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.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More
Culture

The Origins of the Transgender Movement

Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from remarks delivered at a Heritage Foundation summit. I’ve been asked to talk about the origins of transgenderism and how it relates to children and their exploitation. But first, I would like to start with a little story. Yesterday I was wandering around ... Read More
Elections

The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Elections

CNN’s Anti-Religious Town Hall

LGBT activists gathered last week for CNN’s “Equality” town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates. The advocates present were, in the words of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, the “tip of the spear in our fight for full equality.” The “spear” metaphor grew more apt as ... Read More
Loading...