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Podcasts 2012

My desire to listen to podcasts greatly outweighed my consumption of them this year, which meant I often had a week's worth of podcasts that I hadn't listened to. Obviously, that's not a state I can sustain and I've recently winnowed what was built up, most likely losing some good interviews in the process. The following are the podcasts I did the best of keeping current with, which makes them my favorites...

1. NPR's All Songs Considered - Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton (and a host of others) offer a weekly look at new music and help to expand my musical horizons, even in genres I would typically not be interested in. The dynamic between the hosts is great and listening to it is just a great time.

2. iFanboy's Pick of the Week Podcast - Ron, Conor, and Josh (and sometimes Paul) gather each week to talk about the week's comics, answer e-mails and voice mails, and generally have a good time. I've learned enough about their tastes over the past couple years to know whether the comics they discuss would appeal to me or not and I generally laugh out loud a few times during each episode. It's a way to stay hooked into the world of weekly comics without being able to afford reading them all.

3. Pop Culture Happy Hour - This show recently had a live episode in D.C. and if I lived closer to it, I would have done some high level stalking. I feel like I know Linda, Stephen, Trey, and Glen, like they are my friends even though I don't really know them and they aren't. They get together every week to talk about a variety of pop culture topics (sometimes they do a quiz) in the first two segments and follow that up with a bit of pop culture making each of them happy. They make me think, laugh, and happy to listen every week.

4. The A.V. Club's Reasonable Discussions - I've become an avid reader of The A.V. Club and this podcast is an extension of the wide variety of pop culture they cover on a daily basis. Kyle Ryan is typically the host of a roundtable of various writers for the site. It's always a fascinating discussion and, again, I usually laugh while listening. They used to do a roundup of everyone's "Extracurricular Activities" - what they were ingesting outside of what they write about - every episode but now they are standalone episodes. My only complaint is the irregular schedule (no new episodes in over a month) but I'm still happy to listen when a new one publishes.

5. Bookrageous/Books on the Nightstand - I love books and I love these two book podcasts so much that I can't choose one over the other. Bookrageous comes out every few weeks and usually focuses on a single topic that Jenn, Rebecca, and Josh cover pretty thoroughly (but not before we hear what they are reading at the time of recording). BOTN also contains a wide variety of bookish talk from Ann and Michael in a couple segments on a weekly basis. They take time at the end of each episode to each highlight a book they really like. I've gotten plenty of recommendations from these two podcasts and I will happily take more in 2013.

Honorable Mention: J's Indie Rock Mayhem - J. Neas was absent for much of the year while the radio station (WQFS in Greensboro, NC) was being remodeled but he has recently come back without missing a beat. He delivers 2 hours of great music every week and I enjoy discovering songs I've missed over the years. I even took to listening to the show live when I could (he was back to the show before he could podcast again) and enjoyed talking to him on Twitter. He even mentioned me on the air, which was very cool.


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