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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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Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
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7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
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Sunday Shuffle #448

I'm going to do a bit of a "spring forward" edition this morning, which means I'm going to skip over the first song that pops up and start with the second. I think I'll keep doing that throughout, so you get all the even numbered songs, #2 - #20. Why not?

2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
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6. Late-Century Dream/Superchunk (18) - last played on 11/18/15
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5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…