Disgraceland: rock'n'roll's worst hellraisers – podcasts of the week

A new pod looks into true crime moments in rock’s back catalog, while a Radiotopia show focuses on ‘Satan’s six-legged messengers’

Picks of the week: Disgraceland and Errthang


The point at which true crime intersects with music feels like a sure-fire podcast winner, and Disgraceland doesn’t disappoint. Narrator Jake Brennan oozes rock’n’roll scandal as he delivers stories about dodgy antics from pop stars with criminal connections in his hypnotic drawl. Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke and Norwegian black metal are among the subjects of these 30-minute bursts, while a new theory about how Sid Vicious died is at the heart of the episode that will get you hooked. HV


Radiotopia’s Showcase always brings podcasting goodness, and in Errthang, Al Letson and Willie Evans Jr flit between freestyle rapping, storytelling and interviewing. Errthang is slang for “everything”, which pretty much describes what these two friends do. It’s fun with a whole lot of heart. Season two’s opening episode, 808s and Three Heartbreaks, contains a beautifully told tale about being dumped at the prom after a disastrous first kiss while being attacked by fire ants, AKA “Satan’s six-legged messengers”. HV

Your picks: History for kids, adult entertainment and video games

The Past and the Curious.
The Past and the Curious. Photograph: Brennen Power

The Past and the Curious

The Past and the Curious is a history podcast for kids. In each episode, host Mick Sullivan along with guest readers bring you historical stories, plus a quiz, and a song by the Tamerlane trio. My favourite episode is episode 13: The Cheesiest, which includes stories about how President Andrew Jackson started Big Block of Cheese Day, and a bit about American civil war soldiers’ least favourite food, hardtack. The way Sullivan writes the stories is really fun and humorous. Listen to The Past and the Curious, you’ll definitely learn something and have fun doing it. Recommended by Chaska Power, age 10

The Rialto Report

The Rialto Report is easily my favourite podcast. It tells the story of New York’s early adult-film business by tracking down and interviewing the original participants – performers, directors and crew members. It is single-handedly rewriting the history of a misrepresented era. Start with podcast 70, which tracks down Andrea True, the porn star who had a worldwide disco hit single with the song More, More, More. These are stories of lives lived, loves lost and surprising successes and failures. While it’s about the adult-film industry, the stories are human and the podcasts appealing enough for everyone – including people like my parents. I can’t recommend The Rialto Report highly enough. Recommended by Ronit Pinto


This is like Desert Island Discs, but with video games. It is a warm and fuzzy conversation between gamers who openly share the gaming moments that have shaped their lives and careers; guests summon up personal demons (end of level bosses that they haven’t always beaten) and experiences of when Mario actually reminded them of what physically playing like a child felt like. The host, Declan, is an enthusiastic, ramshackle gamer himself who just seems happy to be there and he’s infectious in his support of his guests. Recommended by John Booth

Guardian pick: Citizens’ rights

Demonstrators hold banners during a protest to lobby MPs to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.
Demonstrators hold banners during a protest to lobby MPs to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. Photograph: AFP/Getty

Brexit Means ...

We’re a year away from the Brexit deadline, so we thought we’d take a look back at a subject we looked at a year ago, citizens’ rights. It’s a subject on which – on the face of it – a great deal of progress has been made in the Brexit talks so far. The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, for example, wrote to EU27 leaders ahead of their Brussels summit just last week to say that EU citizens would be “fully protected from the consequences of Brexit”. Theresa May has written personally to EU nationals in the UK to say Britain is “honouring its pledge” to preserve their rights. Brexit secretary David Davis has said the draft article 50 divorce agreement and the deal reached last year on a transition period go a long way to giving “the greatest possible legal certainty about their future” to EU citizens in Britain and British nationals on the continent. It’s well worth a listen as the countdown begins. RS


Hannah Verdier and Rowan Slaney

The GuardianTramp

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