Audio that isn't a traditional podcast or audiobook?
August 13, 2017 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm a bit burnt out on podcasts (but you know what I'm not burnt out on? Blue Apron!) and I find it hard to concentrate on audiobooks which has me wondering, what other kinds of interesting audio are out there to consume?

I've been obsessed with the 70s and 80s recently, any archived radio shows? Interesting lectures? I'm well aware of TED talks and every NPR podcast. Not what I'm looking for. I found a blog that had audio files of KMart in-store music and announcements back to the 60's, now THAT's what floats my boat. If it's interesting audio that has been released in podcast format I'm not opposed to that.
posted by mattholomew to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Jean Shepherd was a beloved overnight talk-radio host in New York City in the 50s-70s. Internet archive has a some of his work here.
posted by seasparrow at 8:50 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Radio dramas? I can't personally recommend any bu Googling did bring up WPR which has an archive of over 4000 episodes. The archive looks like there's a good variety of different types of radio programs. I need to book mark that site for myself.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 8:59 AM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Based solely on the fact that I am all the way into this K-Mart in store music thing, I'll just throw out a couple of other things I like:

Over the Edge, Negativland's weekly three hour radio show is online, with archives.

Whenever I go to ubuweb, I end up listening to stuff there all day long. They have a lot of music, mostly "experimental" or something, but they also have interview and talks and poetry and stuff.

Open Culture has a bunch of radio, as does Internet Archive. (Oh, guess what I am listening to on there next.)
posted by ernielundquist at 9:25 AM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

It is, technically, an audiobook (well, three), but the audio version of John Hodgman's 'More Information Than You Require" and sequels include musical interludes by Jonathan Coulton, celebrity cameos, fake ads and an audio page-a-day calendar. They are bizarre and I love them but they don't require the same intense concentration as an audiobook.
posted by theweasel at 9:45 AM on August 13, 2017

Spotify has a ton of spoken-word comedy albums, with plenty from the 60s, 70s and 80s, including Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield, Robin Williams, Lenny Bruce and Sam Kinison. They're like little time capsules of what people thought about and laughed at.
posted by Alison at 11:22 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

CVS bangers
posted by raccoon409 at 11:28 AM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Try googling "OTR" (old-time radio). There's a fair amount of it around because it's out of copyright.
posted by praemunire at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you're a Spotify person, they have a Spoken Word set of playlists that have everything from old speeches, poetry readings, old time radio shows, lectures, essays, music lessons, guided meditation, language learning, NASA missions, etc. etc.
posted by xyzzy at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Gary Lucy's Let's Get It On is a podcast, but it's pretty high concept. It's a fake slow jams radio show that takes calls asking for love advice. It's mostly clips of music, some old, some new, occasionally interspersed with funny fake ads and calls. It's an excellent background soundtrack (if you like the music).
posted by bluefly at 1:43 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Radio dramas?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:08 PM on August 13, 2017

Radio dramas?

The Internet Archive has all the episodes of The Saint starring Vincent Price!

I also enjoy listening to familiar old TV shows while working; YouTube has more of them than I first expected.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:12 PM on August 13, 2017

Recordings of A Prairie Home Companion going back pretty far are available - not sure about the mechanics of getting these onto your phone.

Also I thought Cabin Pressure (with Benedict Cumberbatch) was fun.
posted by lakeroon at 4:24 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

How about oral histories? [my alma mater] the Southern Oral History Project has a mini-series/podcast now using oral history material and information/theory on collecting and using oral history as a medium. The raw interviews are also available to stream or download as mp3s, and there are lots of interesting people and topics to choose from.

The Library of Congress has a number of oral histories with audio here (I just searched broadly, but you can refine the results by topic of interest).

Not completely oral history but voice recording, this collection at Michigan State has audio recordings of human voices dating back to 1888.

And the Oral History Association has a good list of other places where oral histories are conducted and stored.
posted by witchen at 5:54 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

not sure if you're just looking for spoken stuff, but i'll throw this out there: You Are Listening To... a stream of police radio + ambient music, for your city of choice!
posted by carlypennylane at 7:10 PM on August 13, 2017

BBC Radio makes lots of radio dramas and radio talk shows and documentaries, if you like that vibe but aren't into the old timey stuff. You might have to do some googling but you'll be rewarded by occasional appearances of British actors you might recognize.

The plays of Shakespeare can often be found on CD at your local library. They're good listens.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:45 PM on August 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

BBC Radio makes lots of radio dramas and radio talk shows and documentaries

Seconded! BBC dramas of all genres show up regularly on the Internet Archive. Here's a link to the most recent uploads, and here's an RSS feed that you can paste directly into iTunes for a sort of DIY podcast.
posted by Iridic at 8:51 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lux Radio Theatre was a program that ran from 1934-1955, broadcasting hour-long audioplay versions of popular movies of the day. Most of the time, the original stars reprised their roles. The link above is to the Internet Archive, but there are also episodes on YouTube.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:23 AM on August 14, 2017

CBS Radio Mystery Theater?
posted by Shmuel510 at 2:15 PM on August 14, 2017

Not quite audio book, maybe the Star Wars Audio Dramas?

I honestly don't know more about these except:

1. they are adaptations of the movies - not books - but are three to four times as long as the films with added scenes, dialog, etc.

2. only a few of the original cast were on the recording, so you hear voice actors doing best impersonations of some actors. Fake earl jones, for example, as Vader. They used original sound effects and music.

3. as a small kid in the early eighties, too young to watch the films as they were scary, but loving all things star wars, I would catch snippets of this on radio and loved it. It had all the drama of Star Wars and none of the fear of watching it in a dark theatre. I vividly remember a long car trip to Virginia or some place and begging - begging my dad to stop and turn the car around and go miles and hours out of our way to catch a fading radio station broadcasting the drama.
posted by sol at 6:24 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

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