I should have known that my friend Mark Petracca would get in on the Podcasting buzz: as a musician, film-maker and journalist, Mark is an inveterate enthusiast who delights in communicating by every means available. His Culture Catch web site and podcasts operate under the logo “Converge is the word” though I prefer his “pledge to bring you no bullshit culture.” Previous podcasts include Kevin Bacon “discussing his passion for music and how it has influenced his movie career;” future podcasts include interviews with Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s foul-mouthed Susie Essman and equally gutter-fueled comedian Andrew Dice Clay. The Culture Catch site also includes its share of film, music, literary, theatre and art reviews. That’s more that I can promise you at iJamming!; I just hope Mark and friends can keep up the input.
You all know about Podcasting, right? For those that don’t, Podcasts are “radio” shows that you can stream through your computer and download, should you choose, to your iPod (or other MP3 player) and listen to on the go. And now that the new version of iTunes (4.9) comes with its own Podcasts control, you no longer need have separate standalone software to find and download shows. What you will need is a razorlike sense of purpose, for if you follow through the Podcasts search on iTunes, you will find that there are literally thousands of shows already out there, ranging from highly reputable sources like National Public Radio all the way down to bedroom DJs offering up live mix tapes for you to grab and go (and invite a whole new realm of legal arguments about the price of free music in the process).
I don’t have enough time right now to add many Podcasts to my daily schedule, let alone record my own (as several people have suggested is the next logical step for iJamming!). You probably don’t have much time either, but – especially the many Brits among you – please try and get to the Brian Lehrer show at WNYC, to hear American news talk radio at its most informative and intelligent. You can hear the show live through the web from here, where you can also download select sections of Brian’s daily two hour show as MP3s; you can also subscribe to the show through most Podcasting software.
Prior to the new iTunes, I was using iPodder, through which I came across Grape Radio and found, to my delight, a six-part series on American Rhône Rangers, including interviews with American Viognier pioneer John Alban and Hospice du Rhône founder and unapologetic Style Council fan Mat Garretson. You can find, listen to and subscribe to Grape Radio either by entering a search through Podcasting software or iTunes, or simply by visiting its excellent website.
I also couldn’t resist subscribing to This Is England. With the sound of Joe Strummer singing the Clash song of that name in my head, I downloaded a couple of shows and sat back to enjoy… a tribute to The Rural Policeman: “
Working alone, completely unarmed with only a radio to call back up are just some of the skills Constable Tony Bradley needs everyday to go about his job as a rural policeman for 32 villages near Grantham.”
How much longer he will remain unarmed, our perfectly enunciated Queen’s English hostess did not say. But you may want to listen to This Is England just to be reminded that (some of) it still exists as tourists would like to believe it does.