Podcasts, graphic design artifacts from times bygone, the songs of Dan Penn and 'Savage Breast' | Rock Candy

Friday, February 13, 2015

Podcasts, graphic design artifacts from times bygone, the songs of Dan Penn and 'Savage Breast'

Posted By , , and on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 5:43 PM

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This weeks recommendation is pretty designer-centric. If you haven’t added So Much Pileup’s RSS to your Feedly account, do it. “Graphic design artifacts and inspiration from 1960s -1980s.” Not many design sites gather and share artifacts better than So Much Pileup. The visual treat is wonderful, but most of it comes with at least a paragraph or two of background info. 

Bryan Moats

If I was a hack, I would totally be making this freelance pitch: "The Golden Age of Podcasts." But I am not that guy. I am a guy who is here to offer you NEWS YOU CAN USE. Because I know some of y'all are unmoored since Serial finished and like the dishes are not getting done because there is not a podcast to listen to. But good news, actually there are lots of great podcasts to listen to! Here are five podcasts you should binge on (excluding the Duh choices — This American Life, RadioLab, Planet Money, etc. and also excluding the niche choices, like if you like NBA basketball you're already listening to Zach Lowe, duh, and if you don't like NBA basketball you have no interest).

INVISIBILIA This one is fresh for me so I can't help feeling like it's the greatest podcast ever. Extremely high WTF and OMG ratio. Emotionally compelling popular science. I think actually maybe this is the greatest podcast ever.

MEMORY PALACE This is a history podcast with brief episodes, sometimes about forgotten folks from the past, sometimes about famous folks from the past but stories you probably haven't heard before. There's a little music, and poetic essays, and they're read by this guy that is somewhere between an NPR host and a beat poet and some guy on a community radio station in the middle of nowhere. Like actually if that radio DJ on "Northern Exposure" was real, and told these stories that were well researched and always humane and sometimes you'll laugh and sometimes you will cry and always you will be full of wonder. Goosebumps on goosebumps. Actually maybe this is the greatest podcast ever.

STARTUP I find the narrative arc of this one addictive and entertaining — even more so than Serial actually — for reasons I can't really explain. It's about Alex Blumberg (of This American Life, Planet Money, etc.) starting up a business (a podcasting business!). Lots of meta-reporting that sounds corny but is actually fascinating and fun. And really, really endearing. The ads are cool.

REPLY ALL I felt like the internet was ruining my life so I moved to the woods and now I really enjoy listening to this weekly podcast about the internet.

LOVE + RADIO Just regular folks talking about stuff, and yet the OMG and WTF needles are shining in the haystack of humanity. Listen to this one, an interviewer with a cat caller in Oakland. OMG! WTF!

David Ramsey


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. How will you woo your significant other/do everything you can to avoid celebrating? Listening to Dan Penn and/or Dan Penn songs is my recommendation. He wrote and produced some of the greatest songs ever, all of which have to do with matters of the heart: "The Dark End of the Street,"  "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," "Cry Like a Baby" and "I'm Your Puppet." You should spend time on YouTube finding your favorite rendition of each. But make sure also that you check out "Moments from This Theatre," a live album of Penn and his songwriting partner Spooner Oldham doing really stripped down versions of their songs. It's country soul at its best. 

Lindsey Millar

I just came across this short story called "Savage Breast" by an author I'd never heard of before, Elizabeth McKenzie. It's a strange, sad fable about childhood and its abrupt end, and the baffling descent into the state of trackless exile that constitutes adulthood. It also chronicles the battle waged between nostalgia and memory — the longing for a return to blissful childhood versus the secret knowledge that it's never actually the Edenic state that our culture invents. Who wouldn't want to be a kid again? Really? Don't you actually mean, who wouldn't want to be kid again minus all the fear, the uncertainty, the guilt, the constant disorientation that comes with being a little, ignorant person in a giant world? How much better to regress back to a different childhood — one filled not with the hostile faces of looming adults and judgmental peers, but the loving embrace of nonhuman beasts, the smell of their humanity obscured by layers and layers of gentle fur.

Benji Hardy

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