I’m a huge podcast listener and today I’m sharing my favorites!
A couple years ago I had a an interview for a job that I did not get and one of the questions I totally flubbed, (it should have been easy!) was “what type of music do you listen to?” It’s not that I don’t like music, but I just don’t listen to it very much any more because I listen to podcasts instead. I’ve been listening to podcasts for about 7 years, way before this recent frenzy brought on by Serial. So I thought today I’d share a few of my favorites. I’ll assume most people already know about the big ones like This American Life, RadioLab and WTF with Marc Maron. So here are some of the smaller ones I listen to and why.
- Pop Culture Happy Hour: This is probably my favorite podcast. It’s a weekly roundtable discussion about pop culture topics from NPR. Mostly they talk about TV and movies, but there are also some book, comic books, video games and sports sprinkled in. Plus, the occasional NPR celebrities stop in like Audie Cornish (All Things Considered) and Ari Shapiro (Sidenote: did you know he’s from Portland and he occasionally sings with Pink Martini?!?!).
- Slate Culture Gabfest: Similar in format to the Pop Culture Happy Hour, but Slate’s version takes more of a CULTURE bent. Culture with a capital “C”. They talk about controversial articles, museum exhibits, books and music as well as movies and television. I almost gave this up on it after a couple episodes because one of the hosts seemed so pretentious, but now I find him humorous and charming.
- Judge John Hodgman Podcast: John Hodgman (you know him from the Daily Show and the “Mac vs. PC” commercials) listens to real cases on a fake internet judge show. He is incredibly fair and thoughtful in his rulings as well as funny. Some recent favorites included a couple fighting over plans for Frozen themed room in their home and a Hulk parody twitter account.
- Spilled Milk: Spilled Milk is a comedy podcast about food featuring one of my favorite bloggers, Orangette. It’s funny and informative, usually focused on one ingredient or style of food. Recent episodes include: shallots, carrots, donuts, and scrambled eggs.
- The Televerse: This is a weekly TV podcast that covers all the big show including comedy, drama and reality. It’s good, but what I really is their Walking Dead and Game of Thrones podcasts. They are perfect for people, like me, who really want to nerd out with recaps and discussion of what happened on each episode. The GOT podcast just started back up so it’s the perfect time to start listening.
- Welcome To Night Vale: If you are looking for weird, this is it. Night Vale is a fictional desert town were every supernatural phenomenon and conspiracy theory you can imagine… is real. The show is formatted like a small town public radio broadcast with weather, news, sports and community events. I only listen occasionally, it’s a lot to take in on a regular basis, but it’s a remarkable show.
- The Truth: This podcast is in the style of old-time radio shows but with modern plots. The acting and sound design are fantastic. These stories are often incredibly intense or scary, like really scary. I’ve been completely freaked out in the middle of the day while walking my dog. You’ve been warned. My favorites are: “In Good Hands” and “Do You Have A Minute For Equality”
- The Suze Orman Podcast: Do you have your finances in order? Do you have an emergency fund? Do you have enough in retirement? Can you really afford to buy that house? Suze may seem like just another cable TV personality, but I really like her practical money advice. No get rich quick schemes here, just real, practical money advice. She really helped me figure out how to prepare financially for leaving my job. (Note: This is simply the audio from her weekly TV show.)
- Filmspotting: Another one I listen to only occasionally but it’s excellent. This is for serious film lovers. They focus on new and old movies, but my favorite episodes are their previews and best of lists. Check in with these guys at the end of the year for the best movies you probably missed. Summer and Fall Preview shows are really good too.
- The Joy The Baker Podcast: Joy The Baker and Tracy Shutterbean. Two of my favorite food bloggers have a podcast together but it has nothing to do with food. This is GIRL TALK. They talk about clothes, fashion, kids, relationships and offer advice to listeners. I feel like I’m hanging out with my best lady friends when I listen to this. So be warned, it’s can be frivolous, silly and giggly, so it’s not for everyone, but I love it.
That’s my list. I’m always trying out new podcasts so I might update this in the future. And if you have any suggestions for me, send them my way. Happy listening!