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The Best Music Podcasts of 2018

Check out a selection of the best music podcasts from punk to hip-hop and beyond

best music podcasts

Photo by Gregor Witsch

If you listen to podcasts everyday, you’re probably always on the lookout for fresh and interesting new shows and episodes. You can  hear occasional interviews with musicians on industry-leading shows like Fresh Air or WTF with Marc Maron – but there are a surprisingly small number of high-quality podcasts that are solely dedicated to music. I’ve heard ’em all, and the cream rises to the top. Here are the best music podcasts out there:

Culture Creature

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best music podcasts 2017

Culture Creature is a podcast featuring the best interviews in music – and it’s also where you’ll hear your favorite artists discuss the music, movies and art that changed their lives. We’ve got insightful interviews with legends (Ian MacKaye, Mike WattGojira) as well as emerging new artists (Diet Cig, Sorority Noise, Screaming Females).

best music podcasts 2017

Culture Creature features interviews with Tim Commerford, Ian MacKaye, Diet Cig and more

Where to start: hear Andrew W.K. discuss ghosts, partying, and the meaning of happiness. Hear Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike talk Beasties history. Or listen to Ian MacKaye’s perspective on Trump and the 2016 election.

Subscribe to the Culture Creature podcast in iTunes, Android or Stitcher. You can also view all episodes online.

Song Exploder (Listen)

song exploder podcast

Song Exploder is a revealing journey into the creative process. The show describes itself as “a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” Song Exploder is a feat of editing due to its complex tapestry of interviews, song excerpts, and storytelling. Host Hrishikesh Hirway has published episodes featuring Björk, U2, Iggy Pop and many more. Song Exploder’s intricate editing and revealing interviews make it one of today’s best music podcasts. See all episodes at SongExploder.net.

Where to start: Rivers Cuomo of Weezer describes his truly bizarre songwriting process.

Turned Out A Punk (Listen)

best music podcasts TOAP

Turned Out A Punk deals with the loose narrative theme of the artist’s journey into punk rock. The show is hosted by Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham, who accurately describes himself as a “punk music obsessive.” The show sometimes veers into obscure punk minutia, but that level of dedication is part of the fun. Turned Out A Punk also includes offshoot episodes about marijuana culture called ‘Oil & Flowers.’

Where to start: Damian Abraham interviews hardcore legend Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools).

Related: Discover the 14 Best Music Books of All Time

The Jasta Show (Listen on Soundcloud)

best music podcasts jasta

Jamey Jasta is the frontman of Hatebreed and the host of The Jasta Show podcast. As a host and interviewer, Jasta’s love of music is contagious and his ability to ‘talk shop’ with his guests is entertaining. Jasta’s lively interviews with heavy metal icons make this one of today’s best music podcasts.

Where to start: The latest ten episodes of The Jasta Show are always free and the archives require membership. Listen at soundcloud.com/jameyjasta

R U Talkin’ R.E.M. Re: Me? (Listen)

best music podcasts 2018

Hosts Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman have rebranded their U2 podcast (‘U Talkin’ U2 To Me?’); now the pair are talkin’ bout indie rock godfathers R.E.M. in this hilarious show. Their former U2 program seemed to have run its course after the hosts got to interview the ‘lovable lads from Liverpool’ themselves, so now they’re documenting the career of Michael Stipe (Aukerman calls him ‘Michael Stipend’) and company. ‘Scott and Scott’ spend the majority of their time bantering, pursuing every tangent, and creating absurd podcasts-within-the-podcast (you’ll hear mini ‘episodes’ of ‘Talkin’ Bout Turtle,’ ‘I Love Films’ and more). When they do find time to talk R.E.M. to you, they engage in deep dives into the band’s history and discography. Scott and Aukerman’s chummy charisma and genuine music fandom make this one of the best music podcasts out there.

Where to start: Start where R.E.M. started by listening to the Chronic Town episode first. We’ll also recommend an archived U2 episode. One of the strangest chapters in U2’s story is the band’s involvement in the calamitous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. In the fifteenth episode of ‘U Talkin’ U2 To Me?,’ the hosts (along with guest Doug Benson) discuss the maligned musical and the nonfiction book Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History. You can also find that book on our list of the best music books.

Bonus: Analyze Phish (Listen)

best music podcasts

This podcast was not created in 2018 – but frankly, it’s one of the best podcasts ever created, so we’re recommending it here as a bonus tip.

‘Analyze Phish’ was created around one simple premise: one Phish fan would try to convince his fan (a Phish skeptic) to, well, enjoy Phish. Comedian, writer, and ‘humblebrag’ creator Harris Wittels had the challenging task of explaining Phish fandom to co-host Scott Aukerman. Wittles, who tragically passed away in 2015, was a brilliant comedian and a fascinating character. His earnest attempts to entice his friend Aukerman into Phish fandom make ‘Analyze Phish’ one of the most hilarious and charming podcasts ever.

Where to start: Phish 101

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