"Obscure" podcasts worth checking out

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/24/obscure-podcasts-worth-che.html

Exploring Unusual Sex ( https://www.spreaker.com/show/exploring-unusual-sex and elsewhere), which is exactly about what you are thinking, but probably in a much nicer way.

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I will be giving “American Hysteria” a listen at once, since I see that their latest example of a mindless public panic is … vaping.

There are only a couple of podcasts I listen to that might be called “obscure”:

This is produced by a completely obsessed space geek, for completely obsessed space geeks. If you find, as I do, that listening to a half hour description of how the Saturn 1’s fuel system worked is time well spent, you should check it out.

Brilliant conception. Every episode covers a year in the past of recorded music, starting with (yes) the 1850’s and working towards the present. The host has just now reached the post WW1 years and the birth of jazz.


I’m listening to Ologies:

I don’t know if it counts as obscure, but it’s a lovely science podcast. The host is a really good interviewer, and she has interesting and very human conversations with leading experts in each field (Volcanology, Thanatology, Primatology, etc.). It’s light and listenable without dumbing things down too much.


Joking about and thinking about politics and society and philosophy. If you only check out one podcast, it should be this podcast.


Here’s some lesser known tabletop RPG podcasts that could use some love:
Advanced Sagebrush and Shootouts - Three friends playing the Fate system in a campaign inspired by crappy action tv shows like Walker Texas Ranger. They’re funny and know exactly how cheesy the whole thing is and it’s great. They also have a really funny podcast that spun out of it called Young Sheldoncast where they watch just the trailer for Young Sheldon episodes and make up a story based on it.

Spout Lore - A collaborative play through of Dungeon World from a group from Canada. Does an amazing job of equal parts absolute silly content and downright amazing world building, such as the difference between elves and elfs.

Fun City - A brand new Shadowrun actual play set in New York after a climate catastrophy floods the entire city. They do a great job of making the characters feel like they are a tight knit family of runners that goof on each other.


Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History on a
whenever it drops schedule. Warning he does not sugar coat how awful people are to each other and it can be hard to listen to at times but very much worth it.

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. If you like Hollywood history with comedians and character actors and other esoteric things.

El Diabolik’s World of Psychotronic Soundtracks. For all the coolest music of the craziest movies


I can add a few more to this list:

Yeast Radio
One of the longest running podcasts out there and a mixture of satire and arthouse weirdness

Rock and Roll Geek Show
Yet another long running show, this time opinions about music from the PoV of being a musician. One of my biggest laugh out loud in public moments was when he was doing an audio tour of a San Fran charity event called the “masturbatathon” about 13 or so years ago.

Of course, I enjoy listening to the insane conspiracy theories spouted by Adam and John on No Agenda
I’ve been listening to it since the very start (Used to sub to Adam’s Daily Source Code podcast back in the day, I even signed up to make content with Podshow/Mevio years ago). Just having a read of their wiki entry, I never realised they had gotten such a huge audience! I’m pretty sure the guys who do the Knowledge Fight deconstructions of InfoWars have lifted heavily from this show.

And a bit of British “comedy”…
The Cheap Show

So many of my old fav podcasts have been lost to time, as well. :frowning: Podcasts used to have a weird air about them, like anything could happen and I heard some rumours of shenanigans that would play out at early podcast get togethers 13 to 15 years ago.

Man, I miss writing for Rocketboom so much I keep thinking about just making my own reboot of that format.

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I have 3 suggestions that are at least obsure for me:

Literary Hangover is mostly about early American Literature.
The Bible Geek is about Higher Criticism, very amusing.


Along with the news, I have a couple of must-listen podcasts to recommend: FlashForward, a show by Rose Eveleth that takes an idea into the future, then asks scientists and other interesting people how it would work, and Gastropod, by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, which is all about the science and history of food. They usually pick a specific topic, like the latest episode all about the strawberry. I don’t suppose either is particularly obscure, but I love them both and want more people to hear them :slight_smile:

No Such Thing As A Fish is worth listening to. Done by the QI Elves.


Not sure how obscure these are…

Bundyville (season 1) is a seven-part series chronicling the rise, fall and resurgence of the Bundy family, the armed uprisings they inspired and the fight over the future of the American West. There’s also a season 2 that delves into other anti-government extremist groups.

To Live and Die in LA is an investigatory podcast similar to Serial. I haven’t listened to it, but my brother really got into it. About a case of a missing woman in southern California.


Starting here, this is great:

Additional podcasts that I really enjoy:

NADDPOD - Not Another D&D Podcast - It’s a dungeons and dragons podcast by some folks who have done work for CollegeHumor and independently, and they’re great and funny. It’s the sort of podcast that I eagerly look forward to every week and is top of my list. Their Patreon-exclusive after-show is also definitely worth listening to (Short Rest).

The Greatest Generation / The Greatest Discovery - Two podcasts by a couple of guys who are a little embarassed to have a Star Trek podcast. It’s an episode by episode recap show about TNG / DS9 (on Greatest Generation) and Discovery (on the other one). They’re funny people talking about a show they love, and it made me a lot more interested in Star Trek, a show that I always sort of liked but never wanted to binge. Totally listenable even if you don’t currently watch all of the star trek shows.

My Brother, My Brother and Me: - Probably doesn’t need a lot of intro as I think they’re pretty podcast-famous, but it’s a comedy advice show by three funny brothers.

The Adventure Zone! - The cast of MBMBAM and their dad, playing roleplaying games. Season 1 was D&D 5e, then they did Monster of the Week, and now they’re just starting season 3 back to Dungeons and Dragons. TAZ Season 1 is like absolutely one of my favorite story arcs ever, and genuinely made me tear up a few times, and while I wasn’t super psyched about S2, S3 is starting out really strong.

Think those are my big ones.


The number of MaxFun podcast recommendations happening here brings me joy.

Seconding Stop Podcasting Yourself from the original post and MBMBaM and TAZ from your comment, they’re all on my weekly must-listen schedule.

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