💁♀️ Devin takes over! (🍳bottomless brunches 🥞playing with marbles 🧠 library love 📚)
🍭 👂 DEVIN HAS TAKEN OVER 🌈 🤸♀️
Today is Monday, September 5.
Thanks for reading Podcast The Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support Lauren’s work.
Devin, here. Someone pinch me. Lauren Passell is letting me take over Podcast the Newsletter? (She’s in Venice.)
Recommendations from Lauren are always the best part of Mondays and I’m truly honoured (and nervous!) to be putting together this week’s edition. So many of my favourite podcasts come from Lauren, but I was still able to collect some gems I think you’ll enjoy! I want to do a better job of sharing more of what I’m listening to and this was a great opportunity to practice that. Let me know what you think! If you want more recommendations, podcast-related thoughts, marketing tips, or memes, let’s be friends on Twitter.
ps If you are pleased with Podcast The Newsletter, please spread the word.
This week we’re getting to peek into the listening life of Haley Paskalides! She’s is a freelance audio producer and podcast marketer currently working as associate producer and researcher on Calling Bullsh!t, producing episodes for Well + Good, and podcast marketing with a team of incredible women at Tink Media. She is a recent graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and is so thrilled to be part of the podcasting community.
The app you use to listen: Pocket Casts! I heard it mentioned on This American Life once and have never looked back.
What speed do you listen to podcasts? 1.3x or 1.4 if I’m feeling spicy.
How do you discover new shows? I try to stay off Instagram because my lizard brain can’t handle it but recently I’ve been following tons of creators on Twitter! I love finding recs there. The other way I discover new shows is when hosts do reads for other shows on the shows I’m listening to.
One show you love that everybody loves. Embarrassed to say that I JUST binged Appearances and it absolutely blew my mind.
One show you love that most people don't know about. The Writers’ Co-op is a great resource for those starting out freelancing! The hosts are so delightful and honest. I recommend scrolling way back and starting with episode 1. Shoutout to @l_vespoli for the rec!
Unpopular opinion: True crime stories should be told by someone who has a direct connection to the community they are covering.
Mental health tip: I tend to stay away from daily news shows unless I’m feeling particularly emotionally well that day.
✨Lauren’s speaking at SHE Podcasts in October. Let her know if you’re going.
✨On October 3, Lauren will be running another podcast marketing course at Radio Boot Camp. Sign up here.
✨My best friend asked for podcast recommendations that were funny and/or featured strong independent women. I came up with a strong starting 5 and then Twitter helped suggest even more.
✨Gill Tietz has launched Sober Powered Media, a network of sober podcasts. (This is a first!) In addition to Gill’s Sober Powered podcast, the network will include The Addicted Mind Podcast, A Sober Girls Guide, and The Hello Someday Podcast. Collectively they have close to 250k downloads per month.
✨Podcast & Amplify is kicking off their new season with some serious chingona vibes! A podcast focused on empowering underrepresented female entrepreneurs to grow a profitable business and podcast, Latina host Kristin Quiroz Bayona, is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month by sharing interviews exclusively with successful Latinas in business and personal development. Sponsors of these episodes include small Latinx-owned businesses. Listen here.
🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
I’ve come to the realization that Twenty Thousand Hertz is one of my favourite podcasts of all time. It’s the perfect combination of curiosity driven storytelling and beautiful sound design. It’s that podcast I save for when I can properly devote my attention to it. It always makes me feel something while learning things I never thought I would. Not to mention, I got to hear host Dallas Taylor and producer Casey Emmerling reveal the entire process of how the show gets made at Podcast Movement a couple weeks ago. The Trello boards, the interview techniques, the Pro Tools screenshots– my geeky brain was in heaven. Now obviously, I’m obligated to tell you to listen to the recent Ted Lasso episode if you haven’t already, but once you’re done, we need to discuss the TikTalk episode. Like most users of TikTok, I have heard the text-to-speech voice on the app many times and never once considered that it might belong to an actual person. Or at least, it used to. From the heart-wrenching reason she got into voice acting, to the real life repercussions of everyone having the ability to make your voice say anything, this episode is another perfect embodiment of what Twenty Thousand Hertz does best.
Ready for recommendations that made an impression on me?
🎙️During the pandemic, I started a tradition at my parent’s house of Sunday brunch. I love cooking and Sunday mornings were a perfect time to cook up some delicious breakfast dishes. It even escalated to a waffle iron purchase. It was great! But Dish City’s exploration of brunch in D.C. questioned if it might be overrated. I love the original motivations for the invention of brunch– sleep in a bit and sweep away the worries of the week. And yes, the day drinking was also noted from the start. So, just like my waffle maker acquisition, how did brunch escalate to what it is today? Patrick Fort is hilariously skeptical and critical of the brunch hype, but he goes along for the ride with Ruth Tam to answer the question. If you haven’t checked out Dish City before, prepare for restaurant hopping and food cravings. I love being taken around the city with Ruth and Patrick as my guide, teaching me about food, restaurants, and the external factors that influence them. Listen to bottomless brunch (transcript here.)
🎙️Did you know that for 20 years women were taking doses of ambien too large for them because the recommended dosage was only tested on men? The medical research gender gap strikes again! In the most entertainingly sound-designed brain science show I know, the second season of Playing with Marbles gives the female brain the research spotlight it deserves. Across three episodes, it explores how the female brain has been under-researched, misunderstood, and underestimated. Katie Jensen talks to scientists and experts in the field, while tracking the brain development of a fictional character named “Kiera”, for reference. Things can get pretty technical, but they mix in a lot of relatable metaphors to help. If you like Science Vs, you’ll definitely like this. It’s got the same fun storytelling approach to science and makes me enjoy realizing that I have no idea how my brain actually works. Listen to One Woman’s Brain.
🎙️If you’re on “thrift tok” aka the thrifting side of TikTok like I am, it kinda seems like thrifting is having a moment. And maybe, just maybe, some of that is being motivated by people wanting to make more sustainable purchasing choices? There’s a lot that’s been said about the impact clothing has on the environment, but no one is saying it like Black Material Geographies. This might be my favourite exploration of it. It’s a show from the Whetstone Radio Collective, whose entire slate is top tier, so I knew it was going to be good. Host Teju Adisa-Farrar has a warmth and softness to her storytelling that makes me feel this conflicting sense of calm, while the realities of how materials and clothing have been produced is upsetting and frustrating. She covers things like how we can rethink supply chains to make them less harmful and the realities of the mass amounts of textile waste that end up in countries in tropical Africa and the Caribbean. The two-part episode on the lacebark tree brings things closer to home for Teju as she ties in stories of her grandmother and we learn how she inspired Teju’s connection to creativity and clothing. It brought me to tears. The end of every episode has something so refreshing that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. In “the wind down”, Teju guides you through this meditative recap of the episode that helps you feel at peace and process what you’ve just learned. Listen to the lacebark tree pt. 1 (transcript available at link).
🎙️Has airplane food gotten worse? Or are our senses just not the same at that altitude? I had no idea that airline food used to rival experiential dining experiences that ground-based restaurants do. Think gimmicks like flight attendants serving breakfast while wearing British hunting costumes. I like history, but I love history told through the evolution of food and The Food Chain’s episode on airline food is exactly that. Food has been served on planes for about 100 years and we learn about all the different factors that inspired the phases of airline food. But that involved a lot of business motivations. Come for the food history, stay for the taste test! Turns out one of our five types of tastes is more resilient in the air than others. Listen to what’s up with airline food?
🎙️I’ll admit, sometimes single-narrator podcasts are difficult for me to stay focused on, but I’ve found that We Regret to Inform You keeps me hooked. They’re like concise biographies but with failure as the focus. You learn about all the rejections someone went through before they found success and something about that journey, with its happy ending, always makes me emotional. And the Sandra Oh episode had me tearing up the whole way through. There’s so much Oh went through before she nailed the Vice-Principal Gupta role in Princess Diaries or rose in the ranks in Sideways or became the incredible Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy. Including in one of her first ever big auditions in Canada, where she laid on the floor for 10 minutes in front of the casting directors before starting her audition. If you pair this episode with her interview on WTF with Marc Maron, there’s no way you won’t end up loving her as much as I do. If you find your mind wandering in single-narrator shows, you might find the pacing and music in this show keep you engaged like they do for me. Listen to Sandra Oh’s rejection stories.
🎙️My sister works at a library and as part of her crusade to remind people how awesome public libraries are, we’re always talking about interesting things libraries are doing to stay current or remind people that they exist. Obviously, they’re getting in on BookTok, but there are also some good podcasts coming out of libraries! Borrowed is one she introduced me to. One of my favourite episodes is possibly the perfect combination for my taste; satisfying library ASMR and a conversation with the world’s first two podcast librarians Ma'ayan Plaut and Norman Chella. Even if you haven’t been to a library in a while, the sounds might inspire some comforting nostalgia like they did for me.You’d think an episode about the sounds in a library, a place notoriously known for “shushing” any noises, would be pretty short but it turns out there’s a whole history of what libraries have sounded like and the archival sounds you can find there. If you’re reading this I’m guessing there’s a chance you’re interested in podcasts and/or the future of podcasting, and the discussions around why we need podcast librarians is so fascinating. Podcast housekeeping note: we need to be better about crediting everyone who works on a podcast and the system for categorizing podcasts could use some adjusting. And to get a little meta, this episode also includes some podcast recommendations from Ma’ayan and Norman! Listen to a library sounds like this (transcript available at link).
🎙️I discovered Everything Cookbooks after hearing the hosts interviewed on The Genius Recipe Tapes. I was immediately curious to hear their show. They created it after developing cookbooks and realizing there aren’t a lot of resources that share all the insider knowledge about what really goes into making a cookbook. As someone who loves cooking and making up recipes, their interview on The Genius Recipe Tapes was so relatable. They talked about cookbook pet peeves, precision of language and battles over word choice with publishers, and some of their favourite cookbooks. Then I went back and started with the first episode of Everything Cookbooks, which answers the question “should I write a cookbook?” Honestly, a lot of the discussions and the thought processes could also be applied to podcasting. Even though the industries function differently, the intentions and goals around creating something are similar. And I loved hearing them talk about why they are about creating and sharing recipes. Food is like a love language to me and if you love cooking or learning about cooking, you’ll love this, too. Listen to Everything Cookbooks.
👋q & a & q & a & q & a👋
Tamar Haspel and Mike Grunwald
How did you two come together to make this podcast?
T: Mike gets all the credit! He was working with Post Script Media on a food & climate podcast, and was looking for a co-host. We’re Twitter friends and he happened to be reading my book at the time, and the little lightbulb went on over his head that we’d be good together.
M: What made the lightbulb go on was I realized she was hilarious. I already knew she was my kind of journalist, but reading her book made me think we’d have a fun dynamic.
How are you alike and how are you different? What do you each bring to the table?
T: We’re alike in that we’re both hard-assed empiricists. We spend an unconscionable amount of time sifting through evidence and talking with experts trying to get at what’s true. But we have different areas of expertise. I’m food – not just environmental impact, but also nutrition and diets and all the baggage that comes with those things. Mike’s also deep into the climate impact of food, but he’s also policy and politics, which play an integral role on the podcast.
M: Yeah, I’m the climate dork - I’ve got solar panels and an electric car, and I’m writing a book about how to feed the world without frying the world. Tamar is more the general food dork - she thinks about how our diets affect our bodies and animals and workers and all kinds of things I tend to forget about. But we’re both fact people. She’s nicer about it, but neither one of us like lazy assumptions that aren’t backed by evidence.
What do you wish you would have known about podcasting before you started the show?
T: How great it is to have podcast professionals producing and editing!
What do you hope the show does for people?
T: I hope it informs their choices. I want listeners to walk away with a clearer idea of climate and diet than they came in with.
M: I hope it gives them some information they didn’t have before, and I hope they find it entertaining. I guess if I’m honest I also hope it persuades people to eat a little better for the planet, but that’s up to them - all we can do is try to be interesting and persuasive and fun.
Why are you the perfect hosts for Climavores?
T: Mike and I agree on the basics of diet & climate, but we disagree about a lot of the peripheral issues (just listen to the episode on local food!). I hope that makes for a show that’s interesting and engaging, but also genuinely helps readers make sense of all the complexities involved in feeding 8 billion people responsibly.
M: I start with the idea that we’re evidence-based nerds. I know a lot of people don’t trust journalists–well, they should trust us. We’re trustworthy! We’ve dedicated our careers to facts. But we’re not robots - we’re also storytellers, and we have strong feelings about what’s right, not always the same feelings, which hopefully adds a nice twist to the show. Tamar also brings a warm energy that probably contrasts nicely with my curmudgeonly snark.
What has making the show taught you about the world?
T: That people really seem to care about these issues! The calls and e-mails we get with questions are so interesting, and reflect a deep concern about how what we eat affects the planet we share.
Fill in the blank. You will like Climavores if you like ______.
M: Food and a habitable planet.
What’s one thing people can do to eat better for themselves AND the planet?
T: We say it all the time: eat less beef.
M: And waste less food! But mostly eat less beef. Which sucks, because beef is delicious, but I guess we’re not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.
Thanks for reading Podcast The Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support Lauren’s work.