Whether you’re headed out of town for Labor Day, already planning ahead for a fall road trip, or just need something new to listen to while you clean your apartment or commute, here are the six podcasts we’ve been buzzing about here at Brooklyn Based. Since so many podcasts figure out what they are as they go along, they often change significantly, over time, so starting out at the beginning can be disappointing or misleading. With that in mind, we’ve provided suggestions for a couple of particularly good episodes to get you started on each show. Happy listening!
Another Round, Buzzfeed: When Hillary Clinton wanted to appear on a podcast, she (or more likely, her savvy PR staff) did not call Terry Gross or Ira Glass. She didn’t follow President Obama’s lead and appear on Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF. Instead, she asked Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton of Another Round for the interview, and America is more enlightened for it. Nigatu, a writer for Late Night with Stephen Colbert, and Clayton, a Buzzfeed writer, capture the way your smartest, funniest best friends talk when no one else is listening. With bourbon.
They’ve talked with Lin Manuel Miranda, Melissa Harris Perry (from whom they got the real scoop on why her show ended), and Valerie Jarrett, among many others, about pop culture, racism, sexism, the insidious effects of white privilege, politics, and occasionally, whether or not squirrels have the right to exist. Simultaneously funny and illuminating, these discussions will have you nodding your head in agreement so hard you hurt your neck and laughing to yourself on the train like a crazy person. They may even force a tough but important self-examination of your own privilege and how it comes at the expense of others. (more…)
Trish Nelson is BanterGirl. Photo: Mindy Tucker
For Trish Nelson, stand-up comedian, actor, and producer, a serious career epiphany came covered in mashed potatoes.
She had been ensconced in the New York comedy scene for five years, doing stand-up, producing live shows at Joe’s Pub (including Women of Letters), 2A, and the Ace Hotel, and working in the restaurant industry to pay the bills. One sweltering summer night three years ago, the restaurant she managed was selling food at an event on the Williamsburg waterfront and Nelson found herself, she says, “serving chicken in waffle cones, covered in mashed potatoes and truth be told not pleased, looking at my life thinking, Is this it? Is this the choice that I’ve made?”
One of her customers however, turned out to be an AEG Live executive, and the chance meeting transformed a moment of despair into an opportunity, leading Nelson to an internship, a new position, a crash course in producing live events (including Amy Schumer’s and the Broad City’s national tours), and eventually, to BanterGirl. (more…)
Now that the first season of Serial is over and done with (though who knows if another shoe is going to drop with that story), you may be casting about for something new to listen to on the train, while you’re cleaning or on a car trip. We of course love our Funny Story podcast (which we’ve taken to calling The Sloppy Moth with so much gusto that we may change the name), but sadly, we only produce it on a monthly basis. Here are five other shows that come out a lot more often and have extensive archives, for your listening pleasure.
The Talk of Shame
For someone who spends most of their time alone, I still end up embarrassing myself with shocking frequency. So listening to others recount their own mishaps, missteps and blush-inducing misdemeanors is a welcome break from reliving my own. Comedian and writer Streeter Seidell’s podcast The Talk of Shame sits Seidell down with one of his friends so they can tell him (and us) an embarrassing story about themselves for our entertainment. Past guest stories have involved expensive hook-ups, falling through chairs, fainting in front of Hilary Clinton and refusing to acknowledge who actually set off the really loud alarm in the building. Seidell starts the podcast off with a story about himself, and ends it with a British person reading a listener’s embarrassing story. So that’s three people acknowledging their failures in less than 30 minutes. If that doesn’t make you feel better, I don’t know what will. Listeners be warned: if you’re the type of person who hates hearing stories get interrupted by talkative comedians, then this isn’t for you. –Sonia Weiser (more…)
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Author Colum McCann’s conversation with fellow writer Phil Klay at Greenlight Bookstore became the basis for the premier episode of the indie shop’s new podcast series. Photo: Greenlight
It’s been 10 years since podcasting first entered our pop-culture lexicon; Ben Hammersley introduced the term during this 2004 article in The Guardian. The democratization of digital platforms over the past decade has had a lot to do with the podcast’s rise in popularity–essentially anyone with a computer and a recording device can create one.
There are of course podcast pioneers like Radiolab and This American Life, which made popular public radio programs available in podcast form, as well as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk and shows from comedians like Marc Maron and Todd Barry who have cornered the enormous comedic podcast market over the past couple years.
Two years ago we put together a list of 10 podcasts every writer should know about, but now, in an effort to breathe new life into our current listening roster, we started looking for new series to add to our iPads. Turns out we didn’t have to look far. Brooklyn has birthed a number of exceptional new podcasts as of late that run the gamut in terms of topic but all have one thing in common—they were created right here in Kings County.
The newest of these new podcasts comes courtesy of Greenlight Bookstore, which just launched its own radio hour last month. Having gained a reputation for helping put together some of the best literary programming in the city, including the Brooklyn Voices reading series at St. Joseph’s College in Clinton Hill and the Unbound book series at BAM (not to mention their own in-store author events), the indie bookstore’s owners Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting chose to infuse their audio series with the same spirit.