I listen to a lot of podcasts & audio stuff and then tell you which ones are good.
NEW – audio books of the month
OK, so I’m bending the theme a bit here, but it’s all long-form intelligent speech so I think audio books fit. I recommend Audible.com to buy them. For extra geek bonus points, get an Amazon Echo so you can say, “Alexa, play Audible” to continue listening to your book while doing the washing up.
- Clive James, Play All. This is heaven – one of the great writers on popular culture reviewing a whole heap of the best box sets. The Wire, The West Wing, The Sopranos – they’re all there
- David Hepworth – 1971, Never a Dull Moment. I wasn’t sure about the idea of this – the claim is that year was the high watermark of rock music – but David Hepworth is a great writer and the book is an excellent, highly enjoyable look back at the social history of Britain and the US as well as some great records
News, business & politics
- At lunch with Aaron Banks – the money behind UKIP. A man it’s hard to like, but you’ve got to admire his resolve and impact. What’s most revealing is the deeply cynical but highly effective commitment to doing and saying whatever it takes to win.
- How has politics changed in the last 30 years? John Humphreys looks back
- How has language changed in American politics. Surprisingly open interview with right wing talk show host Glenn Beck.
Tech & geek stuff
- A history of the iPhone on its 10th birthday. This is proper nerd stuff, but we’re talking about the most successful consumer product of all time and how it came to be.
- The business of creativity – great interview with the CFo of Pixar
Arts & misc
- Unlikely interview of Jerry Seinfeld by the Harvard Business Review.He’s always funny and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed his response to being asked about McKinsey.
- Much more interesting than expected interview with Bruce Springsteen. He comes across as a guy who has learned a lot.
- Impassioned interview with Paul Gambaccini. Always worth listening to, and never more than when recounting the harrowing story of his year of hell when he was falsely drawn into Operation Yewtree.
- Comfy pair of slippers style interview of Bill Bryson by Richard E Grant. I enjoyed it so much (I am not cool) that I bought the Road to Little Dribbling audio book – the sequel to Notes from a Small Island.
- Front Row special on minimalist composers. Phillip Glass et all.
- The FT review Trading Places. Yes, the classic Eddie Murphy movie, seen from the perspective of people who know about money – and about 30 years.
- And while we’re at it, the FT also reviewed Joy Division’s She Lost Control song. Yes they did. And worth listening to it is too.
- Billy Bragg interviewed by Scroobius Pip. Billy is charming and thoughtful about England, love songs and social struggle. But he doesn’t half talk some guff. I recall Sean Hughes saying, “Everyone gets over their Morrissey phase. Except Morrissey.”
Got any podcast or audio book recommendations? Email me.