Help me find widely ranging podcasts
March 3, 2009 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Looking for variety of different podcasts or radio shows to listen to. Please give me many recommendations.

After a lot of experimentation, I've found out what I like in a podcast.

1. Documentary podcast: A podcast where people tell stories to give more insight into the news or culture, a la This American Life, BBC Documentaries, and to a lesser extent, B-Side Radio. I'm not really into podcasts that primarily do reporting, such The World or 60 Minutes.

2. Music podcasts: I like percussive, drum based music like afrobeat and hip hop. I also like gentle low-key music like bossa nova and chillout. I loved Radio Freetown, but it seems to be on hiatus or off the air. I also like WEFUNK.

3. Comedy podcasts that touch on many topics: I love You Look Nice Today and Widely Ranging Interests. Need more like these.

Any suggestions as to what I need to add to my playlist?
posted by reenum to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Radio Lab, Never Not Funny, Jordan Jesse Go, the Sound of Young America, Comedy and Everything Else, Skeptoid, The Moth, Real Time with Bill Maher, Popcorn Mafia, Fresh Air, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, I Love Movies, Car Talk.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:32 AM on March 3, 2009

Best answer: Two podcasts from MeFi's Own YoungAmerican, Jesse Thorn, are great. Jordan Jesse Go! is the one of the most consistently funny things on the Internet, and The Sound of Young America is a great interview show, a la Fresh Air, but focusing mostly on comedians/comedy writers and musicians.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:33 AM on March 3, 2009

To the Best of Our Knowledge is a great multi-themed show.
Radio Lab is all kinds of awesome. Science, Culture type stuff.
The Bugle is a funny news related podcast. When they have "The American" on as a guest, I die laughing.
Tank Riot is a comedy/general discussion podcast. I liken it to YLNT, but it has a topic they research and discuss each week. Plus, as I learned this morning when you email them corrections to incorrect statements, they reply quickly.
posted by Science! at 8:34 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Adam Corolla just started doing a podcast every day that's pretty damn funny and has great guests.

Seconding everything Rock Steady and Science! suggested.
posted by DrDreidel at 9:01 AM on March 3, 2009

For music, I like the KEXP live music podcast. It doesn't focus on specific genres, but it gives a description of each artist's style.
posted by schyler523 at 9:26 AM on March 3, 2009

The only podcast I can't miss is On the Media. Totally satisfies my analysis craving. They did an unfortunate "musical number" a few weeks ago, but it appears that was an isolated incident.

FWIW, Jesse Thorn's voice is so deeply laced with self-satisfied smugness that I find listening to him to be an almost unbearable chore.
posted by orville sash at 9:26 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant radio shows and podcasts with Karl Pilkington are very, very funny. Not sure where you'd get them other than your BT tracker of choice.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:27 AM on March 3, 2009


Hi, Jesse. Didn't know you were a MeFite. Nothing personal. Your radio show just really annoys me. I am glad, however, that it exists.

Not trying to start a flame war,

posted by orville sash at 9:35 AM on March 3, 2009

Addicted to Race from the folks at is great, even if you don't pay for the "premium" podcasts.

I also really enjoy Slate's Gabfest. Not exactly TAL, but political and often funny.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:51 AM on March 3, 2009

Response by poster: Great answers so far, guys!

In thinking more about the music podcasts, I'd love it if you could recommend some instrumental hiphop or breakbeats podcasts or radio shows.

posted by reenum at 12:17 PM on March 3, 2009

Best answer: From Our Own Correspondent: BBC reporters' slice-of-life tales from around the world. Awesome, excellent. Twice a week.

The Bugle - seconded

Indian Electronica: Not regular, but very nice. Start with #11 if you like a little Obama in your mashup. Apparently Mr. Abdul Smooth now has a second one, IndoChill. Haven't heard it though.

DJ Eros' The Perfect Mix: Four hours of trance. Weekly.
posted by Methylviolet at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2009

Here's a vote for Seattle's up-and-coming radio show, Too Beautiful To Live, more commonly known as TBTL. It's the kind of show that's a little polarizing -- people either love it or hate it.
posted by mhum at 2:41 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'd also strongly recommend The Sound of Young America, Jordan Jesse Go, RadioLab, and On the Media. I'll also recommend Savage Love (kind of a cross between comedy and documentary), KCRW's The Business, and The Best Show on WFMU.

Also, the TED talks are more often than not brilliant.
posted by skechada at 7:53 AM on March 5, 2009

For a funny podcast, I really like Uhh yeah dude.
posted by MotorNeuron at 2:35 PM on March 5, 2009

As far as music podcasts go, it's tough to find good ones because legal issues preclude the podcasting of most commercial music. One good hip-hop/breakbeats show is the Stones Throw Records podcast.

Also: I agree with everything skechada just said above me, (s)he basically just listed my favorite podcasts (save Never Not Funny, but that's pay).

(Also, Orville: I find your commenting tone so deeply laced with self-satisfied smugness that I find reading it to be an almost unbearable chore. I am, however, glad that you exist. ;) )
posted by YoungAmerican at 4:32 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In addition to Wait Wait and The Bugle, which should be compulsory listening for the Daily Show loving crowd, may I recommend a few others:

a) NPR's Planet Money: Required listening for your economic-analysis needs. Now endorsed by everyone from Tim Geithner to Mefi-ites in some earlier threads. Warning: can get depressing quite fast.
b) BBC's Friday Night Comedy: Wait Wait-like mix of stand-up and current-affairs quiz, but with a British twist.
c) BBC's Best of Adil Ray Show: Music and comedy, but with a Brit-desi twist. Lots of great gags inspired by Slumdog Millionaire in recent episodes.
d) Intelligence Squared: Either the British or American version.
e) Slate's Daily Podcast: Don't really care for their reading of their regular articles, but the Political and Cultural Gabfests, the Audio Book Club and Big Money are all good.
f) Onion Radio's 1 min clips are often great to intersperse your playlist with. Randomly insert these clips in your regular music playlist and remain smiling throughout the day!

I often limit myself to 8-9 podcast subscriptions, and try to be heavy on weekly, as opposed to daily, podcasts. The idea is to stimulate my mind just enough, but not overwhelm myself. So I tend to go through a lot of podcasts on and off; I make sure I unsubscribe to some before taking on new ones, so if you ask me this question again in a few months, I could give you a different list. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 10:45 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

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