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Podcast: Not the camera but the eye

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 16 – Not the camera but the eye

It’s time for the last Virtual Memories Show podcast of the year! This time around, we interview Kyle Cassidy, an amazing photographer based in west Philadelphia.

As he puts it in his bio, “Kyle Cassidy has been documenting American culture since the 1990′s. He has photographed Goths, Punks, Cutters, Politicians, Metalheads, Dominatrices, Scholars, and Alternative Fashion, in addition to less prosaic subjects. In recent years his projects have extended abroad to Romania, where he captured the lives of homeless orphans living in sewers; and to Egypt, where he reported on contemporary archaeological excavations.”

Kyle’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair (DE), the Sunday Times of London, Marie Claire, Photographers Forum, Asleep by Dawn, Gothic Beauty and a ton of other publications. He recently published War Paint: Tattoo Culture & the Armed Forces. In 2007, he published Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes. We spoke one day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, so our conversation began with a discussion of gun culture(s) in America.

“Guns are a huge part of many people’s lives, and have been from the beginning. I think it’s going to be very difficult for someone to convince lots of Americans that this is something they need to stop.”

Trust me: the conversation moves on to lighter topics after that, including how he discovered his next big project, Where I Write: Fantasy & Science Fiction Authors in Their Creative Spaces. We also talk about roller derby, fan cultures, the breakdown of discourse, how he got started in photojournalism, his most hated digital photography tricks, and whether he owns a gun, among other topics.

There are a lot more bad pictures out there, but there are a lot more good pictures out there, and there are a lot more things being covered that weren’t covered before. It’s a very good thing.

(Also, you may notice a certain vibrating noise that rises and falls during the show. That would be the purring of Kyle’s cat, Roswell, who joined us for several stretches of the episode. She also horked up something like a hairball at one point. I found it difficult not to break out laughing when she crawled into Kyle’s wife’s microphone box to watch us.)

Enjoy the conversation! Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 16 – Not the camera but the eye

KyleCassidy

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

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast page for all our back episodes, as well as e-mail signup and tip jar! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page? It’d make my mom happy.

As I wrote at the top, this is the last episode of 2012. I’ve got some good guests planned for next year, and I’m hoping to get the show up to a reliable twice-monthly schedule. Thanks for supporting the show, and drop me a line if you have any suggestions for guests or topics you’d like to see me cover.

Credits: This episode’s music is Gun by The Golden Palominos. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation was recorded in Mr. Cassidy’s home in Philadelphia, on a pair of AT2020 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo courtesy of Valya Dudycz Lupescu.

Podcast: Classical Pop

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 14 – Classical Pop

It’s time for a (somewhat) long-delayed new episode of The Virtual Memories Show!

“Picasso said that the way you draw your circle is your style.”

This time, postmodern cartoonist Bob Sikoryak talks about the high/low mashups of his amazing book, Masterpiece Comics, the 1980′s art scene in NYC, the sea change in the acceptance of comics as art and entertainment, the (un)importance of having an individual drawing style, and more!

“It’s amazing to me how comics artists can speak to a generation, and that’s it. When you make something, it’s of your time, no matter what you do.”

We also reflect on the art of mimicry, the history of popular art, and who decides when it’s too soon to goof on Dostoevsky. I’ve been a fan of his work since I first read his Inferno Joe strip in 1989, so getting the chance to sit down with Bob for a conversation was a joy. (He’s the sweetest person I’ve met in comics.)

“My roommate in college said, “If you keep reading those comics, it’s gonna affect your style,” and clearly he was right.”

Listen to the conversation: Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 14 – The Correction of Taste Bob Sikoryak on the Virtual Memories Show

Photo by Kriota Willberg.

About Our Guest

R. Sikoryak has drawn cartoons for numerous media giants, including Nickelodeon Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as for independent publications, films and theater productions. His cartoon slideshow series Carousel has been presented around the U.S. and Canada. He also teaches and lectures on comics and illustration. He lives in NYC with his wife and frequent collaborator Kriota Willberg.

 About Our Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Out of Print Clothing! Visit their site and check out their great selection of T-shirts, fleeces, bags and other gear featuring gorgeous and iconic book cover designs.

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

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast page for all our back episodes, as well as e-mail signup and tip jar! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page? It’d make my mom happy.

Credits: This episode’s music is Ambicion Eterna by Thievery Corporation. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation with was recorded in Mr. Sikoryak’s home in Stuy Town in NYC, on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. All editing was done in Garage Band, with some post-processing in Audaity.

Podcast: Comic Sans

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 12 – Comic Sans

“I was morphined up and looking out the back of an ambulance for about three hours. You get to see things as a beginning, middle and end. . . . My story might end in a couple of hours. What does that mean? What was that life like?”

It’s time for another cheery episode of The Virtual Memories Show!

“The two things that allow people to consume more are rapture — ‘this is awesome!’ — and dissatisfaction — ‘this sucks.’”

In this one, Tom Spurgeon, editor of The Comics Reporter talks about his near-death in June 2011 and how he’s changed his life since, a process that involved losing more than 175 lbs. in 16 months.

“The danger isn’t in the limits of what you can do for someone. The danger is in withdrawing, and realizing you don’t have those relationships anymore. If you can be engaged in someone’s life . . . that’s what you have and that’s what you work with.”

We also share conversation on the nature of junk culture, the good and bad sides of internet commenters, the meanings of nostalgia, and absolutely nothing about that Batman movie.

“For junk culture consumers, you always want as much as you can have. It’s not about curating what you have; it’s about seeing all the movies and collecting all the editions.”

Listen to the conversation: Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 12 – Comic Sans

Tom Spurgeon

 About Our Guest

Tom Spurgeon is a writer and editor living in Silver City, NM. He currently serves as the editor of The Comics Reporter, and has written about comic strips, comic books and editorial cartons for various publications since 1982. He worked for five years 1994-1999 as Managing Editor and then Executive Editor of the lauded and controversial industry trade magazine The Comics Journal. The magazine won several industry awards under his stewardship. He is a former contributing writer at The Stranger and for the late satirical web ‘zine Suck.com. As an editor, Tom helped assemble volumes in The Collected Pogo series and books such as Bob Levin’s The Pirates and the Mouse. As a writer, Tom co-wrote with Jordan Raphael the historical profile, Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, and he was privileged to write for the King Features Syndicate strip Wildwood from 1999 to 2002. You can reach him at tom@comicsreporter.com.

 About Our Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Out of Print Clothing! Visit their site and check out their great selection of T-shirts, fleeces, bags and other gear featuring gorgeous and iconic book cover designs. I’m wearing my Naked Lunch T-shirt in the photo above! (Photo by Amy Roth.)

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

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast page for all our back episodes, as well as e-mail signup and tip jar! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page? It’d make my mom happy.

Credits: This episode’s music is That’s Entertainment by Morrissey (covering The Jam). I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation with was recorded in a hotel room in Bethesda, MD 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: New York and Old South

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

This one marks yet another milestone! (There’ll be plenty of those, since we’re still early days with this show.) I managed to interview someone I’d never met before (as opposed to past shows, where I talked with friends and college acquaintances)!

My guest this time is Jane Borden, a writer and standup comic who published her first book, I Totally Meant To Do That, in 2011. Jane’s book is about her experiences living in New York City after being reared (not raised; chickens are raised) in a proper southern environment. As her book jacket puts it

Like Cerberus, a griffin or one of those joints near Port Authority that’s both a Pizza Hut and a Taco Bell, Jane is a hybrid too horrifying to exist: a hipster-debutante. She was reared in a proper Southern home, and sent to boarding school, then a sorority. She next moved to New York and discovered that none of this grooming meant a lick to anyone. In fact, she hid her past — it was easier than explaining what a debutante “does” (answer: not much).

It’s a fun read and Jane was a hoot to interview. I even got a high-five once we were done recording (read the book; it’ll make sense)!

Virtual Memories with Jane Borden

Now go listen to the new show!

MP3: Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 9 – New York and Old South

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

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast Archive! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page? It’d make my mom happy.

Credits: This episode’s music is New York by U2. 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. The picture gives you a nice idea of my on-site setup. Have mics, will travel!

Podcast: Here at the Western World

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.

The previous episode contains my interview with Mr. Townsend, while this episode contains my conversation with Tom May, the first St. John’s tutor I ever met. 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:

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 7 – Here at the Western World

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

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast Archive! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page?

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

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)!:

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 6 – My Old School

And check out the followup episode, in which tutor Tom May talks about a dizzying array of topics.

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

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast Archive! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page?

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

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!):

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 5 – Look in Your Heart

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.

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.

As ever, bear with me. If you’d like to add a subscription to this podcast through iTunes, follow the instructions at my Podcast Archive. (Where you can find all the previous episodes!) And you can friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page!

Podcast: King of the Road

The April episode of The Virtual Memories Show is up and ready to go! This time around, my guest is Mark Feltskog, a long-time pal and New York City public school teacher who’s led a veritably Pekar-esque life. In this episode, Mark shares stories about books, cancer, riding the rails, and falling in love with New York City:

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 4 – King of the Road

I tried to keep my interminable opening ramble somewhat terminable this time around. In fact, that part’s almost all a single take (which you can tell because I sorta rushed through it and didn’t hit all the self-deprecating high/low notes the way I’m doing now). If you’d like to skip the rambling and go right to the conversation, it begins at the 4:40 mark.

Credits: This episode’s music is “Oh, Me,” by Nirvana, a cover of a Meat Puppets song from their MTV Unplugged in New York show. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic, and the conversation with Mark was recorded on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. Those are new acquisitions and I need to fiddle with the settings to get better/clearer signal. As ever, bear with me. If you’d like to add a subscription to this podcast through iTunes, follow the instructions at my Podcast Archive. (Where, of course, you can find all the previous episodes!)

Podcast: 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!

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 3 – Ann Rivera

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.)

Looking for past episodes? Check out the Podcast Archive page!

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

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!

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 2 – libraries

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!

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.

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