In our first installment of Podcast and Episode recommendations, my playlist grew by giant leaps and piles of downloaded audio – thank you for all the suggestions!
I have a few more episodes to suggest this week, especially because I found these to be very thought provoking – sometimes enough to listen to multiple times.
So, let’s get started!
Lifehacker’s podcast The Upgrade has been changing in subtle ways – there’s a new co-host, and there’s more discussion between the co-hosts before they get to the interview. I’m not sold on either combination, to be honest.
The interviews are the best part, however, and there are three episodes I really enjoyed that I’d like to tell you about.
First: Why Your Awkwardness Is Secretly a Social Asset, With Ty Tashiro was a brilliant interview. Tashiro is compassionate towards the emotional pain of social awkwardness, and also scientific in his approach and analysis, a combination I found very compelling.
Tashiro’s book, Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome ( A | BN | K | G | iB ), is now on my TBR, but if you only listen to the podcast, there are many kind and soothing pieces of advice, and techniques to examine your own perception of your awkwardness. I recommended this episode to about six people while I was listening to it.
Other interviews that are excellent from this series:
- How to Not Give a Shit With Author Samantha Irby, author of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life ( A | BN | K | G | iB ) and the writer behind the blog Bitches Gotta Eat.
- How to Use Improv to Change Your Life, especially the parts about active listening.
And one of my favorites that I’ve also listened to multiple times: Charles Duhigg on Self-Motivation, Mental Models, and Getting Stuff Done. There’s one moment where he talks about the desk of 50 years ago that I think about constantly.
I’d like to recommend the Racist Sandwich podcast, which discusses food and its connection to race. It’s really fascinating!
They have guests like food photographers, cookbook authors, etc.
Episode 20: Taking in New Orleans in the Age of Trump is where I started because of this LitHub article, “Talking in New Orleans in the Age of Trump,” written by Maurice Carlos Ruffin.
Elyse really likes the podcast Hey, Sis, which features two sisters (you guessed it!) in a conversation-style podcast. From their description:
We’re Nicole and Nailah Blades, two sisters who are 12 years apart, living 3,000 miles apart, but who still manage to talk everyday about so many different things. We thought it’d be cool to add other folks, like you, into this ongoing conversation.
You can find Hey Sis on Stitcher, iTunes, and your podcast app-land.
Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast has a lot of different and interesting episodes, but my favorites are the Hit Parade episodes, which are nerdy deep dives into popular music.
First: Hit Parade: The Imperial Elton and George Edition looks at the “imperial period” of Elton John and George Michael – the period at which they were so popular their music was an instant hit, regardless of what it was. The episode also looks at their friendship, and I got teary listening to it at the end – and built the mother of all playlists from some of the songs sampled.
In the mid-1980s, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “We Are the World” gathered dozens of the biggest stars in music to put on a show for a good cause. The two songs spawned imitators, but today, the charity megasingle is a relic of pop music’s past, except around the holidays. This month, we examine how good intentions, pique, excess, and vanity led to the rise and fall of the do-gooder celebrity pop song.
If you’re a little like me, the prospect of a nerdy behind-the-scenes exploration of charity mega-singles sends a thrill right to your eardrums. Fear not, Canada, for Northern Lights is also mentioned – you’re not left out!
(And though I’m pretty sure you know, I want to make sure to note that we also have a podcast, Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, and you can find all the details here at the site, or at iTunes or on Stitcher.)
So what episodes of what shows have rocked your brain lately? Anything you want to tell us about?
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