10 Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/99-invisible Source: Stitcher.com

In the modern era of short attention spans and even shorter news cycles, a new type of person has started to dot the landscape of our daily lives. Youve probably brushed shoulders with them once or twice as you made a bee-line to the last open seat on the train, or seen them simultaneouslyand inexplicablylaughing and crying on a treadmill. They are the best and worst type of dinner guest. Full of useless factoids, slightly annoying contradictions, and chock full of studies and theories on politics, sociology, books, movies and even the migration of North American civilization to the West. They, are Podcast people. Armed with the love of long-form and a burning desire to share it. So, while you may be able to keep up with the latest happenings of mega hits like This American Life or Serial, subscribing to the following should keep you out of trouble the next time you run into someone who begins a sentence with I heard this crazy story the other day…”

10. Productive Outs PRODcast

Two musicians who love baseball, but don’t take it too seriously. That’s their mantra and as descriptions go, theres little else to add. The strength of the show comes through not only with earnest discussions of the game itselfand the ability to point music fans onto records they may have missedbut in it’s ability to be informative, funny and entertaining in a sports talk world that takes itself way too seriously. Its not the end of the world, its just baseball, so enjoy it.

http://productiveouts.com/ Source: Productiveouts.com

9. CRUSHED with Sarah Morisano

Unrequited love. Growing up. Hair and feelings in all kinds of weird places are the topics that will be discussed, then discussed again on this weekly romp down adolescent lane. But while the topics may be done to death, the comedians featured on the podcast are natural storytellers. Taking what would be old hat and making something truly engaging to the listener.

Even more interesting is being a part of the journey of host Sarah Morisano herself. Her natural curiosity for the lives of her guests, and the evolution of her own personal discovery through bonding in the awkwardness and insanity that is young love is what keeps you coming back. You may not know all the names associated with this show, but youve definitely been in their shoes. If nothing else, its comforting to know your adolescent embarrassment is shared across generations and continents.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/crushed-podcast Source: Stitcher.com

8. Criminal

Dont be spooked by the fact that this podcast features more lawyers than you could shake a stick at. This in-depth and personal 360 degree look at crime: Its stories, personalities, history and bureaucracy are an amalgamation of some of the best university lectures and storytelling open mics you will ever be around. Criminal features stories that shine light on how the legal inner workings of the justice system can affect our daily existence, and how this foundation of our society has the power to drastically change lives for better or worse in an instant.

A lot of podcasts offer moments that are inspirational, sad, jaw-dropping and educational. Criminal has the ability to offer all of those in a sixteen-minute span.

https://player.fm/series/criminal Source: Player.fm

7. Around the NFL

On the surface, this corporate-sponsored dude fest about football would seem to be a run-of-the-mill sports-talk radio show. You would be correct, but just as if saying the sun is yellow you would be missing the bigger picture.

None of the hosts are jocks. None played the game professionally. Nobody in the room is considered an “analyst” or pushing their brand to get another job with the league. So, the result is a progressive, refreshing and cliche-free look at the most over the top, conservative and image-conscious sport in North America. In a lot of ways, this podcast feels like the antithesis of the majority of NFL related media, and that’s a good thing.

http://www.nfl.com/podcasts Source: Nfl.com

6. Fresh Air

Great interviews are the foundation of the podcast, and for a medium built on the art of the conversation its shocking just how few are able to do it well. That’s why its so comforting to listen to Terri Gross.

Terri straddles the line between old public radio and the modern medium. Which can be cheesy and formulaic at times, but the quality of the conversations and the ideas presented far outweigh the frustrations of it’s rigid structure. It’s a classic interview show with famous guests sharing the details of their upcoming project. But while that may not exactly breaking any new ground, it is a relief listening to a professional interviewer who has the ability to get guests to open up and allow the listener to share in intimate conversations with the intellectual and creative minds that shape the world.

http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/ Source: Npr.org

5. The Moth

Even if you arent aware, you have most certainly been exposed to The Moth. The storytelling juggernauts influence stretches all over the world, from open mics, sold out theater shows, coffee shops, zines, poetry events—absolutely everything. And in many ways it’s helped shape the podcast medium as a whole. Its stories are featured on several other podcasts (including some on this very list), and feature stories that cover topics from lighthearted to the downright terrifying.

The stories and people featured on The Moth are some of the worlds best storytellers. Continuing in the tradition that is one that truly makes us who we are. Its ugly, beautiful, messy and most of all, important.

http://chimes.biola.edu/story/2014/apr/29/radio-might-be-dead-podcasts-are-alive-and-well/ Source: Chimes.biola.edu

4. Mystery Show

Every town has one. The urban legend, the Scooby-Doo mystery. The house at the end of the block where no child dares venture. The music box with the weird engraving that no one can seem to place. The human mind is constantly vexed in these kinds of simple mysteries and coincidences. Every family has a few of them tucked away, and that is what makes Mystery Show a must-listen. From the disappearance of a neighbourhood video store to discovering the owner of a shocking vanity plate, Mystery Show is the listeners chance to be a fly on the wall of modern day Nancy Drew’s and Hardy Boys that will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind some of the most innocuous things in our lives.

http://gimletmedia.com/show/mystery-show/ Source: Gimletmedia.com

3. 99% Invisible

99% Invisible and host Roman Marswho would certainly get a vote for the most interesting person at the dinner partyis currently serving in the role as Bill Nye for grown-ups. 99% Invisible is unparalleled in its ability to discover and share engaging stories about humanity and technology that are not only palm-to-forehead shockingly true, you will kick yourself for not having known about it before. 99% Invisible will quickly serve as your back-pocket guide for impressive conversational anecdotes.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/99-invisible Source: Stitcher.com

2. Snap Judgement

Glenn Washington may have the best voice in radio. Its infectious. It can be smooth and bombastic almost all in the same breath, and the contributors to NPRs self-proclaimed storytelling with a beatpodcast are some of the best around. Viewed in many ways as a companion program to the goliath that is This American Life, Snap Judgement sets itself apart with lush production values, sound design, sense of humour and the energy and enthusiasm of Washington himself. Regardless of the quality of the stories that follow each episode (and by and large they are good), the intros and brief personal stories that the host shares from his own life to setup each story would be worth the price of admission. Even better, its free.

http://www.npr.org/programs/snap-judgment/ Source: Npr.org

1. Stop Podcasting Yourself

Vancouver’s top comedy podcast features two guys and (sometimes) a guest sitting down to dissect and eavesdrop on absolutely everything and everybody in this big, stupid, silly world of ours. Its smart, hilarious and avoids Schadenfreude (look it up) pitfalls that make listening to other comedy podcasts little more than an exercise of waiting to be insulted or offended. In the course of these episodes, you will spit water out of your mouth in classic cartoon form, or be embarrassed by laughing out loud while wearing headphones on the bus.

Hosts Dave Shumka and Graham Clark represent the person that you wish you would be introduced to every time a friend drags you somewhere and says: You have to meet this person.

If you’re still unsure, read through a few of their reviews on iTunes. They say it all.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stop-podcasting-yourself Source: Stitcher.com
Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.