Trypod–My Favorite Podcasts 2017

For nearly 10 years I’ve been a huge consumer of podcasts and have been elated to see it come more into the mainstream over the last few years.  The two biggest virtues of Podcasting are the long-form and in-depth conversations that take place, combined with the variety of content. This results in a utopia of great content, no matter how diverse or obscure your interests are.

Some of the biggest podcasts have been involved with TryPod all March, where they ask listeners to invite friends to check out some of their favorite podcasts.  I’ve been meaning to post my list of favorite podcasts all month, but what better time to get around to it than the last day of the month?  Better late than never I guess.

First you need to know that my podcasting obsession may be a little out of control. I currently subscribe to 87 different podcast fees, and this is after recently pruning my subscriptions.  It’s certainly not practical to listen to 87 different podcasts (although some of those are currently dormant or don’t produce content on a frequent basis), and so over the years I’ve adapted my podcast listening strategy. Typically I am an obsessed completion-ist, feeling that subscribing to a podcast meant a commitment to hear every episode. That then evolved into a “must listen” list, where I selected the top podcasts that I wouldn’t miss. Today, I treat my Podcast feeds more like a radio dial: there are shows that I’ll always grab as soon as they’re available, and have developed a lower tolerance for entertaining content and may stop listening to a podcast mid-episode if it doesn’t interest me, some shows I’ll just skip all together and wait for the next episode.

As I’ve said before, there are great podcasts for just about every interest that you have, and as such I listen to podcasts about Politics, Sports, Pop Culture, Photography, Drumming, Music Business, Comics, Technology and Development, News and Comedy. Currently the majority of my listening is steeped in news and politics, where I’m striving to get a vast array of opinions. I politically consider myself a fiscal conservative and socially moderate Republican, that is currently questioning my party affiliation. You may notice that many of the political podcasts are more mainstream or left-leaning, in my attempt to understand different viewpoints.

So without further ado, here are 31 Podcasts for 31 Days (in no particular order):

1947 Meet The Press Podcast

News, Politics Interviews – Weekly

Why I Listen: Hosted by Chuck Todd, the podcast enables him to dive deeper into compelling topics that interest him.

 

Accidental Tech Podcast

Technology (Mostly Apple)  – Weekly

Why I Listen: Geeky tech talk that dives deep into mainly Apple issues, isn’t afraid to go deep in the weeds with nerdy topics.

Can He Do That?

Politics – Weekly

Why I Listen: This Washington Post podcast is focused around Donald Trump, with a fair analysis of recent controversial decisions and behaviors.

Comic Geek Speak

Comics – 2-4 Per Month

Why I Listen: One of my oldest podcasts to remain at the top of my rotation. Some really passionate and nerdy (and I mean that affectionately) discussion-based podcasts.  They cover a wide array of comics, but my favorite episodes are their deep-dive “spotlight” episodes on characters and their eras.

Ctrl Walt Delete

Tech – Weekly

Why I Listen: Really thoughtful discussion on the latest technology topics. Essentially Nilay Patel and Walt Mossberg discuss Walt’s recent column. This podcast has grown to be one of my favorite tech podcasts, and has really made me develop a significant amount of respect for Walt Mossberg.

Deadcast

Sports – Weekly

Why I Listen: Recently back from the dead, this NSFW Podcast gives hilarious discussion on sports and some pop culture.

DIY Musician Podcast

Music Business – Weekly

Why I Listen: Put on by CDBaby, this podcast gives me a lot to think about when it comes to musician marketing, outreach and growing our band. I appreciate that their topics are varied, yet apply to working musicians.

Exponent

Tech/Business – Weekly

Why I Listen: These guys are probably the smartest and most insightful analysts I listen to. My mind is always blown by the richness of their discussions. Most of it is based in consumer technology business models, but I’m left with a lot to ponder after each podcast.

Fatman on Batman

Comics – Weekly

Why I Listen: Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin talking all things comics. Despite the name, they’ve branched out far beyond Batman and talk all things comics/geek culture.  The language can be NSFW, but is often my go-to podcast when I’m trying to catch up on the latest comic news.

 

FiveThirtyEight Politics

Politics – Weekly

Why I Listen: Extremely insightful analysis on political numbers, polls and recent political happenings.  The analysis is very fair and the hosts do a great job of taking a dry subject and making it entertaining and accessible.

 

FoKnowsPhoto Raw Talk

Photography – 2x Monthly

Why I Listen: I’m a huge FroKnowsPhoto fan. Honestly a lot of my photography approach is shaped by Jared Polin.  What I most appreciate about this show is that it covers photo news, happenings and issues that professional and budding photographers face. The show doesn’t get too far into the weeds, but is extremely entertaining. Their newest format with Todd took a while to grow on me, but it’s really matured into an insightful and entertaining show.

Here’s The Thing

Interviews – 2-4x Monthly

Why I Listen: Thoughtful interviews done by Alec Baldwin – yes, that Alec Baldwin. He goes to great depths with celebrities from all over. I leave each show learning more about both Alec and his subject.

 

Jay & Miles X-plain The X-men

Comics – Weekly

Why I Listen: This is probably my favorite podcast. As a closeted X-men fan that got into comics in the early 90’s, this is definitely in my wheelhouse.  The level of depth in the recaps and analysis is impressive and entertaining. It’s easy to take for granted just how much work Jay and Miles put into each episode.

Mission Log

Star Trek – Weekly

Why I Listen: A weekly Star Trek episode recap show.As a Trekie who’s seen every episode at least 4 times, I love revisiting the show each week and thinking about the show’s messages, and whether it holds up.  If you love Star Trek, you’ll be deep-diving into their archives.

NPR Politics

Politics – Weekly

Why I Listen: Insightful center-left analysis of the latest political happenings.  I appreciate the context that is offered for the current issues.

On The Media

Politics/News – Weekly

Why I Listen: A left-leaning look on the ways culture and media impact each other. This show is well-done and thought-provoking, although it’s definitely gone to a darker place since the election.

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture – Weekly

Why I Listen: Witty and insightful discussion on the latest movies, TV shows, and pop-culture happenings.  The shows are the perfect length and provide the perfect depth and analysis of the topics.  This show is basically Cliff-Notes for Pop Culture, so you can give the illusion that you’re still hip.

S-Town

Narrative – One-Time

Why I Listen: This is the newest edition to my feed, recently replacing the Missing Richard Simmons podcast. This is done by the same group that put on Serial once upon a time, and is done in the same story-telling format.  I would call this a cross between “human interest’ and “guilty pleasure”.

Whistlestop

Political History – 2x Month

Why I Listen: Hosted by John Dickerson, this podcast provides some historical context to recent political events. This helps you figure out whether you should freak out about latest political developments.

Startup

Tech/Business – Weekly

Why I Listen: A fantastic narrative-based podcast that covers the world of starting and growing a business.

Talk From Superheroes

Comedy/Comics/Movies – Weekly

Why I Listen: An extremely funny show where comedians discuss and recap new and old super hero movies. What starts off as hilarious observations ends up with some very insightful reflections on the movies.

 

The Axe Files

Politics Interviews – Weekly

Why I Listen: Former Obama advisor David Axelrod interviews political figures from all sides of the political spectrum.

 

Bill Simmons

Sports, Pop Culture – 1-3x Per week

Why I Listen: One of my longest-tenured podcasts dating back to the BS Report, Bill ;Simmons has some very entertaining interviews.

 

The Daily

News, Politics – Daily

Why I Listen: A new New York Times podcast that I listen while showering each morning. It’s short, well-produced and very topical.

The Talk Show w/ John Gruber

Tech/Apple – Weekly

Why I Listen: Interesting Apple-focused tech discussion.

West Wing Weekly

West Wing TV Show – Weekly

Why I Listen: An entertaining and insightful recap of West Wing episodes, with Hrishikesh Hirway and Josh Malina (who was on the West Wing in Seasons 4-7). They land interviews from various cast members, including Aaron Sorkin himself.

 

TWiT

Tech Analysis – Weekly

Why I Listen: One of my longest-tenured podcasts for tech news discussion and analysis. I have to admit that I listen to this one more out of loyalty now, with my listening being determined by who’s on the week’s panel.

TV Avalanche

TV Pop Culture – Weekly

Why I Listen: A TV critics podcast about the latest and best shows. I’m a big fan of Alan Sepinwall and am glad to have him back in Podcasting.

Upgrade

Tech News, Apple – Weekly

Why I Listen: Another Apple-focused tech discussion podcast. I’m starting to see a trend with most of my tech consumption being Apple-focused. I’d like to think this is more coincidental in my search for insightful tech discussion, but some may be influenced by my tech consumption as an iOS user.

The Weeds

Political Policy – Weekly

Why I Listen: Intelligent left-leaning political policy discussion going in “the weeds” on issues.

 

The Weekly Standard

Political Discussion – 1-2x Weekly

Why I Listen: Conservative political discussion and analysis of current events. The Weekly Standard is definitely pro-Republican, but not necessarily Pro-Trump, which makes for some insightful commentary.

 

I would definitely invite you to give any of these 31 podcasts a try, especially if any of the interests are in your wheelhouse.  If you’re already into podcasts, I’d love to hear any recommendations you may have.

New GigPoster: Amy’s Birthday Bash

Last week Amy and the Peace Pipes played at Surfside 7 (which has become one of our favorite venues) for Amy’s Birthday Bash. We had a great lineup with Wolfer and The Happy Dapples.  Since this show was being pitched as a birthday bash, I wanted the gig poster to feature Amy a little more than usual, ending up with this result:

More proof that the NFL doesn’t love you back

Good news for those at the front of the Broncos’ nearly 75,000 season tickets wait list:The team is not renewing season tickets for those who didn’t attend a game in 2016

Good news everybody! The Broncos want to make sure those greedy bastard season ticket holders won’t be able to make profits off of their tickets any more!

Oh shit, we actually didn’t go to any games last year.

Granted, we sold all of our tickets at face value, to friends and family. In fact the whole time we’ve bought four tickets, two of the seats have always gone to other people. In all the years we’ve been buying tickets, we’ve never sold a ticket for more than face value, and have made every effort to avoid selling them to fans of the other team. I realize that not every season ticket holder is as altruistic. There are people who make quite a bit of money off of their tickets, rarely go to any games and probably laugh all the way to the bank.  The problem is that those people won’t be punished.

The people who will be punished will be the poor saps that used the NFL’s Ticket Exchange.  If you’re not familiar with the service, Mike Shanahan will tell you all about it.

Over the last few years, the NFL and the teams have made huge efforts to get season ticket holders to use the Exchange to broker tickets. They’ll tell you it’s to ensure authenticity and combat scalping, but the reality is that the teams want to double-dip ticket revenue and take a cut for selling your tickets again. The irony here is that all the fans that thought they were doing right by using the Exchange, when now all they’ve done is give the teams ammunition to build a revocation case against them.

Right now my family is in the dark period of our season ticket stewardship.  With two kids under 4, it’s become increasingly difficult to go to games.  Between the packing, traveling, tailgating and finally seeing the game, seeing the Broncos is easily an 8-10 hour event. With the kids that gives us three options: cash in one of our coveted “free babysitting” cards, one of us leaves the spouse watching the kids all day while the other goes and parties (and feel really guilty about it, despite that we’re both happy to watch our own kids), or stay at home with the kids on one of the two family days we get each week. In addition, there are no more family events and obligations that prevent us from going to games. The one game we were planning on attending (the Patriots game), conflicted with Clara’s first dance recital.

However we know that before we know it the kids will have grown to a game-attending age (although stadium behavior now convinces me that it’s now 25, but that’s a post for another day), and our “dark period” will be followed up with a game-going renaissance where we’ll romantically pass our fandom onto our kids.  In the end, isn’t this the point of season ticket ownership? Rather than invest in a team for a single season, fans are taking stock in the family experience that spans multiple years, hopefully into generations?

The other aspect that’s not considered is the fact that the NFL jacks up playoff ticket prices as well. A playoff run (of 2 games, mind you) typically cost season ticket holders 1/4-1/3 of what they paid for the season, which is always due right around Christmas when money is already tight for folks. A lot of people resort to selling next year’s tickets to recover the costs for the previous year’s playoff glory.

I get that there are people who abuse their season tickets, but these tactics aren’t going to punish those guys. If the Broncos wanted to punish them, they would be conducting stings of people selling on Craigslist or even on the street corner outside the stadium.  You don’t even need to buy the tickets, just look at the seat numbers and flag the owners.  Instead the Broncos are going to go with the low-hanging fruit and punish people that likely mean well and used their sanctioned scalpin-errrr-ticket-reselling tool.

More proof that the sport you love doesn’t love you back.

Photographing Qbala’s Farewell Show

Last night I had the opportunity to photograph Qbala, one of Fort Collins’ best rappers, and someone I’ve known since middle school. On Thursday she played her “farewell” show, as she’s gearing up for a move to Portland. In my involvement in the Northern Colorado music scene, few people work as hard towards their craft as Qbala does. It was definitely an honor to shoot such a great show that was packed to the gills.

This was also my first time shooting at Hodi’s Half Note, where the lighting proved to be a challenge.  I went home last night afraid that most of my shots didn’t turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had an abundance to choose from.  The other challenge with this show was navigating the packed audience.  While I was able to move around quite a bit during the opening acts, I found myself firmly entrenched on the front of stage left. The left side of the stage enabled me to get close-up shots (as Qbala’s face wasn’t blocked by her mic) but prevented me from getting the full body shots due to all of the DJ equipment blocking my angle. Halfway through her set, I moved further back to get some crowd shots and finally managed to get to stage right. There I finally got my full-body perspective shots.

My only regret was not being able to capture close-up shots in the middle of the stage to capture some of the emotional interactions – but with as crowded as everything was, it just wasn’t an option.  I’ve posted a few of my favorites below, but you can see the whole gallery on Flickr.

Congrats on an awesome show, Qbala! Wishing you all the best in your next adventure.

How to suck at back line sharing

Last week I played a gig with a three-band bill on a small stage, so the conditions were ripe for the “backline sharing” suggestion. You may know my stance on backline sharing, but just to refresh: I absolutely hate it and avoid it at all costs. At the same time drummer get put into situations where you’ll look like a pretty big jerk if you don’t backline share. This typically comes when you don’t have a good staging area for gear, a tight stage, and finally a tight schedule that doesn’t allot much time for transition.  Even with this all being the case, I wasn’t planning on backline sharing when a last-minute mix-up forced the issue.

What makes backline sharing awful are all of the unknowns associated with it.  You don’t know what kind of setup each drummer has, what gear they’re planning on supplying on their own, the differences in quality and tone between kits, as well as how they set up and position all of the equipment. After setting up and tearing down my kit countless times, I’ve come to master the position of every element in my drum set. This is in large part enabled by having memory locks and various heights/lengths pre-set from your usage.  All of that goes out the window when you backline share. Rather than focus on moving your kit on and off the stage, you’re stuck having to re-adjust everything that was there before, which is not often corrected until a few songs into your performance.

This leads me into how to suck at backline sharing:

Don’t over-adjust someone else’s kit just because you have some crazy posture.  Look, I know we’re all not the same height and build. I know we all approach things differently, but do you seriously need to raise my throne 8 inches (as well as all of the subsequent drums and cymbals) to enable your technique?  You’re not eight inches taller than me.  If you know your approach is that different and will need to adjust every piece of equipment: don’t backline share.

I liken playing someone else’s drum set to driving someone else’s car: while you’re not familiar with all of the intricacies of the car, every car roughly drives the same and thus you should be able to get from point A to B without much resistance.  You’re not going to win any races driving someone else’s car for the first time, but at that point, you need to adjust your expectations.  This is the same with drum sets: you might not be able to do any crazy-ass solo on someone else’s kit, but for the most part you should be able to hold the pocket and drive a short set on without heavy drum adjustment.

Don’t treat the drumset owner like your drum tech. Granted, there are parts in drum setup and teardown where you want to be personally responsible (basically any point that something could break, or you’ve got a mental checklist that ensures you’re not forgetting anything), but if the drummer has cases then the least you should do is help load in and load out.  I didn’t let you play my drum set just so that you can have a night off from schlepping gear.

But most importantly…

Treat their gear with respect!

2017-03-03 00.20.28

I mean come on.

Look, I know drum heads are meant to wear out and be changed. I know that they’re relatively not expensive (although $12-15 per head still isn’t chump change).  I know there are drummers go through heads in 1-2 weeks – but that’s not me, AND IT’S MY DRUM SET.  Others may disagree with me, but over 25 years of drumming has taught me that you can get a great, loud sound out of your drums without pounding the shit out of it. If you are that drummer, then how the hell do you not notice this after playing on someone else’s kit??  If there was an apology and an offer to help replace the head, I probably would have even let this slide, but now you’ve left me in an uncomfortable position of being a collection agent.

Moral of the story: don’t backline share, but if you do, don’t be a jerk about it.