Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Lesser-known podcasts for the curious college student

4 min read

Kenyon Laing, Amanda Jacobson and Lucy Fitzgerald of “Wine & Crime.” (doNYC.com)


Staff Writer

With an estimated 62 million listeners each week according to Edison Research’s latest Infinite Dial survey, podcasts have never been more popular,. With this popularity has come a rise in the number of podcasts that are being produced, with roughly 700,000 that are currently active and producing episodes. Such a pool of options has made it harder for people to discover new podcasts that may not be as popular as “My Favorite Murder,” or, “My Brother, My Brother, and Me.”

For your convenience, I have compiled a list of some of the best lesser-known podcasts that are consistently putting out episodes. They are great entertainment for any college student during a study session or commute to class.

Wine & Crime

Debuted in 2017, “Wine & Crime” is a true-crime comedy podcast hosted by Kenyon Laing, Lucy Fitzgerald and Amanda Jacobson. The three childhood friends sit down each week to discuss a crime topic ranging from necrophilia and cults to horse and astronaut crimes. But there’s a hilarious twist to the otherwise morbid stories. While the ladies are discussing these horrific–or at times, ridiculous–crimes, they are drinking a wine that is fitting for the topic that week. The result? Utterly entertaining, alcohol-induced anecdotes and rants that make macabre topics much easier to stomach. For anyone who is a fan of true crime stories, listening to drunk feminist rants or in need of a good laugh, the “Wine & Crime” gals invite you to listen as they, “chug wine, chat true crime and unleash their worst Minnesotan accents.”

Dead Meat Podcast

Horror enthusiasts and soon-to-be newlyweds James A. Janisse and Chelsea Rebecca like to get scared together. Starting the podcast in 2018 as an extension of Janisse’s youtube channel, “DeadMeat,” the pair use their background in film studies and passion for all things horror to review horror flicks that have recently come out or are just plain stupid. Along with their movie reviews follow insightful episodes about different horror film tropes, the origins of the genre, discussions about representation in horror and every so often a fun game based around horror movies (usually created by Rebecca). Together, the duo has incredible banter concerning the genre. Their perceptive reviews extend beyond whether something was satisfyingly scary or not. They incorporate heavy research into their more in-depth topics and overall showcase their passion for the genre through their enthusiasm each week. For anyone who is a fan of horror, hesitant about watching horror movies but wants to know more about them or is in the mood to listen to a couple discuss their passions together, the “Dead Meat Podcast,” is perfect.

Office Ladies

“Office Ladies” stars best friends and co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who are known for their roles as Pam and Angela on the hit NBC show, “The Office.” Beginning in just October of 2019, Fischer and Kinsey sit down together and re-watch the beloved show that they starred in, reacting to one episode each week, letting listeners know behind-the-scenes details and sharing stories about other actors and moments. These details include learning how they accounted for lead actor, Steve Carell, not being able to show up to set some days, who Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration is based on and learning what exactly was written in the letter that Jim Halpert wrote to Fischer’s character. Fischer and Kinsey’s off-screen interactions may be polarizing for fans of “The Office,” as they may be used to the stunted relationship of their on-screen characters, but listeners are able to quickly see the off-screen comradery between the actresses and their serious passion for a not-so-serious show. “Office Ladies” is a great listen for fans of the show or for people who have no desire to actually watch the show but want to stop being yelled at by their friends for not watching it.

Song Exploder

Anyone who has ever wondered how their favorite artist has created a song will love “Song Exploder.” Starting up in 2015, host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway interviews a different artist each week about one of their songs and the process behind its creation. However, rather than having the whole episode be an interview, Hirway edits himself and the questions out of the recording and constructs the artist’s answers into an organic conversation between him and the listener. Weaved into the riveting conversation he incorporates the song. Different instruments and vocals are meticulously placed throughout the podcast as the artist discusses them, allowing listeners to hear the full song at the end of the episode after the artist is finished explaining how it was made. The episodes are short and easy to listen to for those who may not be as familiar with different musical terms. It’s an incredible insight into the music-making process and listeners can hear how artists like Hozier, Metallica, Lin-Manuel Miranda and composers like those behind “Stranger Things” music and John Carpenter all create their music.

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