My original blog was Hoses of the Holy (ca. 2003), which ended up being abandoned in the dark days of 2007. I started this one in 2011. Scroll down for the archives!

17 podcasts I still haven’t deleted

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Here’s a weird thing. As I was pondering writing this, it came to my mind that it would be a list of 17 podcasts. I don’t know why the number 17 sprang to mind. But then I went down my list of 30+ subscriptions and picked out those I wanted to say something about. And it was 17. I didn’t even have to persuade myself to include/exclude one or two to make it that number. It just happened. Anyway, here is your regular update on the podcasts in my queue.

  1. 20 Macs for 2020 (Relay) – Jason Snell of The Incomparable used to work for Macworld and MacUser and still blogs about Apple at His personal podcast project this year is a documentary series about the 20 most important Apple computers in history. He’s done a brilliant job. This isn’t just people sitting around talking shit about Apple, this is a well-honed series of interviews edited together with a commentary and a thesis about each machine. The music is great, too. Really interesting to anyone interested in Apple, including those of us who didn’t buy a first Mac until later on. In my case, I bought my first Mac at the worst possible time, when Apple was properly in the doldrums. The history of Apple is the history of our times. Paradigms we take for granted now, like trackpad pointing devices, phones that are all screen, and watches that do more than tell the time were all popularised by Apple. Sure, they might not have invented the original idea, but they are always the ones to make it mainstream.
  2. Analysis (Radio 4). I like an in-depth look at a news story, as an antidote to the stupidity of the main news bulletins and the ridiculous “debates” between extremes. This kind of thing is the only BBC news output worth your time.
  3. Another Kind of Mind. A long wait between episodes, but worth it, and certainly worth delving into the backlist episodes. As previously discussed, this is the discussion about the Beatles you haven’t heard before.
  4. Backlisted – bastard child of A Good Read and In Our Time, Backlisted is the best books podcast.
  5. BBC Inside Science. More from the BBC, this time from the Science unit. Proper discussion and analysis of the things that affect us every day, and not reported with the breathless idiocy of regular news.
  6. Beatles Books. A newish podcast this, in which the presenter interviews the authors of various Beatles books. A books podcast, then, but with a specific focus. The presenter’s voice grates a little on me, mainly because I think he sounds a bit like I would sound if I did a podcast; and the sound quality isn’t up to the highest standards – but it’s still a good listen.
  7. Fortunately (BBC). Still going strong and maybe about to go mainstream because it’ll be on the actual radio, the Garvey and Glover team should probably be in charge of the world, or something.
  8. History Extra. This podcast is very hit and miss, and at the same time prolific, with several episodes dropping per week. This means that if you occasionally run out of listens, there’ll be another one of these along shortly. You can’t possibly listen to them all, so shouldn’t feel bad about deleting one that doesn’t speak to you. They’re a mixture of interviews and lectures. The range of historical topics covered is eclectic, so if you’re interested in history, something should appeal.
  9. I Am the Eggpod. The world’s third-best Beatles podcast. An in-depth discussion about a Beatles or Beatles-adjacent album. A recent episode in which John Bradley of Game of Thrones fame was interviewed about The Beatles Rarities was a really good listen.
  10. The Inquiry – BBC World Service. Another great news analysis podcast, this time from the World Service. A global perspective on a global issue, usually very interesting.
  11. ITV Cycling – Only ever really pops up during the Tour do France or the Vuelta, but a nice relaxed chat about the day’s stage from the ITV commentary team. Might help unlock the mysteries of the peloton if you’re interested.
  12. More or Less – Probably the best news-related programme on the BBC, More or Less tackles the numbers in the news, and frequently calls out the government and other media for their shoddy use of statistics and outright lies told to Parliament.
  13. The Night Driver – From the team who brought us Teacher’s Pet, this is a podcast about a missing woman. I’ve sworn off of these for the most part. As much as you might enjoy true crime, the fact that so much of it revolves around violence done to women is depressing and disturbing, and I’ve tried to suppress my appetite for it. I’ve given this a go, because Teacher’s Pet was good. But actually, this is a bit repetitive and annoying. I deleted the most recently episode without listening.
  14. Nothing is Real – This is an engaging and fascinating podcast from two Irish friends. They don’t follow chronological order or have a particular angle, they just pick a topic and cover it in great detail. And even then, you find yourself wishing the episode had been longer. Which is the best thing you can say about any podcast, really. About to return for a third season.
  15. Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism (Slate) – A quick tour around a story of success of failure, or why a certain company has found itself in the news. I don’t know why I listen to this, but I do quite enjoy it. It’s good to know your enemy, right?
  16. Vulcan Hello – This has been on hiatus in the interregnum, but Season 3 of Star Trek Discovery is on its way, and I always enjoy listening to this recap show after (or before! I’m a monster) each episode. I’ve probably enjoyed Disco more than any other recent Trek show. And it’s miles better than the shitty recent films.
  17. The Word Podcast – The venerable and ancient Hepworth and Ellen are back with a weekly chat about music that has been more regular during lockdown, albeit with patchy sound quality. Hepworth may be a bit shouty, but he always has a thesis, and these old magazine publishing hands always have a new way to talk about an old subject.


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