There are 660,000 podcasts and 28 million podcast episodes. Here are 5 worth your time.
Podcasts are a great medium for displays of deep enthusiasm, giving a platform and basically unlimited time for people to just absolutely “go off” about the things they love. That’s what I like about Dissect, which is about to launch its fourth season next week. Each season of the show is a track-by-track rundown of a classic album, featuring interview snippets, biographical insights, and lyrical analysis that puts sites like Genius to shame. Past seasons have focused on works by Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean. They haven’t revealed what record will be featured in the new season, and I’m pretty excited to find out what it is!
Tim Heidecker is behind some of my favorite pieces of comedy ever, so I’m always eager to consume whatever he’s putting out into the world. His longrunning, extremely laid-back podcast Office Hours has really come into its own lately, thanks to the permanent addition of his two cohosts, video editing masters and comedic geniuses in their own right, DJ Douggpound and Vic Berger. A recent episode with guest Fred Armisen is a great place to start, featuring an extended riff on SNL-themed puns that took on a life of its own on the internet this week.
The Relentless Picnic
It took me a bit to come around on The Relentless Picnic, a deeply thoughtful and surprisingly funny show that is essentially centered around three intellectual type dudes just sort of shooting the shit on a variety of high-minded ideas. I often find it difficult to engage with conversations about like, big ideas in any meaningful way, as they’re often full of abstraction to the point of obtuseness for its own sake, rarely escaping the realm of self-indulgent theoreticals. After an episode or two spent getting on their super specific wavelength, I’ve decided these guys aren’t full of shit. I’ve heard the show described as a less dirtbaggy Chapo Trap House and that’s not totally correct but it’s close!
The podcast Yo, Is This Racist? has been around for a long time. How long? It was originally a spin off of a viral Tumblr page of the same name. Remember when single-use Tumblr blogs would go viral? Either way, the show has always been an enjoyable listen, gleefully but respectfully reflecting on major and minor racially-charged infractions and interactions via a series of listener-submitted questions. It reentered my weekly rotation last year when the extremely funny Tawny Newsom came on board as a co-host, and hasn’t left. She’s the perfect foil to the host/creator of Y,ITR? Andrew Ti, bringing an energetic new perspective to the fold.
I feel like conceptually, Blocked Party isn’t necessarily an easy sell. You would not think it would be this fun to listen to people talk about their Twitter feeds. We can all agree that Twitter is a bad website that we absolutely look at a lot every day but should really not. In reality, Blocked Party is a surprising, entertaining listen, celebrating the more scoundrel-ish, borderline troll-y impulses of people who are funny online. Each episode features a guest sharing a story about a specific interaction that resulted in them getting blocked by someone, usually a famous person or some kind of brand. The show also more broadly discusses the various niche communities and mini-outrage cycles that are constantly developing on Twitter, helping you stay informed about some of the dumbest shit on the internet. It’s great!