Published on August 7th, 2020 | by Noah Dimitrie0
Listen to This: U TALKIN’ TALKING HEADS 2 MY TALKING HEAD?
Listen To This! is a new column dedicated to all things podcasting. Each segment, we’ll recommend a new pod that has got us hooked.
The title of Adam Scott (Parks and Rec) and Scott Aukerman’s (Comedy Bang Bang) podcast may just be the best possible way to encapsulate its endearingly silly cadence. U TALKING U2 TO ME?—the first iteration of the show—set a precedent for the kind of self-referential cheekiness that was to come as Scott and Adam meticulously picked apart U2’s discography in between frequent strolls through conversational tangents. In fact, I’d say only ½ to 1/3 of the show actually ended up being dedicated to the band itself. So that’s all to say that only a title as wonky as theirs’ could sufficiently represent them.
The duo then graduated to R.E.M., further entrenching their music tastes into the alt rock canon. R U TALKING R.E.M. RE: ME? demolished any semblance of straight-faced aspirations to real cutting edge criticism. With a title like that, how could expect anything more than a slacked-off convo that occasionally trickles back to R.E.M.?
That’s the genius of Adam and Scott’s pod—they purposely set the boundaries as wide as possible so that they can let their personalities, their regular-joe fandom, to shine through. The pod isn’t so much about critiquing the music academically as it is about creating a steady, all-encompassing character study of their personal and pop cultural journeys. It’s simply a podcast about two friends who happen to like music. So many podcasts feel the need to be outrageously distinct. U TALKING understands that simplicity is the most endearing.
That being said, they do spend adequate time dissecting the music. In fact, they expanded the scope of the podcast early when they realized that covering 2-3 albums in one episode was just impossible. Each week, they pour over one album and listen to each and every song. And despite their obvious fandom, they manage to stay relatively objective in their insights. It isn’t professional quality criticism, but it is authentic. Sometimes the opinions of a regular fan, without anything to prove, can be the most entertaining and insightful.
About a month ago, Adam and Scott launched into the third official phase of their pod. R U TALKING RHCP RE: ME? was supposed to unleash what I can only imagine would’ve been a divisive and frequently agonizing descent into the madness that is The Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, a unprecedented and rather charming pivot was made mere minutes into their second episode—the kind of pivot only a show as free-wheeling and silly as this could make. A brief diversion into conversations about post-punk legends Talking Heads spurned an immediate desire to shift into U TALKING TALKING HEADS 2 MY TALKING HEAD?
To go along with the improvisational buffoonery, the duo also invent numerous podcasts within podcasts, such as I Love Films and Great Coins. It a genuine satire of podcasts themselves. A podcast about nothing, it hones in on alternative rock only as a means to avoid it. And that makes it all the more dynamic to listen to. There’s nothing better than tuning in every week and having no idea what you’re in for. And for a medium so structured and concept-based, this is a heavy gust of fresh air.
Check out U TALKING TALKING HEADS 2 MY TALKING HEAD? on Spotify or Earwolf.com