Podcasts

This month, our intrepid columnist gets to grips with podcasts – or not

Illustration: Fat Roland

I’ve discovered podcasts. Have you heard of podcasts? I put podcasts on my phone. I’ve got at least 6,000 podcasts. I unlock my phone and there they are. The podcasts. The thousands of podcasts I haven’t listened to. More people should know about podcasts. I think you should discover podcasts just like me. You can put the podcasts on your phone too. And if you don’t have a phone, you can, er, put them on a pair of Sony speakers or something. Podcasts. Thousands of podcasts.

Because I’m so ahead of the curve, there’s a 100 per cent chance you don’t know what a podcast is. I’m an early adopter like Mark Zucklebergs or that woman from ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Let me explain. There was a time when everyone listened to radio programmes – back in the olden days when everybody was sepia and owned turnips. Families would gather to listen to a stern voice reading the news or a bored voice listing weird words about ships. Late-night radio was always cooler. A beardy old man Sellotaped egg boxes to his walls. He’d waffle into a microphone about the finer details of record players or Van Der Graaf Generator. He’d use words like “sophomore” and “seminal”. His voice was silky because of all the eggs he’d eaten.

Podcasts are exactly like that, but without the eggs, the news, the Generator thingy that I googled, the smoothness or the ships. Usually, it’s just two loudmouth blokes yelling about their favourite movies. “HAVE U WOTCHED SEVEN? YEH I HAVE WOTCHED SEVEN. ITS GOOD INNIT?” In the middle of sentences, there will be surprise adverts at double the volume for tech start-ups. They’d have names like YesGroin and Future Shafter.

Instead of tuning into a radio station with a big twiddly dial, you find podcasts by jabbing Spotify with an angry finger until you accidentally launch the episode you want. It’s really convenient, if the word “convenient” means, “For crap’s sake, can someone build a decent audio platform for once”.

The first podcast I got into was Spandau Ballet’s ‘Goldwatch’. On the strength of their 1983 hit ‘Gold’, they livestream the gold bullion market. It’s John Keeble listing prices. It’s pretty bad, actually. Pet Shop Boys’ podcast is worth a skip too because it’s just Chris Lowe and he never says anything. Holly Johnson hosts a quiz show. Two opposing tribes compete, and a point is all that they can score. It’s disappointing. Annie Lennox hosts a Q&A one, in which she asks “Why?” repeatedly. Terrible.

What am I saying? Those podcasts are all made-up. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure what the heck a podcast is. Seriously, though, what is a podcast? Why am I even writing about them? Do you have to sit inside a pod to listen to one? Can you get them on your telly? Is it like Bitcoin but made of noise? I can’t keep up with new-fangled digital things. Did you know that instead of having a normal synthesiser with lovely knobs, you can have one in your computer? Inside your actual computer? They open up your computer screen, take out the cathode rays, and bung a Juno-6 in there. It’s called a digital audio babestation or something. Apparently, you can make whole albums with these programs because they have, like, at least 12 instruments. Trumpet. Vibraphone. Erm. Another trumpet.

Let’s make this column into a podcast. Jab this page. Go on. Jab it with an angry finger. Surely words become noise if you poke them enough.

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