Picks of the week
Call Me Mother
Shon Faye’s new podcast rails against the patronising image that reaching your 60s and 70s involves sitting under a blanket and knitting, by talking to older LGBTQ trailblazers. First up is 73 year old Kate Bornstein, who talks about growing up wanting to be a girl, her relationship with Scientology, and finding her identity after she transitioned. Faye encourages her listeners to soak up all there is to be learned from the people who grew up in a pre-Stonewall era, as they share their warmth and wisdom. Hannah Verdier
Comics Katy Wix and Adam Drake host this inviting new podcast, which finds them undertaking (pre-lockdown) homecoming tours. Liam Williams is first up, with the Garforth, Leeds-born comedian recalling an adolescence full of, in his words, “people trying to do nice things, and me ruining it”. An emotive, drily funny trip to his old haunts follows, as he reflects on the advice he would give to his frustrated younger self. An episode with Ghosts’ Kiell Smith-Bynoe was released last week, with Lou Sanders to follow next Monday. Hannah J Davies
Producer pick: WireTap
Chosen by Josh Toussaint-Strauss
The premise of Wiretap is weird and wonderful stories, overheard on the phone and presented by Jonathan Goldstein. You might recognise Goldstein’s voice from This American Life, where he cut his teeth as a producer in the early 2000s, alongside Sarah Koenig, David Sedaris, Alex Blumberg and Nancy Updike. Or his more recent show Heavyweight, where he helps strangers resolve their pasts. If you are a fan of either of these, then you’re bound to like the show.
It’s a mixed bag, ranging from comedic pep talks from his eccentric friends and poignant revelations with his parents, to a scientist who documents the final words of parrots. Goldstein also imagines what it might be like to date Lois Lane after she’s broken up with Superman, or what an email argument between Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin might sound like. My personal favourites are his reimagined Bible stories – Jacob and Esau and the live reading of Cain and Abel are both very entertaining. There are so many interesting stories here, that you’re bound to unearth something moving, thought-provoking – or one that just cracks you up.