Flashback: Stand Under the Don't Tree and Riddle Me This

Hey all, Kole here.

Just yesterday, I started what will become my 10th year of doing some kind of broadcast. I started doing college radio on September 25, 2006 when I first started attending the University of Cincinnati. The only qualifications I had were that I attended a meeting, and raised my hand when they asked who wanted a show. That started a 4 year run on what was then called "Bearcast Radio" (because we were the Cincinnati Bearcats, you see.)

It started out as a show called "Two Hours of Loud Music, and Maybe Some Not-So-Loud Music, With Kole". Thinking that title was too inscrutable, I changed it to "Stand Under the Don't Tree and Riddle Me This" after a drinking session with my then-roommate Jordan Neff, when we did exquisite corpse poetry and that phrase came up. We made that the name of our show (because he joined it shortly thereafter), and the name of our two-piece lit-rock cover band). God, we were assholes.

The show didn't start being about video games until roughly 2008, the fall after I'd spent a summer listening to 1UP podcasts at a terrible data entry job. After that, I had an uphill battle with the station's programming directors to slowly edge my show into being a video game talk show... something they hadn't considered before.

For this week's backer blog, I'd like to share an episode from those days.

This episode aired on December 8, 2009, and it was Dennis Furia's first appearance on any of my shows. This episode is a little special because I talk about the "20 best games of the decade", referring to 2000-2009. I was all proud of myself for layering in music from the picks underneath our chatter.

Some odd differences you'll notice:

  1. You'll hear my "radio voice", which was more NPR-lite at the time. It's very strange to hear how high-pitched it was.
  2. The format is all screwy, because we had rules to adhere to for the station. What you're hearing is the podcast edit, which cuts out the commercial breaks and music breaks, but still leaves in the mentions.
  3. I'm wrong about games a lot! Opinions change, of course. But it's very strange to go back and hear a version of myself from 6 years ago.
  4. Something about the signal chain and compression process makes it sound like I'm podcasting from underwater.
  5. I open the show up by talking about the cancellation of As the World Turns. No, I'm not crazy, I was just mourning the loss of the television show I worked on.

Go ahead and listen to the episode if you've got the inclination. It's worth it for curiosity's sake alone, just to hear how amateurish I was back then.

Special thanks to Allison Baker, who provided inspiration for this post.