What’s Got Us Listening
Local Again

February 18, 2021

Micah Mabey
Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Micah Mabey

Nick and Chris Loud are the brothers behind The Boardman Review Podcast Collective.

Everyone has been reacting to the ever-changing atmosphere provided by the pandemic a little differently. New restaurants and local favorites. New newsletters from businesses we accidentally associated with one time and now can’t get to leave us alone. And who knows how much of an artistic renaissance we’ll live through once the air is open again.

It looks like that renaissance might be closer than we think. A few months back, the duo of The Boardman Review, a local quarterly focused on life in Northern Michigan, wanted to find a way to reconnect with their audiences. It’s obvious why. Facebook is vague and cold. Instagram is oversaturated. No one even knows how to use Twitter. And TikTok just scares people over twenty-five. So what seemed to be the right call?

“Our reaction to the pandemic was the Podcast Collective,” Nick Loud, co-founder of The Boardman Review said.

The brother-built team at the magazine used to do “launch events” for their quarterly publication. This is usually where the Northern Michigan art scene would all gather in one small spot and listen to readings from the publication, watch short films produced alongside the pieces, and sometimes musicians would even lull everyone deeper into that sense of community. Now, without being able to do those launch events safely, they needed to find what that new way of communication would be.

Direct voices, straight into the ear of the consumer. You couldn’t ask for a better tool, especially at this time where our ears are one of our strongest assets. From this, “The Boardman Review Podcast Collective” was born! Between the Loud brothers and their close collaborator and now producer, host of “The Cold Shower Podcast” Taylor Cramer, the stage was set.

“Initially, Nick and Chris said, since I’ve had a podcast of my own for a couple years, they asked me to be the producer for however many shows we end up doing. Right now it’s two with a third in the works. Really, what my job is is to help some of the people hosting the shows decide what kind of podcast we want.” Cramer said.

It’s Cramer’s job to edit the shows, and producing brings in a whole lot of new challenges to the mix, too. He puts in the music and cuts the dead air, sure. But what Cramer is really passionate about is “figuring out with the host what the purpose of the show is, the mission and the values in hosting the show.”
It was Cramer who even pushed the Loud brothers to have their specific voices added to the pile. “Chris and Nick care so much about the community and highlighting other  peoples voices,” Cramer said. “Community isn’t just something they say is important to them. It really is.”

“It was ‘The Boardman Review Podcast’ that led to it all,” Loud explained. “And it was our relationship with Taylor that made this realistic.”

Usually at those old launch events, you’d be able to get an update to a story that someone had written for the publication. Whether it was a bike trip from Chicago to Brooklyn, Michigan, or local good boy Jack M. Senff returning home from his Midwest tour, you never knew what kind  of follow-up you could get. That’s where the “TBR Podcast” comes in! No launch parties, no updates. But now the podcast fills in that missing piece and gives us all of that lovely Michigan goodness that we’ve come to love from The Boardman Review.

The second of the two podcasts currently in rotation, “Improverbial Podcast,” is something completely different. It’s a podcast of improv comedy, positive psychology, human development theory, and idiomatic weirdness. Hosted by Lisa Thauvette of Tilt Think Improv and Pete Kirkwood, the owner of The Workshop Brewing Company, this other podcast “is a great mix. You learn something and you get some clever comedy,” Loud said. This podcast unearths obscure old sayings from around the world, and invents absurd new proverbs on the spot. Think “the whole nine yards,” but from the absurd view of improv comics.

So put in your headphones/airpods/earbuds/whatever you wanna use and get to listening! The very best place to start, as always, is at the beginning. Or maybe from the end and work your way backward? I’m not sure that would work so well. But you can try.


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