Despite big names like Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow and Marc Maron hosting their own podcasts—internet radio shows, often independently produced—it’s still a creative medium reserved mostly for nerds or groups of friends with a niche interest. Anyone with a computer and something to say can make a podcast. But as Reno’s podcast hosts will tell you, you better make sure you say something interesting. And it helps if there is drinking involved. Here are some of the more popular Reno podcasts.
Crazy Reno Podcast
Benita Camarena, Stanley Neill, Erik Peterson, Charles “Nemis” Wellington II and Henry Barnhart make up the Crazy Reno Podcast.
The podcast operates under the moniker “ADHD podcasts,” which Barnhart hopes to use for a full podcasting network in the future. The name is fitting, as the hosts jump from topic to topic, often without a discernable segue. It takes some getting used to, but after a few episodes, individual personalities start to emerge—Nemis is softspoken but opinionated. Camarena holds her own against the men when they dominate the conversation. Neill is reserved but chooses his words wisely, and Barnhart sets the tone by directing the conversation toward topics. Mostly it’s a show about their lives and their experiences, and it’s often funny.
“It was a chance for us to just be ourselves,” says Nemis, who was unfamiliar to the podcasting scene until he was recruited by Barnhart, who has previous broadcasting experience.
With an uneven gender balance—Camarena is the only female presence—the show is sometimes reminiscent of the Rob, Arnie and Dawn show on Rock 104.5. But don’t tell them that.
“We’ve gotten comparisons like that before, and we’re trying to not be that kind of show,” Barnhart says. “We don’t want it to seem like we treat our female host badly. We have to be conscious of how we’re coming across to listeners.”
Living Stones Church gets a few cool points for their well-produced podcast, which are recordings of live sermons given by Living Stones pastors. LS has a reputation for being a hip place of worship, and its pastors give some rousing and often funny talks. For the techie disciple, the episodes are worth downloading from iTunes and listening to on the go.
News & Views
Jim Scripps and Ryan Jerz host News & Views, which they say is “everyone’s most favorite podcast about Reno and a lot of other stuff.” The two discuss what they’re eating—including a discussion on Otterpops and the benefits of Taco Bell while drunk—but they also tackle current events in depth.
According to Reno Ramblecast’s website, it’s “a crappy podcast about crappy stuff.” Despite the self-deprecation, it’s an enjoyable show with more than 20 regular hosts, including comedians Alyssa Cowan, Tim Dufrisne and Matt Wiegand. Occasionally, an entire episode feels like an inside joke that the rest of us aren’t in on, but most of the time, the hosts touch on popular Reno or pop culture topics. And since many of the hosts are comedians—or at least, fans of comedy—it’s always sarcastic, satirical and entertaining.
The Worst Little Podcast in the World
The intro song leads into the show with, “Worst Little Podcast—talking out of our ass.”
Worst Little Podcast is hosted by “The Reverend” Rory Dowd, “Just Nick” Ramirez and Josh “Chewie” Martin, with sound engineer “Dogwater” Dick Spagnola and webmaster Shaun “the Stryse” Burks.
Dowd says that the podcast fell together organically.
“We’d known each other for years,” says Dowd. “We’re all fans of personality talk radio. One night we were sitting around drinking and we thought, ‘We should record this.’”
The show features guests from area bands and art projects, but they also talk about happenings in Reno.
“Our main goal is to just help blow up the Reno music scene and the wonderful art and culture we have here,” he says.
Currently, more than 200 people tune in each month.
“We put out a couple and had good feedback from friends,” Dowd says. “We’re booking guests two months out now. It really took off.”
Dowd says they only edit for audio, not for content.
“It’s like a live program,” he says. “We hit record and just go.”
This is a show for locals. Nearly every story references local bars and people. It’s vulgar and hilarious, but also quirky and sincere. There are music performances and drinking (and accompanying games—“drink every time Rory says ‘Yeah, no.’” Which he does a lot).
Dowd says the crew has plans to make a live webcast and stream video, but for now they just want to spread the word about what makes Reno an interesting place to live.
“We’ve all been involved in Reno music and performing and the arts in some fashion for 15 years apiece,” he says. “Reno is going through this little artist’s milieu, turning into an art town and music town on the West Coast.”
But much of the appeal of hosting a podcast is having the freedom to talk about the town, no holds barred.
“We love Reno and we cuss a lot,” says Dowd. “That’s the beauty of the internet.”
This Week in Energy (TWiE)
While not officially part of the popular This Week In Tech (TWiT) network which features a series of shows with the “This Week In—” title, This Week in Energy (TWiE) is an international podcast on all things renewable energy. Hosted by Reno’s Bob Tregilus and Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield from the U.K., TWiE interviews top renewable energy experts from around the world.
Renoite Eric Kenny maintains unpublishednotdead.com which features several podcasts, including The Reno Show and the general unpublishednotdead show. A regular cast of hosts trade off on discussing various topics, such as texting while driving, the presidential election, television shows and Reno events. And they insist that, “even if you don’t live in Reno, it’s still entertaining.”