Picks of the week
Jake Brennan’s Disgraceland chronicles the most notorious moments in rock’n’roll, and now the master storyteller is turning his attention to the movies. Hollywoodland mixes history, legends and, of course, true crime and, as always, Brennan knows when to tell an anecdote to put a more compelling spin on a worn story. (See: the story of Errol Flynn playing the piano with his penis). There are 10 episodes to binge, exploring the rise, fall, and cocaine habit of Dennis Hopper, Bruce Lee’s connection to the Manson family, and the mystery that still surrounds Marilyn Monroe’s death. Hannah verdier
Bringing together storytelling and science to explore “the invisible forces” around us, this NPR podcast recently returned for a seventh season with new hosts Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw. Recent episodes about fixes and fake news are thoroughly researched and full of human stories; in the first, a grassroots project to obtain financial aid to help black youth investigates the discomfort of white residents, sparks the creativity of their black counterparts, and challenges ideas about guilt on both sides. Hannah J. Davies
Chosen by Danielle Stephens
In a world where bingeing is the norm, I’ve decided to follow Pineapple Street Studio’s Stay Away from Matthew Magill weekly. I look forward to each installment of this outlier true crime podcast, and I’m still trying to figure out what the twist is.
At first glance, host Eric Mennel is simply trying to learn more about a dead man whose box of old documents and cassette tapes ended up in his possession. This man, Matthew MaGill, starts out as a mysterious character, but at the end of episode two, Mennel tells listeners that MaGill was not a good man.
Initially, I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of a stranger telling the world about MaGill’s flaws, without the protagonist having a chance to defend himself. But, there is another story that runs simultaneously throughout this series. By alluding to the troubles within his own family, Mennel seems to be preparing a reveal that I’m eager to get to the point.
The poignant characters from MaGill’s past make this series a fun listen at times, but the appeal of the podcast is definitely the curious connection between this “bad man” and the host. I’m looking forward to what it could be.
Not content to have caused a viral storm with her performance at the Handforth parish council meeting, Jackie Weaver is poised to host her own comedy podcast. Jackie Weaver has the authority She will see comics featuring Isy Suttie and Omid Djalili joining her in answering questions like “Is a holiday in the UK a stay or a vacation?” Starts May 18, on Spotify, instead of Zoom.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism