, host Nate Di Meo tells short historical stories that are always moving and humane.This personal episode mixes nostalgia and humor in ideal measures.
We’ll give you our answers to those questions in one second. Canons, so long as they are adaptable and expansive and ever evolving, are worthwhile things. How do you weigh a rambling, bordering on chaotic comedy call-in show against an exquisitely edited and produced meditation on the nature of grief and the power of hallucinogens? First, our case for why this impossible task is worth attempting. Is something a podcast if it first aired on terrestrial radio?They give you a sense of the possibilities of a form, a sense of what has (and hasn’t) been achieved.They give new artists in a medium places to start, examples to learn from, accomplishments to improve upon. For our purposes, a podcast is a piece of audio that was created at least in part for digital release.If it was created for traditional radio, too, that’s fine, so long as the creators also made it with podcasting in mind.
Podcast purists, if such people exist, might object to the inclusion of radio heavyweights, but , to take two major examples, are, to our minds, great podcasts as well as great radio shows.
And when you dig into the other entries on this list, you’ll find the distinction blurs. I have no idea, but they’re both TV shows, and that’s a fun argument to have.
There are not only radio shows that have become podcasts, but podcasts that have become radio shows. (We left out, though, any How exactly does one judge a carefully crafted story that took weeks to report and put together but is only 15 minutes long against a 90-minute two-man back-and-forth full of digressions and absurdity with no real point? When it comes to podcasts, we’re 10 years into a vivid, crucial artistic medium. is part of a recent wave of carefully produced, sonically sophisticated podcasts that tell surprising stories full of first-person reporting and adventurous editing techniques.
Jeff Emtman says he created the show in order to face his fears, and since the show began in 2012, it has had episodes about hate groups, Juggalos, and slug orgies, among many other topics.
But its best episode, we think, is this one, in which Lauren Stelling talks to an old boss called Cherub who, grieving the death of her best friend’s daughter, travels to a rain forest near the equator to take Ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogen used by American Indian shamans.
An interview with Cherub is surrounded by music, Icaro chants, and bird sounds; the effect is, well, trippy—but also surprisingly moving.