Ricky Gervais – Monkey News

2 07 2009

Here’s a classic from Ricky Gervais’ podcast.


Keith And The Girl

10 12 2008

Trying to find new things to write about for Fine Filter, specifically podcasts, is an incredibly laborious process believe it or not. Roughly 80% of the new shows that I listen to completely miss the mark as a result of horrendous audio quality, long theme songs, and painfully boring hosts to name a few. Luckily I can always count on Keith and the Girl to be there to remind me of what a quality podcast should be.

Keith and the Girl, or KATG, is a New York City-based daily comedy podcast hosted by the diverse duo of Keith Malley, a part-time stand-up comedian from the Pennsylvania suburbs, and his girlfriend Chemda Kahlili, an Israeli reggae singer. The two began the show in 2005 after being inspired by now rival podcast The Dawn and Drew Show and have since garnered a sizeable and dedicated fanbase allowing them to support themselves solely through podcast generated income. To the uninitiated, their brand of profanity laden humor may seem purposefully offensive in a shock-jock kind of way. Although they do employ some of this sensibility from time to time, after listening to several hundred episodes I can truthfully say that there is a wealth of substance beneath the expletives and hot button issues.

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Audio Dharma

19 11 2008

One of my favorite things about podcasting as a medium aside from portability is that it encourages diversity and innovation like no other medium has ever done before. At the same time that podcasting has given a voice to countless brilliant comedians that otherwise wouldn’t have had a proper format to express themselves, it has also given rise to educational and religious shows that are just as unique; in this case Audio Dharma.


Audio Dharma is a series of talks on Buddhism that are recorded live from the Insight Meditation Center in San Francisco. Each episode is about 45 minutes long and features a variety of speakers, Gil Fronsdal being the most frequent, discussing an aspect of Buddhism, it’s historical significance, and how it relates to modern life. As you could imagine, the show has a very relaxed atmosphere but not in the vague new-age-ocean-sounds kind of way. Every talk is full of useful insights on mindfulness and spiritual practice that are interesting regardless of your religion or previous knowledge of Buddhism.

There is a tremendous amount of archived episodes in the iTunes feed and many topics are divided into several episodes. As a result of the low volume level however it can be a bit difficult to listen to in noisy environments. Audio Dharma’s official website is here and the Insight Meditation Center in San Francisco occasionally offers retreats to those in the area.

Future Tense

19 11 2008

Future Tense is a short daily audio podcast that centers around the Internet, computer security, the environment, and a variety of other contemporary issues. Every weekday the show’s host, Jon Gordon, is joined via telephone by bloggers, CEOs, and anyone else making headlines in the technology sector. The podcast is under the umbrella of a Minnesota-based group called American Public Media and has an overall professional NPR kind of vibe.

One of my favorite things about Future Tense is it’s consistency in providing interesting stories that most other media outlets, both mainstream and otherwise, don’t cover. Additionally, the show is quick and palatable even when covering drier topics. Some episodes as of late have discussed a breadth of topics such as Obama’s video podcast, municipal wireless Internet, and the legal and moral aspects of adult listings on Craig’s List. Something worth noting however is that despite being around for quite sometime, Future Tense’s podcast feed in iTunes only offers the latest 10 episodes or so out of what is bound to be several hundred.

The following is a clip of Jon Gordon interviewing Alice Marwick about the concept of Internet celebrity.

Future Tense can be found in iTunes and the official site is here.

TED Video Podcast

6 11 2008

TED Video is a series of lectures on current issues released in video podcast form, each about 20 minutes long. The show features a variety of speakers including inventors, environmentalists, and most notably for me at least, comedian and author John Hodgman. There is currently a wealth of videos available for download in the feed that cover topics such as happiness, the Internet as a living organism, and alien life.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the TED Video speakers is their ability to convey lofty ideas in an entertaining and interesting way without detracting from the initial intellectual substance. This however is a very fine line to walk and as such some talks completely miss the mark and end up sounding more like college lectures you could easily sleep through. For the most part though, TED Video provides a healthy alternative when you need a break from watching surprise nut-punch and sleepy cat videos on YouTube.

ted-logoTED Video can be found in iTunes and the official site is here.

Mr. Deity

24 10 2008

Brian Dalton’s podcast series entitled Mr. Deity is one of the few stand out comedy shows of the recent crop of DIY video productions that have been spilling out onto YouTube and the world of podcasting lately. Utilizing only the most fundamental requirements of cast and location, Dalton has managed to create a world of his own in Mr. Deity through original dialog, well built characters, and a distinct theme song which fits the show’s mood perfectly. Regardless of your belief in or knowledge of Christianity Mr. Deity offers something enjoyable for almost any audience.

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The Merlin Show

6 10 2008

The Merlin Show, hosted by Merlin Mann of You Look Nice Today fame, is one of my favorite new finds from the world of video podcasting. Although the concept of the show appears to simply be Merlin having in depth conversations with people, there is a steady undercurrent throughout each episode that deals with how people from a variety of backgrounds and fields relate to and incorporate technology in their daily lives. Even though the show apparently ended in mid 2007, it’s certainly still worth the time to check out the 20 available episodes.

The shows occasionally begin with a brief introduction by Merlin followed by about 20 minutes of relaxed and open-ended conversation in front of one stationary camera. Regardless of the guest, be it a musician, web designer, or radio host, Merlin is surprisingly well versed in a variety of areas and is able to ask just the right questions to keep things moving. In some cases, the interviews are divided into two or three parts but still seem deceptively short despite their actual length.

The Merlin Show can be found in iTunes.