Hi everyone, I’m back! I have a Master’s Degree! It’s a new chapter in this Soubrette’s life.

A while back Schmopera wrote an article discussing the idea that many professional musicians do not like to listen to music in their downtime.  I am totally one of those people, there is nothing I love more than coming home to a silent house after a long day.  No TV or music, just silence and maybe a little conversation.  However when I want something to distract me while I’m doing a mindless activity, or on a long trip, I usually turn to Podcasts.

Since it’s summer festival season, and lots of us are going to be doing a ton of travelling, I thought I would share a few of the Podcasts that rely on when I need to fill the silence.

Pop Culture Happy Hour
Pop Culture Happy Hour is a round table podcast by NPR about pretty much everything entertainment.  Every week they pick one or two topics and get a whole bunch of smart people to talk about it.  Since I am a pop culture hermit, I love how this podcast keeps me up to date on what is new and interesting.  Every so often they will publish mini episodes called “small batches” where just a few of the panel members will discuss something important that has just come up (like Beyonce’s Lemonade), share interesting moments, or post extended interviews that appeared on other NPR podcasts (Like this interview with John Mulaney).  The discussions themselves are great, but my favourite part of the podcast is at the end, when they go around the table and talk about the things that made them happy that week.  What a lovely exercise, and a great way to get recommendations on cool things to try out.

Great Episodes: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Hail Ceasar!

Modern Love
This is another great NPR podcast based on the New York Times column where readers submit essays about love in all of its forms.  Each episode features a story chosen and narrated by a celebrity guest, and then an interview with the writer and the column’s editor Daniel Jones.  This podcast is one of my absolute favourites, and I get so excited every time there is a new episode.

Great Episodes: I mean, all of them, but “The Plunge,” “An Interlude of Clarity,” and “One Last Swirl” are particular favourites

Dear Hank and John
This is a delightful “comedy podcast about death” produced by John and Hank Green of Vlogbrothers fame. Every week they answer listener questions (and offer dubious advice) as well as give the latest news about Mars and AFC Wimbledon (passions of Hank and John respectively).  This podcast is a delight because it is just two funny, smart people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company.  They don’t try to be funny on purpose, but I’m often in stitches listening to it.

Great Episodes: Putting Water in Cereal??? And Grief is Super Weird

Song Exploder
This is a new one on my list, but I love it already.  This podcast has the writers and producers of popular songs explain how they created the song.  At the end of each episode, you get to hear the song in its entirety.  It is so fascinating to hear the process and the story of each song, it’s also a great way to learn about new bands and artists.

Great Episodes: I’ve only listened to two so far, but they were both great “Old Crow Medicine Show-Dearly Departed Friend” and “Busdriver- Worlds to Run (Feat. Milo and Anderson Paak)

I didn’t put Serial or Welcome to Night Vale on this list even though I love them both because they are very well known.  Limetown is like these two podcasts had a baby and it is gripping and beautiful. They’ve finished their first season and haven’t announced when the second season will be coming yet.  There are only 6 episodes, and you must listen to them in order. I’m actually avoiding the last episode because I don’t want it to end. It’s so good
(There is some disturbing material in the podcast, mostly violence, just so you’re aware)

Great Episodes: Here’s episode one.  Enjoy the ride

This isn’t all of the podcasts that I listen to (I’ll finish that 20 hour backlog someday) but these are the ones that I drop everything to make sure I’m caught up on.  Am I missing anything essential? What do you do during your downtime? Let me know in comments.

See you soon!