Podcasts!

Y’all listen to podcasts? Well, you should, especially if you commute seventeen hours a day like I do. (Only slightly exaggerating, I commute about three hours a day but still, it’s a looooong time.) Podcasts, in case you don’t know, are basically radio shows made by people for free that you can listen to when it’s convenient for you. You download them to your phone oSometimes they ask for donations, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it’s weekly, sometimes it’s monthly. Often if it has a big enough listening audience the makers get sponsors and make money that way. There’s a documentary coming out soon about them called Ear Buds. They’ve become so popular that WTF with Marc Maron had Obama on as a guest. Yeah, they’re becoming a big deal. And they are wonderful to listen to while walking to and from the station and while on the train so I devour them like an animal. I figured I’d list the ones I am listening to right now in case you wish to join me on this journey of auditory awesomeness.

Comedy Film Nerds: They are the ones making the Ear Buds documentary. It’s two men, Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini, they’re comedians, and they review films. The title is pretty spot-on. If you like movies and smiling this is a good one to check out. I recommend any episode where the guest is Laura House.

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Sklarbro Country: Twin brothers Randy and Jason Sklar are comedians and they are passionate about sports and indie music. I like neither sports nor indie music yet this is one of my favorite podcasts ever which is a testament to their fantastic ability to talk about whatever and be interesting. I’ve seen them live, I’ve hugged them, they are wonderful people.

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The Dollop: Two comedians in a room. Dave Anthony tells Gareth Reynolds a story from American history. Gareth has not been informed of the story beforehand so he reacts in real time. When it’s good it’s a masterpiece. It’s also the only way I learn anything about history. Start with “The Death of George Washington,” “Owen Kildare,” “The Fans of Philadelphia,” or “David Hahn.” The Dollop is wildly popular in Australia for an unknown reason so whenever they record over there they do a story from Australian history. I recommend “Reg Spiers” or “Prince Alfred Visits Australia.”

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How Did This Get Made?: A podcast about movies that should not exist. I mean the movies should not exist, not the podcast. It’s a great podcast. It’s got Paul Sheer, June-Diane Raphael and  the star of the show Jason Mantzoukas. I would recommend the “Sleepaway Camp” episode, “Over the Top,” “Staying Alive,” or “Hercules in New York.”

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Stuff You Should Know: One of the most prolific podcasts I listen to. It’s pretty much what the title says. Two sweet, soft-spoken Southern men educate you on a specific thing for about half an hour. I now know the story of how Tupperware was invented thanks to them.

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The Cracked Podcast: Want to learn something while also being depressed by your fellow man? Then this is the podcast for you! It’s actually really good and informative but it tends to take the negative side of topics. I still like it though and I’ve learned bunchie-wunchies. Sometimes knowledge is a bummer.

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StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson: Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and the head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. He’s also the coolest person ever. Here he is on The Nightly Show being his bad-ass self.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/rca4i7/the-nightly-show-with-larry-wilmore-neil-degrasse-tyson-slams-flat-earth-theorist-b-o-b

Anyway he invites his fellow awesome friends like other physicists and astronauts and they chat about science and it’s great. Did I mention that Dr. deGrasse Tyson was a ballroom dancer in his past? Because awesome.

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Welcome to Night Vale: Weird. So weird. But so good. This is the artsiest of the bunch. It’s a fake local radio show for a town called Night Vale. Night Vale is plagued by odd occurrences but everyone treats these occurrences like they’re normal.

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For example, this is the sign outside the dog park:

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And here are some of their tweets:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/tweets-from-night-vale-that-will-make-you-question-realit?sub=2595168_1615445#.eaBgpwgqv

Because the people who write this show have crafted such a lush and intriguing world, many artists have chosen to interpret aspects of this world and the work they create is beautiful. Here are some examples I have found.

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There’s tons more and if you start listening to Welcome to Night Vale you’ll see why. I recommend starting at the beginning.

If anyone has any cool podcasts you’d like to tell me about please do. I’m always on the lookout for good listening material.

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