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 71 episodes for this podcast review recap – 7 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.
UnFictional: My Foolish Illusion (1/30/19): What it’s about: “When John Elder Robison gets an experimental treatment for Asperger’s, he feels like he’s suddenly seeing the world in technicolor. But that doesn’t mean he likes what he sees.” Why it’s great: UnFictional’s newest season is about perception, which I think is a really cool idea – reminds me a bit of Invisibilia. I thought it was fascinating hearing Robison talk about what he felt before and after the experimental treatment and how he came to realize that other people didn’t approach social situations the same way he did. (Storytelling)
Hi-Phi Nation: The Precrime Unit (1/30/19): What it’s about: “Predictive policing technology is spreading across the country, and Los Angeles is the epicenter. A small group of LA activists are in a lopsided campaign against billions of dollars in city, federal, and Silicon Valley money using algorithms to predict where and when the next crime is going to occur, and even who the perpetrators are going to be. Barry embeds with the Stop LAPD Spying coalition for a week in Skid Row and investigates how state-of-the-art predictive policing programs work. He then talks to sociologists and philosophers about how big data is changing the relationship between police and the communities they serve. We then turn to the justice of using statistical predictions for the purposes of profiling and police intervention.” Why it’s great: Well, this scared me. As a student of statistics, I believe in predictive modeling and its ability to prevent “defects” in the future – but when this is applied to people/behavior and when the data itself is qualitative, it introduces a gray area. Who interprets that and how? Law enforcement does, and they have a greater possibility of finding a false positive relationship because they’re looking for it (versus letting the data lead them). Super fascinating. (Philosophy, Justice)
Imagined Life: The Commoner (1/26/19): What it’s about: “You grow up in a small town yearning to make a difference, but you will have to travel 5,000 miles across the globe to find your true calling. You are prepared to put your life on the line to fight for what you believe. When your body breaks down, you find another another way to create change.” Why it’s great: Imagined Life has appeared on the Honorable Mentions for my Delicious Ingredients lists before, but this is the first time on the main menu. I am really entertained by the show and am totally along for the ride through the narrated biography of an unknown person through all the twists and turns that make me think I’ve got the right person. I haven’t been right yet! (History, Storytelling, First-Person)
The Dropout: A Star is Born* (2/5/19): What it’s about: “Elizabeth becomes a celebrity as Theranos breaks out of stealth mode and onto the main stage. The media can’t get enough, and neither can many investors as Theranos Wellness Centers start popping up at Walgreens. To take advantage of the moment, Elizabeth spends millions on advertising, recruiting the same agency as Apple and even an Oscar-winning director. But real patients are now getting Theranos tests, and for some the results are shocking.” Why it’s great: I’m pretty skeptical of new podcasts that get a lot of buzz, but I’ve been entranced by the Elizabeth Holmes story, mostly because of her fakey voice, which appears frequently in the series, and her colleagues’ astonishment at how she insanely tried to be Steve Jobs. I loved the episode this week and can’t wait for more from this show. Great narration and reporting from Rebecca Jarvis. (True Crime, Current Events, Business)
PLAYLIST Podcast, 5.3: Your Song (1/29/19): What it’s about: “Tonight we’re sharing the songs that remind us of our significant others. This week’s playlist: Such Great Heights by Iron & Wine (Chris) Gumball Blue by Neko Case (Josh) Completely by Caro Emerald (Lanie) Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control by Tame Impala (Torey) Green Eyes by Coldplay (Chris) Can’t Do Without You by Caribou (Josh) Mirrors by Justin Timberlake (Lanie) Three Rings by Grizzly Bear (Torey).” Why it’s great: This was one of my favorite episodes of PLAYLIST in a long time. It was lovely to hear what songs reminded each person of their significant other and for what reasons – not all straight up romance. (Music) // Audible Feast’s 2017 review of PLAYLIST (5 stars)
Alone: A Love Story, Chapter 21: Courage (2/3/19): What it’s about: “The first episode of the third season. A frightening encounter, a beautiful road trip and a new chapter in my life.” Why it’s great: This is a great binge listen; it’s delicious to get in bed (literally) with Michelle Parise and hear her get real about the messiness of intimacy with more than one person. (Storytelling, Love, Feminism)
First Day Back, S3E3: Absolute Certainty (2/5/19): What it’s about: “Twelve years into his comedy career, what keeps Jason hopeful that his big break will still happen? We get a peek inside his creative process and find out what family drama pushed him to stay in a city that isn’t great for his national career ambitions.” Why it’s great: I’m a big fan of this season of First Day Back so far. I felt that season two departed too much from season one, and maybe that’s understandable because Tally Abecassis got a new producer, but I’m happy that this season feels more like the first season (which featured Abecassis contemplating and navigating getting back into work after some time as a stay at home parent). Jason Weems has a pretty remarkable story, evidence of which is in this episode, where Weems encounters Dave Chapelle and decides to go for it and try to network. (Storytelling, Personal Journal) // Audible Feast’s 2015 review of First Day Back (4 stars)
Lez Hang Out, SBG 20: Laverne & Shirley (1/20/19): What it’s about: “Leigh (@lshfoster) and Ellie (@elliebrigida) talk about why Laverne & Shirley should’ve been gay. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Lesbians incorporated! Laverne & Shirley are just two single working girls living together and barely ever having successful relationships with men. Do we smell a Boston marriage? Leigh and Ellie talk about the gayest intro sequence, the episode where Laverne & Shirley stay in the Honeymoon Suite together, how gay it is to work at a brewery and of course their kiss in an airplane when they both think they’re going to die. We dedicate this episode to Penny Marshall because what greater tribute can we give to a feminist icon than to talk about how many young gay women fell in love with her iconic character.” Why it’s great: The last time I wrote up Lez Hang Out it was also for a “shoulda been gay” episode (I Love Lucy). Leigh and Ellie are so funny describing the scenes and storylines that could easily have been from a gay sitcom. The show is really charming – check it out. (LGBTQIA+, Humor, TV, Pop Culture)
The Sporkful: Dan Savage Recommends a Polyeaterous Lifestyle (2/3/19): What it’s about: “What should you cook for breakfast the morning after? How can couples share power in the kitchen without driving each other crazy? Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we talk food and relationships with Dan Savage, who writes the sex advice column Savage Love and hosts the Savage Lovecast Podcast.” Why it’s great: This was absolutely delightful – what a great mashup of two of my favorite podcast voices and personalities. Dan Pashman, usually talking about white bread topics such as food, together with Dan Savage, who usually shares relationship recipes, came together for a fabulous discussion about food and sex – from what you should make / eat for breakfast the morning after to whether you should cook together as a couple. (Food, Relationships) // Audible Feast’s 2017 review of The Sporkful (4 stars)
Code Switch: Pretty Hurts
The Boring Talks, Episode 36: Shanghai Architecture*
Today, Explained: Written in Blood
Woman’s Hour: Parenting: Breasts*
The Lonely Hour, Episode 27: Looking for Clarity Halfway Around the World
Episode Party, Episode 20: 99% Invisible, Whatever Happened To Pizza at McDonalds?, Ways of Hearing (with Jonathan Zenti)*
* 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.