Grace & Steel Ep. 83 – Production Notes

Listeners now know the name of the mystery guest, mentioned in this post, who ordered the mic from Amazon with one-day delivery and, while waiting more than one day for that delivery, dropped off the radar. It was Katie McHugh, as featured in Episode 83.

The mic she’d ordered was the Snowball by Blue. In the initial discussions about Katie appearing on the podcast, Katie had asked KMG for a mic recommendation and he turned to me. One reason I recommended the Snowball was because it’s made by Blue. I had owned a Blue mic, the Yeti (which I shipped to KMG) and it’s a solid piece of equipment. So I figured the build quality on the Snowball would be as good, though at a slightly lower price than the Yeti. The main reason for recommending it, though, was because that was the mic used by Candice Malcolm when she appeared in the second half of Episode 40 (Jun. 6, 2016) of our podcast.

Candice’s recording was very clear, and so I’d asked about her set-up. To my surprise, she told me she had her Snowball plugged into a laptop and had recorded the podcast in a hotel room using a wifi connection. Now, previous experience had taught the 2Kevins to avoid avoid avoid the wifi—many drop-offs through Skype—and to avoid using laptops, if possible, because of the lesser processing power. But here was Candice, clear as a bell. So I gave much of the credit to the mic she chose. (Bear in mind, however, some of the problems KMG and I experienced with wifi and laptops might have been due to pilot error and old equipment.)

Katie’s recording of her half of the conversation (using Audacity) was similar in quality to Candice’s, very clear. So, here I will express my thanks to Katie McHugh for taking the time, trouble and expense in preparation to give our audience not only good quality sound, but an extremely interesting interview as well.

As for Katie falling off the radar, we now have an explanation for that. KMG and Katie were communicating through Twitter Direct Messaging and, as Katie explains in the podcast, Twitter had shut her down completely for a time without notification. I guess they were both wondering what the heck the other person was doing.

After the dust had settled, and the podcast was in the can (so to speak), Katie emailed asking when would I be posting it (I was immersed in the final edit, which always seems to take forever because I do the Show Notes at the same time). She added that she was perhaps a little too excited to hear herself on the show because she was a long-time Grace & Steel listener. That warmed my heart.

When I told Grace about this, I said, I bet we get a lot of people in Washington D.C. listening to this episode. So this morning I checked the Soundcloud stats. You can view your listenership broken down by country and by city. Under “Top Cities” by far and away, number one this week was… Port Talbot, United Kingdom? What? According to Infogalactic, a steel town in Wales dating back to the Bronze Age. Go figure.

One final production note. This isn’t about something that happened with the podcast, but rather something that didn’t. When KMG first told me that we would be having Katie McHugh on the show and that she had just been fired from Breitbart, I thought, wow, bummer, I hope she isn’t too too down in the dumps over this. And around that same time, I heard on the radio—a classic country music station—Jessi Colter singing her tune, “Storms Never Last.” This, I thought at that moment, might be a good tune to end the show on if Ms. McHugh had sounded particularly low. (As long time listeners know, from time to time I’ve substituted a bit of music at the finale instead of our regular theme.) But after reading the lyrics, I quickly dismissed the idea because the song is far too personal. Ultimately, it didn’t matter because Ms. McHugh was quite upbeat and positive about her future. Still, I particularly like the lines, “And every road we took, God knows, our search was for the truth / And the storm brewin’ now won’t be the last.”

Though I had discarded the idea of using this song in the podcast, I did go far enough down that road on Youtube to discover that Dr. Hook had covered it. And so, for no good reason, I spent about an hour clicking on old Dr. Hook videos. After that, I discovered the video I’ve pasted below. It’s by a bunch of folks, Atlantic Canadians I’m guessing, who crank out a cover version of “Storms Never Last” in their living room. I don’t know any of these people, and I’m not quite sure why I like this video so much. It might be the floor lamp used as mic stand, with copious amounts of duct tape. It might be the bottle of Crown Royal on the side table beside the bowl of potato chips. It might be the way the singer pronounces “the truth” as “da trut.” It might be the whole idea of a simple social gathering, country jamming in someone’s home, suitably updated with contemporary electronics; getting together, making a music video and sticking it up on YouTube. I mean, you sit there, play a few tunes, have some fun, get a bit pie-eyed, and the next day you wake up with a headache, and “Holy crap, come look at this! so-and-so’s put us on the computer!”

Thinking about it now, and remembering what Katie says in the podcast about dignity and work, I can’t help but wonder if anyone in the video has done a few shifts at Walmart or known someone who got tangled up with bad drugs. Well, storms never last… do they?