Thursday, June 10, 2010

Podcast Round Up for Summer 2010

My job has hit the quiet period for the summer. Less students walking around, less Commencement planning, and lots of quiet afternoons updating schedules and documentation. So what does this mean? Listening to podcasts to pass the time.

Here's a round up of some Podcasts I've been listening to and my reviews of them:

The Sporkful
Mark and Dan of the now defunct Bryant Park Project are now discussing all things food on a clever but highly edited 15-minute weekly podcast. They say it's not for foodies, it's for eaters, and this is true. Instead of discussing the finer details of high-end foods like pate or canapes, they've discussed the following:
--how to prepare a baked potato
--the best kinds of peanut butter sandwiches
--popcorn etiquette
--how best to handle a buffet
The guest star list has been impressive for those NPR-philes out there, including Marc Maron, Win Rosenfeld, and Mike Pesca. It took a bit to get used to the polished tone of it, but I like how Mark and Dan will debate intensely the best ways to eat. 15 mintues is also the perfect length of time for this type of podcast. It's an "amuse bouche" if you will. (sorry for the food pun)

Uhh Yeah Dude
I'm pretty late to the party... about 4 years late... but Ricky suggested I check out this podcast. Seth and Jonathan -- who call themselves American Americans -- spend an hour discussing crazy newstories, celebrities, craigslist, Gertrude Baines, Whole Foods, Jonathan's crazy upbringing (his dad is John "Night Court" Larroquette), and so on. It's not like other podcasts I've enjoyed in the past, mainly because it's set up like a stream of conscious conversation and not like a radio program. The tone took some getting used to, as did the liberal use of the F word, but I will admit. Their observations are dead on and hilarious. It's a nice podcast to listen to when driving home from work, as it's usually the length of my T ride and train. I have embarrassed myself a few times walking to work, though, bursting out laughing.

Jordan Jesse, Go!
Many Tens love this podcast, and I've heard them interviewed on TBTL, so I thought I'd check it out. Jesse Thorn also has connections to NPR/PRI, so I thought why not. I will admit, I was cautious going into it, because Jesse's vibe drives me crazy from TBTL spots. He seems smug, self flattering, and fancies himself the smartest and funniest person in the room. But Ricky and I both decided to check out an interview JJGO did on their show with Seth and Jonathan of Uhh Yeah Dude. And... I made it about 30 minutes into a 90-minute podcast. About 28 of those minutes was Jesse talking over the guests and trying to out-smarm and out-joke Jonathan. I think I may listen to this podcast again and get a percentage of how much the GUESTS actually spoke.

To try and give them a second chance, I listened to them interview Sarah Vowell, seeing maybe if the guest had some more wattage if they'd behave better. They were slightly more behaved, mainly because Sarah was able to wrestle control and focus away from awful awful Jesse Thorn. But it really should be named "Jordan Jesse, Go... download something other than our terrible podcast".

So in conclusion:
1. Sporkful is decent.
2. Uhh Yeah Dude is funny but raunchy
3. Jordan Jesse, Go! sucks hard and if given the chance to throw things at their faces, I would.
4. Seatbelts

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