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The Organist

Take a weird, thoughtful and pleasurable journey into literature, music, art, philosophy, the internet, language, and history with McSweeney's and KCRW. This unconventional arts-and-culture magazine features contributors and guests like Miranda July, George Saunders, Lena Dunham, Tig Notaro, and Sarah Silverman.  

Your phone rings at 3:30 in the morning. You answer the call, and a person who's just been woken up with a call from you is on the end of the line. The call is being recorded.

For decades, Angelyne pouted down from Hollywood billboards, looking like a New-Wave Jayne Mansfield: a dense cloud of bleached blonde hair and abundant cleavage barely contained by…

Today’s episode is about dogs.

Where do speech balloons come from? How does time move from panel to panel?

What sounds don’t we hear when we listen? What sounds are discarded in digital processing, whether it’s through hearing aids or mp3s?

Will spoken language become obsolete?

In his audio diaries recorded while driving cross-country, artist David Wojnarowicz tries to describe how he feels after being diagnosed with AIDS.

Stevie Wonder’s entire life, according to conspiracy theorists, is a lie. He’s been able to see all along.

The national news media is mesmerized by a president who runs the White House like a reality show.

This week, two stories from the U.S. borders. The first, from Javier Zamora, who crossed into the U.S. without his parents when he was nine years old.

The poet and Pulitzer Prize–winner Franz Wright recorded 546 audio tapes in the two years of his life after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Actor and writer Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World), and voice-over master Peter Coyote (Ken Burns’ documentaries, including The…