What We're Binging: Local Podcasts
A little over a month ago, I wrote a story about Erie's local podcasting scene. At this point, that month has stretched out to feel like a year, but alas, the point of the article remains: Erie's podcasting scene is flourishing.
With that said, social distancing has forced many podcasts to change recording locations and how they record with one another. Meanwhile, podcast consumers have changed their habits as well.
The other day, Ted Brogan, co-host of the local Idiotville podcast, retweeted the founder of The New Consumer who shared an article explaining how podcast downloads have plummeted in recent weeks. While some may find this data surprising, it makes sense, considering many folks listen to podcasts during their daily commutes or at the gym. As for me, it's been difficult keeping up on my daily podcasts between working from home, entertaining and educating a six and soon-to-be-three-year-old, and the somehow never-ending grind of daily upkeep on the house (how is there so much laundry if we're not going anywhere?!).
While you can find a list of Erie podcasts right here on the Erie Reader website, here is a recap of what our local podcasts have been talking about these past few weeks:
The fellas at Idiotville: Erie PA's Favorite Podcast, while not being active in the #EriePA hashtag scene or creating memorable Erie memes, have had to readjust to recording away from CAM Erie studios. In recent episodes, they continue to do what they do best: discuss everything Erie-related while also managing to go on their trademark hilarious and thoughtful tangents. They have also been churning out quality essays on their website.
On No Hugging, No Learning, our favorite radio hosts turned podcasters, Tim Murphy and Ted Hallowell, continue to grind through episodes of Seinfeld, as the two enter watching the sixth season of the beloved sitcom, where each episode lacks the hugging and learning prominent in every other sitcom of its era.
The Ira Glass of Edinboro University, Chris LaFuria, discusses on Tartan Talks the stigma surrounding stuttering with Dr. Mary Weidner in an excellent and eye-opening episode, as well as other interviews that include talks about aviation, black history, and architecture.
For you movie lovers out there (and those who simply enjoy conversations with interesting people), the consistently great Film Grain's recent shows have talked about everything from Candyman (the original is on Netflix and still holds up), to Knives Out with Bill Kern, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with Rebecca Styn, and Parasite with CEE Brown.
On Louis Geramita's Aspiring for More, recent episodes include discussions on social media coaching with Evolution Health, how to grow one's business during these difficult times with a local attorney, and the in-and-outs of our local comedy scene (and why they're ready to hit the road) with two excellent Erie comedians.
Dig: A History Podcast has been on roll in recent weeks, consistently proving why they are one of the best history podcasts nationwide Their episode titles in their latest four-episode series (on historical violence) include: "79 and Counting: Women of Ireland's 1916 Uprising," "Blood on the Ravenstone: Judicial Torture, Penal Violence, and Capital Punishment in Early Modern Europe," "Honor, Manhood, Slavery: Political Violence from Alexander Hamilton to John Brown," and "Anti-Mexican Mob Violence in the Borderlands: A Lynching in Rocksprings, Texas."
Students at Mercyhurst University were able to produce numerous podcasts this year for their Hurststories podcast, a part of their Digital History: Storytelling course (taught by Dr. Averill Earls, host of the previously mentioned Dig). The impressive series includes topics such as Koehler Beer, Fort Fort LeBoeuf, Mercyhurst's Black Student Union in the 1970s, the 1952 General Electric Strike in Erie, and so many more. Check these out solely to hear the awesome work being done at our local universities.
On Cinemantics, the latest episode has Tony and Eddie skipping a movie to drink some tasty craft beers and discuss the pandemic, although other recent episodes include tasty craft beers and words about Parasite and The Matrix.
In the upcoming months, keeping tabs on our mental health will be more important than ever. With Lizard Brain Podcast, host Ken Falkenhagen talks candidly about mental health and his personal struggles with depression and anxiety. Recent episodes include a discussion with Tony Biebel about celebrating improvements and overcoming fears as well an interview with a career counselor discussing working from home and navigating mental health in the workplace.
The Joel Natalie Show, which airs on TalkErie, has uploaded many of its excellent conversations into the podcast world. Recent guests have included the CEO and Vice President of the locally-owned Farmulated Premium CBD (opened by the founders of Troyer Farms Potato Chip Company) and Dr. Wei-Shin Lei (founder of our locally-made product SleepPhones) who uses her expertise to discuss COVID-19.
Erie Times-News's From the Newsroom recently had on the director of community services for the Erie County Department of Health in a great conversation as well as a discussion with North East resident Leslie Reed Hurst who talks about her positive COVID-19 diagnosis. There is also a backlog of excellent episodes that include discussions on the Meadville Market House, the Erie School District, Edinboro University's art program, and the Erie County Census.
On Leave Your Legacy, Chris Norris and R.J. Messenger interview local artist, pharmacist, arm-wrestler, and cancer-survivor Aubrey Reese, Erie's man-of-all-trades CEE Brown, and talk with one another about grinding towards their goals and how they manage their time. On Norris' other podcast, Keeping it Real, he discusses coronavirus with Dr. David Hutzel of Greenfield Internal Medicine and on another episode chats with a recent graduate of Mercyhurst University who is now teaching in China about her experiences during the outbreak. He also has an episode discussing how to utilize social media during these times to keep your business alive.
WQLN's Next with Marcus Atkinson recently hosted guests to discuss the historical importance of black radio and self-produced entertainment in an extremely informative and important episode.
On Women Really Mean Business, they conducted a really fascinating interview about something of which I had no knowledge: being a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur (HSE). Other recent topics include the way women think about money, the importance of being a mentor, and the connection between leadership and communication.
The Lake Erie Gumbo guys are back at it with Season 2, so far interviewing the likes of local rapper Kenny Ba$e and producer/engineer Bill$up (who just released an album titled Spaceship), Dommy of Crew Life Productions, and the hilarious local comedian Kyle Harris (who also appeared on Aspiring for More) on his reasons for moving to Las Vegas.
On Stereo Confidential, they're binge-watching the new Hulu show High Fidelity along with their usual deep-dives into music.
Erie's favorite comic book podcasters, For Comic Junkies, talk about lesser-known characters including Tim Drake, a young man who discovered Batman's identity, Carrie Kelley, a young woman who wants to help Batman fight crime, and Jason Todd, the second Robin (and later known as Red Hood).
Erie's Bayfront Boys, who often talk sports, talk about a world now without sports or sports news. So, they decide to get creative and do a fantasy draft of local dine-in restaurants. If you are into Erie's food scene, this is a must-listen.
No Drop-in Fee recently recorded talks about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with UndergroundBJJ's head instructor as well as another about bullying and the importance and effectiveness of anti-bullying campaigns.
On Haunting Beautiful with Arie Lombardozzi, he interviews a private investigator with Flagship Investigation Services, which makes for quite an interesting and unique conversation.
A VGM Journey, which covers video game music from the 80s through today, recently explored the often nostalgic music of Animal Crossing, Doom, Bomberman 64, and Dr. Mario.
The Sorry, No Podcast, which I most recently discovered, is consistently releasing new episodes on YouTube every Tuesday, talking about relationships, love, and sex.
And perhaps Erie's most recent podcast, Talk to Text with Matt Texter, keeps us connected with local writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, and more. In his own words: "The entire purpose of the 'Talk to Text' podcast is to connect us through conversation, and what a better to time to connect than now?"
While we may no longer have our commutes or gym time to listen to our favorite podcasts, make it a point to download and support your favorites (and check out some new ones) while you're cooking, folding that endless pile of laundry, or (hopefully soon) mowing the lawn. While we are socially distancing, our local podcasts are an excellent and important way to still feel connected to one another.
There are also plenty more interests, ideas, and communities still left to explore in the local podcasting scene as well — so maybe it is even a good time to start your own.