“I HEARD IT ON A PODCAST”
BY SARAH F. BURNS
Being an artist involves spending a
fair amount of time alone in the studio.
Some artists love silence, some listen
to music or the radio. This extroverted
artist listens to podcasts and uses
them for company, education, and
You’re probably familiar with podcasts, but if not, they
are basically like a radio show that you can get on-demand.
Podcasts can be accessed through a website or more
commonly, through an app on a smart phone; most of which
have a podcatching app built-in. But
many can be downloaded and used on
phones or tablets.
Podcasts range from professional,
highly produced soundscapes made by
teams of experts, to those made by an
individual with basic skills, equipment
and a dream. There are podcasts on any
topic you can think of. I listen to a wide
variety. Below are some of my favorites,
divided into News and Entertainment,
True Crime, Art, and those that surpass
My daily listens include many news and
entertainment podcasts. When looking
in this category you will find the usual
suspects: NPR, NYTimes, Washington
Post etc. Besides these staples, my
Longform with hosts Aaron Lammer and Max Linsky
has in-depth conversations with long-form journalists
and non-fiction writers about their work and how they tell
stories. Thoughtful interviews, great topics. Check out
episode # 311 with art critic Jerry Saltz.
The Nod with Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings. Their
website says they “gleefully explore all the beautiful,
complicated dimensions of Black Life.” Honest, serious and
humorous. I recommend starting with, Cha Cha Now Y’all.
Judge John Hodgman, the writer and comedian hears
cases and settles disputes between friends, family and coworkers.
It’s hilarious, irreverent and still full of humanity,
done in the style of People’s Court with Judge Wapner.
46 Ashland Gallery Guide
I recommend episode # 381: Jerky Duty, mainly because
my daughter Adara is one of the litigants.
Reply All, tech stuff that is funny, scary, and fascinating,
excellent reporting meets goofy tech nerds. My favorite
thing is when they explain confusing stuff from Twitter.
Check out episode #149 30-50 Feral Hogs.
True Crime has a huge interest among podcast fans and there
are mountains available to listen to. A few top-notch traditional
True Crime podcasts include, Serial, The Accused, and
In the Dark. Three that I especially love are,
Criminal with Phoebe Judge is delightful. Who knew
crime could be so heart-warming? Each episode tells a
single story. Phoebe has covered stories
that range from police dogs to famous
prison breaks, as well as serious stories
of traumatic incidents. Done with loving
care and quirky charm; Phoebe’s voice
Small Town Dicks, hosted by,
Yeardley Smith, Detective Dave and
Detective Dan. This podcast might not be
for everyone. Yeardley is a big fan of good
police work and sometimes she comes off
as excessively fawning. That being said,
these stories are really interesting, and
told well. Cops are excellent at recounting
events —I think because they are trained
to do so for court. You will hear stories
of good detectives doing the job we want
them to do. It’s pretty one-sided, but
if you’re capable of enjoying stories of
horrific crimes from law enforcement’s
point of view, you will like this. It’s very sensitive to victims
and their families. Bonus: it’s recommended by a local
badass female police detective.
This podcast anonymizes its detectives, crime victims
and families. However, the savvy Oregonian will start to
notice things sound pretty familiar. And any fan of the
TV show, The Simpsons will recognize Yeardley Smith as
the voice of Lisa Simpson. The show has major Oregon
references. I’ll let you do your own detective work if you
want to figure out the small town where Detective Dave
and Detective Dan work.
True Crime Obsessed, with Gillian Pensavalle and
Patrick Hinds; the minute it hits my feed, I hit play.
Musical theatre nerds go play-by-play through true crime
documentaries. This is truly the friend substitute needed
for extroverts who work alone.