I track a lot of podcasts as I find that they can be can be a great way to catch up with news and ideas or listen to interesting discussions. This is great when travelling (if you can block out the ambient noise with some good earphones) when sitting and working isn’t so easy (standing on a commuter train for example).
My podcasts come in a couple of categories, tech related, business / thought leadership – think Freakonomics, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Harvard Business Review, BBC Radio 4 documentaries and so on, and then music. The music podcasts are great fun because you can relate to what is being said in so many ways, the insight into the music you love, discovery of artists you’d not heard or considered, and a reminder of a song or album you’d not listened to for a while and get that jolt of ‘oh, yes I remember how wonderful that song is’ and you you end up roaming through (your) music from a different perspective.
I thought this would be something to share. Some of these are well known to any music fan, other less obvious …
- Sound of Cinema – one of a couple of BBC programmes about music for film, this is the more ‘high brow’
- Soundtracking with Edith Bowman – BBC Radio presenter and more interview based and more influenced by film promo circuit
- Classic Album Sundays – Primarily recordings of the introductions to Classic Album Sunday events where an album is introduced. The ones I’ve heard are well researched and provide some interesting insights. Worth listening to then, playing the album afterwards
- Life of a Song – A Financial Times podcast (yes FT does cover the arts). The presentation comes across as an attempt to be rather academic and high brow (which for me can irritate), but the content can be pretty interesting. This are fairly short podcasts
- Mastertapes – An intermittent podcast, but really good. This takes the musician and really gets into the details of an album, the context in which it was recorded as a conversation. ~You could think of this as Radio version of the Classic Albums programmes.
- Radio 4 on Music – A grouping for documentaries that Radio 4 make available. As a result the subject matter can be very diverse. But as you would expect from the BBC, production quality is very high and typically well researched.
- Sound Opinions – A couple of well known music journals chat about news of the day, maybe recent releases and then a segment of the show focusing on a theme, such as the top 50 albums of the year.
- Deezer Trailblazers – Interview with people that have had strong influence in the dance music scene from the founder of Mute Daniel Miller to Gary Numan. If you know about the artist already, you’re not going to get nuggets of gold in terms of new insights, but the love of music and references to songs will get you spinning off into your collection at interesting tangents. The podcasts made available so far I think where first recorded about 2 years ago.
- Cover Stories – this pod cast is relatively short and kind of takes its idea from a 7″ single (remember the vinyl 45?). Two halves with each half a chat about a song and the various cover versions. There is a cleverness in the simplicity of this podcast as this feels like you’re sat hanging out with friends chatting about a song.
- Twenty Thousand Hertz – Not so much music in the conventional sense, more about sound. The two parts of the THX Deep Note is fascinating (yes film again, but it is an iconic sound)
In addition to these some artists such as Counting Crows have their own podcasts. Perhaps another story for another day.