Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Favorite Podcasts: January 2017

More than a year ago, I shared some of the podcasts that I enjoyed listening to at the time.  Now, several months on, my subscription list looks radically different; so, I thought I would update everyone on what I am listening to.

For the most part, I listen to podcasts while I am correcting student work, writing blog posts, or cooking using the podcast app on my iPhone.  After years of teaching, I find it difficult to work in silence-- even if I am doing a simple manual task--and podcast fill the quiet space and manage to both entertain and educate me in the process.

Here are five podcasts that I am currently loving.

My Favorite Murder

Full disclosure: My Favorite Murder is my favorite podcast.  I can, in no way, do its awesomeness justice in a short paragraph, but . . . here it goes: My Favorite Murder is a comedy podcast hosted by actresses/ comedians/ television personalities/ amazing lady people Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.  In each episode, the two discuss true crime cases that have peaked their interest; episodes unfold like a conversation between two friends that is fueled by a late-night trip down the Wikipedia rabbit hole.  MFM also has an active fandom (Murderinos, UNITE!), a mascot (Elvis, the crosseyed siamese cat), and a bevvy of catch-phrases.  If, like me, you LOVE Forensic Files but are also afraid of life, you will love MFM, too.  Newcomers to the podcast should start from episode one and work their way forward; believe, you'll get caught up sooner than you think

The Last Podcast on the Left

Along the similar lines as My Favorite Murder, The Last Podcast on the Left is a horror/ comedy podcast that explores true crime, the paranormal, and just about any weird topic you can imagine. Hosts Ben Kissel, Marus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski approach heavy topics (serial killers, Japanese death cults) with black humor and a surprising amount of credible researched.  I am particularly fond of listening to The Last Podcast on the Left when I am grading papers.  You'd be shocked at how many unit exams you can grade while listening to Henry Zebrowski do a Richard Chase impression.  If you're new to the show, it's a good idea to pick the true crime topic that interests you most and start there.


Are you starting to sense a theme?  Crimetown is another podcast that I have binge-listen to.  The show, which is hosted by Marc Smerling (Capturing the Friedmans, 2003) and Zac Stuart-Pontier (The Jinx, 2015), follows the crime culture in a specific city each season.  This season, Crimetown is focusing on Providence, Rhode Island and how organized crime infiltrated all levels of government, particularly during the mayorship of Vincent "Buddy" Cianci. If you are interested in the opperation of organized crime in America or American political theater, Crimetown is up your street.  Because the show unfolds like a mini-series (duh, it's from the people who did The Jinx), new listeners should start the series from the beginning.

You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This is a podcast devoted to the dark historical recesses of Hollywood's first century.  Host Karina Longworth does a deep-dive each season into a new area of Hollywood's forgotten past.  In 2016, Longworth explored the life of Joan Crawford ("Six Degrees of Joan Crawford") and as well as the exploits of the Manson Family ("Charles Manson's Hollywood").  Each series is expertly researched and compellingly presented.  I would recommend newbies explore You Must Remember This's back catalogue of episodes and explore a topic that interests them most (btw, "Six Degrees of Joan Crawford" is AHMAZING).


For my last podcast recommendation (and binge-listen love), I had to return to another true-crime show: Stranglers.  The show, presented and produced by Portland Helmich, is a deep-dive into the Boston Strangler case.  While many people erroneously believe that Albert DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler, a serial killer/ killers responsible for the murder of nineteen women between 1962 and 1964, there is reason to believe that multiple killers were operating in the area and attempting to make their attacks look as though they were the work of a single killer. Helmich approaches the case from multiple view points and interviews individuals who investigated, reported, or were involved in the case.  I would recommend new listers start Stranglers from the beginning because, as with Crimetown, the series evolves over time.

So, these are some of my favorite Podcasts at the moment.  What are you listening to?  Let me know on Twitter @thelexicondev.

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