Who tells your story?

I have a confession to make: I got a bit busy this week, and I haven’t had time to write a whole new podcast column. But, I am finally going to see Hamilton tomorrow (just a brief fifteen months after booking the tickets), so I that thought rather than skipping a newsletter, I would share an excerpt of a piece I wrote in 2017 about the podcasts that had sprung up in the wake of the musical’s huge popularity. I hope you enjoy it.

The podcast column

First published in the New Statesman on 2 February 2017:

When you find a new piece of pop culture that you love, all you want to do is talk about it with other people. It’s more enjoyable when your friends have also fallen hard for the same thing, but a truly smitten fan can carry easily on a conversation about their new obsession with half a dozen others who have only a polite passing interest.

Travon Free, a comedy writer who has previously worked on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, told me that when he first saw the show in 2015, it was like joining a secret society. “In New York, anyone who has seen Hamilton – you instantly become like the elite,” he explained, speaking to me by phone from Los Angeles. “You’re in a special club where you and only a handful of other people can talk about this thing that you’ve seen. It was impossible to get into, and at the time there was no soundtrack so people can’t even get in with you [that way]. You just have to have seen it or not seen it.”

“Whenever you talk to someone about Hamilton, you always get into their favourite song, their favourite part of the show, and then you end up singing the songs in some capacity,” he said. “So I figured that should be the show, where I talk to the person about their career and their connection to Hamilton and performing, and then we talk about their favourite song and why, and then we sing a little bit of it.”

Read the rest of the piece to find more recommendations of Hamilton podcasts to listen to. Sadly, Travon’s show seems to have gone on hiatus at episode 33, and the Obamas haven’t guested on it yet.


A linking update

After the discussion in last week’s newsletter about how to link a podcast, reader Myke got in touch to tell me about an app he’s using to share shows with other people that includes links to lots of different sources. In case it’s of use to others, I’m sharing what he wrote to me with you all (with his permission):

Have you ever tried the podcast app Castro? I used to fret over share links, but their last update is great. When you share a show page, it gives the receiver the ability to subscribe via Castro, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts or the RSS feed. For example: https://castro.fm/podcast/97d2df6e-3112-452f-b004-e0ec7608ffcd. Beyond this, if you share a specific episode, it has a web player on the page so folks can just get straight to listening. Example: https://castro.fm/episode/AgHSrt.


The podcast recommend

Renee writes:

Sawbones is a “two people talking” podcast that is consistently funny and educational, and it stays on-topic. I could (and do) happily spend hours listening to Sydnee, a doctor, explain the nastier bits of medical history to her comedian husband (Justin McElroy of The Adventure Zone).

Do you have a podcast you’ve been listening to that you’re burning to recommend to someone? Tell me about it! I’ve set up an easy submission form here where you can do that. With your permission, I’ll include the best recommendations in a future edition of the newsletter.


The podcast links

  1. What’s the key to creating a good narrative podcast?AV Club

  2. Macaulay Culkin Is Mainly Focusing on Wrestlemania and Podcasting in 2018Time

  3. This podcast by three Philly women in tech is all about ‘sticking together’Technically Philly

  4. Why Podcasters Love Lipstick and PajamasRacked

  5. Saudi female scholar shifts career from podcasting to geneticsAl Arabiya English


    That’s everything for today. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget that you can subscribe to get two extra emails about podcasting from me every week: I do commentary on industry news on Thursdays, and playlists of great shows to listen to on Sundays.