KCRW Strikes a New Chord with The Organist
Los Angeles Public Radio Station Partners with McSweeney’s to Launch New Podcast
KCRW has joined forces with San Francisco publishing house, McSweeney’s for another joint venture: The Organist. An experimental arts-and-culture program, the new monthly podcast features stories, interviews, reviews, comic radio dramas and more, produced by editors of the award-winning magazine, the Believer and KCRW. The inaugural episode became available the first weekend in February with new episodes available on demand, monthly throughout the year.
The scope of the podcast reflects that of the print edition of The Believer: its contributors take a thoughtful approach to pop culture, along with an irreverent attitude toward the highbrow. From philosophy to daytime TV, from poetry to martial arts, the show scrutinizes and interrogates the world with an affectionate and rigorous intelligence.
Episode One: Little Language Machine, features a variety of interviews and short stories:
- The short-story master George Saunders talks about how riffing as a teenage benchwarmer led to the richly imagined voices of his fiction.
- Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman explains the tortured etymology of the word “podcast” (it’s a conflation of the words paw and broadcast — a radio show with claws).
- Critic Greil Marcus considers a reissue of the first Bikini Kill EP and a new novel by Percival Everett.
- Amber Scorah tells the story of her defection from the Jehovah’s Witnesses while working as a missionary in Shanghai.
- Pitchfork editor Brandon Stosuy presents five five-word record reviews of excellent new guitar rock.
- The electronic duo Matmos takes a song from their new album apart, piece by piece, revealing its brilliant, pulsating innards.
- A new(ish) film casts a shotgun microphone as its protagonist;
Listeners can visit the website to access “Web Extras” like an extended interview with George Saunders. Find that and those here.
This is the second partnership between KCRW and McSweeney’s. The two most recently collaborated for a one-hour radio drama, “Wayne Coyne’s Human Head-Shaped Tumor,” which starred Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. The bizarre, radio adventure in the style of Mercury Theatre’s War of the Worlds, featured the music from the Flaming Lips, Bill Callahan, Okkervil River, Eleanor Friedberger, Nico Muhly, Oneida and Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear. The special is still available to stream or download here.
About The Organist:
The Organist is a monthly experimental arts-and-culture program produced and distributed by KCRW. The editors of the award-winning monthly magazine the Believer, published in San Francisco by McSweeney’s, produce ten annual episodes of the podcast, which includes reported stories, interviews, comic radio drama, reviews, and more. The scope of the podcast reflects that of the print edition: its contributors take a thoughtful approach to pop culture, along with an irreverent attitude toward the highbrow. From philosophy to daytime TV, from poetry to martial arts, the show scrutinizes and interrogates the world with an affectionate and rigorous intelligence. Pieces from the podcast grow out of stories in the magazine, and vice versa. Weaving together the voices of its contributors, which include the brightest talents in literature and the arts, the Organist is an elegant, impressionistic, funny, and sharp cultural magazine that itself becomes an object of inquiry, discussion, and wonder.
KCRW 89.9FM is an NPR affiliate serving Southern California and licensed to Santa Monica College. The public radio station represents cutting edge radio at its best, presenting an eclectic mix of independent music, news, talk and arts programming. The terrestrial signal serves Los Angeles, Orange, and V entura counties, as well as parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, Kern, and Santa Barbara counties and the greater Palm Springs area. KCRW’ s programming is internationally renowned and available worldwide at KCRW.com. KCRW offers an all-music channel, Eclectic24, an all news channel and on-air simulcast. . Podcasts and archives of our locally-produced programs and live band performances are available on our website, as well as on our smartphone apps for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry. KCRW’s acclaimed Music Mine app for iPad is dedicated to music discovery.
About The Believer:
The Believer is a monthly magazine where length is no object. There are book reviews that are not necessarily timely, and that are very often very long. There are interviews that are also very long. We will focus on writers and books we like. We will give people and books the benefit of the doubt. The working title of this magazine was The Optimist.