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KEVIN AVERY

UNDISCLOSED

Behind the Theme Music with

SHELLSHAG

JULY 2016


PODCASTERS! ENTER THE PODSTER

“Best Undiscovered Podcast”

COMPETITION

Podster magazine announces the Podster “Best Undiscovered Podcast” Competition. Eligible podcasts must have an average of fewer than 1,000 downloads/listens per episode. Entry fee is $50 per podcast episode entered. There is no limit to the number of podcast episodes an individual can enter; each podcast episode is a separate entry. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Podster magazine. The winner will receive a full-page ad in a 2017 issue of Podster magazine (rate card value $1,000) as well as an interview in a 2017 issue of Podster. Five finalists will receive editorial coverage in a 2017 issue of Podster. We will also feature additional “notable” podcasts entered in the competition in a 2017 issue of Podster.

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O OU U R ORUS ST RTA A SF FF T F A FF MARGARET BROWN PUBLISHER/EDITOR CHRISTINA DAVIDSON CREATIVE DIRECTOR COLIN MILLER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR GEMMA KING CONTRIBUTING EDITOR BEN MINTON CIRCULATION MANAGER

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margaret@shelfmediagroup.com

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WWW.NEWMEDIARECORDINGSTUDIOS.COM JANUARY 2016


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JANUARY 2016


INN IIN T TTRRR O OO I

just got back from Podcast Movement 16 in Chicago and am more excited than ever about being a part of the podcasting community. I met hundreds of podcasters, from those who have recently launched to those who have produced hundreds of episodes. What they shared is a passion for the medium of podcasting and for their subject matter. Baseball. Movies. Faith. Good deeds. Introverts. Fashion. Comic books. Barbeque. I can’t wait to listen to all of them! This was my second Podcast Movement; I attended PM15 in Fort Worth last year. There is an infectious energy at Podcast Movement, with those gathered celebrating the podcasting revolution that has grown to 57 million listeners in the United States (up 25 percent from the previous year) and feeling pride in being a part of it. In this issue, we interview Kevin Avery, who along with W. Kamau Bell co-hosts the Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period podcast. We talk with Kevin about comPhoto by Debra Pandak

Click HERE to sign up for for FREE. edy and race and, of course, Denzel Washington. We also have an interview with the hosts of Undisclosed, which picks up where Serial left off and has just begun its second season. We’ve discovered a great science podcast for kids (and adults) called Tumble; the Tumble team explains their reasons for launching and their approach to teaching science. And we talk to the creators of a new podcast from the CBC Radio called Love Me, which explores our need for love through personal narratives and fiction pieces. As one of the 57 million podcast listeners in this country, I’m always thrilled to discover my next favorite one. I hope you will find yours in this issue. MARGARET BROWN PUBLISHER/EDITOR 5


interview nterview interview

Kevin Avery: Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period

earwolf.com/show/denzel-washington

Comedians Kevin Avery and W. Kamau Bell talk all things Denzel.

LISTEN

: How long have you known your co-host W. Kamau Bell? KEVIN AVERY: We met around 15 years ago when we were both starting out in the San Francisco comedy scene. He had come from Chicago where he had done a little bit of comedy. It felt like we were the two black guys on the scene, so we became friends and eventually started writing together. 6

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Photo by Lisa Keating

PODSTER: How did you guys decide to do the Denzel Washington podcast? KEVIN: We lived together for a while, and we were big movie fans and would talk about film and television a lot. We realized we were both big Denzel fans. Denzel is this quietly iconic figure in Hollywood and in show business, and we decided that we wanted to explore that. We didn’t think about doing it as a podcast at first because we had another podcast going on for a bit called Siskel & Negro where we were talking about movies and pop culture in general. And then about a year and a half ago he called me and said, “let’s do this as a podcast.” PODSTER: Is it scripted or planned or do you wing it? KEVIN: We definitely go into it knowing


what subject we want to talk about but often it veers off course into something else. We try to keep it together but I like the idea of going on a podcast and saying whatever I want to say, and if it goes a little off course, so be it. We try to keep it interesting. As long as it stays interesting and as long as we come out bringing it back to Denzel. Essentially we’ll watch a movie and take notes. For each episode we go in knowing we want to talk about a particular thing or something that happened that week with Denzel. It’s by no means scripted. It has all just come from conversations we used to have when no one was listening, and that’s what we like about it now. PODSTER: You are both so smart and funny and you are also able to hit so many notes and cover so much ground. Like in your episode about the Manchurian Candidate last year you were also able to get into the confederate flag issue. You were able to make a point and talk about racism and be funny and smart all at the same time. Is it hard to bring humor into conversations about race or is that just your natural way of expressing and making the points you want to make? KEVIN: My comedy is completely different from Kamau’s. He talks a lot about race because that is what he’s most passionate about and that’s what he puts out there as a comedian. I talk about race

from a very, very personalized experience. I think Kamau does more commentary and I do more storytelling, but my act is more autobiographical. Our jobs are to be funny, so we’re used to being funny and we’re funny around each other. We’re not writing jokes about race; it’s conversational and if it comes out funny, great. Whatever you are talking about—whether it’s race or your sexuality or a traumatic event that happened in your childhood—as a comedian it is your job to take that and put it out there and make it funny. It’s not difficult to talk about it or joke about it cause it’s real and we’re being honest. I’m not there to make jokes about race, but we’re going to be talking about it because that’s who we are and what we’ve experienced. A lot of times people don’t want to talk about it; they want to ignore it or whatever. So it’s nice that people who listen to podcasts come from all different backgrounds because they can say, “Oh, I never thought about that.” I like to think that I walk around learning new stuff every day that I had never considered, whether it’s about myself or the outside world. I love when people say, “I don’t think Denzel is the greatest actor of all time, period. I don’t like Denzel but I like listening to the podcast.” Especially in this universe we exist in now where everybody is a red state or a blue state and there’s no in between and you can’t consider this person’s point of view or that person’s point of view, I like that we have this thing where people can say, “That wasn’t my opinion but I’m certainly interested in what they have to say or interested in the conversation as a whole.” 7


KEVIN LISTENS TO

The Dead Authors Podcast Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun!

Doug Loves Movies Comedian Doug Benson (Super High Me, Last Comic Standing) invites his friends to sit down and discuss his first love: movies!

Serial Podcast Hosted by Sarah Koenig, Serial follows one story—a true story—over the course of an entire season. WTF with Marc Maron Comedian Marc Maron is tackling the most complex philosophical question of our day—WTF? He’ll get to the bottom of it with help from comedian friends, celebrity guests and the voices in his own head. 8

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Comedy Film Nerds Movie reviews by stand-up comics and filmmakers Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini.

PODSTER: If you guys had the opportunity to interview Denzel Washington, what would you really like to know about him as a person? KEVIN: It would probably be very different for Kamau than it would be for me. I’m very interested in the craft. I’ve always been an actor or fancy myself one, so I’m very interested in how he does what he does. What are your acting secrets? I never had formal training as an actor, so I’m very eager to learn what these actors are doing. Denzel is such a craftsman that I really want to dive into that and find out more about his approach and what he’s thinking. I’m also interested in knowing the guy who put all that focus into being Malcolm X and who turned into that person. I’m interested in cracking the shell of the icon and finding the person who’s in there.

PODSTER: I watched the Magnificent Seven trailer in which Denzel plays the group’s leader Sam Chisolm, and it looks like it might be good. Are you excited; are you worried? How do you feel about the remake? KEVIN: I’m not worried. I’ve enjoyed every Denzel movie I’ve ever seen—some more than others. I’m excited to see it.

PODSTER: Do you have a favorite Denzel Washington movie? KEVIN: I loved him in American Gangster. Malcolm X is just such a brilliant performance. But I’ve watched Crimson Tide more than any other Denzel movie. I love submarine movies, and when I’m watching Crimson Tide I’m just grinning and enjoying it. My favorite is probably Crimson Tide.

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interview nterview interview

Lindsay Patterson, Marshall Escamilla, Sara Robberson Lentz: Tumble Science Podcast for Kids sciencepodcastforkids.com

Black holes, parasites, spiders? Science is fun and fascinating in Tumble—made for kids but recommended for adults as well.

LISTEN

LINDSAY

: Why create a podcast for kids, and why about science? LINDSAY PATTERSON: We’re creating a podcast for kids because kids listen, too. Podcasts are the perfect medium for kids, because it’s a natural fit for their curiosity, imagination, and delight. Kids listen to podcasts differently than adults—they 10

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listen to a favorite episode multiple times, just like a favorite book or movie. We’ve heard from parents that their kids ask for the podcast every time they get into the car. We know that they want to talk about an episode, find out about more, and orient their play around it. Kids have told us that they have ideas, drawings, and even books inspired by our episodes. It’s so rewarding to make content that they love. They’re an audience that has been historically neglected by public radio and the podcasting explosion. We want to change that. Why science? I was turned off by science as a kid, because it was something that I wasn’t “good” at. I thought teachers and textbooks had all the answers, and there was nothing left to be discovered. It wasn’t until after college, in my first interview with a scientist, that I discovered how


wrong I was. Whether or not a kid wants to grow up to be a scientist or engineer, understanding the basic nature of science is essential to being an informed citizen. We want to inspire kids with science stories both because being curious makes life more wondrous, and to keep them engaged in scientific discovery. SARA ROBBERSON LENTZ: Lindsay and I are both science reporters and met through a group for radio producers and podcasters called the Austin Listening Lounge. The idea to create a podcast for kids was 100% Lindsay, but when she told me about it I knew instantly I wanted to be involved. I come from a science and math family. I grew up looking at science and math as fun. Some of my fondest memories are of my family telling me math riddles while we played outside. I remember being really surprised growing up that so many people were afraid to learn about these subjects. That is what got me involved in science writing, not just to inspire people to like science but to correct the power dynamic that is caused by low science literacy in our country. When people are afraid to learn something they don’t have a chance to question it. I want kids, and really anyone, to know that science isn’t just for the experts ... it is a way to understand the world.  PODSTER: Explain your approach to introducing science to kids. LINDSAY: We start with kids’ own curiosity.

There’s a never-ending stream of science questions in our inbox. Our challenge is to turn those questions into a story about science discovery. What makes our approach unique is that we ask kids to try to answer their own questions and tell us how they think scientists would find the answer. It’s always fun to hear what kids think—they have some amazing ideas about how the world (and the universe) works. We have a storytelling format because we think it’s a great way to humanize science and also emphasize that science is a process. Explaining science to a kid isn’t too different from explaining it to an adult. I think that’s part of the reason that adults like the podcast so much, too. It’s really important to us to have fun while we’re recording. Kids really respond to our jokes and energy. MARSHALL ESCAMILLA: My approach to science learning is to communicate that it’s a process, a way of thinking—not a bunch of facts in a book. I always like to ask kids, when they ask us a question, what they think the answer is, and to think about how the answer could be found out. That’s really the most important thing: to know that science is a set of guidelines for finding out an answer. Science isn’t the answer.  SARA: It really isn’t very different from introducing science to adults. It is hard to listen closely to a complicated story, especially when you are usually doing something else (dishes, driving, etc.) When you write for radio you try and make it simple enough for kids to understand already; now we are just consciously trying to reach them.  The biggest difference with Tumble, as opposed to other shows I have worked with, is being able to have more fun with the jokes (aka Marshall Escamilla) which kids often say are their favorite part.  11


SARA LISTENS TO

Reply All A show about the Internet, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. From Gimlet. 2 Dope Queens Join the 2 Dope Queens, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, along with their favorite comedians, for stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel. Plus a whole bunch of other s**t. Produced by WNYC Studios.

Planet Money Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money.

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MARSHALL

SARA


audioBoom The world’s leading spoken-word audio plaaorm. 3000 content creators use us to host, distribute and moneese their spoken-word audio content. Join us. For free. choose.audioboom.com 13


PODSTER: What is the most interesting scientific thing you’ve learned in doing the podcast? LINDSAY: “Most interesting” is a hard thing to quantify! I like to go off the fun fact that I am most likely to bring up in casual conversation. I like to tell people that we still have no clue about what makes up 75 percent of the universe. MARSHALL: The most interesting thing I’ve learned is that that bats need to exert energy to let go ... that is, when their feet are relaxed, they’re tightly gripping on to something. I also learned that bats are generally super cool.  SARA: That is a tough question. I think learning about Sarah Richardson the Bacteria Farmer. I was really surprised to learn scientists are trying to engineer bacteria that can eat grass and produce a byproduct that could be fuel for our cars. It is a really unexpected approach to the green energy problem.  PODSTER: What do you hope for kids to take away from listening to Tumble? LINDSAY: Curiosity! We encourage kids to observe, explore, and ask questions. At a baseline level, we hope that kids learn that science is interesting and important whether or not you want to be a scientist. MARSHALL: When it comes to what I hope for from kid listeners, I hope they come away excited to learn more about the world around them. I hope they understand that every piece of knowledge they’ve ever found in a science textbook was discovered because of a process, and that process is every bit as interesting as the facts themselves. SARA: I hope they walk away full of 14

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questions and a better understanding of the scientific method. A lot of science shows only highlight the cool facts; we like to tell the story of how science discovery works. The wins and the dead-ends. I think it is important for kids to know it is okay for your experiment not to work. Succeeding in science isn’t about being right all the time; it is about having the determination to keep trying. PODSTER: What kind of reactions have you gotten from kid listeners? LINDSAY: We get amazing reactions! One time, after I played an episode for kids, they ran outside to discover a dead wasp in their backyard. They looked it up on Google images and came up with all kinds of theories to explain its death. I asked them if they usually did this, and they said no. It was the podcast that sparked their interest in insects. We hear about the podcast launching curiosity like this all over the world—kids whose visits to the park turn into fossil hunting expeditions, or forts becoming submarines exploring the deepest part of the ocean. SARA: They really love it! We all have other full-time jobs and children of our own in addition to Tumble. It can be really hard sometimes to produce an episode every other week. But when kid listeners send us drawings inspired by our episodes it makes it all worth it. You feel like you reached them.


interview nterview interview

Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson: Undisclosed

Three attorneys delve deeper into the Adnan Syed case and the criminal justice system.

LISTEN

that day. As it turns out, however, there was no wrestling match on the day Hae disappeared. Second, the lividity evidence—evidence of the pattern of blood settling in Hae’s body— establishes that Hae was not on her side in the trunk of her Sentra for four to five hours after she died or buried on her right side in : What are a few the 7:00 hour. Both of these claims were key to Jay’s story and the prosecution’s case. of the most significant Third, the cell tower pings that supposedly findings about the Adnan placed Adnan’s cell phone in Leakin Park— Syed case that Undisclosed the site of Hae’s burial—in the 7:00 hour were both calls based upon incoming pings. Susan has uncovered? discovered that the disclaimer accompanying UNDISCLOSED: First, at the end of Serial, most people thought Asia seeing Adnan until the cell tower records indicated that incoming calls are not reliable for determining location. 2:40 P.M. was factually irrelevant because Summer, Hae’s co-manager for the wrestling When this disclaimer was shown to the cell match, saw Hae still at school after 2:40 P.M. tower expert who testified at Adnan’s trial, he and talked to her about the wrestling match recanted his testimony. 16

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Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry COMING AUGUST 9

FROM ST. MARTIN’S PRESS

PODSTER: What do you make of the world’s fascination with this case? UNDISCLOSED: Many cases capture the public attention for short periods of time. What’s maintained the public’s attention for so long with this case is that something just doesn’t feel right here. Whether it be Jay changing his story based upon a misplaced cell tower or completely changing his story in his Intercept interview, the more we learn about the case, the less we know. PODSTER: How did the three of you become connected? UNDISCLOSED: As Serial aired, Susan and I started blogging about the case. Rabia began reading our blogs and mentioning what we had uncovered in talks she was giving, but most of the audience was not aware of developments post-Serial. This led to the idea that we should create a podcast where a wider audience could learn more about the case and what was being uncovered. PODSTER: Do you think our criminal justice system needs reform and if so what would that look like? UNDISCLOSED: There needs to be more science in forensic science and more discipline for prosecutors who engage in misconduct. Public defenders’ offices are woefully underfunded, and many police departments continue to use interrogation and identification procedures that have been proven to result in wrongful convictions. Mandatory minimum sentences can create punishments that don’t match many crimes while many judges impose sentences that are too light for certain egregious crimes, such as rape.

“I

n early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Awardwinning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence—among many other points—and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan’s Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.” —St. Martin’s Press 17


interview nterview interview

Mira Burt-Wintonick and Cristal Duhaime:

Love Me

cbc.ca/radio/loveme

Blending narrative and fiction, Love Me explores the complexities of the universal need for love.

LISTEN

: You describe Love Me as “a show about the messiness of human connection.” What interested you in exploring this subject? MIRA BURT-WINTONICK: I love talking to people about their relationships because the way they appear from the outside 18

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is always so different than the way they actually are on the inside. I have my share of messy relationships and I just wanted an excuse to ask people about their personal lives as a way to relate and feel less alone in terms of my own struggles to connect. CRISTAL DUHAIME: I also revel in hearing about other people’s relationship dynamics—especially when there’s a shift or incident that disrupts the everyday balance of things. My favorite moments with friends are when we come to realizations about how something works on an emotional level, to the point where it actually becomes a “thing” that’s then incorporated into our approach to interpersonal struggles. A lot of our stories on the show involve turning points or disruptions which lead to this type of reflection. PODSTER: The podcast is a mix of


personal narratives and fictional pieces. How did you come up with this format? MIRA: There’s no radio drama department at CBC anymore, and so we wanted to create a show that could be a home for the audio fictions we wanted to write. But some people are put off by the idea of “radio drama” because historically it’s often been a bit stale and poorly executed, with very over-the-top performances and cheesy sound effects. But radio drama doesn’t have to be any of those things and so slipping our radio drama in amongst documentary pieces can help bring it to listeners who wouldn’t instinctively be drawn to it and make them realize that they can enjoy fiction on the radio when it’s done in creative ways. CRISTAL: Documentary is great but I’m also drawn to fiction because it’s the opportunity to outright make stuff up, to create. We still draw from reality to create our characters but it’s intensely satisfying to be able to control exactly what setting we’re dropping them into and how the situations will unfold. I’d say there’s always a tiny part of documentary that is lacking for me and vice versa—real stories can’t necessarily go into absurd territory but then fictions sometimes don’t hold the power of veracity inherent in true stories. So having both fiction and documentary in the same show is a way to complement each form and satisfy those creative desires. PODSTER: Your first episode begins

with a woman talking about not feeling comfortable saying “I love you” to her mom on the phone as distance creeps into their relationship. It is such a real and sad admission. How did you find this story? MIRA: We “auditioned” Lu, our host, and asked her to share a personal anecdote with us, to see if she’d be able to set the right emotional tone to introduce the show, and she told us this story about her mom and we were just hanging on her every word. She’s so generous and open and allows herself to be vulnerable without ever veering into pitiful or overly sentimental territory. CRISTAL: Lu was just the perfect fit for the show because like us, she enjoys dissecting and getting at the core of interpersonal exchanges and has a lot of her own conflicts to draw from—which she’s fearless enough to share with us and listeners. And she’s also a brilliant radio producer in her own right so she knows the kind of reflection that lends itself well to storytelling. PODSTER: Your first episode also includes a piece that you two wrote about robots attempting a courtship. How did you come up with this idea? CRISTAL: When we were working on the pilot for Love Me, I was in a long-distance relationship with a Roman. I had been studying Italian before I met him so I had some familiarity with the language but I still had to resort to Google Translate to express some of the more complex ideas. Sometimes it turned out okay but other times Translate would produce comically inaccurate results, which led to some strange exchanges. So I thought it would be interesting to do a radio fiction with Google Translate acting as an intermediary between a couple—communication seems 19


MIRA LISTENS TO

Imaginary Advice A miscellany of stories, written and presented by Ross Sutherland. Home of the Brave New and old stories from “This American Life” contributor Scott Carrier. Criminal Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. First Day Back Reply All A show about the Internet, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. From Gimlet.

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especially fraught when one is falling in love. But we realized it would be too complicated to pull off the piece with two different languages (it would have entailed a double translation track of sorts) so we needed to find a way to do it where both communicators spoke English. Mira happened to see this play which featured an absurd and beautiful love poem and so we used that as inspiration and incorporated it into our dialogue. We also wanted to explore a traditional life cycle of a couple in a humorous and surrealist way, so using the robot voices as our actors seemed to serve that purpose well. [Side note: when we were searching online to see if a similar radio fiction had already been done, we came upon the real-life story of Mac and Nico which makes up the first half of the episode. A funny instance of when the fiction led to a real story, as it’s usually the opposite! Also an example of fiction and documentary working to complement each other.] PODSTER: As evidenced in your podcast, our relationships with the people we love are often messy and complicated. Why do you think this is? MIRA: I think relationships are tough because we all have selfish tendencies and yet we expect people to care about us in selfless ways. And our desire to be loved sometimes manifests itself as neediness, which can push people away or just set tough expectations to meet. But I think the more aware we are of how complicated and messy relationships are, the more we can forgive ourselves for not having everything figured out, and that can actually put a lot less pressure on our relationships and then actually make them easier to get right. CRISTAL: I feel like it might be one of those chicken and egg situations—


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CRISTAL LISTENS TO

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People 1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. Thats the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard. Love + Radio Nick van der Kolk’s Love and Radio features intimate and otherworldlyproduced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. Comedy Bang Bang Comedy Bang Bang is a high-spirited gettogether between host Scott Aukerman (“Mr. Show”, Producer of “Between Two Ferns”) and his funny friends! You can expect conversation, music, improv, games, and most importantly plugs.

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Invisibilia Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently. Womp It Up! Get ready to get WOMPED cause everybodys favorite intern, Marissa Wompler (Jessica St. Clair) is throwing on the cans for her brand new school project podcast Womp It Up!. Her teacher/ mentor/co-host/former sniper, Charlotte Listler (Lennon Parham), will be there to DJ and divvy out love advice. relationships are maybe tough because of love and not always because there’s a lack of it? Arguments and misunderstandings in a relationship tend to feel heavy sometimes because they threaten to disrupt a sense of security. Love can make us vulnerable, which can sometimes lead us to act out in strange ways. At the end of the day we all just want to feel validated and acknowledged. But is love itself the emotion or does it just inform our other emotions? It’s such a complicated thing!


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behind the

SHELLSHAG (JOHN SHELL AND JEN SHAG) Composer of the Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People theme music

theme music theme music theme music starcleaner.com

cover for Rumors in Disguise. We started a band together called Kung Fu USA and ignored the Shellshag material until about 2004, when we realized how much we liked it and missed it. Our style is very minimal, a side affect of being focused on performing more than perfecting.

:

You two have been writing songs together since 1997, and your lo-fi pop style has earned you a cult following. How did you get together and how did you develop your style? 24

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SHELLSHAG: We met in San Francisco. Shell was in a band called 50 Million and Shag was in Static Faction. On the side we started recording demos in Shag’s bedroom for fun. The tapes were called “Shellshag” and we eventually used a photo of those tapes on our album

PODSTER: You wrote the theme music for the Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast. Was that piece composed specifically for the podcast, and how did you get connected to that podcast? SHELLSHAG: That song is called “Face to Face.” It was written years ago and is on our album called Shellshag Forever. It is Chris Gethard’s favorite Shellshag song. We were offered a chance to write a new song just for the podcast, but “face to face” was too perfect a fit to represent a podcast that’s a one on one, face to face so to speak, with Chris. PODSTER: You are known for singing into a mic that you built yourselves so that you can face


each other while performing. How did you come up with that idea? SHELLSHAG: We have the flying V mic combined with our pyramid amp now, but originally the mic stand was a standalone, with the amps at the back in the traditional spots. We had faced each other for our first handful of shows but had a hard time avoiding slowly turning to face the crowd since we were so used to facing them and engaging them. So we built the 2 mic combo stand to take away the ability to turn to the crowd and to keep us locked in on one another and stay face to face. When we started playing in the middle of rooms, the audience would gather around us in a circle, but the amps were now too far way and blocked by the crowd. Shell realized he could build a 360-degree pyramid amp that would allow them to circle us without affecting the volume and sound. We adapted the original mic stand and fixed it to the top of the pyramid, and voilà! That is how the pyramid of sound was born. PODSTER: You released your latest album Why’d I Have to Get So High last year. What’s next for Shellshag? SHELLSHAG: We are working on two new albums. We are filming and editing Season 3 of Shellshonic Shag-O-Vision,

our Saturday morning TV show. We are super proud of our show. Cannot believe we have done 29 episodes so far. You can see Chris Gethard and Hallie Bulliet actually cover “face to face” together in Season 3 Episode 2. It’s so good! They are all on our YouTube channel. We tour the U.S. at least three months

SHELLSHAG LISTENS TO

every year, so the remaining dates for 2016 are in late July, late August, October, and November. We tour Europe in 2017 with a documentary we are producing called Hear to be Heard, The Story of The Slits. At home in New York, we stay busy managing 94 Jewel St Studio, a film and photo studio we own and operate. Menage a trois Radio “In each episode real-life lovers Diana Kolsky & Murf Meyer invite a fresh third party to join them in the sack for a saucy chat about sex, relationships, and everything in between.” Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People “1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. Thats the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, This American Life, and one of Time Outs 10 best comedians of 2015). Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he cant hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen!” The Watt from Pedro Show “Mike Watt (solo artist, Minutemen, fIREHOSE, Iggy Pop and The Stooges) playing some tunes and doing some spiel. Assisted by brother matt and coming to you from the wild kingdom at the pleasure point, in San Pedro California!” 25


theme))) Baseball

Because we’re halfway through the season and it’s time for that hotdog. MLB.com’s Cut4cast “The staff of MLB.com’s Cut4 looks at the whimsical side of baseball, debating everything from ballpark food to ballpark faux pas and walkoffs to walk-up music.” The Strike Zone “A Sports Illustrated podcast talking all things baseball, hosted by SI MLB editors Stephen Cannella and Ted Keith.” The Inside Pitch “Former USA Baseball National Team coach Peter Caliendo brings you The Inside Pitch - innovative thoughts from baseball’s best coaching minds from around the world. This show is for coaches of all levels, players and also parents that need to be better educated in their sons’ or daughters’ development.”

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Baseball Tonight “ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney leads the baseball discussion along with other top analysts.” Effectively Wild: The Daily Baseball Prospectus Podcast “FiveThirtyEight writer Ben Lindbergh and BP editor-in-chief Sam Miller talk about baseball with an analytical bent, covering a mix of topics from the big picture to the pennant race every weekday morning.” Baseball America “Baseball America delivers baseball news you can’t get anywhere else. Covering the game from a player-development point of view, the staff of BA will deliver its take on what’s going on in the world of baseball every week on its podcast, analyzing the game from the majors and minors--with an emphasis on prospects-through our unparalleled college and high school coverage.” The Show Before the Show “In The Show Before the Show, MiLB.com writers Tyler Maun and Sam Dykstra break down Minor League Baseball’s biggest storylines with guests from around the Minors including players, managers and player development experts. They’ll also have a weekly look at what’s going on outside the lines with business of the Minors expert Benjamin Hill.”


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THE PODSTER FIVE

A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS britishmuseum.org/explore/a_history_of_ the_world.aspx

or lovers of history, archaeology, culture, society and art, there are few institutions as intriguing and engrossing as a museum. And of all the museums in the world, there are few as brilliant as the British Museum. Located in the heart of London, in a majestic building that seems to go on forever, the British Museum is home to one of the largest collections on earth. From a statue of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II to Latin-language tablets of the Roman Empire, from Victorian tea sets to Aboriginal Australian shields, the museum is now home to objects that can tell us all about the world. From his first experience of the museum as a wide-eyed child to his current role as Museum Director, Neil MacGregor understands the power of the collection to educate and inspire. He also understands that only a privileged few possess the means to visit the physical museum site. Enter A History of the World in 100 Objects, a BBC-produced podcast hosted by MacGregor himself, which presents one hundred of the museum’s most diverse and fascinating objects, and explores their significance to world history. A History of the World in 100 Objects does not just focus on the superstar attractions of the museum (though legendary objects like the Rosetta Stone are covered), but on all manner of exhibits that may not necessarily catch the eye at first. —Gemma King

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ertain myths are branded into our collective memory. You’d be hardpressed to find a person who has not heard of Pocahontas, the Loch Ness Monster, Vikings or dragons. Some mythologies are entire narrative worlds, like Aboriginal Dreamtime stories or traditional Irish legends. Others blend almost imperceptibly in with ancient religions, such as Norse lore. Still others are closer to horror; tales that could only be fictional, but which have gripped listeners through the generations and centuries. Perhaps the most intriguing of all are those tales which mingle fiction with history; tales like that of Mulan, which have grown beyond the truth in their grandeur and detail, but which began with real people in the real world, long ago. The beautifully produced podcast Myths and Legends is dedicated to exploring just that: the myths and legends that have entered the cultural canon and become more than simple stories. Each episode explores a well-loved narrative of which most listeners will have already heard. Yet Myths and Legends is not just interested in covering the plot of such stories, or of telling its listeners things they already know. Instead, the podcast delves deeper into familiar stories, to expose their hidden agendas, surprising modes of circulation and (often far darker) origins. —Gemma King

THE PODSTER FIVE MYTHS AND LEGENDS mythpodcast.com


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SHORT AND CURLY abc.net.au/abc3/shortandcurly

n the podcasting world, there is an endless supply of material for adults, and plenty for kids as well. But podcasts that children and grown-ups can listen to together? Those are few and far between. Audio books can certainly fill the (generational) gap when you’re searching for something to play on road trips or to and from school, but the contemplative and informative nature of the podcast makes it a medium that can benefit children and adults alike. A podcast designed for two generations is not only entertaining for both, but can spark discussion between them. It can be not only interesting, but interactive. That’s where Short and Curly comes in. Produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, this relatively new podcast explores ethics in ways that children and adults can both appreciate. From deep questions like “is it ever okay to lie?” to more playful ones like “was Dumbledore as great as he seemed?” Short and Curly evokes ethical conundrums in accessible ways. The Australian program is hosted by actor Molly Daniels and journalist Carl Smith, with guest contributions from philosopher Dr Matt Beard. The combination is perfect, as each brings a different element of expertise to the table, from creative voice-over techniques to kid-friendly breakdowns of philosophical issues. Each episode also features conversations with children from local elementary schools, and at key moments in the debate, Molly and Carl ask listeners to pause the podcast and discuss the ethics of the question at hand among themselves. —Gemma King

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SIDESHOW NETWORK Your favorite podcasts on demand and on stage from the Hollywood Improv

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THE PODSTER FIVE CRIMINAL thisiscriminal.com

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f you’re interested in the dark side of cultural history, in tales of murder and mystery that will make your skin crawl, there are plenty of podcasts out there for you. Some are slow-paced and detailoriented, like The Generation Why, which exposes every detail of controversial cases over episodes that can last up to an hour. Others, like Lore, are beautifully soundscaped spooky investigations into mysterious periods of history and the paranormal, using eerie music and poetic scripts to tell dark tales. Yet some podcasts are more journalistic, more focused on the facts and the repercussions of criminal acts, more germane to criminology than storytelling. One of the best of these is Criminal. Softly narrated by Phoebe Judge, the podcast explores some very dark crimes, but its focus is not so much on evoking the details of these events for its listeners. Criminal is careful to condemn cruel behavior but is more interested in why people do the things they do—and why they are perceived in the ways they are—than the facts of their crimes. Less interested in mysteries than in the dynamics of clear-cut cases, the podcast explores the criminal experience from the perspective of both perpetrators and victims, and occasionally of those who find themselves somewhere in between. With a clear social justice bent, some of Criminal’s finest episodes are focused on the workings of the justice system itself, mostly in the U.S. —Gemma King


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Subscribe on iTunes or listen on the free WNYC app. ® 2016 New York Public Radio 35


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STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW howstuffworks.com

ave you ever wondered how the deep web works? Or how ocean currents, panic attacks, socialism, tornadoes, Fair Trade or caffeine work? If you haven’t, you should. The world is filled with mysteries, complexities and strange wonders, and Chuck and Josh of Stuff You Should Know are determined to find them in the unlikeliest places. Unlike many other educational podcasts, Stuff You Should Know is not simply interested in exploring the obvious and popular “stuff” people want to know about. Sure, they cover crowd-pleasing topics like shark attacks, Stockholm syndrome, Star Wars, black holes, and Apartheid, but they also find the fascinating in the mundane, with topics like gossip, timber, PEZ candy, lighthouses and cats. There is no specific theme or area covered; instead, SYSK is interested in every little unexpected corner of the world in which knowledge can be found. Josh and Chuck are clearly curious about the topics they cover, but they are also relaxed in the ways that they approach them: The two have been hosting SYSK for about ten years now and are clearly friends. Some listeners may not appreciate their tendency to go off on tangents, which often turn into off-topic chatter about movies. But most will love their playful and entertaining approach to teaching their listeners stuff they should know, an approach that blends levity with well-researched material and a clear respect for the object under study. —Gemma King lesmuseesdeparis.com

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WWW.UNDISCLOSED-PODCAST.COM

The Undisclosed Podcast is a listening experience that reframes, enhances, or otherwise shifts everything you’ve come to know about the State of Maryland’s case against Adnan Syed, especially as you’ve come to know it through listening to Serial.

Season 1

(available now) The State vs. Adnan Syed

Season 2

Coming in 2016

HOSTED BY

RABIA CHAUDRY, COLIN MILLER, AND SUSAN SIMPSON. 37


audiovisuals audiovisuals audiovisuals THE MODERN ART NOTES PODCAST EPISODE 240: JOEL SHAPIRO AND LINN MEYERS THE EXHIBITION JOEL SHAPIRO is on view at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, through August 21. nashersculpturecenter.org. THE EXHIBITION LINN MEYERS: OUR VIEW FROM HERE is on view at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, through May 14, 2017. hirshhorn.si.edu. 38

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Joel Shapiro 20 Elements, 2004–05 Wood and casein 122 x 132 x 85 in. Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection Joel Shapiro Orange, 2016 Wood and casein 30 3/4 x 83 x 70 3/4 in.

Linn Meyers, Our View from Here (detail), 2016, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Photo: Cathy Carver 39


Linn Meyers, Our View from Here (detail), 2016, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Photo: Cathy Carver 40

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Linn Meyers at work on Our View from Here, 2016, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Photo: Cathy Carver 41


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Joel Shapiro Really Blue (after all), 2016 Wood and casein 103 x 79 x 50 in. Joel Shapiro Yellow Then, 2016 Wood and casein 45 1/2 x 30 x 50 in.

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the case the case the case A NEW TRIAL by Colin Miller

Colin Miller is Associate Dean and Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law; co-host, Undisclosed Podcast; and blog editor, EvidenceProf Blog.

In Podster’s The Case, Colin picks up where Serial Podcast left off.

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n June 30, Judge Martin Welch issued an order granting Adnan Syed a new trial. This was a stunning reversal of fortune; two and a half years ago, Judge Welch had reached the opposite conclusion. Of course, a lot has changed since 2014. When Rabia Chaudry first approached Sarah Koenig about doing a story on Adnan’s case, his chances of living anywhere other than the North Branch Correctional Institution were on life support. His star alibi witness, Asia McClain, failed to show up at Adnan’s postconviction review proceeding, and prosecutor Kevin Urick made the damning claim that her alibi was the result of pressure from Adnan’s family. Koenig eventually tracked

down McClain, who told a very different story. She reaffirmed seeing Adnan in the library at the same time that the State claimed he was killing Hae, and she refuted Urick’s assertion that her alibi was written under duress. In February, McClain testified at Adnan’s reopened postconviction review proceeding, and Judge Welch found that trial counsel’s failure to contact her “fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment.” Despite this conclusion, Judge Welch found that Asia’s testimony alone would not have created the reasonable probability of a different outcome at trial. He did so for two reasons. First, “the State presented a relatively weak theory as to the time of the murder because the State relied upon inconsistent facts to support its theory.” While the State claimed that Adnan called his accomplice Jay at 2:36 P.M. after murdering Hae Min Lee at a Best Buy, Jay himself testified that the call took place more than an hour later and well after McClain had seen Asia at the library. Second, Judge Welch concluded that


McClain’s testimony “would not have undermined the crux of the State’s case: that [Adnan] buried the victim’s body in Leakin Park at approximately 7:00 p.m. on January 13, 1999.” Judge Welch concluded that this was the crux of the State’s case because it was the only portion of Jay’s story that was corroborated by objective evidence. Jay claimed that Adnan and he were in Leakin Park preparing to bury Hae’s body when his friend made two calls to Adnan’s cell phone at 7:09 and 7:16 P.M. Meanwhile, cell tower records revealed that these incoming calls pinged cell tower L689B, which includes Leakin Park in its coverage area. There was just one problem for the State: When AT&T sent these cell tower records to the Baltimore police, they were accompanied by a disclaimer stating that “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location.” The prosecutor never showed this disclaimer to the State’s cell tower expert before he testified at trial, and defense counsel never brought it up during crossexamination. Judge Welch found this latter failure constituted Constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. Moreover, because these pings were part of the crux of the State’s case, Judge

Welch concluded that the error required a new trial. This disclaimer issue cannot be written off as a mere technicality. Other cases have shown that AT&T did indeed have issues with incoming pings at the time of Adnan’s trial. For instance, in the Bulos Zumot case, incoming calls that were two hours apart pinged cell towers in Hawaii and Palo Alto, California. According to a radio frequency engineer in that case, the problem was that incoming calls sometime show up as pinging the tower of the caller, as opposed to the person receiving the call. So, what is likely to happen next in the Adnan Syed case? The State can appeal to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on the cell tower issue, and the defense can cross-appeal to the same court on the Asia issue. The Court of Special Appeals, however, is under no obligation to hear the State’s appeal. As a result, Judge Welch’s order granting Adnan a new trial could become final very quickly. On the other hand, if the Court of Special Appeals does allow the State to appeal, the current proceedings could very well continue for the next two or more years. If, in the end, Judge Welch’s ruling stands, the State has three options: (1) decide not to re-prosecute Adnan for murder; (2) schedule a retrial; or (3) try to strike a plea deal with Adnan.

LISTEN

Under option 3, the likeliest common ground would be an Alford Plea, a plea in which the defendant maintains his innocence but acknowledges that the State has enough evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Such a plea would likely be accompanied by a sentence of time served, meaning that Adnan wouldn’t spend another day in prison. But would Adnan accept that deal, or would he want to prove his innocence at a new trial? 45


epi sode

17 BOOK CLUB FOR KIDS bookclubforkids.org LISTEN 46

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Host: Kitty Felde Celebrity Reader: Brian Watt Readers: Lina Nguyen, Kyra Johnson, and Ava Muniz, 6th graders at Sonora Elementary School in Costa Mesa, CA. About: “The Book Club for Kids is a podcast where young readers meet to talk about a book. The show includes a celebrity reading from the book. Plus, the author joins us to answer your questions.” Episode 17: “Hoodoo by Ron L. Smith” Description: “Writer Ronald L. Smith takes us on a trip down south, to the backwoods of Alabama, where a young boy was born with a heart-shaped birthmark, the mark of magic, or Hoodoo, according to his grandmama. Hoodoo must learn to tap his inner powers of magic to battle evil. Ron Smith won the Corretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award from the American Library Association for Hoodoo.” That Moment When: Kitty asks the girls what magical powers they would like to have, and their answers range from time travel to mind reading. Sound Bite: Ronald L. Smith on his main character

Hoodoo Hatcher: “The name Hatcher is a family name that’s somewhere within the Smith dynasty. And Hoodoo Hatcher I just thought sounded really neat. It had this alliteration to it. I think the name came first and then I started saying, “I see. I can tie this into AfricanAmerican folk magic. And it kind of took off from there.” Listen Because: The 6thgrade readers are intelligent and delightful to listen to. Plus, you might find your next favorite book.


EA EAR RBBU UD D PODSTER’S AARON WATSON RECOMMENDS:

LONDON REAL shoutengine.com/londonreal Podcasts come in all different shapes and sizes. Long-form programs, like Gimlet Media’s StartUp Podcast, take many hours to produce and come in focused seasons. Daily shows like Optimal Living Daily, Nathan Latka’s The Top Entrepreneurs, or Pat Flynn’s #AskPat are minimally edited and offer small daily bites of audio goodness. But what is the quintessential show form that defines the podcast revolution? Long-form interviews. Two people sit down and talk for over an hour, building a rich, deep picture with layers of context and clarification. Most podcast listeners have heard Joe Rogan or Tim Ferriss go two and a half hours deep with an entertainer, entrepreneur, or influencer. London Real’s Brian Rose should be the next podcaster to add to that list. Rose, a former London banker, launched the show five years ago and has produced hundreds of episodes, from interviews with mixed martial artists to digital marketers to private equity salespeople. Brian is also one of the few podcasters who syndicates his content to YouTube in a compelling way, with multiple cameras and a simple, clean set. Rose’s attention and preparation keep things moving and uncover some great stories. I’d recommend his interview with Oren Klaff for your first taste. Aaron Watson is the host of the Going Deep with Aaron Watson podcast, a forum for meaningful, deep conversations about the passions, fears and problems of people from all walks of life. Guests talk about entrepreneurship, sports, finance, comedy, and lifestyle design. goingdeepwithaaron.com 48

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Tell Your Story, Become A Thought Leader, Build An Audience. Learn how to start your own podcast today with our free video series at:

podcastpowerblueprint.com

Build Your Audience Through The Power Of Podcasting With Simon Dunant


TR TRE ENND DIN ING G

@SCI_PHILE But honestly, I met maybe 50 people today…just playing #PokemonGO. It’s a genuine phenomenon that is bringing nerds together. Wonderful

@KELSEYDARRAGH Find you a man that looks at you the way he looks at his phone while playing #PokemonGo

@THEWALKINGDEAD That moment when you realize you’ve been playing #PokemonGo so much that you start seeing real things with that filter

@KATELYNTARVER Just heard a grown man proudly yell out of his car “I got Charzard!!” This #PokemonGO thing is getting out of hand

@OMGITSFIREFOXX

#POKEMONGO THE POKEMON GO PODCAST 50

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Using #PokemonGO on the plane, and it’s just crazy seeing me zip across the land. I can still see gyms and stuff! Obvs can’t catch anything


OUTRO OUTRO OUTRO “Transmitter! Oh! Picking up something good Hey, radio head! The sound of a brand-new world.” | from “Radio Head” by The Talking Heads |

51

Podster July 2016  

Find your next favorite podcast in Podster, a new magazine about podcasts and podcasters. In this issue: Kevin Avery, Tumble, Undisclosed, L...

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