384 episodes

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop. For more of Slate’s culture podcasts, check out the Slate Culture feed.

Culture Gabfest Slate Podcasts

    • News
    • 4.1 • 157 Ratings

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New York Times critic Dwight Garner says “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop. For more of Slate’s culture podcasts, check out the Slate Culture feed.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Hamm Sandwich

    Hamm Sandwich

    This week, Slate writer and editor Dan Kois fills in for Julia as the panel begins by revisiting a familiar character in the Jon Hamm-led reboot Confess, Fletch. Then, the panel is joined by Slate’s book critic, Laura Miller, to remember the legacy of the recently departed British author Hilary Mantel. Finally, the panel is joined by Slate's web editor, Nitish Pahwa, to explain the cheating scandal that has embroiled not only the world of competitive chess, but also the general public.
    In Slate Plus, the panel discusses what makes the best bathroom book—inspired by Dan Kois’ article on the subject for Slate.
    Email us at culturefest@slate.com.
    Endorsements
    Dana: The perfect airplane viewing (whilst embarking on a new chapter of book promo): the one hour BBC documentary Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard.
    Dan: The intensely close reading of the film Predator titled, Predator: A Memoir, a Movie, an Obsession by Ander Monson. In it, Monson transforms the close reading into a memoir about manhood, guns, politics, juvenile delinquency, and more.
    Steve: The famous solo by tenor saxophone player Paul Gonsalves during Duke Ellington’s set at the 1956 Newport Jazz festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vnrNWyvI-U
    Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.
    Outro music is "Bloody Hunter" by Paisley Pink.
    If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows. You’ll also be supporting the work we do here on the Culture Gabfest. Sign up now at Slate.com/cultureplus to help support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Jolly Green Lawyer

    Jolly Green Lawyer

    This week, Julia and Dana invite different guests to temporarily fill in for Steve. First, Julia and Dana are joined by Slate’s technology editor, Jonathan L. Fischer, as they hulk out and lawyer out with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Then, the panel is joined by Slate’s music critic, Carl Wilson, to take a look at one of music’s larger-than-life figures, David Bowie, with the documentary Moonage Daydream. Finally, the panel is joined by Sam Adams, a senior editor at Slate, to discuss the ethics of documentaries—a discussion inspired by the article “Inside the Documentary Cash Grab,” written by Mia Galuppo and Katie Kilkenny for The Hollywood Reporter.
    In Slate Plus, the panel discusses unfinished works of art they really wish were, well, finished.
    Email us at culturefest@slate.com.
    Endorsements
    Dana: One of Dana’s favorite Onion articles of all time: “David Bowie Asks Iman If They Should Just Do Lasagna Again.”
    Sam: Actually reading Robert Caro’s book The Power Broker.
    Julia: Take an art class! Take. An. Art. Class. Generally, if you’re in LA: checkout Makers Mess. Specifically, if you’re anywhere: check out the online kits and classes from Mercedez Rex.
    Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.
    Outro music is "Stone Cookies" by Dusty Decks.
    If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows. You’ll also be supporting the work we do here on the Culture Gabfest. Sign up now at Slate.com/cultureplus to help support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 59 min
    Bad Sisters, Bad Sons

    Bad Sisters, Bad Sons

    This week, the panel begins by settling into the scenic Irish mystery of Bad Sisters. Then, the panel begrudgingly watches the Breitbart funded uh…indie film…My Son Hunter which may end up being the most interesting text the panel has discussed in a while. Finally, the panel is joined by co-host of Slate’s Working podcast and special friend of the pod, June Thomas, to discuss the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II.
    In Slate Plus, the panel discusses the 2022 Emmy Awards.
    Email us at culturefest@slate.com.
    Endorsements
    Dana: A really great audiobook, Shirley, A Tale by Charlotte Brontë (the follow up to Jane Eyre) narrated by Georgina Sutton.
    Julia: Two endorsements: first, possibly the silliest thing ever endorsed, the $17 Scalp Brush from fancy salon-style shampoo company Sachajuan. Second: Dana is coming to Village Well Books & Coffee in Culver City, CA to discuss her book, Camera Man, this coming Saturday, September 17th at 5 pm.
    Steve: An interview with Harvard Philosopher of Science, Steven Shapin, in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Len Gutkin, titled “There’s No Shame in Being a Hack.”
    Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.
    Outro music is "Any Other Way" by Particle House.
    If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get an ad-free experience across the network and exclusive content on many shows. You’ll also be supporting the work we do here on the Culture Gabfest. Sign up now at Slate.com/cultureplus to help support our work.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Rings of Power, Wads of Cash

    Rings of Power, Wads of Cash

    This week, the panel begins by assessing the most expensive television show to date: Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Then, the panel breaks down Breaking, the John Boyega-led hostage crisis film that also includes one of the last performances of late actor Michael K. Williams. Finally, the panel discusses the pros and cons of child acting, a topic choice that was influenced by HBO’s The Rehearsal and Jennette McCurdy’s recent memoir.
    In Slate Plus, the panel talks with Ultimate Major Super-Human Friend of the Program (and also author and contributing writer for the New York Times) Jody Rosen about his recent piece in NYT Mag about Willie Nelson, titled “Willie Nelson’s Long Encore.” And as a good example of Nelson’s magic: his performance of “Funny How Time Slips Away” at the ‘79 Austin City Limits music festival. 
    Email us at culturefest@slate.com.
    Endorsements
    Dana: Some Texas music: the most recent album from San Antonio indie band Buttercup, titled Specks, an Autobiographical Record by Buttercup.
    Julia: Even more Strut afterglow: “Oui ou Non” by Angèle
    Steve: In memory of Barbara Ehrenreich: reading her excellent work. 
    Podcast production by Anna Rubanova. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.
    Outro music is "The Brew" by Chris Shards
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts, a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest, full access to Slate's journalism on Slate.com, and more. Sign up now at slate.com/cultureplus.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Do-Over, Please

    Do-Over, Please

    This week, Dana and Julia are out but never fear, we’ve brought on two great guest host to join Steve: slate alumnus and NYT columnist Jamelle Bouie and senior editor at Slate, Sam Adams. First, the panel breaks down the moral quandaries of the socially unhinged HBO hit The Rehearsal. Then, the panel dips a toe into the dark side with the Aubrey Plaza-led film Emily the Criminal. Finally, the panel discusses the article “Why Do Rich People Love Quiet?” by Xochitl Gonzalez for The Atlantic.
    In Slate Plus, the panel discusses the relationship between race and food, based on the article “What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘White People Food’” by Jenny G. Zhang for Bon Appétit.
    Email us at culturefest@slate.com.
    Endorsements
    Sam: The new New York City Center’s “Encore” production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods—now showing at the St. James Theater in New York City.
    Jamelle: Inspired by his podcast Unclear & Present Danger: the 1992 Bill Duke film Deep Cover starring Laurence Fishburn and Jeff Goldblum, which is a great example of relatively modern neo-noir and a fascinating political artifact of the 1990s.
    Steve: A previous endorsement update: Steve has finished and approves the 1980 novel The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard. Steve’s real endorsement for the week: the album Crest by Swedish hip-hop artist Bladee, especially the songs: “Desire is a Trap” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”  
    Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.
    Outro music is "What Do You Want From Me" by OTE.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts, a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest, full access to Slate's journalism on Slate.com, and more. Sign up now at slate.com/cultureplus.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 58 min
    Sandman vs. Predator

    Sandman vs. Predator

    This week, Dana and Julia hold down the fort in Steve’s absence while Slate’s book critic, Laura Miller, fills in as a third host. First, the panel breaks down the Neil Gaiman adaptation that no one thought would happen, The Sandman. Then, the panel discusses the new installment in the Predator franchise: Prey. Finally, supplemented by Laura’s great piece on the author, the panel attempts to answer: Who is Colleen Hoover?
    In Slate Plus, the panel discusses pairs of notable people that they’d like to see in conversation with one another.
    Email us at culturefest@slate.com.
    Endorsements
    Dana: Pulling a Julia with a food endorsement: Off-Script’s Samin-Nosrat-inspired thyme pistachio pesto.
    Julia: More Summer Strut afterglow: “I Wish That I Could See You Soon” by Herman Dune.
    Laura: The New Zealand comedy series, Wellington Paranormal, which is a spin-off of the original What We Do in the Shadows film. Specifically: season 4 episode 3, “The Coolening.”
    Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.
    Outro music is "Forbidden Love" by OTE.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts, a bonus segment in each episode of the Culture Gabfest, full access to Slate's journalism on Slate.com, and more. Sign up now at slate.com/cultureplus.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
157 Ratings

157 Ratings

Tim 1159 ,

More Dana

I broke my, “Don’t listen if there’s no Dana” rule. Won’t happen again.

sprucegear ,

no

You gen z bores have no clue what you're talking about. That film review was not edifying or substantive at all

angrylf ,

More like dogma fest

This show’s hosts never miss an opportunity to spout woke values - they can’t critique a film for what it is without a bunch of virtue signaling crap. Pretty infuriating

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