Conference, Event Video, Featured, Uncategorized, XOXO Festival

Say Goodbye to Conferences, Say Hello to Love – XOXO Part I

I have been blessed to be thrust into the world of conferences these last few years as a planner, producer and videographer. Not the trade shows and expo floors that I’ve worked and attended in the past as a corporate technical marketing engineer, but special interest groups, birds of a feather type affairs that typically attract an audience of bright people to watch engaging speakers give their talks. For me it started small with something called a “Cyborg Camp” (how cool is that, right?) at a former SE Portland co-working office called Cube Space and then Bar Camps, Journalism Camps, WordPress Camps (a lot of camping in there) and on to larger Open Source community conferences. And Portland, Oregon has hatched several of these gatherings, large and small, with WebVisions being the largest homegrown gathering of web and mobile designers in its 12th year and growing annual events in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Barcelona to Open Source Bridge, the Portland conference for open source citizens in its 4th year and Word Camp (Portland Edition) in its 5th, for the community of bloggers and developers on the WordPress platform. What makes these conferences work is the people involved, from attendees, speakers, organizers and volunteers who put their hard work and love into the event each year. Sometimes these gatherings can find the right venue to fit the atmosphere of the event and sometimes, for several reasons finding the right place to hold an event is a challenge.

Part I: Say Goodbye to Conferences, Say Hello to Love @XOXO Continue reading

CrazyTalk, divorce, parenting, Podcast, politics, Portland, social media, twitter

Podcast: Your Next Portland (Yawn) Mayor and Hey You Guys! Mommy’s Got Her Groove Back

It’s this week’s little 10 minute talk that finds it’s way into 2 hours of The Weather Report every Monday at noon on House of Sound. I like the brevity of this little nibble of a podcast. Will it grow to 15, 20 or 30 minutes in the future? Perhaps. Let’s just see how this all goes, shall we?

My pre-show antics were consumed watching a live stream of Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith debate- well gosh, that’s such a strong word here in Portland isn’t it? Let’s say discuss why they think they’d do a really swell job if elected mayor of Portland. Sure, I miss the spikey days of classic American political debate like a Burr vs. Hamilton, but this is the 21st century and Portland after all. Which is why I started to question- why is this mayoral race so boring? Where’s the keeping it weird Portland vibe that we all love in our politics?

Continue reading

CrazyTalk, journalism, Media, Oregon, Podcast, Portland

Podcast: Criticizing The Armchair Media Critics


This week I took a little time out on my DJ show at House of Sound to talk about an observation I made Sunday night while watching the Mars Curiosity rover landing and reading the flood of tweets coming from those I follow. As with anything, there was the typical 140 funnies, the best from Curiosity itself when it tweeted:

I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL  Continue reading

Featured, Portland, Uncategorized

Pride In Portland

Why is Portland, Oregon all caught up in it’s Naked Bike Ride and Pride Parade this weekend? Is this just Portlandia showing off it’s “keeping it weird” street cred of blatant self-expression?

No, it’s not. And here’s why.

Portland wasn’t always Portlandia and home of the keeping it weird. Far from it. The Portland I knew growing up here was a blue collar, labor movement leaning small town with a me too attitude toward it’s bigger siblings from the North, Seattle and from the South, San Francisco. We still had that frontier, salt-of-the-earth type spirit in our cultural DNA and were known as generally friendly down-to-earth people who lived in a city nestled in the Pacific Wonderland. With a state economy reliant on the timber industry collapsing because of the wholesale Asian export market, Portland was a dreary place for a dream in the world of 1980’s Reganomics. High unemployment and high interest rates ensured young people would take their leave of Portland and run off to bigger and more reliable green (as in cash) pastures. *See bigger siblings to North and South. As with most economic meltdowns, public discontent grew, especially among working class young people- and then something else, more sinister thrived here for a time.

Hate crime. Continue reading

Featured, Media, Music, Uncategorized

Remembering The Needful Longings

OK, so the title is a little misleading because this really isn’t an obituary. The Needful Longings are alive and well- at least last I left them which was Friday night at Dante’s. The show was a benefit for The Jeremy Wilson Foundation which helps “musicians and their families in time of medical crisis.” It’s a healthcare fund for the artists that create the music you enjoy everyday. Friday night the foundation kicked into action at Dante’s with Ugly Flowers, DJ HWY 7, The Needful Longings, and The Dharma Bums.


It was a great night, even if I felt I was fashion challenged for rock-n-roll:




But just like some old, romantic anniversary that I tend to easily forget, April 6th was just another date on the calendar until it was pointed out that The Needful Longings played their debut show at The Fez last year on that same date. It occurred to me that I’ve been sitting on some tapes of that show ever since! So I thought I’d post a few clips of the band taken from the live stream that I had the pleasure of producing that night with some of Portland’s finest videographers in live music: Cary Ray, Tim Scotten, Sam Smith and Rob Trujillo. I really like The Needful Longings, so check them out:


And if you’d like to see even more from the House of Sound event last year, check out Heather Ray’s interview with Holly and JT of Thee Headliners:

Film, Media

Mike Vogel, Did You Kiss Anyone?

At the end of October last year, I attended my daughter’s piano class recital in the living room of a beautiful house nestled in a rather exclusive neighborhood on the outskirts of inner SE Portland. Naturally I brought a video camera. To be more specific for all you videography enthusiasts out there, I brought my Canon DSLR to shoot the video because I knew I could get a decent run-and-gun shoot of her recital using a relatively small kit. As the kids ate sweets and played after the program, adults socialized over beer and wine. One dad started a conversation in the kitchen, asking about my setup and we started to talk video tech. As the conversation wound down, we exchanged names and job titles. Wait? What’s your name again?

Mike Vogel.

You’re Mike Vogel?

Now I had a rare smile on my face, because I had been had. I was talking filmmaking tech with an accomplished local filmmaker.

I know you! I follow you on Twitter, you’re @FrontAve. It’s good to meet you! And now it was my turn to get this guy… because I’m not that well know on social media by my real name.

I’m @drnormal.

I think Mike broke out in a smile too, mentioned something about a podcast and as we packed up our kids to leave we agreed to follow-up and meet over beers sometime soon. Which we still must do, by the way…

But I don’t think he kissed anyone that night and he certainly didn’t kiss me, but he must of at least kissed a few people Tuesday night at the Bagdad Theater where he premeired his latest independent work, “Did You Kiss Anyone?” a comedy about marriage, sex, and shi**ing with the door open. When I saw his tweet about the screening and saw that my calendar was open, I had to go check it out. Luckily I didn’t end up going alone and was able to convince a friend of mine earlier in the day over lunch to come with me.

It was a very Portland night. The screen played submissions to the website of “anonymous anti-Valentine’s messages”. My friend clued me in on these and I was sad I hadn’t sent mine in… 🙂 Then Mike introduced 2 bloggers who spoke about their awkward romantic interludes. Heather of Mile73 and wife of Dave Knows Portland spoke about meeting Mr. Knows Portland online and IRL, which was a story arc of stalker bloggers, romantic bliss, marriage, moving from Portland to Astoria, unemployment and pregnant with twins. It was a very entertaining story, worthy of Back Fence PDX. Mike got back up onstage, thanked everyone for coming (it was great to see it well attended) and then it was on with the show!

We were first treated to a special promotional short, “Did You Cast Anyone?” a humorous piece where the actors take out their frustrations about the casting, followed up by the feature. Now I’m not a film reviewer and I won’t attempt it here for the fear of creating something that sounds like a school book report. I will say that I enjoyed “Did You Kiss Anyone” for it’s humor, performances, camera work and editing. Essentially, Mike takes us on a journey where a bad idea unfolds into a very, very bad idea- at least when you end up in Estacada in the middle of the night, you know something has terribly gone wrong. Based on the audience reaction, I think the night came off well.

For more on “Did You Kiss Anyone” and Mike Vogel’s filmmaking and commentary on marketing nano-budget films, check out the links below:

journalism, Media, Tech Community

Media: Somebody Actually Made Money in Podcasting – Congratulations!

Just when I thought November would quietly putter along, it’s been quite a news month. Avoiding the obvious, in the local media market the financial woes and mismanagement of Portland Community Media, the community access cable studio and network caught my eye a few weeks ago. Over the years, community access television and PCM specifically has provided the deep technical resources and broadcast network to small-time producers of political, cultural, religious, educational, alternative, vile, artistic and just plain weird shows whose only common thread was a legal requirement of local cable franchises to support the communities they do business in by providing the resource to citizen producers without prejudice over content. They were the real free speech factories. Yes, I said were.

Several years ago I was looking for an outlet for my video production side projects and PCM was the leading option at the time until a co-worker showed me his first generation iPod and introduced me to the word podcast. “Why the hell would I produce anything for such a limited audience? Content for a very privileged few who carried around a little white music player? No thank you!” Well I soon got religion and started to consume podcasts that were the primer for what the medium, and the new social media were all about. I was hooked. Not only because the social web was a new hack on old broadcast ideas, but simply that the production-cost barriers to entry were minute. Anyone can podcast!

And so we did.


And he did too, and the world changed a little bit. Well, at least the world of Portland, Oregon beginning in 2009. Robert Wagner began his no-holds-barred Portland Sucks daily podcast as a labor of love, birthed as many shows had from the loins of his blog of the same name. And it was good. Instantly better with dependable co-host Sabrina Miller. Better than any censored morning radio show in the market that plays too many mattress ads and payola music. It turned out that he was so good at this podcast thing, he launched his own live streaming internet radio podcast network with multiple daily and weekly shows as and later rebranded as The network was so good that he attracted top notch radio talent like Cort and Fatboy to continue their popular show post KUFO. For three years my mornings were filled with live programming, often streaming to my iPhone during my morning commute- just like listening to “real” radio that magically didn’t suck. To think that Robert was the technologist behind the station, its executive producer, webmaster and designer, CEO, audio engineer and the star talent is a little mind boggling because he somehow was able to do all those things exceedingly well and survive it. I can’t think of anyone in media that has done all that by themselves at his level of quality. No one.

But now it’s all come to an end. It’s a bittersweet end for sure, and even if I can continue to download new podcast episodes I’ll still miss the shows live stream every morning. I’ll miss the chatbox derailing, or often in the case of Cort and Fatboy guiding the stream of consciousness humor through to the coda of the show. What’s the good news, then? Cascadia is going out on a high note. Robert sold the internet network as an encore to the final bow of one of the coolest media experiments Portland has seen. He made money podcasting!

Like he said he would.

And in a way it proves a point that this scalability of current media models can and will thrive and you don’t need to justify your multi-million dollars of bad fiscal management on a poor economy with the excuse of serving the public interest. The public interest is being served quite well over here without you: and the many fine programs on have been serving us thoughtful entertainment for the last three years without donations or pledge drives. It all just sort of works. That is, if you’re smart, hard working and have confidence in what you are good at. That’s Robert’s formula.

So congratulations to you Robert Wagner and thanks for having made a destination of quality programming. I’ll miss it, but I’m also happy knowing you were rewarded for all your hard work. You deserve it, man!



More with Robert about media:

Panel at Digital Journalism Camp

Webvisions Panel on Future of Podcasting

Strange Love Live 2009