Posts Tagged ‘hometown tales’

My Favourite Podcasts 2012

December 12, 2012

Podcast Headphones

I love podcasts.  I spend most of my free time listening to them, and now the rest of that time is spent making podcasts…yup!

I’m going to start with a caveat: I am not including This American Life, RadioLab, Planet Money or On The Media in this list…because they collectively would hold the #1 spot, and many people regularly include them in their own lists…so recognize that I like these shows. Freakonomics and The Moth also sit at a close tie for 1.5…again…you know these…so…

In no specific order:

No-Budget Nightmares

On Podomatic and iTunes.  Consistently the show I most look forward to.  I LOVE low-budget flicks, and so do these guys.  Even if the movie is awful, the episode ABOUT the movie is amazing (Hip-Hop Locos and Barely Legal Lesbian Vampires is still among my favourites).  Moe and Doug have a great rapport, reminding me a bit of the chemistry between Hometown Tales’ Gene and Bryan.

Here’s The Thing

On iTunes and WNYC.  Alec Baldwin…talking to interesting people.  How could you NOT love them.  The Fred Armisen, Billy Joel and David Letterman episodes are especially amazing.

Lexicon Valley

On iTunes and Slate.  Bob Garfield from On The Media joins Mike Vuolo of Slate to discuss words, grammar and the english language.  Bob gets to let his hair down MUCH lower than he can on OTM, and Mike is a perfect foil for Bob’s oft-times cynical repartee.  You are entertained, and learn.  What I like most is that there is often an attempt to bring the subject matter some history, which many of us forget language has!

Jay and Silent Bob Get Old

On Smodcast and iTunes.  OK…I admit it…I’m a Kevin Smith fan.  I was obsessed with Clerks when it first came out.  I have a Clerks hockey jersey from the original video release promo (the local video store knew I was obsessed).  This is an intervention podcast, where Kevin helps keep Jason Mewes on the straight and narrow…by telling dirty sex stories, cautionary tales, and going on hilariously filthy tangents.  NOT for the weak of heart, or spirit.  Definitely for the Gen-X and Why’ers who grew up loving the foul mouthed Jay and silently-wise Silent Bob.

99% Invisible

Web and iTunes.  Genius.  Seriously.  This show has the capacity to change not just podcasts but radio as we know it.  Roman Mars talks design and architecture.  If I describe episode by episode you will probably think I’m crazy (the rules of flag design, giving names to all the areas in an urban space that have none, a big purple building) but I’ve never been so hypnotized by a show before.  RadioLab meets University Lecture after taking gentle hallucinogens.

Honorary Mention: Hometown Tales

Website and iTunes.  I love this podcast, but they’ve updated two or three times in the last year.  I’m SO glad I chose to write in when I did…one of the last ‘proper’ episodes they did (#350, possibly that last ‘proper’ episode actually) they read my hometown tales and I had a mention on the show.  I listened to this show backwards, from newest to oldest, which was an amazing experience I should write about in another blog.  If there were two guys I would want to have a beer with and talk about ‘everything’ it would be Gene and Bryan.  I’m not sure if the show is dead or just ‘temporarily inactive’ so I include it here…a show I would listen to as often as they post…so hopefully they post again!

I guess here I’ll drop in a quick note about the podcasts I do myself!  I in NO way compare mine with these, but the shows above are partly the reason I got into podcasting (and in the case of No-Budget Nightmares, the door I used to get in!)

FUZZY NOTES: My most popular show, about the music made by furries.  If you don’t know what furries are, they’re the lovable oft-misunderstood fandom of people who associate themselves with animals.  Some like to dress in costumes (most people do not, despite what the media likes to say!) and some draw art…and some do music!  I felt that there was a need for a hub for furry music, so I made one!  Over 500 downloads a week and growing, it seems to be working!

SOMETHING WEIRD THIS WAY COMES: It’s irregularly updated at this point, but I’d like to change that in the new year.  Originally a podcast about low-budget films…now about the music of low-budget films.  Here’s a link to the inaugural episode of the ‘music’ format where I play songs from the various films Moe and I had discussed in the first eight episodes of the original ‘series.’

DALE SPEAKING PODCAST: My work podcast, a show about music, musicians and the music industry from what we hope is a unique perspective!  We talk about the music industry and artists in Canada and try to identify tips, tricks and trends!

What do you think?  Any opinions on these shows?  Hate my shows and blog?  Talk to me!  Either here or in Twitter @Potoroo.


Reading vs. Podcasts

April 27, 2011

A bit of a break from the music thing…

I became a podcast whoooore when I returned to school in early 2009.  I started listening obsessively to This American Life, to Hometown Tales, and to odds and ends here and there.  They entertained me while travelling to and from class.

I wanted to read during the long commutes but for some reason my brain was completely uninterested.  I would yawn uncontrollably, very little kept my attention (I’ve done a weird switch from Fiction to Non-Fiction, but even the most interesting books tired me out), and I read page after page without absorbing anything.

Recently, I found a way to increase brain-interest.  It’s called Kobo.

My roomie recently has found himself working with the fine folks at Kobo, and procured a first generation e-reader from them (I currently could not afford any kind of gadget…I was lucky enough to use one for free)

I was skeptical: the screen does weird things when you change pages, and I’m so used to the feel of paper and the weight of a book I thought it would be weird to read off of a little plastic slab.

So far…it’s enjoyable!  I’m not struggling to keep the pages open, or a book on my lap…people bump into me but it’s not a big deal…I can travel from streetcar to bus to subway and back and not have to force my book into a backpack, or fear of losing my place.  Also…if the book gets boring for one reason or another, I have dozens other waiting to ‘pick up.’

I’m reading ‘Musicophilia‘ by Oliver Sacks for now.  I’m tempted to check a few other music books once this one is done.  Feed my brain, perhaps?

I can’t figure out which I prefer.  Podcasts are great…but they’re almost a lazy form of entertainment.  Someone else did the work for me, so I sit and stare and listen.  I feel when I go too long without listening, Ira Glass, Gene and Bryan get lonely!  Books are more likely to help me expand my brain but sometimes are a pain in the butt to read while surrounded by noisy kids and angry old ladies.

Do you have a preference?  Do you use an e-reader and do you like it?  Are there any podcasts that catch your attention?