by Eve Asher
Podcasts: they’re not just for nerds anymore! Now podcasts are cool, smart, and sophisticated, and so are the people who listen to them. But with all the great podcasts out there, from Serial to Pop Culture Happy Hour, where do you start? These eleven podcasts will make you laugh, cry, and go, “Huh, I never knew,” which is kind of like the public radio version of laughing.
There are people everywhere. But how much do we really know about them? Sometimes, they surprise you. Each episode we bring you stories about people and who they really are. We are people. You are a person. We are all People.
Murder, She Podcasted
It seems like every week there’s a new murder in the news. But what is murder? And what drives people to commit it? When a murder happens, is there more to the story? Each week, a serious person with a microphone explores these issues.
The Jake Project
Inside the twisted, offbeat mind of Jake, a 32-year-old white guy with a unique way of looking at the world, and some provocative opinions about hip hop.
You all live your comfortable lives with your laptops and your quinoa. When was the last time you touched a dead body? When was the last time you cleaned human intestine off your windshield? Each week on Grisly, the host interviews someone with a really gross job, like cremating babies or something. You’ll only hear his voice max once per episode, but you can definitely tell he’s not grossed out.
It’s Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This Podcast
Three guys with identical voices, one of whom is being Skyped in, bring you the latest in web technologies, programming tips, and hacker culture. Sometimes they say things that could be jokes. It’s difficult to tell.
Forty-three minutes of sparse electronic music. Twelve minutes into the episode, a digitally altered voice confesses to a crime. The voice expresses no remorse.
The Amusement Show
Recorded live at a mid-sized venue in Brooklyn, The Amusement Show brings you a more or less enjoyable hour of unobjectionable music and comedy. Each week, a genial host welcomes a celebrity guest — but a smart celebrity, like John Hodgman — and laughs at all of their jokes. Then a band whose CD you should probably get your dad for Hanukkah plays a humorously pointed cover. By the end of the episode, you won’t remember who the guests were, but you’ll be pleasantly numb to the horrors of existence.
Sex. Everybody’s having it, but do we ever really talk about it? Storygasm features intimate, sound-rich stories of erotic adventures from ordinary people who all happen to be sex educators in San Francisco. Come explore that most taboo of topics: young, velvety-voiced people having sex.
Some people are just so interesting. Writers, for example: how do they do it? Or musicians: how do they just get on stage and play? The host of Interesting is not himself interesting, but he manages to get interesting people from all walks of life — writers, musicians — to come to his apartment to talk about their creative process. He talks about himself too, but only a little.
It’s a plant, but it’s not a plant. It’s the ocean, but it’s also the stock market. It’s billions of neurons in billions of brains, and it’s as simple as flipping a coin. It’s everywhere. It’s nothing. It’s Not Science.
I’m Not Here To Make Friends
Two comedians and reality show junkies work their way through every episode of every English-language incarnation of the Big Brother. Each week, they watch an episode and mock its shifting alliances, obviously contrived fights, and regrettable fashion choices. With over 60 seasons to get through, the pair estimate that the project will take them about 30 years, and if you listen closely you can hear the exhaustion in their voices. But they carry on, because when all this is over, they might be able to get a show on IFC.