Category: Columns

Some Thoughts About Grantland


I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and — for me at least — I can’t think of pop culture event in a very long time that has made me sadder than the sudden killing of Grantland.

Sure, some of my favorite TV shows have gone away. Goodbye Deadwood, so long Mad Men! Sure, bands break up and artists die. R.I.P. Lou Reed and R.E.M. And except for eight times in my entire life, my favorite teams aren’t going to be the World Champs.

But there are always other TV shows and other musicians and wait ’til next year!

But Grantland was unique. I realize that Bill Simmons is a polarizing figure, but his great insight — that there is an intersection between the pop culture nerd and the sports nerd — spoke directly to me.

Every single god damned day for the past few years, I could go to Grantland and never know what I was going to find: Andy Greenwald or Molly Lambert writing about a TV show I should be watching, Steven Hyden raving about the latest punk rock band or country artist he’d discovered, Wesley Morris with some insight films, Jonah Keri breaking down the best teams in the MLB.

Or all of the weird mash-ups and brackets and fake hot takes and deep insights. And the podcasts! At their height, I never missed an episode of The Hollywood Prospectus or Girls in Hoodies or Do You Like Prince Movies?

For me, this is like like the ends of Trouser Press and Creem. Or like the cancellations of Police Squad!, Twin Peaks and The Middleman! Or like the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Warren Zevon.

Like Grantland, all of these things were unique and unfinished. There was potential for so much more. And that’s what makes me sad.

How I Got Thrown Out of The Late Show With David Letterman

late-show The first thing you need to understand is I didn’t mean to get thrown out of The Late Show With David Letterman.

Why would I? For much of the 1980s, his NBC show was my absolute and utter favorite thing in all of the pop culture world. I loved that show more than R.E.M. or The Replacements or Bloom County or This is Spinal Tap. I loved Dave more than Raising Arizona or Lord of The Rings or Bob Dylan.

Medialoper Bebop Episode 34: Welcomed to the Jungle

Jim is finally back from Maui, and so we’re finally back with a podcast!

This week, we wonder if Axl Rose is right to refuse entry into a Hall of Fame that would induct someone like Axl Rose. (07:51 – 19:13)

Then, in 2012, should anybody be watching shows like Mad Men or Breaking Bad in anything but HD? Of course not, so we discuss the fact that DirecTV customers still have to suffer with AMC in Standard Definition. This also leads into a discussion on David Simon’s comments about people not watching The Wire properly. (19:14 – 29:55)

Then, we follow up on the DOJ’s eBooks anti-trust lawsuit. (29:56 – 37:46)

Finally, what’s in Jim’s mix: the latest records from Wussy, The Men, Nada Surf and Imperial Teen. (37:47 – 43:16)

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Medialoper Bebop Episode 33: Drug Test

This week, Tim, Kirk & Jim start off by banging their heads against the LA Times paywall. (4:40 – 10:35)

Next up, what’s worse than taking a drug test to get a job? Having a prospective employer login to Facebook as you. (10:36 – 18:30)

Then, we all plan to go see The Hunger Games, after convincing Kirk that it’s a sequel to Moneyball. (18:31 – 22:21)

Also, we look at how the new iPad’s Retina Display doesn’t play nicely with app developers who took shortcuts or tried to control the experience too tightly. (22:22 – 32:20)

All that, and what’s in Tim’s mix: Bruce Springsteen, Esvbjorn Svensson Trio and The Shins. (32:21 – 42:59)

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Medialoper Bebop Episode 32: Rehab Rehab

And we’re back! Kirk, Tim & Jim start off by discussing Daylight Saving Time and the logistics of attending SxSW in a wheelchair, and wonder Kirk didn’t do just that following his knee surgery. (4:28 – 10:00)

You wonder why e-book prices have gone up in the past couple of years? And they’re all pretty much the same wherever you happen to shop? It’s because of a thing called “agency pricing,” and the U.S. Department of Justice are considering suing Apple and the major book-publishers over colluding to fix prices. (10:01 – 26:33)

Then: we discuss artists asking Rush Limbaugh not use their songs on his show. (26:34 – 33:40)

Finally, it’s Kirk’s turn for In The Mix. This week, it’s Ben Kweller, Chuck Prophet and The Died Pretty. (33:41 – 39:52)

Subscribe to us in the iTunes, yo!