Seven years ago we started a podcast called NewbsRadio. It was myself and my good pal David Newberry. We met while both working at a pub in Gastown Vancouver BC in 2009. Immediately bonding over our similar nicknames based on our last names (Newbs) we set out to explore the new medium of podcasting in early 2011. I had this idea for a radio show in the early 2000s whereby I would construct playlists based on "Six Degrees of Separation" between the bands. Never fulfilling this dream, I felt that the podcast medium may work instead. The idea was that in this case it could expand to more of a verbal discourse and include more than just music. Well, it would have to as I had no idea about copyright law but even to this day, it's a big of a grey area for podcasts. That limitation actually helped our concept immensely as now I could pull from all sorts of pop-culture instead of limiting to music.
The prototype for the show's structure shifted as this point as well. While the original show just had an A to B trajectory, I flirted with the idea of an A to A trajectory meaning that the shows would all start and finish with the same pop-culture reference. I tested the theory because I didn't want the construction of the shows to take too long. The first official NewbsRadio "map" as we ended up calling them was based on something I had no prior knowledge of. I really wanted to make sure that it would work with anything - so I chose to start and end with a popular song at the time, Katy Perry's "Fireworks". Using the wealth of knowledge and rabbit-hole nature of a single Wikipedia page, I set out on building a map based on the song. It didn't take me long to realize that not only was building show content fun, it was also quite fulfilling this way. There is an insane feeling of accomplishment when you end up completing a map. I was addicted.
I took my findings to David Newberry to show him the blue print for what we'd be doing together and he too was excited. We locked down our friend Rob Maloway to record and mix the show from his apartment just off Main Street and that was it. We started with our first episode based on the Rolling Stone's tragic show at the Altamont Speedway in 1969.
David, Rob and I completed several seasons worth of episodes when I decided I had enough of Vancouver and wanted to be closer to family in Edmonton. We all agreed to continue the show, recording in our respective cites and sending off the tracks to Rob in Vancouver to mix them. It was working quite well, but the distance was hurting some of the spontaneity of the recording sessions. David decided to step away from the project to focus more on his music.
The next phase of NewbsRadio spun up when I asked an old friend, Christian Zyp to replace David as co-host and co-researcher for more shows. He was more than okay with this and we ended up recording many shows in CJSR studios on campus at the University of Alberta. Then came the hiatus and Zyp getting sick and it seemed unlikely that the show would get back on track.
I certainly missed the creative endeavour and that feeling of accomplishment of successfully creating a map. So just the other day, I tried to get the show back up and realized that our website had been hacked and while trying to bring it back, decided that in light of all that had happened, and the time that had passed, it might just be easier to start over. I pitched the idea of a rebrand to Zyp and he was into it. So rather hastily I got this PopCycle site going - it's a bit bare bones, but I am hoping that new shows around the corner will get more traction from the aggregate services where the podcast will now live. We should have the show on Apple Play, Google Play, and Spotify soon. I tossed up our Good Vibrations episode just to get the ball rolling so if you haven't heard the show before, this can be your own personal maiden voyage into the crazy world of PopCycle. EN