About the podcast
The ghosts of West Oakland Blues legends still peek out from behind the corners of once-bustling juke joints, now boarded and abandoned. From someone’s backyard come the faint tones of a marimba, courtesy of the Bay Area’s Mayan immigrant community. A lonely guitarist cranks out homemade rock riffs in an empty BART station, hoping for a handout.
Music permeates our everyday lives, yet we’re often unaware of its origins and cultural significance. In every space, around every corner, there are hidden cultures and their accompanying music forms. Just as history shapes our present and future, so too does music. Beats and Measures explores people’s struggles, triumphs, and connections through the lens of music.
Each episode of Beats and Measures will reveal to listeners a different musical style or tradition and the cultural and historical context from which it was forged. Hosts Brian Howey and Chloe Behrens dig deep to find what makes a sound unique to a people or region and meet with key contributors to that sound. We’ll examine the theory behind the composition, visit live events where music is created and shared, and analyze its function in society. Beats and Measures is a platform for education, entertainment, and cultural preservation.
Chloe Behrens is a reporter and music fanatic from Venice Beach, CA. After years of trekking around the country, she landed in Oakland where she can be found singing on street corners and crate-digging at record swaps.
Brian Howey is an Oakland-based investigative journalist and musician. He grew up in South Dakota and has called the Bay Area home for ten years. He doesn’t like The Beatles.