The Saturday Six Pack with Mark Maynard: episode three

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The cold that I’d spent the better part of the week trying to stay ahead of finally caught up with me this weekend. And, by the time I was making my way into the AM 1700 studio, I was a coughing, sneezing, dripping mess. But, I somehow made it through the show… It had occurred to me earlier in the morning that I could reach out to sone of the other Mark Maynards out there, and see if one of them might want to host the show in my place, but then it also occurred to me that he might do a better job of it than me… so I started franticly juicing vegetables, mainlining cough syrup, and cooking chicken noodle soup. And it apparently worked. I was able to buy myself a two hour reprieve from my symptoms before limping home and collapsing into a pile of goo.

If you haven’t listened to the show yet, it’s pretty awesome. If you want, you can now listen through iTunes, where, if you like, you can even subscribe, so that every week a new issue will be pushed your way. (And, yes, I know I only signed up for four episodes, but I think, given the response, that I’m going to keep it going a little longer.) And, if you don’t want to listen through iTunes, here’s the episode on Sound Cloud. (Oh, if you do go to iTunes, be sure to rate the show and leave a comment. I’d appreciate that.)

I was going to go into a lot of detail as to what was covered, but, as I’m still deathly ill, I’ll just ask you to listen. I should mention, however, that, as in weeks past, the first hour or so is pretty weighty, and things take a much less serious turn during the second half of the show. Here, for those of you who don’t have the time to listen to the whole thing, are the bullet points. [All photos by AM 1700 staff photographer Kate de Fuccio.]

• The show begins with an intro made by my friend and bandmate Dave Miller in Portland. It features drunken audio of me rambling in a studio somewhere, toward the tail end of one of our annual Monkey Power Trio recording sessions. It hadn’t occurred to me, when I asked for Dave to make an intro for the show, that he had access to this long forgotten material that I never thought would see the light of day.

• Our first guests are Katrease Stafford, formerly of the Ann Arbor News, and Krystal Elliot, formerly of the Ypsilanti Courier… both who, until somewhat recently, covered Ypsilanti for their respective publications. They were awesome. They stayed with me until the 52-minute mark, talking about the current state of local media, and how difficult it can be to do good watchdog journalism in an environment increasingly driven by Facebook shares and click counts. It’s an awesome conversation, and I’d encourage you to listen to it if you have a chance. We cover all of their favorite Ypsi stories, from the Ypsi Pooper to raccoon infested houses. One of them also says that, quite often, she felt better informed on the issues before City Council than some of our elected officials, but you’ll have to listen to find out which one it was… Here are Katrease (top) and Krystal (bottom).

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• At the 52-minutes mark, we played a song written that very morning by Peter Larson, our only listener in Kenya. He must have recorded it outside somewhere, as you can year Kenyan birds chirping in the background. It’s quite beautiful.

• At the 57-minute mark, we play the intro again and call David Miller to discuss what he was thinking when he made it. Dave was standing on Oregon coast, with his feet in the Pacific, as he was talking with us.

• At 1:03, Bridgid Mooney came in with this week’s “Shy Comedians,” Alan Black and Marty Smith.

• At 1:04, Linette’ cousin Andy from downriver calls in to play a song that he’d written for the show. He mysteriously disappears at the end of the call.

• At 1:07, Alan and Marty talk comedy with me. Alan gave us the perspective of someone relatively new to the business, while Marty entertained us with stories of having grown up in Brooklyn among the likes of Henny Youngman and Buddy Hacket, honing his one-liners in the Catskills. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I think the segment worked really well, and I look forward to seeing who Brigid brings with her next time. Here are Alan (top) and Marty (bottom) explaining to us why they’re funny… Oh, and Marty mentioned in passing that he’d been right next door, at the Martha Washington Theater, in it’s previous incarnation, when he and his wife had gone there to see Deep Throat in the ’70s.

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• At 1:20 Cre Fuller comes in and asks people to bring in their left-overs for a new segment he calls the Hungry Collector. Two people show up with food for him. Joe Bertoletti brought in potato leak soup with homemade Tasso ham. And Dan Carroll brought in vegan chili. (Dan had a new haircut.)

• At 1:27 Kristin Schraeder calls from outside a party that I’d been invited to, but couldn’t attend as I had to be on the show. She described the scene inside.

• At 1:29 Cre purchases the Tasso ham soup for $5 cash. Here they are executing the deal, followed by a photo of Cre enjoying the soup. (If you’re eating out in Ypsi next Saturday, drop by the studio with your leftovers for Cre.)

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• At 1:35 Chris Sandon called in to ask for more Collin Morehouse. Collin, as you may recall, is the guy who dropped by the studio last week after first calling in to say that he visited me in my dreams. Chris also offered to come in next week and bid against Cre for leftovers.

• At 1:37 we play Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby while I use the bathroom.

• At 1:41 Patrick Elkins comes in to play steel drum as Cre tells us about his recent vacation in Jamaica.

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• At 1:45 the world famous Doug Coombe drops by. We talk marriage, and proper pronunciation of his name, which we were told is Welsh.

• And then things just continue to devolve as those of us who remain in the studio kick around ideas for future shows and the like. Things culminate with Patrick Elkins going next door, to the local strip club, looking at their window display, and coming back to us with a weather report based on what he’d seen. It was lovely.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Interesting summary of events.

  2. Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Mark, long time.

    I was wondering if there was any way to extend the reach of the actual AM broadcast past a mile or two. Are there regulations for a low power station and if so, what would it be? Maybe I am in the minority, but listening to a show through the actual AM waves on a real radio makes such a difference. The internet isn’t the same. I’m kind of a radio junkie though, so maybe it’s just me. If it was possible, and it was just a matter of equipment, you could have a fundraiser show.

    The show is great. I like the idea of having at least two people to bid on leftovers – a live broadcast of a leftover food auction would be very entertaining.

  3. BrianR
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    AM1700 falls under Part 15 of the FCC regulations regarding radio transmissions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_47_CFR_Part_15

    As such, the transmitter may be no larger than 100 milliwatts. Now that may sound small, but the range for AM1700 is actually quite good. I’ve been able to pick it up clearly in my car by the YDL on Whittaker. I’ve heard it clearly to east as far as Harris and Cross. I’ve even had someone tell me the were able to pick it up out near Hiller’s (although I find that hard to believe). AM1700 has a pretty high-end transmitter that advertises a range of 0.5 to 1.0 mile radius.

    It’s important to understand that weather conditions play a big part in this. The wetter the soil, the stronger the signal . Depot Town sits in a hole and is blocked by the Centennial Building at the corner of Pearl and Washington, so I can’t pick up the signal that great most of the time at my house. I also find it easier to pick up the station in a car than in a structure.

    With all that being said, here’s the caveat. Deja Vu repointed the brick on their building. When they did that, they rebuilt the chimney to which the antenna was attached and moved it to another location (the antenna not the chimney). The antenna needs to be tuned again and I didn’t make it up to the roof before winter. So when people say there is no range or hear static, they should because the antenna isn’t tuned properly. That’s why I suggest streaming.

    Last fall, the FCC started taking applications for Low Power FM stations. AM1700 doesn’t qualify because it’s in an urban area and within 50 miles of Canada. I keep looking for a 10 Watt station to purchase, but have to yet to find one. The fundraiser you are suggesting would have to raise a lot of money. I’ve found a 1000 Watt station for sale for the new low price of $270K. You can paypal me.

    The issue with becoming legit is the added expense. Currently AM1700 is unlicensed, but pays royalties. I just wrote checks to BMI and ASCAP this weekend. Part 15 licensing is a fixed annual fee. When you get bigger, you pay more. Radio in principal doesn’t have much of a business model. Strip club radio in downtown Ypsilanti has zero business model, so paying more in royalties is a hard sell. (If someone wants to help me with the 501 c(3) paperwork, let me know.)

    And by all means, when you buy from Amazon, do it through the AM1700 store (http://astore.amazon.com/am103-20), so we keep the lights on. Radio isn’t cheap, and AM radio is the most expensive radio of them all.

  4. X
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought there was nowhere left to go after reaching the pinnacle of “small town blogger of record”, but then you took the game to AM radio. Bravo. Next you should release show tapes on 8-track.

  5. Kit
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for having that important conversation with Katrease and Krystal. When they left did the Ann Arbor News and Ypsi Courier stop sending reporters to cover City Council meetings?

  6. Katrease Stafford
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for having me, Mark! Ypsilanti is a wonderful community and it was great to come back and talk about some of my past coverage.

  7. Alan Black
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    It was a blast to be a part of the show. I love how laid back an open it is. Can’t wait to tune in this weekend for number 4.

  8. Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    GReat show and glad to hear you will keep going after number 4. It really feels like just the beginning of something grand! :-)

  9. Teresa
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    @Kit – Matt Durr from Mlive.com covers city council meetings and often tweets during them as well as come out of the meetings often with several stories. BrianR may know if there is a regular Ypsilanti Courier reporter at city council meetings. Otherwise Ben Baird does cover Ypsi for the Courier.

  10. 56 Ypsi
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    This was a much more joyful experience than I had anticipated. Thank you to all who were involved.

  11. Anonymous Mike
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Bring back Bash Boulder.

  12. Peri
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    So much of this resonated with my experience as a reporter, even I left the biz more than 10 years ago. Back then story quotas were maybe 4 stories a week and some briefs — and even that felt difficult when you wanted to do enterprising stories. I also remember spending months on a story where I calculated the level of segregation over time in the local schools (surprise — they were becoming more segregated!) — and the reaction was barely anything. But when I wrote about a teen dressing up as female anatomy — now that made the national wire.

  13. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Was the gentleman in the vagoo costume in question perhaps named Christian? I didn’t know my acquaintance had reached national fame with that incident, but the timeframe and locality make sense. Can probably ask him if you want to do an interview. National celebrity and all, sort of a “where are they now” nostalgia bit.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I thought you’d be interested to know that Katrease Stafford, along with Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells, won the Young Journalist of the Year award given by the Society of Professional Journalists.

6 Trackbacks

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