Episode One: Little Language Machine

Welcome to Episode one of the Organist, wherein:

  • the short-story master George Saunders talks about how riffing as a teenage benchwarmer led to the richly imagined voices of his fiction;
  • Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman explains the tortured etymology of the word “podcast” (it’s a conflation of the words paw and broadcast — a radio show with claws);
  • critic Greil Marcus considers a reissue of the first Bikini Kill EP and a new novel by Percival Everett;
  • Amber Scorah tells the story of her defection from the Jehovah’s Witnesses while working as a missionary in Shanghai;
  • Pitchfork editor Brandon Stosuy presents five five-word record reviews of excellent new guitar rock;
  • the electronic duo Matmos takes a song from their new album apart, piece by piece, revealing its brilliant, pulsating innards;
  • a new(ish) film casts a shotgun microphone as its protagonist;
  • And more!
  • Actually, not much more. That’s more or less everything.

At a few junctures during Episode One, the listener is directed to this website to find “Web Extras”–e.g., the full interview with George Saunders. Find that and those here.

Erratum: Percival Everett here reads the first paragraph of his novel—not the first chapter.