What podcasts do you listen to?

Why does it feel that everyone and their cat, dog and donkey has started a podcast in the past couple of years or so?

I’m not complaining, I think it’s great!

So many people are taking control of the narrative, creating online communities of people with shared interests ranging from effin’ hormones to music, science, popular culture, hardcore history, health and true crime to stand-up comedy. There is also the realm of the bizarre and niche - I wonder if there is a podcast for guinea pigs?

Perched awkwardly on the bony knee of governmental ‘ventriloquists’ attempting to control the narrative, mainstream media is increasingly finding itself in an uncomfortable position.

In the UK, the recent furore engulfing the BBC and Gary Linekar completely backfired when he was suspended for the political nature of his tweets on social media.

Podcasting is word of mouth gone global - we are inquisitive social beings after all. Is it a crime to want to find out about valuable information, thought-provoking topics and a healthy dollop of entertainment outside of the control of big corporations?

Like discovering new music that really connects, there are so many podcasts to choose from and I’m intrigued to find out what are you listening to at the moment.

Also, how did you discover them and what kind of topics are you interested in?

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Confessions of a Podcaster

Yes. That’s me.

Back in 2015 when we were living in Valencia, Spain, our youngest son Joseph told us all about the new podcast phenomenon and urged us to start producing our own music show. Both Simon and I had worked professionally in radio so it was a no-brainer. We just had to work out a format.

There would be no time restrictions (like freeform jazz) and we could chat about anything and play any music we wanted. So, in November 2015 the Supertone Show was born. A chat show for music lovers where we interviewed local artists in the studio, produced specialist shows about songs and the people who make them and played great music.

We interviewed some really cool people including Will Lydgate, a bass player and chocolate farm owner from Hawaii (yes, a cacao farmer). We made specialist shows about music producers from Glyn Johns to Daniel Lanois and shared stories about bands and the music they made - it was a real tonic for our souls.

The show was syndicated on 40 radio stations around the world from the USA and Canada to the UK and Europe. We produced 104 glorious episodes before we took a creative break to concentrate on writing and recording our second Starlite & Campbell studio album The Language of Curiosity.

Fast forward to 2023 and Simon and I realised that we really missed making the shows and were hungry to discover new music and artists from today as well as the past 70 years. So, we decided to make a new series of The Supertone Show - all fresh and frisky.

Once again, the programme is syndicated on a variety of radio stations and you can listen on Spotify. If you are not a fan of Big Tech, all the episodes of the show are available to stream from our website.

This episode is part two of our special show celebrating 50 years of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

Podcasts I enjoy

The Joe Rogan Experience

Hosted by comedian Joe Rogan, this podcast is #1 in the Spotify Podcast Charts and one of the most popular of all time.

Rogan welcomes a range of celebrity guests to discuss everything from entertainment to current affairs. This podcast can always be counted on to add a fresh opinion to public discourse and to feature a star-studded guest list.

I like this podcast because when I feel like relaxing and hanging out in the context of a group discussion, it has a kind of vitamin-friend effect. There is a spectrum of opinions available concerning a diverse range of subjects from the stupidity of trying to do a selfie in a national park with a wild bear to the influences of the big pharmaceuticals and how to keep sane by looking after your health through diet, discipline and exercise - all parcelled up and presented with a great bow of comedic humour.

I particularly enjoyed the interview with Quentin Tarantino - the master of filmmaking and soundtracks! Here’s a short excerpt about the influence of Pulp Fiction.

The one guest I really enjoyed the other month was the geopolitical writer and speaker Peter Zeihan.

He may come across as a bit cocky, but his daily short video updates - not really podcasts - offer an informative and often sobering perspective on world events, especially the end of globalization as we know it and a perspective on how the world has and will continue to change dramatically over the next few years.

Modern Wisdom

Hosted by the hyperactive and inquisitive Chris Williamson who hails from the North East of the UK, Modern Wisdom is a series of life lessons from the smartest people on the planet with some really challenging and interesting guests including Dr Jordan Peterson, Jocko Willink, Dr Andrew Huberman, Ryan Holiday, James Clear, Robert Greene, Balaji Srinivasan, Steven Pinker, Alex Hormozi, Douglas Murray, Michael Malice, James Smith, Dr David Sinclair, Mark Manson and more.

It’s fascinating listening when you find a topic that piques your interest!

The Rest is Politics

Two men who’ve been at the heart of the political world - former Downing Street Director of Communications and Strategy Alastair Campbell and cabinet minister Rory Stewart - join forces from across the political divide.

The Rest Is Politics lifts the lid on the secrets of Westminster, offering an insider’s view on politics at home and abroad whilst bringing back the lost art of disagreeing agreeably.

I was surprised at how endearing these two characters can be and refreshing to hear discussions and perspectives about politics and world events.

The Blindboy Podcast

Blindboy Boatclub, aka David Chambers, shot to fame with fellow Rubberbandit Mr Chrome from Limerick after the 2010 video for their rap Horse Outside went viral. He is known for wearing a plastic shopping bag as a mask to conceal his identity.

His podcast reportedly has 250,000 weekly listeners in Ireland and over a million worldwide listeners monthly.

Blindboy has a rich Irish accent and talks about topics such as mental health, politics, culture, music, and history. He tells stories with childlike honesty as he cuts through the innocence of youth with the harsh poetic scalpel of political and economic history.

Have a listen to this episode: How Wu Tan Clan and Margaret Thatcher invented the ice cream cone - it’s intriguing!

Hardcore History

In Hardcore History the very unconventional journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", outside-the-box way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras?

This isn't academic history (and Carlin isn't a historian) but the podcast's unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.

Listen to (Blitz) The Destroyer of Worlds - one of a few podcasts offered for free.

The show asks the question of what happens if human beings can't handle the power of their own weaponry examining the dangerous early years of the Nuclear Age and humankind's efforts to avoid self-destruction at the hands of its own creation.

Huberman Lab

Andrew Huberman, PhD., is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the department of neurobiology and by courtesy, psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford School of Medicine.

He has made numerous significant contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function and neural plasticity (the ability of our nervous system to rewire and learn new behaviours, skills and cognitive functioning). 

Huberman is a McKnight Foundation and Pew Foundation Fellow and was awarded the Cogan Award in 2017, given to the scientist making the most significant discoveries in the study of vision.

His lab’s most recent work focuses on the influence of vision and respiration on human performance and brain states such as fear and courage. He also works on neural regeneration and directs a clinical trial to promote visual restoration in diseases that cause blindness. Huberman is also actively involved in developing tools now in use by the elite military in the U.S. and Canada, athletes, and technology industries to optimize performance in high-stress environments, enhance neural plasticity, mitigate stress, and optimize sleep. 

Work from the Huberman Laboratory at Stanford School of Medicine has been published in top journals including Nature, Science, and Cell and has been featured in TIME, BBC, Scientific American, Discover, and other top media outlets.

Watch this episode about What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health. It certainly gives you food for thought when it comes to making significant changes to help improve your well-being. This guy is intense!

Lex Friedman

The Lex Fridman Podcast is a show focused on “conversations about the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love, and power.”

Research scientist, Lex Fridman, is a friend of Elon Musk and has frequently appeared as a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Dressed in his signature black suit and tie, Lex covers a variety of topics on his show and hosts high-powered guests, like musician and artist Ye, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and psychologist Jordan Peterson. 

Fans of the Lex Fridman Podcast enjoy the show because he provides a platform for those with a wide range of perspectives. He isn’t afraid to ask challenging questions and does so in a humble way.

On his podcast, Lex hosts many guests who are at the forefront of artificial intelligence, energy, technology research, world religions, alien life, and politics.

He strives to keep humanity in his podcast episodes and doesn’t shy away from controversial guests and topics.

I like the fact he’s a chilled guy and gets right in there with the questions…

Kill Tony

Kill Tony is a live podcast taped in Austin, Texas and in fact, all over the world. It features hosts Tony Hinchcliffe, Brian Redban and an impressive list of celebrity guests.

Take an industrial blender and throw in the following, plus whatever else takes your fancy: cancel culture, wokeism, political correctness, control of the narrative, rude shit, observational humour and your imagination, then give it a quick blast on full power! This is how Kill Tony feels - freeform, lightly structured comedic chaos.

Each week, people are given one minute of stage time to deliver their latest attempt at stand-up comedy in front of a real audience and onstage panel hosted by Hinchcliffe & Redban.

In old-fashioned lottery style, the names of participants are written on pieces of paper and pulled out of a bucket. Nobody knows who will be called up and what is going to happen.

Broadcast live, which is no mean feat, the show also features a live band (respect) and celebrity guests from Joe Rogan to Roxanne.

This show is raw and I feel like I’ve just done a mental cold plunge with Wim Hof. Afterwards, the bad jokes feel like a detox and the better ones are slightly exhilarating.

And finally…

I hope you find something interesting here and if you’ve got any great recommendations, please let me know in the comments below so that readers and supporters of our VIBES blog can check them out too!

Next week Simon is in the hot seat.

P.S. You will never believe this haha…

VIBES is a weekly, reader-supported guide to life, culture, music and current affairs. Both free and paid subscriptions are available. If you want to support our work, the best way is by taking out a paid subscription.