Skip to main content

Podcasts 2014

This is the year that podcasts finally broke into the mainstream, thanks to Serial. Of course, podcasts have been around for much longer than the media coverage will have you believe. I've been listening to podcasts for about 4 years and I was way late to the game. The problem is that there are so many worthwhile podcasts out there that I can't get to them all. Heck, I haven't even gotten to Serial yet. In fact, this year I unsubscribed on some podcasts I really like, such as Baseball Tonight, Book Riot, and Sound Opinions (I have cherry-picked some episodes of the last one, at least). I'm still behind on just about everything but these podcasts are ones I am always trying to catch up on...

1. Comedy Bang Bang - The Old 97s finally brought me to this podcast, which I've known about for a long time. Heck, Glen Weldon on Pop Culture Happy Hour had recommended it more than once and I just hadn't gotten around to it. Scott Aukerman is the host and is always funny. My first episode was #278 with Old 97s, Matt Berninger from The National, and James Adomian and it was quite enjoyable, so I decided to keep listening. I would listen and laugh while doing the dishes or mowing the lawn or cleaning the house. I got to #289, "The Exorcism of Cake Boss," with Paul F. Tompkins and Matt Gourley while we were in Baltimore for a week. In it, Tompkins starts off as Cake Boss, which is a very funny character, who later becomes possessed by H.R. Giger (Gourley) and then Reverend Parsimony (Tompkins again) is brought in to perform the exorcism. It is a ridiculously funny episode and one I would recommend to give you a taste of what the podcast is - improv comedy. Tompkins is an MVP of the podcast - not only does he provide a wide variety of characters (like the crime-fighter JW Stillwater and Andrew Lloyd-Webber) but his slightly off-mike laughter when anyone says something funny is a delight. Another MVP is Lauren Lapkus, who voices semi-regular intern Traci Reardon but also branches out like she did in the recent holiday episode (another great entry point) as Ho Ho, Santa's naughty elf. I liked this podcast so much I had decided to go back and listen to every episode but quickly realized that would be very hard to accomplish (though I still want to do it at some point). Comedy Bang Bang has provided me with hours and hours of amusement this year and I love it.

2. Bullseye - Jesse Thorn has put together the perfect pop culture podcast. He has a wide variety of guests and he is a great interviewer. He brings in various culture critics to alert us to things we should read, watch, listen to, or play. He gets famous people to talk about what they love or wish they'd made. He closes every show with his own recommendation and those are always thoughtful. I am months and months behind but there is no chance I'm going to skip an episode - I enjoy listening to all of it, no matter who he has on.

3. Ask Me Another - I discovered this podcast because I saw a link on Twitter that The Both were going to be guests on the show. Okay, I thought, I'll check it out. I had no idea I would fall completely in love with the show. Host Ophira Eisenberg and musician Jonathan Coulton are the mainstays with a small cast of puzzle gurus. This is a game show with clever games based on trivia and wordplay; usually one game is to the tune of a song. It is funny and smart and I love shouting the answers into the ether.

4. iFanboy Pick of the Week - I've talked about this podcast before and it remains one of my favorites. I like hearing what Conor, Josh, and Paul have to say about comics each week and I don't mind being spoiled, though I won't listen until I've read the books that matter most to me. It's my favorite comics podcast (though Paul's Oh, Comics with Preeti Chhibber and Jim Viscardi's Let's Talk Comics are also excellent).

5. Wits - I also came to this one due to Rhett Miller of the Old 97s. This show is a mixture of scripted sketches, off-the-cuff humor, and music. John Moe is the host and John Munson leads a crack band that can ably back up any of the musical guests on the show. Paul F. Tompkins is a semi-regular guest on this show as well; his Amazon One Star Review Theater is always funny. Listen to the show to get to know Cop Squadron and Murder Cat.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunday Shuffle #413

Summer is here and I'm happy that it is. Jill finished school this week, but Grant and I have to go through Friday. I have the week off from my TTT course, so I'm going to catch up on some reading and TV. There was baseball I could watch yesterday and I can watch some again today, so you can bet I'll be doing that. Few things bring me joy more than baseball and a book in my lap for between innings.

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
3. Shame Chamber/Kurt Vile (5) - last played on 7/23/15
4. In the Eyes of My Friends/Sugar (2) - last played on 10/5/14
5. I Could Have Done This Myself/Lightspeed Champion (4) - last played on 9/1/14
6. Nonstop Disco Powerpack/The Beastie Boys (10) - 5/15/16
7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
9. The Sleeping Beauty/American Music Club (4) - …

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
4. Red Hill Mining Town/U2 (5) - last played on 3/13/16
6. Late-Century Dream/Superchunk (18) - last played on 11/18/15
8. Your Weather/Dinosaur Jr. (19) - last played on 8/3/16
10. Centre For Holy Wars/The New Pornographers (2) - last played on 1/27/15
12. Girls and Boys (Pet Shop Boys 12" Remix)/Blur (3) - last played on 2/28/16
14. Hard To Find/The National (25) - last played on 2/12/17
16. Metal School/Spoon (17) - last played on 1/20/17
18. I'm in Love (With Arthur Dove)/Portastatic (8) - last played on 7/29/16
20. Simple X/Andrew Bird (4) - last played on 5/1/16

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…