Marty Key: Steady Sounds, Musician


Today’s interview is with Marty Key. Marty is the owner of Steady Sounds, a record store which stood here in Richmond, VA, and became a fixture of Richmond culture in the 2010s. And also, Marty is a musician, starting out as the frontman for the Richmond Punk Group Bad Guy Reaction in the 1990s, and later, playing bass for a whole host of bands, from Bratmobile, to Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Young Pioneers, and Live from Hollywood Cemetery. Music seems to play a big part in his life, so it was great to talk with him, and get his thoughts on Richmond, the history of some of these bands, and the history of Steady Sounds.

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Caroline Rowley: Primatologist


Those sounds you heard at our opening, are of Lucky and Lo Lem, both rescued Northern white-cheeked Gibbons, which were recorded by today’s guest, Primatologist Caroline Rowley. Caroline got their start in this field, as an undergrad at Tulane University, and then went on to Central Washington University for a Masters in Primate Behaviour and Ecology. And over the past few years, has applied these studies, most notably, as the director of the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, in the Cuc Phuong National Park, in northern Vietnam. But the thing that may stand out the most about Caroline, is the empathy, and compassion they have for the living world around us, and their personal passion and dedication to try and make things better, first through understanding them scientifically, then taking those findings, and trying to make the changes that seem to make sense. In short, Caroline is one of those folks that you hope exists in the field of science. And they are definitely real, and have a lot to say about the world we are living in.

Also, as Caroline takes the process of knowledge rather serious, they asked me to provide their email address, welcoming, and happy to be corrected in any statement they have made here, and happy to learn how to better advocate for the people of the planet. And they also invite any questions from you, and they will learn right along with you. So in that spirit, you can email Caroline at C A R dot their lastname at


Wikipedia Article on Tantalum from Coltan

Palm Oil Deforestation

Education For Nature – Vietnam

Essay: The Trouble With Wilderness (William Cronon)

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Taylor Steele: Four Walls Falling, Joyburner


Today’s interview is with Taylor Steele. Taylor was the singer for the 1990s hardcore band Four Walls Falling. As vocalist, he delivered leftist politics with a concern for both animal welfare and the environment, backed with a lyrical positivity that encouraged the listener to believe in their own power, and capabilities, a foundation that served as an inspiration for many future Richmond punks, as well as folks in the punk scene at large. And Taylor’s presence in the scene extended beyond the band, for many years the house he lived in, at 805 West Cary St, here in Richmond, Virginia, became a place for touring bands to play, as well as a place to hang out. And as Taylor got older, he also kept going to shows, kind of illuminating that sense of possibility, that he has always seemed to hold.

So It was exciting to talk to Taylor and get to learn about his start in the 1980s Richmond punk scene, playing in the bands Pledge Allegiance, Four Walls, and Joyburner, his influences in both music, and in ethics, As well as to hear some cool stories and reflection on punk, and Richmond punk’s, path through the past few decades. It was a great conversation, Taylor is both very thoughtful and very humble, and I think you will enjoy it as well.

You can check out Four Walls Falling’s ‘Culture Shock’, on Spotify, and most streaming services.

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Krissi Vandenberg: Vegan Action


Today’s interview is with activist, Krissi Vandenberg. Since the 1990s, Krissi has been involved with the outreach group, Vegan Action, and since 2000, has served as the executive director, leading the organization to certify many vegan products on store shelves, offering folks a researched, and verifiable way to make cruelty-free choices. It was awesome to talk with Krissi, and hear her story of getting into activism, taking over the reigns of vegan action, her hope for a planet more kind to animals, and the one thing she wants to see happen in her lifetime.

You can check out her work with Vegan Action at their website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

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Alix Petrie: Artist


Today’s interview is with artist, Alix Petrie. The first time I saw Alix’s paintings, I was blown away. There was a unique style, a language, that just made my brain happy. And in getting to know her, I got to see her actually paint, which is one of those moments where, doing what she does so well, a person transforms, before your eyes, and you realize, this is what this person was born to do. And all of it left such an impression on me, that it inspired me in my own art as a musician, and to even take up oils myself. So sharing this interview with you, was something I really wanted to do. But also, something I feel privileged to do: Alix is a fairly private person, and would rather cast light on those around her than on herself. So her agreeing to do this, and to be able to share her thoughts and ultimately, her artistry with the larger world, speaks of something else in her: the faith she places in good.

You can follow Alix on instagram at alixpetrie

And you can check out her work at Eric Schindler Gallery | instagram ericschindlergallery

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Giustino Riccio: Musician / Pizzaiolo


Todays interview is with Giustino Riccio. For almost 30 years now, Giustino has played the timbales in the Richmond Virginia-based salsa band, Bio Ritmo. And more recently, has been studying, experimenting, and crafting, some amazing pizzas, first for friend in a restaurant, then as an extension of the Galley restaurant here in Richmond. Now Guistino is gearing up to share these pizzas with friends starting in mid-April, via a joint venture with his spouse, Ellen Cockerham Riccio, a symphony violinist, offering violin and pizza, for small groups. Giustino is one of those folks who you can tell is motivated by passion, and a need to experiment, and to understand. And as a result, this conversation not only takes us through his history, but also, some of the findings of such experiments along the way.

You can follow Giustino on his instagram, at giustinoriccio, and for the upcoming events, his wife Ellen’s instagram, backyardviolinist


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Amy Black: Tattoo Artist


Today’s interview is with tattoo artist, Amy Black. Since the 2000s, Amy has been doing custom tattoos here in Richmond Virginia. And along the way, began offering realistic cosmetic tattooing to survivors of breast cancer. In this interview, we talk about how she got started, how she came to work with cancer survivors, what its like running her own shop, as well as her personal experience with Buddhism, and what it is like to meet the Dali Lama.

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Thomas Barnett: Strike Anywhere, Great Collapse, Inquisition


I met Thomas Barnett around 1993, when he was the singer for the band Inquisition. As a young punk here in Richmond, inquisition showed a path for me and my friends, that was both inspiring and empowering, both in their content and in operation. Thomas had a clear love for both people, and punk rock. And it came through so clearly. At any show, you could find him, talking with folks in the crowd, regardless of if he was there play. And over the years, managed to keep those loves kindled, and apply them to new bands, Strike Anywhere, Great Collapse, as well as to new generations of punk rock. This interview, doesn’t take the normal form of a various things interview. Usually, it is me highlighting someone else. But with Thomas and his own way, he wanted to talk about me too. Which in itself, just goes to show what kind of person Thomas really is. I think to him,music, punk rock, is a dialogue. Just like any community should be. We talked for a bit, so there are a couple interludes. But it was an amazing conversation, covering everything from the way we approach music, to Black Lives Matter, the Pandemic, Antifa, and the hope and optimism we have, for both human beings, and punk rock.

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Rob Huddleston: Ann Beretta, Inquisition


Todays interview is with Rob Huddleston. Rob is a musician and songwriter, who since the early 1990s, has been making music in the vein of punk rock, first as bassist for the richmond punk band inquisition, then as a guitarist and singer in the band Ann Beretta, as well as with music released under his own name. It was awesome to talk with Rob, get an overview of his forming experience in the late 80s, early 90s Richmond punk scene, touring, and ultimately, the experiences one has when writing and sharing songs with the world at large. I had an awesome time talking with Rob, and I think you will enjoy our conversation as well. Enjoy.

You can follow Rob and Ann Beretta on instagram

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Bobby Egger: Vinyl Conflict, Label Owner, DJ


If your from Richmond, Virginia, you may be familiar with the record store, Vinyl Conflict. For the past 9 years, it has been owned by today’s guest, Bobby Egger. Bobby is a fan of punk and hardcore music, who as you will hear today, has taken the skills hes honed over the years, to help make an impact in the culture of punk rock and independent music, either with the store itself, it’s record label, or his labels, Head Count, and his hip-hop imprint, Fantastic Damage. In this interview we go over Bobby’s path through hardcore and labels, his experiences of running Vinyl Conflict, and some thoughts on both bands and business, in the current covid-19 pandemic.

You can follow Vinyl Conflict on instagram.

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About The Show

Various Things is a podcast exploring culture through the people who contribute to it, with a focus on Richmond, VA.

The show is hosted by Gary Llama.