Your New Favorite Podcasts

Podcasts. Either you’re listening to them, or you’re not. For me, living geographically removed from the American mediasphere, podcasts are a great way to keep up with American and other English-language professionally-produced audio content, not to mention all the stuff that people are putting out there on their own.

It’s a bit like having your own radio station, just full of stuff you actually want to hear, that you can listen to whenever you want. I’ve usually got my iPod half-full with a variety of shows; I don’t listen to each episode of each show, but I’ve got a pretty wide span so I can pick whatever I want at whatever moment I feel like listening.

I don’t often see people writing about what podcasts they’re listening to, and randomly browsing podcast sites looking for good shows takes time, so it’s not always easy to find the good stuff that’s out there. Just for the sake for sharing, here are a few of my favorites.

Le Show

Harry Shearer, the voice of many of the Simpsons characters, and one of the co-stars of the classic film Spinal Tap (in the role of Derek Smalls, the one with the incredible sideburns/mustasche combo) gives us this weekly glimpse into the news, focusing on politics and entertainment, rounded off with a bit of sketch comedy. Satirical, insightful, almost always funny.
This American Life

Each week, This American Life picks a topic, and presents a handful of segments about it using interviews, short-story readings, or other forms of audio journalism. No matter what the subject matter, it always feels like an hour well-spent. Chicago Public Radio produces this (mostly-)weekly show.

Undercover Songs

This is one of the very first podcasts I ever subscribed to. Nuno Nunes presents a handful of covers, songs performed by someone other than the original artists. This is huge fun! Although the frequency of updates has declined steadily—first weekly, then bi-weekly, now basically bi-annually—the content is great, and you will always hear something new and unexpected.

Savage Love

Many people have seen Dan Savage’s Savage Love advice column in the alternative press; I read it for years in one of the Minneapolis/StPaul free papers before moving to Sweden. Fortunately Dan has embraced this new digital age, and now offers a phone number where people can call in and record their questions, and he offers them advice, sometimes calling them back to get more info. Though the vast majority of the callers have problems and concerns far from my own life, it’s pretty interesting to hear the concerns of bisexual grammar fetishists living in poly relationships with jesus freaks. If this sounds vaguely Jerry Springer-esque, don’t worry, it’s not.






Well, that’ll do for now. If anyone else feels like sharing, don’t forget to use the comments, now less-broken than they’ve been in months!