Each week I will publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears this week. They’re listed in no particular order. You can see what I’ve been listening to here to see the competition these shows beat out to make the best of the week.
Reveal: Running From Cops (4/29/17): What it’s about: “On this episode of Reveal, we team up with WYPR to explore the consequences of fleeing from the police through two stories, both set in Baltimore. Reporter Mary Wiltenburg opens with the story of Greg Butler, a young man who took part in protests in Baltimore after Gray’s death. He ran from the cops after cutting a hole in a fire hose with a pocketknife – a symbolic act, he thought. But since that moment, he’s dealt with the consequences, including federal charges filed against him in which he faced up to 25 years in prison. We also hear from WYPR reporter Mary Rose Madden, who unpacks the case of another man who was killed while running from Baltimore police – seven years before Freddie Gray. It raises questions about how courts handle claims of civil rights violations. But unlike Gray’s death, this one got no attention and barely a mention in local media at the time.” Why it’s great: In light of this weekend’s murder of 15 year old Jordan Edwards by the hand of a Balch Springs, Texas police officer, this episode is a timely must-listen. Edwards was not even running away from police but simply riding in a car. The abuse by police has got to stop. (53 minutes) Twitter: @reveal
Here’s the Thing: Brian Reed Thought “S-Town” Could Only Ever Be a Cult Show (5/2/17): What it’s about: “Good stories teach us about humankind, great ones change the way we see it. For many, S-Town — a seven episode series about an eccentric Alabama horologist named John B. McLemore — has done just that. Released on March 28, the podcast reached critical acclaim near instantly, garnering 16 million downloads in the first seven days. For Brian Reed, the host and producer behind it, the reception has been thrilling. As the world continues to devour his masterpiece, Brian talks to Alec Baldwin about the email where it all began.” Why it’s great: This was a doozy of an interview for me because it revealed something that made me feel differently about S-Town. In this interview, Brian Reed admits he was entertained and amused by John B, which to me sounds like he was using John B for good audio. To speak about someone who has committed suicide as glibly as Reed does bothers me. Baldwin does an excellent job of asking questions that extract something new. (38 minutes) Twitter: @heresthething
SC Featured: James Conner: For Those Who Can’t (4/30/17): What it’s about: “As the now cancer-free James Conner received the second phone call to change his life, two families tell the impact Pittsburgh’s third-round pick has had on their children.” Why it’s great: I am an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh, where Conner played football, and I’m a huge Steelers fan, so I feel extra sentimental about his story. But this is a beautiful story whether you care about sports or not. (25 minutes) Twitter: @sportscenter
The Way I Heard it With Mike Rowe, Episode 53: A Simple Solution (5/1/17): What it’s about: “His formula saved millions from starvation – among other things.” Why it’s great: It’s a complicated story (amazingly told in just eleven minutes) about Jewish chemist Fritz Haber, who won a Nobel Prize for inventing a novel way of synthesizing fertilizer in the early 1900s, but who also wanted so badly to impress the Germans (Nazis) that he put his genius to work in the mass manufacture of poison gases later used in war. (11 minutes) Twitter: @MikeRoweWorks
Love and Movies, Episode 8: Baby Chit Chat and an Orange Tic Tac (4/19/17): What it’s about: “We talk about going through some rough times and then talk about a more light hearted movie. Movie: Juno” Why it’s great: I binged this show this week and I love it (I mentioned it last week too). It’s a true love story recorded for a son, which we learn through the episodes has been so wanted for so long. My favorite episode so far has been #8, where the couple (Eric and Monica) get really personal about some heartbreak they faced in their journey to complete their family, and true to the show’s format, they then discuss a movie they were watching at the time that they really loved. I had really forgotten about the movie Juno, but as soon as Monica mentioned how she felt so creeped out by Jason Bateman hitting on Ellen Page in it. (23 minutes) Twitter: @LoveandMoviesPC
Making Gay History: Tom Cassidy (5/4/17): What it’s about: “Tom Cassidy knew the rules of the closet. As he built his career from local TV reporter to CNN business news anchor and host of that network’s “Pinnacle” series, Tom kept his gay life and his professional life strictly separate. And then he found out he was going to die. Unlike some gay men diagnosed with AIDS whose high-profile careers led them to disappear from public when they became seriously ill, Tom Cassidy chose the opposite course. He decided to bring his experience into the living rooms of viewers through a three-part television series produced by journalist Mike Taibbi for WCBS-TV, New York City’s CBS affiliate. As Tom told MGH host Eric Marcus in his 1990 interview, “I wanted to do some good. I really wanted to make a political statement as a gay person, as well as an AIDS patient… I thought I could make AIDS patients feel better. I could make the public understand that some of their TV newsmen are gay and sick… Everyone identified me as one of the good guys, and there are millions of people who have seen me on television. I wanted them to know that a favorite of theirs could get this disease—and, secondarily, that he happened to be gay. I also thought that maybe I could help show people that AIDS is not just a gay problem. When gay people die of AIDS, the whole society is so much poorer…”” Why it’s great: This is just a phenomenal story, and it embodies what this entire show is about. When Eric Marcus ends this interview with Tom Cassidy, he rides with him to a chemotherapy appointment, and Marcus never sees Cassidy again. It was a beautiful interview. This was the finale of season 2, so there were a couple bonus moments at the end that I loved – a note from the minority whip in the Wyoming state legislature and a shoutout from host Eric Marcus to his partner – be still my heart. (22 minutes) Twitter: @makinggayhistry
99% Invisible, Episode 257: Reversing the Grid (5/2/17): What it’s about: “Huge political battles are now being fought all over the U.S. about what rate people with solar panels should be paid for the electricity they produce, and engineers and economists are starting to look at completely different solutions – like redesigning the electric meter to better reflect the true economic value of electrons at a given moment.” Why it’s great: I know more about this topic than the average person because of a previous job where I learned about dynamic power bidding for large manufacturing sites, so this was fascinating to me to think about applying similar logic to residential consumers. Kind of a personal pick for me this week, but I enjoyed it so much and really felt like I learned something from this episode. (29 minutes) Twitter: @99piorg
Worst Meatball Sandwich Ever, Episode 25: Airport A-Holes Part 3: Bars and Restaurants (4/14/17): What it’s about: Two guys and a guest host read Yelp reviews for locations around the Detroit area in the voices they think the reviewers would have. This episode was about reviews for restaurants and bars within the DTW (Detroit) airport. Why it’s great: OMG, the tears streaming down my face as I heard this show for the first time … we all need a little funny in our lives and I’m so glad I found this show. I can’t wait to go back through the catalog. (27 minutes) Twitter: @podcastdetroit
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org or @audible_feast on Twitter.
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