Conversations /

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. 

EP 010 with Jana Weltzin

In this episode, we have a conversation with Jana Weltzin, an Alaskan attorney with a focus on recreational marijuana business law and regulation compliance. We talk about moving back to Alaska and her newfound, intimate relationship with the community, the importance of independently owned businesses, and the Alaska weed industry—licensing, permits and regulations.

Crude weed columnist Whitney Branshaw sat in on the conversation. 

EP 009 with Craig Medred

In this episode, we have a conversation with long time Alaska journalist Craig Medred. We talk about the purchase of the Alaska Dispatch and the Anchorage Daily News by Alice Rogoff, Baby Boomers versus Millennials, news in a post-truth era, and the time he was attacked by a bear.

EP 008 with The Hoffman Life

Thursdays are podcast days! In this episode, we have a conversation with Lyn and Lacey Hoffman of @the_hoffman_life, an Instagram account dedicated to hunting, snowmachining and the Alaska outdoors. We talk about being influencers on social media, death threats, moving to Alaska and living in the middle of nowhere, hunting—how it's a lifestyle, but there are inherit politics and controversy that come with it—and what it means to pose with your kill. 

EP 003 with Dustin H James (from February 2018)

Before Dustin was a host! 

In this episode, Cody and Tubby have a conversation with Dustin H James of Tailgate Alaska, a freeride festival in the heart of Thompson Pass. They talk about how Dustin is currently "living in an 80s ski movie," what it really means to be successful and his life after recently taking the reins of Tailgate. This episode was recorded with a USB mic.

EP 007 with Dr. Alexander James

In this episode, we have a conversation with Dr. Alex James, an economics professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, with a research focus on resource economies. We talk about Alaska's economy—economic growth and our dependence on oil—whether or not we suffer from a "resource curse," and everybody's new favorite Alaskan, Chad Brad. 

EP 006 with Michael Downey

In this episode, we have a conversation with freelance reporter Michael Downey. We talk about reporting on war and revolutions in the middle east for New York Times, BBC, PBS NewsHour and Rolling Stone, what it means to be a millennial—how all generations look down on previous generations—and how artificial intelligence will soon take all our jobs. 

EP 005 with Aaron Leggett

In this episode, we have a conversation with Aaron Leggett, the Curator of Alaska History and Culture at the Anchorage Museum. We talk about the identity of Alaskans—the history of the land and its people as a way to lend perspective to the present and the future—and the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend—the history of it and why we have such a sense of entitlement about it.

EP 004 with Alkota Beats

In this episode, we have a conversation with Travis Brady, aka Alkota Beats, a hip hop producer and beatmaker based out of Anchorage, Alaska. Travis also runs an online marketplace called The Drum Broker where people from around the world purchase beats and samples to produce music with. We talked with him about getting high at his cabin in the woods, creating a new business, the current state of journalism, the effects of globalization, and NIXLE.

EP 002 with David Holthouse

In this episode, we have a conversation with longtime alt-weekly journalist and documentarian David Holthouse. We talk about documenting crooked cops in Brooklyn, staying up for days with crystal meth addicts, how Anchorage has increasingly become more sketchy, and his upcoming documentary about the infamous case of John and Lorena Bobbitt. 

Holthouse has worked for the Anchorage Daily News, the Anchorage Press, and the Phoenix New Times. 

Additional questions provided by Aurora Ford.

EP 001 with Dustin and Cody

Meet your hosts, Cody Liska and Dustin H James! In this episode, they have a conversation about everything from the Anchorage neighborhood Cody lives in to the importance of critical thinking. This episode was recorded on a USB podcast mic.