Saturday, October 31, 2009

So Many Podcasts, So Little Time...

It all started so innocently. I got my first iPod in early 2007. Shortly thereafter, I discovered these things called "podcasts." And now, less than 3 years later, I'm subscribed to 51 podcasts, have over 1100 "new" casts to listen to, and wound up as a guest on one 'cast and a staff writer for the blog of another. ;) I assume that most of you who would be reading this have a similar story. Or, at least, a similar beginning to your story. Anyway, we're all familiar with the 'casts that have been promo'd on Anomaly, but I'd like to share some of my other favorite podcasts with y'all. I have a feeling that this may become a series (if you seem to like it, anyway). This go round, I'm taking an 'artistic' theme: literature, music, and theater.

First, there's Escape Artists Inc., which is the parent organization of three fiction podcast magazines: EscapePod for science fiction, PodCastle for fantasy, and PseudoPod for horror. A new episode (full length story) each is released each week on each 'cast, along with the occasional minicast. EscapePod has been around the longest (episode 222 was released at the end of October), and is my favorite. PseudoPod came along next and is at 166 episodes, PodCastle clocks in at 75. I stumbled across EscapePod when it was an iTunes staff pick, and found PodCastle from there. I'll admit that I haven't [yet] subscribed to PseudoPod, as I'm not all that into horror stories, but the Escape Artists editors will be the first to admit that many of their stories cross genre lines. The stories and voicework on these 'casts are fantastic, and I've been moved to tears and/or left pondering life's great questions by more than one story. Plus, each year, EscapePod will bring you readings of the Hugo nominees. If all of this wasn't enough reason to check out the Escape Artists podcasts, I recently found out that our very own Jen may be doing some voicework for PodCastle in the near future.

Next up, IndieFeed. Humans, not robots or computer programs, search out great independent music, and then share what they've found with you. For free. And, in a world of 20-30 second samples, IndieFeed gives you the entire track, along with information about the artist, and where to find more. A 'cast is released every week on each of 6 channels (each is a separate podcast feed): Alt Rock, Indie Pop, Hip Hop, Electronica, Dance, and Blues. There used to also be a Folk channel, and old episodes can be found in the Indie Pop feed. My brother turned me on to IndieFeed, and it's greatly increased my music library, and helped me find some new favorite artists. And with a mission statement that includes "create and equitable promotion model that grants bargaining and financial power to artists, and gives control and meaningful choice to consumers"... well, how can you resist?

And, finally, I point you towards the Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast. I'd like to hope that most of you are familiar with the RSC, but if you're not, you should be. They are are three-man comedy troupe "known for taking long, serious subjects and reducing them into short, sharp comedies." An example? Okay, how about the Othello Rap:
Here's a story 'bout a brother by the name of Othello
You know, he liked white women and he liked green Jell-O
And a punk named Iago who made himself a menace
'Cause he didn't like Othello, the Moor of Venice.
But, you really don't need to be all that familiar with the RSC stage shows to enjoy the podcast (However, if you get the change to see a stage show - DO IT!). They're not performing for you or putting on any front, but just being themselves. Sharing what it's like to tour, audition, write... and also discussing whatever comes to mind. It's really a great listen, about 20 minutes per week, released on Mondays. Don't believe me? Give them a go - I suggest you start with Episode 66 "Kirk or Picard."

Well, it's time for me to replace yet another pair of earbuds... I go through those things like water. Happy listening!

Anomaly Staff Writer
Subscribe to Anomaly via iTunes


Geekyfanboy said...

Awesome post.. never heard of podcastle and I'm huge into fantasy.. gotta check them out.. thanks for the heads up.

kaseycleon said...

This is a great post, Sue! I've heard of Podcastle before, but I gotta say that I'm really interested to learn that there's a Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast. Probably one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life! Totally ready to fill up my iPod with some podcasts.