Many of the best podcasts I listen to these days are podcasts I discovered due to mentions on other blogs. So, in that spirit, here’s a list of what I’ve listening to these days.
The URLs below each podcast are the feed URLs for the show. I happen to use a program called CarCast on my Android phone to download and listen to new episodes of these shows as they become available, but there are many other options for podcast subscribing that may be a better fit based on where or how you plan to listen to them.
I found the book by the same title pretty interesting, the blog okay, and the podcast hit or miss. But, the beauty of listening to this as a podcast is that it’s easy to skip an episode if it’s not working for me.
Examples: Parking is Hell and 100 Ways to Fight Obesity
Strong Towns Podcast
I’ve really enjoyed the thinking on the Strong Towns podcast. Chuck Marohn’s perspectives on what’s wrong with our current public infrastructure planning and financing, and what to do about it are really excellent.
Examples: Public Participation and Amazon Prime.
Jeremy Mendelson is touring the country by bike and transit and interviewing people in cities who contribute in some way to local public transit systems, from bike to bus and train. He recently passed through the Midwest with stops in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis.
Examples: Interview with Anthony and Mitch at NiceRide and The Vulture Space.
Some Ted talks are really dependent on video, but most work just fine in audio format.
Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity and Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk
WNYC’s Radio Lab
An awesome science podcast that tends to take a topic and see how far science has gone to find answers, with ties to real-world applications. Fascinating stuff.
Examples: Speed and 23 Weeks 6 Days
APM: The Story
Dick Gordon sits down with guests to let them tell their stories on topics that often tie to current events. Instead of a single quote in a news piece, you get 20-45 minutes on a single topic.
Examples: Cracks In The Building and A Pizza Purist
NPR: Story of the Day Podcast
As the headline suggests, this podcast has a story NPR was particularly proud of that day.
Examples: Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn’t Pay and Justice In The Segregated South: A New Look At An Old Killing
NPR: Planet Money
They take a more in-depth look at economic issues, from the effects of the global financial crisis, to studying supply chains, like how cotton t-shirts are made.
Examples: Cotton Wars and Marijuana Arbitrage
NPR: Fresh Air Podcast
Terry Gross and guest hosts interview authors, producers, comedians, musicians, and other people who’ve done some form of substantial work. My interest tends to vary by guest, which makes for great podcast listening because it can skip the episodes that don’t work for me.
‘The Hell Of American Day Care’: Expensive And ‘Mediocre’ and Nearly Three Years After Dodd-Frank, Reforms Happen Slowly
Interviews with writers who crank out long form magazine pieces. How they get the stories and how they make a living doing it are common themes. But, the stories behind the stories that pop up in pieces are the really good stuff.
Examples: Ted Conover and Natasha Vargas-Cooper
Comedian Marc Maron’s interviews with other comedians. Varies by guest, but can be really good when it’s good. Marc often inserts an introspective monologue ahead of the interviews, which are best for people who like cats or want to hear the latest on Maron’s relationship challenges.
Examples: Rob Schneider and Alison Brie
The Moth Podcast
Humorous personal stories recorded live and without notes that tend to run between 5-20 minutes. There are some really great ones.
Examples: Elna Baker: To Russia with Love and George Lombardi: Mission to India
Bill Lindeke interviews people around Minnesota who care about local transportation issues. Lately, he had a chance to interview a ton of candidates running for Minneapolis City Council seats.
Examples: Interview with Ward 9 Candidate, Tim Springer and with Ward 10 DFL Nominee, Lisa Bender
Okay, what shows am I missing that I should check out?