We’re big fans of the simple idea behind the #TryPod campaign: share a podcast you love with someone you love.
At PRX, we work with talented indie producers all over the world, but this month we want to share five podcasts made in our own Boston backyard. Each show tells stories in a unique way and belongs to our growing PRX Podcast Garage community.
In this blog, Podcast Garage Community Manager Alex Braunstein gives you her take on each show and asks their hosts about an episode you should try.
Show: Hiding in the Bathroom, a show for those of us in business who want to embrace our introverted selves.
Episode to Try: How to Do Powerful Work
Alex says: I’m insanely jealous of how at home Morra looks in front of a microphone. As a host, she oozes warmth and a desire to take on the world. It’s no surprise that by day, she runs digital campaigns for mission-driven clients like Planned Parenthood. Her Forbes podcast engages women in frank conversations about introversion, self-care, and feminism in the workplace. Count me in.
Host Morra Aarons-Mele says: “Meighan is humble in the face of a really big life, and she has incredible advice to give those of us who want our work to have meaning. She took Malala Fund from an organization with no logo to a globally-recognized leader in helping educate the world’s girls. And I’ve felt her sacrifices, and admired her fortitude even as she made some really hard decisions and missed her son greatly. Meighan believes she doesn’t choose her work; it chooses her. She wants to serve, she has great skills, and the job finds her. I think this episode is essential listening to anyone who feels like the work they want to do eludes them.”
Show: Soonish, a show about our technological future, and how our choices today will shape that future, though often in ways we can’t predict.
Episode to Try: Meat Without the Moo
Alex says: Wade’s storytelling is so precise and thoughtful that you can just tell the guy has a PhD from MIT. I love his ambitious approach to the show, which is remarkably produced by a team of one. It truly feels like he’s on an epic quest to discover the future and I’m along for the ride. You will literally be smarter just by listening!
Host Wade Roush says: “One of the places this episode ends up is an old automobile factory in San Leandro, CA where a startup called Tiny Farms has built a huge cricket farm. So as the CEO is walking me around the place, I’m trying not to step on any loose crickets, and then I’m trying to stick my mic into their nest to get some cricket-song on tape without scaring them. I’m being so careful! And then the CEO explains that pretty soon they’ll knock out these crickets with carbon dioxide and freeze them and grind them up for cricket flour. And I realize I’m totally okay with that. It’s funny, because I’m vegetarian, so I’m largely against eating animals. But I’d eat crickets all day if it would save a few cows and chickens. I guess we all have our own moral thresholds – and our own choices to make about the future.”
Show: One in a Billion, a show about China, through the voices of Chinese millennials in America.
Episode to Try: Finding Love in America: Reality Bites
Alex says: Being in Mable’s presence is electrifying. She talks fast and dreams big. It’s no wonder she’s put the word “billion” into her show’s title and is personally chasing down the untold stories of Chinese millennials living in America. A former producer for Good Morning America and Dateline, Mable is a seasoned pro exploring a new medium. She’s currently searching for other producers to join her and I can’t wait to hear what they do next.
Host Mable Chan says: “I love Qinghua’s character – adventurous, dutiful and defiant. I find it intriguing that a young woman from the middle of China came alone to America to get her PhD in Engineering. She quickly earned her degree by age 25 and landed her dream job as a data scientist at Silicon Valley! But just as everything seemed to be going well, she was getting bored at work while her 7-year relationship with her boyfriend was suddenly over. How did she turn things around – not only for herself but also for thousands other Chinese looking for love in America? You gotta listen.”
Show: Caught Up, a show with the latest and greatest scoop about South Boston and beyond.
Episode to Try: Losing My Religion
Alex says: The makers of the magazine Caught in Southie have captured my heart with a show about all-things-South-Boston. Even though I’ve never been to Southie (gimme a break, I just moved here), I love eavesdropping on Heather and Maureen’s local take on their neighborhood. They claim to know nothing about podcasting, but they’re clearly naturals when it comes to something pretty unteachable: chemistry. I laugh out loud when they’re recording in our studio and somehow feel nostalgia for a place I’ve never lived.
Hosts Maureen Dahill and Heather Foley say: “In this episode, you get a sense of how we grew up in South Boston. The majority of the kids growing up in Southie went to Catholic School which was taught by nuns. Needless to say, those nuns shaped who we are today – good, bad or otherwise i.e. our love of wine lightening the load of Catholic guilt.”
Show: The Courage to Listen, a show that explores issues of police community relationships, gang violence and race in America.
Episode to Try: Commissioner Ed Davis
Alex says: I crave compassionate leaders like Reverend Brown who know how to listen. It’s a privilege just to be a fly on the wall for his conversations about violence prevention, community mobilization, and policing. He’s credited as “an architect of The Boston Miracle,” in which a group of local preachers cut youth violence in the city by 79%… by listening. I find this show’s straightforward interview style totally gripping.
Host Reverend Jeffrey Brown says: “Ed led the police department for the city of Boston, and was featured in Mark Wahlberg’s film ‘Patriot’s Day.’ We had a fascinating discussion about the Marathon bombing, his personal transformation from traditional to community-oriented policing, and his thoughts on the future of police reform today. Oh, and we asked him how he felt about John Goodman playing him in the movie!”