Bandsplaining my way through the podcast pandemic – Daily News
Isn’t the podcast just a 50-cent word for a radio show?
It is the common wisdom of cynics who think that there is nothing new under the sun.
But there is an answer to the question: No.
A podcast is definitely words and sounds heard on an electronic device, so there is a lot of commonality with the realtime shows we used to listen to before. But unlike hearing Real Don Steele’s show on KHJ on my transistor in 1965, I can choose when and where to listen. I certainly don’t need to be within range of Boss Radio’s transmission tower.
I can be anywhere in the world, anytime, as long as I have my phone and AirPods.
The young 2020s were the era of the podcast. Of course, the technology and thousands of pods have been around for several years now. But nothing guarantees the success of a breakthrough in communication, one of the main characteristics of which is its literally infinite capacity for prolonged duration, like a global pandemic in which we have all lived in virtual isolation for months. Do you have seven hours and 42 minutes to hear “Bandsplain” host Yasi Salek talk about when Lou Reed made an album with Metallica? Why, yes, I do, thank you. I only have time.
Because they can be as long as they want, podcasts are great for the geek in us, endless minutiae about things that matter to us deeply. I am deeply interested in cult groups outside of pop music. Yasi too, a deeply eclectic 30-year-old Angeleno with both a USC MBA and a stint in the MFA fiction writing program at Bennington who shares so much of her life and insecurities – a shining confidence too. – which I felt after listening to dozens of hours of her taking on Wilco, the Lemonheads, Modest Mouse and the Replacements I might call her by her first name.
And then I did – I called her on a Zoom last week, along with her right-hand daughter, producer Dylan, a very funny schtick who’s the key to every Bandsplain’s success.
âWhen I listen, I prefer long podcasts – the longer the better,â Yasi said. âI use them for things that are a bit long, like I need to clean my whole house or take a long drive. Because it’s so easy to stop and start too. When they started âBandsplain,â âIt took us a while to figure it out. At first we really tried to keep them in aâ normal âtime frame. And then we started to loosen our grip, because that it was important. There is so much to discover and it’s fun to cover all the ground. There is no way to do an episode on U2, which has released 14 albums over almost four decades, and make it last 90 minutes. That would’ve been so superficial. So we just started to be, like, we don’t care – we go as long as it takes.
Spotify is supporting the show, so when Yasi and his guests are talking about a song, rather than playing a sample, they play the whole thing, reverently.
But I can listen to music on my own. As a seasoned rock critic, I have no problem forming an opinion on this subject either. The reason I want to stay in the room with âBandsplainâ is the hilarious relationship between Yasi and his sidekick Dylan Ruppert, whom she constantly threatens to fire. When I went to a live recording at Frogtown’s perfect Zebulon bar of the pod’s take on the genius that was Fountains of Wayne, a featured cocktail (shot of Illegal and a cold Tecate) was called You ‘ re Fired, Dylan.
âBecause once I’m fired, I go to Mexico,â Dylan laughs. (She will not be fired.)
DJs don’t let you get into their souls. Yasi and Dylan do it. In a listener’s mailbag segment, someone asks, “How did you get so funny, Yasi?” “Because I was an ugly kid. (Beautiful now.)
Pandemic in progress? No problem. Find yourself a podcast and jump straight into it.
Larry Wilson is a member of the editorial board of the Southern California News Group. [email protected]