People in the creative industries get to work on some juicy problems, but it's no secret that design worklike all workinvolves a ton of, well, menial work, mostly in front of a computer. Having the right listening material can help you through some of those long stretches, so when you're full-up on music, consider some of the following podcasts instead.
New Yorker Fiction Podcast: Every month, The New Yorker invites authors whose stories have appeared in the magazine to read a short story of their choice and discuss it with Deborah Treisman, the New Yorker's Fiction Editor.
The Best Show on WFMU: Tom Scharpling (also the executive producer of the TV series Monk) hosts a three-hour-long, weekly call in and comedy show on the freeform radio station WFMU. Both real and fake characters call in on a range of topics, from Jugalos to "Call in if you're famous." The podcast doesn't include the music (due to licensing restrictions), so fast forward through the fill-in theme if you're feeling impatient.
The Economist: A few times a week, The Economist turns an important story from their magazine into a podcast. Perfect for those of you who wish you could read the print version but can never find the time.
Studio 360: A great way to stay in touch with pop culture and the artsisn't that part of your job description anyway?
Theory of Everything: This show aired from 2004 to 2007, promoting what host Benjamen Walker calls 'investigative fiction,' blurring the line between literature, interview, performance and the news. We're not sure why it went off the air, but the old shows can be found right here.
The Sound of Young America: "A public radio show for all things that are awesome," this show is like Fresh Air, but a little bit cooler. The host, Jesse Thorn, deftly interviews guests that include screenwriter Rob Siegel and comedians Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black.
The Moth Podcast: the best of The Moth's live storytelling performances.
The Monocle Weekly: The international global affairs, design and culture magazine Monocle posts a weekly collection of interviews, discussions and field reports. Check the rest of the site for more programming, including a summer series and a tour of Taiwan.
Fluxcast:We know this falls into the music category, but if you can't resist, at least try to listen to something new. Fluxblog, one of the oldest and best mp3 blogs, mixes old and new music in their hour-long, weekly podcast.
UBUweb's Avant-Garde All the Time: UBUweb is a free and independent archive "dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts." In addition to producing the famed 365 days project (one obscure mp3 a day for a year), they showcase hidden treasures from their vast collections, once every month and a half or so, in their Poetry Foundation podcast.
Joe Frank: Once a co-anchor on All Things Considered, Joe Frank has been making experimental, narrative radio for over 20 years. Selected segments from his body of work, often dark, humorous and absurd, are uploaded every week on his podcast.
This American Life: Each week, the enduring favorite, This American Life, "chooses a theme and puts together different kinds of stories on that theme."
Radiolab: Another longstanding favorite, Radiolab investigates big questions where "boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience."
Listening to Words: This archive of free lectures at different online archives can be searched by topic, location or speaker. Check out the slew of lectures staged at the School of Visual Arts, with speakers like Paola Antonelli, Rick Poynor and Milton Glaser.
Slought: Also not exactly a podcast, the Slought site offers lectures, discussions and interviews focused on "concepts of contemporary life, engaging "leading theorists and practitioners of our generation in conversation about contemporary debates in art and architecture, geopolitics, and critical theory." A little heavy, but very rich.
DesignMatters with Debbie Millman: And finally, if you can't bear to tear yourself away from design, there's of course DesignMatters with Debbie Millman, which has newly taken up residence over at DesignObserver. Favorite quote from the show (and very appropriate here)? Petrula Vrontikis on working with clients: "As a designer, I work with my ears."
Lisa Smith is production editor for Core77 and currently has 173 new podcasts in her iTunes queue.