Crowdsourcing is a hell of a thing.
Without it, we wouldn’t have the traffic app Waze, Cheesy Garlic Bread flavoured Lays, or this here list of the 14 best podcasts out there. Podcasts aren’t a new thing, but in the wake of episode seven of Stranger Things 2, the auditory entertainment has seen a significant spike in the Monster Children office. So, we put the call out to HQ to crowdsource a solid list of cerebral snacks, and thankfully only the intelligent ones replied. Here goes:
Very similar in production quality to This American Life. They go in depth about heaps of weird, random things. The latest episodes have been about a local government election in the US, a guy called Oliver Sipple who stopped an assassination on the President of the United States, and a look at the future of ‘fakery’ and all the spooky editing programs that have been made that can take a picture of you or a slice of audio and make a video of you doing and saying whatever they want. They only do about two eps a month though, so once you’ve binged the back catalogue you have to wait forever.
This is a short five-episode podcast produced by The Australian newspaper looking back at the Bowraville murders, where three children were murdered in five months, all taken from the same street. I’d never even heard of the murders before so I found it interesting to hear from families who were there at the time, detectives who worked on the case and even the accused murderer who was found not guilty.
Every episode delivers something new. Unrelated random criminal stories ranging from decomposing bodies in Texas to the history of the term ‘4:20’. Also, the presenter’s voice is to die for.
Bit of a hidden gem for filmmakers. Delivers an amazing wealth of knowledge from an experienced DOP and amazing interviews with all your favourite camera operators.
Who doesn’t love a sordid cult tale? It investigates the infamous cult that came to an abrupt end in 1997 when 39 people covered in purple and wearing matching Nikes took their lives in a mass suicide. They go into how the cult began, how it managed to pull in so many members, and the life stories of its two founding members, the certifiably insane Ti and Do. Aside from having a voice like rich mahogany, host Glynn Washington grew up in an apocalyptic religious cult and brings a unique perspective to the story. Episodes are currently being released weekly, so binge and then bide your time.
Because there are two people on my list at the moment and I don’t want anything getting in my way. And personally, I don’t want to spend the rest of my days in a 2×2 cell with some pocket holder for a double homicide. Some birds aren’t meant to be caged.
I used to only listen to BBC, New Yorker or ABC podcasts, but as the world has gone to shit so much in the last 12-18 months I can no longer handle anything serious, it gives me anxiety. Bill Burr was talking about this podcast so that’s how I got into it, it’s literally just 30 minutes of rambling, interviews and riffing but also a way for him to try out bits for his stand up routine. They use synthesisers and auto-tune in real time and I’m pretty sure they are always high.
This program’s a big hit on AM radio and there’s a podcast for each interview he has undertaken in podcast land. He interviews interesting people, who aren’t necessarily famous. A favourite of mine is a NSW female police officer and how it was when she was first posted to Newtown after academy training in the 1990s. The show is a quiet, curious insight into first-hand perspective of goings on all around us, that we might not normally think about.
Any podcast that has the ability to make you feel truly angry is doing its job. This series follows the murky past of one sick MF (spoiler: Dirty John), and how he’s managed to swindle countless women, including a Californian millionaire whose story provides the basis for this auditory treat. The story arc is faultless, revealing exactly the right thing at the right time, and building suspense to the final, dramatic conclusion in the last episode (a place where many other popular podcasts like S-Town have fallen down).
“Stuff You Should Know” is a little condescending for a title, however it’s full of interesting information that in reality, most people don’t know. Want to know more about ghosts, hip-hop, exorcisms or how Satanism works? Jump into this podcast and fill your melon with strange facts that will have people thinking you’re smarter than you really are.
I get some gem new music from people with great, varied taste. My secret weapon to keep hip with my kids.
My gateway drug into podcasts—if I didn’t make the jump I would have been left out in cold abyss of Spotify radio. Besides its popularity, the discussion in Serial about whether or not he was the murderer got me thinking about any contentious verdict in the judicial system, and how we only really ever get a bee’s dick of information with most news stories. I think the 360-degree analysis of the events and people involved really showed that whatever your initial prejudice may have been, it was repeatedly questioned throughout the show. It definitely made me more willing to dig deeper into other stories before forming my oh-so-valuable opinion.
Seeing as though Charles Manson died yesterday, this is the perfect podcast to get you up to speed. Cult leader, career criminal, and self-proclaimed messiah—this podcast tells the story of how he went from an enigmatic but picked on young kid, to the man who would manipulate and coerce his followers into brutal slaughters of innocent people that left America reeling.
Comedian, weed/psychedelic advocate, TV host and modern day philosopher Joe Rogan covers everything from comedy, science, philosophy, sport and current affairs in his long-form conversation podcast. 1037 podcasts in, his guest have included Michael Ruppert, Reggie Watts, Judd Apatow, Ari Shaffir, Bill Burr, Dr Rhonda Patrick, Steve-O, Henry Rollins, Tom Segura, Shane Dorian and Russel Brand. The show is intense, loud, and super addictive.
The stories of how famous businesses have been built by the iconic founders. The interviewer is fascinated by their stories and it draws the founders out and draws me in.