The podcast Lost Notes 1980 from the massively influential Los Angeles public radio station KCRW takes deep dives into significant pop-music milestones and the artists involved in the year 1980. These are sometimes well-known, sometimes obscure, bands and songs that shaped the trajectory of music, from punk to soul, from rock to hip-hop, from jazz to disco and beyond. The podcast’s style is an example of crafted journalistic storytelling. In one of its most haunting and poignant episodes, the podcast looks at the deaths of two stars from opposite ends of of the success-and-fame spectrum that happened over two days in December of 1980. Darby Crash, frontman of the underground L.A. punk band the Germs, and John Lennon, the beloved guitarist-singer-songwriter formerly of the Beatles, arguably the biggest and most influential band in the world ever.

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Speaking of music and podcasts, another show we highly recommend is Song Xploder. Each episode talks with a band or artist about one of their songs, the ideas behind the tune, how it was produced and recorded, deconstructing the sounds, lyrics, arrangements and recording. It’s first-rate! The podcast has recently become a Netflix documentary series, too.