Podcast Lookout: Bicameral Killers, Blackface DJs


Who goes there? Rodger Shija / EyeEm / Getty Images/EyeEm

I recently spent a lot of time in the car for a family vacation -- and such a jaunt always provides me with a chance to catch-up on podcasts. So once more, I'd like to share a few choice episodes from podcasts outside the Stuff network.

First up, I've been a fan of Glynn Washington's Snap Judgement podcast for years, so I happily dove into the spooky spinoff Spooked. Episode 1 "The Watcher" features "Voice in the Woods" (segment 3), in which a mysterious voice aids a woman in evading a terrifying stranger in the wilderness. Fans of our episodes on bicameralism will appreciate this one as the seemingly-hallucinated voice of compulsion matches up nicely with Jillian Jaynes' theory of the bicameral mind.

During the drive, my wife and I also listened to several episodes of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History and the excellent NPR podcast Code Switch: Race and Identity, Remixed. They're both fine shows -- and I especially appreciated Gladwell's anti-golf episode "A Good Walk Spoiled" -- but the long-time electronic music fan in me really enjoyed a particular episode of Code Switch: "Give It Up For DJ Blackface!"

The episode explores the gay African American roots of house music and the degree to which black identity has been appropriated by European electronic artists. As such, it's both a fascinating dive into the history of electronic music and the complexities of race. Give it a listen:


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.