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Bello Collective
a newsletter & publication about audio storytelling and the podcast industry
Issue #18 (Monday 21 November, 2016) 
Bello friends,

I traveled north to the heart of Wisconsin this week, so I had hours and hours to listen to podcasts. From me and from our team of writers, to you, we have some excellent content for you to consume (as you also consume too much food, if you are celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday!). Not only do we have our regular recommendations for you to feast on, but we also have industry items, new shows to share, and a reader-suggested column. Scrumptious side dishes (if you will let me continue bad Thanksgiving puns). We’re so thankful for you, readers.


Best of the week

This week we liked How To Do Everything, In The Dark, Offshore, Missing & Murdered, About Buildings & Cities, The Guardian Long Read, Homecoming, Short Cuts, Do By Friday, Women of the Hour, Transom, Imaginary Worlds. 

Full reviews on Medium

7 shows we’ve never written about before

New, or new to us. 

1. From Panoply: Why Oh Why

Featured on iTunes this week, Why Oh Why is a podcast reboot from producer Andrea Silenzi. It’s a memoir/documentary/fiction about love, sex, and technology. I loved the most recent episode, Just My Swipe, a live dating-experiment set up like the Bachelor or Match Game, but with Tinder.

2. From WBEZ: Do Listen Twice and Making Oprah

Two new shows from WBEZ in Chicago: Do Listen Twice is a This American Life mini-series featuring Ira’s favorite Mike Birbiglia stories on TAL, to promote the Ira-produced movie Don’t Think Twice. Listen if you want to revisit old favorite sections of TAL.

Making Oprah, a new three-part series (⅔ available now) about the rise of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Listen ‘if you like big hair shoulder pads, and 80s TV themes’.

3. From WQXR: Helga

This new show hosted by vocalist and activist Helga Davis won’t just be episodes about music making, but aims to foster a thoughtful look into the power of art and music for social change. The latest episode features frontrunner Shara Worden of a band we haven’t heard of in ages, My Brightest Diamond. 

4. From De Facto Sound: Twenty Thousand Hertz

Cool thing we learned: the NBC chimes (you know, da-da-da) were the very first sound to very be awarded an audio trademark. This short-and-sweet new podcast, Twenty Thousand Hertz, tells the story of the most iconic and recognizable sounds in the world.

5. From KQED: Bay Curious

“There are just some days when a burrito isn’t very good”. The most San Francisco-ish opening line from Bay Curious, KQED’s new Q&A podcast about the Bay Area. 5 minutes to learn about the possible origin stories of the word hella.

6. From Slate: Warm Regards

There’s been so much to worry about with the implications of the election that climate issues have taken a backseat. But listening to this episode, Climate Anxiety in the Trump era, might change that. The show is hosted by an environment writer for the New York Times, a paleoecologist, and a meteorologist.

7. From the Podquest Shortlist: Third Culture

Radiotopia & PRX recently announced the winner of Podquest (Ear Hustle!) but there were close to 1500 other entries. Third Culture made the top ten out of a fiercely talented and competitive pool. In the first episode, Naima Sakande tries to answer the question “where am I from?” by returning to Burkina Faso, a place she knew well for so long but mostly through her father’s deep ties.

What should I listen to?
Podcast recommendations for Katie

A new section where readers can ask for and receive recommendations
A reader, Katie, wrote to us with a smart idea: a newsletter section where we can curate podcast playlists based on requests from readers. Similar to a regular themed playlist article, but based on a real-life person!

Here’s what she said:
I am from St. Louis, MO. While I know of many podcasts that are focused on science in general, I am specifically looking for those that focus on issues of nature, wildlife and the environment. It could be anything from a show about the ecosystem of a suburban backyard or urban park or audio documentaries about rare species or news about environmental topics (for example, a podcast that would report regularly on topics like the Standing Rock protests or the CITES meeting a few months ago). At this very moment, my current five favorite podcasts are This American Life, The United States of Anxiety, Planet Money, Radiolab, and FiveThirtyEight Elections.
Pretend Katie is your friend, and send your recommendations for her to us. Email:

Industry news & notes

By Brittany

Radio + travel + wandering around

Favorite things combine: audio-tour-guide app Detour and Airbnb are partnering for a new thing called Airbnb Audio Walks. You can even ‘form a group to sync audio with friends’, which seems like a super valuable feature even outside of this context. If you have a voice for radio and a story about your neighborhood to tell (and your neighborhood is in LA, SF, London, Paris, Tokyo, or Seoul), you can apply to be a local narrator.

Can’t say we’re not critical

We got lots of feedback on our article last week about Gimlet’s StartUp mini-season on Dov Charney & American Apparel, and we really appreciate all of your thoughtful responses. I like Gimlet a lot, so here’s a quick shoutout about the good things they did recently: hey Gimlet, your website redesign looks great, and the Reply All 48-hour call in show was one of the best things I’ve heard in weeks. (The newest episode of StartUp, however, might be the most disappointing yet).

We have a friend-crush on: Alex Laughlin

I came across Alex Laughlin’s name while reading about how to make a side hustle work for your journalism career, and I knew I’d seen her work before, so I did a quick Google search (okay, stalking sesh). From writing that 22 most influential women in podcasting article a few months ago, to her fabulous and thoughtful Ladycast podcast (which I admit I had never listened to, but binge-listened to several of because it’s honest and articulate and feminist and excellent), she is one cool lady. 

Other notable happenings and things to read — 

  • Que bien — Radio Ambulante becomes the first Spanish-speaking show distributed by NPR.
  • Making history come alive: an interview with the creator of history podcast Wittenberg to Westphalia: Wars of the Reformation.
  • We love this argument from Julie Shapiro in defense of radio art. An old article, but relevant in light of the news that Radio National’s Soundproof will be ending.
  • Must-watch: a behind-the-scenes video from the Radiolab team.
  • “It’s really great that a story about a woman and her vagina can win an award.” The best acceptance speech from The Heart, which won for Best Documentary at Third Coast!
  • Shell-shocked by Trump win: a post-election panel at Third Coast last week, entitled Mudslide: The Election of 2016.
  • “Go, engage, become”: notes from a black first-time Third Coaster, from Stacia L. Brown.
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs and podcasts, on REVOLT.
  • A spotlight on fiction podcasts from the New York Times.
  • According to the very end of a Gimlet transcript, Reply All’s head editor, Peter Clowney, is leaving for a ‘secret project’.
  • Listening deeply: a mandate for public radio, from the president & CEO of New York Public Radio.
  • The hit Someone Knows Something is releasing season 2 today! Go check your feeds (I’m talking especially to you, Halley, SKS-fanatic)

Exes and oh oh ohs,

Dana and the Belllo Collective

P.S.) We’re grateful for you. Also, I love to hear what people eat for Thanksgiving, whether it’s the traditional turkey/stuffing/cranberry/sweet potato variety or the anything else variety (that’s more my style). Send us a note <3

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