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 38 episodes for this podcast review recap. (There was a whole weekday this week when I didn’t get to listen to a single podcast – a crime!)
In the Dark, S2E1: July 16, 1996 (5/1/18): What it’s about: “On the morning of July 16, 1996, someone walked into a furniture store in downtown Winona, Mississippi, and murdered four employees. Each was shot in the head. It was perhaps the most shocking crime the small town had ever seen. Investigators charged a man named Curtis Flowers with the murders. What followed was a two-decade legal odyssey in which Flowers was tried six times for the same crime. He remains on death row, though some people believe he’s innocent. For the second season of In the Dark, we spent a year digging into the Flowers case. We found a town divided by race and a murder conviction supported by questionable evidence. And it all began that summer morning in 1996 with a horrifying crime scene that left investigators puzzled.” Why it’s great: What I’ve been waiting nearly two years for … In the Dark is amazing. Terrific investigative journalism with the perfect reporter-host, Madeleine Baran, who along with her team, won a Peabody Award for the first season of the show. This was the best show of 2016, the last time it was published – you cannot miss this season. Episode two, The Route, is just as fantastic as the first episode: the team follows the supposed route prosecutors say Flowers walked in order to commit this crime. (42 minutes)
Read my 5-star review of season one of In the Dark here! (December 2016)
I also interviewed Madeleine Baran in November 2016.
Soul Music: True Colors (5/2/18): What it’s about: “”Your true colors…are beautiful, like a rainbow…” Billy Steinberg’s lyrics were originally inspired by his mother but his song writing partner Tom Kelly recognised it’s universal appeal and with a slight re-write, it became the song that Cyndi Lauper made famous the world over. Growing up in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ken Kidd could never truly be himself. Watching Cyndi Lauper perform True Colors on MTV showed him that it was OK to be his authentic self. Years later he describes his pride at watching the Rainbow Flag being raised above the Stonewall National Monument as he and other LGBTQ campaigners sang that same song. Lesley Pyne learnt to sing ‘True Colors’ with her local choir. It’s a song that resonated with her more than she had ever expected. After six attempts at IVF, Lesley had had to come to terms with the knowledge that she wouldn’t be able to have children. It wasn’t easy. It has taken years of digging deep to work through the grief but now she helps others to find their true colours and firmly believes that they can be beautiful, like a rainbow. And in 1999, Caroline Paige, a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, became the first ever openly serving transgender officer in the British military. She rose above the extraordinary challenges placed before her to show her ‘True Colors’ whilst serving her country on the front line in the war on terror.” Why it’s great: This song means a lot to me; one day last year I was sitting at church (Unitarian Universalist) with my son, and this was one of the songs that day. He was clinging to my side (he is 6). They played the Trolls version of the song, and I was overcome with emotion thinking about how my kids will grow up (I hope) in a much more accepting world where they can always show their true colors, be who they are, and not have to hide parts of themselves. (27 minutes)
Latina to Latina: Comedian Cristela Alonzo (4/24/18): What it’s about: “Writer. Actor. Trailblazer. How Cristela Alonzo makes room for stories like hers in every medium.” Why it’s great: Host Alicia Menendez draws out deep feelings from her guests – what a great skill. Cristela Alonzo talked about her imposter syndrome as the lead character in Cars 3 and I almost cried. She said she always felt she achieved because of hard work and not because anyone thought she was special – heartbreaking but so relatable. (32 minutes)
Sooo Many White Guys, Episode 34: Phoebe and Terry Gross Make it a Girls’ Night (5/1/18): What it’s about: “Radio legend Terry Gross (we’re not worthy!) is in the studio to tell Phoebe about her early days in radio, her marriage, and how the Trump administration is ruining her music listening.” Why it’s great: I haven’t heard Terry Gross interviewed very often, and I love that she was interviewed by a comedian who is honing her interviewing skill. Robinson just gets better and better. This was really fun and personal. (35 minutes)
Varmints! Episode 78: Opossums (5/2/18) What it’s about: “Opossums! It’s a passel of fun this week as Paul and Donna talk about the varmint featured in the logo: those darling little opossums!” Why it’s great: Before listening to this episode, I hated opossums, and now I don’t – now I take pity on them because they involuntarily play dead which definitely leads to their actual death if they accidentally do that on a roadway. Plus, they eat a ton of ticks! I also now know about Heidi the cross-eyed opossum (quite a celebrity). But my favorite part of this episode was when Donna said “trying new meats is not a hobby for me.” (37 minutes)
Neighbors: Our Father (4/24/18) What it’s about: “Jakob issues himself a challenge to redo the first story he ever made, about Anglican priest Father Thomas McKenzie and his dad. The title of Father can come with some pretty weird and difficult territory—counseling people through tough times, performing weddings, visiting people on their deathbed. Most are routine to Thomas, but he was stopped in his tracks when he got a call saying that his own father was dying.” Why it’s great: I like that Neighbors episodes aren’t very long, yet still convey a lot of emotion. As a listener, I could easily visualize and almost feel myself in the room with Father McKenzie by his dad’s deathbed. The lesson of allowing a parent to be a parent until the very end is something that will stick with me. (20 minutes)
Read my 4-star review of Neighbors here! (Updated April 2017)
Death in Ice Valley, Episode 2: A Case of Clues
Nerdette: Power Up: Amy Schumer and Aidy Bryant
What Were You Thinking? Episode 4: Virtually Addicted
She’s in Russia, Episode 45: Where’s Lily?
StartUp: Arlan Hamilton 1: Silicon Valley, By Invite Only
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.