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

May 13, 2019 8 min

Lost materials, dropped threads, forgotten stories. Ephemera in the way that it’s intertwined in our lives. All those things, tangible and intangible, that you wish you could take just one more look at before they vanish into the past. Ephemeral debuts May 20th. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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Found objects – misplaced artifacts of mysterious origins – can be sources great of inspiration. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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May 20, 2019 64 min

What makes American music American? If the history book is written, what chapters are missing? Featuring music researcher Ian Nagoski of Canary Records. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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May 27, 2019 34 min

You’re telling me people actually like this old stuff? What is ephemera and why is it worth studying? Interview with Sarah Wasserman, professor of Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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June 3, 2019 54 min

At the outset of commercial television, there were just four networks. Three you’ve heard of – they are still around today. The fourth is almost entirely forgotten. Featuring an interview with media historian David Weinstein of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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June 10, 2019 45 min

In their four story brownstone at the corner of Fifth Avenue & 128th Street, the Collyer brothers sealed themselves up through the Great Depression, both World Wars, and as Harlem shifted from a rich white suburb to a poor black slum. In the cavernous dwelling, the pair amassed "one of the world’s legendary collections of urban junk." Two-hundred tons of junk by the end. Featuring memoirist Franz Lidz. Learn more at www...

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June 17, 2019 42 min

What if you had a song stuck in your head, but had no way to find out anything about the artist? The mystery of an unlabelled record unravels year-over-year. Featuring an interview with reel-to-reel tape collector Bob Purse of the Inches Per Second blog. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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June 24, 2019 43 min

How much paper is printed every day? Who's designing it and who's keeping on tabs on how much we have? Featuring interviews with crossword constructor Matt Gaffney and Steven Peterman of The Sketchbook Project. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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July 1, 2019 55 min

WWI, women’s suffrage, and one of the most important inventions of the 20th century: the telephone. Interview with historian Elizabeth Cobbs, author of "The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers." Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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July 8, 2019 51 min

Four minutes and thirty three seconds that changed the course of music history. Featuring musicologist & composer Kyle Gann. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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July 15, 2019 64 min

Who records your family’s history? Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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July 22, 2019 49 min

A conversation with our producer Matt on family, recording, and all things ephemeral. Learn more at www.ephemeral.show

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August 28, 2019 15 min

A strange left turn in the story of Merigail Moreland. 

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September 30, 2019 78 min

Why put music on plastic in 2019? Featuring Seth Nicholas Johnson of Haunted Birthday Records and the music of Elias Mason & June Yorke, pumashock, and Undercover Monsters. 

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October 28, 2019 24 min

A traveller seeking solitude finds it at an old farmhouse in which everything seems forgotten and yet remembered. Written by Richard Le Gallienne. Narrated by Peter Yearsley. Learn more at ephemeral.show

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November 26, 2019 38 min

With so much to be grateful for this year, we wanted to express our thanks by sharing some of our favorite, never-before-aired clips from four interviews of the past season. Featuring Ian Nagoski, David Weinstein, Sarah Wasserman, and Elizabeth Cobbs.

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May 3, 2021 2 min

New episodes air on Mondays beginning May 10th. Check out the trailer for a preview of what’s to come!

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May 10, 2021 61 min

How an invention from the Hawai'ian islands changed the world. Featuring Hawai'ian musician and educator Alan Akaka and historian John Troutman, curator of American music at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

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May 14, 2021 19 min

The Woolsey wildfires of 2018 devastated Southern California. But some history survived, including five priceless works of art. Introducing Ephemeral producer Trevor Young, who talks with his grandmother, artist Yvonne Cherbak, about escaping that deadly fire.

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