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Podfather Reviews: Musically driven pods offer the best of both worlds

I’ve faced this battle walking down the street countless of times: jam out to music or tune into another podcast? There’s only so much free time in the day, and it can be difficult to pick and choose what one wants to listen to.

It’s like choosing between whether to set up a Festivus pole or a Christmas tree in one’s living room. Both bring out the holiday cheer in a house in some way, so neither is a bad option. 

With music and podcasts, one can have both. Well, for the most part. Here are few I listened to this week.

“Dissect”

For the people that want to know every single little detail about an artist, song or album this is one of the podcasts that does it so well. 

Cole Cuchna “dissects” the music of popular artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, diving into why an artist went with a particular chord progression to create dissonance in a song or why a specific verse speaks for the theme of an album.

For example, in an episode that takes a look at “Dark Fantasy,” the opening track to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Cuchna highlights how the opening verses rapper Nicki Minaj speaks are actually based off Roald Dahl’s macabre poem "Cinderella."

Each episode is immersive, as Cuchna takes listeners through each individual piece of the song and album he’s focusing on. It’s tedious, but it’s also very compelling. 

Cuchna could work on his narration delivery, as his voice sounds a bit like he’s watching paint dry on the wall. For as interesting as the content he’s sharing is, he could at least sound more excited about it. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds

“Riff Raff”

If there is a heaven for guitar players, this podcast is probably a part of its soundtrack. 

Grammy-winning producer and guitar player Shane Theriot guides listeners through each episode as he talks with musicians that play music from all across the spectrum, from the bluesy feel of Sonny Landreth to Jon Cleary’s funky R&B. And Theriot is a master of making the conversations sound so casual. 

With a guitar by his side, Theriot bounces between picking the brain of these musicians and jamming out with them, with the transitions into playing so seamless. Theriot could be asking Sonny Landreth about a particular “lick” he plays in an album, and, within moments, the two could be improvising on guitar together.

Theriot is a talented musician who is also one of the few people out there that doubles as a great podcast host. My one critique of the show is the production value, as the intro sound effects echoing the word “riff-raff” is a tad annoying. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds

“Free Music Archive Song of the Day”

There isn’t much to this podcast at all, which is somewhat comforting as a relief from the overly complex podcasts out there. The Free Music Archive is a website that provides, well, copyright-free music for anyone to use, including podcasters, and this is their podcast.

There’s no narration, just a collection of weird and sometimes catchy songs that are free to use without getting sued. This is still technically a podcast, but I wish the staff of Free Music Archive would do more with the show. 

The first thing that comes to mind is that they could potentially interview some of these artists and why they produce music for free. Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting find in the podcast world.

Rating: 2 out of 5 earbuds

Liam Niemeyer is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you get your boogie on with these pods? Let Liam know by tweeting him @liamniemeyer.

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