50 episodes

Known for finding and showcasing talented, yet to be discovered artists and creators, Michael Harren’s podcast, MikeyPod, takes the listener on inspiring journeys of true—and often remarkable—stories of the courage, passion, and struggles many have faced while bringing their visions to life.

MikeyPod Michael Harren

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 37 Ratings

Known for finding and showcasing talented, yet to be discovered artists and creators, Michael Harren’s podcast, MikeyPod, takes the listener on inspiring journeys of true—and often remarkable—stories of the courage, passion, and struggles many have faced while bringing their visions to life.

    MikeyPod 335 | Musician and Archivist Dr. Louise Toppin

    MikeyPod 335 | Musician and Archivist Dr. Louise Toppin

    On this episode of the podcast, I have a fascinating conversation with musician and archivist Dr. Louise Toppin about The African Diaspora Music Project – a database she created  to help singers and orchestras to diversify their repertoire of works by African Diaspora composers.  We talk about the inspiration behind the project, its future, and its present. I’m so excited for you to hear this conversation, along with two magnificent recordings of Dr. Toppin in performance. Listen at the link below or in your favorite podcast directory!















    Louise Toppin is a noted performer, scholar and professor who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers. In the span of her career, more than 30 songs and 2 operas have been written expressly for her voice. In addition, she has sung the world premiere of 30 more songs and arias of contemporary composers. As the administrator of the George Shirley Vocal Competition for the past nine years and Videmus (a non-profit organization that promotes the concert repertoire of African American and women composers) for more than twenty-five years, she encourages the performance and scholarship of African American compositions by students and scholars through recordings, conference presentation, live performances, and lectures.  







    As a performer she has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, and oratorio performances throughout the United States, Czech Republic, Scotland, Japan, China, Uruguay, Colombia, Cuba, Sweden, the Caribbean, Bermuda, New Zealand, England, and Spain in such halls as Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall and Carnegie Hall (New York), Weill Recital Hall (New York), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), the Gran Teatre del Licieu (Barcelona), the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Shanghai Opera House and the International Albeniz Festival in Camprodon, Spain.







    Music:Hold Fast to Dreams (Florence Price) – Louise ToppinSongs of the Season: II. Poeme d’Automne (Margaret Bonds) – Louise Toppin







    Both selections from the album Ah! Love, But a Day















    This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! This week’s bonus podcast will be an extended extended conversation with Dr. T!  Learn more right here!







    If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me here and get a free download of the album!Here are some other places you can find the book.Find The Animal Album streaming and downloadable here.Here’s some more merch and music.







    Thinking of starting your own podcast? Do it! I’m a big fan of Blubrry for podcast distribution and you can get a month free by signing up for Blubrry Podcast Hosting here, or Blubrry Professional Statistics here. Use the code “mikeypod” with your order for your free month!

    • 43 min
    MikeyPod 334 | Musician and Activist Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake

    MikeyPod 334 | Musician and Activist Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake

    It’s release day for Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake and his award winning choral-ensemble Tonality! On this episode of the podcast, Dr. Blake and I discuss the new album, America Will Be, and the ensemble’s mission to use their collective voices to address themes of social justice to act as a catalyst toward empathy and community activism. Of course, we cover a bunch of other stuff as well, and I can’t wait for you all to hear this episode!















    Dr. Alexander Lloyd Blake works as an award-winning conductor, composer/arranger, vocal contractor, singer, and music activist. Named Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year in 2019 and the Louis Botto Award for Innovative actions and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America, Blake was recently featured in both the NY Times and LA Times for work in diversity and anti-racism within classical music.







    Blake is the Founding Artistic Director of Tonality, an award-winning choral ensemble focused on spreading a message of unity, peace, and social justice through a culturally diverse choral setting. He also serves as the Choir Director at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). He also serves in Los Angeles and New York City as a Principal Associate Conductor of the National Children’s Chorus. As an arranger, Blake’s “Wade in the Water” was a featured arrangement at the North Carolina Music Educators Association convention in 2013 and is published with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. His arrangements of “Deep River” and “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” are published by Alliance Music Publishing and Walton Music Publishing, respectively.  Other musical activities include an opera conducting premiere at the 2019 Prototype Festival in New York City and preparing choirs for live performances with UCLA Center for the Art of Performance.







    Follow Dr. Blake on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Follow Tonality Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.







    Music:1232 Lyfe – TonalityBuild Me Up – Tonality







    Tonality’s new album, America Will Be, is available on Bandcamp and on your favorite streaming service. Check it out!















    This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! This week’s bonus podcast will be an extended extended conversation with Dr. Blake!  Learn more right here!







    If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me a href="https://shop.michaelharren.

    • 45 min
    MikeyPod 333 | Author and Publisher Martin Rowe

    MikeyPod 333 | Author and Publisher Martin Rowe

    It’s high time I had my friend, Martin Rowe on the podcast, and the recent release of his new book of verse, The Animals Are Leaving Us provided the perfect excuse to bring him on the show. The verses in this book were inspired by two extraordinarily compelling and distressing photographs of animals in extremis taken by Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, whose photos are included in the volume as well. Martin and I had a fantastic conversation about the book, the beauty that can be found in even the most troubling works of art, and so much more. Don’t miss this conversation!















    Martin Rowe is President and Publisher at Lantern Publishing & Media. He is the co-vice president of the board of the Culture & Animals Foundation and a senior fellow of Brighter Green. He is the author of The Elephants in the Room, The Polar Bear in the Zoo, Nicaea, and (with Evander Lomke), Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life. He is the editor of The Way of Compassion and Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology.







    Follow Lantern Publishing & Media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.







    Photo of Martin Rowe by Jo-Anne McArthur.







    Hear my conversation with Jo-Anne right here.















    This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! This week’s bonus podcast will be an extended conversation with Martin Rowe!  Learn more right here!







    If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me here and get a free download of the album!Here are some other places you can find the book.Find The Animal Album streaming and downloadable here.Here’s some more merch and music.







    Thinking of starting your own podcast? Do it! I’m a big fan of Blubrry for podcast distribution and you can get a month free by signing up for Blubrry Podcast Hosting here, or Blubrry Professional Statistics here. Use the code “mikeypod” with your order for your free month!

    • 30 min
    MikeyPod 332 | Musician Christian Douglas

    MikeyPod 332 | Musician Christian Douglas

    I had a blast chatting with musician Christian Douglas on the podcast this week. His debut album, Inside Voice, was written and recorded under quarantine, and as you might expect is largely inspired by the events of the last 18 months. Beyond that, though, we talked creativity, self-doubt, ritual, and so many of these juicy topics so many of us contend with. I know this podcast will leave you as recharged and invigorated as I was after my conversation with Christian.















    Christian Douglas is a multifaceted singer, songwriter and theater performer. Like flipping a switch he can go from performing “Nessun Dorma” for the President of Italy at the White House to appearing as Jack Kelly in Newsies, to belting “Uptown Funk” with a wedding band and singing his soulful original music. Christian’s diverse vocal skills have made him a sought-after performer in the D.C. area, appearing in musicals and cabarets at Arena Stage and Signature Theatre, as well as in nationally-televised concerts with the American Pops Orchestra.







    Christian recently released his first full-length album, Inside Voice, which features a melting pot of styles, genres and sounds to reflect how far our hearts and minds can travel when our physical bodies are stuck inside. The recording was created during the COVID-19 pandemic. 







    Music:Stay Inside – Christian DouglasLove Thy Neighbor – Christian DouglasThrough the Screen – Christian Douglas







    Follow Christian Douglas on Instagram, and Facebook, and YouTube.Find Christian’s music on his website, Spotify, Apple Music, or your favorite streaming platform.







    Photo by Chris Mueller Photography.















    This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! This week’s bonus podcast will be an extended conversation with Christian Douglas!  Learn more right here!







    If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me here and get a free download of the album!Here are some other places you can find the book.Find The Animal Album streaming and downloadable here.Here’s some more merch and music.







    Thinking of starting your own podcast? Do it! I’m a big fan of Blubrry for podcast distribution and you can get a month free by signing up for Blubrry Podcast Hosting here, or Blubrry Professional Statistics here. Use the code “mikeypod” with your order for your free month!

    • 45 min
    MikeyPod 331 | Author Gabrielle Alexa Noel

    MikeyPod 331 | Author Gabrielle Alexa Noel

    Joining me on the podcast (in a conversation I really needed) is author, essayist, and sex-positive content creator Gabrielle Alexa Noel. We chat about her book, How to Live With the Internet and Not Let It Run Your Life and so many nuggets to help out those of us who try to use the Internet to create positive change. I’ve been in a place of thinking more carefully about how I want to show up on social media, and this conversation with Gabrielle was just the thing to get my head around some of this stuff. I know you’ll love it too!















    Gabrielle Alexa Noel is an author, essayist, and sex-positive content creator. She has bylines everywhere including Cosmopolitan, the Huffington Post, Elle, Bitch, and Playboy. Her first book – “How To Live With The Internet and Not Let It Run Your Life” – was just released in March of 2021.







    You may have seen her on the MTV reality show ‘Singled Out’ (Quibi), the PBS show ‘#MeToo: Now What?’, and the queer comedy series ‘These Thems’. She was also featured in Bustle’s ’16 LGBTQ Activists, Artists, & Storytellers Bustle Readers Love Following’ list and was a part of Go Magazine’s ‘100 Women We Love Class of 2019. You can check out all her creative projects here. Otherwise, she’s a marketing professional and software developer living in NYC. Check out her Github to view her software development projects.







    Follow Gabrielle Alexa Noel on Twitter, Instagram, and GitHub.















    This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! Learn more right here!







    If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me here and get a free download of the album!Here are some other places you can find the book.Find The Animal Album streaming and downloadable here.Here’s some more merch and music.







    Thinking of starting your own podcast? Do it! I’m a big fan of Blubrry for podcast distribution and you can get a month free by signing up for Blubrry Podcast Hosting here, or Blubrry Professional Statistics here. Use the code “mikeypod” with your order for your free month!

    • 26 min
    MikeyPod 330 | Author Nevo Zisin

    MikeyPod 330 | Author Nevo Zisin

    This week I welcome author Nevo Zisin to chat about their book The Pronoun Lowdown: Demystifying and celebrating gender diversity. This conversation was a absolute delight, and we went deep into the book itself, reflected on the work of our queer ancestors, and discussed playing the long game as activists. So many laughs and insight to be had on this episode as well as some great new music from The Wheel Workers and Tranna Wintour. Listen up!















    Nevo Zisin (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, Jewish writer, performer, activist and public speaker based in Naarm/ Birraranga / Melbourne. They run workshops in schools and professional development trainings in workplaces around transgender identities. Author of award-winning Finding Nevo (2017), a memoir on gender transition and The Pronoun Lowdown (2021) a useful guidebook on all things related to pronouns.







    Nevo is one of Australia’s only transgender marriage celebrants and is very passionate about creating transcendent celebrations. They are a mentor for The Pinnacle Foundation, one of Out for Australia’s 30 Under 30 for 2019, an ambassador for both Wear It Purple and the Victorian Pride Centre as well as a member of the Gender Euphoria cast – Australia’s largest all trans & gender diverse show on a main stage.







    Music:The Binary Code – The Wheel WorkersDid You Want This – Tranna Wintour







    Follow Nevo Zisin on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram















    This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! This week’s bonus podcast will be an extended conversation with Nevo Zisin!  Learn more right here!







    If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me here and get a free download of the album!Here are some other places you can find the book.Find The Animal Album streaming and downloadable here.Here’s some more merch and music.







    Thinking of starting your own podcast? Do it! I’m a big fan of Blubrry for podcast distribution and you can get a month free by signing up for Blubrry Podcast Hosting here, or Blubrry Professional Statistics here. Use the code “mikeypod” with your order for your free month!

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

blackoutpete ,

Utterly Engaging

Michael Harren not only knows how to talk, but how to listen. He has the most diverse, fascinating, well-versed, unique guests from musicians to activists and everything in between. Extremely well produced and always a joy to listen to.

Megan B. S. ,

Megan B. S.

I knew immediately when I heard the intro that I would like this podcast. Michael obviously has a lot of charisma and he uses it to his advantage. His content is interesting and it feels like you're talking with a friend. Also, I really appreciate learning about new music (Shlomo Franklin may be my new favorite artist). Give it a listen, you won't be sorry.

Eric Hunley ,

Fascinating view of different artists

This is a very polished show that focuses on activist artists that many of us throughout the country aren’t exposed to.
A good episode example is an interview with the director Emmet Jack Lundberg. Emmet directs a show about Trans people that is casts real life trans performers.
They talk about a scene with Trevor going to the gynecologist and discuss the gravity of the situation. It makes me want to see the show so I can understand why normal daily things have more impact in the trans community.
They also discuss the fact that there is not a giant talent pool available of trans actors.
Mikey has a good warm approach to this interview.

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