Friday, August 28, 2009

4 More Podcasts You Should Try

At some point after writing about The Moth and other podcasts, I somehow decided that they were no longer updating, and unsubscribed. I was thus lucky enough to re-discover The Moth Podcast. Here are a few of my other recent finds:

American Radioworks - These guys do documentaries about... stuff. Their 2009 season (which was released in the spring) was about the economy, and had shows featuring current situations (the real estate market, for example) and historical comparisons (the WPA). As well as providing an excellent program, they had a series of behind the scenes shows, where they talked to producers about how they put together the show. For a trial run, I recommend Foreclosure City (Las Vegas).

The Memory Palace produces short biographies about (mostly) people you probably don't think about very often. They're exceedingly well-told. My favorites so far are The Brothers Booth (as in John Wilkes) and Ben Franklin Death Ray.

If you haven't heard of Planet Money, you're way behind. This is NPR's incredibly successful podcast about the economy. It started out last Sept/Oct when all the craziness started, born of a couple of This American Life episodes designed to explain the craziness. Now they podcast three times a week, discussing current economic events and interpreting them for the non-economist. Usually*, they're spot-on, entertaining, and informative.
*The one exception is the Elizabeth Warren interview, which created a lot of controversy because the interviewer was inexcusably rude.

Hearing Voices is sometimes excellent, sometimes skippable. It's an hour program of... well, of something. Sometimes it's one person's story, sometimes it's a collection of stories on a theme. But I can't really say they're all stories. Sometimes it's random recordings on a theme. My favorite so far is Educating Esme, basically an audio journal of a teacher's first year in an inner-city school.

I wish there were a better way to share podcasts (like Google Reader), but alas, iTunes doesn't yet do social networking. Look for it Sept. 9.

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