July 20, 2019 | 85° F

Retire your daily Spotify playlist for 5 great podcasts

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In our mobile world, media has gone through many changes. Radio, a stronghold in global media, has developed as well, with music stations collaborating with streaming services like Beats 1. But in terms of conversation-based radio, it’s been argued that podcasts have taken up the mantle for the 21st century.

Podcasting as an industry has seen tremendous growth over the past decade, with seemingly more to come. If you’re a little late to the podcast game, here’s five recommendations to catch you up.

1. The Bodega Boys 

 The Bodega Boys, also known as Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, is a comedy duo from the Bronx. They don’t do scripted humor – they just sit down and crack on anyone or anything happening in modern culture. It’s essentially barbershop talk with the two funniest people you know. The duo often launches into zany impromptu skits and sketches throughout its weekly broadcast. For instance, a recurring character is Dr. Ben Barson (a spoof of Ben Carson,  who may or may not be gang affiliated). Brash, surprisingly contemplative and most of all hilarious, The Bodega Boys can be the boost to help you get through your hectic week. 

2. The Tim Ferriss Show

Ever wondered how the most successful people go through their day-to-day life? Author, entrepreneur and public speaker Tim Ferriss tries to find these answers through interviewing people at the top of their fields. Whether it be journalists, musicians, investors, actors or anything in between, if they’re a prominent member of their field of work, there’s a good chance Ferriss has talked to them. Wide-ranging conversations can cover daily routines and habits for success to talking about their favorite books and meals. Some popular episodes include Jaime Foxx, Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson.

3. NPR Politics Podcast 

Political podcasts can be a hard task to find if you want purely bipartisan conversation. At NPR, the decorated crew of Senate and White House reporters do one of the best jobs of sticking to the facts and not a particular agenda. Conspiracy theories and rumors only appear on the show if they’re being debunked. Weekly roundups that come out on Thursday can keep you informed without having to feel overwhelmed by the massive daily amounts of political news and commentary.

4. Song Exploder 

Hrishikesh Hirway hosts the music podcast where musicians can come and give an anatomy lesson on one of their songs. Hearing artists talk about the base components and added layers of their music is an interesting peek inside the minds of some of your favorites. As the artists break down each individual instrument, lyric and concept behind their music, you get to hear parts of the track played by themselves as if you’re in the studio with them. Not only a great show for hearing about musicians you’re fans of, but for building an admiration for artists and genres you haven’t in the past. Some highlights of the podcast include episodes featuring Solange, Gorillaz and Lorde . 

5. Uncivil 

Uncivil is the most visceral, rugged and engaging retelling of the Civil War you’ll ever hear. The podcast’s description claims “We ransack the official version of the Civil War and take on the history you grew up with.” After listening, it’s hard to argue that point. The podcast delves into the people, events and movements occurring during the Civil War that go far beyond Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln. Always connecting to the present day, the program makes the material relevant and crucial to understanding the current social and political climate in America. Co-hosted and produced by Rutgers professor Chenjerai Kumanyika, the podcast has been featured in the New Yorker and is among the top 20 history podcasts on iTunes.

There are definitely more podcasts worth checking out, as there are shows for almost any interest or activity you can think of. Out of the hundreds of podcasts,  there is probably a show for you you — all you have to do is give them a try. 

Jordan Levy

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