Tag Archives: pop culture happy hour

On Podcasts

In June 2011 I blogged about the Podcasts I Have Loved, which I reblogged on 11/13.  There are some changes in what I listen to currently, and the method in which I listen!  So I thought I’d do a quick update.

  • I still listen to The Satellite Sisters weekly podcast of whoever they can gather on a Sunday afternoon.  You can read more about my relationship with the Sisters (if you don’t know already!) by reading my previous blog about podcasts, but suffice it to say that I cried when I learned that on the day they were moving their father with advanced Alzheimer’s to a skilled nursing facility in Dallas to be near sister Julie, they brought their mother Edna to the emergency room in Pasadena and she learned that she has advanced lung cancer.  And I cried again when I listened to their most recent post in which they talk about the emotional journey they are now facing, which looked so different a month ago.  They are amazing Sisters and I encourage you to look for their book (published in 2001) if you want to know more about them!
  • I also listen to The Chaos Chronicles by sister Lian, the youngest Satellite Sister.  It has gone down in my priority list because she started posting a lot about the college application process, as she has a son who is a senior this year, and I find that pretty irrelevant to my life right now.  If you are in that stage, go ahead and listen to her advice as she navigates that world!
  • I still listen to Filmspotting, although Matty Ballgame is no longer a co-host.  It’s good and interesting reviews of current and past movies with some silliness thrown in.

    Filmspotting
    Filmspotting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I listen to

  • Spilled Milk,
  • the Moth, Wait,
  • and Wait, Don’t Tell Me! – and I have added a few more to the mix.

My method of listening changed when I discovered the Stitcher app for the iPadand Android phones.  Stitcher is a way to subscribe to the podcasts or radio shows that you want to listen to and they are delivered as they are published.  I don’t have to worry about connecting to iTunes and downloading the podcasts to my devices, they just arrive automatically, if I’m subscribed and online.  So I have added a few to my planned and purposeful listening.  🙂  And it syncs between devices so I can put headphones on and walk with my phone while listening to the Culture Gabfest (as I just did) and it will remember where I left off and resume next time I turn on the app on the iPad.

Image representing Stitcher as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Currently I listen to all of the above, as well as

  • NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour (probably my current favorite!),
  • Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 (very fun!),
  • The Splendid Table,
  • Slate’s Culture Gabfest,
  • The Dinner Party,
  • Michael Feldman‘s Whad’ya Know?,
  • TED Radio Hour Podcast,
  • New York City History by the Bowery Boys,
  • Here’s the Thing (Alec Baldwin),
  • Mike and Tom Eat Snacks (NEVER SAFE FOR WORK!)
  • and Fresh Air.

With Stitcher you can prioritize the list and it will just continue working its way down as you have it on.  So there are some that I don’t get to weekly or maybe even monthly, but it’s ok because those that I really want to hear are at the top of the list.  I really love it when I turn on the Stitcher app and it tells me how many hours I have listened since I subscribed.  It’s pretty amazing.  It also gives you ideas of other things you may like to listen to, so I just today added another to the list.  I’ll let you know what I think of it!

People always ask how I have time to do all this listening, but I think that having an iPad makes it simple.  And I have a tendency to forget that I have a TV and won’t turn it on for days.  Instead, I carry the iPad from room to room and listen while I iron (I did that today!), clean, wash dishes, blog (!), or while I’m getting ready for the day!  So the hours that I am home and alone, I am usually listening to things that I want to listen to.  Sometimes it’s music, but most often it’s podcasts!

What do you listen to?  Any recommendations?  Have you listened to any of the above based on my ravings?  🙂

Podcasts I Have Loved…

The logo used by Apple to represent Podcasting
Image via Wikipedia

Sarah asked me to post about some of my favorite podcasts and I love to oblige requests!  🙂

I don’t know when I started listening to podcasts – probably sometime after the purchase of my first iPod in 2005.  As I blogged about before, I am an avid audiobook listener and so listening to the radio is not how I like to pass my time in the car.  I am not opposed to music – maybe sometime I’ll blog about my music listening habits – but I am purposeful about what I listen to and the radio can be too random and unsatisfying.

Probably the very first podcast I ever listened to was The Satellite Sisters.  I used to try to listen to their radio show whenever I was in range (which wasn’t often at all – a few times a year?) and I loved their book and blog, so when they started putting their radio show on podcasts, I signed up immediately.  It was a three hour radio show, condensed down to an hour forty or so and it was bliss!  It was a little overwhelming, as it was a daily show (6 days a week) and my commute was only an hour a day, but I did the best I could.  Then the sad news that their show was going to be off the air came and I was very sad!  But they continued to create a podcast, not as many hours long and not daily, and that appeased me for a while.  In the years past, they stopped making a regular podcast and got regular jobs but now they just started again – making one weekly podcast with different sisters appearing when they can.  So when there is a new Satellite Sisters podcast, that gets high priority in my listening queue.  They just archived over 200 shows onto their website and iTunes, so if you want to hear what I’m talking about, there’s lots of material to choose from!

Lian (the youngest) branched off on her own and has created The Chaos Chroniclesblog and podcast and that is a close second for my listening pleasure.  She wrote a book, “Helen of Pasadena,” and I drove to Edina to meet her and get signed copies of the book. They are a remarkable family and my friends know that I think of them as friends.  I will often bring them into the conversation (e.g., “Well, you know Liz?  She’s my Satellite Sister in CA, and she just got back from Iraq!” or “You should hear Julie’s sobering tales from North Korea!” or “Julie told the funniest story about a man who wanted her dog’s tennis ball!” or “Sheila just reviewed that movie and it was hilarious!”).  Good stuff.

Me with Lian Dolan, author of "Helen of Pasadena"

So the Satellite Sisters probably got me started on podcast listening but I have branched out!  Others that I listen to weekly are:

  • Filmspotting:  A weekly movie review podcast featuring Adam Kempenaar and Matty Ballgame.  They discuss one or two current movies, play Massacre Theatre (wherein they massacre a scene from a movie and you enter online to guess the film), discuss listener’s picks, and close with a Top 5.  They are funny and can be pretentious but it’s a good listen.  Matty is from Minnesota and Adam is from Iowa and they record in Chicago.  Good stuff.
  • The Moth Podcast: True stories told live.  There is almost nothing better than a great story told aloud, especially in front of a live audience.  Another thing I love about The Moth Podcast is that the stories are usually just over 15 minutes long, so you can listen to one in those weird times when you don’t have much time.  Or you can crank out a bunch of them in an hour.  They are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes raunchy, but always good.
  • Spilled Milk: Sarah and I read “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg and then I discovered her blog and followed her podcast with Matthew Amster-Burton, another food writer.  They are HILARIOUS!  Their show is also usually about 15-20 minutes at most and they talk about one thing.  Their last show was about RICE.  And before that it was about MEAT STICKS.  They include recipes and are very fun to listen to.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour: I’m new to this one but find it absolutely fun!  It’s about an hour a week, published on Friday, and about pop culture!  It’s four or five people sitting around talking about TV, movies, comics, Broadway, music… whatever pop culture is relevant for the week!  They end the show with “what’s making them happy this week,” which is a great way to end a show.  I now follow them all on Twitter (not stalkerish at all!) and they are all very fun on there, too!
  • NPR: Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: A radio show that I usually miss on the weekends so I’m thankful for their podcast!  Funny, clever, show.
  • This American Life: A topical radio program, also often missed on the radio!  Thankful for the podcast and love the themes of the show!  I love themes!
  • Radiolab: I’m fairly new to this one and truthfully don’t listen regularly, but it’s a bit like This American Life, in that it’s topical stories, but with a focus on sounds.  They are clever and creative and good to listen to.
  • APM: Marketplace Tech Report: This is a short little podcast – 5-6 minutes daily – and I listen now and then, but truthfully started downloading it because of the host – John Moe.  A very sad podcast day for me was the day that Weekend America with host John Moe went off the air.  How I miss that show!  I follow him on twitter (@johnmoe) and he’s hilarious.  He now lives in St. Paul and I really miss that show.  It’s fun just to hear his voice in the Marketplace Tech Report and feel nostalgic for Weekend America.  🙂

That’s it for my regular listening and my favorites.  For a while this winter I listened to Lori & Julia from Talk 107 in the Cities, and it’s very fluffy.  I listen to the smart Pop Culture Happy Hour instead and so have dropped that from my list.  I know there are so many out there… smart, funny, fluffy, pretentious and boring!  But this is my list and I’m open to new ones if you have something fun to add!

Whew!  Off to read!