Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Wild West-cast

Beyond the shock of Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger's motherly advice, there exists a whole another world in the audio medium: podcasts. Nearly every person with internet access has heard or understands the concept of a podcast. Their irregularities and difficulty to locate, however, has created an overwhelming archive of audio, driving some to abandon the concept all together.

I've pioneered this field the best I can and have come up with a few gems between a lot of boring existentialism opinions and bush-bashing.

My only criteria are that these shows must be: free and entertaining

1. Distorted View Daily

Tim Henson's comedic masterpiece, this 30 minute daily show provides enough twisted, demented, and perverted humor to make Howard Stern blush. Each disgusting, yet funny, story is factual news that Henson or his legion of fans, known as "freaks", uncovered. The last episode alone featured a cocaine influenced kitten and a self-castration.
(CAUTION: not for the morally strict or squeamish)

2. Car Talk

Starring Boston natives Click and Clack the Tappit Brothers (Tom and Ray Magliozzi), these NPR veterans now provide their show online free of charge. Snorting laughter, hilarious improvisation, and enlightening philosophical/automotive analysis helps these MIT graduates provide classic humor and useful car troubleshooting. Then again, with make-up artist "Bud Tugley", Russian chauffeur "Picov Andropov", and favored eye clinic "C. F. Eye Care" mentioned in their closing credits, how couldn't they please?

3. Science with Dr. Karl

Part of the BBC's "Up All Night Program", Dr. Karl's forty minute nightly show features him and special guests answering callers questions all night. Like black holes, nano-technology, or teleportation? Then this is the show for you. It is here that quantum mechanics and the plausibility of interstellar travel is discussed and dissected.

4. Common Sense with Dan Carlin

Claiming to be an "independent alternative to the partisan voices you normally hear", Carlin looks at the news of the day in a solo talk show format. Though he does slip up, he tends to lean right some days, left on others, and out of the ballpark on the rest. He is a problem-solution guy, a nice break from a sea of criticism lacking answers.

5. Creative Loafing Presents Audiofloss

Relatively new to me, this podcast has impressed me thus far. Sitting down with comic strip writers, traveling musicians, and authors, this podcast looks into the mindset that ensures success. Soul man Russell Taylor, artist David Atchison, and Tori Amos have each shared his/her insight on the show.

That's it for the list, check them out on iTunes or More reviews are on the way.

Cole Cheney
DI Arts & Culture Reporter

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