Tuesday, April 14, 2009

These Podcasts Rock and Engross

Last year, I spent a lot of time listening to and reviewing film-themed podcasts. I also regularly listen to other podcasts, and I have two that I would like to recommend highly.

Coverville is a music podcast hosted by Brian Ibbott that is dedicated to playing songs that are recorded by artists other than the original artist (aka, cover songs). I have been listening to this podcast for 6 months now and I love it. It is one of the first podcasts that I listen to every week, and I consistently discover new artists through listening to it. Each show has a particular slant, whether it be songs covering a particular artist, requested covers, or some particular topic like summer, geographic location, etc. Coverville has also been cited by iTunes in its Best of 2007 and Best of 2008 Podcast lists, so I am clearly not alone in my adoration here. With over 550 episodes, I am not able to go back and listen to the entire Coverville back catalog, but I definitely have had a great time downloading the "cover stories" of some of my favorite artists. The Peter Gabriel and Billy Joel cover stories and his recent all A Cappella epsiode were particularly noteworthy, in my opinion.

Radio Lab is a production of WNYC and NPR. It is an educational science-themed show for non-scientists. Unlike the podcasts from Scientific American and "Science Friday", Radio Lab does not rely on a pure interview format that inevitably descends into technical minutae that goes over people's (my) heads. No, Jad Abumrad (host/producer) and Robert Krulwich (cohost) don't delve into the esoteric and alienating technical details of science. Rather, they tell incredibly compelling stories about the world with a brilliant inter meshing of entertaining music, interviews, and sound effects. The shows are incredibly fascinating to listen to for the content alone, exploring the nature of humanity, the world, and the universe. Add the incredible production value and the shows are completely engrossing and headphone-worthy. I got hooked on this podcast a few months ago and I have spent those last few months downloading and listening to their entire back catalog. I am finally caught up now. Looking for some good examples? Try their episodes on diagnosis and morality.

Definitely check these two podcasts out.

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