Each week I publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears over the last 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 earn their spot as the best of the best. This week I listened to 65 episodes for this podcast review recap – 5 new shows for me this time, two of which made it on the list below, including Honorable Mentions.
Here is the Podchaser link to my playlist. You can use it to listen to the episodes on a variety of players, including the main ones like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend: Wanda Sykes (12/23/18): What it’s about: “Comedian Wanda Sykes feels trapped into being Conan O’Brien’s friend. Wanda and Conan sit down this week to talk about their mutual love of murder television, bowling with the railings down, and planning a vacation together. Plus, Conan gives a staff performance review.” Why it’s great: I have been absolutely delighted by Conan O’Brien’s podcast. It’s the perfect length – usually about 45 minutes – and it’s like an extended interview that’s much more NSFW. I am still cracking up about Conan telling Sykes he wants to either become a murderer or get murdered, so people would know about it and he might be featured on a show like Forensic Files. Sykes is also hilariously deadpan funny when she talks about having a weapon handy if Conan were to hang out with her socially. (Interview, Humor)
The Sugar Baby Confessionals, Episode 12: Tipsy Tart (Part 1) *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (6/19/18): What it’s about: “Guest host (and general badass) Katherine Hofmeyr bravely takes the role of feminist policewoman to referee our discussion of feminism and how it relates to the sugar babies. Are the sugar babies reclaiming the word ‘whore’? We talk #metoo, #notallmen, Harvey Weinsten, the Nordic Model, the SESTA/FOSTA bill, the pros and cons of decriminalizing sexwork…plus 1980s cartoons. You can’t afford not to listen to this fiery conversation.” Why it’s great: I named The Sugar Baby Confessionals one of the best podcasts I heard in 2018, and I had only made it to about episode 6 by that time – it got even better as it went on. After several episodes of learning about the sugar babies’ relationships and motivations, the show finally tackled the feminism question – whether what these women are doing is empowering or not, whether it’s feminist behavior, and how their experiences are different from other sex workers’ given that the vast majority of sex workers would not choose to do that work if they had an alternative. It’s a really important part of the sugar baby discussion. (Sex, Feminism, Love, Storytelling, Women)
GravityBeard, Episode 180: Cards Against Humanity | Round Two (1/5/19): What it’s about: “Greg and Ivan are back to play another hilarious installment of Cards Against Humanity. Plus, an old friend returns to the show!” Why it’s great: I can’t resist a good game of Cards Against Humanity, especially when I don’t really know the humor of the people playing – it makes it that much funnier to me to see what makes people blush or just how sick someone’s mind is. This isn’t the average GravityBeard content but I just stumbled on it and it made me laugh as expected. (Humor)
The Moth: The Alpha Wolf: Elizabeth Gilbert (1/3/19): What it’s about: “On this episode, writer Elizabeth Gilbert shares her struggle in dealing with her partner’s terminal illness and what it taught her about living.” Why it’s great: Wow, this was phenomenal – full of intensity, packed into a perfect-length story. Gilbert shares her immense pain about the time leading up to her partner’s death and memorializes her beautifully by sharing the characteristically feisty last moments of her life with the audience – so beautiful. (Storytelling, Love, Women)
ZigZag, S2E12: Lessons Learned from a Risky Crypto Experiment (12/19/18): What it’s about: “The co-founders of Stable Genius Productions have a candid conversation about their current financial situation (hint: their grant is running out soon), the highs/lows of making this season of the podcast (another hint: they had a fallout over email), and Civil’s plans to resurrect itself in 2019 (final hint: the token lives on).” Why it’s great: These are my favorite ZigZag episodes – when Jen and Manoush get real about what is and isn’t working in their startup journey. The “inbox zero vs deleting without reading vs responding immediately to e-mail” debate is something discussed in many working mother circles. There’s so much guilt tied up in e-mail and expectations, I suspect especially for women, but I’m not a man so can’t comment. This subtle small discussion in this episode was meaningful for me because it made me feel like I’m not alone and not crazy. (Business, Women)
True Crime Bullshit, Episode 05: Exodus *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (1/2/19): What it’s about: “We explore Israel’s adolescence, family, religious background, military career, and early criminal activity. We also examine Nature vs. Nurture and how both contributed to Israel’s criminal pathology.” Why it’s great: Keyes has been an extremely creepy person to get to know through the taped interviews played throughout this series. He’s so cold and seemingly unaffected by the crimes he committed as he’s confessing to them, so the discussion around nature and nurture was necessary and thought-provoking. (True Crime)
The Brain Candy Podcast, Episode 285: Kissing, Boobs, & Worst Movie Ever (1/6/19): What it’s about: “Today we discuss a device that lets you kiss someone through your phone (& why it’s disgusting). We find out theories on why we have boobs. Susie talks about a scandal involving Hershey’s kisses, & Sarah is outraged. We learn about the “testicle festival,” & find out why Sarah is a fan of balls. Sarah shares a disturbing method of sheep castration in great detail. Susie reveals how someone died from doing a dare & Sarah recounts how she almost died because of a prank. Find out what audiences say is the worst movie ever, & why a hunter was forced to watch a Disney movie.” Why it’s great: I was cracking up through most of this episode – it was classic Susie and Sarah friendship exemplified. I’m off to research more about boobs and will definitely be measuring mine the next time I’m ovulating! (Humor)
Gay Future, Episode 1: Gay Academy *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (1/2/19): What it’s about: “The year is 2062 and everyone is Gay. Mikey, a young boy with a dark secret, attends his first day at the prestigious Gay Academy and makes a shocking discovery.” Why it’s great: I loved this new entry into the audio fiction space, which describes itself as: “A new podcast adaptation of a recently discovered, never released YA novel by Mike Pence.” It was innovative and witty, and I can’t wait to hear more of the story. (Audio Fiction, LGBTQ+)
Outside/In: Rake and Ride (1/2/19): What it’s about: “Pirate trails are everywhere: the pioneers of mountain biking built them on private land, public land and everything in between. They were built by riders just looking for a place to take their new bikes, and in the process they simply appropriated land that they wanted for their trails. But what happens when the evolution of a sport threatens the very thing that made it so attractive in the first place?” Why it’s great: I don’t know if the crackling of twigs and leaves was actually part of the audio design, but I *felt* that as I imagined going down the bike trails. Plus, it was really interesting to hear the history of the “illegal” trails and how embedded the secretive nature is in the sport. (Nature, Storytelling, Sports)
Kind World: All-Star Friendship *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (1/7/19): What it’s about: “Reporter Shirley Wang tells the story of her father, Lin Wang, a cat-litter scientist who befriended NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley.” Why it’s great: Somehow I wouldn’t have taken Charles Barkley for a softie that would make friends with a random nice guy, and furthermore, remember and care about details of that random nice guy’s family. Since Barkley appears in this episode, you can hear in his voice how genuine the friendship was. (Personal Journal)
Why Sports Matter: Jeff “Cannonball” Guerriero (Authenticity) (1/7/19): What it’s about: ““We are what we pretend to be, so you gotta be careful what you pretend to be.” Jeff Guerriero works a desk job during the day. At night, his Death Match wrestler alter ego “Cannonball” gets cheese graters raked across his head and wraps barbed wire around his neck. It’s in the transformation from Jeff to “Cannonball” where he finds purpose and contentment. Jeff may be an extreme example but it’s not that far removed from any other weekend warrior who plays or follows sports – or even other forms of expression like painting, acting, or comedy. Is part of the appeal of sports that they act as a vessel to get many closer to their true, authentic selves? We search for answers in our final episode of the season by talking to some of the greatest athletes in the history of sports.” Why it’s great: Tom Brady appeared on this episode, and it got deep into his psyche specifically – he talked about how the person he is on the field, as an elite and insanely dedicated athlete, is his true authentic self; that who he is at home and in business is facilitated by the fact that he gets to be his authentic self in sports. Michael Strahan and Deepak Chopra also weighed in on how many people struggle to pour that obsessive drive and energy into their post-sports life – super fascinating. (Sports, Psychology)
The Untold: Me, Dad and Dementia
Imagined Life: The Trailblazer*
Finding Drago, Episode 04: The Experts
Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine, Episode 126: Mike Birbiglia
HumaNature, Episode 51: The Water at the Roof of the World
Shannon Cason’s Homemade Stories, Episode 100: Letter to a Friend
Wild Thing, Episode 6: Bump in the Night
* indicates first appearance on Delicious Ingredients
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. I’m also on Instagram at @audiblefeast.