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☎️ The Podcast Hotline is LIVE call 1-844-POD-AT-ME! + 😜 the end of weirdness 🧙♀️ witchcraft confessions 👑 The Crypto Queen is back💰
🍭 👂 You're in for a treat! 🌈 🤸♀️
It is also Anne Baird’s birthday and there are 2 days until I go on my next Disney Cruise.
In equally important news, Tink has launched a podcast hotline. Call toll-free 1-844-POD-AT-ME (1-844-763-2863) and to hear a new podcast recommendation every weekday. It will be a mix of Tink clients, Tink team favorites, and recommendations sent from Tink hotline callers. Leave your own podcast recommendation at the sound of the beep! Stop what you’re doing and call now. More about it here.
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👋q & a & q & a & q & a👋
Tal Minear is a SoCal based voice actor, sound designer, and fiction podcast producer. They're the creator of Sidequesting, What Will Be Here?, Someone Dies In This Elevator, and more. Follow them on Twitter here.
Which project are you most proud of?
This is a very hard question! Right now my answer is What Will Be Here? (a sci-fi audio drama about living on a doomed earth) because it is a fully completed project, and there’s something about having a finished audio drama that makes me so happy. It’s got some of my best writing and sound design, and I’m so proud of all the work that the rest of the team did too! I got to use a lot of my space and mechanical engineering knowledge when writing this show. It really combines all the different things I love.
Tell us about Re: Dracula.
Re: Dracula is a bite-sized audio adaptation of the horror classic Dracula. We're taking the famous horror tale, breaking it up chronologically, and sending the story directly to your podcatcher. Every time something happens to the characters, Re: Dracula will publish an episode, in as close to real time as possible. If we are successfully funded, the first episode will drop May 3, and the final episode, November 7th. Some entries will be brief, and others will be long and intense. We've got a full cast to tug on your heartstrings and intense sound design to keep you on the edge of your seat. In Re: Dracula, we want to experiment with grounded readings of Dracula, the sort of intimate acting that audio drama so often excels at, and really lean into the horror of the story! The cast is absolutely stellar, and I am itching to start sound designing this, but we can only make the show if we hit our goal. Help us do it here!
What does the podcast industry have to get better about?
The podcast industry needs to get better at uplifting marginalized voices! Anyone can start a podcast, but not everyone can succeed at that, and I think the industry as a whole has lots of opportunities to help underrepresented voices that they don’t take. Shout out to the Broccoli Equality Pact, the WGA Audio Alliance, and the LWC awards fund for taking great steps to improve the industry.
Tell us about your newsletter. Why did you start it?
My newsletter is called Podplane, and it spotlights podcasts by trans and nonbinary folks! I made it because I want to find and share shows by people under the transgender umbrella - there are a lot of them, and many are underrated. I also share news from the industry and fun podcastey things I find! It fills my ever-present need of writing about podcasts, and I hope it can help people add some great new shows to their queue!
How do you discover podcasts?
A very complicated process that is part following newsletters, part seeing what ends up on my twitter feed, part friends telling me what they’re making, and part friends telling me what they’re listening to. I’m also starting to discover podcasts from people pitching them to me, which is rad!
If someone has never listened to a fiction show, where should they start?
I actually made a podchaser list of 50 indie fiction podcasts, split up by genre! I think where you should start depends on what you like. If you’re a fan of horror movies, start with Station Blue. If you’re a fan of fantasy, start with Tales of the Echowood. Sci-fi? We Fix Space Junk. Comedy? The One Stars. Slice of life? Seen and Not Heard. There’s an incredible amount of fiction podcasts all doing different things, which means there’s something out there for everyone. Or you can just start with my podcasts. I won’t complain about that.
What’s a podcast you love that most people don’t know about?
Tales of the Echowood. LISTEN TO TALES OF THE ECHOWOOD. It’s got some of the best storytelling, sound design, and music of any fiction podcast I’ve listened to. This show deserves a million downloads and its own Netflix series. Netflix, are you reading this? Go go go.
Anything I didn’t ask you that you want to talk about?
If you’re thinking about making a fiction podcast you can hire me for a consultation! I love helping people bring their ideas to life, and I’ve gathered a lot of tips and tricks from working in audio drama the past 5 years.
🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
Call 1-844-POD-AT-ME (1-844-763-2863) toll free every day for the rest of your life.
✨Devin wrote a really cool International Podcast Day wrap-up on Podcast Marketing Magic.
✨Arielle and I did a How to Grow Your Podcast session for The Podcaster Life Community. Watch here.
✨Free Pitching and Strategy Session with Shreya Sharma! Podcast Appreciation Bingo
🎙️I almost cried hearing Weird Al Yankovic on Metaphysical Milkshake—I want to hear him on everything, I love him. If anyone knows anything bad about him you could tell me about it, but I wouldn’t believe you. He had a conversation about weirdness as a superpower with Rainn Wilson and Reza Aslan that I wish I had heard when I was a weird kid in a very normal Ohio town. I have been thinking a lot about how the world is getting worse but also better, and Gen Z seems to be a lot kinder to themselves and each other, their bodies, their identities, their mental health. When I was in school, I was weird and it was a very bad thing. Today at school. Weird = cool. And you can probably credit Weird Al for that. But as the world gets weirder does that mean it’s getting more mainstream? If we all become more accepting of each other’s differences will weirdness be lost? If weirdness is the new normal will there be any weirdness left? And has weirdness been the secret ingredient for some of our most brilliant creatives? What is the future of weirdness and how will that impact our satire and art? Listen here.
🎙️Weight of Sand is an audio drama exploring the life and lore of Isobel Gowdie, who was accused of witchcraft in 1662 in the Highlands of Scotland. Using her detailed witchcraft confessions, it revisits a maligned woman and tells a story of witchcraft hysteria and land. It’s called Weight of Sand because 30 years after Isobel’s trial, a nearby village of the Culbin was destroyed in a storm and covered in sand dunes, an incident that folklore blames on a curse cast by Isobel. The sand was so extensive the land was called The Sahara of Scotland. Weight of Sand is an evocative time machine back to 1662, resurrecting Isobel to reveal her experiences in the trial. The storytelling weaves in tidbits from historical records about storms, mythology and the blank spots of Isobel’s history that we can only imagine. It’s history beautifully reimagined with a witchy twist. Listen here.
🎙️The Cryptoqueen is back. (But really, where is she?) A new episode of Missing Cryptoqueen popped up, and we are “back to the war room” (Jamie Bartlett’s garden) with new info about Ruja Ignatova’s whereabouts. Jamie has staked out a home in Dubai where Ruja might be hiding, and have an explosive conversation with Frank Schneider, Ruja’s top spy and former security advisor who has just been released from prison for his involvement in OneCoin (he’s wearing an ankle monitor to prove it) that suggests Ruja might be not hiding, but perhaps in danger. Listen here.
🎙️It is shocking how new divorce is. (Phoebe Judge had a great two-parter on Criminal about women moving to a community in South Dakota to divorce their husbands before it was legal.) On Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff, Margaret Killjoy, Shereen Lani Younes and producer Sophie Lichterman have their own two-parter about another way women ended their marriages before divorce was legal by poisoning them. See: Giulia Tofana, a woman who lived in the 1600s in Palermo and seemed to be the ring leader of poisoners in Rome, Naples, and Perugia and sold something called Aqua Tofana to women who wanted to kill their husbands. It was sold as a cosmetic with a picture of St. Nicholas on it called “Manna di San Nicola," but allegedly killed 600 people, most of them shitty husbands. When you take away power from girlbosses, they will act accordingly. Listen here and here.
🎙️I had always assumed that the satanic panic was a special, American thing, but we are not special and the UK version has a twist. A mom, Ella Draper, and her radical vegan/raw-food eating boyfriend crafted a tale of a satanic pedophile cult operating in the heart of their Hampstead community, with Ella’s ex-husband Ricky Dearman (and the father of her children) as the ring leader. Ella used her own children as instruments in spreading lies about their father and giving detailed accounts of other people in Hampstead. Tortoise’s Hoaxed (the people behind Sweet Bobby) (hosted by Alexi Mostrous) is taking us through the story. The show holds back a bit, citing ethical concerns for not playing audio from the kids, who were clearly spinning their tales under duress. (I found the clips on my own, they’re very uncomfortable to listen to.) It’s a weird one but also a tale as old as time, a story about the spread of internet misinformation and how a tiny seed galvanized a generation of conspiracy theorists. Listen here.
🎙️Ross Sutherland is always dropping episodes of Imaginary Advice that make me go WHAT and here’s one: The True Crime of Your Frozen Death, an episode that sounds like it would have mass appeal but has a narrow one—it’s completely in Italian. Italian is a beautiful language and everything Ross has ever produced is like high-end art for your ears. But he does admit that 95%-98% of even the most diehard Imaginary Advice fans will not listen. Nice try, Ross!!! I speak Italian!!!! I’m rusty so it it’s taking me some time to get through it and I wouldn’t sign my soul to the devil over the accuracy of my understanding, but I think it’s about an Italian woman making a podcast (in someone else’s studio) about three people who were killed in separate instances with power drills. (?) One of them was a podcaster. The piece was written by Ross but translated and performed by Cristina Marras, and at the very least, check out her English-speaking piece Games We Play in the Dark. I listened to it and thought, who is this person? An English-subtitled version of the episode will go live on Radio Atlas on October 7. So if you haven’t subscribed to Radio Atlas yet, do it now. Listen here.
🎙️I always love hearing film takes from the queer, feminist cisgender and transgender perspectives of wives BJ and Harmony Colangelo on This Ends at Prom, a show that reviews girl-canon movies from the perspective of one woman who grew up loving them, and another who is being introduced to them for the first time. I would probably listen to anyone talk about Hocus Pocus for reasons of nostalgia, but BJ and Harmony dissect the thing like surgeons, pointing out the movie’s history and context, and what is both lame and delightfully forward-thinking and innovative about the film. Before I’d listened to their conversation I had underestimated the movie’s mastery and the risks Disney was taking to have it made. So they’re your Hocus Pocus professors but they’re also sparkling podcast hosts that will, for all episodes, give you a hit of nostalgia and make you think about something you’ve seen 5,000 times in a new way. Listen here.
🎙️My feet are definitely unladylike (bunions, yo! I’m a runner!) and I had never really thought about foot fetishes beyond, “I don’t get it but everyone has a thing.” On Unladylike, Cristen Conger dips into the worlds of wikiFeet and FeetFinder to get to the bottom of the obsession with lady feet and the sexist reasons that tiny beautiful ones turn people on. (That’s right, if my mangled feet don’t turn you on you are sexist!) Cristen graciously slides in a Disney reference re: Cinderella and her poor, ugly-footed step sisters (a crime worse than being just evil) which I truly appreciated and think more podcasters should do. She then talks to dominatrix Miss Mae Ling schools her on the sex work of foot fetishes and what it takes to be a successful feet model. Listen here.
🎙️Yeah I’ll say it: we’re throwing too many mics at celebrities who don’t have a mission or care about making good audio. But Ricki Lake has launched a podcast with Lemonada so you know you’re in good hands. Ricki is taking you on a time machine back to the 90s to relive some of her favorite episodes with Kalen Allen. It’s like Oprahdemics but if Oprah was host. Ricki is open and authentic. It’s not only a fun throwback to the 90s, it’s a personal diary about women on TV now and then, and Ricki feels just like the casual girlfriend who was hosting the show more than twenty years ago. (That I wanted to hug when I was ten and still do.) Listen here.
🎙️Discovering Us is a podcast from The Leakey Foundation voiced by Ashley Judd that tells stories behind some of the most important human origins discoveries of the past 50 years. The quicky episodes (all available now) are tightly told stories about the search for what it means to be human, from the sisterhood of bonobos to a remote cave on the island of Flores where researchers uncovered unusual fossils, to Gibraltar, where researchers think the very last surviving population of Neanderthals lived and died. Each story will make you excited about the world, and Ashley does a good job delivering. Listen here.
🎙️I have been planning the Tink Podcast Hotline (1-844-POD-AT-ME!) for a few weeks (I was inspired by two things 1) They Might Be Giants’ Dial-a-Song and 2) the conspiracy theorists mentioned in a recent episode of Unladylike) so I was totally delighted to see Twenty Thousand Hertz’s episode on 900 numbers. This episode is a blast from the past with Doug Fraser, who explains 900 numbers’ surge in popularity and the hilarious reason they waned, tapping into some of the creative (and impactful!) ways these numbers were used. Special guest: The Crypt Keeper. 900 numbers: never forget. Listen here.
🎙️I love you!
This week we’re getting to peek into the listening life of Katy Hearne-Church, creator and co-host of Queens Podcast.
The app you use to listen: Podcast Addict! I downloaded it 10 years ago when I first got into podcasts and I love it. I especially love how easy it is to make playlists on, since I listen to podcasts to fall asleep to and on long car rides.
What speed do you listen to podcasts? It depends! If it's news or celebrity gossip (absolute guilty pleasure) 1.2. But most everything else at normal speed.
How do you discover new shows? Oh, so many ways! If I'm researching a certain topic for Queens main feed or one of our Patreon episodes, I'll often search for podcasts on that topic. I've found a lot of great lesser known shows that way. Also, the world of women-lead history podcasts is small, so any time I see a new member of the #historygirls squad show up on Twitter or Instagram, I'll try to make sure to give them a listen. And of course, I love seeing what gets recommended in this newsletter and the other ones I subscribe to (like Earbuds Collective and Inside Podcasting)
One show you love that everybody loves. The History Chicks and My Dad Wrote a Porno.
One show you love that most people don't know about. Trashy Divorces.
Unpopular opinion: Going platform specific is a bad idea in the long run. Look, if you're Meghan Markle, you have the name recognition to draw people over to Spotify to find you specifically. But just off the top of my head I can think of one great show and another entire network that I love and I often forget about both of them because I don't see their new episodes in the feed of my comfort podcast app. Sure, every now and then I remember to go check Spotify or Amazon or wherever for them, but honestly... not often enough!
Mental health tip: I know it's cliche, but exercise every day. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.