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Easy Listening

July 18, 2011

Working from home on your own can be a solitary affair. One of the things I miss about previous jobs working in shops and offices, no matter how rubbish the actual job was, is being able to chat to others while I worked.   I can’t stand to work in complete silence for any length of time so now, working on my own, I’ve always had to listen to music or have the tv on to provide some background noise, but over the past year or two I’ve started listening to podcasts as well.  Discovering podcasts has made a great difference to my working day; they’re less distracting than having the tv on and as much as I love listening to music and find that it can even inspire my art, I miss listening to people having conversations.  So podcasts have provided a good substitute – even though I can’t join in the conversation it’s nice to be able to hear other people conversing!

Below are some podcasts I currently follow and would highly recommend to anyone interested in the subjects they cover or, like me, need something else to keep the deafening silence at bay…!  They’re all available free on iTunes.

If anyone has any recommendations for other podcasts I should check out please feel free to post them in the Comments!

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews – Film critic Mark Kermode discusses all the latest film releases with Simon Mayo on his Radio 5 live show.  The discussions are always lively and humourous and it’s worth listening to alone for Kermode’s explosive and entertaining rants on films like Transformers and Pirates of the Carribean.

Filmspotting – Besides discussing and reviewing films, hosts Adam Kempenaar and Matty Robinson provide a slew of other features including: top five lists, film marathons where they discuss a series of films that share something in common, Massacre Theatre in which they hilariously reenact a scene from a film, which if listeners guess correctly can win a prize.  They don’t cover all the latest releases but rather only discuss the films that interest them.

Word Balloon – A comic book interview podcast featuring one-on-one interviews with comic book writers and artists as well as some pop culture creators.  There’s been interviews with some of the industry’s top names including John Romita Jr, Brian Michael Bendis and Jeph Loeb, so it’s a must for all comics fans.

Around Comics – A roundtable discussion of comic books and pop culture topics.  The hosts are fans with a passion and deep knowledge of the medium and are often joined by various comic book creators.  After going through a number of reincarnations, in the current format, new episodes are only released monthly, but a library of almost three hundred old episodes is still available on iTunes.

The Dave Gorman Podcast – It gathers together all the chat from comedian and author Dave Gorman’s Sunday morning radio show on Absolute Radio and features some additional humourous podcast-only extras such as Pun Street and Listener’s Lexicon.

Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio – All the best bits from comedian Frank Skinner’s Saturday morning show, plus there’s a mini midweek podcast with extra banter.

Stuff You Should Know – Informative podcast from the people behind the Howstuffworks website educating listeners on a diverse range of topics from How Quantum Suicide Works to Can Your Grandfather’s Diet Shorten Your Life.

I’m also a big fan of Ricky Gervais and have found his audiobooks (also available on iTunes) featuring him chatting with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington on topics such as Philosophy and Medicine to be hilarious.  Also check out the Ricky Gervais Show which is an animated show based on some of these conversations.

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