Code Switch’s Summer Outing Playlist : Code Switch : NPR
At Code Switch, we’re not just a podcast, we listen to podcasts. Many of them. In our new episode, some Code Switch employees get to share favorite podcasts they’re listening to and tell you why. By the way, these aren’t NPR podcasts. We wanted to shed some light on the work produced Outside the NPR family. Share the shine and all. All of this can be found in the places you usually listen to podcasts. Enjoy!
Taylor Jennings Brown liked 70 over 70, a podcast featuring interviews with 70 people, all age 70 or older. From the famous (Dionne Warwick!) to the just thoughtful, 70 Over 70 is “one of my favorite podcasts of the year,” says Taylor. She stumbled upon the show last year. “I was a senior in college, racing towards the abyss of adulthood during a global pandemic,” she recalls. “Listening to people four times my age talk so calmly about some of the most stressful moments in their lives was comforting.” (70 Over 70 is from Pineapple Street Studios.)
Leah Donnella’s suggestion is The magnificent table. She was a fan of the show when the host Lynn Rossetto was Kasper. She’s also in love with new host, chef and cookbook editor Francis Lam. She says Lam can even bring offbeat activities (like finding rare mushrooms) down to earth: “He does a great job of tying things to ‘normal people’ concerns and lives. Even this mushroom episode focuses heavily on the refugee communities of the Pacific Northwest who have been able to make a living by foraging for these truly coveted mushrooms.” (The Splendid Table, by American Public Media.)
Alyssa Jeong Perry chose Polite, a podcast about one man’s (David Luis Gonzales, aka Suave) journey through the criminal justice system, which he entered as a 17-year-old. (A change in the penal code set him free — sort of.) It’s narrated by former NPR colleague Maria Hinojosa and reporter-producer Maggie Freleng. “Good reporting and storytelling can show the big holes in our systems and how people fall through them,” says Alyssa. “For me, that’s what Suave does. It uses Suave’s story to illustrate what happens to young people of color who end up in prison as teenagers.” The series, says Alyssa, is incredibly rich in sound, making for an engaging listen. (Suave from Futuro Media and PRX. And by the way, the podcast won a Pulitzer Prize for audio storytelling this year.)
Diba Mohtasham voted embodied, a podcast about bodies: “What I love about this podcast is that it takes a fresh and interesting look at sex, relationships, and personal health,” says Diba. Some of the topics are ones public radio has traditionally shied away from, but, says Diba, “this podcast breaks down those barriers.” Her personal favourite: the episode on body hair – its cultural, political and aesthetic significance. “Ideas about what is or isn’t considered ‘normal’ can often reveal something deeper about society and our cultural values at a given time.” (This is Embodied, from North Carolina Public Radio.)
And Karen Grigsby Bates suggests oprahdemics: The Study of the Queen of Conversation. It’s a podcast by two friends who happen to be university historians, Kellie Carter Jackson of Wellesley College and Leah Wright Rigueur of Johns Hopkins University. Both women are longtime Oprah viewers (they say they’ve seen about 4,200 combined of the 4,500 episodes that aired in the 25 years it’s aired). In the 15 episodes (plus a few extras) of season one, Carter Jackson and Wright Rigueur explore Oprah’s impact on everything from society to business to politics. Discussions are always lively and clearly show Oprah’s influence in several areas of American life. (Oprahdemics, from Radiotopia.)