Listen to This
Okay you guys, I know it's been a while. This winter, The Husband has pretty much been away for the duration, so I decided this would be my winter to take some of the classes that I have been meaning to take since I've lived here. That invariably means trips to the city, so I've been spending a lot of time in the car driving between the West Highlands and either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
Thing is, I don't really mind the time in the car. This is a very American trait, mind you. Over here people look at me and my voluntary road time like I'm mad as a sack full of wet ferrets. But you know what makes an obligatory drive wonderful? Podcasts. I fill my drive time with podcasts and not only have I learned an awful lot about what's going on in the world (particularly in the Mueller investigation, more on that in a minute), I find myself completely relaxed and even smiling while I drive. Which is no small feat considering the type of content I tend to gravitate towards.
So lets get right to it. Here's what I'm listening to right now . If you find yourself reading this blog on the somewhat regular, nodding along, or dare I say it, even laughing from time to time, you will enjoy these podcasts.
My Favorite Murder
I already posted about the My Favorite Murder (MFM) podcast right before the holidays, so I'm not going to repeat myself here, except to say that this is hands-down my go-to podcast for long drives. This true crime comedy hybrid is one of the most popular podcasts ever, and for good reason. Catch one of their live shows in a town near you, and you will encounter an insta-friend group for life. Absolutely not kidding. The communities (both online and in real life) that have grown out of this podcast are incredible. Since I posted my original review of MFM, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark have launched their own podcast network called Exactly Right, and have their own list of must-listen podcasts, many which will likely appear below. Read my original post here to hear all about the MFM podcast.
If you're one of those people who looks at the current state of the American government with a mixed sense of fear, repulsion, and the feeling that nothing seems to be happening, you need this podcast. If you are the type who "doesn't get political" (eyeroll), you really need this podcast. If you think the Special Counsel is taking too long, or that there has been "no evidence of collusion" thus far (and really, if you are still thinking or God forbid, saying that, please see yourself out) - you really, really need this podcast. In summary, at this point, pretty much everybody needs this podcast. What's going on in the American government right now is unprecedented (and yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and spell that the right way) - it puts the plot of any fictional story you might have thought about picking-up to shame. We are witnessing history being made in America, for better or (let's face it) worse, and the depth and breadth of this investigation and the goings-on that has necessitated it seem to have no bottom. In a word, the details of what this administration has been, and still is up to are absolutely f**king riveting.
The three-woman team responsible for Mueller She Wrote post a new episode weekly, and really pick-apart the finer details of what is going on in in the Mueller investigation with a fine tooth comb. Lead by A.G., the executive producer, host, PhD, veteran, comedienne, government employee, and seriously meticulous researcher, this podcast goes into not only what has been going on with the investigation, but interprets it through the lens of what's legal, whether it's fact or theory, and teases-out the truthful nuggets that are so often buried at the bottom of the swamp. Every episode has at least one interview, always someone with a lot of expertise, almost always someone from the legal or intelligence idiom.
And once you've absorbed the intel, they finish-off with a bit of much-needed schadenfreude for the times - the Fantasy Indictment League. We need this right now.
The Off-Camera podcast is the brainchild of Director/Photographer Sam Jones, who created the podcast out of a love for the long-form, conversational-style interviews that you rarely see in today's rather manic media formats. Jones interviews creatives; actors, photographers, writers...pretty much anyone who catches his eye. Characteristic of a good director, Jones is exceedingly adept at getting his guests to open-up and the format is an easy, free-flowing hour that has come and gone before you even know it. The production (in value and content) is top drawer, and for those who prefer a visual medium, subscribers to the video subscription service (available via the website link above) are treated to a beautifully-composed video version of the podcast. Even if you're not a creative person and this sounds like something that you wouldn't normally gravitate towards, you'll probably like this podcast. I have found that it really provides a wonderful window into the processes (and lives) of some of my favorite creative people, and has also helped me discover some new favorite creative people.
Michael Connelly's Murder Book
I have a lot of respect for Michael Connelly. If you've been loitering around the blog a while, you may remember me mentioning him in a previous post I did after I had been bingeing episodes of Bosch on Amazon Prime. Connelly's former profession as a crime beat journalist for the LA Times has really informed his prolific career as a novelist of 32 novels, 20 or so of which belong to the hard-boiled detective novels in the Harry Bosch series.
A "murder book" is cop speak for a case file in a murder investigation, and that is pretty much exactly what this podcast deep-dives into. Connelly draws-upon his expansive skill as an investigative journalist and the years he spent cultivating contacts in law enforcement to create a podcast that gives us an unfiltered and real look at the inner workings of real homicide investigations. Thus far, the podcast has given us such goodies as interviews with key law enforcement players in the investigation, snippets of actual wiretaps and other juicy pieces of real-life, no-foolin' evidence. The podcast does one case per season, so unlike your usual homicide television procedural where you are taken from the discovery of the body to the gavel slamming down a guilty verdict in 42 minutes, this is a deep, deep dive into the smallest microfibers of a case.
This completely delightful podcast will thrill you with stories spanning from modern times to back in the days before hand washing was a thing. Along the way, it teaches you a little something about microbiology and disease ecology. Led by two grad students in disease ecology (who happen to both be named Erin), this podcast satisfies that curiosity all us humans have (don't we?) about things like outbreaks, pandemics, and other various and sundry strange and horrifying medical oddities and practices. Focusing on one disease per episode, the podcast breaks down the pathophysiology of the disease nicely for the layperson (and yes if you are already in the medical field, it may skew a bit basic, but no less worthwhile), backing-up their often horrifyingly interesting stories with gosh-darned, honest-to-goodness science. Even better? They do it while drinking. Each episode they debut a cocktail that is themed-around the particular disease du jour, or as they like to call them - "quarantinis."
See you all on the road!