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  12 Addictive Podcasts You Should Know About

Podcasts are one of the most easily accessible mediums you can can find for entertainment. Most of them are free, and you can either download or stream them through your computer or smart phone which makes them perfect for when you are on the go. There are thousands of podcasts in the ether of the interwebs. You can even listen to them while you work. I know I sure do.


Ways to listen to podcasts:

The word “Podcast” was coined by the folks at Apple. So, it goes without saying that you can access all “podcasts” using iTunes. But, if you just don’t feel like using Apple products, fret not my friend, for you have options.

Podcatcher apps are plentiful in this day and age and you can choose to use your favorite, or you could could even “Catch em’ All!” (I couldn’t resist ^_^ ) The quality of  a podcatcher app is a lot like nail polish. For example, there is the basic economy brands like SinfulColors or Wet n Wild. Then you have the upper echelons like Essie or OPI and many brands in between. So, to continue the comparison, an app like Stitcher Radio would be like good ole Wet n Wild because it’s cheap and it does a basic job and has many colors available. The Stitcher Radio App is actually free (so it’s cheap). It has a large library of popular and highly featured podcasts (lots o colors). What Stitcher doesn’t have though is a more streamlined sexy layout with extra features. And it doesn’t have a sleep timer. But, apps like PocketCasts and Overcast do along with other bells and whistles. It costs $4 or $5 to buy the app. You just have to decide if you want to pay for better quality or if you don’t mind slumming it. Isn’t it so liberating and satisfying to know that you have a choice?

Here are a few more of those choices for podcatcher apps: BeyondPod Podcast Manager, Sound Cloud, Overcast, PocketCasts, RssDemon News & Podcast Reader, Google Play Music (the new kid on the block), and DoggCatcher Podcast.

Ok, so that’s just Step #1: Find a way to listen to podcasts. Step #2 is much more harrowing; because it is choosing the podcasts that you will now dedicate your life to listening to. Podcasts are just so gosh darn addicting! SO, without further ado, I present to you dear readers:
                   12 Addicting Podcasts You Should Know About.

1. S-Town-  Brain Reed a staffwritter of “This American Life” got an email in his inbox one day that he could not gloss over. The subject line said, “John B. McLemore lives in Shit-Town Alabama.” Grab your shovels kids, because we are about to dig deep into the the town of Woodstock, Alabama. This podcast broke the internet. It is the most popular and downloaded podcast to date! And the number of people who are downloading/streaming it is only getting bigger! S-Town was produced by WBEZ Chicago and the makers of “This American Life” and Serial. It only has 7 episodes that are each about an hour long. It examines the life and mind of John B. and how he perceives his life and the people in “Shit-Town”. Then it takes you for a loop as you become more and more invested in the characters that surround this man. It has everything, love, hate, antique clock makers, a labyrinth, a possible murder, mistrust, betrayal, suicide and hidden treasure… This story is unlike anything you’ve ever heard and it is sure causing more than a stir in Woodstock.


2. Serial
- Before S-Town, there was Serial.  Serial started with writer and producer Sarah Koenig of “This American Life”  deciding that she was going to more closely examine a very intriguing case of murder. In January of 1999, a teenager named Adnad Syed was convicted and sentenced to a life term in prison for the murder of his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Only Adnad swears he is innocent. This podcast is the former record breaker before S-Town when it comes to the people who have listened to this podcast. It’s generally the first podcast people think of when they think of a podcast. It is said across the internet that Serial started the podcast revolution of this decade.  Serial’s tagline line is “One story, told week by week”. Season one was all about the Adnad Syed case. Season two was about the controversy and mystery surrounding the American Soldier Bowe Bergdahl who was held captive for over 5 years by the Taliban. Both Serial and S-Town are spin-offs from their parent podcast “This American Life” which is all funded and produced by National Public Radio (NPR).

3. This American Life - More than likely, you’ve heard something about what “This American Life is, right? Every week, Ira Glass makes your earlobes swoon for a minute when he begins every new broadcast with “From WNBZ Chicago, it’s This American Life”  His voice is just so soothing and liberal it’s hard not to idolize him. And then you find out that he has a nervous pitbull as a pet named Piney who has to eat a different kind of meat every so often, or she dies basically. I’m serious about this, it’s a real thing that Ira has to (or chooses to) deal with. Anyways, This American Life is not just a podcast, it is an iconic American radio show that started in the early 1990s. Stories are provided in the most digestible and perfect way that they ever could be. Real life news and current issues and just plain issues that we all deal with. Every week there is a new theme and a small collection of sections that have to do with that theme. Listen to Act Three of episode 480, “Human Sacrifice” to hear more about Piney.

4. Welcome to Night Vale - Welcome to Night Vale was the very first podcast I ever listened to. So it is very near and dear to my third eye. Everyone in Night Vale has three eyes. Don’t you? I mean how else are you supposed to see into someone else’s soul to see if their soul-meat is ripe enough for harvesting? That’s the idea. So weird and...creepy. Welcome to Night Vale is about the Desert Town of Night Vale and sometime the neighboring town of Desert Bluffs, but not really. Really, it’s about Cecil, the silver tongued radio deejay of Night Vale Radio (voiced by Cecil Baldwin, see picture) because we are told the goings on of Night Vale through his radio announcements. There are many loveable and terrifyingly deadly characters in Night Vale, like John Peters, you know the farmer? There is also Carlos the scientist who has the most touchably soft care and the kindest smile, oh how Cecil loves him. We all do. Oh there are so many more people but I digress, there are a few things you should know about Night Vale. 1. All Hail the Glow Cloud 2. Stay away from the dog park, the dog park is forbidden 3. There are no such things as angels and acknowledging the existence of angels will get you in trouble with the sheriff's secret police. 4. There is a faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home. There’s more rules but you already know them because they were told to you last night while you slept by a carnivorous, but friendly earwig... You can tell I really listen to and love this podcast. I even went to one of their live shows in Knoxville, TN. They do A LOT of live shows, check em out: welcometonightvale.com

5. Alice isn’t Dead - If you listen to just the pilot episode of Alice Isn’t Dead called, “The Omelette” you might never want to eat an omelette at a diner again. This podcast is a road trip as our female road buddy will explain. She is driving a semi-truck across the country into every nook and cranny. Even if that means she ends up in places that may or may not have a permanent way of existence. She is looking for Alice because now she knows for certain that Alice Isn’t Dead. But she has to keep moving, because the man, no, not a man who was devouring that omelette in the diner is now following her, and he’s not far behind. It’s creepy, it’s confusing and it’s intoxicating. It’s also made by the same people who make “Welcome to Night Vale” Happy Trails.

6. The Moth - Real stories told live in front of an audience. I often say, mostly to my boyfriend, but also random people, “Tell Me A Story”. It’s my way of dealing with awkward silences. Now, I can always have a story wherever, whenever I need one (unless my data is running low and I’m not connected to wifi). The stories told at The Moth are from everyday people. There are Moth stages all over the world and they host “Story Slams” competitions to see who can tell the best stories. Sometimes the guests can be famous people, real life heros, or just people who have overcome come some obstacle that life has thrown at them. This podcast is great for when you need to feel like you are not alone and “This too, shall pass”.

7. Secrets, Crimes and Audiotapes - This is your brain on crack and it’s sinfully delicious. I LOVE THIS PODCAST. The thing about this podcast is that it is so different. Fictional stories are told in installments and they always end each episode with a cliffhanger. The people behind Secrets, Crimes and Audiotapes recently won an award for one of their productions call “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” which is the first ever murder mystery podcast musical. It was fantastic and just as addicting or even a little more addicting than listening to Serial. Which is funny because that’s what “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” is about. It’s a mashup of This American Life and Serial’s season one. Never expect the same thing twice and always expect to be highly and vividly entertained.

8. RadioLab - SCIENCE! Yasss this is the COOLEST science podcast because they talk about so many things I have never heard of and they reaffirm things I’ve heard a long time ago. This podcast is a great learning tool. I learned that there is a battle, no an epic war happening everyday and quadrillions of fighters are dying everyday. It’s happening in the ocean, and the carnage is so widespread and massive that you can see it from space! The soldiers are called coccolithophores and they are fighting ocean viruses. The coccolithophores are microscopic, but they wars they fight and the numbers that they have provide the earth with 40% of our oxygen. Intriguing no? I learned that from Radiolab. And I gotta tell you, I absorbed it like it was Game of Thrones or something. Check out the episode titled, “A War We Need” and see if you feel the same. It’s only 11 minutes long so it’s great if you are still a podcast virgin.

9. 99% Invisible - This podcast talks about everyday objects and traditions that have been around so long that we all take these things for granted. Uncovering misconceptions and explains the design of why we do what we do and don’t even think about it. It’s hosted by Roman Mars in a studio that is in beautiful Oakland, California


10. You Must Remember This
- This podcast is all about analyzing the secret/forgotten histories of hollywood’s most glamorous and legendary movie stars and busting the romanticized myths about them if it’s there to be busted. Who were these stars really? What were they like? Karina Longworth hosts this weekly podcast that takes your mind to a place where flashbacks are not only encouraged, they are mandatory.

11. The Bright Sessions - The Bright Sessions is a Sci-fi Mystery that starts out slowly and curiously and then builds into a drama filled story of a highly skilled and talented psychiatrist who specializes in helping A-typicals. A-typicals are everyday people who have special and mysterious abilities. It’s a story told every about 3 times a month about the A-typicals that Dr. Bright treats and the private and secretive organization that is plotting to control them. It is polished and well acted and will have you checking your feed every week for an update. The characters are endearing and the interactions are dynamic. Please Wondery, can we have some more?

12. Gastropod - A luxurious podcast about food. Curb your carb and sugar cravings with this satisfying audio treat for your palette. They break down the glory of food almost like how digestion works: piece by piece, morsel by morsel. If you are an aspiring foodie who does not have a real foodie’s budget, this podcast may help… or it may send you on a gluttonous rampage through the grocery store. Listen responsibly.

What I LOVE about PODCASTS is how much I learn about the world from them. They take topics that you think you know everything interesting about and turn the camera lens in your mind so that you see that thing anew. And there are many many more topics that podcasts cover that you have never heard of before in your life, but it was right there in front of your face the WHOLE TIME! Podcasts blow my mind and they entrance me and comfort me and keep me calm during the stressful times of having to meet deadlines. There are so many memorable moments that will stick in your mind and just stay with you throughout the day. I LOVE PODCASTS!

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 192 - November 2017
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