PCF's Favorite Podcasts

jbutler

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I was turned onto Slate's Political Gabfest several years ago through the podcast thread on ChipTalk and it might have become my single favorite podcast, so I figured maybe a thread here might be a good idea.

Obviously my "listen to every single episode" podcasts are very highly recommended. The rest do what they do well, but I'm not always interested, so I drop in when I like the subject or am in the mood.

My "listen to every single episode" podcasts:

Amicus (bi-weekly) - coverage of the Supreme Court and constitutional issues

Common Sense with Dan Carlin (sporadic; monthly-ish) - commentary and analysis of current events from a semi-libertarian perspective

Film Junk (weekly) - movie reviews and discussion; primary review is typically of mainstream film; secondary discussion varies from mainstream to obscure film

Hardcore History with Dan Carlin (sporadic; quarterly-ish) - deep looks into various historical eras and events; very long episodes and series of episodes

Lexicon Valley (weekly) - language and linguistics discussion and analysis

Meet the Press (weekly) - horrible political interviews and commentary

Movie Date
(weekly) - movie reviews for mainstream film

New York Times Book Review
(weekly) - interviews with authors and critics and coverage of publication industries

On the Media
(weekly) - coverage of various media industries

PBS NewsHour Supreme Court
(sporadic) - coverage from the NewHour relating to the Supreme Court

Real Time with Bill Maher
(weekly in season) - political and social commentary with a mixed political panel and liberal host

Serial
(weekly in season) - only one season so far, but second and third are scheduled; crime investigation and reporting

Slate Double X Gabfest
(bi-weekly) - political and social commentary and analysis from a liberal and feminist perspective

Slate Political Gabfest
(weekly) - political commentary and analysis from a liberal perspective

Supreme Podcast
(sporadic depending on events) - coverage of Supreme Court arguments and decisions

Waking Up
(sporadic; monthly-ish) - philosophical discussion and commentary on religion and culture

Whistlestop
(bi-weekly) - historical political anecdotes​


My "if I have time or the subject looks particularly interest" podcasts:

All Songs Considered (weekly) - new music opinion and news

Backstory
(bi-weekly) - american history from 18th through 20th century

Cracked
(weekly) - humorous cultural commentary with a liberal bent

Econtalk
(weekly) - hard economics commentary and analysis from a libertarian perspective

Fresh Air
(daily) - interviews with cultural, political, and academic figures and media coverage and reviews

The Gist
(daily) - basically a more humorous version of Fresh Air

In Our Time
(weekly) - panel discussion of historical events and developments with academics and intellectuals

Longform
(weekly) - discussion with writers concerning their professional development and publication industries

Planet Money
(twice weekly) - popular economics discussion

Podcast for America
(not sure?) - first episode just came out; seems like a second-rate Political Gabfest

Savage Lovecast
(weekly) - love and sex advice with a political discussion at the top of the show which I always listen to

Slate Spoiler Specials/Slate TV Club
(sporadic) - discussion of new movies and television obviously featuring spoilers

This American Life
(weekly) - a tedious, annoying, occasionally interesting bunch of irritating people spieling on about various topics

Timothy Keller
(sporadic; sometimes monthly-ish) - sermons from a moderate conservative Presbyterian minister

Tobolowsky Files
(very sporadic; sometimes monthly-ish) - stories from Stephen Tobolowsky's (Ned from Groundhog Day) career in film and television and his life in general

WTF
(twice weekly) - Marc Maron interviews comedians, actors, writers, and musicians​
 

CdnBeerLover

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My list is not nearly so long
CBC : The Current - Current affairs, (3 episodes / weekday)
CBC : The Irrelevant Show - Sketch comedy (weekly)
CBC : Laught Out Loud - Stand Up comedy (weekly)
CBC : Under the Influence - Insights into Ad / Marketing (weekly)
CBC : Spark - Technology (weekly)
The Tech Guy - Technology (Sat and Sun). A bit lightweight, but still worth a listen.
The Pace Motorcycle Podcast - Motorcycles (weekly)
Jazz Stew - Jazz. No regular schedule.

(I seem to rely a lot on CBC. Oh well...)

Poker related
Top Pair - Home Game Poker Podcast (biweekly)
2+2 Pokercast - weekly. This one isn't as compelling, and I find myself tuning out as they talk. Just not as interested in their topics. This one will probably be dropped in the not too distant future.

I also capture a 2 hour jazz radio stream nightly on my home server (CBC's Tonic) and load it onto my phone. I'm a bit behind on it, but I'll catch up. I also capture The Debaters (I can buy it on iTunes, but since I can capture the stream as an mp3...), but I haven't listened to it in a while.
 

Mental Nomad

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Some great choices listed... but you miss two of my favorites:

Radiolab - interesting introspective subject matter with great storytelling and the best podcast production I've heard (one of the two main guys actually trained as a composer)

Freakonomics - hosted by the guys who wrote the best-selling books


I'm also having fun listening to the crew on here:

Penn's Sunday School - feature Penn Jillette & his cronies. I don't always agree with their position, but after all those years in show business, Penn definitely tells some great stories.
 

jbutler

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Some great choices listed... but you miss two of my favorites:

Radiolab - interesting introspective subject matter with great storytelling and the best podcast production I've heard (one of the two main guys actually trained as a composer)

Freakonomics - hosted by the guys who wrote the best-selling books


I'm also having fun listening to the crew on here:

Penn's Sunday School - feature Penn Jillette & his cronies. I don't always agree with their position, but after all those years in show business, Penn definitely tells some great stories.

i was at one time a frequent radiolab and freakonomics listener. i really liked the episodes of freakonomics featuring levitt, but not so much the ones without him. not sure why i dropped radiolab tbh. i bet the penn's sunday school podcast is interesting, but he irritates me.

one podcast i've meant for a start in on and which you would probably like if you like radiolab is 99% invisible. i'll add it to my playlist now while i'm thinking about it. all segments i've heard elsewhere have been stellar.
 

12thMan

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A bunch of my playlist (or download list, whatever) is already listed. I'm a big fan of Dan Carlin stuff, and I was pleasantly surprised that Serial didn't make me want to drive off a bridge because of its ties to This American Life. I'm sure I would be interested in a ton of stuff TAL talks about, but the way they produce radio makes me crazy.."Our float plane drops us off at the dock in the middle of the night." *plane engine noise, sounds of a door opening, footsteps on a dock* "We are led into the village where the local children have stayed up way past their bedtime to get a good look at the weary group of travelers that will be staying with them." *footsteps on ground. young voices in the distance. Laughing kids voices get louder* And on and on and on, makes me want to never listen to anything audible again for fear of having to listen to more of that.

As far as ones that haven't been listed:

I'll add Joe Rogan to the list, he has some very interesting guests sometimes. I'm not much of a UFC fan, but I love stand up comedy and am interested in a lot of random stuff like he seems to be so a lot of his guests are very interesting to me.

Also Adam Carolla, I've been a big fan of his going back to the radio show he did with Dr.Drew in the 90's, it's escaping my mind right now but I think it was Love Lines. His outlook on life matches my own in many ways, love listening to Adam rant. He's got a few that he does, I'm a fan of a lot of it.
 
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jbutler

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bump for one i've added in the last few weeks: Race Wars with Sherrod Small and Kurt Metzger. it's primarily a comedy podcast, but as the title indicates, they discuss a lot of racial and political issues.

i don't even know whether to say it's "offensive" since basically anyone who might listen to a podcast hosted by a black guy and a white guy called Race Wars ought to know what they're getting into. there isn't a current podcast that makes me laugh harder at the moment.

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jbutler

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bump for one i've added in the last few weeks: Race Wars with Sherrod Small and Kurt Metzger. it's primarily a comedy podcast, but as the title indicates, they discuss a lot of racial and political issues.

i don't even know whether to say it's "offensive" since basically anyone who might listen to a podcast hosted by a black guy and a white guy called Race Wars ought to know what they're getting into. there isn't a current podcast that makes me laugh harder at the moment.

i have to bump this again right after just to force people to try this out. was fucking dying this morning listening when they talked to the comic who kicked the motherfucker in the below clip. it occurred to me this morning that these guys are like the liberal-leaning version of opie and jimmy/anthony.

even if you don't listen check out the below clip and see a guy just get fucking wrecked:

 
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tommythecat

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Deserved every bit of that kick. There should be an absolute zero tolerance policy on hecklers at comedy shows. And I have heard some damn good hecklers.
 

tigon

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Hollywood Handbook is an instant download for me every week. If you like The Best Show with Tom Scharpling check out the episodes he's on starting from the earliest, it might be the perfect entry point. A perfect glimpse into the life of some true Tinseltown tastemakers for us rubes from flyover country.

The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project is hilarious too. Just as dark as his show Review is. My favorite episodes are the August Lindt, Don Dimello, Dalton Wilcox and Wolfman Hotdog episodes.

 
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tommythecat

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Welcome to Night Vale is pretty damn good. Check it out if you like funny, crazy, weird stuff. "The Weather" segment is fantastic for some great music also.

I listened to the first dozen episodes on a road trip over the weekend and I quite enjoyed it.
 

tommythecat

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Been checking out more podcasts lately. I have listened to a few episodes of WTF (Obama, follow up Obama, and Sir Ian McKellan) and have enjoyed them quite a bit. Downloaded a bunch more to listen to. Also downloaded a bunch of SModcast episodes as well as a few others. Going to have to check out some of the ones mentioned ITT also.
 

tommythecat

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I have really been enjoying WTF and Race Wars. Race wars is absolutely fantastic and really really funny. I have been mostly listening to the WTF's involving musicians and older actors and it is great listening to their stories of "back in the day."
 

jbutler

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Gotta add a new one to the list: Deep Inside the Rabbit Hole. It's a conspiracy theory podcast and is way, way out there, but hilarious and entertaining. Hate to say that they might actually be getting into my head a bit and convincing me that the world is a mechanism engineered by 7th dimension beings.

Be careful searching for this one. There are about a dozen down the rabbit hole-style named podcasts. This one is specifically "Deep Inside the Rabbit Hole".
 

links_slayer

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Gotta add a new one to the list: Deep Inside the Rabbit Hole. It's a conspiracy theory podcast and is way, way out there, but hilarious and entertaining. Hate to say that they might actually be getting into my head a bit and convincing me that the world is a mechanism engineered by 7th dimension beings.

Be careful searching for this one. There are about a dozen down the rabbit hole-style named podcasts. This one is specifically "Deep Inside the Rabbit Hole".

I love and hate shit like this. I might have to check it out.
 

jbutler

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I love and hate shit like this. I might have to check it out.

The website is worth checking out as well. A few of my favorite conspiracy theories from this show:

- The Earth is flat (not kidding)
- Not only was 9/11 a conspiracy, but the "planes" that crashed that day were actually holograms
- The Boston bombing never happened and the injured people were paid actors with preexisting amputations

I would say start with episode 1 entitled "9/11 is Dave's Baby".
 

links_slayer

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The website is worth checking out as well. A few of my favorite conspiracy theories from this show:

- The Earth is flat (not kidding)
- Not only was 9/11 a conspiracy, but the "planes" that crashed that day were actually holograms
- The Boston bombing never happened and the injured people were paid actors with preexisting amputations

I would say start with episode 1 entitled "9/11 is Dave's Baby".

Yep, I'm definitely in now. Thanks for the heads up.
 

pltrgyst

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Great list Jack, and some excellent additions here! Thanks!

I'm not huge on podcasts, preferring print, but can't miss Maher, NYTBook Review, and WTF, ever.

Just a few more:

The new "A Phone Call from Paul" (Paul Holdengraber) on LitHub:
http://lithub.com/a-phone-call-from-paul/

StarTalk Radio with Neil Degrasse Tyson: http://www.startalkradio.net/shows-archive/

the Science Weekly podcast on the Guardian Web site: http://www.theguardian.com/science/series/science

and intrepid poker player / radio host / skeptic Paul Harris at http://paulharrisonline.blogspot.com/
 

links_slayer

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I would say start with episode 1 entitled "9/11 is Dave's Baby".

I started w/ this episode this weekend. Loved it. I was lol'ing several times but also thinking hmmm, are they onto something? Derp. Looking forward to giving a listen to several more. Thanks for the recommendation Jack. :)
 

jbutler

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I started w/ this episode this weekend. Loved it. I was lol'ing several times but also thinking hmmm, are they onto something? Derp. Looking forward to giving a listen to several more. Thanks for the recommendation Jack. :)

Glad you liked it, links! There's so much more where that came from. I went on a semi-binge where I listened to like 20 episodes in a week or something ridiculous and I had to start spreading them out. I was almost starting to get on board.

For a more objective conspiracy theory discussion, Jon Ronson's interview from WTF with Marc Maron from a while ago (but still free in the podcast feed) is really, really good. As is pretty much all of Ronson's writing imo.

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Regular Listens:

Men in Blazers
- Two British men discussing soccer (football), with the majority of time spend on the Premier League and the USNT.
Coverville - Hosted by Brian Ibbot, this weekly podcast presents cover songs, usually themed or in a tribute to one or two specific performers per show
 

jbutler

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Coverville - Hosted by Brian Ibbot, this weekly podcast presents cover songs, usually themed or in a tribute to one or two specific performers per show

This one is still in my feed, but I have to admit that I listen only when the theme artist is someone I like and even then I skip through the tracks pretty quickly as there is a fair bit of filler.
 

kirchhausen

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yeah Coverville is rather long for a podcast, I skip through almost all of Ibbot speaking. I try to give most of the music a fair shake, but sometimes find myself skipping ahead if after 10 or 15 seconds I'm not feeling a song.
 

jbutler

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As usual, I'm extremely late to the party, but I have started catching up with the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast. Though he has long been one of my favorite authors, I thought my podcast schedule a little too full to bother, but the Tarantino interview finally got me on board.

Now I'm working my way back through mostly the film directors and a few choice musicians. The subject matter can get a little repetitive since it's almost entirely reliant on BEE's steering of the discussion and so naturally reflects his perspective and I don't always agree with his views on movies/music/art, but it's been very good and very interesting so far.
 

jbutler

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Bump to recommend Brian Koppelman's The Moment podcast.

It's been going for a long time, but I'm just now taking it in. Listened to the Hold Steady (@courage this is a really, really good one) and Colin Quinn episodes so far, but I have a TON on my to-listen list and from this best-of (at least my personal best-of) alone, you can see the breadth of the interview subjects:

Tim Herlihy
Marc Maron
John Heilemann
Alex Blumberg
Tony Robbins
Killer Mike
Vanessa Selbst (she irritates me, but I feel like I kind of have to check it out for some reason)
Jessi Klein
Amy Schumer
Bill Hader
Jason Isbell
Big Jay Oakerson
Keith Robinson
Chuck Todd (again, he's annoying, but he has to have some good stories)
David Lipsky
Mary Karr
Salman Rushdie
Tom McCarthy
Karyn Kusama
Hayes Carll
 

jbutler

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Oh and I see I somehow failed to mention Keepin' It 1600 until now. It's an political podcast that features general news-of-the-week type coverage and also always has an interview.

Hosted by Jon Favreau (no, not the Fav of Swingers fame, but one better - this one banged Rashida Jones) and Dan Pfeiffer, both former advisors of (and the former a former a speechwriter for) Obama. Not as good as Slate's Political Gabfest, but better than the now-defunct (though also good) Podcast for America.
 

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Waking Up - Sam Harris (already mentioned by jbutler)

The Tim Ferriss Show

London Real

Jocko Podcast

Five Hundy by Midnight
 
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My main 3 are Rogan's podcast, Carolla and Dr. Drews and ESPNs Fantasy Baseball Focus baseball podcast.

I tend to only listen when Im driving or mowing the lawn. Im more selective on Rogan's podcast, depending on the guests, just because of the length. Still chipping way at the last Sam Harris episode.

And of course the Fantasy Baseball podcast is seasonal.
 

jbutler

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I listen to a lot of podcasts anyway, but I've been listening to even more during this election cycle. I guess this is the first presidential election cycle since podcasts have gotten extraordinarily popular and there are some fantastic ones out there with hosts and guests we'd never have gotten such unfiltered access to in any other medium. I think we're really, really lucky to have this vehicle at this time.

For anyone who wants 8 or so hours of content related to this presidential election, these are my top 10 episodes featuring hosts and guests who are able to speak with some authority on the subject. I included SoundCloud links for all that had them available (I think only the Mitt Romney Radio Free GOP episodes aren't SoundCloud).

Unranked, but in order of publication, starting with the most recent:

(1) Radio Free GOP (hosted by Mike Murphy) with guests Jeff Roe and Chris Wilson of the Ted Cruz campaign
(2) Off Message (hosted by Glenn Thrush) with guest Robby Mook of the Hillary Clinton campaign
(3) Off Message with guest Bill Kristol, conservative pundit/intellectual
(4) Off Message with guest Jeff Roe of the Ted Cruz campaign
(5) Radio Free GOP with guest Mitt Romney, former Republican nominee (part 1)
(6) Radio Free GOP with guess Mitt Romney, former Republican nominee (part 2)
(7) The Axe Files (hosted by David Axelrod) with guest Mike Murphy of the Jeb Bush campaign
(8) Off Message with guest Tim Miller of the Jeb Bush campaign
(9) The Axe Files with guest Stuart Stevens of the Mitt Romney campaign
(10) The Axe Files with Mitt Romney, former Republican nominee

Even though I didn't rank them because I think they're better presented by the date of the interview, the Jeff Roe interviews (numbers 1 and 4) are almost certainly the best ones of the bunch. He's just a really bright guy and the accounts of those who know better than I he ran the best campaign of all the Republican candidates in this cycle.
 
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