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Bad At Sports, Good At Podcasts

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 23, 2005 1:29PM

In our saturated local media landscape, it’s easy to forget the slender but succinct New City Chicago. This week’s edition turned us on to a new podcast covering the Chicago art scene: Bad At Sports. Michael Workman’s review dubs BAS the diamond in the rough of lunatic hackery too often abusing the mics. Chicagoist has listened to quite a few podcasts this summer and we share his skepticism.

But the podcast doesn’t disappoint. With only three episodes in the bag, hosts Richard Holland, who reminds us of a pretentious but friendly art history professor, and his mellower, incisive sidekick Duncan MacKenzie have hit their stride. Pairing their witty repartee with cleverly integrated music and sound effects, this show's poised to become the Sound Opinions of Chicago’s visual art world.

MrTandme.jpgThe curator of the Sioux City Arts Center holds court in Episode 1, discussing how the art world is reaching out to uninitiated and less initiated audiences and how Harleys and haute couture can peacefully coexist in his gallery. But our favorite moment was MacKenzie’s semi-serious criticism of Mr. T’s long-forgotten 1985 album Commandments. Turns out we’ve underestimated the innovator that is T.

Reviewing a series of art gallery openings for Episode 2, Holland and MacKenzie come clean about their likes and dislikes, their expertise and their biases, what works them up, what’s relevant to the world and what’s simply derivative. It’s also refreshing, and almost unheard of, to hear art critics actually take themselves down a notch.

artstar.JPGMost recently our intrepid hosts interviewed Chris Sperandio, who rehashes his experience promoting West Virginian art (insert obvious joke here) and producing a New York art world 'reality documentary.' Then he unloads on the ‘ghetto of the gallery’ and tears ignorant and pretentious gallery owners a new one. If you tire of this gloom and doom, fast forward to 0:39 for Richard Cheese’s hilarious lounge covers of 2 Live Crew, Ludacris, Guns n Roses, and others. Something for everyone indeed.

Images via Mr. T and Me &