This American Life [ Website / iTunes / RSS feed ]
The joy of my Podcast life is the peerless weekly podcast of the award-winning radio show “This American Life.” First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Hosted by Ira Glass, from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. In mp3 and updated Mondays.
Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett [ Website ]
“American Public Media’s Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett is public radio’s weekly conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas. Speaking of Faith does not always have religion itself as a subject. Week after week, it grapples with themes of civic life — asking how perspectives of faith might distinctively inform and illuminate our public reflection. The Speaking of Faith podcast contains each week’s program in its entirety and is updated every Thursday.“
I am at best a secular Buddhist but pretty much an atheist yet I still love this brilliant show. It has destroyed my prejudice against “religious people” and introduced me to to some magnificent public figures.
Some recent episodes of note are:
Radio Lab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich [ Website ]
“On Radio Lab, science meets culture and information sounds like music. Each episode of Radio Lab® is an investigation — a patchwork of people, sounds, stories and experiences centered around One Big Idea. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, Radio Lab is produced by WNYC public radio.”
Zencast [ Website ]
Beautiful and brilliant lectures on Buddhism and the Buddhist life. Look out for Gil Fronsdal and the magnificent master, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe [Website]
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is a weekly Podcast talkshow produced by the New England Skeptical Society (NESS) in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) : discussing the latest news and topics from the world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view.
London School of Economics Public Lectures and Events [Website]
Some great content offered up at the LSE in the form of recorded lectures and talks, often with transcripts.
Streams and Radio Stations
David Byrne radio [ Website ]
My hero and role model Kevin Kelly explains:
When it came to music, I was an old fogie. I had a shelf full of Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers, Brian Eno, and more Bob Dylan. You know, old guy’s music. I actually liked a lot of the new popular music I overheard, I was just not up on it. Didn’t know what was what. Recently I’ve found [a] tool to keep me current with great contemporary music that wasn’t just top 40. My iPod is now full of some pretty hip music, which I thoroughly enjoy.
…For one or two days a month I queue up David Byrne’s Radio Station on the web and listen to his two-hour loop of new, wonderful, delicious tunes. Rock-star Byrne is a professional musical pioneer, admirably eclectic in his taste, yet astutely discriminating at the same time. Over years of listening to all kinds of music — experimental, indie, international, fringe, classical, pop — he’s heard enough to make some great recommendations. Given his reputation he is constantly asked what he is listening to. In answer he has generously turned his play list into a streaming audio station. When you tune in, you are hearing the music he plays in his office.
Each Radio David Byrne playlist runs a few hours long before it repeats; it keeps cycling the whole month. It’s kind of like listening to a 2-hour album over and over again.This gives you a chance to “master” the new music you are hearing. Past playlists have focused on “Icelandic Pop,” “Movie sound tracks,” “Opera highlights,” or, my favorite, “Eclectic Stuff.” This month (Feb 08) the theme is “African Fusion Pop” — Byrne’s favorites from two decades of exploring modern African hits.
I listen to each list for a few days as I work, slowly accumulating my favorites. There is a handy Amazon link near the tunes available for download, which makes adding a new song to your own collection a no-brainer. Or you can copy the metadata and hunt for it on iTunes or E-Music, etc. Byrne earns a few cents for each download, which keeps his bandwidth going. Over several years of listening a few hours per month I’ve gotten a great education in contemporary music. I know Dylan has a satellite radio show, but really, more legends should do this — stream what you love.
Besides the fact that Byrne’s Radio station has introduced me to fantastic artists (sometimes preempting my kids!), I also like the fact that it is demonstrating a workable, legal (at the moment) model for music exploration: Expert + Sharing + Purchase.
Proton Radio [Website]
The absolute best dance music radio station out there bar none. Superb intelligent dance mixes and for paid subscribers a permanent archive of mixes.
Public Radio Redux [ Website ]
“There’s way too much audio in the world to catch everything that comes out of your clock radio. Public Radio Redux shines a spotlight on stories that makes you turn and look at your speakers. It’s a curated list, a place to make comments, and a blog about making radio. Consider it the espresso in your daily public radio fix.”