My Top 7 Podcast Picks

I’ve been diving into a lot of podcasts recently.  When I’m on tour, I’m sometimes spending 8-10 hours a day just driving.  So it’s nice to hear another human voice besides the inbred hick fine upstanding citizen working at the gas station.

Though you may remember that I recently ranted about the low quality of a lot of podcasts.  My main objection being that too many people are just hitting record and winging it, hoping to be funny.  And I finally figured out what it was bugging me about those.  It’s the same vibe as someone that discovers they’re talking to a professional comedian, and then tries to be as “on” as possible.  Or even dealing with other comics that have to always be on.  It’s tiresome.  And very few people can be funny off the cuff for an hour every week.

That being said, I’ve found a few podcasts that I’m enjoying a lot.  So I thought I’d turn you on to them.

1. WTF from Marc Maron – Ok, every comic and his brother listens to this podcast.  But it’s for good reason.  Marc does really really good interviews with comedians.  Despite the fact that it’s labeled as a comedy podcast, it doesn’t really try to be funny.  It’s more about delving deep into the psyche of comedians and what makes them tick.  And then when he does a live podcast with an audience, the comedy rolls out and is really funny.  The bottom line is that you’re listening to a really good conversation between intelligent people.  That’s a good thing.

2. Adam Corolla – Again, something from the top of the charts, but for good reason.  I’ve been a fan of Adam Corolla since Love Line.  He’s the type of guy that can expound on just about any topic for 4 or 5 minutes, which is amazing to me.  If he were your next door neighbor, he’d be annoying as hell.  And despite the fact that he and his cohorts talk very free-form, there’s still a structure and plan for the show.  That’s what’s missing from so many other podcasts.  A plan.  Present a piece of work to me.  Adam Corolla hits a happy medium with this one.

3. Mousetalgia – If you’ve been reading my blog for more than 5 minutes, you know I’m a big Disney dork.  So listening in to uber-fans chew the fat on the latest updates from Disneyland is a good thing for me.  And again, while they’ll do some free-form discussion, it all falls into a plan of “here’s what we’re doing on the show today”.  Listening to Adam Corolla is like listening to a radio show.  Mousetalgia is more like chatting with friends about something I’m passionate about.  They do this show in my hometown too.  I’m hoping I can do a guest spot on there at some point. 🙂

4. CD Baby Music Discovery Podcast – I’m always looking for new interesting music to listen to. is probably the world’s largest repository of independently released music, so it’s interesting to hear their recommendations.  Do I like everything they pick?  Of course, not.  But I have discovered some really cool stuff like Matt Henshaw.

5. The Smart Passive Income Podcast – I’m a huge believer in multiple streams of income and Pat Flynn runs a great podcast about developing passive income on the net.  I know, you’re thinking “Scammer!  Spammer!  Squammer!” – Ok, maybe not that last one.  But this dude is not your average “plow ads down your throat” type net marketing guy.  He’s very generous with good info and low-key on his sales stuff.  Better yet, he makes money in other areas besides just net marketing.

6. The Music Biz Weekly Podcast – Michael Brandvold and Brian Thompson are both in the music promo trenches daily and have a lot of good insight into what artists should be doing to build their fan base.  And it’s stuff that performers of any shade should be doing.  They do fall a bit into the trap of “well, what should we talk about today?”  But since they’re living their subject 24/7, they can get away with talking off the tops of their heads a little more.

7. TEDTalks – These are audio podcasts of speeches from TED conferences.  Brilliant people talking about interesting things.  If you’re like me and love to hear interesting, well thought out ideas, definitely dig into these.  A few of them made me want to batter the speaker like a corn dog, shove a giant foam #1 finger on their head and tell them to lighten up.  But for the most part these are really interesting talks.

Those are my tops right now.  And I’m always looking for new voices to keep me company on the road.  So if you’ve got a good suggestion that you think I’d like, drop me a comment below.

Phil Johnson

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