Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017’s Dragon Con Road Trip Playlist

By Jerry Chandler

Assuming you’re reading this the day it goes live, Dragon Con 2017 is exactly seven days away. The evening of Thursday the 31st of August is the official soft launch of the convention with a few special events to tide everyone over until everything kicks off in a big way Friday morning. Many of you reading this will likely be getting in before then. It’s becoming more and more common to see a sizable crowd with even a few full cosplays done up and being worn at the Pulse bar on Wednesday night before con these days. So, you’re looking at a week or less before hitting the road to Dragon Con. As such, you’re likely down to the wire when it comes to getting all of your stuff together. But there might be something important you’ve overlooked.

You may be driving in to con. You may be flying in. You could be sitting in your seat behind the wheel or crammed in with the other airline passengers for as few as a couple of hours or for as many as ten or twelve. You need something to help pass the time. Sure a book (or an audiobook for you drivers) might help pass the time nicely. Maybe you can jam to some of your favorite tunes. But you’re going to Dragon Con. Why not make the trip down and maybe the trip back as much about enjoying the convention as you can? You can do that quite easily by putting together a playlist for your trip that is all things from, about, or related to Dragon Con.

In the case of the podcasts, I’ll provide links to websites where they can be downloaded. Many of them will also be available on iTunes. The music I’ll be suggesting you’ll have to purchase from your favorite online retailer.

First, let’s look at the podcasts out there that have episodes that are panels recorded at Dragon Con as well as live coverage from the convention.


Let’s make the boss happy by keeping it Needless Things related for the first few.

Needless Things Podcast 127 – Dragon Con 2016: GI Joe: A Real American Hero with Larry Hama
“Larry Hama is the man that created identities for the characters of the 1980s iteration of GI Joe – the 3.75” Real American Hero line. He wrote the file cards for the entire toy line. Duke, Zartan, Roadblock, Cobra Commander and all of the rest came from the mind of a man who only ever wanted to draw cartoon animals. And his characterizations were so strong that to this day they are still the touchstones of the franchise, even thirty years later.”

Needless Things Podcast 126 – Dragon Con 2016: The Shining vs. The Shining
“A presentation of the Horror Track - Phantom Troublemaker, authors Karen E. Taylor and Clay Gilbert, and Thomas Mariani from Horror News Radio discuss Stephen King's book and its various adaptations!  Stephen King's The Shining is widely recognized as one of his most chilling and personal novels. Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation has often been acknowledged as one of the most terrifying horror movies ever made. And then there's Mick Garris' television miniseires, which is generally considered to be a more faithful adaptation of King's work. What are the differences and which is the superior work? Do either of the adaptations live up to the quality of the source material?”

Needless Things Podcast 125 – Dragon Con 2016: Toy Stories
“A presentation of the American Sci-Fi Classics Track - Phantom Troublemaker, Rebeccah Hunter, Noel Wood, Sean Reid, Gary Mitchel, and members of the audience share Toy Stories! Tales of Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, and creepy 80s toys share the spotlight this time around.”

Needless Things Podcast 73 – Dragon Con 2015: Schwarza-Panel – The Sci-Fi Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger
“The RevCast’s Gary Mitchel moderates a conversation about the science fiction films of Arnold Schwarzenegger! Featured on the panel are Phantom Troublemaker, William Stout, The White Rocket Podcast’s Van Allen Plexico, the ESO Network’s Mike Faber, and Jessa Phillips.  The former governor of California has been an absolute powerhouse at everything he’s done – bodybuilding, acting, politicking – and this panel recorded LIVE at Dragon Con 2015 covers all aspects of his career. But of course, since it was part of the American Sci-Fi Classics Track, the focus is on the more fantastical aspects of his movie career – Total Recall, The Ruining Man, Predator, and more!”

Needless Things Podcast 72 – Dragon Con 2015: Toy Stories
“Join Phantom Troublemaker and a selection of special guests as they share reminiscences about the playthings they grew up with. Each speaker will present a tale attached to a specific toy from their life. Members of the audience will be asked to share as well, so be sure to bring that My Pet Monster or Green Ranger with the broken leg or pristine Strawberry Shortcake that you can’t bear to take out of the box.”

Needless Things Podcast Episode 33: Dragon Con 2014 – Conan the Destroyer Panel with William Stout
“I felt very fortunate to once again be at the table with the wonderful and talented William Stout, this time for a discussion of Conan the Destroyer. Listen in as Tegan and Gary from RevCast and I talk with Mr. Stout about his work on all of the Conan-centric films!”

Dragon Con 2013: Needless Things Podcast Episode 12 - The GI Joe: A Real American Hero Panel
“But now it’s time for my passion. It’s time for the panel about the toy line and cartoon and comic book that ruled my childhood above all others. Yes, even above Star Wars.  The GI Joe panel wasn’t technically mine to run like the others, but I felt just as proprietary about it. Much like Beau and the Masters panel, I knew I had a valuable resource to tap for the Joe panel – Gnoll. That guy knows 80s pop culture like you wouldn’t believe. And Hasbro properties are a specialty of his.”

Dragon Con 2013: Needless Things Podcast Episode 11 - The Masters of the Universe Panel with William Stout
“Just meeting the man behind the one thing about the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie that is unassailable – the production design – would have been hugely exciting. But Beau and I were going to get to be on a panel with him. To just chit chat about Masters. The mind boggles.  Boggle no more, because here for your listening pleasure is Masters of the Universe: 30 Years of the Power LIVE from Dragon Con in its entirety.”

Alright, I think we’ve got the boss covered. Now, let’s move on to some other great Dragon Con podcasts. We’re going to go back to 2013 for the first offering from the White Rocket Podcast with Van Allen Plexico talking to the great Larry Niven in front of a live audience.

White Rocket 035: Larry Niven Interview at DragonCon 2013!
“Yes, you read that correctly: Van's guest this week is SF legend Larry Niven, who sat down with him for an hour-long discussion about his career and works in front of a live audience at DragonCon 2013.  From Ringworld to Dream Park to Lucifer's Hammer, they cover as much of his fantastic creations as could be fit into an hour.  Enjoy!!”

We’ll stick with the White Rocket Podcast here, but jump ahead to Dragon Con 2014.

White Rocket 048: Andrew Gaska on Space: 1999 at DragonCon
“This week we present the first of several episodes recorded live at DragonCon 2014 in Atlanta. Here Andrew E. C. Gaska, writer and creative force behind the new SPACE: 1999 graphic novels from Archaia, talks about the show and about the new books with host Van Allen Plexico. Recorded live on the American SF Classics track at DragonCon.”

Jumping ahead to 2016, we take a look at the Hugo Awards. 

White Rocket 109: The Hugo Awards Minus 50 panel from Dragon Con
“Van is joined by Bill Fawcett and Bill Ritch to discuss the very first Hugo Awards from fifty years earlier. From the Sci Fi Literature Track at DragonCon 2016.”

Also form 2016, Tuning in to Sci-Fi TV’s Tales of the Black Badge podcast brings us a fan panel devoted to Wynonna Earp.

Tales of the Black Badge – A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast #32 – Dragon Con 2016 Fan Panel
“This podcast is a recording of a fan discussion panel done at Dragon Con 2016. Listen in as moderator Carol Malcolm, Annie “The Mighty” Smith, “Eternal” Zan Bowden, Kevin, Eric Asher, Damian Allen, and Erika Pratte discuss Wynonna Earp in this panel done in the Urban Fantasy track.”

Let’s look back to 2010 with this first one from Sword & Laser. On Sword & Laser, the link for the download on some older shows is the repeat of the episode title almost all the way down at the bottom of the page.

Dragon*Con with David Gerrold - The S&L Podcast #41
“Another year, another Dragon*Con come and gone! Thanks to everyone who came out to the live show at the Hilton in Atlanta, we had a total blast. A very special "thank you" goes out to our wonderful guest, author David Gerrold (who famously wrote The Trouble with Tribbles for the original Trek).”

S&L Podcast - #140 - DragonCon 2013 with Jim Butcher!
“Another year, another wonderful DragonCon! This time we're joined by Jim Butcher, one of our favorite authors (and yours). We discuss his upcoming steampunk series The Cinder Spires, his tips for new authors, and who the best fantasy writer would be to have on your side in a bar fight.”

S&L Podcast - #109 - Live at DragonCon with R.A. Salvatore!
“It's that time of year again... DragonCon! If you weren't able to join us for our live show, never fear! We recorded it for you. Joining us on this episode is the wonderful R.A. Salvatore, who answered your questions and gave us some great advice for new writers.”

They have more here.

The Star Wars Report takes everyone along for the Dragon Con ride from Dragon Con 2016.

Live From Dragon Con 2016 – SWR #238
“Dragon Con, Dragon Con and more Dragon Con! This week’s episode features daily recaps of the Southeast’s biggest geek convention! All on this week’s episode of the STAR WARS REPORT!”

Arrow Squad brings us a 2016 fan panel looking at the CW’s Arrow.

Dragon Con 2016 Arrow Fan Panel
“We’ve got a special bonus episode of Arrow Squad for you today as we share a recording of the Arrow fan discussion panel that took place at Dragon Con 2016. Our very own Podcast Overlord (Kevin Bachelder) moderated this discussion panel which took place in the American Scifi And Fantasy Media track. Listen in as (left to right in photo above) Betsy Matteis, John Keegan, Kevin, E.J. Stevens and Angela Pritchett discuss the ups and downs of season 4 and also look ahead to season 5.”

Some game talk from 2016.

D&R Panel Dragoncon 2016
“Our first D&R Panel live from Dragoncon 2016!”

MCG Panel at Dragon Con 2016
“Monte Cook Games hosted a panel at Dragon Con and TF9W host Jim Ryan was there to capture it. Here it is for your listening pleasure! Stay tuned for some upcoming news about the future of these Cypher system podcasts!”

A lot of Star Wars talk with the crew from Tosche Station.

Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2016 – Star Wars Rebels with Henry Gilroy and Timothy Zahn
“From Dragon Con day one is the Star Wars Rebels panel featuring the show’s head writer Henry Gilroy. Additional panelists include Bria LaVorgna, Bethany Blanton, and Nanci Schwartz. Bruce Gibson moderates. Towards the end of the recording, Timothy Zahn crashes the panel to discuss how he found out Grand Admiral Thrawn was going to be returning to canon.”

Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2016 – Military and Politics in Star Wars
“From Dragon Con 2016 is the Military and Politics in Star Wars panel. Panelists include Janine Spendlive, Bethany Blanton, Riley Blanton, Tom Hutchins, and John Liang. Moderating is Thomas Harper.”

Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2016 – Representation Matters
“From Dragon Con 2016 is the Star Wars Representation Matters panel. Janine, Maia, Luci, Mel, and Melissa form the panel. Brian moderates.”

Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2016 – Star Wars Costuming
“From Dragon Con day one is the Star Wars Costuming panel geared to helping you get started making your own costumes. Panelists are Casey Riley, Melissa Pye, Charles Ecton, Tom Hutchens, and Cheralyn Lambeth. Moderating is Bria LaVorgna.”

Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2016 – Post TFA Scandals and Cliffhangers
“From Dragon Con day one is the Post The Force Awakens Scandals and Cliffhangers panel. Panelists are Brian Larsen, Sarah Dempster, Danny Pirtle, and Chadwick Miller. Moderating is Nanci Schwartz.”

We’ll go to the podcasters at Views from the Longbox for some Watchmen talk and a Superhero-Versary.

Episode 245 - DragonCon 2016 Part 1: Watchmen 30 Years, 35 Minutes Ago
“DragonCon 2016 is over but the fun hasn't ended.  I was fortunate enough to be on a bunch (12 in all plus a few I got pulled up on) of the panels on the American Sci-Fi Classics track this year and while not all of them have to do with comics some of them did.  One of those was the Watchmen: 30 Years, 35 Minutes Ago, which took place on September 5, 2016. This was a fantastic conversation where we talked about Alan Moore as a writer, the themes of the story, the amazing art by Dave Gibbons and we even touch on the prequels that were a published a few years back.”

Episode 246 - DragonCon 2016 Part 2: 2016 Superhero-Versary
“This time out I present the second week of my DragonCon 2016 coverage with the Superhero-Versary Panel that took place on September 5, 2016 at 8:30 in the morning.  The panel was well attended for 8:30 on the final day of the con and I had a lot of fun talking super-hero birthdays.  Like last year we talked about a bunch of super-heroes celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2016.  I was once again blessed to be joined by a great group of people.”

Staying with superheroes, we go to Supergirl Radio.

Supergirl Radio Season 1.5 – Dragon Con 2016
“Panel Description: The past year has seen great success and ridicule for the DC Media Verse. Batman v. Superman brings up a lot of strong reactions. What makes so many of the small screen versions work, but their heroes struggle in the theater? And will Wonder Woman fall victim to this as well?”


Just because the podcasts are informational does not mean that they’re not also a lot of fun. You’ll recognize some of these names. I tend to plug them a lot around this time of year. Well, that and the first two are Needless Things.

These are the recent Needless Things interviews with Joe Crowe and Gary Mitchel of the American Sci-Fi Classics Track and Derek Tatum of the Dragon Con Horror Track.

Needless Things Podcast 172 – Dragon Con 2017: Back to the Classics Track
“In this week’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast, Joe “Virtuoso” Crowe and “Glorious” Gary Mitchel return to the show to play a surprise game of Classics Roll-A-Panel and discuss the ins and outs of running a Track for the ever-evolving entity of joy that is Dragon Con!”

Needless Things Podcast 173 – Dragon Con 2017: Revenge of the Horror Track
“In this week’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast Horror Track Director Derek Tatum returns to discuss ghastly business old and new, as well as the keys to successfully programming a Track for the third pillar of speculative fiction – horror!”

When it comes to The Unique Geek’s 50 Days of Dragon Con, I’m not going to list any of the individual podcasts. The concept of 50 Days of Dragon Con is to bring you the listener updates and information to help you have a more enjoyable Dragon Con. There’s also a game at the end of every podcast. All of the episodes are entertaining, so what you want to hear will be based on what tracks you want to zero in on that were covered in their shows.

The Unique Geek’s 50 Days of Dragon Con

Up next is my longtime pre-Dragon Con favorite, The ESO Dragon Con Khan Report. Look, there’s a lot of useful information in every episode, but I’m only going to link the most recent two here. Enjoy those as a part of a travel playlist, but, if you’ve never given them a listen, go ahead and check out the others before you leave for con.

The 2017 Dragon Con Khan Report Episode 7
“Less than one month before Dragon Con! Mike, Mike, Darren Nowell, and Eternal Zan report the latest news and notes to help prepare for the oncoming storm. We chat with the Director of Media Relations Dan Carroll, Urban Fantasy Track Director Carol Malcolm, High Fantasy Track Director Jennifer Liang, Skeptics Track Director Derek Colanduno, and Sean Patton of SMP Designs. The official app might not be ready, but we are!”

The 2017 Dragon Con Khan Report Episode 8
“Brace yourselves. Dragon Con 2017 is here! Mike, Mike, Mary Lou Who and Dakoma report the latest news and guest announcements. They, along with Michelle Biddix-Simmons, Kevin Bachelor, Eternal Zan, and many listeners, sound off on where they will be and what they are looking forward to at this year’s show. We’ll see you at the con!”

Here’s a podcast from just a few months ago. It does have some information in it that fans of Wynonna Earp will be interested in learning as well as a few other things.

Tales of the Black Badge – A Wynonna Earp Fan Podcast #65 – Dragon Con 2017 Earpers Video Hangout July 30, 2017
“This podcast is a recording of a fan video hangout where Kevin shared some information about Dragon Con and answered some questions from Earpers. We were also joined for several minutes by Carol Malcolm who is the director of the Dragon Con Urban Fantasy Track. She shared the schedule for the Wynonna Earp events taking place at the con this year!”

And, lastly, a Dragon Con 2016 recap show. An enjoyable listen as a group of first timers are discussing the mind blowing experience that was their shared first Dragon Con. They get to Dragon Con first.

Dragon Con (2016) – Morgan (2016) – Yoga Hosers (2016) – Episode 179 – Horror News Radio
“The Grue-crew have been transformed. The Black Saint, Thomas Mariani and Doc Rotten – along with Decades of Horror friends Bill Mulligan and award-winning director Christopher G. Moore made their way to Dragon Con 2016 to participate on a number of the panels scattered throughout the Horror Track. Aside from Christopher G. Moore, a frequent Con goer who covered DragonCon 2015 for HNR and the Hannibal Fan Podcast, it was the first trip for the rest of us. Tonight, the crew share their journey.”


Every year after Dragon Con (and quite a few other cons) the one tradition a lot of people share is the wait for that year’s Dragon Con cosplay videos from Beat Down Boogie. For some people, they’re a pretty big deal when it comes to having something to look back on their convention memories with. Every year Beat Down Boogie loads their videos up with some catchy music. If you’ve watched the videos enough times, the music itself starts to remind you of Dragon Con even without the videos. Here’s some of the music they’ve used over the years to play for a long stretch or to have short bursts of music in between the podcasts. Most of them can be found on iTunes or other music services. Some you may have to hunt harder for.

"Missing You" by Trash80
"Supernature Love" by DIGIKID84
“Set Me Free” by Phonat
“Hasdeau” by Minus
“Demons” by French Soler
“Learn to Recycle” by Phonat
"Real Hero" Remix by Panic City
"Into the Dark" by Chill Carrier
"Problematic by Dexter Britain"
"Girls" by DJad (AKA Funny Death)
"Dead" by Alex F
"Midnight City" by M83 (Trails and Ways Cover)
“Game of Thrones 80's remix” by Steve Duzz
"Seabreeze" by Fobee
"Rise of the 80's Hero" by Artymix
"Only You" by ElecMusic
"Electro Indie Jump" by Kerplunkstudios
"Para O Brazil" by Waderman
"Mighty Fine" by Otis McDonald
"Otis McMusic" -by Otis McDonald
"Analogue Dreams" by Dmitri Belichenko
"Sport Progressive 2" by Coe
"Beautiful Inspirational Dubstep" by Mexikus
“Electra” by Andrew Huang
“Let's Forget Who We Are” by De Hofnar and Kav Verhouzer
“Fiction Story” Jamie Pellington

That’s only a partial list. There are plenty more listed under each video they release on YouTube.

In all reality, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s out there. There are multiple podcasts recorded at Dragon Con every year. There are probably more than one person could easily keep up with without dedicating all his or her time to it. But this is more than enough to fill up a long trip. Besides, if you want to track down more or other podcasts; just use search on Google and iTunes. You’ll get more than enough to last any five trips down and back.

And a last minute addition provided by the American Sci-Fi Classics Track. Some of the podcasts are already covered above, but there are a number of others in this list as well.

Due to a very recent change of fortunes, Jerry Chandler will now be able to attend Dragon Con this year. He looks forward to seeing everyone; particularly everybody coming to the Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show.

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