KONCAST Episode 8: Joshua Citrak

In this episode, I talk to writer Joshua Citrak. He is the creator and co-host of the podcast Hangin’ With Old Lew.

We discuss: the Raiders and North Korean Juche; the nuclear war, wildfires, and hurricanes trifecta; the Elkhart connection; post-industrial Binghamton; the rise and fall of IBM America; the synergy between nuclear holocaust and evangelical churches; Vegas betting on earthquakes; fun and profit in outsourcing and Superfund sites; the Great Elkhart Garbage Fire; Apple and the eco brand; on getting the hell out of your home town; getting started writing; the internet gold rush and Cow Town; William S. Burroughs and post-apocalyptic writing; Pessoa, Johnson, and other writing influences; fiction vs. poetry; the Castro Writer’s Coop; Mike Daily; Jeffrey Dinsmore; shit-talking about shit-posting on social media; Jon Konrath the Facebook persona versus Jon Konrath the person; starting up Hangin’ With Old Lew; why podcasting is great; Facebook sharing is killing us all; the ROI numbers game; and why the 49ers suck.

Links from this episode:

Hangin’ With Old Lew: The Podcast:

Jon Konrath:

The Day After:

The Centralia Mine Fire:

Fernando Pessoa – The Book of Disquiet:

Denis Johnson – Jesus’ Son:

Kemble Scott: SoMa:

The Castro Writer’s Coop:

Kevin Sampsell – Creamy Bullets:

Click here to for more details on this new episode of The Koncast


KONCAST Episode 7: Andrea Donderi

In this episode, I talk to long-time friend Andrea Donderi, a recent graduate of The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

We discuss: the IU support center; the early web; knowledge bases and creating content; Jorn Barger and the invention of the blog; Gopher versus the WWW; the ChiNet BBS and other internet BBSes; social networks before social networks; hoarding old email; identifying as a writer; learning how to capture life as a writer; the Stanford Stegner Fellowship program; the Warren Wilson MFA program; how a low-residency program works; Victor LaValle and David Shields as teachers; the one fellow graduate student/actor who has been in everybody’s MFA program and shall not be named; Zeroville by Steve Erickson; the inevitable UFO discussion; the government keeping secrets in the desert versus the internet; Don Donderi; and is an MFA worth it?

Links from this episode:

– Andrea’s blog:

– Jon Konrath:

– The Warren Wilson MFA program:

– Don Donderi’s site:

– Zeroville by Steve Erickson:

– The UFO documentary I couldn’t remember was Mirage Men:



KONCAST Episode 6: Ray Miller

Click here to for more details on this new episode of The Koncast

In this episode, I talk to Ray Miller, creator of Metal Curse zine, the record label Cursed Productions, and bassist and vocalist of the band Adversary.

We discuss: How we first met 32 years ago, going from Metallica to Death Metal, finding new music in the analog days, how Ray started Metal Curse zine in 1990, Richard C and Wild Rags, John Woods and Rock out Censorship, the 1993 Milwaukee Metalfest, seeing Ice T’s dick, falling asleep while driving on the toll road, how Ray started the Cursed Productions record label, Ed Finkler and Open Sourcing Mental Illness, and making music in the computer age.
Links from this episode:

– Metal Curse zine:

– Cursed Productions:

– Paragraph Line:

– Jon Konrath:

– Xenocide zine:

– Rock Out Censorship:

– Dave Marsh on John Woods:

– Ed Finkler:

(Minor correction: the first Poison album wasn’t on Combat Records. The LP was on Enigma, who released bands like Death Angel, Slayer, Voivod, and so on, but the tape was released on Capitol. So, Mandala Effect, brown acid, not sure what happened here.)
Click here to for more details on this new episode of The Koncast


KONCAST Episode 5: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

In this episode, I talk to author John Sheppard about planes, trains, and automobiles – no, not the movie, but actual forms of travel.

We discuss: Taking Amtrak across the country; Denver’s weed money revitalization; the painted deserts of Nevada; the subways of NYC, DC, and LA; flying space-available on the C-5 galaxy; skydiving in Vegas; flying gliders and small planes; filming locations of the show Lost; the agonies of the Florida to midwest family drive; Coastal Florida versus Cracker Florida; and Jon’s East to West vs West to East roadtrips.

Links from this episode:

– Paragraph Line:

– Jon Konrath:

– John Sheppard:

– John’s Amtrak trip photos:

– Sons of the Pioneers – Ghost Riders in the Sky

– Jon’s acrobatic plane lesson in Vegas:

– The Idaho silver mine disaster:

– The Project GNOME nuclear test site:
Click here to for more details on this new episode of The Koncast


KONCAST Episode 4: First Concerts, Last Concerts

In this episode, I talk to Jessica Anshutz about the first concerts we went to, as well as the last shows we attended.

We discuss The Dead Milkmen, Alabama, Rush, New Kids on the Block, Metallica, Billy Joel, The Grand Ol’ Opry, Taylor Swift, Nashville, The Bluebird Cafe, The Hold Steady, Wilco, Jason Isbell, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Links from this episode:

– Jessica Anshutz is at

– Jon Konrath is at

– Starvation Army:

– The 1988 Rush show at Rosemont Horizon:

– The Tiffany documentary:

– Jon’s review of the Peter Gabriel concert mentioned:

– Jessica’s review of the Wilco/Jeff Tweedy concert mentioned:


Click here to for more details on this new episode of The Koncast


KONCAST Episode 3: Author Jeff O’Brien

In this episode, I talk to Jeff O’Brien, writer of Very True Stories, Big Boobenstein, Byron the Barbarian, and Heart Shaved Box.


Links from this episode:

Jeff O’Brien’s author page:

Jeff’s Facebook page:

I kept referring to a low-budget film director named “Ramirez” and blanking on his book name – Sorry, I am an idiot, and meant Robert Rodriguez, his film El Mariachi, and the book about it called Rebel Without a Crew (

The Little A’Le’Inn:

The Day After Roswell by Philip Corso –
New episode of The Koncast


Introducing: The Koncast

So, I’ve got a new project that’s been brewing for a little while, and the first episode just went live.

It is called THE KONCAST.


It is a podcast. Yes, everyone has a podcast now. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time. Back when I used to commute into Silicon Valley every day, I would spend 2, 3, 4 hours a day in my car, and Audible books would put me to sleep. (This one is good, though.) I got started with podcasts back when they actually involved an iPod, when cell phones were still clam-shell things that involved pressing a key four times to get one letter in a text message. I spent a lot of time listening to Adam Carolla, then Joe Rogan, finally getting hooked on Marc Maron. I liked the comedy and the people interviewed, but most of all I liked the conversation. I liked hearing people talk for an hour, liked hearing something unfold in long format, in an interview that wasn’t just morning zoo three-jokes-plug-product-done.

That’s also the reason I liked blogging, and really got into reading personal blogs ten or fifteen years ago. You got a certain insight into people by hearing their stories. I would spend hours back in the day reading a person’s LiveJournal, their long posts about their drama, or old journal-style blogs about a person’s band or home town or whatever. That stuff was awesome. But now it’s gone. People post a meme or an emoji or a selfie and move on. Nothing wrong with memes, but the life isn’t there anymore.

So I don’t read any blogs anymore, because they are all dead. Hell, I barely talk to people anymore on the phone. Other than work and parental check-ins, I think I’ve had two or three conversations on the phone this year. I used to spend entire days talking to people long distance, burning through a new MCI card, catching up with people across the country. I don’t get to do that anymore, and I wish I could.

So, a few things clicked together recently. First, I was on Hangin’ With Old Lew, which is a podcast that an old writing buddy Joshua Citrak does. Even though we both live in the bay area, we’ve only been hanging out virtually, clicking ‘like’ on various posts or whatever, but his podcast pulled me into the studio so we could spend some time talking shit. And that was a lot of fun, something I wanted to do more.

Second, I saw the movie Uncle Howard. It’s by Aaron Brookner, about his uncle Howard Brookner, who shot a movie about William S. Burroughs back in the late 70s/early 80s. Howard Brookner died of AIDS in 1989, and Aaron barely knew him or his background, since he was just a kid then. So he went back a few years ago to restore this film (I did the Kickstarter for this, which was great) and in the course of this work, he found a treasure trove of old artifacts in the Burroughs bunker in New York: VHS tapes, audio recordings, pictures, reels of old film, notes. It contained tons of shots of the Lower East Side in the Seventies, video of Zappa and Warhol and everyone from the Beat movement, audio tapes of Ginsberg rambling on in restaurants, tons and tons of documentation.

And that is something I wish I had more of. I think about how I could have been taping ideas onto cassettes, how I have almost no pictures of the Nineties, how I owned a camcorder and never recorded my first reading in Boston. And I save emails, but nobody emails anymore. When it is 2027 and I’m thinking back to the then-to-be-dead Facebook era and the people I knew, how will I remember them? What will be left?

Also, I had a bunch of Amazon credits from my rewards Visa card burning a hole in my pocket, and really want to buy some expensive gear.

So, podcast. I will be talking to other writers, bloggers, musicians, whoever has a story or wants to ramble on with me about the past or about writing or anything else. I’ve got the gear to record two people in person, but I’ve also got a setup to record people remotely over the computer. Me and John Sheppard are going to belt out a bunch of these, and I’ve also recorded one with Jessica Anshutz, with more planned. A few people are in the pipeline. The plan is to go biweekly, the first and the fifteenth of the month. I don’t know how long I’ll do this or how much of a time sink it will become, but it has been fun so far.


Go to (also known as

The first episode is with John Sheppard, where we talk about zines, the early history of Paragraph Line Books, how we met, and the birth of self-publishing:

You can listen to them in a player on those web pages, or click the download link to get an MP3 and then play it at your leisure with whatever program.

The easiest way to handle that automatically is to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can do that here.

If you’re on an Android phone, I’m told you can use Google Play to do this. (I don’t have one so I don’t know how it works.) It’s located in Google Play here.

There is also the Stitcher app, which has it available here.

Goes without saying that you should also rate and review on those respective stores and whatnot, and tell all your friends.

Also, go add us on facebook here:

In the future, I’ll be auto-posting links to new shows here, so stay tuned for those. Let me know what you think. And yes, I’m looking for more people to interview, so drop a line.