Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Britney Spears' "I'm A Slave 4 U" video

Podcast Killed The Video Star explores the glory days of MTV

Britney Spears' "I'm A Slave 4 U" video
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Jacked: Rise Of The New Jack Sound
Gene’s Prerogative

Illustration for article titled Podcast Killed The Video Star explores the glory days of MTV
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Even though this six-part docucast is billed as the origin story of new jack swing, that late ’80s/early ’90s meshing of soulful vocals and hip-hop beats, this is really a chronicle of the group that started it all: Guy. Hardcore new-jack fans may be shocked to learn how integral former member Timmy Gatling was to the group: As host Taraji P. Henson tells it, Gatling founded the trio, teaming up with vocalist Aaron Hall and keyboard player Teddy Riley, who was already making a name for himself producing hits for Kool Moe Dee, Keith Sweat, and others. Unfortunately, Gatling got muscled out by manager/ex-con Gene Griffin before the first album dropped, replacing him with Hall’s brother Damion. As the fourth chapter of this saga divulges, the late Griffin maintained his role as manager/mentor even as he was pulling bully-boy moves like smacking the hell out of recently departed mogul Andre Harrell over publishing matters and taking credit for writing and producing Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,” an obvious Riley production. As one industry insider puts it, “You can consider him Suge before there was a Suge Knight.” [Craig D. Lindsey]


Last Podcast On The Left
Best Of: Cannibalism

Illustration for article titled Podcast Killed The Video Star explores the glory days of MTV
Screenshot: Spotify

Hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski pull no punches in this episode, launching straight into a discussion of eating human flesh. So… consider that a bit of a content warning. While chatting about tribal traditions, infamous Wisconsinite cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, and other such upsetting yet fascinating examples of people eating people, the hosts employ their signature dark sense of humor to explore the topic at hand. Inspired by the gluttony of the holiday season, the trio revisit a number of their previous episodes, offering highlights from their catalogue of macabre commentary. Folks who are interested in the gruesome details of particularly grisly true crimes—especially if they prefer such material punctuated by riffing and character voices—are bound to like Last Podcast On The Left, and this episode might even be an ideal entry point, stuffed full of alternately chilling and comedic bits. If cannibalism is your cup of tea, then dive right in. [Jose Nateras]


Lolita Podcast
Volodya Takes America

Illustration for article titled Podcast Killed The Video Star explores the glory days of MTV
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Jamie Loftus’s Lolita Podcast is her second phenomenal new series of the year, the last being the hilarious My Year In Mensa. Fans of that podcast, though, be warned: her new one could not be more different. A sharp turn away from comedy (though still with Loftus’s dry sarcasm), Lolita Podcast seeks to untangle why Vladimir Nabokov’s most famous novel has taken on the place in American culture it has—especially given that the perception of the book is often the complete opposite of what the story aims to accomplish. “Volodya Comes to America” is the second episode, and it goes into Nabokov’s life, his philosophies, and how he got the novel published. Loftus speaks to experts on Nabokov to detail his immigration to the States, his tumultuous family life, and the absolutely sick burns he doled out to his contemporaries. The podcast doesn’t shy away from Nabokov’s deep misogyny, either; Loftus isn’t trying to convince you that Nabokov = good or Nabokov = bad, but instead, that Nabokov was a human, multifaceted as the rest of us. Given the subject matter, Lolita Podcast can be a difficult listen, but it’s a discomfort that feels necessary. [Wil Williams]


Podcast Killed The Video Star
Women Be WAP-PIN

Illustration for article titled Podcast Killed The Video Star explores the glory days of MTV
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Contrary to the memories of a lot of Gen Xers, the era in which MTV and VH1 filled their airtime mostly with music videos was surprisingly short. And yet, the golden age of massively influential videos that was launched by the networks in the ’80s never really ended—it just migrated from its humble cable origins to higher channel number cable hinterlands to the downloadable and streaming worlds of iTunes and YouTube. That fact isn’t lost on comedians and music video aficionados Oscar Montoya and Mano Agapion, who set out to compile their top 100 best videos list with the help of voting listeners in this insightful and irreverently funny new weekly series. Every Friday, the two self-proclaimed “qweirdos” present and break down three music videos (sometimes “gerrymandered” into a thematic bracket), then make their pitch to listeners for whom they should vote. Last week’s premiere episode pitted The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star” against Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Describe” by Perfume Genius, sparking debate about what constitutes the high vs. mid Britney canon and how insanely great the “Video Killed” bridge is. This week, Agapion and Montoya discuss the queer appeal of Shirley Manson and get delightfully silly touring Cardi B’s “WAP” house. [Dan Jakes]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.