Highlights from On Being, The Moth, and More Podcasts
It has been an exceptional week for podcasts, and I probably spent as much time listening to them as I did reading, watching TV, and playing music combined. Find my recent recs below, and head to the archive for more:
1. ICE T AND BUSTA RHYMES KNOW THEIR STAR TREK.
On a particularly entertaining episode of Ice T’s podcast, he chats with his old friend Busta Rhymes about the rapper’s childhood, career, and family (his son is about to graduate college). The men even take a moment to pay tribute to Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy and debate the color of that dress everyone couldn’t stop talking about.
2. GEORGE JONES WOULD NEVER SING THE WORD “FRIDGE.”
During Tippett’s interview with Joe Henry, we hear about the singer-songwriter’s creative process and views on relationships and spirituality. He also shares an anecdote about how singer George Jones once considered covering the Replacements’ "Here Comes a Regular" … but didn’t like that the lyrics included a less-than-poetic word: “fridge.”
3. KEVIN SMITH WANTS JACK BLACK TO HOST THE OSCARS.
This podcast’s Oscar recap may be more entertaining than the telecast, though perhaps that’s not a lofty compliment. According to Smith, the best part of the Oscars was when Jack Black appeared onscreen, and Smith thinks he should be next in line to host. He added that Oscar nominees should acknowledge they’ve “already won … they get to pretend for a living.”
4. ONCE UPON A TIME, PEOPLE WROTE MUSICALS ABOUT BATHROOMS.
This episode focuses on the workplace, from the history of cubicles to “industrial musicals,” which used to celebrate big industries with elaborate songs and dances. The segment includes several tracks from the retro productions, many of which were featured years ago on Late Night with David Letterman.
5. ANDRE GREGORY FAINTED WHEN A WOMAN KISSED HIM … TWICE.
This week, the podcast airs a story from a man who helped inspire the show: actor, writer and director Andre Gregory (star of My Dinner with Andre). He shares the sweet story of the first time he fell in love and how human touch literally knocked him off his feet.
6. WE’RE MISSING OUT ON A WORLD OF POTATOES.
A podcast about potatoes may sound a little bland, but I was captivated by Ferris Jabr’s stories of the exotic tubers he discovered during a trip to Peru. It turns out Americans used to eat a much wider variety of potatoes until farmers started concentrating on the two varieties that make the most money: Yukon Gold and Russet Burbank.
7. WIL WHEATON USED TO DJ “AMBIENT CHILL OUT ROOMS.”
Wheaton joins Pereira for the show’s 100th episode and shares his thoughts on everything from his canceled Syfy series to his knowledge of rave culture and electronic music. (Wheaton has also restarted his own podcast, Radio Free Burrito, so check that out if you haven’t already.)
8. OPEN CURTAINS CAN LEAD TO AN OPEN LIFE.
This installment features a sad tale of voyeurism from Diane Weipert, who spent so many hours watching her neighbors across the street that she found herself witnessing much more than she expected, or perhaps even wanted.