Show cover of Polishing Turds: A Bad Music Podcast

Polishing Turds: A Bad Music Podcast

We take the worst bands you remember and give them way more attention than they deserve. Equal parts comedy and storytelling, Polishing Turds will change the way you look at pop music. Behind every bad song there's a good story!


At long last, it's TUBTHUMPING TIME!! After endless digressions through history, politics, and obscure music scenes we finally arrive at Chumbawamba's era-defining hit. What does "Tubthumping" mean? What inspired its composition? Which creepy pederast mogul pushed it onto pop radio? We're gonna tell you everything you wanted to know about this tune and then some!This episode also includes a special theatrical contribution from the following voice actors. HUGE THANKS to the these talented humans:Jeremy IsabellaPeter and Dasha BarnesPeter MackieJack MackieKseniya YorshJason DipietroAnthony Howes...stay tuned for Part IV!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
97:51 4/8/24
Our heroes continue their wayward march toward improbable fame, satiating their anarchic through dalliances with new genres of music, including dance, pop, reggae, and a mysterious unheard-of one which we apparently think exists. And of course this being Chumbawamba, we've supplied the necessary historical context for each esoteric track. Topics of conversation in this episode will include Live Aid, Apartheid, a bitch slap in Parliament, hypocrisies in sampling law and beyond. **Listening to this episode will automatically earn you credits toward a PoliSci degree!**FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
88:19 3/11/24
#51: CHUMBAWAMBA PART I: The Musical Influence of Cornflakes
(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, occasionally, each other's bodies). They agitated for revolution and made allies with striking coal miners. And slowly but surely, they came to realize they were made for better things than the insular punk scene which had given them birth.This is the story of the nascent days of Chumbawamba; a band even more beautifully ridiculous than their name suggests.**SPECIAL THANKS TO THE ALMIGHTY TABOR MOUNTAIN!! BUY HIS NEW RECORD "TWIGLIGHT APOLOGIES" TODAY!!** US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
95:00 2/27/24
#50 CHUMBAWAMBA PART 0: A Crass Course on Anarcho-punk
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 anyhow? This is the story of Chumbawamba... sort of.You see, to understand Chumbawamba's incongruous success as pop star anarchists, you have to know the backstory. Far from an overnight success, this band's roots stretched back 15 years earlier to a small but immensely important scene called anarcho-punk. This movement, spearheaded by the legendary underground group Crass, merged music and radical politics in a manner that was bolder and more aggressive than anyone had ever seen, so much so that even those in the upper echelons of the State began to get nervous!In this episode we tell the incredible story of Crass and the 80s anarcho-punk movement that, however indirectly, led to one of the catchiest singalong anthems of the 90s. Consider this a Prequel to our proper Chumbawamba series. But unlike the Star Wars prequels, this shit is just as good (if not better) than the real thing...FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
95:57 2/5/24
MINISODE: We Need to Talk About Viper...
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 content. This episode is short and not very funny. There's no music. Quite honestly, the goal of uploading this is less to entertain our audience than to clean our conscience. We won't be offended if you skip this. We'll be back with a real episode soon! FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
24:51 1/17/24
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 word rants belted over a pre-programmed keyboard track. His lyrics cover all manner of oddities from McDonald's to gangsters to Sucking a Camel's Ass. Wesley himself was a barely-functional eccentric who suffered from schizophrenia and liked to headbutt everyone he met. So why do so many people adore his music? Well it's one of those things you just have to hear in order to understand. His songs are hilarious, charming, and 100% original, and his life story is as tragic and harrowing as anyone you'll read about. Join us on a wild, left-field ride to kick off 2024!***NOTE: WE ARE NOW BACK ON INSTAGRAM!! PLEASE FOLLOW @polishing.podcast FOR FURTHER UPDATES!!***Selected sources/supplemental material:"Wesley Willis As Himself" Documentary: article by David Buck: US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
77:14 1/8/24
#48 HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2023: A Very Pandering Christmas
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 weirdest, most esoteric Christmas songs that search bars could scour up.Happy Holidays, fam! We love all of you!![P.S. DUE TO SOME RANDOM FUCKERY BY META, WE HAVE HAD TO SET UP A NEW INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT. PLEASE FOLLOW US AT polishing.podcast. THANK YOU!!]FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
89:14 12/22/23
#47: INSANE CLOWN POSSE PART VII: Insane Clown Legacy
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 tidbit about ICP we haven't mentioned so far! These include ICP's beefs with Eminem and Twiztid, a bizarre Gold-themed side project, and more!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
94:51 10/30/23
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 down in detail, exploring the messy police practices and lazy journalism that led to this unprecedented decision, as well as J & Shaggy's historic attempt to fight back by suing the Feds! But don't worry folks, it's not all doom and gloom! We also take a look at some particularly hilarious ICP deep cuts, and share the results of our exclusive Juggalo Survey!DID YOU KNOW???--Juggalos have lost jobs, been denied military service, and lost custody of their children simply by being associated with this "gang"--Some people earn a decent living by going around to police departments giving lectures on Juggalos. --Northeast Wisconsin is (apparently) a barbaric hellhole ridden with hundreds of gangsFOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
119:57 10/10/23
#45: INSANE CLOWN POSSE PART V: "Fuckin' Magnets, How Do They Work?"
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 faithful with new Dark Carnival bangers, including the most infamous ICP song of all, "Miracles." That's right, we're finally talking about your favorite song!! Is this genuinely the dumbest track ever composed or is there perhaps more to the story? CAN WE ACTUALLY LEARN HOW MAGNETS WORK?? Stick around and find out!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
83:26 9/25/23
#44: INSANE CLOWN POSSE PART IV: The Gathering of the Juggalos
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'll give you a comprehensive guide to all things Gathering; from its wacky history to its various carnival attractions, the surprising amount of rap legends who have played there, the legendary Tila Tequila incident, and some good old fashioned stories of Juggalos fucking themselves with glowsticks...FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
92:07 9/10/23
#43: INSANE CLOWN POSSE PART III: Sheryl Crow's Whiskey Ass
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 Time for ICP as they packed sold-out stadiums, beat up strangers at Waffle House, performed at Woodstock '99, and actually put out some genuinely great music. Buckle up, ninjas! Our twisted Dark Carnival ride has just barely begun...DID YOU KNOW...--Ellen DeGeneres indirectly had a major impact on ICP's career??--Juggalo heaven has Faygo on tap??--Cal & Nick's hometown very nearly became a Clown Town??FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
96:08 8/28/23
#42: INSANE CLOWN POSSE PART II: Enter the Dark Carnival...
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 especially the concept of the "Dark Carnival" -- the esoteric spirituality that guides all of ICP's music. Indeed, far from the deranged ramblings of two Detroit thugs, the Posse's songs contain layered messages that warn Juggalos against a life of sin... sometimes. Other times they'll just rap about beating up women and scratching the bugs off their nuts. FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
74:48 8/7/23
#41: INSANE CLOWN POSSE Part I: Gettin' Down with the Clown
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 entire subculture, and is it really as scary and repulsive as people think?In the first of an epic series, we'll walk you through an Evil Clown origin story that puts The Joker to shame. From growing up in poverty and rising above all sorts of abuse, criminality and hopelessness, the protagonists of our saga planted the seeds that will one day sprout into a wicked Juggalo empire...FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
79:30 7/24/23
MINISODE: Catching Up, Vol. I
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??--Fred Durst volunteered to help with Twitter (and perhaps Elon Musk should have listened)?--Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody threatened to retire from metal music?--Billy Ray Cyrus has a new love and the details are... um... well let's just not talk about it here.FOLLOW NICK'S TRAVEL BLOG SIDE PROJECT:, I do realize that Lil Peep is dead. I'm sorry for bringing him up like that. R.I.P., homie). FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
75:58 7/10/23
#40: GOOD CHARLOTTE PART II: Rich & Heinous
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 throughout the late 2000s and 2010s the boys from Maryland struggled to remain relevant as their audience slowly shrank. Join us as we process the side of Good Charlotte's career most people don't know about, as well as some of their strange personal episodes such as Joel Madden's decidedly creepy relationship with teenage pop star Hillary Duff. FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
63:51 6/12/23
#39: GOOD CHARLOTTE PART I: Young & Hopeful
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 that - in their own words - fused "the Backstreet Boys and Minor Threat". It's a good story and we managed to tell it with fewer pointless digressions than usual this time. (P.S. Sorry about the occasional cough. Nick had just gotten over pneumonia).FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
57:59 5/26/23
#38: KID ROCK PART V: Ain't Nobody Gonna Tell Me How to Live
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 you think. Join us as we embark on a painfully hilarious inquiry into the history of Kid Rock's politics. This information will come in quite handy when Ivanka Trump installs him as our future Emperor...DID YOU KNOW??--Kid Rock wasn't always as anti-mask as he likes to pretend.--Donald Trump may  have shared sensitive intel with Kid Rock when he visited the White House.--"In the City!" It was "In the City" by the Eagles!! Wait, what were we talking about??FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
117:17 4/10/23
#37: KID ROCK PART IV: Kid Country
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!Welcome to the wild world of Kid Rock's "country" phase. We dive deep into this bizarre and musically eclectic period that sees Bob Ritchie desperately rework his style and image in order to appeal to Redneck America. But will it work?? Listen up and find out! DID YOU KNOW??--The movie "Borat" caused some major friction in Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson's (brief) marriage--The track that became "All Summer Long" was originally intended as a throwaway CD single for the Gathering of the Juggalos--Cal seems pretty confident he can beat up Kid Rock IRLFOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
104:49 3/20/23
#36: KID ROCK PART III: Devil Without a Cause
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 century. In this episode we break the album down in granular detail, from its sordid history to its stolen riffs to its utterly incongruous and baffling lyrics. DID YOU KNOW??--The chorus of "Bawitdaba" was "borrowed" from one of hip-hop's early pioneers.--Kid Rock is the first major artist to use Auto-Tune. Seriously. --If you think about it, having a 10 foot dick would be quite cumbersome... NOW GET IN THE PIT AND SHARE THIS PODCAST WITH SOMEONE!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
90:13 2/27/23
#35: KID ROCK PART II: The Indie Years
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-spittin', rock-n-roll redneck that ultimately became famous. DID YOU KNOW:--One of Kid Rock's important musical breaks began with a stint as a studio janitor--Kid Rock has an "Oedipus Complex," although we're not really sure he understands what that means...--You can buy used panties online. Just don't ask us where.FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
85:32 2/6/23
#34: KID ROCK PART I: "That White Kid Who Rocks"
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 Part I we examine Kid Rock's origins; not in a Detroit ghetto or double wide trailer but in the comfortable suburb of Romeo, Michigan. There a young Bob Ritchie discovers a passion for hip-hop and propels himself to surprising success in a relatively short period, before it all comes crashing down...DID YOU KNOW???--Kid Rock's major label debut came out in 1990, 8 years before "Devil Without a Cause"??--One track on said debut album was so dirty that a radio station got fined over $20,000 for playing it on air--Nick's parents probably should have been paying more attention to his music consumptionFOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
72:00 1/17/23
#33: HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2022: The 12 Turds of Christmas
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:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
80:48 12/19/22
#32: THANKSGIVING SPECIAL 2022: Alice's Restaurant
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 an arrest for littering which may have helped him avoid the Vietnam draft...--Arlo's father, the legendary Woody Guthrie, wrote a diss track against Donald Trump's dad back in 1954...--There truly isn't ever more in the back...We're thankful for all the love and support you've given us over the past two years. Enjoy!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
51:08 11/21/22
#31: BLACK EYED PEAS PART III: 2000-late
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-late?DID YOU KNOW?? got one of his songs played on Mars? No, seriously...--For a very brief period in the late 2010s Black Eyed Peas actually decided to make good music again..--Cal has some hot takes on the popular children's TV show Bluey...FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
102:06 11/14/22
#30: BLACK EYED PEAS PART II: A Man At War With Himself
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 Started" once had a much more offensive title, and it was arguably changed for all the wrong reasons...--"My Humps" is actually a feminist anthem (at least according to has no problem telling someone to "go away" at Portillo's...These  and other ear-popping facts in Part II of our Black Eyed Peas trilogy!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
98:44 10/21/22
#29: BLACK EYED PEAS part I: Three Peas in a Podcast
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 the surprising origins of a group that would become one of the most ubiquitous (and hated) bands of their generation, all the while pondering a tricky question: "What does it mean to sell out?"FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
92:36 10/4/22
#28: VIPER
***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, Cal & Nick meander through the bizarre and drugged-out world of Viper; perhaps the greatest Meme Rapper of all time. Viper got famous for his 2008 song "You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack" (no, that's not a typo), and went on to self-release music at a pace that simply defies the imagination. His music sounds like the fever dream of a lobotomized mental patient. He is a musician and hustler, a gansta and a clown, a genius and a madman. I won't say any more. Just listen. Supplemental material:Offering statement for Viper's company, FreeMoversInc: US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
124:14 8/30/22
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 careers, the results of which are... well... interesting. For certain parties, however, the scars of the scandal are too deep to overcome, and the story ultimately turns from comedy to tragedy...This shit gets REAL, folks. You definitely don't wanna miss out!FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
90:54 8/8/22
#26: MILLI VANILLI PART I: The Golden Prison
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 lip syncing scandal in music history. Cal & Nick break down the full story in all its bizarre and seedy dimensions, all the while laughing like children at some frankly ridiculous music.(We apologize for the unusually high amount of chair creaks and mic bumps in this episode.)FOLLOW US:Instagram: polishing.podcast Twitter/X: @polishing_turds email:
105:51 7/18/22

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