I've done a lot of driving in the last 12 months. When I was getting ready to drive from Houston to The Bay Area by myself I reached out on social media asking, 'what are your favorite podcasts?!' - I got TONS of recommendations! From those initial recommendations I fell down a slippery slope into Podcast Land.
I'm one of those Humans who can't watch TV and be productive. Enter the Podcast. They're perfect for multi-tasking and are especially perfect when you need to escape top 40 pop in the car. I have also found that I really enjoy exercising to them. A walk / jog to an interesting podcast flies by!
Serial put Podcasts on the tip of everyone's tongue but, there is so much goodness out there past Serial - although I will admit that Sarah Koenig must be a hypnotist because I was hooked.
I've compiled a sampling of my go to podcasts - click on the picture to link through to more information.
This was the Podcast that launched me from casual podcast listener to rabid podcast downloader. I listened to this episode about food and then I think I howled, 'MOOOAAAAR!!!'. I was alone in the car when I began to binge listen to TED Radio Hour hosted by Guy Raz. I haven't missed an episode since.
Everyone enjoys listening to TED Talks but what makes this podcast so special is that one topic is chosen and a couple TED Talks pertaining to that subject are referenced - Guy Raz also interviews the presenter. What we're left with is a really seamless but well rounded discussion that is thought provoking, educational and lots of times completely inspiring.
99% Invisible talks about design - or rather design that we don't notice in our daily lives. That is an incredibly simple statement to describe something almost indescribable. I love how diverse this podcast is. I've learned about the design of high heels, the longest burning lightbulb and the origin of the octothorpe (or hashtag as we know it). Again, a podcast I don't like to miss an episode of.
99% Invisible was a founding member of Radiotopia. They're essentially a network of podcasts. Recently they had an incredibly successful kickstarted campaign (which I would like to proudly say I contributed to!) and were able to add some new shows.
I love Radiotopia for a slew of reasons. The obvious reason being that they are incredibly well produced. I also love that they have an equal number of male and female hosted shows.
All of these shows are in the Radiotopia network....and they're all really good. One favorite pick would be Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything. He recently did a series about the Internet called the Dislike Club. It was an eye opener.
Continuing on this Radiotopia love fest we have Strangers. Strangers is brought to us by Lea Thau. Lea Thau is a peabody award winning producer and was the former director of The Moth. Along with Sarah Koenig she is also a hypnotist. I could listen to her talk for hours. She shares with us the stories of people - and they're captivating. She recently did a series on love...particularly on why she's still single. I loved it.
I think Fugitive Waves is so cool. They take old bits of recordings and lace them into grade A story telling. This one called Shirley Temple had me riveted so did this one about cigar factories of the 1930s.
Then we have Criminal. True stories about crime. This episode about breaking the internet was great. If you're a Serial fan you'll love this.
I'm done gushing about Radiotopia now...
Uhh Yeah Dude (UYD) is hil.ar.i.ous. I geniunely laugh out loud when I listen to these two 'American-Americans'. They've been doing this together for a long time which means their banter is smooth...and funny. I guess this is obvious but should be mentioned - UYD is a comedy podcast. Warning: lots of bad words...not safe for work....and all that jazz.
Song Exploder takes a song and dissects it. It's brilliant. The musician shares what was added, how it was added and maybe even why it was added. Where ideas for songs come from, how they're elaborated upon, where inspiration was found. Besides getting a brand new view on the music making process you get to discover new music. Did I mention it's brilliant?
StartUp is the brain child of Alex Blumberg. Alex was a producer I've been listening to for along time on This American Life and Planet Money (these are both available as Podcasts - and I listen to both as often as I can).
StartUp is the accounting of starting a business - Gimlet Media - and all that it entails when you really know nothing about starting a business. Alex Blumberg is the perfect person to follow on this journey because he's just so relatable...and likable.
Gimlet Media is an actual media corporation and they have their first podcast out - Reply All.
All of these are great: This American Life, Planet Money, StartUp and Reply All.
Remember way back when we read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed (you can read about it here and here.)? Wild was my introduction to Cheryl Strayed and from there I quickly dove into Tiny Beautiful Things a collection of advice from her column Dear Sugar on The Rumpus. Please meet Dear Sugar Radio. Sugar is back and she's giving advice over the airwaves. The first episode aired just before the new year. It's new but I don't see what's not to like.
Death, Sex & Money talks to people about things that aren't necessarily easy to talk about. Namely: Death, Sex & Money. It's more than that though. It's an audible looking glass into humanity. Give it a listen.
I am always looking for new music - Stones Throw is a musical adventure. Stones Throw musicians and DJs make mixes and sometimes they're crazy cool. Like this one here.
I hope you've found something to listen to here! Happy listening!
This is just the beginning of what I've been listening to. I know that a lot of these podcasts can be found right at the top of the iTunes chart - this is not a groundbreaking list - but, I hope if you're new to podcasts or even just in a podcast rut there was something here for you.
My new goal is to begin reviewing podcasts as I discover new ones. If you have a recommendation for me I'd love to hear it! Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org