So as you may have guessed from the amount of time I spend writing on this blog, I have a fair bit of free time on my hands, though less now with work and school. As previously mentioned, I like to listen to audiobooks on my little ipod speaker system in my kitchen and also while I’m driving, which I do a fair amount of as well. I think living alone, too much silence can be a bad thing, so while I’m cooking, cleaning, walking, driving, or lots of other things, I like to listen to something, so in addition to books I download a lot of podcasts.
I figured I’d mention a few that are regular listens for me and maybe someone will see one they haven’t heard and check it out, or suggest one to me that I haven’t come across yet.
As a sports nut, I actually listen to a suprisingly small amount of sports podcasts because most of them are ESPN based and while I like watching sports on that network, I can often do without their analysis and “personalities”(I’m looking at you Stu Scott, Mark May, and Lou Holtz).
My one exception that’s at least nominally under the ESPN umbrella is the BS Report with Bill Simmons. I’ve been reading Simmons for years, and while he focuses way too much on the NBA(my least favorite major sport) and the Boston teams, he’s generally entertaining on his podcast, though it varies greatly by guest. Surprisingly some of his most entertaining podcasts are with his old buddies from college, they keep him grounded; he’s living in Hollywood these days and thinks he’s a bit of a bigshot so if given the chance he can be more than a bit pompous.
Outside of Simmons’ podcast, I tend to steer clear of the sports related ones. I haven’t really found a great college football podcast: there’s one called The Solid Verbal that isn’t bad, but they are two guys based outside of the south, so obviously they don’t pay enough attention to the SEC and southern college football for me..lol.
Most of my other podcasts are comedy related ones: I’m actually a regular listener of the Adam Carolla Show. I had never really seen any of his work before he started his podcast a few years ago and basically thought he was the buffoon that most people probably still do. But he’s actually pretty damn entertaining, though he has an unfortunate tendency to rant about the same things over and over. With his show, it’s a lot to do with the guest: if he has someone that can keep up with him and not be steamrolled by his personality, it can honestly be one of the funniest podcasts out there. If you’re looking to try his show out, look for guests like Dave Dameshek, Jim Jefferies, or Bryan Cranston to name a few, then you’ll get the best out of him.
Speaking of Jim Jefferies, he’s a very funny Aussie comedian that made it big in the UK and then came over here: he has a few HBO specials that I’d recommend if you want to check him out. He has a podcast called Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ift Talk Shit or some variation of that, just look up Jim Jefferies on Itunes and you’ll find it. Apparently Itunes doesn’t like profanity in the names of podcasts so they’ve changed it minorly a few times to get past that.
Jim is a very funny guy while Eddie Ift is pretty much considered a hack by most every opinion I’ve read of him online…but Eddie does manage to rein in Jim and keep the show rolling so that’s basically his role on the show. The show can range from insanely tears in your eyes funny, to very juvenile, often in the space of a few minutes..but there’s more often laughs than not. Like with Carolla, the personality of the guest can definitely affect the quality.
My next always listen and rec would be as far from the last as you can get: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. For anyone interested in history at all, it’s a must listen..and yes, I realize that sounds boring to most non history buffs, but I’d highly suggest you give it a try even if you fell asleep during History 101 in college. It’s usually a couple hour show at least, and unfortunately only comes out once every few months, but it’s like getting a interesting free audiobook.
A few quick honorable mentions that I listen to from time to time are: Grantland’s Hollywood Prospectus: a couple of guys usually recapping one of the TV shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men that I personally like, and some more pop culture stuff. Often not bad and sometimes entertaining.
Techstuff from the Howstuffworks network. A couple of guys talking about both the history of technology and current stuff. I like it a lot better than the other shows on their network and it’s often worth a listen.
I will also now and then listen to the Joe Rogan Podcast: he’s a late life stoner and MMA fan with a tendency towards conspiracy theories, but depending on the guest, he can be entertaining and worth a listen a times. I actually don’t find him funny and I hate comedy shows where hosts wax poetically about standup, but with the right guest he can be decent if not good. He has some interesting variety in guests as well.
Anyhow, that’s my most common podcast list, if you think any of them sounds up your alley, look them up on itunes, and if anyone has any recs feel free to share them.