300 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 Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop. Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.

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    • Arts

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop. Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.

    Hit Parade: I'm Your Whitney Tonight Edition

    Hit Parade: I'm Your Whitney Tonight Edition

    Eight years after her passing—and 35 years after the release of her debut album—Whitney Houston is about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Predictably, some rock fans have carped that Houston doesn’t belong in the Hall. But they are not the only ones who, historically, have complained about Houston’s bona fides. In the ’80s, at the apex of her success, black fans complained that Houston was courting white pop fans too eagerly, and forgetting her roots in gospel and R&B.
    On the charts, by contrast, Whitney Houston’s achievements are indisputable. But they also might be underrated. Houston’s chart records offer a window into exactly how she crossed over…and whether she deserved the backlash. In this episode, Chris Molanphy walks step by step through Whitney’s storied chart records—including a couple that have gone unheralded—that help explain why she was a seminal, singular figure among black female crossover stars, from Aretha and Diana to Beyoncé.
    Podcast production by Justin D. Wright.

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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Thirst Aid Kit: We Love James McAvoy, That’ s All

    Thirst Aid Kit: We Love James McAvoy, That’ s All

    Nichole is ill this week, but there could be no better Thirst Object to rouse her from her sickbed than Glasgow-born actor James McAvoy! We looked into McAvoy’s uncanny knack for matching intense vulnerability with deeply attractive stoicism to make for an irresistible presence. Whether he’s playing a defiant but insecure Cyrano on stage or coming into his own in roles in Atonement, Wanted, or the X-Men films, James slakes all thirsts: slender or bulked up, au naturel or putting on an accent, blockbuster or indie project. And we can’t seem to look away.
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Thirst Aid Kit each week. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    On Slate Plus, it’s another installment of Explain Yourself, in which we speak to Vulture staff writer and frequently outrageous thirsty tweeter Hunter Harris about the distinct (but entirely resistible to us!) allure of Adam Driver. In essence: he’s A Large Boy! And people—including Hunter—like Large Things. :eyes emoji:
    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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    • 52 min
    Culture Gabfest: Portrait of Taylor on Fire

    Culture Gabfest: Portrait of Taylor on Fire

    This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and guest host and Slate staff writer Dan Kois talk about Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Next, they discuss Taylor Swift’s documentary Miss Americana. Finally, the panel dives into “garbage language” a.k.a corporate buzzwords—unnecessary or effective? 

    On the Slate Plus segment this week, the panel discusses a contentious subject—whether Leonardo DiCaprio was already a star before Titanic?

    Podcast production by Jessamine Molli. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Additional production help by Rosemary Belson.

    Outro Music: 'The Man' by Taylor Swift

    Endorsements

    Dan: Reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies before The Mirror & the Light, the third book in the trilogy, is released March 10. 

    Julia: Golden State by Ben H. Winters.

    Steve: “Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein” by Mitchell Abidor in The New York Review of Books.
     
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    How To!: Write the Perfect Breakup Song with Ben Folds

    How To!: Write the Perfect Breakup Song with Ben Folds

    This is an episode of our advice show How To! with Charles Duhigg.
    Lorenzo is a dental student with big dreams—of becoming a rock star. Lorenzo plays a mean guitar at open mic night, but there’s one thing holding him back: He doesn’t know how to write his own songs. In this episode of How To!, we bring in master songwriter Ben Folds, former frontman of Ben Folds Five, and author of A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons. Many of those lessons are about how anyone can unlock their creativity. Ben breaks down his own music, and tinkers with Lorenzo’s attempt at writing a break-up song. He tells him to embrace cliché, then slip in something unexpected. Also, switch the first lyric with the second. Will it work?
    Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com.
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    • 33 min
    Spoiler Specials: Emma.

    Spoiler Specials: Emma.

    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, Marissa Martinelli and Heather Schwedel discuss Emma. Though certainly not the first adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, director Autumn de Wilde’s film humanizes the familiar characters and departs at times from the source material to bring a certain freshness to this comedy. Will Emma’s meddling still result in matchmaking errors? How far does she have to go to right her wrongs? And what’s with the inopportune nosebleed?

    You can read Marissa Martinelli’s review here.

    Note: As the title indicates, spoilers galore.

    Email us at spoilers@slate.com.
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    • 57 min
    Thirst Aid Kit: The Deceptive Deference of Clive Owen

    Thirst Aid Kit: The Deceptive Deference of Clive Owen

    Clive Owen: is he dangerous or is he the love of our lives? As someone wise once asked, why not both? When Clive steps into a scene, we don’t know if he’s about to deliver a soul-stealing kiss or a scathing takedown, but we move to the edge of our seats to catch every second of it. From Chancer to Closer, Sin City to The Knick, and beyond, Clive’s demanding presence brings us to our knees, and we find we’re quite all right with that. 
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Thirst Aid Kit each week. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    On Slate Plus, we discuss the erotic fixation on the extended leg of a woman. Using scenes from Carmen Jones, Boomerang, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Something New, we examine the power play found in women’s feet—and areas north. 
    Our music is by Tanya Morgan. You can find show notes, gifs, and so much more on our Tumblr at thirstaidkitpodcast.tumblr.com. If the spirit moves you, send us your own drabbles by emailing thirstaidkit@slate.com. 

    Follow us on Twitter @ThirstAidKit. Bim is @bimadew and Nichole is @tnwhiskeywoman.
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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

LR9876543 ,

It’s pretty good!

Useful hot takes

AW624 ,

Can't listen anymore

I stopped in the middle of most recent episode on "Cheer" and am deleting from my feed after trying to like this podcast (I used to enjoy it a few years back). Dana and Julia didn't even watch most of the series! Why discuss something you haven't even watched!!
And its a documentary! Complaining about a clip of a conservative teacher at a small town Texas junior college? Should the documentarians have scripted that instead?

VeggieBurgerSF ,

Daaaaaaaaynuh!

Dana Stevens is a treasure. That’s all you need to know.

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