Monday 14 March 2016

PODCAST REVIEW: A quick listen with your morning coffee

This review previously appeared in the Weekend section of The Tribune on March 11. 

IF you're a regular podcast listener, then sometimes you want a very specific type of podcast, something with a particular theme. And sometimes you just want some interesting chatter. So brew up a coffee, for this week's selection brings you perfect listening for your morning break.

The Week

The Week is a smashing pot-pourri of a show. The content is whatever the hosts have cherry picked from around the internet in any given week. The latest show talks about how sighing keeps you alive. Previous shows talk about how married couples find their immune systems becoming oddly similar. Or perhaps they pick out a little known but great movie that you can watch online. I particularly loved the episode exploring the peculiar job of reading aloud to Cuban cigar rollers. Now there's a workplace I could love. For Bahamians, the latest episode even mentions the return of astronaut Scott Kelly, who hailed the nation as “the most beautiful place from space” and looks at why his space mission was so important. The production is slick, the presentation sharp and the episodes seldom more than 10-15 minutes. An ideal companion with your cuppa.


Describing itself as Brunch with Rachael and Sara (Not The Bible Ones), this show is a delightful slice of gossip. Weaving through issues in the news or memories from years gone by, the hosts provide the froth on top of your cappuccino, the bubbles to provide air in the middle of your day. They may be talking about 90s mix tapes, or the return of the Spice Girls, or Lena Dunham's new podcast, or cat calling – worse, sarcastic cat calling – whatever the subject, they are lively and enthusiastic. If listening to Rachael King and Sara Tenenbein alongside your shot of caffeine doesn't reinvigorate your day, then you're gonna need a bigger coffee.


The Memory Palace

Perhaps you're looking for something a little more thoughtful, a little more reflective. In which case, I suggest The Memory Palace. If I tell you it's a podcast about history, you might think oh no, this is going to be dry, but what the show provides is a lyrical journey through history. Host Nate DiMeo tells the history as if it was a story, a page-turning, immersive, fabulous tale that draws you in. Listening, you half wonder if this is some fictional tale he has created. Seldom has learning about history been so elegant.

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