Friday, July 22, 2011

Hippies and migrants and skaters, oh my

This week Happy Hour was in the Berlin offices of the Bayside Gazette. Todd DeHart, my co-host, took the opportunity to sit behind the publisher’s desk and scream like Perry White. I guess it’s a non-newspaper person compulsion. Tuesday’s rain stranded our guest and we scrambled to try and replace him. 
The guys at Burley Oak are usually happy to pinch hit but they were burying boulders in front of the brewery and neither Todd nor I had the courage to go over and ask them why. Similarly, the professional migrants we’ll hopefully have on next week were unavailable at the last minute but it was gratifying to see that we didn’t need the guests to lean on.
The show, which I swear I’ll get to in a second, ran on time and was well-paced with just the two of us. The thing about having guests, though, is that it gives our listeners access to local people — artists, musicians, business owners — they might not have known about. 
There are thousands of podcasts on iTunes but ours may be the one, or is at least one of the few, that uses the power of the Internet for hyper-local reasons. This is partly because I barely have enough time to follow local news and entertainment and partly because Todd barely has enough interest to follow anything else.
The reason Todd took so well to the publisher’s desk is because he’d spent the week in full-blown reporter mode, securing press passes to the Dew Tour events and even conducting an interview. After several days as a reporter, it seemed, he was ready for the next logical step: publisher.
He interviewed pro skater Bob Burnquist, who was flying in to participate in the Dew Tour during the interview. We talked about the difference between interviewing regular people, which we do all the time, and interviewing people who are used to talking to reporters.
Not to be outdone, I shared my story (see page 17) about Billy Casper, the golf legend who visited Ocean Pines. The compare and contrast was fun because I know so little about golf while skateboarding is Todd’s favorite sport. So while he was asking intelligent questions of his subject, I was compiling a list of golf terms and names I had to look up when I got home. It was a totally different vibe.
But for the first time in a long time I out-cooled him on the weekend front, attending a party at The Good Farm, where I met modern day hippie minstrels. Two kids from Maine sold all their stuff and were driving around the country playing music for food and shelter. They gave a brief concert for the eight-or-so other guests at the affair playing almost unintelligible avant-garde music that was all the cooler for its utter un-marketability.
The Happy Hour podcast comes out Thursday afternoon and is available by subscribing on iTunes. Just type GCFL into the search bar at the iTunes store to subscribe. It’s free, fun and only requires a half-hour listening investment. Fair warning before you listen: Put on your irony hats, kids. It’s all in good clean fun.

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