Sock Monkey Sound

Behind-the-scenes creative director, executive producer of Sock Monkey Sound [SMS]. A grassroots podcast covering wide-ranging cultural topics, regional music talk, and interviews with independent artists including: David Bazan, Yoko Ono, Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), Colin Hay (Men At Work), Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers/Archers of Loaf), Hutch Harris (The Thermals), Dan Deacon, Richard Edwards, Matt Hopper, members of The Dandy Warhols, Superchunk, Built To Spill, The Dismemberment Plan and many more.

Enjoyed many daily creative and technical responsibilities during my tenure with SMS. I saw the potential in its grassroots phase after the team interviewed me for Episode 16 of their production. Seeing what a wonderful little baby they were conceiving, I offered to contribute original content production, podcast performances, provide audio and web dev services, cloud management and support, direct brand development and marketing with the goals of expanding the listener base, engaging the public with daily social media and web site content production, assist artist PR and interviews, lead writing and editing of content for the show, and manage all loose ends. I believed in this production, and put in sweat equity unlike anything before or since.

During my creative tenure with SMS, and against all recession-era odds, the show received national recognition for establishing itself as a Top 10 National Music and Culture Podcast from USA Today (2011), NPR (2011), and Paste Magazine (2012). I also solely wrote, produced, performed, digitally published and distributed an additional 19 episodes of an offshoot, one-man podcast production for the SMS brand, “Andy and Reggie’s Songs About Stuff and Things Radio Hour” (2012-2013), in an effort to expand the SMS brand.

The national attention and success allowed Sock Monkey Sound to send me as press/photo journalist to cover, interview artists, take photos at events and music festivals, such as Austin City Music Festival in 2011 and 2012. It was an incredibly diverse experience that I wish 1) I could have back to savor longer, and 2) convince the four founders to get their shit together and communicate with each other about how good of an upstart they had on their hands— that they didn’t respect.

Exhaustion started to settle in on my end—sweat equity and success has a downside—especially when the show would spike with listeners and streaming due to popular artists and interviews we conducted. We had little to zero advertising revenue coming in to assist the operations and hosting with streaming services. I personally financed and managed cloud server hosting and streaming services from 2010 to 2014 to sustain its growing operations, keep it online (especially during listener GPU spikes) while SMS founders attended to life responsibilities.

I often felt as if they were too young to understand what I was providing to keep podcast baby online. Thanklessness was often the response I received from everyone aside of Chip Copeland, its primary podcast producer and founder. He was entirely grateful, because SMS didn’t have the cashflow to survive behind the scenes. I didn’t hold it against them because I knew I was the eldest, and far more experienced with business tasks, by a decent 12 to 15 years on them. They weren’t ready for the success, and that became the bottomline. There was little effort put forth to amp up strategies to grow as soon as the national recognition hit us, and I started to get burned out being the odd man out on decisions between the 4 founders.

Patrick and Brandon, two founders finishing college and relocating to Chicago, distracted by life and treating the podcast production as a hobby versus the potential business operation it should have grown into. Another founder, Mark, our key audio engineer, editor, mixer, moved his family to the UK for an audio engineering job. That was huge loss, as you can imagine.

The founders continued to remain on silent terms while myself and Chip kept the show running up until 2014. I made a tough-love decision to walk away from SMS in 2014 after 112 episodes, including the 19 shows I self-produced, performed and distributed as “Songs About Stuff and Things”. I was managing far too many client marketing accounts on the side— as well as a day job that I took on in mid-2013 to work for ABG, who I serve as the Executive Creative Director of to this present day. SMS shut down within months of me removing myself. It remained silent and unavailable to stream for 2 years. It killed the national listener base we grew. I still get sick thinking of all that fun work we did to grow the operation, to allow the laziness and youth of poor communication amongst the youngest founders to affect the podcast’s grassroots success.

Two of the founders managed to reconnect and reboot the original archive in mid-2016 after the hiatus. The new team proceeded nicely for awhile, but they had lost touch with the listening base. Too much time and silence passed. The new team produced and created an additional 100 episodes—all great—but sadly it suffered a similar end by mid-2018 when no one was financially caring for the production’s monthly GPU host fees. The same thankless tech nonsense that I managed for years took them down again because they were unwilling to learn from past mistakes.

Fun while it lasted, but absolutely frustrating to think back on knowing it could still be running at a national level and generating revenue to survive. The perils of youth is what took SMS down, two times.

As of 2022, 212 Sock Monkey Sound podcast episodes are still currently off-grid and unavailable to stream. You might find episodes for streaming on a few hard to find online services, but it’s not as easy as it used to be (via Apple Podcasts, etc.). I salvaged a few episodes for my own intents a decade ago knowing how negligent the founders were becoming towards managing the original audio content. See links below.

19 episodes of “Songs About Stuff and Things” are available to share, download and stream at this link:


Dave DeCastris is Silent Kit (Formerly Donkey Boy USA)
Interview and Live Performance at Sock Monkey Sound
Episode 16, November 19, 2009:

ClientSock Monkey Sound PodcastServicesCreative Direction, Podcast Production, Brand Identity + Logo Development, Social Media, Articles +

Related Works

Privacy Preference Center