Slate's Culture Gabfest on Bob Dylan's Christmas album, sprinter Caster Semenya, and the new documentary Le Danse.

Slate's Culture Gabfest on Bob Dylan's Christmas album, sprinter Caster Semenya, and the new documentary Le Danse.

Slate's Culture Gabfest on Bob Dylan's Christmas album, sprinter Caster Semenya, and the new documentary Le Danse.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 25 2009 6:43 PM

The Culture Gabfest, "Tangled Up in Yule" Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the week in culture.

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 62 with Jody Rosen, Dana Stevens, June Thomas and Julia Turner and by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Get your 14-day free trial from our sponsor Audible.com, which includes a credit for one free audiobook, here. (Audiobook of the week: Ballet Shoes, written by Noel Streatfield and read by Elizabeth Sastre.)

Or, try a special, limited-time offer from Audible: Through Thanksgiving Day 2009, listeners who aren't currently Audible members can download a free audiobook. It's a thank-you from Audible for the great enthusiasm the Slate podcast audience has shown. You don't need to provide a credit card or purchase a monthly membership. Just download the book you want from the selection on offer and listen as you're scurrying around getting ready for the family to arrive. The offer is good only from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26. Visit www.audible.com/Thanksgiving for all the details and a full list of the free books on offer.

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In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss Bob Dylan's CD Christmas in the Heart, the South African sprinter Caster Semenya, and filmmaker Frederick Wiseman's new documentary Le Danse.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

The "Must Be Santa" video from Bob Dylan's official Web site.
Jody Rosen's "Brow Beat" post on whether the Dylan album is a joke.
Jody Rosen's book on the mother of all holiday songs, White Christmas.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie's "Little Drummer Boy" duet.
Frank Sinatra's version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas."
Ray Charles' version of " Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
Ariel Levy's New Yorker article on the South African sprinting sensation.
Caster Semenya's You magazine cover.
Nationwide release dates for Le Danse.
Robert Gottlieb's blog entry about Le Danse in the New York Review of Books.
French and Saunders' insane spoof of the high-art "making of" documentary.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:
Dana's pick: German-born American actress Marlene Dietrich sings "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top."
June's pick: Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century by Masha Gessen.
Julia's pick: Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy.

You can e-mail us at culturefest@slate.com.

Posted on Nov. 25 by Jesse Baker at 6:45 p.m.

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Nov. 18, 2009

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 61 with Juliet Lapidos, Stephen Metcalf, Troy Patterson, Dana Stevens and Julia Turner and by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Get your 14-day free trial from our sponsor Audible.com, which includes a credit for one free audiobook, here. Or, try a special limited-time offer from Audible: Starting this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, and running through Thanksgiving Day, listeners who aren't currently Audible members can download a free audiobook . It's a thank-you from Audible for the great enthusiasm the Slate podcast audience has shown. You don't need to provide a credit card or purchase a monthly membership. Just download the book you want from the selection on offer and listen as you're scurrying around getting ready for the family to arrive. The offer is good only from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26. Starting on Sunday, visit www.audible.com/Thanksgiving for all the details and a full list of the free books on offer. *

Find the Culturefest Facebook page here. Leave us a note and see what other Culturefest listeners have to say about the latest podcast.

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In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss Lady Gaga anyway, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a study on how to warn future generations to stay away from our "nuclear waste."

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Lady Gaga's official YouTube channel.
Lady Gaga's performance on Gossip Girl this week.
Jonah Weiner's Slate piece on the art-house poptart.
Troy Patterson's "Brow Beat" post on Gaga's "Bad Romance" video.
The official Web site for Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The Amazon page for Roald Dahl's children's book Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Dana's review of Wes Anderson's latest.
Slate
's Juliet Lapidos on how to warn future generations about nuclear waste.

 The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

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Dana's pick: the soundtrack to the Wes Anderson movie Rushmore.
Julia's pick: the Fox show Bones.
Juliet's pick: this n+1 article on the rise of the neuronovel.
Stephen's picks: the documentary New York Doll and the solo work of former New York Doll Johnny Thunders.

You can e-mail us at culturefest@slate.com.

Posted on Nov. 18 by Jesse Baker at 12:54 p.m.

Correction, Nov. 20, 2009: Because of a miscommunication, an earlier version of this text and the announcement on the Nov. 18 episode of the Culturefest misstated a few of the details of this offer. The free book giveaway is limited to those who are not currently Audible members, and it is limited to one book per customer. We apologize for the error. (Return to the corrected paragraph.)

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Nov. 11, 2009

Listen to Gabfest No. 60 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Get your 14-day free trial from our sponsor Audible.com, which includes a credit for one free audio book, here. (Audiobook of the week: The Bonfire of the Vanities,written by Tom Wolfe and narrated by Joe Barrett.)

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Find the Culturefest Facebook page here. Leave us a note and see what other Culturefest listeners have to say about the latest podcast.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss Precious, Ian McEwan's novel Black Dogs (and the fall of communism), and a recent Vanity Fair article about the rise of cute.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

The official trailer for director Lee Daniels' new film Precious.
Dana Stevens' Slate review of the film.
Armond White's negative review of the film in New York Press.
A plot summary of Ian McEwan's Black Dogs.
Black Dogs on Amazon.com.
Slate's Fred Kaplan explains why Berlin mattered.
Jim Windolf's Vanity Fair article on the rise of cuteness.
An over-the-top example of cuteness on the Internet: the Web site Cuteoverload.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: Fascinating branding Web site brandculturetalk.com.
Julia's pick: NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Stephen's pick: The best book you'll ever read, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

You can e-mail us at culturefest@slate.com

Posted on Nov. 11 by Jesse Baker at 10:34 a.m.

Nov. 4, 2009

Listen to Gabfest No. 59 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, June Thomas and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Get your 14-day free trial from our sponsor Audible.com, which includes a credit for one free audiobook, here. (Audiobook of the week: The Talented Mr. Ripley, written by Patricia Highsmith and narrated by David Menkin.)

Find the Culturefest Facebook page here. Leave us a note and see what other Culturefest listeners have to say about the latest podcast.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss ABC's new comedy Modern Family; New Yorker writer Tad Friend's WASPy new memoir, Cheerful Money; and the New York Times list of things that restaurant staffers should never, ever do.

And don't forget: Next week, we'll be discussing Ian McEwan's Black Dogs, which is available on Audible.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

The official Web site of ABC's Modern Family.
Slate's Troy Patterson's take on Modern Family.
Writer Tad Friend's new memoir Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor.
The New York Times' "100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do, Part One." (Dana recommends the comment section.)
Memorable quotes from the film When Harry Met Sally.
Chef David Chang's low-key New York noodle bar Momofuku.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: Tad Friend's New Yorker piece "Jumpers: The Fatal Grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge."
Julia's pick: Big Boggle, the old-school 5x5 version.
Stephen's pick: Patricia Highsmith's novel-turned-film The American Friend starring Dennis Hopper as Tom Ripley.

Posted on Nov. 4 by Jesse Baker at 3:34 p.m.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

Jody Rosen is critic at large for T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.