Podcast Recommendations: Week of June 22, 2015

As a podcast addict, I have decided it would be a good idea to post the ones that I really enjoyed, hopefully people can enjoy them as well.  I plan on updating these daily as I listen to them.  Please note my recommendations are based on the day I listen to them, not the day they are necessarily published.  For now I won’t be posting links, just full titles of episodes. Monday, June 22nd

  • WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 613 – President Barack Obama [length: 67 minutes]
    • This was a big one.  Huge victory for the medium of podcasting, and Marc Maron and the President did not disappoint.  A wide-ranging conversation that began with the tragedy in Charleston. I think this is a great medium for politicians as they are able to discuss their positions and values in a much more relaxed format, away from the visual spectacle that TV news has become and the hacky segments of talk radio.  Kudos to Marc Maron for not only scoring the interview, but not abandoning his traditional interview style (or location!) for the leader of the free world.
  • Exponent: Episode 049 – In Aggregate [length: 56 minutes]
    • Ben Thompson, of the fantastic Stratechery website, and James Allworth of Harvard Business Review host the great Exponent podcast weekly.  If you are a fan of the business side of tech, this is absolutely the podcast for you.  The majority of this episode was devoted to the California Labor Commission’s ruling that Uber drivers are employees, thus entitled to benefits.  Unfortunately for us, they are taking a well-deserved break as travel schedules will make the summer difficult. I highly recommend going through old episodes, read descriptions of things that might interest you.  Episode 41 – Bubbles is a particularly interesting one to me.
  • Dunc’d On Basketball: June 22 (Dan Feldman: Hawks and Cavs offseason, NBA News) [Lenght: 67 minutes]
    • Quickly becoming my favorite basketball podcast, hosted by Nate Duncan. Often co-hosted with Daniel Leroux of RealGM, today he was joined by Dan Feldman for a discussion on general NBA news about the ongoing offseason.  I appreciate Nate Duncan’s approach to discussing basketball in a very “grown-up” way and is a completely different voice in terms of existing NBA podcasts.  There’s a lot of good options out there, certainly, but this one has really separated itself over the last month or so.  The sound quality of this one wasn’t great, and in general has been a weak point of the show, but I imagine as the show matures that will be fixed.  For now, enjoy the most important part: the content.

Tuesday, June 23rd

  • The Church of What’s Happening Now: #285 – Tom Segura, Bert Kreischer, Joey Diaz, and Lee Syat. [Length: 133 minutes, posted May 25th, 2015]
    • Whooooo boy. Joey Diaz is one of the most unique human beings on the planet.  I could listen to him tell a story about walking to the 7-11, picking up a soda, and walking back home and be howling.  This is VERY explicit content podcast episode, not for the faint of heart. Stories about drugs, sex, etc etc.  Bert Kreischer and Tom Segura are the perfect guests on this podcast, they are 2 of my favorite comics and clearly good friends. Very, very unique episode.
  • Eye on Basketball: 06/23/15: Heavy is the crown for DeMarcus Cousins [Length: 71 minutes]
    • The Kings are pure comedy and tragedy all mixed into a depressing bowl and James Herbert and Zach Harper do their best to figure out what the hell is next for Sacramento.  There’s a lot more of this story to unravel over the next few days, but this is a good place as any to start the discussion.  Also, Zach ruined Batman for me and I will hate him forever for that.

Wednesday, June 24th

  • The Joe Rogan Experience: #664 – Tom Segura & Christina Pazsitzky [length: 184 minutes]
    • Joe Rogan has a great podcast, one of the consistently greatest conversationists out there.  I use the term conversationist instead of interview, because Joe really has conversations, and allows the podcast to flow in very natural ways.  I love the diversity of guests he has, from controversial scientists to his comedian friends, such as Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky.  Tom and Christina are both excellent comics who are also married (So, do you guys just joke around all day? /sarcasm) and this is a really light and often laugh-out-loud funny talk amongst friends that we have the privilege to be a part of.  This is definitely another podcast that’s NSFW, but stop being so uptight about it!

Thursday, June 25th

  • The Late Show Podcast – [4 episodes, approximately 70 minutes total]
    • Finally got around to listening to Stephen Colbert and some of his staff talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff about setting up the Late Show.  It’s super low-key, not long at all, but I’ve missed Stephen Colbert so I’ll take anything I can get!  Really interesting tidbits about an aspect of these shows that we don’t hear about enough.

Friday, June 26th

  • Grantland Sports: NBA Draft Reactions – Ryen Russillo and Chad Ford [length: 53 minutes]
    • I think Ryen Russillo is an absolute star and I’m really thankful to Bill Simmons for introducing me to him.  His measured NBA analysis combined with great personality makes him one of my favorite sports personalities working today.  This discussion was very interesting, I wish it would’ve been longer!  A well-sourced recap of the major parts of the draft with some behind the scenes insights and some discussion of what front offices like the Sixers are thinking.
      • No word yet if the co-host has access to edit this podcast years later.  Or, you know, whoever else would do such a thing. (background)
  • Dunc’d On Basketball: June 26 (NBA Draft Review) [length: 100 minutes]
    • Another draft recap! Nate Duncan and Daniel Leroux do a deep dive and I really feel like Russillo’s discussion and the discussion that Nate and Daniel have really complement each other well.  I have learned a lot listening to Nate’s podcast, I continue to recommend it, he’s really done a good job elevating the discussion around the NBA.

Sunday, June 27th

  • Common Sense With Dan Carlin: Show 293 – Sitting Down with Sam [length: 136 minutes]
    • Dan Carlin has, in my opinion, done the best job of utilizing the medium of podcasting with his other podcast, Hardcore History.  There is no podcast I recommend above it, I personally would start with his Wrath of Khans series and go from there.  The Common Sense podcast is a semi-regular podcast Dan does about current events.  Most of the time it is a solo podcast and due to his wealth of historical knowledge, Dan provides really great perspective on world events that provide a level of depth that is missing in a lot of our media.  In this particular episode, Dan is joined by Sam Harris, a very controversial individual who you might remember as the guy who Ben Affleck got mad at on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher show.  While I don’t agree with Sam Harris often, agreeing with or disagreeing with somebody is not the beauty of this discussion.  This is a rare opportunity to have two very intelligent people have a genuine conversation about difficult issues to which there are really no clear answers.  You might get angry at some of the things that Sam or Dan say, and that’s ok! Neither of these individuals went “cable TV segment” on each other, they were extremely respectful of each other and simply carried on a great intellectual discussion.  They discussed hot button issues such as “terrorism, violence, Islam, morality in foreign policy and more” (taken from the show notes).

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