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Interview Tue Aug 25 2015

Dynasty Podcast's 10-Hour Broadcast for a Monumental Celebration

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Jaime Black is an institution in Chicago's music landscape, particularly through the curation of his own podcast, Dynasty Podcasts, the first as well as longest-running in Chicago. This year marks an unparalleled moment for the podcast, which has featured celebrated musicians from Billy Corgan to Perry Farrell to Chance the Rapper. Its emphasis on the Chicago music scene is steadfast and all-encompassing, and Black has worked tirelessly to hone the entity to what it has become today. Today, Dynasty Podcast has 50,000 followers on Soundcloud, and can be heard in more than 165 countries.

For the 10-year anniversary of Dynasty Podcasts, Black will be hosting a 10-hour-long broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 30, from Chicago's own Public Hotel, unprecedented in scope and welcoming a variety of Chicago talent to celebrate this achievement over the past decade. Listeners can stream the event all day at Dynastypodcasts.tv. I spoke with Black regarding his brainstorming for the event, the ever-changing podcast landscape, and his hopes for the future.

Dynasty X 10 Podcast Guests
Local H
Show You Suck
Archie Powell + The Exports
Andrew Barber (Fake Shore Drive)
Alex Fruchter W/ Closed Sessions Artists
Chris Payne
Phenom
Mikul Wing (Autograf)
Celine Neon
Mike Golden
Bernie Levv
Mark Rose + Bob Nanna (Downwrite)
Xoe Wise
Kinky Love
Beach Jesus
My Gold Mask
Shawn Campbell + Jennifer Lizak (CHIRP Radio)
Ganser
Rebecca Brunner
Vamos
Hemmingbirds
Professor Fox

This is a huge occasion for Dynasty Podcasts for its 10th anniversary. Tell me about your path to this idea for the anniversary, and showcasing all that you've done for the podcast leading up to this event.

The idea for this, I don't know exactly when it started, but it's something that I had in my head for a while, probably at least a year. I was thinking about different ways I could approach the 10 year anniversary, and I think a lot of music outlets when they have an anniversary, they might do a show at a mid-size venue with a couple of acts, and I thought, okay, there's nothing wrong with that idea, but I feel like those things come and go and then nobody really thinks about them after the fact. So I thought, for this being a podcast, I should really do something more digital-based.

So I got the idea probably in the last year or so for a marathon-type broadcast, and my initial idea for it up until a month or two ago, was that I was going to do a 24-hour live broadcast. All of my friends were smarter than me and told me to not do that, and that was a terrible idea. So we reached the compromise of 10 hours -- 10 years, 10 hours. 10 hours seemed a lot more manageable. Even though that's a long amount of time, it's something where if you book enough people, it will fill up, whereas I think 24 hours would be really, really difficult. So I'm glad I didn't go that route, but that was my initial idea.

I feel like 10 hours is way more manageable. Has anyone even really done a 10-hour broadcast of this nature or is this one of the first in Chicago?

I think in Chicago, at least for something that's a podcast. Obviously there have been radio telethons for 10, 12, 24 hours, so it's something that's definitely happened a lot in radio, but I'm not sure if it's happened in podcasting, especially not in the music podcasting space, that much I'm comfortable saying, so this is probably, in this specific niche, the first of its kind.

For readers who don't know your own journey to podcasting, how did you get into the field itself? You've really created music podcasting in Chicago.

I found podcasting 10 years ago, because I've always been really interested in digital technology. I'm of the generation that really came up with the Internet. In high school, in the late '90s, early 2000s, that's when the Internet started being brought into people's homes. I don't want to make this into the history of the Internet, but I've always been very digitally focused, and captivated by new technologies. In 2005, when podcasting was first really starting to become something people could do, I was really drawn to it because it combined three things I'm really passionate about, which is broadcast, radio, music journalism, with interviews, and digital technology. Basically, it was a format that combined all three of those things that I was passionate about in different forms, and it made it into one platform.

Once I started doing it, I pretty quickly realized, this really works for me. This is a platform that I'm really passionate about and that I think I can build a story through.

With Dynasty Podcasts, it's both the premier as well as longest-running music podcast in Chicago, as well, which is an amazing accomplishment to tout around. How has the landscape for podcasts changed over the years in Chicago, and what do you hope that the listener learns from your podcasts?

So, there are a couple things. To answer a part of your question, just not even Chicago, but podcasting globally now, I think it's no surprise or secret that the big moment was Serial last year. Serial was basically the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" of podcasting, it really just broke it through. That was really a turning point for a lot of people, professionally, just for taking podcasts seriously, and a lot of casual listeners who started to realize that podcasting was a thing. So, I think that that's the biggest change in the last two years in the world of podcasting, is Serial.

What I hope people will take away from it who come across my podcast, we do a lot of panels, and a lot of workshops, and we do them live so people can attend them at different venues around the city, but then we always record them and post them online, and those seem to get the best response out of anything we do generally, which is not a surprise to me, because I think there's a lot of value in not coming out and hearing me speak personally, but if I have a panel of three or four great journalists, or if I have a panel with a couple of great promoters telling artists how to get their work out there, it's not surprising to me that those things do really well. Because again, it's not about me, but they offer value to people because of great speakers sharing insight into how artists and creative can advance their career as independents. So those things, I think are some of our strong suits. All the artist, or industry-facing type workshop content. So we're going to keep doing those, and do more of those, and we have a really good response to those, but ideally as people discover those, hopefully it's something they can put to use.

An example is Celine Neon, who I know that you're familiar with, Maggie and Emily have come to a number of the Dynasty Podcast panels and workshops and I know just from speaking to them that it was something that they were able to find lot of value from and do a lot of networking from that actually really benefited them. Seeing things like that, and seeing cases where it actually does make a difference for people, that's one of the really cool parts of doing this.

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Since you mentioned you've tried to make your podcasts more innovative with panels and other events, for this broadcast at 10 hours in length, what kind of innovative surprises will you have in store this time around, and who are you looking forward to featuring?

So, the first part of that, in always trying to utilize different platforms -- so this main broadcast, we're going to utilize Ustream for the stream, and that will be the main channel. And then in our green room, when we have artists coming up who aren't on the broadcast yet, our producers are going to be using Periscope in the green room, so you can either watch the official live feed, or you can tune into the backstage sort of thing. For anybody who is reading this being like "What does all this mean? What is Periscope versus Ustream?" It would be like if you wanted "SNL" on NBC, and that's just normal "SNL" with all the skits, versus if there was a digital feed on Twitter, where you could watch the backstage dressing room and the green room of "SNL." So that's what we're going to do, and we're also going to be utilizing a couple of Google Hangout sessions during the broadcast for people who can't physically be there, so we'll switch the feed a couple times. So we're trying to utilize a lot of the really cool streaming platforms and utilize them to their different strengths, because they're not all the same, but just being a technology DJ I wanted to not just have one stream, but have two or three different streams that come into play during the event so people could choose which channel they wanted to utilize.

Also, this is the true answer and also the diplomatic answer, I'm really excited about everyone that's coming up, and that's true, because everyone I booked is someone that I'm excited to have up. One of the things that I think is going to be really, really special is that at 9 p.m. we have Local H closing out the broadcast. At the same time, we have Chris Payne coming up at 9pm as well, and Chris Payne is the DJ that I worked with for 13 years at Q101 radio. He and I worked together from the time I was a 15-year-old teenager, to almost the end of my 20s. So he's somebody who was a mentor in the music industry, and taught me so much of what I know. When Chris and I worked together, we worked together on a program called Local 101 that aired at 9pm on Q101, and Local H is one of the guests we had up a number of times, and they've been on my podcast a number of times. So doing a 9pm reunion hour with Chris Payne and Local 101 is one of the things I think is going to be really cool, it's a very cool throwback slash reunion type event.

What are your hopes for the podcast landscape over the next decade, and where do you hope to see Dynasty Podcasts in the next 10 years?

That's a good question, that's the second time I've been asked that this week and I don't have a perfect answer as of yet. What I really hope is that we're able to keep producing content that is actually relevant to people, that is actually useful to people, that tells a story that's Chicago-focused and Chicago-based, because it's really important for us to be hyperlocal. I don't know what platform we'll be on in five or 10 years, I don't know exactly what podcasting is going to look like then, but I hope that we're doing it through emerging platforms, taking advantage of all of these great mediums that keep coming out, finding new ways to do story-telling, and again, producing something that's really Chicago-focused and hopefully has some relevance and impact for people.

~*~

Tune in to Dynasty Podcast's monumental 10-hour broadcast this Sunday, Aug. 30, hosted at the Public Hotel. Listen in via Dynastypodcasts.tv from 12pm until 10pm.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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