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BZ Listening

Author: Beezy Douglas

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Beezy Douglas is a Cleveland-based musician, event producer, and family man. On this show he sits down to talk with grassroots performers, activists, and other persons of interest that he's had the fortune to cross paths with.

Follow me @bzdug, and use #bzlistening if you share any of the episodes!

http://bzlistening.com

All songs included with permission from the artists.

Tips are welcome at https://www.patreon.com/bzdug
51 Episodes
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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!
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.Additional links:Cleveland Rape Crisis CenterGreater Cleveland’s Coordinated Response to Human TraffickingThe Joyful Heart FoundationHuman Trafficking at Human Scale in Live Bodies for Sale5 Must-See Productions: Fall Theater Preview 2019
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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:http://debzep.com https://www.facebook.com/debzepmusichttps://www.instagram.com/dzdebzep/https://soundcloud.com/debzepTracks:BZ & DZ: A Musical Love Story (performed at Wandering Aesthetic's Bigger Than a Breadbox)Here With Me (feat. Marbar on guitar)Stand By MeHound Dog (BZDZ)Don’t Let Us Get SickWithout You (BZDZ)HomeJust Be YouAstoria Shore
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 ArmyLouis 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 WarInspired 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 SoldierIn 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 ReichThis 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 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 FascistThere 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 FaithThe 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 FascismWilliam 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.
Click Here to Donate! 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. Beloved Ridgewood Bar and Music Venue Struggles with Landlord's Negligence [Bushwick Daily]Follow the Footlight:InstagramFacebook
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.
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.
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. Official WebsiteSpotifyFacebookInstagram
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.
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.Zen Soundscapes Fundraiser on ioby
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.Killy's Official WebsiteMock-U-Mental on RadioFreeBrooklyn.com
Today’s episode is the first with a prerequisite. Usually I have musicians on this show, and if you haven’t heard them before, no big deal. Today, however, I’m talking with Roger Hill, director of the film “Huckleberry”, and if you haven’t seen it, then you should save this episode for after you have, because we gonna spoiler.You can buy or rent Huckleberry on Amazon, or it’s free with Prime, or if you want the full movie experience, you can catch an upcoming screening of Huckleberry followed by another Q&A at the Cleveland Cinema in Shaker Square on Thursday July 18th at 7pm. Please do take the time to rate and review the film on Amazon, it really does a lot to help the visibility of smaller indie films like these. If you’re so inclined, do the same for this podcast as well, though not on Amazon. I don’t think Bezos has his filthy mitts in podcasting yet.Follow Huckleberry:FacebookInstagram
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend and privilege to produce a portion of the first ever ManorFest at the McFarland Manor. The manor is a house venue in Gordon Square that puts on shows the last Friday or Saturday of every month, usually. The fest was an incredibly successful and heroic effort on the part of its producers, Michael McFarland, Amanda Nyx, Cassie Bishop, and Mikey Silas. Apologies to Blindside Avenue for recording diffculties, and to Noon and Daniel J two performers who I didn't get the recorder set up in time for on Saturday.Performers and Times:Wildcard Leader (5:02)Horizon Lights (8:22)Steve Wright (11:22)Jason Patrick Meyers (14:46)Michael McFarland (18:19)Jul Big Green (25:09)Shy Moon (30:27)Saint Joan (33:59)BZ Carnivale Opening Song feat. Deb Zep & Michael McFarland (38:03)BZDZ (40:49)Corry Michaels (44:28)Guggy (48:41)Malik X (54:32)Reginleif (57:28)BZDZ Encore (1:01:32)Apologies to Blindside Avenue for recording difficulties, and to Noon and Daniel J two performers who I didn't get the recorder set up in time for on Saturday.
Happy Almost-Birthday America!Now I know you’re excited to light off your fireworks, to bbq in the backyard, and to see all the people waving your flag and wearing it as a swimsuit, BUT first we gotta talk about some serious problems with your election systems.My guest today is Lulu Friesdat, Communications Director of SMART Elections, a new non-partisan project dedicated to elevating the issue of election reform to an urgent national priority.Lulu is an Emmy award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose election security investigations have received over 4 million views on Now This. They’ve also resulted in a top Florida election official’s conduct being declared illegal, and voting machines in Wisconsin being decertified. Her work has been featured on Politico, MSN.com, the Young Turks, The Hollywood Reporter, The Christian Science Monitor, Salon, and Truthout. She has worked as an editor and producer in broadcast television for over 10 years, including assignments with NBC, CBS and ABC News/Nightline. Her first documentary Holler Back – [not] Voting in an American Town was featured in The Hollywood Reporter as part of a group of “thoughtful and provocative” films being made by women. It received a Best Documentary award and aired on public television.Follow Lulu on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/lulufriesdatVisit https://smartelections.us/ to see all the reporting we discuss in this episode, and learn about how you can take action to make America a democracy worth celebrating on the fourth of July.
Corry and I discuss his musical and performance roots, how he has used YouTube and remote collaboration to learn, his growth from a solo artist to leading a full and vibrant band, and how he is working toward his dream of being a professional musician.Links: Twitter InstagramFacebook
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