Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
<i>Unsolved Mysteries</i> is a podcast now, and it’s got plenty of aliens

Unsolved Mysteries is a podcast now, and it’s got plenty of aliens

Screenshot: Unsolved Mysteries (Other)
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.

Brixton: Flames On The Front Line
Episode 1: The Fuse Is Lit

Illustration for article titled Unsolved Mysteries is a podcast now, and it’s got plenty of aliens
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

The U.K. government and media would brand the violence that started on April 10, 1981 in the South London suburb of Brixton a riot, but to the Afro-Caribbean community that called Brixton home, it was an uprising. Brixton: Flames On The Front Line is a new BBC series that charts the events of the uprising that saw urban warfare break out between the suburb’s predominantly Black residents and London Metropolitan Police. Hosted by rapper Big Narstie, this premiere episode introduces the audience to the music and culture of Brixton in the ’70s and ’80s as well as three young men who would play pivotal roles in the uprising. Tony, Chris, and Sheldon share their experiences of being Black teens targeted for harassment by the police and how that sowed the seeds of violence within them. These stories are backed up by former Met officer Peter Bleksley, who lays out the racist policing methods that turned Brixton into a hunting ground for meeting arrest quotas. Featuring a bumping reggae soundtrack, this podcast is a potent mixture of nostalgia and rage that is, unfortunately, as timely as ever. [Anthony D Herrera]


Can’t Knock The Shuffle
Masta Ace

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Ever since Open Mike Eagle started the Stony Island Audio podcast network, the cult rap god has rounded up shows (including his own What Had Happened Was, which recently began its second season with El-P) that are catnip for hip-hop nerds. The second season of this show, where host Sean Kantrowitz takes MCs down memory lane via a playlist of their songs, kicked off last week with veteran Brooklyn rapper Masta Ace as the first guest. Kantrowitz converses with the acclaimed Ace about working with the late MF Doom on Ace’s MA_Doom: Son Of Yvonne album (dedicated to Ace’s dearly departed mother) and being a part of the Crooklyn Dodgers, a short-lived supergroup brought together by Q-Tip to record a song for Spike Lee’s Crooklyn. But it’s fascinating hearing Ace open up about feeling over the years that his ambitious work usually falls on deaf ears (especially on the East Coast), only to find that people indeed bump his tunes when he tours other cities and even other parts of the world. He might not get enough of it on his home turf, but Ace has still found love for his hustle in this crazy world. [Craig D. Lindsey]


The Daily
Cryptocurrency’s Newest Frontier

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

New York Times columnist Kevin Roose is uniquely qualified to talk about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), having sold an NFT of his Times article on that very topic for a sum of approximately $560,000 (though the amount has since inflated to more like $700,000). This wasn’t the intended result of Roose’s experiment in digital currency; as he explains to NYT national correspondent Sabrina Tavernise on The Daily, the idea was to see how the process of “minting” and auctioning an NFT worked, and the level of interest it drew from outside parties (which turned out to be a lot). Where many have tried to explain the phenomenon of crypto to an audience of skeptics, Roose and Tavernise take things one slow step at a time, beginning in 2008 at the inception of what would become bitcoin and tracing a line to its bloated, unavoidable presence in society today. [Marnie Shure]


Unsolved Mysteries
Something In The Sky

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Following on the heels of last summer’s glossy reboot of Unsolved Mysteries over on Netflix, the creators of the original series, which debuted back in 1987, have continued to adapt their product for the modern era while keeping the kernels of melodrama and genuine horror that made the Robert Stack era so compelling. Unlike the Netflix series, the Unsolved Mysteries podcast (presented by Cadence13) enlists host Steve French to narrate each installment, but makes the wise choice to keep him largely out of the way, propelling the story with firsthand accounts and interviews with law enforcement. Fans of the TV show might recall that familiar “ah, shit” feeling whenever the topic swerved from true crime to the paranormal, but the podcast handles alien encounters fairly well by comparison—which is a relief, since four of its nine episodes so far have featured them. Without the need to visually represent alien spacecraft, the podcast relies on the pure, earnest conviction of the witnesses to tell the story and lets your imagination do the rest. This time around, we hear about a series of sightings in the Hudson Valley and why the odd collections of light couldn’t possibly be a tight formation of airplanes. [Marnie Shure]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.