@cjhubbs I would love to hear about some of these podcasts. I’m moving some of mine out of rotation and need some new ones…
— D.S. Deboer (@ddeboer)
OK, so we’ll agree to blame Dan for this post, shan’t we?
At the moment I’m subscribed to 14 podcasts. I do all my podcast listening on my phone – mostly in the car or (during the summer months) while running or doing lawn work. (This has a nasty side-effect where I get a really backed-up queue in the winter months, but oh well.)
For the purposes of organization I’ll group them into four rough categories: Tech, Entertainment, Theology, and Other. I’ll address them in that order.
Accidental Tech Podcast – OK, surely the guys like Dan and Geof who are actually reading this are familiar with ATP. A weekly podcast around Apple tech nerdery, it features Marco Arment, John Siracusa, and Casey Liss. Lately they’ve spent far too much time obsessing over the new Mac Pro – which I complained about on Twitter and Casey subsequently appreciated – but usually it’s an entertaining listen. Average Duration: 90 minutes.
Pragmatic – This is a new one on my list; in fact, I’ve only listened to the first half of the first (well, sixth) episode. It’s a weekly podcast which purports to address the “practical application” of technology. Average Duration: 60 minutes.
Filmspotting – A long-running public-radio-originated discussion of new films, punctuated with movie marathons highlighting overlooked titles from movie history. This is my first listen every week. Hosts Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen keep the discussion lively and provide many more good ideas for film watching than I will ever have time to keep up with. Average Duration: 75 minutes.
Disasterpiece Theatre – This one also has the virtue of being hosted by my friend-of-a-friend and sometimes acquaintance Stephen Granade. Imagine yourself in a Hollywood pitch room and pitching the most ridiculous movie ideas that (let’s all admit) could probably get made. Stephen and co-host Alex White are quick- witted and hilarious. Enjoyable stuff. Average Duration: 30 minutes.
The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith – This one is a little more of a niche, I guess. Goldsmith interviews movie screenwriters about their story, writing methods, and experiences in the entertainment industry. I find it fascinating to hear storytellers talk about the craft of writing a good story. Average Duration: 80 minutes.
WTF with Marc Maron – D-list comedian Marc Maron invites celebrities into his garage/studio and records hour-long interviews that range here, there, and everywhere. I almost gave up on this one until Don Chaffer reminded me that the 2-minute skip button could be put to good use. Skip the first 12 minutes of Maron plugging his comedy act and get straight to the interview. Maron asks really good questions, isn’t afraid to ask about God, religion, and philosophy on life. Average Duration: The interview portion is usually 60-70 minutes.
The Mortification of Spin – My buddy Mike set me on to this one a month ago. Comes out weekly or so, hosted by Carl Trueman. Besides winning the award for most cleverly-named podcast, this one does me good to remember that there are Calvinists on the internet who I can still agree with most of the time. (I said on the internet, friends. There are lots of Calvinists I agree with most of the time among my personal friends and acquaintances.)
Nomad – I think Randy linked this one a couple months back. Hosted by two British guys, this one is fairly emergent (is that still a thing?) or liberal evangelical. I don’t find myself agreeing with them too much, but I find it a valuable listen because it helps me identify the places where liberal evangelicalism starts to go off the rails and needs to be dialed back. And they’re right sometimes, too. (This may be the most backhanded podcast recommendation ever.) Average Duration: 65 minutes.
Then we come to two that have the distinction of featuring internet friends of mine:
The Pulpiteer – this one features the sermons of pastor Andy Croel of Carson City United Methodist Church in Michigan. I dig Andy’s sermons. He always points me to Jesus, has a good perspective on the text, and gives me something to chew on while keeping it under 30 minutes. Amazing. Average Duration: 30 minutes.
Trying Too Hard – This one also features Andy Croel in conversation with Arkansian UMC buddy Matthew Johnson. OK, I’ll be honest: they’ve only published two episodes so far and I haven’t listened to either of them yet, but they’re queued up on my phone and I’m looking forward to them. That’s worth something, right? Average Duration: 23 minutes.
Dads Being Dads – I’ve only listened to part of one of these so far; can’t remember who recommended them. But what I’ve heard so far has been good. It’s refreshing to hear dads talk about being dads. (As an aside: it’s curious to me that while you’d find this kind of parenting discussion going on in the Christian blogosphere on mom blogs, you have to go to the secular arena to hear the dad’s perspective. What’s up with that? But that’s a thought to be more fully formed in a separate blog post.) Average Duration: 60 minutes.
Fresh Air – OK, you’ve heard this show on NPR before, right? I don’t really need to say any more than that. I like that they split the show segments into separate feed items, so I can delete the bits I’m not interested in and keep the others. Average Duration: varies based on segment. 45 minutes max. Some as short as 6 minutes.
Song Exploder – I just subscribed to this one as well. It only has one episode so far. The goal is that they will interview a musician each time and have that musician play a track and then “explode” it – examining the different tracks, production, etc. This interests me as a musician, so I’m subscribing for now. Average Duration: 15 minutes.
The Thousand People I Tried To Be – This one has a feed but no episodes yet. I’m still waiting for my buddy Geof to edit and publish his first interview. I like the concept, and would enjoy it if he makes it a consistent thing. Average Duration: unknown.