Podcasts, Music, Audiobooks – oh my!

Hi again!

I thought that this time I would talk about some things that my ears have been enjoying recently.

So first off, podcasts. 

I’ve always liked Welcome to Night Vale, but most people have already heard of it, so I thought I would write about some things you maybe haven’t yet heard of!

1. The Protagonist Podcast

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This is a podcast run by two guys who seem to have known each other from childhood, and both of them are profs. They usually pick a movie, book, show, or comic book to talk about each week, and within each episode they pick a character (yes, usually he protagonist) to talk about. Okay, so they talk about books and movies and tv shows, what’s so special about that?

Well first off, they’re really funny. They do a really quick synopsis at the beginning of each episode, followed by a much more detailed plot summary. When the plot gets convoluted (See the episode on Jane Eyre, or the one on Wuthering Heights), they get really funny. Oftentimes their producer (the brother of one of them) pops in with questions, and it’s just very enjoyable. They also are not afraid of embarrassing themselves, so they do things like tell stories from their childhood, their children, or write (really bad) pun-runs because a listener asked them to.

Secondly, they’re feminists! Yay! They spend a lot of time talking about female agency, and it’s just really nice to know that a podcast run entirely by men can be pretty feminist. Now admittedly it’s pretty first world feminism, but it’s a start, and it’s based off of whatever material they’re dealing with each time. They also eschew social norms of hyper-masculinity and spend entire episodes gushing about Pride & Prejudice (I’m actually wearing a pride and prejudice t-shirt right now, so that will always get me hooked). They also gush about Disney, which is good fun.

Finally, my favourite thing. Sometimes they do what they call “drafts”. For instance, on mothers day they took a bunch of fictional orphans, and assigned them fictional mothers. Their producer has to decide who wins. I think my favourite one though, was when they had to each come up with tv shows which were loosely based on already existing works. I would watch Bronte General in a heartbeat.

Warning: do not listen to this on the bus. You will laugh. People will look at you like you’re crazy.

Here are links to a few of my favourites, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!

Tangled, Wuthering Heights, Valentine’s Day Draft, Jane Eyre, Elevator Pitches

2. The West Wing Weekly

WestWingWeekly.pngOkay, I feel like some of you will have already heard of this.

I’ve been watching The West Wing since I was about eight, which in retrospect was a bit young. But they were just releasing the whole series on dvd, and my mum bought them and was watching them when I was around, and I was interested enough that she started from the beginning and watched them again with me. It’s a show about (idealized) American politics (what could be more perfect right now??), which ran from 1999-2006. It’s really good and it’s by Aaron Sorkin, so it’s well written!

This podcast is run by Joshua Malina and his friend Hrishikesh Hirway. Josh was one of the actors on the show (seasons 4-7), and so he has lots of insider behind the scenes information.

“But what exactly do they do???” I hear you ask. Well, they go through the show, one episode at a time and just talk about it. They nitpick, and they talk about how attractive Rob Lowe is, and Josh beats up on Bradley Whitford and it’s great. They also get actors, crew, and relevant politicians on the show to talk about certain episodes.

They’re currently halfway through season two, so there’s not too much to catch up on! If you haven’t watched the show, this is a great way to get into it. It’s spoilers free for future episodes. I would suggest watching the episode, and then listening to the corresponding podcast.

Honourable mention: Dear Hank and John

Music!

I really just want to talk about 8tracks, because that’s where all of my study music comes from. And I’m just going to leave links to my top five study playlists, and a few other playlists that I really enjoy.

Also I’ve been listening to “Hamilton” non-stop (hah. Hamilton puns)! If you haven’t listened to it, why?????

Study Playlists:
Storytime: The Prologue (actually a whole series of these but this is the first)
100 Songs Later
Storybook Springtime
Friendly and Tenacious
I bear you always in my heart

Other playlists (oh goodness there are a lot…):
Ginny’s ipod – indie
They were never together: a peter/balthazar fanmix  – Lovely Little Losers fanmix
My Angel Put the Devil in Me – Electroswing and swing
Sharpie Stars  – Fanmix for Lola and the Boy Next Door
Mini-Show 387: 60’s Summer – 60’s music
You Can’t Stop This Beat – musicals!
Dancing Like an Idiot – more 60’s music
It’s not my fault, i’m happy – happy pop music
Who am I, darling, to you?  – Chill indie music

Finally, Audiobooks!

I’m an English major (wow, it’s like I say that in every post I make or something). This means that I have a metric crapliton of reading to do. It’s honestly crazy. Last year one of my friends mentioned Libravox, which is a website/app/youtube channel where people read books that are in the public domain (aka they’re free). I tried it once and wasn’t too fussed, but then I had to read a Dickens novel for class. In three weeks. And well, there’s only so much sitting in one place and reading that you can do when you’re tired and the subject matter can be dry. (Although lots of this book is really funny, large parts of it also are very dry.) And when you have five papers to write in three weeks.

So I had to clean up my room because the floor-drobe was insane and I thought “hmm, maybe I’ll see if they have Our Mutual Friend as an audiobook,” and what do you know, they have three different versions of it! So that’s been a life saver. Especially the other day when I had a headache behind my eyes which made reading and essay writing impossible. I just listened to it instead! Although I definitely fell asleep and had to put it back at one point. Whoops.

Anyway, if you have trouble reading classics, but you like them, this is a great way to do it! Some versions suck, but others are really good (I’m using OMF#3 because the first two were mediocre, but the woman doing #3 sounds like a pro!)

So these are some things that I’ve loved listening to lately! What about you? Any music recommendations? Audiobooks? Podcasts? Anything else you listen to?

I’ll be back soon, although probably not before the end of school,

Megan

 

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