Podcast Roundup: Reese Roper! Dunkirk! Christian Art!

Chris williams and joe yerke (1)

I‘ll keep this brief, because you have a lot of listening to do.

This has turned into a productive and fun summer. Not only have the film’s been shockingly great, leading to some fun reviews to write, but the podcasts I participate in have become so much more engaging in recent months, leading me to opportunities I’d have never dreamed of. So going into this weekend, I wanted to post some of them here.

As I said a few weeks ago, I love what the CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. podcast has become. Teaming up with Joe Yerke to do this show has changed the dynamic for the better and is has led to some really great conversations. One in particular is that it’s allowed me to pursue my original goal of talking about the challenges of making Christian art and living as a believe in this day and age without it getting too stuffy. Joe’s a fun co-host, and not only does he have a lot to say, he’s willing to having a conversation to try and find an answer, and pursue rabbit trails if there’s a topic he’s chewing on. To wit, we didn’t plan on talking about the dilemma of hopeless art, and we definitely didn’t know that we’d be talking about how that leads into challenges for Christian artists in reflecting the world, which gets right to the issues I’ve always wanted to discuss…but here we are.

I mentioned before that when I started this podcast I originally thought it was going to be an interview podcast with members of the Christian music community. What it’s evolved into is something so much more fun, but I’ve still wanted to keep that idea in play, talking not only to musicians but also to people of faith pursuing their passions in film, podcasting, print and other artistic arenas. One of the “gets” I knew I wanted was Reese Roper, frontman of one of my favorite bands, Five Iron Frenzy. Not only do I think the Christian ska scene was unique in its energy and the quality of its music compared to other genres, but FIF has been unafraid to get political, to call the church to task, and to delve into doubt a bit. They’ve only done that more since their re-emergence in 2012. So it was a great opportunity to spend an hour talking to Reese on the phone, and I’m really excited about this bonus episode.

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But longtime readers will know that CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. is only my latest podcast endeavor. For two years, recording “It’s My Favorite” has been one of the highlights of my month. The podcast might be a bit scrappier, but it’s great fun to sit with Matt and Beth and talk movies, television and whatever else is on our minds. Beth recently had her second child, so she’s been calling in when possible, and it was great to have her back for a sprawling conversation about everything from “Dunkirk” to “Spider-man: Homecoming” to Flintstones comic books. A lot of fun to be had on this recent episode:

And when Beth couldn’t stick around, I had a great time talking to Matt about our glory days. The two of us met when we were both reporters for the same community newspaper, and we recently spent an hour or so talking about the fun stories and memorable experiences from our days in local journalism. It’s a fun show and also features an odd amount of singing.

So, that’s it. I hope you have the chance to subscribe to the podcasts and their various Facebook pages and become regular listeners. And if you want to see me gab over social media, tune in to a special CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. Facebook Live event we’ll be doing on our Facebook page at 7:15 p.m. EST on Aug. 8. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

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