The time has come for me to pass the baton of cool, which I never really had a firm grip on anyway, to my 15 year old nephew. In under ten minutes, he added over 200 songs to a personalised Spotify playlist for me. Which was desperately needed, because I had been listening to Nightmares on Wax since 2002.
Amidst Skepta, Bugzy Malone, Twenty One Pilots and Mungo’s Hi Fi was Snoop Dogg – I’ve heard of him! And Damian Marley – I’ve heard of his dad! Boom, still got it.
When I’m not listening to 200 new songs gifted to me by my musical muse of a nephew, I’m listening to podcasts these days. Bloody love me a podcast. I didn’t pay attention in school and now I’m trying to get smart.
Here’s my lucky number seven – if you’re listening to other podcasts you think better or match these, be a sport and comment below so I can tap up your podcast delectations, would ya?
Stuff You Should Know
The original and the best – this was the first podcast I ever knew. Still brilliant, having aired thousands of shows since 2008. According to Wikipedia, it’s consistently in the top ten podcast downloads, so I don’t need to tell you it’s ace, you probably already know. Unless you’re new to podcasts, in which case, start here.
Chuck and Josh cover a myriad of topics, recently including jellyfish, steam engines and woolly mammoths. They’re funny, they have good radio voices and a great rapport. They make everything interesting. Although, my husband and I often listen to SYSK last thing at night, which means Josh and Chuck’s dulcet tones have become something of a bedtime lullaby. I try not to associate their fascinating tales with falling asleep.
Latest episode, How Animal Testing Works, here.
My Dad Wrote A Porno
Oh, these guys. Hilarious podcast hosted by poor sod Jamie, whose dad decided there was money to be made in erotic literature, so bashed out a terribly written, crass, lurid attempt at adult entertainment. Jamie reads the porno to us, while friends James and Alice decipher hidden subtext (there isn’t any) and deconstruct the nonsense.
I listened to this one on a long journey to Cornwall last Christmas. It is thus tied up in my happy memories of that little holiday. Husband and I giggled all the way to Cornwall, then listened to it in our hotel room and giggled some more. It’s like we took some very funny mates with us on holiday. Making a podcast out of your humiliation is exactly what I’d do if my dad wrote a porno. Luckily for me, he’s got 17 other ideas for novels to never get around to first.
Series Two has landed! Get started here.
The Joe Rogan Experience
I’ve got my sister to thank for this one. Joe is commentator and post-match interviewer for all the MMA fights I watch because I’m my sister’s sister. He’s also a pot-smoking podcast host, likes to have his mind bent and take you along for the ride.
I highly recommend the Russell Brand interview. It’s seriously long – knocking on four hours – but there’s great chemistry and a range of topics covered by men with mesmerising sparring minds. Russell’s thoughts on whether the gratification of fame and the empty power of social media are really ‘nourishment’ stay with me whenever I find myself mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed when I could be doing something more productive. Like listening to a podcast. Always beats being reminded that other women are skinnier than I am and other avocados are smashed onto sourdough better than my avocado.
The Russell Brand interview can be enjoyed here.
Well, d’oh! Of course it makes the list. But of course you’ve already listened to it, because everyone has. So I won’t dwell.
But just in case – get started on Serial and say goodbye to your weekend here.
I haven’t listened to enough of this one. Each weekly episode is a self contained hour long story, usually told in the style of first-person narrative with interwoven interviews. Adept at telling the human stories of family and friendships, it usually makes me cry.
Try episode number 567 here.
In their own words, this show ‘reveals the hidden awesomeness in everyday things’, hosted by Adam Davidson and Adam McKay. Great episodes cover cardboard, yoga, boredom and broccoli. Cos the little in life is awesome. Especially yoga. And cardboard. I kick myself that I didn’t go into the cardboard industry every time another package arrives from Amazon. Oh well, not as much opportunity to work from a shed in the garden if I were Amazon’s cardboard guy, I don’t suppose.
Talking of crying (I was just now, do keep up) – why do we cry? Good question. Answered here.
I love this man. Bug is simply genius, amiright? Buxton’s podcast sees the lovely chap interview the likes of Kathy Burke, Richard Ayoade, Louis Theroux and the brilliant Rob Delaney (whose autobiography about his alcoholism I also highly recommend… hmm, maybe next week I’ll declare Which Books Are Worth Reading IMHO.)
Latest episode, chatting with Michael Palin, here.
So that’s what has kept my ears warm and my brain entertained in recent years – I tried the Scroobius Pip Distraction Pieces but found him too interrupt-y – the best hosts let their guests do the talking. Coming from someone who loves to host AND talk, that’s rich, I know. (I even interrupt my own sentences with all these extra thoughts in brackets.) Not strictly an interruption there, for the beady eyed amidst us, my previous sentence was indeed done.
Please, dear readers, tell me to whom you are a-listening. My nephew’s 200 songs will only keep me going so long before I need to return to the spoken word.
8 Responses to My fave podcasts
I to *love* My Dad Wrote A Porno and Adam Buxton – who doesn’t want to listen to some nice, funny people?
Other current favourites include:
— Crybabies (about what makes the guests cry)
— Bullseye (conversations with actors/writers/ musicians)
— TED Radio Hour (informative and accessible)
— and The Guilty Feminist (funny and thought provoking)
And (as you can no doubt tell) I’m constantly interrupting myself in brackets too.
Ooooh thanks for these! I’m pretty slow on the podcast uptake, but one I do listen on podcast catch up is Mystery Hour from LBC. Quite still, but quite fun!!
Yay! I’ve been hoping you’d do some recommendation blogs for ages. Definitely do one for books. And how about documentaries?
I know you know about these already but for the sake of your readers, here are a few I like (which you haven’t already mentioned):
Skeptics Guide To The Universe – To be honest I’ve only got around to listening to a few of these a while ago but this comes very highly recommended by our mutual clever friend Olly Watkiss and I intend to listen to this more regularly
Sam Harris – Warning: very heavy, whether he’s talking about religion, violence, ethics, free will or consequentialism (nod to Gee), this is not a funny podcast but it is, I believe, a vitally important one. For a slightly less heavy introduction to Sam you can listen to the podcast he did with Joe Rogan.
You Are Not So Smart – Highly recommend the book but the podcast is a constantly updated version, looking at all kinds of human fallacies. Great intro music too!
Infinite Monkey Cage – a classic and still totally does it for me, a perfect match of comedy and science. Robin Ince used to annoy me slightly until I attended a talk of his with Olly and have had total respect for him ever since. And I think Brian Cox is to popular science what David Attenborough is to er… popular science. Perhaps that should be popular physics and popular zoology then! Heyyyyy, how come zoology doesn’t have 3 o’s? Surely zoology should be pronounced zoo-logy. Zooology would be zoo-ology!
These are all brilliant! Thank you Julie, I’ll check them all out. Especially drawn to the Guilty Feminist, sounds right up my street! (brackets… the sardonic writer’s essential tool!)
Fab, thanks Rosie I’ll listen to that, sounds good. You gotta get into the podcast game, there’s so many absorbing stories out there for us! xx
Love this Tams, thank you! I feel the annoyance of the Ince… it is why I can’t do the Infinite Monkey Cage, despite LOVING Prof Cox! I will defo try your other recos xx
Thank you for this! When I was training for a marathon last year it was podcasts (and the prospect of a bag of guilt-free jelly babies) which really kept me going – I found myself looking forward to the 20 mile training runs just so I could find out what happened to Adnan in Serial and before I knew it the miles just disappeared. I even ended up running the occasional extra ‘once more around the block’ so I could finish the episode!!
Other podcasts I found enjoyable were Freakonomics, Woman’s Hour, TED talks, Robin and Josie’s Utter Shambles, The Comedian’s Comedian – basically anything that could keep me captivated for the first 16 miles and make me laugh for the last 4-10 miles when my energy levels were slowly ebbing away! Podcasts are an amazing invention if you ask me and I am always looking for new suggestions so will check out the ones on your list that I haven’t come across before. Thank you Cx
A brilliant way to distract yourself from the pain of the marathon Charlie – I like it! Serial was totally addictive wasn’t it. Thanks so much for your other suggestions, I’ll give them a whirl too!