wooden city

This needed to be done. Podcasts: first impression vs what they actually are like
  • Looks like a cinnamon roll, could actually kill you: Wolf 359, Our Fair City, Within The Wires, The Bunker, The Bright Sessions, Ars Paradoxica
  • Looks like they could kill you, actually a cinnamon roll: Welcome to Night Vale, Marscorp, Wooden Overcoats
  • Looks like a cinnamon roll, actually a cinnamon roll: Eos 10, The Orbiting Human Circus, Cabin Pressure, Inkwyrm
  • Looks like they could kill you, actually could kill you: Alice Isn't Dead, Kakos Industries, The Bridge, Rover Red, The Penumbra Podcast

It’s almost that time again, when the weather gets warmer, and we’re dragged along by our families on mind-numbingly long road trips to places we don’t actually care about. Ah, the joys of summer vacation. Fortunately, for those 8 hour bore-fests, podcasts have your back! My family travels a lot, so I decided to share my favorite podcasts to keep y’all company on the road (ノ・ェ・)ノ

Our Fair City: An insanely vast and detailed show that takes the term “world building”, and shows it it’s maker (which is, of course, the ever benevolent Hart-Life Corporation). Filled with more colorful characters than you can shake a stick at, Our Fair City had a variety of  intertwining stories and beings that will steal your heart, and possibly your science equipment for various nefarious purposes. I’m only on season two, and am still extremely impressed with the effort that went into creating the world of Hart Life, and the many characters that inhabit it. You’ll have more than a few favorites, especially Dr. Herbert West, who manages to capture both the unbridled joy, and sinister dark side, of everything science. If you like classic old-time radio and the apocalypse with a twist, this show is for you.

ars Paradoxica: Time travel is this show’s bitch. No, seriously. Set in an alternate history-afied 1940s, ars Paradoxica handles the often-complicated trope of time travel with grace and creativity, providing several twists you won’t see coming. Starring my newest fictional wife, the utterly adorkable Sally Grissom, the show features some stellar voice acting, and continuity down to the tiniest detail. It actually finds a way to subtly use transitions like an actual TV show, and the sound effects are just killer. Once you start binging it, the story grabs ahold of you and utterly refuses to let go. While the pacing is a bit speedy, the drunk scientists in Vegas plotline is well worth it, and sets ars Paradoxica at a must-listen for any podcast fan.

The Bright Sessions: Before I begin, I just want to say that I wish my therapy sessions had been this exciting. The Bright Sessions is the audio recordings of Dr. Bright, a psychologist who specializes in the atypical. And by atypical, I mean superpowers. For those who like science fiction, but with a more slice-of-life feel, The Bright Sessions is a treat. It features a surprisingly complex antagonist, that pesky corrupt corporation that keeps showing up in podcasts these days, two female characters that I really wish went to my school, and an adorably awkward teenage romance… between two boys. Yep, this show has queer representation, and deals with it like it’s just a normal, everyday thing, which it is. Along with a very soothing atmosphere, when plot bombs aren’t being dropped, of course, The Bright Sessions is a great show for fans who want a unique take on what it means to be out of the norm.

Wolf 359: So, y’know that mood-whiplash podcast that literally everyone has been talking about? Yeah, that’s Wolf 359. Following the audio logs of loveable asshole, Comms Officer Doug Eiffel, the show is bar none, the best fictional podcast out there. No shit. It has everything you could possibly want: cool adventures in space? Check. Found family trope used to perfection? Check. Insanely complex characters and sympathetic villains who really make you question your own morals? Check. An even gender divide and strong female characters written the right way? Check to the max. The show deserves every ounce of praise it gets, and then some. The writing is witty, smart and thought-provoking, the soundtrack is gorgeous, the cast is insanely talented and wonderful and I love them all dearly, and the fandom is the best I’ve ever been in. I am not an emotional person, but this show has made me break down sobbing, and have trouble breathing from laughing so hard. Everything about it is incredible, and I implore you to give it a listen. You really won’t regret it.

Alice Isn’t Dead: Anyone who listens to Welcome to Night Vale has heard of this, and I’m here to tell you that it’s worth the hype. Alice Isn’t Dead follows one woman’s country-wide search for her wife via a truck, and that search gets dark, fast. Jasika Nicole once again does a masterful job of bringing her character to life, the writing is just as profound and weird as you’d expect from Fink, and the whole has a very creepy Americana feel that I like a lot. The story is just beginning to unwind, and whoo boy is it one that has me hooked.

The Black Tapes Podcast/TANIS: I’m grouping these two together, and both are worth your time. The Black Tapes Podcast follows cinnamon roll reporter Alex Reagan, and human ball of awkward darkness Richard Strand, as they unravel the mystery of the Strand Institution’s mysterious black tapes, a collection of unsolved cases involving the paranormal. It’s very creepy, very complicated, and very good. Both characters have secrets, and both are interesting as heck. TANIS is Alex’s producer, Nic Silver’s, quest to to discover what exactly the myth of TANIS actually is. He is joined by “information specialist”, Meerkatnip, who could beat me up and I would thank her. In terms of mystery, they end up getting a lot more than they bargained for, and you will too.

Limetown: Lia Haddock, investigative reporter for APR, is precious and perfect and must be protected at all costs. Unfortunately, she has literally no self-preservation. About 10 years ago, a research town out in the prairie called Limetown, caught the attention of the world when, after a 911 call, became completely void of any people. Now, with survivors contacting her and the mystery unfolding, Lia is doing literally whatever it takes to uncover the truth. The mystery and science fiction genres blend very nicely here, and there are several twists that shocked me. The writing is very gripping and neat, and the various survivors were all a treat to listen to. If you liked Serial, you’ll love Limetown.

Wooden Overcoats: Move over Cabin Pressure, there’s a new British podcast sitcom in town, and it’s great at being great. Wooden Overcoats follows the shenanigans of twins Rudyard and Antigone Funn, and their assistant Georgie Crusoe, as they engage in a pathetically one-sided rivalry with newcomer Eric Chapman over who is the best funeral home on the tiny island of Piffling Vale. Oh, and the mouse is the narrator, and she’s awesome. All the girls are, actually. There’s character development galore, snappy dialogue that had me kneeling over with laughter, a really neat and well-developed setting, and oh yeah, it’s British. Plus, the mayor and the reverend hook up, and it’s sickeningly adorable, and also gay. Everyone is so well written, and I honestly cannot gush enough about how wonderful and funny this show is.

EOS 10: As my friend Keelin once eloquently put it, EOS 10 is like Scrubs in space with conspiracy theories. Also, pretty much no one is completely straight. Following the most unorthodox bunch of medical professionals I have ever witnessed, plus one deposed prince-turned saucier, and a not-actually-terrorist who is thirsty af, the show features the headache-inducingly-insane happenings on EOS 10, an intergalactic travel hub set far in the future. And yet, we still have anti-vaxxers. Sorry, society. On the bright side: found family trope! Canon queer characters! A wonderful and awesome main romance that I ship like fedex! Mature and insightful handling of addiction! Girls who could kick my ass and I would thank them for it! Did I mention that everyone’s a little bit gay! Also, an autistic-coded main character (fucking fight me on this istg) and more conspiracies than Jane has hobbies. Everyone is so likable and well written, the comedy is pitch-perfect, and the world-building is really great. Oh, and the plot kick-starts in the episode where they have to fix an erection that won’t go away. It’s my second favorite podcast out there, and I implore you to give it a listen.

Ongoing Podcast List

Here be my ongoing list of podcasts I have listened to, and ones still on the list to check out.

Listened to

EOS 10
Wolf 359
The Bunker
The Black Tapes
We’re Alive
The Bright Sessions
Wooden Overcoats
Archive 81
King Falls AM
The Message
Our Fair City
Welcome to Nightvale
The Thrilling Adventure Hour
Kakos Industries
The Meat Blockade
A Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness
ars Paradoxica
The Behemoth
Radiation World
Greater Boston
The Monster Hunters
Hello From The Magic Tavern
The Penumbra Podcast
Hector vs the Future
The Adventure Zone

Tried out but didn’t work for me

Hadron Gospel Hour (not my style of humour)
The Leviathan Chronicles (found too much ‘show don’t tell’ in the narration)
Jim Robbie and the Wanderers (definite pacing issues, actors didn’t seem very committed)
The Cleansed (found too confusing; too many characters and I didn’t feel connected to the storyline)
SAYER (idk this method of storytelling just didn’t grab me. Can see its appeal, but for me I couldn’t concentrate)
Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe (felt a little too detached from the characters, wasn’t pulled into the world)
Pleasure Town (same as above; wasn’t pulled into the world or invested in the characters)
We’re Alive: Lockdown (didn’t find the characters as engaging as in We’re Alive, found it hard to tell people apart)

On the waiting list
Alba Salix, Royal Physician
A Scottish Podcast
Big Data
Alice Isn’t Dead
The Deep Vault

Night Vale re-listen

Not that anyone actually reads my blog, but since I’ve gotten behind on Welcome to Night Vale (despite listening to like a million episodes of so many other amazing podcasts), I thought I’d restart at the beginning and post stuff for each episode. 

Maybe some of you other lovely podcast peeps out there have been meaning to give Night Vale a re-listen as well, so I tagged some other podcasts I love so you guys can find me in my obscurity. 

If you’re new to Night Vale, I’ll do my best not to post spoilers for events beyond whatever episode I’m currently covering. 

Join me! Relive the wonders and come yell at me about it! 

Evil Kimono Tricks Gullible Priest into Destroying Half a City

As a Japanese legend tells it, a priest in Tokyo was able to tell when spirits were present. In February 1657, the priest knew he had to remove evil spirits from a kimono that he believed to be cursed. Three teenaged girls had owned the innocent-looking garment, and all three had fallen ill and died. As the fathers of the young victims watched, the priest solemnly set a torch to the kimono But just as the cloth caught fire, a fierce wind came up.

The evil wind swept the flames out of control until they ignited the wooden dwellings of the city. Before it was extinguished, the infamous “long-sleeved kimono” fire killed more than 100,000 people and left three-quarters of Tokyo burned to the ground.

AD Podcasts, Christopher Moore, and Turn-of-the-Century Impressionism

So this week I’m re-reading one of my all-time favorite books. It’s called Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, by Christopher Moore. 

Moore is a writer of comedic speculative fiction, combining fantastical elements from a variety of cultural sources with the sometimes over-ordinary events of daily life. He’s one of my all-time favorite writers; particular gems include Sacré Bleu; Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal; Fluke (or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings); Fool; and A Dirty Job (and its recent sequel Secondhand Souls). I’m not sure if Moore has a Tumblr presence, but he’s on Twitter @TheAuthorGuy.

Sacré Bleu is a story that mostly centers on Lucien, a (fictional) baker in the Parisian district of Montmartre, where congregated the great artists of the Impressionist era during the late 1800s. Lucien was taught by Renoir, coddled by Pissarro, sneered at by Degas, condescended to by Monet, and mourned the death of Vincent Van Gogh right alongside Dr. Gachet and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

It’s also about a timeless muse whose skin exudes magical memory-altering blue pigment harvested by a Neanderthal. But that’s not really why I’m writing.

What’s struck me on this second read is how plausible it is to me that all of these great artists knew each other, drank together, suffered together, and orbited each other throughout their lives. Because of course they did! They were all living in France, their paintings hung in the same galleries, and they drank in the same bars! But more importantly, they were the only other people crazy enough to believe with all their beings that their art would sustain them. (ok yes, some of them came from money, so they needn’t have worried–– just stick with me here, the point is coming.)

(collage courtesy of Ryan Estrada)

Back in the spring, I was invited to a group forming online which now includes most of the people who make your favorite fiction podcasts: Wolf 359. Wooden Overcoats. Archive 81. Kakos Industries. The Cleansed. We’re Alive. Our Fair City. Small Town Horror. The NoSleep Podcast. The Truth. The Black Tapes & Tanis. Within the Wires. ars Paradoxica and the Bright Sessions, of course. And that’s just some of the more well-known examples. I could go on for a huge wall of text listing all the shows who contribute. (To all of my podfriends I did not list, I love you all as well, and please feel free to tag yourselves!)

Not only do we discuss the ins and outs of writing, production, recording, gear, publishing, marketing, and social media – did you think #AudioDramaSunday happened by accident? – but we also have an incredibly lively Random/Off-Topic section where we talk about video games, food, TV shows, events, school, work, illness, life stresses, and general shenanigans. We’ve become a huge group of friends. I’ve honestly never seen a more supportive, welcoming, and friendly group of people, especially one so large and whose member list is constantly expanding. I feel so, so lucky and grateful to be included in this wonderful weird audio drama podcast family.

We support each other because we are the only other people crazy enough to believe, with all of our beings, that our art will sustain us.

The April of 2015 was a very special month for me. It was on the 26th day of this month that I decided to make PodCake into the podcast publicity and critique palace that it is.

After a few attempts to find a way to make use of this space I created, I finally made the conscious decision to expand my writing skills and show my love for the audio drama community by posting my first Podcast Pallet.

Things started slow, but overtime, more months pasts and more things were made. I was thrown into this new realm of possibility that I had created for myself as I made friends, discussed artistic criticism on a level I never thought I’d reach, and potentially molded a new career path I am more than eager to follow through with.

So for April 26th, I want to make it a yearly reminder of all the things I’ve written, accomplished, and the bonds I’ve made with a humble masterlist. Like many lists, I intend for it to grow more and more, as a sort of reminder of all the work I’ve put into PodCake shaping a special part of myself into the internet community.

Also think of this as a neat guide for those who may be new around here or want to find a specific piece.

That’s all PodCake has had to offer over the course of barely a year. And who knows what else I can make and learn within a few more months? But I must admit that this list wouldn’t exist without the help of all your support. Yes, everyone reading this right now is very vital to this whole thing even existing.

This goes for regular readers, those who give me updates on new shows, all the talented folks I was able to befriended over a few short conversations, and those who continue to create their own works of art in audio drama. 

PodCake is nothing without a strong community keeping it afloat and I plan to “stay sweet” with you all for a very long time. 

love, PodCake 


The Church of Sainte Catherine by Tony
Via Flickr:
inside the wooden church. This church was built by shipwrights and is the largest wooden church with a separate bell-tower in France. The bell-tower, also largely built of wood, dates from the end of the 15th century and is now a museum of religious art.

how many artists from how many fandoms would be interested in  being a part of a podcast art book (pdf format) or free. It would be accessible online and since many podcasts ask us not to sell our fan works it wouldn’t be fair to make people pay or crowdfund something like this. It would take entries from any podcast and format them all into a pdf which can be viewed from wherever (a podcast wiki is in the talks so possibly there, the idea has only just been formulated by a few people and is still in the early planning stages). reblog this with a comment or send me a message if this is something you would submit art for (writing counts)!

anonymous asked:

Okay so The Bright Sessions, Wolf 359, and King Falls Am are by far my favourite podcasts. Could you recommend more like all yalls ? I'm caught up on everything and I can't live without good radio drama . Please and thank you!!

Hooray, I love getting this question because, yes, I have so many recs! I don’t know if I have any that are similar in content or feel to ours, but I’ll give you the list of some of the podcasts I personally listen to. I’m going to bold the ones I think you’ll like in particular based on the pods you’ve mentioned. 


  • @arsparadoxica- written and produced by our sound producer @mischastanton​; time travel/history hijinks with awesome female protagonists
  • @greaterboston - surreal and lovely and sort of impossible to describe
  • Our Fair City - post-apocalypse steampunk


  • Alice Isn’t Dead - by the WTNV folks, quite creepy road trip
  • @archive81​ - creepy found footage podcast with excellent production (not terribly scary; more mysterious)
  • @theblacktapespodcast​ - demons, ghosts, and other spooky creepies that go bump in the night
  • Limetown - honestly quite scary but a great mystery and one of my personal favorites
  • Return Home - scooby doo mystery hijinks


  • The Beef and Dairy Network - I just started this one; I absolutely did not get it in the first minute and by the third minute I was doubled over laughing
  •  @eos10radio- more space adventures, this time with doctors!
  • @officialjimrobbieandthewanderers​ - two gals and their robot in weird, post-apocalyptic America
  •  @woodenovercoats - rival funeral homes in Britain. Just trust me on this one.

There are so many more but these are just a few of my current listening favorites - if anyone wants more recs, let me know! 

- Lauren