I listen to several podcasts at my day job when I’m doing a task that does not require a lot of mental power. Here is one that I've picked up recently and finding a lot to recommend it. I'm sure some of you are already aware of it but if not, check it out. Welcome to Nightvale is a podcast well worth loading on your phone or ipod. Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor, the conceit of the podcast is a community radio show for the desert city of Nightvale. The show’s announcer, Cecil Baldwin, provides us with reports on Nightvale’s local happenings, city council policies and other pronouncements from other Nightvale government agencies such as the sheriff’s secret police. Each episode is about 20 minutes long.
The city of Nightvale is a fictional community in a desert of the south western United States. I imagine that is somewhere in Nevada, near Area 51. Each episode features some event of note to Nightvale residents. One of my favorite examples is when a tear in the fabric of space time appears in the gymnasium of the high school during a PTA meeting. A number of pterodactyls come through and numerous fatalities are reported. The announcer quotes various Nightvale citizens and the Nightvale government about the incident. Often, the local authorities say the event did not happen or that citizens should report to the Sheriff’s secret police for quarantine or re-education. The town’s inhabitants include angels, the perfect and beautiful scientist named Carlos, old woman Josie (who lives out by the car lot and acts as spokesperson for the angels), John Peters (you know, the farmer) and strange hooded figures in the dog park. Toward the end of the podcast we get “the weather” which is a strange song by a different band each episode.
Shit gets weird in Nightvale. It has a great Twilight Zone feel to it and definitely gets some inspiration from HP Lovecraft but in a good way not just slapping a tentacle on and calling it "Lovecraftian." The show is both dark and funny. Honestly, it is difficult to describe and I’m probably not doing a very good job of it. So, my suggestion would be to down load a few episodes and check it out for yourself. I recommend starting with the first few episodes because you will miss some of the call back jokes if you start in the middle or with more recent podcasts. Just remember, do not go to the dog park. Do not make eye contact with the hooded figures in the dog park. Do not think of the dog park.
Welcome to Nightvale is on Libsyn, itunes and Soundcloud. Details, FAQ, store and other information about Welcome to Nightvale is at http://commonplacebooks.com/