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  #1  
Old 07-23-2013, 02:19 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Anyone else listening to "Welcome to Night Vale"?

I have, and I'm hooked (as are many others, judging from how it's currently burning up the rankings on iTunes).

It's a podcast that consists of radio broadcasts from a small, civic-minded town named Night Vale, somewhere out in the desert among the sand wastes...and where the standards for "normalcy" are decidedly different from our own. But fear not, citizens! Your friendly community radio personality, Cecil, is ready and willing to help you navigate your life in Night Vale in soothing, dulcet tones.

Welcome to Night Vale

The best way I can describe this is a blend of Twilight Zone, NPR and Prairie Home Companion, with a heaping helping of the SCP Foundation and a dash of Lovecraftian existential horror thrown in.

Look to the obelisk. We don't know where it came from, but it's attracting a lot of cats.

SPOILER:
ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD. ALL HAIL.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:02 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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I am now. Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:53 PM
Battle Pope Battle Pope is offline
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I will be now.

The bit about the football player struck by a bolt of sentient lightning and becoming
SPOILER:
as strong as two Jeeps and intelligent as a "heavily concussed René Descartes"
gave me a good laugh.
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:02 AM
gallows fodder gallows fodder is offline
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This was started by one of the posters (and former mod?) on Something Awful -- you can read his thread about it here, with a lot of behind the scenes info on how it's put together.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2013, 12:37 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Unfortunately, that Something Awful thread is locked to non-subscribers, but there's an article/interview with the creators here, as well.

I'm up to Episode 20 now, and they just keep getting better and better-- 13 and 19 (A and B), in particular, are very creative storytelling.

Quote:
Listeners, we are currently fielding numerous reports that books have stopped working. It seems that all over Night Vale, books have simply ceased functioning. The scientists are studying one of the broken books to see if they can understand just what is going on here. The exact problem is currently unclear, but some of the words being used include ‘sparks,’ ‘meat smell,’ ‘biting,’ and ‘lethal gas.’ For your own safety, please do not attempt to open a book until we have more information on the nature and cause of these problems.

- Cecil Baldwin (Episode 3, Station Management)
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2013, 12:38 PM
yanceylebeef yanceylebeef is offline
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Welp, now I'm hooked.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2013, 12:52 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battle Pope View Post
The bit about the football player struck by a bolt of sentient lightning and becoming
SPOILER:
as strong as two Jeeps and intelligent as a "heavily concussed René Descartes"
gave me a good laugh.
Plus the fact that the lightning strike also (somehow) cured his cerebral palsy, as well as his restoring his missing left hand
SPOILER:
which had been removed as a penalty for numerous overdue library books.
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  #8  
Old 07-29-2013, 01:31 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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Just finished ep1. This is quite interesting.
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2013, 01:34 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Episode 1 was their demo and so is a bit rougher than later ones (but still good). As time passes, they really improve, and Cecil finds more of his voice.
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2013, 02:03 PM
CandidGamera CandidGamera is offline
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I'm not, but it's all over Tumblr.. so I might as well be.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2013, 02:20 PM
MostlyClueless MostlyClueless is offline
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Great writing. I finished the latest episode, so now the waiting starts...
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2013, 02:25 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Wired did a good article on it a few days ago.
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2013, 02:46 PM
tullsterx tullsterx is offline
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Sounds great! Checking it out. . .
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2013, 03:31 PM
LawMonkey LawMonkey is offline
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I just caught up during last evening's run, and am now sad that I'll have to wait. The dangers of binging! They've really gotten much more well-produced as the show has gone on; I remember being a touch annoyed early on that the "original music by Disparition" was more or less random, without any particular tie to whatever Cecil happened to be talking about. Not a big deal--I can imagine a no-budget community radio show actually doing that. But recently, I've noticed that the background music fits the foreground talk, which is a nice touch.

My only real complaint is "the weather", which doesn't really mesh with the rest of the show, and often, IMO, su... is not to my taste. But it's a tiny complaint in an otherwise awesome and too short show. (All podcasts should be at least 35-40 minutes long, to accommodate my run, together with any prep time for it. )
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2013, 03:32 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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My daughter introduced me. She loves it. The wiring is quite clever.
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  #16  
Old 08-27-2013, 03:55 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CLOUD. HAIL AND WORSHIP, PUNY MORTALS.


Shameless self-promotion, but hey! Arduino programming is fun.
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  #17  
Old 08-27-2013, 04:31 PM
Lucky 13 Lucky 13 is offline
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My cosplayer friends introduced me to this podcast, and I love it. I love how matter-of-fact Cecil is when talking about events that would send most radio personalities running for the hills. And how he's so madly in love with Carlos, the scientist with the perfect hair. A couple of people I know have even cosplayed as Cecil.
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2013, 04:52 PM
Dr. Righteous Dr. Righteous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingRat View Post
Episode 1 was their demo and so is a bit rougher than later ones (but still good). As time passes, they really improve, and Cecil finds more of his voice.
Well, this is good to know. So many people love it (and it sounds like something I'd dig) that I gave it a listen and I couldn't get through the first one. I think I'll try it again with ep 2 and see how it goes.
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2013, 07:06 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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Nightvale was mentioned to me by a member of a younger generation than I. Sounds intriguing, how do I listen? Do I have to subscribe ( to a newsletter ) or something? Do I need a fancy i-device?
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  #20  
Old 08-27-2013, 08:55 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Go here, download the mp3s, and listen to them in whichever program or device you usually use to listen to mp3s.

(Not sure if the link in the OP is supposed to lead somewhere to download them, since it doesn't work.)
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  #21  
Old 08-28-2013, 09:50 AM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
My daughter introduced me. She loves it. The wiring is quite clever.
Not only did my daughter introduce, she badgered me and badgered me until I finally tried it. So glad I did...I love it.

ETA: That intro music is sooo vibe.

Last edited by Nzinga, Seated; 08-28-2013 at 09:52 AM..
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  #22  
Old 08-28-2013, 09:54 AM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky 13 View Post
My cosplayer friends introduced me to this podcast, and I love it. I love how matter-of-fact Cecil is when talking about events that would send most radio personalities running for the hills. And how he's so madly in love with Carlos, the scientist with the perfect hair. A couple of people I know have even cosplayed as Cecil.
There's a comment floating around tumblr that says something like, "If Lovecraft was 'Look not upon this alien geometry lest it drive you mad', Night Vale is 'For anyone driven mad by the alien geometry, the Night Vale clinic will be open from 8 to 6 Monday-Friday, noon to 4 Saturday and closed Sunday.'"
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  #23  
Old 08-28-2013, 01:28 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
There's a comment floating around tumblr that says something like, "If Lovecraft was 'Look not upon this alien geometry lest it drive you mad', Night Vale is 'For anyone driven mad by the alien geometry, the Night Vale clinic will be open from 8 to 6 Monday-Friday, noon to 4 Saturday and closed Sunday.'"
Hah, that is completely accurate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil Baldwin, Episode 5
Friends, listeners—there’s a real tarantula problem here in Night Vale. Many residents have called in to report that illiteracy, unwanted pregnancy, and violent crime are on the rise in the tarantula communities. Animal control is addressing these concerns through after school programs called ‘Teach a Spider to Read. Stop the Madness.’ Those interesting in volunteering should stand in their bathtubs and weep until it is all gone. Nothing left. You can let go now. Let go. Shhhh. Let go.
Interestingly enough, one of the creators said in an interview (paraphrased) that he is really not a fan of Lovecraft at all -- either the writing style, or the dude himself (who, like the Apache Tracker, was a racist asshole) -- but that H.P.'s concept of "things that are too unknowable for the human mind to encompass" is still a fantastic one, and certainly an inspiration.

Last edited by FlyingRat; 08-28-2013 at 01:32 PM..
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  #24  
Old 08-28-2013, 09:18 PM
digs digs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Righteous View Post
Well, this is good to know. So many people love it (and it sounds like something I'd dig) that I gave it a listen and I couldn't get through the first one. I think I'll try it again with ep 2 and see how it goes.
D O W N L O A D I N G . . .

Even though I would never try something like this. If it weren't for you folks, and how I trust your advice...

It's like that night I slurped a shotglass full of "Green Nitrous Dragon" at a poker game, just because I trusted Jake's little brother... oooooh-hooooo...
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  #25  
Old 08-28-2013, 09:27 PM
Battle Pope Battle Pope is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingRat View Post
Hah, that is completely accurate!

Interestingly enough, one of the creators said in an interview (paraphrased) that he is really not a fan of Lovecraft at all -- either the writing style, or the dude himself (who, like the Apache Tracker, was a racist asshole) -- but that H.P.'s concept of "things that are too unknowable for the human mind to encompass" is still a fantastic one, and certainly an inspiration.
The concept that a protest against the removal of the Shape In Grove Park That No One Acknowledges Or Speaks About was hampered buy the fact it was difficult to organise because no one acknowledges or speaks about the Shape had me laughing loud enough to wake my wife up.
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  #26  
Old 08-29-2013, 12:52 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battle Pope View Post
The concept that a protest against the removal of the Shape In Grove Park That No One Acknowledges Or Speaks About was hampered buy the fact it was difficult to organise because no one acknowledges or speaks about the Shape had me laughing loud enough to wake my wife up.
I think that episode (5) was where the series really got going for me, especially when Cecil gets all solipsistic in sympathy with the Shape:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
It seems the city council, in their superhuman mercy and all-seeing glory, have chosen to move the Shape directly in front of our own radio station, where it is continuing to be what can only be described as…indescribable. The Shape was not available for comment, as I could find no one willing to speak to it, or even meet my eye when I mentioned it. It has occurred to me that I may be the only one able to see it.

Now that I think about it, I have also never bothered to actually check whether this mike is attached to any sort of recording or broadcasting device. And, it is possible that I am alone in an empty universe, speaking to no one, unaware that the world is held aloft merely by my delusions and my smooth, sonorous voice. More on this story as it develops, I say, possibly only to myself.
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  #27  
Old 08-29-2013, 01:31 PM
Dr. Righteous Dr. Righteous is offline
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Just wanted to say starting in with ep 2 was definitely the right move - I finished that and ep 3 and I'm liking it more now.

This morning I was listening to ep 2 while waiting for the bus in the rain, and listening to the song about waiting for the bus in the rain. How meta.
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  #28  
Old 08-30-2013, 11:04 AM
jharvey963 jharvey963 is online now
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Sorry, but I just don't get the love for it. All it seems to be is a series of random, eccentric or outlandish short pieces. I've listened to the first 2 and I'm starting on the third. I'll finish the third just to see if it gets better, but I'm not hopeful. I guess it's a YMMV thing.

J.
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  #29  
Old 09-03-2013, 09:53 AM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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The latest episode ("Dana") came out on September 1, and I found it really enjoyable. I thought they did a great job with the suspense, and tied it in nicely with both outstanding questions (the house in Desert Creek that doesn't exist, the door in the desert) and past references (the black metal trees).

Also, this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil Baldwin
Carlos said the scientists asked him to come over and ring the doorbell, just to see what would happen. They offered him five dollars. He turned it down, saying something about scientific integrity and blah blah blah, but I’m like, five dollars is a taco lunch at Jerry’s Tacos, so, whatever, rich guy.
(And then there was Cecil's mention of Carlos's "perfect teeth and hair and penchant for sometimes chewing a little more loudly than is preferred". Dare I suggest that the bloom is off the rose just a little bit? )
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  #30  
Old 09-04-2013, 02:54 PM
3trew 3trew is offline
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I was amazed at how ridiculously happy I was to find that Cecil wasn't just wasting his time with his Carlos obsession. It's probably a sign of good writing that this is the thing that sticks out for me amongst the hooded figures, the dog park, the glow cloud, and the dragon's mayoral campaign.
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  #31  
Old 09-04-2013, 03:04 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3trew View Post
I was amazed at how ridiculously happy I was to find that Cecil wasn't just wasting his time with his Carlos obsession. It's probably a sign of good writing that this is the thing that sticks out for me amongst the hooded figures, the dog park, the glow cloud, and the dragon's mayoral campaign.
Good writing, yeah. As more than a few people have pointed out, it's really quite refreshing to realize that the same-gender crush/eventually-requited relationship between Cecil and Carlos is arguably the most immediately relatable and familiar aspect of Night Vale.
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  #32  
Old 09-04-2013, 03:13 PM
randwill randwill is offline
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They are doing a couple nights of the show live here in October. Tickets sold out fast. I nabbed a few. Can't wait.
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  #33  
Old 09-04-2013, 04:05 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randwill View Post
They are doing a couple nights of the show live here in October. Tickets sold out fast. I nabbed a few. Can't wait.
You going to the Brooklyn show? I saw your post and tried to get tix but sold out.
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  #34  
Old 09-04-2013, 08:16 PM
randwill randwill is offline
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Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
You going to the Brooklyn show? I saw your post and tried to get tix but sold out.
No, these are shows in North Carolina.
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  #35  
Old 09-05-2013, 07:55 AM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Welcome to Night Vale (hilarious weird fiction podcast)

This podcast has rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts, and I can understand why. The premise is that you're listening to a community talk radio program. The announcer has a calm, affable voice, and he informs listeners of local news, politics, and community activities. Only, Night Vale isn't your standard small town in the desert. It seems to be a nexus of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and conspiracy theory activity. For instance, here's a representative snippet:
SPOILER:
Alert: the Sherriff’s Secret Police are searching for a fugitive named Hiram McDaniels, who escaped custody last night following a 9pm arrest. McDaniels is described as a five-headed dragon, approximately 18 feet tall, with mostly green eyes and weighing about 3600 pounds. He is suspected of insurance fraud.
It's even funnier when you're listening, and you can't scan ahead and spoil the jokes.

Each cast is about 20 minutes long, and also includes "the weather," which is actually a musical number from varied artists and genres. For me, it would be ideal if they left that part out, as it doesn't really have anything to do with the theme of the podcast, but it's easy enough to skip through.

Check it out! And remember - there are no dogs allowed in the dog park.
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  #36  
Old 09-05-2013, 07:58 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Current thread-

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=697380

And yes, it is that good!
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  #37  
Old 09-05-2013, 08:01 AM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Damn it! I searched, I swear! OP reported.
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  #38  
Old 09-05-2013, 10:21 AM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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I actually really like the weather part. It's a nice break from the eldritch zaniness of the rest of the show.
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  #39  
Old 09-05-2013, 07:44 PM
pesch pesch is offline
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Found this as well. It kinda grows on you. After the first five or six, I listened to the date with Carlos, and that was really sweet.

For those of you wondering, there are recurring characters, but there's not really arcs (except for the announcers infatuation with Carlos). There's a two-part Sandstorm episode in which we got to hear from Desert Bluffs (a neighboring town that's the Flanders to Night Vale's Halloween-episode Simpsons).

Not really laugh out loud most of the time. Mostly, you're trying to figure out this town and people's relationships with authority. If you think about how well everyone falls in line with the government, you might have some idea what it's like to live in a terror dictatorship, like Russia under Stalin. Sure, people disappear, and there's stories about the camps. But, hey, you going to the high school's football game? What do you think of the quarterback?
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  #40  
Old 09-05-2013, 09:42 PM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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I started listening on the strength of the thread(s) here, and the stories and style are entertaining. But the musical interlude takes me right out of it. Now that Art Bell is back, Night Vale has dropped a couple of notches on my "weird stuff" listening queue.
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  #41  
Old 09-17-2013, 12:02 PM
FlyingRat FlyingRat is offline
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Bumping to recommend the latest episode ("A Blinking Light on the Mountain", Ep. 31) as a really good one. I know, I know, I always recommend the latest episode as a really good one, but something about the narrative arc of this one-- the building suspense, and the humor-- puts it up there among the best for me.

Plus, Cecil and Carlos are getting doooomestic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil Baldwin
Carlos says he would like to study it, but that he promised to make a certain person dinner, and he has to learn how to put other things besides science first. Some of this realization might have come with help from those around him.
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