Having Words with Wade Ridley
719 The Blocks podcast is angry, opinionated and getting noticed.
Now on broadcast #63, “719 The Blocks” podcast has found a voice as a creative outlet for anger, frustration and hope for quarterlife Puebloans. The podcast took a while to find itself. It is now recorded three times a week with hosts Wade Ridley and Jeff Grindstaff and a variety of voices discussing whatever is on their minds. I recently sat down with Wade Ridley to talk about the podcast.
If you could ask one question to anyone in Pueblo who would it be?
Dan DeRose – One question, two parts: Define “Conflict of Interest.” And justify how that doesn’t apply to you.
Your podcast is a like a podcast editorial, complaining a lot about the Chieftain and using f@#$ as a noun, verb, and adjective. Oh and there’s a lot of getting high. Accurate?
100%. To understand the Chieftain and how they do things, you pretty much have to be high. Then, once you start reading the killer “My opinion is the actual news” style of writing. Well, saying f@#$ just comes naturally at that point.
Why is there so much anger? Why do the podcast on Pueblo?
The podcast was originally created to highlight not only Pueblo but more importantly, the people of Pueblo. Who we are. When you ask someone outside of Pueblo about Pueblo, there is hardly ever a positive response. The rest of the state points to high crime rate, high drug rate, high Aqua Net usage. Like we’re the Goodwill of Colorado. That’s where the anger comes from. If you anyone in this town believes the hype… Put the Haunted Windchimes on your play list, pick up a cup of coffee at Daily Grind, walk the alleys and look at artists named Refic and Ikon. Stop by Downtown Bar or Walter’s Beer and read a Pulp. Pueblo is evolving from the blue. That’s the platform we try and stay true to.
How do you keep the podcast going? Where would you like it to go?
It costs money to this and the podcast has grown by donation only. With the financial donation from Irie Genetics, the audio engineering and personality of co-host Rasta Jeff and a computer whiz named Anthony Dibiase, this podcast grows (thank you guys). We have a base of 800 that grows at a rate of 3% a week, we look only to expand. We just recorded our first video podcast and look to eventually add live video streaming and on location coverage of Pueblo events. But first, we need a small room that isn’t a kitchen to operate out of. So if anyone has a 420 friendly space with an internet connection…
Of the people you have not had on, who would you like to talk with?
There’s Ray Serena a professor at Pueblo Community College. Everyone in Pueblo should have a pint and conversation with Ray Serena. Just shut up and let him talk. I’d like to have the man, the myth, the legend Greg Smith of The Greenlight Tavern. What couldn’t we talk about. And probably Tim McGettigan professor at Colorado State University Pueblo. Watching his leadership is inspirational.
Your other job is being a comic but before doing this comedy thing and the podcast, what did you do in Pueblo?
Before comedy and podcast host, I was a douche bag that could burn a bridge in a heart beat. I also had a lot to with the bar scene here for a decade (Phils, Evolution, Soho, Highest State).
Born and raised in Pueblo?
Yuppers. From Jefferson Elementary to Central High School.
So what’s the biggest problem for Pueblo?
Puebloans believing what outsiders think of Pueblo. Walk the East Side and Bessemer folks, it’s beautiful.
Do you think it’s doable to change Pueblo?
When the money of Pueblo (PEDCO/City Council) decide to invest into the sons and daughters of Pueblo instead of outside influences—then we change. The artists and small business owners here are changing Pueblo for the better, drawing positive attention on consistent basis with little to no funding or support. Imagine what we could do if we worked together.
Sixty-three podcasts down, what has the response to the podcast been?
Overwhelming. Everyone that listens, whether they agree with us or not, has tried to help us improve. We communicate with anyone that has a question or suggestion. You have a band that wants a song on? Lets do it. Want to talk about depression? Dig it. We want your voice heard too.
The comedy scene in Pueblo… where does it stand? There’s been a concentrated effort for about a year now that’s showing signs it’s growing. Think that’s the case?
The comedy scene grows more and more each day. We have our growing pains to be sure, but we are now getting the attention of Denver, which is all a part of the plan.