3. The ‘Burnout’ episode of StartUp podcast. Gimlet Media, the guys behind StartUp, are some of the most successful in the business, with the additional advantages of funds, skills, and This American Life stamp of approval; so if even they find podcasting a real slog, the rest of us should be sobbing in a heap by now.
But we’re not! We’re still churning out podcasts! Viz:
• Have you heard AMT306yet? You haven’t? With its hymn to chicken Kiev and Ainsley Harriott? Well, you know what you need to do.
• Remember, Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train about clever things, The Global Lab about smart cities and stuff, and The Sound of the Ladies music podcast. He’s about to add a couple more shows to his roster. Wait for us to catch up, Martin!
What have you been listening to this week, you treasures?
My new show will be all about those precious moments of AMT that we know as “Why is [a thing] called [a thing]?” ie odd phrases and etymology and all sorts of linguistic fun. I’ve been wanting to make it for years, and now is my chance, if…
For my show – along with The Heart and the brilliant Criminal – is what is known as a ‘stretch goal’. They’ve already reached their target to keep the current Radiotopians afloat for another year, but need to raise more in order to greenlight further projects: because making podcasts costs, and to read me wanging on about that particular matter, click here.
So, if you like podcasts and you want to support independent audio creators so they can keep making them, please do chip in. Even $1 (£0.62) is good! $5 (£3.10) is even more good. I could go on.
(And if you spaffed money donating to that that bloody potato salad Kickstarter, you have no excuse not to give a little to something that will result in a year’s worth of top-notch audio entertainment, rather than a forkful of a prosaic foodstuff that goes rancid after two days.)
NOTE 1: This show is not instead of AMT; I’ll be making both! But I’ll be able to be a FULL-TIME PODCASTER, after eight years of trying to fit it around enough paid work to survive. Joe Richman of Radiotopia’s Radio Diaries puts it: “Most people work to get paid, we get paid to work.”
NOTE 2: If you donate, you’ll be funding me making a new show; you’re not funding Answer Me This!. If you feel particularly stirred to contribute to the AMT coffers, then buy some of our albums and classic episodes from answermethisstore.com, or pay a pal through PayPal.
As a stereotypical Brit, I find directly addressing money matters to be excruciating; therefore I will now wrap up the cashchat so I can curl up into a ball and rock back and forth in a dark room.
PS Here’s an interview I did with Roman earlier this year, shortly after he launched Radiotopia, in which he talks about the ethos of the enterprise and why podcasting is so super:
Discover all these answers, and many more surprises, by listening to the episode right now via one or all of the following methods:
Don’t read below this point if you don’t want spoilers! Listen to the episode first, then come back here and revise its contents.
On the slate for AMT300 are such topics as:
our alternate realities if AMT had never existed evidence of our life of crime
mashed potato vs nutmeg
Peter Jackson vs Raymond Carver
hiding your rubber fetish gear
And the wonderful special guest answerers bending their wisdom to your questions are:
✮Adam Buxton, the man who made us want to do this podcast. He doles out excellent advice on giving your children The Talk, ridding your kitchen of mouse turds, and changing your whole life to avoid minor annoyances. Enjoy more of Adam’s work on YouTube, on Twitter, and at live shows including BUG.
✮Jesse and Theresa Thorn, the first couple of podcasting, the power behind the Maximum Fun throne (at MaxFun, they record everything sitting on thrones). Tackling questions upon Americana and parental embarrassment, it’s a rare treat to hear them on a podcast together – but it’s a regular treat to hear them on their own podcasts, which include One Bad Mother, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Judge John Hodgman… Yeah, it took us nearly eight years to churn out 300 podcasts; they probably do more than that a month. And just in case you needed even more podcast-related excitement on top of this, it’s MaxFunWeek right now, so you can have maximum fun with other podcast aficionados around the world.
✮Tony Blackburn. TONY. BLACKBURN! Answering YOUR questions and sounding off about wandering eyes, Hobbits and nutmeg! He was the first voice on Radio 1 in 1967, and he currently has shows on Radio 2, BBC Berkshire, BBC London, BBC Three Counties, KMFM, Magic…phew! Switch on a radio, and Blackburn will probably be talking on it. You can also read him at twitter.com/tonyblackburn.
✮ Today’s new email jingle is by the Hackney Colliery Band – because there are few things more stirring than a brass band. To see them live and listen to their records, including their new EP Common Decency, visit hackneycollieryband.co.uk.
Our special guest answerers supplied such a lot of marvellous material, there’s a bumper tricentennial Bit of Crap on the App today – extra questions about tattoos, pineapples, balloon animals, taramasalata, adventures, wedgies, and there’s even a cameo from AMT190 superstar Jon Ronson. The app is available for your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings, but since it’s an ‘appy day, you appless can also stream or download it via SoundCloud. Or just play it here:
This month’s Sound Women podcast is all about SPOOOOOOOORT, which as you know is my favourite topic…
COUGH COUGH COUGH. OK, you know that really one of my favourite topics is My So-Called Life, and since this Monday was the 20th anniversary of the show, hear me banging on about why I love it on this episode of Little Atoms from earlier this year.
Noises from elsewhere:
• Another TV show for which, over the years, you may have noted my fondness is Twin Peaks, so I’m intrigued by this new podcast Fire Talk With Me, contemplating the show episode by episode. Good luck to them when they hit that three-episode arc starring James Hurley in the second half of series two, amirite?
• When I was at SXSW last year I saw the documentary An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story, about a man who was exonerated after serving 25 years in prison for murdering his wife. He was a local man, so many people in the audience had been following his case since the 80s and throughout the film were booing the corrupt lawyers and cheering the good guys. Then at the end, when Michael Morton came out on stage along with the lawywer who spent a decade proving his innocence, the audience went APESHIT with joy – screaming, crying, it was truly amazing to watch. The facts of the case are pretty horrific, though; here is Michael Morton talking about them on Outlook from the BBC World Service.
• At the more cheerful end of the spectrum, here’s a sweet episode of 99% Invisible about Ikea Hacking. I’m fond of an Ikea hack myself – in fact the urge runs in the family. Back in the 80s, my grandad used to do such hacks as turning an Argos flatpack black ash bookcase into a desk (he went through an inexplicable black ash phase; such were the times, I guess). A few years ago, before Ikea Hacker was even born, I was working on a daytime TV show and was asked to pitch ideas for a home improvement segment that they could do easily in the studio. I suggested getting a designer to rejig cheap, easily available flatpacks in a slot called ‘Flatpack Revivified’ or ‘Flatpack Chimera’. It didn’t happen, because OBVIOUSLY NO SLOTS ON DAYTIME TV SHOWS ARE CALLED THINGS LIKE ‘FLATPACK CHIMERA’.
But regarding the act itself, grandad and I were clearly way ahead of our time.
By the way, if you’re a big fan of 99PI host Roman Mars, check him out on 100 Words Or Less talking about creating his podcast empire and being a straight-edger.
Today, one poor tired questioneer asks how to stop being kept awake by their mum’s sex noise. Any advice for them? Apart from cranking up Answer Me This! Episode 291 for forty-three minutes of respite?
Plus: Olly will SEE YOU IN HELL if you use Shazam during the pub quiz music round; Helen has a terrible confession to make about Pitbull; and Martin the Sound Man is panicking about what to talk about if he is ever invited on a lads’ holiday with the Pope. We smell an odd couple sitcom…
In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, we contemplate the wellbeing of the boys brought together as McBusted, and of Jason Orange’s tearducts. Hear it and not-weep on your iDevices, Android or Windows gadgets.
It only remains for us to thank Squarespace.com for supporting this episode. They’re also supporting your own website-building enterprises by offering you 10% off their services for a whole year if you use the code Answer. Gawd bless’em.
And gawd bless you, listeners! We shall return on Thursday 19th June with AMT292, barring terrifying and unforseeable acts of gawd.
Helen & Olly
••• AMT291 Child-Friendly Rating: 54%. A few F-bombs. A clip about the clap. Question about parent’s sex life, the very notion of which may traumatise your child. •••
What have you been listening to lately, dear reader? Share your recommendations in the comments.
A few more things that recently caught my attention:
Martin and I were on holiday driving around a desert sparsely populated with small towns, and when you’re in a desert sparsely populated with small towns, the most suitable soundtrack is of course Welcome to Night Vale.
If you’re a fan of the Jimi Hendrix cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’, allow me to direct you to this great account of how the record came about, including a hilarious clip of founding Rolling Stone Brian Jones contributing a piano part, before being relegated to the vibraslap.
Amid all this talk of other things to listen to, don’t forget to apply yourself to Answer Me This! Episode 286:
In which we discuss:
chilled red wine
babysitting vs kitten-sitting
Mardi Gras vs Pancake Day
Navajo rugs vs dreamcatchers
Glastonbury scheduling EcuadorPanama hats London’s cat cafe
the first ever porn film.
Plus: Olly was all business, no pleasure at his school leavers’ ball; Helen prefers the pong of garlic breath to perfume; and Martin the Sound Man worries about worldly souvenirs making him into a bellend. Don’t worry Martin, you were already a bellend! JK. (Or is it?)
Today’s Bit of Crap on the App contains more perfume-chat, in which Olly sabotages any future he had as a department store perfume salesperson. Pinch your nose and spray the app into your ears from your iDevices, Android or Windows gadgets.
Here’s something that doesn’t stink: today’s episode-funders Squarespace.com offering you a 10% discount off their services for a whole year if you use the code answer3. What a breath of fresh air!
AMT286 Child-Friendly Rating: 42%. First three quarters are clean, apart from a couple of questioneer-led swears. The episode ends on a question about porn films, but by then your children will probably have fallen asleep during the earlier question about road signs.
Spring has yet to spring in our homeland, but the spring run of AMT is ready to spring into your ears right now. Spring into action and listen to Answer Me This! Episode 250:
Today we discuss:
Billy Kennedy’s fluffy dice
selling intangibles on eBay
papal pants Les Miserables, unabridged
musicals vs. literature
second-hand gravestones vs. serial killer memorabilia
the Littlewoods catalogue
the Vatican’s sauna.
Plus: Olly would rather be gifted olives than a car; Helen is not comfortable being on first-name terms with South By Southwest; and Martin the Sound Man is uncharacteristically quiet, which you can attribute to the presence of a bag of Cheetos.
In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) we speculate upon what name Kate’n’Wills are likely to bestow upon their impending royal spawn. Clue: it’ll be something more boring than any of these.
Not boring, on the other hand, are your QUESTIONS. We want lots of them for the new series, so don’t be shy: leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apropos of more things to listen to this week: click here to hear Helen on Jordan, Jesse, Go! And our free Audible audiobook offer is still open, but not for long! You have until midnight on 1st April to get yourself a free audiobook, so click here right now.