Crude Conversations
EP 084 with comedian Matt Collins

EP 084 with comedian Matt Collins

February 21, 2021

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with radio host and comedian Matt Collins. Matt got his start in radio at 17 years old at 87.7 The End in Anchorage. He was the overnight jockey and intern there, learning the ropes and getting used to being on-air. From there he went on to work as a producer and board op at 100.5 The Fox. But then after the Bob and Mark Show moved from The Fox to 106.5 KWHL in 2004, so did Matt. At KWHL, he continued to produce the show, as well as host his own afternoon show, Alice in the Afternoon. He says that he got the nickname Alice because Bob Lester—of the Bob and Mark Show—said he looked like Layne Staley of Alice in Chains if he was into donuts instead of smack.

Throughout his life, Matt has been drawn to live performances. When he was a teenager, he performed in local plays. From 18 to 26, he played the drums in a number of bands. And then from 26 on he’s done stand-up comedy. When he was younger, Matt says that he was a basement dweller and that he was intimidated by the world. But as he got older and more involved in stand-up comedy, he became more comfortable with the world and his place in it.

EP 083 with Anchorage Assembly member and Anchorage mayoral candidate Forrest Dunbar

EP 083 with Anchorage Assembly member and Anchorage mayoral candidate Forrest Dunbar

February 4, 2021

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with Anchorage Assembly member and Anchorage mayoral candidate Forrest Dunbar. Forrest’s introduction to local politics came in 2002, right after he graduated high school, when he interned for Frank Murkowski—who, at the time, was a United States Senator from Alaska. Before becoming a member of the Alaska Assembly, he was the Vice President of the Scenic Foothills Community Council. In 2016, Forrest joined the Anchorage Assembly. Since then, he has served as a member, Vice Chair and Chair. More recently, he’s been gearing up to run for the mayor of Anchorage. If elected, he says that his focus will be on economic recovery and economic development.

Forest points to his grandmother as his biggest inspiration. She survived the Holocaust and then went on to get a PHD in chemistry despite the gender barriers of the time. In her 50s, she went back to school to become a nurse, which is what she worked as for the next 20 years. Her life story—her determination, her intelligence and what she went through and ultimately became—continues to guide Forrest in all aspects of his life.

Chatter Marks EP 009 The duality of storytelling: Balancing journalism and nuance, with photographer Jeroen Toirkens

Chatter Marks EP 009 The duality of storytelling: Balancing journalism and nuance, with photographer Jeroen Toirkens

January 29, 2021

Jeroen Toirkens is a documentary photographer based out of The Hague in The Netherlands. He mainly works on long-term projects that can take years to complete. His most recent project, Borealis, took six years to complete. It’s a book that documents the Boreal Forest and the people who live in it. To accurately tell the story of the Boreal Forest—which is the largest land-based vegetation zone and makes up around 29 percent of the total forested area on earth—he and co-author Jelle Brandt Corstius immersed themselves in the culture and in the environment. 

In pursuing a project, Jeroen feels that it’s his responsibility to tell a story in the most accurate way he can. This involves patience and experience and letting the story tell itself, rather than molding it to a narrative of your own.

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

EP 082 The legacy and fate of Arctic Flow, the legendary Alaska rap group, with Jerremy Santacrose

EP 082 The legacy and fate of Arctic Flow, the legendary Alaska rap group, with Jerremy Santacrose

January 17, 2021

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with Jerremy Santacrose, who’s also known by his rap alias, AKream, from back in the Arctic Flow days. Arctic Flow was an Alaskan rap group that started in 1999, and went on to influence and define what authentic Alaskan rap should sound like. The group consisted of Jerremy, Josh Boots, Soiled Seed, Nauseous and Alkota—four rappers and a beatmaker. Jerremy says that a defining characteristic of the group was that everyone and everything they did was so sincere. They were living in the moment, often caught up in illicit activity, and producing music that mirrored their lives.

Arctic flow unofficially disbanded in 2010. Jerremy says there was no big falling out, the group had just become stagnant and everyone wanted to go their separate ways. He also acknowledges that some of his actions most likely caused the disintegration of the group. And while it may be unlikely that we’ll ever hear an Arctic Flow reunion, the albums they put out and the shows that they did will forever be etched into the history of the Alaskan rap scene.

Jerremy doesn’t go by AKream anymore, his new rap alias is Kream Soda. Recently out of prison, he’s now on the path of clean living, self-discovery and self-awareness. He’s working on new music and he’s putting out a new episode of The Kream Soda Podcast every week.

When Cody originally contacted him about being on the podcast and talking about potentially sensitive things like Arctic Flow, drug addiction and prison, he said he was an open book because otherwise, what’s the point?

2020 Recap: EP 070 Long Live Larson

2020 Recap: EP 070 Long Live Larson

January 8, 2021
This week, Crude will be revisiting the top 5 most popular episodes of 2020. Number 1 on this list is Long Live Larson, where family and friends share some of their favorite memories of professional snowboarder Chris Larson. In April 2020, Larson took his own life. Without speculating on reasons why he did it, this episode focuses on the life of Larson.
 
If you didn’t know Larson, then the best way to understand him is that he was someone who came from a loving family, he had loyal friends and he was extremely talented, but he just had a hard time being comfortable. Maybe because he was restless, maybe because he was an old soul, like so many of his friends have said.
 
Thank you to Mike Dempsey for suggesting the idea for this episode. Thank you to Carrie Hambach for suggesting that Cody dig up an interview he did with Larson back in 2015 and include snippets of it in this episode. And thank you to everyone who told a story for this episode, for being brave enough to record a memory about Larson so close to his passing. Each one is a reminder that life is never just one thing. That it’s made up of all the good and the bad that people do, and together those things create every one of us.
2020 Recap: lost anchorage EP 07 with Joe Rambur

2020 Recap: lost anchorage EP 07 with Joe Rambur

January 7, 2021

This week, Crude will be revisiting the top 5 most popular episodes of 2020. Number 2 on this list is with Joe Rambur, where we look at addiction through the perspective of a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Joe took his first drink of alcohol at 13. Although his first experience getting high on opiates was at 14, it wasn't until adulthood that he became addicted. He smoked heroin for 12 years. He's been sober for the last 9 months, and for that he credits a program and turning his will over to his higher power.

He says that if telling his story can help somebody else get sober and stay alive, then it's worth telling.

2020 Recap: EP 061with John Stallone

2020 Recap: EP 061with John Stallone

January 6, 2021

This week, Crude will be revisiting the top 5 most popular episodes of 2020. Number 3 on this list is with John Stallone. John comes from a military family—his grandfather served in World War II, and his dad and his uncle served in Vietnam—so enlisting in the military was a no-brainer for him. He joined the US Air Force at 18. From 1998 to 2002, he served as a security forces member and was deployed four times in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In 2002, at the age of 22, he joined the Alaska Air National Guard. After he left the Guard in 2009, he took a number of jobs where he was in a position to promote and encourage safety, namely as a safety officer for OSHA, and a bouncer in downtown Anchorage. The common thread that links these jobs is John's sense of duty. He says that one of the core values of the Air Force is, "service before self," which is something he continues to live by.

For a good portion of this conversation, John talks about his struggle with depression and PTSD. He talks about the psychological aftermath of spending 8 months in active war zones. How it was a continuous evolution of “hurry up and get ready” or “hurry up and get used to this.” But by the time you acclimated to that environment, it was time to go home. And then once you were home, you were forced to deal with everything you had been through—among civilians who have no frame of reference for war. In 2011, everything kind of came to a head and John had a mental breakdown. He called the Veterans Crisis Line and they helped him work through it and also directed him toward local mental health resources.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and Veterans Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255.

2020 Recap: Special Conversation: Micah Booze on Fighting Wildland Fires in Alaska

2020 Recap: Special Conversation: Micah Booze on Fighting Wildland Fires in Alaska

January 5, 2021

This week, Crude will be revisiting the top 5 most popular episodes of 2020. Number 4 on the list is with wildland firefighter Micah Booze. Booze has been a firefighter for over 15 years, five of which have been spent in Alaska. Fighting wildland fires in Alaska, he says, involves more than just putting water on the hot stuff. It involves strategic thinking.

2020 Recap: EP 078 with Mike Ward

2020 Recap: EP 078 with Mike Ward

January 4, 2021

This week, Crude will be revisiting the top 5 most popular episodes of 2020. Number 5 on the list is with Mike Ward, the co-owner of The Pioneer Bar. The Pioneer Bar, better known as Pio, is a classic Alaskan bar located in downtown Anchorage. It’s been around since the 1950s, before Alaska became a state. Back then, it was a working class bar with a regular crowd of blue collar workers and barflies. It eventually began to attract a younger crowd in the late 1990s. That trend has continued to this day, where crusty sourdoughs and weekend warriors drink side-by-side.

Mike’s relationship with The Pio goes all the way back to his childhood, when his dad was a regular there and he would bring Mike with him. That was around 1980. Mike and his business partner Dave Croffut bought the bar in 2013, and they quickly learned that the idea of owning a bar is much different than the reality of it. In reality, you have to deal with controlling crowds, local politics, and all the repairs that come with owning a 100-year-old building.

Chatter Marks EP 08 with Francesca DuBrock

Chatter Marks EP 08 with Francesca DuBrock

January 4, 2021

Francesca DuBrock is the Chief Curator at the Anchorage Museum, and she recently finished putting the finishing touches on Extra Tough: Women of the North, an exhibit dedicated to exploring how women have shaped Alaska and the circumpolar north. The exhibit was a massive undertaking, it took over 9 months to complete and now occupies the entire third floor of the Museum, which is about 7,500 square feet. It’s not intended to be a comprehensive history of the subject, but rather a multitude of snapshots that help explain how integral women are to the past, present and future of the north.  

Francesca says that a large part of unpacking all of this includes subverting cultural myths like ones that depict the brave, masculine explorer conquering landscapes. And, instead, portraying a cultural landscape where Indigenous people have lived for thousands of years. 

Chatter Marks is a podcast of the Anchorage Museum, and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Just search "Chatter Marks."

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