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.
Pop Culture Happy Hour talks Dolly Parton’s America
Pop Culture Happy Hour
“Dolly Parton’s America And What’s Making Us Happy”
Runtime: 23 minutes
Transcript not available
Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR’s pop culture talk show, reviewed Jad Abumrad’s (Radiolab) newest podcast, Dolly Parton’s America, to different levels of enjoyment. Especially (and understandably) scathing opinions come from Margaret H. Willison, while most of the other hosts consider it interesting, if somewhat shallow, over-produced, and lacking in content from Parton herself.
Multitude Productions opens its Brooklyn studio, documents their renovation process
In May of this year, Multitude Productions (Spirits, Join the Party, Potterless, and more) moved into a studio space in Brooklyn. Today, they announce that their studio is fully renovated and open for booking. In classic Multitude fashion, though, they didn’t just complete renovations–they also documented every step of their process to do so, including their full budget.
iHeart Media continues to be ill-informed, biased, weird
But that’s not news, right? There are two main stories going on here about iHeart Media continuing to be one of the weirdest (and, yes, biggest) parts of the podcasting industry. First, there’s the issue with iHeartMedia claiming to be the first podcast to launch an artist’s new music alongside a podcast, which is untrue. Skye Pillsbury of Inside Podcasting has been documenting this story, including having fairly fruitless conversations with iHeart Media:
This conversation sparked another, as seen in the screencapped tweet via Discover Pods. iHeart Media’s voting for their annual podcast awards are open and, as noted by Discover Pods, is overwhelmingly populated by iHeart’s own podcasts. Pillsbury asked for comment on the nomination process in the linked Inside Podcasting edition above, but a member of the awards’s advisory board, James Cridland of Podnews, has come forward with his own explanation for how the nominees were chosen.
QCODE launches Gaslight, fiction podcast with Chloë Grace Moretz and Amandla Stenberg
Today, QCODE launches Gaslight, a new fiction podcast starring actors Grace Moretz and Amandla Stenberg.
Everyone thought Danny (Chloë Grace Moretz) had gone missing. Towards the end of senior year she vanished one night leaving everyone confused and devastated including her closest friend in the world, Becca (Kelsey Asbille). Weeks later she leaves a message on her parents answering machine telling them she is ok… she’s left voluntarily and not to come looking for her. She also posts under a new and active Instagram profile and she appears to be happy and living with a new older boyfriend. GASLIGHT picks up years later when late one night while as Becca and her new husband and their baby son are having dinner they get a visitor. It’s Danny. Inexplicably after all these years of no contact or explanation she’s returned. She’s looking to reconnect. As we learn more about her and her boyfriend Ben (John Gallagher Jr.) we soon come to realize there’s something much darker and more sinister at play.
Getty launches new nonfiction podcast Recording Artists: Radical Women
The Getty Research Institute and The J. Paul Getty Trust have launched a new six-part podcast, Recording Artists: Radical Women. Hosted by Helen Molesworth, the podcast redistributes rare interviews found in the Getty archives by women like Yoko Ono and Lee Krasner.
Molesworth mined the more than 1,000 interviews and oral histories in the archives of the Getty Research Institute, focusing on the collections of feminist art critics Cindy Nemser (American, b. 1937) and Barbara Rose (American, b. 1938), to find revealing audio interviews and rarely seen documents and notes. She discusses the artists with art historians, cultural critics, and contemporary artists to provide context to enrich our understanding of this fascinating period. [. . .]
Through archival audio, listeners will hear the artists describe in their own words their work, their relationships, and their feelings about the growing visibility of feminism and women artists during the middle of the 20th century.
Spotify and Gimlet launch new fiction podcast Motherhacker
Gimlet, via Spotify, has launched a new fiction podcast, Motherhacker. All episodes were released November 13th.
The series features Carrie Coon (Emmy & TONY nominee, Fargo, The Leftovers), Alan Cumming, Lucas Hedges, Tavi Gevinson, Pedro Pascal and even more fan favorite stars, with an original score produced by indie-rock band Warpaint. [. . .]
Motherhacker follows Bridget (voiced by Coon), a single mother struggling to support her children, and the sharp turn her life takes when she starts phishing over the phone for a shady identity theft ring in order to survive. It’s an immersive and cinematic audio experience that brings a TV-like narrative straight to your ears, full of twists and turns.
USA Today Sports and Wondery launch new true crime podcast The Sneak
For the Win and USA Today Sports have launched a new true crime podcast, The Sneak, distributed by Wondery+.
Season 1 recounts the story of Anthony Curcio, a former D-I football player who committed a violent robbery of $400,000 from a Brink’s truck and then escaped … in an inner tube down a river. His crime went viral, was written up in GQ and Esquire, and covered on ABC’s 20/20.
There was just one thing: It wasn’t the real story. Not even close.
CurtCo launches new improvised comedy podcast When Last I Left
New podcast collective CurtCo has launched with a new slate of podcasts, including improvised comedy podcast When Last I Left:
When Last I Left is an improvisational storytelling comedy podcast about… well, that’s up to you! We won’t know until you tell us—so make it good! Navigating through listener-submitted plot points and rules, Jenny Curtis, Chris Porter, Micky Shiloah, and Kuali’i Wittman have to make up a story on the spot that begins with a small social faux pas and ends in a major cataclysmic event. Laugh with them or at them while they desperately try to keep the narrative on track as it inevitably spins wildly out of their control! Oh, and there will be goats. Still don’t understand what’s going on? That’s okay. Neither do they…
Fable and Folly’s The Axe and Crown returns for a second season
Comedy fiction podcast The Axe and Crown, a spinoff of Alba Salix, Royal Physician returns to the Alba Salix feed today for its second season. This serialized podcast discusses gentrification and other issues plaguing the eponymous tavern. While it takes place in the Alba Salix universe, it can be listened to independently of Alba Salix.
Colton Flick launches new actual play podcast, The Voyage Forevermore
Colton Flick (The Magical History of Knox County, Still Lives) launches a nw actual play podcast, The Voyage Forevermore, tomorrow, November 19th:
The Voyage Forevermore, a new, tightly-edited actual play podcast, will release its first two episodes on November 19th. The show follows a bugbear big game hunter named Pip, a retired admiral and bipedal toad man named Fizzwig, and a dashing young dwarf with a sacred duty named Bruce J. Oakley. It’s a sprawling fantasy adventure that’s equal parts swashbuckling and melancholy, evocative of works like Majora’s Mask and The Neverending Story.
CQ Roll launches new nonfiction podcast, Oversight
Today, CQ Roll launches a new nonfiction podcast, Oversight, which covers the Jonestown tragedy.
The first season will explore the Jonestown mass murder/suicide of 1978. [. . .] The second greatest loss of American civilian life in history, Jonestown is a tragedy of multi-faceted neglect and betrayal, with fanatical leadership and a failure of governmental intervention resulting in the deaths of over 900 at Jim Jones’ Guyanese compound, including Rep. Leo Ryan, murdered during his sole efforts to investigate the commune.
41 years later, Oversight will explore the missed opportunities across multiple government entities that led to the tragedy, and what the lessons of Jonestown can offer for our current cultural and political moment.
Catch-ups are podcasts that aren’t new, but ones I caught up with during the week.
Everything is fine and dandy in Wendell. There’s nothing off-putting or strange at all. Why would you even ask that? Don’t ask questions. But after some unnerving encounters with the local radio announcer and an influential farmer, newcomer Gabriel Rodriguez can’t help but ask questions. Questions like, is that talking scarecrow completely psychotic, or am I?
An actual play RPG podcast set in post-climate catastrophe New York City, in the year 2101. With Jenn de la Vega, Nick Guercio, Shannon Odell, and Bijan Stephen. GM’d by Mike Rugnetta with troublemaker Taylor Moore.
ENDING SOON: Brimstone Valley Mall crowdfunding its first season
Upcoming fiction podcast by The Whisperforge (ars PARADOXICA, The Far Meridian, CARAVAN, StarTripper!!), Brimstone Valley Mall is crowdfunding its first season via IndieGogo. The campaign has a flexible goal of $8,000 USD and will be running until November 21st, 2019:
Brimstone Valley Mall is a fast-paced fiction comedy podcast about four demons from Hell who work in a shopping mall in the 90s. This 9-episode first season will be chock full of quippy dialogue, 90s references, dark humor, and of course, a goth garage band (whose lead singer goes mysteriously missing). To sum it up, Brimstone Valley Mall is a nostalgic love letter to suburban mediocrity and trashy mall culture – and that love letter comes dressed in black from head to toe (from Hot Topic, of course).
This campaign is currently at 40% funded at time of publication.
Let’s Not Fallout crowdfunding its series
Upcoming fiction podcast Let’s Not Fallout is crowdfunding its series via Kickstarter. The campaign has an all-or-nothing goal of $$10,339 USD and will be running until December 12th, 2019:
Let’s Not Fallout is a 13-episode audio comedy series set in a post-apocalyptic 1960s. The series follows five survivors of a Nuclear Armageddon sailing around the world in a Navy Submarine. Across the season they encounter vampires, cannibals, sharks & fish-people, among other things, while also dealing with their own cabin fever of their indefinite enclosure.
This campaign is currently about 20% funded at time of publication.