MikeyPod 241 | Poet and Hip-Hop Artist Donald Vincent AKA Mr. Hip

I met Donald Vincent AKA Mr. Hip a few weeks ago at the Compassion Arts and Culture & Animals Festival here in NYC. He approaches and expresses his art with a humbleness and curiosity that I find especially beautiful and inspiring. I was so thrilled to talk to him about his work, his openness to sharing his process, and how his art is part of everything he does.  Mr. Hip is a vegan, jazzy, hip-hop artist, poet, painter, and avid lover of all things art now based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Washington, DC, his music blends an eclectic mix of rap, style, swag, and music for the hipsters as well as the streets. His poems can be found online in a variety of literary magazines. Continue reading →

MikeyPod 240 | Piano Trio Bearthoven

This week I talk with Karl Larson and Matt Evans, two of the members of the piano trio, Bearthoven, about their most recent album, Trios. Though their third member Pat Swoboda was unable to join us, we dug deep in their process of creating the album, the commissioning of pieces for the album, and the current new music landscape. We talked a great deal about Bang on a Can, who you should absolutely investigate as well. Continue reading →

MikeyPod 239 | Undercover Photographers Dietz and Lia

I’m back in Brooklyn, and back in the New York groove! This week I talk to two of the most passionate animal activists I know, Dietz (Unparalleled Suffering) and Lia (The Evidence Box). Both are fantastic photographers who are especially adept at documenting the experience of non-human animals and the horrifying abuses they are subjected to by humans. I got to spend some time staying with them during my tour, so of course I busted out my trusty recorder for an interview. Continue reading →

MikeyPod 238 | Author and Activist Ren Hurst

I have been looking forward to my stay with Ren Hurst for months, and the experience absolutely did not disappoint. Ren is a former horse trainer turned activist, author of Riding on the Power of Others, and founder of The New World Sanctuary Foundation. Our conversation came at the end of the six days I spent with her and her horses, camping out in gorgeous Northern California without electricity or plumbing. In spite of my general distaste for the outdoors, my experience was simply glorious, and I know this interview will inspire and open you, just like my time with Ren did me. Enjoy! Continue reading →

MikeyPod 237 | Direct Action Everywhere Organizer Priya Sawhney

Recorded in DxE‘s house in Berkeley, CA, here’s my interview with powerhouse activist Priya Sawhney. It was incredibly inspiring and energizing to stay in the DxE house for a few days. Lots and lots of work happening at all times, yet it was still a joyful and beautiful place. I love their message about non-violence and in approaching with love. Priya and I had a great conversation about those ideas, and she gives a solid explanation about DxE’s work with open rescue. Continue reading →

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Michael Harren has been podcasting about art, music and activism for over ten years. Since the launch of the podcast, Michael has lived in Houston, then rural Georgia at the intentional community Koinonia to his current home in Brooklyn, NY. Each Monday(ish) Michael  presents interviews with fellow creatives and presents his perspective as a professional musician and performance artist in New York City. Notable guests include musician Jane Siberry and Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller.

Brooklyn-based composer and performer Michael Harren combines elements of classical composition with experimental electronics and storytelling to create hypnotic and boldly intimate work that walks the line between Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel and Dead Can Dance. He is artist-in-residence at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary where he is creating The Animal Show, a solo multi-media theater piece which will be performed at Dixon Place in NYC on October 27, 28, and 29.

In his first solo show, Tentative Armor, he combined piano, synthesizers, various electronics, and live musicians with his unique storytelling, resulting in a deeply moving, highly entertaining performance. Through his resonant, powerful, very personal stories, Harren envelops the audience in a funny, poignant, highly intimate tour of his own self-discovery through spirituality, sexuality, and grief. Music, text and photos from the show were released in an album and book of the same name.

Michael Harren has toured as pianist with Sandra Bernhard, is the musical director for Cabaret for a Cause, and has performed at Dixon Place, (le) poisson rouge, Joe’s Pub, Judson Memorial Church, Manhattan Theater Source, The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama, The Laurie Beechman Theater as well as numerous venues around the country.

Learn more about Michael Harren at his main website.