Brews, Beards, & Shipwrecks

Because everyone has a story. A podcast focused on music, culture, beer, beards, faith and doubt.

December 15th, 2017    

Ep. 18: Christmas Hip-Hop Special: Chunjay impersonates a DJ and plays some great holiday tunes.

Ep. 18: Christmas Hip-Hop Special: Chunjay impersonates a DJ and plays some great holiday tunes.

The Christmas Episode

Winsky Fiesta Terrace in west LA

What am I drinking? Deschutes Brewery stout from Oregon

Background Music from Akira the Don’s Litmas. http://Akirathedon.bandcamp.com

Clips from

Run DMC – Christmas Is
Christmas Rappin’ Kurtis Blow
Cold Chillin’ Christmas by the Juice Crew
Fuck you if you don’t like Christmas by Crudbump
Run the Jewels – A Christmas Fucking Miracle
Merry Muthafuckin Xmas by Eazy-E
Snoop Doggy Dogg ft. Daz Dillinger, Nate Dogg, Tray Deee, Bad Azz - "Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto"
Puff Daddy with Run DMC, Mase, Salt n Pepa, Onyx, Keith Murray, Snoop Dogg
Toy Jackpot by Blackalicious 

Interlude – Shitter’s Full

Royal Ruckus – In The Trap of the Mountain King https://royalruckus.bandcamp.com/album/lonely-christmas 

Wet Bandits – Counterfeit Money Machine https://invisiblelibrary.bandcamp.com/album/no-sleep-till-christmas

The Santa Clause – Out of Place and Spoken Nerd 

LA Symphony It’s Christmas

Christmas by Krispy Kreme aka Froggy Fresh

We Three Kings – Pettidee, Knowdaverbs, Bonafide

Spoken Nerd Christmas Time in the Club 

LA Symphony Christmas Song

Royal Ruckus - The Christmas I Didn’t Want - https://noisetrade.com/royalruckus/17-candles

 KJ-52 – It’s Christmas Time

Thee Three Kings by Max.One, DJ Promote, Redcloud, Jeremiah Bonds, and Kaboose

Royal Ruckus – Lonely Christmas

Royal Ruckus - Sleep Now, Children

 

O Holy Night by Sufjan Stevens

Silent Night by Sufjan Stevens

Star of Wonder/None Shall Pass – Sufjan, DJ Tor, Aesop Rock

Favorite Christmas Rap Song of All Time? Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC

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December 4th, 2017    

Ep. 17: Knowdaverbs Chats with Chunjay: A conversation on hip-hop, belief in God, and perfecting your art.

Brews, Beards, Shipwrecks Podcast. //This is a first! Two new episodes in one day! Enjoy this Monday two-fer.//

Michael Boyer, aka Knowdaverbs, sits down with Chunjay to compare notes.

 

How we met. How he got the idea to leave Phoenix and move to Nashville.

Clips from “The Latte, Latte Show” from Royal Ruckus’s Self-Titled album.

Rooming with Coffee and Bonafide of GRITS. DJ Form. 1996-2004, roommates, label mates, and tour mates.

Soup the Chemist album listening party—“The James Brown of Christian Hip-Hop.” The article by Chunjay: https://web.archive.org/web/20030427172424/http://www.razormouth.com:80/archives/00000012.htm

Chunjay test-drove Verbs’s Range Rover.

 

“Moment of Zen” by Royal Ruckus from The Summer of the Cicadas.

 

How did you decide to become a rapper?

On a life-changing conversion.

 

“Prepaid” by Knowdaverbs (featuring GRITS and Nirva Dorsaint) from the Verbs: Unlocked album.

 

On becoming a Christian rapper. Started writing raps at 12. Went to an SFC show and met Soup and DJ Dove.

Following the Christian rap scene.

On getting signed to Gotee Records.

On spending too much time with your friends.

 

“Call of the Dung Beetle” by Knowdaverbs (featuring Pigeon John and GRITS) from The Syllabus LP.

 

On reuniting with the crew.

On his various records released. Chunjay once made a display for him in a store.

What caused Knowdaverbs to go out on his own. Does he have more music in front of him?

Knowdaverbs on his faith and how he desires to express it.

On being a dad and a husband and growing in faith. 

On seasons in life.

On creating art and sharing it with others.

 

“What Do You Think of That?” by Knowdaverbs from The Action Figure.

 

On battling to create your best art vs. industry pressures.

“There are things God allows us to go through to burn things into us or burn things out of us.”

Knowdaverbs on how he views success in artists, and glorying God.

On relying on God.

 

SHIPWRECKS!

Knowdaverbs had his confidence shaken in God about 8 years ago. He began to study to explore his faith deeper.

Wizard of Oz’s man behind the curtain.

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.

Knowdaverb’s faith now.

Chunjay on his own faith in Christ and why.

Chunjay on St. Ignatius the martyr, and early Christian history.

On willingness to die as a martyr.

 

“Transmissional” by Royal Ruckus (featuring Spoken Nerd and Bobby Exodus) from Rumors of Our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. 

 

On beard care. On beard oils. RR beard oil available here: http://royalruckus.bandcamp.com/merch

Knowdaverbs loves sandalwood.

Knowdaverbs loves Baja fish tacos.

Hip-hop pet peeves?

 

“Screen Door” by GRITS (featuring Knowdaverbs) from Mental Releases.

 

Chunjay on A Tribe Called Quest, and how they recorded their last record. Everyone had to be in the studio to work together!

“Think of how the listener benefits from the level of art that gets created for that situation. We used to do that all that all the time, man. Somebody would go in and just kill it, and you’d be like, ‘Hold up, give me about 20 more minutes while I rewrite my verse.’”

Podcast recommendation: Tim Keller from Redeemer Church in New York.

Reader recommendation: Russell Moore.

 

Social: @iknowverbs

Chunjay's Socials: @royalruckus and @royalruckusofficial 

Shoutouts: Grits, DC Talk, Out of Eden, Steve Curtis Chapman, Reese Witherspoon, Donna Summers, Tower Records, Travis Tritt, Soup the Chemist and his book “Through My Windows,” Cross Movement, Steven Wiley’s Bible Break, T-Bone, Dynamic Twins, Idol King, Kroger deli, J-King, Pigeon John, Aaron Porter, Zeitgeist movie, Baja Burrito, Blue Coast Burritos, Das Efx, Leaders of the New School, Souls of Mischief.

 

Background music by Gangstarr, Royal Ruckus.

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December 4th, 2017    

Ep. 16: Tacos and Whiskey with Photographer Jeb Wilson: A conversation about hip-hop conspiracy theories, running your own business, drinking whiskey, and misadventures in modern dating.

 

Jeb Wilson of Nashville Photography Group is our guest for Episode 16.

 

Jeb hates spam. Can you curse on this podcast?

Punk rock kid, ska kid, hip-hop kids.

On similarities between punk and hip-hop cultures.

Did the LAPD kill 2Pac?

“Elvis Presley, Notorious, and 2Pac were way to big of ego maniacs to ever disappear.”

On the KKK marching in the Christmas parade in Oildale.

 

“Dial It Up” by Royal Ruckus from Rumors of Our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, available at RoyalRuckus.Bandcamp.com and pretty much everywhere you can stream music.

 

Chunjay talks about the history of Al Pastor tacos. Again.

Catching up with Jeb.

Talking about Mike Walker aka Flatline. How Flatline quit his job at the movie theatre.

On working at Starbucks,

http://neopolis.me/post/4989953615/some-time-ago-i-worked-at-starbucks-with-my-pal

Jeb burps, and Chunjay censors it.

How he gradually found himself doing photography.

“When it comes down to it, it’s something my grandfather used to say, ‘Hard work pays off.’”

Biggie documentary: http://www.aetv.com/specials/biggie-the-life-of-notorious-big

“When people aren’t doing well in business stuff, the first thing I look at is, ‘What’s your work ethic?’ Are you putting in the time?”

On awards that Jeb has won for photography.

On making music videos.

On setting goals. Weekly Goal100 accountability phone call with Cookbook of LA Symphony.

On making checklists and setting parameters. Recommended app: EverNote.

On going to movies and art museums for inspiration and ideas.

On Flat Earth view of Antarctica. On BOB raising money to prove the earth is flat.

 

“Sunshine California” (Demo) by Royal Ruckus from Seventeen Candles, available free at NoiseTrade.com/RoyalRuckus

 

Chunjay and Jeb leave the taco truck and go back to Jeb’s  house for a chat.

Chunjay is drinking a Dogfishhead 60 Minute IPA. 

On craft beer and breweries. On bourbons.

Lemon juice + bourbon + honey = nommmmm

On carbonated coffee with bourbon.

The AudioFeed Festival, and Jay Newman.

A fun story about California rappers Royal Ruckus being on tour in Michigan in a Dodge Caravan with no scraper, no heater, and only blankets.

Actress and model Savannah Clare Edwards; a former student of Chunjay’s when he was a teacher; a model for Jeb; and featured in two Royal Ruckus videos. Janelle, we need to know: who do you love more?

 

“Shipwreck” by Cookbook and Uno.Mas from The Roberson Bullies EP.

 

“My dating life makes the Titanic look like a small tugboat going down in the Kern River.”

On the current dating landscape.

Chunjay’s theories on why dating is so messed up right now. 1. People are maturing later. Extended adolescence. 2. Use of pornography or hookups and how it sabotages relationships. 3. The illusion of extra options.

On embracing the single life. On traveling alone.

Olivia Chug gets a shout-out by Chunjay. Jeb groans.

On Chewbacca, Star Wars, and Disney.

On giving back to the community. On serving the homeless.

Jeb’s favorite taco is a spicy carne asada taco. Against cheese on tacos. “I want to taste the pigeon and the cat fully on the taco.”

Podcast recommendation: The Son of a Gun Podcast (Josh Vietti), The Robcast (Rob Bell), Tactical Talk (Allison Barrie), This Is Why You’re Single (Laura Lane and Angela Spera).

Jeb’s socials: @thejebwilson on instagram

Chunjay’s socials: @royalruckus and @royalruckusofficial

 

Favorite song? “Juicy” by Notorious BIG.

Shoutouts: NWA, 2Pac, Notorious BIG, working as a Starbucks barista, Yazoo, Turtle Anarchy, Mayday Brewery, Dogfishhead, Spoken Nerd and Invisible Library Records, Big Bang Theory, Twins featuring Danny Devito and Arnold Schwartzenneger, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Romance-Aziz-Ansari/dp/0143109251), The Walking Dead.

Background music by Metal Fingers, Special Herbs Vol. 12.

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November 28th, 2017    

Ep. 15: Coffee with KJ: Chunjay and rapper KJ-52 discuss Christian music labels, Cuban coffee, and bouncing back after tough times.

KJ-52 and Chunjay sit down for coffee in Florida and reflect on their experiences in hip-hop and the Christian hip-hop subgenre.

 

Little Cuban cafe, on KJ discovering Cuban colada coffee. KJ does not enjoy pour over coffee.

Chunjay eating a Cubano sandwich.

On what KJ-52 is up to: crowdfunding new album, videos, documentary. Adding public speaking to rapping.

“I’m coming from the perspective of a 42 year old man. I’m not coming from where I was when I was 25 and came into the industry….I’m an old MacBook Pro with updated software.”

KJ-52’s struggle after his record deal with Essential ended. Shopping to Nashville record labels. Ended up with Tooth & Nail/Uprok. 

KJ on Flicker Records: “Then they turned round and signed you guys, and I was so ticked off.”

 

“Revenge of the Nerds” by KJ-52 with Pigeon John from the KJ-52 Remixed album.

 

On figuring out his niche, and finding a way forward. On catching criticism for things he did.

On his “backpack rapper” origins with Sons of Intellect and Shadow of the Locust.

“I always looked at every record as ‘starting over.’”

On his platform, not just “youth group rapper.”

History: Goatee led him to Todd Collins. Todd took him to Essential.

On the KJ-52/Royal Ruckus tour of Maui in 2001.

On Royal Ruckus: “You two were the most interesting, hilarious, weird people I’d ever hung out with in a long time. And I think because of that, I was like, ‘I’m really drawn to these guys, cause they’re so bizarre, but so like, genuinely themselves.’ And I think that resonated with me.”

On getting sunburnt in Hawaii.

 

“Cheese Rappers in Paradise” (Demo) by Royal Ruckus from Seventeen Candles. Available free at noisetrade.com/royalruckus.

 

On crossing paths with each other in Nashville, TN and Bakersfield, CA.

“I’ve played in Bakersfield so many times.”

Headlining the “White Privilege Conference” in the middle of Iowa.

Awkward experiences on tour.

 

“Moment of Zen” by Royal Ruckus from The Summer of the Cicadas LP. Listen for KJ-52 and T-Bone reference in the song.

 

“I helped Kirk Cameron get through the priority line at Delta.”

 

“Shipwreck” by Cookbook and Uno.Mas from The Robertson Bullies EP.

 

“Once you’re about 10 years in [the music industry], you become irrelevant.”

On a near-career shipwreck. Paraphrase: I went from getting a couple grand shows to getting $250 a show locally, if I was lucky.

Finding alternate ways to survive and stay in his own lane. Graffiti. School assemblies. Being a pastor. Rapping still.

“It’s like I wrecked the ship, took the wood, and built a house.”

 

“Fight Music” by KJ-52 featuring Lecrae and Propaganda, from the album, Mental.

 

On KJ’s lack of facial hair.

KJ loved street tacos in Baja, Mexico, and Korean-fusion tacos in San Francisco.

KJ recommended podcasts: What She Wants (formerly Ask Women), Sexy Marriage Radio, Stuck in the 80s, and The Cypher Show.

KJ on women: they don’t want men to be nice, they want ALPHA.

“I realized how technically challenged some of my fanbase is. So I was like, ‘How can I make this as simple as possible?’”

KJ52 Podcast. @kj52 at twitter and facebook, @kj52instagram for insta.

“Let me say, and I dig your podcast, too. Because I like how you explore back stories.”

On having something to say, and less to lose. On having John Reuben on his documentary and not being able to use it.

“It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock was the game changer song for KJ-52. The second would be “Welcome to the Terradome” by Public Enemy. Third: “Ain’t No Joke” by Eric B. and Rakim. De La Soul: “Me Myself and I.”

Shouts to Propaganda, Pigeon John, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, Pillar, Pax 217, Rebecca St. James, producer Tedd T., Todd Collins, Flynn Adam, Krum (Playdough), Jesus Shack, Spirit West Coast, Kirk Cameron, Tako Cheena in Orlando, NF vs. Lecrae album sales, John Reuben, Cookbook from LA Symphony, Jars of Clay, more.

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November 22nd, 2017    

Ep. 14: Friendship, Nashville Labels, and Growing Up: A History of Royal Ruckus from 1998-2003 with Flatline

Flatline aka MPWalker aka Mike Walker.

15 years since Self-Titled!

Review of last episode.

Chunjay’s hotel for the night.

On the origins of Chunjay’s name. Church camp. Chunjay’s first release was a cassette under the name of Cleva-MC.

First Cleva recording was professional. Next record was on a 4-track with a punk band buddy. Working with Yoda from Royal Ruckus.

On the collaboration with J-Dog, and the beginning of Royal Ruckus. Chunjay: “We made a rap song about how we tried to make a rap song and it didn’t work out.”

“Why don’t you join our fake rap group?” Chunjay to Flatline.

On the haters and our album Love Us or Leave Us.

Flatline was building a Royal Ruckus website from scratch.

Pioneers of internet music.

7Ball Magazine, Cameron Strang, Relevant Magazine, and the beginning of us talking to record labels.

Royal Ruckus History: Cleva-MC, then Cleva and J-Dog, then Cleva and J-Dog and Flatline, then Cleva and J-Dog and Flatline, then back to Cleva and Flatline.

On Flatline getting grounded. On seeing his father in his own interactions with his kids.

We started talking to record labels.

Working with Pigeon John.

 

Shout to “Pocket Lint and Spare Change” album, available free at NoiseTrade.com/RoyalRuckus

 

“A Las Chinas” from the Coalition compilation and Pocket Lint album by Royal Ruckus, co-produced by Pigeon John, featuring The Skalastix. NoiseTrade.com/RoyalRuckus

 

Fun LA Symphony facts about “Seabreeze,” “Move On.”

How we decided to make a demo with Pigeon John.

On Pigeon John’s enjoyment of intellectual theology.

B-Twice showing up late for a show.

On exploring tours, on-off shows, and major label interests.

 

On good deals in hotel rooms, and Chunjay’s 21st birthday party. A bucket of Heinekens.

Chunjay “We negotiated a record deal before we moved to Nashville, but we did not sign it until we got there.”

Decision to sign with the label.
Flatline opens up about his discomfort with the Christian industry, but how production quality helped him feel comfortable. 

Flatline: “We felt like we would have a little more room to be ourselves.”

On being youth group kids, being young, and trying to figure out our identity as a group. Our songwriting process at the time.

On praying before a performance and taking shots of tequila.

 

On writing Self-Titled.

 

Next Best Thing.

On deaths in the family. On gratitude in the midst of heavy life stuff. On the decision to write for the Christian industry, but remain who we are.

 

Geeky Music for Kidz.

 

Wink and a Nudge. On sexuality. On Chunjay having a shipwreck. Flatline tries to make Chunjay feel better. On Josh’s dynamic production.

 

Irate Caller #1.

On hip-hop record interludes. On how to listen to a record in a post-skit world.

 

Check It Out.

 

I Had a Dream.

 

Let’s Start a Boy Band.

On writing and producing this song with Pigeon John.

 

Coffee shop stuff. On drinks we hated making.

 

Latte Show.

Mike and Jamey arguing over a piece of pizza. Other stuff about the writing of that song and the album. On pop culture.

 

Double Take.

 

Bob Went Crazy.
On telling Bob we wrote a song about him.

 

MP Free.

On Napster and free music. On anticipating the transition to streaming.

 

B-Side Rock

On critiquing the Christian music industry.

 

Multi-Purpose Room

On posse jams.

 

Background music: J-Dilla, MF Doom, Flatline, and some of the folks listed below.

Shouts: Sackcloth Fashion, MP3.com, Q-Tip, Josh Babyar, John Hayden Miethe, Flynn Adam, Pigeon John, Bob Herdman, Old Navy, N-Soul Records, TruHipHop ListServ, Mars Ill, Future Shock, Opry Land Hotel, Audio Feed, The Giant and the Taylor, Everyday Sunday, Wyclef Jean, Run the Jewels, DJ Sean P, Sesame Street, Moby, Weezer, Carson Daily and TRL, Talladega Nights, etc.

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November 16th, 2017    

Ep. 13: Coffee Nerding, Classic Hip-Hop, Songwriting, and Producing Beats: A Conversation with Flatline

MPWALKER aka Michael Walker aka Flatline

What are you up to?

Coffee making

Nashville songwriting at Starbucks, and all walks of life in Starbucks.

On celebrities at Starbucks. BEN FOLDS!

A Ben Folds meet-up?

 

“Arrive at Something” (original version) by Royal Ruckus

 

Meeting Moonhooch, clip from Number 9. Clip from “The Waitress Song” by Royal Ruckus.

How Ben Folds inspired some of our songs.

One of Chunjay’s favorite songwriters is Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie or The Postal Service.

Flatline on producing beats: “We don’t sound like hard-hitting gangster, New York rap, by our beat standards, but having that inspiration…okay, this really changes everything.”

“You have to prove you’re a creative person in the hip-hop scene because there is so much biting going on.”

On natural talent in music. On our history together and training in music.

Flatline: “There’s only so much mumble rap I can get with before I can be like, ‘I don’t have enough cough syrup to drink to keep up with you bro.’”

What are we drinking? Flatline discusses Wild Gift Coffee in Austin, TX. On Mexican Coffee.

Memory lane: coffee tasting like wine tasting.

Extended discussion of how to enjoy coffee.

French press. Hand pour.  V-60?

Flatline loves Indonesian and Mexican coffees. He explains why.

“Indonesian coffee tends to be earthy, mushroomy, musty, moist smelling. It doesn’t smell sweet, usually.”

 

“Gimme Dat” by Cookbook and Flynn Adam from the Best in Class EP.

 

On organic coffee and fair trade designations. More about coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Sam Adams Pumpkin ale. Guinness and other ales.

Chunjay on Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. Both gentlemen discuss Guinness beer and other drinks.

 

“Cafe Marata” by Royal Ruckus. Shouts to Mase and Alice Cooper. Shout to Sphereofhiphop.com

 

Flatline’s favorite taco: Al Pastor. On breakfast tacos. On Chunjay gaining weight in Austin eating tacos, drinking beer and liquor, and working on the album. Chunjay on the origins of Al Pastor: Lebanese immigrants brought the style to Mexico. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_pastor

On beat production and dope hip-hop.

Flatline and Chunjay growing up together.

Pete Rock beat instrumental inspiration. Remix of Juicy by Notorious BIG. Flatline shows his cards.

 

“Behind the Scenes” by Royal Ruckus from Pocket Lint and Spare Change (Deluxe Edition).

 

On making beats together, and writing to other people’s music.

On Flatline’s beats vs. buying beats online.

How Royal Ruckus makes music together. On solo projects together. On Shadow of the Locust and other side groups.

On hatred of phone calls.

Chunjay: “Only sociopaths make phone calls without texting first, unless you’re a telemarketer. What do you want?”

Royal Ruckus anniversaries: 1 year for Summer of the Cicadas, 15 years for Self-Titled, 20 years for the group.

On The Royal Ruckus and booking shows.

Closing song: “The Chicken-Filled Donut Caper” by Royal Ruckus from Pocket Lint and Spare Change (Deluxe Edition).

Background beats by Flatline, Cookbook, Ben Folds, Moonhooch, Pete Rock, Panos Kiamos.

Extra Shout-Outs: Taboo Tales Podcast, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bill Gaither, Jimmy Wayne, Lance Bass from N*Sync, Pattie Griffin, RZA from Wu-Tang, Beastie Boys, Herb Alpert, Flatline’s dad, Delinquent Habits, Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Soul Assassins, DJ Muggs, DJ Lethal, Funkdoobiest, Wu-Tang, UMC’s, Liquid Swords by GZA, Groovebox drum machine, Panos Kiamos, Tom Green’s “Undercutters,” Dr. Laura Schlessinger, The Royal Ruckus, AudioFeed Festival, The Giant and the Tailor.

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November 9th, 2017    

Ep. 12: Porn, Guinness, and Authentic Friendship: A Conversation with Author and Speaker Nate Larkin (and Tra Jones)

Nate Larkin interview

Pornography, Guinness, and Authentic Friendship

Introduction.

Taking walks with friends. 60 minute walk daily. Real talks and seeking clarity on life’s issues.

How Chunjay met Nate. Public speaking class.

On coffee. On beer. On mystery taps.

“Gentlemen, what we are witnessing here is kidney success and bladder failure.”

Nate shares his story, which includes hardcore pornography and prostitutes, while serving as a pastor.

“I quit a hundred times.”

“I was doing irrational things for non-rational reasons trying to solve the problem by rational means, and I could never think my way out of it. And I would pray to God to take it away, to fix me, always asking him for a private solution to my private problem.”

“Probably would have made me into even a bigger asshole than I was, and I wasn’t even aware I was an asshole.”

“My biggest problem was, and remains…practice in false modesty.”

 

“Jon & Stacie” by Royal Ruckus with Pigeon John from Pocket Lint & Spare Change album, available for free at http://noisetrade.com/royalruckus

 

“As best as I can figure, reconstructing it later, I probably spent $300,000 on pornography and prostitutes. And really, the tragic part is that I spent my children’s childhood and 20 years of my wife’s wife, and 20 years of mine, going down that road, trying to meet a need I didn’t recognize.”

Snippet of “Shipwreck” by Cookbook and Uno.Mas from the Robertson Bullies EP.

On burdening one’s wife with sexual struggles.

“I didn’t bring my true self into those relationships. I brought the person I thought they needed, or the person they would like…. What was missing from my relationship with God was never God, it was me. I always sensed some religious persona.”

 

“He Spread His Arms” by Royal Ruckus from the Pocket Lint & Spare Change (Deluxe Edition) album, available for free from http://noisetrade.com/royalruckus

 

Introducing Tra Jones, who walked in.

What is The Samson Society?

“What I thought was a unique story turned out to be pretty damn common…. I never told my story to a guy who hasn’t done something sexual he’s ashamed of… I’ve never yet met a man who doesn’t have something in his life that is bigger than he is.”

“What I’ve found is that when I could tell my story, that made it safe for him to say, ‘Ya know, I’ve never told anyone this before…’”

“Even though I’m calling a guy who’s an idiot, he’s NOT ME!”

 

“In the Trap of the Mountain King” by Royal Ruckus from The Lonely Christmas EP.

 

Tra raises a question about loneliness and isolation.

The Trinitarian reality of God.

“We’re never complete, and we’re never fully happy, until we’re connected.”

On finding someone to marry.

“There are things I need that my wife can never give me, that I can only get from another man. And there are things that my wife needs, that I can’t give her. We all need to be part of a larger community.”

“This Disney idea that’s sold to us by Hollywood that you don’t need anybody else. All you need is that one person to complete you…is bullshit. And couples that buy it die.”

 

“Summer’s Last Call” by Royal Ruckus from The Summer of the Cicadas double LP

 

Pornography as the DRAGON of our time.

“In sexual arousal, and in climax, our brain is flooded with chemicals.”

On chemicals during orgasm.

“Over time I can bond with phantoms to the point where I lose my ability to bond with human beings.”

The problem of Virtual Reality Porn and such.

Neglected infants die.

On facing fear of rejection in a sexual relationship and how porn fits in.

Tra loves phone calls and hates texting, and finds a way to connect it to pornography. 

Anxiety in adolescents tied to pornography use.

“This strikes at the very roots of culture.”

Erectile dysfunction?

“This is having a huge effect on dating, on pursuit. Unfortunately, it’s become more about seduction and conquest than anything else.”

On anonymous sex partners among college students.

On neuro-pathways and sexual sobriety.

“The longer I got sober from porn, the more beautiful my wife became.”

On fathers and daughters.

“A woman needs to hear from a man, from her father, that she is beautiful, worthwhile, that she is seen and known and valued. And it has to be more than beauty.”

“Pornography teaches us to objectify the human form.”

“What we need to be able to do is connect emotionally. Not just to our spouse, but to our children.”

“Closer Than You Think” from the Royal Ruckus album Rumors of Our Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.

SamsonSociety.org, virtual Samson meetings, Samson app

Closing song: Ray Stevens, “The Streak.” Not really sure how this is a rap song, but the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. 

Mentions: McCreary’s Irish Pub in Franklin, TN, Guinness stout, FightTheNewDrug.com, The Porn Myth by Matt Fradd, Samson and the Pirate Monks by Nate Larkin, Discipleship.com, Beyond Accountability: Life Changing Power of Authentic Friendship by Nate Larkin, NoFap Subreddit.

Music: Funkdoobiest instrumentals.

 

 

 

 

 

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October 18th, 2017    

Ep. 11: Gay Liberation, Writing, Death Threats, and Recovering Faith - A Conversation with Author Thom Nickels

Thom Nickels interview.

Rain storm. Northern Liberties in Philadelphia. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Liberties,_Philadelphia

“Gone are the days where you go to a bar and there’s just the sound of conversation.”

What we were drinking: Thom had Coors Light, and plotting on French wine. Chunjay drinking PBR and bourbon, the Philadelphia “City Wide Special.” 

https://billypenn.com/2016/01/20/the-philly-citywide-special-index-whose-combo-packs-the-most-punch/

Sharing a memory of a Russian New Year mishap.

Thom’s faith past. Roman Catholicism, agnosticism-atheism, Orthodoxy. Walking out on Ash Wednesday.

“My father tried to break down my door, because he wanted me to stop reading.”

Discovering his sexuality, discovering gay bars.

On 1969/1970: “To announce that you were gay to your family then, was really paramount to saying you had a mental illness. Nobody talked about it.” 

Working in the hospital. 

Falling in love with all the wrong people. One night stands. Collecting experiences. On marijuana and drugs.

The Gay Liberation Movement. The Black Panthers.

Homosexuality in black and Latino communities. His first partner was black.

On pacifism. Bringing his partner home to his family.

On wrestling with homosexuality and faith.

“The whole concept of a gay emotional life, a gay person, didn’t exist then.”

“Were we to be in an automobile accident, and were a priest to come to our bedside, we would confess our ‘gay sins,’ as it were.”

“We are all slaves to our baptism. I can’t entirely liberate myself.”

“Certainly promiscuity, wild ‘Don Juan’ promiscuity, whether you’re gay or straight, it may feel wonderful, you get a diverse hors dvours sense of tasting of the lights when the moon is full…. But falling in love changes the speedometer.”

“I think that promiscuity whets your appetite for more promiscuity. Once you’ve opened those doors, really really wide, it’s really hard to go back and settle for one person.”

St. Mary of Egypt and promiscuity.

Visiting an older gay man in the hospital who was near death.

Chunjay introduces "Bad Haircuts" and misremembers the age of a girl mentioned in the song.

 

“Bad Haircuts” Demo by Royal Ruckus from Seventeen Candles, free at http://noisetrade.com/royalruckus

 

Chunjay talks about Samson Society. 

Straight men with same-sex attraction. Does bisexuality exist? “Situational homosexuality.” A band-aid.

“Some straight men, let’s face it, are so tired of doing what society expects, worshiping and pleasing the woman.”

“When you go to situations where there’s no emotional connection, that feeling of let down will easily turn into disgust, because there’s no real human connection. You’ve both used each other as a way to get off. That’s when our higher selves, our spiritual nature, reminds us that we’re not total machines, we’re not sexual robots.”

How Thom found his way back to faith in Christ. Considered being a monk or a priest. An experience at a Benedictine monastery. His work as a writer, exploring reincarnation and New Age thinking.

The death of a friend.

On Western Rite Orthodoxy.

 

“The Lone Gunmen” by Royal Ruckus from The Summer of the Cicadas LP.

 

On being a newspaper writer. Being the first openly gay writer in the mainstream press? Death threats. 

Should gay men grow beards?

On transgender issues.

On writing gay fiction.

Chunjay’s experience in 2002 with a gay bookstore. The shifting culture.

50 Shades.

My Father the Devil. Important people in Philadelphia.

Biography of writer Dominic Dunn.

Find Thom Nickels at Philadelphia Magazine online, HuffPost, Icon Magazine, and buy his books at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

On dancing to rap music. Disco dancing is great.

 

"Rhymer's Block" by Royal Ruckus from The Summer of the Cicadas double LP. Video available at http://summerofthecicadas.com/videos

 

Mentions: St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, James Joyce’s "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Elizabeth Taylor’s film Ash Wednesday, Janis Joplin, Woodstock, Macklemore, The Pirate Monk Podcast, Milo Yiannopoulos, Bill Clinton, Thom Nickels’s Walking on Water book, The 6000 Beards of Mt. Athos book, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, Bishop Spong, The Get Down on Netflix, more.

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October 7th, 2017    

Ep. 10: Tacos, Adult Graffiti Artists, and Changing Careers - A Conversation with Graffiti Artist Peas of DCV

What are we drinking? Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale

Avocado farm in Hawaii.

We met at church. Urn of FSU.

“Within two minutes. You guys didn’t even wait. It was like a hit-up. I got tag-banged at church by two white guys.”

What is a tagging crew?

The sociology and psychology of graffiti.

The many kinds of graffiti artists. Nerds, skaters, ghetto dudes, preps, goths.

“It’s an insecurity. You’re doing something. You’re saying, ‘I’m here.’”

How Peas got into higher-level graffiti.

Self-destructive faze led to getting into more artistic graffiti. 

Tame from Artifacts.

Chunjay getting his record collection taken away by his parents. Artifacts wrecked that.
Old dudes doing graffiti.

“Instead of going to the golf course, they go buy Krylons. Rustos, actually, to be exact. Krylons suck.”

 

“Wrong Side of the Tracks” by Artifacts.

 

On the scene in Bakersfield, looking at Tame’s mural, as well as some messed up sloppy murals over other people’s murals.

 

“Concrete Art Gallery” by Royal Ruckus featuring Yoda.

 

Shipwrecks?

A break-up, some moves, a car accident.

Difficult times in Peas’s life.

How he got back into graffiti, and why he thinks it matters.

How to date a girl and tell her you do graffiti.

About God.

“Heaven’s what you make it, hell’s what you’re going through.”

“I don’t go to church… But I believe in God… A lot of the downfall in my life was me being an idiot, you know, and making wrong decisions, and taking responsibility for your actions.”

On losing a “career” several times. Looking

“When I look at my life, what did God teach me? What is the main thing that God taught me? To be humble and to be grateful and thankful for the stuff I was blessed with in my life.”

“I was a hard-headed mother fucker.”

On Jesus: “That’s still the battle for me…. We’re sinners, we’re ‘condemned’… ‘I’m a piece of shit’…. I don’t believe that. So what I’m saying is, that one’s hard for me. But I do believe there is a God.”

“The afterlife thing? I don’t know, because I ain’t in it.”

“I just don’t know. I’m not gonna say it didn’t happen, I’m not gonna say it did happen. I’m not sure… I know there’s God. And I believe he teaches you things.”

Friend zone?

 

“Graffiti Art” by Sharlok Poems and Soup the Chemist from the LP Left.

 

Favorite taco? Cabeza y tripas.

The Taco Gauntlet.

Duck fat fries.

Temblor 661 Kolsch.

The transition from 805 to 661 in our area.

Trim beard care? Coworkers on some haterade stuff.

RZA “Can’t Stop Me Now”

Shout outs: Jeb Wilson of Nashville Photography Group, JNCO, Fear of DCV (Death Crown Villians), http://facebook.com/tacogauntlet, True Legends Thursdays, Change of Mind Podcast,

Background music by Wu-Tang.

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September 29th, 2017    

Ep. 9: Demons, Women, Jesus, and Silence, Pt. 2: The Four Temptations of Steve the Builder in the Wilderness

If you heard the first part, you'll be really excited about this episode. Because this is the fun stuff.

Listen to this one. Because, seriously this is the good stuff.

 

Universal salvation? Steve discusses hell. “It’s a good thing I’m not God.”

Meet the girl. Get the girl. Lose the girl. Contemplate death. - Garabed Sarkessian

 

“The Pressure is On (Showdown)” by Royal Ruckus from The Summer of the Cicadas double LP

 

How Steve drinks his scotch, and enjoys gin and tonic.

Bourbon, honey, and lemon juice cocktail that Chunjay had.

PBR - “I’m not a hipster, but I do enough to keep them guessing.”

Steve on smoking pipes.

Steve on beard care.

Royal Ruckus hand-made beard oil for sale.

On guns, martial arts, and self-defense.

On wearing all black.

Steve’s pets. Moo the Turtle.

Steve’s podcast, Steve the Builder, and why he isn’t podcasting much right now.

 

“Love Slave” by Royal Ruckus featuring kidDEAD from The Summer of the Cicadas double LP.

 

On “falling in love” while married.

On an emotional affair: “It was so incredibly consuming.”

“I would have remarried my ex…. This was more about me than it was her. It was like, why am I falling for this type of woman?”

On an obsession with a woman you meet casually.

“Anytime I find myself in a relationship and something’s going wrong, something’s going screwy…it’s like what is inside of me that it’s dragging out.”

On Chunjay’s ex-father-in-law. On saying goodbye to someone forever.

On reading books. On listening to music. On watching TV. 

“I live in my own head in silence for the most part.”

“Try putting down all the books. Try putting away all the media. All the noise, all the sound, all the background stuff, and live in silence. Give that a try.”

On Facebook and getting sucked into comment-box wars.

On the meaninglessness of so much mainstream entertainment.

“Our ‘inner culture war’ is to extricate ourselves from that kinda shock that it takes for us to feel something about anything.”

Closing song: "Time for Us" by Royal Ruckus (featuring Maddy Montes and Bonafide of GRITS) from The Summer of the Cicadas double LP.

Shouts: St. Anthony’s monastery in Florence, AZ, Steve the Builder Podcast on mediocrity, The Lost Book of Mormon: A Quest for the Book That Just Might Be the Great American Novel, Samson Society, Costco liquors, Fr. Deacon Aaron Scott Taylor, Dragoon Brewery in Tucson, PBR, Primo (Hawaiian beer), Fire from Ashes book with Fr. Joseph Honeycutt, Father Knows Best,

 

 

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