist for Slate. First, the three of them talk to Slate's own Matthew Dessem about what's real and what's made up in the new David Fincher movie, Mank. Then Julia Turner joins the show for a discussion about Spotify's end-of-year "wrapped" feature. For the third segment, Laura talks about the best books of 2020. In Slate Plus, Laura talks about a debate that keeps cropping up in literary circles about whether kids should be taught more contemporary literature. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro music: "Ruins" by Origo Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each episode, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Dec 9, 2020
1 hr 4 min
Happiest Scaffolding
This week Steve and Dana are joined by writer, poet, and co-host of the Thirst Aid Kit podcast, Nichole Perkins. First, the they weigh in on Happiest Season, the new holiday rom-com starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis. Then they chat with Culture Gabfest producer Cameron Drews about why he loves the HBO show How To with John Wilson. And finally, the hosts a talk about a big mistake made recently by the publisher Fireside Fiction, where a white voice-over artist put on a fake accent to read an audio essay written by a Black woman. The essay, written by Dr. Regina N. Bradley, is called Da Art of Speculatin’ . In Slate Plus, the Steve, Dana, and Nichole discuss their pop culture blindspots. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro Music: "What Do You Want From Me" by OTE Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each episode, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Dec 2, 2020
1 hr 1 min
Girls on Film
On this week’s episode, Steve and Dana kick off the show by talking about season 4 of The Crown with June Thomas, Slate's managing producer and co-host of the Working podcast. Then they're joined by Asha Saluja, operations manager for Slate Podcasts, to discuss one of the internet's latest creations: a TikTok musical based on the Pixar movie Ratatouille. For their third segment, Slate senior editor Sam Adams argues that our new streaming world is a poor replacement for traditional movie-going. In Slate Plus, Dana, Steve, and June discuss their Thanksgiving plans. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro Music: "Backwards" by Staffan Carlen Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each episode, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Nov 25, 2020
1 hr 2 min
That Schmoopy Feeling
On this week’s episode, Steve and Dana talk to Slate’s television critic Willa Paskin about the unprecedented current season of The Bachelorette.  Then Slate's Brow Beat editor, Matthew Dessem, comes on board for the rest of the show to talk about Saturday Night Live and two recent articles about societal collapse, one titled The Next Decade Could Be Even Worse and one titled How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart? In Slate Plus, the hosts discuss which TV universes they'd like to be dropped into. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Outro Music: "Break The Line" by Coma Svensson Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each episode, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Nov 18, 2020
58 min
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