10 Essential Podcasts (Aside From Mine)

Chris Black

10 Essential Podcasts (Aside From Mine)

Chris Black

No Effects, the podcast from Tanlines’ Jesse Cohen, returns today with episode #73 featuring guest Laura Marling. You can listen and subscribe here. To commemorate the new season, we asked Jesse to share some podcast recommendations … aside from his own of course.


Prestige storytelling shows like S-Town, Missing Richard Simmons, and Crimetown deserve all of the accolades that they are getting, but they’re not the reason that I love podcasts. My favorite shows, to this day, remain the loose-feeling, conversational shows that open a window into the lives of people, perspectives, and topics that I’m interested in.

I started No Effects because I wanted to create a space for musicians to talk unselfconsciously about themselves and their work in a space away from the relentless push for narratives and soundbites that fuel the majority of the music press.

On this season of No Effects, I talked to:

  • Laura Marling about psychoanalysis and the tour she spent sleeping in a double bass case
  • Robin Pecknold about working at a health food store and putting Fleet Foxes on hiatus to start college in his mid-20s
  • Oddisee about the history of horse racing in Sudan and growing up in the DMV
  • Weyes Blood about her time working with an herbalist in Kentucky and the many tribes of her life
  • Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso about her father, who is a professional Santa Claus

And many more.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts:

Juan Epstein

Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg of HOT 97 fame talk candidly with with hip-hop artists “asking the questions that only true nerdy fans can ask.” Their episodes with Jermaine Dupri and Salaam Remi are standouts.

The Stranger’s Blabbermouth

My favorite political podcast, from Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger. An intergenerational dialogue in which Dan Savage reluctantly represents the baby boomers, Eli Sanders represents Gen X, and a rotating cast fill in to represent millennials as they cover the week in politics.

Call Chelsea Peretti

There hasn’t been a new episode in a while, but the entire catalog of this very funny call-in show is timeless because comedian Chelsea Peretti is “one of the greats.”

Bodega Boys

Viceland’s Desus Nice and the Kid Mero’s unedited and unscripted weekly podcast covering the topics of the week. I’ve been a proud member of the Bodegahive since Mero was a regular caller on Call Chelsea Peretti.

Call Your Girlfriend

Internet geniuses Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow keep their long distance friendship alive with a weekly check-in on everything happening in their lives, politics, and pop culture. The episode that they recorded after the 2016 presidential election was probably the most meaningful thing that I read, watched, or listened to that week.

Jalen And Jacoby

NBA legend Jalen Rose and ESPN producer David Jacoby host a daily show about sports and popular culture. Jalen has amazing and unique insights into the lives of professional athletes and Jacoby is right there to stop him and pry deeper from the fans perspective. This long-running podcast is now a TV show on ESPN(!).

How Did This Get Made?

Very funny people (Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas, plus a special guest) take very bad movies very seriously. We listened to this on tour a lot.

Ronna And Beverly

Two sixty-something Jewish mothers from Marblehead, MA give their guests the tenth degree. Check out Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer on the show back when they were still doing Broad City as a web series.

The Champs

White comedians Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher talk to (mostly) black comedians on this legendary and now-defunct podcast. Memorable guests include David Alan Grier, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, Baron Davis, and the final episode with Champs superfan Questlove.


This will only appeal to a very small number of people, but if I have to be honest about the shows I’m listening to right now, I have to mention FML FPL. It’s just these two guys talking about Fantasy English Premier League Soccer every week. I am not even sure if they are experts, but, like all great podcasts hosts, they have great chemistry and have developed their own very funny language over time.

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