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Pop Pantheon

English, Music, 1 season, 202 episodes, 2 days, 10 hours, 44 minutes
About
The podcast where DJ Louie XIV and guests completely overanalyze all your favorite pop stars, then rank them in the official Pop Pantheon.
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Ranking the Main Pop Girl Albums of 2024 (So Far) (with Ira Madison III)

It seems like every single Main Pop Girl has dropped an album this year: Ariana, Kacey, Beyoncé, Taylor, Dua, Billie and Charli. And we're only six months in! It's been a whole lot of new music to process but now that we've had a minute to sit with these records, Keep It's Ira Madison III joins DJ Louie to reflect on all of these records, what they have common, what makes each stand out, and debate which they liked and disliked. Ira and Louie give each of the girlie's albums a "Pitchfork rating" and end the show with a final ranking of all the Main Pop Girl Albums of 2024... so far. Subscribe to Ira's new Substack FrankJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA 7/26 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/28 at The Sultan Room in BrooklynFollow Ira Madison III on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/20/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 8 seconds
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Normani's Album is Good. Now What? (with Rolling Stone's Larisha Paul) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Normani's debut solo album has been over five years in the making. Now that Dopamine is finally here, was it worth the wait? And with the heat having died down on her career, does it matter? Rolling Stone's Larisha Paul joins the show to help break it all down.  To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
6/18/202411 minutes, 1 second
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FRANK OCEAN (with Tre Johnson)

Tre Johnson returns to Pop Pantheon for a special Pride episode about one of pop's greatest disruptors, Frank Ocean. Louie and Tre discuss Frank’s first foray into the industry, writing for artists like Brandy and Justin Bieber and his rapturous breakthrough mixtape, 2011’s Nostalgia Ultra, which instantly turned Frank into a critical darling and rewrote the aesthetic and commercial rules of pop. Then they tackle his major label debut, 2012’s Channel Orange, which was accompanied by his version of a coming out, his sparse and meandering 2016 visual album, Endless, and his first independent release, the esoteric, beautiful Blonde. Finally, they discuss his output since 2016 and rank Frank Ocean in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Frank Ocean Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/15 at Los Globos in Los AngelesCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/28 at The Sultan Room in BrooklynFollow Tre Johnson on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/13/20242 hours, 4 minutes, 51 seconds
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Charli XCX Breaks New Ground on Brat (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Charli XCX's sixth studio album Brat, which dropped Friday, was posited as a dance album. What we actually got was something quite a bit more complicated. On this week's episode, Louie and Russ break the whole thing down. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
6/10/20248 minutes, 51 seconds
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Queer Women are Taking Over Pop (with Trish Bendix & Mel Woods)

To kick off Pride Month, Freelance Music Writer Trish Bendix and Senior Editor at Xtra Magazine Mel Woods join Louie to track the conspicuous rise of sapphic-ness in mainstream pop. From BoyGenius to Chappell Roan to Billie Eilish, girls who like girls and make that a huge feature in the music are crossing over onto the top of the Billboard charts. How did we get here? When did this story begin to happen?  And what does it say about our culture that this is finally allowed to happen? Read Trish's Piece "Long cast aside, queer women are starting to get their due from the music industry" in NBC NewsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/15 at Los Globos in Los AngelesCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/28 at The Sultan Room in BrooklynFollow Trish Bendix on TwitterFollow Mel Woods on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/6/202456 minutes, 28 seconds
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PINK (with Molly Mary O'Brien)

Molly Mary O’Brien returns to Pop Pantheon to unpack the unlikely longevity of Pink. Louie and Molly chart Pink’s emergence in Philadelphia clubs as a teenager through to her brief girl group career and her pop debut as a blue-eyed R&B product at the turn of the millennium with 2000’s Can’t Take Me Home. From there they discuss “Lady Marmalade,” Pink’s rocker image overhaul with 2001’s Linda Perry-assisted juggernaut Missundaztood, 2006’s hit-filled I’m Not Dead and 2008’s Funhouse, which brought her reincarnation as pop’s greatest circus performer. Then they unpack her mid-career hits, from “Raise Your Glass” to 2012’s The Truth About Love and her long-lasting career as a stadium-filling live act. Finally, they rank Pink in the Official Pop Pantheon.  Listen to Pop Pantheon's Pink EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/15 at Los Globos in Los AngelesCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/28 at The Sultan Room in BrooklynFollow Mary Mary O'Brien on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/30/20241 hour, 51 minutes, 55 seconds
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Why are Music Biopics so Bad? (with Keith Phipps)

The most recent in a long lineage of music biopics, Back to Black, which purports to chronicle the life of the late great Amy Winehouse came out in the US last week. The film received mostly negative reviews and underperformed at the box office. So why are these movies, generally speaking, so unsuccessful and why do we keep making then? Movie Critic Keith Phipps join DJ Louie to discuss Back to Black, the history of music biopics, why the good ones are good and why most of them are so bad. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/15 at Los Globos in Los AngelesCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/28 at The Sultan Room in BrooklynFollow Keith Phipps on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/23/202452 minutes, 53 seconds
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Love Hits Hard, Soft & Everything in Between on Billie Eilish's New Album (with the LA Times' Mikael Wood) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Billie Eilish released her third album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, last Friday. The LA Times' Mikael Wood joins DJ Louie to chronicle the latest evolution in Billie and Finneas' ongoing collaboration and how it fits into the broader glut of Main Pop Girl releases in 2024. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
5/20/20249 minutes, 43 seconds
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TINA TURNER (with Yale University's Dr. Daphne Brooks)

Yale University’s Dr. Daphne Brooks returns to Pop Pantheon to unpack one of the foundational blueprints for pop stardom as we know it, Tina Turner. Dr. Brooks and Louie trace Tina’s roots in Tennessee, her debut as a nightclub act in St. Louis and her early work with Ike Turner, from their hit single “A Fool in Love” to their string of R&B hits, fiery live revue and work with Phil Spector. They recount Tina’s influence on the major white rock acts of the period, Ike and Tina’s 1971 hit “Proud Mary” and her first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On. Then they recount her split from Ike and 1984’s blockbuster Private Dancer – one of the greatest comebacks in pop history. Finally, they discuss her continued global success through to her passing, her seismic influence and legacy and rank Tina Turner in the Official Pop Pantheon. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Tina Turner Essentials on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 5/18 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous: PRIDE! on 6/28 at The Sultan Room in BrooklynFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/16/20241 hour, 42 minutes, 56 seconds
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Anitta's Global Pop Takeover (with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Brazilian pop sensation Anitta's most recent recored, Funk Generation, dropped a few weeks ago. Julianne Escobedo Shepherd joins Louie and Russ to break down her rise to global stardom, this record's celebration of Brazilian Baile Funk and put us all on to a couple more rising Brazilian superstars we should all be paying attention to. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
5/13/202411 minutes, 14 seconds
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Mariah, Nirvana & The Story of MTV Unplugged (with Rob Tannenbaum & Craig Marks)

After recent episodes on Mariah and Nirvana, two artists who had massive career-defining moments on MTV's iconic live showcase Unplugged, Louie invited authors of the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum to chronicle the history of the series: how it started, why it was important, and which pop stars gave the most indelible performances. Listen to our other MTV-centric episodes on the history of Total Request Live and the VMAs.  Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 5/10 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 5/18 at Los GlobosFollow Rob Tannenbaum on TwitterFollow Craig Marks on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/9/202455 minutes, 32 seconds
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Dua Lipa Disappears on Radical Optimism (with Owen Myers) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Dua Lipa returned with her much anticipated third album Radical Optimism on Friday. Music writer Owen Myers joins Louie and Russ to parse out the messy rollout and framing, underperforming singles and, after so much hype, how this music actually sounds and who exactly Dua Lipa is on it. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
5/7/202413 minutes, 16 seconds
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HILARY DUFF (with Legends Only's T. Kyle)

Legends Only co-host T. Kyle makes his Pop Pantheon debut to discuss Hilary Duff’s brief ascension from Disney starlet to massive pop diva. Louie and T. Kyle discuss Hilary’s origins via the Disney assembly line with the early 2000s juggernaut The Lizzie McGuire Show and how it helped launch her pop career, from her debut album of holiday songs to 2003’s The Matrix-crafted Metamorphosis, which includes her most indelible hit, “Come Clean.” Then they unpack Hilary’s 2004 self-titled album, her hilariously early career greatest hits record, Most Wanted, and her 2007 dance pop breakup album Dignity. To conclude, they tackle Hilary’s final studio album, 2015’s Breathe In. Breathe Out. and rank Hilary Duff in the Official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Hilary Duff Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 5/10 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 5/18 at Los GlobosFollow T. Kyle Mac on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/2/20241 hour, 40 minutes, 5 seconds
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Is the Music Video Dead? (with Michael Cragg)

In the past few years, we've seen a serious decline in the centrality of and views for music videos across the board, even for the biggest pop stars. Journalist Michael Cragg recently chronicled this phenomenon in his piece for The Guardian, "'This is an Art Form— and We're Losing it': Is the Music Video Dying?" and today, he joins DJ Louie to discuss the piece and the general state of the music video in 2024. Is the music video format still vital? Why has viewership declined? What do we lose if we allow music videos to slip away entirely and is there a way to save them? Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 5/10 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 5/18 at Los GlobosFollow Michael Cragg on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/25/202456 minutes, 18 seconds
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Pop Pantheon Live! Tortured Poets & the State of Taylor Mania (with Brittany Spanos, Nora Princiotti & Hunter Harris) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, last night in front of a live audience at The Bell House in Brooklyn, Pop Pantheon gathered Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos, Every Single Album's Nora Princiotti and Hung Up's Hunter Harris to discuss Taylor Swift's 11th studio album(s?) The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology. Louie and the crew dissect the new music from every angle: major themes, aesthetics, writing styles, the Jack Antonoff of it all and more. Next, they dig into Taylor's current Imperial Phase: how it happened, how long it can last and whether there's a backlash brewing before discussing Taylor's Pantheon ranking and sharing their updated Taylor album rankings. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
4/23/202414 minutes, 39 seconds
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NIRVANA (with Bandsplain's Yasi Salek)

Bandsplain’s Yasi Salek joins DJ Louie to trace Nirvana's brief, iconoclastic trail through pop's mainstream in the early 1990s. Louie and Yasi unpack the group's origins in Aberdeen, Washington, their time on famed indie label Sub Pop, known for popularizing the "grunge" sound, and their bleak, sparse debut in 1989, Bleach, which garnered them a cult following. Next, they tackle Nirvana's breakthrough smash, the generational anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, and 1991’s unexpected blockbuster Nevermind, which briefly remolded the pop charts in their image and became one of the biggest albums of all time. They then discuss Kurt’s infamous marriage to Hole front woman Courtney Love, prickly relationship to his own fame and success and how his heroin addiction spun out of control during the promo cycle for 1993’s darker and grittier In Utero. Finally, Louie and Yasi detail Kurt’s tragic death by suicide in 1994, encasing the group in amber and forever giving their legacy a grand tragic air, before ranking Nirvana in the official Pop Pantheon. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Nirvana Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Presents: Taylor Mania at Parkside Lounge on 4/19Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 4/20 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 5/10 at Sultan RoomFollow Yasi Salek on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/18/20241 hour, 35 minutes, 55 seconds
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Listener Mailbag! Taylor, Pop Pet Peeves & a *Very* Special Guest

It's listener mailbag time!Louie and Russ are answering all your questions about their expectations for Taylor's The Tortured Poets Department, their personal pop pet peeves, the formula for following up a blockbuster album, why there are no more male pop stars and so much more. Plus, stay tuned until the end of the episode for a very special surprise guest appearance :-). Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Presents: Taylor Mania at Parkside Lounge on 4/19Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 4/20 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 5/10 at Sultan RoomFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/11/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 4 seconds
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BRANDY (with Naomi Zeichner)

Critic and writer Naomi Zeichner joins Pop Pantheon to explore the career of the “vocal bible,” Brandy. Louie and Naomi unpacked Brandy’s self-titled 1994 debut, released when she was just 15, her landmark acting roles as Moesha and Cinderella, and 1998’s Darkchild-assisted Never Say Never, which reimagined her at the vanguard of R&B futurism and became one of the signature blockbusters of the decade. They then discuss 2002 adventurous electropop-R&B fantasia Full Moon, 2004’s deeply personal Afrodisiac and her later period output, like 2012’s Two Eleven, which kicked off a cultural and critical reappraisal of her work. Finally, Louie and Naomi rank Brandy in the Official Pop Pantheon. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Brandy Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Presents: Taylor Mania at Parkside Lounge on 4/19Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 4/20 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 5/10 at Sultan RoomFollow Naomi Zeichner on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/4/20242 hours, 1 minute, 14 seconds
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Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter is a Genre Explosion (with Danielle Amir Jackson) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Beyoncé eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter, dropped last Friday. Once perceived as a foray into country music, this sprawling 80 (!!) minute epic turned out to be so much more than that and, as with any Bey project, begs for some serious unpacking. DJ Louie, Russ and Oxford American's Danielle Amir Jackson are here to do just that, breaking down the music, themes, references, history and breadth of the expansive second installment in Beyoncé's unfurling new trilogy. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
4/1/202410 minutes, 58 seconds
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Beyoncé, Black Country & the Long Road to Cowboy Carter (With Dr. Francesca Royster & Taylor Crumpton)

Tonight, Beyoncé will drop her eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter, her first explicit full-length foray into country music. As with every Bey project, there's a ton of meaning and history to unpack. DePaul University professor and author of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions, Dr. Francesca Royster, and writer and editor Taylor Crumpton, author of TIME piece Beyoncé Has Always Been Country, join the show to explain the long and often under-sung history of Black women in country: from the birth of many of the genre's core aesthetics and tenants during slavery, to 20th century recording artists who have attempted to break Nashville's white and male mass co-option, to recent breakthroughs from stars like Mickey Guyton. Dr. Royster, Taylor & DJ Louie attempt to position Cowboy Carter in this long and arduous lineage, unpack the details and gestures of singles "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages", and parse how Beyoncé's country pivot is tapping into a much larger story than may appear at first blush. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Presents: Taylor Mania at Parkside Lounge on 4/19Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 4/20 at Los GlobosFollow Taylor Crumpton on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
3/28/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 56 seconds
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Finding Bliss in Existentialism on Kacey Musgraves' Deeper Well (with Jewly Hight) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, music critic Jewly Hight joins DJ Louie for a wide-ranging discussion about Kacey Musgraves' fifth studio album, Deeper Well, which dropped last week. Louie and Jewly discuss how this record fits in the broader narrative arc of Kacey's music and career trajectory, her influences from across the folk rock spectrum and the themes on this music from break-ups to death to the meaning of life itself, all filtered through Kacey's singular lens of blissful wonderment. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
3/26/202410 minutes, 29 seconds
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CALVIN HARRIS & DAVID GUETTA (with Lina Abascal)

Culture writer and author Lina Abascal returns to Pop Pantheon to revisit the fleeting early 2010s moment when EDM DJs utterly consumed American popular music via two of the genre’s most emblematic figures, David Guetta and Calvin Harris. Louie and Lina trace David’s roots in the Paris club scene through to his breakthrough in the U.S. with hits like "When Love Takes Over", "Sexy Bitch" & "Memories", "Where Them Girls At?", "Titanium" and "Turn Me On", his big pop collaborations with artists like Sia, Kelly Rowland and Nicki Minaj. They then tackle Calvin’s bloghouse-y origins through to his peak-era work, from 2011’s “We Found Love” with Rihanna to smashes like "Feel So Close", "Sweet Nothing", "One Kiss" and "This is What You Came For". Finally, Louie and Lina discuss how the EDM bubble burst, how Guetta and Harris adapted, and rank both David Guetta and Calvin Harris in the Official Pop Pantheon. Send your mailbag questions to [email protected]!!Listen to Pop Pantheon's Calvin Harris & David Guetta EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Presents: Taylor Mania at Parkside Lounge on 4/19Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 3/23 at Los GlobosFollow Lina Abascal on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
3/21/20242 hours, 12 minutes, 6 seconds
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Britney and Janet Aren’t Justin Timberlake’s Only Problem (with Vox's Kyndall Cunningham) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Justin Timberlake put out his sixth studio album, Everything I Thought It Was, last Friday. But is it possible to hear this music— or appreciate Justin's talents— outside of the narrative nosedive his career has taken in the last decade? Vox's Kyndall Cunningham joins Louie and Russ to discuss. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
3/19/202410 minutes, 25 seconds
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Do You Still Listen to Kanye West and Michael Jackson? (with Tre Johnson & Kemi Olivia Alemoru)

Host and culture writer for Dazed, Vogue and more, Kemi Olivia Alemoru, and writer on race, culture and politics and author of the upcoming book Black Genius, Tre Johnson, join the show to discuss how we as critics and the public interface with the work of famous pop stars who have done awful things. Kemi, Tre and Louie dig into the complex legacies of Kanye West and Michal Jackson in particular, parsing apart how darker revelations about each of their characters have impacted how they think about their legacies, how cultural commentators should talk about them and their own personal listening habits. They also attempt to figure out a universal rubric for how and when we should separate art from artist. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Presents: Taylor Mania at Parkside Lounge on 4/19Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 3/23 at Los GlobosFollow Kemi Olivia Alemoru on TwitterFollow Tre JohnsonFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
3/14/20241 hour, 27 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Novel & Familiar Thrills of Ariana Grande's Eternal Sunshine (with Bustle's Nolan Feeney) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode and as a capstone to our latest series on Ariana Grande, Bustle's Nolan Feeney joins DJ Louie to discuss Ari's seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine, which dropped on Friday. Louie and Nolan dig into all the record's themes, aesthetics, how it toys with her public narrative, the impact of collaborator Max Martin, absence of long-time songwriting aces Victoria Monet and Tayla Parx and so much more.To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. You can also subscribe for the audio only directly in the Apple Podcasts app. 
3/11/202411 minutes, 23 seconds
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ARIANA GRANDE: PART 2 (with Pitchfork's Anna Gaca)

For part two of our Ariana Grande series, Pitchfork senior editor Anna Gaca is here to discuss the aesthetic pivot of 2018’s Sweetener, the superstar's first album following the horrific bombing of her Manchester concert and which found her reaching for light amidst unthinkable darkness. From there, Louie and Anna tackle the tabloid frenzy of Ari's relationship with comedian Pete Davidson and how their break-up, along with the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, turned 2019’s thank u, next into a once-in-a-career deluge of public fixation and artistic revelation. Finally, they consider 2020’s ode to stay-a-home pandemic sex, Positions, discuss their hopes for her imminent seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine, due tonight, and re-address Ariana Grande's ranking in the official Pop Pantheon. Join us on Pop Pantheon: All Access next week for our review of Ariana’s seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Ariana Grande Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 3/8 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 3/23 at Los GlobosFollow Anna Gaca on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
3/7/20241 hour, 55 minutes, 55 seconds
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ARIANA GRANDE: PART 1 (with the LA Times' Mikael Wood)

Pop music critic at the LA Times, Mikael Wood, joins Pop Pantheon for our first ever full re-examination of the first ever artist we ever ranked in the official Pop Pantheon: Ariana Grande. In Part 1, Louie and Mikael trace Ariana’s roots as a performer, from her start on Broadway as a teenager to her Nickelodeon years and her bubblegum debut single through to her first studio album, 2013’s Babyface-assisted Yours Truly. Then they tackle 2014’s My Everything, which ensconced Ariana as pop’s newest superstar, and 2016’s Dangerous Woman, which marked her rite of passage from child starlet to sexually-embodied adult pop star. Finally, they discuss the 2017 terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester; an international tragedy that forever altered the course of Ariana’s persona, narrative, music and career.Join us next week for Part 2 where we'll explore 2018's Sweetener, 2019's Thank U, Next and 2020's Positions and join our Patreon for our album review of Ariana’s upcoming seventh album, Eternal Sunshine, due March 8. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Ariana Grande Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Pop Pantheon Live: Tortured Poets & The State of Taylor Mania on 4/22 at the Bellhouse in BrooklynCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 3/8 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 3/23 at Los GlobosFollow Mikael Wood on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
2/29/20241 hour, 46 minutes, 31 seconds
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NYC Live Show! Talking Taylor at the Bellhouse on 4/22

When was the last time a single pop star dominated culture like Taylor Swift? From her blockbuster re-recordings, which brought a new generation of fans into the Swiftie fold, to her world-conquering Eras Tour, record-breaking 4th Album of the Year Grammy for 2022’s Midnights and the endless fascination with her personal life and new relationship with Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift has become the biggest music superstar of the millennium. In the wake of her eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, Pop Pantheon’s DJ Louie XIV will be joined by Every Single Album’s Nora Princiotti, writer Hunter Harris and Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos to break down Taylor’s latest record, dissect her place atop the current pop firmament and ponder how long this blazing hot streak can possibly last. Get Your Tickets Here!
2/26/20242 minutes, 10 seconds
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JLo, Beyoncé & the Surprisingly Long History of the Visual Album (with Sydney Urbanek)

Jennifer Lopez might not have stopped the world when she released her new self-financed visual album, This is Me... Now: A Love Story, last week. But she certainly drummed up a lot of conversation, much of which most certainly would not have been happening had she simply dropped a new record. After watching the film, DJ Louie got together with writer Sydney Urbanek, who is currently developing a series for her newsletter Mononym Mythology on the history of the visual album, to talk This is Me... Now, how it fits into the broader lineage of visual albums and serves as just the latest in a long history of pop musicians turning to film as a way to flesh out the world of their music. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 3/8 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 3/23 at Los GlobosFollow Sydney Urbanek on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
2/22/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 39 seconds
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Can We Justify Justin Timberlake's Justified? (with Rachel Brodsky) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, as we gear up for Justin Timberlake's sixth studio album Everything I Thought I Was, due in March, DJ Louie and writer Rachel Brodsky gather to reflect on his debut, 2002's Justified. The two parse out how Justin's public profile nosedive has impacted the public's experience of this music, whether it's possible to enjoy this album in vacuum, and If perhaps there's been an overcorrection on Timberlake in recent years that ignores some of delights of his peak work. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier.
2/19/202413 minutes, 19 seconds
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SHERYL CROW (with Natalie Weiner)

Listen to Pop Pantheon's Sheryl Crow EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 2/17 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 3/8 at Sultan RoomFollow Natalie Weiner on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
2/15/20241 hour, 38 minutes, 30 seconds
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Beyoncé's Surprise Singles + Usher's Halftime Show + New Music Speed Round (with Variety's Steven J. Horowitz) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Beyoncé dropped two singles plus announced her new album! Usher performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show! Variety's Steven J. Horowitz joins Louie and Russ to discuss it all, plus a new music speed round featuring Justin Timberlake, Kacey Musgraves & Ice Spice. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier.
2/12/202410 minutes, 3 seconds
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Second Spin: USHER (with Rawiya Kameir)

In anticipation of Usher's Super Bowl Halftime performance on Sunday, we're re-sharing our episode on him from September 2022. Music writer and Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, Rawiya Kameir, is back on the show to discuss the career and confessions of the great Usher. DJ Louie and Rawiya break down Usher’s musical origins singing in the church, the failed boy band he fronted in the early ‘90s, Nu Beginnings, and how his deal with the storied LaFace Records and subsequent “flavor camp” with Sean “Puff Daddy’ Combs set the stage for his self-titled debut record in 1994. They then dive into his breakthrough sophomore album, 1997’s My Way, how it solidified Usher’s persona as a smooth, sensitive, emotionally-conflicted lover boy as well as one of the most dexterous R&B singers of his generation, its blockbuster follow up, 2001’s 8701, which furthered Usher’s thematic fascination with the complexities of and distress caused by love and sex and of course, his magnum opus, 2004’s Confessions, a hit-packed concept album about the aftermath of infidelity that sold over 20 million copies worldwide and stands today as Usher’s signature artistic and commercial achievement. Next, Louie and Rawiya debate Usher’s latter period output, from swings at trendiness on 2008’s Here I Stand and 2010’s Raymond Vs. Raymond to more rewarding experiments on 2012’s Looking 4 Myself and 2016’s Hard II Love. Finally they rank Usher in the official Pop Pantheon.Check out Louie's Usher Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 2/17 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 3/8 at Sultan RoomFollow Rawiya Kameir on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
2/10/20241 hour, 45 minutes, 32 seconds
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N*cki, M*gan & Why it's Time to Rethink Stan Culture (with Rolling Stone's Mankaprr Conteh)

The long-simmering beef between Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion recently exploded from our streaming services with the release of their respective diss tracks "Big Foot" and "Hiss" and onto social media, where Nicki vented her ire for her rival for days, then, thanks to the rapper's most ardent fans, onto some people's front doorsteps and even to the gravesite of Megan's mother. This beef is yet another moment where the ferocity of stan armies and their relentless defense of their pop star favs went from fun and games on the internet to doxxing, threatening people's families and more. Rolling Stone's Mankaprr Conteh is here to discuss the beef, the role stans have played in it, our increasingly cloistered internet bubbles and realities, what we lose artistically and personally when stanning dominates our cultural discourse and why it may be time to seriously rethink the stan ecosystem, for all of our sakes. Read Mankaprr's breakdown of Nicki and Megan's beef from Rolling StoneWatch Ryan Ken's Tik Tok on stanningJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 2/17 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 3/8 at Sultan RoomFollow Mankaprr Conteh on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
2/8/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Grammys Still Have a Problem with Black Women (with Variety's Chris Willman) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, it’s been 25 years since a Black woman won Album of the Year. If neither Beyonce or SZA can do it, who can? Louie + Russ ponder that question with Variety’s Chris Willman as they walk through the good, the bad + the infuriating from the 2024 Grammys.To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier.
2/5/20247 minutes, 55 seconds
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FERGIE (with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd)

For part two of our Black Eyed Peas series, writer and critic Julianne Escobedo Shepherd returns to Pop Pantheon to dissect the brief but remarkable reign of the Duchess of Pop, Fergie. Louie and Julianne break down Fergie’s brushes with child stardom via Peanuts and Kids Incorporated and her failed 90s girl group, Wild Orchid. Then they explore the sonic melange of her debut solo album,  2006’s The Dutchess, which traded in everything from camp pop-rap to 80s hip house, mid-century pop-soul and A/C rock. Next they tackle Fergie’s follow-up more than a decade later, 2017’s Double Dutchess, her disappearance from pop, her ongoing presence as a meme queen and, finally, rank Fergie in the Official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Black Eyed Peas Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 2/3 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 2/17 at Los GlobosFollow Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
2/1/20241 hour, 37 minutes, 50 seconds
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THE BLACK EYED PEAS (with The Ringer's Rob Harvilla)

Ringer music critic and host of 60 Songs That Explain the '90s Rob Harvilla returns to Pop Pantheon to discuss one of the most derided – and successful – pop acts of the 21st Century, The Black Eyed Peas. Louie and Rob trace the group’s roots as an optimistic, politically progressive “conscious rap” crew, starting with their first two pre-Fergie records, 1998’s Behind The Front and 2000’s Bridging the Gap. Then they tackle the Peas’ reinvention as a garish, craven, operatically tacky band peddling radio pop on 2003’s Elephunk and their doubling down on big-tent pop maximalism on 2005’s Monkey Business. Next, Louie and Rob chart the Peas’ ride into the rising EDM wave on 200’s The E.N.D., their break-up, re-assembly and post-Fergie output. Finally, they rank the Black Eyed Peas in the Official Pop Pantheon. Join us next week where we'll be tackling the career of breakout Peas star, Fergie. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Black Eyed Peas Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 2/3 at Sultan RoomCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 2/17 at Los GlobosFollow Rob Harvilla on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
1/25/20241 hour, 56 minutes, 12 seconds
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How Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia Made Her a Main Pop Girl (with Pitchfork's Anna Gaca) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, when it came out in 2020 at the height of Covid19 lockdown, Dua Lipa's sophomore album Future Nostalgia made her a superstar. Now, nearly four years later and on the eve of a new Dua era, Senior Editor at Pitchfork Anna Gaca, who reviewed the album when it dropped, is here to talk about the record, how it's held up, how Dua's dance revival set the terms for pop and where it all positions her in the pop landscape as she verges on new music. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
1/22/202414 minutes, 45 seconds
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Why Can't Pop Stars Score Two Hits Off One Album? (with Andrew Unterberger & Eric Bennett)

Olivia Rodrigo's Guts, Harry Styles' Harry's House, Lizzo's Special, Adele's 30, Miley Cyrus' Endless Summer Vacation. What's one thing all of these albums have in common? They're each major releases by pop superstars in the last few years that churned out one massive hit single and then struggled to find a second to match it. They also serve as slightly counterintuitive representations of the state of the modern pop blockbuster in which, unlike past eras, putting together a string of massive singles might be less important than ever for a pop icon's era. Billboard's Andrew Unterberger and music writer Eric Bennett join DJ Louie to discuss this new one-hit-wonder phenomenon amongst pop's elite. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 1/13 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 2/3 at Sultan RoomFollow Andrew Unterberger on TwitterFollow Eric Bennett on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
1/18/202456 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ariana Returns! Plus New Music from Lil Nas X & Jennifer Lopez (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, the year is major pop star releases kicked off late last week with three singles from three stars of three different pop generations: Ariana Grande's "Yes, And?", Lil Nas X's "J. Christ" & Jennifer Lopez' "Can't Get Enough". Louie and Russ gather to break each of them down, share their thoughts on their quality and parse out how each of these superstars are attacking the idea of the lead single in the fractured, center-less world of pop music in 2024.To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
1/15/202410 minutes, 17 seconds
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DEMI LOVATO (with Molly Mary O'Brien)

Host of the And Introducing podcast Molly Mary O'Brien returns to Pop Pantheon to discuss the often harrowing and sometimes triumphant lif and career of Demi Lovato. Molly and Louie unpack Demi’s squeaky clean debut on Barney at 10 and her induction into the Disney machine, from her starring role in Camp Rock to her Hollywood Records efforts, including 2008’s well-made but anodyne Don’t Forget and 2009’s Kidz-Bop-Kelly-Clarkson Here We Go Again. Then they discuss Demi’s very public personal struggles starting in the early 2010s and their impact on albums like 2011’s dance-oriented Unbroken, 2013’s synthpop-nodding Demi, and 2015’s Confident, which includes the bi-curious slammer “Cool For the Summer.” From there, they break down 2017’s R&B-leaning Tell Me You Love Me, 2021’s recovery-themed Dancing With The Devil: The Art of Starting Over, Demi’s recent return to pop rock with 2022’s Holy Fvck and 2023’s Revamped and whether, in the context of her rocky personal narrative, Demi's music ever really rises to the fore of her celebrity. Finally, they rank Demi Lovato in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Demi Lovato Essentials on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 1/13 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 2/3 at Sultan RoomFollow Molly Mary O'Brien on TwitterFollow Molly Mary O'Brien on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
1/11/20242 hours, 15 seconds
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What Pantheon Rankings Did I Get Wrong in 2023?: Shakira, The Simpson Sisters, Lana & More!

Before we launch all our exciting new content for 2024, Louie and Russ look back on every single Pop Pantheon ranking from 2023 and discuss whether we got it right or wrong, take calls and emails from listeners with their ranking disputes and adjust some of our decisions. Does Shakira move from Tier 2 to Tier 1? Does Jessica Simpson really deserve to be in Tier 5?? And should the Niche Legend tier exist at all?!?! It's all on the table. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on 1/13 at Los GlobosCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on 2/3 at Sultan RoomFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
1/4/20241 hour, 5 minutes, 2 seconds
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Hard Candy is a Sweet Spot in Madonna's Late Period (with Miles Marshall Lewis) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Louie and guest Miles Marshall Lewis look back Madonna's 11th studio album, 2008's Hard Candy, an album where the Queen of Pop uncharacteristically played catch-up with her pop star progeny, enlisting Timabland, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell to help get her music back in American radio's good graces. The gambit only minorly paid off. The album received mixed reviews and while lead single "4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake" reached the top ten, the album was middling performer commercially. But how has it aged? And how does it stack up again other latter period Madonna albums? Louie and Miles dive into all this and more. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive weekly bonus episodes of Pop Pantheon, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
1/3/20248 minutes, 2 seconds
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How Has Lady Gaga's Chromatica Held Up? (with Matthew Perpetua & Molly Mary O'Brien) (Patreon Rerun)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! In a rerun of an episode from Pop Pantheon: All Access published back in May, Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua & host of the And Introducing podcast Molly Mary O'Brien join DJ Louie to look back on three years of Chromatica: How they absorbed it when it dropped in the context of May 2020, how it sounds to them now, what's happening aesthetically and thematically on the songs, where it stacks up against in Gaga's catalog and what it says about her status in the pop firmament of the 2020s.To hear more bonus content like this, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
12/28/20231 hour, 1 minute, 12 seconds
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Pop Stars We Lost This Year: Sinéad O'Connor, Tony Bennett & Tina Turner (with Annie Zaleski, Brian Newman & Melissa Vincent)

Louie and a series guest look back on the career, work and legacies of some pop greats we lost in 2023: Sinéad O'Connor, Tony Bennett & Tina Turner. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Annie Zaleski on TwitterFollow Brian Newman on TwitterFollow Melissa Vincent on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
12/21/202359 minutes, 27 seconds
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Who TF is Tate McRae? Making Sense of Pop's New Main Girl (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Tate McRae has, to some, been on the rise for the past few years. To many, she became the pop starlet of the moment overnight with her viral hit "Greedy". On the occasion of her sophomore album, Think Later, released a couple weeks ago, Louie and Russ came together to talk everything Tate: How she's metamorphosed over her ascent, what's clicked with "Greedy" and how that's reflected (or not) in the rest the album, and what Tate's sudden catapulting to the top says about the current state of pop stardom. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
12/18/20239 minutes, 17 seconds
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MARIAH CAREY: PART 3 (with Pot Psychology's Rich Juzwiak)

For the conclusion of our three-part series on Mariah Carey, Pot Psychology’s Rich Juzwiak returns to Pop Pantheon to discuss Mariah’s later period work, starting with one of the greatest comebacks in the history of pop: 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi. Louie and Rich unpack Emancipation’s smash hits and how it helped rewrite Mariah's legacy, then move on to its 2008’s sequel, E=MC², and 2009's idiosyncratic Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Rick and Louie tackle the calcification of her camp diva persona and status as meme queen, her brittle relationship to being "The Queen of Christmas", awkward tenure as a judge on American Idol, 2014’s Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse, and Mariah’s most recent work, 2018’s notably relaxed Caution. Finally, Louie and Rich discuss Mariah Carey’s formidible legacy, her significant contributions to pop and rank her in the official Pop Pantheon. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Mariah Carey EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on December 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Rich Juzwiak on TwitterFollow Rich Juziwak on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
12/14/20231 hour, 51 minutes, 26 seconds
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Is Pink Friday 2 a Worthy Sequel? (with Hunter Harris) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Nicki Minaj dropped her long-awaited fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, last Friday. But is it a worthy follow-up to her legendary debut, 2010's Pink Friday? Hung Up's Hunter Harris joins DJ Louie to break it all down: what's good on this record, what's not and whether albums—this one or any other in her discography— are useful formats for Nicki's unique genius.  To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
12/12/202311 minutes
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MARIAH CAREY: PART 2 (with NPR's Aisha Harris)

For the second in our three-part series on Mariah Carey, NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour's Aisha Harris joins the show to unpack some of the most fascinating, liberated and enduring music Mariah has made as well as a professional nadir from which it once seemed she'd never recover. Louie and Aisha pick up with Mariah's self-described magnum opus, 1997’s Butterfly, then move on to her final album under her deal with Sony and Tommy Mottola, 1999’s Rainbow, before digging into the embarrassing blunder of 2001’s Glitter film and soundtrack, the first and only release on Mariah's historic $100 million with Virgin Records. Finally, they tackle Mariah’s initial attempt at a comeback in 2002, Charmbracelet.Join us next week for Part 3 which will cover Mariah’s triumphant comeback with 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi, her later period work, her legacy and her impact on pop. Plus, we'll rank Mariah Carey in the official Pop Pantheon. Buy Aisha's book, Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture that Shapes MeListen to Pop Pantheon's Mariah Carey EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on December 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Aisha Harris on TwitterFollow Aisha Harris on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
12/7/20231 hour, 51 minutes, 20 seconds
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How Mariah Carey Became the Queen of Christmas (with The Wall Street Journal's John Jurgensen) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, The Wall Street Journal's John Jurgensen, who has chronicled Mariah's ascent to the Queen of Christmas over the last 30 years, joins DJ Louie to discuss just how she's come to claim that title. Louie and John are talking Merry Christmas and "All I Want For Christmas Is You", the historical relationship between pop and Christmas music and how social media, stan culture, Love Actually, and a good-old fashioned banger came together to eventually make Mariah the biggest pop star in the world once again for two festive months, every single year. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
12/4/202312 minutes, 9 seconds
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MARIAH CAREY: PART 1 (with Dr. Brittnay L. Proctor)

In the first of three new episodes on pop icon Mariah Carey, DJ Louie is joined by The New School's Dr. Brittnay L. Proctor to discuss Mariah's origin story and early career. They begin with her upbringing on Long Island as the product of a biracial marriage, her first forays into the music industry as a demo singer and background vocalist and her chance meeting with future husband Tommy Mottola which resulted in her smash self-titled debut album, home to four consecutive number one hits. They then discuss her pivot towards Black dance styles on her sophomore album, Emotions, her juggernaut, adult-contemporary-leaning third album, 1993's Music Box, her Christmas classic "All I Want for Christmas is You" and finally, her pivotal 1995 album Daydream, a blockbuster which saw Mariah defying Mottola's influence on her life and music, embracing hip hop and R&B into her sound and paving the way for her future as an artist and woman. Join us next week for Part 2 where we will be talking Mariah's middle period, beginning with 1997's Butterfly through 2002's Charmbracelet. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Mariah Carey EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on December 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Dr. Brittany L. Proctor on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
11/30/20232 hours, 11 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Best Pop Music of 2023 (with Shaad D'Souza)

Music writer Shaad D'Souza joins DJ Louie to discuss pop music in 2023. They each share and discuss their three favorite albums, three favorite songs, greatest disappointments, major trends in the genre and more. Check out a Spotify Playlist of Louie and Shaad's 2023 FavsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on December 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Shaad D'Souza on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
11/22/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 2 seconds
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Bonnie McKee on the Song Machine, Pop Stardom & Ego Death

Bonnie McKee is the songwriter behind many of the most enduring pop hits of the last 15 years including Taio Cruz' "Dynamite", Britney Spears' "Hold it Against Me" and no fewer than 5 (!) of Katy Perry's #1s. She's also a pop star in her own right, having run the gamut from singer-songwriter-aspirant in the early 2000s through numerous major label deals and finally, her current career as an indie pop act. Bonnie joins DJ Louie to talk about it all: her love of pop music, how she writes it, her experience as song-crafter to the stars, how the "song machine" works when it comes to major pop stars, the difference between writing songs for yourself and for other artists and how the pop music ecosystem has changed over her nearly 20 year career. Listen to Bonnie McKee's "Don't Get Mad Get Famous"Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous X Who? Weekly on November 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
11/16/202347 minutes, 5 seconds
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AALIYAH (with Kathy Iandoli)

Author of the book Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah Kathy Iandoli returns to Pop Pantheon to unpack the far too short career of one of the most exciting pop recording artists of her generation, Aaliyah. Kathy and Louie discuss Aaliyah’s upbringing in Detroit, her connection to soul legend Gladys Knight and how she came to create 1994’s Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number with R. Kelly, a convicted sexual predator who married her illegally as a teen. Then they examine one of the most forward-thinking pieces of R&B futurism ever produced, 1996’s One in a Million, a collaboration largely with innovative songwriting and production duo Timbaland and Missy Elliott, which is widely considered one of the best albums of the ‘90s. Next, they dissect Aaliyah’s showcase of triple-threat talent in Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned, her thrilling soundtrack songs, "Are You That Somebody" and "Try Again,” the blend of R&B traditionalism and avant garde genre experiments on Aaliyah’s 2001’s self-titled album, released just one month before her untimely death and how her early passing as impacted her legacy. Finally, they rank Aaliyah in the official Pop Pantheon.Buy Kathy's Book Baby Girl: Better Known as AaliyahListen to Pop Pantheon's Aaliyah Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on November 10Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous X Who? Weekly on November 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Kathy Iandoli on TwitterFollow Kathy Iandoli on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
11/9/20231 hour, 50 minutes, 22 seconds
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Pop Pantheon Live! Britney's Music Memoir & Legacy (with Jason King, Troy McEady and Kirbie Johnson) (Patreon Preview)

Pop Pantheon had it's first live show ever last night at the Crawford Auditorium in Pasadena, courtesy of LAist!In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, USC's Jason King, Beyond the Blinds' Troy McEady and Gloss Angeles' Kirbie Johnson were all on stage with DJ Louie to discuss all things Britney: her new memoir, The Woman in Me, her legacy as a pop star and musician, why she mattered and continues to impact the world of pop and generations of stars who came after her, and finally, of course, where she might fit into the Pop Pantheon.To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
11/3/202313 minutes, 23 seconds
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Lizzo & The Nature of Celebrity Scandal (with Megan Agnew & Hanna Phifer)

Back in August, Lizzo was sued by a number of her former dancers for creating a hostile work environment, with allegations including racial and sexual harassment, disability discrimination, illegal retaliatory termination and assault, and more. This flew directly in the face of her brand, which champions positivity, inclusivity and authenticity above all else (including even her music). The Sunday Times' Megan Agnew and journalist and culture critic Hanna Phifer join DJ Louie to break down how this scandal has played out for Lizzo, where it fits in with and differs from other pop star scandals past and present, and what, if anything, she can do fix the damage it's caused to her brand and image. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on November 10Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous X Who? Weekly on November 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Megan Agnew on TwitterFollow Hanna Phifer on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
11/2/202354 minutes, 8 seconds
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Taylor Touchdown! (1989 TV! Eras Tour Film! Travis!) (Patreon Preview)

There sure is a lot of Taylor Swift happening right now but when is there not these days? In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Louie and Russ got together to talk about it all: 1989 (Taylor's Version), which dropped Friday, its attendant "from the vault" tracks, The Eras Tour film which was released a few weeks ago, her new high-profile relationship with football star Travis Kelci and, with Taylor having the biggest monocultural moment in recent history, whether we'll ever reach a tipping point of Too Much Taylor. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
10/30/20239 minutes, 28 seconds
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BRUNO MARS (with Stereogum's Tom Breihan)

Stereogum’s Tom Breihan returns to Pop Pantheon to dissect the career of pop history’s greatest mimic, Bruno Mars. Louie and Tom dive into how Bruno spent his childhood impersonating greats like Elvis and Michael Jackson, his failed start on Motown and early work for other artists, including via his production group The Smeezingtons. Then they discuss his tightly-stitched 2010 debut, Doo-Wops and Hooligans, 2012’s pop history grab-bag, Unorthodox Jukebox, and the cultural sensation of his 2014 Mark Ronson-collab, the Morris Day-tributing “Uptown Funk.” Next, they explore Bruno’s  tour through Black pop and soul history on 2016’s 24K Magic and his Philly Soul and Parliament-Funkadelic-homaging super-duo with Anderson .Paak., Silk Sonic, as they parse whether Bruno is central to his music at all or simply a nostalgia curator. Finally, they rank Bruno Mars in the official Pop Pantheon.Read Tom's Number Ones Column write-ups of "Just The Way You Are" & "Grenade"Listen to Pop Pantheon's Bruno Mars EssentialsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC: Halloween Edition on October 27Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on November 10Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous X Who? Weekly on November 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Tom Breihan on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
10/26/20231 hour, 53 minutes, 47 seconds
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Where are All the New Pop Stars? (with Billboard's Elias Leight)

There are more pop artists than ever but very few of them seem to be able to grab a serious foothold at the top of the heap. Billboard's Elias Leight has been covering this topic extensively lately and for this week's B-side, he joins DJ Louie to break down why it's become nearly impossible to ascend to pop's  A-List in the Tik Tok era, how various factions— from artists, to labels, to fans— are reacting to this and how each may need to adjust expectations for what a successful pop career means in the context of this new paradigm.Read Elias' piece "Pop Stars Aren't Popping Like They Used To " in BillboardJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC: Halloween Edition on October 27Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on November 10Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Elias Leight on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
10/19/202344 minutes, 38 seconds
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Searching for Queer Utopias on Troye Sivan's Something to Give Each Other (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Troye Sivan released his third album, Something to Give Each Other, on Friday and Louie and Russ got together to dig into the music and world of this record. The two had very differing interpretations of the themes, mood and production choices here which led to a dynamic conversation about Troye, Something and how the continued paucity of queer pop stars puts inordinate amounts of pressure on each release to be everything to everyone. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
10/17/202312 minutes, 22 seconds
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JESSICA & ASHLEE SIMPSON (with Beyond the Blinds' Troy McEady)

Beyond The Blinds’ Troy McEady joins Pop Pantheon for a double header on a pair of TRL-era pop princess sisters, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. Louie and Troy track Jessica and Ashlee’s upbringing in Texas, Jessica’s failed attempts at teen stardom via Disney and Christian music and her breakthrough with 1999’s “I Wanna Love You Forever” and Sweet Kisses. Then they discuss 2001’s robotic Irresistible and the surprising vehicle for Jessica’s biggest success, MTV’s Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, which boosted 2003’ In This Skin. Next, they tackle Ashlee’s rocket to stardom with The Ashlee Simpson Show and 2004’s scrappy, guitar-driven Autobiography and her quick demise following her infamous performance on Saturday Night Live. Finally, they unpack how the Simpson sisters’ pop careers fizzled out and rank both in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Jessica & Ashlee Simpson Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC: Halloween Edition on October 27Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on November 10Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Troy McEady on TwitterFollow Troy McEady on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
10/12/20231 hour, 58 minutes, 21 seconds
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How Country Bros Took Over Pop (with Spencer Kornhaber & Marissa R. Moss)

There's been a record-breaking trend this year of country music dominating the top of the Billboard Hot 100. But it's not just any country music. These hits by artists like Morgan Wallen, Jason Aldean, Oliver Anthony & Luke Combs— all cis white men— are each employing identity politics and tapping into broader socio-political conflict in the US, either implicitly or explicitly, to help power their rise to pop dominance. So for the first segment of today's show, The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber, who has written extensively about the influx of bro country on the charts, is here to help explain this phenomenon. In the second of half of the episode, writer and journalist Marissa R. Moss, who publishes the great country newsletter Don't Rock the Inbox turns Louie on to five great country acts operating on the margins— all of whom, notably, are not cis white men— who deserve our attention and are providing a beacon of hope in the entrenched and often sexist, homophobic, transphobic and racist world of Nashville radio. Read Spencer's pieces on the rise of country bros in The AtlanticSubscribe to Marissa's newsletter, Don't Rock the InboxListen to a playlist of Marissa's recommendationsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC: Halloween Edition on October 27Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Marissa R. Moss on TwitterFollow Spencer Kornhaber on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
10/5/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Ease of Kylie Minogue's Tension (with Michael Cragg) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, journalist and author Michael Cragg joins Louie for a discussion of Kylie Minogue's sixteenth studio album, Tension, which dropped a couple weeks ago. Tension arrives amidst a heightened level of interest on Kylie following the viral success of its lead single "Padam Padam", which was a gay club anthem in the US and a bonafide hit around the world, including becoming her first top ten in the UK in more than a decade. Louie and Michael discuss whether Tension delivers on the promise of "Padam Padam", how it slots in with the rest of her latter day work, their favorite and least favorite moments on the record, what allows Kylie to simply employ "The Kylie Thing" on album after album and what it means for her to have a hit at this phase in her career and life, especially for American audiences who are largely unfamiliar with her illustrious four decades as a pop phenomenon. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
10/2/202311 minutes, 5 seconds
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Doja Cat Walls Herself In on Scarlet (with Rawiya Kameir) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Rawiya Kameir joins the show in a companion piece to this week's main feed episode on Doja Cat. Here, Louie and Rawiya are talking all things Doja's fourth studio album, Scarlet, which dropped this past Friday. This is a very different type of Doja album: rap-heavy, combative and very very long. Louie and Rawiya are sharing all their thoughts on the record: what's working, what's not, whether Doja has effectively answered to her critics on this music and whether it's given us newfound insight into the quite slippery but always fascinating superstar. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
9/29/202312 minutes, 12 seconds
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DOJA CAT (with Rolling Stone's Larisha Paul)

Rolling Stone’s Larisha Paul joins Pop Pantheon to dissect the career of one of the most enigmatic, eccentric talents working in pop today: Doja Cat. As Doja releases her fourth studio album, Scarlet, Larisha and Louie dig into her origin story, connection to controversial super-producer Dr. Luke, rise on Soundcloud and the laid-back stoner R&B of her 2014 debut EP Purrr!. They then tackle Doja's first full-length LP, 2018’s Amala, the strange breakout success of the novelty track and video, the meme-sensation “"Mooo!", 2019’s sonically eclectic Hot Pink and the single that turned Doja into an A-Lister, “Say So.” Finally, they discuss Doja’s 2021 juggernaut third album Planet Her, the various controversies that have helped define her prickly public persona and how she's responded to them, where Doja is at in her pop stardom as she releases Scarlet and rank Doja Cat in the official Pop Pantheon. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access to listen to Louie break down Scarlet in detail with writer and critic Rawiya Kameir. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Doja Cat Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on September 29Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC: Halloween Edition on October 27Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Larisha Paul on TwitterFollow Larisha Paul on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
9/28/20231 hour, 55 minutes, 31 seconds
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PRINCE: PART 3 (with Miles Marshall Lewis)

For the conclusion of our three-part series on Prince, writer and critic Miles Marshall Lewis joins Pop Pantheon to discuss the final swing of Prince's career, beginning with his tumultuous battle with Warner Bros in the early 1990s, which saw him change his name to an unpronounceable symbol and perform with “slave” written on his face. Louie and Miles then tackle the ups and downs of Prince’s wildly prolific latter career, including 1991’s genre-spanning Diamonds and Pearls, his commercial decline through a glut of records in the later '90s, and his minor comeback 2004’s back-to-basics Musicology and 2006's funky 3231. Along the way, they consider his legacy-defining Super Bowl performance, his innovations in music distribution, vast influence on music and pop stardom and Miles shares a story about a personal meeting with The Purple One months before his death in 2016. Finally, Louie and Miles rank Prince in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Prince Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on September 29Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Miles Marshall Lewis on TwitterFollow Miles Marshall Lewis on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
9/21/20231 hour, 32 minutes, 45 seconds
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PRINCE: PART 2 (with Pot Psychology's Rich Juzwiak)

For the second in our three-part series on Prince, Pot Psychology's Rich Juzwiak joins the show to unpack Prince’s imperial years, starting with one of the best-selling albums of all time, 1984’s Purple Rain. Louie and Rich discuss all the music from this blockbuster record as well as the accompanying Oscar-winning film, which together made Prince a cultural phenomenon for the ages, before tackling his swerve into kaleidoscopic psychedelia on 1985's Around the World in a Day, his second swing at the box office, Under the Cherry Moon (1986), the genre-traversing Parade (1986), and his most acclaimed album, 1987’s Sign o' the Times, dubbed by Rolling Stone as "perhaps the finest album of the 1980s". Finally, they dive into the spiritually-enlightened LoveSexy (1988) and his chart-topping Batman soundtrack (1989) .Join us next week for Part 3 which will cover Prince’s name change, record label battle and later period work, plus his legacy and indelible influence on many of the pop stars who came in his wake. Plus, we'll rank Prince in the official Pop Pantheon. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Prince Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on September 16Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on September 29Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Rich Juzwiak on TwitterFollow Rich Juzwiak on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
9/14/20232 hours, 3 minutes, 58 seconds
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Olivia Rodrigo Makes the Sophomore Jump on Guts (with Stereogum's Tom Braihen) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Streogum's Tom Breihan joins DJ Louie to break down Olivia Rodrigo's sophomore album Guts, which dropped Friday: What's working (more rock!), what's not, the major themes and sounds and what it all says about Olivia's place in the pop star firmament of 2023. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
9/13/202312 minutes, 1 second
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PRINCE: PART 1 (with Dr. Elliott H. Powell)

For the first of our three-part series on the High Priest of Pop, Prince, the University of Minnesota's Dr. Elliott H. Powell joins the show to discuss the rise of perhaps pop history’s greatest enigma. Louie and Elliot unpack Prince’s upbringing in Minneapolis, his impressive 1978 debut, For You, on which he played every instrument, and mainstream breakthrough with his self-titled sophomore album in 1979 and its smash "I Wanna Be Your Lover". Then they tackle how 1980’s filthy, carnal Dirty Mind established Prince at pop's vanguard and presaged the sound of the 1980s and the cultural debate Prince wielded on 1981’s Controversy. Finally, they discuss how 1982’s 1999 synthesized Prince’s persona and sound into something broadly appealing and set the stage for his Purple Reign that would follow in the coming years.Join us next week for Part 2 which will cover Prince’s imperial phase, from 1984's Purple Rain to 1989's Batman.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Prince Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on September 16Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on September 29Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Dr. Elliott H. Powell on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
9/7/20232 hours, 10 minutes, 47 seconds
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BIG Announcement! + Britney Spears' Blackout Unlocked (with Troy McEady) (Originally Published on Patreon on 12/22/2022)

Buy Tickets to Pop Pantheon Live: Britney's Memoir, Music & Legacy on 11/2 In PasadenaA little about the live show: She’s so lucky, she’s a star. But Britney Spears has charted one of the most challenging, complex paths through the music business since the dawn of pop. Following the release of Britney’s new memoir, The Woman in Me, Pop Pantheon podcast host DJ Louie XIV (he/him) has gathered an all-star panel of guests to discuss Britney’s life and music LIVE. Louie will be joined onstage by Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music Jason King, Beyond The Blinds podcast host (and Britney superfan) Troy McEady and Gloss Angeles podcast host Kirbie Johnson to tackle how Britney’s public narrative has impacted her legacy as the definitive pop superstar of her generation, discuss her innovative music and parse apart where she sits in the current pop firmament. And stick around after the show for a special Britney edition of Gorgeous Gorgeous, a pop party for queer and trans hotties by DJ Louie and friends! For more bonus content like this Britney Blackout episode, Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on September 16Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on September 29Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Troy McEady on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
8/31/202359 minutes, 30 seconds
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Jack Antonoff: Friend or Foe? (with Mitch Therieau)

Mitch Therieau, author of the piece Dream of Antonoffication: Pop Music's Blandest Prophet which was published last month in The Drift, joins the show to talk pop music's super producer du-jour Jack Antonoff. Jack is known for his work a wide variety of female artists from Taylor Swift to Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Clairo, St. Vincent and countless others. To many, he is a hero, the anti-Dr. Luke who is happy to play a supporting role to his collaborators and work around their skills to produce idiosyncratic, personal pop music. To others, he is overused and stale, so omnipresent as to swallow up otherwise singular artists into his non-distinct, murky production style. Louie and Mitch dig into all sides of the argument: Jack's strengths and weaknesses as a producer, his best and worst projects, the narratives that surround him and what it all says about the state of contemporary pop music and stardom broadly.Read Mitch's piece Dream of Antonoffication: Pop Music's Blandest Prophet in The DriftListen to Mitch's playlist of (nearly) every song Jack has ever been involved withJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on August 25Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on September 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Mitch Therieau on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
8/24/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 55 seconds
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JENNIFER LOPEZ (with Billboard's Leila Cobo)

Billboard’s Leila Cobo joins the show to help trace the utterly unique path Jennifer Lopez blazed through popular culture. Leila and Louie chart Jennifer’s rise as a backup dancer, her star-making turn as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in 1997’s Selena and her debut album, 1999's On The 6. Then they tackle her cultural saturation after the turn of the millennium and her streak of red-hot rap collaborations that helped define the sound of the 2000s. Finally, Louie and Leila discuss JLo’s forays into Spanish-language music, her Super Bowl performance, her status as one of the most successful Latina performers in the history of American pop and place Jennifer Lopez into the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Jennifer Lopez Essentials on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreBuy Leila Cobo's book Decoding "Despacito": An oral history of Latin Music Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on August 25Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on September 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Leila Cobo on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
8/17/20231 hour, 50 minutes, 33 seconds
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Pop Punk: Past & Present (With Ryan Piers)

Pop punk is the midst of a revival at the top of the charts so for this week's B-Side, Louie and writer for Alternative Magazine and other pubs, Ryan Piers, break down the history of the genre, how the iconoclasm of punk music and the commercialism of pop music have a strange but fruitful synergy,  pop punk's first wave in the mid-90s through the early 2000s with Blink 182, Green Day, Sum 41, Avril Lavigne and others, how it's fallen in out and of fashion since, and the characteristics of its recent revival with Machine Gun Kelly, Olivia Rodrigo, Willow & others. Listen to Ryan's Alt & Punk Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on August 25Come to Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC on September 16Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow Ryan Piers on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
8/10/202355 minutes, 19 seconds
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Carly Rae Jepsen's New Paths on The Loveliest Time (with Brennan Carley) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Service 95's Brennan Carley joins DJ Louie to discuss Carly Rae Jepsen's new album, The Loveliest Time, which dropped last week and serves as a companion piece to 2022's The Loneliest Time. Louie and Brennan dig into Carly's aesthetic stasis in recent years, the swings-and-misses from Loneliest's attempts to find new avenues for her music, and how Loveliest presents her loosest and most exciting batch of songs in a very long time, serving as a potential jumping off point for a new phase of Carly's career. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
8/7/202313 minutes, 35 seconds
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GWEN STEFANI PART 2: THE SOLO YEARS (with NPR's Hazel Cills)

For part two of our Gwen Stefani series, NPR Music editor Hazel Cills returns to Pop Pantheon to tackle Gwen's solo career. Louie and Hazel discuss Gwen striking out on her own via collaborations with Moby and Eve, then parse through her certifiably bonkers, extraordinarily controversial, hit-stacked solo debut, 2004’s Love Angel Music Baby – undoubtedly one of the mid 2000’s biggest blockbusters. Then they consider her 2006 follow-up, The Sweet Escape, and solo return a decade later, 2016’s This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Along the way, they dig into Gwen’s gleefully polyglot musical aesthetic, her infamous cultural appropriation and, finally, rank Gwen Stefani in the official Pop Pantheon. Read Hazel's retrospective review of Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Listen to Pop Pantheon's No Doubt & Gwen Stefani Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreCome to Gorgeous Gorgeous LA on August 25Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
8/3/20231 hour, 42 minutes, 46 seconds
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GWEN STEFANI PART 1: NO DOUBT (with Molly Mary O'Brien)

And Introducing host Molly Mary O’Brien joins the show for part one of a double-header on Gwen Stefani! This week, Molly and Louie discuss No Doubt, a local SoCal ska band that improbably morphed into one of the world’s biggest pop rock bands and then served as a launching pad Gwen’s solo career as one of the important big-tent dance pop stars of her generation. The two dig into what made Gwen a inevitable superstar even before she took her place as the band’s front-woman, No Doubt’s feel-good, goofy early tunes, the monster pop hooks and pop feminism of their 1995 breakthrough, Tragic Kingdom, the contemplative commercial comedown of 2000’s Return of Saturn, 2001’s dancehall-inspired Rock Steady which returned the group to the charts and their final effort, 2012's Push and Shove. Finally, they rank No Doubt in the official Pop Pantheon. Tune in next week for Part II: Gwen Stefani’s solo years.Listen to Pop Pantheon's No Doubt & Gwen Stefani Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreListen to And Introducing on Apple PodcastsListen to And Introducing on Spotify Follow Molly Mary O’Brien on TwitterFollow Molly Mary O’Brien on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
7/27/20231 hour, 51 minutes, 6 seconds
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Revisiting Robyn's Honey (with Who? Weekly's Bobby Finger) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Who? Weekly's Bobby Finger joins Pop Pantheon: All Access to revisit Robyn's most recent album, 2018's long-awaited Honey. Bobby and Louie dig into the album's central themes of grief and loss, how it pivots from the catharsis and gratification of classic Robyn songs towards something more amorphous and even frustrating, its deconstruction of dance music genres, the journey of the title track from Girls soundtrack curio to undulating, sensual house track, Robyn's position in the greater pop music ecosystem as the Mother Niche Legend and so much more. To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
7/24/202314 minutes, 43 seconds
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Listener Mailbag: Dua, Charli, The Idol, Behind-The-Scenes & More!!

Louie and Russ are answering listener questions about what's next for Charli XCX, how Dua Lipa fits into the broader trend of cult-of-personality pop stars, whether The Idol will tank The Weeknd's career, why Luke Comb's "Fast Car" is such a hit, how a Canadian Pop Pantheon might differ from the American one, a slew of Niche Legends, how they make the show and so much more. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
7/20/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 10 seconds
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PAULA ABDUL (with Hit Parade's Chris Molanphy)

Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy returns to discuss one of the defining pop stars of the late 1980s, Paula Abdul. Louie and Chris discuss the virtuosic choreography that snatched Paula a ticket to pop superstardom, her three year run of signature hits beginning with 1988’s blockbuster Forever Your Girl through 1991's Spellbound, her contributions to the MTV music video boom, why her final album, 1995’s Head Over Heels, flopped, and her second act as a TV personality. Finally, they rank Paula Abdul in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Paula Abdul Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in LA on 7/14Follow Chris Molanphy on TwitterFollow Chris Molanphy on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
7/13/20231 hour, 49 minutes, 30 seconds
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A Deep Dive into Speak Now, OG and TV (with Every Single Album's Nora Princiotti) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Host of the Ringer's Every Single Album podcast Nora Princiotti is back on the show to talk all things Speak Now!Taylor Swift released the third in her series of album re-recordings, Speak Now (Taylor's Version), last Friday, so Louie and Nora are deep-diving on the album, its major themes and aesthetics, where it sits in the narrative arc of Taylor's career, its highlights and lowlights and reception at the time of its original release in 2010. They then discuss how accurate the new versions of the songs are compared to previous re-records, the best and worst of the From the Vault bonus tracks and so much more.To hear the rest of the this episode plus receive at least three episodes of the show per month, gain access to our Discord channel and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
7/12/202312 minutes, 1 second
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Send Us Your Questions for Our Listener Mailbag Episode!

We’re planning a mailbag episode that's dropping very (and we mean mean VERY) soon + we want your questions! Curious what Louie thinks of a recent trend in pop? Want to know what he thinks is coming next for a certain pop star? Or what goes on behind the scenes at Pop Pantheon? Have burning questions about upcoming album rollouts, historical pop quandaries or Louie + Russ’s personal lives? Hit us up! We want to hear from you! Voicenotes are best, simply record yourself with your phone + send the file to [email protected] (we love to hear your voices!). You can also send us written questions too. And did we mention this is dropping soon? So don't wait too long :-) 
7/8/202346 seconds
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Checking in on Taylor Swift's Re-Recordings So Far (with Charlie Harding, Larisha Paul & Nora Princiotti)

On the eve of the third installment of Taylor Swift's re-recording project of her first seven studio albums, Speak Now (Taylor's Version), Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding, Rolling Stone's Larisha Paul and Every Single Album's Nora Princiotti join DJ Louie to break down how this singularly ambitious endeavor has gone so far. Has it achieved its commercial goals? What about its aesthetic ones? What are the differences? When it comes to Fearless (Taylor's Version) and Red (Taylor's Version), is the panel choosing the TV or OG on their free time? As fans, are we obligated to choose Taylor's Versions? Which of her yet-to-be-re-recorded albums will be the most difficult to replicate? And does all of it— along with her new music, massive tour, "Cruel Summer" single release, various romantic endeavors and the rest— add up to too much Taylor?  Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in LA on 7/14Follow Charlie Harding on TwitterFollow Nora Princiotti on TwitterFollow Larisha Paul on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
7/6/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds
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CHARLIE PUTH (with Steven J. Horowitz)

Steven J. Horowitz returns to Pop Pantheon to discuss the career of contemporary pop’s sexiest studio rat, Charlie Puth. Louie and Steven tackle Charlie’s oddball career in pop music, from his rocket into mainstream consciousness singing the saccharine hook on “See You Again” to his personality-less debut album, 2016’s 9 Track Mind. They examine the critical reevaluation he received following his criminally underrated sophomore album, 2018’s Voice Notes, his latest self-titled album, Charlie Puth (2022), and, finally, rank him in the official Pop Pantheon. Listen to Pop Pantheon's Charlie Puth Essentials PlaylistJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in LA on 7/14Follow Steven J. Horowitz on TwitterFollow Steven J. Horowitz on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/29/20231 hour, 41 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Bebe Rexhafication of Kim Petras on Feed the Beast (with Vulture's Jason P. Frank) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Patreon episode, Vulture's Jason P Frank joins PP:AA to discuss Kim Petras' first major label studio album, Feed the Beast, which dropped Friday. Louie and Jason address the album's shortcomings as it attempts to find a broader audience for Kim, the few things that work on the record, how Kim's music has ended up in this disappointing place, and what they hope the failure of this record on a commercial and critical level might mean in terms of a reset for Kim's career.To hear the rest of this episode, plus the rest of our bonus content, access our Discord channel and more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
6/27/202312 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Holy Bond Between Queer Men & Pop Divas (with Dr. Craig Jennex)

In the final installment of our pride series, Assistant Professor of English at Toronto Metropolitan University and author of the journal article "Diva Worship and the Sonic Search for Queer Utopia" Dr. Craig Jennex joins the show to unpack the relationship between queer men and pop divas. Louie and Craig discuss how this relationship developed over the last hundred years, from the time of opera singers to Judy Garland, Diana Ross, Madonna, Britney, Gaga, Beyoncé and all the way through the present day with fiercely beloved niche pop acts like Charli XCX, and why, on a sociological level, queer men find so much of their identities through these singular avatars of unbridled fierceness and femininity. Louie and Craig also cover how diva worship helps forge community for marginalized people, the role of camp in this connection and share some personal stories about their own journeys finding themselves with the aid of these famous women. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in LA on 7/14Follow Dr. Craig Jennex on TwitterFollow Dr. Craig Jennex on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/22/202358 minutes, 50 seconds
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LITTLE RICHARD (with Jason King)

Incoming Dean of the Thornton School of Music at USC Jason King returns to Pop Pantheon to discuss the life and career of the architect of rock ‘n roll, Little Richard. Louie and Jason unpack Little Richard’s breakthrough “Tutti Frutti,” which is widely credited as the genesis of rock n’ roll music, and his string of hits through the 1950s; perhaps one of the first imperial phases in modern music history. They break down what it meant for Little Richard to drop an explosive glitter bomb of queerness into American culture, his musical output after his initial burst of fame, how his iconoclastic celebrity helped birth the rock star and the complicated ways in which he moved in and out of the closet through the years. Finally, they rank Little Richard in the official Pop Pantheon. Stay tuned this June for more Pride episodes.Check out Pop Pantheon's Little Richard Essentials on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in BushwickFollow Jason King on TwitterFollow Jason King on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/15/20231 hour, 41 minutes, 40 seconds
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Does Mariah Carey's Glitter Deserve #Justice? (with Matt Jacobs) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, entertainment writer Matt Jacobs, who penned a piece for Vulture called "The Never-ending Story of Glitter, 20 Years On", joins DJ Louie to chronicle the twisting tale of Mariah Carey's infamous 2001 flop film and soundtrack album. Louie and Matt detail Glitter's '80s pastiche conceit, what works on the record, what doesn't, all of the Glitter's adjacent cultural accoutrement (the TRL appearance!, "I don't know her"!, 9/11!), the recent #justiceforglitter movement and what it speaks to more broadly about our desire right past cultural wrongs, especially those perpetrated against famous women. If you enjoy this clip and want to hear the rest of the episode, plus at least three more bonus installments of the show and many more perks, join Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
6/12/202314 minutes, 30 seconds
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What Makes a Great Pride Anthem? (with Canada's Drag Race Winner Priyanka)

Winner of Season One of Canada's Drag Race Priyanka joins Pop Pantheon to chop it up about what makes the ideal pride anthem. First, Louie and Priyanka discuss Pri's new music, whether there's a difference between a drag pop song and mainstream pop song, and some of barriers between drag queens and the pop charts. Then, they break down the ingredients for the perfect pride anthem and each share a list of their five favs. Stay tuned this June for more Pride episodes.Listen to Louie and Pri's Pride Anthems Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous LA 6/9 at ResidentGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in BushwickFollow Priyanka on TwitterFollow Priyanka on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/8/202352 minutes, 45 seconds
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KIM PETRAS (with Vulture's Jason P. Frank)

In preparation for her major label debut, Feed The Beast, dropping later this month, Vulture’s Jason P. Frank joins Pop Pantheon to discuss a star who is perhaps the first out trans woman to be in the running as a mainstream pop aspirant, Kim Petras. Jason and Louie’s conversation, which kicks off Pop Pantheon’s Pride series, covers Kim’s career, her early attempts to break into the music business, her controversial partnership with the producer Dr. Luke, her cavalcade of sugar bomb singles known as "era1," 2018 and 2019 Halloween mixtape series Turn off the Light and debut album, 2019’s Clarity. Finally, they discuss her major label era, the breakout success of “Unholy”, their hopes for Feed the Beast, and place Kim Petras in the official Pop Pantheon.Stay tuned this June for more Pride episodes.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Kim Petras Essentials Playlist on Spotify Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous LA 6/9 at ResidentGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in BushwickFollow Jason P. Frank on TwitterFollow Jason P. Frank on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/1/20231 hour, 43 minutes, 22 seconds
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New Music Speed Round: Janelle Monáe, Kylie Minogue, G-Flip & More (with Who? Weekly's Lindsey Weber) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access Episode, friend of the pod Lindsey Weber drops by to talk new songs from Janelle Monáe, Kylie Minogue, G-Flip & more. Subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access to get the rest of this episode, plus at least three bonus installments of the show per month, access to our Discord and lots of other fun perks. 
5/29/20238 minutes, 32 seconds
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ARETHA FRANKLIN (with Mark Bego)

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul author Mark Bego joins Pop Pantheon to unpack the life and career of the greatest singer in American history, Aretha Franklin. Louie and Mark follow Aretha’s story from her upbringing as a reverend's daughter to her early gospel recordings and how her cover of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’ rocketed her to superstardom. From there, they tackle Aretha’s fabled run through the late ‘60s, during which she soundtracked American life through the civil rights movement, women's liberation and the Vietnam War. Then they parse her unlikely 1980s comeback, her latter career, and discuss how she came to be seen as one of the most essential and legendary American pop stars ever. Finally, they place Aretha Franklin in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Pop Pantheon's Aretha Franklin Essentials Playlist on Spotify Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous LA 6/9 at ResidentGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in BushwickFollow Mark Bego on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/25/20231 hour, 36 minutes, 43 seconds
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The Best Pop Music of 2023 (So Far) (with The Wall Street Journal's Myles Tanzer)

Editor at The Wall Street Journal Myles Tanzer joins DJ Louie to break down 2023 in pop music so far. The two debate the broader state of pop this year, both aesthetically and commercially, and discuss which stars have experienced significant up-levels before each sharing their lists of their three favorite albums and five favorite songs of 2023 (so far). Listen to a Spotify Playlist of Louie & Myles' 2023 FavsJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous LA 6/9 at ResidentGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in BushwickFollow Myles Tanzer on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/18/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 14 seconds
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How Has Lady Gaga's Chromatica Held Up? (with Matthew Perpetua & Molly Mary O'Brien) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's episode of Pop Pantheon: All Access, Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua & host of the And Introducing podcast Molly Mary O'Brien join DJ Louie to look back on three years of Chromatica: How they absorbed it when it dropped in the context of May 2020, how it sounds to them now, what's happening aesthetically and thematically on the songs, where it stacks up against in Gaga's catalog and what it says about her status in the pop firmament of the 2020s.To hear the rest of the episode, plus gain access to all our bonus content and more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
5/15/202312 minutes, 36 seconds
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SHAKIRA (with Rolling Stone's Julyssa Lopez)

Senior Music Editor at Rolling Stone Julyssa Lopez joins Pop Pantheon to discuss chameleonic hit-maker and international pop force, Shakira. Louie and Julyssa unpack Shakira’s early success throughout Latin America with 1995's Pies Descalzos and 1998's Dónde Están los Ladrones?, her international break-through, Laundry Service (2001), her market-conquering Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 (2005), the Pharrell-driven She Wolf (2009), through to her current status as a hitmaker, 30 years into her career, and trailblazer for a new generation of latin pop crossover superstars. Finally, they place Shakira in the official Pop Pantheon.Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreListen to the Shakira Essentials playlist on SpotifyGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous LA 6/9 at Resident Grab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in BushwickFollow Julyssa Lopez on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/11/20231 hour, 51 minutes, 7 seconds
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Jessie Ware's That! Feels Good! & the State of the Disco Revival (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's episode of Pop Pantheon: All Access, Louie and Russ gather to discuss British pop star Jessie Ware's fifth studio album, the disco-homaging That! Feels Good!, which dropped a couple weeks ago and where it fits into the broader disco revival which began in 2020 with Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia.To hear the rest of this episode plus all of our bonus content, access to our Discord and so much more, subscribe to the Icon Tier at Pop Pantheon: All Access.
5/8/202310 minutes, 11 seconds
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(Almost) One Year Of Renaissance: Where Does It Rank In Beyoncé's Catalog? (with Hunter Harris, Ira Madison III & Puja Patel)

Beyoncé's massive Renaissance World Tour kicks off next week in Stockholm, Sweden so DJ Louie got a veritable Beyhive of all stars— writer of the substack Hung Up Hunter Harris, Keep It! Host Ira Madison III and Pitchfork Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel— in formation to reflect on (almost) one year of the stadium trek's namesake Renaissance, Queen B's seventh album which dropped last July. First, the panel discusses each of their personal journeys with the record, from elation to frustration and everything in between, and its incredibly perplexing rollout complete with no visuals, no live performances and essentially zero acknowledgement of this music from Beyoncé herself. They then share their hopes for the tour before tackling their personal rankings of Beyoncé's seven studio albums. Having lived with it for nearly a year, how does Renaissance stack up against her previous work? Check Out Our Beyoncé Series from last year, Part 1: Destiny's Child with Brittany Spanos, Part 2: Solo Superstar with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Part 3: American Icon with Dr. Daphne Brooks & Part 4: Beyoncé's Renaissance with Doreen St. FelixJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and MoreShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at his Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, 5/6 in Los AngelesGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at the debut of Gorgeous Gorgeous NYC 6/16 at the Sultan Room in Bushwick!!!Subscribe to Hunter Harris' Substack Hung UpFollow Hunter Harris on TwitterCheck out Ira Madison III's Podcast Keep It! Follow Ira Madison III on TwitterFollow Puja Patel on Twitter Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
5/4/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds
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How Tik Tok Has Changed Pop Stardom (with The New Yorker's John Seabrook)

The New Yorker's John Seabrook joins Pop Pantheon to discuss his recent exhaustive piece, "So You Want To Be a Tik Tok Star". John and Louie discuss how the social media vlogging app rose to dominance in the music space, why it's so well-suited to the pop music ecosystem, how artists both existing and new are utilizing it and rebelling against it, how the music industry is weaponizing it and how it's changing the very nature of both pop stardom and music as we know it... for better or worse. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's StoreGrab Tickets to See Louie DJ at his Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, 5/6 in Los AngelesFollow John Seabrook on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/27/202357 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ariana Grande's Positions (with Steven J. Horowitz) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of this week's Pop Pantheon: All Access episode, Pop Pantheon's first guest ever (!!) Steven J. Horowitz is back to revisit the first artist ever featured on the show, Ariana Grande. Since Louie and Steven last spoke in early 2021, Ariana has done... not much. But since they didn't really get to dig into it back then, the two go long on her latest album, 2020's sex-fest Positions, a dreamy, minor work that somehow both produced two smash singles and felt weirdly slight for an artist of Ari's stature. What works on this album? What doesn't? How has it aged? And what does it portend for Ari's future music and position in the Pop Pantheon? Louie and Steven mull over all those questions and more. To hear the rest of this episode and all of our bonus content plus get access to our Discord channel and so many more perks, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
4/24/202311 minutes, 19 seconds
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FIFTH HARMONY (with Service 95's Brennan Carley)

In the third episode of our girl group trilogy, US Editor and Culture Director of Service 95 Brennan Carley joins the show to discuss the (very) brief rise and fall of the last major American girl group of note, Fifth Harmony. Louie and Brennan discuss 5H's assembly by Simon Cowell on the reality singing competition show X-Factor, how they discovered their signature brand of 2010s female empowerment and borderline goofy ethos on their very good debut, 2015's Reflection, the trop-house vibes of their sophomore album, 2016's 7/27, home to their signature hit, the ridiculous, sleek smash "Work From Home", and member Camila Cabello's sudden departure as well as the gang's final self-titled album in 2017. Louie and Brennan then touch in on the member's respective solo careers before ranking Fifth Harmony in the official Pop Pantheon. Check out Pop Pantheon's Fifth Harmony Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Grab Tickets to See Louie DJ at his Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, 5/6 in Los Angeles!Follow Brennan Carley on TwitterFollow Brennan Carley on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/20/20231 hour, 41 minutes, 7 seconds
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What's Gone Wrong for Chlöe Bailey? (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of the latest episode of Pop Pantheon: All Access, Louie and Russ discuss the rollout for Chlöe Bailey's debut solo album, In Pieces, which debuted last week at #119 on the Billboard 200 selling just ten thousand copies. What happened? Why didn't Chlöe- who'd previously has success with her sister as part of Chlöe & Halle, was supported by a major label and co-signed by Beyoncé and is clearly a gifted and ambitious vocalist, writer and performer- connect as a solo artist? And what does this tell us about the state of pop stardom more broadly in 2023?To hear the whole episode plus all of our bonus content, get access to our Discord channel, the guest list at Louie's party Gorgeous Gorgeous and so much more, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier.
4/17/202314 minutes, 1 second
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TLC (with The New Yorker's Doreen St. Félix)

The New Yorker’s Doreen St. Félix returns to Pop Pantheon for the second episode in our new girl group trilogy, digging into the crazy, sexy and cool career of one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, TLC. Doreen and DJ Louie discuss the album that made TLC instant stars, 1992’s raucous Oooh, on the TLC Tip!, their pivot to slinky R&B on their classic blockbuster sophomore album CrazySexyCool (1994), their comeback with 1999’s futuristic FanMail and 2002’s 3D, released after Lisa Left-Eye Lopes’ untimely death. Along the way, they explore TLC’s forward-thinking pop feminism and politics, the drama that plagued and in some ways defined them and their impact on both girl groups and pop history. Finally, Louie and Doreen rank TLC in the official Pop Pantheon.Come back April 20 for the final episode in Pop Pantheon’s girl groups trilogy.Listen to TLC Essentials playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Follow Doreen St. Félix on TwitterFollow Doreen St. Félix on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/13/20231 hour, 57 minutes, 28 seconds
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THE RONETTES, THE SHIRELLES, THE MARVELETTES & THE SHANGRI-LAS (with Dr. Jacqueline Warwick)

Author of the book Girl Groups, Girl Culture: Popular Music and Identity in the 1960s, Dr. Jacqueline Warwick, joins Pop Pantheon to kick off the first of a trilogy of episodes on girl groups, starting with four acts who burned fast and bright during the 1950s and 1960s: The Ronettes, The Shirelles, The Marvelettes and The Shangri-Las. Jacqueline and Louie dive into the hits, careers and legacies of these foundational outfits who not only helped invent the idea of the girl group as we know it today, but also helped set the template for modern pop music. Finally, they place each of the four groups into the Official Pop Pantheon. Stay tuned this April for more episodes on girl groups throughout the ages.Buy Girl Groups, Girl Culture: Popular Music and Identity in the 1960sListen to the Mid-Century Girl Groups Essentials playlist on Spotify Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Follow Jacqueline Warwick on TwitterFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter  
4/6/20231 hour, 34 minutes, 7 seconds
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Lana Del Rey's Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (with Shaad D'Souza)

As a follow-up to last week's Lana Del Rey deep dive, music critic Shaad D'Souza returns to the show to break down her ninth studio album, Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which dropped last Friday. Shaad, who reviewed the record for The Guardian, and Louie discuss Did You Know...'s major themes and aesthetics, the evolution of Lana's lyrical approach, how the record fits into the grander scheme of her artistic and commercial arc and more. Read Shaad's Review of Did You Know... in The GuardianListen to Pop Pantheon's Lana Del Rey Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Shaad D'Souza on Instagram 
3/30/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 19 seconds
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LANA DEL REY (with Kathy Iandoli)

In preparation for her ninth studio album, Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, dropping tonight, Kathy Iandoli joins Pop Pantheon to explore the enigmatic and paradigm-shifting career of pop iconoclast Lana Del Rey. Kathy, who taught a course on Lana at NYU, joins DJ Louie to discuss Lana’s myth and all of her records, from her breakthrough, 2012’s Born To Die, to her psychedelic rock homage, Ultraviolence (2014), her magnum opus, Norman Fucking Rockwell! (2019), and her most recent efforts, Chemtrails over the Country Club (2021) and Blue Banisters (2021). Finally, Louie and Kathy talk about her sprawling legacy and place Lana Del Rey in the Official Pop Pantheon.Watch for our review episode of Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd next week.Buy Kathy's book, God Save the Queens The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop Listen to Pop Pantheon's Lana Del Rey Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Get Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 3/25Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Kathy Iandoli on TwitterFollow Kathy Iandoli on Instagram
3/23/20231 hour, 56 minutes, 17 seconds
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KACEY MUSGRAVES (with Who? Weekly's Bobby Finger)

Author and Who? Weekly co-host Bobby Finger joins Pop Pantheon to unpack the career of sly country agitator turned alt pop girlie Kacey Musgraves. Bobby and DJ Louie discuss the blend of traditionalism and iconoclasm on both Kacey’s 2013 debut, Same Trailer Different Park and her sophomore effort, Pageant Material (2015). They dig into Kacey’s 2018 critical smash, Golden Hour, which profoundly expanded the scope of her work and won the Grammy for Album of the Year, and revisit her latest effort, 2021’s Star-Crossed, as they parse out just how Kacey has treaded the line between expert genre practitioner and a gay pop queen. Finally, Louie and Bobby rank Kacey Musgraves in the official Pop Pantheon.Listen to Who? WeeklyBuy Bobby Finger's debut novel The Old PlaceJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Kacey Musgraves Essentials Playlist on SpotifyGet Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 3/25Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Bobby Finger on TwitterFollow Bobby Finger on Instagram
3/16/20231 hour, 46 minutes, 3 seconds
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Miley Cyrus' Endless Summer Vacation (with Shaad D'Souza) (Patreon Preview)

Miley Cyrus just dropped her 8th studio album, Endless Summer Vacation, last Friday, so critic Shaad D'Souza- our guest for our Miley episode and who reviewed the new record for Pitchfork-  is here to help break this music down: what works, what doesn't, the major themes and aesthetics, the incredible success of lead single "Flowers", what we should and shouldn't expect from Miley at this point and whether any of it impacts her ranking in the Pop Pantheon.If you enjoyed this snippet and want to hear the rest of the episode, plus more bonus content, access to our Discord channel and more, you can subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier. 
3/14/20239 minutes, 6 seconds
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Do We Still Need Poptimism? (with Vulture's Jason P. Frank)

Vulture's Jason P. Frank joins DJ Louie to discuss the idea of "Poptimism", or the movement in musical critical discourse during the mid 2000s and 2010s that allowed for pop music to be taken seriously as art. Jason and Louie discuss the circumstances that created Poptimism, how it disseminated through discourse over the last twenty years, the major albums, songs and artists that calcified the term, and how it's perhaps become irrelevant in the modern pop landscape. Read Kelefeh Sanneh's "The Rap Against Rockism" from The New York Times Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Get Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 3/25Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Jason P. Frank on Twitter
3/9/202354 minutes, 20 seconds
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New Music Speed Round: Sam Smith, Ava Max, Lana, Ice Spice & More! (with Main Pod Girl's AJ Marks) (Patreon Preview)

Main Pod Girl's (and PP Discord fav!) AJ Marks joins DJ Louie to dissect and debate new songs from Sam Smith, Kelela, Ava Max, Ice Spice, Zara Larsson, Chloe & More!To hear the rest of this episode and so much more bonus content, along with access to our Discord, guest list at Gorgeous Gorgeous and other great perks, Subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access at the Icon Tier!
3/6/20239 minutes, 20 seconds
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JA RULE, NELLY, LUDACRIS & 50 CENT (with Jordan Sargent)

Writer and A&R person Jordan Sargent returns to Pop Pantheon to explore a definitive moment in establishing hip hop’s centrism in mainstream pop music – the early 2000s. Jordan and DJ Louie explore the careers and legacies of a quartet of performers, Ja Rule, Nelly, Ludacris and 50 Cent, who hit their cultural peak during a moment when pop first fully allowed rappers to be mainstream pop stars. They discuss the sound of crossover rap in the 2000s and the biggest hits of the era from ‘In Da Club’ to ‘Hot in Herre,’ ‘Always on Time,’ and ‘One Minute Man’ and then rank all four hip hop stars in the Pop Pantheon. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's 2000s Crossover Rappers Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Jordan Sargent on Instagram
3/2/20231 hour, 54 minutes, 25 seconds
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The State of Streaming: How It's Impacted Pop Stars, Music & Us (with Trapital's Dan Runcie)

Trapital Host Dan Runcie joins DJ Louie to discuss the state of the streaming ecosystem. Dan and Louie dig into how streaming has impacted the nature of pop stardom by helping to foster a dissolving monoculture and the rise of the niche superstar, financial incentives, stanning, pop music itself and us, the consumers, and how we relate to the value of music. Listen to TrapitalJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Dan Runcie on TwitterFollow Trapital on Twitter
2/23/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 10 seconds
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FRANK SINATRA (with You Must Remember This' Karina Longworth)

Critic, author and host of the podcast You Must Remember This Karina Longworth joins Pop Pantheon to help tell the story of patient zero for the concept of a “Pop Music Icon,” the legendary crooner and American Icon Frank Sinatra. Karina and DJ Louie trace Frank's career from its origins in clubs in Hoboken to the onset of what was perhaps the first true pop star fandemonium craze of the modern era, Sinatramania. Next, they discuss Frank's cornucopia of definitive American Standards, his success in the movie business, his role in turning Las Vegas into a world-class entertainment city and the formation of The Rat Pack. Finally, they consider his legacy in American popular music, his impact on celebrity culture and his influence on artists as far ranging as Elvis, Michael Jackson and Billie Eilish.Listen to You Must Remember ThisJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Frank Sinatra Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Karina Longworth on TwitterFollow Karina Longworth on InstagramFollow You Must Remember This on TwitterFollow You Must Remember This on Instagram
2/16/20231 hour, 44 minutes, 11 seconds
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Was Rihanna's Halftime Show Good? (with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd) (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of our new Patreon episode available in full on Pop Pantheon: All Access, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd joins DJ Louie for a Monday morning recap of Rihanna's big return to the stage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show last night in Glendale, Arizona, her first live show since 2018. They discuss what they liked about the performance, what they felt was missing, the pregnancy reveal, the divisive reaction from fans, the setlist, the outfits, the staging, how the crew did with their predictions last week, how Rihanna defies pop star expectations and most importantly, what it all telegraphed about the future of her pop career, if there in fact is one at all. To hear the rest, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access for bonus content, access to our discord channel and many more perks. 
2/13/202311 minutes, 15 seconds
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Rihanna Super Bowl Setlist Draft Extravaganza!! (with Lindsey Weber, Jason Lipshutz & Julianne Escobedo Shepherd)

For this week's B-Side, DJ Louie is joined by a literal Navy of Pop Pantheon All-Stars- Who? Weekly's Lindsey Weber, Billboard's Jason Lipshutz and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd- to preview Rihanna's epic return to music at Super Bowl LVII, this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona! They talk all the big questions: Why now? What does it portend for new Rihanna music? What made her change her hard "no" to the NFL over their treatment of Colin Kaepernick?Then, the main event: Louie, Lindsey, Jason and Julianne try to figure which of Rihanna's ~40 hit songs she'll pull out for this 12-14 minute set, how she'll structure it to showcase the diversity and generational strength of her discography and pontificate on guests she could plausibly bring out to join her on stage. Finally, the crew discusses whether Rihanna's Pop Pantheon tier ranking has shifted from cuspy 2-1, where she was ranked in our series with Julianne back in December 2021, and if this performance- and the promise of new music- has the potential to finally elevate Rihanna, once and for all, to Tier 1 of the Pantheon. Listen to last year's Super Bowl episode, in which Louie and Rich Juzwiak break down almost every halftime ever, lay out the evolution of the format and debate the best and worst performances. Listen to Louie and Julianne's two-part Pop Pantheon series on RihannaJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Come See Louie DJ @ Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA, 2/10Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Jason Lipshutz on TwitterFollow Lindsey Weber on TwitterFollow Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Twitter 
2/7/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 23 seconds
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We Need to Talk About The Grammys... (Patreon Preview)

In a preview of the new episode of Pop Pantheon: All Access, DJ Louie and Russ break down the 2023 Grammys, from Beyoncé’s infuriating, disheartening and all-too-familiar snubs across the big three categories to Kim Petras and Sam Smith’s big win, the show’s electrifying, decades-spanning tribute to hip hop and its ever-increasing and seemingly inexorable march towards complete irrelevance. To listen to the rest of this episode and so much more bonus content, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access
2/6/20237 minutes, 10 seconds
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THE WEEKND (with Anupa Mistry)

Writer and producer Anupa Mistry joins Pop Pantheon to dissect the career of the most enigmatic pop superstar of his generation, The Weeknd. Anupa and DJ Louie discuss The Weeknd’s genre-obliterating early mixtapes, which helped to redefine the contours of R&B in the 2010s, and his studio debut, 2013’s Kiss Land. They also walk through his string of massive successes, from his breakthrough sophomore album, 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, 2016 follow-up Starboy, 2020’s revelatory After Hours, his 2021 Super Bowl performance, and most recent effort, last year’s Dawn FM. Read Anupa's 2015 profile of The Weeknd in PitchforkJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Come See Louie DJ @ Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA, 2/10Check out Pop Pantheon's The Weeknd Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Anupa Mistry on Instagram
2/2/20231 hour, 55 minutes, 36 seconds
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What Pantheon Rankings Have I Gotten Wrong?: Kesha, ABBA, Miley, Your Calls & More!

For this week's B-Side, we're reassessing all the Pop Pantheon rankings of the last year, including debates on Kesha, Miley, ABBA, Belinda Carlisle, Spice Girls and More. We're also taking listener Pantheon disputes via your phone calls. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Listen to our Original Pantheon Ranking Reassessment from April 2021Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
1/26/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 10 seconds
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MADONNA: PART 4 (with Pot Psychology's Rich Juzwiak) [Originally Published on 4/21/2021]

As a special bonus to wrap up our new Madonna series, we're re-publishing an episode, the fourth ever of Pop Pantheon (!!), from April 21, 2021 wherein DJ Louie and Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak attempt to parse about Madonna's commercial and artistic decline beginning with 2008's Pharrell and Timbaland-produced Hard Candy, 2012's limp return to dance music, MDNA, 2016's sprawling, trend-hopping Rebel Heart and 2019's generally baffling Madame X. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Listen to Madonna: PT IListen to Madonna PT IIListen to Madonna PT IIIShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Madonna Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rich Juzwiak on Twitter
1/23/202357 minutes, 5 seconds
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MADONNA: PART 3 (with Annie Zaleski)

Author and journalist Annie Zaleski returns to Pop Pantheon for part three of our Madonna series, covering the period in which Madonna fully solidified her status as one of the most important cultural figures of the modern era. DJ Louie and Annie discuss Madonna’s critically-adored, career-reimagining smash Ray of Light (1998), which saw her celebrate the epiphany of motherhood, her return to capital-f "Fun" on 2000's Music, and 2003's stilted American Life. Finally, they tackle her euphoric return to the club and last moment of true pop transcendence, 2005’s euphoric Confessions on a Dance Floor. Watch for the capstone on Pop Pantheon’s Madonna series – the re-release of one of our very first episodes, with Jezebel’s Rich Juzwiak, covering Madonna’s most recent work Buy Annie's new book, Lady Gaga: Applause Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Listen to Madonna: PT IListen to Madonna PT IIShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Madonna Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Annie Zaleski on TwitterFollow Annie Zaleski on Instagram
1/19/20231 hour, 58 minutes, 4 seconds
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MADONNA: PART 2 (with The Clive Davis Institute's Jason King)

For part two of our Madonna series, Clive Davis Institute chair Jason King returns to Pop Pantheon to discuss the imperial period of the Queen of Pop's career with DJ Louie. They discuss the capstone on Madonna's decade-defining run of records in the 1980s, 1989's Like a Prayer, her explosion into the 1990s with “Vogue,” 1992’s lightning rod Erotica and a singular record in Madonna’s discography, 1994's Bedtime Stories. Plus highlights from her cultural peak, like the genre-creating tour documentary Truth or Dare (1991), 1992's boundary-pushing coffee table book SEX and a complicated discussion about Madonna borrowing from other cultures.  Join us next week for Part 3 which will cover Ray of Light, Music, American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor.Listen to Jason King's podcast Sound Barrier: Sylvester on SpotifyJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Come See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous, 1/13 at Resident in DTLAShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Madonna Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Jason King on TwitterFollow Jason King on Instagram
1/12/20231 hour, 59 minutes, 56 seconds
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New Music Speed Round: Meghan Trainor, Paramore, Lana Del Rey & More (Patreon Preview)

If you like this and want to hear more of this episode, plus tons of other bonus content as well as gain access to our Discord channel, the guest list at Gorgeous Gorgeous and so many other perks, subscribe to Pop Pantheon: All Access!
1/9/20236 minutes, 25 seconds
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MADONNA: PART 1 (with Inside The Groove's Edward Russell)

For the first of our new three-part series on the Queen of Pop, Madonna, host of the podcast Inside the Groove Edward Russell joins DJ Louie to discuss Madge’s early years as an upstart pop-provocateur-turned-auteur. Louie and Edward begin with her early life and how her mother’s death from breast cancer, her strained relationship with her father and the family’s devout catholicism informed her path and future work before moving to the mythology of how she ended up in New York City, first to pursue a career in dance and later as a singer. They then discuss each of her first three albums, her self-titled 1983 debut, 1984’s explosive Like a Virgin and 1986’s seminal blockbuster True Blue and how each expanded the scope and depth of Madonna’s artistry while simultaneously mapping the blueprint for pop stardom. Along the way, Louie and Edward touch on iconic moments like 1984 VMA’s performance, the medium-defining “Material Girl” music video and so much more. Join us next week for Part 2 which will cover Like a Prayer, “Vogue”, Erotica and Bedtime Stories!Check out Edward's Podcast on Madonna's music, Inside the GrooveJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Listen to Madonna PT IIListen to Madonna PT IIIShop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Madonna Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Edward Russell on Twitter
1/5/20231 hour, 51 minutes, 48 seconds
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Taylor Swift's Reputation (with Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos) (Patreon's Version)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As a little Xmas treat, we're posting this episode which was originally published on our Patreon, Pop Pantheon: All Access, a deep-dive with Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos into Taylor Swift's misunderstood 2017 album Reputation. Largely derided upon its release in 2017, Reputation is an album that's worthy of a re-appraisal, especially given its connections to Taylor's current blockbuster success with Midnights. As a special bonus for our Patrons, Louie's tackling work by an artist not yet ranked in the Pantheon – he even teases his thoughts on Taylor's legacy as a pop icon.Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
12/29/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 35 seconds
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KATY PERRY: PART 2 (with Variety's Daniel D'Addario)

Chief Television Critic at Variety Daniel D’Addario is back with DJ Louie for part two of our series on Purposeful Popstress Katy Perry! Louie and Dan kick off this installment by talking about the long tail of Teenage Dream and how Katy's highly-publicized divorce from comedian Russell Brand informed both the deluxe edition's hit singles as well as the setting into which she delivered her much-anticipated fourth album, 2013's Prism. They then parse about Prism's disjointed mix of Dream-styled pure pop confections aimed at uplift and more earnest ruminations on the dissolution of her relationship, as well its mixed commercial reception with certain singles like "Roar" and "Dark Horse" topping the charts while a slew of other songs failed to connect, how her celebrated Super Bowl halftime show represented her last moment of monocultural dominance, the career nadir of her 2017 flop Witness which tried and failed at both deepening Katy's on-record persona and updating her sound for a new era without the help of long-time partner Dr. Luke, and how her career as centrist pop figure never recovered, yet her legacy as an emblem of the most unfettered iteration of Pop Stardom lives on. Finally, Louie and Dan rank Katy Perry in the official Pop Pantheon. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Katy Perry Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Daniel D'Addario on Twitter
12/22/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 21 seconds
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KATY PERRY: PART 1 (with Variety's Daniel D'Addario)

Chief Television Critic at Variety Daniel D’Addario joins DJ Louie for a long-awaited and sprawling two-parter about Rick Caruso’s favorite pop star, Katy Perry! In Part 1, Louie and Dan begin with Katy’s cloistered early life as the daughter of two Pentacostal ministers who was denied access to most popular culture, her teenaged forays into Christian rock, eventual pivot to secular music and myriad false starts as a pop star, including dalliances with Alanis Morrisette producer Glen Ballard, a short stint fronting the artist project for production team The Matrix and series of failed record deals. They then lay out how everything finally clicked thanks to Capitol Records and, most importantly, her collaboration with super-producers Max Martin and Dr. Luke who helped craft the soft-serve controversy of her breakthrough smash, 2008’s “I Kissed a Girl”, parse apart the pop-rock leanings and pert poses of her hit second album, One of the Boys, later that year, before going long on her seminal third album, 2010’s technicolor pure-pop juggernaut Teenage Dream, only the second album in history to produce five #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Join us next week for Part 2 where Dan and Louie will explore 2013’s Prism, 2017’s Witness, 2020’s Smile and rank Katy Perry in the official Pop Pantheon!Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Shop Merch in Pop Pantheon's Store!Check out Pop Pantheon's Katy Perry Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Daniel D'Addario on Twitter
12/15/20221 hour, 38 minutes, 20 seconds
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Imperial Phases: What Are They, Who's Had One and Do They Still Exist? (with Tom Ewing)

The concept of an "Imperial Phase"- a short-lived period of a pop star's career where artistic revelation meets commercial saturation and everything they touch turns to gold- comes up quite a bit on Pop Pantheon. Originally coined by Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant, the term gained purchase in our pop music discourse thanks to Tom Ewing's taxonomy of the phrase in his classic 2010 Pitchfork piece, "Imperial".  For this week's B-side, Tom joins DJ Louie to discuss Imperial Phases past, present and future. Louie and Tom get into the history of the term and the details of how to spot one when it's happening, before turning to the careers of individual pop stars- Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Diana Ross,  Prince, Madonna, Lady GaGa, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and more- to figure out who's had one, who hasn't and when exactly they've had happened (or not) for each. Finally, Louie and Tom discuss whether it's become more difficult to achieve an Imperial Phase in the streaming and social media era, how we need redefine the term in the context of cult-of-personality pop stardom and who of the new generation seems primed to achieve one in the coming years. Read Tom's piece "Imperial" in PitchforkJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Buy Pop Pantheon's "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Tom Ewing on Twitter
12/8/20221 hour, 1 minute, 47 seconds
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The Best (and Worst) Pop Music of 2022 (with NPR's Hazel Cills)

Editor at NPR Music Hazel Cills joins DJ Louie for a thorough rundown of pop music in the year 2022. They talk Beyoncé, Rosalia, Taylor, Muna, Drake, Charli, Kendrick, Bad Bunny, Harry Styles, Lizzo, shifting musical trends (welcome back, dance music!), wonky rollouts, more Beyoncé (of course), list their favorite and least favorite pop albums and songs of the year, and more. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Buy Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous At Resident in DTLA on Dec 3Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Listen to a Spotify Playlist of Louie and Hazel's Favorite PopMusic of 2022Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Hazel Cills on Twitter
12/1/20221 hour, 32 minutes
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AMY WINEHOUSE (with Sasha Frere-Jones)

Musician and Writer Sasha Frere-Jones joins DJ Louie to discuss the tragically short career and life of the great British soul singer, Amy Winehouse. Louie and Sasha begin by discussing how an early death, perhaps before a pop star has even reached their peak, affects their legacy before diving into Amy’s story, how she grew up on the music of jazz greats like Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughn and ‘90s American hip hop superstars like Nas and Lauryn Hill and the ways that marriage formed the aesthetic of her debut album, 2003’s Frank. They then discuss how a painful breakup led Amy both down a dangerous path with drugs and alcohol but also inspired her breakthrough sophomore album, 2006’s modern classic Back to Black, a meticulously constructed throwback to ‘50s and ‘60s soul and girl group aesthetics made in collaboration with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi. Louie and Sasha lay out the ways in which that album juxtaposed backwards-looking production with Amy’s utterly singular and thoroughly-modern perspective on love, heartbreak and substance abuse, how Black’s massive and expected success only exacerbated her problems, the toxicity of celebrity press coverage in the late 2000s, and how it all ultimately helped lead to Amy’s untimely passing from alcohol poisoning in 2011. Lastly, Louie and Sasha discuss the long shadow of Amy Winehouse’s legacy in pop culture, before ranking her in the official Pop Pantheon. Read Sasha's piece following Amy's death in The New YorkerJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Buy Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous At Resident in DTLA on Dec 3Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Listen to Pop Pantheon's Amy Winehouse Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Sasha Frere-Jones on Twitter
11/23/20221 hour, 44 minutes, 1 second
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Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me and the State of the Pop Doc (with New York Magazine's Rachel Handler)

New York Magazine's Rachel Handler joins DJ Louie to discuss both Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me, the recently-released doc about the pop star on Apple TV+, and the broader state of the pop star documentary. Rachel had the opportunity to sit down with Selena and director Alek Keshishian to talk about the film, so Louie and Rachel first get into what Selena was like as interview before diving into My Mind & Me, what it tells us about Selena, and how it fits into the broader of narrative of pop docs historically, beginning with Keshishian's seminal 1991 film Madonna: Truth or Dare. Rachel and Louie then attempt to contextualize My Mind & Me in a recent wave of pop docs that began with Justin Bieber's Never Say Never in 2011, and includes films like Katy Perry's Part of Me, Beyoncé's Life is But a Dream, Lady Gaga's Five Foot Two, Taylor Swift's Miss Americana, Demi Lovato's Dancing With The Devil, and more, parsing apart what binds them all together, what separates them from one another and whether they are effective, either as revelations or machiavellian PR moves. Read Rachel's Interview with Selena and Alek in VultureJoin Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Buy Tickets to See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous At Resident in DTLA on Dec 3Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rachel Handler on Twitter
11/17/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 39 seconds
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BELINDA CARLISLE, DEBBIE GIBSON, TIFFANY & TAYLOR DAYNE: Forgotten Ladies of the 1980s (with Stereogum's Tom Breihan)

We’re shaking things up a bit this week! The ‘80s were formative for our ideas of modern pop stardom but it’s not just Madonna, Prince, Michael, Janet, George and the gang that deserve credit for shaping that legacy. So in this episode, Senior Editor at Stereogum Tom Breihan joins me to break down the careers and legacies of four more erstwhile women who hit high highs during this decade, with smash singles and multi platinum albums, then fell off the charts just as the decade turned over to the 1990s:  Belinda Carlisle, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Taylor Dayne. Tom and I first lay out why the ‘80s were such an important decade for our conceptions of the pop star and pop music, before turning to each woman’s story individually, where they came from, how they rose to fame, what made them click, why they all eventually fell off, and the important contributions each made to pop culture- whether it be songs (“Heaven is a Place on Earth”! “Only in My Dreams”! “Tell it to My Heart”!), tropes, music videos, or otherwise. Finally, Tom and I rank Belinda Carlisle, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Taylor Dayne in the official Pop Pantheon. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel, for Exclusive Content and More!!Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Check out our Forgotten Ladies of the 1980s Spotify Playlist!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Tom Breihan on Twitter
11/10/20221 hour, 48 minutes, 46 seconds
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Can the Super Bowl Put Rihanna in Tier 1?? (Preview)

This is a preview of one of the bonus episodes out right now on our new Patreon, Pop Pantheon: All Access! If you like this and want to hear more of this episode as well as others including a look-back at Taylor Swift's Reputation with Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos, AND to receive at least one new bonus episode per month and a slew of other perks, subscribe at Patreon.com/poppantheon!
11/7/20225 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Joys & Terrors of Stan Culture (with The New York Times' Joe Coscarelli)

Pop Music Reporter for The New York Times, Joe Coscarelli, returns to the podcast to dig into the origins, agony and ecstasy of internet stan culture. DJ Louie and Joe discuss how classic fandoms morphed into internet stan armies, the difference between being a "fan" in the old sense of the word and a modern "stan", who often wraps their entire identity around a pop star, how these armies are weaponized by the star they worship and serve as powerful promotional arms and also, more worryingly, attack dogs against anyone who they perceive as slighting them. Louie and Joe also discuss the connection between pop star stan armies and the broader pervasive of grievance culture in politics and other areas, the positive aspects of these armies, which help like-minded, often queer individuals find community and sometimes organize for good, what gets lost artistically and developmentally in the blind devotion practiced many of these groups, and so much more. Join Pop Pantheon: All Access, Our New Patreon Channel for Exclusive Content and More!!Read Joe's Piece, "How Pop Music Fandom Became Sports, Politics, Religion and All-Out War" in The New York TimesBuy Joe's New Book, Rap Capital: An Atlanta StoryBuy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Joe Coscarelli on Twitter
11/3/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 48 seconds
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Announcement!

Please welcome to the stage: Pop Pantheon All Access!!Simply can't get enough of Pop Pantheon? Well, great news! I am so excited to announce the launch of our new Patreon channel, Pop Pantheon All Access (click here to join)! This is the spot for even more of the trenchant, in-depth, fun-loving pop music analysis you expect from Pop Pantheon but with a few fun twists, as well as a great community of fellow pop obsessives. There are two tiers (duh) in PPAA: 1. Icon Tier: for $5 a month, Icon Subscribers will get access to at least one bonus episode of Pop Pantheon a month! That's right, ya'll! These episodes will focus largely on new music by all of our favorite pop stars, even ones we have yet to rank in the Pantheon, in-depth look-backs at past albums and eras and some more personal content from me on my life, DJ career and some behind the scenes on how the show gets made! You will also get access to our Discord server, exclusive virtual album release parties, early merch drops, guest list for my queer pop party Gorgeous Gorgeous in LA, and to provide meaningful input on who and what you'd like to see featured on future episodes of Pop Pantheon! 2. Niche Legend Tier: for just $2 a month, Niche Legend Subscribers can support the show, gain access to our Discord server, early merch drops and provide input on future episodes of the show. Right now, there are three new bonus episodes up on PPAA: 1. A new music speed round where Russ and I talk new releases by Rihanna, Lizzo, Tove Lo, Kim Petras, Sam Smith, Rina Sawayama and more, then play a game called "Step up, Step down" where we assess major pop news of late (eg. Rih playing the Super Bowl!) and discuss how it might affect their Pantheon placement.  2. A conversation with Pop Pantheon fav, Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos, where we deep dive on Taylor Swift's 2017 album Reputation, lay out all the controversy that swirled around the record when it dropped, dig through the music, themes, and aesthetics with a fine-toothed comb and the power of hindsight, and tie it all to her new blockbuster album, Midnights. 3. A very personal (and silly :-)) convo with my sister Lily about some of our favorite shared pop music memories, the role she plays behind the scenes in making this show better and of course, all the Pantheon rankings she disagrees with. I can't thank you enough for supporting this independently-produced show and I am so excited to do even more over-analysis of all your favorite pop stars! See you guys there :-). 
11/1/202210 minutes
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Taylor Swift's Midnights (with The Ringer's Rob Harvilla)

Host of the Podcast 60 Songs That Explain the '90s, The Ringer's Rob Harvilla, is back with DJ Louie to break down Taylor Swift's 10th studio album, Midnights, which dropped this past Friday. Louie and Rob set up Taylor's career and discography heading into this record before breaking down the lyrical motifs, recurrent themes and production choices on the album, what's working and not working for each of them, whether this record marks the end of one phase, the beginning of a new one, or some sort of static transitional moment, the Jack Antonoff of it all and so much more. Read Rob's review of Midnights on The Ringer  Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rob Harvilla on Twitter
10/26/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 11 seconds
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SPICE GIRLS (with Owen Myers)

Music journalist Owen Myers is back with DJ Louie to discuss the career and legend of British super girl group, Spice Girls. First, Louie and Owen talk through the history of girl groups and how various waves helped form the foundation for the Spice Girls’ ethos, before getting into the band’s journey from prefab answer to the UK boy band wave of the era to self-possessed girl-gang in control of their own destiny. Louie and Owen then discuss what made the Spice Girls and their explosion so singular with their debut album, 1996’s Spice, which cleverly fused American R&B tropes with a European pop sheen to create accessible music with edge, the ways they embodied their message of female friendship and solidarity above all else in their music and presentation and the vibe of fun, goofiness and sexiness which rendered them wholesome without ever seeming pandering. Next, Louie and Owen discuss Spice Girls’ second album and its accompanying movie, 1997’s Spice World, how the record expanded their sonic palette and the film, along with a panoply of endorsement deals, doubled down on their commercial prowess but also lent to burn out both on the part of the public and girls, how member Geri Halliwell’s sudden and explosive departure from the group in 1998 ended their brief imperial phase, the ways they’ve sured up their legacy over the last couple of decades and how the true meaning of Girl Power has reverberated through the pop that’s come after them. Finally, Louie and Owen rank Spice Girls in the official Pop Pantheon. See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 10/22!Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Listen to the Pop Pantheon Spice Girls Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Owen Myers on Twitter
10/20/20221 hour, 50 minutes, 33 seconds
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GEORGE MICHAEL (with Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak)

Senior Writer for Jezebel Rich Juzwiak joins DJ Louie once again to discuss the formidable work and legacy of the iconic George Michael. Louie and Rich discuss George’s early life, his chance middle-school meeting with Andrew Ridgely which lead to the formation of his breakthrough musical endeavor- the duo Wham!- the group’s two albums, 1983’s Fantastic and 1984’s blockbuster Make It Big, and how both Wham!’s well-executed appropriation of canonically Black musical aesthetics and its pervasive critical derision set the table for Michael’s solo career. Then then breakdown Michael’s era-defining magnum-opus, his debut solo record 1987’s Faith, how it showcased his meticulous craftsmanship as a producer, songwriter, performer and purveyor of Pop Stardom, his struggles with his sexual identity and why they may have lead him to retreat from the spotlight on its much more low-key follow-up, 1990’s Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, and how the tragic death from AIDS of his first true love, Anselmo Feleppa, along with a drawn-out lawsuit with his record label created a nearly six-year gap between Listen and 1996’s Older, his bold and devastating 3rd album that all but revealed Michael’s sexuality to the world. Next, Louie and Rich discuss Michael’s 1998 arrest for cruising in a public restroom, how he cannily used it as an opportunity to come out to the world once and for all and why, unfortunately, his post-closet life ultimately ended in tragedy with his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 53. Finally, they debate Michael’s enduring legacy as both a consummate pop figure, a lynchpin in the broader narrative of gay male pop stars and rank George Michael in the official Pop Pantheon. See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 10/22!Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Take the Pop Pantheon Listener SurveyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Listen to the Pop Pantheon George Michael Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rich Juzwiak on Twitter
10/13/20221 hour, 56 minutes, 42 seconds
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Listener Mailbag! Britney, Bowie, Flops, Divas and More!!

It's listener mailbag time! DJ Louie and Russ are here to tackle questions from across the Pop Pantheon extended universe. Who is the greatest British pop star of all time? Is Nicki BACK?! Are "Flop Eras" actually good?! Can DJs be Pop Stars??!! How does dying young affect your Pop Pantheon ranking?!!! How can Janet reach Tier 1??!! And so much more. See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 10/22!Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Take the Pop Pantheon Listener SurveyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
10/6/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 40 seconds
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BTS (with Tamar Herman)

Senior Culture Reporter for the South China Morning Post and author of the book BTS: Blood Sweat and Tears, Tamar Herman, joins DJ Louie for a deep-dive on K-Pop phenom boyband BTS. First, Louie and Tamar lay out some of the contours and history of the K-Pop scene and music industry before diving into BTS’ story, how they were initially put together in 2010 by producer Bang Si-Hyuk as a socially-conscious rap outfit on their “Skool Trilogy” in 2013 and 2014, and Bang’s vision for a boy band that broke K-pop norms by giving each member more agency in creating a distinct persona and shaping the group’s music. They then get into the group’s pivot to a more overt pop-oriented sound with mid-2010s output like the "Youth Trilogy", Wings, and the Love Yourself suite, all of which continued the group’s message-forward music while expanding their sound into EDM, R&B, Moombahton and more to massive success in Asian marketplaces and eventually, in the English-speaking world as well. Later, Louie and Tamar discuss just how BTS were able to fully cross-over into the biggest boy band in the world in the later 2010s, breaking into mainstream U.S. popular culture in a way no K-pop act had even whiffed at prior with their Map of the Soul albums, 2020’s BE, as well as on massive English-language hits like “Dynamite” and “Butter”, the unique pressure K-pop “Idols” are under in terms of how the present themselves in public, and how BTS and their success have changed the pop landscape both in their home country, stateside and across the globe. Finally, Louie and Tamar rank BTS in the official Pop Pantheon. Buy Tamar's book BTS: Blood Sweat & TearsBuy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Take the Pop Pantheon Listener SurveyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Listen to the Pop Pantheon BTS Essentials Playlist on SpotifyFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Tamar Herman on Twitter
9/29/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 31 seconds
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Lady Gaga's Chromatica Ball (with Steven Avalos, Omri Rolan & Lala Thompson)

For this week's B-Side, DJ Louie is joined by his bffs Steven, Omri and Lala to debrief their night at the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium stop of Lady Gaga's epic, years-in-the-making Chromatica Ball World Tour. They talk all aspects of the show- from the stage to the setlist to the fashion to Gaga's presence, dancing and voice- how it stacks up against past LG tours, where they'd rank Chomatica against her previous records, what it felt like to finally hear "Rain on Me" amongst 52,000 other Little Monsters and finally, the girlies have a knock-down-drag-out-take-no-prisoners fight about whether GaGa belongs in Tier 1 or 2 of the Pop Pantheon. Paws up! Come See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 9/23Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Take the Pop Pantheon Listener SurveyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Omri Rolan on Twitter
9/22/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 25 seconds
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DONNA SUMMER (with Black Girl Songbook's Danyel Smith)

Author of Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop and host of The Ringer podcast Black Girl Songbook, Danyel Smith, joins DJ Louie to explore the work, impact and legacy of the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer. Louie and Danyel begin with Donna’s early life as the eccentric Black girl in her Boston community during the 1950s and ‘60s, her move to Germany in 1968 to star in the musical Hair which eventually led to a star-crossed meeting with producers Giorgio Morodor and Pete Bellotte who would go on to be her primary collaborators, and their breakthrough with the radically orgasmic disco anthem “Love to Love You Baby” in 1975. Louie and Danyel then cover Donna, Giorgio and Pete’s ambitious run of concept albums through the mid ‘70s, their seismic innovations on 1977’s “I Feel Love”, considered the first electronic dance song, Donna’s status as the poster child for both the music and aesthetics of the disco movement thanks in part to her role in the film Thank God It’s Friday and its luscious Oscar-winning smash “Last Dance”, her magnum opus, 1979’s Bad Girls which set the template for the modern pop event album, and how she managed to outrun the sudden decline of disco thanks to 1983’s economical new-wave anthem “She Works Hard for the Money”. They conclude with Donna’s commercial decline in the latter 1980s, her Born-Again Christianity and controversial statements about the AIDS Epidemic and the gay community, her absolutely massive impact on the sound and look of pop stardom and how her legacy- and that of the movement she defined- has evolved over time. Finally, Louie and Danyel rank Donna Summer in the official Pop Pantheon. Come See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 9/23Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Take the Pop Pantheon Listener SurveyBuy Danyel's Book Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in PopCheck out Louie's Donna Summer Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Danyel Smith on Twitter
9/15/20221 hour, 47 minutes, 5 seconds
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Disco: Past & Present (with The Clive Davis Institute's Jason King)

For this week’s B-Side, DJ Louie is joined by Chair of the The Clive Institute of Recorded Music, Jason King, to talk the history, culture, ethos and aesthetics of disco music. Louie and Jason lay out the elements of a disco song, what the word meant as a cultural movement, its roots as a queer black artform and unique platform for black women’s voices, what made the “disco diva”, the genre’s trajectory through the 1970s as a fast burning phenomenon that crashed just as quickly by the turn of the 1980s and the key artists, songs and moments of its prime years. Finally, Louie and Jason discuss whether disco ever really died, how it’s continued to be revived again and again in pop music, and Jason shares some of his favorite disco deep cuts. Come See Louie DJ at Gorgeous Gorgeous in DTLA on 9/23Buy Pop Pantheon's New "Niche Legend" Dad Hat!Check out Louie's Disco Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Jason King on Twitter
9/8/202257 minutes, 46 seconds
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MERCH ALERT!

We did it! We finally made merch!Please welcome to the stage: The Pop Pantheon "Niche Legend" Dad Hat! Be the Carly Rae Jepsen you want to see in the world by purchasing this gorgeous black and hot pink baseball cap! It reads "Niche Legend" on the front and "Pop Pantheon" on the back.  This hat is a celebration of both our favorite Niche Legend pop girlies AND, most importantly, the Niche Legend in all of us!!Enjoy <3
9/7/202258 seconds
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USHER (with Rawiya Kameir)

Music writer and Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, Rawiya Kameir, is back on the show to discuss the career and confessions of the great Usher. DJ Louie and Rawiya break down Usher’s musical origins singing in the church, the failed boy band he fronted in the early ‘90s, Nu Beginnings, and how his deal with the storied LaFace Records and subsequent “flavor camp” with Sean “Puff Daddy’ Combs set the stage for his self-titled debut record in 1994. They then dive into his breakthrough sophomore album, 1997’s My Way, how it solidified Usher’s persona as a smooth, sensitive, emotionally-conflicted lover boy as well as one of the most dexterous R&B singers of his generation, its blockbuster follow up, 2001’s 8701, which furthered Usher’s thematic fascination with the complexities of and distress caused by love and sex and of course, his magnum opus, 2004’s Confessions, a hit-packed concept album about the aftermath of infidelity that sold over 20 million copies worldwide and stands today as Usher’s signature artistic and commercial achievement. Next, Louie and Rawiya debate Usher’s latter period output, from swings at trendiness on 2008’s Here I Stand and 2010’s Raymond Vs. Raymond to more rewarding experiments on 2012’s Looking 4 Myself and 2016’s Hard II Love. Finally they rank Usher in the official Pop Pantheon. Check out Louie's Usher Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rawiya Kameir on Twitter
9/1/20221 hour, 47 minutes, 24 seconds
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MTV VMAs: Past, Present & Our Favorite Moments (with Dunzo's Troy McEady)

The MTV Video Music Awards will air this Sunday, August 28 2022, from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ but does anybody care? For this week’s Pop Pantheon B-Side, Dunzo’s Troy McEady is back to discuss the history of the once-must-watch award show with DJ Louie, what made them the most raucous and exciting live event around at their peak, how grabbing a VMA headline could change a pop star’s career forever and what’s gone wrong with the show in recent years. Then, Louie and Troy count down their favorite “VMA Moments” in history. Listen to Louie and Troy's episode on MTV's TRL Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Dunzo on Instagram
8/25/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 2 seconds
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MILEY CYRUS (with Shaad D'Souza)

Music critic Shaad D’Souza joins DJ Louie to talk about one of modern pop’s most captivating, divisive and perplexing figures, Miley Cyrus. Louie and Shaad open with a break down of Miley’s emergence on the smash Disney show, Hannah Montana, how the character’s own double life as a pop star and a “normal girl” mirrored Miley’s own, and the chaste image and anodyne pop-rock empowerment anthems on which Miley-as-Hannah made her name and, later in career, had to torch. They next dive into Miley’s various, often bold but almost always awkward attempts to break out of the Hannah Montana box, first with her calculated pivot towards sexed-up dance pop on 2010’s nonstarter Can’t Be Tamed and much more effectively on 2013’s Bangerz, a fascinating, garish record that repositioned the former Disney kid as a freewheeling, hip hop-obsessed party monster, a brazen and un-self-aware culture vulture and, for the first and perhaps only time in her a career, a trendsetting pop star. Louie and Shaad debate the record’s prescient centering of trap in mainstream pop, as well its table-setting fusion of rap and country, how we view Miley’s egregious cultural appropriation through a contemporary lens, and whether the album’s whirlwind of controversy obscured some of the record’s delicate, honest songwriting and virtuoso vocal performances. Later, they discuss how Miley squandered a lot of remaining good will with her next two projects, 2015’s utterly bizarre Wayne Coyne-collabo Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz and 2017’s middle-of-the-road country-pop-leaning Younger Now, and if Miley has effectively repositioned herself in recent years with a series of well-received live performances and covers and a turn towards rock homage on her 2020 album Plastic Hearts. Finally, Louie and Shaad rank Miley Cyrus in the official Pop Pantheon. Read Shaad's review of Plastic Hearts in Pitchfork Check out Louie's Miley Cyrus Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Shaad D'Souza on Instagram
8/18/20221 hour, 45 minutes, 56 seconds
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Billboard's Hot 100: Hits, History and Kinks (with Hit Parade's Chris Molanphy)

Every episode of Pop Pantheon contains at least some mention of the Billboard's iconic singles chart, the Hot 100. So for this week's B-Side, DJ Louie is joined by chart analyst, cultural critic and host of Slate's podcast Hit Parade to talk the 60 year history of the chart, the way its metrics have evolved over time, what role having hits on the Hot 100 plays in a pop star's mythology and legacy, whether or not we can compare current hits like this week's #1 "Break My Soul" to past ones given how Billboard's methodology has been altered to fit new data and music-consuming ecosystems, some weird kinks that have prevented massive hits like "I'm a Slave 4 U" from reaching to the top of the charts, and what fixes Chris might make to improve the Hot 100, still our best tool for measuring a hit record.Listen to Chris Molanphy's podcast Hit ParadeCheck out Chris' last appearance on Pop Pantheon, discussing The Supremes and Diana Ross Tickets to DJ Louie's Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, on 8/12 in Downtown Los Angeles!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Chris Molanphy on Twitter
8/11/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 46 seconds
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BEYONCÉ'S RENAISSANCE (with The New Yorker's Doreen St. Félix)

Beyoncé’s seventh studio album and her first in over six years, Renaissance, is finally upon us! For the fourth and final episode of our series on Queen B, DJ Louie is joined by The New Yorker’s Doreen St. Félix to discuss the new record. Louie and Doreen share gut-check reactions, break down Renaissance's themes of bacchanalia and sexual freak-dom and how they register through Beyoncé’s signature meticulousness, its lush, dynamic sonic palette which runs the gamut from house to disco to afrobeat, this weekend’s controversy with Kelis and whether an artist of B’s stature’s can celebrate other artists and sub-cultures- like ballroom- without subsuming them, and why this may be a superlative pandemic record, a manifestation of Beyoncé’s delayed adolescence and of a superstar’s fantasy of what life is like for people who, unlike her, can actually go to a club. Read Louie's review of Renaissance in Buzzfeed Tickets to DJ Louie's Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, on 8/12 in Downtown Los Angeles!Check out Louie's Beyoncé Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Doreen St. Félix on Twitter
8/4/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 1 second
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BEYONCÉ PART 3: AMERICAN ICON (with Yale University's Dr. Daphne A. Brooks)

Part 3/4! Beyoncé’s latest solo album, Renaissance, drops on July 29th so to get everyone prepared, Pop Pantheon will be releasing a series of four episodes on the work and legacy of Queen Bey, each with a different guest!In our third installment, DJ Louie is joined by author of Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound, Yale University’s Dr. Daphne A. Brooks, to discuss the latest decade of Beyoncé’s solo career. Louie and Dr. Brooks begin with the quagmire that pop stars- and particularly black female pop stars- face as they enter their mid 30s in the fickle, ageist pop cultural landscape and how various icons of the genre like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Janet Jackson have re-engaged audiences during this period of their lives and careers. They then discuss Beyoncé’s culturally transformative 2013 self-titled 5th studio album, how the surprise release and inclusion of visual components for each song solved the problem of finding a hit single, created a singular shared cultural experience, and forever changed the way pop stars would release music, the rich musical textures which filtered black musical tradition through mordern electro-R&B, and the ways in which this record depended Beyoncé’s artistry and self-revelation, as well as her feminism and activism. They then unpack her 2016 single “Formation”, its confrontational video and performance at the 2016 Super Bowl, and how the song functions as both a call to action and certified rump shaker for the ages, before diving into her masterwork of that same year, her sixth album, the audiovisual magnum opus Lemonade. Louie and Dr. Brooks break down how Lemonade reimagined the feminist ideal of the “personal as political”, using Beyoncé’s own story of domestic disruption to narrate a broader story about American history, how it effectively reclaimed genres like rock ‘n roll and country for Black women, and the innovative ways Beyoncé mined her own pain to radically heal herself, her marriage, her people and the nation through this project. Finally, Louie and Dr. Brooks dive into Beyonce’s latest three side projects, 2018’s collaboration with Jay-Z Everything is Love, 2019’s live concert film Homecoming and 2020’s Lion King companion-piece Black is King, all of which have helped enrich and deepen her artistry and activism and served as a victory lap for her storied career and what, when we look back on it in 50 years or more, Beyoncé’s enduring legacy will be as the greatest and most important pop figure of the 21st century thus far. Stay tuned for next week’s installment, in which we’ll be giving first reactions to Beyoncé’s new record Renaissance, her seventh studio album and first in over six years! Tickets to DJ Louie's Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, on 8/12 in Downtown Los Angeles!Buy Dr. Daphne A. Brooks' book, Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist SoundCheck out Louie's Beyoncé Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
7/28/20221 hour, 49 minutes, 45 seconds
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BEYONCÉ PART 2: SOLO SUPERSTAR (with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd)

Part 2/4!Beyoncé’s latest solo album, Renaissance, drops on July 29th so to get everyone prepared, Pop Pantheon will be releasing a series of four episodes on the work and legacy of Queen Bey, each with a different guest!In our second installment, DJ Louie is joined by author and journalist Julianne Escobedo Shepherd to discuss the first decade of Beyoncé’s solo career. Louie and Julianne begin with Beyoncé’s first steps outside of Destiny’s Child, including her film appearances in 2001’s MTV’s Carmen: A Hip Hopera and 2002’s Austin Powers in Goldmember, as well as on record with “Work It Out” and, most importantly, her feature on future-husband Jay-Z’s smash 2002 hit “‘03 Bonnie and Clyde”. They then discuss the major themes of the first period of Beyoncé’s solo music: ecstatic monogamous love, betrayal and infidelity, wealth accumulation and imbalanced gender dynamics and how they’re all represented on Beyoncé’s first solo album, 2003’s blockbuster Dangerously in Love and amplified on her second, 2006’s funky, terse fan-favorite, B’Day. They then dig into how B’Day’s harder edge and relative commercial underperformance-- and the attention her co-star Jennifer Hudson swept up from under Beyoncé in the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls-- led to the more widely-appealing, if less singular, I Am… Sasha Fierce in 2008, and, after firing her father Mathew as manager, how Bey began to shape a new phase of career with 2011’s languid, lowkey 4, in which she was no longer beholden to trends or hit-chasing, expanding her impact into something much greater than conventional pop stardom and providing the platform for the thrilling audio-visual projects which would both define the next decade of her career and change the music industry forever. Stay tuned for next week’s installment, in which we’ll dive into 2013’s BEYONCÉ the visual album, 2016’s Lemonade, 2018’s Everything is Love, 2019’s Homecoming and 2020’s Black is King! Check out Louie's Beyoncé Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Twitter
7/21/20221 hour, 58 minutes, 59 seconds
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BEYONCÉ PART 1: DESTINY'S CHILD (with Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos)

Part 1/4!In the first of four episodes in our new series covering the work and career of pop titan Beyoncé, DJ Louie is joined by Senior Writer at Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos, to discuss the group that started it all: Destiny’s Child.  Louie and Brittany begin with a broad history of black R&B girl groups, specifically the ‘90s wave of which DC was a part, and the ever-evolving way black women have presented themselves in the pop space. They then discuss Beyoncé’s early life, how she and her father Mathew Knowles helped form Destiny’s Child with the initial lineup including Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson and Letoya Luckett, their 1998 self-titled debut and it’s surprise #3 hit, the remix of their ballad “No No No”, “No No No Pt. 2” featuring Wyclef Jean which showcased Beyoncé’s signature singing-rapping hybrid. Next, they dive into their smash sophomore album, 1999’s The Writing’s on the Wall and its innovative singles, all of which featured the groups virtuosic harmonies, a sharp pop feminist perspective that often traded in the role money plays in gender dynamics, and futuristic staccato R&B production courtesy Darkchild and others, before diving into all the tea on how, at the peak of their success, the initial line-up very messily and publicly gave way to a new trio: Beyoncé, Kelly and new member Michelle Williams. Louie and Brittany then cover DC’s blockbuster third album, largely an answer to the negative press of the group shake-ups, 2001’s Survivor and its attendant hits, the member’s various solo endeavors, and how Beyoncé returned to the group following her solo success for one final chapter, 2004’s Destiny Fulfilled. Finally, Louie and Brittany rank Destiny’s Child in the official Pop Pantheon.Stay tuned next week for our next episode, Beyoncé Pt. 1, which will cover the first half of Beyoncé’s solo career from 2003’s Dangerously in Love through 2011’s 4!Tickets to see Louie DJ Pop Music at Gorgeous Gorgeous 7/16 in DTLA!Check out Louie's Destiny's Child Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Brittany Spanos on Twitter
7/14/20221 hour, 51 minutes, 17 seconds
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Song of the Summer: History, Favs and Predictions (with Billboard's Jason Lipshutz)

In this week's B-Side episode, Executive Director of Music at Billboard Jason Lipshutz joins DJ Louie to discuss the Song of the Summer! Louie and Jason dig into the history of the concept and Billboard's SOTS Chart, discuss the most recent winners and what makes for the ideal Song of the Summer, whether having a SOTS can meaningfully change the trajectory of pop star's career, and then each name their favorite Songs of the Summer of all time. Tickets to see Louie DJ Pop Music at Gorgeous Gorgeous 7/16 in DTLA!Check out Pop Pantheon's Song of the Summer Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Jason Lipshutz on Twitter
7/7/202249 minutes, 51 seconds
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DURAN DURAN (with Annie Zaleski)

Journalist and author of the 33 ⅓ book Duran Duran’s Rio, Annie Zaleski, joins DJ Louie for a deep-dive into ‘80s British pop-rock band and seminal music video-pioneers, Duran Duran. First, Louie and Annie parse the various music scenes-- glam rock, new wave, “The New Romantics”-- from which Duran Duran emerged before discussing the band’s formation in Birmingham in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, their deal with storied label EMI, and what factors lead their 1981 self-titled debut, a prescient blend of rock and dance music, to become a smash overseas but fail to impact here in America. They then move on to the band’s second record, 1982’s blockbuster Rio, their groundbreaking and trendsetting videos for singles like “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf”, the latter of which won the inaugural Best Music Video prize at the 1984 VMAs, how the group cleverly broke onto American radio thanks to their then-novel use of dance remixes, and how their massive success with teenage girls led them to be dismissed as fluff by the rockist critical establishment. Louie and Annie then lay out Duran Duran’s continued success with albums like 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger and 1986’s Nile Rodgers-produced Notorious, why the band quickly fell out of favor with mainstream audiences during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, how they made one of the most unlikely comebacks in pop history with 1993’s Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) featuring two of their definitive hits, “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone”, and what their recent induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame means for their legacy. Finally, Louie and Annie rank Duran Duran in the official Pop Pantheon. Tickets to see Louie DJ Pop Music at Gorgeous Gorgeous 7/16 in DTLA!Buy Annie Zaleksi's 33 1/3 Book on Duran Duran's RioCheck out Louie's Duran Duran Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Annie Zaleski on Twitter
6/30/20221 hour, 39 minutes, 25 seconds
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Bey-Side: Beyoncé's "Break My Soul" and Renaissance Predictions

In an emergency B-Side (Bey-Side??), DJ Louie, along with Pop Pantheon producer Russ, break down everything about Beyoncé's latest single, the '90s house-nodding club anthem "Break My Soul", which dropped last night. Louie and Russ lay out where Beyoncé's commercial and artistic trajectory stands leading into this new era, from which genres, songs and artists "Break My Soul" draws, whether or not it's any good, pontificate on whether Bey can score a radio hit in the third decade of her in her career, what the song might portend for the rest of her forthcoming solo album, Renaissance Pt. 1,  her first in 6 years, and what they each hope the album sounds like. Listen to Louie's appearance on Eat, Pray, BritneyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/22/202252 minutes, 52 seconds
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Father's Day Special (with my dad)

My dad, Tim, is not only the biggest Pop Pantheon fan who loves to share his many opinions on all the episodes, but is also a music fanatic and entertainment attorney who specializes in music. As such, I had the privilege of growing up in a household where the two of us bonded over our mutual love of pop and often got to experience it together. His passion for it all was (obviously) formative to my own identity, career and life. For this bonus episode of Pop Pantheon, in honor of Father's Day this Sunday, I invited him on the show to talk a little about his own musical journey, a lot about our shared pop memories (including him taking me to see Alanis Morissette at Roseland Ballroom when I was 7, playing me "...Baby One More Time" for the first time in the car and screaming "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at The 1989 Tour together), all of his opinions on the episodes and rankings, and of course, whether he thinks his fav pop girlie of all time, Taylor Swift, is in Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the Pop Pantheon. Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
6/17/202255 minutes, 37 seconds
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KELLY CLARKSON (with Legends Only's Bradley Stern)

This week, DJ Louie is joined by music journalist and co-host of the podcast Legends Only, Bradley Stern, to discuss the original American Idol, Kelly Clarkson! First, Louie and Bradley discuss Kelly’s legendary run on Idol, from being deemed “forgettable” by Simon Cowell to winning the show and America’s hearts in a landslide victory, her display of down-home affability and incredible versatility on the show, equally adept at Motown as she was at rock, show-tunes and pop ballads, her first album, 2003’s Thankful, which played up her chameleonic and powerful vocal talent but played down her singular personality to middling results, how she fought tooth and nail to take more control of her artistry on her juggernaut second album, 2004’s more rock-oriented classic Breakaway, and calcified her on-record scorned-by-resilient persona on its signature hit, the iconic kiss-off anthem “Since U Been Gone”. Louie and Bradley then cover Kelly’s legendary and very public battle with label-boss Clive Davis over her third record, 2007’s largely self-penned My December, her mea-culpa for that defiance, 2009’s All I Ever Wanted, how Kelly eventually reached a detente with the powers that be in the 2010s and unlocked a very successful second decade of her pop career, and how all the qualities that made us fall in love with her twenty years ago as a cocktail waitress with a big voice and a dream on Idol lead to a third wave of her career as a beloved daytime talk show host, as well as to her viral covers series, “Kellyoke”. Finally, Louie and Bradley rank Kelly Clarkson in the official Pop Pantheon.  Check out Louie's Kelly Clarkson Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Bradley Stern on Twitter
6/16/20221 hour, 46 minutes, 33 seconds
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Bloghouse (with Lina Abascal)

Bloghouse has come up a number of times in episodes of Pop Pantheon, from Robyn to Kesha to Scissor Sisters. So for this Week’s B-Side, DJ Louie is joined by Lina Abascal, author of the book Never Be Alone Again: How Bloghouse United the Internet and the Dancefloor, to discuss the late aughts micro-movement and how it influenced mainstream pop. Louie and Lina dig into what exactly bloghouse was, how the internet, innovations in music software and dance music trends came together to bring it into being, the major artists and songs of the era, how it evolved for its five year run, and how it influenced a generation of pop stars like Lady GaGa, Robyn, Kesha, Marina and The Diamonds, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Charli XCX, Calvin Harris, Britney Spears, Rina Sawayama, Dua Lipa, and more. Finally, Louie and Lina share some of their favorite classics of the era. Check out Louie's Bloghouse Essentials Playlist on SpotifyCheck out Lina's book, Never Be Alone Again: How Bloghouse United the Internet and the DancefloorLA Niche Legends! Grab tix for DJ Louie's Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous: Pride Edition, Friday, June 10 at Resident in DTLA!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Lina Abascal on Instagram
6/9/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 44 seconds
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SCISSOR SISTERS (with Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua)

Happy Pride! To celebrate Pride Month, Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua joins DJ Louie to talk one of the most iconic gay pop acts of the century, Scissor Sisters. Louie and Matthew talk the history of queer men in mainstream pop, Scissor Sisters' formation in the downtown NYC electroclash scene of the late '90s and early '00s, their fluke first hit, a BeeGees-esque cover of "Comfortably Numb", how their 2004 self-titled debut album played like a expertly made, fun-loving tour through gay music history, why they exploded as pop stars in the UK but remained a cult phenomenon here in America, and how they presaged artists like Robyn and Charli XCX by carving out a space for alternative pop stars stateside. They then talk about their second album, 2006's Ta-Dah, it's myriad of slightly obscure pop historical references, the smash hit and their signature song, "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'", their turn towards more sex-forward music on their 2010 Stuart Price-produced masterpiece, Night Work, and Louie shares a bit about what the record meant to him in his personal journey with his sexuality. Next, Louie and Matthew discuss their final album, 2012's Magic Hour, how they mainstreamed the word "kiki" on their gay club hit "Let's Have a Kiki" and the impact they've had on future queer pop stars like Mika, Sam Smith and Lil Nas X, as well as on campier American pop icons who followed in their footsteps like Lady GaGa and Katy Perry. Finally, Louie and Matthew rank Scissor Sisters in the official Pop Pantheon. Read Matthew's review of Night Work in Pitchfork Check out Louie's Scissor Sisters Essentials Playlist on SpotifyLA Niche Legends! Grab tix for DJ Louie's Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous: Pride Edition, Friday, June 10 at Resident in DTLA! Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Matthew Perpetua on Twitter
6/2/20221 hour, 44 minutes, 20 seconds
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Best Pop Music of 2022 So Far (with Who? Weekly's Lindsey Weber)

We’re halfway through 2022 so for this week’s Pop Pantheon B-Side, DJ Louie is joined by Who? Weekly's Lindsey Weber to talk all their favorite pop songs and albums of the year so far, any trends they're spotting (short songs, short albums, and where are the main girlies??!!) and finally, Louie and Lindsey go through 15 buzzy new bottom tier Whos and decide whether they have a shot at top tier Themdom.LA Niche Legends! Grab tix for DJ Louie's Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous: Pride Edition, Friday, June 10 at Resident in DTLA!  Check out a playlist of Louie and Lindsey's 2022 FavsListen to Louie and Lindsey's previous Pop Pantheon Episode on Carly Rae JepsenJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Lindsey Weber on Twitter
5/26/20221 hour, 28 minutes, 58 seconds
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SHANIA TWAIN (with Kate Dries)

Executive Editor of Dwell, Kate Dries, joins DJ Louie to talk the Queen of Country Pop, Shania Twain. First, Kate lays out some of the scant historical examples of country icons who have managed to crossover into mainstream pop stardom like Dolly Parton and explains a bit about why Nashville has been a hermetically-sealed ecosystem, resistant to change, outsiders and country artists who have ambitions beyond its traditional scope. Next, Louie and Kate discuss Shania's upbringing in Canada, surviving abject poverty, a household rife with domestic abuse, and the untimely death of both of her parents by writing, singing and performing in local bars beginning when she was just 8 years-old. They then move on to Shania's discovery performing at a resort in Canada which lead to her record deal Mercury Nashville, her flop first album, 1993's Shania Twain, her chance meeting with rock super-producer Robert "Mutt" Lange who quickly became her partner in both music and life through her massive run of success from the mid '90s-early '00s, and the genre-busting sound the pair developed on her blockbuster sophomore release, 1995's The Woman in Me. Louie and Kate also dive into Shania's third record, 1997's legendary Come On Over, which stands to this day as one of the biggest selling albums in history and provided the platform for Shania to make the leap from country legend to mainstream pop icon, parse apart how smashes like "You're Still the One", "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" displayed Shania's unique combo of girl-next-door approachability, '90s middle-finger-up feminist attitudes and an infectious sense of carefree joy and fun, how her flair for presenting herself visually and sartorially in music videos was both integral to her crossover and forever seared her into pop cultural memory, her globe-trotting fourth album, 2002's Up!, the dissolution of her marriage to Mutt and her subsequent loss of her ability to sing, her comeback Vegas residency and her 5th album, 2017's Now, and her legacy and impact on the pop landscape to this day. Finally, Louie and Kate rank Shania Twain in the official Pop Pantheon. Check Out Louie's Shania Twain Essentials PlaylistCheck out Louie's TRL Essentials PlaylistJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Kate Dries on Twitter
5/19/20221 hour, 42 minutes, 39 seconds
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MTV's Total Request Live (with Dunzo's Troy McEady)

In this week's B-Side episode, host of the podcasts Dunzo and Beyond The Blinds, Troy McEady, joins DJ Louie to discuss Millennial pop cultural touchstone, MTV's Total Request Live. Inspired by a Zoomer in the Pop Pantheon Discord who, following last month's Christina Aguilera episode, revealed they didn't know what TRL was, Louie and Troy attempt to explain the show's history and format, how its' interactive vibe served as the turn-of-the-century pop fan's precursor to social media, lay out the major players from host Carson Daly to signature stars like Britney, Good Charlotte and Eminem and attempt to illustrate the power MTV had over their generation. They also wax poetic on some of their favorite forgotten songs, videos and artists from the "TRL Era", reflect on the show's top ten videos of all time and share a bit about why TRL meant so much to each of them as burgeoning pop fanatics. Listen to Louie and Troy talking about Rihanna's Anti on Dunzo a few months ago  Check out Louie's TRL Essentials Playlist on SpotifyJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Dunzo on Instagram
5/12/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 7 seconds
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BILLIE EILISH (with Molly Lambert)

Writer and host of the new podcast Heidi World: The Heidi Fleiss Story, Molly Lambert, joins DJ Louie to break down the spectacular emergence of Gen Z's most paradigm-shifting star, Billie Eilish. First, Molly, who profiled Billie last year for the cover of Elle, shares insights into what it was like spending time with her, how she's relating to her newfound megastardom, as well as her fans on social media and out in the world, and why she doesn't consider herself a "pop star" at all. Louie and Molly then discuss how unlikely 2010s breakouts like Lorde, Halsey and Lana Del Rey softened the ground for idiosyncratic, insular-sounding bedroom artists to become mainstream pop stars. Next, they track Billie's career origins, along with her brother and collaborator Finneas, on Soundcloud, how their viral hit "Ocean Eyes" lead to a record deal with Interscope when Billie was just 15, and how her debut EP, 2017's Don't Smile At Me, presented a new kind of teen idol who leaned into, rather than glossed over, the alienation, depression and anxiety of being a young person in the internet era, thus endearing her to a new generation of pop fans who craved less-aspirational and more relatable pop figures. They also dive into she and Finneas' far-ranging aesthetic influences from horror movies to trip hop, Gorillaz, Lil Peep, Bjork, Garbage and even Frank Sinatra, before laying out her explosion into the mainstream with her debut album, 2019's Grammy-sweeping When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, how that record expanded the duo's musical palette but also perhaps garnered Billie an unwanted and unintentional level of fame, how she went about addressing all of that on her sophomore album, 2021's more low-key masterpiece Happier Than Ever, how she's uniquely positioned to bring large swaths of the pop-consuming public along with her singular, strange musical instincts, and where she might go next. Finally, Louie and Molly rank Billie Eilish in the official Pop Pantheon. Check Out Louie's Billie Eilish Essentials PlaylistJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Molly Lambert on Twitter
5/5/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 54 seconds
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One Year of Pop Pantheon: Reassessing All the Rankings

In this week's B-Side episode, DJ Louie reflects on a year of Pop Pantheon, shares how the podcast got started and offers a refresher on all of the tiers, how they work and if they've changed or been refined as the show has progressed. He then goes through all of the 31 artists ranked so far, decides if he still agrees with his ranking or if any artist's standing in the Pop Pantheon has shifted since the episodes originally aired. Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
4/28/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 5 seconds
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ABBA (with Carl Magnus Palm)

ABBA Scholar and author of 8 (!!!!) books on ABBA, Carl Magnus Palm, joins DJ Louie for an epic deep dive into the Swedish pop legends. First, Louie and Carl discuss the history of pop and "schlager" in Sweden and how the country's musical traditions helped form ABBA's music before tracing the pre-ABBA careers of the four members, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, through the 1960s and how the group came together in the early 1970s, both as bandmates and romantic couples. Louie and Carl then break down how the "ABBA Sound" developed from the group's early recordings and their obsession with Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" and The Beach Boys' vocal-layering, ABBA's unique international ambitions, how the glam-rock nodding, Eurovision-winning "Waterloo" changed their career, the ways they continued to refine and expand their singular aesthetic on subsequent hits like "Mamma Mia" and "SOS", the darker and more wistful lyrical themes that began to surface on mid-period hits like "Fernando", the majestic ebullience of "Dancing Queen", their canny techniques for incorporating numerous pop subgenres into their work without ever losing their essential ABBA-ness, the powerful interplay of light and dark in their work, how the dissolution of the group's two romantic couples informed their more emotionally-complex latter period hits like "The Name of the Game" and "The Winner Takes It All", how the band came apart in the early 1980s, and how their legacy has evolved and changed over the last 40 years thanks to their greatest hits album ABBA Gold and the jukebox musical and film, Mamma Mia!. Finally, Louie and Carl rank ABBA in the official Pop Pantheon. LA Pop Pantheon Girlies! Get Info for Louie's New Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, on 4/22 at Resident in DTLA!Check Out Louie's ABBA Essentials PlaylistJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Carl Magnus Palm on Twitter
4/21/20221 hour, 47 minutes, 11 seconds
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Charli XCX's Crash (with Owen Myers)

Freelance Music Journalist for the New York Times, Pitchfork, The Guardian and more, Owen Myers, joins DJ Louie to tackle Charli XCX's recently released 5th studio album, Crash, which Owen recently reviewed for Pitchfork. Louie and Owen discuss Charli's assertion of this album cycle as her "main pop girlie era" and whether that's really come to fruition, how Charli shrewdly draws on '80s titans like Janet Jackson, Cameo, New Order and Eurythmics as well as novelty '90s dance songs like September's "Cry For You" to create the sonic palette for the album, wonder where her true career ambitions lie between her avant-garde instincts and her desire to play in the mainstream, her prickly relationship to writing personal songs, break down The Crash Tour, and rank Crash in the Charli canon. Read Owen's Review of Crash in Pitchfork LA Pop Pantheon Girlies! Get Tix to Louie's New Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, on 4/22 at Resident in DTLA!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Owen Myers on Twitter
4/14/202251 minutes, 35 seconds
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CHRISTINA AGUILERA (with Evan Ross Katz)

Writer and podcaster Evan Ross Katz joins DJ Louie for a wide-ranging discussion about TRL-icon-turned-pop-iconoclast, Christina Aguilera. First, Louie and Evan discuss the teen pop boom of the late '90s and early '00s, how it presented young stars as both wholesome and over-sexualized, and the factory-style, scientifically-perfect-if-personality-less music that defined the era. They then cover Christina's emergence on The Mickey Mouse Club as the "little girl with the big voice", her breakthrough singing the Mulan theme song "Reflection", how Britney Spears' explosion helped shape her first album, 1999's Christina Aguilera, how the massive success of that record both launched Christina to superstardom and put her in an uncomfortable box that obscured her unique talents, how she re-wrote the script with her iconic sophomore album, 2002's Stripped, her penitent for massive sonic and visual reinventions on subsequent albums like 2006's Back to Basics and 2010's Bionic, the latter of which helped usher the word "flop" into common parlance and also recast Christina as a underdog and gay icon, and how her singular career choices and trajectory has influenced recent pop stars and is deserving of a modern reassessment. Finally, Louie and Evan rank Christina Aguilera in the Pop Pantheon. LA Pop Pantheon Girlies! Get Tix to Louie's New Queer Pop Party, Gorgeous Gorgeous, on 4/22 at Resident in DTLA! Check Out Louie's Christina Aguilera Essentials PlaylistJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Evan Ross Katz on Instagram
4/7/20221 hour, 38 minutes, 42 seconds
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NORMANI (with Keep It! Host Ira Madison III)

APRIL FOOLS!!!Keep It! host Ira Madison III returns to Pop Pantheon for a very special (and silly) episode on the glacially unfurling career of former Fifth Harmony member and aspiring pop starlet, Normani. Louie and Ira talk about why people fell in love with Normani as the clearest talent in 5H before debating the conditions that have allowed Normani to release only seven songs in the last five years before diving into her multiple attempts at getting her solo career off the ground. They begin with her two hit Spotify-core duets, 2018's "Love Lies" and 2019's "Dancing with a Stranger" with Khalid and Sam Smith respectively, before moving through her erstwhile Calvin Harris collabs, her apparent lift-off with 2019's banger Beyonce-referencing "Motivation" and its' break-the-internet music video showcasing her formidable dancing talents followed by her perplexing disappearance from music for two years, and finally her two recent underperforming "comeback" singles, the Aaliyah-sampling slinky R&B groover "Wild Side" and her latest non-event, "Fair". Finally, Louie and Ira place Normani in the official Pop Pantheon (SPOILER ALERT: she's Tier 5....). Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Ira Madison III on Instagram
4/1/202240 minutes, 32 seconds
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Grammys Special! (with Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos)

The Grammy Awards are this Sunday April 3 and to get you ready for the big show, Senior Writer for Rolling Stone Brittany Spanos is back with DJ Louie to talk all things Grammys! Louie and Brittany break down what the problems have been for the Grammys over the last few years before dissecting each of the four major categories, how the Grammys did this year, who's nominated and why, who they each think should and will win each award, who got snubbed and debate whether or not Olivia Rodrigo will just sweep the whole damn thing.Join the Pop Pantheon Discord!  Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Brittany Spanos on Twitter
3/31/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 3 seconds
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KESHA (with Pitchfork's Cat Zhang)

Assistant Editor at Pitchfork Cat Zhang joins DJ Louie for a deep dive into the career and music of misunderstood, resilient 2010s trash pop queen, Kesha. First, Louie and Cat break down the hip-hop-dance-pop party music of the mid-late aughts- a hedonistic period fueled in part by a desire for escapism during The Great Recession- and discuss artists like Fergie, Gwen Stefani and others who set the stage for the uptempo rap/EDM hybrid that would become Kesha's calling card. Next, they lay out Kesha's biography, growing up poor with a single mom who wrote country songs for artists like Dolly Parton, her initial connection to superstar producer/songwriter Dr. Luke, what made Luke such a prolific hitmaker in the 2000s, and finally how a chance appearance on the hook of Flo-Rida's "Right Round" provided the launching pad for Kesha's breakthrough debut album, Animal. Louie and Cat go long on Animal, breaking down it's unique, gaudy sonic landscape and Kesha's singular perspective as an anti-materialistic, dumpster-diving party animal who proudly flew in the face of respectability on hits like "Tik Tok", "Blah Blah Blah" and "Take It Off", the way the album inverted pop gender politics and drew on far-ranging influences from Daft Punk to the Beastie Boys to Bloghaus, the fine lines Kesha's rapping walked in terms of cultural appropriation, and the borderline-experimental ways Kesha and Luke found true heart and personality in the maximalist machinery of modern pop. They then chronicle the contentious creation of Kesha's follow-up album, 2012's Warrior, and how she and Luke's diverging artistic visions presaged greater rifts in their relationship, how the album's sole hit "Die Young" was pulled from radio following the school shooting at Sandy Hook, the moment Kesha filed lawsuits against Luke for sexual assault, battery, sexual harassment, and emotional abuse, how those lawsuits derailed her career for five years, her comeback with her radically different third album, 2017's critical-darling Rainbow, and how we see Kesha's influence on modern pop. Finally, Louie and Cat rank Kesha in the official Pop Pantheon. Read Cat's retrospective review of Animal in Pitchfork Check Out Louie's Kesha Essentials PlaylistJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Cat Zhang on Instagram
3/24/20221 hour, 42 minutes, 58 seconds
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LISTENER MAILBAG!: Answering Your Questions on Dua, Beyonce, Kylie, Charli, Kacey and.... Ava Max!

In a special mailbag episode, DJ Louie answers listener questions about the "Levitating" lawsuit, the greatest pop comebacks of all time, Kylie Minogue's placement in the Pop Pantheon, Charli XCX's new album, what Beyonce should do next, how artists are selected for the podcast, relatability vs. virtuosity in pop stardom, Christina Aguilera's signature song and more!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on Twitter
3/17/202255 minutes, 59 seconds
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DIANA ROSS PT. 2: THE SOLO YEARS (with Hit Parade's Chris Molanphy)

Pop critic, chart analyst, writer of Slate's "Why Is This Song No. 1?", and host of the podcast Hit Parade, Chris Molanphy, joins DJ Louie once again for the second part of our series on Diana Ross. This episode, Louie and Chris discuss Diana's initially rocky transition from lead singer for The Supremes into solo superstar and how she finally scored a solo #1 with an unexpected, avant-garde cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in 1970. They then discuss her spotty track record through the early-mid '70s, sometimes scoring massive hits with mostly adult-contemporary ballads like "Touch Me in the Morning" and "Do You Know Where You're Going To", but just as often releasing records that made little impact, all while pursuing a secondary career as a movie star most notably in her Oscar-nominated performance as Billie Holiday in 1972's Lady Sings the Blues. Louie and Chris then chronicle various pop movements that coincided with and affected Diana's career in this '70s- the racial segregation of radio, the birth of the female pop singer-songwriter like Carole King and Joni Mitchell, innovative R&B artists like Roberta Flack and Chaka Khan-  Diana's third wind as a disco queen, beginning with 1976's smash "Love Hangover", 1979's "The Boss" and eventually, her blockbuster, career-defining collaboration with Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, 1980's Diana and it's legendary singles, "I'm Coming Out" and "Upside Down". Finally, Louie and Chris debate what allowed Diana to beat the odds, defying pop's ageist bent with hits across three decades and what exactly makes Diana one of the ultimate Tier 1 Icons in the official Pop Pantheon.  Send questions about this episode, the Pantheon, pop stars in general or whatever else is on your mind to [email protected] the Pop Pantheon Discord Monday 3/14 at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's Diana Ross Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Chris Molanphy on Twitter
3/10/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 31 seconds
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DIANA ROSS PT. 1: THE SUPREMES (with Hit Parade's Chris Molanphy)

Pop critic, chart analyst, writer of Slate's "Why Is This Song No. 1?", and host of the podcast Hit Parade, Chris Molanphy, joins DJ Louie for the first of a two-part series on American Icon, Diana Ross. First, Louis and Chris set the stage by discussing how the phrases "pop" and "pop star" came into form in the late 1950s, the establishment of the teenager as a target market group for music and the birth of the "teen idol". They then discuss Diana Ross' backstory growing up in the burgeoning Detroit music scene, how the formation of the predecessor to The Supremes, The Primettes, dovetailed with the creation of her future-label-boss-turned-husband Berry Gordy's Motown Records, why Motown and "the Motown Sound" were so transformational in the pop music landscape in the late '50s and early '60s, and how a popular wave of pre-Supremes girl groups like The Shangri-Las and The Marvelettes functioned as musicians and stars in this period. Next, Louie and Chris walk through The Supremes signing with Gordy, their flop first album and Diana being promoted to permanent front-woman, their historic collaboration with storied producers and songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland, their smash second album, Where Did Our Love Go? and subsequent astounding run of hits through the middle and end of the '60s, how their music evolved with the times, the inherent radicalism of a group of black women becoming the most popular pop act in the world, what makes Diana's star quality and voice to singular, and how Gordy positioned her for eventual solo stardom, often at the expense of the other girls in the group. Join us next week for Part 2, which will cover Diana's solo career!Send questions about this episode, the Pantheon, pop stars in general or whatever else is on your mind to [email protected] the Pop Pantheon Discord Monday 3/7 at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's The Supremes Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Chris Molanphy on Twitter
3/3/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 47 seconds
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Bonus: Louie and Rich Juzwiak on the Janet Jackson Documentary

In a special bonus minisode, Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak joins DJ Louie to discuss Benjamin Hirsch's documentary Janet Jackson, which aired in January on A&E and Lifetime. With Janet's active participation, this doc was billed as the historically cagey superstar baring all about her formidable career and legacy, as well as various controversies which have swirled around her including the Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" and the child sexual abuse allegations leveled at her brother Michael.  Louie and Rich break down how while the documentary presented some riveting new behind-the-scenes footage of Janet at her peak, it failed to adequately re-establish her unfairly tarnished legacy and to provide real insight into some of the more opaque elements in her celebrity narrative. Read Rich's review of the Janet doc on Jezebel Rich Rich's assessment of the original Super Bowl incident and the fallout on GawkerSend any questions or comments to [email protected] DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rich Juzwiak on Twitter
2/24/202222 minutes, 9 seconds
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NICKI MINAJ (with Keep It! Host Ira Madison III)

Keep It! Host Ira Madison III joins DJ Louie for a deep dive into the Queen of Rap, Nicki Minaj. Louie and Ira begin with a discussion of the first golden era of female rappers in late ‘90s and early ‘00s, how stars like Lil Kim and Missy Elliott blurred the lines between rapper and pop star, and speculate a bit about why many of the preeminent female MCs of this period disappeared from the charts in the mid-late aughts. They then break down what made Nicki such an exciting and dynamic force on her early mixtapes like Beam Me Up Scotty, her first run of head-spinning hit features, attempt to parse apart all of her different on-record personas, and discuss the formation of her formidable and foundational stan army, The Barbz. Next, Louie and Ira mull over the pressures Nicki faced in creating her smash debut album, Pink Friday, as the first commercially viable female rapper in years, her keen instincts to craft a sound that appealed to both rap fans and a broader pop audience and how that affected her artistry and cred for better and worse, the surprise success of “Super Bass”, her bonkers sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, why Nicki functions so well as perhaps the greatest, most versatile featured artist of all time, how she sometimes struggled to show true vulnerability on albums like 2015’s The Pinkprint, and lay out the impact she’s had on both pop and rap over the last nearly 15 years. Finally, Louie and Ira rank Nicki Minaj in the official Pop Pantheon. Send questions about this episode, the Pantheon, pop stars in general or whatever else is on your mind to [email protected] the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (2/17) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's Nicki Minaj Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Ira Madison III on Instagram
2/17/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 56 seconds
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Super Bowl Halftime Show Extravaganza! (with Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak)

Just in time for this weekend's big performance from Dr. Dre & Friends, Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak returns to Pop Pantheon to talk about a crowning moment in any pop star's career: The Super Bowl Halftime Show. First, DJ Louie and Rich explain the ever-evolving nature of the halftime show and how it crystalized into its modern form, which types of stars gets chosen for this prestigious slot, and what makes these performances work when they're good or flop when they're... not. They then each share their top 5 favorite Halftime performances of all time as well as a few of their least favorites, before giving a brief comment on every single show from 1991 to the present day. Finally, Louie and Rich discuss which pop stars they'd like to see headline the show in the future.Send any questions or comments to [email protected] Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rich Juzwiak on Twitter
2/10/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 34 seconds
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NELLY FURTADO (with Bianca Gracie)

Entertainment journalist Bianca Gracie joins DJ Louie to discuss 2000s quirky Canadian singer-songwriter turned unlikely dance pop diva, Nelly Furtado. First, Louie and Bianca lay out the ecosystem of alternative female pop stars in the late 90s and early 00s before turning to Nelly’s emergence, first on Toronto’s alternative hip hop scene and later as the earnest, genre-melding breakout star of her Grammy-winning debut album, 2000’s Whoa, Nelly!. After breaking down what made that record and it’s lead single, “I’m Like a Bird”, play like canny counter-programming to the early aughts teen pop boom and her prescient appearance on the remix of Missy Elliott’s 2001 hit “Get Ur Freak On”, Louie and Bianca ponder what made Nelly’s follow-up, 2003’s Folklore, a failure with both critics and fans, how she effectively rebooted her career in 2006 with an assist from Missy-collaborator Timbaland on her 2006 record, Loose, the sexist, rockist discourse of the mid 2000s around the idea of “selling out”, Nelly’s less commercially fruitful but perhaps creatively intriguing records of the 2010s and what they’d like to see her do next. Finally, Louie and Bianca rank Nelly Furtado in the official Pop Pantheon. Send questions about this episode, the Pantheon, pop star in general or whatever else is on your mind to [email protected] Join the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (2/3) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's Nelly Furtado Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Bianca Gracie on Twitter
2/3/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 40 seconds
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CYNDI LAUPER (with The Ringer's Rob Harvilla)

Senior Staff Writer for The Ringer Rob Harvilla joins DJ Louie for a deep dive into foundational early MTV-era icon, Cyndi Lauper.  First, Louie and Rob parse what made the early 1980s such a crystallizing moment for The Pop Star as we know it today and particularly the role MTV played in taking pop stardom 360°, making it a visual endeavor as much as a musical one. They then breakdown Cyndi’s rough-and-tumble upbringing in Queens and how it established her distinct star persona and voice, her stint as a cover band front-woman honing her skills as a canny interpreter of other people’s songs, and her first breakout attempt as the lead singer of erstwhile new wave band, Blue Angel. Next, they consider her seminal solo debut album, 1983’s She’s So Unusual, how she remade cover songs in her own image, the towering success of her first single “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which both solidified her place in the pop canon but potentially became an albatross around her neck, as well as the versatility she displayed on her second hit, quintessential ‘80s power-ballad “Time After Time”’.  Next, Rob and Louie examine Cyndi's successful sophomore album, 1986’s True Colors, how it cemented both her more overt activist bent and her status as an LGBTQIA+ icon, Cyndi’s third record, 1989’s A Night To Remember, which she’s since referred to as “A Night To Forget”, how she struggled to regain her commercial footing through the ‘90s and ‘00s despite releasing some of her best music and finally, her surprising late-career renaissance as the Tony-Award winning composer of the hit Broadway musical, Kinky Boots. Finally, Louie and Rob rank Cyndi Lauper in the official Pop Pantheon.Send questions about this episode, the pantheon, pop stars in general or whatever else is on your mind to [email protected]!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (1/20) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's Cyndi Lauper Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Rob Harvilla on Twitter
1/20/20221 hour, 30 minutes, 20 seconds
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SELENA GOMEZ (with The New York Times' Joe Coscarelli)

On the premiere episode of 2022, DJ Louie first wraps up last year’s cliffhanger by finally placing Rihanna in the official Pop Pantheon. Then, Pop Music Reporter for The New York Times, Joe Coscarelli, joins Louie to talk Disney-Princess-turned-peculiar-pop-figure, Selena Gomez. First, Louie and Joe dig into just who Selena Gomez’s fans are, how Disney stars have transitioned into pop stars over the last two decades, and Selena’s rise to fame on her Disney show, Wizards of Waverly Place. They then break down the neutered “pop punk” aesthetic of Selena, Miley, and Demi’s music in the late aughts, Selena’s… um…. “band”, Selena Gomez and the Scene, and how their eventual turn towards synthetic dance pop led to  her first crossover hit, 2011’s “Love You Like a Love Song”, and both Selena’s canny pivot towards adult stardom with her role in Harmony Korine’s controversial film, Spring Breakers, and her less successful one with her 2013 solo debut, Stars Dance. They then track how she eventually found a musical aesthetic following the one-two punch of the Lorde-and-Lana-fication of pop in the mid aughts along with her link up with songwriting duo Michaels and Tranter, the artistic revelation of her 2015 sophomore album, Revival, how she functions as a featured artist on late ‘10s hits like “It Ain’t Me” and “Taki Taki”, and each give their takes on her most recent record, 2019’s Rare. Finally, Louie and Joe debate Selena’s position in the official Pop Pantheon.Read Joe's Profile of Selena in The New York TimesJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (1/6) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's Selena Gomez Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Joe Coscarelli on Twitter
1/6/20221 hour, 39 minutes, 43 seconds
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RIHANNA PT. 2 (with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd)

Former Editor-in-Chief of Jezebel and famed author of The Rihanna RihPort, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Is back with DJ Louie for part two of their discussion about the newly anointed Queen of Barbados, Rihanna. Louie and Julianne pick up with Rihanna's 5th album, 2010's Loud, her commercial pop peak and a celebration following the thornier, darker Rated R the previous year. They then analyze what made "We Found Love" the emblematic EDM-pop song and Rih's biggest hit to date, the way she drew from female rappers on salacious hits like "Cockiness (Lick It)" and "Birthday Cake", the alluring fatigue of 2012's sprawling Unapologetic, how she became the superlative celebrity Instagrammer, and her subversive choice to re-unite on record with Chris Brown. Rounding out her career, they consider Rihanna's artistic peak, 2016's startlingly insular Anti, how she's recently applied The Rihanna Thing in non-musical ventures like her lingerie and makeup lines, and her impact on contemporary pop stars, before each sharing their ranking of Rihanna albums. Finally, Louie and Julianne have a lengthy and heated debate about whether Rihanna has ascended to (*gasp*) Tier 1 in the official Pop Pantheon. Ready Julianne's column, The Rihanna RihPort, in JezebelJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (12/16) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!Check Out Louie's Rihanna Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Twitter
12/16/20211 hour, 37 minutes, 33 seconds
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RIHANNA PT. 1 (with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd)

Former Editor in Chief of Jezebel and famed author of The Rihanna RihPort, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, joins DJ Louie for part one of a two-part  discussion about one of the biggest and most dynamic pop icons of the 21st Century, Rihanna. Louie and Julianne get into detail about what exactly the ethereal "Rihanna Thing" is and what allows her to be so versatile with genre before discussing the state of pop and R&B prior to her emergence in 2005 and breaking down the dancehall and reggaeton explosion of the mid-aughts. They then trace Rihanna's discovery by Evan Rogers, her famed audition for Jay-Z, her breakthrough smash with "Pon De Replay", and how her artistry and persona came into full-form on her second and third albums, 2006's A Girl Like Me and 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad. Louie and Julianne dive into Rihanna's penchant for songs about love as tragedy, why her voice was distinctly suited to deliver on the promise of "Umbrella" and what makes it so instantly addictive and recognizable, how she began to establish her singular personal style, the abuse she faced at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown, and the ways she dealt with that on her fourth studio album, 2009's hip hop, rock, and dubstep-inflected Rated R. Join us in two weeks for part two of this discussion, where Louie and Julianne cover the second half of Rihanna's career, rank all of her albums, and debate whether she belongs in Tier 1 of the Pop Pantheon!Ready Julianne's column, The Rihanna RihPort, in JezebelJoin the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (12/2) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT! Check Out Louie's Rihanna Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Twitter
12/2/20211 hour, 30 minutes, 25 seconds
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ONE DIRECTION (with Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos)

Rolling Stone Senior Writer Brittany Spanos joins DJ Louie for a conversation about British boyband, One Direction. First, Louie and Brittany break down how generational waves of boybands have riffed on a similar formula in their performance styles, musical tropes, and teen fandemonium over the last 50 years. They discuss how One Direction both stands in that lineage and break from it, beginning with their formation on the reality show X Factor, use of newly emergent social media platforms to galvanize their massive stan army, The Directioners, and their aesthetic reliance on rock signifiers rather than American r&b. Louie and Brittany then tackle all of One Direction's albums, the culture of Directioner-ism, trace the heavily referential nods they makes towards moments in rock 'n roll history, common subjects of their songs, the bombshell departure of Zayn Malik, and their impact on both boyband and pop history. Finally, Louie and Brittanny rank One Direction in the official Pop Pantheon. Join the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (11/18) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT! Check Out Louie's One Direction Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Brittany Spanos on Twitter
11/18/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 6 seconds
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MINISODE: Answering Your Questions on Charli, Charli, More Charli, Hailee Steinfeild's Career, Katy and Tinashe, Girl Groups and ME!

DJ Louie answers a slew of listener questions about Charli XCX: When will she have her next hit? What does her new single "New Shapes" tell us about the sound of her new record? Who are Louie's dream future collaborators for Charli? And more! He then gives some quick fire answers on Hailee Steinfeild, Katy Perry, Tinashe, Girl and Boy Groups as Pop Stars and one question that's a little more.... personal. Send your questions to [email protected]!Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexivFollow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod
11/11/202124 minutes, 11 seconds
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CHARLI XCX (with Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan)

Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan of the podcast Switched on Pop join DJ Louie to talk one of pop’s great agitators, Charli XCX. Charlie, Nate and Louie parse out the dueling instincts in Charli’s career between her chart-topping ambitions and her impulse to disrupt the boundaries of pop. They situate her debut album True Romance amongst a slew of early ‘10s records treading the line between indie rock and pure pop while tracking what makes her first hit as a writer and feature, Icona Pop’s EDM masterpiece “I Love It”, such a quintessential example of Charli’s strengths as a songwriter, performer and student of popular music. They then ponder why Charli’s second album Sucker underperformed commercially while she simultaneously topped the charts with her A Fault in Our Stars OST single “Boom Clap” and her feature on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, discuss what makes Charli such a great fit in the world of PC Music, how her established pop persona affected the aesthetics of hyperpop, what makes her ongoing collaboration with A.G. Cook and others from his collective singular, and where her new single “Good Ones” signals she may go next. Finally, Charlie, Nate and Louie rank Charli XCX in the official pop pantheon.Send your questions to [email protected]!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (11/4) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT! Check Out Louie's Charli XCX Essentials PlaylistFollow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Switched On Pop on TwitterCheck out Switched on Pop
11/4/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 34 seconds
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POST MALONE (with Larry Fitzmaurice)

Editor, writer and author of the newsletter Last Donut of the Night, Larry Fitzmaurice, joins DJ Louie as the two attempt to understand “pop’s most suffocating presence”, Post Malone. First, Larry and Louie break down Post’s emergence with his debut hit, the post-Drake lament “White Iverson'', his incoherent and often baffling dismissal of criticisms that he appropriates Black musical signifiers and icky attempts to distance himself from the hip hop sounds on which he made his name. They then discuss Post’s ascent to the top of the streaming ecosystem with his blockbuster second record, Beerbongs and Bentleys, how his genreless dirge of music has come to define this era of pop and effectively ended the idea of The Album, his secret strengths as an emo rock, grunge, and nu-metal practitioner, how exactly this unlikely superstar became one of the most listened to artists in the modern pop ecosystem, and whether or not Post Malone actually has fans. Louie and Larry then rank Post in the official Pop Pantheon.Read Larry's Piece "How Post Malone Became Pop's Most Suffocating Presence" in ViceSend your questions to [email protected]!Join the Pop Pantheon Discord Tonight (10/21) at 8PM ET / 5PM PT! Check Out a Playlist of All the Music From This Week's EpisodeNYC: RSVP to See DJ Louie Play Free Afterparties for Who? Weekly's Shows at The Bellhouse 10/22 + 10/23!LA: RSVP to Come See DJ Louie play the Who? Weekly X Pop Pantheon Party on 10/28!Follow DJ Louie XIV on InstagramFollow DJ Louie XIV on TwitterFollow Pop Pantheon on InstagramFollow Pop Pantheon on TwitterFollow Larry Fitzmaurice on Twitter
10/21/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 6 seconds
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MINISODE: Answering Your Questions on Toni, Tamar, Aaliyah, Justin Timberlake and Iconic Pop Stars With Terrible Debut Singles

DJ Louie answers listener questions about whether Gen Z is more familiar with Tamar or Toni Braxton, the Aaliyah rollout on streaming, how Pop Stars having (or not having) obvious musical descendants affects their legacy, what we should call Pop Pantheon listeners, iconic artists whose first single is still their best OR whose first single is their worst, and more.Send your questions to [email protected]!NYC: RSVP to See DJ Louie Play Free Afterparties for Who? Weekly's Shows at The Bellhouse 10/22 + 10/23!LA: RSVP to Come See DJ Louie play the Who? Weekly X Pop Pantheon Party on 10/28!Check out Pop Pantheon Graphic Designer Juan Pilar's Work and Hire Him!Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexivFollow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod
10/14/202123 minutes, 52 seconds
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TONI BRAXTON (with Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak)

Senior Writer for Jezebel Rich Juzwiak returns to Pop Pantheon to talk The Queen of Heartbreak, Toni Braxton. DJ Louie and Rich first break down the craft of melisma, the centrality of “The Voice” in early ‘90s pop, and how Babyface’s sound helped R&B cross over in that period. They then take a journey though Toni’s emergence, the anthems of codependency on her classic debut, her singular contralto voice, her primary motifs as both the heartbroken torch singer and the sultry mid-tempo R&B chanteuse, the agony of “Unbreak My Heart” and the ecstasy of “You’re Makin Me High”, the financial troubles which derailed her career in the late ‘90s, her comeback with “He Wasn’t Man Enough”, and the ups and downs of her discography since. Finally, Louie and Rich rank Toni Braxton in the official Pop Pantheon.Check out Louie's Playlist of Toni Braxton Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2cthF6qdsqr2BeldVZyQLP?si=8fe757c5209f4927Join the Pop Pantheon Discord Chat w/ DJ Louie on 10/7 at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!: https://discord.gg/HxjdKSTUhfSend your questions for next week's Minisode to [email protected]!NYC: RSVP to See DJ Louie Play Free Afterparties for Who? Weekly's Shows at The Bellhouse 10/22 + 10/23!LA: RSVP to See DJ Louie play the Who? Weekly X Pop Pantheon Party on 10/28!Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexivFollow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPodFollow Rich Juzwiak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichJuz
10/7/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 29 seconds
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MINISODE: Answering Your Questions on Britney, The Pantheon and The Best Pop Songs of the Year

DJ Louie answers listener questions about the difference between "pop" as popular music and Pop as a specific genre, the relevance of the Grammys, whether Britney is a Tier 1 Icon or a Tier 2 Megastar, what he thinks of Dua Lipa, whether artists can slide between tiers throughout their careers, lists his favorite songs of the year so far and more. Send your questions to [email protected]! NYC: RSVP to See DJ Louie Play Free Afterparties for Who? Weekly's Shows at The Bellhouse 10/22 + 10/23!LA: RSVP to Come See DJ Louie play the Who? Weekly X Pop Pantheon Party on 10/28! Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexivFollow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod
9/30/202123 minutes, 57 seconds
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JUSTIN BIEBER (with Pitchfork Contributing Editor Rawiya Kameir)

Pitchfork Contributing Editor and Asst. Professor at Syracuse University Rawiya Kameir and DJ Louie get into it about one of contemporary pop’s most divisive figures, Justin Bieber. Louie and Rawiya discuss pop’s evolution beyond the need for male pop stars in the late ‘00s and how Bieber entered to fill the void, initially as one of the first music superstars to emerge on YouTube, and later as a certified hitmaker. They then dive into what makes the Beliebers perhaps the definitive Standom of the internet era, the numerous ways Bieber attempted to pivot to credible adult star in the first part of ‘10s, the implicit racial dynamics in his passion for R&B music as well as attempts by the powers that be to moderate that, how he became the most loathed celebrity on earth before mounting a massive comeback with his 3rd album Purpose, his ongoing knotty relationship to fame and latest incarnation as a chilled-out, proudly devout Wife Guy. Finally, Louie and Rawiya have a thorny debate about where Bieber belongs in the official Pop Pantheon. Check out Louie's Playlist of Bieber Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Gx2Fa46woFqHkJ0LTqiPY?si=5036fcedb6b74a57 Join the Pop Pantheon Bieber Discord Chat w/ DJ Louie on 9/23 at 9PM ET / 6PM PT!: https://discord.gg/xqVe5bsE Read Rawiya's Review of Justice on Pitchfork: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/justin-bieber-justice/ NYC: RSVP to See DJ Louie Play Free Afterparties for Who? Weekly's Shows at The Bellhouse 10/22 + 10/23! Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow Rawiya Kameir on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rawiya
9/23/20211 hour, 34 minutes, 4 seconds
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LORDE (with Billboard's Jason Lipshutz)

Senior Director of Music at Billboard Jason Lipshutz joins DJ Louie to discuss everyone’s favorite off-the-grid alt-pop icon, Lorde. First, Louie and Jason break down the EDM pop and festival boom of the late aughts and early 2010s. They then break down how Lorde’s “Royals” presented an appealing response to that escapist era of pop culture and how the success of her debut album, Pure Heroine, set the stage for an anti-pop movement that’s only gained steam since with acts like Halsey, Billie Eilish, and Olivia Rodrigo, the critical triumph and commercial underperformance of her sophomore album, Melodrama, and how it purposefully de-centered her pop stardom, and they give early opinions on her latest album, last month’s Solar Power. Finally, Louie and Jason rank Lorde in the official Pop Pantheon. Check out Louie's Playlist of Lorde Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4vfnoV3z77iXG1SlrKduZn?si=b2cb2233b6524a4e  Join the Pop Pantheon Lorde Discord Chat w/ DJ Louie on 9/9 at 8PM ET / 5PM PT!: https://discord.gg/e43UF2MZ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow Jason Lipshutz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasonlipshutz
9/9/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 3 seconds
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KYLIE MINOGUE (with HuffPost's Noah Michelson)

DJ Louie is joined by HuffPost’s Noah Michelson to discuss Australian Queen of Pop, Kylie Minogue. Louie and Noah trace the singularity of Kylie’s two-tract pop career: In most of the world, she’s an A+ list arena-trotting superstar with more than three decades of hits and yet here in America, she’s perceived as either a one-hit-wonder or a niche gay icon. They discuss why that is, break down Kylie’s entire career from late ‘80s teenybopper to mid 90s avant boundary-pusher to her later period resurgence with the smash global hit “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and her recent solid run of well-made albums that relish in well-worn Kylie tropes. Louie and Noah then break down Kylie’s influence on the pop stars who came after her like Lady GaGa and Britney Spears, what makes her so beloved amongst the gay community, and the differing requirements for pop stars in America vs. the rest of the world. Finally, they take on the extraordinarily challenging task of ranking Kylie in the Pop Pantheon. Check out Louie's Playlist of Kylie Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5wIrtrsbNMesqLHXcj3IdW?si=9a1f1897a76a4d1e Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow Noah Michelson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/noahmichelson
8/26/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
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CARDI B (with Pitchfork's Clover Hope)

DJ Louie is joined by Pitchfork writer and author of the new book, The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip Hop, Clover Hope, to discuss one of the hottest contemporary rap and pop stars, Cardi B. First, Louie and Clover break down the history of female rappers who operate as bonafide crossover pop stars, beginning with Roxanne Shanté and Salt N Peppa in the ‘80s through Nicki Minaj’s melting of the lines between hip hop and pop star in the last decade. They then discuss Cardi’s emergence as a social media personality, what made her uniquely charming in that space, the singular position of having to translate an established personality into musical form, the surprise success and critical acclaim of her debut album Invasion of Privacy, the unique ways Cardi’s musical career operates as just one aspect of her broader celebrity, and finally the doors she has helped open for the plethora of female rappers currently all operating at once in the pop space. Finally, Louie and Clover debate which tier to place Cardi in in the official Pop Pantheon. Check out Louie's Playlist of Cardi B Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1R2aNuBZHWrjHbuh0gamO2?si=2fc5b3d72eb242a8 Buy Clover's Book The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip Hop: https://www.amazon.com/Motherlode-100-Women-Made-Hip-Hop/dp/1419742965 Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Clover Hope on Twitter: https://twitter.com/clovito
8/12/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 54 seconds
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MAX MARTIN (with The New Yorker's John Seabrook)

DJ Louie is joined by author of The Song Machine and New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook to discuss the greatest pop producer auteur of the modern era, Max Martin. Louie and John discuss Max’s roots in Sweden and why the country is such a historical breeding ground for world-class pop music. They then discuss Max’s initial run a hitmaker in the late ‘90s, crafting the sound of the teen pop boom with Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC, his reinvention in the mid 2000s with his protege Dr. Luke on pop-punk hits like Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”, the duo’s continued, chameleonic radio dominance in the early 2010s with Katy Perry, Britney, and Kesha, and Max’s latest wave of success adding his glisten to the work of already-established superstars like Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. Finally, Louie and John debate the secret to Max’s unparalleled success and what his future looks like now that new stars prize authenticity over his patented brand of airtight pop perfection. Check out Louie's Playlist of Max Martin Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0TnSOt8jOfuWsmMDDspWML?si=3b6a260a796247df Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow John Seabrook on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmseabrook
7/29/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 32 seconds
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CELINE DION (with Call Your Girlfriend's Aminatou Sow)

DJ Louie is joined by writer and co-host of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, Aminatou Sow, to discuss the Queen of the North, Celine Dion! Louie and Amina discuss Celine’s origins in the Francophone recording industry and Amina's early connection to her French music, the different perceptions of schmaltz in French-speaking vs. American popular culture, Celine’s relationship with her husband and manager Rene Angelil, her crossover as one of the biggest divas of the ‘90s, debunk annoying critiques that have dogged her career and denigrated her work, break down what constitutes art in pop music, and so much more. Finally, Louie and Amina debate which tier to place Celine in in the official Pop Pantheon and how to classify bilingual artists who mean different things in different parts of the world. Check out Louie's Playlist of Celine Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6jp9JOwAUu1JBbsAP2ONXW?si=982a51bae903424d Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Aminatou Sow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aminatou/?hl=en
7/15/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 20 seconds
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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE (with Jordan Sargent)

DJ Louie is joined by former Gawker and Spin writer Jordan Sargent for a reassessment of a pop star who really demands one: Justin Timberlake. Louie and Jordan break down the ways Justin’s legacy has been altered by cultural reckonings on white male privilege, cultural appropriation, and his roles both implicit and explicit in harming the careers of Janet Jackson and Britney Spears. They then break down Justin’s gold-standard transition from boy bander to credible adult star and the successful-if-unsavory ways he put a white face on contemporary R&B music with his massively successful debut album, Justified. They also discuss how luck and privilege played into his cultural dominance in the mid aughts, the genuine, daring musical innovation on his smash second album FutureSex/LoveSounds, and how he and his collaborators lost the thread in the latter period of his career. Louie and Jordan then debate if you could tell an abridged history of pop without mentioning Justin and how his fall from grace in the eyes of the general public has affected his standing in the official Pop Pantheon. Check out Louie's Playlist of Timberlake Essentials on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7eualDkxF3g4KbzVzbFEgQ?si=4be24c541900467a Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Jordan Sargent on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jordansarge
7/1/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 40 seconds
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MISSY ELLIOTT (with Steven J. Horowitz)

Returning guest, writer and editor for Billboard, Rolling Stone, Variety, Vulture and more, Steven J. Horowitz, joins DJ Louie to chop it up about pop revolutionary Missy Elliott. Louie and Steven discuss Missy’s entree into the music biz along with partner-in-crime Timbaland as a songwriter and producer for artists like Jodeci, Ginuwine, and Aaliyah. They then break down what makes Missy's music sound as mind-bending today as it did in the late ’90s, why her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, caused such a stir when it was released, her one-of-a-kind video aesthetic and physical presentation, perpetual innovation as she crossed over from hip hop star to pop icon at the turn of the century and why all the great female rappers of Missy’s era stopped creating new music in the mid aughts. Finally, Louie and Steven rank Missy in the official Pop Pantheon. Read Steven's ranking of every Missy song ever in Vulture: https://www.vulture.com/2019/09/best-missy-elliott-songs-ranked.html Check out Steven's appearance on our previous episode on Ariana Grande: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ariana-grande/id1556457357?i=1000512516103 Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Steven J. Horowitz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/speriod
6/17/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 44 seconds
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LADY GAGA (with NY Times Contributor Lindsay Zoladz)

DJ Louie is joined by New York Times Contributor Lindsay Zoladz to discuss Mother Monster herself, Lady GaGa! First, Lindsay drops some EXPLOSIVE ArtPop Hot Goss. Then, Louie and Lindsay dig into GaGa’s meteoric rise to mega-stardom, her bold queering of the pop cultural landscape, debunk some of the annoying critical narratives that plagued initial rise, chart the Pop-altering establishment of the Little Monsters, her musical, presentational, and social media innovations, whether or not ArtPop deserves Justice, and how, in the latter part of her career, she’s morphed from a hit-to-hit pop star into a much grander type of Icon. Finally, Louie and Lindsay debate the BIG question: is GaGa a Tier 2 Megastar or…. *gasp*... has she ascended to the top of the Pantheon as a Tier 1 Icon?! Check out Lindsay's retrospective on the "Telephone" video in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/arts/music/lady-gaga-beyonce-telephone.html Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Lindsay Zoladz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindsayzoladz
6/3/20211 hour, 28 minutes, 16 seconds
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ROBYN (with The New Yorker's Jia Tolentino)

DJ Louie is joined by The New Yorker's Jia Tolentino to talk Niche Pop Icon, Robyn. Louie and Jia explore Robyn's early breakthrough during the teen pop boom of the late '90s with her Max Martin-produced hit, "Show Me Love", before going deep on her re-emergence nearly a decade later as pop's most beloved iconoclast. They break down the contours of her reinvention on her self-titled album in 2005, dig into tracks like "Be Mine!" and "With Every Heartbeat' to pinpoint what exactly constitutes a Robyn song, the crowning achievement of 2010's venerated Body Talk series, the ways "Dancing on my Own" and "Call Your Girlfriend" both define and subvert pop in its' purest form, and how Robyn has reimagined embodying sexuality as a female pop star. Finally, Louie and Jia assess what tier Robyn belongs in in the Pop Pantheon and explore the notion of creating a new tier for artists like her, whose success and influence is somehow greater than traditional pop metrics can measure.  Read Jia's piece on Robyn and "Honey" in the New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/honey-reviewed-robyn-has-returned-and-she-has-what-you-want Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Jia Tolentino on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jiatolentino
5/20/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 12 seconds
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DRAKE (with The WSJ Mag's Myles Tanzer)

DJ Louie is joined by Wall Street Journal Magazine Digital Editor Myles Tanzer for a supersized episode about the Certified Lover Boy himself, Drake. Louie and Myles track the collapsing boundaries between pop and hip hop, Drake’s groundbreaking emergence in the late '00s as a new kind of hip-hop-star-turned-pop-icon, the innovative emotional language of his work along with his singular sonic universe, how his influence has trickled down through pop, and so so SO much more. Finally, Louie and Myles grapple with a HUGE first for the podcast: After over 200 Billboard Hot 100 hits and more than a decade of uninterrupted pop cultural dominance, are they ready to elevate Drake as our first Tier 2 Megastar-to-Tier 1 Icon?! Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Myles Tanzer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mylestanzer
5/6/20211 hour, 22 minutes, 56 seconds
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MADONNA (with Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak)

This week, DJ Louie is joined by Jezebel Senior Writer and Pot Psychology Host Rich Juzwiak to discuss the Queen of Pop, Madonna. Their conversation focuses mainly on Madonna's latter period career, from 2008's Hard Candy through 2019's Madame X, and the ways Madonna's vice-grip on both her artistic muse and Pop writ-large have slipped after 25 years of dominance. Louie and Rich discuss Madonna's strange choice to make Hard Candy with a post-prime Timbaland and Pharrell, debate her legacy as an innovator and clout-chaser, her often cringey Instagram presence, her self-destructive feud with Lady GaGa, how notions Pop and diva-dom have shifted over her nearly four decade (!!) career, and the ideas- or lack thereof- behind her recent albums. Finally- and despite these recent missteps- Louie and Rich discuss Madonna's well-earned position atop the Pop Pantheon, what she could do now to right the ship, and whether she is in fact the greatest pop star of all time. Read Rich's review of Madame X on Pitchfork: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/madonna-madame-x/ Read Louie's review of Madame X on Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/djlouiexiv/madonna-madame-x-pop-music-age-women Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Rich Juzwiak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichJuz
4/22/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 25 seconds
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CARLY RAE JEPSEN (with Who? Weekly's Lindsey Weber)

In episode 3 of Pop Pantheon, DJ Louie is joined by Who? Weekly Co-Host Lindsey Weber to discuss Queen of Everything, Carly Rae Jepsen. Louie and Lindsey discuss Lindsey's pedigree as a JepFriend, including her travels across national borders to see Carly perform with a symphony in faraway Canada and her secret "Call Me Maybe" lip-sync video from 2012. They then get into why "Call Me Maybe" was Carly's only hit, if having your first song be an out-of-nowhere smash is a gift or a curse, the magic of Carly's perfect second album E•MO•TION, and the unique and prescient niche community Carly established around her as perhaps THE emblematic underrated Flop Star. Finally, Louie and Lindsey debate which tier Carly belongs in in the official Pop Pantheon.  Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/djlouiexiv Follow Lindsey Weber on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyweber
4/8/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 34 seconds
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CIARA (with Chris Stedman)

In episode 2 of Pop Pantheon, host DJ Louie XIV addresses the veritable uproar from the KatyCats following last week's episode. He then briefly reviews the concept of the Pop Pantheon tiers before being joined by author and professor Chris Stedman to discuss the Princess of Crunk&B, Ciara. Louie and Chris dissect the idea of "flops" in the context of Chris' Pitchfork piece, "The Enduring Appeal of Pop Stars Who Flop", the trajectory of Ciara's career from centrist pop star to flop to critical darling and gay icon, the unjust tension projected onto women of color in pop who move between genres, and Ciara's resilience and longevity in the fickle and ever-shifting pop landscape over the last twenty years. Finally, they debate which tier Ciara belongs in in the official Pop Pantheon.  Read Chris' piece, "The Enduring Appeal of Pop Stars Who Flop", on Pitchfork: https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/the-enduring-appeal-of-pop-stars-who-flop/  Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/  Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/  Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJLouieXIV  Follow Chris Stedman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisDStedman
3/25/202158 minutes, 6 seconds
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ARIANA GRANDE (with Steven J. Horowitz)

In the debut episode of Pop Pantheon, host DJ Louie XIV briefly introduces the concept and tiers of the Pop Pantheon. He is then joined by music journalist extraordinaire Steven Horowitz- writer and editor for publications like Billboard, Rolling Stone, Variety and Vulture- to discuss all things Ariana Grande: her arrival on the scene as an antidote to the EDM-pop of GaGa and Katy Perry, the benefits and pratfalls of her relationship with hip hop and R&B, where the concept of the "diva" stands in 2021, and the possibility of Ari as the last monoculture pop superstar. Finally, Louie and Steven debate which Tier to rank Ariana in the official Pop Pantheon.  Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/ Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PopPantheonPod Follow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/ Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJLouieXIV Follow Steven Horowitz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/speriod Check out all Steven's writing on: http://www.stevenjhorowitz.com/
3/11/202156 minutes, 22 seconds
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Mini-sode: What Exactly is the Pop Pantheon?

Welcome to the podcast! In this mini-episode of Pop Pantheon, host DJ Louie XIV breaks down how exactly the Pop Pantheon works, tier-by-tier. In each episode of Pop Pantheon, Louie and his guests will break down the career of pop icon, from titans of the genre like Beyonce to..... lesser titans, like Nicole Scherzinger. At the end of each episode, they'll attempt to place each subject in their proper pantheon tier. Is Ariana a Tier 2 Megastar or merely a Tier 3 Superstar? Is Charlie Puth a Tier 5 Niche Legend, or a Tier 4 Blue-Collar Pop Star? And has Taylor ascended to Tier 1 Icon Status yet (a topic of HOT debate)??!! This teaser helps explain what all the tiers are and the criteria for each one. The first official episode drops Thursday! Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PantheonPopFollow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJLouieXIV
3/9/20218 minutes, 12 seconds
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Pop Pantheon Teaser

Welcome to the podcast! In the teaser for Pop Pantheon, host DJ Louie XIV breaks down the format of the show and all the pop music over-analysis you can expect. In each episode of Pop Pantheon, Louie and his guests will break down the career of pop icon, from titans of the genre like Beyonce to..... lesser titans, like Nicole Scherzinger. At the end of each episode, they'll attempt to place each subject in their proper Pantheon Tier. Episode 1 drops this Thursday! Follow Pop Pantheon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poppantheonpod/Follow Pop Pantheon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PantheonPopFollow DJ Louie XIV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djlouiexiv/Follow DJ Louie XIV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJLouieXIV
3/8/20211 minute, 57 seconds