Get 'em while they're hot!
June 30, 2011 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Stuck on a train for an hour every day and sick of sudoku? Hands love to knit but the brain gets bored? Riding out the recession as a streetcorner sign-twirler? Or maybe you've just got a burning desire for "cultural conversation of the depth you demand." If so, then Metafilter's own Colin Marshall has got what you need at the Marketplace of Ideas.

Available as a podcast or broadcast live on KCSB, the conversations at the Marketplace of Ideas are serious but never solemn, on topics ranging from medieval history to Brian Eno. Recent guests include Steven Moore on his 700 page history of the novel up to 1600, AV Club writer Nathan Rabin on cinematic failure, Gabriel Josipovici on Whatever Happened to Modernism?, Sarak Blakewell on Montaigne, David Toop on silent art, and Geoff Dyer talking. Delve further back for conversations with Tyler Cowen, Tom McCarthy, James Wood, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Peter Sagal, Steve Wozniak, and Bookworm host Michael Silverblatt describing himself as "cute." [via mefi projects]
posted by villanelles at dawn (9 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I'm glad to see this on the blue! Marketplace of Ideas is my favorite thing to listen to while folding clothes. Colin Marshall is somehow consistently able to find people with interesting things to say, and always gets right to the substance of whatever subject he's discussing. I've also been enjoying his blog, The War on Mediocrity. There's a lot of great writing on film and the creative process in there.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:54 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm listening to these oldest first and I'm only in 2008, so things might have changed. Too many libertarian guests, hardly any women. You can pretty solidly count on some knowing chuckling about how neither the Democrats or the Republicans really get it, no matter what the rest of the podcast is about. I'm someone who thinks David Plotz is a crypto right winger and Stephen Metcalf is kind of a creepy sexist, so your mileage may vary. Marshall also heads my Fakest-Sounding Radio Laugh list, if that sort of thing matters to you.

It fills a cultural niche in my podcast lineup that I haven't figured out how to adequately replace, and about 1 in 5 have somebody really interesting. That's enough, for the moment.

Marshall's Podthoughts column is irreplaceable for this podcast addict, however, and I never hesitate to recommend it here and elsewhere. And I enjoy the War on Mediocrity as well.
posted by Kwine at 11:58 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

While I'll agree that Charles Murray is at least one libertarian guest too many, I think you'll find that politics comes up much more rarely in the later shows. Agree on Podthoughts.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:50 PM on June 30, 2011

Stuck on a train for an hour every day and sick of sudoku?

Yep, but I read. I've tried podcasts, but I just can't listen to people talking on headphones and pay attention while I am moving. Perhaps my loss.

Rather than contribute nothing, I'll ask: do most podcasts get transcripted? I doubt it, but I would much rather read interviews like these than listen to them. I just don't have the patience to listen to people talk.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:55 PM on June 30, 2011

(also, my train commute is only 20 minutes, which lends itself to reading more than video/podcasts ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:56 PM on June 30, 2011

If you have an interest in modern literature and cinema these are great listening. I particularly enjoyed the Geoff Dyer and Scott Esposito interviews.
posted by incandissonance at 3:46 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

mrgrimm, unfortunately I dont think most podcasts -- including this one -- have transcripts. One of the things i love about this show is how different it is from other interview offerings, both written and recorded. For one it offers guests that I usually cant find anywhere else (for instance Gabriel Josipovici or Alexander Theroux) and it gives them enough time (pretty much a full hour devoted to a single guest) to reach a depth that is rare in radio/podcasts and even harder to find in print (the famous Paris Review interview is an obvious but rare example, and those are often composed over months). Of course that means that it also requires a bit of a commitment on the part of the listener, but for listening to while running or doing some kind of manual work I dont think it can be beat.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:51 PM on July 1, 2011

I think I broke it
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:00 PM on July 1, 2011

Pedant comment I know, but I gave up on Marshall after reading his essay on John Carpenter where he admits that he hasn't seen (or forgot) The Thing or They Live. It's like writing an essay about Kubrick and then saying you hadn't bothered with 2001 or A Clockwork Orange.
posted by quartzcity at 10:52 PM on July 7, 2011

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