Some of Our Favorite Podcasts, Music and Otherwise12th October 2016 • No comments
Everyone that knows me or follows me on social media knows that I love podcasts. I talk about them often and listen to them always. There are a many I listen to but here are a few favorites:
The Allusionist If you love words you need to listen to The Allusionist. Etymology, cultural breakdowns of how words evolve (or devolve), and how each generation got its nickname are all researched by Allusionist host Helen Zaltzman. The show also explores things such as the psychology of small talk, why so many cities have “Soho” districts, and what happens to your brain and speech patterns when you spend months in Antarctica.
Brandon and Jerry are Friends I met Brandon and Jerry earlier in the year and one of their colleagues told me about their show. I gave it a listen and liked that it was different from most of the shows I listen to. I also like to support the local creative community, so that was a bonus. Episodes are bi-weekly and include Brandon and Jerry discussing current events and Jerry’s fear of the robot apocalypse to games about guessing if a ridiculous news story happened in Florida or someplace else (hint; it’s almost always Florida). For whatever reason, I tend to listen to this show when I’m at Target and I find myself laughing out loud (alone) at discussions about maraschino cherry magnates or something equally awesome!
Bridge the Atlantic In the name of full disclosure I need to mention that I work on Bridge the Atlantic. Do you know how I ended up working for BTA? Because I loved and believed in the show so much that I kept sharing episodes, referring artists to it, and suggesting guests to hosts Ross Barber-Smith and Marcio Novelli. I think it became easier for them to just ask me to join the team so in early summer they asked me to become the booking agent (officially). Bridge the Atlantic features people from all areas of the creative industries and as the show has grown, the names have gotten bigger and bigger. Not only is the show fun because Ross and Marcio are just the coolest, but it’s a great resource for anyone who works in a creative industry, in any capacity. Label, management, PR, filmmaker, artist, songwriter, actor, author, writer, or band member. Established act or brand new – it doesn’t matter! There is awesome advice that everyone can glean from Bridge the Atlantic, and the best part it is; it’s really fun! With well over 100 episodes now there’s something for everyone. And we need to get Michael Bolton on the show; who can help us make that happen?
Criminal I love Criminal! I keep trying to get over the heartbreak that I was this close to landing a job with Criminal over the summer (no, really…I’ve moved on *weeps*). In all seriousness, this is one of the few podcasts I found early on and eagerly wait for each week. For those who are squeamish, it’s not necessarily what you think. The show isn’t about gruesome crime and gore. A couple of episodes touch a bit on that but you can usually identify them by their description. More accurately, the show deals with strange crimes and those who have committed them. The first episode deals with animal crimes and the history of animal trials in history (seriously, animals used to stand trial – tax money hard at work!). Other episodes deal with a 15-year-old computer hacker, identity theft, The Treaty Oak in Austin, and all sorts of really fascinating things. A lot of it deals with alternate takes on history which we haven’t been privy to, and a lot of it you can listen to with children (at your discretion, of course). They’re also on tour, so be sure to check their website and go to a live recording if they’re going to be in your city!
DIY Artist Route I found this show when its host, D Grant Smith, was a guest on Bridge the Atlantic. D Grant is, in a word, awesome! He believes in everything we stand for at Thirty Roses and lives it in everything he does in his career and on DIY Artist Route. D Grant and his show are all about educating and Growth Farming, which is a much more community-oriented way of saying “networking”. With D Grant and his guests, the goal is informing and making sure artists know that networking doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. The show has guests from all aspects of the music industry who share their experiences and advice on entrepreneurship in music, overcoming fear, and other tips everyone in the music biz needs to survive and thrive. Plus, he does it all without being boring and arrogant (you know we’d never be on board with anyone like that).
The Girls Hour I found The Girls Hour when one of my clients was a guest on the show. Since then it’s become one of my favorites and I’ve gotten to be good friends with hosts Jen and Michele. The Girls Hour deals with a little bit of everything and is pretty conversational in its presentation as Jen and Michele discuss topics such as animal rights (they’re very active dog foster parents) and LGBT issues. They always manage to inform their audience without ever coming across as preachy or judgmental. The show is an extension of the community the hosts work to build and they don’t pretend to be anything they aren’t. If they’re concerned about something, be it family issues or pre-wedding freak-outs, they talk about it on the show, because they view show as a big group of friends. Listening to The Girls Hour really is like hanging out and drinking coffee with your girlfriends (every male reader just rolled their eyes, it’s okay 😉 ).
Hidden Brain This show is absolutely fantastic. If you’re interested in social science and the psychology behind why people do what they do, you need to listen to Hidden Brain. Neurobiology, sociology, the science of coincidences, the effects of background music – so much cool stuff! There is not an uninteresting episode of this show! There’s also a segment called “Stopwatch Science” in which host Shankar Vedandam and Daniel Pink each have 60 seconds to share stories with one another, with the topics changing in each episode.
KUTX This Song An awesome show on an awesome station which is hosted by an awesome indie artist which features awesome artists talking about other awesome artists…what’s not to love?!? In case you didn’t catch that, let me back up. Elizabeth McQueen hosts This Song and she alone would be reason enough to listen. Each episode features an artist talking about songs which have influenced them the most. This format leads to so many wonderful discussions. Sure, you hear some of the expected answers since so many people were influenced by Nirvana, David Bowie, etc, but the interesting part is what each artist does with that influence and how it manifests in so many different types of music. I’ve found so much great new music simply because I listen to every episode. It’s also interesting to hear about the unconventional inspirations so many artists have had. The theme song from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Stardust”, and “War of the Worlds” are just a few of the less obvious musical choices that have led some of today’s leading indie artists to their current musical paths. Whether you’re interested in finding new artists or hearing about the genesis of some your favorite songs and bands, This Song is a must for music fans.
Sodajerker I can’t swoon over this podcast enough. Adam Schlesinger, Neil Hannon, and Neil Finn were on it…need I say more? Maybe? Okay. So, I’ve mentioned other music podcasts, but this one is just about songwriting. An hour of Neil Finn talking about writing some of the greatest songs ever. An hour of Paul Simon talking about writing songs. PAUL SIMON! Seriously. It’s almost too much. While there are a lot of great podcasts that touch on a little bit of a lot of things, Sodajerker is the only one that only talks about just the songs, and it’s absolutely magic. For those who write songs, it gets into the actual craft and will probably give you a lot of great ideas and inspiration. For fans, it’s really fascinating to hear the backstory behind some of the most legendary music in the history of pop music. Songwriting tips from Paul Williams are probably a pretty good thing to have, and Sodajerker has them. There are artists from every genre and even if you don’t like their music, you have to respect the careers of these artists. Get settled in for some major binge listening and note-taking, songwriting friends.
Sound Opinions I can’t talk about podcasts and not mention Sound Opinions. To be fair, Sound Opinions was a radio show before it was a podcast but since it’s a podcast now I’m pretty sure it counts. Hosted by dueling Chicago music writers Greg Kot and Jim DeRogotis, the show features music reviews, desert island music selections, live performances, what mark artists have left or speculation on what mark they may leave, and arguing…lots of arguing. Oh, and a lot Brian Eno. Greg and Jim talk about everything music related and you may not always agree with them, but it’ll always be interesting. They’re also great about listening to listener messages and engaging on social media so don’t be afraid to let them know what you think – I do…often!