Desert Oracle Radio

Desert Oracle Radio

Desert Oracle Radio is a weekly road trip through the weird American desert from the publisher of Desert Oracle, the pocket-sized field guide published in Joshua Tree, California. Hear tales of mysterious lights, missing tourists, lost mines, venomous creatures, weird history and weirder people. Hosted by editor Ken Layne and featuring a cast of intriguing mystics, oddballs, scientists and artists, Desert Oracle Radio is your soundtrack for a desert night. The program is broadcast on Friday nights at 10 p.m. on KCDZ 107.7 FM in the Mojave high desert, with field reports from around and across the desert lands, and is distributed by Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Episodes

February 17, 2024 28 mins

Where's the beautiful part, anyway? Well, start by walking about a mile past the last parking lot or dirt road or residential car-parts dump or informal halfway house or accidental pit-bull breeding farm, and keep going in the direction of the difficult terrain: the hills and the mountains and the boulders. Not the hills covered in radio relay towers, but the ones with nothing up there at all, nothing except more boulders, more spi...

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Well here's an episode that fits with the past couple of episodes, as your host Ken Layne dredges up some tales from too many decades as a writer & whatever else. We got our newspaper/podcaster pal Matt Welch on the line to talk about the turn-of-the-century sensation that got everybody very excited for a little while: Weblogs! It sort of became a long career for a lot of people, and many have never quite recovered. We'd like t...

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February 11, 2024 28 mins

Our old friend and mentor Mojo Nixon passed away this week, after playing a blistering set of rock 'n roll for his fans aboard a hillbilly cruise ship. Tonight, we remember the showman, songwriter and deejay who was a towering figure in American underground culture for a long, long time. RIP Mojo Nixon. With soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver.

Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle

See omnystudio.com/listener for priva...

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January 19, 2024 28 mins

Tonight we go back three decades, to the strange time when a California newspaper hired a New England psychic to find a little girl who vanished in North San Diego County. This is a a true tale by your host, Ken Layne, who was one of the newspaper reporters working on this mysterious case, along with crime-solving psychic Johny Monti. PLUS: An Assessment of the Situation, and what's coming next for Desert Oracle Radio.

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December 29, 2023 28 mins

The hermit habit has persisted throughout the four-plus centuries of North American colonization and up to the present day, including such storied American names as Henry David Thoreau, Huckleberry Finn, Georgia O’Keefe, Marta Becket, and Ted Kazinsky ... and many lesser known characters, remembered today only in newspaper stories from the past century. Happy new year from Desert Oracle Radio. Do not listen to the Joshua Tree radio...

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December 22, 2023 28 mins

Night has fallen on the desert, our first big winter storms soaking the mountains and the coastlines, and now we’re getting it pretty good in the southwestern deserts. There may even be a dusting of snow on the Joshua trees and the Yuccas and the junipers at the higher elevations, here and there. But a wet winter is visiting most of the American High Desert this Week of the Winter Solstice ... which used to be the same day as Chris...

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December 8, 2023 28 mins

Tonight's episode comes to you live from Los Angeles, where Desert Oracle Radio opened the show for "Seattle's Slowest," the legendary group EARTH on its 30th Anniversary Tour for the Sub-Pop album EARTH2, at Glendale's Alex Theater. Sounds by RedBlueBlackSilver, words by Ken Layne.

Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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November 25, 2023 28 mins

What's better on a desert Thanksgiving weekend than 10 questions regarding the natural and human history of the Mojave High Desert? Get your pencil and notepaper, and enjoy Desert Trivia Night from Thanksgiving Eve at the Tiny Pony, with spooky November soundscapes from RedBlueBlackSilver.

Desert Oracle Radio (c)(p) 2017-2023

http://DesertOracle.com

Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle

See omnystudio.com/lis...

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November 18, 2023 28 mins

Looking down the barrel at 2024, from our perch in the High Desert. Mojave thunderstorms, the strange maxims of the ancient temples, Christmas-tree shopping ideas, and old+new soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. This is our 9/11 episode: Season 9, Episode 11. Please consider supporting this show via our Patreon before we go belly up, it's hard out there.

Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle

See omnystudio.com/listene...

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From the World War II years to 1965, the artist and humorist and hugely influential architect Harry Oliver published his Desert Rat Scrap Book from a hand-built adobe in the California desert. He called it "the only newspaper you can read in the wind," because the whole thing was printed on a single sheet of sturdy colored cardstock, folded down to mailing size. UFO & Fortean author and Radio Misterioso host Greg Bishop joins u...

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October 27, 2023 28 mins

Night has fallen on the desert, and here comes the ancient festival of Halloween, as the world begins to die again ... as it does at the tail end of every year. The leaves fall and decay, the green things wither, the sun hides away. And we remember the Dead.

Tonight: Samhain tales of changelings and fire, and the Holy Mountain along the Mexican-American borderland. New (& classic!) soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. Written &a...

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One thing people like to do when they’re given some liberties — or when they take the liberty that’s usually there for the taking, if anybody wants it bad enough — is to go on a long walk. Whether you call it a pilgrimage or walkabout or "through-hike" or country ramble, such excursions really take you out of the day-to-day, even as you occasionally rub elbows with other people doing the same thing.

PLUS: Information regarding the...

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October 6, 2023 28 mins

October is the time for ghost stories, in this season of growing darkness. Tonight we are visited by a mysterious geist, in an ancient old city that is notorious for such restless spirits. ALSO: Details regarding the October 20, 2023, show at Jacumba Hot Springs and the October 29, 2023, edition of Campfire Stories live at the Tiny Pony in Yucca Valley. Haunted new soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver; written and produced by Ken Layn...

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September 22, 2023 28 mins

This autumn is getting off to a strange start, as here in the Mojave High Desert there are carpets of little yellow wildflowers thanks to the hurricane, old Hurricane Hilary which soaked us all pretty good a month ago. Never seen so many weeds in late September. Happy Equinox from Desert Oracle Radio, celebrating 200 episodes with tonight's show.

Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle

See omnystudio.com/listener for p...

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September 8, 2023 28 mins

Early September, Jupiter tucked under the 2/3 moon at midnight, heaviest of La Luna’s many forms and phases: low over the eastern horizon, like the Death Star under construction. The owls are hooting in three different octaves, a whole choir by relay, a choir of the night. The night air has turned cool again, the wind only whispering.This is Episode #199 of Desert Oracle Radio, broadcasting from Joshua Tree.

Support the show: https:...

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August 25, 2023 28 mins

Ever seen a water witch at work? It’s a beautiful thing to behold. We have ancient reserves of great power within us. This is Episode #198 of Desert Oracle Radio, after the hurricane.

Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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August 18, 2023 28 mins

When you look at the big red danger zone in the middle of the Weather Service maps this evening, you will see that we are in it, right up at the north end of the highest predicted rainfall and flooding. Maybe that means we don’t get it as bad or for as long as our friends from the border zone up through Coachella Valley to Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, maybe it means nothing of the sort. Prepare for a lot of rain, maybe a co...

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August 11, 2023 28 mins

Real gods require no faith, they just are: expressed in the life force of the pronghorn herd racing across the High Desert, the mountain lion traveling hundreds of miles as master of its environment, the invigorating violence of a summer thunderstorm, the lightning strike of a rattler upon its prey, the mourning dove pair bringing up each of their dozen offspring with the same determination and patience and love, one after another,...

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The United States military branches and intelligence agencies do not control what happens around the world all the time, much as they’d like to.

The things we call UFOs occur in the backwoods and on backroads, over the lonely desert playas and mountain lakes, eternally floating around the sacred springs and sacred groves and sacred mountains of every culture and continent, for as long as human beings have existed. If you want to s...

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July 21, 2023 28 mins

If you want to cool off in this brutal desert summer, you need to get up someplace higher, around 7,000 feet — the high-desert plateau around Los Alamos is real nice, at an elevation of 7,320'.

Lots of people have fallen in love with the climate and clean dry air up there, such as  J. Robert Oppenheimer & Gore Vidal & William S. Burroughs. Burroughs was supposed to be a War Captain, following orders, but it never quite wor...

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