With the Cavs on the All-Star break and the Indians reporting for spring training, it's a great time to analyze the state of Cleveland's sports teams. Sports director Alex Kaufman talked with WTAM 1100's Glenn Forbes about both teams, and there was even a conversation about Whit's! Listen below and don't forget to subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
For last night's Big Red Sports Talk, sports director Alex Kaufman interviewed Chris Cotillo. A writer for SB Nation and MLB Daily Dish, Chris is also a college student, himself a junior at UNC. There are even some "way too early" predictions! Listen below and don't forget to subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
Sports director Alex Kaufman talked a lot of NBA with Dan Devine for last night's Big Red Sports Talk. Devine, who covers the NBA for Yahoo Sports' Ball Don't Lie blog, talked about the Cleveland Cavaliers, the trade deadline, and plenty more. Listen to the interview below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
A Cincinnati native and Miami (OH) University graduate, CBS Sports' John Breech knows his way around a gridiron and around a 5-way. On last night's Big Red Sports Talk, Breech gave his two cents on Cincinnati chili, the Super Bowl, and plenty of other NFL news. You can listen to the interview below. Tune into Big Red Sports Talk on Friday nights from 7:30-9:30 and subscribe to full show podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
The Super Bowl is coming up soon, so Zach and Alex dialed up CBS Sports NFL writer Sean Wagner-McGough to talk about the big game and some other recent NFL news. You can listen to the interview below. Tune into Big Red Sports Talk on Friday nights from 7:30-9:30 and subscribe to full show podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
New York Times Bestselling Author Jeff Pearlman Talks About His Career and Gunslinger, a Biography of Brett Favre
New York Times bestselling author Jeff Pearlman has written seven books, most recently Gunslinger, a comprehensive biography of legendary Packers quarterback Brett Favre. In the interview, which you can listen to below, Pearlman talked about all of his books and his illustrious career. Tune into Big Red Sports Talk on Friday nights from 7:30-9:30 and subscribe to full show podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
Mike Fisher has had a distinguished sports media career in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As his Twitter bio tells you, Fisher is a Dallas Cowboys insider for 105.3 The Fan. He also writes for CowboysHQ.com and DallasBasketball.com. During the interview, Fisher talked about the Cowboys (obviously), Skip Bayless, strawberries, and why he won't be watching this weekend's AFC and NFC Championship games. Listen to the interview below, don't forget to tune into Big Red Sports Talk on Friday nights from 7:30-9:30 eastern. You can also subscribe to full Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
On last night's Big Red Sports Talk, sports director Alex Kaufman debuted an interview with Tony Kornheiser Show producer Marc Sterne. A Denison graduate (class of 1991), Sterne had plenty of great anecdotes about his time atop the hill, his work on the Tony Kornheiser Show, and even shared some spot-on impressions. Listen below and be sure to subscribe to full Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
With the NBA season still in its infancy, sports director Alex Kaufman dialed up Sports Illustrated writer Ben Golliver to talk about all of the early-season storylines. Golliver talked about the Cavs, the Warriors, the other 28 NBA teams, and even some of the effects the Presidential election might have on NBA players. Listen below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
David Pick is the Euroleague's Adam Schefter. He breaks all of the important news in international basketball. Sports director Alex Kaufman talked with Pick about his career, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, and other Euroleague news and notes. Listen below and be sure to subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play!
Is it basketball season already? On last night's Big Red Sports Talk, sports director Alex Kaufman interviewed Yahoo Sports' The Vertical's front office insider Bobby Marks, who spent 20 years with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, including five as their Assistant General Manager. We talked about Marks' career, the NBA's recent cap spike, and previewed the new collective bargaining agreement. Listen to the interview below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
Emmy-winning producer and coordinating producer Gus Ramsey spent two decades at ESPN, working on a bevvy of studio shows at the Worldwide Leader. Sports director Alex Kaufman talked with Ramsey about his career, his current work as a talent coach, his former boss George Bodenheimer '80, and his friendship with HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons. Listen to the interview below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
With the Cleveland Indians in the World Series right now, the entire city is happily reminiscing about Major League, the 1989 cult classic that saw the fictional Indians win an American League pennant. For that reason, sports director Alex Kaufman decided to reach out to one of the movie's most memorable characters.
Skip Griparis is a comedian, impressionist, and musician from Illinois, but he is also known for his only movie role, as Monte in Major League and Major League II. Monte is the color commentator who was always short on words. While Griparis enjoys being known for the role, he also has plenty of stories and memories as a touring musician and successful impressionist. Griparis shared plenty of stories during the interview, which you can listen to below.
The Doobie's PR Director, Jess Ensley, sat down with Korbee at Thirty One West to discuss inspiration, touring as a couple, and Columbus' Harmony Project.
Jess: You’re described on your website as “Coldplay meets Fleetwood Mac.” Is that where you pull inspiration from and where else do you get inspiration?
Tom: That’s just like the starting point I would say for our inspiration. We both grew up kind of listening to similar and also vastly different music. I listened to Motown and I’m also a huge fan of Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Bon Jovi. I should have been born in New Jersey.
Jenn: I grew up listening to Patty Griffin and the Indigo Girls and that sort of folk sound. My dad was a camp director, so my life was spent around a campfire with an acoustic guitar. We mesh all of that together with all of the electronic vibe that’s going on everywhere and our singer-songwriter based music. It’s been really cool.
Jess: I saw you guys have been working on your debut album, which is exciting. You’ve released the single “Hey Child” from it. Is that sort of “feel good” sound what you’re going for with the whole album?
Tom: Yes. It’s a very happy record... so far.
Jenn: It wasn’t even on purpose. That’s just the way we’ve written over the last six months.
Tom: A lot of what we’re doing on this tour is a lot of what the new record is going to be. We’re testing out a lot of this new material, along with “Hey Child.” “Hey Child” is kind of the anchor of this record.
Jenn: “Hey Child” was really that moment. When we finished it, we were really taken aback. Number one, we were like “this is either awful or amazing.” I mean, as a writer, you feel that way a lot. “Hey Child” really catapulted us on this journey of that kind of sound.
Jess: Do you guys have an idea of when the new album will be coming out?
Jenn: It should be 2017.
Tom: We’re hoping for mid to late spring.
Jess: Nice. I’m excited! So, where are you guys from and how did you meet?
Jenn: I’m originally from Wisconsin.
Tom: I’m from Cincinnati, so just down the street. We met in college.
Jenn: Yeah we went to the Cincinnati Conservatory for Music. We did a show together at school, so that’s really how we started working together.
Jess: That’s cool. Is it challenging for you to go on tour with your significant other? Have you run into any problems with that?
Tom: No! That’s the reason we did this whole thing. One of the big reasons that we became this duo is because we were both doing our things separately. Jenn had some music going on her front and I did the same thing. She was going to have to go off on her tour and I was going to have to go off on mine. We would just be ships passing in the night and that’s not what we wanted in our lives. We were always singing and writing together anyway. We just looked at each other and were like, “duh this is obvious.”
Jenn: Also, no one was doing the duo thing in this space. There are a lot of singer-songwriter country and folk duos, but doing it on this big of a scale is something no one was doing and it was really unique. We couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of it before. Like Tom said, we always collaborated on everything whether it was for me or for him and once we said “okay let’s do this in a duo way,” it just started flying out of us. It started to really work.
Jess: How long have you been touring together? This is pretty new, right?
Tom: Yeah this tour just started. This is week three or four of this tour. The first thing we released was 2012 or 2013.
Jenn: But this is our first headlining tour that we’ve been on. It’s been really exciting.
Jess: You’ve talked about this a little bit, but do you think that your relationship has impacted your music at all or that music has impacted your relationship?
Jenn: That’s a really good question. No one ever asks the second half. Totally. Tom and I really connected in the beginning because of music and we collaborated really well and really inspired one another and really brought out the best in one another. I think that’s only continued. I think we’re doing our best writing and our best everything now. It just keeps getting better and better. A lot of people ask how we work together. What’s funny is, I think any relationship, you create a dynamic of respect and of openness.
Tom: You know, because our relationship started as a working relationship, and then it moved past that, it’s good when we’re writing together and then it’s good when we’re not. At this point, I don’t know how we separate the two. Which is great because it would be one thing if we wrote a cool song and then went home to other people and we’d have to tell somebody else, “I wrote this great song today!” We just get to be like “we wrote this great song today!” and celebrate it. And then if we’re struggling with something in a song or in our careers, we’re both doing it..
Jenn: Well, I also think that we spend so much time working together that we’ve ironed out a lot of personality differences and the ways that we deal with challenges together and all of those things. I think some couples don’t ever have the opportunity to get that far. Those experiences have helped our relationship and our relationship has helped our music.
Jess: Could you guys tell me a little bit about the Harmony Project in Columbus and what you guys are doing with that?
Tom: The Harmony Project is a really cool foundation. We got involved with them last winter. We did a show with them, which was their big benefit of the year. The whole thing was themed around our song “Loud,” which we’re performing tonight.
Jenn: We actually have a couple of the choir singers singing that song with us.
Tom: It was so funny, because they found us through YouTube, out of the blue, from something we had done with the Special Olympics. They messaged us and told us what they were about, and we were like “oh my gosh yeah we would love to do be a part of it.” And especially because it’s Ohio, I was all in. They put this huge show together. It was unbelievable. We came in and got to meet all 400 of the singers and it was nuts. We did a couple of songs with them. It was a heck of a night and they raised a good amount of money. The outreach that they have in the community and the world is just really cool.
Jenn: It’s unbelievable. Introducing people to music who would never have the opportunity is amazing.
Tom: And it’s helping communities in various ways through music. It’s not just teaching kids how to sing or getting choirs together. It’s using that to also serve the community in different outreach projects. Which is really awesome.
Jess: Cool! My last question for you guys is kind of random. If you weren’t doing music, what do you think you’d be doing?
Tom: I don’t know.
Jenn: That’s a hard question, because I think when you’re an artist of any sort, people are always like, “what’s your back up plan?” To be honest, we just never had one. I think that I could guess for days that I’d maybe be a teacher. Tom would probably be a photographer.
Tom: I think I’d be running something like the Harmony Project. I think one of our biggest missions with our music is to give it to the world and get it out there so that it can help people’s lives somehow, whether it’s small, great, whatever it is. We don’t write music for ourselves and for us to listen to in the car. We write it to impact people and help them on their journey, whatever that may be. So, I think we would both be doing something along those lines if we weren’t in music.
Jenn: Yeah. One of our main themes throughout this record and throughout everything we’ve been doing lately is empowerment. Everything is really about going, “here’s my hand and how can I help you?” The answer is you can. That’s really where our heads have gone to. It’s funny, I was saying when we write a song that’s about something or difficult or something that isn’t right in the world, or not right in our lives at the moment, for some reason, we always end up with some message that says, “you will survive. You will be able to conquer whatever you’re dealing with because that’s human nature.” That’s sort of how we’ve come to look at the world. That’s why I said that it wasn’t on purpose that this record is an uplifting and empowering record. It just kind of organically happened that way.
Tom: We need that in the world.
Two summers ago, I attended a concert in the land of the Pharos, which is where I hail from. It was one of the most memorable nights I've ever had. My closest friends were with me, the best two bands in Egypt were playing on stage, and I could feel the intensity of the other fans. The two bands playing were Cairokee and Sharmoofers, who both are from my hometown, Maadi.
Both bands rose after the revolution that occurred in 2011 and starting excelling as the years went by. Cairokee is more of a rock band, where as Sharmoofers is a musical comedy group. They have totally different styles, but both are exceptional when it comes to the message and the purpose of the lyrics. As much as I enjoy their music, it was the concept of the concert that made it an unique experience.
The concert was called "Soundclash," because both bands were on opposite sides of the hall going back and forth in a strategic manner. There were four categories on a spinning wheel. Each round is bounded by each category. For the first round, each of them sang their favorite song. For the second round, each band had to perform one of the other’s band songs in their own style. Third, they had to sing one of their songs, but as an EDM remix. For the final round, they had to have a guest artist perform. When I went home, I had lost my voice and was exhausted, but simultaneously realized how much of a blast of a night it was.
Three stellar Columbus bands christened the Thirty One West stage in Newark, Ohio.
“I’m Phil Cogley and this is my band,” The Saturday Giant motioned to the electronic instruments surrounding him. The art rock one-man-band started the opening night lineup. He performed all components of his songs live, from drums and backing tracks to guitar and vocals. I was as deeply impressed by his pure musical talent as I was by his energetic performance. He had the crowd dancing and bopping around with him to beats that he created on the spot. Cogley stuck around after his performance to talk to fans and to sell merchandise, which included “Make Saturday Giant Again” hats.
The next opener was Playing to Vapors, another Columbus favorite. The genre of the five-piece has best been described as “groove-based atmospheric rock.” They kept the upbeat vibe of The Saturday Giant alive as the crowd grew. Lucas Harris’ falsetto carries across heavy guitar progressions and percussion, creating an ambient rock sound that is incredibly unique.
I’ll admit that I was most excited to see Saintseneca. While I’ve gone to school in the Columbus area for over three years, I’ve never had the chance to see the folk-rock band live. I was thrilled to drive just ten minutes from campus to see them play.
As Zac Little, the group’s lead vocalist, sang his first few notes, a hush fell over the crowd. He has the kind of voice that pulls you in and puts you in a trance. My friend turned to me in awe and simply said “wow.” As the rest of the quintet joined in and the songs became more upbeat, a couple rushed to the front and danced together, twirling uninhibited. The whole thing was incredibly beautiful. Everywhere I looked, people were smiling. I overheard a group of friends say, “I can’t believe this is Newark.”
If you didn’t go to Thirty One West last night, I highly recommend going to one or all of their shows this week. Having a venue this wonderful so close to campus is an opportunity we can’t take for granted in small-town Ohio.
As part of his MLB Playoffs preview podcast, sports director Alex Kaufman dialed up Yahoo Sports MLB columnist Jeff Passan. In the interview, the two discussed the playoff picture, the Indians' bad luck and Passan's MLB awards column. Listen below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher!
As part of a special Big Red Sports Talk podcast, sports director Alex Kaufman previewed the MLB Playoffs. For coverage of his Cleveland Indians, Alex talked with WTAM 1100's Nick Camino, who hosts pre- and post-game coverage on the team's flagship station. Listen to the interview below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher!
Thirty One West is a live music venue opening on Tuesday, October 4th in Newark, Ohio. The venue will be bringing in local and national talent, while collaborating and partnering with local restaurants, breweries, musicians, and educators. The building, which was originally built in 1902, will be shared with Denison, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Sage Yoga Studio, and Little Arrows Play Café.
Concerts will be held upstairs in The Ballroom, which has capacity for 500 when standing and 250 when seated. Downstairs from The Ballroom is a bar and lounge called the “Bootlegger,” which has a small stage for intimate performances. The Bootlegger will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 4PM to midnight.
Thirty One West is bringing in a killer lineup for their grand opening week:
Tuesday, October 4: Saintseneca with Playing to Vapors and The Saturday Giant
Wednesday, October 5: Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons with The Wayfarers and Solitaires
Thursday, October 6: Songwriters in the Round ft. Ari Hest, Mieka Pauley, Andy Davis, & Martin Rivas
Friday, October 7: Madi Diaz with Fields & Planes and Jordan Kirk
Saturday, October 8: Sean Rowe with Dawn Landes and Dollfish
For more information on ticket prices and times, check out their website at thirtyone-west.com. Also check out their Facebook page (Thirty One West) and their Instagram (thirtyone_west).