Delicious Ingredients: The Best Podcasts of the Week – 11/16/18

Delicious Ingredients: The Best Podcasts of the Week – 11/16/18

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. I didn’t post last week, so this is a two-week recommendation list (more for you!). This week I listened to 67 episodes for this podcast review recap – eight new shows for me this time, one of which made it on the honorable mention list below.

Scene on Radio, MEN Part 10: The Juggernaut (11/14/18): What it’s about: “Writer Ben James and his wife Oona are raising their sons in a progressive and “queer-friendly” New England town. They actively encourage the boys to be themselves, never mind those traditional gender norms around “masculinity” and “femininity.” All was well. Until the elder son, Huck, went to sixth grade.” Why it’s great: This was a very heavy, you-need-to-look-in-the-mirror-as-a-parent episode of the MEN series – it hit so close to home. Celeste and John begin by talking about how John remembers using “you’re such a woman” as an insult to another boy as a kid, and how that was wrapped up in some desire to be perceived as masculine. Ben James then tells his parenting story about wanting so desperately to raise woke and tolerant kids, but realizing he can’t force them to be anyone but who they’re going to be. I’ve written about this many times – I have two boys, am raising them with an atmosphere of tolerance, and try to show them examples of how to accept people who are different from them and to value individual worth. But I will have to accept that I can’t control them; I am only one influence in their lives, and society still has so many messages to boys and young men about what it means to be a “man.” The worst is to be a mama’s boy. But that has to change; I want to raise independent, strong individuals, but I also want them to realize people of any gender have valid feelings and emotions are critical to have, share, and work through. I guess I could write an entire essay on this topic (or at least a multi-page journal entry) but I just want to say – please listen to this series. (48 minutes)
Twitter: @sceneonradio
Read my 4-star review of Scene on Radio here! (April 2017)

Love Me: In the Distance (11/13/18): What it’s about: “Sara collects sounds of her son, her second child, during the first year of his life. Laughter, cries, shrieks of joy… Her first child never made much sound and died three days after she was born. The story explores Sara’s connection to both children as she listens to the sounds of her family and grieves for the sounds that are missing.” Why it’s great: Wow. If you need a tearjerker (and I often do, I welcome them – if you have any suggestions I will gladly accept), this is it. It’s incredibly beautiful, sad yet hopeful, tender, and real. I love Sara’s bravery to let us in to the most painful thing in her life. (21 minutes)
Twitter: #LoveMeCBC

Rumble Strip: They Are Us, Part 1: Sarah (11/13/18): What it’s about: “Sarah Holland had no history of mental illness. She was a full-time R.N., she had three kids and a small farm. She was busy. Then suddenly she started to experience symptoms of depression. She didn’t have a name for it. No one in her world had ever talked about mental health. But pretty soon Sarah was having a hard time working, and parenting. This is a story of one woman’s struggle with major depression, and her recovery.” Why it’s great: I only listened to this episode a couple of days ago, but I can still hear the audio in my head when Sarah said if she would have had some of the resources that are available today, where she might be instead of where she is mental-health wise. This is part one of a seven-part series (three are out so far as of November 16th) on an extremely important topic: how are we impacted by mental health challenges? What is the current state of how those with mental health issues are treated and cared for? And what can we do to better serve those who need help? (13 minutes)
Twitter: @rumblestripvt

ArtCurious Podcast, Episode 42: Shock Art: Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes (10/29/18): What it’s about: “Works that we take for granted today as masterpieces, or as epitomes of the finest of fine art, could also have been considered ugly, of poor quality, or just bad when they were first made. With the passage of time comes a calm and an acceptance. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are many works peppered throughout art history that were straight-up shocking to the public when they were first presented decades, or even hundreds of years ago. Today’s work of “shock art:” Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes.” Why it’s great: I had saved up a couple of episodes of ArtCurious Podcast to binge – the current series is on Shock Art, and I love it. There is absolutely nothing boring or dry about art history when told by Jennifer Dasal. Sometimes I can’t believe how the original stories behind the works of art even survived. This story is about rape at the hand of a mentor, with a female protagonist as the artist channeling her rage into a beautiful painting with tons of symbolism and purpose. (27 minutes)
Twitter: @artcuriouspod
Read my 5-star review of ArtCurious Podcast here! (January 2017)

Switched On Pop: Stairway to Hell: Greta Van Fleet’s Scorching Album Review That Went Viral (10/30/18): What it’s about: “Classic rock climaxed a half century ago, yet it still survives in two places: FM radio & Greta Van Fleet. The later are an upstart of four boys from Michigan who have found stardom by dusting off the mantle of guitar driven rock. Their latest album, Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, bares an uncanny sonic resemblance to Led Zeppelin. Jeremy D. Larson, senior editor of Pitchfork, gave the album a 1.6 out of 10 calling it “stiff, hackneyed, overly precious retro-fetishism.” His vicious and hilarious takedown went viral and caused a rift amongst music fans on the internet. We ask Jeremy to join us to reveal what it means to earn such a bad review. After, we do something we’ve never done before: a track-by-track album breakdown. In a game of musical Pictionary, Charlie challenges Nate to find every Led Zeppelin reference on the album to answer the question: is it a copy or an homage? We have a feeling this will be a divisive episode… ” Why it’s great: I confess that this sat in my queue for a couple of weeks because I didn’t know who Greta Van Fleet was, but I finally got around to listening, and it was one of the best Switched On Pop episodes I’ve heard in a long time. The similarities between GVF and Led Zeppelin are insane – I’ll submit my vote that it’s blatant copying. Switched On Pop is often at its best when flipping back and forth between two songs fairly rapidly to demonstrate the music theory or principle that is similar in both pieces, and this episode is full of that. (59 minutes)
Twitter: @switchedonpop
Read my 5-star review of Switched on Pop here! (Updated January 2017)

This is Love, Episode 7: How to Live Forever (11/14/18): What it’s about: “An experiment in living together, forever.” Why it’s great: This month’s Podcast Brunch Club playlist is about artificial intelligence, and now all of a sudden I feel like all kinds of AI-related podcasts are showing up in my feed. (It’s like Facebook stalking me.) I thought this was a fantastic story about what love can mean and how love can be extended after death through audio. There is a sweet, personal surprise near the end of the show that will have you loving Phoebe Judge even more, if that’s possible. (23 minutes)
Twitter: @thisisloveshow

The Dream, Episode 8: Destination Amazing (11/4/18): What it’s about: “The road to success is paved with convention tickets.” Why it’s great: I’ve loved The Dream, a unique look inside MLMs, and have written it up before. This was by far the most depressing episode for me. The reporter could hardly keep it together as she described what she witnessed at a LimeLight conference – women who truly needed the money the MLM opportunity promised, yet never delivered on, and who had such sad stories that prompted them to even consider an MLM in the first place. Furthermore, the “advice” offered at the conference just led consultants further down a destructive path, leading them to believe if they weren’t successful, it was because they weren’t trying hard enough or something was wrong with their approach. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that not all MLMs are like this, but it’s very sad how people can get roped in without having their eyes wide open about what they’re signing up for. (38 minutes)
Twitter: @businessinsider

Neighbors: Back Home On Short Mountain (11/7/18): What it’s about: “This is a story about a way of life put on trial. Jeffory Young was a beloved farmer and major landowner in scenic Short Mountain, Tennessee. But when police uncovered his major marijuana dealing operation, they seized much of his coveted property. Yet Young never became a pariah — instead, his community rallied to get his land conserved as a wildlife area. And 12 years later, the 60-year-old is home from prison and finding that the people and the land that shaped him are now providing what he needs to get his life going again.” Why it’s great: It isn’t exactly sympathy that Young aims to draw from the listener – after all, he did commit a crime and he completed his sentence, but I did feel empathy and hope for this person who truly loved the land he lived on and worked for decades. Hearing him revel in the unique species of flora and fauna on his property was lovely. (27 minutes)
Read my 4-star review of Neighbors here! (April 2017)

Reveal: Case Cleared (Part 1) (11/10/18): What it’s about: “When police closed the rape case against Bryan Kind, they made it look like it had been solved. But he never was arrested – or even charged. We team up with Newsy and ProPublica to investigate how police across the country make it seem like they’re solving more rape cases than they actually are.” Why it’s great: Oof. This is infuriating investigative research about how many rape cases actually get solved – I suppose it’s not crazy to think that people might manipulate metrics to give a certain impression, especially when money for your department is at stake, but it’s so disheartening to hear that a vast majority of sexual assault victims never see their attackers brought to justice and so many scumbags go free, ostensibly able to attack again. This type of investigative journalism is so critical so we can begin to hold our government accountable. (51 minutes)
Twitter: @reveal
Read my 5-star review of Reveal here! (updated October 2018)

Uncivil: The Ring (11/9/18): What it’s about: “Two brilliant women—one black, one white—assemble a spy ring in the rebel capital of Richmond, Virginia that eventually attempts a ‘mission impossible’ inside the military planning rooms of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.” Why it’s great: Uncivil is back for a second season and dropped two episodes on the 9th. I was ecstatic to see it in my feed and is exactly the reason why I don’t dump subscriptions in favor of a shorter, cleaner subscription list with less “clutter.” (The last episode of Uncivil came out in 2017.) This was a totally awesome story about two women most of us have never heard of, but who literally organized a spy mission in the Civil War, with a free black woman going back into the life of servitude to the president of the Confederacy. Unbelievable story. (33 minutes)
Twitter: @uncivilshow

Honorable Mentions
Nocturne: Stay Warm, Be Careful
2 Dope Queens, Episode 49: Karaoke with Michelle Obama
UnErased, Episode 2: Mama Bears to the Rescue*
Ear Hustle: The Big No No
This American Life, Episode 659: Before the Next One

All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! or @audible_feast on Twitter. I’m also on Instagram at @audiblefeast.

See what I liked last week here. Also check out my newsletter – it comes out every other week!

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