Podcast: Episode #010
Subtitle: Radio & Podcasts
Post Date: November 11, 2018
Hosts: Andrew James, Eric D. & Mel Allen
Show Notes: Co-hosts Andrew James (@OneWhoSeesDimly) and Eric D. (@HopSnobbery) once again welcome The Voice of God, Mel Allen (@TheRealVoiceMel) and launch Episode 010 of Riff On, planning to talk solely about podcasts and podcasting...our new on demand lifestyle.
Eric D., after going to school and having a radio background, wishes there was more music-based podcasts. However, due to music licensing and copyrighting, it's not as common as talk-based podcasts.
Andrew immediately brings up Mike Luoma, who posts year end best of music lists and he had hoped that Mike would play them on his podcast, (Glow In the Dark Radio). Mike is a Vermont radio staple, who recently was let go at The Point FM 104.7, and was once at WIZN 106.7, where Mel now hosts his own show on weeknights called, Highway to Mel. Mike writes books (the Vatican Assassin series and more) and is now on noontime on Burlington's web-based radio station, WBKM.org.
Eric D. put in time at WEZF 92.9 (now Star 92.9) and WWPV after interning for Corm and the Coach at WIZN, a show which Mel produced for over two years. Corm and the Coach were legendary Vermont broadcasters led by Steve Cormier and Tom "The Coach" Brennan, former head coach of the University of Vermont Catamounts men’s basketball team. Eric D. and Mel both worked with Earl "The Duke" Handy (now owner ofHandy's Lunch), Ian Kelly, and Bill "The Rocker" Corbeil (RIP).
Mel goes into his radio background, which started originally in 1987, on WJSC at Johnson State College. His one taught lesson was "No Dead Air" and despite having some speech difficulties earlier in his life, he went on-air with a friend and when that friend froze on an open microphone, he slid in front of the microphone and jumped right in. 30+ years later, Mel has worked for an oldies station, classic rock radio, top 40, chart hit radio, Album Oriented Rock, Adult Contemporary, and country radio.
Every Riff On podcast seems to have a backdrop of great Vermont beer. Burlington Beer Company's Chunky & Jelly gets a shoutout. The boys started with Farnham Ale's Mr. Fox red ale and Foley Brothers Prawpah Ruby was also consumed early on.
Andy calls out Eric's radio jargon when he questions what a skimmer tape was after Eric recollects his college radio show 'Sight for Sore Ears', which he co-hosted with his college radio roommate Dennis from Calais, ME. Eric's other college radio experience was four years on WWPV, St. Michael's College Radio, called "Let it Roll", from 1998 to 2002, where he played live, improvisational, groove jam, years ahead of Sirius/XM and their Jam On station.
Seemingly, no radio DJ likes to hear his voice, no matter how much or little they talk when they turn on the mic. And ironically, podcasts are all about talking, and Mel and Eric D. and Andy all host or co-host multiple podcasts at times.
Mel's history in podcasting goes back before it was even labeled podcasting. He was recording audio and sending them through AOL instant message and other platforms to troops during Desert Storm, which was Aug 2, 1990 – Feb 28, 1991. He then progressed into sports radio accidentally and co-hosted 'Sports Talk with the Chat Pack' in Burlington. His experience there led him to being head-hunted to host a podcast for the Lingerie Football League (now Legends Football League) with his Chat Pack co-host. The Lingerie Football League website had 3 million hits a day during the off-season and 12 million hits a day during the season and when Mel told his co-host that if they even got 5% of those numbers, they could quit their day jobs, the co-host called the Owner of the Lingerie Football League and asked for more money. Three times. The Owner fired his Co-host and offered the podcast to Mel on his own and uncomfortable in hosting three days before the launch, Mel had to pull out and he eventually sold his half of the company to this co-host.
Talk then turns to music and podcast delivery and how technology has changed how we get what we listen to - from reel to reel to digital tape to digital recording and now instant delivery. Andy is a big Bill Simmons and The Ringer podcast fan and discusses how Bill wanted to bring podcasting to ESPN when he was still there. He eventually did, but spoke not too nicely about Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, and was shown the door. Andy states that it’s not just the technology, but its having the network in the palm of your hand.
Andy's favorite podcasts are 'The Last Podcast on the Left', 'Underwater Sunshine', which is the Counting Crows podcast. All of the guys are Counting Crows fan and Eric D. recollects how he got his promotional copy of 'August and Everything After' in Fall of 1993 and seeing them on David Letterman's Tonight Show for the first time, an episode that Madonna was on very stoned.
Podcasts have really raised in popularity since the introduction of iPhones and our constant data connection. NPR has really helped bring podcasting to the mainstream with their recording and posting of their standard shows and making them available as podcasts. NPR's Serial is one podcast that really comes to mind as to what really launched podcasts to the mainstream public, which launched in the Fall of 2014.
Eric D. talks about some of the podcasts that he's listened to since he got into listening to them, including the first season of 'Startup', which was about the founding of Gimlet Media. 'Reply All' is a Gimlet Media podcast, and Alex Blumberg, co-host of 'Reply All', trended on Twitter this week with her Podcast Bingo. The squares are a must read if you are a podcast fan. (SHOW NOTES EDIT OF THE PODCAST! @AlexLaughs is actually NOT Alex Blumberg, but is (female) Alex Sujong Laughlin, producer of @transmitterpods)
Before Eric D. did launch a podcast, he guested on the Off the Table podcast with Pauly V. where they discussed how to setup and launch a podcast. You can find that on YouTube here.
So, Eric D. finally started a podcast a year ago, as he launched the Let's Fix Construction podcast with Cherise Lakeside, his co-founder of LetsFixConstruction.com You can find it at www.LFCpodcast.com
Mel had previously launched The GR802 Podcast, but just pivoted to videos on YouTube. He's visiting locations and will be recording video and you can visit it at www.gr802.com
Andrew James co-hosts The Local Haunt with Carrie Henry, where they host local singers and songwriters onFacebook
The last beer that the boys enjoyed was Bent Hill Brewery's Gracious Thoughts, a juniper berry chaga imperial black IPA. The podcast was quickly wrapped up because the boys had to pee!
Thank you for tuning in and be sure to give us a follow on Twitter or Instagram at @RiffOnPodcast and a like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RiffOnPodcast
Stream this episode on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ININBHf6XE
Podcast: Episode #009
Subtitle: #BTV: Music & Beyond
Post Date: August 3, 2018
Hosts: Andrew James and Eric D.
Show Notes: Co-hosts Andrew James (@OneWhoSeesDimly) & Eric D. (@HopSnobbery) launch Episode 009 of Riff On talking about Wheel of Fortune out of all things, and how they used to "shop" at Service Merchandise at the end of the show, a store that Eric worked at in 1992 and 1993. Andy's family bought an Atari in Service Merchandise in 1981 and years later, his wedding ring, which he just lost.
Eric recollects his enjoyment of working at Service Merchandise, including all of the different rolls he had while there, and making just over $5 per hour. Back in the days when you had cigarette breaks and Andy recollects how he worked at job in Florida that scheduled their bathroom breaks. He also worked at Ames in South Burlington, which was at the University Mall.
Eric issues a WOOHOO! as Target is moving into the University Mall this coming Fall and the boys start talking about stores and restaurants of days past and other stores moving in. While working at Ames, Andy stocked CDs around New England, back when stores sold CDs.
Andrew and Eric share a Good Measure Brewery Cuvee de Northfield 2017 over the show. As per Untappd, Our House Saison/Farmhouse ale “Barn Coat” and our House Extra Special Bitter “East Street Bitter” were blended together and then inoculated with a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria including house microflora propagated from various fruits and flowers grown in VT. After fermenting on oak staves for over 12 months we then re-fermented the final blend in bottle. It's a delightful sour and Good Measure out of Northfield, Vermont should be found. The boys start talking about sour beers, as Andrew attempted to introduce Eric to sours with Oxbox in 2014 and my, how palates change.
The conversations turns to what do you call someone when you can't remember their name, or even know their name? Is it Dude? Man? Bro? My friend? Sir? Buddy?
The guys start talking about the last time they hung out, which is when they connected for a concert. Andrew plays in The Owl Stars and plays open mics and out with Troy Millette, who will be opening for Live and Counting Crowes. But on June 14th, Eric picked up a pair of tickets to see Sturgill Simpson at the Shelburne Museum. Andrew's brother, Dave Patterson, introduced Andrew to Sturgill way back when. Dave is a former beer writer for Maine Today, who is releasing his debut novel 'Soon the Light Will be Perfect' in April of 2019 (Preorder HERE)
Eric recollects how his music mantra used to be 'anything by country', but his latest favorite artists include Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton - all essentially country music. Eric saw Tyler at Higher Ground earlier this year. Alex Crothers is an original co-owner of Higher Ground, who opened in April of 1998 and nowadays they book the Shelburne Museum, State Theater in Portland, Mass MOCA, Brewery Ommegang and the Midway Lawn at the Champlain Valley Exposition.
Unfortunately, Vermont doesn't have a permanent music ampitheater, despite the number of mountains which contribute to the natural shape. We've had Stowe Performing Arts Center and Bolton hosted concerts over the years, but with the exception of Jay Peak hosting some occasional shows in their new structure, we have no summer sheds. Phil Lesh, Twiddle's Tumble Down and Grace Potter's Grand Point North are all upcoming (at the time of the recording) at the Burlington Waterfront.
The talk turns into concerts being announced eight months to twelve months out, if not longer. Especially for major artists like Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, U2 and Metallica, and that doesn't take into consideration the pricing and how expensive the tickets are.
Andrew is looking forward to that upcoming Live and Counting Crows shows, which falls on the same weekend as Phish's Curveball, which will be Phish's eleventh festival, at Watkin's Glen Speedway. Eric has seen Phish over 70 times and this will be his first Phish show in almost five years. Despite the boys likes to see live music, both don't get out to see many shows, especially with families at home. Eric recently went to see moe. two nights at Higher Ground and ended up eating a ticket for both nights.
Catch Andrew at 14th Star Brewery with The Owl Stars on August 10th and he'll be playing at the Champlain Valley Fair, both solo and with The Owl Stars. Check out their gigs here: https://www.bandsintown.com/a/4504746-the-owl-stars
Andrew James hosts The Local Haunt on Facebook.
Eric D. also hosts the Let's Fix Construction podcast. www.LFCpodcast.com
Thank you for tuning in and be sure to give us a follow on Twitter or Instagram at @RiffOnPodcast and a like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RiffOnPodcast/
Stream this episode on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igfLXxSWpvk
Podcast: Episode #007
Subtitle: Top of Our Head
Post Date: May 15, 2018
Hosts: Eric D. and Pauly V.
Show Notes: Riff On's co-host Eric D. (@HopSnobbery) is joined by Pauly V (@varricc) to launch Episode 007, talking everything right off the top of their head. From music and CDs and Spotify to radio, maps and television.
Pauly V. visits the Riff On studio in Colchester, Vermont for the very first time. Left alone in the studio, he admires some of the artwork on Eric D's studio wall, which includes a drawing of Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam who he thought was Max Cavalera of Sepultura. Eric D. reflects on how Pearl Jam is the first artist that he watched the full arc on, from debut release of 'Ten' to their election into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Conversation turns to the CD collection that Eric D. has in his office and how outdated it is now that Spotify is so widely used. Music royalties are discussed for artists, and Eric D. reflects on a job he had overseeing the copyrights for George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic and the derivitive songs due to hip-hop and rap sampling. They guys talk rap, including Vanilla Ice, the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Kanye West, Jurassic 5, Drake and Post Malone.
Radio gets discussed as Eric D. DJ'd at St. Michael's College Radio and The Radiator (he doesn't mention his stint at WEZF (now Star 92.9 in Colchester, VT) How is it that Led Zeppelin only had a few top 40 hits, yet their music is all over the radio, but only modern "top 40" rock songs traditionally get added to stations?
Pauly V. drives for a living and the duo talk GPS, Waze and atlases. How great was the GPS as an invention and how obsolete are they now due to Google Maps on our phones? Those that drive in Vermont know what The Notch is from Smuggler's Notch over to the Stowe side of Mt. Mansfield and car GPS' will lead trucks through The Notch (Route 108) when they won't fit through.
Can't have a proper episode about anything without discussing beer. The guys are enjoying an Idletyme Zog's American Pale Ale and Eric D. compares it to Upper Pass' First Drop, which is a widly popular APA in the Vermont scene. Turns out chicken wings are at four year low for prices and Eric D. wishes the four pack prices of DIPA's were at a four year low, as well.
Netflix, horror films, cable, TV, Lucifer and Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus are all discussed as the guys wrap up the episode talking about podcasting.
Pauly V. hosts his own podcast called 'Off the Table' (grab it on itunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/off-the-table/id1199645438?mt=2) and Eric D. has picked his brain on more than one occasion about how to setup a podcast. Eric D. asks Pauly about Anchor, which is a mobile-based podcasting service and he just recently looked into it this weekend.
If you make it through to the end, Eric D. drops a fairly good podcast topic for those that are looking for a subject to discuss. Tune in and find out.
Go find Pauly V. on Twitter. He doesn't use it nearly enough at @varricc but he does use Instagram at @varricc
Thank you for tuning in and be sure to give us a follow on Twitter or Instagram at @RiffOnPodcast and a like on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/RiffOnPodcast/
Stream this episode on YouTube at https://youtu.be/qUglaocd0P4
Podcast: Episode #000
Subtitle: Riff On What?
Post Date: December 12, 2017
Hosts: Andrew James and Eric D.
Show Notes: Co-hosts Andrew James (@OneWhoSeesDimly) and Eric D. (@HopSnobbery) launch their podcast, Riff On, with episode 000, titled 'Riff On What'.
Riff, in it's most common definition is a noun and defined as a short repeated phrase in popular music and jazz, typically used as an introduction or refrain in a song. As Andy is a singer/songwriter and Eric D. is a self-confessed musical snob, this definition fits them well. However, riff is also a verb and can be defined as a monologue or spoken improvisation, especially a humorous one, on a particular subject.
"subsequent riffs on the same themes fail to amuse"
So, Riff On will be about both of these definitions.
We're going to talk music. And beer. And sports. And Vermont. And social media. And marketing. And pop culture. And more music. And more beer. And more sports. And really any subject that catches our eye or brain.
Please give us a follow on Twitter or Instagram at @RiffOnPodcast and a like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RiffOnPodcast
Ways You Can Listen:
A #podcast about stuff with primary hosts Andrew James (@OneWhoSeesDimly) and Eric D. (@HopSnobbery). But sometimes joined by friends Mel Allen (@TheRealVoiceMel) and Pauly V. (@varricc)