Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Sugar and Spice and Blood” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on How to Get Away With Murder, Ryan Adams’ 1989, and pumpkin spice.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 367 with Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and Dana Stevens

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Go to to learn more about Slate Plus and join today. This week on Slate Plus, the hosts pay tribute to poet C.K. Williams.

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, Willa Paskin joins to discuss How to Get Away With Murder and to help the critics make sense of the Shondaverse. How does Shonda Rhimes’ serious engagement with issues like race and sexuality mesh with the show’s soapy chaos? Next, the gabbers break their solemn vow to not mention Taylor Swift on the show as they discuss Ryan Adams’ cover of 1989 with guest Jody Rosen. Is a song’s portability a measure of its worth, and if so, how portable is Taylor Swift’s music? Finally, the critics and guest Dan Pashman weigh in on the cultural phenomenon of pumpkin spice.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:

This episode of Slate’s Culture Gabfest is sponsored by Open Account, a podcast series created by SuChin Pak and Umpqua Bank. Open Account explores, through honest and sometimes comical interviews, our uncomfortable silence around money. It is available now on iTunes. The Culture Gabfest is also sponsored by Beech Nut Organics. Go to and enter to win a year’s worth of food.


Dana: Cat Power’s cover of “Wonderwall”

Julia: Johnny Cash’s American III: Solitary Man

Steve: Little Ghent Farm, the band Spiritualized, and Richard Thompson’s cover of “Oops! I Did It Again”

Outro: “Green Eggs and Ham” from Kevin Ryan’s Dylan Hears a Who

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This podcast was produced by Jayson De Leon. Our intern is Lindsey Albracht.

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