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Podcast: Beats and Eats with Ty Ray and Nick Gelso

TV, music, movies, comedy and food chat from Tacoma and Scranton, Pa.

Ty Ray pictured at the 2013 Stitcher Award ceremony. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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"Live, from our studios somewhere in cyberspace - it's "Beats and Eats" - a happy hour for your mind," says the announcer, in the style of early radio and TV broadcasting, voice booming over a catchy background jingle. "The virtual lounge is open. So come inside, grab a stool and your drink of choice ... and now here are hosts Ty Ray and Nick Gelso."

The two podcasters dive into conversation. Maybe it's about Kevin Spacey's latest role in House of Cards, maybe it's an interview with former NBA player, now lead radio analyst for ESPN Jon Barry, or maybe it's a review of the Best of the ‘80s, with guests like Eddie Money.

Ray and Gelso have yet to meet in person. Ray, a 20-year veteran of broadcasting, lives in Tacoma, and Gelso, a restaurant owner turned food consultant, lives in Scranton, Pa. In 2012, the two bonded over the ether. In October 2013, they created Beats and Eats.

"We just found ourselves talking about all sorts of different topics, and we said to ourselves - ‘why don't we make this a show?'," explained Ray. "We did beats because I love music, and Nick did eats because of his restaurant background. But then beats took on a different meeting. ... It went from being just music to being pop culture - everything pop culture - TV, music, movies, comedy - you name it."

The duo's formula is working. Recently nominated for the 2013 Sticher Award in San Francisco,  a celebration honoring excellence in podcasting, Beats and Eats is already gearing up for its next big event, the Reality Rally, a 3-day fundraising event in Temecula, Calif., April 11 to 13. More than 150 reality stars will gather to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

Ray and Gelso will meet for the first time at the event as co-hosts for a chefs' celebrity showcase event.

"You want to talk about a reality show within a reality show," laughed Ray, "we've never met, but we're going to be flown together to be on television."

Beats and Eats also keeps it local. Steve Naccarato, co-owner of Shake Shake Shake in Tacoma, was last week's guest. And Ray said they hope to feature more local personalities. 

 "I wanted to capture that fun, spontaneous feel, where people are hanging out, drinking martinis and just BS'ing about their favorite topics," he said.

Food, drinks, sports or pop culture, Beats and Eats has the timeless appeal of uninterrupted programming, a nostalgic approach in a techno world.

"Podcasting is appointment listening," Ray said. "It is an intimate way of listening to radio - you actually have to download a show, so you're making an appointment to listen to that. People like to hear other people talking about things they're interested in."

Beats and Eats podcast can be found at beatsandeats.net and @beatneats, as well as at itunes.apple.com.

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