My Top 10 Podcasts
The iTunes store recently hit 1 billion podcast subscriptions, podcasting in over 100 languages. The tradition of podcasting has been going on for over a decade, and like most things having to do with technology, I am late to the game. My lateness to the game had a lot to do with my lateness to acquire a smartphone. I wrote an earlier blog about my iPhone and how much it has changed and bettered my life. This blog is about podcasts and how much they have revolutionized and enriched my life. So, here’s to you podcasts, I offer up my top ten podcast list.
Keep in mind that my list is totally subjective and based on my personal tastes. Keep in mind also that my numbering system is reflective of how I feel currently and changes form day to day, month to month. I will go into more depth about the individual podcasts after the list. Without further ado…
Levi Andrew Noe’s Terrific Top Ten Podcasts
10. Bulletproof Executive
9. Nerdsist Writer’s Panel
8. 99% Invisible
7. Stuff You Should Know
6. ClarkesWorld Magazine
5. The Podcast History of Our World
4. Welcome to Night Vale
3. Selected Shorts
2. The Moth
10. Bulletproof Executive. This podcast is for the health nut, but the particular health nut that practices the art of biohacking. Wikipedia offers one definition for biohacking as managing one’s own biology using a combination of medical, nutritional and electronic techniques. This definition just barely begins to touch on the topics discussed on this podcast, which range from shamanic biohacking to how a heavy metal musician uses biohacking to survive on the road, to autism issues and orgasmic meditation.
9. Nerdist Writer’s Panel. “The Nerdist Writer’s Panel is an informal chat moderated by Ben Blacker with professional writers about the process and business of writing”. A lot of my favorite podcast are about writing, surprise, surprise. This show is great for those interested in getting behind the scenes looks at the writing of shows, podcasts, movies, music, novels etc. The episodes that got me hooked was the interview with the writers of Breaking Bad, and the interview with the creators and cast of Welcome to Night Vale.
8. 99% Invisible. “99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture.” I like this podcast, but I feel like I would enjoy it more if I had a deeper understanding or passion of design and architecture. That being said, don’t think that you have to know anything about those things to enjoy listening. I like this podcast because it makes stories out of the small, mostly forgotten things we experience day to day and reminds us how truly interesting the smallest aspects of life can be.
7. Stuff You Should Know. By Stuff You Should Know, I also include everything from the How Stuff Works empire. I haven’t listened to all of them, but there is a lot for everyone. My favorites are Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Go to howstuffworks.com and look at all the different podcasts, video casts and others. There are a lot of categories and a lot of shows to choose from.
6. ClarkesWorld Magazine is “Science fiction and fantasy stories from Clarkesworld, a Hugo award winning magazine.” For sci-fi, fantasy, or just lovers of short stories. I just got into this podcast and I am digging it. It’s great to just zone out to, or during a bike ride or drive. The narrator has a great voice and interesting way of reading that keeps you engaged, but really relaxed too.
5. The Podcast History of Our World is another podcast I just recently got into and am becoming obsessed with. It’s chock full of really interesting small details, coupled with an extensive broad overview. It moves chronologically so listen to an episode that sounds interesting to you to see if you like it, then start from the beginning. The creator, Rob Monaco, makes history incredibly entertaining and addictive somehow.
4. Welcome to Night Vale is so, so great I can’t even begin. But most people that I’ve showed it are like “that’s interesting…” or more straightforward, saying “that is so weird.” It is incredibly strange and weird and that is why I love it. Basically, it’s a man announcing the local happenings of a small cultish, conspiratorial fictitious town through the public radio station. You must have a dry, dark sense of humor to enjoy this podcast, and you also have to give it a few episodes before making a final opinion. This is one of my favorite podcasts. I listen to it and laugh loudly, so I have to be careful where I listen to it.
3. Selected Shorts from PRI offers well told, well read short stories. Each episode focuses on theme and the readers are usually professional actors or other people in show business, so the reading quality is captivating and engaging. The stories are always fantastic, I’ve never heard a story I didn’t like. It’s yet another one of my favorite podcasts because it reminds of being young and having my parents just read to me while I sat back and let me imagination draw the pictures.
2. The Moth. What a fantastic podcast. The rules of the moth are simple, the stories told must be true stories from real people, and the people who get up on stage to read can have no notes or cue cards. The stories told are as varied as the people that tell them. You could have a serious tearjerker followed by something that make you laugh so hard you can’t drive. It’s the aspect of these being real stories by real people that I find the most moving, and the stories are always well told because the speakers usually workshop or practice beforehand so there’s none of that awkward amateur stuff. I would recommend this podcast to anybody and I am fairly certain that everyone could enjoy it, though certain episodes can be more intense than others.
1. Radiolab. Radiolab was the first official podcast I ever heard, and it remains my favorite to this day. It’s essentially a science podcast, but I would more categorize it as a humanity podcast. Each episode delves into a certain peculiar story or series of stories, they set out to objectively understand the topic, but nearly every episode comes to a truce having to be called between the objective and the subjective. It is incredibly well written and well produced, and to me it is the best podcast to bridge education and entertainment.
Ah, podcasts. And I feel kind of glad that I’m so late to discovering all of these podcasts because, for me, this kid in a candy store feeling has been constant for the last year or year and a half. Every single week I find a new spectacular podcast. It’s becoming very addicting, but I feel like it’s a very healthy addiction. One podcast leads to another podcast, and the trail just keeps going on and diverging and I feel like I’m lost in a wilderness of riveting audible jewels.
Podcasting has indeed effected me so much that I feel like I’ve found a new calling in life, a place to put my writing, an outlet for so many of my ideas. And thus, in the next month or two or who knows, because things take so much longer than I anticipate, I will be launching a couple podcasts. One will be mostly about writing, just reading short stories, just mine for now until I get some submissions. I will also be featuring a song from an artist or poem or what have may come. This podcast should be coming out sooner than later, and it is still untitled.
The other podcast, which I’m super excited about is called the Rocky Mountain Revival, unless a better name presents itself. This will be a skit show, interview show, special feature show with a comic angle and a focus on Denver and the Rocky Mountain region. We will highlight music, art, writing, entertainment of all kinds and aim to make everyone laugh a lot. This one may take a while in the making, but the wait will be worth it.
And now I’m going to take my leave. I hope you liked my podcast list and if you haven’t already checked these podcasts out, give them a listen. And I’d love to hear what some of your favorite podcasts are. I’m always looking for new ways to listen or look at the world.