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Society & Culture

The Big Listen

Updated 7 days ago

Society & Culture
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There are tens of thousands of podcasts out there. So how do you know what to listen to? On The Big Listen — THE broadcast about podcasts from WAMU and NPR — host Lauren Ober introduces you to podcasts you might not have ever heard of, and gives you the inside scoop on shows you already love. Through interviews, listener recommendations, show snippets and more, The Big Listen helps you curate your perfect playlist.

Read more

There are tens of thousands of podcasts out there. So how do you know what to listen to? On The Big Listen — THE broadcast about podcasts from WAMU and NPR — host Lauren Ober introduces you to podcasts you might not have ever heard of, and gives you the inside scoop on shows you already love. Through interviews, listener recommendations, show snippets and more, The Big Listen helps you curate your perfect playlist.

iTunes Ratings

252 Ratings
Average Ratings
185
37
12
5
13

Where

By DMV gotta be - Aug 26 2019
Read more
Where u at bruh it was so good

Miss you

By Kristen M. RN - Aug 12 2019
Read more
What happened? Where’d y’all go?

iTunes Ratings

252 Ratings
Average Ratings
185
37
12
5
13

Where

By DMV gotta be - Aug 26 2019
Read more
Where u at bruh it was so good

Miss you

By Kristen M. RN - Aug 12 2019
Read more
What happened? Where’d y’all go?
Cover image of The Big Listen

The Big Listen

Latest release on May 24, 2018

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: It's A Stampede!

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We meet Lauren's Scandinavian doppelganger, then explode songs with the host of Song Exploder. Then we chat with the makers of the hit show, In The Dark. And radio Renaissance man Al Letson tells us what he's listening to.

Oct 20 2016

50mins

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Rank #2: Occupy This Podcast

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We take a field trip to the Government Accountability Office, learn about Sharia law on #GoodMuslimBadMuslim, occupy some federal lands and learn what podcasts the host of Gravy is snacking on.

Oct 27 2016

50mins

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Rank #3: Susan Orlean Loves To Cry

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Author Susan Orlean tells us about podcasts that make her cry, then we have a conversation about Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race (meta!) and chat with a guy who is literally Making Gay History. Plus, did you know podcasts can save your life?

Jan 12 2017

51mins

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Rank #4: Roadtrippin' Across America

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We're hitting the highways and byways of America for our cross-country podcast tour. We cruise through Appalachia, hike through the deserts of Nevada and rouler on down to the Big Easy to hear what's happening across America. Buckle up!

Nov 23 2016

50mins

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Rank #5: Abbi Jacobson Is A Piece Of Work

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Abbi Jacobson gets artsy with her podcast A Piece Of Work; Leila Day and Hana Baba of The Stoop dialogue about the diaspora; YouTube provocateur Dylan Marron confronts his online bullies and Kathleen Barber dishes on her debut suspense novel, Are You Sleeping.

Sep 14 2017

50mins

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Rank #6: We Need To Talk About S-Town

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S-Town has everyone hooked. But what to think about this complicated piece of aural literature? Media ethicist Kelly McBride helps us sort through our feelings. And we visit a lively S-Town Hall in Chicago. Plus, we unpack the many Muslim-American identities with See Something Say Something's Ahmed Ali Akbar. And Irish writer and comedian Maeve Higgins introduces us to some of her favorite immigration stories. Including her own.

Apr 20 2017

51mins

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Rank #7: The Family That Podcasts Together

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Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin has a podcast. So does her teenage daughter, Eliza. They're basically a mother-daughter podcasting duo.

Nov 17 2016

50mins

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Rank #8: You Get A Podcast!

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Most producers want to keep you awake; we talk to a podcaster bent on putting listeners to sleep. Then, we interview Oprah! Just kidding. But we check out a podcast that did! Plus, Dan Savage's vanilla tastes in podcasts.

Dec 08 2016

51mins

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Rank #9: Best New Podcasts of 2017

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We look back at our favorite interviews with the makers of new podcasts in 2017: Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer of By The Book, Alex Kotlowitz of Written Inside, and Jack Hitt and Chenjerai Kumanyika of Uncivil.

Dec 21 2017

51mins

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Rank #10: Chris Gethard and the Art of Deep Listening (Encore)

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Chris Gethard describes how Beautiful/Anonymous satisfies his craving for human connection. Plus: therapy with Esther Perel, poetry with Versify, and a podcaster who invites strangers to his home.

Apr 12 2018

50mins

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Rank #11: 36 Questions for Jonathan Groff

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Broadway actor Jonathan Groff, Geoff Turner of CBC's On Drugs, Eleanor MacDowall of Radio Atlas and writer and domestic abuse survivor Jes Skolnik, who recently penned an op-ed about the healing power of true crime podcasts.

Sep 07 2017

50mins

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Rank #12: Valentine's Day Special: Love, Romance and Lost Wedding Rings

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Valentine's Day is upon us. So we're diving into online dating trials and tribulations with The Zoo, exploring the messiness of human intimacy with The Heart and getting some sage love advice from Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond of Dear Sugar. Plus, how a podcast saved a wedding!

Feb 09 2017

51mins

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Rank #13: Katie Couric Is No One's Sweetheart

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Pajama-wearing podcaster Katie Couric explains why she's over being America's sweetheart. And we talk Hawaii's complicated racial history with the host of Offshore. Plus, untold stories from the Middle East from the folks behind Kerning Cultures. And a senior citizen podcast club where wine plays a prominent role.

Mar 23 2017

52mins

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Rank #14: Jon Ronson Likes Porn (Stories)

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Writer Jon Ronson traces The Butterfly Effect from the moment pirated porn became free on the web. Plus: The hosts of Terrestrial and Closer Than They Appear, and Jillian Bauer-Reese documents people in recovery with The Rooms Project.

Dec 07 2017

51mins

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Rank #15: Denis O'Hare and the Danger of Dinner Parties

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Actor Denis O'Hare tells us about Deadly Manners and the ingredients for a dismal dinner, Liz Plank talks feminism with Divided States of Women, and Joel Werner puts numbers on the air with Sum Of All Parts. Plus: Alice Wong of Disability Visibility describes all the voices she wants to hear on the radio.

Nov 16 2017

49mins

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Rank #16: Noshing On Food Podcasts with Francis Lam & Kim Severson

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It's a Big Listen smörgåsbord! We'll meet Francis Lam, new host of The Splendid Table, taste chocolate with The Slow Melt and hear which food podcasts New York Times food writer Kim Severson favors. Plus: Lauren enters brunch hell with Brendan Francis Newnam.

Nov 30 2017

50mins

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Rank #17: Jon Ronson Likes Porn (Stories) Encore

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Writer Jon Ronson traces The Butterfly Effect from the moment pirated porn became free on the web. Plus: The hosts of Terrestrial and Closer Than They Appear, and Jillian Bauer-Reese documents people in recovery with The Rooms Project.

Apr 05 2018

50mins

Play

Rank #18: Anna Sale Wants To Be Uncomfortable

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Discomfort is the currency of Death, Sex & Money, according to host Anna Sale. Plus, we chat with the folks behind Historically Black about everyday objects in African-American families. And Nate, our favorite kid podcaster, gives us interviewing tips.

Feb 16 2017

51mins

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Rank #19: Larry Wilmore Is Black On The Air (Encore)

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Larry Wilmore's got a new podcast, Black On The Air! Plus: the lowdown on a possible Powerline in New Hampshire, a Slow Burn with Leon Neyfakh about Watergate, and a new book from Bill McKibben.

Apr 19 2018

50mins

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Rank #20: Al Letson Reveals Errthang (Encore)

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We meet Lauren's Scandinavian doppelganger, then explode songs with the host of Song Exploder. Then we chat with the makers of the hit show In The Dark, and Al Letson tells us what he's listening to.

Jan 26 2017

52mins

Play