Roger on Podcasts – Jan 2006

Handouts, freebies and the delights of podcasts.

January, the month of misplaced guilt, worthy resolutions and dark nights. I’ll be honest I’m no exception to this annual round of self flagellation and indoors imposed misery, but I don’t smoke or gamble, I’m not particularly overweight and I don’t have any interesting habits that I can rid myself of.
Or do I?

Like a lot my age, I have become the cliché that is £50 man purchasing CDs, DVDs and books that I won’t get a chance to do justice to (unless of course the purchases include Pop Party 3 or ‘Fifi and the flowertots’ latest adventures! Not only were the £50 expeditions totting up faster than a ‘twenty a day’ Marlboro habit, far worse was the lack of options available
to nearest and dearest when deciding upon a Christmas pressie for me. This culminated in my sister-in-law handing over some DVDs on the big day with the disclaimer that ‘you’ve probably already got these’, I had, cue embaressed ‘but thanks anyway’ style statements.

So what to do about the habit? My Yorkshire roots kicked in on about January 3rd as I stood contemplating the purchase of ‘The French Connection’ boxset and sundry CDs that I hadn’t received for Christmas. There was only one answer become tight, stop spending and break the habit.

Easier said than done, I needed a ‘methadone’ style substitute to help relieve the craving. Supply of the substitute was readily available, as you are all too aware free media is available with every paper, magazine and cereal packet these days but in general these are crap and are better used
as coasters for hot drinks rather than for watching or listening to. This wasn’t going to provide the buzz to fill my need, unless I wolfed down a couple of packs of Cocoa rocks in order to liberate the free Scooby Doo DVD.
What I needed was something closer to the punk ethic of DIY, as well as being something that retained an air of exclusivity whilst remaining universally, and more importantly freely, available.

With this in mind I am beginning my journey into the uncharted waters of Podcasting. Its like the radio, only you don’t use a radio and you control you listen to and when, in other words, its only similarity with the radio is that you listen, as oppose to watching it.

I’ll be sampling (randomly, for the statisticians amongst you) various Podcasts over the coming months and providing you my thoughts on the best and worst of what I hear (including the links so you can hear for yourself). I’ve also decided that I will be, in the main, restricting myself to musically oriented ‘casts. There are other categories that may prove interesting and if any of these turn out to be fabulous I’ll let you know.

For starters if European womb/ chill out is your scene, check out the Spacemusic podcast from Rotterdam. Its updated every Sunday and is hosted by TC, who sports a great Dutch accent and is exactly who should be hosting the show (listen and you’ll know what I mean). Its okay to do the ironing to and much better than Parky or Steve Wright’s Sunday love songs (why don’t people understand that the reason that they are no longer with their ‘first love’ is that they got ditched and that their first love is not interested in them, especially when a Commodores track is quoted as being ‘our special favourite song’. Hurrrghhhh.), but won’t get your adrenalin pumping. Also avoid the corporate stuff, it will be as bland is a Radio Midlandshire’s 80s nostaligia weekend (‘The only way is up’

Think of my column as an antidote to Champagne Charlie’s excess, let me know of any recommendations that deserve a wider audience and lets see if I can resist any £50 man tendencies over the coming months.



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