I’ve been listening to more and more spoken-word things. Here are my favourite non-musical noises from 2009:
1. Adam & Joe
Taken from their 6Music radio show, the Adam & Joe Podcast has been the most consistently hilarious, brilliant, and charming treat for your ears over the past few years. Considering it’s not even their proper job, the effort Buxton and Cornish put into their show, from re-editing film dialogue to writing their own jingles, should make other ‘humorous’ presenters hang their heads in shame.
Adam and Joe make me happy. When I was at school, I can remember taping every single episode of their Channel 4 programme religiously. They walk that smart/stupid, rubbish/brilliant divide better than almost anyone and should be up alongside Vic Reeves in some weird chapter in the history book of British comedy. If you don’t like them, there’s a good chance you’re an arsehole. Sorry.
The one bummer is that their show has just gone off-air. I suspect it’s because of Joe’s increasingly amazing Hollywood career (he’s co-wrote Speilberg’s new CG spectacular, Tintin for God’s sake). They have promised to return later in the year though, so keep your eyes out for that.
2. Jon Ronson On...
A while back, journalist, author, broadcaster and conspiracy theory debunker, Jon Ronson made 4 series’ worth of weird and wonderful radio programmes for the BBC. At the end of last year I stumbled on an online archive someone had put together of said material, plus a few extras. I quickly bundled it all onto my iPod and worked my way through it.
What a find! Fascinating, strange and funny little shows about the peculiar ways the human mind goes haywire. If you decide to give these a listen; take your time! You’ll work your way through the lot quicker than you’d like.
3. Mark Kermode’s Film Reviews
Kermode and his co-host, Simon Mayo, are in a particularly weird category of people who I don’t like much on the telly, but really like on the radio. This extract from Mayo’s BBC Radio 5 Live show is a weekly round up of new cinema releases, both multiplex blockbuster and arthouse chinscratcher.
It’s become a bit of running joke that I can’t have an opinion on a film until I’ve heard what 'my friend' Mark Kermode thinks about it. While that’s not entirely true, I do really trust his judgment and, more importantly, think he’s the most honest critic out there. Dr K will frequently go against his curmudgeonly reputation and admit happily weeping his way through High School Musical 3 or yawning his way through Burn After Reading, and I believe him.
It’s worth a listen for anyone with even a passing interest in cinema, whether you agree with Kermode’s opinions or not. He’s a big horror nerd too, which is always a winner in my book.
This one divides people, but I’ll admit I’m a fan. Presented by director Kevin Smith and his friend, the producer Scott Mosier, this is a sweary, dirty and silly podcast about nothing in particular.
Kevin Smith’s films I can take or leave, but man, I’ll listen to him spout drivel for hours. SModcast sounds like 2 grown friends meeting up and talking like they’re 16 again, all fart jokes and touching boobs. I can get behind that. For me, Mosier is the real star; a quiet, likeable dude who’ll occasionally send Smith into crying fits with a deadpan comment. Hunt out the Harry Potter one (episode 29) for some good giggling.
5. BBC Radio 4
Considering 3 of the previous 4 entries on my list have been from the BBC, it’s only right I include the big daddy on the list. Radio 4 has more engaging content in a single day than most other stations can muster up in a month. It’s the best.
Personal favourites are: Thinking Allowed (debate and discussion), Digital Planet (technology news), Desert Island Discs ( interviews), More or Less (a show about numbers!) and Medical Matters (medical/healthcare discussion).