My Weekly Podcast Roundup

Here is a quick look at the Podcasts I listen to every week. To me podcasts break down in to a couple different categories, podcasts that you listen to routinely, and podcasts that you binge and move on from. 

A good binge example would be S-Town which is gripping, but also a bit like Schindler's List in that you don’t want to experience it more than once or twice in your life. With that out of the way, here are my favorites.

 

Defected Radio

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If you love, or just sort of like house music, check out Defected Radio. They are the most downloaded House podcast and the people behind Defected have been in the UK music scene for a long time.

The podcast is released a couple times a week, and is usually the soundtrack for my morning workouts. From episode to episode the format changes. Sometimes it is deep house dance hits, sometimes they do throwback episodes.

A recent example of this would be the throwback episode dedicated to Aretha Franklin. Defected also does shows, in the UK at the Ministry of Sound, but also in Ibiza Spain, Perth Australia and other party destinations around the globe. 

 

The Daily

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I like to start my day with the news. I typically absorb as much terrible news as possible before working out, which seems to be more productive then avoiding the news and pretending that things are not a mess in the world.

The daily is produced by the New York Times, and although certain things drive me crazy about their reporting (Giving Steve Bannon his own hour of crazy), the reporting and writing is some of the best you will find. Also the music is great.

Michael Barbaro hosts the Daily with his signature Ta-day, (that is how Michael says today), he also likes to make weird sounds like “humph” instead of “oh really”, which used to drive me nuts, but after a while it kind of grows on you.

 

Today Explained

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Today explained is from Vox media, and is a solid bet for getting a well produced media experience and on a number of topics. This one is easy to pick and choose. You might not be into every episode but once in a while one that speaks to you will come around.

Vox has a decent budget for research and production, which shows in the quality of what they produce. Topics range form politics to pop culture. A good starting point would be Crazy. Rich and finally seen, which talks about “Crazy Rich Asians” the movie and why it is important.

 

Pod Save America

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Ever feel like screaming at Titter, CNN, or the NYT? or more accurately the content presented? good news, Pod Save America does it for you every week. If you see something in the news and have questions like, what does this mean for the democratic process?, check out Pod Save America.

What I like about this Podcast, or “the Pod” is the amount of political science and history that go into the production. This isn’t just a group of millennials screaming into the microphone, these are some of the most intelligent political thinkers of our time, many who have an unshakable hope that America can “turn the beat around”.

Pod Save America is the main podcast, but there is a collection of “Pods” that cover different topics. The wilderness is a production worth a listen to if you are interested in saving democracy and the future of the democratic party in the US in general. 

 

 

Lovett or Leave It

This one is also from Crooked Media, and is a good way to reset every week. John was a speech and joke writer for Obama, and is now part of the Pod Save America team. Just a warning, this is not one to put on in the family station wagon with kids in the back.

“Lovett or Leave it” is live and then edited, has fun games, some of which involve the audience. Some episodes are better than others, but each is worth listening to. Guests on the show range from movie stars and comedians to political activists and candidates running for office.

My favorite episodes touch on the news, but dig into the deeper issues in society, like do we need a Frasier reboot? Did you hear about the guys who kidnapped a shark from an aquarium? What is Kellyanne Conway’s skin routine for God’s sake? 

 

 

99% Invisible

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Like today explained, 99% invisible is produced with high quality research and stories that are entertaining to listen to. Some are more interesting than others to be honest, but this is more about the listener.

I for example loved the episode about air conditioning, might not be your cup of tea, that’s ok. Each week is something new and even if you don’t love this podcast, it is worth having in you list, because when they are good, they are really good.

Topics on the Podcast range from the history of air conditioning, to the fashion trend forecasting industry and how it shapes the clothing we wear. General topics are typically history, design, architecture, art, science. A little of everything.

 

 

Freakonomics

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Economics is hard to make interesting, Freakonomics (also a book), is a weekly podcast about all the weird things Economists think about. Radical models for the future, deeper looks at the past. Strange questions about the world we live in.

Due to the popularity of the podcast the variety on the show ranges from in depth interviews with the Koch brothers (meh) to "Is America Ready for a No Lose Lottery." Yes please. Back episodes are worth a listen, as there is great content.

 

 

How I Built This

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Guy Raz hosts this one and does a great job unpacking the entrepreneurship journey. Some are accidental and scrappy like RxBar, others are trailblazers and renegades, such as Patagonia. Very consistent and an interesting view of what it takes to start a company. 

Each week is different, but this is a regular in my podcast play list. If you are looking for an inspirational and interesting episode the Spanx episode with Sara Blakely is worth a listen. Spoiler alert, crazy idea to Billion dollar company. 

 

 

Radiolab

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There was a time when podcasts with fancy music and editing were rare. Radiolab was one of the first to take listeners on an audio journey. They play with audio to make topics come to life in ways that are still groundbreaking.

If you are into science, this will probably be a favorite. Some of the best episodes are older, but still worth listening to. Some are emotional storytelling experiences such as "Emily and Alan". Others are about scientific topics, the episode on Colors is fantastic as are many others.

 

 

Throwing Shade

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This is a weekly podcast, and one of the most unique you will find. The show is about woman’s issues and all things LGBT, but that is only half the picture. The show is also about groceries, LA and all the things to love and hate about it, Cher and so much more. 

Sometimes the hosts just make fun of political figures in silly voices, please listen to  (TS218: Tap shoes,Luxury Periods,David Daleiden) for more. At the end of the day, Throwing Shade is one of my favorite podcasts, as Brian and Erin are my kind of crazy. 

This is another one that you don’t want to put on in the family station wagon as it can get colorful. My hat is off to Brian and Erin because they tackle topics which are difficult. They use humor and a healthy pinch of crazy to get to the core of issues, which I think the world needs right now.

 

Tim Ferris Show

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Tim Ferris is a knowledge seeking robot from the future who also has a podcast. Many know Tim from his books, Four Hour Work Week, Body, Chef. It took me a while to get into the podcast, but over time I have grown to enjoy his journeys. 

I find that his weekly podcast is as good as the guest, and he has some amazing guests. As an engineer, one of my favorite is when Tim sits down with Bob Metcalfe for a couple hours and talk about what it was like to invent Ethernet. 

Some of my personal favorites also include his interview with Jack Kornfield, and Dr. Gabor Maté. There is also the episodes where Arnold Schwarzenegger cuts loose for a couple hours and talks about everything from the future of Cali-fornia to his favorite strudels. 

 

Honorable Mentions

That is it for my weekly podcast round up. With that said there are some that I return to now and again. Dressed, is a podcast on the history of fashion and has great episodes.   You must remember this, is an amazing podcast on the history of Hollywood. 

The Leap is another which has fantastic content focused on “evocative stories of people making dramatic, risky life changes” hence the name. For more on this, check out the The “Elementary Kool-Aid Acid Test” which is an unbelievable story. 

When it comes to comedy, I typically binge the best of Comedy Bang Bang every year when they do the best of count down, which is always a fun ride, especially when you have people like Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins, and Lauren Lapkus around.