I’m so bad at writing this week – I’ve been slacking off so hard since Tuesday. I barely slept Monday night after I read about numbers stations you can sometimes hear on ham radio. Have you ever heard about those? It’s a monotone voice, sometimes a woman or child, rambling off random numbers for no apparent reason. Freaky-deaky stuff. Even though I’m tired and would much rather be sleeping in a sunbeam, waking only to sip on bourbon lemonade, than inside typing away at a cubicle, I try to take solace in the twelve hours I spend on the metro each week.
In that time, even the coolest mixtapes swapped with friends — or the most epic Big Shiny Tunes back catalogue — will become trite. This is why I’ve become the Podcast Queen. Unfortunately, I haven’t been officially crowned with that title yet, but I feel that it’s coming. I love them so much. Aside from the big three podcasts everyone knows—Nerdist, WTF! with Marc Maron and This American Life—there are so many out there that you guys need to be listening to. For me, these are the six you guys need to catch.
Aimed to “humanize people in the sex industry,” the witty host Siouxsie Q guides listeners effortlessly through the stories that surround her guests, mixing her knowledge in sex workers’ rights activism, slut-shaming and stigma. I’ve only recently gotten into this podcast after meeting Siouxsie Q at the Feminist Porn Awards. She’s such a sweetie and has so much knowledge to share with those who want to better educate themselves on these subjects.
I envy those who live in New York for many reasons. Off the top of my head there are three things that come to mind: Aidy Bryant, cheap shipping from ModCloth and The Moth. The Moth is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the art of storytelling. Each story is workshopped with Moth directors until the raconteurs can tell their tale live without notes to a live audience. It’s hard to expect what you’ll hear week to week on their podcast, which is what makes it unique. You’ll hear stories from every walk of life. From celebrity chef David Chang speaking about his Michelin Stars for Momofuku to Cynthia Riggs, an old woman who reconnects with someone from her past over a case of curious codes, you’ll find a story that’ll change some part of your life for the good. Oh, and it also won a Peabody, so that’s pretty cool too.
Where to start: Jenny Allen — I Can’t Get It Out of My Mind
How Did This Get Made?
This podcast has made me snort-laugh on the metro. Yes, that was me you heard. Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael are all crappy movie devotees and have taken this mutual interest to make one of the most enjoyable podcasts around by going into grave detail about how awful films can be. Burlesque, Gigli, Drive Angry and Twilight: Breaking Dawn are a few of the movies they’ve watched. It helps that they’re all comedians, but there’s something so gratifying about listening to them rag on terrible films with celebrity guests like Amy Schumer, Paul F. Tompkins and Dan Harmon. Word of advice? Watch the film they’re talking about before listening to the podcast.
Where to start: Season of the Witch with Chris Hardwick
The Sounds in My Head
I’m going to be honest with you about this one and confess that I learned about it by reading a blog about podcasts on Goop.com. Half hipster running his mouth, half awesome music, this podcast has become a definite favorite of mine. At times I don’t enjoy listening to Daniel talk about how much the rest of the albums sucked, but I’m fairly certain I did the same thing when I had my own indie radio show, so I can’t talk smack. The songs he chooses to showcase are always stellar and most of them are ones I hadn’t heard before, which is awesome for those music snobs out there!
Where to start: Season 10: Episode 19
Welcome to Night Vale
This is the first podcast I’ve bought tickets to see live. Welcome to Night Vale encapsulates everything that I love about fictional stories. It’s creepy, multi-dimensional and pushes how we see corporations, relationships and the like. To set the story without giving anything away, you’re introduced to Cecil, a radio broadcaster on a community radio station from the fictional town of Night Vale, where anything and everything you hear about conspiracy theories is real. If that doesn’t make sense, it’s all the more reason to listen.
Where to start: Don’t be an idiot. Start from the beginning!
Stuff You Missed in History Class
I am not one for reading nonfiction when it doesn’t come in the dust jacket of juicy biography. As The Moth podcast host Dan Kennedy once said on Twitter, “Life’s short. Read what you want.” Editors of HowStuffWorks Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey transport you through time to give you the information you need to know about those historic dates and happenings you may have heard of but never understood, like P.T. Barnum’s biggest stars, the disappearance of the Lindbergh baby and John Harvey Kellogg. The shows are so addictive!