It used to be music was the only way to pass the time on a bad commute, a road trip or that 6-mile run through the neighborhood. Now there are podcasts where you can solve a murder, savor a great love story or just catch up on the latest in pop culture. There are so many podcasts to choose from — we promise someone, somewhere is talking about something that will keep you tuned in … at least for that construction-laden commute to work. Thanks to the success of podcast “schools” at several coworking spaces in Charlotte (Advent Coworking offers Advent Podcast University, Hygge has a dedicated studio, and Skillpop features a popular class on a regular basis), it seems everyone in Charlotte is eager to grab a microphone these days. In fact, there’s even a collective called the Queen City Podcasts. In an effort to get you in tune with some locally produced podcasts, we’ve handpicked some of the more interesting ones that we bet you’ll enjoy.
Brian Baltosiewich started The Comedy Zone Podcast in May 2015 with his co-hosts comedian Will Jacobs and Sammi Jo Francis and their first guest, Bob Saget. (Yes, that Bob Saget … the dad from “Full House” was their first guest.) Every Friday they offer new episodes featuring all the A-list comedians who come through town – and they have a lot of fun with some of the local Charlotte comedians as well. According to Brian, “The great thing about our format is that there is no format. The conversation can literally go anywhere.”
Memorable Guests: Can you be any more memorable than Bob Saget? They’ve also had Gilbert Gottfried and Paul Rodriguez.
Listen here: The Comedy Zone Podcast
Last December shortly after they were sworn into office, two of the newly elected millennial city council members started this podcast. Every Monday after the council meeting wraps, Larken Egleston, a Democrat, and Tariq Bokhari, a Republican, offer listeners what they call a respectful discussion (sometimes debate) about local government issues — focusing on the topics covered and decisions made by the City Council that week. The show even got a shout out in a Wall Street Journal story in March. “We believed Charlotte residents would want to hear both sides of the local issues that impact them most,” Larken says.
Memorable Guests: Mayor Vi Lyles, CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney
Listen here: R&D in the QC
RELATED: Mayor Vi Lyles: FACES of Charlotte
Once a month this laugh-out-loud couple double dates with another well-known Queen City couple. Page is the fun and funny co-host of “Good Day Charlotte,” and Jake is a marketing guru. And by “dates” we mean the four gather round a microphone (adult beverages in hand) and chat about everything from parenthood to partying while juggling parenthood.
Memorable Guests: The former mayor (and her husband), former Carolina Panthers Jonathan Stewart and Roman Harper (and their wives)
Listen here: Date Night with Jake and Page
Nikki Wolfe, the Yelp Charlotte Community & Marketing Director, launched this podcast in January as a way to showcase local businesses. An extension of Yelp itself, every other Wednesday, Nikki brings on a public figure, event planner or business owner to dish about what’s happening in Charlotte. “You’ll get a little bit of everything. I don’t script out the show,” Nikki explains. “I walk into the studio with a blank piece of paper. I think that’s why listeners like it — it’s natural. Nothing is forced. We just go with wherever the conversation takes us. It’s a mix of food, trends, reviews, interviews, events, what’s happening in Charlotte. I want listeners of each episode to connect to a local business, learn something new and cool about our city and [to] laugh. I’m all about having fun.”
Guests she’d like to have: Cam Newton and Luke Kiechly (Nikki is a die-hard Panthers fan)
Listen here: Yelp Charlotte
Former FACES of Charlotte and Margarita Confessionals co-hosts Lauren Levine and Ali Washburn started their podcast in 2015 in Ali’s living room, sharing a microphone and praying her dog didn’t bark! They’re now on episode 114 and have new shows every Monday (and even have a weekly radio show). It started because both were always dishing about their disastrous dating app experiences. It’s evolved to include talk about friendships, family, finances and more because both are now in committed relationships – thanks to said dating apps. “The goal is for listeners to learn a few pieces of information to help with their daily lives, but we still want you to laugh, too. The topics are important, but we try to keep it fun and interesting at the same time,” Ali says.
Memorable Guests: a sex therapist, an energy healer and their boyfriends
Listen here: The Margarita Confessionals
New to the Scene: XM Divas
Opera singers Megan Miller and Xela Pinkerton give listeners a look (and listen) behind the curtains talking about the lives of opera singers – their wine addictions, health and fitness routines on the road and more. (The second episode is called “My Date With An Opera Virgin.”) Megan says, “Though we occasionally deal with dramatic topics, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’ve set out to bring you our uncensored opinion on the stigmas and stereotypes that surround the world of opera. Not because you asked for it, but because we’re sick of everyone thinking that opera is still the fat lady from Looney Tunes singing in her horned Viking helmet.” They also plan to use the podcast to showcase Charlotte’s arts and culture scene. This bi-weekly podcast launches May 1st.
Guest Lineup: Opera stars, Broadway stars and, of course, interviews with Maestros
Listen here: XM Divas
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