Hey Pod People,
I’m still new to this gig but want to thank you all (especially radio producers!) for flooding me with your fave episodes. When podcasts are looking for pitches, I’ll try to post news of those updates here. And if you have specific suggestions on how to improve podcast review culture or just want to chat about why you listen to podcasts, hit me up on Twitter or e-mail me at email@example.com. Would love to hear from you!
Items of Note:
Sitting Down with Stand-Up Guys is a Chicago podcast hosted by comedy nerd, George Pira, and he’s always looking for more stand-up comedians to sit down with and discuss their experiences in comedy—on and off-stage! If you’re interested in chatting on a future podcast episode, find him on Twitter.
Tori Szekeres is seeking stories from those affected by cancer for The Dx, a podcast coming in early 2018. She can be reached at toriszekeres at gmail dot com.
Mental Health With My Ex
Here at Paste, we’re always interested in uncovering new and innovative ways of storytelling. Yes, we’re a bit biased. Yes, we believe that any podcast that mentions David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water is worthy of your ears. This episode of Being Honest With My Ex deserves a special shout-out. Why? Well, for starters, a fan of the show culled through over thirty episodes and pulled out all the important mini-conversations on mental health. Let’s be real: this is an incredibly intense episode that might—just out of the blue—make you cry. It parses mental health, psychotherapy, and the thorny and tricky process of talking about diagnoses. At the core of this episode is a bigger question: who do we tell our secrets to? How do we come to terms with emotional and physical pain that we are feeling in the aftermath of a breakup or breakups? How do we learn to be honest with ourselves and by extension, our exes? And, what the hell is skills-based therapy anyway? Honor Eastly and Peter C. Hayward are exes insofar that they used to date each other. In this podcast episode, which is really a bunch of clips from other podcast episodes, they try to answer some of these questions, and, they do a tremendous job. Take a listen.
Line of note: “I was going to use the word ‘deteriorate,’ but I actually really don’t like, when I think about using that word to describe myself, I just, it makes me want to, it makes me feel out of control.”
Dudes in Bars on January 21, 2017
A day about the U.S. presidential inauguration, Why Oh Why’s podcast host Andrea Silenzi did a gutsy thing: she sent women into twelve different bars across America to talk to men about women. Locker room talk, beauty, boundaries, blurred lines—this episode tries to decipher the state of feminism in the age of Trump. For those of us who haven’t spent a minute in a locker room, this is a window into the “typical caveman shit” as one contributor reluctantly admits. Was the Trump tape an example or an exception? What shuts down locker room talk? A secret microphone? Men who care? Changing norms? From Baltimore to L.A. to New York to Chicago to Philadelphia, men talk about their discontents.
Line of note: “It’s like I got an exclusive interview with male America.”
This is a vibrant, polysyllabic conversation about polyamory, open relationships, and transgender issues. It touches on all sorts of things—wearing shorts in winter, polyamory, transphobia, trying to date when you run out of options on Tinder. It’s hilarious, a bit of verbal sunshine in the dark world of relationship podcasts out there. There are some good and unexpected chats on etymologies, autism, subjectivity, and sex. There are also a lot of laughs, as well as the admission that polyamory gets complicated sometimes. What does it mean to be poly? Is it possible to explain these shenanigans without drawing a mental map or two? Is it casual to get a dog together? Big life questions.
Line of note: “You can’t just buy houses with people casually.”
We’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts in 2017. This is the first one that has involved a nonagenarian. We need more ninety-year-olds on podcasts. We need more ninety-year-old women on podcasts. In this episode, comedian and rootless cosmopolitan Erin McGathy talks briefly about the fields of Ireland, heartbreak, and how she manages to keep a microphone on her at almost all hours of the day. But Mary McGathy, Erin’s grandmother, is the star of the show. She gives the nitty gritty of dating during World War II. What tabletop board games were popular back in the 1940s? Mary does her best to remember, and reveals her morning rituals and daily attempts to stay sane and live long and live well.
Line of note: “Would you like to know my secret for old age? It’s no joke. You just keep breathing.”
Raised on a strict diet of NPR and C-SPAN, Muira McCammon is a war crimes researcher by day and a podcast reviewer for Paste Magazine by night. She can be found on Twitter @muira_mccammon or walking about the woods of western Massachusetts. Her writing has previously appeared in Slate, Waypoint by VICE, Atlas Obscura, the Massachusetts Review, and other publications.