By Jenna Lee Williams
EDMONTON — In a DIY apartment studio, combine: two longtime music loving best friends, a pinch of music news and discussion, a large dollop of Canadian musical content and some tomfoolery. Out comes the Cups and Cakes podcast, which also features the occasional guest or shenanigan. Recently brewmaster Bruce Sample of Edmonton’s Yellowhead Brewing Company explained the brewing process to listeners. On another episode, co-host MacCallum was tattooed during the recording session.
BeatRoute checked in with both MacCallum and his counterpart Carey Newton regarding their bi-weekly eclectic podcast that is dubbed after the track by The Thamesmen. For film and metal buffs, they are the ’60s pop precursors who became Spinal Tap in Rob Reiner’s film. The two friends began making the podcast over a year ago as a way to stay in touch.
“It was mostly because we are getting older and start losing touch with friends. We’ve been best friends forever and wanted an excuse to meet up once a week,” explains MacCallum.
The drive to share music with the community also inspired the creation of the podcast.
“I went to a few shows a couple of years ago that should have been packed but were empty. The music community has just given me so much and added so much to my life that I would like to try to help it out a bit,” adds MacCallum.
Their show is chock-full of Canadian content, particularly of the Prairie-centric persuasion.
“I don’t know that the Prairies always get the attention they deserve. Sled Island has been a great thing for the Prairies, but there can always be more exposure.”
MacCallum has volunteered on and off with local community radio station CJSR for years and is their resident carpenter, but always wanted to host a show. With limited shows available for those like themselves who work from nine to five they decided to dive into the podcast movement.
So what podcasts do the Cups and Cakes hosts listen to themselves?
“Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! Kevin Smith, his best friends started this podcast which spawned the reality show Comic Book Men. It is just a podcast I like. Just some crotchety old men bitching and moaning about stuff,” chuckles MacCallum. “That and Radiolab is an ongoing staple on my iPod right now.”
Newton and MacCallum are constantly in pursuit of new music and put a great deal of thought into their set lists. Sometimes the music on an eclectic music program can be random without flow, but on the Cups and Cakes podcast, song order is a huge deal. They cover the majority of genres on their show as they have a wide palate of tastes between the two of them.
“I go everywhere in genres. I usually don’t go to country, but everything else. I am really into ambient stuff,” notes Newton. Some of his local favourites include Calgary “booty wave” artist Beach Season and Edmonton’s punk outfit Slates.
“I have obsessions but they are quick, I’m continually researching new stuff… Two bands I’ve truly been obsessed with the last couple months are Not Of from Toronto and Chris Page from Ottawa…. I have really been into Jim O’Rourke’s latest Drag City release. My favourite Edmonton artist is Jom Comyn. Switches are great too,” says MacCallum.
You’ll hear all those artists and many, many more on Cups and Cakes, which you can listen to anytime at http://cupsncakespod.podomatic.com/.AB, Alberta, Cups and Cakes, podcast