Podcasts | Political Beats

Episode 58: Matt Murray / Randy Newman

Randy Newman’s Sail Away

Scot and Jeff discuss Randy Newman with Matt Murray.

Introducing the Band:

Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) with guest Matt Murray. Matt is editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal and is the author of the book The Father And The Son: My Father’s Journey Into Monastic Life.  Matt is on Twitter at @murraymatt.

Matt’s Musical Pick: Randy Newman

It’s lonely at the top when you’re one of America’s greatest modern songwriters, but the case of Randy Newman is an even stranger one than most: a professional songwriter since 1962, a celebrated solo artist since 1968, and one of Hollywood’s go-to men for movie soundtracks (including, yes, all those Pixar movies) since 1981, Newman is still arguably hugely underappreciated by the public at large. We suppose that’s inevitable when you sing like a bullfrog and your greatest commercial success was a quasi-novelty song about loathing diminutive folk, but Matt, Jeff and Scot are at great pains on today’s episode to explain why Randy Newman is in fact one of the most profound (profoundly acerbic, profoundly cynical, profoundly hilarious, profoundly moving, you name it) artists of the modern popular era. From the halting orchestral experiments of his youth to the deep exploration of the dark weird corners of America during his prime to the scabrous wit of his political and social commentary, Newman is one of the most truly American musicians of the past fifty years, and his musical legacy reveals truths both uncomfortable and undeniable about our national psyche. Dive on in with us — and you can leave your hat on.

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