Editor, McLerran Journal
Assistant Band Director, Center ISD, TX
The word “podcast” comes from the two English words “ipod” and “broadcast.” In recent decades, the increased abilities of handheld devices and growing access to broadcasting technology have made it easier for amateurs to produce and distribute radio-like programs to the public. This fledgling industry has grown exponentially since the early 2000’s when Apple began to offer free podcasts for users to download to their personal devices (Quah). In a time of á la carte television and internet-based book services, the idea of a personalized radio system has appealed to millions worldwide. It is estimated that 44% of the United States population regularly listen to one or more podcast, a stunning change from the reported 11% in 2006 (Statista, 2018). It will be interesting to observe how the industry changes as these independently operated shows begin to be monetized and regulated at the national level.
Disgraceland: A Music and True Crime Podcast
Disgraceland, hosted by Jake Brennan, is a no-holds-barred podcast that delves into the private, and sometimes violent, lives of popular musicians. Each thirty minute episode, with attention-getting titles like Keith Moon: Excess and a Dead Chauffer, centers around a specific individual, incident, or conspiracy. Since the release of its premiere episode on February 13, 2018, Disgraceland has gained a massive following with millions of listeners worldwide. Not even a whole year old, the program has already earned a place as #7 on the “Top Podcasts” chart released by Apple Podcasts. About the show, host Jake Brennan shares, “Real rock stars are more like feral narcissistic animals than functioning members of society. That’s what makes them so entertaining. […] Disgraceland is a true crime podcast about musicians getting away with murder and behaving very badly.”
Brennan, originally from Clinton, MA, is the writer, host, and producer of Disgraceland. Currently a professional musician and songwriter, Brennan was introduced to the wonderful and terrifying world of touring musicians at an early age. This, combined with his passion for history and storytelling, made it an easy decision to make the change from his original career in advertising to discovering and narrating the dark truths of the music industry. “Disgraceland,” Brennan shares, “explores the stories of […] the heinous acts committed by” famous musicians and juxtaposes it with candid thoughts on the quality and impact of the “amazing music they create.” The podcast is released on a bi-weekly schedule and is produced independently in a “former massage parlor of ill-repute, where it remains,” Brennan jokes, “fittingly.” Currently, Brennan lives with his wife and young son just north of Boston and is grateful to have found a career which allows him to be surrounded by his loves; history and rock and roll.
Learn more about the podcast Here
Listen to episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 Here
Brennan, Jake. (2017). About. Disgraceland. Apple Podcasts. Web. 23 November, 2018.
Harper, Douglas. “Podcast.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, 2010.
“U.S. Consumers Who Listen to Audio Podcasts 2018 | Statistic.” Statista, 2018.