January was a fantastic month for podcasts, don't you think? There are so many new shows out, and I've got a good feeling about a lot of them. Here are four of my favorite episodes from the past few weeks, all of them from new (or new-ish) podcasts.
Ham from Squirrel Stories. [Jan. 18, 10 minutes] Have you listened to this show yet? I'd highly recommend it, if not. It's a comedic storytelling podcast from host Sean Davis, who's set out to collect the "squirrel stories" of the world. In the first episode, he says: "Everybody has that one embarrassing or hilarious story that they like to tell ... That story that they will continue to tell at parties for the rest of their lives. I'm on a mission to capture those stories and share them." The second episode comes from Sean's friend Lora, who as a child hid an Easter ham in the spare bedroom of her parent's house after secretly going to town on the leftovers. It wasn't found until months later. This episode was laugh-out-loud funny, and it's got me really excited about all of the squirrel stories to come.
Aubrey Plaza from Anna Faris is Unqualified. [Jan. 12, 1 hour, 35 minutes] I'm a massive fan of Parks and Recreation -- I've seen every episode at least three times -- so when I saw that Aubrey Plaza was a guest on Unqualified, I was stoked. And the episode did not disappoint. Aubrey described the oddly perfect relationship between April and Andy on Parks, her recent audition for Star Wars, and a truly terrible Craigslist roommate experience. It also included a surprise phone-in from Chris Pratt, and of course, a couple of calls from strangers seeking bad relationship advice. This episode was long, but definitely one of the best yet from this hilarious new podcast.
Welcome to Dog. a podcast from Dog. a podcast. [Jan. 9, 7 minutes] This is another brand new show with only two uploads to date, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. This podcast isn't solely about dogs, so you don't have to be obsessed with them like I am to enjoy it. It's also about the life of host Colleen, a thirty-something part-time dog walker, who's making her way through a possible quarter-life crisis in a brand new city: Chicago. In the first episode, she says, "I can't seem to figure out what I want, or who I want to be, and where I want to go. So right now, I walk dogs." The first episode was really great, with top-notch storytelling and sound quality. I'm really looking forward to what's next from this one.
.380 cal handgun from synesthesia - a podcast opera. [Jan. 8, 3 minutes] This is one of the most heartbreaking shows I've ever listened to. It's a podcast opera about gun violence in America from host Patrick Hockberger, a 24-year-old musician. He explains in episode one that the creation of the ten-month-long podcast event was inspired by a piece in the Washington Post last October titled, "People are getting shot by toddlers on a weekly basis this year." Forty-three tragedies occurred in 2015, and forty-three episodes will be uploaded this year, at precisely the minute each gun was fired. Patrick closes episode one by saying, "Children are dying on a weekly basis, and by subscribing you will force yourself to be cognizant of this crisis. By the end, I hope you will join me in demanding our Congress make firearms safer." This podcast is hauntingly beautiful and incredibly important, and I'll definitely be tuning in to each episode this year.
So tell me -- have you listened to any of these? Will you? I'd love to hear, if so.