Top 5 Podcasts.
Today, I’m going to give you a little break from my weird tastes in music and share with you a different kind of aural pleasure, my weird tastes in podcasts. It surprises me how little of my friends and family are listening to podcasts, as they are extremely delightful little nuggets of people talking in your head that you can pretend are your friends. There’s a huge world of podcasting out there to every taste imaginable, so go out there and find something you love if none of my favorites interest you.
Podcasts are the radio shows of our time. If you’re not much of a music-listener (first of all, what's wrong with you?), podcasts can get you through road trips, commutes, and those obsessive Thursdays cleaning the house. They are almost always free and available on iTunes or the websites for the particular podcasts you’re seeking. Here are my Top 5:
Nerdist (nerdist.com/podcasts or iTunes): This podcast is mostly comprised of interviews with celebrities. The host Chris Hardwick is the most engaging interviewer I’ve ever heard. He is open-minded and able to talk with his guests about anything they want to talk about and he seems to know EVERYONE in Hollywood. If you’re a nerd like he is, you can listen to a podcast with Brent Spiner, Liam Lynch or the Wachowskis. Comparatively, if you’re into more mainstream culture, he interviews Tom Hanks, Larry King, and Joan Rivers.
Warnings: This podcast is full of joyous expletives and is typically upwards of an hour (sometimes even closer to two hours) long.
Further Listening: Check out the Nerdist website for more of their podcasts. There’s a whole host of weird topics and fun shows to listen to such as “Sex Nerd Sandra”, “Nerdist Writers’ Panel”, and several juicy comedy podcasts.
Pop Culture Happy Hour (npr.org or iTunes): This podcast contains a delightful group of well-informed NPR editors talking about all aspects of pop culture from the dark dungeons of bad reality TV to German Art Song (yes, really). They regularly do in-depth analyses without spoilers of new movies and end each episode with “What’s Making Us Happy This Week”. It’s a very positive, intelligent and entertaining half hour of weekly pop culture entertainment. You’ll like this if you work with me at the library (this show is highly-regarded by librarians, according to their Facebook page).
Further Listening: As you can imagine, NPR has a lot of well-respected podcasts. Simply go over to npr.org and explore.
Stuff You Should Know (howstuffworks.com or iTunes): It is widely agreed upon in Podcast Land that this is THE podcast to listen to, no matter who you are. Hosts Chuck and Josh delve into ALL SUBJECTS IMAGINABLE, while being humorous and freakin’ lovable! This is the podcast to listen to on a family road trip across country, because I can almost guarantee everyone will love Chuck and Josh as much as I do. Seriously, if you listen to ONE of these podcasts, choose this one.
Further Listening: howstuffworks.com has a plethora of informative podcasts such as “Stuff You Missed in History Class”, “Stuff to Blow Your Mind”, “Tech Stuff”, etc. They’re all very accessible (unlike NPR, which I find to be a little snotty at times) and informative.
Stuff Mom Never Told You (howstuffworks.com or iTunes): Another from the How Stuff Works conglomerate, this podcast deals mostly in feminist topics and issues that are more women-centric. These two feisty females (Molly and Cristen) are just as informed and almost as lovable as Chuck and Josh.
Sound Opinions (soundopinions.org or iTunes): Hosts Greg and Jim (longtime Chicago radio heavyweights--they’ve written books and everything) discuss new music, old music, interview bands, and even have occasional exclusive performances from the artists they interview. Their tastes are varied and they truly try to cover all genres, but their lean is heavy on soul. Their tastes rarely match my own, but I do find new music from this podcast often.
*Honorable Mention: Feast of Fun (feastoffun.com or iTunes): This is a podcast I’ve just started listening to, but I think it will become one of my favorites. Two sassy gay boys interview pop culture icons. They have a HUGE number of drag queens on their show, and for those of you that know me you know that I’m OBSESSED with drag right now, so this podcast is constantly in my ears this fall. Incredible amounts of fun here, if you’re into campy comedy and not taking life too seriously.
Warnings: Lots of debauchery on these podcasts (cursing, sex-talk, etc). If you find love in this podcast, you’ll have to subscribe for a fee to get all the episodes.
If any of you know of an awesome podcast that should be on this list, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Ooh, better yet, if you want to start a podcast with me about music, drag queens, and/or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hit me up for sure!