Shuja Haider is a Pakistani singer, songwriter, composer, music director, and record producer.
Matt and Sam are joined by writer and editor Shuja Haider to discuss a topic near and dear to all of our hearts: country music. We talk about country's conservative reputation, the problems with (and virtues of) Ken Burns's recent documentary about country music, and the humane politics that arise from acknowledging—as the best country songs do—our collective frailty. Plus, a bunch of great music recommendations for your quarantine listening.A playlist featuring every song we mention in the episode, plus a few more bangers can be accessed here.Further Reading:Matthew Sitman, "E Pluribus Country," Dissent, Winter 2020.Shuja Haider, "The Empty Jukebox: Johnny Paycheck and the Return of the Repressed in Country Music," Viewpoint,  March 10, 2015Shuja Haider, "A World That Draws a Line: Interracial Love Songs in American Country Music," Viewpoint, March 1, 2017Shuja Haider, "Canon Fodder," Popula, Sept 13, 2018Cole Stangler, "Emotional Archaeology: An Interview With Ken Burns," Commonweal, Sept 13, 2019Shuja Haider, "The Invention of Twang," The Believer, Aug 1, 2019Shuja Haider, "Somebody Had to Set a Bad Example," Popula, Nov 14, 2018Nick Murray, "The Other Country," LA Review of Books, Nov 1, 2018Jesse Montgomery, "African Chant," Popula, Sept 18, 2018
Writer Shuja Haider on the anti-Democratic politics of the Democratic Party primaries, and his article “The world’s biggest threat to democracy is the Democratic Party” for The Outline. Plus: Listener Feedback and the Question from Hell!
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Creator Details

Brooklyn, New York, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 hours, 32 minutes