This post is written as part of our series The Chalkboard Remembers, where we're taking time to reflect on some of our favorite episodes in the history of The Chalkboard Podcast. This post is about Dissident Citizen, an interview episode about protest music with Salar Rajabnik.
When Eric and I started the podcast, we figured it'd mostly consist of he and I talking about various pop culture topics. The original "Chalkboard" was a place where we'd list and debate trivial but important matters like "What's the best breakfast spot in KC?" and "What's Kanye's most fire hook?"
After a few episodes it became clear that the podcast could be and should be more than rants about The O.C. and takes on JD McCoy's haircut.
We recorded "Dissident Citizen" in response to protests happening all around the world. Specifically, we wanted to talk about protest music and how it influences society and movements. One of our good friends, singer-songwriter Salar Rajabnik, has written protest songs and has a vast knowledge of songwriting history...how could we not have him on as an expert to chat about it?
This episode will always be one of my favorites. First, because it was our initial episode with a guest, and it really set the tone and gave us an idea of the kind of podcast we wanted to put out for our audience. It taught us that we should include other people in our conversations, and showed us how much fun we had dialoging with interesting folks about subject matter they're passionate about. I'm also just dang proud of the conversation we had here. "Protests" are a charged topic, and Salar really helped us navigate controversial waters with nuance and information.
We chatted about the history of protests, contemplated why people are so quick to dismiss protests, and had a larger conversation about the American psyche regarding revolution. We also had a rich discussion of American protest music: folks like Springsteen, Guthrie, CCR, and Sturgill who've written songs to help inspire and encourage rebelling against injustice. I love that we weren't afraid to get political and address a topic we felt passionately about.
Also: check out Salar's website and buy his album Black & White World. It's dope.