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 earn their spot as the best of the week.
This week I listened to 64 episodes before deciding what was top notch.
The Karen and Ellen Letters, S02E09: Sunset/Sunrise (1/23/18): What it’s about: “The results are in. Mark moves on. Crochet Pants looks back. A life is celebrated. A birthday is celebrated. Aloha Karen watches the sunrise.” Why it’s great: You’ve got to be into the whole Karen and Ellen phenomenon to enjoy this episode, but we finally get some answers about the origin of the letters – who wrote them, what they mean. This is the second to last episode in the series and I’m sad to see Karen and Ellen go, but I love Josh Hallmark’s other projects and understand this one has run its course. (31 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of The Karen and Ellen Letters here! (March 2017)
Now or Never: When Your Life Changes in an Instant *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (1/20/18): What it’s about: “The blink of an eye: that’s how fast life can be turned upside down. And there’s no going back, no matter how much you may want to. You just have to figure out what comes next.” Why it’s great: One of my favorite ways to find a new show is by looking at what other shows come up when I type in a word for a show I’m looking for. This is how I found Now or Never, which I’m actually surprised I didn’t know about, given how many other shows I listen to from the CBC. What a pleasant, lovely surprise! This is such a positive show about people making leaps. This episode features three stories about people who had to make a change and how they jumped in, despite the fear of what could go wrong. Love it. (54 minutes)
Soul Music: Boys Don’t Cry (1/17/18): What it’s about: “Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure is, on the surface, a tribute to teenage angst and a slice of pop perfection. Lol Tolhurst, the band’s drummer, wrote the song with his band mates in Robert Smith’s parents’ house extension. Poorna Bell saw the song’s lyrics echo her husband’s struggle with expressing his emotions, and describes the devastating impact which that can have. Runner Derek Redmond recalls the moment he lost his ‘game face’ at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and Sara Pacella and Jeffrey Axt chart the changing fortunes of a giant Boys Don’t Cry poster.” Why it’s great: I really missed this show, which recently returned after a 6-month hiatus. If you’re not familiar with it, each episode explores a single song and how it has impacted people’s lives. Tolhurst’s songwriting memories interspersed with these very emotional stories was masterful; I was completely engrossed in this episode. Excellently produced and terrific storytelling. Plus – hella amazing logo. (27 minutes)
Someone Knows Something, S3 Episode 7: Epilogue (1/22/18): What it’s about: “In this bonus episode, David travels back to Mississippi, follows up on the Dee & Moore case, and looks at the fate of other civil rights era cases in the wake of the James Ford Seale trial.” Why it’s great: I binge listened to season 3 in one day while putting up my Christmas lights in December, and I was a little sad that it was over so quickly (only 6 episodes). So I was excited to see a bonus episode! What I loved the most was the discussion with a murder witness’ daughter about his admissions to her regarding his involvement in the murders of Dee and Moore. (46 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of Someone Knows Something here! (June 2016)
Death, Sex & Money: Opportunity Costs: Friendship and Fertility (1/21/18): What it’s about: “Best friends Cat and Christine met in college and have stayed close in the years since. But their class differences became very clear—and uncomfortable—when they both struggled to get pregnant.” Why it’s great: Poignant and relatable chat between two friends, mediated by Anna Sale, about their class differences and how they have bubbled just under the surface, undiscussed, as each woman tried to create a family. This is one of a five-part series about class from DSM that was fantastic. (23 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of Death, Sex & Money here! (November 2015)
Now Then: Newton 19– *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (11/21/17): What it’s about: “This is Newton. He set up the first club in Hackney, London.” Why it’s great: By club, the episode description means dance club. The description does not do the episode justice. The idea behind this show, which only has three episodes to date, is to hear stories from people over the age of 70. I loved Newton’s story, from his origin story of not knowing his exact birth date to the revelation that he is still DJ-ing today. Newton seems like one of the coolest dudes. Very good personal journal storytelling. Thanks to #2PodsADay again for a hidden gem of a show. (31 minutes)
The Stoop Storytelling Podcast: Portrait of an Artist *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (1/14/18): What it’s about: “Two men — a visual artist and a composer/photographer — talk about the source of their artistic inspiration.” Why it’s great: This is kind of like a local (to Baltimore) Moth show, where people talk about extraordinary things that have happened in their lives. I was particularly moved by the story of the composer who see-sawed between believing he could be a composer no matter what his skin color was and believing the people he trusted most who said it just wasn’t possible. (21 minutes)
The Untold: The Toss of the Coin *First appearance on Delicious Ingredients* (1/22/18): What it’s about: “Jackie Harrison has a 50-50 chance of developing Huntington’s disease. Her grandfather, mother and uncle all died young with this devastating, neuro-degenerative disease and she cares for her younger brother who has it too. In December 2017 it seemed that there might have been a breakthrough and there’s been a surge of people at risk asking for a predictive test. It’s a blood test which simply tells you if you will develop the disease – but currently there is no cure. Jackie has previously shied away from the test, but is now considering it. The test is a gamble. A bad result can be devastating. Having lived all her life thinking she has Huntington’s, Jackie hasn’t leant to drive for fear she will have her license taken away. She hasn’t had children, for fear that any child would have to look after her when she became ill. “There are very few days you’re not thinking about it,” she admits, checking herself for symptoms, “I twitch my shoulder and I know I do. Sometimes I’ve a twitchy eye or one time my thumb was shaking or shivering for no reason. I’m being bad tempered and I’m shouting at people – so you think is this the start of it?” As Jackie approaches 50, she is increasingly persuaded to have the test. Her partner Tony describes it as a horrendous Catch 22, “Do you want to live the rest of your life in the hope that you may be free of the disease or do you want to toss the coin, with the negative of that being you find you’re not free of it and you then you have no hope left?” Should she have the test and could she cope with the result?” Why it’s great: The buildup was amazing in this episode – we get to follow a brave woman as she decides whether to find out her genetic fate. Beautiful, tender, tough story. (27 minutes)
Twitter: @bbcradio4 @gracedent
Radio Diaries, Episode 74: The Story of Jane (1/15/18): What it’s about: “Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in American life and politics. 45 years after Roe vs. Wade – our country is still split. It’s easy to forget that it wasn’t so long ago when abortions were illegal everywhere in the United States. In 1965, an underground network formed in Chicago to help pregnant women get abortions. At first, they connected women with doctors willing to break the law to perform the procedure. Eventually, they were trained and began performing abortions themselves. The group called itself “Jane.” Over the years, Jane performed more than 11,000 first and second trimester abortions.” Why it’s great: I’ll rein in my normal political commentary, but it’s pretty fascinating that Jane even existed. I can’t even dream of receiving an abortion from a non-medical professional, but I understand so many women were left with no other choice. (14 minutes)
Unladylike, Episode 1: How to Pay for an Abortion
The Assassination, Episode 5: Near Misses
This American Life, Episode 636: I Thought it Would Be Easier
Breakers, Episode 5: Sleep
Beyond Bourbon Street, Episode 54: Slavery in Louisiana: A Visit to Whitney Plantation
The Sporkful: Katie’s Year in Recovery
How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black, Episode 77: Chris Thile
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! email@example.com or @audible_feast on Twitter.
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