Podcast Rec :: Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Today’s Podcast Recommendation is Unlocking Us with Brené Brown.

Unlocking Us logo

I first heard about author Brené Brown when Karen and Georgia (My Favorite Murder) talked about her and her books (and TED talk). Then right when the pandemic hit, she put out a podcast. So of course, I needed to listen.

According to Wikipedia she: “is an American professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown holds the Huffington Foundation’s Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.”

She interviews some amazing people. I haven’t heard all the episodes, but the ones I have are really informative and insightful. She’s a good interviewer (though a little over the top fan-girling at times), but she asks good questions coming from a place of knowledge yet willingness to learn more.

The one with Joe Biden, if you voted for him you’ll feel better about your vote. If you didn’t, I think you’ll feel better about him winning.

I’d say you will learn something from each episode. Even on topics that you thought you knew.

I think many of us need to explore things that are outside our bubble because really our bubbles are bigger than we know, and it’s our responsibility as citizens of the world, to know as much as possible.

Maybe that’s just my opinion, but if we all take time to learn and care about others, the world would definitely be a better place.

Some of my favorite episodes:
with Joe Biden on Empathy, Unity, and Courage
with Laverne Cox on Transgender Representation, Advocacy + the Power of Love
with Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Antiracist


Listen on Spotify

Amazon links
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Artist Rec :: Lissie

Today’s Artist Recommendation is Lissie Maurus.


I first heard of Lissie when I was preparing to set upon my first music festival cruise, Cayamo back in about 2010. I’d not yet heard of her, but I immediately downloaded all her EPs (that’s all that was out at the time) and listened obsessively.

By the time the cruise time arrived, I had planned to make it to every one of her performances on the boat. Especially after seeing her rock her first show. She is a very engaging live performer, stomping around in her bare feet, swinging that great hair. There’s something very powerful in how she is on stage. She’s having a blast and so you will too.

She has put out a bunch of great music since then, and I swear, just gets better every year. Lucky for us, she has been doing a lot of live streams since the pandemic hit. I’ve seen, I think, four of her shows. The most recent was just last week when she did a show with guitarist, Stanton Edward. Wow, what a fun show. When she does a live stream again do yourself a favor and buy a ticket.

She has some amazing covers. Her newest is “Bloody Mother F*ck*ng Asshole” (Martha Wainwright)

A few months ago she performed in a near-empty Parkway Theater here in Minneapolis and live-streamed it. Here’s a video from that, doing Mylie Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”

She has a new EP coming out this week (November 20, 2020) that is all covers!

…but it’s her original music that hits it for me.

Some of my favorite songs:
Why You Runnin’ (Why You Runnin’ EP)
When I’m Alone (and pretty much every song on Catching a Tiger)
Blood and Muscle (Castles)
Best Days (Castles)

Find her in the ether:

Why You Runnin’? (EP)
Covered Up with Flowers (2011 EP)
Cryin’ to You (EP 2014)
Catching a Tiger (2010)
Live at Union Chapel (2016)
Back to Forever (2013)
My Wild West (2016)
Castles (2018)
The Piano Introspective (2019)
Thank You To The Flowers EP (2020)

You can get these here too

Amazon links
NOTE If you are using an Adblocker, you’ll need to pause it for this site, so you can see the albums. It considers these links to be ads. They’re just links to products, but it is through an affiliate program.


Podcast Rec :: Songwriter

Today’s Podcast Recommendation is Songwriter (Stories and Answer Songs) by Ben Arthur.

Songwriter podcast logo

I featured Ben this past week as a musician but he’s also a podcaster…and author, but that’s another story (see what I did there?).

I downloaded a few episodes over the last few months and listened to them, but I think I listened distractedly because I didn’t get out of it what I did this time around. I really spent some time with it yesterday using headphones (important) and really paying attention. The concept is that he matches up an author with a singer-songwriter. So, the author reads a piece of their work and then the musician performs a song they wrote based on that story.

I listened to the Joyce Carol Oates episodes and her stories are heartbreaking! I’ve never read anything by her and now I am so intrigued.

One episode also features musicians Jennifer Marks who is a friend of Collected Sounds from back in the day. It was great to hear her again. I also never knew I actually liked banjo music until I heard Tony Trishka. Wow. All three of the above are on Episode 11.


Some of my other favorite episodes:

Ethan Lipton and Sara Jaffee (6)

Ben Sollee and James Lindsey (12)







It translates to Sugar Bee. And it’s a perfume company, owned and operated by a group of wonderful women. This is not a post about music or podcasts (well, not directly anyway) but I wanted to highlight this fantastic company so here we are.

A friend suggested them to me because they have a line of fragrances named after My Favorite Murder (podcast) quotes such as “You’re in a Cult, Call Your Dad” and “Here’s the Thing, Fuck Everyone”. They also have lines for Supernatural, Firefly, Game of Thrones, and Golden Girls to name just a few.
perfume bottle
How does a perfume company sell fragrances to people who can’t smell them before buying? Glad you asked. Another amazing thing about Sucreabeille is that each scent has its own page with not only scent notes (what it smells like) but a blurb about the nature of the scent. Sometimes it’s a short paragraph, sometimes it’s a full story. Here’s an example of the description for “Here’s the Thing…”

You come home after a long day: you somehow ground dirt into your white shirt (HOW?), your friend ditched you, and the train held up your commute for 30 minutes – AGAIN. Now as you lay down to turn on some murder documentaries some asshole is knocking on your door, pleading with you to use your phone because their car broke down, and you don’t see a car in sight. So you leave them knocking, call the police, and turn the murder documentaries up to 11 after slipping on this rich scent of rich dark chocolate, dirt (yes I said dirt-trust me guys), and amber and tucking in with a nice shot of bourbon. Because here’s the thing-fuck everyone.
Scent notes: Bourbon, Rich chocolate, Dark amber, touch of dirt

I have that one, it’s the first one I bought, and it remains one of my favorites.

They come in wee sample sizes (the two little ones below) for $6 each so if something sounds like you might like it, you can get a tiny one and if you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted too much money. Also, there is a Facebook group of fans of these scents (yes, there IS a Facebook group for everything) and occasionally they do swaps. So you could get swap it for one you already know you like at a later date. But you’ll probably just like them anyway.

I now have placed eight orders counting my recurring monthly subscription and there are only a few scents I don’t like out of the 34 scents I have.

Also, these are handmade in small batches so they’re “fresh” when you get them. So sometimes letting them sit for a week or so changes the smell. They also smell different on skin vs. in the bottle. So, some that smell terrible in the bottle smell really nice on my skin. They’re going to smell different on different people too. I don’t pretend to understand the science behind perfume making. But I’m enjoying the results.

I like to put them in my essential oil diffuser. Some smell great like that, some are better on the skin. I also have a diffuser bracelet and that’s a nice way to smell it all day.

Below is my latest order. It was a mystery bag so I had no idea what I would be getting. I think it’s probably either new scents that are not out yet or retiring ones. I’m sure it said so on the card, but my dog ate it before I read it.

Bottles of fragrance
The order contains rollerballs of Mouthy Broad and Frozen Moon (I like these both, the latter better).
Drams of:  High Strangeness (not for me), Danger Noodle (nice and light, doesn’t stay on long), and Irish Cream (another one not for me, it’s soooooo sweet. It might dry better than it smells in the bottle).

Samples of Jaime (Game of Thrones line) and Byzantine (I LOVE both of these, Jaime is my favorite of this batch).

I’ll keep posting on social media when I get orders I hope you try them out!


Note while I am an Amazon affiliate I do not have any sort of relationship with Sucreabeille, I just love them.

Check them out here: Sucreabeille.

Artist Rec :: Ben Arthur

Today’s Artist Recommendation is Ben Arthur.

Ben Arthur (Credit_ Bernie DeChant)

Ben Arthur (Credit Bernie DeChant)

Ben sent me his music many years ago. I reviewed his 2004 album, Edible Darling. The cover still gives me the heebies but the music remains in my rotation.

I reviewed Mouthfeel in 2008. He also played a show at our house that same year. It was super fun. He had a bunch of friends in attendance and they were cool people. That is always comforting when you’re opening your home to strangers.

Ben’s music is quality songwriting, beautiful melodies, great musicianship, and clever (sometimes hilarious) lyrics. His voice is a calming force, it’s strong but can be sweet too.

He’s put out ten albums to date, the most recent being Collision which came out this year. I listened to it in its entirety today. The songs are fantastic.
Listen here

He also hosts and co-produces a songwriting video series and television show called SongCraft Presents.
Ben has some other creative endeavors going on too. One I will be posting about on Sunday…hint…

Some of my favorite songs:
“Keep me Around” (Edible Darling)
“Last Goodbye” (Mouthfeel)
“Halfway Home” (Collision)
“Precious Cargo” (Collision)
“When the Devil Knows Your Name” and “Pieces of Me” (Collision) Well, look at that, I like ALL the songs on Ben’s new record!


Find him in the Ether:


Please support Ben by visiting his Bandcamp site. https://benarthur.bandcamp.com/
Curses and Rapture (1997)
Gypsyfingers (2001)
Edible Darling (2004)
Welcome to the Ongoing (2006)
Mouthfeel (2008)
Roadkill (2008)
If You Look for My Heart (2012)
Call and Response (2016)
American Castles (2017)
Perspective (2019)
Collision (2020)

NOTE If you are using an Adblocker, you’ll need to pause it for this site, so you can see the albums. It considers these links to be ads. They’re just links to products, but it is through an affiliate program.

Podcast Rec :: Sleep with Me

“Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary….”

Sleep with Me Logo
Today’s podcast recommendation is Sleep with Me. No, it’s not naughty. It’s a guide to help you sleep. Our host is Scooter, aka Scoots, aka Drew Ackerman.

I discovered this podcast several years ago when I was having trouble sleeping (due to a shitty job that was causing me stress). If you’re like me, and bedtime is when your brain wakes up and goes, “Hey what about that document, did you remember to shred that?” or “do dogs have belly buttons?” or “did you *really* lock all the doors though?” … then this is for you.

It is a guide to help you turn off all those other thoughts and focus on Scooter as he guides you to sleep by rambling about nearly nothing in his “smooth, dulcet tones”.

I felt with all the anxiety most of us have been feeling lately (and all the horror I recommended in October) you might welcome a nice gentle podcast to lull you to sleep or at least calm you.

There are a lot of sleep podcasts out there, and you should try a bunch to see what works for you, but this is my favorite. Mostly because Scoots is so charming and I love listening to my “Borefriend”.

I urge you to follow and become a patron on Patreon. He’s very generous and puts out many episodes each week! You’ll get a special RSS feed that allows you to download the special episodes (without the meandering introductions, if you just want the story).

He does a few series where he talks you through a TV show. He’s done Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and his newest one that I love is The Great British Baking Show. I know, right?! I’ve already listened to the three episodes on this and even watched the show so I could see all the things he described. It’s soooo wonderful!



Find it in on your favorite podcast app or right here