Currently strapped for time, for reasons which may or may not have to do with final proofs, learning to swear in Finnish for a LARP, and the day job. So here are some podcasts I enjoy, all clocking in at well under an hour–the perfect length for a short commute, a small load of laundry, or cleaning out your inbox.
Mark and Sarah Talk About Songs (http://markandsarahtalkaboutsongs.libsyn.com/): I’ve been a fan of Sarah Bunting since she ran Television Without Pity and I was a gormless freshman with a bad haircut. She currently blogs at Tomato Nation (tomatonation.com) and is one of the site-runners at Previously.TV (previouslytv.com); she’s a main contributor on longer PTV podcasts Again With This and Extra Hot Great, both of which I wildly endorse. Here, she and her friend Mark Blankenship (another EHG regular, and an awesome guy) discuss one or two songs in a 20-minute-or-so podcast, occasionally branching out to cover whole genres like Painfully Sincere Folksongs or Supremes Covers. They’ve got great senses of humor, they’re insightful without being technical, and they make fun of Jewel, which is always a bonus.
The Hidden Almanac (thehiddenalmanac.com): Ursula Vernon! Ursula Vernon is the best. Ursula Vernon wrote Digger (diggercomic.com), an epic adventure involving a wombat. She deconstructs fairy tales, she writes a bunch of great short stories, and she wrote This Vote is Legally Binding, which I link to whenever men start being self-pitying (http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1680540.html). The Hidden Almanac is a 3-4-minute podcast, written by Ursula and voiced mostly by her partner Kevin, with “The Writer’s Almanac but in an extremely weird alternate reality” as a core concept. More cheerful than Night Vale, full of gardening information and elderly assassins, it also has some very touching broadcasts, particularly around the November 2016-January 2017…Times.
Welcome to Night Vale (welcometonightvale.com): Night Vale! You have probably heard of it: Lake Wobegon meets Lovecraft. I really love it, though fair warning: the individual podcasts are the longest here, around 25-30 minutes each, and at this point there’s three years of canon behind it. Unlike the other two, Night Vale does do a lot of work with continuing arcs, so I’m not sure how easily you could catch up if you didn’t start at the beginning.