Celebrating Hip Hop 🎨 thrilling painter drama ☎️ love on the line 💫 Zelda's musical potion 🔮
🍭 👂 TRUST US! 🌈 🤸♀️
Hello! Devin from Tink here! I’m filling in while Lauren is away enjoying the beautiful sights of Venice. But I’m not alone. Lauren and I share a love of hearing about what other people are listening to, so to help give you some recommendations I asked everyone from the Tink team to join me! There was just one catch… I asked them to give you their best Lauren-style recommendation. Bring on the cartwheels, burst with enthusiasm, and tell us how you really feel! Buckle up, they sure did deliver. 😍
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🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
If you haven’t listened to Novel’s The Girlfriends yet, NOW is the time. In late August, the last episode dropped and it is really beautifully done. It contains an interview between the host of the show and the subject of the show’s sister that is heart wrenching but also steeped in sisterhood and bonding. The episode ends with a minutes-long tribute to missing and murdered women. I highly recommend this entire series. - Arielle Nissenblatt
I second Arielle’s recommendation of The Girlfriends and just want to add that it has such a cool and haunting theme song by Luisa Gerstein and the Deep Throat Choir. It will not leave my brain and they actually released it along with the other songs that appear through the series as an album here. I’ve been listening to it non-stop as I process the ending of the show. - Aakshi Sinha
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👋q & a & q & a & q & a👋
Describe Tough Love in ten words or less.
A juicy real-life look at relationships, family, career and health!
How much of Tough Love is totally organic, and how much is orchestrated? It feels so natural! I feel like you’ve plopped us into your pocket and are carrying us around with you.
What a huge compliment! It’s very intentional. We plan out scenes the way you’d storyboard a TV show or documentary - with ideas around what themes we want to explore in each of the conversations. We leave room for serendipity and let real life unfold! So I carry my recorder and react to whatever happens,
What have you learned about tough stuff making the show?
That we can do tough stuff. I can have hard conversations, I can be honest with myself, and I can do it, more often than not, while having a laugh too.
What was your favorite thing about making the show?
Being able to be completely in charge of the creative direction in every way! From the sound design, artwork, storyline and guests, to the original music and the style of editing. It’s incredible to build a scene that feels three-dimensional, with a richly recorded atmosphere. We wanted to create a world that sounds unique, and use it to be able to talk about the important shit that matters to us.
Hot take: Night showers are better than morning showers. Don’t bring that build-up of the day’s filth into bed, thank you!
Self-care ritual: Having a night at home, putting a luxurious face mask on and making a big stir fry for dinner while blasting a rom com on my laptop in the background! Simple pleasures, baby.
🎙 I find myself recommending Who? Weekly at least twice a week to friends, colleagues, and even strangers on subways. I’m not even here to shout out a specific episode, but the entire show. I love it so much and think that the premise is genius. If you’re not familiar, Lindsey and Bobby discuss the week in pop culture news from the perspective of the “who’s” and the “them’s.” Basically, a “who” is someone that makes you say, “who is that?” And a “them” is someone that makes you say “oh, of course! Them.” But if you’re thinking to yourself, “is it a low-brow show about gossip?...” first of all, watch yourself. And second of all, yes - AND. It’s really about public relations, who gets coverage, why some folks pop more than others, how news is made, and how celebrity is imprinted. If you’re just getting started, listen to at least three episodes before deciding how you feel about it. There are a lot of inside jokes you’ll need to get in on but trust me, it’s worth it! - Arielle Nissenblatt
🎙 All year long, we’ve been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop (August 11, 1973). Last month, there were a multitude of nationwide events centered around the Four Elements (djing, emceeing, breaking and graffiti writing) and celebrations based on the founding principles of the genre (peace, love, unity and having fun). For Black Music Month, NPR even did a Tiny Desk concert with Juvenile, which lives rent free in my mind, and landed perfectly with all the excitement this year.
What I’ve enjoyed the most about these reflective moments in the culture have been the conversations. Documentaries such as On the Record and Ladies First have stayed in my queue, and the podcasts have been just as engaging!!! I continue to recommend Women in Hip Hop hosted by Jazzie Belle, the Webby award winning Almanac of Rap, and of course Louder than a Riot (which also comes highly recommended by LP).
I have enjoyed these three shows the most because they each take the conversations around hip hop a step further. For instance, Jazzie of WIHH has wonderful conversations with women rappers, but she also has discussions with women behind some of the biggest Hip Hop records that we love. In the episode with Drew Dixon, it was interesting to learn about how Ms. Dixon’s work led to the Grammy award winning record “You’re All I Need” (which she A&R and produced while writing Method Man’s liner notes). Further, in AOR, I loved the episode of Jean Grae and Donwill talking about rappers with the most unhinged lyrics (hint: once they reveal the rapper it’s very obvious, but you’ll never guess it.) For Louder than A Riot, I can’t recommend one episode because the entire season is phenomenal (Meg, Trina, Doechii, Trina and the Rico Nasty episodes are just 🤌 . - Faybeo’n Mickens
🎙 Without's Public Space episode is a real eye-opener. Omar El Akkad takes you on a tour of disappearing public spaces and it's a wild ride. He breaks it down globally, showing how different countries deal with this issue. It's not just about benches and parks; it's about society and community. Public spaces are a big deal because they are the glue that brings people together and foster a sense of togetherness. They're where we meet and (could) make new friends over coffee, where we can recharge from nature, or the place where anyone can gain access to resources like books, computers, etc. But Omar also talks about how libraries become a space for unhoused people, creating stigma around them and driving others away from making the most of its resources. This episode is a very interesting listen and a wake up call to pay a little closer attention to the potential of public spaces. I was on a plane ride listening to it, and it had me thinking about this stuff for the whole five-hour flight. - Andreea Coscai
🎙 I’m obsessed with Heartstopper (originally graphic novels by Alice Oseman that have been turned into a popular Netflix show). I won’t go into it too much because I think I’ll never stop talking about it but if you don’t know what it is, in short it’s a tender queer teen love story. Anyway, I am sharing that for context, because as I recover from Hearstopper season 2, I am in the headspace where I cannot listen to anything that doesn’t involve someone falling for someone, so I gasped when I discovered Keep It Steady. It’s a bittersweet audio fiction where we follow seventeen-year-old Zach, a closeted bisexual, and his crush, cool kid Gabe, in a conservative town. I wish I was like Zach, he is witty and can at least chat with Gabe even if it seems like he is always trying to get on his nerves. His inner dialogue is so relatable as a fellow bisexual. Honestly, I just freeze in front of a crush, become a penguin and forget words. I’m just one episode in and I am already nervous-excited for Zach because Gabe suggests for them to be a pretend couple to help ward off attention from two female students who are in love. So, if you are in a similar headspace as me, you might enjoy this one. I can’t wait to keep listening. - Aakshi Sinha
🎙 Pals, this episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz on the tones of Zelda seriously HyRULES. I've caught Dallas, the host, sneaking in Zelda references in past episodes, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw the episode title pop up on my feed. He even starts off this one bonding with his sweet daughter over the series, who might need a little help facing Ganon, but is 100% on board the Zelda love train. This episode is like a musical potion for every Zelda fan out there. From the early days of quirky beeps and boops to today's lush orchestral renditions, it’s a heartstring-tugging travel through time with your old 8-bit friend. This isn’t just for die-hard Zelda fans either - if you’ve ever played even one game in the series, thrown Links’ boomerang in Super Smash Bros or share a love of any video game, this is for you. Pro-tip: If you want a quick mood boost, throw on the Breath of the Wild soundtrack. Also, does anyone else say “HOLY CALAMITY GANON” when something crazy happens? No? Just me? Cool. cOoL. Cool. - Holly Brown
🎙 On the surface, Blum is an audio thriller about a painter and that’s all I can tell you without spoiling it. I picked it out of Pocket Casts’ mystery catalogue because of its beautiful cover art and I wasn’t disappointed. At a deeper level, it’s a study of how art can sometimes suffer at the hands of money. The audio drama is meta, well-produced, and immersive. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. If you’re like me and like to challenge the scaredy cat inside you, I recommend listening to it on headphones when you’re home alone. Enjoy the thrill! - Shreya Sharma
🎙 If you liked the way Articles of Interest analyzes fashion as a reflection of culture, society, and history, you need to check out Hello Girls. They take a very similar approach, except the focus is on women’s underwear. The driving thesis of the show is that women’s underwear and its history says a lot about our lives. After listening to the first three episodes about the Wonderbra, thongs, and bra fittings, I can confirm that they deliver on demonstrating how true that is. Even though you’d assume underwear wouldn’t have as much of an impact because it’s under your clothes and hidden, there have been many trends where underwear is not so subtle. Through new products, styles from the runway, and celebrity culture, the societal influence of women’s underwear becomes much more complex than you’d assume. And because of its intimate nature, there’s also a significant emotional impact. I really enjoy the way episodes open with people answering a question related to the topic of the episode, then they begin analyzing with the help of journalists, historians, and experts from the fashion and clothing world. The 30 minute episodes are so easy to fly through! - Devin Andrade
🎙 My dear friend Keisha Dutes did a beautiful Life Kit on coping with grief after losing a pet and the entire episode is informative, soothing and assuring. Joining her in the conversation was Alexander Hardy of GetSomeJoy ; and a few of her friends popped in near the end to share their own journeys.
When I lost my Simba earlier this year in February, I felt so “silly” for crying as much as I did. My family and I held a ceremony for him; and I left his bowl in the kitchen months after because I wanted to keep something of his presence in the house. It felt calming to hear other people talk about their experiences. I think that most adults can relate to losing a loved one and how emotionally and physically draining that can be, but for those of us that have lost furry family members, it’s a bit hard to explain to those that don’t have fur babies.
While listening to Keisha talk about her process following the passing of her late kitty, Feisty Misses Peabody, I felt comfort knowing that I wasn’t isolated in a lot of what I was feeling. I was also encouraged by how Keisha celebrates the spirit Misses Peabody everyday (especially while walking down the street presenting her best fashion). Keisha and Alexander even answered some of the most intense questions: “should I get another pet?” “how long will this grief last?”, etc. I recommend this episode for anyone that has experienced (or knows someone who has experienced) the loss of a pet. - Faybeo’n Mickens
🎙 Death, Sex & Money absolutely nailed it with Why I Steal. This episode got me thinking about morality through the lens of class – heavy stuff, but so important to think about. Hearing about the techniques of the shoplifter was like learning a secret art. People get really inventive with this stuff and there are even full communities out there that share how they do it! But also hearing about having to shoplift food and diapers for your family had me rethinking everything. What really stuck with me is how this episode peeled back the layers of a complex issue. You start to realize it's not all black and white; there's this gray area where desperation meets survival, and society's view of 'right' and 'wrong' doesn't always apply neatly. If you're up for a listen that will get you thinking, this one is it! - Andreea Coscai
🎙 Talking about romance and queer love, I am also 100000% obsessed with Hang Up by Radiotopia. I AM SWEATING as I wait for the last episode of this season. Of course Lauren being Lauren already talked about it here when the first episode came out. If you missed that issue, here’s a quick rundown: it’s a dating show where the “star”, Maxine (not her real name), goes on dates with six different callers and at the end of each round hangs up on one person. It’s nerve wracking because like It’s Nice To Hear You (another dating show and a favourite!) they can only hear each other’s voice, at least for most of the process, BUT what makes this even more intense is that at the end the person Maxine chooses will get to turn the tables and decide if they want to go an all expense paid vacation with her or take a cash prize of $1000. Maxine is sassy and chaotic in a relatable way and I am in love with her voice. Actually, I think I’m in love with everyone involved in the show so every elimination hurts real bad. So, I really appreciate the extra episodes where we get to know every caller who gets hung up on. I am rooting for Maxine but also the last two callers. It’s such a tough choice. I recommend catching up in time to listen in on who is Maxine’s pick and if they pick her in return. - Aakshi Sinha
🎙 Tim and Eric walked, so Eric Andre could fly head first into the sun. For a comedian as experimental as Eric Andre, it’s not surprising that his live stand-up performances have been met with some flops. In fact, Bombing with Eric Andre is like a blooper reel of his show where he and his funny friends, like David Gborie, get vulnerable about the ‘SO unfunny they're funny again’ moments in their careers. I am obsessed with Eric Andre and wish I had 1/1000000th of the confidence he has to do literally anything. As a stand up comedian myself, hearing comedians talk about the less glamorous side of comedy feels so good. Comedy is subjective and we are destined to bomb spectacularly at some point. Eric opened for Chris Rock once and still managed to feel the chill of the crowd - I mean, if he can bomb there, then my own crash and burn moments - like after the host introduced me as tonight’s stripper (REAL original, Connor. Hilarious), or trying to make an audience of teenagers laugh (OOF, they mean) - don’t seem so bad. The highs are so high and it keeps you coming back despite the deafening silence of the lows. Hearing David Gborie recount bombing an entire weekend and not wanting to turn into a human rocket and blast himself into another galaxy? Honestly, that’s therapy right there. Goes to show, we've all been there, done that, got the 'I survived a comedy bomb' T-shirt, literally or otherwise. After listening to this episode, tell me how much you wish you were at the show where he steals the heckler's phone and texts EVERYONE. - Holly Brown
From the Desk of Tink
Today we’re talking to Erin Keating of Hotter Than Ever.
Describe the show in ten words or less
How about a haiku?
Women forty plus
break unconscious rules, become
Happy, sexy, free
Who is it for?
Women over forty who want to be inspired to take a leap and change their lives - whether that’s in their career, their relationships or their personal self-expression.
Women who suspect there may be more to life than what they’re currently experiencing.
Women who have been putting their dreams aside for "someday" and wonder when that day will come.
Women who are doing things because they’re supposed to, not because they want to.
Women who feel stopped or stuck or trapped by decisions they made decades ago.
Anyone who wants to feel more alive, more vital, sexier and more free in the second half of their lives!
Which episode should people start with?
If you want to go really deep into love and relationships, I’d start with my conversation with author Kelly McMasters about her book The Leaving Season. We go there about divorce and dating after marriage.
If you’re looking for a new and more empowered way of living your life, listen to my interview with former Oprah producer and co-president of OWN, Sheri Salata. She says “Everything is a love problem, and only you can solve it.”
Favorite listener interaction:
Hearing from so many people that Hotter Than Ever is telling the story of their lives and makes them feel seen. I love when people reach out to tell me about the rules they’re breaking, the dreams they’ve decided to chase and the hot younger men they’re dating!
Emma Thompson. She’s such an outspoken advocate for shedding the beauty myth and living a life of your dreams with no apologies!
Would love to be a guest on…
Smartless. I’ve listened to every episode and I know we’d have tons of fun and become best friends.
I’d like to partner with VCs or angel investors to grow the Hotter Than Ever brand, creating products and media that reflect the authentic, messy, sexy, funny and inspiring stories of women over forty. Overall deal with Netflix? Partnership to create a line of THC edibles with MedMen? A dating app for women over 40? A publishing imprint? All on the table.
Do your kids think you're cool?
OMG my twelve year old daughter listened to the Hotter Than Ever trailer and now her nickname for me is “Spicy”! My kids are proud of me for starting my own business - they may secretly think I’m cool, but they’d never admit it.