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.
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.
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.