51 podcasts for Tim

Last weekend, I attended the Third Coast International Audio Festival’s Filmless Fest, a gathering of some of the best audio producers and radio fans in the world. It was a terrific and inspiring event.

I’ve been a podcast obsessive since — shortly after — podcasting’s advent, a decade or more ago. It’s been such an all-consuming force in my life for so long that my ears may very well soon start evolving to have white earbuds naturally and permanently embedded in them.

My trajectory is pretty typical. I got interested in This American Life, and from there was introduced to Third Coast, PRX and some of the more obscure and seedier (and wonderful) edges of the audio world, like the lamentingly defunct Hearing Voices or Catalog of Ships.

Anyway, this isn’t an addiction that’s going away anytime soon. Nor do I want it to. It enhances the quality of my life rather than detracts from it.

I feel like I discover new audio things each week and race to add them to my feed (I currently have 8.4 GB of un-listened-to podcasts in Overcast, which is just stupid). My friend Tim is currently listening to and writing about 100 podcasts. He asked for show suggestions, so here is a sampling of 50 of the shows I’m excited by. I’ve left out some things I like, either because Tim already wrote about them or just because I know he already listens to them based on things he’s tweeted, etc.

What did I leave out that you love? I’m interested in what you listen to, and to take you up on your recommendations. Why not make it 9 GB of un-listened-to podcasts?

Top 8 (in alpha order):

  1. Basement Tapes of the Mole Cabal — Cut-ups and abstractions.
  2. Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything — Truths and untruths about art, technology, people.
  3. Everything is Stories — Stories about transcendence.
  4. Home of the Brave — America (and beyond) opened wide.
  5. Love & Radio — Dark sides and weirdnesses of humankind.
  6. Radiotonic — Audio explorations.
  7. Short Cuts — A mixtape of incredible radio storytelling.
  8. Third Coast International Audio Festival — A collection of the best audio stories from around the world.

43 more (in alpha order)

  1. 99% Invisible — About design, but really about way more than design.
  2. The Allusionist — The underbelly of language.
  3. ARRVLS — Stories of migration, transformation, and change
  4. The Atavist Magazine — Serialized non-fiction.
  5. Beginning of the End — Stories about things ending.
  6. Below the 10: Life in South LA — Interesting people in LA.
  7. Between the Liner Notes — Music history told as stories.
  8. Curious City — Chicago weirdness explained.
  9. Dead Authors — Comedians as deceased writers transported to the modern day.
  10. Detective — Real life crime stories.
  11. Dirtbag Diaries — Adventure and the power it has over people.
  12. Errthang Show! — Audio variety show w/ interviews, stories, plays.
  13. Esquire Classic Podcast — Old Esquire stories dissected.
  14. First Time Last Time — Stories about first times and last times.
  15. Fugitive Waves — Lost recordings and shards of sound.
  16. Gravy — Southern food and culture.
  17. The Heart — Love, loss, life.
  18. Homemade Stories — Shannon Cason’s stories.
  19. How to Be a Girl — Raising a transgender child.
  20. How Sound — The backstory to great radio storytelling.
  21. HOME: Stories from LA — New show about things that happen in LA.
  22. Here Be Monsters — Exploration of the unknown.
  23. Light in the Attic — Investigations into the stories behind the records that LITA reissues.
  24. Lore — Myth and mystery.
  25. Made in Sweden — 6 part series on about a Swedish criminal family.
  26. The Memory Palace — Hidden histories.
  27. Neighbors — Getting to know the people next door.
  28. Nocturne — Stories about what happens at night.
  29. The Organist — Experimental arts-and-culture program from McSweeney’s & KCRW.
  30. Paper Radio — Stories, tall and true, from Australia and New Zealand
  31. Pitch — Music stories.
  32. Precious Lives — Gun violence and youth in Milwaukee.
  33. Radio Diaries — People’s private lives.
  34. Random Tape — Audio outtakes and discards.
  35. Rumblestrip Vermont — Conversations that take time.
  36. Serendipity — Radio fiction for the 21st century.
  37. SleepTalker — sleep, dreams, nightmares and what happens in your head after dark.
  38. Snap Judgement — Storytelling with a beat.
  39. Stylus — Stories about music.
  40. Unfictional — True stories, not fiction.
  41. Wiretap — The inside of Jonathan Goldstein’s mind.
  42. Wireless Nights — Jarvis Cocker. I don’t need to say more.
  43. You Must Remember This — Hidden history of Hollywood.
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