Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My podcast addiction

Another morning after "American Idol" - will a report air on all the non-AI-airing network morning shows again? I won't know, as this isn't a gym day, so no channel-surfing morning for me. (Hey, it helps make the time go fast on the cardio machines. I have standards: no Fox.) Seriously, the damn show has gotten so entrenched in everything, a mention of last week's show appeared on two different podcasts I listened to last week, both of whom referenced "voting for Sanjaya" without explanation, as if everyone knows who Sanjaya is and what voting for him entails. (You have no discernible taste!) And these were not really the podcasts you'd expect to be AI-centric: "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" (the NPR news quiz) and "The Official Lost Podcast" (in a regular interview with the show's producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I believe it was the pant-less Damon who made the Sanjaya joke.)

My podcast listening has evolved as the nature of podcasts have. At first I was listening to all the home-baked, recorded-in-the-basement, comedy ramblings, who were the original trailblazers of the medium. But I lost interest in some of them - how long can you hear the same "shocking" humor and tired jokes? Some of them, also, have ended, some before their time, some sadly long past. I still listen to "The Bitterest Pill," with the always refreshing Dan Klass, and "Air Ferg" with the talented parody-song and skit writer Ferg and his sidekick and wife (although I can do with less emphasis on the fifth grade toilet humor.)

But my favorites are the NPR podcasts. "This American Life" has now jumped on the free audio download bandwagon, joining the aforementioned "Wait Wait" and Elvis Mitchell's "The Treatment" as my top picks. There are many more, too - including a new discovery, called simply "NPR Movies," which brings together all the movie-related segments of the week's NPR programs, from reviews to interviews to pop culture segments. Oh, and don't forget Harry Shearer's "Le Show!"

You can see that my iPod stays filled with enough to carry me through several gym visits and many daily commutes. And why a week without a home computer to download and sync new podcasts causes severe withdrawal!

"This American Life" is now on Showtime, as well. I've only seen the first episode, which was the pilot, and used two stories that had already aired on the radio. It was odd to suddenly see something play out that you'd only heard before. The shows are so compelling to listen to, that the added visuals weren't necessary, although on a familiar story, still somewhat interesting. I expect it will be different when the episodes air brand new stories, without the old baggage. But Ira Glass? Not at all what he is supposed to look like. I'm waiting for the reveal that the guy you see on the screen (who is, by the way, sitting at a desk in a suit and tie, outside in a field) is merely an actor hired to play the host.

Okay, 7:00 am, sitting in my bedroom before jumping in the shower, and the Today Show pops on, and yeah, Sanjaya is in the opening "Top Stories" segment. Even before Tony Snow's cancer story. We live in a very bizarre country.

Tony Snow was a recent (and funny!) guest on "Wait, Wait" - see how everything I write neatly wraps itself up?

After I posted about the hot "Top Chef," I received several hits from people searching that phrase. You think my invoking the faux-hawked American Idol wannabe is not strategy?


Blogger Dan Klass said...

Thanks for keeping the faith, and THANKS FOR LISTENING!

- dK

The Bitterest Pill

10:15 PM  

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