Liam Listens #5: “Windfall” and “The 12:37”

Whoops! This one’s a bit later than usual! But I guess it fits with #audiofictionsunday! Today I’ll be looking at two new releases, Windfall and The 12:37!

Windfall: “Bottom Feeder” and “Pickpocket”

Whoa! What a story! What a world! Windfall is sci-fi story in which the native Proximans deal with life under the tyrannical and capricious Queen Wanda. It’s a story that ranges from all echelons of Proximan society, from Captain Root’s dealing with the Queen’s demands and his subsequent machinations, to the bottom dwellers’ banding together amidst the difficulties living in the shadow of the City. It’s such a cool world as well! It’s only two episodes so far, but it’s got me thrilled for whatever comes next!

The 12:37: “Episode 1” and “Episode 2”

The 12:37 is another new show, and a really fascinating and brilliant one at that! A commuter, Nora, while attempting to board the service to Brighton, accidentally boards the 12:37 to Paris. But this is no ordinary 12:37 to Paris. This is a train that traverses the entirety of the universe throughout space and time! It is at once an incredibly broad yet intimate story. Nora is a really enjoyable protagonist to follow, and it’s a really riveting premise! I love trains! And really good character work! And time travel! I can’t wait for everyone to listen to it! The second episode has Nora and Wheeler going to the 1930’s, and it’s super duper cool! 

Sorry for this one being late, but these shows are super worth the wait!

Liam Listens #4: “Unwell” and “Radio Drama Revival”

Ah gosh! It’s another new Lovely Listens, and now I’m thrilled to tell you about some more episodes that I really loved! This time we’ve got the first three episodes new audio fiction Unwell, and another episode of Radio Drama Revival!

Radio Drama Revival: “A Little Yurt Won’t Hurt”

Well, lovely readers, we’re back with me loving another episode of Radio Drama Revival! What a rad run of episodes, huh? I’ve done two back to back! Although I don’t think I’ve ever heard an episode of RDR that I didn’t like. However, this episode is a standout for many reasons. David Rheinstrom, the stellar host, has an incredible, insightful discussion about the evolving field of audio fiction and its changing terminology with the former host of the show Fred Greenhalgh, who is also stellar, but the amazing podcast critics Wil Williams and Elena Fernández-Collins join them in conversation as well! It’s an amazing, interesting conversation with a lot of insight into the field that I think is a must-listen whether you’re new to audio fiction or a veteran in the field! Plus, at the very end, they make a super super exciting announcement with regards to the future of RDR! Obviously I won’t say it here, because spoilers, but nevertheless, I’m thrilled for the show’s future with the announcements made!

Unwell: “Homecoming”, “The Diner” and “The Pageant” 

Ah! What a turn of events! I’m discussing Multiple episodes! Whoa! What a thrilling turn of events! But all these episodes are super brilliant! The story follows a woman named Lillian arriving home to tend to her mother Dottie, who was injured. What has unfolded so far is a story full of conflict, both within and without, as Lillian struggles to acclimatize to her new home and resolve her strained relationship with her mother, the great and hilarious Dottie. Along the way she meets an eclectic cast of characters, such as the nurturing Wes, who takes care of the Fenwood House and her mother, and is quick to point out that the Fenwood House is the most haunted house in Ohio, and Abbie, a firebrand academic determined to use their research to resuscitate small towns across America. Also, there’s ghosts? Like the ghosts of our protagonists past, but also like real imprints of departed spirits? It’s hard to tell where one ends and the others begin, which is the idea I think, and I think that’s really cool! It’s a really great, really interesting story so far, and I can’t recommend it enough! I love it a lot so far, and if you enjoy ghosts stories that aren’t necessarily scary in the conventional, “aaahhhh” sense, but do present questions about the nature of family and one’s past, then I think you’ll love Unwell!

 

Liam Listens #3: “Greater Boston” and “Radio Drama Revival”

Whoa! It’s time for another lovely couple of listens! This time we’ve got “By Hook Or By Crook” and audio of the Rogue Panel from PodCon!

Greater Boston: “By Hook or By Crook”

I was a bit late to listen to this episode of Greater Boston, but what I had seen on the Podcast Problems Discord had gotten me very excited for the episode. From what I had heard, the enigmatic villain Legion played a large role in the episode and I was eager to discover more about the character. I had heard a lot of appreciation for the role Legion played especially, and had spent the rest of the day hyping myself up for what I was going to hear. What I heard instead completely exceeded my expectations. The Voices of the Legion did like a sort of a riff on the usual opening of Greater Boston, but sounded super duper ominous and terrifying. It was really interesting and exciting, and really told me a lot about the character (…s?), particularly how they try to present and manifest themselves among humanity. I love all the voice actors utilized for the Voices of the Legion as well! It really created a sense of ubiquity and fear in a sort of Corporate style, like an advertisement for an office or something. It really feels like the darkest hour is creeping up on our heroes, even as they discover more about themselves and each other. It’s a darkly thrilling and exciting episode and I can’t wait for what’s next!

Radio Drama Revival: The ROGUE PANEL! From PodCon!

During PodCon, I was fortunate enough to attend the brilliant, stellar, fantastic Rogue Panel,! It was a highly exclusive, elegant, fashion-forward event, and only the coolest, most hoppingest people were permitted to attend! Or maybe all you had to do was get tickets, and all the coolest and most hoppingest people just ended up there anyways for some reason. That might explain why they let me in! I wasn’t even wearing my cummerbund! I don’t even own a cummerbund! What even is a cummerbund? Either way, they let me hang out and sit with all these cool, hopping people who both spoke at and attended! It was a brilliant magical night, on a brilliant magical weekend, and now, by the grace of Radio Drama Revival hosting the recording on their awesome and fantastic show, you all can listen to it too! The speakers on the panels are Ayla Taylor, Mischa Stanton, Bridge Geene, Lisette Alvarez, Jordan Cobb, James Oliva, and Jeffrey Gardner, and every single one of them has insight unmatched into audio drama creation! One of the questions that I found really enlightening and insightful was Bridge’s, which was about dealing with impostor syndrome. It launched a whole discussion about how the others felt about interacting with praise and compliments on their work, among other things, and was really cool! It was a display of understanding and brilliance unmatched as these creators discussed, answered questions, and I for one was thrilled just to bask in the brilliance, and now I’m even more thrilled that everyone can experience it’s amazingness!

Here’s where you can find Greater Boston: https://greaterbostonshow.com/

Here’s where you can find Radio Drama Revival: http://www.radiodramarevival.com/

Liam Listens #2: “The Far Meridian” and “Accession”

Whoa! It’s been a week and I’ve listened to a lot more stuff! Here’s some more episodes I really really loved!

The Far Meridian: “The Abandoned Olympian”

The Far Meridian is such a brilliant, beautiful, exploration of self through sound that has been super important to me since it came out. In this exceptional episode, Peri and Benny are taken by the lighthouse to an old gymnasium for the Olympics, and meet the spirit of a former competitor, a runner named Glen. After facing his challenges, Peri releases him where he can continue to run. It was an incredibly awesome and moving moment in the story, because it felt like a release for the character. Live forever as a god, Glen.

What really resonated with me was the exploration of the nature of godhood, and of the way we forget heroes. When the heroes are assembled on the stage of the Olympics, it’s a moment that Glen says he’ll remember forever. I cried when I listened to it. It felt immense and overpowering, but also fleeting and eventually intangible. When I was listening to Glen describe his competition, I felt like I was there, running with him. I could feel my muscles tense, and my adrenaline rise. It’s such a testament to the power of audio storytelling, like I wanted to realize my own godhood. I loved this episode so much! It felt powerful, but also momentary. Another stellar episode from this super brilliant show!

Accession: “1943-Nightlife”

This episode of Accession was as beautiful and insightful as ever. TH Ponders discusses the piece Nightlife, by A.J. Motley, and the ongoing racial and cultural narrative explored by the piece. Ponders gives a fantastic insight into the cultural scene of the 1940’s and prompts a vivid discussion of art as a reflection of race.

The inclusion of Keisha TK Dukes, Conscious, Morgan Givens, and Ronald Young Jr. really heighten the discourse presented, and I don’t think the episode could have been done without them. Having Black narrators and voice actors on this episode was especially important here, as the episode focuses on discussing Black narratives and experiences in America. I especially loved Conscious as James the Bouncer. He interacted really interestingly with both Ponders and the New Yorker, played by Keisha TK Dukes, as he requests that they remove their burdens before entering the the club. He plays an important role in framing and contextualizing Nightlife as well. Being guided through Nightlife by Accession is another amazing, insightful experience and I can’t recommend the show enough. If you love art and learning about art and how it encapsulates and reflects society, listen to Accession!

Gosh, these episodes were brilliant. I felt a lot, and learned a lot too! I can’t wait for next week!

Listen to The Far Meridian: https://www.whisperforge.org/thefarmeridian/

Listen to Accession: https://accession.fm/

Liam Listens #1: “1994” and “Those Happy Places

Hi! I’m Liam! I’m an avid audio drama and podcast enthusiast, and I want to talk about episodes of shows I like! I listen to a bunch, and I enjoy a bunch of shows!

This week’s episodes that I listened to and want to talk about are: “Chapter 4” of 1994, and “Motion as Metaphor” of Those Happy Places!

1994: “Chapter 4”

Thoreau Smiley’s teen movie-esque audio drama with the rippin’ soundtrack is back after a pinch of time off, and its latest episode brings new trials and tribulations for the nascent drug mules, but also a really excellent reaffirmation of the bonds of their friendships. This episode finds Scott and his friends really banding together with Andi, after she puts herself on the line multiple times to try and save them from their latest disasters. After having her place among them being a slight source of tension, it was such an amazing thing to listen to, to have the crew stand with her after all she’s done to protect them. The characters and their bonds are such an amazing strength of this show, and this is just the peak example for me of the ties that bind this crew. The episode ends with a moment that’s got me hooked for the next episode as well! Smiley really knows how to keep a listener hooked for the story, and it’s definitely a show I’ll binge-listen through once it’s completed its season. Special shout-out to Smiley’s dual roles as Bud and Lou, because having them recur was hilarious, even as their arrival spelled danger for our heroes. Julia Schifini as Andi was another focal point of the episode, as listening to her part ways with Scott and the others was super sad and learning the truth about the nature of her bank heist was really insightful too.

Looking forward to the next episode!

Those Happy Places: “Metaphor in Motion”

Buddy Duquesne and Alice White’s “Motion in Metaphor” was a fascinating exploration into the nature of movement on rides in theme parks, and it was super duper cool too! The more I listened to the show, the more I was like, huh! Yeah! That makes so much sense!!!!!! It was super cool to listen to them discuss how motion simulated the perspective of a character, whether that was the experience of Superman’s flight on Superman: The Ride in Six Flags, or insight into the Riddler’s mindset with the Riddler’s Revenge ride. As an aside, when Alice and Buddy started talking about the ride, I was thinking “huh! I’d say that’s a bit of an interesting representation of the Riddler, as the jerking around of the ride represents someone who’s probably more focused on aggression and attacking, and the Riddler’s one of Batman’s more cerebral villains, he usually tries to outsmart Batman.” But then I realized that the ride wasn’t necessarily a representation of a battle with Batman but rather a representation of how the Riddler saw the world and I was like whoa!!!!!! Does that mean that the best piece of Riddler media actually this park ride? They also discuss how the roller coaster experience actually simulates an experience that park patrons wouldn’t otherwise be likely to have, such as bobsledding down the Matterhorn in the Matterhorn ride. It was a super duper interesting episode, and I loved listening to it!

Here’s where you can find Those Happy Places: https://www.thosehappyplaces.com

Here’s where you can find 1994: https://1994podcast.com