Ah, Summer! Time to lie on the beach, take long drives or just swing in the hammock. What’s your soundtrack for this summer?
Me, I like a good story. Professionally, I’m always looking for inspiration – interesting perspectives or techniques that I can use when working on stories of my own. It’s not just about the story, but how it’s told. How does the host/interviewer guide us through the story? What questions to they ask? So when I’m not listening to Lake Street Dive, Vampire Weekend or They Might Be Giants, I’ve got one of these podcasts cued up. If you’re looking for something entertaining and different, these 5 podcasts offer stories told well.
This American Life – I tend to overuse the word “compelling”, but Ira Glass and his team tell compelling stories. Each show features a theme, with a variety of stories related to that theme. They’re sort of like “movies for the radio.” I’ve taken the long way home to hear the end of one of their stories many, many times.
The Moth – Their slogan is “True stories told live”. These stories are the real thing. No music, no effects, just one person and a microphone in front of a group of people. You can almost picture everyone sitting around a fire listening.
Radiolab – If the Moth strips stories down to the basics, Radiolab uses sound design to create a feeling or mood that enhances the story. The hosts are genuinely curious about the topics they investigate and that enthusiasm is infectious.
WTF with Marc Maron – Host Marc Maron is a bundle of nerves and emotions. You know exactly how he’s feeling. His openness gets guests to open up and share in a way that they don’t with other hosts.
The Turnaround – This is a new podcast, but one that excites me the most. Host Jessie Thorne turns the tables and interviews the interviewers. If you’re interested in learning more about how professionals (Ira Glass, Audie Cornish, Susan Orlean, Marc Maron and others) go about their work, this is fascinating listening.
That’s what I’m listening to these days. What’s your favorite podcast or storytelling program?