I listen to a lot of podcasts so you don’t have to. Download these for the long drive to the relatives this Christmas.
Podcast of the month – Crime Town
True crime is the new hot podcast genre and this return-to-form offering from Gimlet is a gripping, well-produced listen. It recounts jaw-dropping tales of mobbed-up 70s life in Providence, Rhode Island. A must listen for fans of The Sopranos, Goodfellas etc.
News, business & politics – FAKE NEWS SPECIAL
- Fascinating but depressing revelation of how get-rich-quick clickbait kids generate fake news for cash and pollute our democracies
- and related piece on the always-great Private Eye podcast featuring Ian Hislop’s take on it
- Brilliant and frank interview with the actor/comedian who played Garth in Wayne’s World
Tech & geek stuff
- Say hello to super slippy surfaces. Ketchup that just slides out of bottles is just the start.
Arts & misc
- John Glenn – the first American to orbit the earth died this month. This obituary makes you realise how brave he was. And what a life he had.
- And AA Gill left us too. A wonderful and controversial writer. This unexpected clip from Today discusses how dyslexia might have been necessary for his distinctive style.
- Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Quite rightly. This hour long listen takes a poetic, scholarly look at some of his classic songs. An enjoyable indulgence for the more obsessive fan.
- Unexpectedly insightful and non-mawkish feature on how a supposedly locked-in kid with autism learned to communicate using the language of Disney films
- Another growing podcast trend is the watch-along fan-tv offering. Many are terrible, but this episode-by-episode look at The West Wingis very well done and is co-hosted by one of the cast.
- Lovely doddery bust-up on Today regarding the authenticity of a Beethoven manuscript
- if you’ve ever heard the music of the Handsome Family, you’ll want to hear this lucid, odd and honest interview
NEW retro episode of the month
- Letter From America remains the benchmark for foreign correspondent reporting and now serves as a peerless record and critique of modern American history and culture. Here’s a typically excellent episode on the emergence of political TV advertising.
Got any podcast recommendations? Email me.
If you’re new to Podcasts, I’d recommend Overcast for the iPhone.