Duo launch pop culture podcast to talk comics, movies, and more

Luciano Marano
lmarano@ptleader.com
Posted 1/5/21

Fans, geeks, champions and groupies — lend me your ears!

Though the annual Comic Book Swap Meet is on a temporary hiatus (thanks, COVID), founder and local fandom figure Steve Strout …

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Duo launch pop culture podcast to talk comics, movies, and more

Posted

Fans, geeks, champions and groupies — lend me your ears!

Though the annual Comic Book Swap Meet is on a temporary hiatus (thanks, COVID), founder and local fandom figure Steve Strout isn’t exactly twiddling his thumbs.

His newly launched podcast, “The Steve and Crypto Show,” co-hosted by musician Caleb Lowery, drummer of Bury the Hatchet, is something like the audio equivalent of the annual Tri-Area gathering —  and one he hopes will likewise keep going and growing.

“We discuss pop culture, movies, collectibles, comic books and everything that falls under the nerdy and pop culture umbrella,” Strout said.

“We are both fans of the horror and sci-fi genres so there is a slight emphasis on topics of that sort. We share opinions and news on applicable topics with a bit of a sense of humor.”

The tone is maximum casual with occasional sprinklings of profanity but saturated with a hefty dose of passion.

“The main thing is just to have a good time,” Strout said.

It was not, however, a spur-of-the-moment thing.

“We’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” Lowery explained. “For many years now we’ve been talking about when do we get the podcast going? And it’s nice to find some positive in the whole pandemic season and we figured this was a good time to do it.”

The show’s format was born from a long tradition of interviews Strout conducted with pop culture creators for his website (www.thestevestrout.com) — lengthy chats with creative people which he enjoyed conducting and sharing, but loathed transcribing.

“Rather than me have to take half the day to transcribe a ridiculously long interview, a good interview … it’s just easier to just do this,” Strout said. “I enjoy listening to podcasts when I can and I love listening to morning radio; it’s all fun and they sound like they’re having a good time. So I figured, ‘Why not?’”

Thus, the hosting duo are often joined by guests, including authors, actors, artists, and musicians. The Halloween episode, for example, featured writer T.J. Tranchell, whose debut novel “Cry Down Dark” was included on a recent “50 States, 50 Scares” New York Times book list as the critic’s choice for best Utah-set story; noted actor and producer Russell Streiner, perhaps best known for playing Johnny in George Romero’s classic “Night of the Living Dead”; creator of the “Count Crowley” comic series, David Dastmalchian; horror host Ivonna Cadaver; and a real practicing witch, Thresa Hendricks.

Building a sense of community, Strout said, is the ultimate goal of the show.

“I don’t consider myself an artistic person or super creative but I like to promote the people who are,” he said. “A lot of people don’t put effort into reaching out and looking for these kinds of things even though there’s so much of it. There is a lot of stuff out there; artists that you don’t know that are amazing. If I do an episode with a local artist or something and it helps them sell a painting, I feel like I accomplished what I was out to do.”

Lowery, on the other hand, being a musician and performer, attacks the interviews from a different perspective.

“I like to find what makes them tick,” he said. “Because we’re usually talking to an artist of some sort, be it a writer, a musician, whatever. I like to talk to them and find out what gets them going, what makes their creative juices flow and to pick their brains, but also kind of apply it a little to what I do.”

The duo admit the show’s early episodes were a tad rough in a technical sense. They’re working with a “shoe-string budget” and secondhand gear, Strout said, with the hopes of building and improving with time.

“Literally, we’re learning as we go,” he said. “I had no experience with sound editing or anything. So it’s kind of crazy. It’s a lot of trial and error.”

That being said, response so far has been encouraging.

“We’re off to a decent start,” Lowery said. “We’re getting a lot of listeners outside of town. A lot of people who we interact with on Facebook and some of the guests that we’ve had on have brought in some traction from different places.”

The Steve & Crypto Show  is available through most podcast distributors, on Instagram via “thestevestrout,” and also www.anchor.fm/steveandcryptoshow and www.thestevestrout.com.

On deck for the future: a swath of subjects and many more guests.

“Whereas some shows stick to one specific theme, we like to mix it up a little bit,” Lowery said. “Steve has ties in comedy and entertainment, and I have some in music, so we kind of thought between the two of us we’d be able to get a decent mix of people, a variety of topics on the show. And so far it hasn’t been very hard to do.”

Lowery said inquiries about possible collaborations and/or guest appearances are welcome, too.

“I’m pretty open to hearing about what you do and if you’re a creative person we’d probably like to have you on just to showcase you,” he said. “Writer, artist, photographer, musician, whatever — if you have something you’d like to share with people, then let us know. We might be interested in having you on.”

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