PNWS Finally got me into Podcasts

I always liked the idea of podcasts. I grew up in a Mac household, and can remember playing the “game” as a child that taught me how to use a mouse. As an early adopter, I was reading the synopses of podcasts before most of my friends had iPhones, and have even been featured on a couple of fairly I well-followed podcasts… but I could never actually get into listening to them. Then this summer I heard about The Black Tapes from Pacific Northwest Stories.

Like many others before it, I thought TBT sounded enticing; a bit of mystery, the paranormal, right up my alley. So I decided, after having decided a few years ago that I just wasn’t a podcast person, to give it a go. I’d just moved back to Canada from the UK and am fortunate to have a new iPhone and a new car with bluetooth. Less fortunately, I also have a lengthy commute.

To backtrack a little, when I was commuting in the UK I got into listening to BBC Radio 4, which combines a number of quality talk programmes ranging from daily news to women’s issues, comedies and docudramas to the Shipping Forecast. I love music, but found it to be more satisfying during the drive. Missing Radio 4 now I’m back home, I thought podcasts might fill the gap. I also don’t really have TV, so I was open to alternate sources of entertainment.

From the first episode of The Black Tapes, I was hooked. Unlike some of the podcasts I’d checked out previously, it seemed to have a high production value. Moreso, the story sucked me right in. I liked Alex Reagan and was amused and frustrated by Dr. Strand. The story appeals to me because it’s creepy without being gory and it fits my fascination/disbelief in the paranormal and occult.

I caught up on The Black Tapes last week and although the new PNWS podcast Tanis sounded interesting, it didn’t immediately catch my attention as much as TBT. However, I thought I’d give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. To be honest, I’m not certain I enjoy Nic Silver as much as Alex Reagan; he’s not quite as intense (at least not yet, half way through series 1) and doesn’t seem to have quite the level of enthusiasm despite being so captivated by the prospect of a mystery. Meerkatnip seems to be putting in more effort.

What I like most about Tanis so far is how it’s seemingly bringing together different things I’m really into. I’m fascinated by folklore, legends, First Nations culture and history, serial killers and conspiracies. I also live in the Pacific Northwest and have long believed and noticed that this area tends to be a hotbed for varying types of weirdness or evil. There’s just something different about the PNW.

I have yet to complete the first season, but it’s making my commutes a lot more enjoyable. I’m anxiously awaiting more of The Black Tapes especially, and thanks to PNWS have finally kindled a love of podcasts; I’m even seeking others out.

If you’ve been like me and never given podcasts a good listen, I encourage you to check some out. There is such a massive range of programs available for whatever you’re into, and the time and effort many people are putting in to producing quality shows is impressive. I don’t even miss TV now; I have Netflix if I really want it, but podcasts are keeping me entertained.