Sarcastic, Upbeat, Macabre

Tech Whizz

Episode: “Anne Robinson's Weakest Link” | Podcast: Talk Tech To Me | 31m35s

Legendarily sarcastic game show host and journalist Anne Robinson talks about her tech habits. She opens by telling listeners that she’s “the oldest woman on television not judging cakes” and admitting that she’s completely clueless about technology — seemingly ever device she’s ever owned has been bought for her by somebody else. She was one of the first people in the UK to get a carphone in the 1980s, though, and she’s always found coping strategies to get round her difficulties. This interview has a slightly surreal, meandering quality, but Robinson’s brisk personality cuts through it beautifully (31m35s)

Skates On

Episode: “Oakland’s Rollerskating Country Singer" | Podcast: Rightnowish | 9m34s

Musical look at the rollerskating scene in Oakland, California. The musician interviewed makes music that sounds “like sunshine, fresh water, summer, a cool breeze” the host says, and it’s become a regular soundtrack for the Oakland Rollers skating group. The host and producer visit a rink with her, creating a soundscape from what they find there that’s both immersive and upbeat. The blend of music, speech and sound effects in this short piece is really expertly done. It’s a kind of local, neighbourhood reporting that spreads a small cultural moment to a much wider audience (9m34s)

The Ravens

Episode: “Poe Belongs To Baltimore, Baltimore To Poe" | Podcast: Museums In Strange Places | 39m19s

Exploration of the connection between nineteenth century writer Edgar Allen Poe and the place where he is buried, Baltimore. The city is devoted to Poe, the host says, even choosing via fan poll to name its football team after the raven in his iconic poem. This episode includes a tour of the Poe House museum, as well as much speculation about the mystery of the author’s death (appropriate, for a man known today as “the master of the macabre”). The official cause recorded was “congestion of the brain”, but fans suspect something much darker happened to him (39m19s)

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