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BZ Listening

85 EpisodesProduced by BZ DouglasWebsite

Brian "BZ" Douglas is an independent journalist based outside Cleveland, Ohio. On this show he sits down to talk with grassroots performers, activists, journalists, authors, or persons of interest in stories he's covering.All songs included with permission from the artists.Support BZ's work on Patre… read more

85 Episodes | 2018 - 2022

80. Curtis Eller - Banjo Player and Songwriter

July 4th, 2022


Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer who's songs describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in …

79. Jimmy Falun Gong - Host of the "Programmed to Chill" podcast

April 18th, 2022


Jimmy Falun Gong is the pseudonymous host of the podcast “Programmed to Chill”, which describes itself as a show about “business, crime, …

78. Talking about Walking The Wire with Philip Fairbanks

March 30th, 2022


In part 2 of my interview with Philip Fairbanks we discuss Walking the Wire,  a new podcast series releasing in April that will re-examine  David Simon's groundbreaking series, "The Wire", episode by episode.  This …

77. Talking with Philip Fairbanks, Author of "Pedogate Primer" (Part 1)

March 28th, 2022


Look for part 2 of this interview in a couple days. This Friday at 9pm EST Philip will be joining me for a livestream Q&A.

If you're a Patreon supporter, a PDF copy of Fairbanks book is available for you at

76. Talking Anarchy with Video Essayist Anark

February 2nd, 2022


I recently watched the excellent video essay, "A Modern Anarchism Part 1" (, and immediately reached out …

75. Year in Review with Mustache Bob, Brenton Lengel, Contraband and Conor Kelly

January 24th, 2022


It's time for a review of 2021 and what the major events of the last year mean for us going forward in 2022.

Original Video:



74. Talking with Nico Walker, Author of "Cherry"

January 11th, 2022


My guest today, the first of the new year, is Nico Walker, author of the novel, Cherry. The book is a fictionalized account of an unnamed character …

72. The Dan Kasaris Investigation - The story, how it started, and where it's going

December 7th, 2021


A meta discussion of my latest story investigating allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against Dan Kasaris and Mark Bennett.

Read the full report …

71. The Prosecution of Tony Viola: Unreliable witnesses, suppressed evidence, and a dead whistleblower

November 24th, 2021


The story of Tony Viola told in the press up until now leaves one with the impression of a devious criminal who was defrauding banks out of nearly …

70. Getting to know BLM Cleveland

October 25th, 2021


My interview with LaTonya Goldsby and Kareem Henton, President and Vice President of Black Lives Matter Cleveland. We discuss this local …

69. The Killing of Vincent Belmonte (Video Podcast)

October 15th, 2021


I have been approved to utilize the Video Podcast feature on, so to test it out I'm posting my full report on Vincent Belmonte's killing by …

68. Monday with Mariah: Chasing Justice in East Cleveland

October 11th, 2021


Mariah Crenshaw of Chasing Justice, LLC has been tracking officer training closely for nearly 3 years now. Prior to that, Crenshaw assisted the Department of Justice in their administration of the federal consent decree …

67. Believe in Ghost!

October 8th, 2021


Taking the podcast back to its musical roots today with NYC-based alternative band, Believe in Ghost! On today's show we talk about their new EP, "BOO!", their musical origins, how they navigated the pandemic, and the …

66. Debunking Shontel Brown's Stump Speech with Dr Richard Montgomery

July 29th, 2021


I covered a Shontel Brown campaign event this weekend, and captured her having a "Please Clap" moment all her own.

(This audio is from the YouTube report, which provides more detail, but functions perfectly as a …

65. Talking Activism and Ableism with Tim Collingwood

April 19th, 2021


Tim Collingwood is a local actor, playwright, stage manager, arts  advocate, and activist.  On this episode, we discuss his experiences and …

64. State of Injustice - A Belated Announcement!

March 19th, 2021


Please enjoy this unscripted, unedited, emergency episode announcing the release of my new documentary series State of Injustice!

Our Indiegogo Campaign to fund the pilot season ends on Wednesday 3/24. For the last day, …

63. Talking Impeachment with John Bonifaz, President of Free Speech for People

February 11th, 2021


My guest today is John Bonifaz, the Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People.  He previously served as the Executive Director and then General Counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, an organization …

62. Special Report on the Cleveland Warriors Semi-Pro Football Team

February 6th, 2021


Today’s episode is taken from a video report I posted on Wednesday. It’s the story of the Cleveland Warriors, a semi-professional football team in the National Public Safety Football League, and how their management …

61. Discussing the Capitol Hill Fascist Insurrection

January 18th, 2021


BZ & DZ sit down with local activist Devorah Phillips to talk about the fascist riots at the Capitol on 1/6.

60. Talking ADHD with Dr. Joel Schwartz

January 6th, 2021


Watch this episode on YouTube

My guest today is Dr. Joel Schwartz, a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with adults with childhood …

59. Emanuel Franklin Jr. - Father of Desmond Franklin

December 18th, 2020


A few weeks ago I assisted the People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland in setting up and conducting an interview with Emanuel Franklin, …

58. November Coverage Catchup

November 24th, 2020


Today’s guest is technically me, as I’m re-broadcasting an interview I gave with Brenton Lengel on his YouTube channel a few weeks ago about an article I published at the end of October: "Euclid officer Matthew Rhodes …

57. Cuyahoga County Ballot Panel Discussion

October 22nd, 2020


BZ Douglas moderates a panel discussion with local activists about who they're voting for up and down the Cuyahoga County ballot, and how they feel …

56. Mariah Crenshaw - Chasing Justice, LLC

October 17th, 2020


Today's episode contains bombshell revelations that have the potential to shake Ohio law enforcement to its core.

My guest is Mariah Crenshaw of Chasing Justice LLC. According to her research, a significant portion of …

55. Tim Tolka - Author, Blue Mafia

October 4th, 2020


(Audio fixed, if there's an audio gap in the intro, re-download the episode)

Today my guest is Tim Tolka, author of Blue Mafia, which is best …

54. Jadon Woodard - Musician

August 29th, 2020


Today the show is returning to its roots, showcasing criminally overlooked grassroots artists, with one my favorite acts and friends from NYC, Jadon Woodard.

We talk about his origins in music, the ups and downs, and …

53. A People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland

August 13th, 2020


Today I am interviewing members of the People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland. I first learned of them while covering a Black Lives Matter …

Stoner Morning Show Interview Teaser

July 7th, 2020


Here's a teaser of my very first guest appearance on another podcast: Stoner Morning Show.

The host, Shawn Wickens, is an old friend of mine from my …

52. Kareem Henton - Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland

June 26th, 2020


Kareem Henton joins me today to discuss what first roused him to activism, how BLM functions as an organization nationally and locally, and what his greatest hopes and fears are for the outcome of this national protest …

51. Devorah Phillips - Bernie Victory Captain and Delegate

March 4th, 2020


On today's episode I interview local delegate and organizer for the Bernie campaign, Devorah Phillips. We chat about what led her to becoming a …

50. Not BZ, Us!

February 25th, 2020


Today I’m going to do something a little different, which might draw in some new listeners, but that’s not the point. The point is for the weeks remaining before the Ohio primary on March 17th, I am going to devote this …

49. Atomic Houdini - Creative Person

February 17th, 2020


Today my guest is painter, musician, and all around creative person, Atomic Houdini. 

The podcast is still officially on break, but I wanted to chat with Atomic Houdini about his upcoming art show / release of his album …

48. An Existential (State-of-the) Podcast

January 7th, 2020


An improvised attempt to explain the present state of and future plans for the podcast. 

If I had to put it into bullet points:

  • I'm putting more …

47. Justus - Trap Soul/Rap Artist

December 11th, 2019


I first saw Justus performing a couple weeks ago at the McFarland Manor November show. On today's episode, I chat with him about his creative process, how he became "big in Algeria", his terms of success, and the …

46. Shawn Wickens - Artist / Comedian

November 26th, 2019


Today I’m bringing a new thing to the show with my guest Shawn Wickens, who will forever hold the distinction of being the first comedian on the …

45. Christopher Johnston - Author/Playwright

November 21st, 2019


Today my guest is writer Christopher Johnston, and we’re discussing his book “Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal …

44. Ben Paul Williams - Singer-Songwriter

November 19th, 2019


My guest today is actor and musician, Ben Paul Williams. I first met Ben about 10 years ago at a little open mic in Astoria Queens. We chat a bit …

43. Cal Folger Day - Singer-Songwriter / Composer

November 12th, 2019


Today my guest is Cal Folger Day, a singer-songwriter that’s a bit hard to pin down genre-wise, but if I had to slap a label on her, it’d probably be …

42. Brenton Lengel - Writer - "Snow White Zombie Apocalypse"

October 31st, 2019


Today my guest is playwright and author, Brenton Lengel. Brent and I go back nearly ten years, when I first met him at an open mic in New York. In this episode we spend a bit of time catching up and tracking the arc of …

41. N6664 - Doom Chip Performance Artist

October 29th, 2019


Today’s guest is “Doom-Chip” performance artist, N6664, aka James Barney. I had heard chip-tune music before (for those who haven't, it's a style of synthesized electronic music generated using the sound boards from …

40. Deb Zep - Singer/Songwriter/Soulmate (Wedding Anniversary Tribute)

September 1st, 2019


Hello and welcome to an especially schmultzy episode of BZ Listening. Today is my seven year wedding anniversary with my amazing wife Deb Zep. …

The War On Everyone by Robert Evans - Chapters 4-7

August 25th, 2019


The podcast will be returning in September, but I wanted to share the new audiobook “The War on Everyone” by former guest, journalist Robert Evans. This is the second half, Chapters 1-3 are in the previous episode. 

The War On Everyone by Robert Evans - Chapters 1-3

August 23rd, 2019


The podcast will be returning in September, but I wanted to share the new audiobook “The War on Everyone” by former guest, journalist Robert Evans

Robert is the host of one of my favorite podcasts, “Behind The …

39. Save the Footlight - Laura Regan, Owner

August 16th, 2019


Click Here to Donate!

 Welcome to a special episode of BZ Listening. The podcast is officially on vacation, but I wanted to help spread the word about a fundraiser for The Footlight, a venue in Ridgewood Queens that is …

38. Jane Arnoff Logsdon - Stand Up to Trump CLE Organizer

August 9th, 2019


On today’s episode, at the top I announce a brief break from the show, and some state of the podcast reflections as the show nears its first …

37. Justin Curry - Violinist

August 5th, 2019


Justin Curry has been playing violin since he was 16, and has performed all over the US, and internationally. We talk about how he started playing …

36. Henry Black - Singer/Songwriter

July 29th, 2019


Henry Black was born in Medicine Lake, Montana before the turn of the last century. Upon moving to New York City in late-2015, he rose to prominence among the acclaimed singer-songwriter scene. In 2019, he formed a …

35. Pat Hull - Singer/Songwriter

July 22nd, 2019


Today’s guest is one of the first musicians I befriended in New York City, Pat Hull. Pat is a singer-songwriter from Connecticut currently based out …

34. Zen Soundscapes at IngenuityFest

July 19th, 2019


Today, my guests are Amanda Nyx, a painter, teacher, and installation artist, along with former guest of the show, musician Michael McFarland. I’m such a huge fan of the work Amanda and Michael do in the Cleveland area, …

33. Killy Dwyer - Mockstar, MC, Performance Artist

July 15th, 2019


Today, my guest is Killy Dwyer, who bears a lot more labels than simply musician. Killy is an actor, comedian, performance artist, MC, and ultimately …

32. Roger Hill - Writer/Director of Huckleberry

July 10th, 2019


Today’s episode is the first with a prerequisite. Usually I have musicians on this show, and if you haven’t heard them before, no big deal. Today, however, I’m talking with Roger Hill, director of the film “Huckleberry

31. ManorFest 2019 Featured Act Highlights

July 9th, 2019


Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend and privilege to produce a portion of the first ever ManorFest at the McFarland Manor. The manor is a house venue in Gordon Square that puts on shows the last Friday or …

30. Lulu Friesdat - Election Security Journalist

July 3rd, 2019


Happy Almost-Birthday America!

Now I know you’re excited to light off your fireworks, to bbq in the backyard, and to see all the people waving your flag and wearing it as a swimsuit, BUT first we gotta talk about some …

Sick Day

July 1st, 2019


Sorry folks, no music Monday this week!

29. Corry Michaels - Pop / Dance / EDM / Songwriter

June 24th, 2019


Corry and I discuss his musical and performance roots, how he has used YouTube and remote collaboration to learn, his growth from a solo artist to …

28. Matt Pless - Punk-Folk Musician

June 17th, 2019


Today my guest is Matt Pless, a punk/folk/protest musician that I first encountered at Occupy Wall St, which we reflect on a bit, in addition to the …

27. Brent Kirby - Rock Musician

June 10th, 2019


Brent Kirby’s been called by many of his peers one of Cleveland’s hardest working musicians and his actions prove that. In 2013, Brent Kirby was voted “Best Singer” and also “Best Male Vocal” by the Cleveland Scene, and …

26. Michael Dylan Brennan - Mayor of University Heights - Part 2

June 6th, 2019


If you haven’t listened to part one yet, I would definitely recommend it, because that’s weird, but it’s your life. 

Next Monday my musical guest …

25. Michael Dylan Brennan - Mayor of University Heights - Part 1

May 30th, 2019


This may have been the most difficult interview I’ve ever had to edit, which is a direct result of the fact that it was one of the easiest interviews …

24. Memorial Day Mixtape

May 28th, 2019


I took the weekend off, and so no new musical guest this week. Instead, I've put together this mix tape of all the musicians featured so far on the show.

 Check back tomorrow for part one of my interview with Michael …

23. Molly Ruth - Full Moon Outlaw

May 20th, 2019


This week I’ve got another guest that I met while I was living in New York City, Molly Ruth.  We talk about how growing up in NYC shaped her and the …

22. Robinson Treacher - Singer/Songwriter

May 13th, 2019


Today’s guest is Robinson Treacher, a singer-songwriter with a heart and voice of gold that I met nearly 10 years ago at a family-owned cafe in …

21. XE La Soul - Part 2

May 7th, 2019


More songs and stories from Xe La. We don't have the budget for one of those fancy "Previously on BZ Listening" intros, unfortunately, so you'll have to go back and listen to part one to see what you missed!

Unexpected Bonus! The Dominic & Charlie Podcast

May 3rd, 2019


Over dinner I explained to my sons how I prepare for an interview on my podcast, that it's almost all figuring out good questions.

While I recorded an interview with a remote guest in my office they did this. They're …

20. XE La Soul - Jung Punk Musician

April 29th, 2019


My guest today is Alexander Alvarez, aka XE La SOL. Alex is a man who has a very pure and complicated relationship with music and the world, and one …

19. McFarland Manor - Cleveland House Show Venue

April 23rd, 2019


In part two of my interview with Michael McFarland, we chat about the history of McFarland Manor.

McFarland Manor is a Cleveland house venue in the Gordon Square District, organized by Michael McFarland, Cassie Bishop …

18. Michael McFarland - Indie Rock Musician

April 22nd, 2019


This week my guest is indie-rocker and musical architect, Michael McFarland. We ended up covering a lot of ground, so I had to break this interview up into two parts. Today’s episode covers Michael’s childhood being …

17. Madeline Finn - Songwriter Singer

April 15th, 2019


On today’s episode, Madeline Finn and I talk about her early start in music, the lessons she learned as an American Idol contestant, and how she …

16. Indré - Singer/Songwriter

April 8th, 2019


Welcome to another Music Monday, today my guest is Indré, a local singer/songwriter that splits her time between Cleveland and Akron. I caught one set by her at the Winchester open mic in Lakewood and immediately booked …

15. Personal Day: Trans Issues with Valouria Douglas

April 4th, 2019


Today’s episode is part two of a new segment on the show, “Personal Days”, where I talk with friends and family about issues we are currently dealing with or have in the past. The subject of for this personal day is …

14. Personal Day: Trans Issues with Sara Kaplan

April 3rd, 2019


Today kicks off a new series on the show that I call “Personal Days”, where I focus on a topic that hits close to home for me. This first one is on trans-rights and acceptance because this year, my brother Carl has come …

13. Cutleri - Avant Folk Trio

April 1st, 2019


I’ve known Cutleri for about a decade going back to when I first started playing music in 2009. 

It was at Penny’s Open Mic that I first discovered Cutleri when they were the featured guest. They immediately stood out, …

12. Larry Elefante - Musician

March 25th, 2019


Today my guest is Michael Rutushin, aka “Larry Elefante”. On the show we talk about Michael’s musical family, his first gigs, his worst gigs, and his new album, “I Get Sentimental” recently released on vinyl by way of a …

11. Steve Holecko - Political Director CCPC

March 20th, 2019


Today my guest is Steve Holecko, Political Director of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus or CCPC for short. This is by far the longest episode I …

10. Robert Evans - Journalist

March 18th, 2019


Today my guest is Robert Evans: journalist and host of the “Behind the Bastards” podcast. I first noticed Robert’s work in 2013 when he was writing for, a comedy site that did a surprising amount of …

9. Kate Hart - Musician

March 18th, 2019


Kate Hart is a Cleveland pioneer of “nerd folk”, a genre she may or may not have invented. Please do let me know on twitter or elsewhere if she’s …

8. Mikey Silas - Musician

March 11th, 2019


Today’s episode is with another rising star of the Cleveland music scene, Mikey Silas. Mikey’s stage presence is as big as his heart, and is a font of positivity and encouragement, both in person and online. I first …

7. Occupy Wall Street Reflections

October 23rd, 2018


Today’s episode is another throwback, reflecting on Occupy Wall Street, which we are currently in the 7th anniversary of. The occupation began on September 17th, 2011, and was viciously evicted on November 15th.

Living …

6. Hannah Stak - Musician

October 10th, 2018


This week’s episode is with Cleveland singer-songwriter, Hannah Stak. I first heard her play at the McFarland Manor house show, and she lived up to the high praise I’d been hearing from my wife, Deb. She was one of the …

5. Holly LeCraw - Author/Activist

September 26th, 2018


Today’s interview is with my first non-musical guest, Holly LeCraw. She’s a Boston-based author of two books, The Swimming Pool and The Half Brother, …

4. Curtis Eller (2014) - Musician

September 18th, 2018


I discovered Curtis in the summer of 2009 when he opened for the Squirrel Nut Zippers in New York City. I don’t remember a thing about them, but I’ll …

3. Charley Crockett (2018) - Musician

September 13th, 2018


It has been an honor and a privilege to know Charley Crockett, and get to watch his star rise. I met Charley Crockett in 2009 at a small open mic in Astoria, back when I was giving standup comedy a shot. Shortly after …

2. Charley Crockett (2014) - Musician

September 10th, 2018


Charley Crockett is the man who nicknamed me BZ, back in 2009 when we first met at an open mic in NYC. This episode is pulled from my very first …

1. Ray Flanagan - Musician

September 5th, 2018


Ray Flanagan is one of the most prolific musicians in the Cleveland music scene, and can be found delivering his own songs intimately in his dynamic …

A Brief Introduction

September 4th, 2018


Hi there, I’m BZ Douglas, a musician, and event producer.

I came to the craft of music late in life. I waded into the waters of the New York open mic scene back in 2009 as a stand up comic, and came out a musician. The …

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