First off, in case it hasn't come up, I wrote an update in the post for Description 57 regarding the death of Kenny MacLean of Platinum Blonde, just so you know.

Now for something more fun. November was National Podcast Post Month (NaPodPoMo), where podcasters post a new episode every single freaking day of the month. I can see how that would be a great experience for someone...who isn't me. There's also the point that "National" may not include Canada, so I was probably exempt anyway. Still, I saw an opportunity to maybe stretch my listener muscles (ouch) and look for new podcasts I'd never heard before. And so I invented National Podcast Subscription Month (NaPodSubMo, or NaPoSubMo when I'm feeling lazy or forgot how to do the proper truncation), in which every freaking day, I would subscribe to a podcast I had never heard/seen before. If you follow me on Twitter (not a requirement, I assure you), you may have seen my daily mini-reviews of each one. It took some doing, and maybe I didn't find all the podcasts you may think are best, but whatever - it was still a very good experience.

Some of those podcast subscriptions have been chucked in the bin already, not because they're necessarily bad, but because for some reason, I just didn't connect enough to them to sustain a commitment. There are others I like enough to hang onto a bit longer. And then there are those I fell in love with, look forward to spotting in the podcatcher and will commit to for a good long time...which in podcasting, is maybe at least another month or two. And it's those podcasts I want to share with you now. They're in no particular order.

MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show (video)
For those who know, you're saying "duh!".
For those who don't know, this is a current-affairs show on the U.S. cable news channel MSNBC (which I don't get here), which like many such shows is hosted by someone known for being more pundit-y than journalist-y. Unlike those other shows, it does not make me want to hunt the talking heads down and punch them. While I don't always agree with Rachel Maddow, she's smart, funny, talks like a normal person, isn't spoiling for a fight and isn't annoying. I usually watch this while I'm having lunch at home, but the audio version is perfectly fine too.

Ken P.D. Snydecast
I tried this for the same reason most people do: because the super-awesome SModcast (with Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier) hasn't put up a new episode in a while. The guy who picks and edits the music for that podcast, Quick Stop Entertainment editor-in-chief Ken Plume, does his own two-hander with Adult Swim voice star Dana Snyder (you may remember him from such shows as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies). Like SModcast, it's two guys jabbering about whatever for about an hour, but has less of that crazy "what if?" stuff and is usually more confrontational. Funny on its own terms.

Speaking of podcasts where guys sit around and talk...

Talking Canadian
...Which I tried while waiting for new episodes of The Bob and AJ Show. Three friends in the Ottawa area - the producer of the Sens Underground hockey podcast, a guy from Sudbury and a guy from Newfoundland - "get together twice a month, have some beers and just shoot the 'stuff'." (Note: on the podcast, they would not say "stuff" in that context.) It's basically like sitting around at a non-chain bar in a medium-sized Canadian town waiting for the game to start on the tv. Funny, natural, good-natured, not pushy. After all, they are Canadian. :-)

East Meets West
Another two-hander, CNET's Tom Merritt and noted geek Roger Chang talk mainly about current affairs, sometimes associated with tech and science stuff. This is one of those deals where I don't know why I like it besides being comfortable with these guys and their rapport. Notable, though, is how much of their discussion is fueled by discussions in the blog comments.

Zen Is Stupid
The subtitle is "Everything Wrong With Western Buddhism", but it actually feels more like a couplecast just shot through a Buddhist prism. Usually meeting up virtually from far distances, Gwen Bell and Patrick Reynolds talk about what's been going on in their lives and eventually (if at all), incidentally relate it to general Zen Buddhist concepts. Just a nice, smart chat.

Is it Just Me?
Two people shooting the breeze about life again, but this time they're Australian media veterans Wendy Harmer and Angela Catterns. Their 16-week season ended recently, but it's well worth revisiting while they hope for a renewal from ABC Radio (home to many great podcasts).

Dinner Party Download
From California public radio station KPCC, fun info to use at your next dinner party. Each show includes a joke, a drink recipe inspired by history and the same two questions asked of a very cool guest (Irvine Welsh! Robert Wagner!). You'll wish the next dinner party you attend would be as classy and entertaining as this.

The Digested Read Podcast
That podcast monolith known as the Guardian newspaper presents John Crace satirically summarizing hot books in the style of the author. Sneaky funny, and funnier the more you know about the author or book.

Zunior.com Podcast
A monthly podcast featuring a great variety of excellent new music (most of it Canadian) available from the pioneering digital music store Zunior.com. Utterly painless promotion.

The Zygiella Podcast (RSS)
Maybe the next generation of something like Zunior, Zygiella is a Toronto-based online music community with a music player, gig calendar, and links to band sites and merch, all with a brilliant design. The podcast is simple: it "discusses shows in Toronto over the coming week that cost $10 or less and play songs from the bands and performers featured on that week's list." It's as enjoyable and unpretentious as you can get for something this cool.

And that's it! Not a bad harvest for a month. Hope you find something in there you may like, or just be content that they're out there.

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