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Pushback on Podcasts

Pushback on Podcasts

This was inevitable


The headline yells: Are Podcasts Killing Music or Just Wasting Our Time?

The Washington Post article (subscription may be required, but it’s so worth it) written by the paper’s Pop Music Critic, Chris Richards, admits in the first paragraph: “I’m against podcasts.”

I think they’re tedious and samey and sedative, and when I’m feeling especially cranky, I consider them an enemy of music.”

While radio continues to blast out across the world, podcasts deliver warm human voices through our little AirPods, creating a highly intimate listening experience in which “together” feels more like “alone.” We often engage with recorded music the very same way.”

Podcasts are bad because podcasts sound bad — and podcasts sound bad because podcasters aren’t thinking hard enough about what their talk sounds like.”

“Forget the lousy microphones and the dinky interstitial stock music — the thing that derails most podcasts is the blab. There are two kinds, more or less. The first is that soft, inquisitive staccato popularized by Ira Glass on “This American Life,” the source from which so much pod-voice appears to have sprung. The second mode is performative in a different way, and you hear it on most round-table podcasts — a tone that people use at parties when they want to be heard by people that they aren’t necessarily talking to. And it’s pretty much one or the other. Be podcasted to in a cozy, overly considered way, or be podcasted at in a hastier, less-considered way.”

Sounds have meaning. If we’re still splashing around in the primordial muck, if the greatest days of podcasting are still ahead of us — and they must be — I think they’ll be ruled by the pod-people who understand that.”

“Or maybe just this: Whatever asks for our most attentive listening should aspire to be the most worthy of it.”

This, this last quote, should be posted in the largest font possible above every microphone in every radio studio around the world.