Last week saw a number of music-related podcast highlights, from an unlikely long-form interview with a legendary rock-n-roll band to 19th century “murder ballads” to sitcom theme songs. Throw in a few tears and a goodbye to a light-night host completely devoid of sentimentality, and you have a solid week in podcasting.
U Talkin’ U2 to Me?: Just a few weeks after Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman released their last episode of UTU2TM detailing their backstage encounter with U2, the Scotts were back again, this time conducting an hour-long interview of the band recorded in the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City. What started off as a joke about getting the “lovable lads from Liverpool” on the show became a reality for the hosts, who were admittedly nervous throughout the entire interview. It’s a must listen for anyone who has been following this podcast and a hard-to-imagine culmination of a show that has arguably spent more time to discussing non-U2 related subjects than the band itself.
Crybabies: Sarah Thyre and Susan Orlean recorded a special New York episode of their podcast devoted to the things that never fail to prompt their guests to cry. Amy Poehler and Julie Klausner joined the show to talk about their crying queues, including a Poehler pick from Terms of Endearment that should have you weeping in a matter of a minute.
Criminal: Last week’s Criminal podcast looked at the story of Pearl Bryan, a single woman who was murdered around the end of the 19th century after a botched abortion attempt. The story takes you back to a time when this type of brutality was so commonplace there was actually a genre of music devoted to telling the cautionary tales of the victims. Included among these “murdered-girl ballads,” as they’re called, was one famous song detailing Bryan’s murder. Host Phoebe Judge talked with folklorist Sarah Bryan about the song and the murder ballad genre. Then, the band Elephant Micah performed a modern version of the song that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Sideshow: Want to listen to something a little lighter than murdered-girl ballads? Last week’s Sideshow should do the trick as host Sean Rameswaram talked with the man behind the Seinfeld theme song. Jonathan Wolff wrote a number of sitcom themes over his career, but perhaps his most recognizable is the Seinfeld theme. He spoke with Rameswaram about how he came to write the song, his thought process behind it, and what he thinks about the numerous mashups that have since been made using the theme.
The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart: Despite its name, The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart marked its 20th episode with the first (and presumably last) appearance by the man whose name is in the title. This “exit interview of all exit interviews” focused on the area in which Stewart claims to have had his greatest impact over his tenure–the food provided to the Daily Show staff. Listeners should not expect a heartfelt goodbye from the exiting Daily Show host, but fans of the show and of Stewart should give this a listen if they’re looking for one more laugh.