Welcome to another week of pop culture podcast recommendations! I’m at the stage where I have so many podcasts to listen to and not enough time to do it so when I came across this tweet from the always excellent Reductress, you can bet I laughed.
OK so, what podcasts should you listen to this weekend? Let me tell you.
Firstly, You Must Remember This has basically taken over my life. Over a year ago someone recommended this Old Hollywood themed podcast to me, given that I love Hollywood’s Golden Age and all its scandals, but as mentioned before, I wasn’t the podcast fiend back then that I am today.
I usually go for interview based podcasts but You Must Remember This is a storytelling one written and narrated by Karina Longworth and each episode comes in under 1 hour but manages to pack in all you need to know about a Hollywood icon, whether it’s how savvy Marilyn Monroe was with the press or Orson Welles discovering Rita Hayworth’s real opposite-of-Gilda personality. This week I listened to the Carole Lombard and Clark Gable episode, two movie stars I know of but knew little about. Until now. The episode covers Lombard’s entry to Hollywood, how she met the ‘king of Hollywood’ Gable, the actor’s un-Rhett Butler personality of social anxiety and quirks like not being able to go into a bank and then Lombard’s tragic death in a plane crash. Most of all you get a picture of two people who were deeply in love – and you’ll come away thinking Carole Lombard must’ve been great to get drunk with.
I feel like I recommend CTRL ALT DELETE, the podcast from author and blogger Emma Gannon, every week but I don’t care – if you work in the media, it’s a must listen. This week I listened to an interview with the only beauty writer I pay any attention to (well, I’m still waiting on Cat Marnell’s Beauty 100) – Sali Hughes. In this episode, Sali talks about how she has kept her integrity while being offered loadsa money to plug products she didn’t like, how bloggers deserve to be paid, about faceless male trolls responding to beauty articles with ‘what about orphans in Darfur?!’, how beauty is much more to women than a lot of people give it credit for and how the media is a small place so…don’t be a dick! Words to live by.
Another podcast I listen to a lot is the AOL Build series, which are short and sweet video interviews with actors, singers, authors about whatever they’re promoting. Each interview is roughly 25-30 minutes so it’s perfectly timed for your hop on the bus into town and you can find everyone from fashion powerhouse Tory Burch talking about the gender pay gap to Troian Bellisario discussing the last series of Pretty Little Liars (no, she does not reveal who A is). I love the writer Kelly Oxford and she sat down with Build to talk about her new book ‘When You Find Out The World Is Against You’, as well as dealing with anxiety, starting the #notok hashtag to share stories of sexual assault and writing about embarrassing subjects…like peeing your pants in public. (I’ve linked to the videos but just search ‘Build Series’ on iTunes to get the podcasts.)
Finally, book-wise I’m on a bit of a Joan Didion trip right now and currently reading The White Album. With her descriptions of the mystical magic of driving in LA’s freeways and rubbing shoulders with The Doors and Hollywood types, I have never wanted to visit California more. Sigh. Anyway, back to the podcasts. I’ve downloaded as many Didion-related podcasts as I can and two I really rate are The New Yorker episode discussing Didion’s writing style, subjects and how the fashion community has adopted her in recent years. But my favourite is the New York Public Library interview between bubbly author Sloane Crosley (who also is the subject of my favourite Oh Boy by Man Repeller episode) and Didion about her writing process. Hilariously, the always observant Didion – who has an amazing dry, dark sense of humour – says she does not really notice things. Incredible. She also says she drinks wine before editing so I might just start doing this. If it works for Joan Didion…