Podcasts I Listen To

Any podcasts people want to recommend? Here’s my current list:

Active (updates semi-regularly)

  • Dragon Talk: D&D “official” kept mainly for the occasional creator interview.
  • Dungeon Delve: Also D&D, but this is where they’ve moved recordings of actual play sessions to. Mainly the ones with the Penny Arcade guys and friends.
  • The H.P Lovecraft Literary Podcast First 100-odd shows are a piece-by-piece review of Lovecraft’s body of work. Now it’s a lot of fiction mentioned in Lovecraft’s writings and such.
  • Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Two game designers/authors. Both tend to ‘real world with strangeness’ with occasional Lovecraftian overtones.
  • The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: Mostly for science news, although I enjoy hearing debunking occasionally. I skip a lot of bits with this one, I notice.
  • Spontaneanation: Paul F. Tompkin’s improv show. Basically, 45-60 minute interview, then a 45-60 minute improvised sketch loosely based on the interview.
  • Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project: The guy from Mythbusters talking about random subjects, like recreating space suits from various movies.
  • The Strike Zone: Small, infrequent podcast about a tabletop game called Dreadball.
  • Kingdom of Loathing Podcast: Discussion of the Kingdom fo Laothing web game.
  • Video Games Hot Dog: Video game discussion from the Kingdom of Loathing Guys
  • Within the Wires: New podcast from Night Vale Presents. Still not decided on it. Weird ‘relaxation tapes’ presented as possible artifacts from some sort of prison experiment.
  • Buzz Burbank News & Comment: Short news. Buzz used to be part of the Don & Mike Shows which ended years ago. I respect that by doing his own show he actually gets through his content (on the various D&M show incarnations and follow-ups, he tended to get his time cut up) but it loses something because he’s just talking, not getting any comments.
  • Harmontown: Weekly podcast by the self-destructive writer behind shows like Community and Rick & Morty. Also used to play D&D.
  • The Nerdist: Celebrity interviews
  • Penn’s Sunday School: Weekly Penn Gillete babbling.
  • We Have Such Films To Show You: Started reviewing the Hellraiser films, which get progressively worse (albeit hitting a sttep cliff after the first one or two). Now they just review a horror movie every month or so.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: Spooky Garrison Keilor meets Stephen King. Kind of hitting the burn rate, as it’s got a bit too random of late. I’ll give them another story arc, probably.

Hiatus/Mostly Dead

  • Alice Isn’t Dead: Another Night Vale Presents one, this story wrapped up part 1 of a odd tale of a woman who becomes a long-haul trucker to find her wife, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
  • The Bugle: John Oliver and Andy Saltzman. Currently being retooled as Oliver is too busy. Topical news coverage.
  • The Dead Author’s Podcast: Another Paul F. Thompkins project, now in hiatus except for possible special shows. Basically, he plays H. G. Wells who uses his time machine to bring some author from history on stage to do a Q&A. This included such notables as J.R.R. Tolkien, Ayn Rand, Edgar Allen Poe, and Gary Gygax.
  • FEaB: Mostly-dead podcast from a couple guys, one of whom is Scott Mosier, friend and collaborator of Kevin Smith. I used to listen to a couple of the Smodcast podcasts, but got tired of Kevin’s repetition of various themes and moved on, but kept this one as Scott is (for example) his friend who actually likes doing things.
  • The Indoor Kids: Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife discuss video games. On hiatus because they got busy with real work.
  • The X-Files Files: Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and not his wife discuss the X-Files. As above, plus Kumail was in the new X-files season, so…
  • Nerd Poker: Comedian Brian Posehn and friends play D&D. Some rocky parts, and ended awkwardly. Hopefully they’ll restart at some point.
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour: Really good segments from a live show. The ‘hook’ is they’re doing old timey radio programs. Mostly ended, with occasional special features.

I’ll second Night Vale, though I just finished season 1 and it’s still fresh for me.

Shut Up and Sit Down: Board games from some British dudes.
Cool Ghosts: Youtube podcast (That’s a thing right?) about video games by a couple of the people from SUaSD.
Dice Tower: Board Game reviews.

The only ones that have survived the test of time on my DoggCatcher are:

Nerd Poker - Brian Posehn has a bunch of friends sitting around playing D&D. Some of the stories of their old games are funny as hell. I think they are on hiatus or shut down.
Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - decent filler if you like that sort of thing
Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 - I listened only for the News Show. Haven’t listened since Sandi Toksvig left.
Alan Davies As Yet Untitled - 4 people (usually comedians) have a conversation and telling stories.
The Infinite Monkey Cage - Brian Cox and Robin Ince talk science! The one about whether a strawberry is dead was great.
No Such Thing As A Fish - Interesting facts from the people who do the research for QI. This is the only podcast I regularly listen to and I’m working on back episodes.

My issue is paying too much attention to a podcast instead of what I should be doing. OR, paying too much attention to what I am doing instead of the podcast.

I can’t listen to Night Vale at work, I miss too much. I have done Car Talk a couple times, zone out to the noise and just pay attention when they start laughing.

Yup. I only listen to podcasts in the car or when I’m working out.

Nerd Poker is dead at the moment, but there’s been recent hint they might bring it back, perhaps under a different name due to some disagreement with their publishing network. It suffered a bit as they recorded at a ‘real’ studio, which meant good audio quality but seemed doc cause problems getting everyone on-site.

That and when I’m out for a walk geocaching or ingressing.

My current subscription list. I’m going to lift some of the descriptions from the show pages.

  • .NET Rocks! - Various topics related to MS platform development (sometimes only tangentially)
  • 60-Second Science - Scientific American, quick bites of science news
  • 99% Invisible - All the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.
  • Accidental Tech Podcast - John Siracusa, Marco Arment and Casey Liss (who?) get really geeky about Apple stuff.
  • Analog(ue) - All the feels about digital life.
  • Relay.fm B-Sides - Extra stuff from the various Relay.fm shows - outtakes, test runs of new shows, etc.
  • Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People - Comedian opens up his phone line and picks one random anonymous caller to spill whatever’s on their mind. Sometimes it gets heavy.
  • Clockwise - Four people. Four tech topics. 30 minutes.
  • Connected - An international trio of Apple geeks talking about Apple stuff and how it fits into life.
  • Cortex - Originally specifically about how YouTuber CGPGrey does his work and runs his business, now it’s a more rambling “how to get your online work done mostly on iOS”
  • Dear SQL DBA - People write in with questions about being a SQL Server DBA. Kendra answers.
  • Freakonomics Radio - We all know Freakonomics around here, right?
  • Free Agents - Working for yourself, online and in meatspace. Haven’t actually listened to this one yet but I like both hosts so I’m giving it a spin.
  • Hanselminutes - 30 minutes of talking various tech topics with Scott Hanselman.
  • HOME: Stories from LA - Audio stories about home, in all its shapes and sizes, from the place where the land ran out. I may not keep this one around.
  • Liftoff - Space exploration (manned and unmanned), astronomy and various things related.
  • Myke at the Movies - Relay.fm co-founder Myke Hurley gets caught up on important 80s & 90s movies, guided by Jason Snell (80s) and Casey Liss (who?) (90s). The way they work these, the movies are worked in at the end of their regular podcasts (Upgrade and Analog(ue), respectively), then the movie talk is sliced out and released as its own podcast
  • The Nerdist - Covered above
  • Overtired - Pop culture, tech, and a bit of managing mental health.
  • WOxPod - Chris has spoken at most of our local SQL Saturdays and I enjoy hanging out with him and his wife at both ours and other SQLSats.
  • Robot or Not? - Jason Snell asks John Siracusa if various things qualify as true robots.
  • Rocket - Pop culture, tech, gaming, from a female perspective. While they do tend to get fixated on some things that I have very little interest in, I need a podcast anchored by 3 women to bring some balance to my diet.
  • RunAs Radio - Each 30-minute episode covers a specific topic in the field of IT from a Microsoft-centric viewpoint
  • Serial - We all know the deal with Serial, right? I didn’t listen to season 1 but picked up on season 2. Not sure it’ll stay in rotation, I felt like it got unfocused and dragged on a bit long toward the end of S2
  • SQL Data Partners Podcast - Interview/discussion with SQL Server pros
  • Office Hours with Brent Ozar Unlimited - People send SQL Server questions in to the Brent Ozar Unlimited team, they answer live on a YouTube webcast. Then they release the audio as a podcast
  • Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - Adam Savage & friends
  • Under the Radar - Indie iOS app development - not just the technical stuff but working out the business side too - with Marco Arment and “Underscore” David Smith
  • Ungeniused - Weird wikipedia articles with the Relay.fm co-founders
  • Upgrade - How tech companies shape our lives today and how people do digital work

Yeah, it’s a lot. And a lot of material from Relay.fm. I got hooked on a couple of Myke & Co.'s shows when they were on the 5by5 network and when they started their own network I followed.

To get through it all, I use Overcast and run the speed at 1.75X, maybe a bit higher. The Smart Speed feature has cut 60 hours out of my listening time in addition to whatever gains I’ve gotten from running at higher playback speed. I can usually get through about 90 minutes of material door-to-door each way on my 45 minute commute.

I probably should add this one, but don’t. Maybe when the count gets into single digits.

Despite seeing my count hit 0, I added another:

Billy West Podcast is, surprisingly, created by Billy West. You know him from about a billion voice-acting gigs. He’s only done about 8 episodes over several months, but it’s a half hour of weird humor. I always expect Billy West to be about my age, especially since his natural voice is basically Fry from Futurama, but slightly deeper. I always get surprised that he’s in his 60s and goes for a lot of pop culture references that are way before my time. Mostly comedy, very minimal politics.

Not that surprising when you remember that he was working before he did Ren & Stimpy, which premiered 25 years ago.

I think in part it’s because his Fry voice definitely sounds like a late teen/early twenty-something.

Once you know it’s Billy, a lot of his voices start sounding like his real one. Like the Honey Nut Cheerios bee. And Ren. And Ellyvan. And the red M&M.

Did you catch him on The Nerdist recently? Appearance #3

Yeah, that’s why I tried his podcast. He’s had an interesting life.

At a recommendation from @Nabiki I have started listening to Dungeons & Daddies which is a D&D Podcast with the conceit that the 4 leads are fathers from our world forced to traverse a typical fantasy world in search of their abducted children.

It’s pretty good: The DM (Daddy Master?) is Anthony Birch, who wrote much of the Borderlands 2 content.

Last summer for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the BBC World Service released 13 Minutes to the Moon. And it was outstanding.

This month, they’ve released a second season covering Apollo 13. And it’s making me want to watch the movie again.

The two seasons are very different. For Apollo 11, they didn’t just talk about the mission. They got into the side tangents, the behind the scenes stuff that had to happen to even make it possible, including how the structure and functioning of Mission Control was developed. But the crown jewel is playing the CAPCOM recording in real time, from the moment they started the descent to the point where they touched down.

For Apollo 13, they skipped over all that and cut right to chase with the O2 tank explosion and then desperately trying to keep the ship alive.

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I forgot about this thread! Some recs from me:

My Dad Wrote a Porno - what it says on the can. A guy and his friends reading from the “erotic novel” his dad wrote. Warning: very graphic language.

Writing Excuses - “Fifteen minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart.” The core hosts are Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. Each podcast tackles a writing style or topic or answers reader questions on a previous episode. One of my bucket list items is to go on one of the Writing Excuses cruises they do every year.

Under the Influence - hosted by former adman Terry O’Reilly, it’s a fun look at the world of advertising, marketing, and branding.

Slow Burn: Watergate - everything you ever wanted to know about Watergate and Nixon’s impeachment.

Slow Burn: The Clinton Impeachment - everything you ever wanted to know about the Clinton impeachment.

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And that’s on my list now. Sounds amazing. I have a book to read about this in my stack, too.

I just listen to a bunch of crime and history podcasts.

Behind the bastards
Ridiculous history
Stuff you missed in history class
Stuff they don’t want you to know
Crime junkie
Murder squad
Generation why
Crime in sports
Small town murder