Two years ago, I did not listen to podcasts. I had heard of them, but I never really paid attention. That all changed a year ago.
"Give me some of your favorite podcasts!" One of my Facebook friends posted. In 15 minutes she had a resounding list. One kept popping up over and over and over again. "Welcome To Nightvale" I decided to check it out. I started at the very beginning and was hooked after one episode. I started at the beginning, and was done in no time. I began searching for other podcasts to listen to while I was waiting for an update to WTNV. It just kind of snowballed from there.
Let's start with how I listen to my podcasts. Podcasts are called such because of Apple. These types of broadcasts have been around forever, but Apple made it simple (as they do with most things) to get all of these in one spot. I am not an Apple product user. I never have been. I find it amusing that even when I was all about trends and trendiness, I never had an Apple product.
My current smart phone is an LG Nexus 4. My phone is great, however I got the low end of the memory when I purchased it. I know now that my next phone will have the most memory I can get.
The application I use to access podcasts is BeyondPod for Android. I tried other applications, but they didn't feel as user friendly to me. There is a free verion and a paid version. I used the free version for a while then switched to the paid one. According to the website, the Lite (free version) has the same features of the Pro (paid version) except the following:
- You will be able to update only one feed at a time.
- You can download only one episode at a time.
- You can play episodes only at normal speed.
- Chromecast support will be disabled.
- Scheduling of automatic updates will be disabled.
- EpisodeSync will be disabled.
The main things that I needed from Pro were the first two on this list. I have a lot of podcasts...as well as feelings.
It is user friendly and the only thing I wish that it had (and this is totally superficial) is the ability to change the color of the application. The only two color palettes you have are a khaki color or dark. Boo.
So that is the hardware my podcasts run on. Lets jump into the podcasts. These are my top 10 in no particular order. I like them all equally.
We've already talked about this in a previous post. Perfect Carlos, Cecil, The Old Woman who secretly lives in your home. They are all amazing characters. This podcast is delightfully weird and is an absolute joy to listen to. I wish I lived in Nightvale. I would happily join Tamika Flynn's band of mercenaries.
I discovered this podcast roughly a year ago. I don't remember how, and I do not remember why. But I was hooked instantly. It tells the story of a hodgepodge of people, banding together as the Zombie Apocalypse is in full effect. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way. This podcast has been going since 2008 I do believe. Sadly, it is coming to an end. According to the website the finale premeres in LA on July 19th in a live performance. It is killing me that it is ending, as I have grown to seriously care for some of these characters. It feels like it did when Harry Potter ended. I have thrown absolute tantrums on twitter about characters and they have responded. Observe:
— We're Alive (@WereAlive) April 24, 2014
As you can see, I love this podcast. And I love that they interact with my crazy butt.
3. The Read
I don't even know how to begin with The Read. Let me start at the beginning. I live for Kid Fury. I originally started watching his YouTube videos when he talked about the drama he had when trying to get home to watch Scandal:
I was in TEARS of laughter from the jump. You'll notice in this one he briefly mentions the podcast him and Crissle do. I went ahead and checked it out shortly after that.
Bruh. Bruh. Honey, Linda, listen to me right now. If you love Beyonce, pop culture gossip, ratchet music, and just straight silliness. You must listen. There is swearing on here. Please keep that in mind. I don't even care. I'm grown.
From my list so far, you can kind of guess that I enjoy podcasts that tell a story. I am an avid reader. I have never really used books on tape (or cd, or whatever medium you want), but this is what some of these would be. Leviathan Chronicles are no different. It tells the story of an immortal population with a twist. This took some getting into. I think it was roughly the third episode before I was actually invested.
They currently have up to the first half of season 2 out. There have been multiple setbacks recently and the owner (Director? Writer?) Christof Laputka has a State of the Union that has been out there for a while explaining the delays. Christof, if you read this please know that there are people who enjoy this podcast who would have no problems donating to a Kickstarter fundraiser for you. I need to know what happens to Tulley. I also want to punch Maccallen in the face.
BoN holds a special place in my heart. They reached out to us on twitter. Matt lives in Indianapolis (like me!) and Llana lives in LA. Kind of like how Blondie is in Vegas and we co-write on here! For those of you that do not know, a Blerd is just a Black Nerd. Growing up, I didn't run into many Blerds and it wasn't until I was a full fledged adult that I truly let my Geek Flag Fly. BoN talkes about the things that we all care about, such as E3, Comics, Gaming, and more. I appreciate what they do, and hopefully maybe we can collaborate on something someday!
I am going to be honest with you when I say history did not capture my attention in High School/Junior High School. I always made it a point never to fall asleep in class, no matter how tired I was because I snored like a bear back then. To this day, 9th grade world history is the only class I have ever fallen asleep in. Seriously passed out on my desk. I got detention because it is pretty much impossible to discretly sleep when you snore like a damn bear.
I felt like adding this podcast to my roster was going to be a mistake. I figured I would try one and delete the stream if I did not like it. This particular podcast has over 600 episodes. I started with number one. I believe this podcast started in 2008. I am currently in the year 2009. I've listened to over 50 of them. One of the hosts has changed so far and it looks like both will be changing the later I get into them. My favorite podcast is where they talk about Australia's Stolen Generation . I had no clue that this had happened. I spoke to some of my Australian friends and they gave me the breakdown on how the impact of the stolen generation reverberates today in Australia. It is crazy.
I did not realize my countdown was going to be as wordy as it is. So I am going to save the last 4 for a Part 2!
So, here is the deal. Rules. I am not a big follower of them. If I want to do something, and there is a rule in place to discourage me, I am going to try my damnest to find a way around it. There are a couple exceptions to this. The first one being that the rules are there to help with the safety of others. The second being the rules are there to make sure everyone has a good time.
The past few days I have seen some doozies.
Let us talk about flash photography. Want to know my major pet peeve? You own a super fancy DSLR camera, with all the crazy fancy lenses. Instead of taking a class, or reading a book to learn how to use it, you instead keep it on automatic and always keep the flash on. Let me let you in on a little secret. YOU DO NOT NEED FLASH ON EVERYTHING. At conventions, and things on a stage, most of the time, the people on the stage are lit up properly for you. No flash needed. They do this for a couple of reasons.
1. Flash blinds and disorients the people on stage.
2. Flash can be dangerous to people in the audience.
For those of you who hadn’t seen or heard, at the Supernatural convention in Las Vegas, a friend of mind and a severe medical emergency because the people throwing the convention did not see an issue with allowing people to use the flash. You can read about her story here.
At the live reading of Welcome to Night Vale the woman who speaks at the end of every podcast came out (she looked fabulous by the way). She explained that they loved having their picture taken, and while that was not a problem, could we please turn off the flash? It was blinding to the actors, and it disrupts the experience for your neighbors. They also asked that we did not film it, because they wanted each stop to have the same experience that we got. Besides, after the tour it would be up for download.
Not even two minutes after she left the stage, there was flash photography all over the place. I just turned around and glared. After the issue with my friend at the SPN con, I was hypersensitive to following that rule.
Two pews (I told you in the last entry this was a quirky place) in front of us was the most annoying girl I ever had the misfortune of sitting near. I don’t honestly even really know why she was there. She looked to have no interest in the show. Shortly after the show had begun, I was bathed in a bright white light. She was recording the show and her bright ass display was interrupting my viewing. I was so irritated. She kept stopping and starting recording and not even paying attention to what was going on. I truly believe her whole purpose in that theater that evening was to make me so angry I wanted to snatch her hair. Ugh. Eventually someone in my pew told her to stop and she did.
I guess the point of this is to say this: Why is it so difficult for people to be courteous to one another? Flash photography causes seizures to some people. Video recording AFTER THE PEOPLE ASKED YOU NOT TO is so tacky and unnecessary. Some rules aren’t made to be broken. They are there for the health and wellbeing of the people around you, and maybe even yourself. Think about it.
I recently just switched jobs. With my old job, whenever I wasn’t on the phone, I listened to music. Since I am perpetually stuck in the 90’s that is what most of my music consists of. Eventually I got bored with the same playlists day in and day out, and decided to branch out.
Me: Does anyone know of any good podcasts?
Friends: This American Life! The Read! Welcome to Night Vale!
Me: What is Welcome to Night Vale?
Friends: Think Twilight Zone with absolute randomness thrown in.
I downloaded the most recent episode at that time. I was hooked when Cecil started talking about the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. In short order, I downloaded and listened to all of the past episodes.
For those of you that have no clue what the hell I am going on about, here is the description by Wikipedia:
Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale. It was created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, and is published by Commonplace Books. The podcast airs on the first and fifteenth of every month, and consists of "news, announcements and advertisements" from the desert town,located "somewhere in the Southwestern United States".In an interview with NPR, Joseph Fink commented on the creation of the series, stating that he "came up with this idea of a town in that desert where all conspiracy theories were real, and we would just go from there with that understood."
Cecil Baldwin is the voice of Night Vale. He is currently dating a scientist by the name of Carlos. Not much is known about Carlos, except it feels like he doesn’t really believe in the conspiracies, he loves Cecil, and he has perfect hair.
Night Vale has recently started a live show tour, and I was truly fortunate (read: when tickets went on sale I ignored all work that needed to be done in that moment and clicked as if my life depended on it) to get tickets to see the show.
I’m going to be honest when I say this: I truly didn’t believe that this would be a sold out show. I only have a few friends that know about Welcome to Night Vale. Imagine my surprise when I pull up to the venue in Irvington an hour early and the line is WRAPPED AROUND the theater.
Irvington is a neighborhood (I hesistate to say suburb) of Indianapolis. It is totally quirky and funky like Broadripple with more parking. It has all these neat shops, and the neighborhood looks like has organically grown over the years and not been manufactured like *cough* Carmel *cough*. The Irvington Theater was super funky. I look on the about page of the theater and it doesn’t tell me the year it opened, only the day as far as I could see.
Once we got inside, there was a set up to buy shirts, and posters. I wanted to hurry up and grab seats, as all the ones in the front row were taken. We ended up with decent seats, right behind the sound equipment people. As I sat down and waited, I people watched. In addition to people in WTNV shirts, we had people dressed up. I think I saw more Carlos’ than anyone else. They all had on lab coats.
I am not going to talk about what the show was about, they came out at the beginning and asked that we don’t do that or record anything because they want each stop on the tour to have the same experience as us, plus they plan on releasing the live shows after they get done. I am one that does not want to ruin the expierence for others. I will however, have a second blog post about some of the audience at a later time. Hopefully this week right after this post.
The show in one word? Amazing. The audience participation was amazing as well. Cecil looked nothing like what he did in my head, nor did Perfect Carlos. Let this be known though, they are both FINE. FIIIIINNNUHHHHHHH. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. After it was over, I did not see them come out to do autographs, which I was hoping to get a picture with them, but it is okay. If they come to your town to do a live show, don’t miss it. They are amazing storytellers!