Conviction, Season 1: A Podcast by Gimlet Media

Photo by k u on Unsplash

If you hadn’t heard about it, there is a great podcast from Gimlet Media, a Bronx-based production company recently acquired by Spotify for its great content and potential. Gimlet media produces both fictional stories such as The Horror of Dolores Roach and Homecoming (recently released as an Amazon Prime original starring Julia Roberts), and non-fictional ones such as Crime Town and The Clearing among many others. Among all of these excellent shows, Conviction is not the least interesting and well-produced.

Conviction is a true story that follows the life of Manny Gomez, a previous police officer turned into private investigator who tries to help Pedro Hernandez, a teenager awaiting for trial in Rikers Island and whose mother reports has been harassed by the police several times. This first season aired for the first time on February, 2019 and a second season might be coming up soon. I definitely recommend this podcast if you are interested in urban soundscapes and urban narratives related to social justice.

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

You can subscribe for free to Conviction on Spotify, Himalaya, or wherever you listen to podcasts. While you are there, remember to check out our own podcast: UCS Podcasts – urbanculturalstudies, by Professor Benjamin Fraser from the University of Arizona.

Resources

  • If you want to learn more about the podcast, here is an excellent article by the LA Times.
  • The Rolling Stone magazine also published an article on Conviction, which you can find here.
  • If you want to know more about this real-life story, the NY Times article on Many Gomez here.
  • If you want to learn more about Gimlet Media, you can find all their shows on their website here, and a YouTube interview with one of its co-founders, Alex Blumberg, here.

Lisabö’s Urban Soundscapes (music and the city)

Even if you don’t understand the Spanish narration/Basque lyrics, take note of the TWO DRUM KITS in the video–hard sound, great music, and most relevant of all, the title of the album is EZLEKUAK (non-cities) a reference (on purpose or not…) to Marc Augé’s essential reading Non-Places: An Anthropology of Supermodernity [here’s a brief review in The Guardian].

This is one of my favorite bands [here are some more song samples on myspace]. They are from the Basque city of Irun and claim as influences such small-label Anglophone bands as Low, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Shellac, June of 44, and Fugazi.

I’m hoping to publish on the band with 33 1/3’s acclaimed series of books on popular music, but since that is incredibly competitive (and since the Basque theme may put the proposal at a disadvantage–despite the increasing focus on books written in a more academic style), I might have to find another venue. Here’s a draft introduction I wrote for a wider audience:

Lisabö’s Urban Soundscapes

Betwixt, between and across the Pyrenees—the mountain range separating Spain and France—there lie the seven lands of the Basque Country, or Euskal Herria as it is known in the Basque language. None other than noted cineaste Orson Welles (the director of Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons) traveled there in the 1950s as part of a BBC television series titled Around the World. Placing his camera “directly on an international border” of a “little-known corner of Europe,” [link to youtube video] Continue reading