Thursday, August 27, 2009

Podcasting habits and loves

My favorite podcasting trio.

If there is one thing that makes me happy about the rise of Apple, it would be the surge in podcasting iTunes and iPods can claim responsibility for. The increase goes hand-in-hand with the rise in the program and the device, which I'm grateful for, since it means I have more podcasts to listen to.

I'm actually trying to listen to one as I type this, but I finally had to cave and switch to music. Unfortunately (kind of) with podcasts, I have to pay attention a lot more, since it is spoken word as opposed to music. Podcasts slow my writing to a crawl, as opposed to encouraging me to type quicker, as most of the music I listen to does. Of course, I completely forget this half the time I'm typing, so I invariably try to pound something out while I'm listening to a podcast, and then marvel at how little I've gotten done.

Anyway, there are three I listen to regularly, and they're all somewhat-related:

1) Adam Carolla hosts a one-hour podcast that updates around 10, 11 p.m. PST from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday off. While the biggest “name” he's had on was Francis Ford Coppola, Adam is consistently funny with his (usual) B-list guests: Eric Stromer, David Alan Grier, his old morning crew, Joel McHale and others. He also goes off the beaten path a bit with guests, as last week he talked to a writer from Rolling Stone about the crash in the housing market, and to another writer who used to be a drug runner.

The hour-long format is just Adam and another person, sometimes two or three, shooting the shit. (This also has a somewhat literal meaning; the show is not sponsored, so the language is uncensored.) While it can get tedious if the guest has been on a ton of times – I'm looking in your direction, Teresa Strasser – Adam normally powers through with his bluster. It's a lot different from The Man Show, so if that's your only experience with Adam, give this a shot.

2) Bill Simmons' podcast is probably a little better known to people reading this, since it is frequently on the front page of However, I highly recommend subscribing to it on iTunes, since he'll have a busy week every once in a while and the front page will lag behind, or the latest Vick-Favre fiasco will push him off the front temporarily.

Simmons does a better job of serving is core demo as opposed to Carolla, as the people on his podcast are normally sports figures or analysts. For example, this week and last he has had Matthew Berry (Mr. Roto) and Suns' point guard Steve Nash on, and Cousin Sal, who is a cousin of Jimmy Kimmel and a degenerate gambler, to talk fantasy football.

However, just when you think his podcast is getting a bit stale, he'll spice things up with an “out of left field” guest, like Neil Brennan, the writer for The Goods and the head writer for Chappelle's Show. He has also had Marc Cuban on, and Dave Metzler to talk UFC and WWE, and he almost got Barack Obama before the election, except ESPN cockblocked him. (p.s. ESPN still sucks, even if they did manage to get two people on this list. Speaking of...)

3) I've been extolling the virtues of Dave Dameshek for years, ever since he was originally on The Adam Carolla Show in 2006, and when he got his own shows in 2007 and 2008. He has moved on to podcasting for ESPN, and while the show does skew toward Los Angeles and Pittsburgh sports (Dave's current and former areas), it is still enjoyable to just about any sports fan because of his guests.

Normally, they are the better Page 2 ESPN contributors, such as DJ Gallo and Jonah Keri. I have no idea why they don't seem to do many other radio spots, because they are both funny and informative when they're on Dave's show. Still, the nation's loss is Dameshek's gain.

Dave also has random debate topics, like the best uniforms in sports, and the best movie fight scenes. (His #1 is, unfortunately, from a movie I've never seen but now want to after his description - Flash Gordon.) Dave also sometimes has trivia contests with a caller, The Ed, which are sublimely funny, since The Ed continually screws up athlete's names.

Outside of those three, I do catch a Loveline stream from time to time, but it varies a lot on who the guest is. Olivia Munn was the co-host all of last week with Dr. Drew, so that had significantly more appeal to me than the other night's show with Jon Lovitz (meh), or Andy Dick (ugh) the previous week. I do end up having to catch it live when I can, since it costs money to download after the fact, which stinks.

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