Podcast: Four Quartets and Other Pilgrimages

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 10
Lyn Ballard – Four Quartets and Other Pilgrimages

Lyn Ballard

It’s time for a new episode of The Virtual Memories Show!

In this one, guest Lyn Ballard talks about her gateway books, the metaphysical poets, reading Huck Finn at the age of 5, an embarrassing Stanley Elkin anecdote, the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, the importance of making literary pilgrimages, and more!

This is part 1 of The Bat Mitzvah Tapes, recorded during our St. Louis trip in August for my niece’s bat mitzvah. Next week, I’ll post a pretty wide-ranging interview with her dad (my brother Boaz), in which I reveal the key to just about all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies.

The Virtual Memories Show is now on iTunes! If you’d like to subscribe, visit our iTunes page!

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Credits: This episode’s music is River of Bass by Underworld. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation with was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. All editing was done in Garage Band. Have mics, will travel!

Podcast: Manga-loids and Steampunks

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 8
Diana Renn and Paul Di Filippo – Manga-loids and Steampunks

The July episode of The Virtual Memories Show is ready to go! This time around, you get two interviews for the price of one!

During my June trip to Boston for the BIO annual meeting, I recorded conversations with Diana Renn, a writer who just published her first book, a YA novel called Tokyo Heist, and Paul Di Filippo, a science fiction writer and critic who’s celebrating his 30th year as a freelance writer.

I thought of posting them as two separate podcasts, but it made more sense to have the perspectives of the first-time novelist and the life-time writer in a single episode. Diana has lots to say about working through the novel-writing process and how her history with comic books informs her, while Paul has a ton to say about the current state of science fiction, how he carved out a role in it, what it’s like to be the “King of Steampunk,” the allure of Providence, RI, and whether he’d have taken an assignment for the Before Watchmen series.

Paul and me

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Credits: This episode’s music is Rewrite from Paul Simon’s recent record So Beautiful or So What? I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation with was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder.

Podcast: Here at the Western World

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 7
Tom May – Here at the Western World (The Piraeus Tapes II)

Back-to-back episodes of The Virtual Memories Show! Who’d a’ thunk it?

Around Memorial Day, I took a little vacation to my alma mater, St. John’s College, for a seminar on Flannery O’Connor, and got to interview two of my favorite tutors: David Townsend and Tom May. Because they both had so much to talk about, I decided to split this month’s show into two parts.

St. John's College, Annapolis, MD

This episode contains my conversation with Tom May, the first St. John’s tutor I ever met (that’s him, conducting the freshmen chorus, above). I find Mr. May — sorry, but I can’t get over those Johnnie traditions — fascinating and intensely thoughtful, and I was glad to learn some of his history, how he’s seen the college change during his three decades-plus as a tutor, how we should never read a book for the first time, and and he had to get a note from his priest to read books from the Vatican’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

It all makes sense here:

Check out the previous episode, in which tutor David Townsend talks about education and the American project. There are also episodes with tutors Peter Kalkavage (2014) and Eva Brann (2013)!

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If you’re interested in seeing some of Annapolis, check out my photoset from that trip:

St. John's College

Credits: This episode’s music is Steely Dan’s Here at the Western World. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic, and the conversation with was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. (Also, there’s a Flannery O’Connor pun that I won’t bother to explain.)

Podcast: My Old School

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 6
David Townsend – My Old School

The June episode of The Virtual Memories Show is ready to go! Around Memorial Day, I took a little vacation to my alma mater, St. John’s College, for a seminar on Flannery O’Connor, and got to interview two of my favorite tutors: David Townsend and Tom May.

Because they both had so much to talk about, I decided to split this month’s show into two parts. This episode has my conversation with David Townsend, and it’s a remarkable take on education in America, the nature of good conversation, and the poetry of the Koran (among other topics)!

Check out the followup episode, in which tutor Tom May talks about a dizzying array of topics. There are also episodes with tutors Peter Kalkavage (2014) and Eva Brann (2013)!

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

If you’re interested in seeing some of Annapolis, check out my photoset from that trip!

Spa Cove

Credits: This episode’s music is Steely Dan’s My Old School. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic, and the conversation with was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder.

Podcast: Look in Your Heart

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 5
John B. – Look in Your Heart

The May episode of The Virtual Memories Show is up and ready to go! This time around, my guest is John B., a pal of mine who died last year (but got better!)

There’s also a little rant about the publicity-industrial complex, the Avengers, the new book by Robert Caro, and the redemptive powers of a certain margarita-soaked musician.

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Credits: This episode’s music is tied into the conversation with John, so you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out what it is. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic, and the conversation with John was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. The conversation was recorded in an exhibit hall during a trade show, so getting the sound quality up to snuff was a little work.

Podcast: Good Housekeeping

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 3
Ann Rivera – Good Housekeeping

It’s time for a new episode of The Virtual Memories Show! I finally managed to get a guest to come all the way out to deepest, darkest New Jersey to record a conversation for this one!

Ann’s a 20-plus-year pal of mine from college, and I was happy to have her be my very first pod-guest! Our conversation was for a new segment on the show: Second Hand Books. The theme is that you tell me about a book or author you once hated but now adore. (Because it’s too easy to talk about books/authors you once loved but are now embarrassed by.)

Give this episode a listen, and if you have a book or author you wanna discuss on the show, drop me a line! I love to learn about how people’s literary tastes change and what those changes say about the way we grow. (No, I don’t have a very interesting life, I admit.)

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Credits: This episode’s music is Coralia, by Mark Adler, from the Henry & June soundtrack. In the comments, I’ll put a link to this episode’s m4a version, which has my cutesy headshot embedded. Let me know if you have trouble playing the files; I’m still figuring out how to optimize the audio and I’m not sure I’ve got the meta-data correct to file this stuff in iTunes.

Alexandria via St. Louis

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 2
Gil Roth – Burning Libraries

Another month, another podcast! I told you I was trying to keep to some sorta schedule for 2012, so here’s the latest installment of the Virtual Memories Podcast!

I’m still working with both mic placement and amp effects, so I apologize in advance if you’ll need to turn up the volume a little to listen to it. I really oughtta take a class in this stuff, so I can get the technical aspects down, rather than hashing this stuff out every time.

Still, it’s another podcast! Enjoy!

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Credits: music from Rome, by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, feat. Norah Jones. The Five Books interview with Geoff Dyer can be found here. Here’s a link to the m4a version, in case you want the version that has my headshot and all.

It’s my party and I’ll pod if I want to

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 1
Gil Roth – Pale Horses at the Burger Joint

I managed to make it through a whole year of being 40! Today I’m turning 41 and I don’t know what to do with myself. (That sounds like a Morrissey song title.)

In honor of the new year and my new year, I recorded “season 2” of The Virtual Memories Show. I promise to get these podcasts out regularly, and to make ’em less Gil-centric than they’ve been.

I mean, not this time out, but in future. Anyway, why don’tcha download the MP3 version and listen to my conversations with myself (and a neat piece of music by Bach).

While you’re at it, why don’tcha leave a comment below about people you think I oughtta interview or topics I oughtta cover?

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The podcast was recorded using a Blue Yeti microphone connected via USB to a Macbook Air. Recording was captured on Audacity and transferred to GarageBand for editing, mixing, etc. I forgot to amplify the vocal tracks before the transfer, so the recording level may be a little low. Sue me.

Invisible, not Inaudible

The second episode of Virtual Memories radio is live! I mean, taped and edited and stuff, but it’s posted! You can download the MP3 right here! Or download the AAC/M4A file! (I figured out how to embed chapter marks in the AAC version!)

Be easy on me. I’m still feeling my way through this form, and I really hate that it’s just a monologue right now. Once I get some interviews recorded, I think it’ll really take off. But meanwhile, enjoy the ramble!