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4 minutes | May 6, 2013
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17 minutes | Mar 30, 2012
High Road In Lower Class Ep13
Bill Todd and Big Al Reno get back together to catch up once again after a small break and shoot the shit about what is happening in the world and locally they toast one up to an extraordinary man, Bill Rolig that we all lost.
33 minutes | Mar 29, 2012
The Guinea Tee Rules
By Tony Russo It came to my attention this week that the term “Guinea Tee” is not as widely used as one might think. In fact, by this point half of you are as surprised as I and the other half are awaiting the definition in the next sentence. A “Guinea Tee” is a sleeveless strap-type tee shirt, also colloquially called a “wife beater”. Since I’ve yet to meet anyone unfamiliar with that phrase, I’m going to assume that you’re all on board. Also, I understand that “Guinea” has epithet status but direct you to the vowel at the end of my byline and ask your forgiveness. One of our favorite topics on the Todcast is the radical distinction between my co-host Todd DeHart’s love for Ocean City and my, um, less-than-that. One of my very not-favorite things about the Boardwalk during the summertime are the shirtless men. Now. I’m the kind of guy who should only be shirtless minutes before getting into the ocean but no matter how respectable a body you have, for the love of God, I would prefer to see it under a shirt once the sun sets. As I was explaining this to Todd, I qualified, saying that even a Guinea Tee wold be preferable to nothing. This is when I learned how few people use this term and when I rose to the challenge of distinguishing between a Guinea Tee and a wife beater — the shirt’s condition. So for the record and according to the Todcast, a Guinea Tee is clean and white and barely passable as primary torso covering. A wife beater is stained, faded, torn or all three. Anything with color is a tank top. Once that was straight I proposed that I might invest in a gross of Guinea Tees and spend the occasional summer night on the Boardwalk passing them out to the shirtless. I’d call myself Guinea Claus. Moving on. We also had one of our Gee Williams/Michael Day love-fests. During the State of the Beer Bryan Brushmiller was talking about how Day had helped him with his facade grant (he helps everyone, see Page 1). Todd has taken the Mayor as a potential role-model although he continues to insist that his ultimate plan is to unseat him and takes his place.
27 minutes | Mar 22, 2012
Ask the Busboy
By Tony Russo This was a good news/bad news kind of week. We shared a lot of cool stories and interesting insights and then I proceeded to edit them out. Among what’s left you’ll find commentary on the unbelievable arrogance the Maryland State Police showed in naming their “enhanced enforcement” for St. Pat’s “Operation Luck o’ the Irish”, the Burley Oak Brewery announcement that they’re producing a special beer that will be like Blue Moon except good, and the possibilities that come from combining darts with ping-pong. Finally if you ever need rolling papers ask the bus boy.
33 minutes | Mar 15, 2012
Déjà vu all over again
This week’s Todcast was a mile marker of a sort, and we didn’t even make the connection until after we got started. If you’ve not yet checked out the show, it starts out with Todd DeHart, my co-host, recapping the entertainment events of the weekend followed by the news. This weekend he helped the guys at Johns Cigar Shop celebrate their first anniversary, which was cool and all, but it also had a direct affect on the second part of the show, where I run through the week’s news. Just after the cigar shop opened last year, Todd and I did a recording from there and it has the distinction of being the only one by (really, really, really) forgiving bosses had me pull down ever. Three guesses what it was about. In the wake of the ridiculousness that was the Historic District Commission’s response to the Atlantic Hotel Window debacle, I got a little verbally aggressive (which has never been a problem for my bosses, really) but I also swore as if I were back in Jersey. So this Todcast is worth listening to just because I mention no names and the care with which I totally don’t even swear, even a little bit. I don’t wanna overdo it, but for people who eschew attention, the HDC sure manages to get a lot of it. Back to the fun stuff: So we’re live streaming the Todcast every week now, for any of you who want to see how red my face can actually get as I try and make my points in a calm fashion. On the playback, Todd’s look of incredulity while I’m talking is worth the half-hour of your time alone. If you feel like it, tune in to GCFL.TV at 6 p.m. and be interactive. We’ll tell you how on the video. We also talked about the Komen kickoff (see Page 14) and the fact that I got a preview of the Baked Desserts cupcakes made with Burley Oak’s chocolate stout. It was tasty. But an other more important part of the story is to round up as many donors and volunteers as we can. This is going to be a good event both for its positive affects and the area’s profile.
33 minutes | Mar 9, 2012
Guess who’s coming to dinner?
A few weeks ago, Todd DeHart and I decided not to worry too much bout getting guests. We didn’t strictly ban the idea but were pretty sure we wouldn’t have too many more guests. It was under this premise that I invited Rich Liebig, of the “Rich and Doobie Show” podcast to come hang out. It was under this premise that Todd invited an acting troop performing in Ocean Pines soon to come hang out. Hilarity ensues. Take a listen.
18 minutes | Mar 8, 2012
High Road In Lower Class Ep 11
Bill Was in a celebratory mood after getting his new hand made Les Paul Guitar. May be it was not the night to put him under the lights of the todcast Documentary on GCFL.TV
30 minutes | Mar 1, 2012
Greetings from the future
By Tony Russo As we’ve mentioned here before one of Todd DeHart’s many side gigs is as D.J. for the Party Zone, Saturday nights on Ocean 98. We’ve also mentioned (I believe) that occasionally I will tune in and live tweet his shows from @slmlivetweet. This week the cameras at Seacrets were down so Todd broadcast himself over his laptop and it worked out beautifully. The reason that that is even mildly relevant is because we claimed we were inventing the future, breaking the metaphorical radio fourth wall and we’ve elected to apply this to the Todcast. This week represented out first run and since you missed it (everyone missed it, it was a secret; don’t feel bad) let me tell you that it worked out well enough that we’re going to make it a regular feature on the Todcast. Tune into GCFL.TV around 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, if you can’t make it down to Burley Oak for the live Todcast, and you can participate. By participate I mean literally chime in via all the fun social media stuff you are totally into. You can comment correct and inform. My arm is beginning to hurt from all the back patting, but just real quick: we’re the only ones doing this. Live local entertainment and news commentary and even the occasional spoiler if it’s available and appropriate. I feel as if it’s inappropriate to commit on a potential urban legend to print so here’s the disclaimer: This Could Very Possibly Be An Urban Legend We discussed how a colleague of mine attempted and failed to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon. I have never heard that this is considered impossible and remain skeptical. If you want to know who the colleague is or find out how to see the attempt on YouTube, you’re gonna have to tune in for details. This is a colleague I’m kinda scared of so I’ll leave it at that.
3 minutes | Feb 29, 2012
Artist Spot Light - Chris Ferron
In June of 2010. Wes Davis asked me to sit in and MC his New Artist Showcase in Berlin, MD. One of the the young artist was Chris Ferron. Chris Came to Salisbury Universty to play football but will be leaving playing his guitar. Now in his Senior year Chris as a major in Media and a minor in Music. Playing spots like market street in Salisbury, he is lining up to have a summer full of gigs in the area. Chris is a fresh face on the music scene and has been writing his own songs for years and shows a good bit of depth in his work. The covers he plays he makes his own. Playing Valerie, the song made famous by Amy Whinehouse, he takes her soul ful voice and gives it his own raspy treatment . Chris recent played the Acoustic Lounge with Marla on Ocean 98. where he recorded this track. Check him out his is You Tube page
29 minutes | Feb 23, 2012
The Heat is On
More and more often I get cigarette-bust press releases and have spoken about them here and at length before. But during this week’s Todcast, I hit upon a conspiracy theory of such breadth it is certainly as true as it is made up and unconfirmable. The best part is, it gives us the opportunity to get in the Gen Xer way back machine and travel to the mystical and mystifying 1980s. The increased focus on cigarette tax evaders is really an attempt by law enforcement to discover which cops are rogue enough to still be good guys. Consider Eddy Murphy: During his overzealous pursuit of cigarette smugglers at the beginning of Beverly Hills Cop, he bent a few rules but saved Detroit (or wherever) a ton of tax money by busting the cigarette baddies. Eventually, through a plot line that still makes sense today, this lead him to a huge drug bust that eventually made California the drug-free zone it is today. Unfortunately, this was fiction. But — so my made up police thinking goes — if there is a wild cigarette bust made by just the right officer, that officer will solve the nation’s drug problem during his or her “administrative vacation”. My theory fell on less than interested ears, but when a trooper from the Berlin Barracks is honored for solving the drug problem, remember where you heard it first. In non-made up news, Todd brought us up to speed on the Pirate Rob Birthday Bash which featured local favorite Bryan Russo (still no relation) among others. Mark Huey, who is either a member of the audience or a member of the Todcast proper — we’re not 100 percent sure — chimed in with Bryan Brushmiller during the State of the Beer to bring us up to speed on the epic “King of Pong” event at Burley Oak last weekend. Reports of having a movie star slinging beer were as believable to me as my cigarette conspiracy theory was to them, but live and let live. After all, it’s just the Internet.
0 minutes | Feb 16, 2012
Grammys, Grammys, Grammys
By Tony Russo Sometimes on Saturday night, I like to tune into Todd DeHart’s radio show on Ocean 98. If you are really not the go out Saturday night type, like me, you can actually watch the show on the station’s Webcam. Mostly what you would see if you bothered is Todd standing in front of a microphone waiting for his chance to speak. I’ve started cyberstalking him, though, and tweeting a critique of his every move and also of his playlist. As it turned out, it was kind of fun so we’ve made it a regular thing. The reason I even bother mentioning the fact is that we’ve added it as a kind of homework assignment for the Todcast. It’s a way to stay in touch with our Internet shenanigans through the week and on the weekend as well. The twitter handle for the Secret Live Meeting is @slmlivetweet. We made it separate from our personal accounts because, if you’ve ever accidentally followed a live tweet, you know it can be tedious if you’re not playing along. We don’t want to become invasive. As we discovered during the Todcast, there is more than one way to look at whether the Whitney Houston thing is important, but frankly, if you’re into that debate we’re not going to enlighten you. Again, we try and keep it local but the Grammys invaded our space and were dealt with and dispatched as quickly as possible. Also dealt with but not dispatched was Chris Ferron, the Salisbury University student who is making a documentary on the local arts scene. He was really there for Todd and the GCFL scenesters but had enough to add that he didn’t get all the way cut out. In Bryan Russo (still not related) news: he’s got a big show this weekend in Baltimore, in honor of Pirate Rob. I don’t really know who that is or why anyone would go, but Todd is emceeing, and since he never misses a chance to ask if Bryan and I are related we spoke at length about that. The first time Todd got involved with the project he was under the misimpression that it was a roast. Pirate Rob had to ask him to knock it off, which I think is awesome. Feel free to join us 6 p.m. each Tuesday for the Happy Hour Todcast at Burley Oak Brewery. If something tragic keeps you from coming out you can always check out the resulting recording Thursday afternoon by subscribing on iTunes. Just type GCFL into the search bar at the iTunes store to subscribe. It’s free, fun and only requires a half-hour listening investment. Fair warning before you listen: Put on your irony hats,
30 minutes | Feb 9, 2012
Although we tend to forget occasionally, when my co-host Todd DeHart and I go through the police beat there’s always something that makes us glad we did. This week was no exception as we discussed the big arson bust (see page 23). In an effort to escape police, three alleged burglars snuck into a dark lot and attempted to destroy the evidence by setting it on fire. That the dark lot happened to be where the Natural Resources Police stored their boats must have escaped their notice. If what followed happened in a movie it would be dismissed as unrealistic. The thieves’ evidence fire got out of control and spread to the police boat causing $20,000 worth of damage and about a billion worth of hilarity/embarrassment. But there was another police beat note that got to Todd in a way that was a little surprising — the notice of the enhanced patrols in Pocomoke. Most people hear “enhanced patrols” and “Pocomoke” in the same sentence and say: “Sounds like a plan!” But what irked Todd was the number of people who were pulled over, issued “warnings” and sent on their way. As a man about town, Todd likes to get out a lot. As a responsible adult, he also likes to be the designated driver whenever possible which is why he feels it’s a little outrageous that he is nearly always pulled over, asked if he was drinking, given a warning and sent on his way. The DWI enforcement model that he proposes on the Todcast is both novel and intelligent which means it won’t get any traction. My model is superior to his, though, and involves bridges not being crossed which works fine for me. I have very little pity for people who drive through West Ocean City after 10 p.m. After I got Todd all calmed down we moved on to Varmint Fest which was fantastic but best left to your ears. I’m not certain whether it’s worth pointing out anymore but I am still not related to NPR radio newsman Bryan Russo. It doesn’t bother me to much that you ask. Nor does it bother me to deny my relation to Ocean City’s Pizza King, but seeing as Italians are no longer the rare birds here that they once were it still strikes me as odd. Feel free to join us 6 p.m. each Tuesday for the Happy Hour Todcast at Burley Oak Brewery. If something tragic keeps you from coming out, you can always check out the resulting recording Thursday afternoon by subscribing on iTunes. Just type GCFL into the search bar at the iTunes store to subscribe. We’re now also on the Stitcher app, w
32 minutes | Feb 2, 2012
By the time you read this the Todcast will have inaugurated Varmintfest. For those who missed the big announcement, my co-host Todd DeHart and I made the big Varmintfest announcement about a month ago when we pledged to stop our whining, sit down and enjoy, or at least attempt to enjoy, the Eastern Shore delicacy muskrat. The biggest challenge is to do so unironically and we committed to that because Varmintfest is about more than just trying the food, it is putting our mouths where our rhetoric was. Last year, both the folks at www.goodcleanfun.com and the Bayside Gazette made a significant effort to spread the word about sustainable food opportunities in the area. We called it the Buy Local Challenge. Actually that’s what they called it, I just covered it. Shameless promotional aside: Make sure to keep a lookout for next week’s Bayside Gazette because as planting season gets underway it is time to start thinking about the Local Challenge again. I predict that the paper will contain a feature story on how to join a CSA (Consumer Sponsored Agriculture) project to make sure you’re getting the best food from the best source. End promotional aside. The folks at Dave White’s Pittsville Dinette epitomize the Buy Local Challenge by single-sourcing their muskrat from a reliable hunter who takes care to make sure he traps and sells only the best. Dave told me it was likely that when his source retires, he will be finished selling the delicacy. In recognition of the inaugural (and possibly final) Varmintfest, Mark Huey, the Gazette’s graphic designer, provided Varmintfest cookies. A Punxsutawney, Pa. native, his mother sends him Groundhog Day cookies — happy Groundhog Day, by the way — which he was kind enough to repurpose for our similar-looking varmint. To add to the difficulty level, on next week’s Todcast we’ll describe the taste of muskrat without using the words “gamey” or relating the meat in any way to chicken. There are other words to describe food out there and as part of the Todcast, we’ve banned them as descriptors generally. The folks at the OED have yet to make a reply. Quick hits from this week: Thomas Melville made what will likely be his final appearance on the show before he makes his big cross country adventure. So for the three-or-so of you who have been following Bayside Gazette-produced podcasts for the last fiveish years, we revived our well considered critique of “Things I Like” which was always a crowd-pl
32 minutes | Jan 26, 2012
As media professionals, my co-host Todd DeHart and I are kind of expected to have a working knowledge of a little bit of everything. In deference to that expectation we pretend that we do, even to ourselves. In order to get grip on the flow of the conversation you’ll have to tune in to the Todcast — instructions are available in the closing paragraph — but from NASCAR we moved to a rather informed discussion about the inevitable demise of cable. It’s too easy to slam the horror that is the reality show, as well as the horror of their continued popularity and prevalence. But what is interesting is the likelihood that within my lifetime — absent a disease or lightning strike — we will have ala carte television. Reality television is ubiquitous because it is really cheap. But in an ala carte model, how much would you pay each week to keep up with the Kardashians or to laugh along with the Two-and-a-Half men laugh track. It’s kind of an exciting time in that way. Just as with real estate, we’re in an entertainment buyer’s market and that bodes well for people willing to pay for quality. As a few examples, we spoke about the relative success of the Kevin Smith movie Red State, the home run comedian Louis C.K. hit when he sold and produced his last stand up feature and Public Television’s near invulnerability as their Downton Abbey series gains more and wider attention. SOPA and PIPA were floated ostensibly because of piracy that costs the movie industry money. What really costs the movie and television industry money is the fact that people don’t want to pay for consistently substandard products. Billions of dollars or not, Transformers is going to come home to roost. Really, it already has. Feel free to join us 6 p.m. each Tuesday for the Happy Hour Todcast at Burley Oak Brewery. If something tragic keeps you from coming out, you can always check out the resulting recording Thursday afternoon by subscribing on iTunes. Just type GCFL into the search bar at the iTunes store to subscribe. Fair warning before you listen: Put on your irony hats, kids. It’s all in good clean fun.
30 minutes | Jan 19, 2012
Here lies the Todcast
The lesson for this week is write your own obituary. Seriously and, like, soon. When I’m not Todcasting I’m a newspaper editor (let it pass for now, that’s what my business card says) and as a result get sent a number of obituaries. Most obits are very basic: This person is dead. The people they left behind will miss them. They will be buried at a certain place and time. Send a donation in their name someplace. Occasionally, though, I’ll get a more detailed one that is as much biographical sketch as obituary — and really, with the exception of the date of death what’s the difference? — and they are always an interesting read. It’s an open secret that newspapers rarely if ever “cut” obituaries. First, because it’s a little cruel and second because it’s probably bad luck. I normally just make it conform to AP Style very rarely changing anything except maybe to clean up the grammar. Point is: these are the last things most people will have written about them for public consumption. Make the most of it.
33 minutes | Jan 5, 2012
Better Todcasting through chemistry
Todd DeHart, my co-host on the Todcast has a friend who is a weatherman on the Western Shore and also happens to have a podcast. The man in question does his show with a longtime friend so Todd tuned in to see if he could pick up some pointers. What he learned (apparently) was that our show is better. The reason, I think, is because since Todd and I don’t know each other very well, we don’t know what questions to not bother asking and which questions will go well or poorly so we keep it fresh. So if we end up going to dinner together, as we discussed this week, the show could get a little worse. We apologize in advance. The occasion for us planning to dine together can be found on page 12. I’ve been on the Eastern Shore since 1993 and have decided that this is the year I try muskrat and if you don’t indulge, it should be the year you try it too. I discovered this when speaking with Dave White, who owns the Pittsville Dinette and also happens to have his own personal muskrat hunter as well as an expert muskrat cook. I passed up my first opportunity for the dish because — as Dave explained to me — it was prepared in the stew-y style instead of the right way. His way. More importantly for me, though, was that he gets his muskrat directly from the hunter, with whom he has worked with for decades. The dinette does fantastic business during muskrat eating season. People make plans to go, which says to me that those who know the difference choose to go there for the regional dish, which is available only for three-ish months per year. On the Todcast, we decide that this is a put your “buy local” money where your “buy local” mouth is situation if ever one existed. Also on the show this week we go over the spectacular New Year’s Eve party Berlin had last week and hear war stories from attendees. Zach, during the State of the Beer, said the brewery emptied out completely at about 10 as everyone except him made their way to what is quickly becoming the Eastern Shore’s answer to Times Square. I vote Bayside Square, but to be honest, I’m a little partial. Feel free to join us 6 p.m. each Tuesday for the Happy Hour Todcast at Burley Oak Brewery. If something tragic keeps you from coming out, you can always check out the resulting recording Thursday afternoon by subscribing on iTunes. Just type GCFL into the search bar at the iTunes store to subscribe. We’re now also on the Stitcher app, which smart phone users can download free usi
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