Listening notes: current podcasts

Listening notes: current podcasts

I’m a big fan of podcasts, and have been listening for a while — the oldest ones in my iTunes library date to the summer of 2005, when CBC Radio 3 launched its Canadian indie music podcast and my locked-out colleagues created CBC Unplugged. That must have been the first podcast explosion, because “podcast” was the New Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year in 2005, I recently learned on a podcast. Podcast. My friends, many of them radio fiends, often trade notes on what’s a good listen right now, so I thought I’d jot a few down for anyone taking suggestions. And I am always looking for new shows, so please note your faves in the comments.   Tapestries vs. talk Broadly speaking, I split podcasts in two camps: the highly-produced audio tapestry, and the smart-people-sitting-in-a-room-and-talking shows. I like both, depending on the moment. Much respect to the Radiolabs and Serials (both tapestries) but sometimes smart people in a room are just lovely company on a crowded bus or long walk. So here are my current podcast habits, with the big ones you’ll hear about everywhere at the bottom. New listens History on Fire: Crazy long episodes, no production, wonderful storytelling. Italian-born history professor Daniele Bolelli talks for two hours at a time about things you didn’t even know you wanted to know about. Great for a roadtrip. I’m not equally interested in all the history lessons, but I highly recommend the Iceman episode, where Bolelli reconstructs the life and possible murder of a well-preserved man who lived 5000 years ago. It’s an hour and forty-four minutes. Slack Variety Pack: The debate continues on “branded”...