September 29, 2009

Podcasts I Listen To

A person's reading, viewing, and listening habits say a lot about them. Here's a peek into my listening habits. If you're visiting my blog, it's probably because you're interested in a lot of the same things I am, so you'll probably find something here that would interest you. My current crop of podcasts runs the gamut from serious to geeky . . .

Peter Kreeft: Not a podcast in the usual sense: this isn't someone sitting down at a computer and recording his thoughts, it's actually free recordings of Peter Kreeft's lectures. Kreeft is a scholar and theologian and expert on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. His "podcasts" are interesting and insightful, dealing with spirituality, literature, and more often than not connecting the two. Already, I've enjoyed Kreeft's writings in hte past. Finding his lectures online was an incredible discovery.

Kaijucast: Kyle Yount is a huge kaiju fan. (Kaiju, basically, is the Japanese word for giant monsters like Godzilla.) Kaijucast has news, reviews, and interviews about Japanese monster movies and related things. He always has a guest with him, which is a good thing. I can't stand listening to people just talking on and on at length about things, even though they are things that interest me. I'd much rather listen to the give and take of a conversation. If you're a fan of giant monsters (like I am) you'll enjoy this podcast.

Gateworld Podcast: I'm a Trekster. And ironically, the best Star Trek podcast I've listened to is actually a Stargate podcast! I enjoy Stargate, and recently I've started watching many of the episodes free on, which has been a lot of fun. I can't remember how I stumbled on this podcast, but it was around the time the Star Trek movie came out, and I noticed they had a review of the movie in one of their episodes, so I downloaded it. It's a fun podcast, again a podcast with more than one host. The primary focus is Stargate, but they drift into many other geek areas, like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, etc.

Old Time Radio: A lot of old time radio is in the public domain, or something that resembles the public domain. I don't know, really, what it is. Here's a few old time radio shows that have been converted into podcasts that I enjoy listening to:
Gunsmoke: Marshall Matt Dillon keeps the peace in Dodge City in this series, which is pretty gritty at times and touching at other times. Sometimes the bad guys get away, sometimes the good guys make mistakes, and there's a dramatic tension that makes for good storytelling. Much of that coems from likable characters. I just started listening to some of these episodes based on the recommendation of a friend. Glad I did.
Box 13: Because of this series, I want to see some movies with Alan Ladd, although I'm a bit afraid to do so! It cant match with my imagination of him from this series. Dan Holiday is a newspaper writer turned novelist who places an ad in the newspaper: "ADVENTURE WANTED! Will go anywhere, do anything. Write BOX 13, c/o Star-Times". He won't accept payment. Instead, payment comes in the form of the story ideas he gets. he won't break the law, although he frequently ends up as a suspect in a number of different crimes because of his adventures. Very fun, and Alan Ladd's portrayal of Holiday makes it awesome.
Six Shooter: Jimmy Stewart plays a thoughtful gunfighter. He plays the character in classic Jimmy Stewart fashion ("Well, now, let's think about this before you start shooting. I mean, I'm faster than you are and it wouldn't be wise to, you know, call me out.") The reputation of his character proceeds him, and as he travels from job to job, trying to just quietly get along, he ends up in some pretty serious and dangerous situations, and also in some pretty absurd and funny situations as well. How many westerns can you think of where the main character takes on a gang of cattle rustlers in one episode and then judges a town fair jam contest in the next?
Bold Venture: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall bring their chemistry and banter to this radio program. Every episode has them trading barbs and flirting while they deal with a crime in the Caribbean, usually something that has to do with Bogie's boat: The Bold Venture.
Zero Hour: Rod Serling hosted this series of suspense stories that were usually adaptations of current books. Each story was, at the beginning of the broadcast run, broken into five half hour episodes, which would air each weekday. I really enjoy these stories, although at first I was disappointed that they didn't have the same kind of "supernatual allegory" of Serling's Twilight Zone. This series was from the '70's.

Film Score Monthly: This is a great podcast that updates way too infrequently. They discuss different film scores, as you guessed from the title. I enjoy listening to film scores, and because of this podcast I've discovered a couple new scores to use while I'm writing. Again, this is a podcast with more than one host and they do a great job of making things informative and interesting.

MyMac Podcast: I'm a Mac guy, exclusively. This is the first Mac related podcast I've listened to. Truth is, I only started listening to it because of a Twitter contest they sponsored. But I like their podcast. Like the others I enjoy listening it, they have a topic that interests me, and they have more than one host, giving it a conversational give and take that is more enjoyable to listen to. I'm just getting into their podcast, and so far I want to keep on listening to it. They bring in guests and have news items and stuff. (Full disclosure: I actually won the contest! But that's not why I like their podcast.)


Here's a podcast I'm not listening to, but only because it hasn't started yet! Their first episode goes live tonight. There's a lot of webcomic podcasts out there, although all too often they can be pretty raw. This podcast looks to be something more in line with the type of thing I'd like ot listen to:

The Lightbox -- Illuminating Webcomics: From their website: "The podcast will focus on the craft of creating comics, the business side of the online comics industry, upcoming events, and webcomics news."

~ Ben

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