Our fifteenth episode features Mike Foster who is known mostly for his knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle Earth (because of a famed Illinois Central College literature class and numerous essays and interviews on the subject), but who has also been a hardworking writer and journalist for over 50 years. While the questions eventually always wind their way back to hobbits and strange elvish (or is it elven?) names, Mike also has lots to share about teaching, music, and writing a good obituary. Shaped by a lifetime of reading and intensive study Mike speaks with a gentle eloquence always tinged with the wonder of faerie. This is our longest episode yet, but stick around to hear some great stories about the people he has met and dialogued with in the Tolkien Universe.
Radiohead released their new album A Moon Shaped Pool this week. Pastor and author Ryan Hansen joins the podcast to discuss what exactly Radiohead fans expect from Thom Yorke and company every time the iconic and enigmatic band release a new set of songs. We talk about the self-seriousness of Radiohead fans (us included), as well as how their lyrics and music have changed over the years. Do they make protest music or music full of existential despair? We don't exactly get to the answers but it was a fun talk.