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 70 episodes for this podcast review recap – nine new shows for me this time, two of which made it on the best-of honorable mention list below. It was a great week for podcasts.
I’m trying out a new way to bring you links – let me know what you think about Podchaser! You can find the link to my playlist here. You can use the Podchaser link to listen to the episodes on a variety of players, including the main ones like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. (I personally listen on RadioPublic.)
Next week I’ll be working on my end-of-year lists. Long-time readers probably won’t be too surprised at my picks, but maybe the lists will prompt you to go back and listen to something in a back catalog or try a show you meant to try months ago.
How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black, Episode 100: Terry Gross (12/11/18): What it’s about: “For our 100th episode, Michael turns the tables on “the greatest interviewer of our time,” a guest who we’ve had at the top of our wish list since the beginning. Terry Gross is the iconic host of the public radio show Fresh Air, where for over 40 years she has interviewed over 13,000 guests. In this engrossing interview, she and Michael cover a huge range of topics about her life and the show, allowing us to get to know a bit about a voice we’re used to hearing ask all the questions.” Why it’s great: Two years ago in a superlative award post I wrote for the year 2016, I wrote how I thought Michael Ian Black was a better interviewer than Terry Gross. I mean, Gross is truly the G.O.A.T. when it comes to interviewing, but I really believe Black is a phenomenal inquirer in his own right. And in this interview, I found out Gross agrees with me! My favorite parts of this chat with the recent This is Us guest star (radio and podcasting is so trendy these days) were when Black interrogated Gross about why people think she’s a lesbian and what she thinks about that, and when he asked her why Fresh Air plays so much jazz. This is why I don’t write my end of the year lists until December!
My 2016 review of How to Be Amazing
My Best Break-Up: Kelli Dunham Breaks Up with Jesus* (12/4/18): What it’s about: “Comedian Kelli Dunham was raised Evangelical, not Catholic, but she always knew she loved Jesus. So, at age 19, she decided become a nun, offering herself up in service to God and the Church. She tried to be obedient, following her strict order’s rules, but finally she realized that the Jesus she loved wasn’t the Jesus of the convent—and that her identity as a queer woman called her to find a new community.” Why it’s great: You already know Higgins is my kind of comedian, and Dunham sounds like she is as well. There’s something so charming about her giggles as she tells the story of how she broke up with Jesus.
Nocturne: Finding the Void (12/10/18): What it’s about: “What makes a place home? Is it a place that feels like a refuge? Is it somewhere you sleep really, really well? What if the place that feels like home is a secret apartment in the bowels of a giant mall?” Why it’s great: Host Vanessa Lowe has a knack for finding stories that make you think about the night in new ways. I’ve listened to this show forever, and I would listen to the back catalog over and over again because it makes me want to settle into my bed or a comfy chair in the dark and tranport myself into the story. The sound is always excellent. This is a show that deserves your download.
Human/Ordinary, Episode 19: Richard Cranium (11/23/18): What it’s about: “When I was young, we thought we were clever insulting others by calling them Richard Cranium. This is his story.” Why it’s great: Not everything I listen to is heavy. This episode is about what it means to be a dickhead, in Australia and the United States. You’re welcome!
Varmints!, Episode 108: Salamanders and Newts (12/11/18): What it’s about: “This week on Varmints! podcast, Paul and Donna slither around on the subject salamanders and newts! Join us for amphibious fun!” Why it’s great: Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of pop culture references to salamanders or newts, a stalwart segment of Varmints! episodes, but my son is on this episode as the featured rugrat at the very end so give it a listen and hear Paul and Donna make fun of me too 🙂
This is Love, Episode 11: Nothing Compares to You (12/11/18): What it’s about: “In 1983, Susan Rogers moved thousands of miles from home to work with her favorite artist in the world: Prince. “He was unlike any human I’d ever known,” she says. A story about making remarkable things, together.” Why it’s great: This is Love nearly always surprises me with what the “love” is – I felt Rogers’ love for working with Prince come through so clearly.
Rumble Strip: Christine (12/5/18): What it’s about: “What most people outside Vermont know about Christine Hallquist is that she was the country’s first transgender gubernatorial candidate. But it’s not what she ran on–and it’s not even what was most interesting about her campaign. The day before election day, Christine and her team had just finished a fourteen-county Road to Victory Tour, which involved going to places like Lunenburg, Vermont, population 1302. And this wasn’t her first visit to Lunenburg. Christine’s campaign focused on rural Vermont, on people in small towns in far flung places, and many of the towns she visited over the course of the campaign had never even seen a gubernatorial candidate before. In my book, that’s what made her candidacy special. Not to mention the fact that the odds were against her–no one’s beaten a gubernatorial incumbent in VT in 56 years. I asked her if I could follow her around in the days leading up to the election. She said yes. And I did. I watched her planting Christine signs along Route 2. While she was at it, she righted a few sandwich board signs for Sunday night bingo that had blown over. She made countless calls and took credit card numbers from donors on the phone. I guess it’s possible that other gubernatorial candidates do all this. But I doubt it. Here’s Christine Hallquist in her final push for governor. Welcome.” Why it’s great: I was so pleased that Erica Heilman was able to be with Hallquist on her last few days leading up to and the night of her loss in the Vermont gubenatorial race, because she had profiled Hallquist on a recent episode and remarked how fun she was and how she wanted to have a beer with her. It was so endearing that Hallquist allowed Heilman to record her loss and the emotion that went along with it – all the way to the concession phone call.
Love Me: The Detonator (12/10/18): What it’s about: “A woman tries to live her life while a stalker pursues her for over a decade; and a former soldier is haunted by the memory of a woman he killed when he discovers a song has been written about her death.” Why it’s great: The first segment about the stalker was so perfectly paced to cause enough tension yet not alarm for the subject. Love Me continues to kill it this fall.
Here Be Monsters, HBM107: Carlo Surrenders (12/4/18): What it’s about: “In theology school, Carlo Nakar asked, “Lord, what is the hardest thing you could possibly ask me to do?” He got a verbal answer.” Why it’s great: Great piece from Bethany Denton about a spiritually moved man who faces some of his fears in the outreach work he is called to do.
My 2016 review of Here Be Monsters
Other Men Need Help: Boy Talk (11/28/18): What it’s about: “Mark creates a weekly hotline with his friend Richard, as they chat about showing up late to the dating scene, taking a chance on new love after loss, and the necessary grooming rituals in middle age.” Why it’s great: Other Men Need Help is obviously one of my favorite shows of 2018 – it’s been profiled here several times because I love what Mark Pagan and his team are doing to combat toxic masculinity. Richard’s pure glee at meeting someone new in the twilight of his life is infectious.
My Survival Story, Episode 8: Alive* (12/4/18): What it’s about: “Coming home takes longer than first expected. Season Finale.” Why it’s great: My Survival Story is in part about one man’s journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment, but also about other people’s survival stories from around the world. I chose to include the season finale episode here but you should definitely listen in order, starting with the first episode. This final episode helped the protagonists (the host and her partner) come full circle in a way but also opened doors for what may come in the future–both for the podcast and in their lives. There is some very honest reflection in this episode about what they wanted My Survival Story to be and how they’ve handled the sharing of their journey thus far.
Wild Thing, Episode 1: Grover*
RISK!: Quality Time
ArtCurious Podcast, Episode 45: Shock Art: Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment
Unladylike, Episode 36: #FreeTheVibrator
Without Fail: How One Mom Tried to Reunite Migrant Families*
The Cut on Tuesdays: The Women of the Caravan*
True Crime Bullshit, Episode 01: This is Israel Keyes*
Criminal, Episode 104: Witness
* 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.