The best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you’re doing other things: Washing dishes, going for a run, coloring, and especially, driving. But there are so many podcasts these days that it’s simply impossible to keep up. There are new ones debuting all the time, and it’s hard to know whether they deserve a spot in your feed.
Every week, we highlight new and returning podcasts we couldn’t put down. Whether you’re looking for the latest and greatest or just dipping your toe into the vast ocean of podcasts, we’ll find you something worth listening to. This week, we’ve got podcasts about LGBTQ culture, advice from experts, the 50-year anniversaries of a bunch of events, and love stories.
Why should I listen? To get history and context for everything from drag balls to runner Caster Semenya.
How many episodes are there and how long are they? Each episode is around 40 minutes; there are three so far.
Describe it in one word: Expansive.
Back when she presided over Jezebel’s “Shade Court,” the Honorable Kara Brown would declare what was and was not shade. It was a necessary service in an era when the term was thrown out like roses at a parade. In her inaugural article, Brown explained shade with a clip from Paris Is Burning, a documentary about ball culture.
In the first episode of The Outcast, Out Magazine’s Fran Tirado brings on senior editor Mikelle Street to explore the history of ball culture, including voguing, houses, and the different categories involved. Other episodes showcase more of Out’s editors in their areas of expertise, including sports and LGBTQ civil rights. The Week in Gay (WIG) segment is a fun look at recent newsworthy moments.
How To! With Charles Duhigg
Why should I listen? To learn how to do stuff.
How many episodes are there and how long are they? There are four episodes so far, each about 30 minutes.
Describe it in one word: Instructive.
I once walked into a toy store and had the clerk demand I tell him a joke. I blanked, so he gave me one to memorize: Why did the cowboy get a dachshund? Because he wanted to get a long, little doggy. But regurgitating a joke and writing one are two very different things.
Charles Duhigg wants to help solve people’s problems, big and small, in How To! In each episode, he brings on a problem-haver and an expert to solve their issue. Then he follows up to see what’s changed. In the joke-writing episode, comedian Gary Gulman gives a pastor some tips on how to jazz up his sermons. For example, he explains that the word chicken is just inherently funnier than hen. (It’s science.)
Summer of ‘69
Why should I listen? Protests, natural disasters, cults — it was a hectic few months.
How many episodes are there and how long are they? There are already over 20 episodes (between 38 and 53 minutes), with the rest coming through August 9.
Describe it in one word: Heavy.
The summer of ‘69 is more than just a Bryan Adams song that may or may not be about sex, depending on whom you ask. There was a lot going on in that three-month period.
It’s the 50th anniversary of a barrage of culturally significant events, thanks to that jam-packed summer. Not only did the Apollo 11 mission land humans on the moon, but there were the Stonewall riots, Zodiac Killer murders, and Woodstock. Summer of ‘69 isn’t hosted by a single person. Instead, it brings together a bunch of people from the Parcast network to cover episodes on the death of Judy Garland, the incident at Chappaquiddick, Hurricane Camille, and more.
Why should I listen? You need some love inspiration this summer.
How many episodes are there and how long are they? Each of the five episodes are between 43 and 50 minutes.
Describe it in one word: Reassuring.
Going through a breakup is always rough, but at least in summer 2019 there’s Lizzo and Bachelorette Hannah’s impassioned speech about windmills to get you through.
There’s also The Moment, hosted by Ingrid Haas. Her love life is on the upswing — she’s recently engaged — but in each episode, she charts love stories that aren’t always perfect. Sometimes you have to recover from brain surgery and have your husband cheat on you before you find the love you’ve been searching for. These aren’t fairy tales; there are money issues and long distances and Taylor Swift. Sometimes, that’s just the way love goes and that’s good enough.