Podcasts of the week: Something for everyone

Posted on Feb 15 2018 - 7:57am by Ethel Mwedziwendira

No matter how much you agree or disagree with the following, there is a podcast for everyone. From ones that focus on business and technology to those that focus on music and pop culture, every listener can find a favorite out of the following podcasts.

Ear Hustle

Produced inside San Quentin State Prison in California, “Ear Hustle” gives listeners an insider’s view of prison life through stories told and packaged by two prisoners and a volunteer. Co-hosted by inmate Earlonne Woods, who is serving 31 years to life for attempted second-degree robbery and sound designer Antwan Williams who is serving 15 years for armed robbery with a gun enhancement, the podcast depicts what it’s like living within the American prison system and includes discussions of problems regarding race, gender and violence that prisoners may face on a day-to-day basis. In many ways, “Ear Hustle” serves as a way to break the “Hollywood notion” of what prison is like. Woods, Williams and volunteer Nigel Poor discuss subjects such as prison fashion, married inmates and inmates with pets. In a recent episode titled “The Boom Boom Room,” inmates discuss how difficult it is to maintain a strong relationship while incarcerated.

Generation Gap with Josh Accardo & Maureen Van Zandt

There are not many podcasts that draw me in within the first 30 seconds, but “Generation Gap” did. Hosted by Josh Accardo and Maureen Van Zandt, “Generation Gap” is a combination of pop culture discussions punctuated with hilarious commentary. Even the tribute episode to Tom Petty shows that this podcast is one that provides entertainment throughout, though the episodes are a bit lengthy. Accardo and Van Zandt have discussed serious topics on the show – such as Aziz Ansari being accused of sexual assault and Mo’Nique calling for a boycott of Netflix – but they’ve also discussed lighter topics, such as their favorite TV shows and movies of 2017. Each episode is roughly an hour, and though it takes a while for the hosts to get into a topic, their commentary and banter make the podcast enjoyable. “Generation Gap” is relevant and much-needed, and for listeners like me, it makes the ride home enjoyable.

Biden’s Briefing

Former Vice President Joe Biden is back, but this time, it’s in podcast form. Not too long ago, Biden launched a daily podcast in which he discusses news that’s captivating the nation. Each episode ranges from three to 15 minutes and includes an array of thoughts and opinions. “Biden’s Briefing” is produced by Ground Control and is read by its actors, though Biden has promised to occasionally make an appearance on the show. Previous episodes have included information about the recent spike in mass shootings, the biggest threats to China’s economy and the relationship between North and South Korea. The podcast runs on weekdays and sources information from MSNBC, Slate, Vice and Buzzfeed, among others.

Recode Decode

“Recode Decode” is hosted by Kara Swisher, who is considered one of the most prominent tech journalists out there. The podcast revolves around the tech industry, and as Swisher says in the introduction, it focuses on how the industry is constantly changing. Each week she hosts interviews with influential business leaders who are not only in tech but are also involved in politics and business. Swisher recently interviewed the CEO of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, and focused the discussion on the terms and conditions of the website. The issue became salient after Youtube star Logan Paul faced worldwide backlash for uploading a video to the site that showed the body of a man who had recently committed suicide. A few must-listens are “Silicon Valley is threatening democracy,” “The future of the audio industry” and “How tech is changing state politics.”