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A weekly newsletter about podcasts rounding up a bunch of news and writing about podcasts. Required reading for anyone in the podcast biz.

Recommendations

02/27/2017 The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Music This piece has two selections from Saunder Jurriens and Danny Bensi's score to Christine, Yes But and Back to Work. Notes This very good article in the Museum of Hoaxes gives a nice overview and links out to the original article. Hampton Sides In the Kingdom of Ice has a nice telling of the story with a lot of background on the editor of the Herald.
Just wanted to quickly shout-out the New York Times latest audio project, The EP. The podcast was produced in partnership with The New York Times Magazine for the latter’s second annual Music issue, which came out earlier this week, and the show is fascinating on a bunch of different levels: its structure mimics the feel of a digital music album, each episode is bite-sized, each episode features a very tiny snippet of conversation with a critic about a specific song that nonetheless feels like the perfect capsule from a much longer discussion, and if you look down the feed’s release date column, you can see evidence of some sneaky CMS hijinks to create the track sequence. And most importantly: the podcast is really, really good. It’s one of those projects that’s so good, so smart, and so… new that it makes me very, very angry. It’s gorgeous. Go listen to it. The EP was produced by the internal NYT audio team, which is led by Samantha Henig and Lisa Tobin.
05/05/2014Taking your conservative parents to Burning Man is one thing. Filming every moment is another. This marks a particularly special episode of The Lapse: two storytellers, one story. Speaking to co-directors Joel Ashton McCarthy and Bryant “Spry Bry” Boesen was a treat. Matthau and Lemon would be proud; they’re an Odd Couple in the best sense, just mismatched enough to compliment one another. In a lot of ways, Joel has more in common with Charles and Lee, Bryant’s parents. Rather than give away its namesake, aptly named Taking My Parents to Burning Man, this episode explores more of the dynamic between Joel and Bryant. I think it’s a pretty fabulous companion piece. Two voices is a lot of work to edit with, so settle in for something special. It might be a while before this kind of episode again. In the meantime, you need to see this movie. Get tickets at the Soho Film Festival in New York for May 17th now because the film has sold out at every screening thus far. You can also buy tickets in Vancouver at the Rio Theatre on May 30th and May 31st. Bryant Boesen is moving on to his next Burning Man-esque venture with The Art of Expression. It’s beautiful. Just incredibly gorgeous. You can also watch him breathe fire which is worth hitting up for that alone. Joel McCarthy is just about to enter production on After Film School, a delightfully black comedy that’s being funded in part by Telus. The pitch video already makes me smile. After you listen to this, you can get a
I think one of the most exciting independent podcasts out of Canada right now is The Lapse. Its tag line is "True stories, gussied up" — meaning solid storytelling but with a rich sonic backdrop. The show is narrated by Kyle Gest and listening feels like you're watching a film in your head. One of my favourite episodes was about ICP, Send In The Clowns. Who doesn't love an Insane Clown Posse story?!? Also fun: Taking My Parents to Burning Man
11/30/2015All Tom had to do was get the band to the show. Problem? It's '95, it's Insane Clown Posse, and all their fans want his head. Itching for season 3? Make it possible! Support The Lapse for as little as $1 a month at patreon.com/thelapse. This month's executive supporters: Cindy Crijns, Jill Galvez, Dan Lesser, & Richard Gwirtz. Catch more of Tom on his film review podcast, Reel Spoilers.
I think one of the most exciting independent podcasts out of Canada right now is The Lapse. Its tag line is "True stories, gussied up" — meaning solid storytelling but with a rich sonic backdrop. The show is narrated by Kyle Gest and listening feels like you're watching a film in your head. One of my favourite episodes was about ICP, Send In The Clowns. Who doesn't love an Insane Clown Posse story?!? Also fun: Taking My Parents to Burning Man
08/12/2016 2008 was an exciting time to be a Harry Potter fan. The final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had been released. Movies were on the way. And author Melissa Anelli was at the center of it all, running a popular fan site called The Leaky Caldron and working on a book, Harry, a History. Just as things couldn’t get better, Melissa received her first death threat. Please take a moment to fill out our listener survey: http://surveynerds.com/criminal We’re taking Criminal on the road for a series of live shows! Learn more and buy tickets here: http://thisiscriminal.com/live/ Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
This is maybe too basic, but it's just unexpected and engrossing and totally gripping and like so odd in that could-be tabloid/TMX way but treated with thoughtfulness. Also I listened to this while watching that 'OJ Simpson: Made in America' doc so that's all I really care about right now.
03/09/2016 Jia Tolentino is the deputy editor of Jezebel. “Insult itself is an opportunity. I’m glad to be a woman, and I’m glad not to be white. I think it’s made me tougher. I’ve never been able to assume comfort or power. I’m just glad. I’m glad, especially as you watch the great white male woke freak-out meltdown that’s happening right now, I’m glad that it’s good to come from below.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, and Home Chef for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @jiatolentino jiatolentino.tumblr.com Tolentino on Longform [08:00] "A Chat with Malcolm Brenner, Man Famous for Having Sex with a Dolphin" (Jezebel • Feb 2015) [08:00] Wet Goddess (Malcolm J. Brenner • Eyes Open Media • 2009) [11:00] Tolentino’s Interview With a Virgin Archive (The Hairpin) [15:00] "Rush After ‘A Rape On Campus’: A UVA Alum Goes Back to Rugby Road" (Jezebel • Jan 2015) [16:00] "No Offense" (Jezebel • Dec 2015) [18:00] "How Should Asian-Americans Feel About the Peter Liang Protests?" (Jay Caspian Kang • New York Times Magazine • Feb 2016) [24:00] "Gawker Slammed for Story Outing Conde Nast Exec [Updated]" (Jessica Roy • New York • Jul 2015) [27:00] "Letter of Recommendation: Cracker Barrel" (New York Times Magazine • Jan 2016) [28:00] "Cheerleaders for Christ" (Adult • Nov 2014) [31:00] "What Should We Say About David Bowie and Lori Maddox?" (Jezebel • Feb 2016) [47:00] "Damn, You’re Not Reading Any Books by White Men This Year? That’s So Freakin Brave and Cool" (Jezebel • Jan 2016) [48:00] "One Small Step" (D. T. Max • New Yorker • Jan 2016)
I'm in the middle of “Longform” listening to David Remnick, and it's a good interview that demonstrates why, aside from obvious reasons, you'd want him to edit you. He's measured and self-deprecating, and makes a point of highlighting the aspects of his job that would keep anyone up at night. Longform is always on my list to catch up on when I have the time, though I'm selective about the interviews I'll sit through. Listening to it also reinforces one of the lessons I think I've really taken away from working with Ezra*: humanizing your idols or your heroes (and especially people you disagree with) is really important. This helps me do that. Other great episodes were with Brooke Gladstone and Jia Tolentino.
07/30/2016Ross Sutherland talks about using Hitler to win arguments. To support the podcast, go to https://www.patreon.com/rossgsutherland to pledge a small monthly donation.
I also can't tell you how much I look forward each month to Ross Sutherland's “Imaginary Advice.” He's a British poet and filmmaker who seems to use his podcast to showcase the experiments he's doing with his writing (check the episode called Infinite Non-Linear Break-Up Speech). It also demonstrates his worries and pet peeves in a cutting, witty way (see the latest episode, called If Hitler).
07/20/2016 David Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker. “I think it’s important — not just for me, but for the readers — that this thing exists at the highest possible level in 2016, in 2017, and on. That there’s a continuity to it. I know, because I’m not entirely stupid, that these institutions, no matter how good they are, all institutions are innately fragile. Innately fragile.” Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, EveryLibrary, and Igloo for sponsoring this week's episode. Remnick on Longform [2:00] This week's New Yorker cover [5:45] "Cover Story: Bert and Ernie’s ‘Moment of Joy’" (Françoise Mouly, Mina Kaneko • New Yorker • Jun 2013) [9:00] "David Remnick Looks Back on Tough Decisions as ‘The New Yorker’ Turns 90" (Fresh Air • Feb 2015) [11:15] "Going the Distance" (New Yorker • Jan 2014) [15:00] The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama (Vintage Books • 2010) [15:15] "Soul Survivor" (New Yorker • Apr 2016) [17:15] The New Yorker Radio Hour [25:00] "Sending Smoke Signals to Our Former Editor in Chief" (Justin Cook • The Smoke Signal • Apr 2015) [27:45] I Married a Communist: American Trilogy (Philip Roth • Houghton Mifflin Company • 1994) [29:45] Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (Vintage Books • 1994) [30:00] "The Struggle for Memory" (John Lloyd • The New York Times • May 1993) [43:15] "Beyond the Soviet Abyss" (Washington Post • Mar 1991) [48:30] "Journey to Jihad" (Ben Taub • New Yorker • Jun 2015) [50:00] Wesley Morris on the Longform Podcast [51:45] King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero (Vintage Books • 1998) [53:15] The 40s: The Story of a Decade (New Yorker, Henry Finder • Random House • 2014) [53:15] The 50s: The Story of a Decade (New Yorker, Henry Finder • Random House • 2015) [53:15] The 60s: The Story of a Decade (New Yorker, Henry Finder • Random House • 2016) [55:00] "The Crackin’, Shakin’, Breakin’ Sounds" (Nat Hentoff • New Yorker • Oct 1964) [55:40] "Letter From a Region in My Mind" (James Baldwin • New Yorker • Nov 1962) [56:00] The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Lawrence Wright • Vintage Books • 2007)
I'm in the middle of “Longform” listening to David Remnick, and it's a good interview that demonstrates why, aside from obvious reasons, you'd want him to edit you. He's measured and self-deprecating, and makes a point of highlighting the aspects of his job that would keep anyone up at night. Longform is always on my list to catch up on when I have the time, though I'm selective about the interviews I'll sit through. Listening to it also reinforces one of the lessons I think I've really taken away from working with Ezra*: humanizing your idols or your heroes (and especially people you disagree with) is really important. This helps me do that. Other great episodes were with Brooke Gladstone and Jia Tolentino.
01/13/2016 Brooke Gladstone is the co-host of On the Media and the author of The Influencing Machine. “I'm not going to get any richer or more famous than I am right now. This is it, this is fine — it's better than I ever expected. I don't have anything to risk anymore. As far as I’m concerned, I want to just spend this last decade, decade and a half, twenty years, doing what I think is valuable. I don’t have any career path anymore. I’m totally off the career path. The beautiful thing is that I just don’t have any more fucks to give.” Thanks to Audible, Open Source, MailChimp, Igloo, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode. Show Notes: @OTMBrooke On the Media [10:00] "The Case Against the MX" (Inquiry • Aug 1979) [pdf] [12:00] Fred Kaplan's Slate archive [22:00] "Vanity Plates" (Bob Garfield • On the Media • Feb 2003) [24:00] "Reporting Around DHS Opacity" (On the Media • Oct 2013) [33:00] "The Anatomy of Six Shootings" (On The Media • Aug 2014) [35:00] The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media (W. W. Norton & Company • 2011) [56:00] "Margaret Atwood Writes for the Future" (On the Media • Jun 2015)
I'm in the middle of “Longform” listening to David Remnick, and it's a good interview that demonstrates why, aside from obvious reasons, you'd want him to edit you. He's measured and self-deprecating, and makes a point of highlighting the aspects of his job that would keep anyone up at night. Longform is always on my list to catch up on when I have the time, though I'm selective about the interviews I'll sit through. Listening to it also reinforces one of the lessons I think I've really taken away from working with Ezra*: humanizing your idols or your heroes (and especially people you disagree with) is really important. This helps me do that. Other great episodes were with Brooke Gladstone and Jia Tolentino.
03/30/2016Ringer editor-at-large Bryan Curtis hosts a feature podcast examining the media element of the Trial of the Century. Guests include HBO’s Jim Lampley, former New York Times TV writer Bill Carter, and ‘Inside Edition’ correspondent Jim Moret, who covered the trial for CNN.
It feels a lot like a 30 for 30 documentary, but for your earballs.
10/01/2015“The Falling Man”, Esquire’s most-read story of all time, is discussed by host David Brancaccio and Esquire Writer at Large Tom Junod. The story is about an infamous photograph from 9/11 that was published briefly in the days after the terrorist attacks and then largely disappeared. Junod explains why he felt it was his responsibility to bring it—and the falling man pictured in it—to light.
On any other afternoon, I'd be tempted to dismiss Esquire Classic as a bottom-shelf idea executed simply, a mere assemblage of different working parts lying around the office. A whole archive's worth of material here, some voice talent there, a guest, a microphone; elements strung together to approximate the performance of an actual show. As far as concept goes, Classic swings low: it's a show that revisits prominent articles in Esquire magazine's long and storied history. And yet, and yet… whenever I sit down to listen to the thing, it reveals itself to be a more complex piece of work than I ever expected it to be. Each episode revolves around a different article, with each edition being made up of an interview between host David Brancaccio and a guest that’s interspersed with narrated excerpts. In a way, it’s spiritually analogous to Song Exploder, which trades in similar performances of deconstruction and commentary. The guest is often the author, pulled into the studio to confront his or her creation. Sometimes the interview involves the picking apart of ideas at play, as in the case of the wonderful Susan Orlean; other times, the interview is an opportunity to marvel and reminisce, evoking a sort of "This Is Your Life" retrospective quality. In the absence of the author (due to death or perhaps some other unfortunate preoccupation), the show shifts into a kind of memorial, with a comparable writer standing-in to provide context, explicate, or simply react. “Classic” is a show that lives or dies by the quality of its guests — which is why, even though I’m generally positive on the show, I perceive it as deeply uneven. And while it’s far from being appointment listening, it’s a fine example of even the most simplest of setups can lead to an almost infinite amount of permutations.
01/28/2015By actually printing DNA, researchers are now able to create entirely new species. They started with a glow-in-the-dark plant, and now have plans to design microbes that will live in your stomach and actually change the smell of your fecal matter. Even crazier, they may be able to associate particular gas odors with biological states, so you can effectively have an early warning system built inside you. Anthony couldn’t be more excited, but Jeff wonders when our Frankenstein microbes will inevitably destroy us all in a flowery-smelling apocalypse. This show is entirely listener supported. To find out how to help AND get early episodes and bonus content, head to http://patreon.com/wehaveconcerns Hey! If you’re enjoying the show, please take a moment to rate/review it on whatever service you use to listen. iTunes: http://bit.ly/wehaveconcerns – Stitcher: http://bit.ly/stitcherwhc Jeff on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffcannata Anthony on Twitter: http://twitter.com/acarboni Today’s Story: http://demo.ottw.net/fall2014_lab?ch_id=298 Today’s story was sent in by Michael Hand. Thanks, Michael! Send in your suggestions to wehaveconcernsshow@gmail.com
"We Have Concerns" with Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni – This is a truly bizarre mix of (mostly science) news discussion and improve comedy, and one of my favorites since I discovered it a couple weeks ago. New episodes come out 3 times a week, but each is a very digestible ~20 minutes (very refreshing for discussion shows). One of the latest episodes, "Your Sh@t Don't Stink" (discussing the repercussions of informatively fragrant fecal matter) is a great place to start.
02/27/2015On an all-NEW Snap, "Simpatico." What's it like to find yourself on someone else's wavelength? Snap Judgment, storytelling with a BEAT... from PRX and NPR.
It evokes fun-house mirrors — encompassing and warped, familiar but unsettling, feverish but wondrous
01/06/2015We have one cardinal rule on 99% Invisible: No cardinals. Meaning, we deal with the built world, not the natural world. So, when I read Jon Mooallem’s brilliant book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at … Continue reading
Flying cows, and other images.
02/19/2015A few months before the end of the world, everyone was saying their goodbyes. The world that was ending was The Sims Online, an online version of The Sims. Even though The Sims was one of the most popular computer … Continue reading
Game Over. This isn't exactly, strictly speaking, a 99% Invisible episode. This really small segment was something creator/host Roman Mars produced for NPR's Snap Judgment a few years ago, and furthermore, it was a collaboration with Robert Ashley, the host of another podcast, A Life Well Wasted. However, despite the convoluted genealogy, this episode is pure 99% Invisible, which is to say: unbearably loving about something only few know how to love. "Game Over" is about the end of an online world, specifically that of The Sims Online. And depending on how you feel about video games, the premise could strike you as either absurd or genuinely heartbreaking. It's both, of course, because regardless of what anybody else thinks about worlds that are, essentially, make-belief, the beliefs in those worlds are so very real. And the loss of an opportunity to continue believing is perhaps no less brutal than any other kind of loss. I sniffled. It's a good thing I was on a lunch break.
04/17/2015This is a reissue of one of our favorite episodes: Paintings To Sing. A second grade class in Seattle created a work of art that encourages public musical performances from everyone. And amazingly, it's part of their nontraditional public school curriculum.
Pitch explores how music affects our lives.... I would call it the Radiolab of music podcasts: it delves into tiny weird nooks and crannies that you might not have closely examined before with a music lens. If you're looking to get a bit choked up, I'd start with Season 2, Episode 7, "Piano Player"... for a more "can't stop smiling" feeling, check out Season 2, Episode 11, "Paintings to Sing"