Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department with Juliana Canfield | Crooked Media
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April 24, 2024
Keep It
Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department with Juliana Canfield

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss Taylor Swift’s polarizing 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department, Katy Perry’s doing promo for Elon Musk, tired J Lo jokes, and more. Julia Canfield joins to discuss starring in and learning to become a rock musician for Broadway’s Stereophonic, lasting memories of Succession, and her favorite Fleetwood Mac songs.

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Ira Madison III And we’re back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison the third.


Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel, and I’m priming myself this episode because when we express even 1% of 1% of the negative time, I’m just preparing for my information, my Social security, my address to be on the internet and we are talking about Taylor Swift. So God be with us. I think God has abandoned this conversation altogether, actually. So God’s wherever you were. Thanks for playing.


Ira Madison III Well God’s not on this album.


Louis Virtel No. Everybody else is, though.


Ira Madison III The Tortured Poets Department is the new Taylor album. And of course, she also released the the anthology, her third time dropping, basically a second album, later in the evening. She likes to keep them Swifties awake.


Louis Virtel I fucking guess. Yeah. Meth won.


Ira Madison III It’s giving Nightmare on Elm Street. Okay.


Louis Virtel Dream warrior, Taylor Swift.


Ira Madison III If Swifties don’t wake up with a new album at 3 a.m. they won’t wake up at all.


Louis Virtel Right. I have to say, I always respect, though, when she does her little, like, promotional weirdo gambit where, like, there’s more songs than you thought or whatever. It is always a surprise. Like, because what she does in terms of releases is always so different than other artists. There’s always an element of surprise there. It’s actually always more surprising than what the music turns out to be, usually. So I have to applaud the marketing.


Ira Madison III Well, I mean, listen, like I said before, she’s always taunting Gotham City, like the Riddler, but with all these weird codes and things and how she probably said. And then, of course, there’s other drops in the night, like, you got to be Batman, right?


Louis Virtel Right. Precisely, precisely.


Ira Madison III It is interesting you bring up, like, the promotion thing specifically because, of course, the number one, diva in the game who changed promotion in terms of music was, of course, beyond, say, you know, dropping, self-titled on a Thursday night. And it sort of changed, you know, the music industry to where songs and albums come out on Friday. Right?


Louis Virtel We’re not obeying the rules of the Billboard albums chart, where it’s most optimal to release on Tuesday, because then the numbers come out the next week. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Right. And so it is interesting that Taylor has also managed to create sort of her own ecosystem of how she releases things as well.


Louis Virtel Right? No, she’s her own music industry. You can basically be a fan of Taylor Swift, and that can be your entire musical diet now. And you’ve never heard of anything else? I don’t recommend that, but I’m just saying it can happen.


Ira Madison III I mean, I, I should really read you that Regency sketch. Yeah. About the Swifties and maybe they will. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Yeah. I don’t think we’re done with that world of, intrigue yet.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Honestly, getting into this episode, I feel like you could kind of make an anthology of our discussions of her albums because we’ve done this show for over six years now. And so it is interesting every time we get to a different Taylor album, the discussion that surrounds it. And our last one, of course, with Midnights, which we described, I described personally as, I thought it was a fine album. I’ve grown to kind of dislike it more, as time has gone on. But I called it nonessential. Yeah. I think that there were some songs that I enjoyed when it came out, particularly the 3 a.m. tracks, and I enjoyed Lavender Haze quite a bit. I’ve never liked Anti-Hero, to be honest, and I think that as time has gone on. I haven’t even picked up other swords, because, you know, sometimes that’ll happen when you sort of don’t like an album, right? And then a couple of years later or so. Oh, I actually do listen to a couple songs on this. They’ve grown on me. Nothing has grown on me.


Louis Virtel That’s what I was just saying about the, Kacey Musgraves album that just came out. I thought I just totally didn’t like it at first. And now, like Kardinal, I’m like, oh, that’s the 70s I want to hear. And, Jade green has a tizzy about it, like a light leafy tizzy thing going on that I’ve now acquired. But that didn’t happen to me at first. And actually, a similar story for me is this album, which we’ll get into momentarily.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but Midnights has not grown on me whatsoever. This, I will say, probably a little bit similar to your Kacey Musgraves thing. This album has been sticking with me a bit more than I expected, but we’re going to get into the entirety of the Tortured Poets department this episode. And then we are also going to talk to the fantastic Juliana Canfield, who is starring in Stereophonic on Broadway, the sensation that just hit Broadway right now. And it is a play about a Fleetwood Mac esque band recording an album, in the 70s and what it’s supposed to be. A one month recording process becomes a years long recording process because their album keeps going up in the Billboard charts. And they keep getting more money from Columbia to record the album. In the play, they even referenced that this album has a bigger budget than Pink Floyd did on their album. Right.


Louis Virtel So it’s interesting, first of all, when you read about stereophonic, the play, almost all the actors in this play had no musical experience beforehand. They were like trained and coaxed into being these sensational superstars, superstardom evoking performers. So that’s just amazing too. But also recently, I’ve become obsessed with the mamas and the Papas, you know, the folk band of the 60s.


Ira Madison III You’ve been posting a lot of Kas.


Louis Virtel Yes. Yeah, Kas always one of my favorite vocalists, but I’m really into her right now. And I learned recently that, one of their last albums, they have a song that’s not one of their best at all, called For the Love of Ivy. And by the time that album had come out, they spent a month just on the vocals for that song, for a song you don’t even care about. So I’m thinking about that like the hell of just being stuck in a recording booth trying to get something right, even when it doesn’t turn into like one of your essential hits. You know, not every album turns into rumors. Most albums don’t turn into rumors.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And it’s it’s also so interesting watching this play. I saw it last night at, the Golden Theater. It was my second time seeing it, because I saw that Playwright’s Horizon as well when it was Off-Broadway. So much of the tension in recording an album like that during that time period is also you got to get it right. It’s being released on vinyl back then, so you also need a certain amount of songs, and you also can’t go over a certain amount of songs, like there Is a Time Limit. So it was funny watching this living in the era of the Tortured Poets department, which has 31 fucking songs on it.


Louis Virtel Now she just backs up another truck and you’re like covered in songs again.


Ira Madison III Meanwhile, in stereophonic, as would have happened with Fleetwood Mac, as what would have happened with the mamas and the Papas and everyone else making music around this time, it’s debates about what are we cutting? Because it’s not all going to fit on this album, and it’s if you don’t have enough for a double album, then you got to cut a bunch of shit.


Louis Virtel I’m having now flashbacks to being an editor at the newspaper and, the University of Iowa. Oh, God, down to it.


Ira Madison III Jesus Christ.


Louis Virtel I remember. I’m sorry. I’m gonna put somebody on blast right now. My coeditor, Joanna, a lovely writer, Jenna Sauer. She worked for Jezebel for a while. She came in with, like, an 86 page story, and it was supposed to be 20. And I’m just sitting.


Ira Madison III There.


Louis Virtel Like. Like, imagine all The President’s Man except Jason Robards is just crying to himself like a fagot. That’s me. That was me at the table trying to figure this out, and I imagine writing albums was similar. You’d get this many inches of space.


Ira Madison III Literally not you unlocking that evil memory for me of high school and college newspapers, I was the entertainment editor at our high school paper, and of course, my friend Andy Barrons, who was the editor in chief at the time, was I was like, if you do not edit these things down, I had a call up to and it was always cutting out words to make things fit.


Louis Virtel And there’s going to be no adverbs in this by the time we’re done. Trust me. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Now who gives a fuck right now? Just wrote online.


Louis Virtel Have I do the other half of it?


Ira Madison III Yeah. All right, so when we’re back, we’re going to get into this album.




Ira Madison III Swifties can finally put down their Codex because the album is here and you can also put down your guns.


Louis Virtel We come in peace.


Ira Madison III The Tortured Poets Department dropped Friday night and then dropped again at 2 a.m. with 15 more tracks. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Going up to 31 tracks. I will say this about the album to start. I think I had the same initial reaction a lot of people did, which was this is her worst album and these songs all sound the same. I was surprised upon further listens, that it does have some legs and songs that you thought kind of didn’t have. Hooks actually had seeped into your brain a little bit. So it’s sort of rising in my estimation. But at the same time, this is, I think, one of her lower rated albums in recent history, like Pitchfork gave it something in the six zone. Metacritic is just not as high as her, previous albums.


Ira Madison III Pace magazine did a drive by.


Louis Virtel Oh yeah. Oh my God. They straight up said that’s the end of her. She was covered in paste.


Ira Madison III And then took off the byline. Because of course, there was the thing that. Yeah, we joked about it already, you know, it was like, put it out of God. But, you know, there is this sense that Swifties, send death threats or threaten people for daring to say that something by, Heir Swift is not good.


Louis Virtel Swift. Oh my God. I just want to say, before we get into it, like all of my favorite artists that I constantly, bring you up on the show Madonna, Liz Phair, Alanis Morissette, Aimee Mann, Joni Mitchell, whatever they have, all come up with some of my favorite music. The reason I’m, for instance, hosting a show like Keep It is because I love that music so much. All of those people have also come up with some of my least favorite music that I. Okay, you know what I’m saying? Like being a fan of somebody, I think you should have an enhanced sense of what they are able to do and are, and that should make you able to criticize them even more and even further. It shouldn’t be. I’m afraid to engage with the idea that they gave less than an A+ effort. You know, I think actually one of the reassuring things about life is that everybody is capable of being bad. You know, like Bob Dylan has bad albums and Bruce Springsteen has bad albums. I don’t care about The Ghost of Tom Joad. I don’t care about The Grapes of Wrath that much. You know what I’m saying?


Ira Madison III How many times have I on this show as more than a card carrying member of the beehive? Like, I’m. I’m an enforcer. Yes. You know, I shoot people who are listening to Cowboy Carter. Enough. How many times have I said that I hate? I am Sasha Fierce, and it’s also an album that feels overstuffed like this. There are a lot of things I love about I am Sasha Fierce. I mean, diva is on that album, you know, and it is also just kind of a mess and a collection of songs and, I don’t know, I fucking love The Strokes. And have they released a good album in years? I’m working on Arctic Monkeys chart. Okay, but the funny thing about the sort of like Taylor Swift ecosphere is the fact that. So many of her fans. And I guess, listen, when you do love, an artist so much and you relate to her, you do sort of get defensive of like things that you love, but there’s just been sort of this parasocial relationship that has been built up so much to the point where. Any criticism of her feels like an affront to you. And so there’s always this defensiveness of, you can’t say that the music is bad. You can’t say that you don’t like something because it is what? It’s it’s anti-feminist, it’s misogynistic. It’s you know, there are obviously people who hate Taylor Swift and talk about hating her a lot online in very gross ways, you know, that are awful. But there’s always this conflation of that with any valid critique of. Right.


Louis Virtel Yeah. I also think in general, like The Phantom of Taylor Swift, it’s a little bit more like being a fan of a book series or something where she creates kind of a world they like being in. You know, how it’s like even in the past two albums, actually going back to 1989, there is this kind of comforting, enchanted, to everything. There’s like moody sense to everything. There’s literally a calming effect to the world she brings. And I feel like that’s that thing she does. Even though there are personal lyrics. And you do, I guess, learn about her through these songs. I really think even her biggest fans know she’s kind of playing a character, and these scenarios she’s drying out have sort of a literary vibe, and so it’s more like being invested in something like Gray’s Anatomy, where you’re like, I’ve been involved with this thing for so long. I want to know where these characters go. You know what? How what are you going to say this time? You know, or like being a fan of a soap or something to put it in your language.


Ira Madison III I tweeted this where the album first dropped. You know, I said, this is like she’s a fucking 1617 of Gray’s Anatomy. Oh, really? I guess it’s like it’s like, okay, girl, it’s I, I get what’s going on at Seattle Grace, but where’s Bridgerton? Yeah, right. Oh like like get like give us something different. And the soap opera thing is actually really interesting because my friend, Angelina Burnett, who says she got to be you at the Writers Guild Awards.


Louis Virtel Where I lost. Yes


Ira Madison III Sorry, but you knew that I was going to happen.


Louis Virtel No. Right, right, right. Because John Oliver keeps existing. It’s so annoying.


Ira Madison III She described it to me as a soap opera, too. She was like, it’s very similar to the way that, well, me, but also our moms and our grandmothers would watch the same soap opera every day at it is. The sort of the exact same story lines happening day after day, year after year, decade after decade. I am watching Days of Our Lives on Peacock this morning, and it is the same fight between Nicole and Kristen that has been happening for years. And there’s a comfort, obviously, in knowing these characters and knowing where the stories are going. You know, it’s sort of you could half pay attention to it, but, you know, there are sublime moments where either there’s a really good piece of acting or a really fun piece of writing, or a storyline twist in a way that you weren’t expecting. That really sort of moves you, or a character comes back, and revisits a very emotional story that you used to love, and it sort of really hooks you. You know, I’m not ever judging a swiftie from, like, feeling emotional from listening to her music. You know, I cried when a character dies on Days of Our Lives. You know, I get it. But I also do not feel vitriol for people who say Days of Our Lives is not top tier television because it’s not succession.


Louis Virtel Right, right. I also think in terms of why this album is getting received less well, including by, I think, the both of us.


Ira Madison III We’re tired.


Louis Virtel There’s that. But also it’s like the title The Tortured Poets Department. She wants there to be an emphasis on the words themselves and even the way she delivers it, that kind of conspiratorial, like I’m whispering it to a friend or just a close group of people, like she’s submitting it for the approval of the Midnight Society, right? Leaning into a group of people sitting around a fire. You know. When you’re focusing that much on the lyrics and they’re so in the vein of everything she’s done before, and it’s still about being this particular, melancholic relationship with some guy who’s like, kind of a prick. And we’re on the outs and can we make it work? And I’m getting over him, and I’m also a ghost. I think there’s just not enough new there to kind of get into the A range in terms of grading this album, you know what I mean? It just is too much a fixation on where we’ve been and in the kinds of relationships she’s already had. I didn’t see much in the way of effort to have like to talk about a new topic. I kind of want to give Taylor Swift just a handful of things that have nothing to do with her previous albums. Please just talk about whatever the continent of Australia go. I just I don’t even know what you go say something. Say something new about this.


Ira Madison III Can we play that improv game where we just shout out words and then she has to make a song?


Louis Virtel Yeah. Dang. I’m sure she’d be great at it, to be honest.


Ira Madison III What does she think about tapioca pudding?


Louis Virtel Yeah, I don’t like it. My pudding should be smooth. That’s my feeling.


Ira Madison III Getting into the content of the album. What is going on with Florida? Because confusion is a new topic for her. Yeah, that’s right. Fortnite. The first song starts out with, she’s playing a bit of a character here. She has a song with Post Malone. It’s the lead single. The video is obviously inspired by Poor Things. She’s friends with Emma Stone, and, she recreates poor things with Post Malone. And, you know, I love you know, I love Austin Post. So love was one of my favorites on it. It does it hit the heights, you know, not to do the Beyonce comparison. It does. It hit the heights of Levi’s jeans. Quite so. It’s sort of very it’s sort of very snow on the beach. The original version. There aren’t a lot of Post Malone vocals going on.


Louis Virtel And I just want to say, by the way, that the Lana comparisons with this album I find unavoidable. Like it is kind of going for a Lana Del Rey thing.


Ira Madison III Yes. But she’s kind of playing this character, you know, they’re talking about being neighbors and like this sort of affair and imagining things. But there’s this line another fortnight lost in America, move to Florida by the car you want. And then of course, there’s the song Florida three exclamation points with Florence and Machine. And it’s that’s a new topic. And I’m wondering what’s going on with Florida.


Louis Virtel Maybe that’s the theme for the next album, because it is. I don’t associate her with Florida in any way, and it’s a fraught state here in the in 2024. So in my mind, this is controversial on her. Be fair to say in terms of things Taylor Swift does that I’m a little sick of, invoking things like curses and snakes and lightly paranormal things. You know how you can’t stop talking about how you went to tech? It’s kind of like she can’t stop talking about how she went to Hogwarts, you know what I mean? It’s like all in the universe of Harry Potter lands, somehow it makes you feel like the whole thing is a little bit for like a Disney adult. You know, there’s that sense of in her writing that this is always for people who are younger than she is, which is a savvy move. And she’s, by the way, done that sense, of course, on fearless. She wrote a song at about 20 years old for people who are 15, as if she had just been there, which is so smart, right? Like I was just there. Let me tell you how it went. I still feel like that’s the permeating feel of a lot of her music.


Ira Madison III It was a spell. Yes, actually, at all. And every swiftie is 15 forever. There is this sort of arrested development that happens with the fan base, and it is sort of how it. It’s a genius, to be honest. You know, when you look at the eras tour, how huge that was, that it’s there’s always going to be new, younger fans who are getting into the music because of the themes, but then also the adults who continue to listen to it can always sort of feel like they have a safe place.


Louis Virtel You know, it’s like you get this hall pass from adulthood through her music.


Ira Madison III And, obviously, you know, there’s the snake stuff too, which is connected to Kim Kardashian and that entire reputation era. Her best album, by the way, for me, mostly because what do you think about her maudlin lyrics? Right. You sort of what a pair them with really fun, interesting production. And I think that the blend of Max Martin and then also Antonoff, Jack Antonoff doing some of his best work on reputation is what makes it work. You have songs like Dancing with Our Hands Tied, Getaway Car like these lyrics are fun, even ready for it, you know, which is, Burton to his Taylor like. Like she’s funny and making interesting pop culture references on that album. You know, edits. There are really good lyrics on this album. There’s just so much to sort of seep through, and I feel like my main problem with this album kind of really has nothing to do with her lyrics or her singing or the content. To be honest, I’m just really sick of Jack Antonoff production.


Louis Virtel Knowing he worked on it from the first sense. You hear, you kind of know what the whole album will be. And by the way, it’s so much album. So additionally, I want to say on that front, you brought up max Martin my personal taste. I think Taylor Swift is at her best lyrically. When she’s writing to a tight hook, it forces her to be cleverer and like, then you remember the sentiment and it’s way more damning. Whereas on this, the I’m going to call the style of writing here doggerel. You know, it’s like not, it’s one line will be extremely long, the the next will be short. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s not metered the way a normal pop song is. That’s a very particular type of writing that I think not many artists have excelled that, like, I think of someone. I hate to invoke Joni Mitchell because when people bring up Joni Mitchell in this conversation, you may as well say, well, Taylor Swift is no John Steinbeck. I mean, they have nothing in common, you know what I mean? It’s like a completely different universe. And the instrumentation alone and how Joni wrote to those like her quote unquote weird chords.


Ira Madison III First of all, reputation is better than Of Mice and Men, so she ain’t that.


Louis Virtel Take that, George, take that. Lanny. But, but I just like Blank Space, for example, of 1989. The melody is so punchy, and the lyrics, while talking to this guy, whoever it is, each little, like, synthy star in the music pops and makes you think about the situation and you’re in it and the drama is so enhanced. Whereas here, the way she’s sort of sliding through these long, lugubrious sentences, very adverb heavy, doing the thing I also don’t like. She does like mixing too many cliches. Like even the song titles on half of this are like, like cliches that you’d see on the internet from the past five years. You know, the I hate It here style lyrics. It all feels borrowed from the same word bank.


Ira Madison III Yeah, he only breaks his favorite toys. But daddy, I love him.


Louis Virtel Three different songs in this album take place on a playground. To get back to the juvenilia of it all. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I really like what you said about the the, blank space, particularly because, okay, this is this is gonna sound weird, but. I think she’s best when she’s sort of a rapturous, you know, twisting in the sense that, okay, the song down bad, which.


Louis Virtel I enjoy, I enjoy.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Of course wise it feels very reputation. It’s just these the sickness of now I’m down bad crying at the gym. Yes everything comes out.


Louis Virtel Teenage petulance, acknowledging the Patriots to good move and then the fuck it if I can’t have him like that’s memorable. Yeah.


Ira Madison III When she is almost rapping because you know what he rap there is you know there is the there’s the count of the beat. There’s like, you have to stay audit, you have to get these words out quickly. Edits. That’s why you love sort of rappers who are sort of verbose, you know, like a T.I. or like a Busta Rhymes or something. Or like Nicki with her, triple entendres and things. Right? It’s it’s more memorable because you are fitting it with into the confines of the beat, the hook, etc. and when she has to stay in sort of a rigid framework, I think her music really excels when she is. Just unspooling. Without without an essay. Word count is where she loses me.


Louis Virtel Right. I mean, I can only think of a few artists in history who, like, will squeeze in tons of extra syllables, and I think there’s artistic merit to it. Like, I think a little bit of, Alanis Morissette second album, supposed former Infatuation Junkie, which is just an album filled with monologues, you know. Thank you. The song, which is naked in the video that’s as collected a pop song as you get on that album. Everything else is sort of a monologue, and that’s, I think, an album you have to acquire. If I’m a music critic, listening to that on 1 or 2 lessons, I’d probably be like, what did this fucking trip to India do to this woman? I’m sure she’s lost her goddamn mind, but it’s something I’ve acquired over time. And I do have to say again, I feel like this album will have legs in that way. You know, if there’s that much material to absorb. I think over time, you can only sort of get a little bit more of it with every listen. And so it can feel like appreciating something. But I just don’t think there’s enough topics on this album to really warrant, you know, a really enriching multiple listens.


Ira Madison III When we’re back, even more Taylor Swift, if you could believe it.




Ira Madison III Now what I will say, topic wise, what is interesting to me on the album is the fact that everyone was expecting this to be a anti Joe Alwyn album.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III And so much of it is actually about Matty Healy at it’s of course there’s more to talk about from even a short relationship with a, the frontman of a rock band, you know, like that’s, that’s gonna instill shit to talk about within anybody. You know, famously throughout history, being screwed over by a male rocker has given, many of our favorite artists some shit to talk about.


Louis Virtel We, in fact, get into this with Juliana Canfield. So looking at us.


Ira Madison III Ignoring the juvenile ness of “but, daddy, I love him” the title. I find that song so fun and interesting because, this is her sort of fighting back against the Swifties in a sense. She’s, you know, she’s talking almost a bit like she’s angry that they’ve forced her to stop dating this guy who was probably, you know, giving her some of the best sex of her life.


Louis Virtel Apparently, yes.


Ira Madison III You know, and then she’s joking about. But, daddy, I love him. I’m having a baby. No, I’m not, but you should see your faces. That’s fucking funny.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. And a change up like a kind of sardonic humor. You don’t normally hear from her either. I would love for her to dip further into a sort of mean spirited humor again. Yeah, if she dunks on the Swifties way more often, that’s just going to play well with me, you know, because she knows that she knows the fan base again. The average person on the street, not even the average fan of Taylor Swift. The average person on the street is a Taylor Swift zealot. You know what I mean? If she goes down the street, she’s running into somebody who has, like, violence in their eyes. If they see her, they’re so obsessed with her.


Ira Madison III Okay. There’s lawyers, Pharisees and Swifties.


Louis Virtel Now you’re writing like Joni Mitchell.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I also really like this are so high school.


Louis Virtel That now that has a hook in it, by the way, and I love the vocal on it. I actually have to say, I think her vocals on this album are one of the best parts of it. Like, oh, obviously. Like, I think the X factor of 1989 is the mix of the melancholy sense with her, what she’s doing with her voice, that talky, again conspiratorial thing that just meshes really well. And of course, always reminds me of that song from the movie drive. What what’s that about? Is it called college? Is the name of the band or what? I can’t believe I can’t remember that, but that, I think, is always a landmark song that she’s kind of referencing with what she does.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I definitely get that when you talk about her voice, because obviously someone who becomes a very successful musician, obviously there’s something you like about hearing them, you know, and there’s just really something that what really digs into you about how it was with us. Just like, I like her voice and I like the things that she does with it. And there’s certain ways that she says lyrics are words that stick in your head, and that is why you enjoy listening to her. And I think that, like I said, she’s funny. I enjoy so high school lyric wise, too, you know? I feel so high school every time I look at you referencing, I’m watching American Pie with you on a Saturday night.


Louis Virtel Too vivid. Been there too vivid.


Ira Madison III And then also there’s my favorite song on the album. I look in people’s windows and this is, Thank God, a song that she made with, Patrick Berger, a different producer, for once. And he’s worked with Charli XCX before. So, you know, I like the sound of it. And I also like the lyrics just because, you know, there’s obviously there’s only so many ways that you can describe a relationship that failed and thinking about it. But I like when she dips into her sort of like creepy weirdo persona and the lyrics of I look in people’s windows in case you’re at their table, or if your eyes looked up and met mine one more time, like the image of this bitch walking through the streets of New York and peering in windows of the people who she knows are exes, friends with is is. It’s voyeuristic. It’s fun to me. Like, I like the weirdness of that song.


Louis Virtel It reminds me of that image of Nicole Kidman walking down the street on surveillance footage in that show, the under, Hugh Grant. And then she maybe she turns right to the camera and a creepy people are with you, right? But speaking of Charlie, as as you said, how about the namedrop of Charlie Puth on Tortured Poets department, where, first of all, I think that’s the worst lyrics on the album. Just that whole song. It’s a lot of like. It’s like fitting, like chunky like clauses and phrases into like what should otherwise be a very short stands. That just does. It’s like an attempt to sound interesting and instead it’s just confusing anyway. But she says in the song, Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist now if she wants to get on my side. Standing Charlie Puth is exactly what she should be doing. Because even after that last album, which we, you know, was up and down for us, and by Up and down, I do mean down.


Ira Madison III Loser was a highlight though.


Louis Virtel Yes, I enjoy that. And Light Switch I enjoy, but, what do you think Charlie Puth felt about that?


Ira Madison III I don’t know because he hasn’t really responded to it yet either. But that is. At first I was wondering, is this a diss or is it?


Louis Virtel It does feel lightly shady, like the world’s biggest celebrity being like, oh, he should be a little bit bigger, you know?


Ira Madison III Yeah. But also my response to it was okay then. So rock it.


Louis Virtel Where’s the feature?


Ira Madison III Collab with him.


Louis Virtel Yeah, ummhmm.


Ira Madison III Okay. Because he is a really good pop song writer, you know, and sometimes, you know, artists like you, like we said like get into the round head, and sort of like lose the forest for the loser. Trees for the forest, or is it forest for the trees? They lose. It’s something. It’s FernGully up in this bitch. Okay? Like the whole. The whole jungle. The whole rainforest is being raised. And, be as a huge Charlie Puth. Fahad. You know, I’ve admitted, like, you know, the album, which I like initially quite a bit. And maybe I liked it initially, you know too, because that’s I also met him like, around that album. It all comes out well and it was, it was interviewing him, you know, like there was there’s something different that felt, there was a different sensation of how I consume that album as opposed to how I consumed his other ones. But I haven’t really revisited it, you know? And that’s also a thing about acknowledging that some of your favorite artists aren’t making music that sticks with you. Or like, sometimes they had, a misstep, you know? But he does know how to write a pop hook, you know, and he’s written so many fantastic pop songs that I think that, you know, a collaboration with Charlie would be fun to see Taylor work with him. Or, you know, bring back Saint Vincent two. Because Saint Vincent did Cruel Summer with her.


Louis Virtel Right. Which we cannot get off the fucking charts. Jesus Christ, I’m going to come there with, like, a scraper and try to, like, pull it off the Hot 100. I was blown away recently to learn that Tate McRae’s Greedy is still like in the top 20. Girl. I was listening to that at Thanksgiving. Let’s move this along.


Ira Madison III I was shocked yesterday to discover that Hozier is number one.


Louis Virtel Number one! What we left him at church.


Ira Madison III He said, take me to church and were like, okay, but I gotta go.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. My Uber is going this way about.


Ira Madison III Yeah. The last time I used Uber Share was to get Hozier’s church.


Louis Virtel He thanks you. I guess it worked out for him.


Ira Madison III But this new song of his is. I guess my friend was like, it was blowing up on TikTok, you know? Which is which. That’s the one when when anything is hitting the charts. But this TikTok shit is no joke. Okay, I played this song and I was like, okay, it’s fine. I’m probably never going to listen to it again in my life. And then I’m, you know, looking at other shit on my phone, what have you. I realize the song has been playing for, like, maybe 32 hours. Half an hour. I didn’t stop it. It just got stuck in my brain. And I liked the repetitive ness of it. And I didn’t press stop. I didn’t even notice it was still play.


Louis Virtel You know, a song that’s still huge. That is the same thing for me. Is that Jack Harlow song Loving On Me? Like you start playing that. Oh, I’m walking through target. Oops. I’m going to play it 46 times because it’s only a minute and eight seconds or whatever.


Ira Madison III You know what got me off of that song? Seeing like, wiggas on TikTok?


Louis Virtel My favorite word from my when I was 11 years old. My favorite. I mean, not my favorite.


Ira Madison III But seeing them make TikTok videos, trying to be sexy to that Jack Harlow song, I was like, baby I. I thought I had a thing for white boys, baby I don’t. Yeah.


Louis Virtel That’s over now, thank God. Call Taylor. The curse has left that.


Ira Madison III They call me white man’s enemy after that. Okay.


Louis Virtel I should say, by the way, that, Charlie Puth, among the many great songs he’s written, is the very underrated Small Talk by Katy Perry, one of my favorite singles of her. That’s very like low octane, like it’s not going for the, mammoth Heights of Teenage Dream or California Girls. Such a good song though.


Ira Madison III Much better, though, is Harleys in Hawaii, which he also did. And can you imagine? First of all, that song is so fucking good, to be honest. And can you imagine if Taylor had done Harley’s in Hawaii?


Louis Virtel What an honor that was.


Ira Madison III As big as cruel summer. That’s true. Summer ask.


Louis Virtel By the way, Katy Perry will be coming back to haunt you this episode during my keep it so we can put a pin in that for now.


Ira Madison III Speaking of Katy Perry, though, another reason that Taylor was sort of so interesting around that 1989 reputation era, I’m sorry to say, pitting women against each other was all the shit. And the feud with Katy Perry, because it was a diversion from her usual topic of singing about ex-boyfriends, you know? There was something else going on. There was anger at someone. There was a beef. There was, you know, something that people could direct their attention to. And I’m like, who else is going to piss off Taylor? Okay. Katie and Katie lost. Who else is going to do it?


Louis Virtel By the way, can I just say. Nothing upsets me more than when people use the verbiage or rhetoric. Stop pitting women against each other. It always feels to me like stands being like, stop bringing up other artists. It’s like, just because you haven’t heard of anybody doesn’t mean we haven’t. Sorry. Okay. Like, I listen to music because it fits into a collage of what I’ve already listened to before. It’s necessary for me to compare it to other music, so I have the words to describe it, basically. So if all that’s in your universe is one artist, again, it’s probably you who has the problem. And again, these are the people who are always like, they’re lashing out at some writer, somebody, who wrote the review for The Washington Post said this like, I’m a middle aged man, like, you know, you say, this isn’t for me. Who cares about my opinion when it’s like, no, I don’t care about a stans opinion. You have to like it for whatever reason. You think you need to like it and then spread it around as if it’s gospel when it has nothing to do with reality. Because you think this is like your best friend, Yolanda.


Ira Madison III What does my mom have to do with this? I was referring to Saldivar, but. Okay. Yeah. My mother also tried to shoot me. Yeah. I also, I really hate when people try to level that, gay gay men or, like, even especially us here. Right? You’re hitting two women against each other. Would you do that to a man? First of all, all we do is pit men against each other.


Louis Virtel It’s called sports. I mean it literally. Everything we do, we love how men are pitted against each other. Every movie is about men pitted against each other.


Ira Madison III All we do is pit hot men against each other online all day.


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah. What do you want them to do? Lay around statically. No action is exciting.


Ira Madison III I am switching back between two OnlyFans pages in the middle of the night. Okay. Someone’s got away.


Louis Virtel I did not mean to divert us here. If. Don’t write the letter, write the letters to that side of the screen.


Ira Madison III Okay. Yeah. There is just something about beef. Okay. And I want to talk about. A bubbling like. I don’t know if it’s beef, but I think the girls should be paying more attention to Kim, Petras and Slater.


Louis Virtel What’s happening.


Ira Madison III Guys?


Louis Virtel Because first of all, they diverted from the same chromosome. They burst out of the same manic, panic dyed womb.


Ira Madison III Of course. Do you remember that Slater was supposed to be releasing a Miami based project? She was teasing it. And then somehow Miami came out, and then now we haven’t heard the of project.


Louis Virtel That’s very strange. Especially since I don’t feel like anybody is really looking out for slow pop Miami. So you can just go ahead and put out that Miami project.


Ira Madison III Baby Kim wasn’t looking for it.


Louis Virtel Those songs, I mean, and again, calling them songs is what they are. She is certainly horny. I said, Andrew W.K. is to partying. She is to gay sex. Like the song titles are like gay sex now more gay sex, anal rimming.


Ira Madison III She’s my browser history. Yeah that’s right. Okay. Could you type in.


Louis Virtel That right into Google? That’s too bad.


Ira Madison III Yeah, yeah. Listen, I mean, she is the Mae West of our time short.


Louis Virtel All right, all right.


Ira Madison III Are you ready for a rim job is basically. Why don’t you come up me sometime, okay.


Louis Virtel And why don’t you go up and see me in my third.


Ira Madison III I met her.


Louis Virtel Let’s talk about this Kim song for a moment, which is called thank you, Amy. First of all, Amy is Britney Spears culture. If you’re going to bring up Amy in a song title, you’re tangling with that. First of all, this is a differently spelled Amy. But notably in the title, K, I and M are capitalized because she wants her fans to be what they are, which is the world’s dumbest detectives who need everything spelled out for them.


Ira Madison III Like.


Louis Virtel You know, you know, that’s no man movie. Like, I gave you all the clues. She’s like, I’m giving you the clues.


Ira Madison III I mean, they’re sort of like the number 79 Ladies Detective agency.


Louis Virtel They’re like in Botswana, but, like.


Ira Madison III Nearly unemployed.


Louis Virtel They met Jill Scott once.


Ira Madison III Screams fuck you, Amy, to the night sky as the blood was gushing. But I can’t forget the way you made me here. And it wasn’t a fair fight or a clean kill. Each time that Amy stomped across my grave. And then she wrote headlines in the local paper laughing at each baby step I take. And it was always the same searing paint. Like it’s this the La Laredo story? Yeah.


Louis Virtel Yeah, none of those. It’s it’s all like melodrama and, like, stepping on graves. And it’s just, it just. She’s been doing that for ten, 15 years. I have to say about Taylor Swift, I am curious what she does in the next five years, though. These lyrical references are so embedded in teenager dumb and in childhood in a way where it’s just, I you could do that for the rest of your career, but I’m just curious what she will sound like in five years. I think that’s I think it has yet to be told what her world of lyricism will sound like.


Ira Madison III Also, one thing about this song is she’s a liar. So I changed your name and any real defining clues. And one day your kid comes home singing a song that only us two is going to know is about you. Because all the time you were throwing punches, it was all for nothing. First of all, anytime you write a song that’s about Kim, your fans are going to know, okay, Kim will know it’s about her.


Louis Virtel Right? Yeah, there’s definitely no such thing as a song that only she knows is about somebody, right? Like there’s too many people on the case. People who are in the 2 or 3 ladies. Detective agencies are also available. And decoding things.


Ira Madison III I like when she’s petty, though, like it’s fun.


Louis Virtel Petty is like a legit personality trait. Like some of these things, it just feels like inventing a character as opposed to expressing a real personality. So when you get into pettiness and thinking, oh, I might actually be getting to know her a little bit here.


Ira Madison III All right, why have the lie like, you don’t have to lie to kick it here, Taylor. Like, just actually say, remember what you dragged me with your husband, who you’re now divorced from. And now also North sings my songs, bitch.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III That that hits.


Louis Virtel It is very unusual that she just capitalized the words. Like what? I mean, I guess I guess that gets you a headline or something. It feels very on the nose and strange.


Ira Madison III It looks like a came away message.


Louis Virtel It sure does. Also, if you want to drag Kim, please just use footage of her in the new series. Oh my God, why does she get to do this? I saw some scene where she’s digging a nail into somebodys neck and like, you know, trying to read him for filth Wolf. Let’s get Lee Strasberg on the phone. I’m not seeing much in the way of the method here. The acting was not heading.


Ira Madison III I mean, all you have to do is play clips of Kim K’s acting and temptation, confessions of a marriage counselor, that Tyler Perry movie.


Louis Virtel And by the way, then, of course, she could clap back at. Taylor. If she releases an album of her own and then use footage of her in The Giver or whatever. The Lorax I have to say, the funniest thing about Taylor Swift is the filmography like that. It goes from Valentine’s Day to Amsterdam. Everything is like lightly flopping in a new direction. Never.


Ira Madison III Not funny. Honestly, that’s a pretty good idea because I have been waiting for the album for a very long time. How do you release jam as a lead singer, and then don’t follow up with the rest of the album?


Louis Virtel Yes. Strange.


Ira Madison III Come on, cam, I’m still playing your jam. Okay.


Louis Virtel So yeah, overall, I have to say something I am very grateful for this album is it did make me think, wow, I gave Cowboy Carter two lower rating because.


Ira Madison III Yeah, that’s a well also that has and maybe this will stick with me too, but I, I actually can’t stop listening to Cowboy Carter and I think I rated it a B. Yeah. When we reviewed it and right now it kind of give it an A-minus.


Louis Virtel I think I’m going to give this Taylor Swift album, and I would have given it a lower grade before. I’m going to give it a C.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I think it’s a right a C, C plus for me.


Louis Virtel Yes. She’s one of the definitive album artists of her time. It’s actually kind of rare. She would have an album that I would write this low, honestly, even though I’m not a stan.


Ira Madison III It is a misstep, but it is more interesting to me than Midnights. Midnights I really thought was a. Sort of craven thrown out cash grab to just be releasing a new album in the midst of the eras tour.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I feel like Midnights was a whisper in the night. And this is a long, angry poem in the middle of the night, which at least I can hear you better.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I could hear the scribbling. Yeah, the parchment table is shaking.


Louis Virtel By the way, she also brings up ink too much. Girl, you don’t have a quill. Sorry. I’m not saying you’re buying a back.


Ira Madison III Even though she’s never even seen quills. I know she’s not a Geoffrey Rush fan.


Louis Virtel Now you’re on our territory, bitch.


Ira Madison III When we’re back. Juliana Canfield. You know, this week’s guest from shows like The Calling, Why, The Last Man? And, of course, Succession. But what you might not know is she can turn it on stage just as well as the screen. Here to talk about her role in the new Fleetwood Mac-esque play Stereophonic. Welcome to Keep It. Juliana Canfield.


Juliana Canfield Thank you. Thanks, Ira. Thanks, Louis.


Ira Madison III Hi.


Louis Virtel When I read about this play, I simply cannot believe it. It makes no sense to me that this has happened where everybody in this cast was not musically, educated. And now suddenly they are the, like, toast of musical Broadway. And so in putting together this play about a Fleetwood Mac esque band like, can you just talk about how daunting it was? I it just seems impossible. It’s like I don’t sing and then suddenly I’m the best singer on Broadway. It makes no sense.


Juliana Canfield Yeah, it really doesn’t make any sense. It was so not on my vision board to be singing on Broadway. I love to sing in the shower. I love to sing when I’m walking down the street. When I think no one’s listening. But the idea of singing in front of an audience of more than zero. Really. Until last summer sent me into a complete tailspin. So much so that I almost didn’t even audition for the play because I was so nervous about. Showing how I could sing or like what my level of singing ability was. So I put off and put off and put off taping a song. I think for about a month until I finally got a call from my agent and she said, listen, they really want to hear the singing. And if you have any interest in doing the play, just grab life by the horns and do it. And that was a long. Lonely day in my apartment. I think it took me like 80 takes before I felt like I could send something in. But then, you know, exposure therapy is amazing. And in the beginning of rehearsal, we would rehearse as a band for most of the day. Usually a rehearsal day for a play is like eight hours long, and we were spending 4 or 5 of those hours playing music. And so over time, my nerves just got worn down. There’s only so long you can. Retain like an adrenaline state when you’re doing something over and over again. I didn’t even mention the piano, which was like a whole other thing, and doing singing and piano at the same time and trying to play as a band. I mean, when I, when I describe it, it does seem kind of impossible to me. I don’t really know how we did it.


Ira Madison III What’s so exciting about this play? You know, we already said, you know, it’s like this Fleetwood Mac as band. They’re recording an album in California. What? It starts. And then over the course of the play, they’ve been there forever. You know, it’s sort of like no exit.


Juliana Canfield Yeah. It starts in California and it ends in hell.


Ira Madison III It really is. It’s like all of you are going through all of this turmoil in this, the you talk about the rehearsal process of even creating it, you know, sort of with David Adjaye, the playwright, and then, well, Butler, who did the music from Arcade Fire. Were there songs created when you first got the play? Did will create the songs sort of as the play was going on. Were there things added or are there things cut?


Juliana Canfield Yeah. So Will and David have been working on this play for a decade pretty much. And. The songs have gone through many iterations, but the ones you see in the play pretty much existed as they do in the play. When we started rehearsal, there was no like sheet music or anything, but we had demos of Will playing all the instruments and singing. He’s kind of like Peter in that he is a musical genius, but he’s very unlike Peter because he’s the sweetest, most patient and generous man alive. But what did happen when we got into rehearsal is that they, you know, we all auditioned for the play as individuals. And when we got into the room, we suddenly had to be a credible hit band. And so Will and our music director, Justin, who is also an incredible musician and such a patient leader, kind of honed in on each of our strengths as musicians and helped pull out the things that would make us feel strong and special as a, as a musical group. So. You know, they had to hear all of our voices and then decide, okay, how are the harmonies going to go? And what do you think would be a good harmony here? And, you know, Tom has a very incredible, unusual falsetto. So it’s like, let’s send Peter up on those high parts. And Juliana, you go up on the high part here and let’s make the harmonies really crunchy along here. And as we got more comfortable on our instruments, Justin would come in and say, oh, could you play this little riff on the piano at this moment in the song? And so we built it incrementally and they built it kind of for us, but we had the the skeleton of it from the start.


Louis Virtel Did this process, sort of force you to reacquaint yourself with music of the 70s? Did you find yourself revisiting old music in order to, I don’t know about, emulate the sound, but get the feel of that era?


Juliana Canfield Totally. I mean, I’ve always loved music from the 70s. I think before I did this play, Fleetwood Mac was like my most listened to band in 2023 or 2022.


Louis Virtel Come on. Taste.


Juliana Canfield C’mon on taste. C’mon classic rock girl.  I know it was a little humblebrag. I just made a playlist where I put on a radio station that was all 70s music, and it. I’ve sort of. Was introduced to some musical artists who I hadn’t really known about before. I wasn’t conscious of, like Joan Armatrading. So incredible.


Louis Virtel Love and affection. Great song. Yes.


Juliana Canfield Oh so good. And why don’t you come on home? I mean, like there and Joni Mitchell, I listened to so much before, but she was just back on the back on the playlist in a major way. And yeah, well, it did feel important to me to listen to the quality of the music that they were making in the quality of their singing, which I think is so different from like a contemporary pop or rock sound. And it was just a nice reminder too, that there’s so much like gritty imperfection in music from that time and so much. Raw emotion that comes through in every crack, and you can just hear the packs of cigarets that they were all smoking. And that was this incredible, that gave me such a sense of permission to combat my inner desire for perfection, because I think the music of the time wasn’t an attempt to create something perfect. It was an attempt to create something real. And so that was yeah, I was listening a lot to it.


Ira Madison III I mean, that’s sort of the theme of the show as well. You know, if you could really sort of extrapolate, you know, what the message is once you get to the end, there’s this whole sort of, you know, fight with Peter and the rest of the band about Peter wants perfection, you know, and he’s constantly changing things. And then everyone else is just sort of like, we’re artists, you know, we it’s things should be messy. Things shouldn’t be perfect. And so I have to wonder when you’re doing a show night after night. And, you know, I saw the show at Playwrights Horizons, and then I saw it last night, on Broadway. Congrats on being on Broadway. Now, if you’re doing this show constantly, how do you maintain, I guess, sort of a messiness, a rawness each night when it’s just it’s in your blood. At this point, you’ve done a full run of it and now you’re doing another run of it.


Juliana Canfield Totally. Well, it’s so interesting you say that because that does feel like the tension of the play, right? Perfection versus like soul or something like that. Dionysian versus Apollonian.


Louis Virtel Okay. I’m back in school. Okay.


Juliana Canfield The play feels so messy and slouchy, like we’re all just, like, draped on that stage. And there’s so much waiting around and like, this sort of decadent sense of boredom and time never ending. But the paradox of it is that the play is like a corset. It is so tightly and specifically rendered. And so I think actually the, you know. The play is such a satisfying container because. We really have to be precise. It feels like playing a piece of music or like doing a very complicated dance routine. But the result, if we’re very precise with it, is something that feels very loose. And so actually, the more we do it, I think the easier the the the easier the precision feels and the more natural it feels. And so then. The result feels more and more lived in. It’s kind of lovely in the beginning when we were doing it at playwrights. I think we all felt so stressed out and nervous about hitting these moments, and there’s so much overlapping in the play. And David makes all these designations for lengths of silences, which we were like trying to figure out as a group. Like, what’s a short pause, what’s a regular pause? What’s a long pause? What’s a deafening silence? What’s a deathly pause? You know, all these things when we were trying to figure out what those what the timing and the rhythm of the play was, and now that we’ve lived it more. It just feels easier and easier to be specific. And so then it feels easier and easier to just live in it.


Ira Madison III Beautifully done, by the way, because I have to say, this is a three hour play.


Juliana Canfield This is a three hour play.


Ira Madison III Whenever I tell people that they’re they’re always like grow well. And I’m like, I said that before I saw it. And then I was like at intermission the first time I was like, I’m loving this. My friend Brendan, holder, a writer I like, texted me during intermission. When he saw it last week, he was worried. Three hour play. He sent me like during intermission. Stereophonic is turning it. I’m obsessed running around at it. Yeah, talking about those musical pauses and things. It’s just I can’t believe that it is a three hour play that also has pauses and like, silence built into it so much. And I’m not restless. I told you last night that I saw it like I haven’t been in a play in so long that during intermission, all you hear people talking about in the bathroom line are things. It’s just like, I fucking love this play. So I mean, congrats that I have to ask, when you were on succession, yeah, obviously that became such a behemoth. Like it became so popular. And what’s it like now? I mean, being on a show like that and seeing it grow into this thing and now stereophonic is also growing into that. I mean, it was sold out at playwrights. It’s basically so I got on Broadway. People are like, I want to see it. But I’m like, how could I get tickets? It’s a thing already.


Juliana Canfield Yeah. It’s so. I kind of can’t believe it to have finished that job which felt. Like. The defining structure and energy source in my life for five years, basically. I thought I would end that and sort of fall into an endless depression, and that nothing or no job could ever fill the void that succession left behind. And I, like we wrapped that show. We had the premiere and then. I think within a month I was cast in this play and I was like, okay, well, this will really keep me busy. It’s a three hour play, as you say. I have to learn how to play the piano. I have to learn how to do a British accent. I have to make sure my vocal chords are in good shape, so I. This will really keep me busy. And then through the rehearsal process, I was feeling so engaged creatively and so challenged creatively. And then we opened and it turned in to this. Event, and I kind of don’t know how I. My timing is quite impeccable, you know. Like to go from succession, which felt so big, and then to just leap into this other thing which feels really big in a different way, but that’s like as fulfilling, maybe more fulfilling. It’s just it’s grand. It’s a dream.


Louis Virtel I feel like succession is this rare show where, I mean, not only is it beloved, but truly every episode, everybody on that show seems to be giving the performance of their careers. Like there’s always an element of tragedy in what’s happening on screen and then also hard comedy. So you get like both of these extremes, every episode from most characters. So totally. Is there a particular scene you remember where you feel like everybody was working on all cylinders, including you, and the stakes felt high, and you watch it back and you’re like, yes, we nailed it. That was exactly what I had intended.


Juliana Canfield Well, you know, just as like such a such a sweet little fly on the wall in that show. So I feel like whatever you see of me is me bonding to, well, truly virtuosic performances and interpretations of. Brilliant writing. I will say that funeral scene in the last season, that day was so magnificent, and being in that church, they had four cameras rolling all the time, and there was so much text and it was so moving because it was spoiler alert Logan’s funeral. For those of you who haven’t watched yet, sorry.


Louis Virtel They should be out of that by now.


Juliana Canfield Yeah, I think the moratorium period is over. But it was also like the the. A memorial service for the show. In a way, I felt like we were all saying goodbye to this. Magnificent world that we’d been living in, and we’re getting ready to say goodbye to it. And so that day had a lot of. That that those days felt very impactful and wonderful. I’m in the very back row. You really don’t see much of me, but. If you had, Jess would be crying for her.


Ira Madison III It’s so exciting. Probably for you as well, that, like, you left Texas outside, and then you have this, bond with Jeremy Strong that you’ve built, you know, throughout five years of the show. And now it’s crazy, like, he’s, what, a couple blocks from you now. Any other people at the same time?


Juliana Canfield I know, and then Natalie Gold is an appropriate across the pond.


Louis Virtel Very good. If I haven’t said that on this show yet. It was such a pleasure to watch.


Juliana Canfield Oh, I know, and she’s so excellent in it. She’s always so good. I mean, yeah, there’s it’s so I mean, the, the tragedy of being in a play actually is that you can see so little theater.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Juliana Canfield So during rehearsal, I was really stuffing in my theater nights as, as best I could. And so I did see appropriate. And I did see enemy of the people. But yeah, it’s just it’s lovely. It feels like this, web. This continue on, like succession is over, but then we all just get scattered into the wind like dandelion seeds, and we get to go be a part of other things. And there’s this little connection that remains among us. It’s very lovely.


Ira Madison III What is the schedule, by the way, though? Because, I mean, I think that like, you have a Monday night show, which is great because so many people get to see it, but, do you have weekend shows or.


Juliana Canfield Yeah. So it’s a little we’re, we’re a little bit we’re not quite settled into the final version of the schedule yet, but we do two shows on Wednesday, two shows on Saturday. And then chose Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday. So for now we have Sunday off. Eventually we’ll have Monday off. But it’s eight shows a week. I spend one full day of the week doing the play because the play is three hours. So it’s 24 hours of stereophonic for.


Ira Madison III Grace Park. I mean.


Louis Virtel It’s just scary to be a Broadway actor. By God, it’s so odd.


Juliana Canfield Yeah, but, you know, it’s so funny because yesterday was our first day back after the day off. And I’ve definitely been in shows before where after the day off, I am dragging my feet to that theater. I don’t want to restart the engine, but. I. I woke up yesterday and I was like, oh goody, I got to do it again. How great. Let’s go. And I got to the theater and I’m so excited to put on my little costume. Like, the whole thing just is so engaging and energizing, and I’m the kind of, I like, love to take a nap and lounge around, but this play feels like a recharge in a really, unbelievable way.


Louis Virtel I’m going to advise people to get tickets now because it’s going to be impossible. This is going to be presentation of Broadway. And my final question to you is, and I believe this is an important telling, personal cause in the way that people value the zodiac and what their sign is. I think something that’s more important is what is your favorite Fleetwood Mac song, because it’s so telling of who you are and what you value in the group. I’m a you make loving, fun person because I run Christine.


Juliana Canfield Yes, well, I love Christine too. And I love to make loving fun.


Louis Virtel Oh thank you, thank you.


Juliana Canfield It’s so great. And it’s also I love that it’s about her affair with the lighting. Lighting designer. Fuck, yeah. Yeah. Such a fuck you to John McVie.


Ira Madison III Dang.


Juliana Canfield I love I love songbird.


Louis Virtel You kept it in the Christine family. You may stay here. I’d keep it.


Juliana Canfield Yes, keep it and keep it. It keep it in the Christine family. Yeah. That song. It’s so beautiful. And I love it. It’s the only song on that album that wasn’t recorded in the studio. It was recorded in like a big music hall. And so you can hear, I feel like all of this. You can hear all of the space around the song. You can just hear her heart breaking and I can just imagine. I mean, I can’t imagine what it must. I mean, I actually, I guess I can kind of imagine what it’s like to be in a band with your husband slash ex-husband, but it ain’t easy.


Ira Madison III We keep it very pristine over there. Stevie, for me, because you know mine. As gypsy as I can find.


Louis Virtel A fine song. Yes


Juliana Canfield You know, it’s respectable answer, IRA.


Ira Madison III Okay. Louis and I talked about this on the show before. Did did you know when you were listening to Gypsy? That what she’s like talking about here I go, like, to the Velvet Underground that she’s actually just talking about, like, a store that used to be in New York. Like a store to, like, go to.


Juliana Canfield No.


Louis Virtel Yeah. It literally was called the Velvet Underground. I was, like, interpreting this lyrically with some mystical. You know.


Juliana Canfield But that’s what we always do.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Juliana Canfield You know, it’s like rock stars, like they don’t go to stores. They just like, live in a Velvet Underground tomb. And then it’s like, no, we’re just going to a store and we’re like buying gloves like every other random girl in 77.


Ira Madison III That’s a very sort of like specific read about, like revisiting music from, you know, 70s, 80s, etc.. You know, we you think about it when you’re reading Shakespeare, you know, when you talk about her, you know, it’s like, oh, these words meant something like they were actual references. And it’s you listen to some songs from like the 70s and 80s, and they’re not all metaphor. They’re literally just like current pop songs. They’re like, oh, that was the Starbucks. That was like the name of a coffee shop.


Juliana Canfield Velvet Underground is their Starbucks? One day people are going to be like, wow, Taylor Swift was in a place called Starbucks.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Juliana Canfield Where you had to be a star to go.


Ira Madison III Actually, in the future, we’ll all be living there and forced to produce her albums.


Juliana Canfield Okay. Well. Yeah, that’s. That’s true.


Ira Madison III Chairman Swift.


Louis Virtel Juliana, thank you so much for being here.


Juliana Canfield Thank you so much, Louis.


Louis Virtel And congrats to you on not just succession, of course, but this just unreal show that everybody is going to be so thrilled to say.


Juliana Canfield Oh, thank you.


Ira Madison III Like you, you know, it’s coming for the Tonys. You know, like it’s it’s coming girl.


Juliana Canfield From your lips to God’s ears. My friend.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Then the show will be a bonanza. So I’m happy.


Juliana Canfield For sure. I hope.


Ira Madison III I’m happy to be a stereo phoner. We’re coming up with a better name.


Juliana Canfield Okay. Yeah. Let’s workshop that. We could do better than stereo phoner, but we’ll get there.


Speaker 1 [AD]


Ira Madison III And we are back with our favorite section of the episode. It’s. Keep it. Louis.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III You teased us already in the episode that you’re keep It is about Katy Perry. Yes.


Louis Virtel Correct. Well, first of all, I was saying that over the break. It’s always interesting to remember that Katy Perry must be one of the richest people in entertainment. She’s got the American Idol contract, which is an untold millions of dollars. And then she’s got that, residency, which was so successful. Anyway, she posted a picture on Twitter where it’s her in front of one of those fucking weird super Lego looking cars from Tesla, and she says, thanks for the delivery at Elon Musk. Hashtag idol. Why every six months does she have to post something that’s like, are you the dumbest fucking person I’ve ever met? Why? You’re, like, boasting of a relationship with Elon Musk. How? Like detached from reality or like. Yeah, reality’s the word. Can you think that’s like, a rad flex or something? I’m so puzzled by that.


Ira Madison III I mean, Grimes even hid the fact that she had another child with that man for a very long time.


Louis Virtel We’ve been through that. And I was like, oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I it was. She looks great in the photo, but.


Louis Virtel Jesus Christ, does she look great. Oh my gosh. I mean, like the vamp of your dreams, Jessica Rabbit the house down. You know.


Ira Madison III What? Yeah. I’m sorry. Weight room. Yeah. I have another lipstick and another joke. That she looks great and she’s been teasing CP six, and I am excited for it. Me too. Yeah, unfortunately, the reason I’m excited for it is because I know that it will have nothing but banger pop hooks because, she did allegedly go and, get a prescription pad for this album. Meaning she’s back with the doctor.


Louis Virtel What? Oh, no. Well, he had to go somewhere. You know.


Ira Madison III Where.


Louis Virtel He’s operating out of his van these days, right? He was like a pot of peyote.


Ira Madison III He did lose his license. Yeah. Oh, yeah.


Louis Virtel You forget that he’s around. But, I mean, like, by the way, the story of there was there was a really long read about, like, the Kesha Doctor Luke situation that happened like, a year ago or so that I feel like, went totally under the radar. And it’s a completely fascinating investigation of that. I don’t even remember what outlet it was for.


Ira Madison III Yeah. But anyway, KP six is coming and. I don’t know. Good luck.


Louis Virtel I you know what I realized recently? She now is the age of Paula Abdul when she started on American Idol. And it has been the same amount of time. From when? So when Paula started on idol to the last time she had a number one hit is the same amount of time since Katy Perry has had a number one hit, which I think is like 12 years. Yeah, yeah, 11 or 12 years, because Paula’s last number one is, I think, promise of a new day in 91. And then, she was an idol in 2002.


Ira Madison III Dance like there’s no tomorrow.


Louis Virtel No dance like there’s no tomorrow. Did not chart it. Actually, it was barred from the chart. It actually went right to Guantanamo. I actually fucking love that song. I do not mean hate on dance like there’s no tomorrow.


Ira Madison III Great album cover.


Louis Virtel Yes. Also, Paula always looks sensational. I mean, she’s one foot seven. It’s like fully Jiminy Cricket.


Ira Madison III Yeah. All right, so.


Louis Virtel What’s your keep it?


Ira Madison III Well, to take us back to that era of American Idol, my keep it this week goes to, people who need to leave a particular joke alone because I’m tired of it. Okay, so retro news now posted, the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending April 20th, 2002. Okay, other than just basically, making me cry because music isn’t like this anymore, and videos aren’t like this anymore. And it’s like I all ten songs on this chart I listen to constantly. Even a fucking puddle of mud song, blurry, like I like to puddle of mud. At one.


Louis Virtel Point. I just want to say that I also love the term butt rock, which is used to describe things like, whoever coined that hats off. It makes me laugh every time.


Ira Madison III But the top three songs on the chart that week are Foolish by Shante. What’s love, Fat Joe featuring Ashanti I.


Louis Virtel Can I make a confession? I think What’s Love is better than the song What’s Love Got to Do with it? I would much later put on What’s Love?


Ira Madison III Well, there are less punches thrown in the studio.


Louis Virtel Well, this is the solo era, so maybe there were less.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Ain’t it funny? J-Lo by J-Lo featuring Jar Raw. Now, obviously we know the whole thing about Ashanti doing backup vocals on J.Lo songs. The internet is always making this joke about how, you know, she she, Ursula Ashanti, basically, like, used her voice, etc.. This was posted. And if you look in the responses and I’m not just talking about strangers on the internet, I’m talking about friends of mine too. I’m responding or commenting on it. The exact same joke about Ashanti and her top three singles charting. Oh wow. Look at us charts with the top three songs on the hot 100. The joke is funny if you’re the first person to tweet it. This was posted two days ago, and people are still making the exact same joke. And let me tell you, I don’t mind J-Lo getting whacked a little bit. You know, she’s a Leo. She could take it. We do deserve to have our narcissism thrown back in our face sometime.


Louis Virtel This is, in fact, what this Is Me now is about.


Ira Madison III Yes, yes. But are y’all tired of the same fucking joke?


Louis Virtel The point of a joke is you haven’t heard it before. I’m sorry. There’s something on the internet. There’s a particular cabal of fagots who, when they post a joke, I know they’re posting it specifically because it will get retweeted a lot. And the audience for the joke is people who have not yet seen it on Twitter. I know they are purposely posting it because they’re they’re, rounding up the scraps of people who haven’t been exposed to this already cliched thing. I just want to say to those people, and I don’t want to name them because the names are on my head right now and I’m going to get in trouble.


Ira Madison III Name em.


Louis Virtel I fucking hate you. I fucking hate this. The point of writing is you should want to write something new. There’s I don’t know. I don’t know what Elon can do here. I know I was just talking about how he’s horrible. Maybe he can help. What can you do to kill these gay people? Because I don’t want to see it. And you want them dead and I want them dead. We can work together.


Ira Madison III Hide the DESCOVY®.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Ding.


Ira Madison III That’s. There’s not even just that particular thing about jokes, too. I think we’ve said this before, obviously. I mean, we repeat ourselves, too, so we’re the problem.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III It’s me.


Louis Virtel Don’t don’t do that song.


Ira Madison III Go ahead. But there’s also this thing of repeating a joke that, you know, like we know is funny, and then sort of like repeating it at a party or repeating it online and expecting people to laugh at. It’s basically the same as a straight man quoting anchorman, right? You know it is. You’re not particularly funny yourself. You’re repeating a funny thing, right? And I’m laughing because I have the memory of it. But don’t don’t get it twisted. You yourself are not funny. Yes, we’ve always had this sort of. Stereotype that, you know, gay men are funny, like the very humorous, you know, but I feel like the internet has really proven that that is not accurate because many of them just repeat funny things that they’ve heard.


Louis Virtel Yes. Right.


Ira Madison III Yes.


Louis Virtel And just saying it in like the cadence that you know what they’ll do? They’ll take a meme you’ve literally seen before the picture and then put with it, some other word bank phrase you’ve seen before and put them and that counts as a post. And they’ve come up with nothing other than putting the two things together. And now it’s on Twitter and it gets to be theirs, and they get all this attention for it. What happened, to wit?


Ira Madison III Well, I think Halle Berry’s starring in it next week off Broadway.


Louis Virtel I would love to see it. What? I’m there. Margaret Edson like. Are you sure? Okay.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So I get Halle Berry in Wit now. I want to see that, by the way, but. I will credit the people who are good at it. You know, like I love a meme. You know, like I love a Whitney quote or something like that. But it takes a funny person to reference a meme in a way that makes you laugh, you know.


Louis Virtel Or in a witty way. Not just an obvious way or in a in a palatable internet ready way. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I mean, I reference it all the time, and I know that like, Boeing and like, like love this particular quote too. And it’s like, it’s it’s always funny when one of them like it’s talking about like a certain saga or something and they do the, you know, stories like that tell stories that people can identify with. Children were singing that song at graduations, weddings, funerals.


Louis Virtel We really I mean, in this conversation, in this, we have not gotten to the bottom of Whitney’s quote ability. I’m sure I’ll keep going back and finding moments. Why was she that funny again? It’s it’s like Betty Davis was never a writer. Why is she that funny? I think my answer in that case is she was an asshole. So like, that makes you funny. But like Whitney, not really an asshole. Like, I think who knows what she wants, but not it just. She was so fucking funny.


Ira Madison III Truly, there are always, stories coming out from people who say that Whitney was the nicest person. Yeah, I was always advocating for people. Behind the scenes. I think there was an interview where she was talking about, you know, like working with Babyface on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, you know, and joking about, like, make a list of like, who you don’t want on the album, you know, etc. but it’s she’s like, of course she did do that. It’s like, there she is thinking about people whose voices she loves and like who she wants. And you know, I don’t know, it’s she was a lovely person. And so that is always nice to hear that.


Louis Virtel Eternal clip of Natalie Cole winning that AMA. And she’d be like, this is the only time I’ve ever been nice.


Ira Madison III And putting out each other.


Louis Virtel So yeah, Natalie Cole also very funny. Yeah. And also I’m going to stick my neck out for that Naomi Ackie movie. I think it’s underrated.


Ira Madison III The I wanna dance with somebody.


Louis Virtel Yeah. With Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis.


Ira Madison III It was a good movie I enjoyed it.


Louis Virtel Me too I enjoyed it. Yeah.


Ira Madison III It’s probably better than this. Back to black shit.


Louis Virtel You know what? I’m just fucking confused about that movie. Like, okay, it looks like it’s going to be okay.


Ira Madison III It was getting good reviews, and then.


Louis Virtel Yes. And then it wasn’t.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Anyway, yeah.


Louis Virtel More to come on that front.


Ira Madison III All right. That’s our episode.


Louis Virtel And that better be the end of that fucking album. We did a conversation for y’all.


Ira Madison III Oh, wait, she just dropped 30 more songs.


Louis Virtel I’m electrocuted.


Ira Madison III All right. Thank you to Juliana Canfield for being here with us. And, we’ll see you next week. Don’t forget to follow Crooked media on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.


Louis Virtel You can also subscribe to keep it on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review.


Ira Madison III Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our producers are C.J. “Siege” Polkinghorne and Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Kennedy Hill. Our executive producers are Ira Madison the third, Louis Virtel, and Kendra James.


Louis Virtel Our digital team is Meagan Patsel, Claudia Shang, and Rachel Gaeski. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to Matt DeGroot, David Toles, Kyle Seglin, and Charlotte Landes for production support every week.