The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin are the super duo behind NPR’s Invisibilia, which Spiegel created with Lulu Miller, another super human. Alix is a public radio O.G. from way back. She was one of the original producers on This American Life in the 1990s, back before Ira Glass became every radio producer’s personal hero.
Hanna, on the other hand, had a distinguished career as a print journalist for The Atlantic and Slate. In 2012, she predicted the end of men in her provocative book, “The End of Men.” But audio came calling and she joined the Invisibilia team for season two of the hit show.
Now Hanna and Alix, who are real life besties, have created a totally new idea for the third season — it’s a concept album…about concepts. Specifically, the basic concepts that drive our behavior. So think Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” but for behavioral science. And with better dance moves. Well, almost.
When the pals aren’t digging for the invisible forces that shape human behavior, they listen to a podcast or two. Right now, Alix is listening to the most recent season of Startup from Gimlet. And Hanna is really loving Ear Hustle from Radiotopia. So check ‘em out!
Tell Me More Shows To Check Out!
- Spår — Unless you speak Swedish, this true crime podcast probably won’t do it for you. But Sweden’s version of Serial did the thing the American blockbuster podcast couldn’t — it actually revealed the truth of a murder. Through Anton Berg and Martin Johnson’s reporting, a man who had been in prison for 13 years for a crime he didn’t commit, was released. Literally, he has a podcast to thank for his freedom.
- By The Book — There are a million self-help books out there. But chances are, you don’t know anyone who admits to reading any. But not to worry — friends Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer are reading them so you don’t have you. Each episode, they live by the rules of a different popular self-help book, like “The Secret” or “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” Then they report on the (often hilarious) results.
- Celestial Blood/Sangre Celestial — Radionovelas have been around since the early days of radio. Radio producer Gisele Regatao wanted to give them a modern twist for the digital era. This bilingual podcast (one version in English and one in Spanish) follows the story of twins Sol and Mundo Lucero as they track down their deceased father’s other children. It is both homage and send-up of the radio and telenovelas that much of the Spanish-speaking world has enjoyed for generations.
- Very attractive listener recommendations: Sandi Klein’s Conversations With Creative Women and Midnight Oil
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 holysmokes, won’t that be fun!
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...
Over the course of your life, you’ve probably had at least a dozen email addresses. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that at least a couple of those have been super embarrassing. Comedian Nicole Drespel can relate. Not only has she had deeply mortifying email addresses, but she’s also sent more than her fair share of ridiculous emails. Keep reading...