It’s high time for my very belated November favourites! This month, I fell in love with two podcasts and a Youtube channel, and, for the first time, I also have a music favourite!
I have already recommended this podcast to lots of people but I feel like this is still not enough… It is one of the best podcasts I have ever listened to (and I am now becoming a sort of podcast connoisseur!). Created and hosted by film journalist, critic and author Karina Longworth, who has an amazing voice, this cinema podcast focuses on the “secrets and forgotten history of Hollywood’s first century”.
The podcast comprises several series of a dozen or so episodes each. I’m not sure when a new series will be released, but I can’t wait for this to happen. Among my favourite series were Charles Manson’s Hollywood – this series’s episodes explore the murders committed by Charles Manson’s followers in 1969 and the Hollywood music and movie scene surrounding these murders –, The Blacklist – the episodes explore the development of the Blacklist from 1947 and the “Hollywood Ten” hearings and how it strongly affected screenwriters and actors who were, rightly or wrongly, accused of being Communists sympathizers – and MGM stories – each episode of this series being devoted to a producer, actor or other Hollywood character having worked at the emblematic MGM movie studio.
All the episodes of this podcast are widely researched. Even though I don’t know anything about old Hollywood movies, I really enjoy this podcast because everything is carefully explained, with plenty of details, and I learnt many interesting facts thanks to it. Of course, all the stories themselves are fascinating – early Hollywood movie stars had really crazy lives – and they are made even more fascinating by the way they are narrated throughout the carefully-crafted episodes. Each episode has awesome music, special guests playing some characters and so on! Karina Longworth really manages to turn each episode into a breathtaking story, and that’s what I want from a podcast.
This podcast may not be for everyone but it really made my month! Each episode of this podcast is a long interview (usually about an hour long) with a non-fiction writer. The guests are mostly journalists, editors and freelance writers. I find this podcast highly interesting and inspiring. The guests always have fascinating and very personal stories to tell, and I really like hearing how they’ve started their career (some of these writers are established writers who have started their careers decades ago and got into the industry almost by chance, sometimes in very funny ways, while others young writers have more down-to-earth stories that actually make me dream that I could also become a freelance writer at some point!).
I must say also say that the hosts of this podcast, Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky and Evan Ratliff, know how to ask the right questions. Not much else to add, if you like writing and reading, this podcast is probably for you. Among my favourite episodes, I would recommend this conversation with Ben Taub (contributing writer at The New Yorker who spent time in Turkey, near the Syrian border, and wrote several articles about ISIS and European teenagers joining ISIS, among others) or this conversation with Shane Bauer, who worked undercover as a guard in a private prison for four months for an article.
Las Aves (Band)
Before Las Aves was The Dodoz, a French rock band from Toulouse (the members were actually from my high school, if you want to know everything, but I am 100% neutral here!) who became quite famous in France with their energic/angry rock music. A couple of years ago, The Dodoz took a new musical direction and became Las Aves, an electro band with a dash of punk-rock who makes very efficient songs. I find their songs very cinematographic and could totally imagine them becoming a movie’s soundtrack! I can only recommend you to go to listen to the songs they posted on their channel: N.E.M, Die In Shangai, Leo and Los Angeles. Las Aves is also very aware of issues such as women’s image and sexism, and wanted to have their say in their own way. The clips of the first 3 songs I mentioned constitute a trilogy which, as the band says, “puts the light on girls doing their own thing, with their own style. […] To just watch them as they enjoy their freedom, their differences, or even their normality.” And for this, I also say thumbs up!
“Frannerd” is the Youtube channel of Fran Meneses, a free-lance illustrator from Chile who lives in Hastings, in England, and it is just amazing. Her videos range from live drawing videos to stationery hauls and fascinating discussions about the artistic world, what working free-lance means, how to earn one’s living when you’re an illustrator and so on. I am not an artist but I find the artistic world absolutely fascinating and I am very admiring of artists, and I love the fact that this channel gives me a glimpse of the life and work of an illustrator. I also need to emphasize that Fran has an Etsy shop where she sells some of her wonderful creations and you should really check it out.
Now I am waiting for your recommendations guys 🙂