lunedì 21 marzo 2011

Podcast That Are Worth Your Not-So-Precious-Time: XO

Let me introduce you to the charming world of Keith McNally.

McNally is a relatively young fella that i got introduced to, via the Keith And The Girl Podcast. Differently from more famous guests, or more controversial "characters", he got to me cause he was someone that, even when he said hard to swallow truth, i could relate to. He had thoughts, feeling, moodswing and reactions that i felt very close to mine, but he put them ou there for the world to see. And they werent put on. Not a pose.

Also he was an interesting person. Loved music and knew about it at an incredible length. And he had a great, cutting sense of humour. And amazing editing skills.

So i was actually very curious to follow his projects outside of the pleasant but restricted KATG realm. I already followed his webpage to be up to date with his legendary "100 shitty comics", a series of short, crudely drawn strips that rivals Ivan Brunetti in terms of succinct, brutal humour. Then, using the weirldy layered event of a KATG intern branding himself with the show's logo, "XO" was born.

An, i discovered what was probably destined to be the second most powerful series of audio bits i ever met in my life.

Keith took inspiration from "A Life Well Wasted", Robert Ashley's heart wrenching show that took the topic of videogames and turned it into something that spoke about people and their precious little lives. Or, for less cultish people, the very overrated "This American Life".

But XO, in my opinion, did somethying better. Taking its name from one of Elliott Smith's more intense albums, XO is McNally telling stories, intertwining them with music and making the end result something that is pure heartwrenching poetry that will at times make you laugh, moreoften burst into tears, always relate.

It can be him exposing his soul on a drunken walk and saying stuff that any person with a heart has thought sometimes, before life's daily dreck took your soul away. Or its the magnificient retelling of Rodger Swan's story, a piece of emotional, delicate, and incredibly human complexity told through voices and songs. Or just a few tiny stories that are funny, poignant, quirky. Still he gets me every single time and movesme. Some episodes i listened repeatedly. Rarely happens with common "podcasts"

Other people have descibed his shows as "tiny movies". All i can say is that through "XO" McNally has managed to created something new that does something that only audio can do, gives emotions on a different level and evokes images and feelings that pictures or written word could not. Its an experience.

He is currently working on a whole different project called "The Vinyl Countdown" which is hialrious and engaging on a complete different level. Check all his project and support him. He kinda deserves it.

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