Sometimes the radio can get really….redundant. The same song on two stations playing at the same time. Where is the variety? It seems that commercial radio has gone the way to the highest bidder or who can pay to promote the most. It’s a pay for play world. At least it seems that way. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Truth be told, if you were to ride in the car with me, you’d find my car radio tuned to NPR. And as nerdy as that may sound, it’s so much better than the same 10 songs played over and over again. Plus, I always feel a little bit smarter and a little more informed after listening to a segment of their various program.
While I’m working, I usually am listening to the 24-hour stream of This American Life, my favorite podcast. The stories based on a different theme each week are interesting and thought provoking. It’s the best!
If you’re looking to branch out of the same old songs on the radio or are looking for a new podcast to listen to here are my Top 5 Favorite Podcasts, which all happen to be from NPR.
This American Life – If you want to get into listening to podcasts, I would say start with This American Life. It’s the podcast of all podcasts, and it’s been on the radio for 18 years. Ira Glass is the host and always brings interesting stories based on the week’s given theme. It’s interesting how the themes are interpreted from week to week. While you can catch the most recent episode on iTunes for free, past episodes are available for purchase. Or if you’re like me, you can listen to any given TAL episode (of their 500+) on their livestream.
Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me – This is one of my favorites that I usually catch on the radio on the way to Kroger. It’s a hilarious quiz show game based around current events. So, not only is it highly entertaining, but it’s also educational. Peter Segel and Bill Curtis host.
A Way with Words – I’m fascinated by language. Granted I’d rather never have to write another essay in my life for a class, but the origins of language and words and phrases is super interesting. Martha and Grant host this fun and informative show answering callers’ questions about the origins of words and phrases. I ALWAYS learn something new. Listen to this if you want to feel smarter.
Snap Judgment – Snap Judgment is a podcast I discovered when I was looking for new podcasts to listen to on iTunes. I also catch snippets on NPR, but I never know it’s actual airing schedule. It’s sort of like This American Life, in that it features real stories of real people, but the topics are often more controversial, and topics that make you think about how you would judge the situation. Hence the name Snap Judgement. Glen Washington is the host.
Ask Me Another – Ask Me Another is also a quiz show from NPR, usually featuring a special celebrity guest. The games are pretty fun and always different, and I often find myself playing along in the car. I discovered this podcast sometime last year when I was driving home from a photo shoot and was really happy to discover that past episodes are available for free on iTunes. It’s like one part fill-in-the blank, one part riddle, one part improvisation, and a whole lot of trivia. Ophira Eisenberg is the host.