Listen Here

 Posted by
Apr 092020

Does anybody have a half-decent music podcast they can share?

My own diet, and it’s far from a rich one, includes the David Hepworth-hosted A Word in Your Ear podcast. It’s an irregular recording, usually with an author or musician, and is done in London. Chatty, informative and rarely outstays its welcome.

I’ve dropped in for a few sessions at Strong Songs, where the host pulls apart a well known tune to see what makes it tick. As I can’t read music, some of the more technical aspects of musical structure sail over my head.

What’s on your podcast download?

I’ve got time on my hands right now for a few good ones.


  20 Responses to “Listen Here”

  1. cherguevara

    One of my favorites is Sodajerker on songwriting.

    The interviewers are songwriters and they understand the process. Out of respect for their subjects, they tend to focus on the writers’ most recent output – for example, they interviewed McCartney with much focus on Egypt Station. But don’t let that put you off. The Sting interview was really interesting. Jeff Lynne. Andy Partridge. Adam Schlesinger. Elvis Costello. David Crosby. Sparks. Robyn Hitchcock. Etc. Even interviews with writers I don’t care for are still interesting, because the interviewers stay focused on the creative process, with a little bit of practical stuff thrown in.

  2. I’m not an early riser, but every day I put on the archive of the morning’s WFMU Wake’n’Bake radio show to accompany breakfast and other mundane activities. This show hosted by Clay Pigeon is a weird hybrid of a typical commercial radio morning show and the Weirdness that is WFMU. The host can be as stupid as his pseudonym but, ultimately, the mix of good music, both old and new, known and unknown, occasional awful music, half-baked comedy bits, daily features, and a positivity reminiscent of Mr. Mod’s schtick has completely won me over.

  3. A couple of in suburban DC guys I know do the Rockin’ the Suburbs podcast — every day. They talk about new rock, retro rock, topical stuff, and do some deep dive week-long themes. Plenty of interaction with listeners and it’s relatively short. When this site went on hiatus, I migrated to this. On iTunes and here: [Full disclosure: I’ve been on a couple shows].

  4. Happiness Stan

    I remember David Hepworth from the Whistle Test once it stopped being Old and Grey, I’ll check that out. I really enjoy How Good It Is with Claude Call, a music fan talking about a particular song each episode and unusual in that he keeps me listening even when I can’t bear the song he’s talking about. Short too, the episodes last just about as long as it takes me to get either to or from the office, when it’s open.

    The Smoke Fairies Smoke Signals podcast is hysterically funny, my very favourite podcast by my fave band at the moment, I’m about to download and listen to them all again.

  5. I like the Sodajerker podcast, done by two guys in Liverpool, when they have musical guests I like (eg, Andy Partridge, Paul Simon [no Garfunkel], Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook – separately, Difford was a revelation). Often, though, they have people like Howard Jones. I can’t tune into that stuff as well.

  6. Oh man, I just clicked on that Hepworth link you shared, Mikey, and it looks great. I like his writing.

  7. mikeydread

    Thanks for the tip on all these, much of it sounds right up my bluestone laneway. I’ve subscribed to a couple and look forward to getting to know them. Cheers.

  8. diskojoe

    The only podcast I listen to is Martin Newell’s, which he calls his Oddcaste:

  9. Happiness Stan

    Mr Mod, you’re not likely to get Difford and Tilbrook in the same space unless it’s onstage, apparently.

  10. Well, Happiness Stan, maybe it was better off that I heard Difford and Tilbrook separately. I learned a lot. And I’m never quite able to get my head around that band: They make generally happy music that is also sour. They have no public personae despite being a fairly well-known band for 40 years. Except for East Side Story, their classic albums sound like damp cardboard. Their lead singer, who’s got one of my favorite voices in music, plays lead guitar and writes the music. The other guy, writes the words and only sings in that froggy voice an octave lower than the lead singer…

    In part because he’s the lead singer and because he once had the relatively more dynamic Look within that band, I figured Tilbrook would be the better interview. He was boring. Difford, on the other hand, whose Sodajerker interview I only listened to because all other podcast options were lame that week, was EXCELLENT! It made perfect sense that he was the lyricist. I’ve since heard that he may not have actually played guitar on any of the Squeeze records.

  11. 2000 Man

    I’ll second Rockin’ the Suburbs. There’s a lot of them now because they do them every day, so you can go back and listen to stuff like the Replacements Week all in one go. I also like A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs The guy that does it has a great voice for a blogger, but you can get used to him. His research is excellent and I think he has a really good grasp of what he’s trying to say. He starts in a weird place, but he backs it up pretty well and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

  12. Not a podcast, but the mixes general slocum shares on Mixcloud are always worth my time:

  13. Happiness Stan

    Mr Mod, you’ve just summed up what’s been bugging me about that band for decades which I’ve never been able to identify! Probably why I’d say I like them rather than love them. I’ll have to listen to those interviews.

  14. I’m listening to one of my favorite music podcasts right now, which I forgot about the other day: Broken Record. It’s from Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, and another producer – someone named Richman. One of them will usually have a very good conversation with an artist about his or her music-making process. It’s not highly technical.

    One of the hardships of this self-isolation period is that I’ve fallen way behind on my podcasts. I typically listen to them while driving. I’ve barely been in the car for the last month.

  15. Count me in on Team Sodajerker!

    not a music podcast but I like Mo Rocca’s Mobituaries Podcast

  16. I like The Ringer a lot for my sports and culture updates. Obviously, there aren’t many updates there on sports lately. There is a podcast called “Music Exists” with pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman and staff writer Chris Ryan (who comes from Philly, and also worked at Newbury Street Comics, and was into D.C. hardcore; so I like his stories from the 80s-90s). They take on a different topic for an hour about what music “means” more than just about what they like. I have found it pretty entertaining. They are both about a decade younger than me, so sometimes I don’t know all their references. Klosterman is a lot like Gladwell to me; interesting takes on entertainment, but not THAT deep.

  17. Just catching up here. I never heard of the Soda Jerker podcast before. It looks great and I can’t wait to dig in.

    I’ve listened to some of the Song Exploder episodes. They haven’t featured many songs that I really care about but it’s still interesting to hear how they put them together.

  18. Song Exploder would be great if it featured more artists I had any interest in. When it has someone I only mildly like, such as Neko Case, the results can be fantastic. On the other hand, the one on the Sleater-Kinney record that spelled the end for drummer Janet Weiss was infuriating. I wanted to quit the band along with Weiss as the other two followed St Vincent down a neo-’80s sliding board to hell.

  19. Shoot, I almost forgot about Self Inflicted Aural Nostalgia. The host spends each episode examining a Guided by Voices album.

    He sounds like Steven Wright’s lethargic brother if that brother took too many quaaludes, and the content is the equivalent of one of those unboxing videos on YouTube, but I still listened to about 15 or 20 episodes. Not for the casual GBV fan (or for most diehards for that matter) but I still couldn’t stop myself.

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