In the two-plus years since Little Brother's closed, Dan Dougan, the man who ran the Short North music hub and its North Campus forebear, Stache's, has kept a low profile. Now he's easing back into the public eye.

In the two-plus years since Little Brother's closed, Dan Dougan, the man who ran the Short North music hub and its North Campus forebear, Stache's, has kept a low profile. Now he's easing back into the public eye.

Dougan is hosting a radio show, Almost There, in a trial run for WCBE. He's blogging about his days in the music biz at DanDougan.com. And he's booking a Thursday night music series at Bristol Bar called Listening Hours at Bristol, starting tonight with two sets from The Sun's Chris Burney. He discussed those endeavors and more last week.

How'd you end up on the radio?

Well, keep in mind, I'm not official yet until they, one, find a place for me on air, and two, it's contingent on positive feedback from listeners. And that's by e-mailing wcbe@wcbe.org. This has come through a series of conversations with Dan Mushalko, the general manager.

What's the concept behind Almost There?

Columbus has expanded, and there's lots more options right now. And that's a good thing, but I think there was a time when there was more of a sense of that community. And you still get it, especially when you go to Community Festival - ComFest - but that sense of belonging, or being "there." And "there" was the phrase that we often used with Stache's and then Little Brother's. With Stache's it was "Ya been there?" So "there" is an abstract sense of belonging.

Like when you're watching a really, really good show. For me it might be Steve Forbert; for others it could be the Decemberists. It could even be Nashville Pussy. But it's that moment when you sort of transcend your surroundings, and all that matters is what's going on right at that moment right around you.

What's the idea behind Listening Hours at Bristol?

[Todd Anderson] asked me what I thought I might do if he gave me one night, and I said I thought I would do "listening music." And he looked at me like, "Isn't all music listening music?" Well, no. Again, back to that "being there" kind of feeling at certain shows - I think I missed a lot of good music at my own place because I didn't shut my big mouth. Just shut up and listen up, you know? Just focus and let it absorb.

You can chat. I don't want to be some Nazi running around telling people to be quiet. That happened one night when Iris DeMent's manager asked me to make sure everybody was quiet. People still hate me for that, 'cause then they couldn't even talk at all.

But it's just a matter of giving your attention to the stage and to what's going on there. So if you want to yell at each other over your beer, there's another room where the bar is. You can go in there. Or I'll give you your three bucks back, and you can head on down the road.

So it's going to be quieter stuff?

Yeah. That doesn't mean everything has to be all the time. Like I said, it's more of a dynamic. It's more of having that ability, where people are attentive. And that was the good thing about both my rooms. Most everybody that was there was there to hear the band, and they generally understood that.

Dan Dougan also talked about the closing of Liquid, the bar that replaced Little Brother's, his ambition to open a cafe in Westgate and his wife Tracy Zollinger Turner's role in promoting "the cottage industry that is me." Read the full interview.