14 August, 2018

[Recommendation] Interesting Podcasts

Not exactly one of my normal blog posts, but since Summer Reading was coming to an end, I haven't had a chance to finish any of the books I've been reading on. Instead, to help fill out some of my reading log, I used podcasts to bolster up some of my reading. After all, someone took the time to either write out the script or come up with on the fly, and I could spend 2-3 hours listening to podcasts.

Here are some of my favorites that I'd highly recommend to people. If you have any podcasts you love, I'd love to get suggestions for new ones to check out!

History and Mythology

For Sci-Fi and Fantasy lovers:

Picture from Wikipedia

Welcome to Night Vale is a comedy-drama that follows the nightly radio broadcasting of the Night Vale Community radio with the host Cecil. Cecil, a wonderfully observant host, tends to get distracted from current politics with his own views or from mentions of his wonderful husband (originally boyfriend) Carlos with the perfect hair. Throwing in a mixture of weird science, alternate reality, a cast of strange but mostly lovable character cast, Night Vale is very much like an Area 51 place that just seems to enjoy beating Desert Bluffs in sports and trying to save the town from various entities including a 5 headed dragon, evil corporate take-over, and beings now being acknowledged as Angels. 

I'm still waiting for my chance to go see a live show of this (it almost never comes close enough to where I live when I can go), and waiting on the next episode to drop.

Welcome to Night Vale releases new episodes every month (except for July generally) on the 1st and 15th of the month. Currently they are on episode 131 with enough extra content to give them 173 items in their apple podcast line up. 

For Adventure lovers:

Picture from the Broadswords website

The Broadswords is an all-female Dungeons & Dragons podcast that features 3 somewhat friends currently getting to know each other and resolve issues from their pasts. Featuring Yllairies, Keilah, and Mépris as our play characters, the trio have had an interesting journey so far. Sent to return someone home to his village from a travelling caravan, Yllairies is in search of her father, Keilah is searching for bagpipes, and Mépris is just looking for adventure in her new-found freedom. Together, the trio have stumbled into a society of witches, and no one's quite sure where this is going to lead to next.

This lovely show only has 22 episodes thus far, but jumps right into the story from episode 1. Characters grow organically and their problems are never presented as trivial. I found this podcast through another on my list, Bombarded. Episodes upload every 2 weeks on Saturday, next episode should be out August 25th, 2018.

Picture from the BomBARDed website

Bombarded is a second Dungeons & Dragons podcast, however in this one every character is cross-classing to be a bard. Bards are traditionally a support role, however with trio seems to manage things just fine with their magic. This podcast features Yashee the half-orc barbarian drummer, Raz'ul the dwarven druid who stole an axe-guitar from his people, and Randy the halfing rogue who plays a mean keyboard. The trio have been helping out various towns under the tutelage of their Professor, Symbol, from the musical academy of Strumlots. 

Full of pop-culture references, a custom song at least once per episode, and an entertaining cast of characters who use their music to defeat the baddies, BomBARDed is perfect for someone who loves adventure but enjoys a hint of comedy as well.

Currently, BomBARDed releases every 2 weeks on Tuesday, with 20 episodes out currently. The next update should release on August 14th, 2018.

Picture from the Geek and Sundry website for Critical Role

The Original Dungeons and Dragons show that got me back into the game and to the podcasts. Critical Role is a production of Geek and Sundry which operates on Twitch, Youtube, and in podcast form. Originally I started with the first campaign on Youtube, however I started really late into the campaign and never quite caught up. Given it's been ages, I recently started in on the podcast of the 1st campaign.

The features Voice Actor Matthew Mercer as the dungon master with a crew of fellow voice actors. The first campaign followed the adventure of Vox Machina, a group of adventurers that started out as 8 but eventually went down to 7 main characters. Besides the main characters, there were a number of guest actors who appeared for 1-2 episodes, and sometimes returned later in the series. The current campaign follows the adventures of The Mighty Nein. 

This podcast/youtube stream/twitch stream updates weekly on Thursday. They are currently 29 episodes in on Campaign 2. Be forewarned, these episodes usually run 2.5 to 3 hours.

For History and Mythology lovers:

Picture from iTunes

Unexplained is a podcast that looks at some of the more strange mysteries of our world. The show looks at historic events that are documented, looks at the science fictionesque explanations, paranormal explanations, and modern science. Though all the events are discussed, listeners are left to come to their own conclusions while listening to stories. Each episode explores the human need for explanation for things that might not have any explanation, and gives some excellent nightmare fuel. 

Unexplained is updated biweekly for the main episodes, and in off weeks is updated with small extra bonus episodes. The next extra episode should be out on August 14th, 2018. The next regular episode should be out on August 21st, 2018.

Picture from HorrorHound

Lore is a podcast that covers horror and scary stories throughout history. All of the stories presented in the podcast are non-fiction tales that cover some of the more bizarre elements in human history. Each episode runs from 30 minutes to an hour, and covers several stories on a common topic. Currently there are 92 episodes out. 

New episodes are released biweekly on Mondays, except in October where the off weeks have mini-episodes in honor of Halloween. The next episode will be released on August 20th, 2018.

For lovers of Learning: 

Picture from NPR

The TED Radio Hour is a podcast that meets with speakers who have covered topics on the TED stage. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. The TED foundation was created in 1984 as a conference to share ideas that converged in the 3 categories. The TED Radio Hour expands upon these ideas, bringing in the speakers to continue the discussion they started on the stage at a presentation and how things might have changed after their talk. 

Currently TED Radio Hour is updated every Friday, though some weeks might have previously aired episodes in place of new content. The next episode should be out on August 17th, 2018.

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