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.
Keep Your Voice Down
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.
Watershed Voice columnist Charles Thomas writes, “Because ChatGPT can write essays, I thought it would be interesting to ask it to write a couple of essays for Watershed Voice about recent issues we’ve reported on. (The following) is an edited transcript of my conversation with ChatGPT, along with ChatGPT’s first work for Watershed Voice.”
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.
This week on Keep Your Voice Down, Doug and Alek are joined by Jackie Koney, chief operating officer of The Mill at Vicksburg, and friend of the show, Dan Moyle. The quartet discuss the progress of The Mill project and its 110-acre campus being developed for craft brewing, entertainment, tourism and more, right here in Southwest Michigan.
Alek and Doug are joined by Watershed Voice’s new staff writer and longtime food columnist Beca Welty to discuss her new role, her journey from “Judge Welty’s kid” to super mom and super baker to community journalist, and her thoughts on the maddening, yet highly entertaining third season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime.
Alek and Doug discuss the week that was in Three Rivers, the resurrection of the Three Rivers Commercial-News, the news landscape in St. Joseph County, and what the future may hold for Watershed Voice as a daily news source in this new era of community journalism.
This week’s episode of Keep Your Voice Down includes the harrowing tale of a vet visit with three cats, thoughts on Doug and Alek’s respective and very different Thanksgiving dinners, an award-winning trip to Austin, #GivingTuesday, and future plans for Watershed Voice.
Alek and Doug discuss all things Austin, as Alek heads to Texas for the Independent News Sustainability Summit and 2022 LION Local Journalism Awards. The pair go over which categories Watershed Voice nominated for, Doug decides which sessions Alek and Deborah will attend at the summit, and Alek talks about being a writing mentor for the Voices of Youth program in Kalamazoo.
Alek and Doug are joined by #MomLife columnist Steph Hightree, and Mark Quinn of Heart 2 Heart Autism Center to discuss the Three Rivers-based center and the services it provides. The quartet also talks about the importance of respite care, the stigma and misconceptions surrounding autism, and coping mechanisms for parents/caregivers of children who have autism and/or other cognitive disorders.
Alek and Doug are joined by “My America” co-hosts Kim Moffat and Dan Moyle to discuss federal student loan debt forgiveness on the heels of President Joe Biden’s unveiling of a three-part plan “to address the burden of growing college costs,” and “to make the student loan system more manageable for working families.”
Alek and Doug are joined by rapper, singer, songwriter, producer and engineer poet Mikel James Watkins. Mikel talks fatherhood, mental health peaks and valleys, better understanding the history behind the music he produces, and his upcoming event at Harvey House in Constantine.
Alek and Doug return to their respective mics to discuss what went down at the Watershed Voice Artist Showcase last weekend, why Doug wasn’t there, and why taking multiple plane rides and attending a handful of summer weddings before your friend’s big event isn’t conducive to co-hosting. So join us, as Alek unintentionally sets the world record for saying “incredible” the most times in a 40-minute podcast, and Doug waxes poetic about humpback whales.
Kalamazoo recording artist, producer, and songwriter Sherridan Harris returns to Keep Your Voice Down to chat with Doug and Alek ahead of Saturday’s Watershed Voice Artist Showcase. The trio discuss Sherridan a.k.a. Sherdizzil’s sophomore record “The Vine Album,” his growth as an artist and as a performer, rap and hip-hop nerdom, and how this year’s showcase will be different from last year’s show.
With Doug on vacation in Beantown, friend of the show Dan Moyle steps in as Alek’s cohost for this week’s episode with Erin Schultes. Erin is the Democratic candidate for District Two St. Joseph County Commissioner, vice chair of the St. Joseph County, Michigan Democrats, and a member of the Three Rivers Pride Committee. The trio discusses why Erin decided to run for public office, the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the Ban Off Our Bodies protest in Centreville which Erin organized and Dan attended.
Local author, Watershed Voice columnist, and limited licensed psychologist Charles Thomas returns to Keep Your Voice Down to discuss mental health options in Southwest Michigan, his book Headcase (The Remix), his daughter’s high school graduation party, the genius of Erin Schultes, and Josh Brolin and Al Pacino’s avid listenership of KYVD. Doug, Alek, and Charles also break down the lineup for the upcoming Watershed Voice Artist Showcase.
Alek and Doug return from yet another involuntary hiatus to chat with Rock Island, Illinois native and Creative Aubrey “Aubs.” Barnes. The trio talks about Aubrey’s latest published work “it is Written. it is Good.”, their hip-hop and rap influences, mental health, education, open mics, rap battles, and antiracism.
Alek was contemplating podcast retirement after technical issues ruined two completed interviews, and forced he and his cohost Doug into a longer than expected hiatus. But don’t fret: They’re finally back, and mediocre as ever.
So join your favorite duo (besides Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), as they catch you up on all that has happened erstwhile in the lives of Doug & Alek. There was of course, Watershed Voice’s Birthday Celebration, Alek’s birthday party, Doug’s dalliance with baseball history, and best laid plans for the second annual Watershed Voice Artist Showcase. Also check out this episode for a one minute teaser about a new podcast called NerdPop Radio, set to premiere May 2.