Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler...Former teacher... Scientist... Published author... Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published August 18th 2018
Listening your life away
I have what used to be a knee that gives me curry all the time. As part of my fitness / rehabilitation regime, I walk between one and two hours each morning. When I started this exciting activity, I would listen to music but I found that my mind wandered and I started to dwell on negatives in my life. Never good. So, I decided to try the ABC Listen app and start to do the whole podcast thing. Now I walk with people talking in my ears all the time. It is awesome! Podcasts are fantastic. I have tried maybe close to a hundred of them (I also find myself listening to them when I am cooking and cleaning) and I reckon well over half have been really good.
My new listening device thingy (source: Wikipedia)
There are podcasts out there for literally everything! From cooking Chinese gourmet to Ukrainian politics, from the fashion faux pas of red carpet celebrities to poking fun at dog owners, there is something, quite literally, for everyone. Well, I have my own likes, and so have whittled down my list to these five for your audio edification. Try them - I hope you like them.
1) Bang On!
The first thing I notice when listening to this podcast is that Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe sound like they are friends who genuinely like each other. They communicate so well and naturally, it is a joy that is infectious. The podcast is half an hour of pop culture goodness. I learn stuff, remember stuff and smile a lot. It is actually fun. They cover a variety of topics each podcast and if you don't like one thing soon enough something else is going to come along. It is vastly entertaining. I tried to have it on as background noise a few times but failed dismally., I just wanted to listen to what they had to say. So this is my preferred walking podcast; I tend to listen to each episode at least twice because I miss stuff first time around. Thoroughly recommended… even for an old fart like me. Currently my favourite podcast. Listen to it here
I am a fan of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, where three people (a guy and 2 robots?) rip on old movies, pointing out their flaws and making fun of everything about them. It's hilarious. Well, welcome to the podcast version. Often recorded in front of a live audience, this has a much more sweary vibe and is hilarious. Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas are your hosts and, while I have no idea who they are, this works so well. The archives cost to listen to, but the current ones – which are long, by the way – are just fine. I laughed. A lot. Worth your time, if you don't mind abuse directed at movies. Can be heard here
Hosted by either Richard Fidler or Sarah Kanowski, this is the best of the interview podcasts out there (and I've listened to way too many of them). I still find it hard to reconcile this Richard Fidler with the guitar-playing butt of many jokes in Doug Anthony All-Stars (who once spent an entire show paying me out…), but there you are. The way he gets people to talk and the questions he asks, the research done – it is all very masterful. I like Andrew Denton's TV interview style; Fidler is as good on the radio. Kanowski is also very good when she sits in the host chair. I do find some guests and their stories don't do it for me, but I still listen. I can't help myself. Find it here
4) Under The Classic Rock
A 10-minute quicky, looking at Classic Rock tunes and bands/artists. Short, sharp and shiny, not overstaying its welcome, and compelling all the same. It's like a Cliff's Notes version of each band or artist, but done in an entertaining, fun way. Little jokes and bizarre metaphors throughout make this something you have to listen carefully to. Another one I listen to more than once each time. The host Bill Hemberger knows his stuff and has a great voice that suits this. Go here for this one
Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen present one of the funniest pop culture podcasts I've heard. Again, not one that can be listened to as background audio – it's too engaging and generally funny as all hell. At an hour, it is perfect to listen to while exercising. They sound like they actually get along and, while they mention it is scripted, their delivery is so relaxed and casual you'd think they whole thing was off the cuff. They do sound like they genuinely like one another which, as you may have guessed, I find important in order to listen to these things. And here this one lives
All you need to be an online star (source: Pixabay)
So, there you have it - my favourite 5. I know 3 are Australian, but so am I, and they are still worth listening to even if you live overseas. But there are so many out there I may have missed some really good ones. What have I missed? Let us know in the comments section!