March 27, 2013

Podcast Spotlight: The LAMBcast


Thus far, I’ve spotlighted podcasts from a listener’s perspective. I made appearances on The Televerse and The Matineecast, but that was just a bonus and not a factor. This week, I’m covering a show where I’ve appeared regularly. The LAMBcast is the official podcast of the Large Association of Movie Blogs, known as the LAMB. It gives amateur movie bloggers the chance to discuss their passion with like-minded others in a relaxed audio setting. I was thrilled to get the chance to join the fun and made my first appearance back in August 2011. The podcast is rolling along and has crossed the 150-episode threshold, which is no easy feat. Each week, five participants have a great time chatting about movies and related topics. I can’t think of a more fun way to spend a few hours in front of a computer.

The format includes a discussion topic, rants or raves, and a game for the cinephiles to test their knowledge. The subjects are all over the map and include major new releases, fun top five lists, and a look back at a classic franchise. The episodes typically last about an hour and a half, but they rarely drag because it’s such a large group. The running time gives everyone a chance to say their mind and not get lost in the shuffle. The host is Dylan Fields, who founded the LAMB to give movie bloggers their own place to list their sites. He currently runs Man I Love Films with Kai Parker, and their site brings a diverse group of writers on board to cover movies. Dylan has a laid-back style that fits with the tone of the LAMBcast. This isn’t a place where guests will get shunned if they aren’t experts on every highbrow classic. It strikes a middle ground between intellectual explorations of cinema and your weekly trip to the multiplex for the latest blockbuster.

The challenge with a podcast with rotating guests is quality control, and the success of the LAMBcast varies depending on the participants. Even so, there’s something refreshing about listening to people joining their first podcast and giving it a shot. Most of them do surprisingly well and often get hooked. Even when it’s a rougher experience, it usually feels genuine and doesn’t get too painful. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing on my early appearances. This was the perfect spot to join a podcast and see how it works. I’m hardly a smooth operator today, but the regular time on this show have made it a lot easier. Other bloggers have definitely had a similar experience, and some have gone on to create their own podcasts. My favorite opportunity was participating in an episode that went through all six Rocky films. For more than two hours, five of us did bad Stallone impressions and geeked out about the beloved series. I also loved participating in the best of 2011 show, which showed just how many interesting movies there are within any calendar year.

The best part of the LAMBcast is the communal aspect of connecting with so many friendly movie fans. Going beyond my participation, it’s remarkable to hear people who’ve never met in person talking like close friends. Recently, some LAMB members traveled to Vegas for the Oscars and hung out for the first time. They recorded a podcast and just talked about the experience of connecting directly with people they’ve only talked with online. They sounded like old friends, and it shows the changes in the way we connect in this online world. The social aspects of podcasting shouldn’t be discounted, and the LAMBcast offers a prime example of how well that can work. It’s also a great place to hear movie fans chatting about their favorite topic. You can’t really go wrong in that type of setting.

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