Thank god for public radio. Or, why you should listen to Radiolab. Posted on Monday 6 February 2012

Since the last few years have been regularly touring in America (spending, ironically, more time at its truck stops than its concert venues), I’ve become aware of some of the excellent shows produced by and affiliated with NPR (National Public Radio). I would love to go off on a tangent here saying how this another great example of what a great thing public media can be, and how a country should take responsibility for these things lest it will slowly drown in hotdog adverts. But I’m off to Leon’s house to do an acoustic practice with the other Fanfarlos, so I will have to save that for another day. So – this is just a quick message to say that if you haven’t yet listened to Radiolab, you have been missing out. Luckily, that one’s a lot easier to fix than the tragic lack of night-open coffee places in London. Radiolab is a great specimen of that rare breed of profound entertainment that tries to actually say something about the world while at the same time being thoroughly entertaining. It’s also surprisingly consistent in being really excellent every bloody time. Even more so than This American Life, I would dare to say, even though really that is another excellent show that should be at least second on your list, if you can’t shoehorn them both in at number one. After that, check out Hearing Voices, maybe even Planet Money and you’ve opened the floodgates to NPR podcast bliss. Now that the whole band is hooked on Radiolab, we’ve realised just how many of our interesting conversation starters come from this show – “Hey, did you know that blah blah blah??” “Uh yeah, I listened to that episode too…” Fantastic news is that we’ll be able to put faces to those lovely, familiar voices when we pass through Salt Lake City on our next US tour. Radiolab are also on tour! Looking. Forward. (Oh, and please recommend some more podcasts we might have missed – we’ll need them for those long winter roads ahead.) Love, Simon B