Gabfest Radio: The “You Asked for It, Beck” Edition

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On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz, discuss Michigan’s new right-to-work law and the declining power of unions, and the depiction of torture in "Zero Dark Thirty."

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Stephen Metcalf and Dana Stevens are joined by Slate Brow Beat editor David Haglund to discuss the award-winning indie darling, "Beasts of the Southern Wild." They’re then joined by Slate contributor and Barneys Creative Ambassador-at-Large Simon Doonan to discuss how the mashing up of art with fashion and popular culture has lead to the art world’s currently loathsome state. Finally, music critic Jody Rosen sits in to first talk about Beck’s "Song Reader" and the legacy of sheet music in popular American music, and then to join in on the Culturefest rendition of Beck’s “Do We? We Do.”


Join the Gabfest discussion all week long at the Political Gabfest Facebook page and the Culture Gabfest Facebook page.

Here are links to some of the items mentioned in this week’s episode:


POLITICAL GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):

Emily notes that right-to-work laws are “cleverly titled to sound benevolent”; Slate’s Brian Palmer explains how “right-to-work” became management’s favorite political catchphrase.

David mentions Frank Bruni’s column about "Zero Dark Thirty."

Emily’s critique of "Zero Dark Thirty" includes links to some of the debate surrounding the Bush administration’s interrogation tactics. Slate film critic Dana Stevens says it’s a vital, disturbing, and necessary film.


Cocktail Chatter:

Emily chatters about Mark Leibovich’s New York Times blog post on reading, and not reading, The Economist.

David chatters about Susan Jacoby’s piece about Robert Ingersoll in The American Scholar.


CULTURE GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):

Dana Stevens’ review for Slate of "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

From The New York Times, A.O. Scott’s review of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and an article on the making of the movie.

The co-stars of the movie, Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry.

Simon Doonan for Slate on the current state of the art world.

The “grandmother of performance art,” Marina Abramović.

The artists Dan Flavin, Damien Hirst, and Rachel Whiteread.

Art collector and gallerist Charles Saatchi.

Working artists whose work Simon recommends: John-Paul Philippé, Malcolm Hill, and Ruben Toledo.

Beck’s new folio of sheet music, "Song Reader," and the website that features readers’ and musicians’ renditions of its songs.

Geeta Dayal for Slate on Song Reader.

The Beck album "Odelay," produced by The Dust Brothers.

Jody’s favorite online sheet music repositories, The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music and Sheet Music Consortium.



Dana’s pick: The documentary "Gerhard Richter Painting," about the German artist and his ability to continue to create art with skill and craft.

Jody’s pick: Vanity Fair’s “Oral History of Freaks and Geeks.”

Stephen’s pick: The Rolling Stones recent performance of “Gimme Shelter” with Mary J. Blige, offered as a mea culpa for recent negative comments about the group’s longevity.


[NOTE: This week's episode was recorded before the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.]