No Filler, Just the Goods: Arts Extract podcast revels in the Madison scene
Post by Emily Mills on 9/28/2012 9:00am
Full disclaimer, up front: I’m the special guest on this week’s installment of the Arts Extract Podcast, wherein I had the great pleasure of chatting with hosts Scott Gordon and Mark Riechers (both occasional Dane101 contributors, as well) about Banned Books Week.
The newish addition to the Madison-focused podcast scene kicked off in August and has been churning out an episode a week ever since. Gordon and Riechers join fellow co-hosts Ben Munson and Joel Shanahan to cover everything from local cinema series to concerts, venues, festivals, and more--all with a sharp, Madison focus.
And if that particular grouping of names sounds familiar, it’s because every one of them used to work for the now mostly defunct Madison office of the Onion’s AV Club (Gordon and then Munson as editor, the rest as freelancers).
“A big part of my motivation for starting the podcast was simply wanting to spend more time working with those fellows,” notes Gordon. “Plus, doing freelance writing and working out edits and whatnot largely by e-mail, I get a little restless to have actual conversations with other writer/journalist types.”
The podcasts follow a fairly tight format and never stretch longer than 30 minutes, allowing time for banter but also keeping focus on major topics enough, they hope, to maintain people’s attention.
“We're trying to strike a balance of informality and journalistic/critical independence,” Gordon says. “In the second episode, we talked about a bunch of the stand-up comedy acts coming through town in the fall, and we talked about a lot of things we liked but were also able to discuss our ambivalence about some things. Not to be all high-and-mighty but I think it's important that we try to do that and don't come to it from a perspective of just shilling for things and cheerleading.”
As for subject matter, Gordon says they’re striving to “skip around” as much as possible to keep things interesting. “So far we've covered some music topics, but we've also talked about comedy, the yo-yo prankster guy…film and the oddness of Taste of Madison,” Gordon explains. “I prefer to mix dissimilar subjects. The things that make this town interesting are so varied and scattered, and I have this armchair theory that drawing more connections among all those things, however arbitrary, is healthy.”
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at