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Bang A Gong
54 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
E18 - Now Is a Great Time to Learn English as a First Language
In which we explore over-hyped apps; stupid stories; authors great, small, and quite frankly misanthropic; cat-like grammar; and more! to bring you the ultimate guide to actually learning a foreign language so that you can travel to countries where people don't want to speak to you in their native tongue; read books in the original when they've already been pretty decently translated into English; barely understand B+ European TV; and turn otherwise simple, everyday tasks into almost unconquerable obstacles - all in one episode, well-described in one English run-on sentence (Brad, don't you dare edit this for grammar!) . . .
44 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
E17 - More Maverick Movies!
Brad and Mike report back on their progress through Rolling Stone's 100 Maverick Movies List. Lots of love for the '70s in this episode, as we cover Badlands, The Searchers, The Manchurian Candidate, Don't Look Away, 2001: A Space Odyssey, M, Nashville, Network, and Il Conformista.But we also suggest updates and improvements. John Hughes, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Alfonso Cuaron, Sofia Coppola ... hello?This one was fun. Join us and see if we can't reawaken your love of film.
53 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
E16 - Bang a Gong Year in Review, Part 2
Better late than never, 2020 is over and our year in review is finally published. Don't blame your (least?) favorite podcast personalities, blame the sound editor who sat on it for two weeks. Home baked challah, home brewed New England IPA, Texas Brisket, Gomorrah!, I still want my MTV, Turkish coffee, more history-defining objects, democracy?
36 minutes | Jan 3, 2021
E15 - Bang a Gong Year in Review, Part 1
As we turn the page — happily, desperately, spitefully — on 2020, Bang a Gong pauses for a moment to take stock on the past year's developments ... at Bang a Gong. That's right, listeners: we'll leave it to others to recap the global pandemic, political and social turmoil, and Whatever the Hell Happened in that Last Episode of LEGO Masters. We're here instead to look back at our early episodes. Join us as we mourn the passing of John Le Carré, brief you on updates to the Social Distancing Since 1985! playlist, advance flimsy excuses (allergies? really?) for our Runkeeper Mapping failures, and belabor whether chartreuse is a color or a beverage.
47 minutes | Dec 25, 2020
E14 - 100 Maverick Movies (Top Gun Not Included)
What's new about a 20-year-old Rolling Stone list of "Maverick Directors"? Well, the list compiled each of 100 directors’ most radically different movie. So every movie on the list is different from anything before it, and different from anything else on the list. We review some of the best, opening up a cinemagical rabbit hole of new movie ideas that will get you through winter and beyond.
45 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
E13 - Brad Reads an Economist Issue, Cover to Cover
One week. 81 packed pages. A Briefing on Microsoft. They said it couldn't be done ... but they hadn't met Brad.Join us as we recount this odyssey through The Economist. Dig deep into six continents (maybe next time, Antarctica). Navigate treacherous international waters. Slog and trudge through the dual morasses of Business and Finance, stepping lightly over and through Economic Indicators ... before finally attaining the summit: the Obituary Page.Magellan, Amundsen, Lindbergh, Hillary ... Abruzzi.
43 minutes | Nov 15, 2020
E12 - Viking TV
We head deep into the heart of Scandinavia to stream some pretty badass television. Along the way we listen to the beautiful melodies of Norwegian Black Metal, explore the global impact of Danish politics, encounter Thor reincarnated, meet stone age time travelers, and find Russians in Norway and Norwegians in Afghanistan. And in the end, Jarl Varg gets his revenge.
37 minutes | Oct 29, 2020
E11 - Don Quixote x 4
El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha. Man of La Mancha. Lost in La Mancha. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. This week Brad sets out on a dubious quest — tracking the World's Favorite Crazy Old Man through four centuries of adventures ... while Mike rides alongside begging him to pick up the pace. Knight and squire's winding road brings them to Wilford Brimley, Private Pyle, and the Battle of Lepanto, among other *seemingly* unrelated topics. But that's Bang a Gong for you. Check out Episode 11 and Hail, Knight of the Woeful Countenance!
41 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
E10 - How Can There Be Balance in Life without Eddie Van Halen?
In which we discuss equilibrium. Between 40-somethings and 0-somethings. On slacklines, Ninja lines, and paddleboards. And maybe digress just a tad to pay fair tribute to the awesomeness of Eddie Van Halen.
45 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
E9 - I Want My MTV [Back]
Bang a Gong comes back rocking from hiatus to talk about MTV: that is, Music Television, as we remember it from its heyday in the 1980s. Brad kicks it off by dishing on the hundreds of hours of vintage VHS recordings gifted to Gen Xers through the Internet Archive, for a too-brief time (D**n you, Viacom!) back in May. And where else could this lead, but to talk of the Buggles, Golden Earring, "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and—God bless her—Martha Quinn?
40 minutes | Aug 13, 2020
E8 - The Correct Method of Reckoning for Grasping the Meaning of Things and Knowing Everything — Obscurities and All Secrets
A feather helmet, a credit card, a hand axe, a painting on silk "admonishing" Empress Jia. If that sounds like a scavenger hunt, it's because it is — and you can't beat the British Museum for scavenging. Join us as Brad dishes on A History of the World in 100 Objects, the 2010 podcast series and corresponding book by former BM director Neil MacGregor that access the Museum's extensive collections to tell the million-year story of our lives ... one object at a time. Also, Mike bashes iPhones and Long John Silver's.
33 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
E7 - Upgraded Campfire Cooking
Classic campfire cooking works. Hot dogs on sticks are tasty, easy, and the kids love 'em. But a few very easy steps open up a whole world of savory ribs, mouth watering BBQ, campfire nachos supreme, Turkish coffee, perfect French toast . . . Have to stop writing, my stomach is grumbling.
54 minutes | Aug 2, 2020
E6 - TV is for Table Varnish and German and Italian TeleVision
The least handy guy I know refinishes a kitchen table that's suffered a decade and half of abuse from children. After all that hard work, kick back, relax, and sample some TV that's so good it's worth the subtitles. The foreign language TV review starts at 15:45. Not that anyone would want to skip ahead. Just giving our listeners all the information so they can make informed decisions.
47 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
E5 - Peel, Roast, and Brew
Explore the legendary radio sessions of John Peel. While drinking coffee. Coffee you roasted at home. Because why would you pay $5 and drive to a god awful chain for bitter dreck when you can have fresh roasted better stuff right at home for a tiny fraction of the cost? Seriously? Put on another Peel session for a bottle of home-brewed Belgian ale. Peel. Roast. Brew. Repeat.
33 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
E4 - Bacon Challah and Rented Chickens
In today's episode, Mike combines the best of Judaism and Christianity into pork belly-infused, toasted, braided, eggy bread and Brad goes suburban farmer on us and chases chickens around his backyard.
44 minutes | Jun 19, 2020
E3 - Systematic John LeCarré and ... Nuts?
Enough books, TV, and movies to entertain and enlighten for months, all from one spy author who's been at it for 60 years. But where to start and where to go from there? After that, a deeply profound discussion of the finest packaged nuts available today. That's of course, Blue Diamond Salt and Vinegar Almonds. Really. Spies, traitors, Mossad, Palestine, the Berlin Wall, Big Pharma, Chechnya, populism, and then . . . nuts.
30 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
E2 - Classical Invective and Runmapping
Explore the colorful insults of the greatest [non-American] orator of all time, Marcus Tullius Cicero. Then explore every inch of your surrounding area on foot as fast as you can. Cicero's Philippics and Runkeeper Mapping make this week different from the last. Bonus showdown between Cicero and Daniel Webster for the global title.
37 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
E1 - Sinéad and Shalhoub
Dig back for some updates to your playlist and fall asleep without fail every night. In the pilot episode of Bang a Gong, your hosts highlight Two Things that made this week different — and better — from the last.
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