This Week in Podcasts is a weekly roundup of the goings-on in podcasting, from highlights to pitfalls to updates and more. Have updates or crowdfunding campaigns you want listed? Check here for directions on how to get in touch.
20 Sided Stories
“#16 – Victory Road”
Release date: 5/7/19
Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Transcript not available
The finale to their Pokemon arc, 20 Sided Stories‘s “#16 – Victory Road” is a film-length episode that has the podcast’s typical sentiment of absurdity, humor, and hijinks, but blends in a shocking amount of heart and drama. Playing a tabletop role playing game based on Pokemon clearly lends itself to ruminations on nostalgia, but this episode bring the bittersweet edge that nostalgia was named for. The episode hinges on a mystery that’s been following the protagonists for the entire arc, and it ends with a trope that’s usually done poorly, but here feels perfect.
“Chapter 17 – Chip”
Release date: 5/10/19
Runtime: 42 minutes
Another season finale, Marsfall closes its second season with an anxious whirlwind of ever-heightening stakes. Marsfall has always been known to pull some emotional punches, and this finale drives that feeling home, each scene getting tenser and tenser, leaving the listener wondering if there will be any sort of release. This tension isn’t unearned, though: the entire season has been building to these conflicts, and in this finale, they finally come to a head. It’s an intense, stressful, but stunning listen.
My Brother, My Brother and Me‘s empathetic politics have a shocking backslide
The most recent episode of McElroy brothers’ podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 458: Race Island: A Horse Show,” began with a baffling–and lengthy–discussion of a race horse being disqualified from the Kentucky Derby for some not-safe-for-work reasons. While the discussions was a joke, as MBMBaM conversations always are, their human parallels were all too prominent and deeply unsettling. It was a good reminder that while the brothers have done a good deal of work to be as progressive as they are, that doesn’t mean they’re infallible.
Podchaser adds user profiles
Podchaser, a hub for podcast discovery via reviews, curated lists, and more, adds user profiles to its site. User profiles will allow you to follow people to get updates on their lists and reviews. Users with profiles will also be able to list their top eight podcasts on their profile.
Vox launches Primetime
Hosted by Todd VanDerWerff, media critic extraordinaire, Primetime is a podcast about how TV affects our lives. Its first season examines how the American president–both depictions of real presidents and fictional presidents–has been written, used, and leveraged in TV.
A RadioPublic embed of the Primetime episode, “Why Washington Can’t Escape The West Wing,” which you can also find here.
BBC World Service launches 13 Minutes to the Moon
13 Minutes to the Moon is a 12-episode series via BBC World Service documenting the entire Apollo program, all the way through the 13-minute final descent to the moon. One of the podcast’s main features is its original score by legendary composer Hans Zimmer, his first composition work in podcasting.
Exhibitor applications open for PodTales, an audio drama festival in Boston, MA
PodTales, a new audio drama festival in Boston, MA, has opened its exhibitor applications until May 31st, 2019. Applicants should create in the audio fiction space, and will need to submit their podcast for review, but applications are free.
PodCon will not be returning
PodCon founder Hank Green posted on Medium that PodCon, the podcast convention held in Seattle, will not be returning for a third year. Green writes: “And [we’re not doing the event again] because we…don’t want to. This isn’t some ideological purity here, we’re absolutely fine with events that do that, it’s just that we, personally, are not passionate about running that kind of event.”
AIR’s AIR New Voices scholarship open for applications
AIR’s New Voices Scholarships, which provides mentorship and attendance at the Third Coast Audio Festival, is open for applications until May 31st, 2019.
Childish: A Podcast Musical crowdfunding its first season
Podcast production house Whale Bus (The Van, Story Blocks, Looking Back at Tomorrow) is crowdfunding the first season of their upcoming musical audio drama, Childish: A Podcast Musical via IndieGogo. The campaign has a flexible goal of $2000 USD and will be running until June 28th, 2019. The podcast will be about “A college student wants to be the world’s most famous rapper [Childish Gambino], so he becomes an RA.”
Australia-based IndiePodFest crowdfunding its 2019 event
IndiePodFest is crowdfunding its 2019 event, to be be held from July 12th – 14th, 2019, at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute in Melbourne. The campaign has a goal of $19500 AUS (~$13600 USD) and will run until June 3rd, 2019, via Pozible. One reward for backing the campaign is a “Podcasting 101” workshop.
Art history podcast Accession crowdfunding its second season
Accession‘s second season will be a road trip themed around the concept of “home,” travelling across the United States to examine different works of art that give commentary on what home means. The IndieGogo campaign has a flexible goal of $2500 USD and will be running until June 10th, 2019.
Catch-ups are podcasts that aren’t new, but ones I caught up with during the week.
The Only One in the Room
Hosted by me, Laura Cathcart Robbins, a writer and a recovery thriver and survivor. I found myself in an all too familiar position. On September 2018, I was the only black woman in the room at Brave Magic, a famed writer’s retreat. After it was over, I wrote about my ‘only one’ experience in The Huffington Post and comments started flooding into my DM from people from all races, ethnicities, creeds, and nationalities who had felt ‘othered.’
I interview a person about their ‘only one’ story each episode and address as many of those DM’s as possible. In this podcast you’ll hear raw, vulnerable, accounts from people who are like most of us. We are eager to connect. My hope is that The Only One In The Room will inspire a change of perspective in how we all see and hear each other’s stories. I hope to make you think twice before judging the person standing next to you at a party, in the pick-up line at school or in a crowded subway car. This is a podcast for anyone who has ever felt alone in a room full of people – which is to say, this podcast is for everyone.