We're all connected now aren't we? But when it comes to cutting out the slack and keeping on track with all things writery, musical and literary - there are certain streams most definitely worth wading through.
I tend to blast through podcasts - so I have a few on the go when it comes to my interests. If you are interested in literature, music and people; then here are some podcasts I see as crucial listening.
Blackout At Sunrise
What a name, what a podcast. This is run by Kieran Hennessy out of his base in Cork city, Ireland. Kieran has an inexhaustible flare for picking really interesting folk who are deep into their lifeloves; anyone doing interesting and progressive activities across work-life and the arts. His shows are always laid back and laugh out loud in places. Brutally honest and engaging, each episode features a conversation with one individual; and the variety that crosses the Blackout At Sunrise list makes this podcast stand out strong from all the rest.
And I 'm not just blowing the trumpet for Blackout since I was one of the people lucky enough to be interviewed! But yes, that episode - focusing on my near-decade of activity in the DIY alternative punk music scenes running a record label and putting on touring bands - is available to listen to here also. Blackout has interviews with a Finance graduate Seb, the Chef Julian O’Gorman , the Burlesque entertainer Scarlett Minx, Chris Colohan of hardcore bands Burning Love/Cursed, independent filmmaker and visual artist Ian Ruby - and a throve of others. For real people doing the things they love - this is the place to go.
Lost Highway show - Room101
When I'm working late and then have to face that dreary drive home, I tend to plug into Lost Highway. This is a hardcore show - no bullshit, just excellent alternative music and some banter with the shows host Joe O'Mahony. This is again broadcasting out of Cork city and its close as it gets to perfect music radio for me, considering my background in DIY culture. Joe places classic rock and obscured gems as well as some of the freshest current hardcore sounds touring today. The show has a relaxed feel and is a true mix of alternative genres; so you won't get bombarded non-stop by 300bpm snare drums or sucked into a funnel of whitenoise through your speakers. From dreampop to deathmetal with discussion on who’s-who in hardcore alternative scenes today - give this the go-ahead.
Three Percent Podcast
This is my morning listening. To get tuned up on literature and writing, I usually download an episode for the road to work. This is for those who want a taste of the freshest literature across the language barriers. Literature in translation; and with that, the best literature in flux that's smashing shit up today. The podcast is hosted by Chad Post of Open Letter Books and Tom Roberge of New Directions and Albertine Bookstore. The focus is on new books translated into English, which includes older classics translated from their native language across the world. I came across this podcast through my interest in Deep Vellum Publishing - just as they published Alisa Ganieva's 'The Mountain And The Wall', one of the first books ever to emerge in English from Dagestan. And since then, this podcast has introduced me to a massive amount of exciting literature; most which I still have to get copies of. The list grows. Most recent discussions have pointed me towards such books as Michel Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’, Merce Rodoreda's 'War, War, So Much War' and ‘Stone Upon Stone’ by Wiesław Myśliwski. The two presenters discuss a lot of different topics from translation to publishing, bookstores to book festivals while getting in a good few laughs along the way. They even briefly discussed Irelands very own Kevin Barry and his ‘City Of Bohane’ novel in one recent podcast. So no, it’s not all hard and fast on ‘just translation’; but it is all quality talk time about quality literature from across the planet. Sign up and get in the loop.
KCRW Bookworm is THE literary podcast hosted by the renowned Michael Silverblatt. Just the sounds of his voice will keep you tuned into these half hour power-casts J Silverblatt has interviewed everyone worth their salt in the literary world. The interviews with Zadie Smith, Karl Ove Knausgaard, David Foster Wallace and Hubert Selby, Jr are my favourites. It is a long-running show and there are a huge amount of top writers interviewed – so you can always find something you may have missed. I just found a Denis Johnson interview so…happy days. A brilliant show for anyone remotely interested in books and stories. http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm
The Creative Penn
This is the one-stop shop for me when it comes to discussions and pointers on publishing and writing. What I like about this podcast is its frequency, and the discussions Joanne Penn has with her interviewees are always informative for the novice writer like myself who isn’t up to date with the ins-and-outs of self publishing and marketing. Amazon, Kobo, and marketing are covered in details with those who have experience. And the podcasts also branch into the important areas of creativity, focus and mindset. Leave a comment below if you have other writing podcasts that you consider a favourite resource!
KCRW UnFictional is a more recent podcast I have been tuned into, also from KCRW. And this is one I like a lot. Real life stories and nonfiction – as you can see from my website Migrate To The Fringe – are forms I see as underappreciated and overlooked. UnFictional consists of short 20 minute stories, all true and all powerful. This is where you can hear the art of story – there are no constructed elements from the fictional side of the mind. The impact of these shorts - about people, dreams, life - are wholly different from your typical radio documentary piece. Little nuggets, little gems. My favourites so far include ‘The Séance 2015’ – which spooked the shit out of me at dusk in an empty wood on first listen, and ‘Vanished Status’ - the story of anti-war protestor Howard Mechanic, who was living under an assumed name for 28 years.
I hope you enjoy this mixed bag and subscribe to the stories of each. Meanwhile I’m off to listen to a few podcasts from my newest discovery Random Tape, run by David Weinberg who I think is based in L.A.
A host of found tapes, random recordings, bizarre moments…this is one of my favourite snippets – only 30 seconds long so click here for a taste. I am stuck on this one for a while I think. Enjoy, share this post and leave a comment below on your favourite podcasts!
Random Tape: ‘Super’
Eamonn Sheehy - travel writing with a focus on people and culture.