Murder Road Trip

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For today’s review, I’m snacking on Vanilla Coke and Sour Patch Kids as I tell you about a fun podcast called Murder Road Trip. The premise of this podcast is a simple one: the host takes a guest (who is often the host of a podcast of their own, so we get the bonus of hearing about their work, too) on a roadtrip to a destination related to the true crime case being discussed on the episode. There were quite a few crimes covered that I had never heard of, which is something I genuinely appreciate finding in a true crime podcast (specifically because of just *how much* I consume true crime podcasts, books, etc.). Some episodes have audio issues, but these issues are minimal and always addressed and corrected by the next episode.

 

I really like the concept of the show; framing it as a roadtrip and taking the guest with you somewhere is a fun take on the conversation with a guest host that is really common in so many forms of media. Episodes I recommend: Carl Panzram, Mark Barton, HH Holmes, and John Robinson.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Fun Dip and Cherry Coke

A drawing of a human face with greenish blue hair and wearing heart shaped sunglasses is centered on a pink background and accompanied with the text "Fun Dip & Cherry Coke".Remember all those movies and television shows you loved as a kid? Wouldn’t it be fun to watch them now that you’re an adult and see how they hold up? Then join host Kira and her friends on a pop culture nostalgia adventure that is the podcast Fun Dip & Cherry Coke.

The episodes all follow pretty much the same format: Kira and one of her friends introduce what they’ll be watching and talking about that episode, the friend explains the gist of the piece of pop culture (subjects range from music to movies to television), the episode takes a quick break so the two can partake of the pop culture nostalgia, and then the two come back from their viewing/listening to discuss the work in further detail and talk about whether it holds up to the first time they viewed it during childhood/adolescence.

My favourite episodes are: “Millennium – Backstreet Boys”; “Clarissa Explains It All” (quick side note: I have never talked back to/interacted with an episode of a podcast as much as I have this one; I was laughing, responding to the hosts, etc., the entire time. Nineties Nickelodeon is my jam and Clarissa Explains It All is one of my favourite shows of all time, so as soon as I saw this episode I *knew* I would at the very least love this one episode if I didn’t end up loving the show); “Earth Girls Are Easy”; “The Last Unicorn”; “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; “Hocus Pocus”; and the newest episode, “Fantasia”.

As someone who loves pop culture but has some significant gaps in their pop culture knowledge, I love that the host does too and also totally admits to it! And with a title that’s a throwback to one of my nostalgia songs and a theme song that reminds me of nineties children’s television shows, I think this is a show that pop culture buffs and newbies alike should be getting in on. I’ve been meaning to fill some of the gaps in my pop culture knowledge and this show has definitely inspired me to make a list of what I want to watch and then tackle that list! I’m definitely looking forward to more episodes from Kira and her fantastic, informative friend group!

Let’s all get “Hile on Life!

Hey Ren here with another review.

“Hile on Life” is a podcast that focuses on promoting other podcasts. It’s hosted by Noelle, who seems to have a desire to know and learn about and from other podcasters. As someone who loves to learn new things and meet interesting people this podcast is right up my alley!

I listened to two episodes for the purpose of this review. I listened to the one where she interviewed Brent from the Podcast Home Video Hustle. My enjoyment of this podcast was the topics they discussed one of which was under appreciated jobs. I’ve had a few of them and found myself nodding along with a lot of the things that Brent said. (Mental Note: I still need to check out his podcast).

I loved that Noelle asked background questions and the two seemed to have a friendship beyond this interview. The host and her guest both seemed to legitimately enjoy their time together and that my friends is a big deal when listening to a Podcast for me. I want to enjoy the time so it helps if they are too!

Brent is an inspiring guest to have, in my opinion. I adore hearing stories about people who decide to make their own way in life and buck the system or what their parents may want. Brent talks about choosing his own path and his contentment in that decision. The way he spoke made it clear that he doesn’t need approval from the outside world because he is doing what makes him happy. I love that!

The second episode I listened to was Brittany from It’s About Damn Crime being interviewed by our hostess. What hooked me again was Noelle having a genuine curiosity about the guest and her willingness to share her own personal history. Also, as a Mom, her kid being there had me giggling and saying “been there”.

Brittany talked a lot about her personal life (including her love story and I am a sucker for love stories!) and Noelle shared hers and it was like an “awwww” bonding moment for us all, I think. I have to say my favorite part was discussing strong female role models! Girl Power! I, also love me some Elle Woods. I wanted the discussion about Disney Princesses to continue forever. Plus, she has a true crime podcast with her friend that sounds interesting and I am going to check out.

“Hile on Life” is a gem of a Podcast. Listening to this show reminds of talk shows back before “You are the Father” (confession: I do watch those shows so no judgment here!). “Hile on Life” gives you a glimpse of other people who are willing to share their story with you. I can’t tell you how awesome that is in the times we are currently living in. You get to know a guest, but you also get to know Noelle which to me is important. I mean, we are going to be spending time together I want to know you! Now, go listen to her latest episode posted Sunday: Rachel.