Main sound: Captivating podcast looks at potential long-term damage from contact sports

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Contact sports around the world have faced reckoning over the long-term consequences of head injuries in recent decades: it started with American football and now other sports like rugby league are finally catching up.

This is the problem that this new research podcast from The Australian jumps right into.

Hosted by former rugby league star James Graham, the series follows Graham’s journey as he discovers the truth about the long-term damage the sport has done to his brain.

The show’s well-crafted scripting and excellent use of archival audio take listeners back to key historical moments in time, such as one of Graham’s particularly devastating concussions he experienced during a game, which really paints a vivid picture of the brutality that rugby stars treat on the pitch.

What also makes the show so captivating is Graham’s openness and vulnerability about his situation, which is no mean feat given the hyper-masculine culture of rugby league.

Overall, Head Noise deftly blends expert voices, with those on the front lines, to tell a story that will be of wide interest.

Episodes are released every Monday, no matter where you get your podcasts from.

Head Noise host and former rugby league star James Graham's openness and vulnerability about his situation is what really sells this excellent series.

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Head Noise host and former rugby league star James Graham’s openness and vulnerability about his situation is what really sells this excellent series.

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Cold cases

Podcast network and true crime specialists Parcast just released this new show, which takes a look at cases that have sat on the shelf for decades, gathering dust.

Every Episode investigates another cold case, some of which were eventually resolved and others that remain unsolved to this day.

Cold Cases’ style is very reminiscent of the hugely popular true crime series, Casefile: Terrifying music plays in the background, while the story is told solely in the narrator’s voice (in this case, the show is hosted by American actor Carter Roy).

If you are familiar with Casefile, then you will know from this comparison that Cold Cases sits at the more gruesome, graphic and disturbing end of the true crime genre – “true crime porn”, as some might describe it.

So it’s probably more of a show for the real crime buffs among us, whose hunger for gory detail knows no bounds.

New episodes of Cold Cases come out every Monday.

The Death of an Artist

In 1985, a young up-and-coming Cuban artist named Ana Mendieta fell to her death from her 34th-floor apartment in New York City.

Mendieta then lived there with her husband, the famous minimalist sculptor Carl Andre, who has always maintained that he was not involved in the tragic death of his wife.

But the host of this new Pushkin Industries podcast, curator Helen Molesworth, is clearly skeptical of that story.

Throughout the six-part series, Molesworth speaks with a number of art world insiders—some more candid than others—about Mendieta’s relationship with Andre, the circumstances surrounding Mendieta’s death, and how the wider art industry power dynamic played a role in the lead-up to the incident. and the subsequent consequences.

Molesworth also struggles with her own complicity in the story as a high-profile curator who followed what she describes as the art world’s tendency to always separate the art from the artist.

The first episode of Death of an Artist is out now and new episodes are released weekly, but if you can’t wait, all episodes are now available ad-free on Pushkin+.

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