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  1. The Moth Podcast

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    What are you doing right now?


    What you should be doing is subscribing and listening to The Moth Podcast.'re eating? What do you got that a calzone? You just got it out of the oven, huh? And it's all warm and the cheese is all melty and good., you're right, they're really not that good when they're cold.


    While you're eating and attempting to keep crumbs from falling into your keyboard, let me tell you about The Moth Podcast. The premise is simple: a person tells a true story to an audience without any notes at all. That's really all there is to it. The trick to this formula is how malleable it is, how infinitely varied the stories can be because absolutely anyone can tell one. Firefighters, children, comedians, politicians, vandals, drag queens, addicts, nuns, Vulcans, absolutely anyone can stand on stage and offer up a story from their life. Those who receive a lot of attention may return to tell another story, but the sheer difference between every story is staggering.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site
    Subscribe to the podcast here!
    Awesome Community Outreach Program
    Donation Page
    Wikipedia Stub

    I can't really pin down any specific subject matter to describe this podcast. The stories told are recorded from live performances held in cities way cooler than the one I live in. The reactions of the audience help to fuel the intensity of the story, hearing dozens of voices gasp and laugh along with you helps to immerse you in whatever story is being told. The Moth Podcast really needs to be experienced if you want to gather an informed opinion about it.

    Fortunately, there's a page with sample stories on the official site! Just go here and listen to "Drowning on Sullivan Street" by Ed Gavagan. The story is an exquisite example of what The Moth has to offer, and there are a bunch of other stories on that page to listen to. You don't even have to download them, just press play!

    Content Rating: Clean and Explicit, clearly marked per episode. I'm also putting a big ol' caveat up for possibly explicit subject matter, regardless of the iTunes rating. Many of the stories told are graphic and include subjects such as death, abuse, criminal activity and some things that will break your heart to hear them. If you want to listen to this with kids I highly suggest previewing the episode beforehand so you can decide if it's the right story for your young audience. If you're the sensitive type, you may not want to listen at work (I'll admit to tearing up to several stories).

    Average Episode Length:
    Anywhere from five to twenty minutes.

    Drinking Game: This podcast is a little too tricky for a drinking contest. The subject matter varies so widely from episode to episode that it's hard to establish any regular rules. Let me know if you think of a few, ok?

    Release Schedule: A new episode is released fresh each week.

    Music: A little bit of music for the intro and conclusion, which change periodically. Usually just some instrumental piece.

    Unintentionally Good Part:
    As stated before, the variety of subject matter is what I like the best. There are funny stories, sad stories, interesting stories and stories that make you go "huh" in a thoughtful manner.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: There is no way that you will like every episode. If there is a story told by a person you could imagine as your childhood hero, than you will hear a story that could have been told by that guy at Starbucks who always talks too loudly about what color his aura is while he tries to read your laptop screen. I personally hold a scorching distaste for one particular story teller, but I won't say who because that will tint your own opinion. The beauty of The Moth Podcast is that instead of being forced to sit through a disagreeable performance, you can easily skip to a different episode! Aren't podcasts great?

    Wait, What?:
    I think this podcast would be really nifty to use in a class room, where, I dunno, kids could write short stories based off of what the episodes theme was, or a teacher could use it to teach kids how to really listen to someone and retain facts rather than waiting for their turn to talk. That will sadly have to remain a theory until someone I know attempts it, because kids freak me right the hell out.


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