Hosts Alek Haak-Frost and Doug Sears Jr. are joined by Watershed Voice’s resident holiday expert Steph Hightree for a very special episode of Keep Your Voice Down. After a brief NewsMatch update, the greatest trio since Garfield, Holland, and Maguire discuss elves on shelves, new and old traditions, the legitimacy of ham, Christmas cats, their favorite holiday films, and more. So grab your egg nog and glorified rice because it’s about to get real — festive.

On this week’s episode of Keep Your Voice Down, Alek and Doug are joined by Washington-based hip hop producer and artist Blake Alford. The Anderson, Indiana native talks about his latest project Domino Effect, and the added effort that went into producing the album’s first single, Oxygen, which is set to drop on November 10.

The trio also discuss how Blake has evolved as an artist, why community and collaboration are vital to any creative process, and answer the question on everyone’s mind, “what kind of music does Alek listen to when playing video games?”

Alek and Doug attempt to recap the magic that was the third annual Watershed Voice Artist Showcase, while Alek grapples with the authenticity of certain pop culture references and idioms used by characters in Ginny & Georgia. Would a teen in the 2020s reference Ghost (1990)? How often does Pinky & the Brain (1995) come up? Is Casper the Friendly Ghost on the typical Gen Z-er’s radar? We ponder.

Doug and Alek are, in fact, alive. After a lengthy hiatus the duo return to preview the third annual Watershed Voice Artist Showcase (Saturday, July 15, 6 p.m., The Huss Project, Three Rivers), recap all that has happened between the last KYVD episode and this one, including Three Rivers Pride, Alek’s first tattoo(shout out to Portfolio Ink and Amber Ward), and how Alek’s wife Deborah is the Tom Hagen of Watershed Voice.

Andrew George of Three Rivers Pride stops by Keep Your Voice Down to chat about the upcoming and first ever Pride Festival in the City of Three Rivers on Saturday, June 24. Andrew, Alek, and Doug talk about how a Pride flag ban protest and the community support it garnered spurred on the creation of Three Rivers Pride Festival, how it all came together in under six months, and details on what to expect at the event.

Kim Moffat, executive director of We Are Voters and prolific podcaster (Here’s What’s Happening, Dawson’s Darlings, My America), joins Alek and Doug on Keep Your Voice Down this week to discuss all things voting. We Are Voters is a nonpartisan nonprofit that aims to reimagine civics education, reestablish a healthy dialogue concerning government and politics, and build stronger, more informed voters regardless of political affiliation.

Alek’s childhood friend and standup comedian Rio Riojas stops by Keep Your Voice Down to discuss his recent foray into the world of standup comedy and his upcoming show in Kalamazoo (Wednesday, March 22 at Final Gravity Brewing Company, 8 p.m.). The Bay City native and East Lansing resident tells Doug and Alek about how he got started, how his act has evolved over the last year, his comedic style, how becoming a father has influenced the way he performs onstage, and why you shouldn’t bring your kids to see his act.

Three Rivers Public Library Director Bobbi Schoon returns to Keep Your Voice Down to discuss the library’s involvement with the Smithsonian’s Spark! Places of Innovation program. Spark! explores the unique combination of places, people, and circumstances that sparks innovation and invention in rural communities. The Three Rivers Library will be hosting its very own exhibit alongside a traveling Smithsonian exhibit that will make its way to the library this summer.

Alek, Doug, and Bobbi also discuss Women’s History Month, National Reading Month, and the myriad of ways citizens of Three Rivers can engage with the library.

Local author and hairstylist Brittni Huyck drops by Keep Your Voice Down to talk about her Iron City Heat Series, a trio of what Alek calls “spicy novels” and Doug, an adult, calls romantic novels. The Three Rivers native describes her writing process, what her family, friends, and clients think of her “dirty books,” and what their support has meant to her. Brittni also talks about how her life, the people in it, and her experience as a hairstylist have influenced her creative endeavors.

Alek and Doug are joined by Portfolio Ink owner and tattoo artist Amber Ward, and Portfolio shop manager Jillian Gardner. The quartet discuss Amber and Jillian’s respective upbringings, the interesting routes each took to the world of tattoos and piercings, how their love of art and artistic expression influences most everything they do, and their involvement in and support of Three Rivers Pride.

Alek and Doug welcome poet, community activist, voice actor, author, and Watershed Voice columnist and board member Aundrea Sayrie. The long awaited interview with one of Watershed’s founding members doesn’t disappoint as Aundrea talks the origin story of Three Rivers Open Mic, her Black History Month series on WSV and why she decided to change the format this year, her ongoing health concerns and how they have changed her outlook on life, and an upcoming book she’s written about professional voice acting.