Ephemeral

Ephemeral

The best source on our cultural identity is not the official, historical record — ask any anthropologist, it’s the town dump. Ephemera — those things that were just barely saved, and in some cases not saved at all — emanate with secrets we can only glimpse and mysteries we can never completely answer. The stories may be unfamiliar, but the themes are universal; this is a looking glass, a window into our own fragile, material existence that begs the question, “How will I be remembered?”

Episodes

June 6, 2022 40 min

Longtime Ephemeral listeners may recognize the music of chameleon artist Rrrrrose Azerty, although it can be a little tricky. They use twenty different aliases, produce music in every genre, and have released over 200 albums in the last decade. And almost all of it has been given away for free. Further listening at LoyaltyFreakMusic.com

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We continue our deep dive in the life and work of director Ed Wood with an exploration of Wood's later years and his posthumous rise to fame. Then the hosts of Ephemeral sit down together to geek out about their favorite Wood films.

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May 9, 2022 56 min

1959's Plan 9 From Outer Space has been called "the worst film of all time," its creator Edward D. Wood Jr. "the worst director." But Plan 9 and the rest of Wood's canon have since become beloved cult classics. The first of a two-parter of the life and work of Ed Wood, featuring writers Bill Shute and Katharine Coldiron, and family-friend Bob Blackburn.

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April 25, 2022 50 min

Audio ephemera collector Bob Purse returns to talk about more radio ads, this time from a source that remains a mystery. 

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April 11, 2022 57 min

The history of advertising over the air, featuring Cynthia B. Meyers, author of A Word from Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio.

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March 28, 2022 16 min

Video games create a marvelous world for players to live in and explore. But given the ephemeral nature of video game saves, these worlds can cease to exist in the blink of an eye. In today’s episode, we explore the aftermath of that loss, featuring our friends Matt Davidson, Josh Chandler, Matt Frederick, Kevin Kuhl, Anney Reese, and Trevor Young.

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March 21, 2022 60 min

We wrap our historical dive into video games with the modern age of gaming, from Playstation to Xbox to Nintendo. Then, we sit down with iHeart's nerdiest gamers to discuss why our favorite games mean so much to us. Featuring Steven L. Kent, author of The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol. I & II., Matt Frederick, host of the podcast Stuff They Don't Want You To Know, and Anney Reese from the podcasts Stuff Mom Never ...

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March 7, 2022 49 min

From Pong to Elden Ring, video games have dominated the interactive entertainment world for over half a century. We explore gaming's humble beginnings in arcades and trace how games became a culture defining pastime. Featuring author Steven L. Kent and journalist Eddie Adlum.

 

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February 21, 2022 39 min

In our chaotic, noisy world, how does one find silence? Not only quiet surroundings, but inner silence. The second part of our conversation with explorer, author, art collector and publisher Erling Kagge. 

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February 14, 2022 30 min

What draws us off the beaten path? The first of a two-parter featuring polar explorer and author Erling Kagge. 

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January 24, 2022 51 min

In the 1950's, engineer Bob Moog started to tinker and build his own electronic instruments. Little did he know that his invention, the Moog Synthesizer, would revolutionize music for decades to come. Featuring Michelle Moog-Koussa, founder of the Bob Moog Foundation, and former Moog Music engineer August Worley.

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January 10, 2022 41 min

With an unprecedented amount of new stuff being made, bought and sold everyday, we’re more likely than ever to throw things away. But where is away? Featuring historian Susan Strasser, author of Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash.

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December 26, 2021 24 min

It's a Williams family Christmas in search of Romeo Muller's last film, 1992's Noël . https://youtu.be/BzKj4jYuG-I

 

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December 20, 2021 40 min

Across the globe and back to antiquity, this changing of season has been recognized in ritual, story and song. Featuring Carolyn McVickar Edwards, educator and author of the collection The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice.

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December 6, 2021 34 min

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Frosty the Snowman. The Little Drummer Boy. All of these iconic holiday specials have something in common: they were written by Romeo Muller, the visionary mind behind nearly all the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. We remember Muller's life and career with Rick Goldschmidt, official biographer for Rankin/Bass.

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November 22, 2021 40 min

This episode of Ephemeral is on drugs. Featuring Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance and host of the podcast Psychoactive.

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November 8, 2021 45 min

These days, tattoos are everywhere. But no so long ago, tattoo was an underground art form. And before that, tattoo was a cultural touchstone for numerous ancient civilizations. We explore the storied history of tattooing with Chuck Eldridge, founder of the Tattoo Archive.

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October 25, 2021 81 min

An interview with author Helen Grant about M. R. James, the real village of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, and the wonders of Victorian ghost stories.

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October 25, 2021 30 min

An English tourist looking for hidden treasures in untrodden corners of France finds more than he bargained for.

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October 11, 2021 54 min

Herk Harvey spent decades directing educational films, but he is best remembered for his lone feature, 1962's Carnival of Souls. Featuring interviews with Dr. Bernice Murphy, Associate Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin; Skip Elsheimer, founder of the A/V Geeks educational film archive; Candace Hilligoss, star of Carnival; and Herk Harvey himself. 

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