It’s summer, sunny and perfect for a run or walk. Music is great, but occasionally I’ll switch over to a podcast for something different. The great thing about podcasts is that you can get chill, educational, weird, funny, and even dramatic content all for free. Here are some incredible, specific listening experiences for your ears:
A Long Walk with Mike and Joey – A chill podcast
A common knock against podcast pretenders is that they are just guys hanging out. There’s no real purpose, free form conversation drifts, hems and haws between boredom and defeated self awareness of how bored the poor microphone jockeys are. Not so for A Long Walk with Mike and Joey! Sure it’s just a couple of guys hanging out but it’s relaxing and unique every time. Where they walk is almost as much of a character as the two guys. They have just a small planned route and just want to chill. A highlight of this podcast is the soundscapes. Whether it’s a racetrack, zoo, ren faire or just the busy streets of LA, Mike and Joey bring you a walk through that place with laid back style. This is the list’s chillest podcast.
Gaming with the Moms – An educational podcast
Call of Duty, Madden, Destiny, Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft and Super Smash Bros are all games you may have heard of or played. Maybe you’re interested in more off the beaten path games or just want to hear people talk about games as they navigate their lives, what they like and don’t like. There are too many choices though. There are whole internet technology companies whose existence depends on people wanting to watch other people play video games.
I’m a bro. I know a lot of bros. Some of my best friends are both literal and metaphorical bros. Unfortunately, this makes my exposure to video games really bland and samey. Everywhere I look there are people who look like me having the same experiences as me. That’s great, people are having fun. I can’t help but feel I need a change though. I need a perspective that isn’t hidden behind a blanket fort propped up on Mountain Dew Code Red cans. Fact: Bros love blanket forts.
The Moms (and at least one non-mom) of Gaming with the Moms offer a great perspective that helps me get out of the intellectual sweaty pit that my gaming hobby can fall into. I highly recommend it for all gamers, parents, and even kids. This is the list’s educational news podcast.
The Worst Idea of All Time – A weird, experimental podcast
What is The Worst Idea of All Times? I’m not quite to the part where they get Grown Ups 2 related butt tattoos but that does happen at some point. That’s a bad idea but not even that is The Worst Idea of All Time. New Zealand audio personalities Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt watched and reviewed Grown Ups 2 every week for a whole year. Yes 50+ times. I’m not done with the first year so I don’t have an opinion on how they handle Sex and The City 2 which is the subject of season 2. That first season though.
Part descent into madness, part triumph of the human will, The Worst Idea of All Time finally gives a scientific answer to whether doing something for two hours a week can change your life. The answer is yes. It will worm its way into your mind and out your eyeballs. All you can see is Grown Ups 2. You dream Grown Ups 2. Grown Ups 2 will destroy you. While on some level the evolution of this poison in the mind is entertaining in a horrible train crash way, the real heft of this experiment, and its ultimately entertaining success lies with Batt and Montgomery who are so likable they make the waking hell of Grown Ups 2 somehow palatable. This is the list’s weird social experiment podcast.
The Adventure Zone – A comedy adventure podcast
I’ve written about podcast barons the McElroy brothers before and this podcast is another one of their comedy creations with a twist! They’ve invited their father, a veteran of radio, to shake up their dynamic in The Adventure Zone. This podcast joins the surprisingly crowded subsection of podcasts that capture fun and funny games of Dungeons & Dragons. The whole show is really impressively held together by the youngest brother Griffin who is both the Dungeon Master or game runner who voices every side character. One of my favorite side characters so far has been a boy detective, an Encyclopedia Brown riff, whose pre-pubescent voice has a bizarre earnest high register. He prods the players along a train murder mystery. The show is aware of itself and is fun for newcomers who have never played anything like DnD.
In one of the most recent episodes, a character eats a fried unicorn ‘member’ at a community festival on the moon. So there you go, that’s a thing. You’ve been warned or enticed. This is the list’s comedy adventure podcast.
Black Jack Justice – A dramatic podcast
Get ready for some family friendly hard-boiled detective stories with the light drama of Black Jack Justice. Join the titular shamus and his partner Trixie Dixon ‘girl’ detective in hours of ongoing adventures. With 65 episodes to date there is a lot of material. It will satiate those who take a liking to the fun banter and memorable characters that are sketched vividly only in voice. While occasionally things get tense, guns might be fired and the police might get involved, what makes these moments have weight is that we want to spend more time with Justice and Dixon as they do their thing. Early on they adopt an adorable office dog. These private detectives aren’t hard to the world. They can still take a liking to a cute puppy. Their view of the world is not as grim as sometimes their intonation may suggest. This is the list’s radio drama. As a result, it’s more of a concentrated sit down listen for a bus ride than a something I’d bring for a run.
If you don’t yet have a podcast app to listen I prefer Pocket Casts and you can always just download the MP3’s from the feeds provided.