Podcast roundup: The best this week, from Radio Hour to Stuff You Should Know and Marc Maron

Harsh Pareek

Dec 23, 2018 09:58:24 IST

Podcasts have seen a rapid upsurge in popularity in recent years. From true crime to design, popular culture and modern relationships, fiction to in-depth reportage, podcasts have proliferated to the point where no matter how esoteric the subject, there’s bound to be a show that deals with it. Amid this cornucopia of audio delights, however, how do you pick the podcast that’s most worth your while? This is where our weekly curated playlist steps in; it’s a lowdown on the best episodes from a selection of podcasts that deserve a listen. Ready to tune in?

***

— The New Yorker Radio Hour
Kelly Slater’s Perfect Wave Brings Surfing to a Crossroads

About the podcast:
Editor David Remnick is joined by The New Yorker’s writers, editors and artists to present a weekly mix of profiles, storytelling, and insightful conversations.

About the episode:
If you follow surfing, chances are you are already familiar with Kelly Slater's surf ranch. In December of 2015, Slater — arguably the best pro surfer in history — unveiled the project he had been working on for more than a decade. With the help of engineers and designers, he had perfected the first artificial wave, created by machine in a pool, that could rival the best waves found in the ocean.

William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize winning author and a lifelong surfer, visits the Surf Ranch to observe a competition and test the wave for himself. Finnegan wonders what it means to take surfing — defined by its lack of predictability: chasing waves around the world and dealing with disappointment when they do not appear has been integral to the life of a surfer — out of nature. The episode also features Finnegan in conservation with Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Matt Warshaw.

Runtime: 24 minutes

Listen to the episode here.


— WTF with Marc Maron
Episode 977: The Beastie Boys

About the podcast:
A weekly podcast and radio show hosted by stand-up comedian Marc Maron in his garage, where he interviews celebrities, artists and fellow comedians while venting out some voices in his own head. Lock the gate!

About the episode:
Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz talk to Marc about running wild as kids in late-70s/early-80s New York City, meeting their bandmate Adam “MCA” Yauch, collaborating and then falling out with Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, the differences between opening for Madonna and opening for Run-DMC, and the honest self-reflection prompted by the music and style of their early years.

Runtime: 88 minutes

Listen to the episode here.


— Proof
KETCHUP

About the podcast:
Proof, a new podcast from America's Test Kitchen, investigates the foods we love and don't love, ask the big questions (where do food cravings come from?), and aims to uncover elusive backstories behind it all.

About the episode:
The podcast visits the birthplace of the burger, Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut — where the family-run business has maintained a strict no-ketchup policy since they opened in 1895 — to try and understand why ketchup is such a polarising condiment.

Runtime: 37 minutes

Listen to the episode here.


Stuff You Should Know
ET: Is It Really the Worst Video Game of All Time?

About the podcast:
If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have you covered.

About the episode:
If you play video games you probably have an easy answer to the worst game of all time: ET. But it turns out there are no easy answers, especially when you’re talking about a game so terrible it’s blamed for bringing the entire video game industry with it. Listen then duo deep dive into the facts and fiction of the infamous game.

Runtime: 44 minutes

Listen to the episode here.


— Broken Record
Dave Hill and the Epistemology of Norwegian Black Metal

About the podcast:
From record producer Rick Rubin, author Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlam, liner notes for the digital age. Digressions, arguments, back-stories, and random things to disagree with about music.

About the episode:
Gladwell sits down with comedian, guitarist, and legendary metalhead Dave Hill, as he recounts how an email exchange between his alter ego Lance and a Norwegian black metal impresario named Saiitham led to the formation of the darkest metal band of all time. Hill also talks about the genre, what sets it apart and performs a rendition of Hammer Smashed Face.

Runtime: 35 minutes

Listen to the episode here.

Updated Date: Dec 25, 2018 10:17:51 IST