Well, it’s not just for geeks. There are all manner of podcasts out there on the internet right now covering news, conspiracy, health, sports, etc. But the world of the geek is well covered on the podcasting front.
And that’s why I’m so often surprised by the large number of people I run into at geek conventions, let alone out in the work-a-day world, who have no idea what’s out there or express little curiosity in what’s out there. This surprise is made even greater when one considers the ease with which so many of these podcasts are made available for the average geek through free streaming on a website, free subscriptions on services like iTunes, or a combination of the two.
The reason for the surprise is that this is exactly what so many geeks I know are complaining that we don’t have. I hear people in geek circles complain all the time that there isn’t ‘X’ out there and there should be. Sometimes the ‘X’ in question is a show where regular panels of geeks get together and discuss in detail about the latest in geekdom. Sometimes I hear geeks with subscriptions to services like SiriusXM talking about how cool it would be to have a channel devoted to all things geek.
But that’s exactly what we’re starting to have with so many podcasts or “networks” of podcasts out there now. We’re getting shows of our own with geeks (new geeks, longtime geeks, casual chat geeks, or even well connected and established geeks bringing in the occasional name value guests) holding court over regular panels of geeks getting together and discussing in detail the latest in geekdom. And there’s even enough out there that you could have your own streaming “channel” to listen to every day, just with the bonus that outfits like SiriusXM can’t offer you of you being able to control the content.
And lots of people, people who would probably love what they would be hearing, have no idea what’s out there. That’s changing, but it should probably be changing a little bit faster, and there’s really only one way to make that happen. We need to be talking about the podcasts we love. We need to be spreading the word, because we as their fans and our word of mouth praise are the only “advertising dollar” that a lot of these ventures have.
Here’s a simple proposal to start the ball rolling on my end. I’m going to tell anyone willing to read this about some of my favorite podcasts, and all I ask in return is (1) give at least some of them a listen, (2) talk about them to others if you like them, and (3) leave a comment in the comments section below telling me (and anyone else who reads this) about any favorite podcasts that you listen to and love.
Now, obviously, I lean a bit more to the horror side in my day to day, so some of these are going to be horror based podcasts, but quite a few aren’t. And a few towards the end may seem less than “geek” in subject matter, but, in my opinion, they fall nicely into geek more so than most people think. This is also going to be a short list given what’s out there. If I listed every podcast I have on my iTunes list, this could be a longer post than most people can read in one sitting.
Now, without further ado…
The first on my list would be the podcast of HorrorNews.net. The colorful crew of co-hosts Doc Rotten, Santos (The Black Saint) Ellin Jr., Dave Dreher, Thomas Mariani, Vixen and others lead a lively discussion of (usually) all things horror. These guys know their stuff with details and factoids in abundance, but the discussions are never bogged down with trivia. The mood is always enjoyable, like that of a group of old friends sitting around the dinner table chatting about their favorite things.
The podcast is available on iTunes as well as at http://horrornews.net/podcast/
Related to Horror News Radio is Decades of Horror. The Black Saint leads various members of the HNR crew (plus the occasional guest) in discussions on classic (and occasionally forgotten) gems from the past such as Squirm, The Incredible Melting Man, The Wicker Man, The Sentinel, Vault of Horrors, and others. The podcast is currently working its way through the 70s, so the subject matter lends itself well to entertaining discussions based on either praise or having a little fun at the expense of the “What were they thinking?!?” aspect of 70’s cult cinema.
The podcast is available on iTunes as well as at http://decadesofhorror.com/
Probably my favorite podcasts of the all things geek nature come from the ESO Network. ESO is actually a rather impressive success story on top of being some of the most entertaining geek related podcasts out there. It started with Mike Faber’s Earth Station One podcast and has since grown into an entire network of (as of now) 19 shows.
Earth Station One is my favorite of the various podcasts, but in all honesty, picking a favorite out of the offerings under the ESO umbrella is a tough call. They’re all extremely good, all extremely entertaining, and there are quite a few where you can actually learn a few things along the way.
My personal highlights-
Earth Station One: Mike Faber and Mike Gordon hold court over discussions on whatever geek related matters strikes their fancy. The average show can cover topics such as comic books, geek related television and films, books and e-books, cosplay, upcoming conventions, and whatever else the world of geekdom has to offer. And due to the growing reputation of the ESO Network, combined with being based out of the growing geek kingdom that is the Atlanta, Georgia area, they get a surprising list of guests sticking their heads in for a show here and there.
Earth Station Who: The ESO Doctor Who podcast. Always fun, always lively, the crew discuss and debate past, present, and future Who.
ESO Pro Wres’lin Roundtable: Yeah, it’s about pro wrestling, and, yeah, that’s absolutely a geek thing.
This is a wrestling podcast that any fan, fulltime, currant, past, or somewhat lapsed, can enjoy as the discussions are not simply limited to what happened on TV that week. While that, and talk of the latest big PPV, is a part of the show, they also do nostalgia themed episodes looking at classic feuds like the Nature Boy VS the Dragon, the greatest talkers in wrestling, classic entrance themes, the “death” of kayfabe, the greatest tag teams, and much more. If you were EVER a fan of pro wrestling, this is the highly enjoyable wrestling podcast for you.
Seriously, Dan: [Disclaimer- For a few weeks each year, the guy who does this podcast is my boss. That in no way influences it being placed on the list. It’s a fun podcast.] Dan Carroll may well be one of the hardest working people in the convention scene not actually running a convention. He works with and consults to a number of major and minor conventions on the east coast. It’s through this hard work and the connections that it builds that the Seriously, Dan podcasts have snagged some of the guests it can, combined with Dan’s determination to make the show as positive and uplifting as he can, that make listening both a fun and informative experience. Guests and topics cover cosplayers, roller derby girls, interviews with genre vets like Erin Gray, Larry Johnnson of Cineprov, and Larry Blamire of the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra franchise. And you can learn a bit from shows featuring guests like Jennifer Liang of JordanCon, Anthony Taylor of Monsterama, Susan Rey of TimeGate, and Heather Halloway of 221B Con discussing their convention experiences.
The Ratchet Retrocast: A fun look back at the things we grew up with.
Needless Things Podcast: It’s a guy in a luchadore mask covering anything geek that strikes his fancy. Trust me, it’s fun.
ESO Dragon*Khan Report: The annual event series on ESO, the preparation for Dragon Con. A look at what’s coming in each year’s Dragon Con with tips for surviving the con, the occasional track head, and updates as to where you can find buckets of rum at the convention.
They also have shows devoted to cigars, geek tech, and even burlesque. Most of the ESO Network shows can be found on iTunes. They can all be found here http://esopodcast.com/ as well as at their own websites and social media pages.
Kaijucast is an absolute must for fans of the Big G and any other rubber suit creation from the Land of the Rising Sun. Kyle Yount turned an obsessive love of all things Kaiju into the most entertaining podcast out there devoted to the subject. Along with a cast of regular contributors, Kaijucast serves up a regular dose of great conversation, kaiju related music, news, and trivia. Always a fun fix for the kaiju fan, both hardcore and casual.
Kaijucast is available on iTunes and at the Kaijucast website http://kaijucast.com/
Sadly, this seems to have been only a limited run podcast, but the episodes look at some of the great exploitation theater madness of days gone by. The 42nd Street Drive-In Podcast is a blast for anyone who loves films from the exploitation (or grindhouse as it’s called these days) genre of film-making.
It can be found on iTunes as well as here http://42ndstdrivein.wix.com/the-42nd-street-drive-in/home#!__episodes-1
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Okay, here’s where some of you may disagree with me on the “geek” label, but so be it. I’ve always found pro wrestling to be a geek thing. Larger than life characters telling stories of good VS evil that are finally resolved in battle? That’s pretty much the basis for every geek thing out there.
Jim Ross was the greatest announcer in the history of professional wrestling, and his career in the business had him working in most major territories and companies. The man is a walking textbook of wrestling history and trivia, and his opinions on the state of wrestling today are always thought provoking. His connections in the business over the years allows him to have on guests that cover the spectrum from modern era to legends like Jake Roberts, Sting, Stan Hansen, and Bill Watts. Very often informative, always entertaining.
Available on iTunes and here at http://podcastone.com/The-Ross-Report
Chris Jericho is one of the best examples of a pro wrestler who breaks the stereotype of pro wrestlers being big, dumb, muscle heads. He’s a New York Times bestselling author, rock musician, occasional TV personality, and pop culture geek. He mostly covers wrestling, but he occasionally dips into other topics with guests like Paul Stanley of KISS, Eli Roth, or Lloyd Kaufman of Troma.
Talk is Jericho can be found on iTunes as well as at http://podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho
Probably no way to say that this is truly geek related, but I love MMA. The 411 Ground and Pound Radio show is a nice little look at the current events in MMA. Hosted by the writers of 411Mania’s MMA page, it makes an enjoyable fan-level look at the big fights coming up and that just went down.
The best way to get this one is iTunes, but you can get the podcast here as well http://www.blogtalkradio.com/411mmaradio
Now, like I said above, add your own favorites in the comments below. Share the podcasts that you know of and love here and elsewhere. The best way for you to show your support of the podcasts you love is to spread the word about them, so go get to spreading.