Signals from The Sound of Tomorrow

Signals from The Sound of Tomorrow

Orbiting somewhere above Rochester, we caught up with The Sound of Tomorrow, a bi-weekly podcast that talks about life, social justice, and of course, drinking. Can you say ‘new friend?’

What got you into talking about your lives and stuff twice a month on the internet, in space?
Heather: My version of our origin story goes like this: Ross and I were (and are) big fans of This American Life. During Summer 2007, TAL was looking to hire a new Webmaster and Ross sent me the job application link jokingly suggesting we apply for the job. For a number of reasons, we knew we couldn’t *actually* apply for the position but talking about it led to us insisting “Well, if we can’t be on This American Life, then we can have our own show!” Then we realized that YES! We *could* have our own show! So we did….. and that’s how Ross and I started the Sound of Tomorrow.
We’re in space because the mortgage is cheap up here. You wouldn’t believe how little we pay for the Spacebridge. Sure, the jetpacks are a little dangerous but it’s totally worth it.
Ross: What Heather said, and also the fact that we discovered in each other a mutual love of radio. What I like about audio is that if you’re clever, and describe something with enough conviction, you can conjure up any just about any image in a listener’s mind. Add in a few sound effects and you can tell a big-budget story with almost no money. As a bonus, radio listeners don’t care if you’re fat.
So the Spacebridge is just your various apartments and dwellings? That’s impressive. The sound is great and so are the vocals. It’s not easy to talk about stuff for an hour, how do you decide on, or come up with, material?
Ross: It’s a little different with every show…sometimes we plan topics and bat material back and forth for weeks or even months, and sometimes we begin recording without much more than an idea scratched out on the back of a napkin. Serious topics tend to announce themselves: our bullying episode came about because it was a topic in the news, and we had friends and contacts with stories and experiences. Silly topics announce themselves, too. Mostly while drunk or in the shower.
Heather: Given our bi-weekly schedule, we don’t even need to decide on which opening skits and longer-form radio dramas to use; anything goes. We just have to generate the material. Ross and I write nearly all of those, usually separately.

For me, and I think I can speak for Ross on this one, too, the inspiration for the skits can come from anywhere. I might write us as characters in an established genre like sci-fi or noir. I might get an idea from something I see on TV or read in a book. I might be out walking and get some random thought about an absurd scenario that I think is funny. I might be drunk or showering or drinking in the shower when I think of something that could work as a skit. One of my favorite things about the skits is that we’ve actually developed our own lore and characters.

We have to be careful now that we don’t go back in time and kill ourselves playing our grandfathers.
I love that you referenced shower beers. Do you have anything we should look out for coming up in twenty-thirteen?
Heather: Who said anything about shower beers? It’s shower champagne all the way, baby! Until the left over new year’s champagne is gone, that is. Then we’re back to bathtub gin. In 2013, I’d say look out for oncoming traffic and children at play. That’s honestly good advice for any year.
Ross: For next year, we’re lining up some new great guests, and expanding the comedy portions of our show with new skits and new running story lines. We’ll explore new parts of the Spacebridge. We’re also working on some awesome new news and science segments…

Do you like our podcast?
a.) yes
b.) yes

Heather: Here’s a little secret for all the podcasters out there: when people tell you “Oh, I’m totally going to listen to your podcast!” they usually don’t. However, when I told you I’d listen, I did! Just not very much…. yet. But I liked what I heard and I’m looking forward to checking out more Local Vocals soon! Keep up the good work!

Would you like to receive Spacebook updates about The Rochester Insomniac?

a.) yes
b.) no

Heather: Absolutely! The Sound of Tomorrow e-mail address is and we’d love to receive spacemail from the Rochester Insomniac or anyone else, for that matter.

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