Sunday, December 1, 2019

We've Moved Hosts -- YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! (Probably!)

Hi Checkmates. Just some quick news that those of you who are subscribed on podcast apps probably already know.

The show has changed hosts and is now on PodBean! SoundCloud was a great place to get started, but they were never really built for podcasts and I was experiencing some upload issues as a result. PodBean is going to be a much better fit for the show and I'm excited to be working with them. 

Here's the best part, unless you were listening to the show exclusively on SoundCloud, you don't even have to do anything! The RSS feed is still going to all the same places. We're still on CastBox and iTunes and elsewhere. The worst that might happen is when you're on CastBox (or similar) you might get a notice that the show has moved and they'll redirect you to the new location so you can subscribe there. But that's IT.

 The best news of it is that while SoundCloud would force their app on mobile users, PodBean doesn't do that. On SoundCloud if you were on your phone you'd click play and they'd tell you to download the SoundCloud app to listen or to go fuck yourself (or something), but on PodBean you can JUST LISTEN and you don't have to download a damn thing! Now it's totally up to you whether you go fuck yourself or not!

 All I've got up so far is a "hello" from PodBean, and I'll share it below. But a new episode is coming soon. Nice to be back!

Here's the thing:

EDIT: I'm working on getting all the old episodes back on the blog. Soundcloud killed the links once I stopped paying them. It's your call if you think that's bullshit or not. But I can put PodBean players in the old posts pretty easily...just need to block out the time.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Empty Checking Update 11/26/19

This isn't an episode. It's an acknowledgement that I stopped doing the show for about 4 months and an update on what is going to happen moving forward. It's a very different tone than usual and mostly addressed to prior regular listeners.

Here's the player:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Delayed Again

I'm sorry that I don't have a new episode to upload right now. Actually, I DID record one over a week ago, but my Internet has been glitchy and hasn't maintained connection well enough to get an upload to work. And then this weekend, there has been a family emergency that is going to prevent me from getting this together for a little while.  I'm on a bit of a hiatus until that situation is a little more solid. (I cannot go into details about it for now, at request of the specific family member involved.)

I'll be back. It just might be a couple weeks.

Sorry 2019 is shaping up to be a sparse year.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Episode 65 - I've Seen Stuff

I'm back! And I'm talking about Patton Oswalt, The Who, and Marc Maron as well as a bunch of other stuff. I was away too long, but it feels good to be back at it!

Here's the player:

Time Index:
  • 0:00 - Intro
  • 16:32 - Music Break #1 - Church Girls
  • 17:05 - Patton Oswalt show in St. Louis
  • 27:35 - Music Break #2 - The Best
  • 28:07 - The Who in St. Louis
  • 43:46 - Music Break #3 - You and Your Perfect Life
  • 44:20 - Marc Maron--you guessed it--in St. Louis
  • 56:56 - Music Break #4 - Just Another Day
  • 57:30 - Outro


Here's the cover photo, which features the t-shirt and baseball jersey I bought at the Who show.

A picture of myself, my brother, and my dad (left to right) after the Who show.

My Marc Maron ticket.

My Patton Oswalt ticket.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Episode 64 - The Stoners Won't Remember (And An Elvis Costello Primer)

In this week's episode, we catch up on some music and talk about Elvis Costello for a long time. And that's pretty much it! Enjoy and check out the companion blog at for photos and more. By the way, all of the times are probably off by about a second because I wrote them down before editing some dead air off of the front of the show.  Sorry about that!

Time Index:

  • 0:00 - Intro Stuff
  • 9:46 - Musical Break 1 - Born in this Town
  • 10:17 - Rest in Peace, Rick Elias
  • 21:32 Musical Break 2 - Beautiful Disaster
  • 22:02 - Music Reviews - Son Volt, The Alarm, and Hayes Carll
  • 37:41 - Musical Break 3 - Give It Up
  • 38:14 - An Elvis Costello Primer
  • 1:10:57 - Musical Break 4 - What Matters Most (South of Savannah)
  • 1:11:31 - Outro

And here are some pictures!

Cover photo, of course.

This is the Schlafly White Lager I referenced in the intro.

Just the Elvis Costello stuff.

Rick Elias and Rich Mullins. Good Easter listening.

Son Volt's new one.

Hayes Carll's return to form after his previous, introspective record.

The Alarm's emotive 2018 release.

My new hat.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Episode 63 - Good Sean Connery Words

On this week's episode I open up with some personal stuff then talk about new music from Eli Paperboy Reed, Over the Rhine, and Jenny Lewis (as well as touching briefly on my love of Iron Maiden). I then spend a large chunk of the show talking about Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five," which turned 50 years old last month. And I close out by telling you about a couple of adult beverages I've recently enjoyed. Here's the player:

Time Index:
And here are some photos and stuff! (All album covers lovingly lifted from Amazon.)

The cover photo, which also serves as the Vonnegut/Slaughterhouse photo this week.

Eli Paperboy Reed - GREAT album.

Over the Rhine's new, beautiful album.

Jenny Lewis' new album. I'm hoping I have to revise this review at a later date.

I also talked about Iron Maiden, although not specifically this album.

Jameson Irish Whiskey's "Caskmates" Stout Edition - It's too long a name, but an excellent whiskey.

Boulevard's Whiskey Barrel Stout - Have some chocolate on hand, if you give it a try.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Episode 62 (BONUS EPISODE!) - The "Grounds" Episode

On a special bonus episode, I indulge myself and listen to/provide commentary for my very first solo album "Grounds," which was released in 2005. Did I enjoy the experience? What do I think, looking back almost 15 years to the very beginning? Would I do anything differently? What did I think I was doing at the time? How much whiskey did I have to drink to make it through the recording of this episode?  All of these questions and more are answered in this week's episode! Or if you want to hear the album on its own, it's listenable and downloadable at

It's all just the one topic this week, so there's no time index, but I do have a ton of photos of interest!

Cover photo, per usual.
This is the album cover.

I mentioned in the episode that I still have the cup from the center of the album cover. And here it is! Disappointingly robin's egg blue, isn't it?

Back of the booklet, as described.

Back album cover, as also described.

This is my grandpa's 1930s era Gibson. It isn't worth a penny to anybody but me. Looks damn cool though.

The Takamine 12 String that starts the album.

The Silvertone that provides all of the electric tones on the record.

I also talked a bit about this old Ibanez bass. It's an old friend.

This is part of the damage I mentioned to my Grandpa's old guitar. You can see the crack where the neck-break happened.

More guitar damage. The two kind of faint black circles are where pins were put in to put the neck back together.

This is the Line 6 unit I mentioned. I'll often use this instead of an amp when I record.

...and this is the Denison Witmer album I blanked on the name of when I was recording.  "Of Joy and Sorrow."