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Podcast Review: ‘Disgraceland’ –

A unique marriage of crime and music.

Charlotte Kohlberg

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As part of our ongoing Music Journalism Course, our music team was asked to choose, listen to and write a reaction to an episode of a music podcast. 

Do you like the drama of murder mystery plots but don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription? Do you enjoy learning about the sordid lives of music legends but don’t feel like lugging around a 600 page book? Then look no further than the podcast Disgraceland, an apt play on words of Elvis Presley’s legendary home, Graceland.

The bi-weekly 30 minute episodes trace and explore insane criminal stories about and surrounding some of our most beloved musicians. The independently run podcast was first released on February 13, 2018 and within 48 hours reached #7 on the Top Podcasts chart on ApplePodcast. Talk about an overnight sensation.

I began my journey with Disgraceland with a slight hangover the morning after a big Friday night out, making breakfast and wanting a distraction from, well, being hungover.

I started with the very first episode “Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer and Getting Away with Murder,” the story of the murder of Jerry Lee Lewis’ fifth wife. Having known nothing of the excitement of Mr. Lewis’ private life, this episode was wildly entertaining. I mean who would have thought that someone nicknamed The Killer would be part of such a scandal.

Long story short, I truly enjoy this podcast. It’s a unique marriage of crime and music.

The writer, host, and producer of Disgraceland, Jake Brennan, is also the creator of the podcast’s score and theme song, truly a talented individual.

Brennan delivers the stories in an entertaining and dramatic way that does not come across as self-righteous or monotonous. In other words, “not sit around the campfire storytelling. More like slightly buzzed guy at the end of the bar whose seen some shit storytelling.”

You know what they say, “Disgraceland is for lovers of true crime. Disgraceland is also for music lovers.” Although I was not a fan of this podcast 24 hours ago, I am now.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Charlotte is a recent Graduate in Art History from New York University. After working at a publishing company, she realized her affinity for writing when she had to write weekly newsletters on authors and podcasts. She started her journalism career contributing for online media and entertainment source, The Knockturnal. Currently living in New York City, Charlotte enjoys going to concerts and art museums, and mixing cocktails for her friends.

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