Stitcher has a plethora of podcasts worth listening to. Each week, we’re giving you new episode recommendations from some of our top shows to help keep you up to speed and ease the pain of the pod discovery process.
Culture Kings — “The Secret Sauce with Jason”
This week on Culture Kings the dynamic co-hosting duo of Jacquis Neal and Edgar Momplaisir becomes a sweet solo act with Momplaisir hosting alone (though Neal can be heard on a wonderful episode of How Did This Get Played this week discussing Metal Gear Solid 2).
The episode begins with Momplaisir speaking with Neal, but the host has to repeatedly be reminded by the show’s producer, Matt Apodaca, that it’s only the two of them. Momplaisir then proceeds to tell a story of how his high school algebra teacher Mr. Hack (whose name is “100% real”) offered a very misguided and offensive reward (a racist joke) to Momplaisir and his brother if they did well in school. Momplaisir tells the joke and yes, it’s quite racist.
Momplaisir’s guest this week is Jason Concepcion, AKA Netw3rk. The conversation never dulls, moving from the hardships of being New York Knicks fans (“I look at them like a family member that’s going through an alcohol or drug problem”) to Concepcion delving into his Filipino heritage, to how he used to be mistaken for Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. While walking into a bodega in New York Concepcion said, “The guy making my bacon, egg, and cheese bagel would go over to the other guy and be like ‘look at this guy.’ And then they’d all of a sudden look at me and be like: ‘Pacquiao.’”
One of the best moments of the episode comes when Momplaisir and Concepcion relate to having imposter syndrome in an industry where there are always people more talented than you. Momplaisir says he’s come to a conclusion that he’s “okay not being LeBron James.”
The episode is both funny and insightful as Concepcion closes the conversation with a piece of advice for aspiring creatives: “The thing that will separate you from all the other people that maybe are better at XYZ than you is they don’t have your experiences, they didn’t like the dumb movies that you like. They don’t like the embarrassing stuff that you liked. Just embrace all that. Embrace all the stuff that you got teased for, that you feel ashamed of in some way because of the cultural context you grew up in. And figure out a way to see that through your work.”
Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People — “Everyone Is A Survivor (Tanya from Motor City Mayhem)”
“You are going to walk away, I am certain, feeling like this caller is one of the strongest people you’ll ever encounter,” Chris Gethard says in the opening of this week’s Beautiful/Anonymous. And the sentiment holds true throughout the episode.
This is a follow-up to a fan-favorite episode called “Motor City Mayhem”, in which two friends called the Beautiful/Anonymous live show in Detroit and asked for a third friend in the crowd to join Gethard on stage. What ensued was a brief look into the lives of the three friends, and while it was mostly comedic, we also learned that two of the friends bonded over the murder of their fathers.
In this episode, Gethard speaks solely to one of the friends (one who uses the pseudonym “Tanya”) whose life was permanently changed after a home invasion left his father dead and his twin brother with a traumatic brain injury.
The episode is a perfect example of why the podcast is titled what it is; the caller’s story exemplifies the importance of strength, honesty, and mental health after a tragedy. The caller delves into how his friendships, family, and Gethard have all provided outlets for him to cope with grief and survivor’s guilt.
He praises Gethard for helping him become more open to treating his mental health. Halfway through the episode, he tells Gethard, “You are creating spaces for people that can lose control a little bit, safely, without shame.”
Yo, Is This Racist? — “Lay Your A*s Down”
Are you sitting comfortably? This week on Yo, Is This Racist? hosts Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome want their listeners to get on their massage tables and, as Newsome says, “Lay your ass down and prepare to be made a little uncomfortable.”
The episode starts with a discussion about the ideal podcasting position. Show producer Matt Apodaca (making his second appearance on the recap this week!) suggests the ideal position might be on a massage table with a microphone in the “little hole where your head goes.” The subsequent topics discussed range from how hard it is to use throwing knives, eating duck, and the absurdity of the recent “Million MAGA March.”
The voicemails this week provide perfect opportunities for the hosts to go off on some callers. The first voicemail comes from a man in Oregon who posted the text from a racist 1800’s Oregon law banning black people. The post used an antiquated derogatory term and traumatized a friend of his. Though he apologized and took it down, he wanted to know if he was racist for posting it... The hosts’ reactions?
“This feels like…you didn’t need to call us.”
“Just don’t post anything with those words in it.”
“Some of these calls into the inbox. It’s not a question, it’s a pilot…And this is definitely one of them.”
The rest of the episode is worth the listen as it features voicemails detailing a mom with racist tendencies and Ti’s thoughts on whether or not to tell others if you have a racist roommate: “Start snitching. Always snitch on racists. She’s lucky you didn’t put her full name and social security number on this podcast.”
— Ian Goldstein