300 episodes

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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.

    Working: How Divergent Author Veronica Roth Learns From Criticism

    Working: How Divergent Author Veronica Roth Learns From Criticism

    Welcome to the revamped Working. We’re pivoting to creativity! New hosts Rumaan Alam, Isaac Butler, and June Thomas will be talking to writers, musicians, designers, YouTubers, and other people with creative jobs about how they spend their days. 
    This week, June talks with author Veronica Roth, who wrote the first draft of her novel Divergent when she was a senior at Northwestern University. She had sold more than 32 million books by the time she was 26, and next week, at the ripe old age of 31, she’ll publish her seventh novel, Chosen Ones. 
    They talked about identifying your natural writing style, how to find the perfect person to offer feedback on your work, and making the switch from writing YA fiction. You’ll also hear how Kate Winslet helped her create more believable villains.
    Afterward, Rumaan and Isaac talk about their own experiences with the workshopping process and the readers whose feedback they trust most—for Rumaan that’s Lynn Steger Strong, author of Hold Still; for Isaac that’s Sally Franson, author of A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out, and Catherine Nichols.)

    Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com.
    Podcast production by Morgan Flannery.
    And if you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on Working. It’s only $35 for the first year, and you can get a free two-week trial now at slate.com/workingplus
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    • 47 min
    Culture Gabfest: Cool Cats and Kittens

    Culture Gabfest: Cool Cats and Kittens

    This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf is joined by Slate senior editor Sam Adams and Slate podcast producer Daniel Schroeder discuss the wildness of Tiger King. Then, Steve teams back up with Dana Stevens and Julia Turner to talk about one of his favorite comfort watches: Paddington 2. Finally, the panel analyzes celebrity in the age of coronavirus by exploring the two recent telethons respectively hosted by Elton John and James Corden.
    On the Slate Plus segment this week, the panel discusses Bob Dylan’s newest song.
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each week, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.

    Podcast production by Jessamine Molli. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. 

    Outro Music: "The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else)" by Julie London

    Endorsements

    Dana: The singer Julie London

    Julia: Hoosker Doosker Tug of War game

    Steve: “They Survived the Spanish Flu, the Depression and the Holocaust,” by Ginia Bellafante in the New York Times

    “A Star in a Stoneboat,” by Robert Frost
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    • 1 hr 14 min
    Hit Parade: La Vida Loca Edición

    Hit Parade: La Vida Loca Edición

    Hit Parade takes you back to the turn of the millennium when, for a couple of years, it seemed like a Latin pop star was topping Billboard’ Hot 100 every few weeks: Ricky Martin. Jennifer Lopez. Enrique Iglesias. Marc Anthony. Carlos Santana. Shakira. This wave of Latin crossover was hard-fought and a long time coming—from “La Bamba” to “Macarena,” Spanish-language hits in the 20th century had been treated like novelties by record buyers and radio programmers.
    The Latin boom of 1999 changed all that—but did it go far enough? How did we get from the slick Spanglish of “Livin’ la Vida Loca” to the Spanish-first success of “Despacito” and “Mi Gente”? And how did Ritchie Valens and João Gilberto prepare America for J.Lo and Shakira triumphing at the Super Bowl?
    Podcast production by Justin D. Wright.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
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    • 1 hr 37 min
    Spoiler Specials: Star Trek: Picard

    Spoiler Specials: Star Trek: Picard

    On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week, Slate staffers Marissa Martinelli, Daniel Schroeder, and Megan Kallstrom spoil Star Trek: Picard, which picks up years after Admiral Jean-Luc Picard has separated from Starfleet over ideological differences. The Star Trek legend has retreated into retirement on Earth when the daughter of an old friend—the android Data—shows up, leading Picard to amass a new crew to track down her sister before sinister forces beat him to it.

    You can read Marissa Martinelli’s review here.

    You can read Megan Kallstrom’s piece here. 

    Note: As the title indicates, this podcast contains spoilers galore.

    Email us at spoilers@slate.com.
    Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.

    Podcast production by Rosemary Belson. 
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Thirst Aid Kit: Maximum UST

    Thirst Aid Kit: Maximum UST

    Maddie and David. Will and Alicia. Ichabod and Abbie. Brennan and Booth. Moonlighting, The Good Wife, Sleepy Hollow, and Bones all showed us the magic of UST-- unresolved sexual tension. In most of these examples, we got the kissing (and more) we’d been craving, and these television shows knew how to string us along until we thought we’d die from longing. That’s the hallmark of a job well done-- transferring the desire of a show’s leading couple to its audiences. In this episode dedicated to ultimate UST, we talk about what works and what doesn’t; what happens when the resolution is everything we could want… and when we’re denied. 
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Thirst Aid Kit each week. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    In this week’s Slate Plus, it’s Nichole’s turn in the court of ‘Explain Yourself’. She breaks down her attraction to Irish crooner Hozier, but Bim is a hard juror to convince. 
    Follow us on Twitter @ThirstAidKit. Our music is by Tanya Morgan. You can find show notes, gifs and so much more on our Tumblr at thirstaidkitpodcast.tumblr.com. Remember, you can send us your own (short) drabbles by emailing thirstaidkit@slate.com.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Culture Gabfest: Walking into the Abyss

    Culture Gabfest: Walking into the Abyss

    This week on the Culture Gabfest, Dana Stevens rejoins Stephen Metcalf and Julia Turner from her book leave for a few segments. First, Steve and Dana chat with Slate’s books and culture columnist Laura Miller about The Plot Against America. Next, Steve, Dana, and Julia talk about the power of walking, particularly in this time of quarantine, and the literary history that precedes the activity. Finally, Steve and Julia chat with Slate staff writer Dan Kois about the 1996 film Big Night, a delicious comfort watch.

    On the Slate Plus segment this week, the panel checks in with each other about how they’re doing during this time of quarantine. 

    Podcast production by Jessamine Molli. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. 

    Outro Music: “Higher Love” cover from Kygo & Whitney Houston 


    Endorsements

    Dana: “Kasha is the new nutmeg.”
    Patti LuPone’s basement tours.

    Julia: “Higher Love,” the Whitney Houston and Kygo remix.

    Steve: “Buh Black Snake in New England,” by Benjamin Anastas in Oxford American. 
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    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

MissyRissy ,

Out of Touch

I usually love culture gabfest, but they dismissed Tiger King WAY too quickly. It just felt contrarian and dismissive and they totally failed to address the pop culture moment of the show itself. We get it. You’re too good to enjoy trash with the rest of us. Like they enjoyed the Circle and couldn’t deign to discuss Tiger King holistically? I’ve also been annoyed at all of the presenters making little side comments that make it seem like they’re not wealthy. I think Steve or Dana were saying something about having to pay off their student loans. HA! Nice try distancing from your bougie selves. There’s just such a lack of self awareness, especially with Steve.

nfdusaofhdsuiablf ,

nosedive into insufferable

i'm a longtime listener, and i've always resented stephen and his flat boring pretentious het white man takes, but dana and julia more than compensated with their intelligence and insights.
but these recent weeks brought a series of ignorant, privileged takes on the coronavirus, and have anchored stephen firmly at the center of the show.
this was a podcast i used to look forward to; now i can't even get through a single segment without tuning out in disgust.
can we get rid of stephen and replace him with, say, a person of color? queer? woman? anyone. please consider for the sake of your show's quality.

FMccl ,

Slate Hit Parade

The Whitney Houston episode was one of the best and most thoughtful listens. I was in tears by the end.

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