Whether I’m going to the gym, doing laundry or laying up this wonderful newspaper (not that that could ever be considered mundane...) these four podcasts keep me sane whether they’re educated me or making me laugh like a weirdo in public.
Today in Focus
Keeping up with the news at the moment feels impossible, not only because the state of the world is terrifying but also because so much of what is going on in politics is hard to understand. Today in Focus is a Guardian podcast that runs for half an hour from Monday to Friday, perfect for an early commute or a small gym session (working out and listening to the news? You will honestly never feel more productive). The host, Anushka Asthana, is a talented interviewer who helps to break down the topics that make our heads spin from the Mueller report to parliament prorogation. It’s not all about politics, though. Today in Focus also covers the biggest stories in pop culture and technology, exploring the conspiracy that Facebook is spying on us and the allegations against Michael Jackson. The podcast overall is incredibly well edited, it covers a great mix of serious and light topics and has completely changed the way I get my news.
The Unofficial Expert
The Unofficial Expert is somewhat of an underrated podcast hosted by two black comedians from NYC named Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington. The two women invite guests to speak about topics they feel they are an expert in such as being a “Reformed Hoe” to being “Fabulously Unstable”. While the show has had some great guests such as Broad City’s Ilana Glazer, Faustin and Washington’s hilarious commentary is what makes the podcast and if I don’t see them with their own TV show in the next couple of years I’ll be very surprised.
Race Chaser is also a comedy podcast, however, if you don’t watch Rupaul’s Drag Race then this probably isn’t the show for you. The show involved the hosts, Drag Race alumni Alaska Thunderfuck and Willam Belli, recapping every episode of the show, interviewing former contestants and providing commentary. Starting from the very first episode of Drag Race in 2009, Alaska and Willam explore the show’s legacy, laugh at past outfit choices and discuss their own experiences of being on the world’s biggest drag show. If you can’t get enough, they also have an after show called Hot Goss where they discuss events in their lives, issues in politics and read the DM’s that people have sent them. The concepts of both Race Chaser and Hot Goss are simple but the two queen’s banter and insights bring the show to life – an absolute must-listen for any Drag Race fans.
Song VS Song
“Why would I listen to podcasts instead of music?” I hear you say. But the two aren’t mutually exclusive: not only do I love to listen to music, I love to learn about it. Song VS Song is a podcast that does what it says on the tin: the two hosts, Todd Nathanson and Dany Roth, pick two songs from the same era and genre and compete to decide which one is the best. The song choices range from the classics (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” vs “Let it Be”) to cheesy pop (“Get the Party Started” vs “Since U Been Gone”). With each host picking a song to defend, arguments are made based on the song’s personal connection to the host, it’s cultural impact, it’s music video, etc. As well as Song VS Song being an interesting podcast for music fans, it’s also really funny and the two hosts have the chemistry needed for a good show. Whether you’re a punk kid or a die-hard pop fan, this is a really fantastic podcast.