Early morning here yet again.  I have some strange sleep pattern going where I wake at midnight, get back to sleep, and then wake again before there is any hint of the sunrise — which at the moment means around 4:15am.  So I find myself wandering around the apartment for a while before grabbing hold of my Macbook, settling in a fav chair, headphones on, and surfing etc.  This morning I loaded up iTunes and decided to check out what podcasts I hadn’t listened to.  I’ve been downloading free podcasts for years, and they have kept me entertained on various bus and train trips around the city and countryside.

First up were a couple of episodes from Bill Maher’s show, Real Time.  These are only the audio, but the nature of Bill’s show lends itself to this medium.  I watched the show religiously when I lived in the USA, and do miss it now I’m back in Australia.  The best episode listened to this morning included a 15 minute chat with one of my favourites, Michael Moore. I actually found Bill a little annoying, because he tried to inject some humour into the conversation with Michael, when it really wasn’t appropriate.  One thing about Michael is that he is passionate about the causes and beliefs, and when he is talking about one of them, don’t try to make fun of it or him.  Still, I understand why Maher needed to do it. Next up, some great NPR podcasts:

  • Tiny Desk Concerts…I love these ones.  They are videos, each about 15 minutes in length, and they feature lesser known artists who make their way into the NPR Music studios and perform at the desks of the show’s presenters.  One that I particularly enjoyed was a trio of artists, Bela Fleck (banjo), Edgar Meyer (base fiddle), and Zakir Hussain (tabla). Beautiful music.  I saw Bela Fleck a few years back during the recording of the WV Broadcasting show, Mountain Stage.  I had never really had much exposure to banjo music, so it was one of the most enlightening concerts I saw that year.  The other one I watched was a performance by a band called the Mynabirds — have not heard of them, but after this performance will certainly be checking them out.
  • All Songs Considered…another great podcast, featuring up and coming artists, with a few known thrown in.  Heard a beautiful song called “Bring Me My Queen”  by Abigail Washburn.  Just beautiful. Finished off with a few songs from the Newport Folk Festival.
  • Car Talk…well, what better way to finish off my podcast extravaganza than an episode of Car Talk, one of the funniest public radio shows I ever came across. Listened to many of them on various road trips in the USA. It’s a show about cars and the problems that people have with them.  The callers come in from all across the country, and even sometimes from other countries.  Tom & Ray try to determine the cause if the problems, but it is the manner in which they engage the callers and the resulting humour that make this show.  Highly recommend listening — and it’s no issue if you don’t like cars.

So, all in all, a great way to welcome a new day, though I bet I’ll be sleepy through the day.  We really are lucky to have this technology on hand, to be able to be entertained at will.


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