Five Podcasts to Pique Your Interest

Podcasts today are like blogs were ten to fifteen years ago. They began as media channels for the fringes and perhaps even the marginalized. They had a limited appeal, as they were difficult to get a hold or required some digging around for anything worthwhile. They existed more so as personal projects than widespread entertainment.

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Image via Slate

But soon enough, they gained traction as media consumers were drawn to their old-school appeal and functionality. Podcasts are the new radio, but- dare I say- better? They’re portable and streamable. They can be catered to your interests. They offer bite-sized chunks of information at a rate you can customize. Play half on your way to work. Don’t like it? Easy, just delete the cast and find another. Fast forward through drawn out dialogue or irrelevant rambling (if you want, although I think that’s part of the fun.) Podcasts- even more than blogs- are in the hands of the consumer.

For a little over a decade, podcasts have been working their way into the contemporary mainstream. In 2014, the popularity of Serial forced podcasts into the public eye, but they are still overlooked by many who think they are one-dimensional or favor audiovisual entertainment.

You can’t compare podcasts to television, really, nor radio for that matter. But you can appreciate them in their own right. For their often DIY ethos, their niche categorization, their relatively loose rules regarding censorship and their ability to connect with listeners in a way that not many other forms of media can.

If podcasts are akin to a chat with friends, then here are a few of my favorite conversations. No matter your interest, there is surely a cast you can connect with.

For the girl’s girl –Lady to Lady

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Image via Paste Magazine

This podcast follows three funny ladies (plus one weekly guest) as they discuss life, love, drugs, pop culture and whatever else happens to pop into their minds. If you enjoy listening to others’ stream of consciousness babble, then this one’s for you. Seriously though, you’ve gotta just go and listen to Lady to Lady because it’s a lot better than I’m making it out to be. In all honesty, I didn’t love it at first. I thought the hosts were vain and stupid (sorry). But truth be told, they’re actually really smart, strong, insightful women whose guests fall in that same category. Lady to Lady is like brunch with *certain* friends: it’s mindless and gossipy but may also challenge your perspective, and will definitely make you laugh.

For the struggling artist- Creative Pep Talk

Andy is the illustrator behind many well-known graphics for clients including Google, Converse and Nickelodeon, just to name a few. Don’t worry, he’s not here to spout off some self-help bullshit or sell you e-books. He genuinely has an interest in living and promoting an authentically creative lifestyle. (I’m judging myself for writing that in earnest, but w/e.) Andy’s the real deal. He’ll teach you how to set yourself apart, find time and energy for your underlying interests, reject anxious thoughts of not being good enough to try/succeed… And you’ll meet some pretty cool people in the field along the way. 

For the curious George –Baby Geniuses

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Image via babygeniusespodcast.tumblr.com

Another one from Max Fun, Baby Geniuses is hosted by comedian Emily Heller and cartoonist (of Bojack fucking Horseman) Lisa Hanawalt. The show is an interesting mix of fun facts, both educational and amusing. You can look forward to segments such as “Chunch Chat” (all about Martha Stewart’s pony, Ben Chunch) and “Wiki of the Week” (where random wiki pages are pulled from the dredges of the Internet and assessed by the hosts). They love any niche subculture or nugget of undisclosed information that you didn’t know was relevant until you hear it through your headphones, then can’t stop thinking about. (Say, for instance, the phenomenon of “anti-Barney humor”.) This cast never gets old, with a rotating roster of quirky guests and even quirkier stories.

For the spirituality-seeking skeptic- That’s So Retrograde

I’ve gotta start with a disclaimer that I actually… sort of… get bored with this podcast sometimes because I’m like “been there, done that ladies”. Like, “kombucha was so 2010, why are we still talking about it?” But then I instantly check myself and thank goddess for this podcast because, although topics at hand sometimes seem a bit outdated, they go into more depth than I would probably reach on my own. I’m talking everything you’ve ever wanted to know about flower essences, flotation tanks and planet alignment. Each segment has a different topic picked from the world of health and wellness and broadcast from LA (but of course). The hosts, Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari enjoy green juice and meditation but also whiskey and weed, fully embracing both yin and yang elements in their lives. They provide an insightful look at what you can do for a bit of a health boost without losing friends or fun in the process. 

For the chronic dieter- The Fuck It Diet

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Image via the Fuck It Diet

Yes, this one is also hosted by a comedian. (Really, what podcast isn’t?) But Caroline Dooner is more than that. She also acts, sings and teaches rigid food obsessives how to fuck rules and restriction around their eating behavior. Like what the hell, eat whatever you want in whatever amount you want and why do we have all these rules and where did they come from and how privileged are we to even question what’s in our food or whether we’re eating the perfect amount or whether anyone else gives a shit? Caroline explores all this plus more and is a serious influence in my battle against ED behavior. So give her and her wonderfully rebellious, anti-diet guests and her post-interview sing-alongs a listen.

I’m always on the metaphorical hunt for some captivating new casts, so don’t hesitate to throw me some suggestions. What are your current favorites?

Comment here or shout out on Twitter @QuincyLeuhh

quincy

 

 

Midweek Mashup

It’s warming up here, which means I can finally eat ice cream again without aggravating my vataThis recipe brings me back to my recent travels to Singapore, where ice cream sandwiches are literally a slab of ice cream served between a thick piece of milk bread– or better yet, rainbow bread.

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Oh, and it just so happens to be dairy-free (if you nix the condensed milk topping, which you shouldn’t). Alternatively, try this.

And, on a similar note: the Hong Kong street food that’s taking over Instagram.

If you prefer reading about food to eating it, who are you, you monster? Might as well tell me you also sometimes “forget to eat“. Although I will never understand your kind, I do enjoy a good article on food culture. The Runcible Spoon, a D.C.-based “food & fantasy” zine, is full of ’em. Just discovered it, wondering how did I not know about this sooner?

Another one I wish I’d found sooner is Render– for those of us that like our sustenance served with a side of social justice (and lots of great cocktail recipes).

While we’re on the topic of food, check out one of my favorite music videos on the web right now- Swedish girl, Spanish name, Asian influence, chanting about belly buttons (in what she describes as a “beauty orgy“.

Here’s another one that- albeit slightly disturbing- is so aesthetically interesting, you can’t not watch the whole thing several times over.

Actually, I recommend anything that Lazy Mom makes. I also recommend anything that Pill makes. Combine the two and you have pure perfection.

And one more video, just for kicks, from London-based Kero Kero Bonito.

In other music news…

While all the lucky bums with no obligations are relishing in the last few days of South by, I’ll be living vicariously through Snapchat stories and Instagram feeds. Not that that’s a bad thing- you can have almost as much fun at home for practically free!

(At least that’s what I’m telling myself).              

No sweat, no lines, no overpriced booze, no tall people wandering over to block your view. If you’re dreaming of Austin but can’t be there to participate , join me (in spirit) for the next best thing with this DIY festival experience.

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Step 1: Dress the part with inspiration from this year’s attendees (both novice and veteran)

Bonus: Add some Texas dirt for authenticity- grime is the new glitter!

Step 2: Get drunk (on craft beer if you’re trying to stay true to that Austin culture, or 40’s if you’re cheap)

Step 3: Pop on some tunes (perhaps paying special attention to these 25?)

Step 4: Make tacos

Once the dust has (literally) settled from your remaining 5 days of festival fun, you’ll surely need another media outlet to suck your time away.

Shockingly, that outlet may be Facebook. We all know it as the platform that became overrun by wine-drunk middle-aged women and abandoned by its original users. However, Facebook is experiencing a resurgence which might just make it cool again (but only if you’re part of the burgeoning underground scene or using it to troll).

In more media news, Leslie Arfin is the best (despite my limited enthusiasm for Girls).  Her husband‘s pretty dope too. Catch this interview with him and Gillian Jacobs about their Netflix series on pre-relationship trials and discomforts. 

Once computer vision syndrome has begun to set in, turn off the screen and pop in your headphones for Lady to Lady podcast.

It’s basically a chance to listen in on three women (plus a weekly guest) provide commentary on their lives. Not only are they hilarious, but also refreshingly honest and relatable.

In stark contrast to many L.A. creatives, there’s no overly-censored, picture-perfect representations going on here.

Follow the girls on Twitter for more fun and, please let me know:

What are the best things you found on the web this week? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young & Twee- Ethical Fashion Picks for Spring/Summer 2015

As a “20-something”, “millennial”, “Gen-Y’er” or whatever other term is being thrown on our generation these days, I’ve struggled a bit with finding balance within the world of young adult fashion.

Trendy, fast-fashion is in. This stuff is not style that you can expect to last longer than the life cycle of the latest meme.

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However, we lust after it nonetheless- shirts that show our social/political awareness or skirts that insinuate our drug preferences probably don’t have long staying power, but they sure do sell.

One reason I find this problematic is that this is stuff you’ll see yourself coming and going in.

“How clever of me to find this cool, provocative clothing item on some obscure Etsy page. I’m so original!”
…..

“Oh, you have a slightly different variation of the same item? Well, damn…”

Okay, maybe if it doesn’t bother you to have the same shirt slogan as your bestie, roommate, and that kid in your Psych class.
But if you’re really the culturally and environmentally sensitive person your clothing choices make you out to be, you should reconsider your devotion to fast-fashion.

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