The age of blogs is over, however, and there is no doubt about that.
I must just add – for the sake of honesty – that I already thought so in 2005. And that’s why I jumped on the podcast bandwagon, which at the time didn’t resemble the online expansion of traditional, commercial and official radio. They sounded more like the tdk cassette tapes I used to put in my recorder when I was a kid to record my blablabla. And podcasts are just as apt to express the ambitions of bedroom DJs.
At first I thought of calling it The Sunday Blogcast (the natural extension of the blog of the same name) and then, since I often used the nonsensical expression “the broccoli dog”, my friends started to say “Hi broccoli dog!”, “Oh, broccoli dog, how are you?” and so the broccoli dog became my alter ego of that phase. I hadn’t even invented that name myself, but Luca Sofri in a private email exchange (he had used it sarcastically, because at the time he wasn’t betting a penny on podcasts, and I had taken him at his word like Grillo after Fassino had invited him to form a party). So the broccoli dog went on with an episode every Sunday for several Sundays. Then at some point, I think, I got tired of the technical effort it took to mix it with my PC.
Sadly, there are hardly any traces left of this broccoli dog on the sand of the web; and certainly not the audio, which was heavy at the time. There is, however, on Soundcloud a The Broccolone Dog at the radical chic party (11 March 2011). Here Enver evoked him in connection with my late graduation (it was March 2005 in fact). Here I was amiably mocked by EnzoP on 2 June 2005. And here Enver still called me that, even though it was now 2006. Nowadays there is not much difference in fact between the podcast and the old radio, or maybe there never was: in the end it’s just a matter of choosing whether to listen live or on demand, isn’t it? In 2018 I was still following the weirder ones, like Coxo Spaziale on Radio Città Fujiko (which before the covid was also a rich blog for reports of cultural events in Bologna), and in the US the podcasts of WFMU Radio. It’s a shame that Theory For Turntables, dedicated to analysing pop records through refined Umberto Eco-like discourses, closed down in April 2018. The Overthinking It network, on the other hand, is still alive.
Polaroid, which – besides being one of the first bloggers and certainly the first indieblogger – was in a sense a podcast from the very beginning (i.e. before podcasts even technically existed), will be 20 years old in 2021. And now the entire archive of these two decades is collected in the collateral Polaroid Blog Podcast. A monument to a constancy that not even the Christian Democrats in their heyday: always calm, always polite, never a song out of place, never a word out of place. Now, however, on the air on ‘us radio’, that is, NEU Radio. And with the same impeccable style, Mr Polaroid also puts out records for Radio Raheem Milano (on Mixcloud).
Even what’s left (practically nothing) of Radio Città del Capo can be heard on podcast.
My mainstream side, on the other hand, has always cultivated the guilty pleasure of Deejay Chiama Italia, Linus and Nicola Savino’s historic programme. The archive of episodes is buried on the website but it is also worth exploring it by going back in time: in the 90 pages currently available, you can go back as far as March 2009.
Apart from these, my favourite podcasts are those from Radio3. For example Battiti, Uomini e profeti, Fahrenheit, Wikimusic, Wikiradio, Qui comincia, Pagina 3, Radio3 Mondo, Prima pagina, Primo movimento, Lezioni di musica, La lingua batte, La Barcaccia, L’idealista, Hollywood Party, Tutta l’umanità ne parla, Zazà, A3 il formato dell’arte, Radio3 Suite, La grande radio, Pantheon, Radio3 sul 68, Memoradio, File Urbani, Piazza Verdi.
On Radio24 there are: La rosa purpurea dedicated to cinema, Effetto Giorno (news in 60 minutes), Effetto Notte (news in 60 minutes), Il falco e il gabbiano by Enrico Ruggeri, Si può fare dedicated to good news, Smart City, 2024, Il cacciatore di libri, Melog by Gianluca Nicoletti.
On Radio 2 there was Ovunque 6 with Federico Bernocchi, who now does other things. The public channel has gone downhill over the years, and I think it hit rock bottom in 2021 with Gino Castaldo’s Sanremo.
But above all on Radio Radicale there was Stampa e regime; the review of the gigantic Massimo Bordin, before he left on 17 April 2019. Today the programme continues without him.
Among those in English, one of the best is American and is called NPR’s All Songs Considered.« Bunkeristi Case dolci case discografiche »