Colin welcomes back Dana Buckler, the Florida-based host of the popular movie podcast, The Dana Buckler Show (formerly How is This Movie?). Dana tells Colin about his path to success as a podcaster, including an honest discussion of some missteps he's made along the way. Dana, however, has seen his audience grow over the years as well as his guest list. What began as a one-man show has turned into an interview podcast featuring guests such as State of Grace director Phil Jouano, screenwriter Jim Hemphill, and Dana's biggest catch to date, John Travolta. Dana gives some good advice to aspiring podcasters and also talks about his future career plans, which were made possible by his podcast.
New York City writer Adam Bulger returns to American Rambler to discuss the recent death of legendary Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. He also talks about the band's back catalogue.
Rush has always existed somewhere between contemptuous critics and adoring fans. Robert Christgau once called the Canadian trio "the most obnoxious band currently making a killing on the zonked teen circuit." Rolling Stone has written of Rush's "preconceptual roots as dull, perennially second-billed metal plotzers." Rush did not join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until 2013, 14 years after the band was first eligible.
Rush, nevertheless, is a staple of classic rock radio with such songs as "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight," "Spirit of the Radio," "Time Stand Still," and "Closer to the Heart." Love them or hate them, they are on the soundtrack of late 20th century American suburban life.
But should you like them? Mr. Bulger takes a deep dive into Rush, learning to appreciate the band as a listener and a guitar player. He recommends the Netflix doc Beyond the Lighted Stage to get a better sense of the band's history and music. Was the nerdy Neil Peart a rock god? Rush might live forever on your FM dial, but can they make Ayn Rand interesting?
Also, in the wake of the recent white supremacy/NRA rally in Richmond, Colin and Adam talk about gun control for 20 minutes. If you want to get to skip to Rush, it starts around the 30 minute mark.
Eric Foner is one of the most accomplished historians of the 19th century United States. His first book, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men, about the rise of the Republican Party, is a classic. So too is his 1988 work Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, which won the Bancroft Prize. More recently, he has turned his attention to Abraham Lincoln. His 2011 book, The Fiery Trial, about Lincoln's views on slavery, won the Pulitzer and Lincoln Prize.
Eric discusses his early career at Columbia, including his experiences working with the renowned historian Richard Hofstadter, who won the Pulitzer Prize twice in his short life. Dr. Foner also discusses his politics, his views on the current state of the history profession, and the Trump administration.
He is retired from teaching, but Eric shows no signs of slowing down. He is still on a speaking tour for his most recent book, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, which came out in September of 2019.
Colin merrily rings in the new year and a possible impending war with Iran by recapping his Christmas break. Mostly, it comes down to two words: Star Wars. Colin saw The Rise of Skywalker and finished the first season of The Mandalorian. He now has a serious crush on Baby Yoda.
Also, Marriage Story, zipper vs. pull-over hoodies, Chernobyl, Watchmen, Righteous Gemstones, and the joys of Friday brunch.