Murderous Minors

Hi, Guys! Ren here with a new podcast review. I’m so excited for this one. Full disclosure: I started listening, taking notes and falling in love with this podcast BEFORE I knew one of my teammates her at Promote the Pods is the host of the podcast.

Today I am going to review “Murderous Minors” podcast. This podcast as the name may tell you is about kids who kill. The opening sequence states grades k-12 who kill is the demographic. My true crime loving heart was hooked!

The voice of our podcaster is soothing which is great! The smooth tone helped to keep me from freaking out about this crimes that are committed by kids! I mean, come on we’ve all said things as kids, but these kids follow through. The subject matter is tough, but she strikes the right balance with a soothing voice that is also full of compassion.

The true crime events are thoroughly researched and I didn’t feel the host was biased in the way she told the story. It was very matter of fact, which I think is needed since kids are the perpetrators and often the victims (though not always the victims).

There is a good mix of stories that were highly publicized and ones that are lesser known. As a true crime addict, I appreciated the stories I didn’t know about or hadn’t heard much about being offered up.

I am honest when I say this podcast isn’t for everyone. A couple of the episodes (Especially “who is watching the baby”) were very difficult to listen to and I did cry. I am an emotional person and hearing about children under the age of 1 viciously murdered was tough. The episode “She is my hero” was one that had the opposite effect on me. I was on the side of the murderer in that one. I won’t spoil it for you, but trust me…give it a listen.

Our fearless leader on this podcast, does warn you about the material and thankfully doesn’t dwell on the gory details. She offers enough to give you an idea of what happened, but not so many you’re needing to empty the contents of your stomach or lose sleep. That is a tightrope that is walked beautifully in this podcast. Much respect for finding that line.

All in all, I think true crime lovers can’t go wrong with this new podcast. As of the writing of this review there were nine episodes up. so you can easily catch up with podcast! The shows are not so long that you feel that a good chunk of your day is dedicated to it. That isn’t a complaint, I feel they’re perfectly timed. You get a good amount of information and aren’t overloaded. I highly recommend this pod to any true crime fan.

Mens Rea

Mens Rea is a podcast that brings us episodes all about true crime cases

IMG_20180225_045831from Ireland and the surrounding areas of the United Kingdom! Hosted by Sinead, the listeners are taken on audio adventures featuring cases that may or may not be lesser known to the audience (I know I had practically no knowledge about any of the cases and that both surprised and delighted me!).

An upbeat theme tune greets the listener and then transitions to news clips featuring information about the case being chronicled in that episode. Each episode is an average length of 30-40 minutes, so it was nearly the perfect commute podcast for me on days when I was taking public transit or being driven somewhere. I bring this really specific detail up because I must admit that I had a lot of trouble with the audio levels on the apps I used to listen to the podcast (Play Music and Podcast Addict); sometimes this was fixed by my using headphones, but more often than not I listen to podcasts in places where headphones aren’t appropriate or safe to use. I’m not sure if I am the only one who had this issue, but I was really glad to find a solution that helped me continue listening to the podcast!

So far, there are only twelve cases that have been discussed on the show (some in multiple parts, which I’m always a fan of) which makes this show easy to catch up on! My personal favourites were the cases of James Bulger (I found a great documentary on YouTube afterwards that helped to augment the information I learned in this episode because I became absolutely interested in this case!), The Acid Bath Murders (I have listened to so many podcasts about this case and always love stumbling across one I haven’t heard yet!), and The Kerry Babies (this case could be triggering for some, so please take a look at the episode description beforehand; I love that it added an element of politics and political history. I had no idea about the history of reproductive justice in Ireland and really want to learn more after listening to this episode!).

Give this show a listen if you’re looking to add Ireland to your list of countries you want to learn about through the lens of true crime!

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Down In Front Review – Zimbellina

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This is a conversational podcast. They chat mostly about movies. Three friends who all have an interest in movies get together and chat about movies while they watch a different movie every week. To be fair I don’t get to watch too many new movies and watch more tv than movies so I didn’t know all the movies they were talking about over the episodes I listened to. But I picked episodes that I had seen the movies of so I had a point of reference.

They talk about the movie and it’s sequels (if any) while the movie plays. So you can hear the movie in the background but can’t quite hear it and so you can’t really follow the movie. They talk a lot about various issues about the movie, whether it’s good, getting more into the background and discussions about the movie. They’re quite harsh on some movies I think but people are generally polarised by movies, you either love or hate them mostly.

The hosts talk a lot about cinematic aspects of the movie, like the score, the shots, the actors. Sometimes you can tell where they’re up to in the movie.

Stand out episode – Jurassic Park. I love this movie and watched it a lot with my son when he went through his dinosaur phase so I could follow along to where they were quite well. They talk about how they made the dinosaurs, half CGI and half realistic puppets and people in suits (for the raptors). They talk about all the merchandise that came along with the movie like video games and such. They talk favourite lines which is fun. My favourites are mostly from Jeff Goldblum. It makes you want to be in the room with them to discuss the movie though which is a bit frustrating to listen to but i assume you can interact with the hosts on twitter and such after you listen to an episode.

They point out plot holes and talk their way through the movie, making jokes and laughing at silly things in movies. They don’t take themselves or their movies too seriously which is an interesting break from those who get very frustrated with talking about their favourite movies. They don’t always agree but that doesn’t make them angry at each other which is good. They joke and talk and it’s like having a beer with the guys while watching a movie you like.

Creepsville

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Hello friends!

I’m going to cut straight to it, because this is a podcast I love so much and I believe it deserves so much love & attention!

Today, I’m going to share a quick write-up about Creepsville, a podcast hosted by my dear friend Bella. Creepsville is a podcast that focuses on urban legends, murders, and the paranormal, originating from her home country of Australia as well as throughout the world.

At the current moment, there are eight episodes of Creepsville – the topics range from haunted Brisbane to exorcisms to The Slit Mouth Woman. All spectacularly spooky episodes paired with Bella’s incredibly soothing voice.

Similar to Good Nightmare, Creepsville is a great podcast to listen to when I’m driving to and from work, as well as when I’m home and trying to relax. Bella has a way of delivering some rather creepy information in an accurate but calming way. And honestly, anything that’s spooky automatically has my whole heart.

Bella is really good about staying active and interactive with her listeners, both on her personal Twitter as well as her pod Twitter, and through other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

I love listening to a podcast that is so eccentric, especially one hosted by somebody that is so charismatic. Bella puts in so much effort to researching, recording, and editing. She is so talented, especially for such a new podcast. Each episode is an improvement from the last, even though they’re all still so good.

Bella herself is such a kind-hearted and hilarious human. I absolutely adore her, she genuinely is a beautiful soul. She is so friendly, as well. There really isn’t anybody in the world quite like Bella.

At the moment, Creepsville has 11 reviews on iTunes that equates to three stars. I personally give it five out of five, because I just love and adore it so much! You can find Creepsville on iTunes and most other podcasting platforms, as well as on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Bella, sweet pea, please never change! You are such an amazing podcast host, a wonderful friend, and just all around a lovely human. Thank you for all that you do and all that you contribute to the podcasting community! I love you dearly!

 

Thinking Sideways Podcast – Zimbellina

Thinking Sideways Podcast

5/5 stars

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Thinking Sideways mostly deals with weird and mysterious happenings. The hosts cover a wide range of stories, history and mysteries. They go through the story in chronological order which helps with complicated stories. They have smart insights into intents and motives, such as when talking about killers. The three hosts have a great chemistry together and never talk over each other which is great. This means there isn’t a chaotic feel to the pod which can happen when you have a higher number of hosts. Going through the theories shows these hosts intelligence. They go through theories and posit different ideas, which I really enjoyed. They obviously do a lot of research and know a lot about a wide range of topics which makes the debates and conversations very fulfilling and full of facts.

Standout episode – The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve been into Poe since I was young so this was a favourite of mine. I’ve never looked into his death in much detail but I’ve heard rumours of it over time. Learning about it properly was good, even though there’s still mystery surrounding Poe’s death. The records are sketchy so there’s a lot of mystery and speculation around Poe’s death. He didn’t die in the gutter drunk though which is what I thought happened before. The story was changed a few times but you’ll have to listen to the episode to know what the stories are! They also go into his life so it was a really well rounded, well researched episode.

I really appreciate the way the stories are all told in the same way, in a sequence that stays the same. It’s an interesting and easy way to listen, it gives you all the history you need and then goes on to the theories and everything else. The hosts give well thought out answers to questions and have done their research. And they’ve been going since 2013 so there is an immense back log that I’ll be making my way through as quickly as I can. 5 big ass stars! Great mystery and weird happenings pod!

But Why Tho?

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This podcast matters. But Why Tho? Is a pop culture podcast that is a bit different from all the rest. The episodes aren’t just about why some aspect of pop culture is good, bad, both, or neither; each episode goes further and explains why this bit of pop culture is important to pop culture as a whole and what it’s done to further its genre, make something more mainstream, etc. With certain areas of pop culture/fandom still seen as niche, this kind of analysis is important because it brings pop culture to those who may not be inclined to see what the chain reaction has been in society due to the creation of what is being discussed in each episode. This series covers all different kinds of things: video games, movies, television shows, older things, newer things, etc. I also really appreciate that this podcast doesn’t shy away from discussions about race, gender, class issues, and other topics that are usually seen as academic or uninteresting to most listeners but the hosts do this in a really accessible way that is easy to listen to and easy to comprehend and understand.

Other great things about the podcast have to do with the hosts and their dynamic. I love the way they converse with each other, all the jokes that get thrown in, how when a host doesn’t know something or isn’t a fan of something they aren’t afraid to say so, and also how each host gets to take a turn being the lead on a subject — especially if it’s something that’s totally their jam. This show also does some really fun crossovers and I’ll get into more about that in this next section where I tell you all about what episodes you absolutely need to hear, but I’m totally a sucker for a great crossover and/or a great guest host.

Episodes I recommend: Star Trek (a great look at one of the shows that made fandom and conventions come more into the mainstream), Hayao Miyazaki (if only just for the fun argument of whether all the Ghibli movies take place in the same universe or not), Horror (I really appreciated the guest host!), Mortal Kombat (one of my favourite game franchises and the hosts did the series so much justice with regards to its pop culture importance), Quentin Tarantino (if I recall correctly, the episode was done before all the things that have come to light recently from Uma Thurman’s experience; the episode was great, but I would love for the show to revisit this with all the new information further regarding Tarantino’s problematicness), Bill Nye the Science Guy (Matt is a really great host and I’m glad he was on this episode! If I were to get someone started on this show out of order, it would definitely be with this one. Pretty much everyone knows who Bill Nye is, but we might take for granted why he’s important to pop culture and society; this episode does a great job of breaking that down), eSports (bringing video games even more mainstream and paying people’s college tuitions; how could this show not discuss MLG and all the games that have been played professionally?), True Crime (I am huge into true crime and have been for pretty much my entire life; it’s how I’ve made most of my friends, it’s the genre that most people go searching for podcasts for, the notion of commodifying death/true crime as a form of capitalism, the cathartic use of true crime by those with mental health issues, etc.), Selena y los podcasters with It’s About Damn Crime (I love both of the sets of hosts for this episode and Selena is life so of course this episode is gold.), Religion & Myth in Assassin’s Creed (so one of my passions and something I wish I could study more is pop culture portrayals of religions. This episode wasn’t the standard kind of analysis that Assassin’s Creed usually receives and that was super important to me.).

But Why Tho? is an absolutely fantastic podcast and has easily become one of my favourites. I wish I could be friends with the hosts in real life and pick their brains. Each episode captured my attention in so many ways that I could continue to gush about, but I’ll just end this review here and tell you to subscribe and listen to this podcast right away.

Conspiring To Argue (Why What You Are Doing Matters)

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I have spent entirely too much time mulling over how to go about this post. I’ve spent several weeks (months, at this point) thinking about how, why, what to say. Am I too close to the show itself to give an unbiased review? Yes. Am I too invested in the hosts’ personal lives? Yes. Am I too tired to write a cohesive post at the moment? You betcha. Can I get my head out of my own ass long enough to give you a well-written, deeply thought out review of this particular podcast? Nope, but I’m going to do what I do best: post an uncomfortably long personal tale of how two strangers effectively changed (saved?) my life while sprinkling in some details about how awesome the pod is.

I can remember the exact date and time that I began listening to Conspiring To Argue (July 16, 2017 at 10:36p.m. in case anybody is curious). I remember feeling, as soon as I hit play, that these two random dudes from one of the more relevant places in Iowa would become incredibly prominent in my life. Now, seeing that it’s been seven months of pure devotion on my part (amazing considering how short my attention span is), it’s as good a time as any to try to delve into why this podcast is so important to me.

I was not in a great place at the time. I was ten days shy of turning 21, which for most people is a great time. But, for me, I was just as miserable as I’d always been. I was listening to an episode of Hillbilly Horror Stories at the time, and they gave a shout out to this podcast. And I was like, “Okay, I’ve never actually listened to any podcast that anybody else has recommended…might as well try it out.” And so, I did. As fate would have it, they’d just posted an episode that day about a crazy ass house in Gary, Indiana. And I shit you not, I was in love. Here sat two guys arguing about whether things really are as simple as they appear, whether things really happen the way officials claim they did. Here sat two guys who reminded me of the me I used to be. The one who had an interest in digging deeper, in questioning the validity of things. The me who, at one point, could hold a similar conversation with a friend and find the humor in the drama, the light in the dark. It was not as simple as “Oh, these guys are fun and I like this podcast.” It was never just that simple. Like I said, this was a particularly dark time for me; I was battling disaster after disaster both internally and externally. I had effectively shut out all of the things that would require me to feel. Prior to this point, podcasts existed in my life in the same way music did – anything to fill the silence, give me some background noise, I would accept it. At this point in time, when Nic was still Nic and I didn’t know how poor JJ’s spelling could actually be, I was sleeping as little as possible and surviving on energy drinks & stale crackers. I was barely surviving. (It’s amazing how much can change in seven months, by the way).

God bless, am I just writing in circles here? I think I am. It’s fine. We all have a right to become overly emotional and nonsensical every now and then.

So, yes. I was immediately addicted to this podcast. Part of it is, like I said, how much it reminded me of me. But another part of it is just how unique it actually is. There are pods out there that will cover similar topics and have a similar premise, but CTA just has a different vibe. When you sit down and listen to it, you just know that Nic and JJ are having fun. You know that, regardless of the topic, they just genuinely enjoy each others’ company and genuinely enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing – both pretty important for a solid friendship, I’d say. You can listen to podcasts that are similar and maybe you’ll get that same vibe every now and then. But for Nic and JJ, it’s consistent. Every time you listen to a new episode, you can feel this sense of camaraderie that is really hard to gather from other similar shows.

Another thing that really had my attention was how interactive these guys were with their followers on Twitter. As most of you are well aware of now, I spend a vast majority of my time on Twitter (by vast majority, I mean 23/7 – the extra hour is for snacking). Facebook, IG, Snapchat, I’ll check those every now and then. But I am alwayyyys on Twitter. A lot of the podcasts I listened to at the time (and let’s be real, even now) are more likely to interact via Facebook. I simply do not like Facebook. So it was surprising to see these guys actually stay consistent and interact with followers on the social media platform I love most. It made things far more convenient for me, that’s for sure.

Once again, going back to how this time was a dark one for me – I knew that the things I happened to be feeling at the time were eating me alive. I knew that I couldn’t carry it all in my head. I’d became so invested in listening because it was a safe place for me. It wasn’t just background noise, not this time. Listening genuinely felt like being in the eye of a hurricane. You knew you weren’t out of the woods yet, but you had a few minutes to breathe and prepare yourself for the tail-end of the storm. When I was coming home from work, back into a place where I’d just be stuck in my own head with my own thoughts, it became a safe place to retreat to for a while – to get some rest before having to stand back up and face everything again.

I don’t really just open up to people and trust people, but that’s more or less exactly what I did when I really started talking to Nic and JJ. It was so easy to feel like I could tell them anything, because it really felt like I’d known them my whole life. (My mom jokingly refers to them now as the brothers I wish I had any time I talk about them. She’s not wrong). The more I listened, the more I opened up, the closer I felt. Nic and I have almost too much in common, and JJ is incredibly smart, even if he can’t spell. Sometimes talking to Nic is like talking to myself. Sometimes talking to JJ is so similar to conversations I had with my dad I have to pause for a moment. But I have never ever felt an ounce of shame or guilt from sharing with them the truth of how I feel or what I’m going through. That is unheard of in my life and I am truly grateful.

We are seven months down the road now, and I will stick to open honesty here: a lot of things have gone wrong in my personal life these past seven months. I’ve withheld a lot of secrets, lied about how I’ve been, pretended that I’ve just been dealing with everyday life when, in reality, I’ve been dealing with everyday life on top of some heavier, darker tasks and decisions that have really been draining. The past two months especially have been literal hell. I have said things I’ve regret, done things that I can’t undo, hidden things that just couldn’t stay in the dark forever. I thought I had to bust through some of these obstacles kicking and screaming. I thought I had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders alone. Through all of this, Nic and JJ were there. Whether through listening to old episodes, silly hockey arguments, or the heavy stuff that I only ever seem to spill out when the sun goes down, they were here.

The main point of this post, other than to spill my guts & gratitude, is to remind each of you that what you do really matters. I go on these rants a lot on the promo Twitter account discussing why podcasts are so important – why you, as a host, are so important. It’s not just me kissing ass or whatever. It’s because for somebody out there, you are the eye of the storm, the light in the dark, the family they’ve searched their whole lives for. You are the best friend that somebody needs, the escape somebody reaches for, the peace in the warzone. As an adult, you know as well as I do that life is not kind. What you do matters to people like me. The next time you get discouraged when you see the stats, just remember that numbers are meaningless in comparison to changing someone’s life for the better.

Nic & JJ – I know I say it a lot, but thank you both for everything. Thank you both for helping me find my way back to me. Thank you both for sticking with me through all the dramatic bullshit. I know sometimes it seems like my life is more of a dramatic TV show than anything. Thank you both for helping me work through it. Thank you both for never doubting me, for always believing in me. Thank you for reminding me that love and friendship is something I deserve, too. Thank you for reminding me that there are things worth staying for. I could go on forever, but if you can imagine it, I’m thanking you for it. I love you both so dearly, and I will forever be grateful for your friendship.

For the rest of you – readers who are listeners and readers who are hosts – please do not ever forget that you matter. That what you do matters. Please do not ever forget that you are wanted and needed, that your kindness and friendliness is what can make all the difference in someone’s day or even life.

(Now that I am back from vacation, I have a new laptop, and my world is starting to level out a little, I’ll be far more active again. Soon, this post will be followed up with an actual real review of the show. But because I’ve seen so much unrest in the pod community lately, I felt now was a good time to share this. Thank you all for your interaction and support with us – we greatly appreciate it!)