Pod(Cast) People


This article was originally published in online magazine Pointless Banter on August 13, 2006.

I bought an iPod about eight months ago and, like many of you, bow down to the almighty pod. I don’t know how I got along before without having 1200 of my favorite songs at my disposal. (Mine is of the 4Gb Nano variety.)

Despite being a bit of a tech geek, and working in an industry that affords me some ability to be “in the know” about such things, I’m not quite the tech-savvy girl I probably should be. I learned quickly the basics of iPod use, but am only just now learning some of the bells and whistles available with said purchase. Namely, PODCASTS. As it turns out, even some of our Pointless Banterers, DonkeySosa and Farmer Vincent do their own podcast from time to time and make it available for your listening pleasure. You don’t even need an iPod to check out a podcast. Your trusty computer or any mobile device will do. Rather, however, than downloading a podcast by itself; most often a podcast is subscribed to, and said personal device downloads it to itself automatically each time there is a new installment. It’s just like getting a magazine delivered to your doorstep. (This is all stuff I didn’t know much about before, so I’m sharing.)

Unfortunately for me, I had no idea where to begin, and couldn’t necessarily think of anything I wanted dumped onto my iPod on a daily, weekly, or what-have-you basis. For a while I subscribed to “What You Missed At The Bone.” There’s a comedy club here in Boise (which I rarely attend) that apparently podcasts the stand-up comedians that no one goes to see. I lasted two episodes before I unsubscribed. Let’s just say there’s a reason why I missed it at the bone. So I thought I’d research what’s available out there and bring you some of the most entertaining podcasts I found.

According to iTunes, the most popular podcast this week is Comedy Central Stand-Up (Video), delivered every Tuesday and Thursday. Second is National Public Radio Shuffle, if that tells you anything. Here are some of the more amazing and inexplicable podcasts that I found, and also some I just thought were cool. All can be found by visiting the podcast section of your iTunes program and using the “search” feature, or by visiting Apple iTunes. These are in no particular order, and all subscriptions I mention are free.

1. The Onion Radio News. Many of you are familiar with the brand of “news” offered by The Onion. This is the same stuff, via podcast. Funny stuff.

2. Strongbad Emails. Holy shit, these are funny. You can check out a preview by going to Homestarrunner and checking out the “emails” section. These never fail to crack me up. And who wouldn’t want Strongbad Emails automatically dropped into their MP3 player? Those who subscribed to Strongbad Emails also subscribed to Adult Swim Video Podcast, according to iTunes.

3. Ask A Ninja. This is a ninja who answers questions emailed to him in an apparently hilarious manner. If you have a question for the ninja, he’s reachable at askaninja@gmail.com.

Also on the front page (top twenty) besides these include Dane Cook’s Danecast, Blue Man Group, and A Day in the Life of Zach Braff (Huh?!??) On to the more obscure podcasts. I’ll do a few from each category.

COMEDY

4. Gay Fun Show, Feast Of Fools! Under description, it says “Makes your iPod go gay!” Also “Cocktails and political comedy with a gay twist!” and “We’re known as the ‘Love Boat’ of podcasts!” You can’t go wrong with this one, I’m sure.

5. The President’s Weekly Radio Address. This is a parody of the White House’s weekly radio address web site. “Each week a new, informative address by George W. Bush is featured.” You can also sign up to receive a weekly personal message from the President. Check it out at weeklyradioaddress.com.

Personal Recommend from E: Mike Birbiglia’s Secret Public Journal. Cheesy, but makes me laugh. It might help that I’ve never heard one AFTER I’ve had my coffee in the morning.

MUSIC

6. Crybaby Emo Kids. Described as “THE podcast for teenagers” and “Teen comedy along with the best in emo music.” Not my bag, baby, but didn’t I promise you obscure?

Personal Recommend from E: Joe’s Podhole. “Follow suburban white dude Joe Barnes around from concert to concert as he interviews his favorite bands!” Non-interview shows feature mixes of punk, indie, metal, and “otherwise killer” bands.

Yeah, I’m shorting you a little in the music category, here. Everyone likes something different. There were Barenaked Ladies casts, Blink-182 casts…you get the idea.

TV AND FILM

7. Jack Black’s Nacho Libre Confessional. Enough said. Perhaps you should just check this one out on your own.

8. Statler and Waldorf: From The Balcony. Surly Muppets review current movies. Very cool.

Personal Recommend from E: Geekdrome. Described as “Two geeks debate movies, comics, and video games while ripping each other new assholes.”

Check ‘em out, kids. And post your podcast recommends in a comment. After all, I can’t just listen to Strongbad and Geekdrome all the time.

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