For almost two years now I have been an avid listener of podcasts. I was first introduced to this medium of radio-like entertainment from a coworker about five years ago. He used to listen (maybe he still does) to a tech podcast, which after looking into it I realized why he was so well versed and knowledgeable in techy things. I didn’t understand it much and tried to listen to it through my iPhone. I didn’t know how to navigate it well and gave up. On and off I would still try and get into it, but I wasn’t looking deep enough into genres, and maybe I hadn’t developed my tastes and maturity regarding what it is I really like.
Fast forward to now, I can’t keep up. I began to really get into podcasts after my boyfriend kept asking me to listen to this episode of Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience. Just listening to his different guests I started searching topics/categories that interested me. And from there I subscribed to this and that podcast. Then these people had guests that had their own podcasts. IT NEVER ENDS!
I’m currently subscribed to about 50+. Most of them are under the Comedy category. I have a couple of sex-talk/sex-positive, a few docu-types, an economy talk, and a couple from the Stuff You Should Know family. I can’t keep up. Right now I’m about three weeks behind. *tsk tsk*. But, that’s the beauty of this— I don’t miss out. I can listen to them whenever and wherever- mostly on my walks to work and during work. Thank the tech gods for my Blue Tooth head set- no more cords!
Here’s a breakdown of my favorite in no particular order.
Greg Proop’s The Smartest Man in the World – I didn’t know he had his podcast until my boyfriend referred me to him. I remember like it was yesterday. OK, not really because I don’t remember if it was an actual phone or text convo, but he asked me: you like all that feminist stuff, right? … Listen to this episode of Greg Proops- the guy from Whose Line is it Anyway? Anyway, I did and I haven’t missed an episode since. He keeps up with current events and the best part is: they are live. It’s awesome, witty, on-point current event comedy and critical analysis of the fucked up shit that happens around the world. I love living in Proopcast Land.
Stuff You Missed in History Class– this one is part of the Stuff You Should Know fam. Tracy and Holly host the show and they are awesome and I love their topics. There’s an episode that sticks out and it’s one titled “Orphan Trains”. It was a system set out to transfer/transport children from the East to the West. The system was so messed up but ended up being the beginning for how adoption and foster care systems work today. There is SO much we truly missed in history class and well, their recap of these events are very well laid out. The ones that I love the most are the ones that focus on the women that often get overlooked in the books. One of my favorite is the one on Katie Sandwina- a stronwoman who came from a circus family.
Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast – you like rants? Well, who better to listen to than Bill Burr? There are so many -isms that can come out of him that you can never lose with him. There is never a dull moment. He does talk sports so if you don’t mind like I don’t then it’s a go. Bill Burr makes light of current events that usually get blown out of proportion. The ones I enjoy the most are when his wife joins in. Now that he’s in a studio we don’t get much of his dog interrupting, which I miss, but i can’t complain. I’ll tell you this, every episode I experience a moment of burst out laughter. HEY LAAAAYDIIEEEE.
Tangentially speaking with Dr. Christopher Ryan– I first heard of Christopher Ryan through Joe Rogan. I read his book Sex at Dawn and loved him ever since. He has very interesting guests and they just enlighten on how human are by nature. His views and those of his guests expose me to so many possibilities and kinda make me angry on the current structure of society and expectations placed on people. You can’t do this and you can’t do that because this biblical text said so and you should feel shame and guilt for this and that because your mind and body are against each other. Phew.. that was a load off my back. The outro music to his podcasts pretty much encompases what the show is all about- Carsie Blanto’s Smoke Alarm.
Latino USA – I cannot be more grateful for this podcast than I already am. I love Maria Hinojosa for everything she has done and this podcast is truly amazing. The hour long episode features short segments of issues affecting Latinos around the Americas and beyond. I can’t get enough of this show and ever since I came across it no episode goes unheard. It keeps up with current socio-political issues and every now and then the music in between the segments might surprise you. I have not heard Adanoswky and Grimes anywhere else but here (OK, other than my little sister and bff). But I mean, there is so much to learn, and I truly hope there are people out there other than Latinos listening to this because listening to first person accounts of things affecting minorities creates empathy and harmony (fingers crossed).
BBC Doc Archive – Ah man! This podcast has SO many short documentaries about so many different topics I don’t where to begin. I love it because it brings up things forgotten, things ignored and overall just interesting things regarding society. Here are some titles I recently listened to: The Bizarre Workings of St Louis County Missouri; Heaven on Earth (a Vietnamese woman’s perspective of the Vietnam War); Tata: India’s Global Giant. I mean things these are topics that I wouldn’t normally hear about in U.S. News and media. One episode that really stands out from this channel is of the mothers of young men that have joined ISIS. Listening to their stories has given me a different lens on the issue- how it works, who it affects, and what is happening to those not in the media spotlight.
Your Mom’s House with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky – pure comedy here! laughter out my nose with these two. Listening to these two has given me a whole different vocabulary and community. It’s truly special being a Jeans and having Tommy and Christina P as my Mommies. Keeping up with current events and viral vids and nuances, they spin everything into something hilarious. If I could choose two people to be friends with from my online world I would definitely choose these two!
That’s Deep, Bro– This one is a new one; for the host and for me. 🙂 Christina Pazsitsky started her show because she wanted to find herself and I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be a part of her journey. The best part is that she keeps these deep topics of conversation in tune with her comedy. Her guests and topics are in sync and it makes a great show. “Philosophize with us.” The episodes have an agenda and it works. She has a degree in philosophy and it shows- she knows her shit. Her analysis is critical and reflective. Sometimes as I listen I pause because I need some time for self-reflection. Like, am I affected by this? Not the same way, but, damn she’s talking about me, too. And she’s such a positive person that I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t like her (DOES anyone not like her? if so, i don’t want to know that person).
EconTalk – I’m so glad I came across this podcast. It’s one of the ones I enjoy listening to the most. Russ has guests that put into perspective the workings of U.S. and global economies. I just finished listening to one on water. WATER. It was informative and I learned quite a bit- how prices work, how it affects us, why things are the way they currently are, who’s working on what to make things better, the obstacles… it’s just insane what you can learn in an hour. The topics are sometimes complex, but Russ always asks the right questions and the guests break it down enough that I can understand and even have a conversation about it later.
Alt. Latino – being a music fan this one if another favorite. Jasmine and Felix are two great hosts and filled with music knowledge. Their segments have the variety needed to open your ears to music around the world. The best part is obviously that it focuses on Latino cultures and Latino influences in music today and in the past. I’ve come across artists I never knew existed and genres that are up and coming.
Listening to these shows is an experience. I understand things better and people are seeming more real to me. My expectations of the world and people have shifted to be more realistic. <- not sure if that’s a bad thing for you, but for me it’s a good thing. As guests come and go, especially the more famous ones, I get a little glimpse of what the world has to offer- to them and to me and EYE to the world. Does that make sense? Things get explained in greater detail when there is more time and there’s a greater sense of appreciation- radio segments can kiss my ass now. 🙂 and I also get a better sense of who these people are other than their stage persona. I feel like I know the people that come on these shows. I suppose my favorite thing about podcasts is that they keep my brain going. Listening to certain shows is food for my brain, other shows relax it, and others just keep it vibrant. Having tid bits of knowledge on a variety of topics allows for the opportunity to have different types of conversations; it’s adding to the memory bank. Radio seems dull to me and the hosts have so much creative control that you wonder why radio is still on air. Yea, that last part is sort of mean, but I hope you get me.