For more than three hours last Saturday, all that Taylor Grote and I did was sit in a couple of old recliners inside his work studio and talk about whatever topics that came to mind. Local music, superhero movies, our favorite writers, Sioux City bar life – anything. All the while, a DLSR camera and two microphones recorded every exchange to be used for Grote’s newest podcast, The Sioux City Show.
Moving into 2018, Grote wanted to further improve upon on skills as a videographer and photographer by creating projects with an emphasis on original content geared towards a Sioux City audience. Highlighting specific Siouxlanders in an informal, one-on-one podcast was his first step.
“Rather than just create things in my own sphere and put it out to my same group of friends, I wanted to make things that showed Sioux City the way I see it,” said Grote.
Our conversation in particular is expected to be the third episode in The Sioux City Show series, which can be watched or listened to on YouTube and Apple Podcasts.
Grote’s guests in past episodes include his sister Anna Taylor, lead singer of the Sergeant Bluff band 35th and Taylor, and Tyson Sanchez, owner of Daga’s Mexican Grill in Winnebago, Nebraska – both of which have some connection to Sioux City, whether they regularly played shows in local bars or music venues or were born and raised in the town of more than 82,000 people.
What was the reason I was chosen to be on the show? Grote said he liked my stories; more specifically, the stories about local musicians and bands. But our conversation was not limited to that single topic. Grote stressed that he wants more free-flowing, laid-back exchanges in his podcasts; something more personal than just a question-and-answer survey.
As one might expect, however, Grote’s hometown is often a topic that is returned to in some form on The Sioux City Show. He has an striking appreciation for Sioux City and its people and culture.
“I think the people here are genuinely good people,” he said. “There’s such an emphasis on being a good person before anything else defining you. Whereas you go to a bigger city like L.A. or New York City or something along those lines, and people put so much of their professional career before anything personal.”
Grote even turned down a big city dream job in favor of working and making a change in his hometown. As a result, he created his own production company called Honeywave Media.
So far, Honeywave Media produces two types of regular content: The Sioux City Show podcast and the Straight Work/No Cut one-take music videos. The latter is set to include work by local musicians and bands in much the same way Grote filmed music videos for the hip-hop duo D.A.D. – projects that eventually went viral in 2017 and earned millions upon millions of views on social media. Both kinds of content keep to Grote’s emphasis on Sioux City.
“That’s what Honeywave is all founded upon: finding a way to create original content for a Sioux City audience,” he said. “It kind of adheres to the new media method of distribution through the web.”
Simply put: Grote is a diehard fan of Sioux City. Learning as much as he can about the town’s history and the notable people who have resided (or still reside) in it, Grote prides himself on being “the person in the room who can refute anybody’s statement of Sioux City being boring.”
Of that he is certain. And he aims to prove it with his new media venture. One episode at a time.
“I think I can tell Sioux City stories from a Sioux City voice to a Sioux City audience.”