Worth A Listen: Top Audio Tracks for October 2014

Roll of $100 bills.

Photo courtesy http://401kcalculator.org via Flickr.

This month, I found one new piece and two “classic” audio tracks to present for your listening pleasure. I have to credit downloading the PRX Remix app for locating the older tracks … It’s a great source for discovering amazing things to listen to that aren’t currently making the rounds on NPR or at the top of the podcast feed in Stitcher.

1) Start Up Podcast, Episode 1: How NOT to pitch a billionaire

I knew I would love Alex Blumberg‘s new podcast series, partially because I knew he had major audio storytelling chops from This American Life and Planet Money, and partially because this newest series is a podcast about … starting a podcast! And I love “meta” things like that.

I knew, as I settled into listen to this first episode, that I would get something professionally out of this series, since I’m running an audio-oriented business. What I wasn’t prepared for is Alex’s willingness to put his dignity on the line for the sake of sharing a good story.

In this episode, Alex thinks big and uses a “Planet Money” connection to secure a pitch meeting with a potential “angel” investor. Despite his background in financial reporting, being able to convince the angel to shake loose a million dollars to start a podcasting network is a real challenge. If you’re an audiophile, you’ll love this show, and if you’re a business student or an entrepreneur intrigued by the recent growth of podcast and digital audio businesses, you’ll find a lot here, too. And, surprisingly, if you just like a good human story, one where the protagonist isn’t afraid to admit mistakes and make a fool of himself on the way to eventual victory, you’ll want to listen to this show, too.

2) Sound Portraits: The Ground We Lived On

Producer Adrian Nicole LeBlanc has created an intimate, heart-touching audio portrait of her life with her father during the final days of his life. She has an extremely easy-going and gentle manner with him, and is able to discuss family stories and his thoughts on how his life had turned out in a way that truly brings out the love between them – which you can here in their voices.
This program first aired in 2006, but is essentially timeless. She utilizes radio’s ability to convey emotion in the best possible way, and her narration track keeps listeners oriented to what’s happening to the father’s body and mind during his final decline.

Listen to “The Ground We Lived On 

(Here’s a transcript if you’d like to follow along)

3) Unintended Detours, Episode 2: Tic-Toc

Several years ago (2007), Sue Mell produced a podcast series about getting or feeling off-track. After listening to her episode on creativity and time, I’m motivated to listen to the rest of the series.

What’s remarkable is the way in which she gets “ordinary artists” – people who are not creative brand names – to open up and have a serious discussion about the twists and turns their creative process has taken over time. For someone who has blogged about creativity, this is like calorie-free candy. But even if learning how artists remain artists isn’t your thing, you’ll probably enjoy the way Mell has edited and interwoven several stories to provide a satisfying narrative arc for each.

Listen to Unintended Detours, Episode 2: Tic-Toc

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