Conversations /

EP 030 with Cliff Groh

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with Cliff Groh, a former Alaska Revenue Department official and longtime advocate for the Permanent Fund Dividend. Cliff was instrumental in the creation of the PFD in the early 1980s. From 1987 to 1990, he served as special assistant to Hugh Malone, the Commissioner of Revenue in the administration of then-governor of Alaska Steve Cowper. He was also involved in the adoption of legislation that changed Alaska's oil tax system. They talk about how the discovery of the Super-giant Prudhoe Bay oil field in the late 1960s changed Alaska's economy and government and why the two most important questions in Alaska are "What is the Permanent Fund for?" And "how long do you personally plan to live in Alaska?"

EP 029 with Jay Liska

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with his uncle, Jay Liska. Jay was the first professional snowboarder from Alaska to get his own pro-model. He also started Boarderline Alaska Snow and Skate with his brother, Scott Liska, and went on to start his own shop, Northern Boarder. They talk about the snowboard scene in the 80s and 90s, and Jay shares some of his most memorable stories from back in the day, including the time he was in a helicopter crash on Mount Spurr and the time he took Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys snowboarding in Thompson Pass.

EP 028 with Keezy

In this episode, we have a conversation with Keon McMillan, better known as Keezy, an Alaskan rapper and producer. We talk about the history and impact of the hip hop collective Sky Division—how it was the first large posse of young Alaskan rappers and producers—the influence hip hop music and culture has on society and political change, the implications of selling out, the responsibility that comes with status, and how pop culture influencers aren't always the best role models for young, black men. 

We also discuss why he moved to Seattle to pursue a career in hip hop and why Alaska will always be home. 

With guest host Tubby. 

EP 027 with Mike Thompson

In this episode, we have a conversation with Mike Thompson, a longtime high school teacher at East High in Anchorage, Alaska. We talk about moving from Chicago to rural Alaska—from a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood to one where he was the first black person they met— the lessons he learned about race and integrity from his dad, how civility is a leadership skill, the students who have made an impression on him, and how he believes it's his job to teach students how to think, not what to think.  

We also discuss Governor Mike Dunleavy's proposed budget cuts to Alaskan education, and teaching government class during the 2016 presidential election. 

With guest host Tim Davis.

EP 026 with Julia O'Malley

In this episode, we have a conversation with longtime Alaska journalist Julia O'Malley. We talk about being raised in a family of storytellers, how overcoming dyslexia got her into writing, the importance of local news and digital newspaper subscriptions, media literacy—being able to differentiate between false sources and credible sources—that being a journalist in Alaska doesn't mean resigning yourself to mediocrity, and how food is a lens to understanding culture and community. 

We also discuss mansplaining, equality and how the corporate structure doesn't allow for women to have schedules that accommodate motherhood. 

With guest host Aurora Ford

EP 025 with Mike Gordon

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with Mike Gordon, the former owner of Chilkoot Charlies, a famous bar along Spenard road in Anchorage, Alaska. They talk about Mike's travels—the ones he did for work and the ones that have made the biggest impact on him—he explains the early days of Koots, the prevalence of cocaine in Alaska during the 70s and how the late night scene has changed since then. They also discuss how bars are unfairly judged and the feeling of responsibility when people got hurt on Koots property. 

EP 024 with Tubby

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with James Storlie, better known as Tubby, an Alaskan rapper and hip hop commentator. They talk about how Crude Conversations got started, the Alaskan hip hop scene — how he was introduced to it through the 90s breakdancing scene in Fairbanks and how he eventually became a fixture within it — deadlines, how he cut his weed consumption from $1,000 a month to $600, lessons and repercussions of pursuing a living off a podcast about Alaskan hip hop, and what he considers to be the most influential Alaskan hip hop album of all time. They also discuss being an independent creator, and being proud of a body of work.

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EP 023 with Scott Liska

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with his dad, Scott Liska, the founder of Boarderline, an Alaskan snowboard and skateboard shop that nurtured, represented and influenced the Alaska snow and skate scene in the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. They talk about a lot of firsts: how Boarderline began and what it turned into, how King of the Hill—a three day snowboard competition in Thompson Pass—got started, and how Boarderline Camp got started. They also discuss the importance of local businesses to a community, and Scott's current venture, Alaska Surf Adventures.

EP 022 with Michelle Larissa

In this episode, we have a conversation with Michelle Larissa, an ex-stripper from Alaska turned award-winning weed chef. We talk about the time Michelle saw a donkey show in Mexico, how she became a stripper at 18 and made $2,700 in two hours her first day on the job, the difference between the Alaska strip club scene in the 90s versus today, reasons people go to the strip club, pregnant strippers, and the history of The Showboat strip club and its owner Terry Stahlman. We also discuss strip club culture—how it used to be niche, but now it's normalized.

With guest host Jered Mayer, whose stepdad, Terry Stahlman, owned The Showboat.

EP 021 with Lisa Sauder

In this episode, we have a conversation with Lisa Sauder, the executive director of Bean's Cafe, a soup kitchen in Anchorage, Alaska. We talk about how she came to work at Bean's Cafe, her passion for food and big get-togethers—Sunday meals and how on a busy day at Bean's they'll see over 500 people and make over 1,000 meals—and how the foundation for humanitarianism starts with kindness, food and shelter. We also discuss second chances, the opioid epidemic and Lisa's son Tucker's battle with addiction.

EP 020 with K Jered Mayer

In this episode, we have a conversation with Alaskan author K Jered Mayer. We talk about comics — their history and the difference between a nerd and a pop culture enthusiast — comics as an important form of storytelling, being an author and his writing process. We also get into politics, accountability, gun control, and the repercussions of a president who doesn't play by the traditional rules of democracy. We also discuss Jered's stepdad, Terry Stahlman, who escaped from prison and owned the Showboat strip club in Anchorage, Alaska.

EP 019 with Jesse Burtner

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with Jesse Burtner, a professional snowboarder and creator of Think Thank films. They talk about what it means to be a father — providing your child with the tools they need to succeed and allowing them to follow their own path — what it meant to be a snowboarder in the late 80s and early 90s, snowboarding as a conversation not a competition, and how Jesse went from making a local Alaskan snowboard and skateboard video with Boarderline and JB Deuce (along with Jason Borgstede) to founding his own production that introduced a new style of snowboarding. Jesse also answers a few questions from our Instagram followers.

EP 018 with Melissa Mitchell

With guest host Aurora Ford.

In this episode, we have a conversation with Melissa Mitchell of Hope Social Club. We talk about the influence an audience has on performers, the power of music and song, how she began performing for inmates at New Folsom Prison—what she learned from the experience and how she became friends with a few inmates in the process—what it's like having to wear a stab jacket, and performing at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Alaska. We also discuss trauma, domestic violence and the importance of mental health.

EP 017 with The Spenardian

In this episode, we have a conversation with Victoria Petersen and Sam Davenport of The Spenardian, a hyperlocal zine dedicated to Anchorage's Spenard neighborhood. We talk about the history of Spenard, when it was its own town during Anchorage's infancy, and how now it's considered Anchorage's "hipster neighborhood." We discuss how a quarter of the small businesses in Anchorage are located in Spenard, why their favorite stories to tell are the ones that best represent the neighborhood, the importance of not selling out, and the challenges of reporting on a microcosm of the city. We also talk about the difference between how people who grew up here view Alaska versus those who moved here.

EP 016 with John Woodbury

In this episode, we talk to John Woodbury, publisher of Coast and Snowrider Magazines. John also recently became the new Executive Director of Iron Dog, the longest snowmachine race in the world. We talk about how you keep an organization alive by calling on its ardent supporters, new Iron Dog board members, how the best racers are most often the best all-around riders, and growing snowmachining as a recreational sport. We also discuss co-founding Coast Magazine and friendly competition. 

EP 015 with Tim Davis

In this episode, we have a conversation with Tim Davis, a history teacher and the head football coach at West High in Anchorage. We talk about technology — our addiction to it and how it shapes our youth — how to develop authentic relationships with your students both as a teacher and a coach, teaching in one of the most diverse high schools in America, what it's like to participate in an active shooter drill, and why media literacy is important now more than ever. We also discuss how football can unite us and the time some of his players decided to kneel during the national anthem.

Ep 014 with Aurora Ford

In this episode, we have a conversation with freelance journalist and Covenant House Alaska employee Aurora Ford. We talk about sex trafficking in Alaska—the people who get caught in it and the people who prey on them—how the Anchorage prostitution business is divided into gangs, making it virtually impossible to be a freelance prostitute without the possibility of repercussion, solutions journalism over institutional journalism as a way to affect change, and what if Trump is America's Professor Snape?

EP 013 with Richard Bowen

In this episode, we have a conversation with stand-up comedian Richard Bowen. We talk about performing in all 50 states and how he used a job building skateparks to do it, winning $10,000 in a Laffy Taffy competition, the mechanics of joke writing, and being diagnosed with depression and how comedy helps him combat it. We also debate who would win in a fight, a Silverback Gorilla or a Kodiak Brown Bear. 

EP 012 with Michael Cofey

In this episode, we have a conversation with Alaskan rapper Michael Cofey, aka Starbuks. We talk about what it was like growing up and selling crack in Fairbanks, Alaska—the psychological impact, what he learned from it and how it shaped him as an adult—how the FEDS once took a hard drive of his music, how America's perception of white and black gun ownership is skewed, and what it's like being a father and raising young, black men in today's America.

Exclusive first listen, "What's In Your Head"  featuring Tayy Tarantino off Starbuks' upcoming album Black Polar Bear. 

EP 011 with Evoke Films

In this episode, we have a conversation with videographer Kris Marshall and snowboarder Caleb Kinnear. Both are part of Evoke Films, an Alaska-based snowboard and skateboard video crew that recently released their newest video, The Third Mind. We talk about the type of people who wear skateboard clothes—is Thrasher apparel played?— the importance of a solid crew and a local shop, what defines an Alaska snowboarder, and what goes into producing a snow and skate video.