Okay, folks, grand announcement time. February 10th, 2015 marked the first anniversary of Train Station at 8! With a whole year under our belt, I'm confident in saying that this is one of the most fulfilling projects I've ever worked on-- it's certainly made us the most friends! Why, we've put out 42 episodes with a combined total of 33 guests, which is undeniable proof that we didn't do this alone.
To celebrate this fact, you can scroll down this page and feast your eyes (and potentially your ears) on a collection of video game music podcasts that I personally tune into near every week. Everyone approaches the subject with a different perspective, so I encourage you to give them all a listen and see which ones stick with you. I know I'm grateful to have so many creative voices out there talking about, as Grant Kirkhope would say, good tunes.
I've been listening to Brett Elston and his ne'er-do-well cast of friends chat amongst themselves much longer than Train Station at 8 has existed. A different theme or game series is spotlighted each episode, but if there's one thing I love about this show, it's the genuine love Brett has for all the music he dredges up from a varied past of video game joy. He'll often preface a song with stories of his days working at the gaming section of Toys R Us or playing Redbook Audio CDs in his car, teenaged public opinion be damned. Fellow podcasters from Laser Time (a pop-culture-focused Whales are Whales to put it somewhat reductively) come and go, giving VGMPire a super relaxed vibe to hang out in. Brett's been on Train Station at 8 before, so check that out if you'd like a sample!
Will and Karl Brueggeman are classy as all get out. Their format is fairly straightforward-- pick a general theme and discuss songs one at a time-- but it's the knowledgeable back and forth discussion that sets these guys apart. Both of them are talented composers, so they've got musically sound opinions and terminology out the wazoo. They run a tight ship, those Marcato Bros., and I've learned a lot about composition throughout my hours of listening. Since destiny demands that two pairs of brothers who host video game music podcasts must join forces, Will and Karl have been on Train Station at 8 several times in the past, and we've guested on their show as well. It's a beautiful friendship.
I'm not much of a JRPG guy, and that's precisely why I enjoy listening to Rhythm Encounter. As I find myself unwilling to play through the majority of 50+ hour eastern epics out there, I turn to the official music podcast of RPGFan to fill me in on all the astounding music. This fine show is hosted by Stephen Meyerink, Caitlin Argyros, and Mike Salbato; although we had Derek Heemsbergen on the show with Stephen a while back, he's no longer in the hosting seat. All of these people know a thing or two about RPGs, however, and share with their audience a whole bunch of their favorite songs from the genre.
I have a soft spot for MMO music, and this thematically appropriate show directly stabs that soft spot with the blade of memorable melodies. I appreciate Battle Bards not only for creative editing (a rarity with most podcasts) but for living up to their name and breaking out the verbal weaponry. Steff, Syp, and Syl don't hesitate to disagree with one another or flat-out decide that they don't like the music at hand, even though they couldn't be friendlier in the process.
I'll admit that I've only heard a small handful of Emily's episodes, but I don't hesitate for a moment to recommend Top Score wholeheartedly. These brief, well-produced snippets of Minnesota Public Radio-- yes, this is a real deal radio show-- interview some of the sharpest minds in the video game music scene, bringing our beloved culture to a whole new audience. If you don't want to take my word for it, know that the Marcato Bros. hold up Top Score as a major inspiration for their own show!
The most recent of my podcast discoveries, Pixelated Audio features a duo of dudes who like to reach back into their retro past for musical ammunition. Bryan (not our Bryan) and James don't just discuss the music, however; they often compare notes on the games proper and how they've enjoyed playing through them. These guys are fairly new to the podcasting scene, and I welcome them with a thumbs up and a spot on this list!
That just about rounds out my current rotation of video game music podcasts, but I'm always looking for more, so drop me a note if you have any favorites missing in action. Thank you so many times for listening and, in this case, reading. We'll see you around!