Monologues give me the catharsis I need to get going.
August 5, 2010 1:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for podcasts or other spoken word recordings, with the feel of the early Henry Rollins or recent Marc Maron: strongly cathartic, really aggro, with quasi-intellectual ambitions, seemingly able to talk on any issue, vaguely politically progressive, sometimes hyperpersonal.

Lately, I've found that when I'm walking for exercise, it's really emotionally helpful to listen to Henry Rollins' early monologues, or certain episodes of Marc Maron's WTF podcast.

(Anything Rollins has done since 2000 or so just does not work for me - way too stand-up-comedy-shticky and impersonal. As for Maron, I've been a fan of his since his radio show Morning Sedition, but the sections where he gets to just talk at the top of his podcast are exactly what I have in mind.)

It's a little bit hard for me to explain beyond the above what these two have in common (other than an obsession with coffee) - but something about how much pain they seem they be tapping into, the complete lack of a filter from brain to mouth as they pour themselves out for all to see, while still saying genuinely insightful, smart things, not just about themselves but they way they see the just hits me in exactly the right way. I sometimes treat my exercise as a kind of pure catharsis, and when I'm done, it can feel like I've done something really psychologically important.

Does anyone have any suggestions for other things to listen to in this vein?

Quick note: while I do NOT have to agree with speakers on every (or ANYthing), one of the few things I really do not enjoy about listening to Rollins/Maron is the occasional misogyny. I can find it truly helpful, emotionally, to listen to Rollins express pseudo-Nietzschean views that I don't intellectually buy at all, but when him and Maron talk about women being evil or only interested in money, it turns me off pretty much immediately.
posted by Ash3000 to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You might like Will Durst.
posted by rhizome at 1:45 PM on August 5, 2010

I've never listened to Rollins and I don't know who the other guy is, but what about old Jello Biafra?
posted by vincele at 1:47 PM on August 5, 2010

Response by poster: Hey rhizome and vincele: are there any particular albums/recordings that you'd recommend checking out? Thanks.
posted by Ash3000 at 1:49 PM on August 5, 2010

I used to listen to Jello Biafra when I was a punk rock kid in the early 1990s. I don't have really remember what I listened to, but I am sure someone will come along with some recommendations soon. You might browse his collection on Amazon or his website to see what he talks about where. He has a mesmerizing voice and tells funny stories. No misogyny. He was the lead singer for the Dead Kennedys and later Lard.
posted by vincele at 2:00 PM on August 5, 2010

The classic Jello Biafra is "No More Cocoon," but he's done a lot in the intervening decades. Durst is a standup who has been doing more commentary (panel and solo) and (apparently) stage performances. I recommend trolling their youtubes as a way to dip your toes.
posted by rhizome at 2:15 PM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

I wonder if you might enjoy Mike Daisey's monologues. For me they are: strongly cathartic, really somewhat aggro, with quasi-intellectual ambitions, seemingly able to talk on any issue, vaguely politically progressive, sometimes hyperpersonal.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:29 PM on August 5, 2010

There are a couple of storytelling podcasts that may fit the bill.

The Moth

These feature stories that are a lot more scripted and rehearsed than Maron on WTF, but they both consistently feature interesting people telling great stories with a lot of emotional resonance.
posted by monkey.pie.baker at 3:53 PM on August 5, 2010

The first thing that I thought of was Timothy Leary talking on "Gila Copter" by Revolting Cocks, even though it's actually a plea that people "turn it down, tone it down... let's have some quiet, quiet silence" and declares "we will not be angry victims no more!" But I bet it would fit in with the vibe of your playlist if you need something for reentry. I bet Timothy Leary in general is pretty good, though not so politically progressive and certainly misogynist at times.

Do either of William S. Burroughs's spoken word albums do anything for you? The song I think of first is The Last Words of Dutch Schultz on Spare Ass Annie. "I am so sick. Give me some water, the only thing that I want. I am dying." But it's probably a bit too jazzy and trippy for you, not aggro or political enough.

Less musically, and on the Moth or off of it, you might check out Mike Birbiglia's stuff. It's funny, self-deprecating, and often personal. Maybe not angry enough for you, but it does have this occasional undertone of pent-up frustration and "what??" Not political. Good stuff.
posted by salvia at 4:25 PM on August 5, 2010

I like Fitzdog Radio. Fitzsimmons often talks about fighting, sex, being Irish American, and his struggles with depression.

Plus, he did an episode with Marc Maron.
posted by reenum at 9:28 PM on August 5, 2010

I recommend Citizen Radio. It is much more than vaguely progressive, but they are a wife-husband team of a sharp, plugged in, nerdy Indie journalist who writes for the Nation, the Huffington Post, True/Slant and runs Unreported + her husband Jamie Kilstein who is a hilarious, filthy, Just For Laughs Festival rocking, Satiristas-featured punknerd comedian. They are atheist/vegan and wear it on their sleeves (above their SWEET tatoos) and the only thing misogynist-y about the show will be when they talk about misogynists and proceed to rip them several new assholes.

strongly cathartic (politically, check), really aggro(not always really so semi-check), with quasi-intellectual ambitions(remove the quasi, so hypercheck?), seemingly able to talk on any issue(checkcheckcheck), vaguely politically progressive(hypercheck), sometimes hyperpersonal(big check, especially Jamie in an awesome way.)
posted by Chipmazing at 10:52 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I missed the monologue part. My bad.
posted by Chipmazing at 11:30 PM on August 5, 2010

Buddy Wakefield. He has a few albums although some of his monologues are over music.
Live at the Cannon Grand is a good introduction to his work and has less music set to it.
posted by fizzix at 8:52 AM on August 6, 2010

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