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The Organist

The Organist

The Organist podcast is a monthly experimental arts-and-culture program hosted and distributed by KCRW. Edited by the award-winning monthly magazine, Believer, published in San Francisco by McSweeney's, it includes reported stories, interviews, comic radio drama, reviews, and more. The scope of the podcast reflects that of the print edition: its contributors take a thoughtful approach to pop culture, along with an irreverent attitude toward the highbrow. From philosophy to daytime TV, from poetry to martial arts, the show scrutinizes and interrogates the world with an affectionate and rigorous intelligence. Pieces from the podcast grow out of stories in the magazine, and vice versa. Weaving together the voices of its contributors, which include the brightest talents in literature and the arts, The Organist is an elegant, impressionistic, funny, and sharp cultural magazine that itself becomes an object of inquiry, discussion, and wonder. The program is hosted by Andrew Leland and produced by Andrew Leland, Ross Simonini, Jenna Weiss-Berman.


Episode 13: High-Heeled Boys

Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, takes us on a musical history tour, including music that influenced her from age two through high school. LANGUAGE ADVISORY more >>

Episode 12: Worm People

Portlandia creators Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein debut "Apologies," a new radio play, performed by Tig Notaro and Kevin Corrigan. more >>

Episode 11: Another Planet

The true story of Clyde Casey, a street performer who used surrealism and abstract art to fight crime in Los Angeles' Skid Row in the 1980's before he relocated to Another … more >>

Episode 10: Thundershirt

A conversation between Lena Dunham and Judy Blume, in Blume's Manhattan apartment. more >>

Episode 9: The Sonic Barber's Pole

Featuring a preview of our upcoming conversation between Lena Dunham and Judy Blume; Canadian medical marijuana from the 1970s; aural illusions; and much more! more >>

Episode 8: Kittens in a Basket

Jesse Eisenberg, Mike Kelley, Catherine Keener, Alexis Georgopoulos, Ben Greenman and more. more >>

Episode 6: The Pyramid Club

This month, Hua Hsu, Sam McPheeters, Dawn of Midi and more. more >>

Episode 5: Tempest Storm and Andy Kaufman

Jack White talks to the world's oldest burlesque dancer, plus new recordings from Andy Kaufman. more >>

Episode 4: Richard, the Angel of Death

James Franco performs a new radio drama from Will Eno, plus Nick Cave's soundsuits and a rap battle. more >>

Episode 3: Tween Anxiety

Conan O'Brien talks to Jack White, Sarah Silverman on her pet owl, 'The Blob' and more. more >>

Episode 2: The Rhetorical Bed

David Cross, a copyright-free Birthday Song, Sam Lipsyte and more. more >>

Episode 1

The debut episode of The Organist features George Saunders, Nick Offerman, five-word record reviews, and more. more >>

Program Details


Andrew Leland

Co-editor of Believer magazine

Produced by

Ross Simonini, Jenna Weiss-Berman, Andrew Leland