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Former Google engineer Blake Lemoine (@cajundiscordian) describes how he came to the conclusion that LaMDA, an AI developed by Google, is sentient. Blake details what LaMDA is, how he tested its capabilities and limitations, and what LaMDA fears most. Songwriter Jonathan Mann (@SongaDayMann) talks about writing a song every day for 14 years, some of his big hits, and about his wildly successful NFT project. Jonathan wrote a song inspired both by the ethics of engaging with LaMDA and one of his favorite episodes of Star TrekBlake's conversation with
Questlove  (@Questlove) reads an excerpt from his critical history of modern America, Music is History, about songwriter Bill Withers. Songwriter Chris Pierce (@ChrisPierce) talks about his own interactions with  Withers, and performs a multi-level tribute called “Just As I Am”
Grammy Award-winning songwriter Mary Gauthier (@MaryGauthier_) talks about her memoir Saved By a Song, and describes grappling with her history as an adopted child and the birth mother who refused to meet her. Songwriter Kelley McRae (@KelleyMcRae) talks about her long admiration for Mary’s art and philosophy, and her struggles with organized religion, and performs her song "What Do You Do?"
Bestselling author Jonathan Franzen reads an excerpt from his newest novel, Crossroads, and talks about a band that he loves, Wussy (@WussyMusic). Franzen also speaks about his relationship with music, and reveals why marijuana is not a good drug for him. Lisa and Chuck from Wussy talk about their long collaborations, and about the song they wrote in response to Crossroads, called "All My Life." They also discuss the death of band member John Erhardt, and how they are trying to reimagine their work without
Bestselling author Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) reads an excerpt from her memoir, Somebody's Daughter, about her complicated relationship with her mother, and some unforgettable advice about family from her grandmother. Filmmaker and songwriter Be Steadwell (@BeSteadwell) performs a song constructed of sinuous vocal loops that speaks directly to Ashley, and Be describes the empathy she feels with Ashley's experience as a vulnerable Black
Southern author Tom Franklin reads two pieces of short fiction – including one about a visit to the beach near Chicago – and talks about his history in Mississippi.  Irish songwriter Ben Glover (@BenGloverMusic) recounts his journey to America, and the resonances he feels between Northern Ireland and the South. He also speaks about co-writing songs, including with Mary
Author and former longtime “lieutenant” for Anthony Bourdain, Laurie Woolever, (@LaurieWoolever) tells an exclusive story about a day in Sri Lanka when she fears that she would get killed over a bucket of fried chicken and a bottle of whiskey. Composer and songwriter Mike Ruffino (@MRuffino), who also worked with Bourdain for more than a decade, performs a song he wrote using inspiration and actual audio recorded during the shoot in Sri Lanka. 
Biographer and social historian Mark Harris (@MarkHarris) tells the life story of Mike Nichols, one of the most influential directors of the 20th century. Anna Kline of the band Swift Silver (@SwiftSilverBand) talks about her reaction to Mike’s story, and shares the genesis of her vintage-vibing song, “The Picture Show.” Anna also speaks about her mother’s dementia from Alzheimer’s, and connects her ongoing grief to Nichols’ experience of losing his father at a young
Author and journalist Wright Thompson reads a story about the death of his beloved uncle, and how time and place memorialize our lives. Songwriter Drew Holcomb (@DrewHolcomb) talks about the loss of his brother at a young age, and performs his brand new song, “Slower Than the Highway.”
Ned Martel, a producer of the Netflix series Halston, tells the life story of the mononymous designer, who first came on the scene when he designed the iconic hat Jackie Kennedy wore to the inauguration of her husband. Composer, producer, and songwriter Stephan Moccio (@StephanMoccio) talks about his work with The Weeknd, Celine Dion, and Miley Cyrus, and about the genesis of the song he wrote in response to Halston’s triumphant-yet-tragic life story. Stephan also speaks about writing “Wrecking Ball,” and how that song changed his career and
Zelda + Carsie Blanton

Zelda + Carsie Blanton


Hospice social worker Zelda (who asks that her given name not be used for privacy) talks about her time working as a stripper. She recounts moments both horrifying and sweet, and describes the many ways that the two jobs overlap.Songwriter Carsie Blanton (@CarsieBlanton) talks about how she incorporates political content within the emotional framework of her songs, and draws parallels between what audiences ask of strippers and songwriters. Her brand new song is called “Into the Light.”Photos of Zelda from her exotic dancer days, including ones showing the bruises she regularly got up and down her legs can be seen at the SongWriter IG  and the SongWriter
Playwrights Jessica Blank (@JessicaCBlank) and Erik Jensen (@ErikJensen123) describe the genesis of their musical, Coal Country, a collaboration with Steve Earle (@SteveEarle). Steve talks about the role of empathy in songwriting, and plays his song “It’s About Blood,” which lists the names of the 29 miners killed in the Upper Big Branch mining disaster.The show runs at the Cherry Lane Theater in NYC until April 17, 2022. The  project is a collaboration with @PublicTheaterNY and
Season Four Trailer

Season Four Trailer


Delighted to announce the fourth season of SongWriter, which will feature stories from Questlove, Mary Gauthier, Anthony Doerr, and George Saunders, and songs from Carrie Brownstein, Drew Holcomb, and Steve
Legendary author Joyce Carol Oates reads her poem “Too Young to Marry, but Not Too Young to Die” at a live performance in San Francisco organized by Poets and Writers Magazine. International pop star Katie Melua shares a studio recording of a song she wrote in response called "Forever Sunlit," and talks about her evolving creative process.The poem is about how what seems romantic to a young person looks increasingly laughable - even asinine - as we get older, and the artists each talk about what it means to be a teenager, and how their perspectives have shifted over time.This is the final episode of season 
Introducing Basic Folk

Introducing Basic Folk


Basic Folk is one of my favorite podcasts, and in this episode host Cindy Howes talks to Wesley Schultz about the history of The Lumineers up to now and his solo debut album.About Basic Folk:Basic Folk is a podcast with honest conversations between musicians and Cindy Howes, a well-versed public radio host and music curator, and guest host Lizzie No, a talented singer/songwriter. Basic Folk approaches interviews with warmth, humor and insightful questions. This podcast fosters the folk community and showcases a genre that is often misunderstood. Basic Folk features complex conversations about the human experience witnessed from an artistic angle. Our definition of “folk” is extremely broad, so you’ll hear interviews from Amythyst Kiah , John Hiatt, The Lumineers and many
During a live online performance, bestselling author Jonathan Lethem reads from his recent “dystopian pastoral” novel, The Arrest, about a farming community dealing with the worldwide collapse of technology. Jonathan also speaks about his long history of writing lyrics for bands including They Might Be Giants and the Silos. Songwriter Tift Merritt shares a studio recording of a song called “Asylum in a Mad, Mad World” that she wrote in response to the story, but also reflecting the history of a former asylum in her
Author and artist Keith Rosson reads his story, "Forgive Me This," and songwriter Antje Duvekot shares a studio recording of her song written in response, "Lottery Ticket." Keith, who has illustrated covers for Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls, talks about his design and art work, and how his partial blindness informs his approach. Antje talks about her strained relationship with her father, and describes the inspiration for her "confessional"
Veteran Jeremy Welch talks about his experience as a soldier, and his struggles with addiction, suicidality, and depression. Songwriter Maia Sharp talks about meeting Jeremy at a Songwriting With: retreat, and they describe the process of writing their song, "These Boots."
Bestselling author and MacArthur genius George Saunders reads the first half of his story, "Tenth of December," about a man who wishes to spare his family from the suffering around his illness and impending death. George describes how he first thought of the story, and the several angles he tried before it came into focus. This is accompanied by a studio recording of a song written in response called "If You Need Me," by host Ben Arthur.For the second half of the story, and a brand new song by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Amanda Shires, please listen to part 2 (episode 9)
Bestselling author and MacArthur genius George Saunders reads the second half of his story, "Tenth of December." George and Grammy Award-winning songwriter and fiddle player Amanda Shires (of The Highwomen) discuss art, suffering, and love over a lifetime. Amanda talks about the process of writing a song in response to the story, and shares a studio recording of "You Don't Get to Go."This is part 2 of the story. For the first half you can listen to part 1 (episode 8).
Comments (1)

Shad Hasty

"gender issues" F off.

Nov 23rd
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