But an area of podcasting that is making a quiet comeback is radio shows and audio dramas. Instead of recorded table talks around a microphone, these podcasts have a dramatic plot with voice actors, music, and sound effects.
Two rising Phoenix podcasts are take listeners to an intergalactic universe. Confessions of the Nocturne Nebula and The Never Rad Miscellany are original, fictional audio dramas in podcast form set in a futuristic, (probably) inevitable doom. Time to get sucked in.
Confessions from the Nocturne NebulaThis audio drama centers around a high-end nightclub Salome's on Aldfar Station, a travel hub that has become a center for humanity’s future. The owner, Nolan Stone, is a mysterious, sulky fellow who is only trying to keep his hands clean from any shady business dealings.
The misadventures begin when a woman who works for Stone decides to go back to her home planet, only to return in some trouble just hours after her departure.
There is murder, a suspicious deal, and plenty of expensive alcoholic beverages. It's everything you need for the perfect space-noir story.
Carly Schorman, the executive producer of Confessions and founder of YabYum Music + Arts, wanted to find a new way of putting art out into the world. Being a writer herself and a huge fan of noir, she felt that writing and publishing her novels wouldn’t create the same accessibility as a podcast would.
“We decided that we would start working on a fiction podcast, something that would be like an old-timey radio show,” she said.
Schorman wanted to use the web publication's platform to explore new forms of art. The problem was they had never recorded a podcast before, so while Confessions was in the works, Schorman and her team practiced by creating their other podcasts like Prizefighting Kangaroo and The Mortician’s Daughter.
“We didn’t want this to be amateur hour,” Schorman said. “We started doing these other projects at the same time so that we could understand how podcasts worked so that by the time we were ready with Confessions, we knew what we were doing.”
Everything about the podcast is original, from the noir saxophone intro to the gripping storyline, and created by local musicians, sound designers, and actors, including several Phoenix New Times contributors.
Confessions from the Nocturne Nebula is compiled of six episodes and is available on YabYum’s website and Apple Podcasts.
There is a Retro-Futuristic Dance Party scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at Rips Bar to celebrate the release of the podcats. There will be no cover.
The Never Rad MiscellanyAn abandoned life-simulation game. A crew stranded on a planet with no communication. A millionaire playboy space lord and his robot. A private investigator who is searching for the husband of a beautiful woman.
The Never Rad Miscellany is as random as it gets when it comes to sci-fi. Veteran podcaster Conrad Miszuk created the podcast in December 2018 with three other sci-fi writers.
“The Never Rad Miscellany is a collection of serialized and dramatized audio science fiction. We have four different main series and each one is performed live if we have the chance to use a venue,” Miszuk said.
“We designed from the very beginning that things could come and go,” said Kitt Keller, writer of Phoenix Lights. “It is the miscellaneous file folder and it is the things that fit into that category so as stories finish their usefulness, they can be let go and new stories can come in.”
The Miscellany releases new chapters about once a month, with some pre-recorded due to venue availability.
A recording of The Never Rad Miscellany is scheduled on Sunday, October 27, at The Rebel Lounge. Tickets are $10-$12 via Eventbrite.