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Internet Highs 5.19.16 (my favorite digital media of the week)

Zach Powers

Music High: 'Supramundane' by Tay Sean

Tay Sean has long been one of my favorite producers and rappers from Seattle. I've been toe tapping and head nodding to his music for years, dating back to his work with the group Helladope back around the turn of the decade (Rainwater = favorite Tay tune from that era). I also think his group that followed Helladope, Kingdom Crumbs, is one of the most underrated acts in recent Seattle music memory. This latest tune, which he released as a solo single, showcases everything I dig about his music: timeless/effortless style, infectious rhythm and cool/confident/clever raps.

Writing High: 'Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book Is a Mixtape About His Hometown, So I Listened to It in Mine' by Rembert Browne on (link)

Rembert Browne has been one of my favorite writers since he burst onto a few years ago and seemingly overnight became one of most important voices at a site full of heavy hitters. Rembert's piece Barack and Me was my favorite piece of writing from 2015. I also highly recommend his interview on the Long Form Podcast.

Podcast High: 'Meet the Press' host Chuck Todd on 'Keepin' It 1600'

With apologies to my both the NPR Politics Podcast and FiveThirtyEight's Election Podcast (which are both very good), Keepin' It 1600 has quickly become the can't miss podcast of this presidential election cycle.  Both Senior officials on Obama's presidential campaigns, hosts Jon Favreau (Obama's former director of speechwriting) and Dan Pfeiffer (a former senior adviser for strategy and communications) bring incredible insight to every episode (which are published every Thursday), plus their guest selection has been top-notch. That said, this conversation with 'Meet the Press' host Chuck Todd (which begins at 50:30) is the best piece of podcasting they've done to date. Listening to them debate the merits of alternative vs. traditional media as the optimal medium for longform policy discussions between the president and an interviewer is really fascinating (Todd is befuddled as to why Obama's team scheduled a 50 minute interview on Marc Maron's WTF podcast and repeatedly declined his pitches for a 50 minute interview on Meet the Press.)  

Podcasts and Audio Essay I've Published Recently at PLU

Zach Powers

I'm continuing to really enjoy working with audio storytelling and podcasts at Pacific Lutheran University, where I serve as the Media and Content Manager in the Division of Marketing and Communications. These are three recent projects in particular that I'm particularly proud of. 

1. Lutes in the Legislature: Mega talented PLU photographer John Froschauer (John's website) and I visited Olympia to create a collection of audio recordings and photographs of PLU students and alumni working at the state capitol. 

2. Interview With PLU Religion Professor: I had the opportunity to interview PLU faculty member Seth Dowland about his new book "Family Values and the Rise Of The Christian Right." 

3. Open To Interpretation: Interpret: OTI is a podcast series devoted to exploring the meanings and implications of words commonly used in the news, on social media and on college campuses. This episode is one of my favorites we've done to date. Host Amy Young and guests Michael Zbaraschuk and Kane Anderson do a great job of making space for humor and moments of jest without venturing from the episode's theme word (interpret) and core discussion.

Most Stories Like This Are Never Told #MediaShoutOut

Zach Powers

Shouts to The Source for telling this story, or at least shouting it out. Media flock to cover incidents of highly paid professional athletes breaking the law and squandering wealth. I believe and hope that the under-publicized truth is that there are, in fact, way more guys like Jason Brown, and in my community Jon Kitna and Isaiah Thomas, who are using their experience, perspective, wealth and resources to quietly, but profoundly, serve their communities.

I Will Buy Any Music Talib Kweli Releases Forever #Music+Film+Art

Zach Powers

This out-of-nowhere release by the musician I most idolized as a teenager made my day. Kweli's music, interviews and writings were seminole in helping me craft my worldview and community ethic. His community of hip-hop musicians (Mos Def, Dead Prez, Jean Grae, The Roots etc) inspired me to take African-American history as soon as I reached college and begin to own the countless ways in which I benefit from my white privilege and what being an assertive, deferential ally could and should look like.

"Media Circus" Podcast #MediaShoutOut

Zach Powers

I'm a fanatical consumer of podcasts about sports and about journalism/media. So naturally, I think Sports Illustrated writer & Columbia University faculty member Richard Deitsch's "Media Circus" pod about sports journalism (the field I spent my most of my youth dreaming to someday work in) is pure ear pizza.

My favorite segment yet on the relatively young pod (it's currently only 8 episodes in) was Deitsch's conversation with the great Rachel Nichols (below) following her being barred from the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight for asking tough questions about Floyd's serial domestic violence.

p.s. I also really, really dig the show's logo. I'm a big fan of Sports Illustrated's online branding and design. It's complimentary and befitting of the content and stories SI Online produces, differentiates them from their competitors (ESPN, FoxSports, Bleacher Report, etc.), is "hip" enough to attract millennial (and whatever the generation that is younger than millennials is called) readers, and is, at the same time, broadly tasteful, sharp and generally appealing in a way that ought to be pleasing to sports fans of all ages.

p.s.s. Wow, that was an extremely long "p.s." Apologies for that. Perhaps would make for a good topic for a future blog entry...? 

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"Fair is Fair" #Freewrite

Zach Powers

I should check that new social media account I have...

The one with only text and pictures and the layout that looks like a 90's website...

Or like something someone might design for a final project in an intro community college course on webdesign...

It just seems so boring - no videos or sound - wtf is that about...

BUT, I know that the formation of the bond between millennial and social media site can take time...

It took me a while to get through my awkward, 'what am I getting out of this' / 'where the hell is everyone' stage with Twitter...

and back then Twitter didn't have videos or sound either...

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Hold Tight! Blogs Coming Soon!

Zach Powers

As may have already noticed, this website is still a work in progress! Once I finish up some of the more crucial details I'll begin blogging about local art, civics and culture. Thanks for your patience!