Roderick on the Line

I listen to podcasts constantly. They root me to my seat and keep me focused on drawing, painting or designing. They make long car rides fly by. They make working out seem less daunting. Sometimes I like to just slow down for a little while and simply sit, listen, and enjoy them.

Merlin Mann & John Roderick Photo credits to Chris Glass & Victoria VanBruinisse

Roderick on the Line is one of my favorite podcasts. It is a weekly (mostly) conversation between Merlin Mann (on the left) and John Roderick (on the right).

Merlin Mann is a writer, speaker, and podcaster. He co-hosts several podcasts including Back to Work (in which he speaks about productivity and work life), You Look Nice Today (an improv podcast), and of course, Roderick on the Line.

John Roderick is the lead singer and guitarist for The Lone Winters. He has collaborated with many other bands including Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, and Jonathan Coulton. He lived in Alaska as a kid and has some great stories about traveling in Europe as a young adult.

John and Merlin’s only goal is to help people. They discuss philosophy, politics, Hitler, their kids, music, etc. Their conversations are ridiculous, insightful, educational, often obscene, and definitely worth the listen.

The following are my 3 favorite episodes.

Ep. 25: Supertrain
John shares a story about how we woke up in his tent in a land fill. He also discusses what it was like to grow up in Alaska with a dad who worked with the Alaska Railroad.  The concept of Supertrain is born. 

Ep. 48: Wherever Trail Needs to Be Built
This episode starts off with a discussion about Billy Corgan, dead keyboard players, Herpes, and other music related things. My favorite part of this episode starts about 35 minutes in when John and Merlin discuss what it was like to go to military school. Then they get into a spectacular rant about how 7th and 8th graders are useless people who contribute nothing to society.

Ep. 69: Campfire Spaghetti Party
John shares a story about a campfire spaghetti party in the Czech Republic that involves ketchup, Metallica, and thousands of frogs. John and Merlin discuss what its like to be tracked by a bear, the shoe of Binky the polar bear, painting elephants, and a chimpanzee named Cheetah.

Merlin has his own list of favorite episodes to get you started as well. You can follow Merlin Mann on twitter as @hotdogsladies and John Roderick as @johnroderick.

Photo credits to Chris GlassVictoria VanBruiniss