This Week In Podcasts: 8/17/2015-8/21/2015

We learned about Hearthstone, Fetty Wap, and Johnny Cash.

David Becker, Getty Images 

Welcome to our occasionally weekly series about podcasts the staff is enjoying.

A tip for listening to my selection; move past the horsing around at the beginning (“Fetty Wap? Say that five times fast! HARDY HAR HAR HAR!) and get into the discussion of this song’s strange and scientific allure. From the Switched On Pop series, this podcast examines the major and minor key tensions of “Trap Queen,” probably the year’s best hit. Akin to Chilly Gonzales’ Pop Masterclass, the narrators get into the sonic ways Fetty Wap has won us all over, while still leaving some room for the magic of the song and the performance. It’s a human breakdown with technical elements, and it finds the balance well. - Corban Goble

Richard Epstein, famous (among other things) for being the author of a legal text that Joe Biden held up at Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing and denounced as dangerous, regularly takes part in a podcast hosted by Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. In this episode, “The Education of a Libertarian,” he goes through his intellectual maturation, including what most influenced his political leanings—a streak of contrarianism that continues to this day. - Bryan Kelly

Episode Link

I admit I found this podcast in the New and Noteworthy section on iTunes — Ignore that, focus on Johnny Cash. What It Takes teeters on corny, but that all disappears when Cash’s rumbling twang starts talking about the persistence (stalking?) it took to get him through the door at Sun Records. The 17-minute podcast uses recordings from a 1993 interview and is peppered with tales and wisdom from The Man in Black. He comes across as grandfather-like, inspiring and comforting yet haggard and tough, which also happen to be the reasons I love Cash’s music. - Hannah Margaret Allen

The last few weeks the Angry Chicken podcast has been devoted to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Usually the podcast breaks into segments chatting about news, competitive tournaments, fan emails, and discussion of new decks types. But this week it was just focused on the upcoming set The Grand Tournament, and even still the show was barely able to chat about all of the cards they were looking to talk about. Maybe not the best entry point for a novice, but it’s a great catch-up to see where the game is right before the new expansion. - David Turner