I've had this blog post in the back of my head for a while now. Do you listen to podcasts? I drive a lot for work and while I'm driving I sometimes listen to a book on audio or music of course - but other times a podcast is just the right thing to keep me awake and my brain engaged. When I'm listening to an audio book and I'm tired I can find myself drifting off and getting distracted and all of the sudden I have to rewind because I don't know what was just discussed - with podcasts, for whatever reason, I am less likely to do that.
So here are the Podcasts I have discovered that I really like:
1. MYSTERY SHOW
2. Reply All
Reply All sort seems like a show I would not think I would like. The common theme here is shows related to the internet and technology. That sounds like snooze fest. But that is not really what this is. The stories Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt give us on this show are much more than that - they are about things as interesting as how an orthodox Jew continues to find access to his community through the internet even when he's no longer orthodox, how teenage girls have vast conspiracy theories about One Direction, and phenomenon like "weird twitter". Just try it, I think you'll really dig it. These guys are very entertaining and do a great job of finding really interesting stories.
|Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt|
3. The Moth
The Moth is really cool. It's people performing their personal stories live, under a spotlight in a roomful of strangers. They hold live events around the country and broadcast them here. Super interesting to listen to people share their personal stories and the emotions and content are all over the place but they are always entertaining.
4. This American Life
The list would be incomplete without this - I have loved This American Life for many many years. I don't always get to catch it on the radio on Saturday afternoons and now you can listen via podcast. Ira Glass is one of my favorite people ever and this broadcast has made my life more rich than it otherwise would have been and how many times can you say that about something entertaining?
Invisibilia takes a stab at understanding human behavior - delving into beliefs, assumptions and emotions. The two hosts are Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel and they manage to combine science, research, social science, and old fashioned story telling into this wonderful mix that makes you feel smarter and to see the world in different ways all at the same time.
|Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel|
6. Love + Radio
I want to warn right up front this show sometimes veers into some territory some may find offensive. Nick van der Kolk will give you a warning up front if he thinks you might be offended by something or if it's explicit in some way. I will tell you I have found many of these episodes absolutely mesmerizing. It's about love, human nature, and all the weird ways human beings experience love and relationships. But they create this show by talking to some really interesting human beings. They then mix the show in a way that makes you feel like you're on drugs sometimes. Really. It's pretty awesome if you're into feeling your brain stretch and expand as you listen to a podcast.
|Nick van der Kolk|
7. Rumble Strip Vermont
Rumble Strip is produced by Erica Heilman in Vermont and the concept is basically she interviews random people and manages to come up with some really surprising and interesting stories. One week it might be an artist or a criminal or even a soccer mom but they will tell you about what they love, hate, think, feel or something they have done. It sounds weird and maybe boring but it really never is anything but fascinating.
If you somehow missed the phenomenon of Serial I have no idea what rock you've been hiding under. Seriously? Anyway, if you did you really MUST go listen to the episodes already produced by Sarah Koenig. Serial this season was the story of a man accused of murder and sitting in jail but there were a lot of answered questions in the case. It's possibly the most entertaining piece of detective work I've ever heard. I was so hooked I would look forward to each Thursday morning knowing there would be a new episode. Sarah is currently producing a new story for the new season but we don't quite know what that story will be yet. With her talent, I'm sure it will be amazing.
I'm positive these will keep you busy for a while! Let me know if you have a favorite I haven't mentioned. I'm always looking for more ideas.