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These Austin-based podcasts are making your morning commute tolerable

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Patrick Breitenbach

Whether you're into pop culture, true crime or conspiracy theories, there’s a podcast for that. Dinner party icebreakers have adapted to their popularity as conversations start with "What podcasts do you listen to?," and it's become a surefire way to keep commuters entertained as they're stuck in hellish traffic. There are plenty of national shows that have left an impact (hello, Serial), but we're all about supporting local programs, too. After doing some heavy listening, we've nailed down our favorite Austin-based podcasts to electrify your ear buds.  

Those Damn Comic Book Guys
Co-hosts Fresh and Confucius deliver this hour-long podcast that tackles everything from the mainstream (looking at you, Spiderman) to the esoteric (Riri Williams is the new Iron Man?? Cue the fainting). They make nerd culture attainable for those of us who have to get our fix outside of brick and mortar stores. Those Damn Comic Book Guys discuss everything from how to write your own comic, life as a black comic book fan and conspiracy theories. They aren’t afraid to incite controversy or pit fans against one another, but through their humorous delivery and expertise they unite even the most divisive of fans. New episodes every Thursday.

I Was Just Saying That
Need a lift? Funny and female-focused, I Was Just Saying That interviews talented and creative women doing real work to improve and inspire their communities. Check out their recent episode “For Wonder Woman” that discusses the Alamo Drafthouse women-only screening backlash with a large dose of humor. They also touch on the very-real streaming technique of alternating shows that are “uppers” and “downers,” so that you don’t enter an existential tailspin after too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale. Listen for their trademark glass clink at the start of every episode while you discover your new best friends. New episodes every Friday. 

BedPost Confessions
On BedPost Confessions, the anonymous audience confessions are the real stars of this storytelling podcast that's all about sex. Both educational and fun, BedPost Confessions celebrates the racy, the vulnerable and the hilarious. Each live show features one storyteller accompanied by anonymous confessions that result in a podcast that is equal parts shocking and enthralling. In town in July? Check out live productions of the show at the North Door (July 19-20). New episodes every other Sunday.

15 Minute History
If learning about the Slavic vampire or colonial medicine sounds intriguing, then download every episode of this podcast stat. 15 Minute History is based out of the University of Texas’ Department of History, and is hosted by the faculty and graduate students. Not a history buff? That’s cool. The series is accessible for experts and laymen alike, and at only 15 minutes, it’s the perfect way to impress your coworkers with historical knowledge at the water cooler. While the show is on a summer hiatus, catch up. During the academic school year, expect episodes once a month (days vary). 

Views and Brews
Hosted by KUT’s Rebecca McInory, Views and Brews invites community members to explore a wide range of subjects. Their goal is to engage with the community “to share thoughts, inspire new perspectives, and give everyone access to new ideas, art, literature, music, and imagination.” If you believe podcasts and beer go together like PB&J, then head to the Cactus Café on July 11 at 6pm, where you can watch the show live and ask questions about the role of investigative journalists while sipping on local brews. Although not on a set schedule, episodes air on Tuesday nights a couple times a month.

Everyday Superhumans
Kyle and Caroline, the founders of Everyday Superhumans, reveal the extraordinary people living in Austin, particularly highlighting Austin-based nonprofits that are making an impact in our community. Whether you’re looking for an organization to support or want to restore your faith in the world, this podcast showcases individuals working towards the greater good. Check out their April 25 episode featuring “Minis & Friends,” which provides therapeutic mini horse visits for schools, children hospitals and other communities. A note of caution: it may elicit uncontrollable awwwws. New episodes every other Tuesday.

Austin comics Chris Cubas, Kath Barbadoro and Ralphie Hardesty discuss “pop culture, politics and whatever else they feel like” on this adults-only podcast. A relatively new show, Wigsnatchers has been pumping out comedic commentary since November 2016. Start with the episode “Post-talent Mariah” that tackles Ms. Carey’s disastrous New Year’s performance with their characteristic banter and blunt humor that will have you singing “Heartbreaker” in between roars of laughter. While currently on break, expect episodes a few times a month.

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