Podcasts

I grew up listening to talk radio with my dad – lots of NPR and conservative shows. I’ve shed the conservative talk shows, but have continued to love talk radio. Here are some great podcasts well worth your time.

  • Reply All I grew up on the Internet and love what it’s added to my life. Reply All is a Gimlet Media produced podcast about the Internet and it’s oddities and intricacies. This is the first podcast that I binged on, and it continues to be great.
  • Chapo Trap House I was relatively late to the Trap House, but I love this show. Part transgressive leftist politics and part Stern Show, this podcast (and the Patreon supported Grey Wolf Feed) is definitely worth listening to, Mr. Chapo.
  • On The Media And this weeks episode was edited by … Brooke.
  • Citations Needed If On the Media is the neoliberal media criticism podcast, then Citations Needed is the leftist media criticism podcast. Hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson, this show criticizes the media from an actual leftist perspective with interesting guests. I highly recommend it.
  • Crimetown I love crime shows, and Crimetown is one of the best. Also a Gimlet Media podcast, the first season uncovers the Mafia influence in Providence, Rhode Island in the last 70’s and early 80’s. Like most people, I normally associate Mafia activity with New York, New Jersey, and Chicago, but Providence has an amazing backstory that deserves a telling.
  • Criminal Phoebe Judge hosts Criminal, a periodic podcast about lawbreakers. Criminal isn’t usually about hardcore crimes, but unusual crimes and the criminals that commit them. For example, one recent episode was about William and Ellen Craft, two slaves who used cunning and courage to escape slavery. They were technically criminals at the time, but what they did and the way they did it is worth the listen alone. Plus, Phoebe Judge’s voice.
  • Reveal I first heard an episode of Reveal on the NPR show Marketplace. The episode detailed the generally unknown story of cash assistance in America – TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or “welfare”) – and how little of it actually benefits needy families. Reveal does hard hitting journalism, like uncovering sexual abuse, and the coverups, in the Jehova’s Witness churches in America. Many episodes will upset you, but will hopefully drive you to action.
  • Embedded
  • Death, Sex, and Money
  • Full Stack Radio
  • Homecoming Gimlet is a fictional podcast based on a comic book, sorry, graphic novel, with some big names as the voice actors behind it. The seasons are relatively short (six episodes each) and each episode is usually twenty-five minutes or less, so it’s very easy to binge on. You really get attached to the characters, and the story telling is excellent.
  • Invisibilia
  • Merge Conflict A great, in depth podcast about building iOS and Android applications, and the latest in mobile tech.
  • The Pitch
  • This American Life Isn’t this the podcast everyone adds first?
  • The Art of Manliness I was reluctant to add this podcast at first, as I feared it was going to some misogynistic drivel, but the show is the complete opposite of that. Each episode is an interesting interview (that usually has a masculine bent, but there are plenty of interviews with women), and I generally learn something from an episode. Definitely a great listen when you’re out for a run or doing yard work.
  • Planet Money
  • In The Dark This show is really what got me interested in listening to podcasts. Yes, I listened to Season 1 of Serial, and had listened to an occasional This American Life episode, but In The Dark was amazingly well done, gripping, and had a conclusion! The first season of In The Dark covers a 27 year old unsolved child abduction (the case was solved several weeks before the podcast was released), but is ultimately about something much different. Definitely worth your time.
  • How Did This Get Made
  • Radiolab
  • StartUp
  • Up and Vanished I wanted to get into more true crime podcasts, so I gave UaV a shot. I have conflicting feelings about the show. A former beauty queen goes missing, and then twelve years later two guys (with oddly similar names) are arrested and one is charged in her murder. The arrest happens in the middle of the podcast, but because there hasn’t been a trial, there’s really nothing further to discuss. The podcast does drag on in places, so be prepared for some fast forwarding, and at this point it seems like the podcast has become bigger than the crime it reported on.
  • Sworn I enjoy Sworn much more than Up and Vanished. Sworn is the follow-up podcast to UaV, and uses two or three episodes to discuss a true crime case. Production values are much higher than UaV, and the cases are more interesting.
  • Your Mom’s House I watched Tom Segura’s standup on Netflix a while back, and after seeing a few clips of this show on Youtube, I decided to check it out. Centered around fart humor, gross Internet clips, and a tremendous amount of inside jokes, hosts husband (Tom) and wife (Christina) take you through their daily lives. I got a major dad boner just typing out how much I love this show.