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Podcast Catch-Up

After talking about the House To Astonish and War Rocket Ajax podcasts, I thought I’d catch up on other podcasts I listen to (the last time I did this was two years ago, so it’s about time).

I’m still listening to Smodcast – Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier (mostly; he occasionally chats with other people, such as his wife and his old friends from New Jersey) talking about everything and nothing. The discussion they had after the fallout of Zack and Miri Make A Porno was very revealing, even if not all of them are as fascinating.

I still listen to the Collings and Herrin podcast, the raw and unedited chat of two men, with Andrew Collins being the sensible one and Richard Herring being a child who doesn’t even seem to like Collins. Perhaps through this podcast, which has been running strong for two years, they are currently standing in for Adam and Joe on BBC6 Music, although they are not as good. The Adam and Joe show was another favourite podcast, even if I did listen to them live as well, but they are taking leave at the moment while Joe directs his first feature film (from his own script). Adam and Joe were the best thing about BBC6 Music, so it’s a shame they’re not around at this time, when the station is under threat of closure as the Director General tries to (mistakenly) appease the next government.

I’ve listened to Frank Skinner’s podcast (i.e. the edited highlights of his Saturday morning show on Absolute radio) but I’ve not become a dedicated listener. Instead of just having Skinner on his own, a funny and erudite comedian who is expanding his repertoire as he gets older, he has two other people in the studio with him (a young chap and young woman), which does allow for him to react with his quick wit but makes for a diluted experience.

The other podcast I’ve sampled but don’t listen to regularly is John Siuntres’ Word Balloon. He chats with popular comic book creators – he does a regular interview with Brian Michael Bendis, called The Bendis Tapes – and is friendly and engaging, although he does come across as rather bland: he never has anything bad to say about anyone and thinks that everyone’s books are great. And, although he does do a rather good Stan Lee impersonation, he should be told to never, ever, ever do Irish and English accents ever again – they are really awful and I’m quite appalled by them.

The best weekly download for me has to be Mark Kermode’s film reviews on Simon Mayo’s show on a Friday. Kermode is the most passionate and knowledgeable film reviewer in the UK at the moment, and he deserves the slot on the BBC One Film programme, now that Jonathan Ross will be vacating the chair. Kermode is perhaps ignorant of the world outside film – he admits to not watching television at all, because there are too many films to see, and doesn’t really pay attention to the rest of popular culture – and he has a softness for films that other reviewers wouldn’t care for (he was a big fan of Mamma Mia!, even though he could see its flaws), but he is passionately enthusiastic about film and what it can do, something that comes across in his reviews, both in the good and the bad. I don’t always agree with him but I’ll always listen to his opinion.

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