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Category: Podcast

Anarchist? Anarcho-curious? Check out these podcasts

I’m an anarchist living in a conservative area. I work as a union organizer for a mainstream union and travel constantly. To maintain a sense of community, especially given how few anarchists I personally run into, one of the places I turn is the world of podcasting. Here are my four favorites. Whether you’re an anarchist or just want to hear views that aren’t covered in the mainstream media, these are all worth checking out.

It’s Going Down

It’s Going Down is a podcast and a robust website. I’ll let them describe themselves: “It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.” Looking for a place to start? I found the audio documentary on San Diego’s Chicano Park very inspiring. Make sure you stay till the song at the end.

The Final Straw Radio

The Final Straw is a weekly radio show produced in Asheville, NC, but covering a range of primarily national and international topics. Each episode is available as a podcast. The interviews are always smart and engaging. I also enjoy the weekly audio column by anarchist prisoner Sean Swain. Looking for a place to start? I enjoyed their recent interview about mutual aid in Puerto Rico.

The Ex-Worker

The Ex-Worker was the first anarchist podcast I listened to. It’s always passionate and well-informed, and often focuses on big-picture ideas that help me as I continue to shape my thoughts on my own approach to anarchism. The Ex-Worker is produced by the folks at CrimethInc., who also put out books, pamphlets, posters, stickers, and a very rich and useful website. Looking for a place to start? Check out their three-part review (1, 2, 3) of 2017. You won’t believe how much stuff happened that you never heard about.

The Hotwire

You’ll notice that The Hotwire has a very similar logo to The Ex-Worker, and that’s not a coincidence. It’s also produced my CrimethInc. Unlike its older sibling, The Hotwire is primarily an anarchist news podcast. It features a round-up of news from around the world with an anarchist bent, and also helps you take action with detailed show notes. Looking for a place to start? Try the most recent episode.

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The Podcasts I’m Listening To (November 2016 Edition)

podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and the list is constantly changing. Here’s what I’m currently subscribed to. Forgive the all caps. My OPML-to-text converter did it that way and I don’t feel like retyping everything. The shows marked with an asterisk (*) are my main, always-listen-to, never-unsubscribe shows.

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POEM: onion snow

onion

onion snow

Years ago I left the North;
ended up in a place where
people wear shorts outside
at Christmastime.

I thought I’d died and gone
to heaven, except Tucson
was real. Carne asada
enchiladas, elegante style,

served during the set break
at the restaurant where we
played for the salseros.
It all seems so long ago.

Now the onion snow falls
on the recycling bin
outside the store as I leave
work to walk home.

It’s called onion snow,
presumably, because
the sight of it this close
to April makes one cry.

/ / /

Jason Crane
1 April 2015
Oak Street

I’m not sure if I’ll write a poem each day in April. And honestly, this one was written a few minutes after midnight on April 2, so I guess I already missed the first day.

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Tour Diary: Reading Poems In Music City


Photo by Graham Gerdeman, Nashville Jazz Workshop

(June 17, 2012) NASHVILLE, TN — My first full day in Nashville was split between producing a show for tomorrow and giving a poetry reading at the amazing Nashville Jazz Workshop.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s diary, pianist and keyboardist Paul Horton came to my rescue and gave me a place to stay last night. This morning I produced Monday’s episode of The Jazz Session, featuring Shepherdstown, WV’s Jeff Cosgrove, while Paul worked on some music for gigs he has coming up. Here’s a shot of us as I was leaving his house to go to the reading:

Be sure to check out Paul’s music here.

I took a cab to the venue and had an interesting chat with the driver. He’s been driving a cab here since the late 80s and told me about the revitalization of Nashville’s downtown, which he said was all but a ghost town back in the 80s and has seen an impressive resurgence in recent years. He didn’t have many kind words for the Opryland folks, saying they were exploiting the city with very little concern for the impact of their various business and development decisions.

And then, out of nowhere, he said this: “I think the Internet is really affecting people. They don’t have any common sense anymore. If they don’t know something they just Google it instead of thinking about it. And nobody hangs out. They just text and email.” This was said with a thick Tennessee accent by a guy in his 50s wearing a camo mesh truckers hat. And he said it to a guy from New England in his late 30s with a red goatee. Those two guys? Turns out they agree.

The reading was a lot of fun. It was at a place called the Nashville Jazz Workshop, truly one of the most impressive jazz institutions I’ve seen. The workshop is a school, concert venue, jazz library and more. I’m going to try to interview the folks who run it if I can, but please visit their site and kick in a donation if you’re able. It’s such an impressive place. More cities need a place just like it. Here are a few shots of the “Jazz Cave,” the club space at the Workshop.

I read my poetry as part of a monthly jam session hosted by saxophonist Evan Cobb. That’s him on the left in another photo by Graham Gerdeman. Evan is a talented player whose new album, Falling Up, is worth your time. The jam session was a really welcoming environment. Musicians of all skill levels took part and the vibe was relaxed but serious about the music.

I read for 30 minutes before the jam session started. I did something I very rarely do, which was to make up the set on the fly. Given the crowd, most of whom were jazz musicians and all of whom were jazz fans, I decided to read a few of my jazz poems before picking and choosing from the set I’ve been reading on tour. I read “to swing you in the arms of the stars,” which is about Sun Ra, followed by “91,” a poem about Hank Jones. Then I read the two recent poems from Richmond followed by a selection of stuff from my prepared set. I closed with “I Cannot Threaten Death,” my MLK erasure poem. I also told a few tour stories. There’s a recording of most of the reading at the top of this post. I missed the beginning because I forgot to turn the recorder on. Yes, I’m a pro.


Photo by Graham Gerdeman

One of the standout players at the session was bassist Jonathan Wires, a fellow New Englander now making his home in the Nashville area. He was playing a lot of bass and the creative ideas just poured out of him, which is no easy task in a jam session environment. I hesitate to link to a MySpace page, this being 2012 and all, but you can hear Jonathan here.

After the session, I had dinner with Evan and with vocalist and educator Kathryn Paradise, who has an unfairly great name. They gave me some good insight into the Nashville scene and talked about their experiences living here and making lives in music. Kate teaches at Belmont University and performs in town. I didn’t get to hear her sing, unfortunately, but she did tell me a great story about a gig she played at which an uninvited saxophonist showed up, set up four horns and started playing. This was not at a jam session. It was AT A GIG. Insane.

I’ve got a crazy schedule of interviews set up for the next couple days. And of course I want to check out some music. I’m hoping to see The Time Jumpers, a western swing band, and also catch some bluegrass at the Station Inn and some blues in Printer’s Alley. Plus, I’ll be hanging out with Evan’s awesome dog, Iggy:

(If you’d like to support my tour, you can make a one-time donation and get great thank-you gifts HERE. If you’d like to become a member of The Jazz Session and make recurring monthly or yearly payments, you can do that HERE.)

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“Jazz Or Bust” Bonus Track: Scott Schmied

Scott Schmied started out as a composer, writing minimalist music and playing piano and vibraphone. Now he’s a tree surgeon who builds washtub basses and lives in a wigwam in Shepherdstown, WV. I sat down with Scott to talk about his life and to hear him play. (20 minutes – play using the player at the top of the post.)

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Here are some podcasts I like

A friend recently asked for podcast recommendations. I used to listen to many, many more, but the list below is what’s currently in my media player:

The Field Negro Guide To Arts & Culture
(Musician Vernon Reid and comedian W. Kamau Bell discuss arts, culture, race and more)
http://thatfnpod.libsyn.com/

The Pod F. Tompkast
(Comedian Paul F. Tompkins narrates, plays characters, talks with comedian Jen Kirkman and more)
http://pft.libsyn.com/

Le Show
(The radio show of Harry Shearer. It’s been on the air for 20+ years. Mostly Harry talking and reading things in his acerbic way.)
http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/ls

Professor Blastoff
(Tig Notaro and two other comedians talk about science)
http://www.earwolf.com/show/professor-blastoff/

In Our Time
(Melvyn Bragg and a changing cast of smart people discuss everything via the BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/

The Dead Authors Podcast
(Paul F. Tompkins as HG Wells interviews dead writers)
http://thedeadauthorspodcast.libsyn.com/

Poetry Off The Shelf
(Curtis Fox talks about poetry in an accessible, user-friendly-but-still-smart way. Usually with the poets themselves.)
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/audio?show=Poetry%20Off%20the%20Shelf

Poem Talk
(Al Filreis of Kelly Writers House talks about poetry with a panel. This is usually very high-level conversation, but I still often find things that make me look at and listen to poetry in a new way.)
http://poemtalkatkwh.blogspot.com/

Risk!
Kevin Allison hosts a show “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.”
http://risk-show.com/

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Evangelism (the open source kind)

Software journalist Bruce Byfield has an interesting post today about free software evangelism and why he keeps his mouth shut at parties.

I tend to feel — and act — this way regarding most evangelism. It’s usually not fun to have political discussions at parties because people have so few facts at their command. Maybe it’s my personality, but I find it very hard to have “discussions” between entrenched positions where there is no hope of movement.

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