What Ellen Listens to While she Works

It’s equal parts indie and educational.

Though Ellen van Dusen creates the kind of loud, high-energy pieces that immediately put you in a good mood—and frequents the kind of Brooklyn venues whose shows aren’t advertised—she spends as much of her workday listening to what could be classified as educational programming as to indie music. Here, she shares her favorites in both categories.

The Moth
“It’s a podcast of stories told live without notes. There was a really awesome one recently with Steve from Blue’s Clues. He talks about how he was just this big nerd, and at one point he was named one of People’s most eligible bachelors. He started getting all these letters, including one from a Playboy model. It was just hilarious—and mortifying.”

“Growing up, I was, like, obsessed with Weezer—to a fault. It was a problem. I still listen to Pinkerton and The Blue Album. Those are the best ones—the only good ones, really.”

Best Coast
“I really like ‘Crazy For You,’ which is also the name of the album.”

This American Life
“Whenever there’s a new one on, I listen to it. I’ve heard every single episode because I used to listen to eight episodes—back-to-back-to-back—if I was working for eight hours. I really like the economy ones, actually. I’m not super informed about that stuff, and I find it’s really easy to understand when they explain it. And I like the sad ones.”

Arthur Russell
“He’s an old disco-y guy. I don’t really like disco, but he has a lot of mellow stuff.”

“They’re good friends of mine—some of them used to be roommates of my boyfriend—but I actually really do listen to them. They play at a lot of DIY venues, like Death by Audio and Market Hotel.”

“It’s a science-based podcast that’s similar to This American Life. There was one that I listened to recently about cities that was great. It was basically asking, ‘Does the city make the person, or do the people make the city?’ It included a really awesome story about Centralia, which is a coal-mining town where a fire started underground and has continued to burn for years and years and years. It addresses how cities don’t really die, ever. You should check it out.”

“My brothers started a band together called the Doozies. It’s just the two of them, and they’re really good. They’re in D.C. and very new—still trying to get out there. Their sound is kind of garage-rock with some punk undertones.”

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