The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
Hey, pals! I hope this finds you better than OK.
Now that we’ve all awakened from our Thanksgiving stupor, let’s get back to the important matters of the day — podcasts! Obviously, podcasts are a thing now. A big thing. So big in fact that there are people out there who make money reviewing them. One of those folks is Melissa Locker, who writes for The Guardian. Melissa listens to bazillions of shows — probably more than Lauren — and we talk to her about her process and how there isn’t enough time in the world to dedicate three hours to the Joe Rogan Experience.
Podcasts We Talk About In The Show (In Case You Don’t Like Reading)
Tell Me More About What's On This Week’s Show!
It would seem The Gray Lady is jumping into the digital audio fray these days. With the Run-Up, Modern Love and Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, the venerable New York Times is planting a big flapping flag in the podcast space. One of the Times’ newest projects is Still Processing. It’s a chat show plus featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Wesley Morris and astute cultural observer Jenna Wortham. Not only are they both crazy smart, but they’re pals with a whole lot to say about a lot of stuff — contemporary art, black television, penises in popular culture.
Some of the biggest growth in the podcast world is in the fictional podcast category with shows like Welcome To Night Vale, Limetown and Homecoming. Serendipity, from Ann Heppermann and Martin Johnson, is a celebration of contemporary radio drama from around the world. Sometimes things can get a little weird. But it’s art, so it’s cool. The show is a production of the Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Awards. Check ‘em out!
Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam, the hosts of the Dinner Party Download, have been helping us win our dinner parties for years. But when they’re not shoving canapés and crudités down their gullets, Rico and Brendan Francis are listening to podcasts. They recommend:
- Very attractive listener recommendations for this week: Extraordinary Terrestrials and StarTalk Radio
- As we do each week, let’s check the charts! Or rather, the 289th-ranked podcast on iTunes: RuPaul: What’s The Tee w/Michelle Visage. A podcast from the brains and face behind the brilliant RuPaul’s Drag Race should be full of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Instead it’s basically a dowdy lady wearing a potato sack making bad jokes. Sorry to say this, Ru, but sashay away from this podcast.
- Best podcast title of the week: Hopefully We Don’t Break Up
Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and your mom will be so proud.
Thanks for reading, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.
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This is the final episode of The Big Listen. Boo! Hiss! Our show is going off the air (read more on that here) and we’re shifting our focus to other projects. So this is last you’ll hear from us. But we’ve so enjoyed getting to share all the great shows we’re listening to with you. Thank you for spending some time with us. Keep reading...
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