Friday, April 07, 2006

Idiots, podcasts and white noise:

I've listened to radio for many years, and over time I became quite curious about my own listening preferences. I decided that what I desired from Radio was a certain degree of randomness, of surprise. I do know that I can't stand listening to a news station that begins to repeat the stories I've already heard, and I clearly prefer the rather mindless - but unpredictable from moment to moment - narration of sports announcers to the more intellectul fare of Public Radio.

Listening to podcasts has given me a new opportunity to test my desire for randomness, and it appears that I can be entertained by audio that approaches white noise. I enjoy Three Idiots and a Podcast, for example. Here we have three teenage boys who turn their microphone on and then just hang out, unwrap candy next to the mic or make weird noises. Not bad!

Then there's Two Idiots and a Podcast Mary and Karla, two young women who make a lot of noise and often convey no information at all. (I suspect I'd learn a lot more if I watched the video that goes with the audio, but I opt for the straight audio, very confusing when they are unwrapping gift packages, say.) Their Episode 14 is particularly hilarious. They had been reviewed by another podcast called Nobody Likes Onions, which didn't like Mary and Karla but resorted to the worst sort of ad hominewomen attacks, repeatedly calling them Fat Cows (check out the pics at their web site and you may disagree). M&K play back excerpts of the NLOnions review of their show with relish. At one point one of them more or less says, "Look, we're a Talk Show! We Talk!" But I disagree. I think someone who understands no English would greatly enjoy the wonderful rhythms, pitches and patters that spin off their voices; they are musicians first, speakers second.

Even better for me is One Idiot and a Podcast Rambling Retard Rampage. This podcast is done almost entirely by one 14 year old boy, "El Nacho", the child prodigy of podcasting. He tosses off remarkable comedic ideas, and charges ahead fearlessly fullsteam through all his whimsies. El Nacho's fascination with language produces all manner of word plays, rhythmic speech with bits of toothsome Spanish, French and Hebrew. And if you find his material too gentle and cerebral, preferring blood and guts, you can switch to his other podcast, "Mead and Ale" which he does with his sister Yayacolt. (If that title makes no sense to you, I think it's a terrible word play; try "Me d'Nail.") The first episode is about as gruesome as light audio can get, and other "Mead and Ale" episodes are too white noisy for me. But I DO seem to enjoy his rather random comedy.
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