Posts Tagged ‘Getting Better Acquainted’

Thursday Listening Party

March 26, 2015


On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

Yesterday evening, I had a sort of real-life Listening Party – a little group of friends and I each chose a podcast episode we all had to listen to, then we gathered together to discuss them, a bit like a book group but for audio (I imagine. I have never actually been to a book group). It was a fun exercise; I recommend it. I listened to some shows I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise, and was more thoughtful about them than usual. Generally, my main thought about podcasts is ‘Please be loud enough to drown out this argument on the bus’.

Anyway, if you’re interested, the shows which came out on top at Podcast Club were Song Exploder and Death, Sex and Money. Let us not speak of the bad.

Go to the comments to suggest podcasts I/Podcast Club should try, please! I’m always on the lookout for new things to listen to.

If you’re looking for a selection of different shows that you wouldn’t necessarily come across otherwise, try Radiotonic. The feed has documentaries, dramas, stories, all well made and worth your time.

Probably not worth your time is courtroom TV, but I really enjoyed this episode of Strangers in which the reluctant booker for those shows shares the ups and downs of the job. Also, it was a bit of a relief to hear a Strangers episode that didn’t make me a tad weepy on public transport…

Last week AMTpal Dave Pickering celebrated reaching 200 episodes of his podcast Getting Better Acquainted by letting other people get better acquainted with him, for a change – including me! Hear me interview Dave here.

Remember to listen to Olly host The Media Podcast. And there’s a new episode of my other podcast The Allusionist, all about how dictionaries look like they’re telling you the truth but are in fact LYING LIARS. I am very disillusioned. (DisAllusioned?) Click here for more about the episode and ways to hear it, or just play:

Have you listened to AMT310 yet? We speculate about putting on a production of Jurassic Park: The Ballet, reminisce about the Brownies, and spare no mercy for crappy chicken-flavoured crisps. Don’t even try to defend them when there’s cheese’n’onion flavour in this world.

See you next Thursday for AMT311!


Thursday Listening Party

September 11, 2014

On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.


Noises from home:

Exciting news: Martin’s got a new album coming out on Saturday! Go here to preview three of the tracks and to buy; it’s £5 to preorder but pay what you want when it is released. Or, if you are a retronaut who prefers your music on a physical format, wait a couple more weeks and then buy one of the forthcoming limited-edition CDs with a handmade papercut sleeve (if you follow Martin on Instagram, you may have seen some sneak peeks).

There’s a new news-themed episode of the Sound Women podcast, in which Olly’s LBC colleague Petrie Hosken tells me how she felt safer nearly getting kidnapped as a war correspondent in Bosnia than as a woman working in British radio. Good times!

Apparently there’s been some Royal News this week? [Shrug] It’s an ongoing mystery at AMT that none of us give a shit about the royal family, and yet questions about them are always fruitful on the podcast. So whether you give shits or not, have a go on the Answer Me This! Jubilee album for an hour of regal hijinks.

Noises from elsewhere:

The show Strangers is always worth your time, but particularly the recent Love Hurts episodes (part 1 and part 2), in which Lea Thau transforms the question ‘Why are you single?’ from an awful thing Smug Marrieds say to a very personal and reflective investigation into why she has been reluctantly single for the past four years. At least, judging by the exes who appear on the show, she’s dated some Good Sports during that time…

From Strangers to friends: I really enjoyed this Woman’s Hour/Men’s Hour collaboration all about friendship. Of course, they cover the When Harry Met Sally adage that men and women can’t be friends, which Olly and I have been disproving throughout our fourteen-year friendship. If you need additional on-air partnerships as evidence, I direct you to the programme’s guest Geoff Lloyd, whose brilliant Hometime Show on Absolute Radio with Annabel Port crackles with sexless tension.

Various AMT friends have been busy piping up this week. Ruth Barnes from Amazing Radio made a terrific Radio 4 documentary about folk singer Judee Sill, who had a beautiful voice and a tragic mess of a short life.

And finally: I was thrilled to hear two AMTpals and primo podcasters team up, when Little AtomsNeil Denny went on Dave Pickering‘s Getting Better Acquainted. They talk about reading books, prayer, and masturbation – all the solitary entertainments, really.

I’m always listening out for shows to try; please recommend some in the comments.

PS In case you missed it: my Bugling brother Andy and I were interviewed by the Guardian about why the Zaltzman family communicates in jokes rather than human emotions. Click here to read it.

Tune in to our various other gigs:

Catch up on AMT297 and the episodes preceding it.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a piddling little price at, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Set your alarm.
I host the monthly Sound Women podcast and am on Let’s Talk About Tech from BBC 5 Live.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train, The Global Lab and The Sound of the Ladies.


Thursday Listening Party

April 3, 2014



This week, prepare yourselves for a FRIDAY listening party, because tomorrow, 4th April 2014, the first part of our documentary Podcasting: The First Ten Years will be on Radio 4 at 11am British Summer Time. The second part goes out at 11am on 11th April, so mark your calendar accordingly; and each episode will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly thereafter. A lot of people have been asking whether a show about podcasting will be podcasted, but that would be TOO obvious (ie we don’t know whether it will, but shall let you know if it is).

If you like podcasts, we’ll wager you’ll enjoy the documentary because we interview some really top notch podcasters, including: Marc Maron; Richard Herring; Jeffrey and Joseph of Welcome to Night Vale; Keith and the Girl; Roman Mars of 99% Invisible; Betty in the Sky; Ewan Spence of the ESC Insight and the Edinburgh Fringe Show; Theresa Thorn of One Bad Mother; Pete Donaldson of The Football Ramble; Adam Curry; and John Oliver, my brother Andy Zaltzman, and producer Chris Skinner of the Bugle. We also speak to the man who invented the word ‘podcasting’, Ben Hammersley, who frankly doesn’t seem all that proud of it. Cheer up, Ben; nobody seems to have any better suggestions yet.

So to recap: 11am Radio 4 on 4th and 11th April, and then on iPlayer. Alright? Onto some other noises:

Here’s a double shot of my Sound Women Podcast. Episode 11 features DJs Annie Mac, B.Traits and Monki:

Episode 12 is all educational, featuring university lecturer Kate Murphy and the work of the freshly Radio Academy Award-nominated, plus a shedload of good advice from seasoned radio professionals:

Martin the Sound Man has been busy: in the new episode of Brain Train, he gets schooled about Frida Kahlo. And in th’s month’s edition of his Sound of the Ladies podcast, he produces a song by AMTpal Dave Pickering.

Dave makes podcasts including Getting Better Acquainted, and you should definitely listen because hooray, it is Personal Season! In episode 154 Dave talks to his dad about open relationships and losing his virginity, which I could not discuss with my own dad without a hellmouth opening and devouring the whole of south-east England.

Want more? Here are some other shows that we like, and here are other shows that we are in:

Catch up on AMT286 to learn how Olly wowed the ladies (and gentlemen) at his school leavers’ ball.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. If you’re an insomniac, a night worker, or in a time zone where those hours are compatible with waking life, tune in.
Every Saturday I’m on BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition, available subsequently as the podcast Let’s Talk About Tech.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a trifling price at, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, so thank you very much indeed.

What’s on your own Thursday Listening Party playlist? Tell us in the comments.