What I Listen To: Podcasts & Radio

I recently shared my favourite blogs and writers that I read online. This time I’m sharing my favourite podcasts and radio shows.

I spend a lot of time listening to music, talk shows and documentaries. It can be at my desk in work or out for a run in the evening. I love finding out about something I never knew about, or hearing a good yarn, well told. It’s also nice to hear analysis that gets behind the headlines, giving you a fresh insight rather than rehashing the same old news.

Sports

My weekly dose of sports podcasts includes The Spanish Football Podcast, focusing on La Liga. It’s a great mix of anecdotes of long car journeys to the lesser clubs of Spain, like Huesca or Alaves. There’s great craic between the presenters, and El Rincon Cultural is always a highlight. It means the cultural corner and usually enlightens you on something that any foreigner who’s lived in Spain will instantly understand but would be unnoticed by Spanish people. Crap Spanish Jokes follows in that vein.

Newstalk’s Off the Ball offers consistently good journalism. I like hearing the in-depth interviews with sports stars or journalists, where you learn about things you’d never normally hear on Sky or in the papers.

Current Affairs

The Stand by Eamonn Dunphy has really established itself. Each week Eamo hosts a discussion with a contributor on big news items like Trump’s America, Garda corruption but he also veers over to football, talking to John Giles or others on what’s going on. Unlike his tiresome punditry persona, Dunphy is at his best here, asking the questions, which he has insight to do, but more importantly listening to the contributors as they share their in-depth knowledge.

Newstalk podcasts are great. I like dipping into the best bits from the breakfast show, Ivan Yates and Sean Moncrieff. Same with WLRFM who have some great sports interviews/updates from Matt Keane, or the talk show with Eamonn Keane.

Documentaries

Serial is a well-established podcast and I’m enjoying the 3rd series, focusing on the US justice system. It focuses on Cleveland, Ohio and gives you a real insight to the biases, unfairness and difficulty for defendants, judges, lawyers and cops. There’s also a great investigative series called Criminal, that unwraps crimes of all sorts from murderers to lawyers to cops.

Given the popularity of these crime documentary podcasts, with serious sounding journalist presenters coldly talking through a crime story, it was inevitable that spoof versions would emerge. This Sounds Serious is one such effort, which sounds like a real story, til you start laughing at the preposterousness of the story and inappropriate comments that the protagonists make.

RTE’s Documentary on One is going for over 30 years on radio. The beauty of this is the archive of thousands of docs which they feature online or replay on the radio. I love the breadth of topics, everything from the boys who got on a plane to New York in the 1980s without a ticket, to the life of an undertaker in rural Ireland. It’s slow paced, with lots of recordings of people talking at the time about some event or other. It’s a cultural treasure.

Interviews

An Irishman Abroad is a hugely popular podcast hosted by comedian Jarlath Regan. Each week he interviews for over an hour an Irish person from any walk of life who has lived at some time abroad. From politicians to actors to sports stars to business people.

Again, I like the randomness of the guests, from big stars like Padraig Harrington to lesser known people like some guy who has another podcast about conspiracy theories. Even if you know the celeb, the interviews are really teased out and get behind the fame and you get a real character insight on what makes them tick.

Music

I listen to Spotify a lot but really like music podcasts. My favourites each week are Philip King’s the South Wind Blows on RTE. I love his deep, whispering voice coming all the way from west Kerry. It’s a great mix of folk, trad, rock and all sorts of alternative stuff.

I also like listening to Raidió na Life, an Irish language station in Dublin, which has some good shows. One is Encapsula by a Venezuelan girl, so lots of Latin music. Along those lines, there’s a Catalan language show on RnaL as well called Electricitat. I love the unusual mix of a guy speaking Catalan with the odd few lines as Gaeilge thrown in.

 

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