📎Who killed Avril Lavigne? 🪓 NBA hair-dos ⛹🏾postcards 📫 camels 🐪 Shower Belly strikes again🧼
🍭 👂 You're in for a treat! 🌈 🤸♀️
I’ve been thinking of Ukraine and recommend listening to Ukrainecast. Please let me know if you find any good podcasts tackling the crisis. Hark made a great playlist that captures some of the best moments captured on podcasts.
Anyway. In case this email is too long, this was the most fun I had listening to anything in awhile, or wait was it this?, and your favorite call-in girl was featured on one of her favorite comedy shows.
This week we’re getting to peek into the listening life of Chris Angel Murphy (they/them,) an ex-social worker turned small business owner and host of Allyship is a Verb.
Why'd you make your show?: As an LGBTQ+ educator and being from the community myself, I wanted to find new ways of reaching people. Podcasts felt easier than figuring out a YouTube channel (I was right!) AND it's still a labor of love. Sometimes there isn't research to back my claims/suggestions for how to practice allyship or what some best practices may be for certain situations. Part of what doesn't easily transfer to my resume is the hours I put in being in discourse with folks and engaging various communities. Being able to have conversations with people from the LGBTQ+ community in this way felt like a natural fit for the podcast. I love hearing what my guest's tips are and what's most important for them to discuss. Also, I get the biggest smile on my face when I see my friends following my guest's social media accounts after an episode is published!
What speed do you listen to podcasts? I'm team 1x. I don't want to miss th details, especially if I'm really into an episode or podcast overall. However, sometimes with my ADHD, I'm having to either go back to something I missed or skip ahead.
How do you discover new podcasts? Conversations with friends and posts in my Instagram feed, especially if someone I know or follow was a guest on one. Sometimes it's because I'm asked to be a guest, which is great because it helps me to be mindful of my guests' experiences.
What's a show you love that not many people know about? The Love Doctor with Dr. Leah Tidey. Many of us may not have received the inclusive sex-ed that we deserved. With something that can still carry so much shame and stigma (among other things) in our society, it's nice to feel like a fly on the wall for some of the conversations and nerd out with people doing the research in the field.
What's a show you love that everybody knows about? Snap Judgement! Classic and such a great commute or road trip podcast. It's one of my top recommendations for nearly anyone newly getting into listening to podcasts.
Anything else you want to say? My second season of Allyship is a Verb will start in August and I want to expand outside of my current network. Folks from the LGBTQ+ community are welcome to reach out to me on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter about being a guest :)
ps If you are pleased with Podcast The Newsletter, please spread the word.
👋q & a & q & a & q & a👋
Jo Piazza is the host of Committed, Under the Influence, and The Pod Club. Follow her on Twitter here and Instagram here. Follow Committed on Twitter here.
How did you get into the audio space?
I’ve been a journalist since I was 18. That’s more than two decades because I am an old person. For those 20 years I have seen the ground crack beneath journalists. Everything we thought about our industry and our careers has blown the hell up. So I have tried to constantly evolve and find new ways of storytelling across different mediums. I started doing audio about five years ago and just fell in love with it.
You started podcasting before it really blew up. How has it changed?
It’s so funny that you say that since it was only five years ago. But now everything has changed. It does seem like everyone in the world has a podcast these days and I think that makes it harder and harder for the really good content to break through all the noise.
Is it harder to market a show in 2021 than it was in 2018 when you started (I think that’s when you started,) now that there are so many more shows?
There are so many more shows, but also just more content. I genuinely believe there is too much content when you include social media which is where so many people’s eyeballs are for too much of the day.
Why does podcasting excite you?
I think that audio is incredibly intimate and is a great way to get an audience invested in a subject.
How did The Pod Club come about? This is my dream show! (I had a podcast called Podcast Podcast which is a great name but horrible for search.)
It came about from a couple of years of discussion at iHeart honestly about how to help people find the shows that are right for them. I think finding shows is really hard these days, even for people who live and breathe the podcast world like I do. Beyond that I feel like audio recommendations need to come in audio form. I want to hear a little taste of something before I invest the time in listening to it.
Why are you the perfect host for The Pod Club?
I’m a massive podcast junkie. It’s almost a problem how many hours I spend ignoring my children to listen to podcasts. But I am also totally agnostic on genre. I like a true crime just as much as a deep reporting dive just as much as a sci-fi fantasy fiction miniseries.
🎙Learn From An Award Winning Podcaster🎙
Are you looking to start a new podcast? Do you have a podcast that you want to grow and monetize? DCP Entertainment CEO, Chris Colbert is hosting 4-week courses to help you reach your goals.🏆 Click here.
🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
Adrian Sherling recommended I listen to FeMANism, and then I saw it written up in 1.5 Speed, and that is reason enough for me to dip into a show. Shortly after I started I had consumed all of the episodes and wanted more. It’s “a feminist podcast for men, by men, for women” that takes you into the world of Sam Martin and Jamie Hoggart, who “believe” themselves (it’s a total comedy) to be feminists but in trying to make “feminism less annoying,” they illustrate a version of it that’s feminism’s anthesis. (In one episode, they try to have a woman guest, but are too inept to add her to the chat and just tell us what they think she would have said, getting everything so wrong.) While they drive the jokes hard, I can imagine a certain type of listener thinking they are being serious. This stuff is hilarious, but also not far enough from the truth to be considered straight-up fiction. In fact, after I finished episode five I started listening to a show (which shall remain nameless) hosted by to of my favorite comedians, one man and one woman. I found that many of the tropes that Sam and Jamie playfully explore were on full display, in earnest, on my comedy show. Gross. Sam and Martin play idiots, but are versions of real people. The audio sounds like shit and I kind of like it—it’s fitting.
⚡️News from Sounds Profitable⚡️
On Sounds Profitable (check out the newsletter and podcast,) Bryan Barletta writes about the third-party podcast solution and the power ceded to Google from buyers and sellers alike. In the wake of the news that Spotify has turned two of the biggest names in third-party podcast measurement into first-party solutions, Bryan explains the value each of those companies bring to Spotify’s ad solution, and how Podsights and Chartable can no longer be considered third-party measurement or attribution providers. Read/subscribe here.
✨Arielle Nissenblatt spotlighted the podcast This Is Good For You in her newsletter and podcast.
✨I was a student of Sally Herships at Radio Boot Camp years ago, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. Sally has moved the Boot Camp to a digital experience, and I’m going to be teaching a course on podcast marketing 101 on Monday, March 7 from 12-1:30pm EST and there are still a few spots left. Sign up here!
✨Jason Gots of Think Again and Clever Creature has a book coming out on March 1—Humanity Is Trying: Experiments in Living with Grief, Finding Connection, and Resisting Easy Answers. It's a memoir about the love and the loss of Gots’ sister and a best friend, and goes to some very deep places—ayahuasca, depression, anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, spirituality, romance, and mourning. Learn more.
✨I published an issue of Podcast Marketing Magic about whether or not you should start a Facebook group for your podcast.
✨I am slogging my way through Inventing Anna (but after listening to the Crime Writers On…review, I think I’m about to quit.) I must say the podcast was better.
🎙️Gay Future remains one of the funniest audio dramas I’ve listened to. (“The year is 2062 and everyone is gay. A totalitarian government rules over what's left of North America to spread its insidious gay agenda. Humanity's only hope for a rebellion rests on the shoulders of a precocious teenage boy who harbors a dark secret: He's straight.”) The team behind that project has dropped the first three episodes of Who Killed Avril Lavigne?, a nod to the Avril Lavigne death hoax that had some believing that she died in 2003 and has been replaced by a lookalike. I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun listening to something. The first thought that popped into my mind was, who are these people? On Who Killed Avril Lavigne, it’s 2022 and teen Derek Walker is a pop punk poser (“the chosen punk”) living in the past who gets sent back to Warped Tour 2005 to stop the abduction and replacement of Avril to save the world. It’s sci-fi that will appeal to people who don’t think they like sci-fi, which means it’s for everyone. It’s packed with punchy lines, original music (that you can listen to on Spotify—one of the songs is called “No One Calls My Mom a Bitch But Me” and truly takes me back to Warped Tour 2005, which I attended…with my mom) and follows an inventive concept that is funny in its uniqueness alone. (There’s even a mini documentary retelling the tale of Warped's greatest tragedy: the 2002 Pizza Riots.) Listen here.
🎙️Sound Deals is hands-down the funniest thing I listen to each week and I know this because I cannot make it through an episode without laughing out loud. On the show, Max and Ivan test fake products in the Sound Deals warehouse, but the reviews are completely improvised and the products are sometimes recommended by listeners. You know I’m a call-in girl, so I wrote in, asking them to review Shower Belly (my obsession with Shower Belly is never ending.) I wasn’t the only one unable to contain myself during their review—Max and Ivan were cracking up the entire time. It’s the commitment to the jokes that really get me, the idea of someone wearing a pregnancy belly during a shower seems a bit whacky but they tack on details—like the fact that Shower Belly is working with Big Water—that take the joke totally over the top. Hear a clip here, but listen to the full episode here.
🎙️Edges is a new show from DCP that gives Shantae Howell, a Chicago-based creative and child of a Jamaican immigrant, to tell her own life story through small-moments-that-feel-big, all tied to her hair. The intimate storytelling lets us eavesdrop on conversations with friends, family, and other folks in the Black community to share their "hair x mental health" stories, and along the way, Shantae uses the stories to help her get a firmer grasp of her own identity. It’s like you’re a fly on the wall, or getting to peek into someone’s diary. Listen here.
🎙️I always tell people to email me when they have an episode about Disney, Jesus, the Donner Party, or hip hop. A new season of Flickers (from Matt Lindner and Krystal Roberts) is checking two of those boxes. Flickers is a narrative podcast exploring the work and lives of musicians who incorporate spirituality in their music and the second season is on the life and work of Lauryn Hill. It will feature eight BIPOC contributors, from academics to artists, who dive deep into Lauryn's discography and uncover the ways her music and life are driven by her spiritual understanding of love, justice, and freedom, how those themes intersect with religion, race, and gender. I had no idea how much had been written about Lauryn and spirituality. The first episode, How We Met Lauryn Hill, covers hair, prayer, and so many things it felt like a complete ode to Lauryn. I don’t know how you could listen to it and not immediately turn on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. That’s what I did. Listen here.
🎙️We’re starting to see more TikTokers launch podcasts, but what Stanzi Potenza is doing is unique. The Pod People Original What Fresh Hell Is This?, 15-minute fever dreams of comedy sketches, is less “I have a big audience so I should probably be in front of a mic” and more deliberate. It feels a little like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, a smattering of funny bits from Stanzi’s brain—an ongoing series called “Dr. Maltese and Mildred McJenkins,” shipping Edward Cullen and Roz from Monsters Inc, a sketch of the devil and his assistant, Joenne, and a non-binary Santa Claus. Listen here.
🎙️Frame of Mind, hosted by Baron B. Bass, is a new show from The Metropolitan Museum of Art that shares uplifting personal stories about how art can provide inspiration and support individual well-being. The first episode, 100 Postcards, With Love, was one of the most adorable brother/sister stories I’ve ever heard. Siblings Samy Gálvez and Melina Anderson Gálvez were separated by thousands of miles when Melina went on a church mission trip, and over the span of a year, Samy sent Melina one hundred postcards from The Met. The correspondence was beneficial for both of them, and when Melina returned, the two spent a whole day at the museum searching for the pieces featured on the postcards. The storytelling is so well done that the episode seemed visual—I could Samy and Melina running from piece to piece in the halls of the Met, remembering the letters they had exchanged over the year. Not to sound too cheesy, but this was a tiny treat that gave me a big smile. Listen here.
🎙️Spinsters has dedicated an entire episode that takes us through the history of Black hair in the NBA, from Allen Iverson’s cornrows to Michael Jordon’s shaved head. Jordan offers a fun “Hairspiracy Corner” which provides us with a convincing argument that NBA players’ on-court stats are directly impacted by their hairstyle choices. To prove it she breaks down the story of Kyle Kuzma, whose streakiness as a player, if you believe Jordan, may just be the result of his eight different hair styles. Listen here.
🎙️Why didn’t anyone ever tell me the important roles camels played in American History? Kerning Cultures unveils an elusive camel herder called Hadj Ali (or, as the Americans called him; Hi Jolly,) who was one of the first people from the Middle East to move to the USA, and used camels to build Route 66 as part of the short-lived U.S. Camel Calvary Corp in 1856. Camels have been erased from the US history books and I won’t stand for it. Listen here.
🎙️Twin Flames combines so many hot themes right now—cults, scammers, technology, and love, that it almost feels like the story was created by AI, but it’s pulled from reality. It tells the story of Jeff and Shaleia, a young couple famous on YouTube, teach about Twin Flames—a deep, romantic connection with your perfect partner. They act as guides to help people find their Twin Flame, which ends up being a long list of tasks that encourage them to cut ties with friends and family and claim their Twin Flame by any means necessary. Their cult-like tactics encourage members to do aggressive and delusional things, like becoming “honey badgers of love.” (You get to hear audio from the group meetings.) Hosted by Stephanie Beatriz, it feels much more intimate than most Wondery shows. Listen here.
🎙️On the Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! feed comes a series called Everyone & Their Mom, a short-form comedy show that goes deep into the news stories that everyone and their moms are talking about with host writer, comic and college junior Emma Eun-joo Choi and Wait Wait panelists and other comedians. Episode one takes us to a zoo in England who hired a Marvin Gaye impersonator to encourage an endangered species of monkeys to breed. Hear a clip here. Full episode here.
🎙️The audio drama Bone Marry Bury (starring Sarah Hyland) takes us to a New Year’s Eve party, where Allie is vowing to have the best year of her life in 2022. Allie’s friend Gabe is our narrator and informs us that that by the end of the month Allie will fuck, marry, and kill three different people in attendance of the party. It’s a fun exercise in knowing the end of the story but not knowing how we’re going to get there, in this self-contained space that feels just as alive as a New Year’s party. It’s a fucked-up, funny game of Clue, and the campy vibes are strong. Listen here.
🎙️I love the pacing of Wild Boys—it spent the perfect amount of time setting up a strange story, took a break, and now is picking up the pieces with the final four episodes. (Plus host Sam Mullins is a comedic dream with personal investment in the story.) We just had a little break and are now learning the second half of the story—the missing pieces that make everything make a bit more sense. One of the brothers, Roen, was running away from treatment for anorexia, although he wasn’t anorexic, he was orthorexic, and the misunderstanding tells a story of what it’s like to be completely misdiagnosed from an ignorant or careless doctor. It also explains Roen’s very weird obsession with fruit that we’ve been wondering about, and how he ended up in Veron, lying to an entire community. Now the story has shifted to the point I actually feel sad for this kid. Though I have a better idea of how he’s here, I still have a lot of questions. This show has me on pins and needles. Listen here.
🎙️Season one of The Heist blasted open the power of the Donald Trump presidency to tell the story of a huge political swindle involving the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, where wealthy people and large corporations won big. It won lots of praise, was a nominee for the 2021 Webby Awards, and won an Ambie for the Best Business Podcast. Season two is something a little different—this time around, it’s confronting the enormous wealth vortex between Black and white Americans, and how ReShonda, a tenacious and entrepreneurial woman in Iowa is fighting back using the tools of the banking systems that helped perpetuate it—by starting her own bank. America’s first Black-owned bank in more than 20 years. Editor Jamie Smith Hopkins is taking us to Waterloo to find out what it takes to start a bank (a lot of money) and the hurdles placed in front of ReShonda as she tries to make it totally Black-owned, fighting the wealth gap along the way. It’s an ambitious, place-specific story with huge heart that speaks volumes to the wealth-gap in America. Listen here.
🎙️Can you make an entire podcast in a day? Tal Minear has gathered a team of fantastics to find out with the modern day, anticapitalist take on Greek Mythology, an audio drama Follow Forward. It follows Icarus' efforts to take down Labyrinth Corporation after its founder, Theseus, stole tech from Icarus' family. (Sounds ambitious to throw together in a day, no? And I must say the answer to Tal’s question is yes, and that it can be really good!) It’s a quick journey and you can tell the people making it had so much fun doing it. It’s smart and the fun is contagious. Listen here.
🎙️Lady of the Road is a new show from comedian Arden Myrin and Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson that fishes the minds of important women for self-help advice. You might be particularly interested in the interview with Lauren Lapkus and Nicole Byer—they take us through their journey of becoming podcasters and they offer lots of candid tips that you don’t usually hear people talking about. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s secret or boring to most people (probably the later) but podcasters, this episode is for you. Listen here.
🎙️On This Is Dating, the Aziz and Manny date brought up something for Jesse that made her want to go a little deeper—the death of desirability. It’s something that Aziz and Manny talked about as gay men in the dating scene (they refer to it as the gay version of the biological clock.) They tap into the idea that as you age, your desirability goes down and you lose standing in the gay community. Listen here. This comes at the same time that Jeffrey Masters announced that on his podcast LGBTQ&A he’ll be running a new series dedicated exclusively to the stories of LGBTQ+ elders. Tomorrow he’ll kick things off with Barbara Satin, a faith leader and 87-year-old trans woman from Minneapolis. Listen here.
🎙️I love you!