Managing my Podcast Lists

For the last year and a half I’ve found it very difficult to keep up with my podcast listening; for quite a while now I’ve been “behind” my list for many shows – in most cases, by several months’ worth of content.

What I find difficult is that the shows that are current – which means, based on either sports or current events or current TV shows – tend to get priority when I choose to listen to something. This pushes ‘evergreen’ content – that is, it’s relevant no matter when I listen – further down the list.

This is completely a “me” problem and at first, it did bother me; but I’ve come up with a new approach to listening that really takes care of the perceived problem.

Culling Shows

The first thing I’ve taken to doing is to simply stop listening to shows that don’t hold my attention anymore. If I haven’t listened to it in 3 months, is it likely that I’m going to listen to it anytime soon? Still, there are shows I consider to be “high value” that I’m staying subscribed to. I know that I’ll get to those episodes one day soon.

But I have become a little more ruthless in the process. I’ve cut shows that I used to listen to regularly. I used to feel a little guilty when unsubscribing, but that’s not the case anymore. If I want to make the time to listen to podcasts, sometimes that means cutting out the stuff that is either A) too long or B) uninteresting. Or a combination of both.

Dropping Individual Episodes

The other thing I’ve started doing is dropping individual episodes if they don’t look appealing based on the description. Since I don’t have the same amount of listening time as I used to, I don’t need to worry about “running out” of episodes to listen to (this used to be an issue for me).

This is actually a pretty major change for me. I used to be pretty compulsive about listening to every single episode of a show, but as I’ve learned recently, it’s not always important to catch each one. It’s sort of like the old days of TV – sometimes you missed recording on your VCR, so you didn’t catch that week’s show. In episodic times, not the end of the world.

It’s not perfect – I still have ~100 episodes to listen to – but it helps my peace of mind.

Weekly Airwave – Boomerang by Honeychrome

Script 

Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music.  This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist. 

This week’s track: Boomerang by HoneyChrome.  Boomerang is a great pop track, released in 2018 by an American artist, based on Brooklyn N-Y-C.  I find it really reminiscent of early 2000’s pop, with a bit of eighties flair mixed in.  It’s a fun, short track and well worth following to see what he comes out with for 2019!

Be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for more podcasts and music reviews.  See you next time.

Weekly Airwave – Games by Tony Petersen

Script 

Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music.  This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist. 

This week’s track: Games by Tony Petersen.  This is a light folk track, from the album A Soft Place to Land (2018).  Petersen is an American artist, playing guitar from age 15 and has performed across America since high school.  This is a solo track but is a member of a band called The Social Animals.

Enjoy Games from Tony Petersen – and be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for podcasts and music reviews.  See you next time.

61st Grammy Awards Ceremony – Best New Artist

I don’t normally think about the Grammy awards, but an email flipped my way earlier this week caught my eye.  It was about the Best New Artist category – something I feel is relevant to the blog / podcast, even though we’re talking about major record labels. 

Here’s the list of nominees for the category (courtesy of www.grammy.com):

  1. Chloe X Halle
  2. Luke Combs
  3. Greta Van Fleet
  4. H.E.R.
  5. Dua Lipa
  6. Margo Price
  7. Bebe Rexha
  8. Jorja Smith
Some of these artists I’m familiar with, but others I hadn’t, so I listened to all of the singles provided on the Grammy’s nomination page.  If I had a vote, I would go with Margo Price.  But it’s not up to me and I don’t think I have the best pulse on public opinion.  
That job falls on research and marketing companies – such as SEMrush, an online marketing company.  They studied Canadian google searches to figure out the most popular new artists in Canada – here’s what they came up with.
Graph courtesy SEMrush  – Full-size: https://imgur.com/a/BAQBu1n
It turns out the most popular artist – in Canada – was Dua Lipa, followed by Greta Van Fleet.  You can see the search numbers in the handy graph.  Interesting to note the huge drop-off from third place – you can assume that pop & rock music are really popular among Canadians, and while country is pretty hot, it drops off pretty significantly.  
If I had to guess at the actual winner – I think it probably will be Dua Lipa.  I like Greta Van Fleet, but I think her genre is not the hottest nor is it too original (The Sheepdogs previously filled this space in the genre, but then again – they didn’t break through to the Grammy’s).

Weekly Airwave – Undercovery – Neon Niteclub

Script 

Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music.  This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist.   
This week’s track: Undercover by Neon Niteclub.  This group reminds me a ton of Canada’s own Chromeo.  Neon Niteclub is from the US, and describe themselves as “80s pop with a modern twist”.  Undercover comes from the 2018 album Blue Electric Eyes (be sure to check out that track as well).  You can find their music on jamendo dot com or neon niteclub dot bandcamp dot com. 
Hope you enjoy Undercover – be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for podcasts and music reviews.  See you next time. 

Weekly Airwave – By Your Side – Cartel ft. Mallz & Deron Alek

Cartel ft. Mallz & Deron Alek – By Your Side

https://www.jamendo.com/track/1593685/by-your-side-by-mallz-and-deron-alek

Script 

Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music.  This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist. 

This week’s track: By Your Side by Cartel ft. Mallz & Deron Alek.  By Your Side is an exclusive track on Jamendo.com, another hip hop track just as good if not better than last week’s track from Tab. 

The description of the track:

The problem of being “friends with benefits” is that eventually, someone catches feelings and wants to become more than what they are. Mallz and Deron Alek speak on just such a situation over a track by Hoodgrown Productions.  

Have a listen to the track – let me know what you think.  Be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for podcasts and more music reviews.  See you next time.

Adding to the Cultural Landscape

I’m well aware I’m not going to be famous on TV in the immediate future – that’s never been a goal for me. I know I’m also not going to be “Internet Famous” either. I don’t have the follow through to make it happen.

All I want is just a small following of people that every now and then tell me, “Hey, I really like what you’re doing. Keep it up!” To that end I always have something swirling in my head to create something for the cultural landscape online.

All I know is what I don’t want to do: a recap show or a review show where I spend my time watching a TV show (new or old) and talk about it. I would much rather talk about that kind of thing with family and friends, and I don’t think my “takes” are interesting enough to put them online en masse.

What I want to do is offer up something that is more or less unique, find a way to contribute that hasn’t been done before (or at least hasn’t been done often). That’s one of the reasons I put Alternative Airwaves together. So I look to archive.org to see if there’s anything interesting I can use there.

Bottom line – I like to produce things, but I don’t know what I like producing. I rely too much on a personal filter that says, “Nope, that’s not worth completing, don’t bother starting this project”. Somehow Alternative Airwaves gets through that filter, I think because it’s something I just do.

Everything else – I just leave festering for too long and it doesn’t make it past the filter. I think that’s my new writing goal for 2019: create something and just put it out there. The point is no longer about whether it’s good enough or people like it, the point is picking a project (or multiple projects) and finishing it.

Weekly Airwave – Times by Tab

https://www.jamendo.com/track/1597509/times

Script

Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music.  This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist. 

This week’s track: Times by Tab.  Tab is a hip hop artist based in the US.  He first started producing music at the age of 5, playing the drums.  Fast forward to 2018 – he is in an underground group called Dead Poet Society.  His latest solo album is A R T I S T, released December 2018.  About the album:

A R T I S T    “Always Reveal Truth In Strange Times” is the mantra for the new album. It was written for all the creatives still out there trying to balance adulthood & responsibilities with dreams and purpose. Growth is the major theme of this project.

Times is the final track on the album, which you can check out on Jamendo.com.  Hope you like the track – be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for podcasts and music reviews.  See you next time.

Weekly Airwave – Astronauts by Parker

https://www.jamendo.com/track/1585525/astronauts

Script

Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music.  This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist. 

This week’s track: Astronauts by Parker.  Here’s a description of the artist and the track from Jamendo.com:

Parker is a band from Miami, Florida, comprising of Reed F. Gaines and Carter Vail. The pair met at the Frost School of Music in 2015 and began making music later that year. Parker released their eponymous EP in April of 2018, featuring Lo-Fi indie music with a nod towards Alt-Country. Parker will be releasing their next single, ‘Astronauts’ on November 16th under Dreamtime Palace, with an EP to follow in early 2019.

Astronauts is a futuristic synth song about being stuck on the moon. Featuring high falsetto voices & the warbling sounds of the MICROKORG, ‘Astronauts’ is a love song about missing Earth and the isolation of space.

If you’re wondering, the MICROKORG is a synth from Korg released in 2002, and still in production today.  Listen for it as you take in Parker’s “Astronauts”.  Be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for more podcasts and music reviews.  See you next time.