The Sunday Collection – Podcast Edition

This American Life: Harper High

I’ve had trouble deciding what to call this feature, but every Sunday I want to try to collect my favourite links/thoughts/pictures/recipes/etc, from the previous week and share it with everybody. Due to the intensity of my podcasting listening this week, my first proper Sunday Collection will be some of my favourite podcasts you should listen to. Feel free to share yours, I’m always looking for more great shows.

I’m on a bit of overdrive this week due to the great quality of podcasts recently, and since attending some podcast sessions at PodCampTO last week. I’m hoping to start a podcast about new and contemporary CanLit in the next few months, but want to spend a bit more time before I do my first proto-episode, stay tuned!

Podcasts I listen to and some recommended episodes:

This American Life: Harper High School – This two-part episode of This American Life has gained quite a large amount of attention this week. The episode follows a high school in Chicago where 29 students have been shot in the last year, a few killed. It’s an intense look at the psyche of the students confronted with gangs that are automatically associated to you (you don’t join a gang anymore, you’re designated one by geography) kids who need to take NyQuil to sleep, kids who are afraid to hang out in their neighbourhood at night, and kids who describe their summer vacations as good because they were “safe”. It’s an intense but important look at the way that violence permeates many of our urban schools and the way it’s really damaging this generation of kids.

Under the Influence – Anybody involved in marketing, advertising or communications needs to really listen to these podcasts. Terry O’Reilly runs a really tight ship with these 30 minute episodes that highlight new discoveries in consumer psychology, or ways we’ve adapted and changed our tactics over the years. My most recent favourites are How Colours Make us Buy, and Buy Less: How Some Companies Profit By Asking You To Spend Less, and “Coming Soon” – The Art Of The Movie Trailer.

Girl on Guy – Comedian and actor Aisha Tyler hosts this hilarious podcast where she features herself and one guest shooting the shit about something or nothing in particular. Recent highlights are her discussion about breaking into comedy with Eugene Mirman as they exchange their stories about great gigs, horrible clubs and how a comedian is always hustling. Another great episode featured Felicia Day as the two discussed their awkward teenage years and careers as females who love video games. But if you really want to understand her, start with her episode with Retta (Donna from Parks and Recreation) where the two of them talk quite extensively about their careers, colleges and, once more, comedy!

The Indoor Kids – This podcast is hosted by married-couple Emily and Kumail, video-gamers who talk about more than just video games. I regularly listen to this podcast because they have great insight on social and cultural issues around gaming, gaming development and great repour with great guests. My favourite recent episodes include Episode #84: Musicals, commerce, goats and depression, which features a segment where Emily discusses a browser-based text game about a person struggling with depression. Another great recent episode was Jilling off on Violence in Gaming. Yes, you read that right, jilling off, there’s a lot of good stuff here!

Other podcasts I listen to include: The Nerdist, WTF with Marc Maron, The Matineecast, and Quirks and Quarks.

Please share your favourite podcasts! I need more hours of my day dedicated to audio instead of Netflix these days :)

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