Discover more from Follow Friday
Wait, I'm enjoying a ... dating show?
Also: Hip-hop samples, Only Murders in the Building, and centaurs
Welcome to (a slightly abbreviated edition of) Follow Friday! This might be my last regular newsletter until late September; I’ll be at Podcast Movement next week, heads-down on some work the week after, and then taking a couple weeks off. If I get the time, though, I’ll share some thoughts after Podcast Movement the way that I did after the Evolutions conference in March.
But speaking of Podcast Movement — if you’ll also be in Denver next week, don’t miss my panel, "Pods of the Busy and Famous: Strategies for High-Profile Podcast Production"! It’s on Tuesday at 4:15pm MT, on the Creation Stage.
Anyway, on with the newsletter …
The single best thing I saw online this week: This video is mesmerizing. It takes the original songs that were sampled in hip-hop tracks, isolates the bits that were sampled, puts them all together, and then you hear a bit of the final song. As someone who works in audio every day, you’d think I’d get sick of looking at so many waveforms, but no. Even if you’re not a hip-hop fan, give this video a watch.
The best podcasts I’ve heard recently
Only Murders in the Building is back for Season 3 (it’s good! mostly thanks to the writers and actors who are on strike, and who deserve everything they’re asking for). On Song Exploder, the show’s composer Siddhartha Khosla unpacks the theme music, which is a lot more thoughtful and layered than I ever realized. I had thought it was a straight parody of the Serial music, but Siddhartha shows Hrishikesh Hirway that it contains everything from Hindi music to cats yowling to street buskers drumming on buckets.
On a walk yesterday, I started listening to Hang Up, a new podcast dating show where the “star” and her wannabe suitors are all using fake names and can’t see each other. In other words, every date takes the form of a phone call. I’m not a viewer of shows like Love Island, so this is way outside my typical listening radius (podcast cross promos! they work!). And yet, I have to admit, I’m really enjoying it. The show is breezy, well-edited, and they did an excellent job casting the “star,” Maxine, who hates chewing gum and is wary of Harry Potter superfans.
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Why the Indiana Jones theme slaps
I loved this video essay deconstructing John Williams’ theme to Raiders of the Lost Ark, a piece of music I must have heard hundreds of times by now. I may never listen to it the same way again!
The latest from LightningPod
Here’s what I’ve been producing and editing this week
On Lock and Code, David Ruiz talked to Washington Post reporter Heather Kelly about the wave of parents buying AirTags to track their children — rather than wallets or backpacks, as Apple intended. The interview raises some really big questions about whether it’s OK to track someone who may not be able to fully understand and consent to what the AirTag is doing, and whether this trend is conditioning kids to be content with perpetual surveillance.
And on Grit, Joubin Mirzadegan interviewed Workday CEO Manny Medina about crossing the chasm from a little company to a huge one, the impact of generative AI on salespeople, and why Manny has adopted “ten million or die” as a company mantra. As someone who tries to have some semblance of work-life balance, I’m a little frightened by the fact that he couldn’t separate personal and professional goals — but obviously, it’s working for him.
The best thing I’ve read this week
The Toast co-founder Daniel Lavery has a series of hilarious posts in which he lists things like times to eat dinner and room temperatures “in order of moral laxity.” I’m a couple weeks late to it, but he’s back with “Waking-Up Times, In Order.” For example:
5:30am — You are a doctor of some kind? You have, perhaps, very small children? Several of them, and all vanishingly small? Small, they are Borrowers, your children? They sleep three abreast in the shell of an acorn and take their daily bath in the dew from a tulip? You have trouble finding them in the morning, so you must wake up very early and go a-hunting through the shadows in your humble cottage until they can be safely gathered up and confined to their playpen, which is an old orange peel? Yours is a hard life, and a strange one; but we each of us have a task to perform, and I wish you good luck with yours. You are the only doctor in town? There is no one else who can help you carry the burden of doctoring every family in a twelve-mile radius, that you must wake up even before train conductors? I am sorry for you — proud of you, but sorry too.
Palate cleanser: Centaur arms
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(Warning: disturbing content) An infuriating article about animals suffering in the care of Wag, a chain of “luxury” pet hotels
“Did you know they have fish there?”
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