Cultural Inputs That Shape Us: Podcasts
Our team is filled with creative geniuses. Whether they’re pushing pixels in Illustrator, cranking codes in Sublime Text, or balancing a truckload of client communication, our folks are just plain sharp.
I’m always curious about what keeps sharp people sharp. How do they avoid the dulling of their edge? What tips and tricks have they picked up to stay engaged and interested despite mounting demands, when others burn out?
We all have cultural inputs that shape the way we approach life and work. Today we’re focusing on podcasts, that special content medium that sits between blogging and talk radio.
I asked our team what podcasts they listen to on a regular basis and got some excellent responses. Add these podcasts to your must-listen list, and let us know what you think.
Serial is a podcast that exploded in 2014. Many are crediting Serial as the engine behind a resurgence in podcasting. Season 1 covers a cold murder case from 1999 that shocked America, but despite reaching a conviction, the details are still a little fuzzy.
How Did This Get Made?
Some movies should never be made, but thankfully there a nice folks like the people behind this podcast that redeem them…if only by skewering them with satire. The “Spice World” episode is particularly funny, especially for anyone who recalls the height of the girl group’s domination of the pop world.
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!
Who doesn’t love a quiz show where you, the listener, get to compete against celebrities and pop culture icons?
WTF with Marc Maron
Marc is a perennial podcaster. Chock full of excellent interviews, Marc gets the best guests and asks the questions everyone wants to know. Recent guests have included President Barack Obama, director Judd Apatow, and even NPR “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross.
Comedy Bang! Bang!
If you like comedy, there’s no better podcast to get your giggle on. Actually, it’s more like side-splitting, cheek-aching laughter, thanks to the unpredictable show format that brings together scheduled interviews and spur-of-the-moment surprises.
All Songs Considered
NPR describes its popular music discovery podcast as “music you’ll fall in love with.” The podcast features new music from emerging artists, dissected and discussed with that signature NPR depth.
Beware, this is a highly technical podcast. Its focus is Open Source software and you’ll need a basic understand of programming to “get” it. If that sounds like something you can get on board with, plug in your headphones and prepare to take your Open Source knowledge to a new level.
This American Life
From WBEZ Chicago, it’s This American Life: a public radio legend built on the true stories of everyday people. It’s the most popular podcast in America, and rightly so. Every episode is different and infinitely thought-provoking. Pro tip: both the website and the mobile app give you access to the show’s entire archives, which stretch back to the very first episode in 1995.
Every designer would benefit from the wisdom shared in this podcast, which was founded by the former President of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), Debbie Millman. On that note, you are a member of the local AIGA chapter, right?
Another excellent design podcast, The Observatory takes a fresh look at recent events in the design community. Hosts Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand of Design Observer discuss design, current events, and current enthusiasms. The subject matter is delightfully diverse, spanning the likes of boxing and photography (hipster pleasures, or pastimes poised for prominence?), modern collaboration, and the logo to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of celebration.
Welcome to Night Vale
Fictional podcasts are rare, but this one is at the top of the heap. Find out what happens in the desert town of Night Vale, where the sheriff has secret police and hooded figures move in the night.
What podcasts do you turn to for entertainment or enlightenment? Send your recommendations our way on Twitter at @WingardCreative.