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Hey, listen up! DNT staff recommend podcasts to keep you in the know on the go

From true crime to zen stuff, your DNT newsroom has a large scope of tastes. Here's what we're listening to, Podcast Edition.

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"My Favorite Murder"

Hey there, murderino! This one's for all the out or closeted true-crime nerds whose fave shows are-slash-were "Unsolved Mysteries" or something by Dick Wolf. Hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark share openly their fascination, and anxiety, with serial killers and cold cases. Each highlights one murder per episode, where they temper the tough and tragic with comedic phrase-turning and cat references — always with the message "learn and live." Extra props for their openness and constant reminders to listen to your gut if you catch weird vibes from strangers asking if this washcloth smells like chloroform. Expect puns, cool historical context and lines like, "You're in a cult; call your dad." Binge-listen, lock your doors, SSDGM.

"Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard"

It's like a pointed convo with friends. And an armchair. Comic Dax Shepard and Monica Padman invite guests from Ellen DeGeneres, Nick Kroll, Brene Brown and Seth Rogen for a nice, long chat. What's attractive is the laid-back back-and-forth and the context of Shepard's relationships with guests. He might be known for movies like "CHIPS" and "Hit and Run," but what shines here is a real emotional intelligence. He's candid about his hard past with addiction, and navigating show biz with his wife, Kristen Bell. Highly recommended: episodes with Amy Schumer and Mark Duplass.

— Melinda Lavine

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"The Daily"

This New York Times podcast takes a single topic of the day and gives it very thorough treatment — whether it's everything you've ever wanted to know about William Barr, dispatches from a road trip along the U.S.-Mexican border or the curious case of two presidents in Venezuela. These are short, accessible, interesting and a good way to dig a little deeper into the what's-what.

— Christa Lawler

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"Criminal"

Murder by owl? Body farms? Strangers in your house? That's this podcast. The twice-a-month show takes an innovative approach to crime storytelling, uncovering tales that manage to surprise even the most jaded crime reporter, and always adding a personal touch.

"Crimetown"

Mixing crime and politics, this serial show takes a deep-dive into public corruption, organized crime and street violence in American cities. The first season explores Providence, R.I., where the mafia ruled and Mayor Buddy Cianci was twice convicted of felonies and removed from office — and twice ran again. Currently airing is Detroit, where an undercover police unit couldn't stop shooting people, and the mayor was indicted over an affair with his chief of staff.

"Whistlestop"

Hosted by John Dickerson of "CBS This Morning," this history podcast started during the 2016 presidential campaign as a look back at moments — some forgotten, some unforgettable — that shaped politics and the nation for decades and centuries to come. In an age of cable news and social media, where hyperbole is rampant, the show makes for a good reminder that the political world has always been kind of crazy and unpredictable.

"Slow Burn" and "Bag Man"

We look at Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky affair through a lens of history, but what did it feel like to actually live through those scandals? "Slow Burn" recounts moments that have seemingly been forgotten to history and explores why one president left office while the other did not. As a bonus, the Rachel Maddow-hosted "Bag Man" explores how investigators dealt with not only a corrupt president but a corrupt vice president, Spiro Agnew, who was actively committing crimes as Richard Nixon's days in the White House grew limited. As we endure the legal and political turmoil surrounding another special counsel investigation, these are essential listens.

— Tom Olsen

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"FiftyFive.One Podcast"

For current or aspiring fans of our fun but frustrating Major League Soccer club, Minnesota United FC, this is the podcast for you. The audio arm of the Minnesota-focused FiftyFive.One soccer blog, it feels like sitting at a table with three dudes who know their stuff and care a great deal about the team, the fans and soccer in general.

"Minnesota Zen Meditation Center Sunday Talks"

From the shores of Bde Maka Ska comes the weekly Zen sermon from the fantastic folks at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis. You don't need to brush up on your sutras for these dharma talks — they are accessible for anyone who has an interest in opening up their heart and finding calm in a chaotic world.

"Gag Me With A Spoon"

Stories and songs from local storytellers and musicians hosted by Duluth's Adeline Wright and recorded live at the Zeitgeist Teatro every month. For fans of The Moth, Snap Judgment and building community through storytelling. Full disclosure, I produce this podcast. Additional shameless plug: Come share a story of your own every second Sunday evening at the Teatro.

— Brooks Johnson

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"Desert Oracle Radio"

High desert weirdness that reverberates like some hybrid blend of shortwave radio broadcast and ancient alien dispatch. Host Ken Layne brings on anything but typical guests: one was a documentarian chronicling unusual happenings at Utah's Skinwalker Ranch while another called the last operating pay phone in the Mojave at the same time every day for years. Fun fact about the pay phone? Apparently only German tourists ever answered. A great listen for empty roads on moonlit nights.

"The Dollop"

Every other week, hosts Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds sit down for a free-wheeling conversation on history's most important, depressing and all-too-often ignored stories. From the Wobblies marching on Everett, Wash., in the early 20th century to the founding of Synanon in the late 1950s, Anthony brings a wealth of research culled from books and newspaper archives to a conversation with his willfully ignorant co-host Reynolds. While some might think having one side of the conversation be completely uninformed about the topic at hand would make for a boring podcast, Anthony and Reynolds find a lot to make light of — and be depressed about — in the past. Standout episodes include the story of Harry Tammen and Frederick Bonfils, founders of the Denver Post, and the 1908 New York to Paris car race.

— Peter Baumann

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"Wolf 359"

A small space station staffed by three crew members in orbit around a red dwarf star approximately 7.9 light years from Earth, and owned by a inscrutable corporation, suddenly begins picking up mysterious radio broadcasts from an unknown origin. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. Follow along as communications officer Doug Eiffel, and his many pop culture references, and the rest of the crew try to keep the station afloat and deal with aliens and worse, corporate bureaucracy.

"King Falls AM"

King Falls AM borrows the format of a late-night radio talk show set in a strange small town where interactions with the paranormal happen daily. The "Welcome to Nightvale"-esque show features a colorful cast of characters such as hosts new-to-town big city radio DJ "Shotgun" Sammy Stevens, the "average height, medium rage" King Falls native Ben Arnold and fan favorite, a rage-filled senior citizen Herschel F. Baumgarter. Prepare to laugh and cry, probably within the same episode.

"Unspooled"

Any other fans of "You Must Remember This" looking to fill the film history hole in their hearts now that the Hollywood history podcast has entered indefinite hiatus? Here's a good substitution. "Unspooled" follows hosts Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson's journey through the American Film Institute's top 100 movies of all time. Each episode focuses on a film on the list and features historical context, old reviews and the most important question: Do "The Simpsons" make a reference to this film?

— Teri Cadeau

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"Terrible, Thanks for Asking"

Terrible things happen to all of us. And they will continue to happen to all of us. Minnesotan host and author Nora McInerny skips the small talk and pleasantries and dives right into the real, honest and heart-wrenching stories of love, loss, abuse, mental illness and other topics people don't normally talk about. Note: Save time after each episode to dry your eyes and reapply makeup as needed.

"The Goal Digger Podcast"

While quitting your day job and jumping headfirst into your side hustle may not be for everyone, host Jenna Kutcher shares how she did it and how others have done it, too. The new mom with Northland ties offers business advice, interviews with other women entrepreneurs and gives unfiltered glimpses into her personal life. This podcast radiates positivity, and we could all use some of that in our lives.

— Samantha Erkkila

Listen to us

Check out the DNT's weekly podcasts at www.duluthnewstribune.com:

• The Pressroom Podcast: https://bit.ly/2WH02PV

• The Bulldog Insider Podcast: https://bit.ly/2Gm3V7g

Melinda Lavine

Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

(218) 723-5346
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