Podcasts I Like

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.

Freakonomics Radio
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.

Critical Transit
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.

Ted Talks
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

This American Life
Episodes vary from dysfunctional family humor to in-depth reporting.
Examples: Hit the Road and Harper High School Part 1 and Part 2.

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

Longform Podcast
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

Streets.mn Podcast
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

The Tom Barnard Podcast
Tom Barnard and his family sit down with notable locals to catch up for an hour or so.
Examples: Don Shelby and Fancy Ray.

Okay, what shows am I missing that I should check out?

5 thoughts on “Podcasts I Like”

  1. Remakers Mark by the Math Is Hard network. It’s a group of guys nerding out over their favorite movies.

    Wits (duh)

    The Smartest Man in the World by Greg Proops.

  2. -Pratfalls of Parenting is a local show where they interview parents, working in the arts scene
    -Here’s the Thing – Alec Baldwin interviews people (listen to some, delete some)
    -Nocturnal Emotions with Har Mar Superstar
    -Seeing Scars – local Breast Cancer podcast
    -The Sportive – local sports show, covers it all
    -Stealing Home – baseball show that digs deep into certain topics about the game. really great show, produced locally
    -WYNC Left, Right and Center is pretty good.
    -Planet Money

  3. All good options here, similar to my own list. One I’ve enjoyed as well is The Bugle, with John Oliver and Andy Saltzman. So, they’re British, but because Oliver is on the Daily Show and covers American politics they end up doing snark on the whole world. Sometimes only good, not great. But when they’re on they get big laughs out of me.

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