Old Fellas New Music Episode 12 Notes

First, I want to thank Doug Peterson for giving us a shoutout on his blog. Thanks Doug, it is great to know you are listening! Here is his write-up.

So, for this week, we have two versions of the show. A 60-minute version that is already up on Mixcloud and an extended version for Saturday night on VoicEd Radio. So to make these easier to find – we will archive the 90-minute version on Spreaker and keep the recording of the live Mixcloud show archived there.

Here is the extended play version

Playing this Saturday at 7:30 PM on VoicEd Radio

Here is the 60-minute version we uploaded to Mixcloud earlier this week.

And here is our Spotify Playlist with all the tracks we have played on our show plus a few extras!

This week’s playlist!

Mother Mother – I Got Love 

The Linda Lindas – Racist Sexist Boy

Lido Pimienta – Eso Que Tu Haces

Mountain Goats – Clemency for the Wizard King

Pokey Lafarge – End of my rope

Plants and Animals – House on Fire

William Prince – The Spark from 2020 Reliever

Holly GoLightly – Satan is His Name

Real Estate – White Light


Mother Mother I Got Love

Mother Mother released two songs in March 2021 – I Got Love and Stay behind. The band has been producing great music on the west Coast of canada for years, but now seem to be best known for having a Tik Tok hit. Canadian Beats Media continues:

Mother Mother, the Vancouver-based alt-rockers have released two new songs; “I Got Love” and “Stay Behind.” The brand new music is Mother Mother’s first offering on the heels of their recent explosion on the platform TikTok. 

After over a decade of releasing music and touring, a new global audience discovered and organically began using the band’s catalogue on the platform, resulting in rapid growth in the millions across all streaming and social platforms, and a Rolling Stone feature on this unique artist development story.

The new music was written during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and was produced by frontman Ryan Guldemond and Howard Redekopp, who produced much of the older music that is connecting with the global audience today. Both “I Got Love” and “Stay Behind” are available now. The release of “I Got Love” and “Stay Behind” also marks the first under the band’s deal with their new label Warner Music Canada.

Canadian Beats March 2021

A little about Mother Mother’s song Hayloft – In November 2020, Hayloft (10 years old) was the most searched set of lyrics in the US and the second most searched in the world. They were even featured in Rolling Stone Magazine!

The Linda Lindas – Racist Sexist Boy

The Linda Lindas are a group of LA youngsters playing punk rock.  In May 2021, the Los Angeles Public Library posted a video of the Linda Lindas playing “Racist, Sexist Boy” at a “TEENtastic Tuesdays” event. In the video, 10 year old Mila explains  the song’s origins. 


The band first came to Bob’s attention in Amy Poehler’s teen comedy Moxie.  Here, they perform a cover of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl”

The Linda Lindas Perform REBEL GIRL (Official Video) | Moxie

Lido Pimienta – from Miss Columbia song Eso Que Tu Haces

I have loved her music and her style ever since she started out winning the Polaris for her first album.

From Pitchfork Magazine

“She is still an extreme rarity in Canadian music: an Afro-Colombian queer woman with indigenous Wayuu heritage, a single mother, a Spanish speaker. The great promise of Miss Colombia, and of her new leadership in a predominantly white scene, is that brown girls will hear it and be inspired to surge to the front.”

Pitchfork Magazine

Here is her video from the Emmys.

LIDO PIMIENTA: “ESO QUE TU HACES” | 63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony

Lyrics from the song

Today I understood, sitting in your sand

That it was because of you, that I stopped being me

You are not to blame for being like this

And don’t give me anything if you don’t want

You can read more about this great musician and rebel here


Mountain Goats – Clemency for the Wizard King


The Mountain Goats are an American band formed in Claremont, California, by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. The song selected was “Clemency for the Wizard King” In this Vanity Fair article, Darnielle gives some background to how Dungeons and Dragons inspired the album.

Anyone who has kept a project going for more than a quarter century has a right to be a little set in his ways. Which is why it might come as a bit of a surprise to hear that John Darnielle, songwriter and front man of the Mountain Goats, was willing to entirely change his attitude in the recording studio when he started to record his 17th album, In League with Dragons, out next month.

Vanity Fair March 2019

Here’s a video of The Mountain Goats performing their ode to reggae great Dennis Brown. 

The Mountain Goats “Song for Dennis Brown”

Pokey Lafarge – End of my rope

Pokey Lafarge is a discovery I made this week while listening to a great show on Mixcloud by David the Worm – his taste in music is amazing and I listen whenever I can. He is usually on at 2;00 PM Monday to Friday plus an extra show with his partner on Sundays.

David the Worm

More about Pokey Lafarge from his Bandcamp page

Pokey LaFarge is a musician, songwriter, bandleader, entertainer, innovator and preservationist, whose well-rounded arsenal of talents has placed him at the forefront of American music. His music transcends the confines of genre, continually challenging the notion that tradition-bearers fail to push musical boundaries.

Bandcamp

Here is a great ‘unplugged’ version on Youtube of this week’s song End of My Rope

POKEY LAFARGE END OF MY ROPE Round Chapel London 14th December 2018

If you want another great song by Pokey Lafarge, you have to listen to Something in the Water


Plants and Animals – House on Fire

Plants and Animals are a 3 piece band from Montreal. This the  video for their latest. “House on Fire”.  As one YouTuber put it, “ LCD Soundsystem meets Talking Heads. Love it.”

Plants and Animals – House on Fire (Official Video)

More on Plants and Animals, another Montreal band here from Under the Radar Magazine

“House on Fire” was inspired by Spicer’s concern for a friend of his. The band collectively further explain in more detail in a press release: “We started working on this a couple of years ago. Warren was afraid for a friend’s health. He thought he was self-medicating too much and not taking care of himself. He couldn’t let go of this image of an overworked dude swallowing too many sleeping pills and falling asleep with the stove on. So it began as the place next door, sometime before Greta Thunberg turned the expression into a rallying cry, where Earth is the house and the people are sleeping. It’s terrifying, and on the whole we’re not unlike this friend, are we?”

Under the Radar June 2020

William Prince – The Spark from 2020 Reliever

My last track is by William Prince who I saw on the underwhelming Juno production last week. His performance of this song was certainly the highlight on a show that could have done so much more.

William Prince The Spark

Holly GoLightly – Satan is His Name

Holly Golightly (born Holly Golightly Smith  is a British singer-songwriter. Her mother christened her after the main character of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  She’s been performing her brand of garage rock for years.Perhaps she is best known for contributing the song “There is an End” to the movie Broken Flowers starring Bill Murray.

Holly Golightly & The Greenhornes – There Is An End

We featured the tempting little number “Satan is His Name” from 2018’s “Do the Get Along”

Satan is His Name

It’s a cover of an obscure  1962 single by Steve King

Steve King – Satan Is Her Name

If you like Holly,  this is the album to grab if you can find it.


Real Estate – White Light

We closed with a great indie band from New Jersey, “Real Estate”  

Real Estate – White Light (In Mind 2017)

Old Fellas New Music – Episode 9

You can always find us here

Week 9

Soccer Mommy – Up the Walls

Kiwi Jr – Waiting in Line or Maid Marian’s Toastv  

Beach Slang – Future Mixtape For the Art Kids

Nick Ferrio – The Dam

Car Seat Headrest – Fill in the Blanks

Aviva Chernick – Ti Espanya 

Angel Olsen – Intern

Jon and Roy – Runner

James Clarke Institute – Should I Tell Her

Allison Russell – Persephone 

This is the Kit – Coming to get you nowhere

Our updated Spotify Playlist for Week 9
You can find Episode 9 and all our shows (from Episode 5) here on MixCloud

Also live here on VoicEd Radio at 7:30 PM Saturdays

This week’s notes

Soccer Mommy

 A nice slice of pop perfection.

Here in a performance on KEXP 

Kiwi Jr – Maid Marian’s Toast

Kiwi Jr. is from the PEI North Shore – CBC Grant Lawrence recommends this as his new favourite band. Album Cooler returns – was released January 2021

Kiwi Jr. is Jeremy Gaudet (mic, guitar), Brohan Moore (drums), Mike Walker (bass), and Brian Murphy (guitar). 

This is a very cool video that I watched as I prepared the show this week.

Directed by Sean Egerton Foreman, who also shot Kiwi Jr videos for “Cooler Returns”, “Maid Marion’s Toast” and “Gimme More”,No Trace Evidence is a short mini-documentary of Kiwi Jr’s recording process during the Summer of Covid 19, a candid peak into the recording studio as well as al fresco out-door mixing, isolation booths, temperature checks and black cats crossing their path.

No Trace Evidence

Here is the Pitchfork review of their latest album.


Beach Slang – Future Mixtape For the Art Kids

Beach Slang formed in 2013 as a vehicle for Alex James’  noisy teen anthems.  We featured his song “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids.” In 2017 he did an offshoot called “Quiet Slang “ where he rerecorded his songs as chamberpop using just vocals, piano and cello.

Nick Ferrio – The Dam

2021 single Sutton Ontario  album Television of  Roses  releases  June 18, 2021 heard first on CBC Radio 3

Performed by:

Nick Ferrio Tanner Paré Lewis Parker Nathan Truax

With: Jonas Bonnetta Evangeline Gentle Caylie Runciman

The album was recorded and co-produced by Evening HymnsJonas Bonnetta and features contributions by Said the Whale‘s Nathan Truax, Heaps‘ Tanner Paré, Boyhood‘s Caylie Runciman, Evangeline Gentle and For Esmé‘s Lewis Parker.

From an Exclaim! Magazine article – March 21, 2021 – this is a pretty incredible story

Georgina, ON-based folkster Nick Ferrio has shared plans for a new record titled Television of Roses. The artist will deliver the goods on June 18, but today he’s offering up a glimpse of what’s to come with a new single titled “The Dam.”

The new track is a response to a letter sent to Ferrio by his late mother, in which she asked if he remembered her from “before her struggles with alcohol began.”

“It explores those early years of my life, the poverty we experienced, but also my mother’s resilience and strength,” Ferrio explained of the track. “We were estranged from each other at times in our lives and she passed away a year ago after being diagnosed with leukemia. But, I played it for her before she passed and we made amends.”

Ferrio said: “When I grew up there were a lot of people in my household and not everyone was a fan of my constant singing and guitar playing, so I would go to the cliff in the woods near our house and sing out to the lake. We recreated that in the video. It was cool to go back there and explore. Brought back a lot of memories.

Here is the video – watch this.

There is also a good article on his indigenous roots and advocacy for local music in Peterborough 


Car Seat Headrest – Fill in the Blanks

Car Seat Headrest have been around since 2010. We featured a song from 2016’s Teens of Denial but they are still making waves as seen in this NY Times article from April discussing their latest release..

Will Toledo, the founder and principal songwriter of Car Seat Headrest, sat in his Seattle apartment, looking into his iPhone camera through the eyes of a modified gas mask.

His face wasn’t visible, but somehow he still seemed a little sheepish. Months ago, Toledo made up his mind to wear a costume, including the mask, while promoting his indie-rock band’s first album of new material since 2016, an atypically concise and beat-driven collection of songs called “Making a Door Less Open.”

NY Times By Alex Pappademas April 23, 2020

Here they are on The Tonight show in 2016 performing Drunk Driver/Killer Whale

Aviva Chernick A Ti Espanya –Album 2019 La Serena

This is a beautiful singer who has collaborated with a range of artists. From the Bandcamp page:

On Bandcamp

Singing in Hebrew, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) Yiddish and English, she has had the pleasure of making music with many wonderful musicians including Frank London, Yair Dalal, Jackie Richardson and Flory Jagoda. Aviva’s collaborative recordings have garnered several nominations and awards, including Juno nominations for Jaffa Road’s albums Sun Place (2010) and Where The Light Gets In (2013), a Canadian Folk Music Award for Where The Light Gets In(2013), a Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination for When I Arrived You Were Already There(2012)as well as for Under the Canopy (2008). for her albums La Serena (2020) Aviva and her co-writers from Jaffa Road won the John Lennon International Songwriting Grand Prize for their rendition of “Lo Yisa Goy”, a prayer for peace.

Pocket Performance: Aviva Chernick with Joel Schwartz

Another incredible performance on the Aga Khan Museum YouTube site

Video of A Ti Espanya  

For you, Spain, my dear one.

Our mother, we love you

and throughout our whole lives 

your sweet language we will never let go of.


Angel Olsen – Intern

Angel Olsen performing “Intern”.  In her words, “A sarcastic take on synthpop.” 


Jon and Roy 2017 Runner

from 2017 The Road Ahead is Golden

Yet another band I have never heard before, but out west they are popular and well known. After 8 albums, this makes sense.

From an article Five things to know about Here by Jon and Roy in the Vancouver Sun

Jon Middleton is blessed with one of those perfect old-timey folk voices which quavers with just the right amount of blues, croons like a classic country singer, and can flow like lubricant over quiet fingerpicking (That Is You) or uptempo horn riffs (Headstrong) alike. It’s a pretty special sound, and brings all the material a sense of spirit that it might not otherwise possess.

Vancouver Sun

James Clarke Institute – Should I Tell Her

A single from the the just released album “The Colour of Happy” This wonderful melodic powerpop. Like Big Star, Badfinger and the Beatles?  This is right up your alley then. James is also a talented artist as ably demonstrated in his “Clartoons”


Allison Russell – Persephone 

“Bigotry and abuse are intergenerational traumas,” Russell said. “It’s not just my story.”
Credit…
Bethany Mollenkof for The New York Times

 Album – Outside Child release May 21 2021 

Really, for me this week, the stories are just as important as the music – this is another example. I learned about Allison Russell through the New York Times feature about her last Sunday:

Her solo debut, “Outside Child,” speaks bluntly about sexual abuse by her adoptive father. She spells it out, over a steadfast Memphis soul beat, in the first song she wrote for the album, “4th Day Prayer”: “Father used me like a wife/Mother turned the blindest eye/Stole my body, spirit, pride/He did, he did each night.”

The singer, songwriter and folklore explorer Rhiannon Giddens invited Russell to join Our Native Daughters along with Amythyst Kiah and Leyla McCalla — all four of them Black female banjo players — to make a 2019 album, “Songs of Our Native Daughters,” for Smithsonian Folkways that celebrated the banjo’s West African origins and encompassed narratives of slavery, perseverance and resistance.

The article is really worth reading and speaks to her Montreal roots and how she has overcome the terrible legacy of abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother’s partner and also how she was able to eventually get him arrested and put in jail.

Like always, the NY Times version of the article adds lots of great video material.

This is the Kit -Coming to get You Nowhere 

album 2020 – Off Off On – (found on BBC playlist on Spotify)

This Is the Kit is the alias of Paris-based British musician Kate Stables, as well as the band she fronts

This Is The Kit were a long-time favourite among various BBC Radio 6 Music DJs, which is where the musician and presenter Guy Garvey discovered them, playing their music frequently. Fellow 6 Music DJs Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe & Maconie, Cerys Matthews, and Mary Anne Hobbs have also been major supporters; DJ Marc Riley has hosted the band for three BBC live sessions to date.[2] BBC Radio 1 has offered the band spot plays via DJs Huw Stephens, Jen & Ally, and Phil Taggart.

Next week we will be going to an 8-song format to get the show down to 60 minutes. We will still be working to broadcast the show live on SoundCloud, Wednesday at 7:00 PM and it will be broadcasted on VoicEd Radio at 7:30 PM on Saturdays. We really appreciate the support of both of these great organizations for encouraging and supporting our weekly efforts!

Old Fellas new Music – our latest episode

We have three episodes done now and you can still hear them all on Spreaker. There is now limited access on Spreaker due to copyright rules. If you can’t listen to an episode, please let me know and I will send you a link. The episodes will also be playing regularly on VoicEd Radio.

Bob Kennedy and I have been doing this show for three weeks. The basic idea is simple – 10 songs over one hour, all songs have to have been produced after 2015 – hence – New Music.

Here are Bob’s selections for this week.

I had to add the album cover for Minus Five – what magazine is this a parody of?

Rolling Coastal Blackout Fever – An Air Conditioned Man

Fontaines DC – Oh Such A Spring

Seaway – Lula on the Beach

Solange – Cranes in the Sky

Minus 5 – Davy Gets the Girl

You can hear all of Bob’s songs and much more on our Spotify playlist. If you listen to the podcast, you will find out so much more, for example, who is Solange’s famous sister?

What I find so much fun about all this is researching the stories for the songs. My first choice came fro a twitter suggestion by Errol Nazareth whose new show Frequencies on CBC Radio 2 is amazing.

Errol Nazareth describes Finley as the ‘real deal’ and goes on to say “One day, I’d like to see Mr. Finley at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.”

After listening to him and especially after watching his video for his newest release I totally agree!

from Under the Radar Magazine

Robert Finley, described by The Black KeysDan Auerbach as “the greatest living soul singer,” has returned for a third studio album, Sharecropper’s Son. Co-written and produced by Auerbach, the album sees Finley follow his acclaimed 2017 record Goin’ Platinum! alongside studio legends and bluesmen, some of which have worked with everyone from Elvis Presley to Wilson Pickett. Finley has returned today with the video for his latest single, “Country Boy,” premiering with Under the Radar.

Under the Radar April 2021

You really need to watch this.

Louisiana-based musician @therobertfinley has shared the video for his latest single, “Country Boy,” premiering with Under the Radar. Finley’s new record, ‘Sharecropper’s Son (co-written and produced by @danauerbach) is out May 21st on Easy Eye Sound.

We also featured a young singer from Kitchener, JJ. Wilde – The Rush

Her video is very interesting and you can watch it here

This track is from her album, Ruthless released in April 2020. She has written over 500 songs and is 28 yrs old. Another single – Mercy is also terrific. The Rush was #1 on all 3 Canadian Rock Radio formats – JJ Wilde was the first woman to do this. She has also toured with bands like The Glorious Sons.

The lyrics to Rush are really interesting. Even though she is pretty hard hitting, the song has lots to do about not disappointing her mom with her risky lifestyle:

Woke up this morning, in panic

I had my red dress on again

Last night I came out I was so damn manic

Don’t even know where I went wrong

But I went wrong

And it’s times like these that I swear to god

I’m glad my mother can’t see me

And if she did, I don’t know how I would keep it together

I don’t know how I would keep it in

It’s the Rush, it’s the lust, you can’t trust

Kandle, the daughter of Neil Osborne from 54-40, was another new discovery. Stick Around and Find Out her fourth album features the track Happy Pills. It is a little dark, but if you listen to her explanation, it really is a song about regeneration and growth. Her voice is haunting which makes this song all the more evocative.

I was sitting around in the Hipposonic studio in Vancouver trying to finalize arrangements for recording when I picked up a guitar and wrote it, almost by accident, in about 10 minutes. I had been focusing so much on rockin’, Motown, power house songs that I kind of missed being a little bit folky.  At the time I was working on getting off of the medications that I’d been put on post breakdown and realized I wanted to reclaim and manage my life without them. “When did I start? And how do I stop? I caught my reflection, tied my stomach in knots”. 

You can read the full interview with Kandle here on American Songwriter.

Only some of her material like Honey Trap is out on video. This again is worth watching.

Another artist that was new to me (they are all new to me) is Phoebe Bridgers. She has great songs and really interesting lyrics. Bob mentioned the controversy about her smashing a guitar on Saturday Night Live that was news to me.

Now she is auctioning off this guitar which should make David Crosby happy. You can read more about the controversy here in Rolling Stone Magazine.

While I don’t have that video, I do have a New York Times interview that discusses her song writing. This is probably more interesting than smashing guitars.

This year at the Grammys she was up for Best New Artist, Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance (the latter two are for “Kyoto”).

Also the song Motion Sickness is really good!

All this is from a new music source for me – Under the Radar, a source I will continue to go back to in the weeks ahead.

And finally a video from one of Bob’s picks Valley.

Old Fellas New Music

our new logo – lots to talk about here!

This week, music from

Honest Heart Collective – North American Dream
Elwins – Take Me all the Way

Valley –There’s Still a Light in the House – see them below


Born Ruffians – Waylaid
US Girls – And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve

Not Our First Goat Rodeo – Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile

Future Islands, Plastic Beach

July Talk – The News

What do two old fellas – Bob Kennedy and Paul McGuire listen to when they want new music? Each week we bring you some samplings of new music produced after 2015. There’s lots of great material out there and for an hour each week, we spin some tunes and talk about pretty cool stuff. All on VoicEd Radio!

our opening on Spreaker

Some notes on where to find us.

Our ever-growing Spotify playlist is here.

You can find us on Spreaker here

And episode 2 can be heard LIVE on VoicEd Radio at 8:00 pm on Saturdays.

We plan to add some fun notes, not complete, at the end of each week of looking for new music. This seems like a good place to leave some of what we have talked about and discovered over the past week.

After two weeks, Bob Kennedy and I have played eight songs that are all newer than 2015 – this is the main criteria for choosing a sone.

All of this is possible because of the continuing encouragement of Stephen Hurley and VoicEd Radio. It has been a bit of a technical journey, putting two people together on radio from different locations with music chosen by both is quite the challenge!

So, this post is mainly about the music and stuff we talked about during the episode.

My first choice was US Girls

Meghan Remy

 

US Girls was my first choice. The song I chose was And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve, but it could have been

4 American Dollars – this is a great song too, very different style, really great sound. Hard to choose which one to play.

U.S. Girls is a Toronto-based band formed in 2007, consisting solely of American musician and record producer Meghan Remy. She had released music on a variety of independent record labels before signing to 4AD in 2015.[3]

Half Free, her first record for 4AD, was released the same year.[4] It garnered a Juno Award nomination for Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016,[5] and was a shortlisted finalist for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.[6]Remy collaborates with a number of Toronto-based musicians on both songwriting and music production.

notes from Wikipedia

My second choice is a beautiful piece of music by an ensemble that includes Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile.

Their video is really worth watching to see how these great musicians play together.

The album – Not Our First Goat Rodeo, is their second project, following The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

A got Rodeo is an interesting term and I think you can see an example of this in the video. The term is an aviation term that means that 100 things need to go right to avoid disaster. This is beautiful playing and the video really shows why their releases are so popular.

The Los Angelas describes this best:

There can be little doubt that the greatest composer ever would have been unfazed hearing his music played by a trio of cello, mandolin and bass, as Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer did at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday night. Five years ago the three took part in what became known as “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” unlikely musicians on unlikely instruments in concerts and on bestselling recordings that were part blues, part bluegrass and a smidgen of Bach. Although sometimes slang for hapless chaos, for everything that can go wrong going wrong, a goat rodeo can also imply that out of pandemonium can come something new.

Los Angeles Times May 5, 2017

The next track is Plastic Beach by Future Islands. The song has some really great lyrics by Samuel T. herring:

I spent a lifetime in the mirror

Picking apart, what I couldn’t change

Now I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

What you saw today

This is accompanied by some really striking vocals. You can see them best on stage with David Letterman in 2014. This incredible performance by Herring was a sensation several years ago. Watch it and you will see why.

We choose five songs each for an episode, but we never get beyond four. My last choice was July Talk, an incredible Toronto Band known for dynamic live shows. The dramatic play between vocalists Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay is incredible. Again, seeing is believing.

July talk has some amazing videos you really have to watch.

The band has a new album out and I chose one track, The news which is great, but unfortunately only features Leah Fay. I would suggest listening to Push + Pull or Guns + Ammunition. They have an interesting use of the + symbol, but you will have to listen to our broadcast to find out more about that!

More notes – Bob mentions a site for music that has been around for a long time, again, news to me, but I am adding this to one of the places I need to go now every week – Aquarium Drunkard – how could you not love a name like that!

Screen shot from Aquarium Drunkard

You will also hear a reference To Never Repeated, a Spotify playlist – you can find it here.

If you want to hear the whole show, you can find it here

COVID Journal # 5 Breaking up is hard to do

Today has been an interesting day. Earlier I had an incredible conversation with a colleague of mine on how to teach online in the fall. I am still digesting this, but what struck me the most was the notion that when we teach online, the first thing we need to do is consider the emotional health of our audience.

We need to find new ways to draw everyone in, make sure in our isolated spaces that everyone is part of the conversation. This will mean, among other things, that I will need to have a one-on-one conversation with every student I work with in the fall. If I don’t do this I will lose them and it will be my fault.

Today’s conversation was an eye-opener to me. I don’t know if many of us have figured this out yet – apart from teachers who have been working through this since the middle of March.

For the rest of us, I don’t think we understand yet that most social media is unidirectional. It is designed for conversations between two people. Three becomes a crowd.

In the old pre-COVID days, conversations could become organic, especially when one or two people monopolized the conversation. In the classroom, you could redirect. In the living room, you could start a side conversation and effectively move things along. People could pick up on cues, they could usually use their social skills to sense the room.

Now, this isn’t happening. A few days ago I saw a tweet from someone who has become part of a podcast I used to really enjoy. They were asking for feedback on how the show was going. In the past, the music had been great, there had been room for many voices and lots of music suggestions.

The same show now has become a conversation between two, or maybe three people. It has lost the ability to be inclusive –  it is misreading the room. This is part of my response for feedback on the show:

The show now seems a little like a conversation for two or sometimes three people. It used to be more inclusive, more of a community – not any longer. Maybe this is what the pandemic has done.

Our current communication systems can’t allow for more than one or two voices. We haven’t figured out yet how to be inclusive and allow relationships to grow online. This will be a challenge for all of us.

This kind of pushback usually doesn’t turn out well, but after mulling this over for a few days, I felt I needed to write something. More than ever before, people need to reach out and build community.

What spurred me onto this was my last meeting with my book club. We have been meeting online since the pandemic and for me, this hasn’t worked out too well. We have been together for more than fifteen years, but I don’t know if we will survive the pandemic.

Tonight I sat through a conversation that was almost exclusively between three people. It was sad to be there. I had actually looked forward to our conversation, but there was no way to become part of what was going on. No one took the social cues, the conversation was not inclusive. I left the meeting abruptly, but I did tell the group that the conversation no longer worked.

As a group, we are not adept at creating a community online. The radio show I commented on has also lost its ability to do this. We seem now to only be able to connect in groups of two or three. More than that seems to be beyond us and our grasp of the current technology.

We can no longer retreat to the classroom or the livingroom to restore community. These options are out of reach for the foreseeable future. We will have to become much more mindful of the importance of inclusiveness in a world dominated by unidirectional communication.

I am breaking up with my book club. It is not their fault, but I need real community, real human relations. The challenge for the fall will be to make sure none of my students end up feeling as I did tonight. Everything I do will have to be about building community and trust with the imperfect tools we have at our disposal.

We all need to be doing this. We are responsible for building and sustaining important positive relationships. Look around you, think again, we need to do much better to sustain each other for the times to come.

The Urban Communities Cohort – What is the Urban School?

the necessary changes in urban and suburban schools will have to appropriate adequate space for a re-examination of leadership that is collaborative,
transformative, socially just, and moves beyond the hierarchical construction of the individual leader role.

Beverly-Jean Daniel, Reimagining the Urban: A Canadian Perspective

What is the urban school? What does it look like in Canada? How is it studied and what should educators learn about before working in an urban school? This year, I am working with the Urban Communities Cohort at the University of Ottawa and I am asking myself these and many other questions.

As part of our learning, teacher candidates need to develop a digital hub or, in other words, some platform where they can reflect on what they are learning. I figure that if I am working this year with these students the least I can do is add this blog to the collection of reflective pieces that will accumulate as the year progresses.

St. Anthony School, where I learned most of what I know about urban schools

I have said this before but it certainly bears repeating. Reflection is an essential component of learning. We all need somewhere to record our thoughts and insights especially when we are on a steep learning curve. The students here at the University of Ottawa are on about as steep a curve as possible, so it is really encouraging to see them put out some of their ideas and wonderings on a blog or wiki or some other platform.

I think it would be really cool if some of these students decided they wanted to start a podcast about what they are experiencing as new teachers. VoicEd Radio would be a great platform for recording these experiences it has been done before, it makes for great radio!

Sarah Lalonde started her podcast while she was a student at the University of Ottawa

One of the foundational readings students have been asked to take a look at is an article by Beverly-Jean Daniel, Reimagining the Urban: A Canadian Perspective. There is a good deal to digest in this article and I am just starting this process.  What an urban school is? Is there really one definition of an urban school?

I am not an academic, but I had the privilege of working in one urban school and have had many experiences of working with poverty in schools. One idea that is really interesting has to do with the whole idea of an urban school. Is there really a precise divide between urban and suburban schools here in Ontario?

There are characteristics of have and have-not schools, but I don’t think they separate out along urban and suburban schools. It might be easier to look at what you might find in have-not schools:

  • a clear lack of resources outside what is granted by the school district or province
  • a higher percentage of children without resources at home to support learning
  • a higher percentage of parents who work several jobs to make ends meet, who have less energy and time for school
  • a higher percentage of health concerns, for example, dental health issues with many students
  • a more transient school population

There is, in my opinion, a real danger when I start to write down characteristics like this. Someone could easily read this and point out that this is stereotyping. One could also point out that my list is incomplete, that it focuses on the elementary panel (it does) and that it is missing so many things. Most of these criticisms would be correct, but I don’t think I am painted with a brush that is too broad. Yes, my list has more to do with elementary, but I am sure you could come up with a secondary list without too much trouble.

What would be much more useful and this is something I brought up in class this morning when I talked about the Daniel article is a careful look at the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. The ONS is an incredible resource that really tells the story of the places we live in here in Ottawa. From their opening page, the ONS states that it is presenting this data to help people understand our current living spaces and plan for better futures:

Evidence is mounting that the neighbourhoods and communities in which we live affect not only our health but also the gap in health between rich and poor. The purpose of the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS) is twofold: to better understand the physical and social pathways by which neighbourhoods in Ottawa affect our health and well-being, and to provide citizens in Ottawa with facts that support evidence-based decision-making.

Ottawa Neighbourhood Study

As I rambled this morning, I did say something that might be helpful – I really think that all educators need to carefully read the ONS before they start teaching in a community that is new to them. We all need to realize that we do not teach in a bubble. We teach in a living community and if we teach in a hard to serve or low-income community, we need to know what services are there to help our families, then we need to see how we can best fit in and make a substantial difference for the students we work with.

There is a great deal here to examine and to think about. When we work in a low-income school, do we need to develop a different mindset? Do we need to think even more out of the box than other teachers need to do? Do we need to question our models of leadership and collaboration with the wider community? Does our role as the teacher change?

I started this reflection piece with one of the conclusions from the Daniel article. Yes, I think we do need to re-examine how we do leadership and we also need to re-examine how we teach in low-income neighbourhoods. No, there is not a definitive split between urban and suburban schools here in Ottawa. Yes, there is true poverty and inequality in this city.

So, how do we best prepare our new teachers to enter this world and make a true difference? Can we as educators level this playing field?

The Podcast Broadcast – a Week of Rich Listening and Learning

 

It has been a while since I did one of these posts, but time is available right now, so I am excited to jump right back in with a review of a few new podcasts – all available on VoicEd Radio.

There is no real theme this week, just podcasts that I find interesting as I scroll through the new material that gets uploaded daily to our Radio.co site. I will add them all to a playlist that I will put up on VoicEd Radio today – Friday, March 29th.

This week, we are starting off with a great student podcast – Books R Us.

Books R Us is a 6th-grade student podcast featuring new books that others will want to read. These students are from Hopewell Elementary School in Bettendorf, IA and believe in the power of sharing great books with others to help foster A Culture of Readers. Each podcast reviews a new book and features a contest for a book.

The students are terrific and I think this would be a great project for other classes to get involved in. It is obvious that the students and their teachers have worked very hard to make this a smooth production. You can hear a part of an episode on The Third Mushroom here:

I don’t know much about this series, but this really animated conversation about books and authors that seems to have been going on for several years. Really well laid out book reviews by these students. No hesitation, full of life and energy!

 

The second podcast I listened to this week is Chris Nesi’s House of Edtech. As always, Chris talks about a number of subjects involving education technology. The segment that drew my attention was about online learning. Certainly, people in Ontario could benefit from listening to this right now. The conclusion of this discussion is important – studies show that students do not do as well in online learning situations. Chris Nesi is a very thoughtful educator and his summary of the findings of this study are worth listening to. The main point that I find important at this time in Ontario are the findings of an academic study on online learning. Basically, students do not like to learn exclusively online and they tend to do poorly. You can listen to the clip here.

Nesi includes the article in his show notes here.

Again, the conclusion in the report regarding online learning is important in the current Ontario context:

Though online learning courses have exploded in popularity over the last decade, we found that relative to courses with some degree of face-to-face teaching, students taking online-only courses may experience negative learning outcomes.

Will technology transform education for the better? (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab)

A few hours of listening produces lots of gems. Next, I listened to Teaching Tales with elementary principal Brent Coley. This is one of those podcasts you can dip into at any point. If it fits any genre, this would be one of those ‘around the staffroom’ conversations, this time between two elementary principals. When I saw the title – Overcoming Fear in the Classroom – I thought they would be discussing students and their fear. I quickly realized that they were discussing teacher fear in the classroom.

Brent’s guest is Craig Badura – his blog, A Teacher, Coach and Dad can be found here.

 

                        Craig Badura

This is a great free-ranging conversation on how to deal with failure in the classroom. Teachers don’t like to fail no matter what they say about the importance of failure. Risk taking is hard to do, especially when you are in front of a classroom full of kids. What makes all the difference is an understanding administrator who makes the effort to support teachers as they experiment with new ideas. I am convinced that one of the greatest engines for innovation in education would be supportive principals like these two who are clearly all about serving others.

Failure is a lot easier if you have people like Brent Coley and Craig Badura working with you. What a great conversation about enabling teachers and kids and getting out of the way. New principals really need to listen to this podcast. Important point – never focus on what went wrong – focus instead on the relationship you are developing with a fellow educator. To make mistakes is a human quality.

The next podcast features two of my favourite broadcasters, Derek Rhodenizer and Jon Harper. For this one, Derek is the host, but he mentions that he has already been on Jon’s – I will have to go back and listen to that one for sure. The show is Beyond the Staff Room and it is always great.

Again, these podcasts are done by school administrators and I am partial to these being a former administrator. Listening to stories of administrators fail is very instructive and it would be great to hear more of this. Failure is not only for teachers and students but administrators can also fail too and we would all be the wiser if we heard more about their stories of failure.

Wouldn’t it be great to hear the failure stories of a superintendent? Would they ever do that? Would our system be a little more humane if they admitted failure from time to time? I think that might be a topic for another post. But listening to Jon and Derek is instructive, and I would encourage you to listen to the entire broadcast.

Just like Brent Coley’s podcast, Beyond The Class Room is another great conversation around the table. This makes lots of sense, Derek is someone who really enjoys connecting to others and he is a wonderful conversationalist. Taking time for conversation seems to be a lost art, but people like Derek and Jon are keeping it alive. Like Brent Coley’s broadcast, you can basically pick a clip anywhere from the podcast and it will be interesting. It is a conversation about failure and interestingly it is very empowering because they do a great job normalizing failure. Again, this is a lesson more educators need to learn, especially those in senior positions in our school boards!

Here’s the clip:

In this clip, Jon uses a personal story – one that we could all tell – about misjudging a situation. It is reflective and honest. Not included here is Derek’s return which is another story that fits well into the title of Jon Harper’s show My Bad. I don’t include this clip here, but Derek’s show is easy to find on VoicEd Radio and I really suggest you take a listen, especially if you are in a leadership position or want to be someday. Being a good leader means being incredibly humble. Sadly, this is not something we see very much in our leaders these days.

This is all that I will write about these podcasts – go out and give them a full listen – you will learn lots!

The Podcast Broadcast – This week, it’s all about music!

I took a little break from podcasting and blogging in November. There are lots of things going on here that kept me away from my computer and it didn’t hurt to be away in Italy with our son Liam for two weeks.

Now I have a great reason for getting back to writing. I am preparing for another episode of the Podcast Broadcast with Stephen Hurley that will be on VoicEd Radio later this week. I have spent a few days combing through tracks and I think I am ready to go. This week, I am trying the thematic approach and we are focusing on podcasts about music.

artwork for The Gav Session, a new podcast coming out of Belleville all about teaching music at the elementary level.

So, I tried something different. I went into VoicEd Radio and did a search on music. I also sent a note to Stephen and asked him for podcasts on music. Together, we came up with some really interesting material. This shows that the ever-evolving database of VoicEd Radio podcasts is a great resource for educators no matter what you are teaching. Making the podcasts more searchable is something we will continue to work on.

So this week we will be looking at work by Gavin Foster, a music teacher from Belleville, the  Bedley Brothers, Shane Lawrence, and Mark Carbone. They are all talking about music and education. Pretty ambitious for one podcast, but I have been away for around a month now, so I need to do some catching up.

When I moved to elementary, I found that one of the most important subjects was music. Generally, there was only one music teacher in the school and they had the responsibility to teach everyone in the building about music. In many cases, by grade 7 and 8, this might be the last formal music instruction students would get – ever.

When you think about this, it is a pretty immense responsibility.

We talk and write lots about math these days, especially in Ontario where math scores on EQAO have become a regional obsession. It would be great to step away for a while from the imbalance this is creating and look instead at how we are developing an appreciation for art in our schools.

I have to throw in at least one reference to our Roman holiday here. What endures now in the Eternal City is not so much the math that was done by ancient scholars but the beautiful artwork that still graces the city. Art is universal and it speaks to all of us at some level.

art endures

Back to podcasts – Gavin Foster is new to podcasting and he is doing some really interesting reflections on his current teaching practices. This is important work – I think we need more teachers broadcasting about what is working and sometimes not working in their classrooms.

He starts out in a podcast entitled ‘Tech Fail’ by talking about a new program called BandLab and relates how he tries to set up one of his classes almost as they walk into the room. I can certainly relate to that, this is easily something I would do!

Although this first attempt doesn’t work too well, he persists and by the next podcast, Bandlab has become one of his teaching tools.

You can hear him here as he discusses how to develop a great reflection on the iconic Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot.

I like how Gavin flips his classroom, it must be really great to be a student in his class. He is willing to try new types of technology and he readily shares what he is learning with others.

The next podcast is from the Bedley Brothers. Apart from the fact that they have the best intro for an education podcast, the brothers always have interesting guests and topics on their eclectic broadcast. In this one, the main topic is all about using music to engage students. The interviewee here is not a music teacher but uses music to keep his social studies students engaged.

Tal Thompson uses songs like Hall of Fame, by Script a song about confidence and being the best you can be. A pretty important message for kids to hear every day. He also uses current pop songs and changes the lyrics to fit the content. For example, what is the greatest break-up song ever?  Taylor Swift, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ – sings America to King George. There must be a Canadian equivalent!

I never did this as a history teacher but as a principal, we always played a song over the PA at the end of the day on Fridays. This was a pretty cool thing to do – the kids loved it!

Music engages.

Shane Lawrence always does great interviews about the teaching life. This one is called  – ‘Music for Rebels’ with Emily Langerholc. This is a great conversation and Emily is really entertaining. She has so much to say about teaching music, I could really listen to more from her. She has a great attitude and a terrific sense of humour!

This is from her blog masthead

Welcome! My name is Emily and I teach music. If you’re looking for teachable moments in popular music, you’re in the right place. Commentary and free teaching goodies are also included.

Content is available on the blog, which you can read here!

Teachable pop songs are listed & organized here!

I teach traditional ensemble music classes (band & chorus), but my after-school class materials are sponsored by Little Kids Rock.

To find out more about people all around the country (and world!) who are involved in Popular Music Education, I urge you to look into and join the Association of Popular Music Education, aka APME.

If you are so moved, you can support my writing/conference travel/etc. by buying me a coffee!

 

 

This blog is an amazing resource. If you are reading this and you know a music teacher please share this with them. I did already.

The podcast ranges all over the landscape of teaching music in elementary school. One part I found particularly interesting has to do with using pop music in the classroom. Her question is interesting – why would you not use the tool of popular music in the classroom. If you are teaching time signatures for example, why not challenge your students by betting if any song on the radio is in 4:4 time (she does this).

Finally, Stephen Hurley put me on to this podcast. It is by Mark Carbone and it can be found here on his blog. Soon it will be on VoicEd Radio and I will be certain to tag it under ‘music’.

This one really blew me away. It is an interview with former CBC broadcaster and Peabody Award Winner Jowi Taylor. We used to listen to Jowi Taylor on Saturday nights on CBC. He hosted a ground-breaking show called Global Village that was all about international music. It was a weekly tour around the world that actually encouraged travellers to record their own features that were later broadcast on the show. The show was cancelled in 2007 and there has been nothing like it since.

The interview with Mark is all about a current project by Jowi called ‘Six String Nation‘. It started while he was still hosting Global Village and it continues to this day.

The idea has a real nation-building quality to it. A guitar called Voyageur was constructed from 64 pieces of bone, metal, wood, stone and horn. It was constructed to act as a symbol of national unity and its contains pieces come from across the country.

Jowi describes the project here

This is pretty exciting stuff and it is really wonderful to hear the entirety of Mark’s interview. I took four clips from the 26-minute broadcast and I don’t know if I will get them all in, it is that good of a segment.

I will get in a short clip at the end of Mark’s podcast. Near the conclusion, Jowi’s challenges the audience (you) to help him come up with focused, coherent workshops for students in different grades. This is a great challenge and I hope this is something that VoicEd Radio will be involved in starting in 2019.

Here is the final clip

This would be a great way to truly integrate music, story-telling, art and country into a workshop – what a great opportunity!

This is lots for one podcast. We will see how far we get. Writing all this down is a sort of pledge to get it all done. I hope you listen to us – let’s see (or hear) how it goes!

 

Parenting, Why Schools Don’t Matter and Self-Reg – all on VoicEd Radio

This week I am a bit behind. I am continuing to put out posts to supplement the work that we are doing on the Podcast Broadcast very Saturday on VoicEd Radio. The episodes are archived here.

We do this show because podcasters deserve an audience. They are coming up with great material and it would be very sad if they were voices in the wilderness. They offer refreshing perspectives on a wide range of topics. Conflicting ideas expressed with passion.

The first one – Teaching Keating with Weston and Molly and Wes Kieschnick is called Bad Moms. They are pushing here and I think this is good. What is the role of parents? Are they stepping up as much as they should – does there need to be a more effective bond between the school and the home? Are we only doing half the job?

What would happen if you started a parent-school symposium with this podcast? What energy would be immediately infused into the room – so much better than the usual bland welcoming note for the hapless superintendent!

Their podcast is fun and lively and related always to some movie that acts as a loose intro to the topic. Here is how they linked parenting and Bad Moms in this podcast:

Their comments challenge, so this is a good podcast. It provokes and it stirs things up. I think that is good and you should listen to it. There is definitely an argument that parents could be much more effective as positive partners with their schools. Maybe if they pushed back more in a constructive way we would have a more effective system.

The next podcast is Seal It With a Smile with Juan Campos. This broadcaster is provocative so he is interesting and puts out an effective message. This week he comes right out and says – school is not effective, school is not doing its job.

In the cast of Matthew, one of his students, he is totally right. Matthew has not been seen for his whole school career. What are we doing that this can be allowed to take place? Why is he invisible? What behaviours stem from that?

Here Juan talks about Matthew:

I love this podcast because it is so honest. It is dark and there seems to be no solution. In this case, the story works out because Matthew does finally find a redeeming solution. He does find a sort of family – important because nowhere in the podcast does Juan mention family.

This is an important message here on the limiting and the sometimes alienating impact of the school. Matthew’s solution has nothing to do with school.

Finally, I pulled up a podcast that was actually put out last year. There seemed to be a parenting theme to the week, so I went searching for more material on parenting and school. The impetus has to do with another discussion on VoicEd Radio on This Week In Ontario Edublogs. I am not going to include the clip here, but it involved discussion on a post by Jonathan So entitled Soft Eyes.

It is a good post and it led to a challenging conversation on Twitter. My perspective right now is skewed and it is a challenge for me to see the Soft Eyes perspective. It is true that we can do better with children with an approach that is softer, but there are many cases – especially starting in intermediate – where a harder approach is necessary to protect the other students and staff. Schools remain a battleground, but we don’t talk about that – ever.

Needless to say, my perspective didn’t get any sympathy on Twitter – the soft eyes approach is conventional wisdom now.

So, in a spirit of cooperation, I included a podcast on parent self-reg which was really interesting. It circles through the parent perspective and our need to understand the motivating factors behind the good and bad behaviour of parents. It is a good discussion which concludes with a really helpful outline of the 5 R’s of self-reg.

Reframing – stress behaviour not misbehaviour

Recognize the stressors

Reduce the stress

Reflect – develop stress awareness

Respond – replenish our energy

This is a good guide for all of us as we try to understand self-regulation as it applies to parents, teachers and students.

We didn’t get a chance to play this clip on the broadcast, so it is good to include it here. There was so much to discuss coming out of all this material, but an hour passes very quickly!

Another interesting week with varying and I think, conflicting perspectives. I hope you list to these clips and maybe even the whole podcast. These people – podcasters and bloggers – are offering important perspectives that we are trying to capture every week. The voice of an educator is important and we all need to share what we are hearing.

What will you be learning this week?

 

The Podcast Broadcast for October 19th – What you need to listen to this week

some of the great podcasts on VoicEd Radio every week.

I am continuing my posts on upcoming episodes of the Podcast Broadcast that Stephen Hurley and I are putting out on VoicEd Radio every week.

I think this is an important series, podcasters are coming up with great material that educators need to be aware of. When we start thinking of new ways to do PD, the material coming out every week offers a wonderful variety of learning opportunities for educators. What do you want to learn? Whose voice do you want to hear?

This week, we will be talking about This Week in Canadian EdTech with Robert Martellacci, My Bad with Jon Harper, Faith in the System by Munazzah Shirwani and the upcoming Digital Citizenship Summit taking place next week in Toronto.

Two of these podcasts have to do with community discussions – this is where new learning really happens. Even in the digital age, face to face conversations offer great new, unscripted learning opportunities.

Robert Martellacci and Stephen Hurley discuss a really interesting initiative that is coming out of Sackville called Sackville 2020. I love this initiative and I would like to hear much more about this. The discussion on the podcast explored how to develop productive partnerships involving both public and private enterprises. The Sackville 2020 initiative as described in the Sackville Tribune Post is developing something new and exciting that takes education out of its traditional silo.

The Sackville Schools 2020 vision is one which includes more outdoor learning spaces, community connections, hands-on learning, inclusive education, bright and open areas, more innovative teaching approaches and so much more. It’s a concept that would help bring more 21st-century approaches to the local education system and to ensure our children are being provided with more experiential and community-based learning opportunities.

Here is part of the discussion on how this initiative is changing how people are envisioning education and outreach into the community.

I would not have known anything about this great initiative if I hadn’t listened in on the podcast this week. This really is new learning that has a great potential to bring us together in a wider community. Could this be a way to innovate into the future of education?

At the very same time, there is a really interesting conference that will take place in Toronto next week, the Digital Citizen Summit or Digcit Summit.

The collection of speakers is impressive and the conversation will be really important. Listening to In Conversation with Stephen Hurley, I realized that the whole theme of the summit has lots to do with something we featured last week when we discussed (too briefly) the work of Jennifer Casa-Todd. I love her positive spirit and the work she is doing to help educators to see the positive side and the wonderful potential of social media in the classroom. At a time when we are getting pushback from all sorts of populist forces that want to stifle the use of social media, this is an enlivening breath of fresh air.

The podcast is a great introduction to the upcoming conference which will have a positive impact on how we use social media in education. Here one of the organizers Carlo Fusco is talking with Stephen Hurley.

The next two podcasts will take listeners in a different, but equally important direction. I really like My Bad by Jon Harper. I would argue that this short, concise podcast should be required listening for educators, especially administrators. Each episode explores a mistake (My Bad) that an educator has made and what they learned from it. It is a humbling experience and one that many educators could benefit from.

In education these days, we are all about making mistakes and learning from them. But the reality is no one likes making mistakes and very few are willing to talk about them. If more people did this we would certainly have a more humane system overall.

I looked at two of Jon’s podcasts this week, one from an administrator who reflects on how she sometimes judged her own admin harshly and the second from an elementary teacher who talks about calling out a 6-year old student in front of his peers. These conversations are difficult to listen to, but maybe this is exactly what we need to be doing. Listening to the mistakes of others and learning to become a little bit more humble is a useful practice.

Here is part of the second conversation.

Finally this week, a podcast that is new to me but one that I will continue to listen to every week. Faith in the System is a podcast by Munazzah Shirwani. In her profile, she calls herself a ‘rookie podcaster’, but she is already really good. I listened to her second episode this week, Confessions of a Sikh High School Teacher.  She talks with Amrit Kaur Dhaliwal, program coordinator for a secondary school program at Khalsa Community School in Brampton where she has been teaching for over ten years.

Over 40 minutes the conversation ranges over a number of issues involving faith and schools. It is a really different podcast and it is truly compelling. At one point Munazzah and Amrit get into a discussion about discrimination in Canada and its impact on both of them. This is really important for us to listen to, I have included an excerpt here.

Again, this is terrific stuff and there is so much that we can learn here. The conversation is frank and intelligent and it leads us into a world that is probably unfamiliar to many of us. Here is the beauty of podcasting and digital radio. Within a few minutes, we can take part in important conversations that can inform our practice.

I hope you listen to a few of these snippets. The Podcast Broadcast will air again this Saturday at 10:00 am and I hope you listen in. You never know how these conversations will turn out, but that is the beauty of live radio.