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February 2016

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Some Podcasts I Enjoy

Written by , Posted in Reviews

There are a few podcasts I listen to pretty regularly that I thought I’d recommend in case you were looking for something to listen to on your commute to work. Warning: some of them are politically super progressive, so don’t be surprised when you hear them talk about the importance of social justice and movements like Black Lives Matter.

Citizen Radio came into regular rotation probably four years ago; I support it with monthly donations. It’s helmed by a husband and wife (and their two rescue kittens). Jamie Kilstein is a comic and musician; Allison Kilkenny is a journalist; they both are vegan and awesome. The first part of the podcast is actually known as the douchebag buffer; they talk about random stuff to weed out people who probably they don’t want listening to the podcast. But the buffer is usually fairly entertaining, and the show itself is often a great quick look at important issues.*

I also listen to and support financially This Week in Blackness, which is a fantastic independent media system full of different programs. I tend to listen to the evening podcast, which also airs live Monday – Thursday. Elon James White, Imani Gandi, and Aaron Rand Freeman discuss current events with (no surprise, given the title) a focus on how they impact Black people in the U.S. Being raised in a sheltered town full of (mostly) white people, my education on Black history and civil rights was laughable / despicable. I’m closer to 40 than 30 and I’m still learning to view things from different perspectives, and this podcast has been so great for that. I recommend it for everyone.

The motivation for this post actually came from the I Seem Fun podcast, featuring Jen Kirkman, a comedian and writer whose book I reviewed for Cannonball Read 6. The podcast has been around for two years, but for some reason I just found it. Ms. Kirkman is really funny and observant; you can catch her latest stand-up special on Netflix right now, and I’ll be catching her gig during the tour for her next book later this spring. So far the podcast is basically just shit she feels like talking about. In I think the third podcast she talks about how a woman was super rude during a book signing, and Ms. Kirkmann called her out on it. The woman said “Don’t be so sensitive,” to which Ms. Kirkman responded with possibly my favorite response ever: “No no no, I didn’t say I was affected by your rudeness, I just noticed it.” Gah, perfection.

There are some pop culture podcasts I listen to as well:

– Garbage Time, with Katie Nolan, is a sports podcast and it is hilarious. The Garbage 10 at the end of each interview is fantastic and really did get me to ponder: is a hot dog a sandwich?

A Cast of Kings only airs for about three months each spring, as it is focused on recapping and analyzing the HBO Series Game of Thrones starting with season two. The hook is that Joanna has read all of the books in the series, and Dave has not. It’s great for book readers and TV show watchers alike; over the fall they went back and did podcasts for each episode in season one as a book read-along.

Fighting in the War Room is new to me, although it’s aired over 100 episodes. It explores pop culture (films and TV mostly, along with some comic book discussions). I tend to read the descriptions before I listen, but the format allows for some really entertaining film reviews and engrossing discussions.

I’ve been listening to Serial this season, although I have a hard time really getting excited for it. However, I found season one to be very fascinating, which led me to the Undisclosed podcast. Undisclosed spent its first season diving much deeper into the case from Serial season one; future seasons will focus on different possible miscarriages of justice.

When all of them are up and running, that’s about 15 hours of quality listening each week. More than enough to get you through the bus to work, or some time on the elliptical at the gym. Let me know if you end up checking any of them out.

*Updated February 28, 2017: Yesterday Ms. Kilkenny shared that she had recently learned of Mr. Kilstein being emotionally abusive and manipulative to multiple women. He has left the Citizen Radio team; hopefully the podcast will continue without him.

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