Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
The hosts of <i>Where’s My 40 Acres? </i>wander through Clubhouse, the $1 billion audio chat app

The hosts of Where’s My 40 Acres? wander through Clubhouse, the $1 billion audio chat app

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.

Naked Beauty
Setting Our Intentions

Illustration for article titled The hosts of Where’s My 40 Acres? wander through Clubhouse, the $1 billion audio chat app
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Naked Beauty, hosted by Brooke DeVard, is legit a peerless beauty/wellness joint. The show doesn’t only luxuriate in the world of face masks and dry brushing, but deals with feeling feelings, being a citizen of the world, and finding practical ways to curate an authentic life. After a hiatus and a pandemic baby, DeVard is back with a quick but rich episode to help us focus our intentions for the new year. The breezy nature of Naked Beauty makes 13 minutes feel expansive, as our host slows time, reminding us it makes so much sense to be feeling so much. For those wary of engaging with their emotions, DeVard shares bits of Glennon Doyle’s Untamed, which might make listeners feel better about being present in the messy. As she shares her intentions, it’s a reminder of the power of putting our dreams down on paper, of asking what we want from our world, and to dear god please wash our faces. [Morgan McNaught]


The Battersea Poltergeist
63 Wycliffe Road

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

The Battersea Poltergeist is an eight-part series from the BBC that documents the true story of the 12-year-long haunting of the Hitchings family of London throughout the 1950s and ’60s. Host Danny Robins (Haunted) splits each episode between two distinct narratives: His own current investigation into the decades-old case and dramatizations of the events of the haunting. While both strands are intriguing, it is the recreation of the Hitchings family’s plight that really grabs the listener’s attention. This is mostly due to the excellent voice cast, which features Toby Jones (Captain America) as ghost hunter Harold Chibbet and Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials) as the Hitchings’ teenage daughter Shirley, who was the apparent center of the family’s nightmare. Keen brings a weary cynicism to the wise-beyond-her-years Shirley, while Jones lends a cheery warmth to the World War I veteran desperate to prove there is life beyond death. While the present-day investigation features various attempts to debunk and explain the events at 63 Wycliffe Road, Robins admits that this story is what finally turned him into a believer, and it may just convince a few listeners as well. [Anthony D Herrera]


The Wind
Time Flies

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

One of the incredible things about independent podcasting is the gem that you find from turning over a stone, or perhaps from picking up a handsaw abandoned in the snow and building a desk in the woods with it. If this sounds wildly specific, it’s because that’s the story behind The Wind, a podcast produced by Fil Corbitt on sound, listening, music, and the experience of audio, a podcast that they produced and recorded on that desk in the woods. “Time Flies,” the penultimate episode of the first season, is a letter-to-the-editor-style episode from writer Eleanor Tullock about Hermeto Pascoal, clocks, and the passage of time. It’s a weird, electric mix of Pascoal’s unique approach to instrumentalization and orchestration, including his recording of him singing with his mouth partially submerged in water, and Tullock’s visit to a clock repair shop backed by heavy pendulums. Bracketed by Corbitt’s brand of tongue-in-cheek humor and deep abiding love of nature’s audio, “Time Flies” is a chance to think about all the strange, breathtaking places where we find sound, and how we hold them inside ourselves throughout time. [Elena Fernández Collins]


Where’s My 40 Acres?
In Da Clubhouse: A Quick Fast Glad Ya Asked Crash (of) Course

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

After a brief hiatus, the Where’s My 40 Acres? gang reconvened for another marathon session that got chopped up into a few episodes. After they went off on the Capitol takeover and Lauryn Hill, hosts PhenomBlak, Twanburgandy, and Silent.X.Media (aka Xmike) discuss Clubhouse, the audio chat app that is now valued at $1 billion. Blak cops to enjoying the app, especially when spontaneous things happen—like when a Dreamgirls audition room pops up and Sheryl Lee Ralph and Amber Riley (who have performed in respective stage productions) come outta nowhere to judge who can belt out the best version of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” But there are moments where he’s reminded that the platform is still populated by youngsters, like when he went to a room where people were debating the best hip-hop albums of the decade and Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly didn’t even crack the top five. (Drake’s skippable Take Care was in there though.) Consider this episode a brief tutorial on the ratchet shenanigans that usually pop off on this app of the moment. [Craig D. Lindsey]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

pop-culture critic, multi-disciplinary artist, playwright @ Columbia University, they/them

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