Out with the raccoons on the closed second-floor balcony of a Toronto bar, Colin Marshall talks with Keith McNally, the podcast auteur behind the shows XO, I Have a Ham Radio, and The Vinyl Countdown. They discuss the function and imminent disappearance of Honest Ed’s; podcasting as a 21st-century means of hanging out with “friends” and having man-to-man conversations; why he felt such elation at leaving New York, and how a combination of Keith and the Girl and Ayn Rand drove him there in the first place; how he felt/feels that, in Canada, “we’re just not driven”; what forms ambition does take in Toronto; his discovery of the disorder known as misophonia, his own probable misophonia, what misophonia does to urban life, and how he came to make an elaborate podcast about it; Toronto as a 20-percent Japanified New York; his hometown of Frederickton, New Brunswick, how it now looks like a disused movie set, and what it means when you start calling it “Fredeekton”; how his projects run the gamut of podcast production, from tossed-off to made like a watch; which of his fixations have become XO episodes; the lowbrow manner in which he discovered the tragic tale of Roger Swan, an American in Japan; how and why he turned Adam Cadre’s piece of interactive fiction Photopia into an XO; his attraction to extremely personal works that he can convert into his own, even more personal works; Youtube bodybuilder Eliot Hulse‘s advice about getting over a breakup; the Canadian secret about Nickelback; how “there’s no shortcut” out of hard work, so you “might as well do what you want to do”; and the search for mementos mori that keeps on drawing him to the stories of those who die young.
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