Wendy Davis’s epic thirteen-hour filibuster made the Texas legislature’s livestream into a viral sensation. But Jen Rice, our producer in Austin, argues that beyond these viral scenes, its season-length, character-driven plot arcs make the Texas legislature—or as die-hard fans call it, “the Lege”—every bit the equal of prestige-television staples like Game of Thrones or Mad Men. In her recap of the 85th Texas legislative session, Jen brings us the escalating rivalries, tearful monologues, fighting in the middle of the night—all the pieces that build up to the climactic moments in the best show you didn’t even know you were missing.
And Niela Orr, our contributing editor and a writer-at-large, tells us about two summer albums she’s been listening to: one dark, funny, and totally sincere; the other bright, anthemic, and basically empty. In different ways, they’re both perfect listening for the end of this hot, depressing summer.
Lastly, we discover a new transmission from within the infinite hexagonal chambers of the iTunes Library of Babel, an alternate world which contains all possible podcasts. Aaron Thier, author of The World is a Narrow Bridge, brings us a city-council livestream, in which sentient trees, jars of radium, and severed fingers are all up for sale.