Episode 8: In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried


Oh, it’s Episode 8, the one where we don’t eviscerate Amy Hempel’s “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” (READ IT PEOPLE), and it’s tight. I mean mammy-TIGHT.

LO-FI as fuck, but tight.

Here at WW, we don’t stand on pretenses or technological skill. We flounder about the internets.com with the mic’s and the mic stands and the pop filters and the, uh, gain knob and such bobs and bits, and we make a thing. This time, we made a thing in front of an audience of willing listeners, corralled into Admin 148 on the verdant campus of the Universidad de Alaska a Anchorage. Jo Ann Beard was there! Ulysses was there! Nick was in the other room. And peripatetic caster Hunter joined, in the flesh, to drop Cackylacky wisdoms on your ass.

The point is, content quality: high; production value; low. Close your eyes. Pretend you’re there. Hear the people shuffling papers, clearing throats, talking to babies. Hear the whispered awe, and hear Brett’s phone ring, right there, in the middle of the cast, like phones can’t be silenced. And, sincerely, shut the fuck up about the audio, already.

Spoiler alert: We LIKED Hempel’s piece. NO SHOTGUNS! Read it. Nick, Ben, Hunter and Dan make some admiring notes here.

Hunter reads a delightful piece involving upside-down chickens (and Ben, Dan, and Nick react here). Nick tilts against The New Yorker. We decidedly do NOT surreptitiously consume adult beverages right there in the goddamn classroom. David Stevenson (read the man here; do it, DO IT) winds us along a Wordsworthing that kicked me in the emotional balls, time after time, as I sat there and listened in person and as I edited and listened and listened and listened. I mean, it’s David.

Finally, a lively discussion is had re: Hempel and noted editor Gordon “The Lisher” Lish and the role of editors in general and this one in particular, who may or may not have had intimate knowledge of this particular story. But I cut that part out.

- Castmate Dan

PS – Be sure to click here to read the story for the soon-to-be recorded episode 9, “Strangler Bob” by Denis Johnson. That’s right, Denis fucking Johnson. Bring it, DJ.