Nick Vitale & Cal Denissen public
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(Okay FINE we'll tell the actual story of Chumbawamba and not a bunch of obscure noisy punk bands you've never heard of!) Before they were pop superstars, they were a misbegotten collection of misfits from the post-industrial wasteland of Northern England. They lived collectively in a dilapidated squat house, sharing all food and money (and, occasi…
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In 1997 a smash-hit single called "Tubthumping" took the world by storm. Its authors were an eccentric eight-piece outfit from Leeds, England who kept insisting that they were anarchists. Media and fans alike were confused: what did this feel-good drinking song have to do with politics? And what were a bunch of radicals doing making pop music anyho…
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CONTENT WARNING: DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL ABUSE, KIDNAPPING, AND OTHER GRUESOME SUBJECT MATTER. Hey guys. Remember Viper, that insane meme rapper who sang about the virtues of smoking crack? Well recently he's been arrested on some truly disturbing charges. This story is so monumentally insane that we had to talk about it separately from our regular co…
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Wesley Willis was truly one of the strangest dudes to ever touch a keyboard. A street artist and independent musician from Chicago's south side, Wesley self-produced dozens of CDs before amassing a grassroots cult following among hipsters and music nerds. Wesley was a consummate "outsider artist"; his songs are basically little more than spoken wor…
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HO HO HO! We're finally back for our annual Holiday Special! This year we're examining all the ways that Christmas music gets adapted by and tailored to various subcultures in our society. Rednecks, truckers, metalheads, vegans -- they all have their own Christmas songs, and we'd like to pay homage to this shameless pandering by playing 10 of the w…
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We wrap up our ICP series by taking a gander at what our boys J & Shaggy have been up to for the past decade or so. The rap world has changed dramatically since ICP's heyday in the 90s; do our Wicked Clown heroes have what it takes to keep up?? We also unveil a special "Juggalo Turd Deck" -- six cards that reveal a wildly entertaining story or tidb…
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Wicked Clowns or Criminal Masterminds?? In this episode we cover the bizarre drama that unfolded when the FBI decided to officially classify Juggalos as a "gang." While seemingly ridiculous, this had drastic consequences for both ICP and ordinary Juggalos across the nation. How the heck did this happen? Are Juggalos really gangsters? We break it do…
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Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope lead the Juggalos into the New Millennium with the long-anticipated release of the 6th Joker's Card, the one that was supposed to herald The End Times... but what ICP actually revealed shocked and confused Juggalos the world over! We also follow our boys further into the 2000s, where they continued to serve the Juggalo fai…
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How can we possibly cover Insane Clown Posse without a full examination of the annual shitshow they birthed into existence? For over 20 years The Gathering of the Juggalos has put all other music festivals to shame in terms of the sheer quantity of drugs consumed, nudity displayed, and overall insanity laid bare for all mankind. In this episode we'…
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The demented saga of ICP continues as our heroes J & Shaggy finally get called to the big leagues with a major record label contract. However, this soon proves a Faustian bargain as the Posse get repeatedly fucked over by corporate suits, including a dramatic and highly-publicized dispute with Disney. Nevertheless, the mid-to-late 90s were Prime Ti…
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We're back like a vertebrae for Part II of our in-depth history of America's favorite psychopathic clowns! In this episode we'll cover the band's progress in the early 90s, when they established many of the traits that would come to define their unique aesthetic. This includes their affinity for Faygo, the coining of the term "Juggalo," and most es…
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WHOOP WHOOP!! We're finally getting around to the group that proudly calls itself "The Most Hated Band in the World." For decades ICP have been adored by their fans and reviled by the establishment at levels that seem equally deranged. But what is the actual truth about this band? How did two high school dropouts from Detroit basically create an en…
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In this special minisode, we catch up with new releases by old favorites including Nickelback, Limp Bizkit, Five Finger Death Punch, and more! What have these goofballs been up to? Turns out some pretty zany stuff! Come join us on a relaxed fit episode free from Nick's excessive over-writing and pontificating (for the most part). DID YOU KNOW?? --F…
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Having overcome the obstacles of a broken home and an uneasy path to success, Good Charlotte are now one of the most popular bands in America. But herein lies a paradox: how does a band that rose to prominence by ripping on Rich & Famous celebrities stay cool now that they're fully enmeshed in Hollywood culture? The answer was not always clear, and…
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We're back to tell the story of one of the most obnoxious and omnipresent pop-punk bands of the 2000s! Are Good Charlotte a true punk band? Are they a bunch of pretty-boy poseurs? Whatever the case these young lads from Maryland emerged from a troubled home with big dreams that they brought to life through the novel creation of a musical project th…
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To conclude our series we embark on a long and painful examination of Kid Rock's final form: Embittered Fox News Grandpa. How did this once apolitical singer become one of rock and roll's foremost MAGA cheerleaders? Does he really believe all the bigoted Right Wing nonsense he espouses? As is often the case, the answer is much more complicated than…
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It's the New Millennium baby, and Kid Rock is up to some shenanigans. He's trying different things, he's smoking funny things. He's crooning with Sheryl Crow and Hank Williams, Jr. He's dating Pam Anderson and beating up Waffle House patrons. But most of all he's doing what he does best: acting like a big asshole while stealing other people's music…
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After 10 long years of toil Kid Rock finally hits it big with his self-described "redneck, shit-kicking rock-n-roll rap album". Packed with cringe-worthy bangers like "Bawitdaba," "Cowboy," and "Only God Knows Why," 1998's "Devil Without a Cause" launched our hero into the stratosphere despite being one of the most ridiculous LPs of the 20th centur…
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In 1991 a young Kid Rock was dropped from Jive Records following the absolute flop of his debut record. Determined to make it back to the top, he spent the next 7 years hustling his music in the Detroit underground scene. This is the story of those formative but little-understood years, the period when Kid Rock transformed himself into the rhyme-sp…
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Kid Rock's cringe stands in a class of its own. In his 30-plus year career he's inhabited numerous forms -- from Detroit B-Boy to Trailer Park Pimp to Fox News Grandpa -- each more ridiculous than the last. But who is the man behind all these personae? That is what we aim to uncover in our ambitious five-part exploration of The History of Rock! In …
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For this year's Holiday Special, Cal takes the reigns as we count down the worst-ranked Christmas songs in recorded history (at least according to the internet). Everyone from Paul McCartney to Justin Bieber to Odd Future falls in our crosshairs! Who will be crowned as the Lord and Savior of Christmas Turds? Listen and find out! FOLLOW US: Instagra…
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING! In this surprise minisode, Cal & Nick carve up the bizarre Turkey Day anthem "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie. Join us as we sip whiskey colas and ponder why this rambling, 18-minute folk song became a Thanksgiving tradition. DID YOU KNOW?? --"Alice's Restaurant" was based an actual events in Arlo Guthrie's life, including a…
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In our final installment of the Black Eyed Peas trilogy, we watch the band descend to new depths of vapid, pandering dance music. We review their much-maligned Super Bowl performance as well as the lesser-known-but-equally-perplexing Black Eyed Peas video game. Is this truly the most insufferable era of BEP's career, or are Cal and Nick simply 2000…
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After years of grinding in obscurity, the Black Eyed Peas finally hit it big thanks to a handful of catchy pop hits as well as the addition of new member Fergie. But did they compromise too much of their soul to get to the top? Cal & Nick discuss the thorny nature of BEP's pivot toward commercialism in the 2000s. DID YOU KNOW?? --"Let's Get it Star…
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Before they were superstars, they were three dudes from the rough streets of L.A. Before their songs flooded the airwaves, they had to hustle to get anyone to notice them. Before they became a Verizon-sponsored Death Star of capitalism, they preached soul, positivity, and the value of skill over money. In the first of a three-part series, we trace …
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***NOTE: A YEAR AND A HALF AFTER WE RELEASED THIS, VIPER WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING, TORTURE, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM ARE TRULY HEINOUS AND NEEDLESS TO SAY WE HAD NO IDEA. WE NO LONGER ENDORSE VIPER OR HIS MUSIC IN ANY WAY*** Taking a break from covering the life and times of Artists You've Actually Heard Of, C…
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Just when it seemed that Milli Vanilli couldn't ascend any higher, everything comes crashing down as the world learns the whole project was a sham. Rob & Fab are crucified by the media, and the scandal produces an ugly series of backstabbing and lawsuits. In the wake of this disaster, both Rob & Fab and Frank Farian will try to revive their music c…
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In 1988 two aspiring singers were plucked out of obscurity by a well-known German producer. This producer was starting a new band and told the two they'd be a perfect fit to front the project. Only after signing a contract did the singers learn the terrible catch: they wouldn't actually be performing on the record... Thus began the most infamous li…
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We conclude our Nickelback series by summarizing everything we've learned so far and establishing our "Closing Argument" on this band's artistic merit. To wit: we bring you "THE TOP TEN REASONS WHY NICKELBACK SUCKS"! To support our thesis we introduce new evidence, including some songs and anecdotes you haven't heard before, as well as an illuminat…
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How exactly did Nickelback go from a run-of-the-mill post-grunge group to the Western world’s biggest musical punching bag? In Part III of our series we trace the origin of Nickelback’s status as a Meme, a wild story featuring football protests, internet pranks, snarky politicians, and so much more! We also share the results of an exclusive Nickelb…
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The saga of Nickelback continues as Chad boldly ventures into new frontiers of shameless musical pandering. Can he help us remember the past? Can he heal the world and inspire revolution? Can he encourage your girlfriend to put something in her mouth? BE ADVISED: Cal and Nick are not responsible for any brain damage you may experience as a result o…
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Are Nickelback really as bad as everyone thinks? How did these four nondescript Canadians earn a worldwide reputation as a living musical atrocity? At long last, one of rock and roll's most notorious turds is finally getting polished! In the first of a four-part series, we cover the band's origins in the remote town of Hanna, Alberta, where frontma…
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We clean up after the DIRTY, JUVENILE, and utterly OFFENSIVE career of THE BLOODHOUND GANG, the hooligans behind "The Bad Touch," "Fire Water Burn," and other ironic comedy-rap hits. With their unique brand of distasteful-but-ingeniously-clever humor, The Bloodhound Gang built a career that merged catchy hooks with politically incorrect jokes that …
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Welcome to the latter half of Avril Lavigne's musical journey: the part where her music gets REALLY annoying. In this episode we cover the obnoxious hit "Girlfriend," her cringy attempts to ape Millenial pop music, her marriage to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, and the disastrous "Hello Kitty" song that led to charges of cultural appropriation. At the …
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We make things complicated for Avril Lavigne, the pop-punk princess of the early 2000s whose style was so unique it quickly became a meme. Learn all about Avril's country music origins, the messy disputes over how much of her music she actually wrote, and even how Avril was involved with the Spongebob Squarepants movie! FOLLOW US: Instagram: polish…
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Cal takes the lead for the first time as we explain the astonishing story of The Shaggs; the bizarre cult-like family that produced the absolute strangest rock album ever made. Along the way we take attempt to take a crack at a difficult question: what makes music "good" or "bad" in the first place? How did a trio of teenagers with no musical knowl…
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Why is most Christmas music so unbearably bad? Today we try to answer that question as we dive through a pile of CDs Nick bought at a thrift store. So grab some eggnog and enjoy some wacky Yuletide anthems by everyone from Rosie O'Donnell to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy! Happy Holidays to all of you beautiful people from Polishing Turds!!! FOLLOW US: Insta…
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We wrap up our mammoth exposition on the Cyrus musical legacy. Miley cleans up her act and puts out the most ambitious and interesting music of her career, while Billy Ray struggles to regain his relevance before finally striking gold in an out-of-nowhere collaboration with Lil Nas X. FOLLOW US: Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_tu…
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In part 6 of our 7 part Cyrus family series, we explore the career of up-and-coming Gen Z sensation Noah Cyrus, as well as the other forgotten Cyrus siblings, all of whom have produced some fascinating music! (If you've actually made it this far into the series, how please consider giving us a 5-star rating. Thanks, darlin'!) FOLLOW US: Instagram: …
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What was Billy Ray up to during Miley's prolific and head-turning career as Hannah Montana? Quite a lot! Between 2006 and 2014 the Achy Breaky Heartthrob revived his sagging career, joined an alternative rock band, and watched his family implode under the pressure of worldwide attention. It's a dark and bittersweet tale, but as always the good ol' …
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In Part 4 of our epic Cyrus Dynasty series, we take you on a guided tour of the Miley Cyrus' most shocking exploits, from pole dancing to bong hits to twerking her ass off at the VMAs! Join us as we try to understand why Miley's aesthetic shifted so radically during this period, why so many were shocked and whether or not some greater good actually…
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Welcome to another Bonus Minisode! In what is perhaps our least Polished effort to date, Cal and Nick ditch the script and have some fun by examining some of our favorite internet/meme artists of the past 15 years, including Tay Zonday ("Chocolate Rain"), Vennu Mallesh, Scuzz Twittly, and more! (P.S. Seriously Wendy's you owe us some free food for …
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The Saga of Cyrus continues as Billy Ray deals with the aftermath of "Achy Breaky Heart" and struggles to hold onto his stardom. We examine his hokey follow-up records, his godawful Christian album, and his surprisingly good LP "Trail of Tears." We also review the early roles of Billy Ray's acting career which... let's just say he's no Marlon Brand…
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In the first of a six-part epic on the notorious Cyrus family (Billy Ray, Miley, Noah, et al) we take on the Master of the Mullet and get to the Achy Breaky Heart of how this self-described hillbilly became the #1 singer in America. FOLLOW US: Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email: polishingturdspodcast@gmail.com…
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We get in the ring with Five Finger Death Punch, the black belt senseis of toxic bro metal. Why is this band so hated by metal purists while simultaneously embraced by every truck nut-sporting douchebro in the heartland? We'll break down all the sordid controversies surrounding this band in what is easily one of our most entertaining episodes yet! …
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In our very first Polishing Turds "Minisode" we're sharing the VERY FIRST thing we ever recorded for this show! This proof-of-concept was never really intended for the public, but at the requests of several close friends we've decided to release it anyway. We're covering the strange story of Discharge, a legendary punk band whose style took a radic…
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We dunk on the Looney legacy of Space Jam, reviewing both the film and its accompanying selection of R&B bops. How is the "Space Jam" theme tied to one of the biggest one-hit wonders of the 90s? Why did Warner Brothers kick Spike Lee off the project? Are the talent-stealing Nerdlucks trying to make a metaphysical argument about the nature of succes…
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We resurrect the tortured legacy of Creed, one of the most reviled (and successful) bands of the late 90s. Learn the surprisingly dark backstory of vocalist Scott Stapp; from his tragic upbringing to his latter day struggles with fame, addiction, and mental illness. We'll also examine whether Creed really counts as "Christian Rock" and what the ban…
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