Sunday, July 25, 2010

Podcast Recommendation of the Week - Number 1

I make things all day long, sometimes into the night. My crafts are labor intensive, also occasionally tiny, painstaking, and always repetitive. I need to listen to something while I'm creating or I'm left alone with my own thoughts and, well, no thank you. Years ago I used to put a TV on while I worked but the temptation to glance up was irresistible and it became distracting. I've always loved radio and since I found podcasts, I don't even watch TV just to relax anymore, I'm hooked on sound! I make my own pictures in my mind.

My default listening experience of choice is live streaming NPR over my computer. I'm a proud NPR junkie and I love knowing what's going on right now. I'm supremely lucky to live within radio range of three excellent NPR stations, but I have at least 6 different stations bookmarked on my computer so I can jump around from town to town along the northeast and listen to my favorite shows at the most convenient times regardless of where they are broadcasting from.

When the shows are not to my taste or they start repeating I listen to the podcasts I've downloaded from the internet and stored on my computer and also transferred to my little orange iPod.

I know a lot of artists listen while they work, some to music, some to audio books, some to TV and movies. Once they burn through all those episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer they have to find something new! I mentioned on Twitter that I have 250 podcasts waiting to be listened to and people wanted to know WHAT IS ON THERE??

And it came up again recently at one of Mimi's crafty meet-ups, what do you listen to while you make?

So I decided to make a list, telling you once a week about a podcast I like and what it's about. Then you can decide if it's something that would entertain you as well. I hope you find some great new listening!

Bob Edwards Weekend
I decided to go alphabetically so I wouldn't get confused. The first entry is Bob Edwards Weekend. Bob Edwards is the smokey-voiced former host of Morning Edition on NPR. It crushed me when they let him go (though I have to admit, I love the new hosts) so I was very excited to find his show available as a podcast. On it he interviews actors, authors, singers and musicians.

Bob Edwards has an excellent way of letting the interviewee get their thoughts out without interruption, and he's obviously listening to their answers because he follows up and laughs and interacts in a very satisfying way. He's one of those interviewers that, like Terry Gross, can make me interested in a subject matter or person I wouldn't have thought I would care about.

The show is presented as two one-hour segments and it always features a classic clip from the This I Believe series started by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s, including the context of the clip, which is so interesting I think.

I like listening to this podcast on weekend mornings with a cup of hot beverage and a slow-paced project in my lap.


  1. Now that's a good idea. I don't have an iPod, but this is handy just in case I get one, as well as a good reminder of what is on npr. I can listen to music and the radio. I have tried to make sometimes while watching TV and I always get distracted and I don't do my best work. Project Runway dvds can be very distracting. What was I thinking? ;)

  2. Thanks Angela! LOL I know, I can't keep my eyes off PR when it's on :)

    So you remind me to mention, you don't need an iPod to listen to these shows. I think you can download iTunes for free and listen to these free podcasts through your computer. Some of the shows have standalone players on their websites as well.

  3. I'm right with you on listening to podcasts while I work and agree that Bob Edwards is a really good one. Can't wait to read what else is on your list. I'm currently working my way around the world with Rick Steves.

  4. So glad you're starting this series - I'm always interested in adding to my little collection of podcast favorites.

    And by the way, most of the time podcasts are just mp3 files, so anyone can just download them and listen to them on a portable mp3 player, or directly on their computer. I have my laptop in the kitchen and tend to play my podcasts there while I do boring things like the dishes :-)

  5. What a great idea, to write about listening to podcasts while you work on your beautiful handmade treasures.

    And great that you start with Bob Edwards, a fine journalist.

  6. Looks great! I'm going to go and subscribe to Bob Edwards on ITunes right now!

  7. I love NPR, too. I hope that Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me is on your list. It's at the top of mine.