Over the last few months I have become a huge fan of music podcasts, which, if you’ve been living under a rock, are basically (usually) free downloadable radio programs. You can find them in a variety of places from the good old interwebs to the iTunes store to where ever. If you’ve never spent a little time browsing, you should. There’s podcasts to cover a ridiculous breadth of topics, from talk radio (Jesse’s favorite) to music to instructional stuff. There are even video podcasts. Pretty neat.

What got me into them in the first place was the Mad Decent podcast back in October of last year. They put out such a wide variety of electronic music, that listening is always interesting. I am not musical ignorant by any stretch, and I regularly hear things on the podcast that I would have completely missed otherwise. The most recent one they put out mixed by DJ Godfather is comprised of entirely Ghetto-Tech tracks. That is awesome. The one prior was all dubstep and the one before that was all EBM. There’s something for everyone, and with 65 episodes you have so much free music to listen to that your head might explode.

And that’s just Mad Decent. I’ve also been enjoying podcasts by Ghostly International, Fool’s Gold, and Modular Records, all available for free through iTunes. I highly recommend all of these. The Cut Copy mix Modular recently released is fucking awesome.

This morning before doing dishes and preparing some food (breakfast! I know! Totally wild!), I realized I had none of my iTunes library loaded into Windows and didn’t feel like rebooting. Instead I searched iTunes for metal podcasts, surprised at myself that I’d never thought to do it before. Surely there would be podcasts in the same vein as my beloved Mad Decent podcast by Relapse or Nuclear Blast or Metal Blade or Earache. And there are.

Kind of.

Upon loading up the Relapse podcast (got to start strong, right?), I was greeted….no no no, that’s not exactly right…ear raped by the kind of obnoxious radio ID I’d come not to miss since I’s given up on commercial radio in the 90s. You know the kind– sample sample sample explosion radio voice announcing the radio station explosion blah blah blah blah. Horrible. Then I was forced to listen to a DJ with all the on-air charisma of your local high school DJ who pronounces the word macabre as “mack-a-bree”. Soon after, music started and I was pleased with that, thinking that perhaps we’d just have music from there on out. Wrong. After two songs was another station ID and then more inept talking. Just terrible. Is it too much to hope that when I download a podcast what I get will be effectively a DJ set rather than a junior varsity level radio show? I don’t think so.

Look, I understand the need for the talking on the radio. You’re limited in how you can interact with the audience. That is, if you don’t tell them, they aren’t going to get it. But on the internet, the experience is essentially a multimedia experience and you can disseminate information in so many more effective ways than telling someone like, oh, I don’t know, giving them a link to the information. When I double clicked on the podcast, I knew exactly what I was choosing; there is no need to tell me. If I wanted to listen to ham-fisted interviews–and I don’t–I would listen to Hot 97 or something. Keep that shit out of the podcast. And if I want to listen to good interviews, the Relapse Records podcast is not where I am going to find them. For example, I just listened to the guitarist from Dying Fetus talk about how they’re not going to let their music get all “gay”. Seriously guys?

A perusal of the other podcasts I downloaded seems to indicate that all metal podcasts are the same as the Relapse one. Terrible! Where does one go to find good new metal without having to listen to some dimwit who sounds like he’s congested chatter on?

Kudos to the electronic labels who really get the medium and boo to the metal labels who don’t. Get with the now, guys.