Around the Podosphere A Little Farther

I saw notices about the passing of Joe Murphy of the Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas. My sympathies to his friends and family. I don’t think I ever met him at a PME and I had never actually heard their show until today. As I remain underloaded on new shows, I’m digging back into older shows I had downloaded last year and moved to the external drive when my laptop was full. I just heard their episode on Sterling’s Holy Fire. I’ve got to say that a program where half the panelists can dismiss that book because “nothing happened” is probably one that I can pass on safely. As quality goes it wasn’t bad, but I think my sensibilities and theirs have a large impedance mismatch.


I’ve been listening to the John Edwards podcast since the beginning, as well as the Barack Obama podcast. I started listening mainly to see what they did with the medium, not necessarily because I was in their camp. I’d have to say if one of them was swaying me harder with it, it would be John Edwards. In particular, the speech he gave at the Riverside Baptist Church was killer. In general in the podcast, he seems more willing to take chances and more sincere. He also is more personal considering that his wife is a co-host on most of them and they frequently give updates on what their kids are up to. Having listened to both since they began, I feel more invested in Edwards than Obama from a podcast sense.


When it started up, I listened to Radio Open Source but dropped it after a few months. I know a lot of people seem to like Christopher Lydon but I find his breathless interview style a real impediment and the show generally less than the sum of its parts. I had heard his proto-podcast blogger interview series that Dave Winer was working with him on, and I had the same problems with those interviews. I had decided to give it another try last year and downloaded the episode where he talked about the NSA wiretapping and included William Gibson. I have to say, I’ve never heard an interviewer get less out of Gibson. It was just downright disappointing. Looking at the website to blog this, I see they had Sonny Rollins on the show last week. I recently subscribed to Rollins’ video podcast, although I haven’t watched any episodes yet. I might give them one more listen on that. If Open Source manages to underwhelm me with him as a source, I doubt I’ll ever be back.


I listen to the Dread Daze podcast, which has a lot of that 60s and 70s reggae vibe. I generally care very little for modern dance hall style reggae and prefer the older sounding stuff. I rely on Najashi to inform me of current bands with old school reggae sensibilities. In this old episode from last year, I think it is my favorite of the series. I liked all the music, I liked the vibe. It was exactly what I was looking for at the moment I listened to it. I’m going to look up the music of Tuklan and Jah Roots. Almost 10 years ago in the heyday of, I found some songs from a South African reggae band that were unmistakably old school reggae but had that distinctive “Soweto sound” guitar in them. I’ve been on the search for bands like that ever since, so if you know of good African reggae that combines all these musical traditions, let me know.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.