I’ve been tidying my podcast app today. Trying to pare down the list as it was a little out of control.
As with the 10 Youtube Channel Recommendations I did the other week, I thought I’d write up list of recommended podcasts. Something something content in the age of isolation.
So here’s a random selection of shows (In no particular order) that I really like, that you may or may not have come across before. I’m sharing them as it would be nice to be able to talk to people about them! Comment below or blog about them if you take a listen!
Click the show covers to take you to the podcasts website/homepage.
Marooned On Mars With Matt And Hilary
Matt and Hilary began this podcast reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy chapter by chapter. After that epic slog concluded they have moved on to other KSR material. Its one of the best ‘book club’ shows I’ve listened to. A few friends have started reading the Mars Trilogy for the first time recently and have commented to me that they are loving listening to this.
The Thin Layer
This is a podcast about dirt, soil, and landscape. Its a 5 episode mini series full of great reporting and information. Each episode has a theme / topic regarding soil and explores it. Really recommend it.
8-part mini series from 2017 on Containers. Alexis uses a collection of anecdotes to explore how global trade has transformed the economy and ourselves. In doing so, he provides an insightful, in-depth perspective regarding the role that global trade has had in shaping capitalism, ushering in the world of commerce as we know it today.
Have You Heard George’s Podcast?
This is an astonishing podcast from Londons own spoken word Performer George the Poet. Listen from episode one. It is quite frankly, like nothing you will have ever heard on the radio/podcast before. 5 mins in to the first episode it will become very clear why it’s won so many awards.
How Sound is hosted by Rob Rosenthal from Transom Workshop/PRX. It bills itself as ‘The Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling’. Week by week Rob does the deep dive on a piece of great radio and (usually) interviews the creator about their decisions/challenges when making it.
I really like this show. Partly as its so inspirational, but also because it exposes me to so many different types of radio, field recordings, interviews that i wouldn’t have heard anywhere else.
Hosted by my friend Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller bad gays is a show about evil and complicated queers in history.
It is extremely well researched and you will all definitely take something away from each and every episode. Season 3 has just started.
Also check out these interviews with them about the show in Vox, and Vice.
Through A Monk’s Eyes
A sporadic and occasional podcast by Fr Seraphim Aldea from the “The Monastery of All Celtic Saints” on the isle of Mull. The first Orthodox Monastery in the Isles of Scotland in over a thousand years.
It is a wonderful podcast. Deeply, deeply, personal, caring, and kind. I really does provide an insight into what the world looks like through a monk’s eyes.
Of course I can’t compile this list without including Gordon White’s Runesoup podcast. Especially as we both spoke at an event just 3 weeks (seems like months? years?) ago. It covers, occultism, psi, history and culture and the paranormal. Great topics, great guests, great show!
Another wonderful sporadic podcast. This series is about walking to the summits of each of the 32 London boroughs with an interesting person from each borough.
I hope they do another series. Even if the host has been there before it would be great to revisit the peak with a new guest in a different season. Lots of great local knowledge and love of place and landscape in this podcast.
A Phone Call From Paul
This is one of the podcasts that has been in my feed the longest. The conceit is fantastic. Quote-a-manic Paul Holdengräber – host and director of the interview series LIVE at the New York Public Library calls people on a land line to have a conversation. There is something about the sound of a phone conversation that makes it feel very intimate and spontaneous. Paul is a fantastic interlocutor, really recommend the show. The Le Guin interview (I think) is the last recorded interview before her death.
The Botanical Lovecast
Hosted by botanical illustrator and my relative in-law Maddy Maine. This is a fun show that explores relationships between people, plants, and culture. Guests range from organic perfumers, artists, and sound therapist. Really interesting and eclectic.
Now into its second season, Bundyville is a deep journalistic investigation in to the Bundy family, the 2014 Bundy Farm standoff, and the armed uprisings they inspired. Also old time religion and ranching.
This show is amazing. I’ve been recommending it since Episode 1 back in 2018.
Dolly Parton’s America
Hosted by WNYC’s Jad Abumrad (Radiolab) as soon as it was announced I knew that this show would be great – It did not disappoint. This show is also Fantastic. It also feels more like watching a documentary rather than listening to one. Really inspirational show, and (for me) represents where podcasting and radio can go in the future as a form. The fact that most podcasts are listened to with headphones means that detailed and lunch stereo field recordings can be used to great effect. Just listen to it. Its amazing.
Last but not least is The Burner from Novara Media. First conceived during the 2019 election, The Burner is now back with its own feed. Publishing weekdays (currently) with news and commentary related to the Covid-19 Lockdown, labour struggles, the emerging mutual aid groups etc.
Definitely subscribe if you like a short podcast with your morning coffee.
Speaking of short podcasts….
Hosted by a very dashing and handsome man, the conceit of this podcast is that the host writes, edits and records a podcast 301 seconds in one hour every week.
I sometimes suspect that it takes him a little over/longer than 1 hour sometimes, but who am I to judge?
Each episode is very different and is basically just a product of whatever the Host has been thinking about that week.
I have loads more I could have included – but this list has got very extensive already. Apologies to friends who’s shows I’ve missed/not included. You know I try to promote your content when ever I can! You’ll make the next list I promise!