Peas in an iPod

Scott: Alright, well then maybe you’re not her type. She’s into stuff like old school Elvis Costello, she listens to obscure podcasts, she reads Dave Eggers. You know, she’s deep, man.
John Tucker: Dude, I’m deep. I’m dating the poetry club.

John Tucker Must Die (2006)


I'm so glad to have a reason to post this picture again. This is going to have a little bit of a “me-too” feel to it, but that’s all right with me. Pretty much everything that happened to me this past week is more all right than it looks on the surface.

The reason this feels “me-too”, however, is that in this post I’ll be sharing some of the podcasts I’ve been listening to lately. As it happens, I’ve been with most of them for awhile but it feels like they’re really starting to swell in popularity lately. So, not to get all hipster on you, but some of these were cool to me before they were cool for everyone else. There are a few others I listen to, but not as closely or as often. And two which bailed out on me before I gave up on them, the bastards.

In no particular order (click on the pictures to go to each show’s website):

This Week With Larry Miller

This one is the newest to me and, in fact, the newest of the bunch. Larry Miller takes a topic or two and just appears to spout off the top of his head for a half hour. There are still different elements of the show which are evolving, and Miller carries us through that evolutionary period by explaining its genesis, sometimes repeatedly. This show has been running for nearly a year and is starting to hit its stride. The stories that Miller tells are generally a warm brand of funny, and since he and I both grew up on Long Island, some of them are perhaps a little more relatable to me than they might be to others, but non-LIers will enjoy them nonetheless.

The Mike O'Meara Show

This isn’t the oldest of the bunch, but it’s got the biggest back catalog because they produce five shows each week. This podcast grew from the Mike O’Meara radio show, which I don’t think ever aired in Baltimore. But I was a fan of the original Don & Mike Show (which did air in Baltimore), ever since they first aired in New York City. I discovered the podcast quite by accident only a few weeks after it began. The show runs for a little over an hour, and is edited to be broadcast-friendly, as the show does have a radio affiliate. This is a show that you need to listen to a few episodes to, in order to get into the swing of things, but once you do it’s a daily romp.

WTF with Marc Maron

WTF with Marc Maron seems to be the one that’s really exploding onto the podcast landscape lately. It’s part interview and part therapy session, and once in awhile there’s a pure comedy show (the “Live WTF” shows). Maron generally hosts the shows out of his garage, and while most of his interviews have been of comedians, you can’t expect the entire show (which runs anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half) to be a Laff Riot. On the other hand, it’s not a Deconstruction of Comedy session, which would be incredibly dry. The interviews are fascinating, and I think many times the guests themselves wind up discussing things they had no intention of bringing up. Some of the more famous interviews include Judd Apatow, Louis CK, Carlos Mencia (during which he actually cops to some of the stuff he’s been accused of), and of course the infamous Gallagher interview, which ended a little earlier than originally planned. With this podcast, I’ve been playing the new ones and playing catchup with the old ones in reverse order, so while the interviews themselves aren’t especially time-sensitive, the introductions he does will delve into his personal life. Consequently I’m following both Maron’s evolution and de-evolution at the same time. He breaks up with a girlfriend, then later on she’ll move in with him.

The Tobolowsky Files

Actor Steven Tobolowsky is one of those guys who, when you see him in a movie, you’ll say, “Hey, it’s that guy!” because he’s been in something like a couple of hundred movies and similar number of TV shows, including Heroes, Glee, and Californication. Probably his best-known role was that of Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, but I really liked him as the Klan leader in Mississippi Burning. Tobolowsky tells “stories about life, love and the movie industry”, and if I have any complaints about this one, it’s that he tends to over-prepare and read his stories from written scripts. It’s a shame only because when he goes off-script, or when I hear him in interviews, he’s great at telling stories extemporaneously. Having said that, this series, which runs in “seasons” and takes occasional breaks, contains personal accounts which are funny and touching. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Tobolowsky manages to choke himself up a little, bringing back these memories. This series I’d recommend listening to in episode order, since there’s a bit of a running narrative thread going on. You know, sort of, how the story ends, and you still root for it to go in a different direction.

While I’ve linked to the shows’ websites, all of them can also be found via iTunes. Just type the show’s name into the search bar and they should come up without any problem.

What about you? Heard anything fascinating lately?

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