‘Tis the damn season. Last summer, we convened the Three Heathens–Paul, Arlo, and A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis–to discuss Taylor Swift’s first surprise album of 2020, Folklore. It was surprising not only for the nature of its release but for the folk pop/singer-songwriter shift it marked, becoming the finest achievement of Swift’s career. On her second surprise album of 2020, Evermore, she may have equaled that achievement. The Heathens are back to discuss the progression of Swift’s Joni Mitchell phase, as her lyrics become more reflective and complex. They’re strengthened by producer/co-writer Aaron Dessner’s sonic palette, introducing new sounds to Swift’s oeuvre. It’s true, the boys go a little off the rails into Lynch references, but one thing is undeniable: the more we say, the less you know. Plus, a discussion of the Disney+ making-of/concert film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.
NEXT: it’s Hawk the Slayer vs. The Adventures of Robin Hood in a Geek Challenge.
00:00:37 – Intro / Guest
00:03:40 – Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
Taylor Swift in the music video for ‘cardigan’ (2020), directed by herself
Gobbledygeek episode 412, “folklore (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
Paul and Arlo are doin’ good, they’re on some new shit: actually talking at length about music! A/V director and founding Gobbler Joseph Lewis joins the boys to rave about Taylor Swift’s newest (and best) album, Folklore. The gang discusses how Folklore offers a more mature and introspective look at Swift’s pop star persona, how the collaboration with The National’s Aaron Dessner enhances her sonic palette, the drama of the Teenage Love Trilogy, the beautiful video for “cardigan,” and more.
Next: slippin’ and slidin’ with Class Action Park.
BONUS MUSIC RECOMMENDATIONS
Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers
Gaslighter by The Chicks
Tourist Season by Miel
The New Abnormal by The Strokes
Run-On Death Sentence by Alex Jonestown Massacre
Every Bad by Porridge Radio
Rough and Rowdy Ways by Bob Dylan
Song for Our Daughter by Laura Marling
Once I Was an Eagle by Laura Marling
Fetch the Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple
Louie 99 by Pet Rocks and Fake Flowers
Imploding the Mirage by The Killers
Twelfth by Old 97’s
Total Run Time: 02:46:30
00:01:00 – Intro / Banter
00:07:14 – Our histories with Taylor Swift
00:28:38 – Track-by-track review of folklore
02:31:28 – Other new music recommendations
02:42:50 – Outro / Next
“the 1” by Taylor Swift, folklore (2020)
“cardigan” by Taylor Swift, folklore (2020)
“exile” by Taylor Swift, folklore (2020)
“seven” by Taylor Swift, folklore (2020)
“august” by Taylor Swift, folklore (2020)
“illicit affairs” by Taylor Swift, folklore (2020)
Top: ‘Puppet Master’ (1989), directed by David Schmoeller Bottom: Jennifer Tilly in ‘Seed of Chucky’ (2004), directed by Don Mancini
Gobbledygeek episode 410, “Geek Challenge: Puppet Master vs. Seed of Chucky,” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
They’ll tear you a new puppet hole, bitch! The worlds of Charles Band and Don Mancini collide in a pre-Gobbledyween Geek Challenge. Paul sends Arlo a psychic alert letting him know to watch 1989’s Puppet Master, the first of producer Band’s direct-to-VHS Full Moon Features and the source of approximately one trillion sequels. In turn, Arlo goes meta and has a doll voiced by him call Paul while the real Arlo is tied to a bed behind him, commanding Paul to watch 2004’s Seed of Chucky. Paul recounts the joy of watching Full Moon Features in his 20s, Arlo launches a full-throated defense of Mancini’s vision, and they are both just completely miserable. Plus, the boys have nothing but nice things to say about Taylor Swift’s Folklore.
Next: we’re off, then we’re not.
Total Run Time: 01:49:34
00:00:25 – Intro / Banter
00:16:56 – Puppet Master
01:03:15 – Seed of Chucky
01:45:00 – Outro / Next
“Master of Puppets” by Metallica, Master of Puppets (1986)
Gobbledygeek episode 248, “Rage Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This week on Gobbledygeek, there’s been a rage reversal: Paul, the Enormous Green Rage Monster of the podcast, is unusually calm and placid; meanwhile, AJ is filled with anger, much of it directed toward the fast food chain Wendy’s. What are a couple geeks to do? Find something, anything to distract them from this cosmic imbalance, such as Paul’s recent trip to Disney World and brief return to the zoo that made him famous; Ryan Adams’ melancholy cover version of Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ’s adventures at his local arthouse (featuring Phoenix, The End of the Tour, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Eraserhead), for which he is roundly mocked.
Next: our year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith’s Bone continues with Vol. VII: Ghost Circles. As always, we are joined by Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast.
There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.
In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.
Last week, we brought you our top 10 films of the year. It was different from past years in that while I still wrote words and words and words, Paul presented his list without comment. He continues that trend with his top 10 comics of 2014. Meanwhile, I’m getting into some unusual territory by admitting that I don’t have a list. Sure, I could have scraped something together, but it wouldn’t have felt right.
I adore comic books–look no further than the year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman we just wrapped in December–but this was the year they unfortunately fell by the wayside of my pop culture habits. There are a few reasons: comics are expensive, often going for $2.99, $3.99, or even more for a bundle of 20-25 sheets of paper; reading is a solitary, time-consuming activity which requires laser focus, unlike a lot of movies and TV (I’ll probably get in trouble for that), and this year I chose to devote much more of my reading time to prose; and lately, I’ve grown to prefer sitting down with one-and-done graphic novels or trade paperback collections to only getting a single hit of a story each month.
Then there’s the fact that 2014 was the year I (and Paul, and frenemy of the show Eric Sipple) published a book. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but actually putting blood, sweat, and tears into finishing a real product available for purchase left me with a lot less free time. Video games were the first casualty–I played the very comics-oriented LEGO Marvel Superheroes for a few days, but that was about it–and then, completely by chance, I noticed comics becoming the second. Which is ironic, considering how heavily indebted The Deli Counter of Justice is to superhero comics.
Gobbledygeek episode 207, “Magic, Mountains, Monsters, and Mario,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
For the first Geek Challenge in many months, Paul has challenged AJ to John Carpenter’s 1986 fantasy/martial arts/neo-Western cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. In turn, AJ has challenged Paul to Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 “anti-everything” thriller The Wages of Fear. What, pray tell, is the common denominator? They’re, uh, they’re both about truckers. Tenuous connections are what Geek Challenges thrive on, and this one at least provides some sobering realizations for the boys. What do Paul’s reactions to some ’50s movies and AJ’s reactions to some ’80s movies say about them as people and that pesky generational gap? There may be actual answers. Plus, more surprising reactions, this time about Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ springs #AlexFromTarget on Paul.
Next: in two weeks, the boys will be back discussing two more very different movies, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and the Disney/Marvel animated film Big Hero 6.