Twenty Thousand Hertz ★★★★★: Guest Review by Elliot Gladstone
Hi! My name is Elliot Gladstone and I am one of the co-hosts for the entwined podcast. Entwined is a podcast about how so much of the world around us is wound or twisted together and we use storytelling and music to connect significant moments in history. I was excited when Sara asked me, although allowed might be a more appropriate word, to write a review as a guest of the Audible Feast website.
Podcasts have slowly replaced a lot of other media in my life. Sure, I still read, listen to music and go to movies but my preferences seem to have shifted. To add fuel to the fire, I find that working on a podcast challenges the tried and true moments of adulthood. The ones where, as humans, we are rewarded with a relaxing few hours on the couch, feet up, and a television remote control in your right hand. These dwindling moments, the ones which I had taken for granted, never seemed important until I realized they were gone. Holy cow, was that over dramatic. But there is some truth there, right? Life changes a lot, seems something new replaces something old every day and often it is about all we can handle just to keep up. My life is different as a podcast host but that doesn’t mean it is bad, or even good. Just different. Before April of 2016 I watched a ton of television and relaxed enough for two people, and once our podcast started everything changed and now I spend my time doing research and writing: two things which I love a lot more than I expected.
So, with a new-found love of podcasts and podcasting I entered a digital world drenched in new and creative content. In October of last year, I stumbled onto a show which managed to wrap information, nostalgia, creativity, history, and engaging media into a neat 20-minute package. The show is called Twenty Thousand Hertz, produced by Defacto Sound and available wherever you get your podcasts. For those of you who use iTunes you can find the show here. The show is hosted by Dallas Taylor, who has worked in the audio industry for several years leading up to the launch of Defacto Sound, “A sound design team dedicated to making television, film, and games sound insanely cool.”
With a lot of shows listeners can find comfort in consistency, and pass from week to week with little deviation from the formula which grabbed them in the first place. History shows will always be about history, audio dramas allow your minds to wander, and talk shows afford their audiences the kind of witty banter which make hour long commutes tolerable. With Twenty Thousand Hertz, the only formula that exists is that of making sure the host shares the stories of the world’s most interesting sounds.
The wonderful part, for which we as listeners benefit tremendously, is each week the journey is different. Sometimes it is a history lesson, as it was in episode 2 when Dallas went into detail about “The NBC Chimes”. Sometimes it is an impossibly introspective look into what the future of sound holds for the world, which was expertly laid out in the episode titled, “The Sounds of Silence.” And then sometimes, like with my favorite episode (which I’ll tell you more about in a bit), it is a nostalgia-filled trip through time which may or may not have moved me to the point where I shed a tear and the hairs on my arm stood up. The show sounds amazing. The levels are spot on, the effects always add to the episodes, and the music… the music is absolutely perfect. Twenty Thousand Hertz is an audio treat which is only enhanced by the quality of its content.
Content is important and in the show’s fifth episode, host Dallas Taylor says, “…you realize that so many things you take for granted can change before you realize it’s happening,” when speaking about the sounds we have grown accustomed to hearing and how often they change without notice. But this got me thinking. It is so true, about everything really. When he digs into sounds we may no longer hear like the dial up modem or the sound a CD makes when inserting it into an automobile CD player, my mind wanders to the voices of loved ones who have passed. The voice of family and friends who were captured in digital clips from my cell phone, sharp and tinny, and nothing close to the way I remember. Or the voice of my Grandmother, which unless I get the old super 8 working, I may never hear again. This show, which on the surface can present like a public broadcasting documentary, has the ability to transcend the genre and deliver much more than originally intended.
Taylor hits the nail on the head in more than just that one episode, as the episodes always make you look at the world a little differently. I don’t often listen to individual podcast episodes more than once but the sixth episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz is one I have listened to about once a month since it was released. It is a truly special episode which narrows in on something which may not matter to everyone but hit me like a ton of bricks. Episode 6, “From Analog to Digital,” is one of the best podcast episodes I have listened to do date. It is nostalgic. It is informational. Heck, it is even a history lesson. The episode, much like the podcast as a whole, explores change. This time it dives into the transition from tapes and vinyl to CD’s and MP3s and the narrative explores a lot of what gets lost through evolution.
Change is a constant thing which proves to be no different for some of the world’s most interesting sounds. Like in my own personal experience, change can be easier to see as I look longingly at my couch and television while I bang away on a laptop letting my creative juices flow. Sometimes change can be difficult to spot, and it isn’t until you drop and old vinyl copy of the White Album by the Beatles on to your record player that you realize how different it sounded the first time you heard it. And then as the expertly crafted Twenty Thousand Hertz points out, sometimes things change and nobody notices, and all that remains are memories.
Check out Elliot’s podcast entwined here.
What do you think of this podcast? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss! Also subscribe to my twice-monthly newsletter!
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (5 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (5 / 5)
Host Listen-ability (5 / 5)
Flow & Production Value (5 / 5)
Humor (3 / 5)
This isn’t a blemish on the overall rating. This is a tremendous show but humor isn’t a regular part of the process. The host adds some subtle comments which make me smile from time to time but it isn’t packed with moments where I am laughing out loud.
Investigation (5 / 5)
Storytelling (5 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (5 / 5)
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (5 / 5)
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You May Also Like …
The Memory Palace, 99% Invisible, Entwined, Heavyweight, Radiolab
Twenty Thousand Hertz website