Although all the major festivals – and indeed, audio dreams – are mostly happening overseas, some seriously innovative and creative radio stories come from Australia. Yep, right here. JOEL PERLGUT recommends three locally produced podcasts you should plug into right now.
All the Best: #1345 …Vs The Establishment
Broadcast: 7 December 2013
All the Best is a weekly half hour broadcast of engaging, politically aware audio bliss from the team at FBi radio. Fans of This American Life will recognise the format: a host introduces a theme, we hear docos, interviews and fiction relating to that theme. While All the Best doesn’t have Ira Glass’ rockstar appeal, there’s a rawness and a willingness to take risks that makes All the Best all the better for it.
This episode’s title implies we might hear self-congratulatory stories about the “triumph of nonconformity” (which you can listen here). But to the credit of the show’s producers, there’s no easy gratification. As well as a detailed investigation into the Millers Point public housing eviction, we hear from Sydney lawyer Robin Margo about meeting Steve Biko during his time as an anti-apartheid activist. Steve Biko confronts Margo and the white student protestors and abandons the talks. Biko – founder of the Black Consciousness Movement – would later be tortured and murdered by police, a martyr for the future of South Africa. As a white man Margo recognises that he was part of the problem of institutionalised racism. “A warm man cannot understand a cold man,” he says, it’s a bitter truth but damn it makes for some good audio.
A Rational Fear: #17 Live at Giant Dwarf
Broadcast: 29 April 2014
A Rational Fear is a group of Aussie satirists who took up where the Chaser left off. Hosted by Dan Ilic (Hungry Beast, Can of Worms) the podcast is a semi-regular, live variety show. Comedians riff on the news and each other, occasionally interrupted by a sketch or an interview. It’s fast paced, it’s brutal. It feels nothing like talk radio and is everything good comedy should be.
This episode takes aim at the almost untouchable ANZAC Day, by reimagining VB’s military inspired ads, with slogans like: “alcoholism, the most common mental health problem for Vietnam vets.” James Colley does an amazing bit on ABC-hater Chris Kenny, the man who definitely doesn’t have sex with dogs. Weirdly, for such a funny show, it’s the interview with former Foreign Minister Bob Carr that stands out. Carr’s got a great deadpan and he really gets into the vibe; you can’t even hate him when he dodges questions about offshore processing.
Green Light Boys: #47 Dad Camp – “This Summer, Camp’s Getting Dad-ified”
Broadcast: 4 June 2014
The Green Light Boys are Scott “Dools” Dooley (of Triple J/Nova fame) and Angus Truskett. Every week they spend an hour pitching and casting a terrible direct-to-DVD movie. Apart form the inspired casting choices (Danny Glover plays Donald Glover’s dad) the real attraction is the banter. These guys shoot the shit like no-one else.
This episode rolls with the boy’s obsession with dads. Following on from ‘DAD2K – the only cure for this virus is family!’ and ‘Bachelor Dad – Three single dads. An orphaned girl. One hell of a reality show!’, ‘Dad Camp’ does not disappoint. Angus calls out pop culture neanderthals, because, “if you haven’t seen Star Wars you’re the kind of person who orders a cheese pizza.” A spade is a spade.