Three Podcasts You Need To Listen To

Three Podcasts You Need To Listen To

So it’s about 10:30 as I’m writing this and I’ve had one Guinness, I’m listening to some White Stripes on my Sonos, and I thought I would write about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart:

Podcasts.

I’ve talked about this before, but I thought I’d do something a little different this time. I’d like to go over three radio drama podcasts that are totally worth your time.  Now radio dramas are something that’s been with us for about as long as radio has, but these three are something a little different.  They were created specifically for the Internet and they are independently produced, which is, I think, a big part of the Internet spirt. “Get up there and do something weird.”

These three shows breath new life into the form and give it a strange veracity that I don’t think they would have if they weren’t produced directly for an Internet audience.

Tales From The AfterNow

This one is kind of a cheat because it isn’t technically a podcast.  It predates the form by about three years, but it shows what you can create when you simply just want something to exist.  It’s a great precursor to the army of podcasters who were just going to put up experimental content and see what stuck.  It was, however, produced directly for the web and available for download directly from Rantmedia – the production company’s site.

The AfterNow takes place in a post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk world where the dead are made into fuel, corporations rule whats left of the world, and even time is copy written. So yeah, it’s up beat.

When I first stumbled backwards onto this show back in 2003, it was like finding punk rock for the first time.  The show’s format is a single voice telling stories with a few background songs thrown in for flavor.  It is a raw nerve of a show, that you will be begging to continue past its 17 episode run.

We’re Alive

I never really got into The Walking Dead TV show.  Primarily because I’d already “seen” it on We’re Alive.  It’s a zombie apocalypse themed drama with a full cast and a great, survivalist undertone that I never really got from the Walking Dead.

Each episode of We’re Alive presents the characters with a problem that if they don’t solve right now they are all going to die.  Right now.  Be it finding shelter, building a water filtration system, or housing more survivors.  The show really shines when it’s shows it’s many characters problem solving.  And yes, there is a lot of humans-are-the-real-monsters style story telling, so if you really like Walking Dead and want to see how the survivors go from A to B in their efforts to survive, then it’s totally worth checking out.

Welcome To Night Vale

This was the podcast that everyone tried to get me to listen to because they knew that I loved podcasts and new school radio dramas.  I held off listening to it longer than I’m proud of for reasons I can’t even fathom now.

If you haven’t listened to this show yet, stop reading this and listen to it.  It’s as good as your friends are telling you it is.

It has some of the sharpest writing I’ve seen in a long time, and some of a darkest humor that I’ve heard in a long time.  It’s a community radio show taking place in a town where every conspiracy theory is true.  The government is out to get you, aliens are real, and there’s a faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home.

The people who put the show together get almost every decision they could make right and it’s so great to watch this show blow up in the way that it is.

Image via flickr

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