09 January 2011

Tulips are still beautiful in decay

I threatened to reveal my favorite podcasts a few days ago, then was distracted by other things.

Savage Love Podcast
I always listen to this, and have listened to the entire back catalog of episodes. Ostensibly, Dan Savage is a sex advice columnist. What I'm in it for really, though, is the strong, passionate voice of someone who believes in equality even as he acknowledges the discomfort we all have with difference. He doesn't pull any punches, ever, and yet he is truly good-hearted and compassionate. There's sex advice, yeah, but it's the stories of people's relationships that are compelling for me.

Pop Culture Happy Hour
PCHH might be the internet thing that makes me happiest. It's kind of hilarious--I read a lot, and keep pace with some music, but I'm a little out to sea when it comes to television, and don't see that many films at the time of their release. Which is what Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Glen Weldon, and Trey Graham are in the business of discussing. But they are all so smart, and so funny, and convey a sense of beloved camaraderie that I don't want to miss even a single podcast. My eleven year old listens, too.

Slate Culture Gabfest
The Culture Gabfest is a slightly more erudite version of the Pop Culture Happy Hour (or flip that around, really, since it has been around longer). I don't mean that to reflect badly on either show; it's just that the tone of the Gabfest is a touch more analytical. Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner frame their discussions in fairly academic terms, and they argue a little more heatedly than the PCHH crew. With clear affection for one another, but still. June Thomas is a delightful frequent guest.

The Kindle Chronicles
Len Edgerly began the Kindle Chronicles as a way of sharing his enthusiasm for his Kindle specifically, and e-reading in general. The podcast has expanded to cover all sorts of news connected to electronic publishing issues, it includes technical information, discussions of content, a weekly interview, and listener comments. Len is a fantastic interviewer: he has a great way of really engaging with his guests, rather than simply pulling them along in a predictable direction, and his questions are always thoughtful.

Book Reviews with Nancy Pearl
Beloved librarian Nancy Pearl joins KUOW Weekday host Steve Scher for a rollicking monthly discussion of books. Sometimes the discussions are themed, other times they aren't. There's no really easy way to link to a page you can listen from, but it's worth seeking out on iTunes or Stitcher. If you're an avid reader, Nancy's Twitter feed is worth a follow, too.

Extra Hot Great
More pop culture shenanigans! But with weekly games, and favorite features "Tiny Triumphs," "Winners & Losers," "Quinn's No Middle Ground," and "The Canon." These guys are having FUN.

Gleeful: A Glee Podcast
Josh, Jen, & Ed recap every new episode of Glee, complete with audio clips from the show. Good discussions about character and plot development.

Podrunner Intervals
Fixed bpm music mixes geared toward various running goals. I've used several running podcasts, but I like these mixes best.

That's most of what I listen to. If I'm carrying mail for a full week, I fill in around the edges with NPR--Fresh Air & Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, mostly. I don't always hit everything, but between driving, the gym, and doing the walking portion of my mail route, I have a fair amount of listening time available.

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