By BZ Douglas
All songs included with permission from the artists.
Support BZ's work on Patreon www.patreon.com/bzdug
BZ ListeningFeb 02, 2022
80. Curtis Eller - Banjo Player and Songwriter
Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer who's songs describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one. A twenty-year show business veteran, Eller has developed a devoted international following with his band, The American Circus.
I'm giving away two tickets to see Curtis in Cleveland on Saturday, July 15th at the Wizbang Circus School and Theater. To enter, just share this episode and follow Curtis on social media and send a link to your post or a screenshot to email@example.com. All Patreon supporters will automatically be entered. The winner will be announced on July 12th.
Links to follow and support Curtis Eller:
Songs used in this episode:
79. Jimmy Falun Gong - Host of the "Programmed to Chill" podcast
Jimmy Falun Gong is the pseudonymous host of the podcast “Programmed to Chill”, which describes itself as a show about “business, crime, parapolitics, and esoterica”. Jimmy does multi-part deep dives into the history of intelligence agencies, who financed hitler, the industrialists who profited and persisted after WWI and II, international spycraft, and it only gets darker and weirder from there. He’s got a wry and dry dry style of breaking down his research on dark and slippery topics that I enjoy quite a bit.
We talk about our paths to paranoia, why more people should be more paranoid and attentive to local issues, some of his podcast’s greatest hits, the origins and reasoning for Jimmy’s cheeky alias, and much more.
P2Chill Links: https://linktr.ee/ProgrammedtoChill
Unedited episode available to Patreon supporters: https://www.patreon.com/bzdouglas
78. Talking about Walking The Wire with Philip Fairbanks
In part 2 of my interview with Philip Fairbanks we discuss Walking the Wire, a new podcast series releasing in April that will re-examine David Simon's groundbreaking series, "The Wire", episode by episode. This Friday at 9pm EST Philip will be joining me for a livestream Q&A on YouTube, Facebook, or via Twitter Spaces.
Follow Walking The Wire on Twitter:
Q&A Livestream Links:
77. Talking with Philip Fairbanks, Author of "Pedogate Primer" (Part 1)
Look for part 2 of this interview in a couple days. This Friday at 9pm EST Philip will be joining me for a livestream Q&A.
If you're a Patreon supporter, a PDF copy of Fairbanks book is available for you at https://www.patreon.com/bzdouglas.
76. Talking Anarchy with Video Essayist Anark
I recently watched the excellent video essay, "A Modern Anarchism Part 1" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag9EcQsqP_8), and immediately reached out to the creator, Anark, to schedule an interview. On today's episode, we dive right into discussing how we each came to adopt anarchy as our political identities, how we practice anarchy individually, and then swim around in some philosophical waters as we envision the many facets of a modern anarchism.
Anark's video is described as follows:
"This video is the first in a several part series where I am developing a modern synthesis of anarchism. It is not intended as an introduction to anarchism, but instead a broad coverage of anarchist ideas, discussing the state, Capital as Power, kyriarchy, the mega-machine, queer anarchism, Black anarchism, social ecology, decolonial ideas, and much more... Here we will lay out the anarchist mode of structural critique and apply this theory of power to a variety of hierarchical power structures."
Follow and Subscribe to Anark:
75. Year in Review with Mustache Bob, Brenton Lengel, Contraband and Conor Kelly
It's time for a review of 2021 and what the major events of the last year mean for us going forward in 2022.
*** PANELISTS ***
74. Talking with Nico Walker, Author of "Cherry"
My guest today, the first of the new year, is Nico Walker, author of the novel, Cherry. The book is a fictionalized account of an unnamed character who follows a path very similar to Walker’s own life story. He joins the army at 19, serves in Iraq as a medic, spirals into heroin addiction as he deals with crippling PTSD, and finally sets off on a spree of bank robberies.
This interview actually came about because Nico reached out to me a few weeks ago following the publication of my investigation into Tony Viola’s wrongful prosecution. Walker was Viola’s cellmate a decade ago, and the two have kept in touch over the years.
On today’s show, Walker and I discuss Iraq, the spirals of addiction, the futility of the drug war, and the frustrating tragedy of Viola’s case.
+++ SUPPORT +++
Likes, Shares, and Subscribes are free, and they help with the Algorithm gods!
This Friday I’ll be doing a livestream year in preview and Q&A on YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter Spaces. I’ll preview some of the stories I’m looking into, and share some ideas on other projects I’m hoping to produce.
72. The Dan Kasaris Investigation - The story, how it started, and where it's going
A meta discussion of my latest story investigating allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against Dan Kasaris and Mark Bennett.
Read the full report here: https://bzdouglas.substack.com/p/unreliable-witnesses-suppressed-evidence
Please support my independent journalism by becoming a paying Substack subscriber or Patreon supporter.
71. The Prosecution of Tony Viola: Unreliable witnesses, suppressed evidence, and a dead whistleblower
The story of Tony Viola told in the press up until now leaves one with the impression of a devious criminal who was defrauding banks out of nearly fifty million dollars through a complicated mortgage fraud scheme with a cast of shady operators. If the news coverage was to be believed, the affable, honorable, and generous person Viola’s friends and family all knew was merely a facade hiding a duplicitous, unscrupulous, greedy monster.
Visitors of FreeTonyViola.com will find a much different story. It’s a scrappy but fairly polished little website managed by Viola himself, setup with the express purpose of providing journalists and lawmakers with evidence of Viola’s innocence by exposing the flagrant prosecutorial misconduct he has endured.
Several local and national journalists have quietly taken an interest in his case, but have either been intimidated by the possibility of litigation, too busy to thoroughly vet Viola’s claims, or stymied by editors and publishers.
Visit https://bzdouglas.substack.com to read the full story.
70. Getting to know BLM Cleveland
My interview with LaTonya Goldsby and Kareem Henton, President and Vice President of Black Lives Matter Cleveland. We discuss this local organization's history, and the important work they are doing in Cleveland and the surrounding areas to help the Black community, demand for justice for victims of police violence, and push for major reforms policing in our area.
A major topic of discussion is the potential impact of the passage of Issue 24, which would establish meaningful citizen oversight of the Cleveland police through an amendment to the city charter.
** Links to follow and support BLM Cleveland **
** More about Issue 24 **
Citizens for a Safer Cleveland:
69. The Killing of Vincent Belmonte (Video Podcast)
I have been approved to utilize the Video Podcast feature on Anchor.fm, so to test it out I'm posting my full report on Vincent Belmonte's killing by East Cleveland Police officer Larry McDonald. If your podcast app doesn't support video, you can watch the report on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8R0yFss27M
On January 5th, 2021, Vincent Belmonte was killed by East Cleveland police officer Larry McDonald. McDonald was pursuing Belmonte on foot and claims that Belmonte turned, pointed his gun, and threatened to shoot McDonald. We can only take McDonald’s word on this, because he shut off his bodycam moments before this alleged threat from Belmonte occurred. Based on information currently available to the public, the case hinges entirely on believing McDonald and ignoring the physical evidence. Based on McDonald’s and the East Cleveland Police Department’s reputations, there is no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt.
68. Monday with Mariah: Chasing Justice in East Cleveland
Mariah Crenshaw of Chasing Justice, LLC has been tracking officer training closely for nearly 3 years now. Prior to that, Crenshaw assisted the Department of Justice in their administration of the federal consent decree that was imposed on the city of Cleveland.
For the first “Monday with Mariah”, she joined me in my home to go over some details about Larry McDonald and the East Cleveland police that didn’t make it into my report. That conversation organically moves into a discussion about the investigation and legal actions Chasing Justice is engaged in regarding officer training.
67. Believe in Ghost!
66. Debunking Shontel Brown's Stump Speech with Dr Richard Montgomery
I covered a Shontel Brown campaign event this weekend, and captured her having a "Please Clap" moment all her own.
(This audio is from the YouTube report, which provides more detail, but functions perfectly as a podcast. https://bit.ly/shontel-brown)
Joining me is Dr. Richard Montgomery, who shares his reactions to Shontel Brown's stump speech.
Dr. Montgomery former mayoral candidate for the city of Euclid, as well as an activist who follows Cuyahoga county politics very closely.
I was first referred to Dr. Montgomery while working on the documentary series State of Injustice, about the systemic abuses of the Euclid Police Department, and the failures of that city’s mayor and city council to hold them accountable.
+++ SUPPORT MY WORK +++
### FOOTNOTES ###
"What Cuyahoga County Residents Need to Know about Shontel Brown and her Campaign for Congress" by Keith Wilson
"Shontel Brown outraises, outspends the field in Cuyahoga Council District 9 Democratic primary" by Andrew J. Tobias, Cleveland.com
"Former Cuyahoa County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora Convicted of Racketeering" - FBI.gov
"Marcia Fudge issued Hatch Act warning over political remarks at White House" by Sabrina Eaton, Cleveland.com
"Fudge reprises Friends for Fun at Frederick’s" by R. T. Andrews, realdealnews.com
“Former deputy of Cuyahoga County auditor sentenced to prison for bribing Frank Russo and Jimmy Dimora” By James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer
“Shontel Brown must resign as Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair” by Editorial Board, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer
“Shontel Brown Approved Major Contract, Then Contractor Backed Her Campaign” by Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Sam Allard for The Intercept
“Nina Turner Opponent Shontel Brown Is Low-Key Pleading for Super PAC Support”
by Ryan Grim, The Intercept
Armond Budhish on Racism
Shontel Brown YouTube Channel
Secretary Marcia Fudge Visits Lock 3
Peanut Butter Jelly Time on Green Screen
65. Talking Activism and Ableism with Tim Collingwood
Tim Collingwood is a local actor, playwright, stage manager, arts advocate, and activist. On this episode, we discuss his experiences and perspectives in activism as a person on the autistic spectrum.
64. State of Injustice - A Belated Announcement!
Please enjoy this unscripted, unedited, emergency episode announcing the release of my new documentary series State of Injustice!
Our Indiegogo Campaign to fund the pilot season ends on Wednesday 3/24. For the last day, I'll be co-hosting an all day stream-a-thon from BLM Cleveland. You can catch that stream via one of the links below. We're going to have some pretty incredible guests and discussion throughout the day, so please pop by and say hi! I never hear from you lovely listeners enough.
The stream will also be running concurrently on BLM Cleveland and BZ Listening pages, but I'd really rather drive up likes and subscribes on the doc's channels.
63. Talking Impeachment with John Bonifaz, President of Free Speech for People
My guest today is John Bonifaz, the Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People. He previously served as the Executive Director and then General Counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, an organization he founded in 1994, and also served as the Legal Director of Voter Action, a national election integrity organization.
John joins me to have a discussion about the hot topic of impeachment. We go through the arguments in the book Bonifaz co-wrote with Ron Fein and Ben Clements, THE CONSTITUTION DEMANDS IT: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump.
Follow John and FSFP:
62. Special Report on the Cleveland Warriors Semi-Pro Football Team
Today’s episode is taken from a video report I posted on Wednesday. It’s the story of the Cleveland Warriors, a semi-professional football team in the National Public Safety Football League, and how their management snuck Tamir Rice’s killer, Timothy Loehmann, onto the team. When black players found out and complained, they were pushed out themselves.
I am very happy to report that this morning I awoke to learn that the president and vice president of the Warriors have both resigned in the wake of this scandal.
State of Injustice
This documentary series will examine Ohio city by city, in order to expose all of the ways that the state's law enforcement departments and judicial systems are failing its citizens. The series will begin in Euclid, Ohio, with the death of Luke Stewart.
Support BZ's Work
61. Discussing the Capitol Hill Fascist Insurrection
BZ & DZ sit down with local activist Devorah Phillips to talk about the fascist riots at the Capitol on 1/6.
60. Talking ADHD with Dr. Joel Schwartz
My guest today is Dr. Joel Schwartz, a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with adults with childhood trauma, neurologically diverse children and adults, and is a strong proponent of the neurodiversity paradigm.
I share a bit about my experience living as an ADHD'r, and learn about how understanding has evolved in the 30ish year since I was diagnosed.
59. Emanuel Franklin Jr. - Father of Desmond Franklin
A few weeks ago I assisted the People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland in setting up and conducting an interview with Emanuel Franklin, father of Desmond Franklin.
On April 9, 2020, plainclothes Cleveland Police officer Jose Garcia, badge #2168 shot and killed Desmond. Garcia drove in an unmarked car, fired five shots into Franklin's moving vehicle, killing Franklin, whose car crashed into a cemetery wall. Special prosecutor Daniel Kasaris, from Ohio Attorney's General Dave Yost's office has taken the case and is currently considering whether to present to the Grand Jury. Meanwhile, Garcia remains on paid leave.
How You Can Help
If you live in Ohio, call the Ohio Attorney General's office (1-800-282-0515), and urge them to take this case to the Grand Jury to seek indictment of Officer Garcia.
If you are a Cleveland resident, call City of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (216-664-2000) and demand the firing of Jose Garcia by Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams for the murder of Desmond Franklin.
Don't stop there, demand that Calvin Williams be removed, and in 2021 vote Mayor Jackson out of office.
58. November Coverage Catchup
Today’s guest is technically me, as I’m re-broadcasting an interview I gave with Brenton Lengel on his YouTube channel a few weeks ago about an article I published at the end of October: "Euclid officer Matthew Rhodes and officials throughout Ohio facing charges of homicide, dereliction of duty due to non-compliance with state-mandated training"
Most Recent Video Report:
Caught on Body Cam: East Cleveland Commander Attempts to Steal Drugs Seized as Evidence
57. Cuyahoga County Ballot Panel Discussion
BZ Douglas moderates a panel discussion with local activists about who they're voting for up and down the Cuyahoga County ballot, and how they feel about their choices.
- Mariah Crenshaw - Chasing Justice, LLC
- Kareem Henton - Black Lives Matter Cleveland
- Keith Wilson - Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus
56. Mariah Crenshaw - Chasing Justice, LLC
Today's episode contains bombshell revelations that have the potential to shake Ohio law enforcement to its core.
My guest is Mariah Crenshaw of Chasing Justice LLC. According to her research, a significant portion of officers in the state ("40-60%" in her opinion), are currently operating while designated as "cease function" according to Ohio Revised Code 109.803 and Ohio Administrative code 109:2-1-12.
Crenshaw has widened her focus to EVERY DEPARTMENT IN THE STATE. Requesting 10s of thousands of records, cataloging, annotating, organizing, databasing, and preparing materials that could be used in lawsuits all over Ohio.
55. Tim Tolka - Author, Blue Mafia
(Audio fixed, if there's an audio gap in the intro, re-download the episode)
Today my guest is Tim Tolka, author of Blue Mafia, which is best described by the closing line of the first chapter:
“This is the story of two police departments, their turbulent relationship with the local community, and how a 'crazy' lawyer risked everything to bring in a higher authority.”
Blue Mafia has many lessons for other cities in Ohio and across the nation. It is also a harrowing tale of how the gears of our legal and civic machinery can chew up activists, lawyers, and victims of police violence.
Brian "BZ" Douglas is an independent movement journalist and podcast producer. All work is 100% reader/viewer supported.
Podcast: "BZ Listening" on all the podthings
54. Jadon Woodard - Musician
Today the show is returning to its roots, showcasing criminally overlooked grassroots artists, with one my favorite acts and friends from NYC, Jadon Woodard.
We talk about his origins in music, the ups and downs, and his days free-styling on the trains of NYC alongside Charley Crockett as part of "The Train Robbers".
This episode contains tracks from Jadon’s brand new album, “Late to the Party”, along with some audio from Train Robbers circa 2013.
53. A People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland
Today I am interviewing members of the People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland. I first learned of them while covering a Black Lives Matter Cleveland "Defund the Police" protest on the fourth of July, where volunteer Emily Forsee spoke about the importance of documenting police brutality. In this episode I’ll be speaking with Emily and two of the creators of the archive Carol Steiner and Keith Wilson, to discuss some of the work they've done, why they're doing it, and how you can help.
When I interview musicians, I typically intersperse four or five songs throughout the interview. Today I'll be doing the same thing but using stories from the archive, specifically the 2015 People's Tribunal on Police Violence collection. You will hear the stories of Alicia Kirkman, Brenda Bickerstaff, Clarence Jones, and Bernadette Rolen.
Support my independent journalism:
Stoner Morning Show Interview Teaser
Here's a teaser of my very first guest appearance on another podcast: Stoner Morning Show.
The host, Shawn Wickens, is an old friend of mine from my improv days in NYC. Last year he mentioned on Facebook that he wanted advice on how to start a podcast, and I told him everything I learned in exchange for him being a guest on my show.
I can’t thank him enough for returning the favor so that I can talk a bit about the work I’m doing now, how I came to do it, how I will be doing it, and why I think it’s important.
Support my work:
52. Kareem Henton - Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland
Kareem Henton joins me today to discuss what first roused him to activism, how BLM functions as an organization nationally and locally, and what his greatest hopes and fears are for the outcome of this national protest movement.
A lot has happened since my last episode. Let’s see: Bernie dropped out, a global pandemic broke out, which caused the economy to fall off a cliff, a national uprising against the police is in full swing, and on a personal note, as of last Friday I am officially a published journalist. For the story behind that story, check out my interview with Brent Lengel on his YouTube channel.
Other orgs that need support:
If you have any extra cash to spare, please consider supporting me on Patreon. I’ve decided to take the leap and quit my full-time job as a web developer in order to pursue journalism as a new career, and the only way I can pull it off and remain completely independent is with your support
51. Devorah Phillips - Bernie Victory Captain and Delegate
On today's episode I interview local delegate and organizer for the Bernie campaign, Devorah Phillips. We chat about what led her to becoming a Bernie Sanders supporter, our recollections of the 2016 campaign, the lessons learned and ongoing frustrations with the primary process, and what a delegate does and how to become one.
Most importantly, we discuss the benefits of canvassing, not just for the candidate, but for yourself and your neighbors
Go to events.berniesanders.com to join the movement, take our government back from the wealthy, and make some history.
50. Not BZ, Us!
Today I’m going to do something a little different, which might draw in some new listeners, but that’s not the point. The point is for the weeks remaining before the Ohio primary on March 17th, I am going to devote this podcast to advocating for Bernie Sanders.
Listeners will know that I’ve taken quite a long stretch between episodes recently. A big part of the hiatus has to do with my Bernie journey, going from donor and online-only supporter to an active volunteer that makes calls, performs data entry, and finally this weekend door-to-door canvassing.
Initially, I thought I’d make this episode all about my longer Bernie journey, how I first became aware of him, and what his candidacy means to me. Instead, I decided I’d kick things off by talking about the my first weekend canvassing.
Find a Bernie event near you: http://events.berniesanders.com/
49. Atomic Houdini - Creative Person
Today my guest is painter, musician, and all around creative person, Atomic Houdini.
The podcast is still officially on break, but I wanted to chat with Atomic Houdini about his upcoming art show / release of his album Dandelion Fireworks. He’ll be displaying fourteen paintings based on each song from the album, the first five of which you’ll hear in this episode.
That show will be going up on Saturday, February 29th at Negative Space from 4:30 to 7:30. For more info, click here.
48. An Existential (State-of-the) Podcast
An improvised attempt to explain the present state of and future plans for the podcast.
If I had to put it into bullet points:
- I'm putting more time into volunteering for Bernie Sanders
- The fuckeditude of the world at large has had me rattled
- A random opportunity came up for me to perform in an incredible new play as part of CPT's Entry Point
- Shoutouts and love to all the Patreon supporters and my wife Deb
- The podcast will go on, but the frequency and subject matter is going to vary a bit more.
- Bullet Point that I'm very curious to see if anyone read
:party-hat: :mushroom-cloud: :fire: :fire:
I believe the official slogan is "Worst Year Ever"
47. Justus - Trap Soul/Rap Artist
I first saw Justus performing a couple weeks ago at the McFarland Manor November show. On today's episode, I chat with him about his creative process, how he became "big in Algeria", his terms of success, and the lessons he's learned navigating Spotify's playlist algorithm.
Justus has a new track Risky debuting today, December 11th, on Spotify. Listen thru until the end of the episode to hear it, and be sure to add it to your playlists if you dig it!
Follow Justus Online:
46. Shawn Wickens - Artist / Comedian
Today I’m bringing a new thing to the show with my guest Shawn Wickens, who will forever hold the distinction of being the first comedian on the podcast. I met Shawn about twelve years ago, back when I was going through my improv comedy phase. He happened to be passing thru Cleveland a couple of weeks ago on his way to play a show in Louisville, Kentucky, and swung by the house to catch up.
We chat about the improv scene circa 2007-8, how he came to found the Bad Theater and Film festivals, and his latest endeavor co-hosting The Stoner Morning Show with fellow comic Lex Morales, which just kicked off its own podcast this week! Be sure to check out stonermorningshow.com for all the 411 about this 420-themed show.
This show is ad-free, and that’s all thanks to my Patreon supporters. I recently updated some of the benefit tiers, and anyone donating $3 or more per month is supposed to get a shoutout on the show’s footnotes for that month. Since it’s Thanksgiving this week, and I’m way overdue on the shoutouts, I’d just like to take a moment to thank my first two BZ Backers: Michael Hornsby (this months winner of the swag giveaway) and Michael McFarland (a former guest and incredible musician, artist, and producer). And lastly, my boss at Blackbird Digital Pat Walsh, who kicked in $12 month to earn himself a BZ Producer credit, and includes a plug.
It’s not even hard for me to talk up Blackbird as an agency. I’ve been a web designer and developer for over twenty years, working at over a dozen international and local agencies, and Blackbird is far and away my favorite. Blackbird combines award-winning web design, acute knowledge of technology, and marketing savvy to help your organization. We specialize in developing for WordPress and HubSpot, but never shy away from working in something new if necessary. The sites we build are always set up with self service in mind, so you won’t have to come back and request help every time you want to make changes. To learn more visit Blackbird.digital, and if you sign on as a client, I'll probably be the one coding your site!
If you would like to become a supporter, just click here!
45. Christopher Johnston - Author/Playwright
Today my guest is writer Christopher Johnston, and we’re discussing his book “Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice”.
Chris also has a new play with Playwright’s Local, Live Bodies for Sale. The show premieres tomorrow Friday November 22, and will run until December 15th. You can find more information and tickets at playwrightslocal.org.
44. Ben Paul Williams - Singer-Songwriter
My guest today is actor and musician, Ben Paul Williams. I first met Ben about 10 years ago at a little open mic in Astoria Queens. We chat a bit about his stage career, the recent pull he’s been feeling to getting back to performing original music, and play a little catchup since the last time we spoke.
So suffice to say, Ben has been one of my favorite people for quite a while. If you are in the Milwaukee area or have friends thereabouts, be sure to catch Ben at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn this Sunday, November 24th. After that, keep an eye on https://www.benpaulwilliams.com/ for more shows.
43. Cal Folger Day - Singer-Songwriter / Composer
Today my guest is Cal Folger Day, a singer-songwriter that’s a bit hard to pin down genre-wise, but if I had to slap a label on her, it’d probably be “Avant Folk”, similar the band Cutleri, who I had on earlier this year.
Cal is based out of Dublin, Ireland, but I met her around 2010 back when we were both living in New York City. We chat a bit about her early days in the thrall of classical music, her time in NYC, the differences between Ireland and the US, and her latest endeavor writing and performing “verbatim pop operas”, which I didn’t even know was a thing until I started doing background for this interview.
I highly recommend checking out this audio documentary by “The Lyric Feature”. It chronicles the process of creating one of these operas “The Woods and Grandma”, which is based on stories of Lady Gregory, Yeats and George Bernard Shaw as told by the Gregory granddaughters Anne and Katherine.
Just a reminder that this Wednesday November 13th is the deadline to sign up as a Patreon supporter at any level for a chance to win a signed copy of “Snow White Zombie: Apocalypse” by Brenton Lengel, my Halloween guest. This is the latest patron perk that I’m calling these “Swagstakes”, where once a month I choose a supporter at random to receive some swag from a guest.
42. Brenton Lengel - Writer - "Snow White Zombie Apocalypse"
Today my guest is playwright and author, Brenton Lengel. Brent and I go back nearly ten years, when I first met him at an open mic in New York. In this episode we spend a bit of time catching up and tracking the arc of his writing career, but the main reason I invited Brent onto the show was to talk about his new comic “Snow White Zombie Apocalypse”, published by Scout Comics.
I’m going to quote the synopsis from Scout’s website now since I never pass up an opportunity to save myself some time writing these intros:
Snow White awakens to True Love's Kiss... twenty-eight days after the zombie apocalypse! With the Seven Dwarves dead, the quintessential fairytale princess must join forces with her polyamorous Prince Charming and his tough-as-nails paramour, Rapunzel, to wage a losing battle against death itself. Bound by love and driven apart by jealousy, can this unlikely trio find a way to put aside their differences, or will they be devoured by the reanimated denizens of their once enchanted kingdom? Based on the hit play by the same name, Snow White Zombie Apocalypse is a story of deep woods and old magic mixed with a healthy dollop of blood, sex, kung fu and gender politics. Y'know, fairy tales as usual.
The comic is now available in shops all over the country, or you can order it online at scoutcomics.com.
Brent was also gracious enough to sign and donate a copy that I will be giving away to one lucky Patreon supporter. If you’d like a chance to win, sign up to support the show at any level at patreon.com/bzdug before Thursday November 14th (two weeks from today). At that time I will print out all the supporters names, toss them into one of the many hollowed out skulls I have lying around the house, and select the winner.
41. N6664 - Doom Chip Performance Artist
Today’s guest is “Doom-Chip” performance artist, N6664, aka James Barney. I had heard chip-tune music before (for those who haven't, it's a style of synthesized electronic music generated using the sound boards from vintage gaming consoles), but never anything like this. It was discordant, disturbing, and disorienting. My first thought was, “This might not be a good fit for the podcast, shit, he seems like such a nice guy!” However, over the last year I’ve gotten to see James performing live several times, and that re-contextualized everything for me. James’ intention with N6664 IS to sow discordance, disturb, and disorient.
Aside from his music, James and I also discuss his new podcast, ToddCast, a show devoted to celebrating Todd Rundgren. I have to admit I’d never listened to Rundgren before, but after hearing James’ passion for Todd in our interview, I’m definitely going to go back and correct that omission. You can find his show on iTunes or Spotify by searching for “ToddCast Cleveland”.
40. Deb Zep - Singer/Songwriter/Soulmate (Wedding Anniversary Tribute)
Hello and welcome to an especially schmultzy episode of BZ Listening. Today is my seven year wedding anniversary with my amazing wife Deb Zep. Unfortunately, she’s not here to celebrate with me because she is off on a 10 day vacation in Italy with her sister. So I am role-playing the life of a single father for the next week, but what could be a better anniversary gift for a full-time mom than time away from her kids? Well, I figure dedicating my 40th episode to her is a nice cherry on top.
Kicking things off will be a storytelling show we write and first performed as part of the Pandemonium festival at Cleveland Public Theater. The recording is from our second time taking the show out, to the Akron storytelling show “Bigger than a Breadbox” produced by Wandering Aesthetics. In the show, we tell the story of how we first met, with bits of our songs peppered throughout.
Following that will be some of my favorite covers and originals listed below.
Deb Zep Online:
- BZ & DZ: A Musical Love Story (performed at Wandering Aesthetic's Bigger Than a Breadbox)
- Here With Me (feat. Marbar on guitar)
- Stand By Me
- Hound Dog (BZDZ)
- Don’t Let Us Get Sick
- Without You (BZDZ)
- Just Be You
- Astoria Shore
The War On Everyone by Robert Evans - Chapters 4-7
The podcast will be returning in September, but I wanted to share the new audiobook “The War on Everyone” by former guest, journalist Robert Evans. This is the second half, Chapters 1-3 are in the previous episode.
Robert is the host of one of my favorite podcasts, “Behind The Bastards”, where he profiles some of the worst people in history. The work he has done to catalog the history of White Supremacy in America provides so much essential context for our current political climate. So with his permission, I am republishing the entire book in two parts this week. You can also find the book at http://thewaroneveryone.comChapter 4: How to Build an Army
Louis Beam was once a normal American soldier. But in the wake of the Vietnam War, he would painstakingly craft a vicious fascist insurgency. When Beam’s ground-level activism met Pierce’s propaganda, the result was the birth of a terrorist movement that still stalks us to this day.Chapter 5: The Hidden Civil War
Inspired by Beam and Pierce, a young man named Bob Mathews attempted to spark a Second American Civil War. Whether he succeeded or failed is still up in the air.Chapter 6: The Perfect Soldier
In his life and death, Timothy McVeigh represented the best-case scenario for the kind of warriors Louis Beam wanted to inculcate through his “leaderless resistance” strategy. His story is a tale of triumph for American fascism.Chapter 7: The Digital Reich
This is where we are now: an era where a distributed network of individual extremists are able to radicalize each other and inspire acts of violence worldwide. This is not the result of an unhappy accident, or an unforeseen consequence of the digital era. It’s the result of decades of careful planning.
The War On Everyone by Robert Evans - Chapters 1-3
The podcast will be returning in September, but I wanted to share the new audiobook “The War on Everyone” by former guest, journalist Robert Evans.
Robert is the host of one of my favorite podcasts, “Behind The Bastards”, where he profiles some of the worst people in history. The work he has done to catalog the history of White Supremacy in America provides so much essential context for our current political climate. So with his permission, I am republishing the entire book in two parts this week. You can also find the book at http://thewaroneveryone.comChapter 1: The Eternal Fascist
There is nothing new under the sun. In this chapter, you’ll learn about “Ur-Fascism”, and how humor and irony have historically been used to enable its rise.Chapter 2: An American Fascist Faith
The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting, the Poway Synagogue shooting, the Olympic park bombing and dozens of other terrorist attacks all have one thing in common- Christian Identity. In this chapter, we delve into a cultic belief system at the heart of American fascism.Chapter 3: The Apostle of Fascism
William Luther Pierce is the most important Nazi you’ve never heard of, and his work has helped inspire a generation of terrorists- right up to the present day.
39. Save the Footlight - Laura Regan, Owner
Welcome to a special episode of BZ Listening. The podcast is officially on vacation, but I wanted to help spread the word about a fundraiser for The Footlight, a venue in Ridgewood Queens that is very near and dear to my heart, as are its owner Laura Regan, and her husband Tim. The Footlight opened just as I was departing New York for Cleveland, but I got to produce the very first show that graced its stage, the finale of my variety show, The BZ Douglas Carnivale. On today’s episode, Laura and I discuss the genesis of the Footlight, how it has become an artistic incubator and a space that fosters community, and finally the financial troubles she is facing due to a landlord that is not honoring his obligations, and the systemic problems that the city has with regulating building owners.
Follow the Footlight:
38. Jane Arnoff Logsdon - Stand Up to Trump CLE Organizer
On today’s episode, at the top I announce a brief break from the show, and some state of the podcast reflections as the show nears its first anniversary. There may be a surprise episode or two, but no regularly scheduled music until September.
Today’s guest is Jane Arnoff Logsdon. I met Jane randomly last year when we were both cast in a play as part of the Marilyn Bianchi Kids Playwriting Festival. As castmates do, we became friends on Facebook, and before long Jane started inviting me to Stand Up to Trump CLE events, but I wasn’t able to make any of them.
On July 12th, the family and I attended “Lights for Liberty”, which was in coordination with events across the country, organized by Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Indivisible CLE, the Immigration Working Group of Cleveland, Action Together Lakewood Area, Women’s March Northeast Ohio, Stand Up to Trump CLE, the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus and the InterReligious TaskForce on Central America. The purpose of the event was to call for an immediate end to immigrant detention and family separation and to defund ICE.
To my surprise, the MC for the event was my old castmate Jane! A few days later, I reached out to ask her to be on the show, and I am very excited to share our conversation about activism, organizing, and just how fucked we are under Trump.
37. Justin Curry - Violinist
Justin Curry has been playing violin since he was 16, and has performed all over the US, and internationally. We talk about how he started playing following a severe injury (content warning, if you can’t handle graphic stories about kneecaps going where they shouldn’t, then be sure to skip the 13-14minute mark), and then get into much more pleasant stuff like how he taught himself to play, the intractable problems of racism, and the rocky relationships behind some of his songs.
Visit justincurryviolin.com for shows and to hear more of his music.
36. Henry Black - Singer/Songwriter
Henry Black was born in Medicine Lake, Montana before the turn of the last century. Upon moving to New York City in late-2015, he rose to prominence among the acclaimed singer-songwriter scene. In 2019, he formed a seven-piece group comprised of two guitars, three keyboards, a backing vocal section, and a rhythm section in order to recreate the swirling, thunderous ambience of his classic records.
35. Pat Hull - Singer/Songwriter
Today’s guest is one of the first musicians I befriended in New York City, Pat Hull. Pat is a singer-songwriter from Connecticut currently based out of Chico, CA. He has a unique finger picking style, but what really sets him apart is his counter-tenor vocal range.
Be sure to swing by pathullmusic.com for all his music, merch, and upcoming tour dates.
34. Zen Soundscapes at IngenuityFest
Today, my guests are Amanda Nyx, a painter, teacher, and installation artist, along with former guest of the show, musician Michael McFarland. I’m such a huge fan of the work Amanda and Michael do in the Cleveland area, especially their work on the McFarland Manor shows, so I wanted to have them on to help spread the word about their new project for Ingenuity Cleveland, entitled “Zen Soundscapes”
In our chat, we go over the purpose of Ingenuity Cleveland and how getting involved with that space took Amanda and Michael in new directions as artists. Amanda goes deep on the history and purpose of zen gardens, and Michael explains how their project will be taking the traditional zen garden and enhancing it with technology.
Most importantly, the reason I recorded and am releasing this today is to help Amanda and MIchael spread the word about their fundraiser for this project.
All donations made before August 1st will be 100% matched by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Match Fund through a partnership with a new crowdfunding platform, ioby, which worked with Michael and Amanda to secure these matching funds.
33. Killy Dwyer - Mockstar, MC, Performance Artist
Today, my guest is Killy Dwyer, who bears a lot more labels than simply musician. Killy is an actor, comedian, performance artist, MC, and ultimately deserving of her invented label of “mockstar”.
I met Killy about ten years ago at Penny’s Open Mic (now the Open Mic Under St. Marks), just as I was starting to play music. It was because of the love and support from people like Killy, that I found the confidence and ambition to go further into this music thing I discovered so late in life.
Killy is the host of “Mock-u-Mental”, a bi-weekly show on RadioFreeBrooklyn.com that airs every other Friday from 8-10pm. Mock-u-mental is a tasty comedy music treat for your ear holes, served up with a healthy dose of live jams and interviews with comedic musicians AND their moms, topped with listener questions, comments, requests and hate mail and paired with a feel good Friday drinking game.