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Journey of an Aesthete Podcast

Journey of an Aesthete Podcast

By Mitch Hampton
Now in our fourth season, we continue our comprehensive examination of all matters aesthetic, all the arts and humanities and how they connect us to what it means to be human.

From the vantage point of the internal process of different artists, makers and creators, we deep dive into all things arts and humanities.

Your neurodivergent host, Mitch Hampton, is a journalist and world renown pianist and composer for films. Through his lens, we explore the rich stories of artists, what inspires them to create as well as, Mitch's own personal journey as an artist on the autistic spectrum.
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Season 4, October 2002 "Book Lunch" Featuring Azar Nafisi's new book, "Read Dangerously!"
Enjoy our October “Book Lunch”, as we welcome special guest author and public intellectual Azar Nafisi back to our show to discuss her new book Read Dangerously! More on this episode from Mitch’s notebook “While I do love to speak freely and spontaneously on a book that has become close to my heart or seems central to our collective lives in a moment or "snapshot" (as I would formulate it), there is simply nothing as powerful and valuable as being able to communicate with the author of the book in question in the moment. This was nowhere more forcefully brought home than being able to have a conversation with Azar Nafisi on her book “Reading Dangerously”. Not only is her book possibly one of the most important in our current moment it is also concerns our universal humanity as she expressed so eloquently during our conversation. This is Azar Nafisi's second visit to our show and I always feel blessed when she is on our show as in a very real sense she represents the spirit of our podcast. As you will hear she certainly knows her literature but many subjects came up into course of our show - issues of literature, philosophy as well as politics. I certainly hope you will celebrate her book with us as it one we will surely enjoy reading long into the future as much as we will now.”
September 27, 2022
September 16th, "Funky Friday at Five" featuring host Mitch Hampton "On Ancestry and Influence"
Listeners, in case you missed it, here is our recent wonderful livestream art talk, "Funky Friday at 5" featuring your host, Mitch Hampton. Mitch talks with us about artistic legacy and the artists who help shape us and our arts & culture. More on this special livestream, here: "On Ancestry and Influence" The recent passing of pianist Ramsey Lewis and French film giant Jean Luc Godard, two favorites, puts Mitch Hampton in a reflective mood about how artistic practice is always indebted to the many ancestors who have come before so that something can be created for the now and into the future.
September 19, 2022
"Book Lunch" featuring Louis Menand's "The Free World"
Thanks to everyone who came to our recent "Book Lunch" on Friday September 9th, featuring Louis Menand's "The Free World". In case you missed it, here it is for you to enjoy and share with us! #bobdylan #jacksonpollack #newcriticism #structuralism #coldwar #sovietunion #american #vietnam #elvispresley #jamesbaldwin #susansontag #hannaharendt #thebeatles #georgemartin #lioneltrilling #unesco #rolandbarthes #jojhnlennon #familyofman 4pulitzerprize #williamfaulkner #themetaphysicalclub #americanstudies #williamjames #newyorker #johndewey #charlessanderspeirce #oliverwendellhomesjr #pragmatism #unitedstates #nationalhumanitiewsmedal #barackobama #nationalendowmentforthehumanities #NEH #harvardlawschool #columbiauniversity #1950s #1960s #20thcentury #GeorgeKeenan #MartinLutherKingJr
September 12, 2022
Frank La Mendola on Sharing One's Passion: A Conversation with designer and Chef/Baker Frank La Mendola
Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton “As I will never tire of expressing, one of the many goals of this podcast is to feature guests who have had different lives and careers than your host. Although I have always been intensely interested in men's fashion and menswear and our guest Frank La Mendola started out as, among other things, a fashion illustrator, his particular journey involved becoming both a designer of accessories for women, notably handbags as well as the world of food culture and catering in his capacities as a baker and chef. These are worlds that are most interesting to me and with which I have had little involvement. I loved hearing his stories on this episode, in particular the relatable way in which he talks about his many careers. He is both a tireless, hard worker, and yet never loses humility and a positive outlook, qualities which we were fortunate to feature on this episode. As he said on this episode, he has had many lifetimes in this one and I certainly enjoyed hearing about some of those on this episode.” Frank's Bio Frank La Mendola is a designer, artist and culinary arts instructor.  A native to New Jersey, and an avid designer, gardener, and cook; thanks to a lifelong passion for art, nature, and food! After studying fashion and design, Frank spent over three decades designing handbags in New York City, where I resided for several years, while traveling the globe for business. A few years ago, after moving back to New Jersey, Frank decided to follow his other passions which are gardening, cooking and baking, and then began teaching Culinary Arts at a private all girls’ high school in Northern New Jersey. Sharing behind the scenes and how to instruction for everything that takes place in the kitchen and garden, allows me to create content for Celebrate 365, which is the perfect mix and use of my professional background as an artist, designer and teacher. Whether I'm growing vegetables or trying out new recipes, sharing these experiences with family, friends and followers, is incredibly satisfying... and why I started blogging. Links to Frank’s many beautiful works: Website: Instagram: TikTok: Facebook: You Tube: Linked In:
September 08, 2022
Mitch Hampton Jazz Trio Concert August 21st 2022, Bonus offering for you to enjoy and share with us!
Thank you to everyone who joined us last night, to all the musicians and our tech team! In case you missed it, here was our concert and we hope you enjoy the music. Your podcast host, Mitch Hampton is also professional concert pianist and composer, having scored many films with a prolific music career, so we share this as some bonus content! #jazz #music #concert #livemusic Mitch Hampton
August 22, 2022
"Funky Friday 5" featuring neurodivergent activist, Eddie Abreau!
Hello listeners! In case you missed it, here is our wonderful talk with the spectacular #EddieAbreau! We cannot thank him enough for joining us on our recent "Funky Friday at 5", to speak about his activism for autistic and neurodivergence. It was extra special for us as our host, Mitch Hampton was recently made aware of his own neurodivergence and they both explore in this talk, how creativity has inspired them forward in their journeys. It was a truly joyful talk and Eddie is an absolute inspiration to us all. We hope he will be back again soon! More about this very special event from your neurodivergent host, Mitch Hampton, here: “I believe I first became aware of Eddie Abreu on the recommendation of one of our guests Stephanie Persephone. I am most glad she put in touch with one another. I was first of all impressed with his style of dress which makes him already a soul brother of sorts. Only later did I realize his contributions to activism for autistic and neurodivergence more generally as well as his work as a tutor. He is also highly erudite. Even though we have not yet met in person and both have deep connections to New York City, one of the features of our Internet Age is that people can meet in all sorts of ways. I very look forward to learning much from him and our conversation for the Funky Friday.”
August 15, 2022
On Art and Beauty: A Conversation with Wendy Steiner
"I have been reading Wendy Steiner since the publication of her 1996 book The Scandal Of Pleasure. Imagine my astonishment that I actually got to speak with her on this podcast after so many years. If I had to describe Wendy Steiner's contribution in arts and letters I would discuss her first as one of the very best public intellectuals.In her case, one who writes books for a general readership on the subjects closest to my heart. For her art and beauty are essential and very real things in the world, never abstractions or options that come after necessities.  The ways she weaves examples into her prose from both popular and non- commercial works and, above all, HOW she writes of them - with great erudition and wisdom - seems to me so rare in today's world. And I look forward to her next book on beauty - even if I must wait a year. Only recently did I discover that she is a part of the world of opera in writing librettos.I have been learning from her for decades and I hope you can feel my enthusiasm at being able to discuss my favorite subjects in the world with her in this dream come true episode." Bio: Wendy Steiner is the author or editor of fourteen books on aesthetics and cultural criticism, including The Scandal of Pleasure: Art in an Age of Fundamentalism (NY Times “100 Best Books of 1996”); Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth-Century Art (2001); and The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art (2010). At the University of Pennsylvania, she was the Richard L. Fisher Professor of English and Founding Director of the Penn Humanities Forum (now the Wolf Center). A Guggenheim, ACLS, Bellagio, and NEH Fellow, Steiner received a NYSCA Individual Artist’s Grant for her photography-opera-hologram installation in the 2022 Venice Biennale, Upon Reflection: An Opera in Ten Images (composer, Frances White). For the 2019 Biennale, Steiner co-designed Traces on the Farther Side (with Andrew Lucia), a “digital visualization” of an earlier composition by White. Steiner is the librettist of four operas with composer Paul Richards, two of which premiere in 2022: Mondo Novo, in the Vienna Summer Music Festival; and A Braided Light, commissioned by White Snake Projects in Boston. Steiner lives in New York, where she is at work on a new book, “The Beauty of Choice: Aesthetics and the Agency of Women.” Links to Wendy’s beautiful works: Website: Links to Wendy's Books: A recent webinar about Wendy’s Venice Biennale project, Upon Reflection: An Opera in Ten Images: https://
August 10, 2022
"Book Lunch" Featuring Kei Hiruta's Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin: Freedom, Politics and Humanity”
Enjoy our recent "Book Lunch" featuring Kei Hiruta's masterpiece, “ Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin: Freedom, Politics and Humanity”. Share it with us, leave a comment and thanks for being the best part of our show! More on this “Book Lunch” from your host, Mitch Hampton “Looked at as two individuals, both Isaiah Berlin and Hannah Arendt are, objectively speaking, two of the greatest thinkers in twentieth century thought. Both were Jews who fled the two dominant totalitarian regime of the 20th century- Berlin fleeing Soviet Russia as a child to become a major figure in British political philosophy, Arendt fleeing Nazi Germany as a young woman to become a leading thinker in the United States. Berlin single handedly developed the most influential idea of values pluralism in the middle of the 20th century. Likewise, Hannah Arendt was a scholar who analyzed both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, helping clarify and solidify contemporary understandings of totalitarianism. And both were much more than these: Berlin had roots in Oxford philosophy and wrote on a wide array of topics, from Russia history to Machiavelli. Hannah Arendt developed original ideas about what democracy actually means. In Kei Hirta's one of a kind book, "Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin: Freedom, Politics and Humanity", it is revealed that these two figures were at odds during their lifetimes. Though Berlin outright hated Hannah Arendt and Arendt more or less ignored and/or was aloof towards Berlin, this strained relationship is much more than an historical curiosity or gossip, but rather raises profound issues that continue today - issues concerning styles of philosophic thought, for example European versus Anglo-American, and beliefs about statecraft and public and private life. Hirtua explores all of these issues in ways that taught me an enormous amount and will prove to be of lasting important in non-fiction on ideas and the history of political thought in the contemporary period." Related Links: hiruta
July 28, 2022
Funky Friday at 5, July 8th featuring special guest actress Quinn Lemley!
In case you missed it, enjoy our recent Funky Friday at 5 art talk, featuring special guest, Quinn Lemley!   More about the livestream here:   “There can be no doubt that the heat was on this past July 8th at 5 when we are joined by triple threat singer, dancer and actor Quinn Lemley, star of Rita Hayworth The Heat Is On!, Secrets of Broadway, From Burlesque to Broadway and much more.”  More about Quinn’s beautiful work, here:
July 11, 2022
Happy Season 4 of Journey of an Aesthete Podcast and thank you all!
Listeners!    Today we celebrate with you SEASON 4 of our show!    We are SO grateful to you all for being on the journey with us and we are so excited to share what we have planned for this season.   In case you missed our celebratory livestream today featuring your podcast host, Mitch Hampton, here it is , full of surprises and a lively discussion about the arts, 1970s' ( Mitch is a 70's scholar) and Season 4 of our show.   Please listen, subscribe, share and leave a comment! https://www.jouneyofanaesthetepodcast...
July 07, 2022
On Warhol and Fine Art: A Conversation with Blake Gopnik
Every guest on our show is wholly unique. In the case of Blake Gopnik he might be most well known for a definitive and conprehensive biography of Andy Warhol. But one of the many things that goes into making such a good biography, of course is the learning, dedication and research of the author.Nowhere is this more than case than with Blake Gopnik. He is so well versed in so many aspects of the arts and art history, in particular the category of fine arts, that at times I had to work to catch up with him. That is the kind of thing we like to do on our podcast and I hope that whether you are longtime Warhol fan, novice or skeptic, and whatever your relationship to fine art, that you will enjoy this episode as much as we did concocting it.” Blake Gopnik’s Biography Blake Gopnik, Warhol, my comprehensive biography of the Pop artist, was published by Ecco at HarperCollins in 2020. I’ve been the staff art critic at the Globe and Mail, the Washington Post and Newsweek and am now a regular contributor to the New York Times.  I got my PhD in art history from Oxford University. Links to Blake Gopnik’s Work Publisher’s page for Blake’s Warhol book (and its free endnotes) at Links to Blake's Socials Twitter: @BlakeGopnik Instagram:@Blake_Gopnik, Facebook: 
June 09, 2022
Our May 31st "Book Lunch" featuring author Laurie Verchomin and her masterpiece, The Big Love: Life and Death with Bill Evans"
We were so honored to have had as our guest for our recent May 31st "Book Lunch", featuring author Laurie Verchomin.  We discussed her poetic and classic memoir, "The Big Love: Life And Death With Bill Evans", which in my view one of the best jazz books to have come out in a long time, in part for the individual uniqueness of the author's perspective.    We also discussed her spiritual journey and her artistic progress. I also wrote an original piano piece to thank Laurie called "Verchomin's Buddha Nature".    It was so special to have her on and we know you will love it !  New England Conservatory #music #jazz #composing #humanities #podcasts #audible #anchorfm #film #theatre #philosophy #filmtheory #filmarchives #spirituality #jazz #composition #literature #poetry #soundart #soundtracks #playwrighting #theatre #arts #travel #augustwilson #legacy #writing #philisophy #artsbroadcasting #books #audiobooks #creativity #artists #folkart #artisans #creation #spiritual #meditation #academics #filmarchives #travel #travelwriting #music #BillEvans #jazz #Buddhism #spirituality
May 31, 2022
Funky Friday at Five with special guest, artist Alexandra Carter, a deep dive discussion of the film, "The Lost Daughter" by Maggie Gyllenhaal
"In case you missed it, please enjoy our recent "Funky Friday at Five" art talk with artist Alexandra Carter, as we deep dive discuss the brilliant film, "The Lost Daughter" by brilliant director, Maggie Gyllenhaal. A little more about the livestream, here: On this particular Funky Friday at 5 , special guest Alexandra Carter and I take the deepest dive into Maggie Gyllenhaal's remarkable film "The Lost Daughter" on Netflix, in my view one of the best films from last year. Of course we are likely to discuss other things as well which we will leave to the spontaneity of the moment."
May 24, 2022
Enjoy a May Bonus Pop Up Livestream Art Talk!
Hi listeners! Enjoy a May Bonus Pop Up Livestream Art Talk just for you! We deep dive into creativity, inspiration and how the arts unite us! New England Conservatory #music #jazz #composing #humanities #podcasts #audible #anchorfm #film #theatre #philosophy #filmtheory #filmarchives #spirituality #jazz #composition #literature #poetry #soundart #soundtracks #playwrighting #theatre #arts #travel #augustwilson #legacy #writing #philisophy #artsbroadcasting #books #audiobooks #creativity #artists #folkart #artisans #creation #spiritual #meditation #academics #filmarchives #travel #travelwriting #music
May 16, 2022
The Political Situation in 2022: A Conversation with journalist, activist and counselor Andy Heintz
One of the most unfortunate developments in the post internet age is the loss of town and local newspapers.  Our guest Andy Heintz is a veteran of that era.  One of the many advantages of localized journalism is what I personally was trained to report as first order of business back when I was a journalist in the 80s and 90s: the "big five" of who, what, where, how and why.  You start from basic facts about a school board, the water table, farm food production, the weather, elections and so on. After that you can interpret as much as you like, but there had to be a consensus concerning facts.  Our guest Andy Heintz learned the art of this type of reporting in the American Midwest. And like other reporters, he is still very much with us, even if this or that newspaper is not - making me hopeful that this necessary function in society can be rejuvenated. Heintz is also a political activist and a drug counselor and I hope the fact that we got into all of these subjects will help the audience feel invigorated as to the function of basic journalism as well as whatever interpretations they will realize once in command of basic facts.  Close regular audiences of our podcast should realize that I don't love politics as a field as much as I do some other things yet it remains an indispensable, even relentless fact itself of all of our daily lives. Andy's Bio Andy Heintz is a freelance writer who covers human rights, democracy, women's rights, environmental issues, labor rights and cultural issues. He is the author of Dissidents of the International Left. His work has been published in progressive media outlets in the United States, South America, England India, Pakistan, Syria, France and Australia. He his work has been featured in The Progressive, NACLA, Foreign Policy in Focus, New Politics, New Internationalist, CounterVortex, News International in Pakistan, Tikkun, The New Arab, Balkan Witness, Secularism is a Women's Issue and Democracy in Africa Links to Andy’s beautiful works: New Internationalist articles and biography Foreign Policy in Focus articles NACLA  Progressive column Tikkun Links to Andy’s Social Media links Twitter
May 04, 2022
"Book Lunch" #2 "A Suite for Barbara Loden'
We loved seeing you all last week for our recent "Book Lunch" that featured #NathalieLeger's wonderful book, "A Suite for Barbara Loden".  In case you missed it, here it is for you all to enjoy! Please like, share and leave a comment.#barbaraloden#asuiteforbarbaraloden #books #cinema #wanda #filmmaking
May 03, 2022
"Our recent Funky Friday at 5: Discussing a Love for Life Long Learning"
Hi everyone! Thank you all for coming to our recent "#FunkyFridayatFive" last week. We had a wonderful turn out and in case you missed it, here is your host Mitch Hampton discussing all things art and life long learning! New England Conservatory #music #jazz #composing #humanities #podcasts #audible #anchorfm #film #theatre #philosophy #filmtheory #filmarchives #spirituality #jazz #composition #literature #poetry #soundart #soundtracks #playwrighting #theatre #arts #travel #augustwilson #legacy #writing #philisophy #artsbroadcasting #books #audiobooks #creativity #artists #folkart #artisans #creation #spiritual #meditation #academics #filmarchives #travel #travelwriting #music #learning #music
April 27, 2022
Special Listener Bonus! Mitch Hampton Trio, Spring Concert, An evening of live jazz!
Hello listeners! We have a special bonus episode for you, a recent concert by your host, Mitch Hampton and his Trio.  A little more about this wonderful evening of music, here: "The Spring Fling Living Room Show" featuring  Zack Page on bass and Justin Watt on drums. We played a couple of brand new compositions written in the past couple of months by yours truly, including The Spring Fling, as well as some some more familiar music for the season."
April 26, 2022
On Being "Culturally Determined": A Conversation with Culturally Determined Host Aryeh Cohen-Wade
The reason for Aryeh Cohen-Wade’s presence on our show is at least twofold. I fell into being a regular listener to his show Culturally Determined which for at least a year was a show on the bloggingheads site. I am always, as an aesthete, and some other identities as well looking for culture that reflects or at least is congenial to my sensibility. The usually young guests he would have on did discuss politics a lot but always appeared to do so from an awareness of aesthetics. Then there is Aryeh's approach to interviewing which always knowledgable and culturally connected to the guests but which had a bit of self effacing shyness which I find to be the most welcome approach in our particular moment. He is respectful of his guests and his attitude always seems to draw out the guests in ways that would never be possible were he to be  slick, aggressive or wear his considerable learning on the sleeve. I sensed he had a strong literary background, in particular one memorable episode with a Philip Roth biographer, and it turns out that he did - which to me is far more important a criteria for a show in which politics often comes up than, say, a political science degree. The world of the internet and social media being what it is, I reached out to him and was only too happy to do this episode. In keeping with a consistent theme on our show both "high and low" things are discussed from popular movies to more obscure books. His show gives me immense hope for the future: that literary values will continue to have a place, while at the same time in communication with things most popular and trending. I hope not only that you enjoy our episode but to gain Aryeh Cohen-Wade many more listeners. Aryeh Cohen-Wade’s Bio An editor, podcaster, and writer with over a decade of experience in digital media. He hosts the podcast "Culturally Determined," and his writing has been published in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times, Slate, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Examiner. He is adept at writing and editing for the web, print, newsletters, and social media. Social Links to Aryeh Cohen-Wade’s Works Culturally Determined on Apple Podcasts: Personal website: Link’d In You Tube Twitter Spotify
April 20, 2022
From the Cranberry Farm to the Art Studio, our talk with Alexandra Carter
I first met our current guest, Alexandra Carter, when she was 19 years old and an intern in a place in Boston called the Mills Gallery. That period of my life was interesting for a couple of reasons - both of which are related to this podcast. For one I was becoming intensely interested in contemporary visual and installation art at that time because I was starting to see a spiritual connection between the different art mediums. For another I also stared hanging out with and seeking the company of actors, filmmakers, performance artists and sculptors too, even doing piano performances in visual art settings like galleries in addition to the normal bars, restaurants, and clubs. (The theme of the connections between all of the arts of course is a dominant one in this very podcast). As a result of this shift in my consciousness I purposely sought out the company of artists who were not necessarily musicians, in particular what we would call the "fine arts". At that time I was aware of Alexandra's interest in painting but little did I know what would emerge from her talent and hard work some fifteen years later. One of the things I most admire about her work is her steadfast commitment to the figural and representational. Though it is quite abstract in various ways, the human figure and story is very much present in her work. I also like very much how her work grows directly out of her own personal experience and biography and appears to foreground these in a fearless and expressive way. I very much enjoyed this episode. It was an opportunity to discuss certain aesthetic matters I don't always get a chance to discuss and to do so in a relaxed and welcome environment. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did creating it.” Artist’s Statement: My work is an exploration of the psyche in the form of painting and drawing influenced by print media, collage, and performance. While riffing on themes of gender, fairytale, and masquerade, I play with the relationship between control and catharsis, visualizing the body coming out of itself, exposing not only one’s guts but one’s internal state--one’s emotions, one’s craziness--in a way that can seem both pleasurable and painful. I draw from my personal background (especially my origins on a cranberry farm in New England) as well as literature, mythology, dance, and costume. Links to Alexandra's Works: Website:   Instagram: For an extended biography and deeper look into Alexandra's works, please visit our show Facebook page here:
April 06, 2022
Welcome to our new series, "Book Lunch", featuring Mitch's talk on Blake Gopnik's,"Warhol"
Hi folks, In case you missed it, here is our first, "Book Lunch"!   More on the new series from Mitch:   "In this,  I believe my very fist “Book Lunch”, I discuss the door stop sized biography of Andy Warhol (just under 1000 pages!) by art critic and journalist Blake Gopnik.   I will have some additional comments on the hit Netflix series based on the Warhol Diaries as were edited by Pat Hackett. New England Conservatory #music #jazz #composing #humanities #podcasts #audible #anchorfm #film #theatre #philosophy #filmtheory #filmarchives #spirituality #jazz #composition #literature #poetry #soundart #soundtracks #playwrighting #theatre #arts #travel #augustwilson #legacy #writing #philisophy #artsbroadcasting #books #audiobooks #creativity #artists #folkart #artisans #creation #spiritual #meditation #academics #filmarchives #travel #travelwriting #music#Warhol #BlakeGopnik #PatHackett #Netflix
March 31, 2022
Funky Friday at Five Livestream, Tyler Bejoian and the Names new album release !
On this Funky Friday at 5, which we feature every month on ourshow Facebook page here:   Your host, Mitch Hampton , talked with returning guest Tyler Bejoian on his newest album, The Bullfrog's Lamentation by Tyler & the Names!   Please visit our You Tube channel and like share and subscribe, here: New England Conservatory #music #jazz #composing #humanities #podcasts #audible #anchorfm #film #theatre #philosophy #filmtheory #filmarchives #spirituality #jazz #composition #literature #poetry #soundart #soundtracks #playwrighting #theatre #arts #travel #augustwilson #legacy #writing #philisophy #artsbroadcasting #books #audiobooks #creativity #artists #folkart #artisans #creation #spiritual #meditation #academics #filmarchives #travel #travelwriting #music
March 14, 2022
Beth Levin: The Life And Career Of A Pianist
I believe it was Jon Jost, our very first guest on this podcast who first put me in touch with Beth Levin.  I am most happy he did because Levin is an ideal guest if you want to hear about the world of the piano as instrument and classical music more generally. Many decades ago - in the middle 1980s to be exact - I was exciting a period in which I was strictly trained in what is called the Classical field and decisively entering the jazz and popular field. I learned so much through my classical training and, though part of me did love it, my greatest wish and dream was to do original music rather than that written boy others - even if those others were the best composers of all time.  A major theme in this podcast is that of artistic choice and every artist needs to decide what choice best reflects who they are. I feel that in having Beth Levin on the show, as corny or highfalutin as the following might sound, is a something like a living link to the world of Beethoven - and much more.  Beth Levin is that good and also that deeply rooted in that particular musical tradition. I can't think of a more exciting or pleasing episode for your your pianist-host and my only hope is that our enthusiasm for the piano is communicated thoroughly as you listen to our episode.  Bio  Brooklyn-based pianist Beth Levin is celebrated as a bold interpreter of challenging works, from the Romantic canon to leading modernist composers.  The New York Times praised her “fire and originality,” while The New Yorker called her playing “revelatory.” Fanfare described Levin’s artistry as “fierce in its power,” with “a huge range of colors.”  Debuting as a child prodigy with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age twelve, Levin was subsequently taught and guided by legendary pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Sure and Dorothy Taubman. Another of her teachers, Paul Badura- Skoda, praised Levin as “a pianist of rare qualities and the highest professional caliber.” Her deep well of experience allows an intuitive connection to the great pianistic traditions, to Bach, to Mozart, to Beethoven.  Critics hail the immediacy of her performances. “Levin plays with a rare percussive audacity, making notes and phrases that usually rush by in the background stand out in high relief,” writes Richard Brody in The New Yorker.  Website: Social Links: Instagram: Link’d In: levin-30909332 Facebook: bethlevinpiano/ Twitter:  Links to Beth’s beautiful piano works: no1-ondine Excellent article about Marian Filar by Mark AInley of the Piano FIles: filar/ Beethoven 3rd concerto of mine/ 2017, Germany  Links to Beth’s written works: Over the years I've written articles for: moments-musicaux-op-94-d780/ ****
March 10, 2022
Being Present with Sunny Redmond: A conversation with model and healer Sunny Redmond on her life and careers
This particular episode started, as so many of our episodes do, with a particular work of art or singular human instance of the aesthetic. The work in question happens to be a photograph that Deborah Turbeville took for Vogue Magazine in 1975. Indeed I was so taken with it enough to acquire one signed by Turbeville. A couple of years later, as I find myself with a podcast, I had many ideas as to one or more episodes connected with that photograph. Perhaps a show on Deborah Turbeville, on modeling itself? It seemed that a single photograph opened up more than I could have realized when first I discovered Turbeville's work. I want to say that this is entirely in keeping with the nature of the artistic expression in all of its forms. It is utterly mysterious and things that seem on first blush or glance to be quite remote and disconnected only later, upon deepest examination to be as connected as to form a symbiotic unity. It could be a single photograph as much as a singular life. Sunny Redmond, our extraordinary guest on this particular episode, appears have so many experiences within this single and singular lifetime. Here was me wanting to discuss modeling, and the 70s and fashion and glamour and it turns out upon a little research that we would have to also discuss Hopi culture, traditional healing, the Grand Canyon and much more. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love the eloquence and directness of Sunny's discussion of her remarkable life. It seems rare to me for one person to have done all that she has. I can hear her voice most likely saying to me now that "it was the most natural thing in the world" and I am glad that it is. I was only too happy that she created the time and space to be on our show and I hope the listener might be inspired too to take a look at this thing we, for lack of a better word, call spirituality.” For the arts and spirit are intimately connected and Sunny Redmond knows a lot about both. Links to Sunny’s beautiful works: Website: Article: wholistic-approach-to-healing/article_67ff17a0- bd7c-5f7a-8d58-9bd369505de7.html Bio: For an extended look at Sunny's biography & journey, please visit her website & our show Facebook page:  "I assist individuals seeking their essential self. By reading the energy bodies and assessing where energy is held resulting in symptoms, the body gives me a map to proceed.  With sensitivity, experience and technique I support the restoring innate wholeness and ease.  The Mastery level work is long lasting, non-invasive and life altering in a deeply missed and longed for way. My truest connection to spirit is through serving exquisitely and humbly with respect. 25 years of experience, wise counsel with a Specialty in Trauma."
February 24, 2022
“On Art As Philosophy and Philosophy As Art: A Conversation with Robert Pippin”
“Robert Pippin is one of the precious few thinkers, writers and teachers who stands out in the worlds of philosophy and the humanities for his devotion and attention to the arts most broadly construed.  While others in his field might want to write on Hegel alone (about whom Pippin writes better anybody - see his Hegel's Prac- tical Philosophy - for but one example) Pippin has been pro- lific in writing on some of the major arts and artists of our modern and contem- porary periods, including Hollywood Westerns, Proust, Henry James, Douglas Sirk , crime and Film Noir movies, Coatzee novels, and paintings from all periods and eras.  Even better it was revealed to me that he is deep in the footage of a book on the great Robert Bresson.  In short, he writes on a lot of things and on those things very well.  I must admit that my initial familiarity with him was back in the 1990s and due to my ongoing intense interest in Hegel, a philosophy who is experiencing a resurgence of interest at the moment, and even though I take Hegel to be for all ages and who though found to be difficult (an adjective that itself came up more than once in our episode) by many people I feel to be simply indispensable in the "canon" of the great philosophers.  I found Robert Pippin to be in general very open and helpful in clarifying what can often be miscon- strued as obscure in certain quarters.  Like the episodes with Elizabeth Anderson and George Kateb, this is one of those episodes where I was able to go into the weeds al little more than is usual and indulge my love for philosophy.  I can only hope that some of this love is infectious and is as interesting for the listener as it was for us to conduct the episode.” Links: Website: Books: https:// au5252783.html Bio  For Mr. Pippin's extended biography, visit us here: He is the author of several books on modern German philosophy, including Kant’s Theory of Form; Hegel’s Ideal- is: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness; Modernism as a Philosophical Problem; Hegel’s Practical Philosophy; After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philoso- phy of Pictorial Modernism, and Hegel’s Realm of Shadows: Logic as Metaphysics in The Science of Logic; a book on philosophy and literature, Henry James and Modern Moral Life; and five books on film. His last two books are Filmed Thought: Cinema as Re- flective Form, and Philosophy by Other Means: The Arts in Philosophy and Philosophy in the Arts, both published by University of Chicago Press. He is a past winner of the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the Ameri- can Philosophical Society, and of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina.
February 09, 2022
The Anastasia Rose Show: A conversation with singer-songwriter and music therapist Anastasia Rose on her journey with music
“I could never fail to marvel at guests like our current one in February Anastasia Rose. Like some or many of our guests she exhibits enormous talent and ability not only in more than one endeavor but seems to do so while possessed of integrity, an engaging temperament, and thus an ideal guest for our podcast as well as inspiration to others.Like me she is both a musician and neurodivergent but quite unlike me she has chosen to do everything in music from playing wind instruments, teaching and leading band, playing guitar as a singer-songwriter, playing in a punk band all in addition to being a pianist (and I am sure some other things I can't think of at the moment). Moreover, she is also a music therapist and has her own business helping people of the most diverse psychological needs and backgrounds. I feel something of her spirit, in its commitment to her practice and eclecticism in styles, bodes well for our future more generally and I certainly enjoyed hearing her discuss her journey.” Bio NURODIVERGENT, MUSICIAN, POET, ARTIST & MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE  Originally hailing from Texas, Anastasia Rose has found a new home in the greater Denver metropolitan area. Her music combines multiple genres to encompass a nostalgic yet nouveau style with influence from Florence + The Machine, Elliott Smith, Death Cab For Cutie, Regina Spektor, and Ingrid Michaelson. Anastasia recently released her first solo single, Cosmic Love, a three song album which was written, performed, and produced by her. From a young age, Anastasia took to music performance, composition, and education in a virtuosically natural fashion. She was singing before she was talking and playing the piano before she knew how to make friends. Music was always there for her and thus it was bound to become her passion and career as an adult.She is the CEO and primary therapist for Creative Remedies, LLC -- a therapy and lesson business aiming to offer therapeutic music experiences and education to all who seek it across the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, neurology, socioeconomic class, religion, and more. Anastasia's music career is eclectic.  She has performed with ensembles such as the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps and Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps which showcased and competed in front of upwards of 20,000 people at venues like the Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Indianapolis Colts), Sports Authority Field (home of the Denver Broncos), and MetLife Stadium (home of the New York Giants and New York Jets). Anastasia has also performed for various venues and festivals around the Denver metro area such as Herman's Hideaway, Your Mom's House, the People's Fair, Swallow Hill Music, and the Broomfield Summer Concert Series. She has also been part of ensembles that have opened for artists and bands across genres such as Emma Back, Younger Than Neil, and Write Minded. For the extended bio, visit us here: Links: Performance/composer side: Therapist/music teacher side: Sampling of her new tracks:
January 27, 2022
The Hop Shirtmaking Episode
“ I came upon the guests in this particular episode, Reza and Luke Nasserbakht of The Hop, custom shirt makers , in much the same way as I have come across people in my daily life: responding to my immediate environment in the moment with as little prior prejudice or planning as is possible. Much as I found our producer, Laurie Strickland simply by the ritual of getting a coffee in a coffee shop, Think Coffee to be exact, I was struck by a storefront on Elizabeth Street in Lower Manhattan.  The beauty and design of it which led me into that environment, couple of course with my open-minded curiosity as much as my love of beauty. At that time I had very few shirts bespoke, resorting mainly to made to measure and the very best ready to wear. If you fast forward to today in 2021 their business has changed location: they are in a much tonier address uptown on Madison Avenue in a vicinity of New York City known for the better menswear and custom tailoring more generally. To me, of course it is very much the same family, and the very best level of craft and, dare I say, art. I thought it would be interesting given that my physical body has changed, like so many around the world at this time, to start from scratch and with a single shirt, to offer one simple example of what someone like Reza does and to include this episode as part of a larger series on clothing which inaugurated with Avery Lucas.  I recorded some short audio interviews with both the father and his son Luke at their new space in Manhattan. The other thing that was clear to me is the validity of my snapshot theory of art applies here too. One thing that should be immediately clear concerning this particular episode is the extraordinary steadfastness and commitment to quality of craft, both over the longest period of time, as well as the greatest expanse of global geography. I met this family at a certain period of time and location of the years 2010 and 2011.  Yet from their point of view what matters most is the very real progress involved in their move uptown.  There is a palpable sense of pride in this move as best reflecting what they are all about. In a sense that is their current "snapshot." And we see two opposites: on the one hand there is the sometimes great changes in the cut or silhouette of clothing in popular fashions seem to sweep the decisions of everybody, both in the initial construction of all clothing as well as the habits of those who will wear it.  Yet on the other hand we see the absolute consistency of both measurements which are objective as well as quality of craft which always applies, no matter the garment in question, and how this commitment to such quality is passed on though generations and eras so that it can be enjoyed in the world, notwithstanding the vagaries of where any of us happen to find ourselves.  For me what Reza and his son practice is as important as anything in art and culture."  Reza, Luke and The Hop's Bio A FAMILY CUSTOM OUR FAMILY HAS BEEN MAKING CUSTOM SHIRTS FOR OVER 100 YEARS. WE LEARNED HOW TO MAKE SHIRTS FROM OUR FATHER WHO LEARNED HOW TO MAKE SHIRTS FROM HIS FATHER. IN OUR FAMILY, WE BELIEVE IN THE VALUE OF EXPERTLY CRAFTED GOODS. IN QUALITY OVER SPEED. OUR SHIRTS ARE MADE WITH THE FINEST QUALITY MATERIALS AND AN EXPERIENCED HAND.  Links to Reza & The Hop’s beautiful work Website:  Facebook:   Instagram: thehopnyc/
January 06, 2022
The Lou Beach Show
This particular episode is unlike any of the previous ones to date as far as I am aware.  Of course every guest is unique and special but what stands our on this one is the response of the host - me. Lou Beach cracks me up so much and you can certainly hear more laughter coming from me than is usual on this podcast.  I am talking rolling, falling off a chair laughter. (Which I almost did a couple of times).  Of course part of this is the good sense of humor and charm of Lou Beach , elements that certainly make their way into his work. I should add that it is very hard to get me to laugh out loud at anything, an admittedly sore spot of my many friends and acquaintances who like to kid around and tell jokes.  I first became aware of him through record album covers, first the Liquid Love album from Freddie Hubbard and then the great Weather Report album covers (also on Columbia) in the 70s.  Only later did I realize there was so much more to Lou Beach.  As I have said before on other occasions and I believe during our conversation on this episode, I don't really believe in or abide by the ordinary boundaries and demarcations of styles of art. For me these physically reproduced popular album covers are as valid and valuable as the un-reproduced fine oil paintings.  Of course the meaning and intention is very different but the qualities I admire in Lou Beach's work - the radical whimsy, fearlessness, graphic surfeit of color, and the juxtaposition of disparate pop emblems and figures - are qualities that you can only really get with his style and the world of illustration itself.  Collage too is till very valid; I often have though of the spirit and impulse of collage, though it does date as far back as the Germany of the 1920s, to be always relevant and in its own way most realistic.  The content and figures in it are ones that are all a part of our daily lives, for better and for worse. Beach's work too, like the politically oriented ones in that Germany of the 20s, has a most serious dimension along side the popular and he is one of those few visual artists whose work refuses to be coy and always to be remembered. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.  Links to Lou's Beautiful Works : Lou Beach's Bio: For the extended version of Lou's Bio, visit our show Facebook page: Lou Beach (né Andrzej Jerzy Lubicz-Ledwochowski) was born in Göttingen, Germany in 1947, the son of Polish parents displaced by the Second World War.  The family emigrated to Rochester, NY in 1951 where Lou attended public schools and junior college. He travelled to California in 1968 where he began his artistic career by making assemblage art and studying the Surrealists, visiting galleries and museums, and creating collages from pictures cut from old Life magazines. He worked during this time in bookstores, as a delivery man, moved furniture, and ran a punch press and forklift. A road trip across country, ostensibly to travel on to Europe from the East Coast, brought him to Boston where he lived from 1972 until 1979, much of the time as the sexton at the famous Arlington St. Church.  There he created collages in earnest and had his first one man show at the newly established Boston Center For The Arts, as well as being hired for several illustration assignments.
December 13, 2021
"Please rewind and love one another": A conversation with film archivist and scholar, Skip Elsheimer"
“As I have said probably too many times in these posts our guests include people I have met personally and those whom I have never met not really only the artworks that are their creations in the widest sense of both art and creation. I knew Skip Elsheimer because he was a man that traveled with 16 millimeter cans of ephemeral type movies to do live shows of such material. Back in the early 00s I attended some of midnight shows in Boston and a whole history of filmmaking was opened up to me. Thanks to Skip this was really my first time seeing these type of movies in so concentrated and certainly curated fashion. Like a lot of us, of course some of these films had seen as a child in schools since educational films are a large portion of these films. But it encompasses much more: movies made by churches and religious groups, educational television and movies made by manufacturing corporations, NASA, government agencies even bureaucratic safety files. Skip is one of the experts on such material. Not only does he collect them and share his treasures with the world, he does so in both the most articulate and engaging a fashion with an enthusiasm that is infectious as well as integrity and civility, these last two features in short supply these days in too much of our culture. Much like my own definition of art itself - which aims to call into question the boundaries between works made for mere utility, or entertainment as well as those made for the most idiosyncratic and self expressive of reasons - Skip's project gets us to look at the films he has collected in a genuinely original way, in an historical and, I would add, aesthetic way. When we see one of these films from 1972 or 1952 we are seeing aspects of our history. Some of this material is best described as dubious, especially political, business and corporate and government propaganda. Other material has legitimate artistic value. Still other material is interesting as an historical aesthetic document of how people lived appeared and even dressed in a particular moment. To me all of it is most interesting but I am also aware that not everybody might get as excited as do I by these films. Whether you are a fan or not of this incredibly large part of film history, Skip is among its most eloquent and informed spokespeople and as such it was a joy for me to have him as guest on our show. During this episode Skip and I have discussion of one film in particular: Malakapalakadoo, Skip Two. Like its title, which I can't seem to pronounce, it is to me anyway the strangest thing ever committed to film or video, though that is one man's opinion. It was made for children evidently and by Encyclopedia Britannica, no less. Skip's wife dislikes it; I love it. But that is in the nature of artistic evaluation." Links to Skip's beautiful work: Website: YouTube: Twitter:
November 26, 2021
"The art of percussion and life: A Conversation with Frank Colon"
“I am sure it would come as little surprise to know that of all the variety of musical styles the one that has had the most influence on my own musicianship is what has gone by the name of jazz. Still, even within the majestic mansion that is African-American classical and popular music there are so many rooms and hallways. One of the most important is the contribution of Latin and Afro-Cuban and Brazilian musicianship, particularly in the art of percussion. Our guest in this episode, Frank Colon is one of the leading masters in this field. I know him more for his stint in the Tania Maria band since I have been an avid fan of her starting in the 1980s. I suppose you could say that when I watched her perform I hadn't the slightest notion that I would one day have any kind of show where I could discuss the life and career of any of the musicians with whom she has worked. Back then there were no podcasts. So it was with great delight that Frank Colon responded to a message I left on one of his videos on his channel. It is a mysterious thing really why any of us in music gravitate towards the music we love. On this episode you will hear me asking about a lot of pianists who might not be household names or famous, like the late, great Jorge Dalto, Frank Colon has played with these and many more.  I think from time to time it is good to mention these cats. Who knows; maybe they and their music will find more or newer listeners in the future? But the love of the music is the important thing and, additionally like many guests on our show, Frank Colon is multi talented in seemingly depart fields, even becoming a master at martial arts. Someone so multi talented and accomplished makes, of course, for a most exciting episode and I hope you enjoy hearing about his journey as much as we enjoyed exploring it in this episode.” Frank's Bio: Frank Colón’s music will move your body and soothe your soul.  His sophisticated, hot, and soulful music raises consciousness, brings people together, and promotes peace! Frank is a specialist in Latin-Caribbean, Brazilian, and Asian percussion instruments, including congas, bongos, timbales, bata drums, shekere, cuica, berimbau, and tabla drums, among others. The Frank Colón Band consists of (1) a Quartet (piano/keyboards, bass, drums, percussion) or (2) Quintet (piano/keyboards, bass, sax/trumpet, drums, percussion) performing songs from his CDs. Frank is also available for motivational percussion clinics as well as recording work. Links to Frank’s beautiful work:
November 10, 2021
"The Art of Healing and Therapy: A Conversation with Nancy Loeb"
“I feel that our podcast might be unusual, perhaps even fairly original, in our inclusive attitude and sensibility. It is easy enough to understand that a painting, a television show, a comedy show, and a record album are works of art, not identical with the reality of daily life: they are, in a most useful word, representational. Yet at the same time in language about culture we often say there is art to matters or practices which are part of daily, real life, where art has an evaluative and not merely descriptive connotation. In a phrase we say there is an art to a practice when it is done well, and "artful" is often an adjective of praise. This particular episode concerns the art of therapy. Our guest Nancy Loeb is unique in at least a couple of ways.  One of those ways is that she engages in conversation or talk with another human being, the goal of which is to transform their lives for the better. The other way she is unique is in her commitment to helping those who have suffered the most harm in our society. Psychotherapy occupies a most interesting place in society: it addresses itself to our consciousness as human beings in a rather direct manner and regular listeners to our podcast and readers of our blog know that my main criteria for the understanding of art itself is that it is all about consciousness. Looked at in this way, having a guest on our show who is a most valued and valuable therapist might actually have a spiritual connection to the guests on our show who are the painters and the poets, whether this connection is otherwise acknowledged or not. I love many things about this particular episode; one thing that stands out to me above all are the stories, the histories of her patients, and also her sharp clarity in articulating those stories in a relatable manner for our listeners as well as honoring each of them as unique human beings. This is very important: it is one thing to commit yourself to helping those in the kind of troubles discussed on this episode, That alone seems to me remarkable and worthy of attention and praise. It is just as valuable that Nancy Loeb can fluently describe them as well as she does, both respecting their privacy, of course, but also their individuality and their truth. One of my goals as a human being, even more than as host of this podcast, is to always become a better listener. I certainly appreciate that Loeb shared her experiences with her patients with us; it is a real gift and I feel it is completely in keeping with the spirit of our podcast which is always reflecting upon what it is to be human.” Links to Nancy’s beautiful work: Website: Run for the Rose Foundation For Nancy's extended resume, visit us here:
October 25, 2021
"The Art of the Canvas": A Conversation with Avery Lucas"
“The first and perhaps major reason that Avery Lucas is one of our guests is that I love clothes and I've loved them for the longest time, at least since I was a teenager. Writing this now at the age of fifty-three I had a rather short window of time during which I was able to order a few bespoke clothes. Although our guest was unfortunately not a man who made any of those bespoke clothes, his name was first on the list for an experimental series on tailoring and the art of clothes making. (And as Lucas himself emphasizes it is most certainly an art, and, from my vantage point one of the highest of the arts). Although I have not experienced the "bespoke" route with Lucas I did have closest contact with him in the 1990s: I regularly shopped at Saint Laurie then, right at the time he was a chief designer and tailor there! Although I was not able to order bespoke at that time I was always conscious of his greatest style sense and would admire what he was doing as I purchase quite good garments from other sections of that wonderful store. His spirit certainly presided there. He is one of the very few clothiers who has been both a designer as well as cutter and tailor. Many clothes sellers in menswear, although they may be quite knowledgeable and authorities of a sort on menswear, themselves do not know clothes from the inside out; there are some who cannot sew or cut paper patterns for example. Avery Lucas can and does. Also his taste level is unparalleled, as he is one of a generation from the 70s and 80s with the wealth of experience that one can only get from several decades in the business. Also he speaks like a poet; that is, he is a great orator and raconteur, which, after all, is most important for a podcast. I loved hearing his passion about his life's work on our show and he expresses that passion well for the wides variety of listeners. Whether anybody plans to to ever wear his kind of clothes or not, it is abundantly clear from this episode that Lucas talks about his craft in ways remarkably similar to what  fiction writer, journalist sculptor, painter or filmmaker would have to say about what they do. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did.” Links to Avery’s Beautiful Work Instagram: Facebook: Avery Lucas, a master tailor, and master of the art of dressing. Some highlights include The TV show Empire Boardwalk was an outstanding awards winner for five years, he crafted the clothes for Steve Buscemi and his character Nicky Thompson in the show as well as, Malcom X, Mo Better Blues and more. For Avery's Extended Bio, list us here:
October 12, 2021
"Supporting the Underdog and Underrepresented: A Conversation with archivist Stevo"
"The presence of Stevo Bortz on our show can be traced more or less directly to my love of jazz music as well as big band typed music.  Over the years I have been able to listen to his plentiful uploads of the Hank Levy Towson State University Ensemble; this is most interesting to me for more than one reason. Firstly, Hank Levy wrote all of these charts, some fo which I would not be able to hear as there aren't always public documents of many of the compositions.  Is is true there are famous ones from Levy, most notably the chart Whiplash which was made into a famous movie of the same name and which serves as one of the central compositions played by the protagonist of that film. And of course Hank Levy had written for the Stan Kenton and Don Ellis bands in the 70s as well as many others.  But Hank Levy presided over this department in Baltimore for several decades and they made these recordings. Because of Stevo Bortz I could hear these college ensembles play some, in my view, gorgeous music, as well as enjoy the 1970s artwork and photos that would invariably accompany the physical documents of these recordings.  For me though the main things was the sound of these uploads. They sounded good in the way that older vinyl material can often so sound. Yet in a very real sense this question of audio is but one part of Stevo's project.  As Stevo made so eloquently clear on our episode, his interest is in sound preservation of course, but also preserving history more generally - in his phrase, the underrepresented.  This of course doesn't necessarily involve professional music; it also can involve family histories, high school archives,  local bands and much more. I have to say that what I love most about Stevo as a guest is the way he articulates his enthusiasm for his project. Hearing him speak made for more than one inner Amen from your host in response to some of what he said.  I certainly hope you feel his enthusiasm and possibly look at past, present, future in a whole new way." Stevo’s Bio, Links to his beautiful work, organizations he loves: The SterArt Recording Legacy locations are as follows: Youtube: The Internet Archive: For me personally, just a link to my podcast website would be enough (if you include it, please make sure it is notated as being Not Safe For Work , and by Not Safe For Work I mean literally there will be swear words and inappropriate content within the first few lines of the website. Steno’s PodcastFriday Night Fanfiction Organizations dear to Stevo: As for organizations dear to me, I guess the two that come immediately to mind would be The Internet Archive , which is always in need of people uploading relevant material, donations for storage space, and volunteers for helping archive history. The Internet Archive: I am also a huge advocate for early literacy programs, especially for the underprivileged, so Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program is very dear to me.
September 28, 2021
"A vastly better world than our current world is within our grasp": A Conversation with philosopher Elizabeth Anderson
"I am not able to introduce properly our guest Elizabeth Anderson without first being candid about my love for a certain kind of philosophizing and I don't mean "popular" philosophy" but the rather unpopular work that is ensconced in the academy. Indeed had I not gone into music and artistic practice more generally I most would surely have loved or ended up with some kind of career in an academic discipline like philosophy save for one reservation I had: what I perceived as the stifling politics and necessary socialization of such an environment. Such was my interest in the field that I read an obscure Ph D thesis by our current guest before she became as well known as she is today: Value In Ethics And Economics, way back in 1993. I don't think there were many pianists/composers who read that book back then but then again I have always had the most eclectic of tastes, as well as ranges of interests, something that I have found to be most helpful in our podcast. A few decades since, Elizabeth Anderson has not been content to be a scholar but has become a prominent public intellectual, and in my view, one of the very best. She writes on issues that affect so many of us in society, from integration to the ethics and conditions of our workplaces.  Much like our episode with George Ketab , I really enjoy episodes like these where I can put all of my reading and education to some use and go into the weeds a little bit which for me is a way of relaxing in fact.  Anderson studied with one of the greatest thinkers in the twentieth century, John Rawls, and some of his influence of course is present. Yet Anderson is a unique and independent thinker, appearing to follow wherever the evidence leads. Given my love of the quotidian of course I am partial to her pragmatic attention to daily life and what it feels like as well as her considerable vision for a better future, that she thinks completely with in the realm of human possibility.  My wish is that the listener gets as much enjoyment from our discussion as we did engaging in it." Professor Anderon's Bio Professor Elizabeth Anderson specializes in moral, social and political philosophy, feminist theory, social epistemology, and the philosophy of economics and the social sciences. She is particularly interested in exploring the interactions of social science with moral and political theory, how we learn to improve our value judgments, the epistemic functions of emotions and democratic deliberation, and issues of race, gender, and equality.  For a more extensive, in depth look at her full bio, works and episode notes, visit us here:
September 14, 2021
"The Madame B Talks"
Deb/Madame B statement: I am an American who left America. (Frankly that will probably be the most interesting thing about me to most of your listeners). I am a teacher a pastry chef a cat lover a FOREVER Chicage girl and Bob Newhart lover. Links to Madame B: Inside the Episode with Mitch "The connections between any two individuals are ultimately matters of mystery and should remain so. By that I of course do not mean that we shouldn't have basic facts of how people meet and know others; I mean that the bonds and relations among people  have a specialness that can never be reduced to a single source, cause or purpose. I mean I could give very linear facts some of which are made clear on this particular episode. That I knew filmmaker Anna Biller who in turn happened to know one Madame B.  Of the guests I have known on the show I believe this might be one of the only few I have only met online and long distance. Sometimes one fact about a person - in the case the love for Bob Newhart - can go an awfully long way.  And with any shared interest it has to be the right shared interest. But in all seriousness, this guest is absolutely brilliant in more than one sense.  She has sometime close to an absolute understanding of aesthetics as well as, in ways I had not originally known in human psychology a field she briefly considered making a full profession. She had on more than one occasion asked me why I am always the host. Also that I should have a regular advice column on the podcast, "Ask A Dandy", an idea that, though interesting doesn't exactly work for now since this isn't a fashion or lifestyle podcast at all. So instead we came up with this. I thought it would be fun to do half hour episodes and link them; on each we would take turns being the guest and host respectively. Even though I have traveled the world myself, but mostly in the 1990s, not so much in the past twenty years I must say, I am always in awe with those who seem to travel with freedom, one reason I loved having Smriti Shankar as one of our guests. I think moving from one apartment to another in the same city is a trauma and an ordeal, from one state to another more intense and still haven't gotten over that as it was only over two years ago. Deb of course moved to France. Sometimes I think she has more wisdom than most. In Madame B's case she moved to France and married a Frenchman, and not only that had already lived in Germany for a period!  She is someone who is clearly not afraid to travel. I think it is important, especially in a rather youthful genre like the podcast, to break it up once in a while, not only for variety, but also that humans need different forms what each unique form can deliver or do. I enjoyed speaking with Deb; her high intelligence makes for world class conversation and I think it might be nice for a return engagement at a later date."
September 02, 2021
“Getting One's Work Into the World: A Conversation with Jaimee Wriston about the journey of her latest novel from conception to publishing”
“Anything humans make of an artistic nature has to be literally brought into some kind of physical existence. Even if it is a lone person talking outside there has to be some kind of preparation of sorts, both the internal preparation of the one speaking, as well as how the physical setting is to be negotiated, the question of audience, if that is to be planned at all, the start and stop times of the speaking and so on. Interestingly we are very well aware of this when it comes to life outside the arts, the most prosaic or necessary things in life like housing or buildings in general. I believe we lose sight of this fact when its comes to the arts.  That is, we tend to regard the arts as magically falling out of the sky and not a humanly made thing in the world like anything else, and one of the many missions of our podcast is to bring such matters into focus. I think Jaimee Wriston makes a wonderful representative of this principle, both because she has come out with a brand new novel, with a new publisher and we could discuss one of the most important aspects of being artist: getting a particular work out there. She also is so very articulate about such matters and that is important. It has been most interesting to follow the work of one particular writer like Jaimee Wriston.  When first I encountered her novel Shark Girls on a long Amtrak ride alongside the Easter regional in a sleeper car I certainly had no idea about ever having a podcast or having its author on an episode. I am thankful for this opportunity and hope you enjoy hearing her discuss this aspect of being a writer in the world as much as you do reading her.”  Jaimee’s Bio,links to her beautiful worksJaimee Wriston Colbert is the author of seven books of fiction: How Not to Drown (2021), Vanishing Acts, Wild Things, Shark Girls, Dream Lives of Butterflies, Climbing the God Tree, and Sex, Salvation, and the Automobile. Her books won the 2021 and 2018 International Book Awards, CNY 2017 Fiction Award, Willa Cather Fiction Prize, Zephyr Prize, IPPY Gold Medal, Ian MacMillan Fiction Award, and more. Her stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and many other venues. She is a recipient of the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and delivered the 2020-2021 Harpur Dean’s Distinguished Lecture. Originally from Hawaii, she lives in upstate New York, where she is Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at SUNY Binghamton University. When you reference How Not to Drown in any promo, this is a good way to introduce it:  Winner of the 2021 International Book Award in General Fiction!  My website link:   New novel links: It’s available at a large number of online venues but I don’t want to “drown" you in links—the Penguin-Random House link has tabs for a bunch of others, and of course Amazon….   My other Books (Amazon Links): Shark Girls Vanishing Acts Wild Things Dream Lives of Butterflies  Two interviews about How Not to Drown, one in Hypertext Magazine the other on a premier website for eco-fiction: Sirens & Selkies – An Interview with Jaimee Wriston about her new book, How Not to Drown. Anita Gill, Hypertext Magazine. May 2021.
August 17, 2021
The Ellen Burstyn Show: An in depth conversation with Ellen Burstyn about the art of acting, her career and spirituality
"From the outset of our episode with Ellen Burstyn you will hear her beloved puppy make their presence known and would continue to "chime in" a couple of times for the duration. In many respects this was more welcome than not, if only because it is in the very nature of the podcast form itself to be at least partially intimate and homey. In a podcast you get to experience a person discuss their accomplishments but they will do so often in settings that are more relaxed or casual than would be the case in a traditional t.v. talk show or radio spot.  I like to think that is one of the beautiful features of the podcast as a form Ellen Burstyn might be one of the most famous guests we have ever had on our show.  That fact alone, however, might not be nearly as remarkable as the further fact that in her case the fame is completely deserved.  In her case fame and recognition form a one-to-one perfect match with merit.  Burstyn, of course, is one of the greatest actors and, as I explain probably a little too profusely in the episode, I have had the greatest fortune to watch her performances over many decades, in some cases in live theatre. I can't or won't be able to do a summary of Ellen Burstyn in the space here except to say that, in keeping with the in depth nature of the podcast I had the opportunity to ask her about some of my personal favorite performances that have meant a lot to me over the years.  Of course another host might have done a more comprehensive or less personal episode - one that focuses less on certain movies and plays or on some other facets of an extraordinary biography. I like to think that our ability to have taken the time to go into individual projects might be more rewarding than to hastily gloss over such projects. As I admitted at the outset of this interview, I was very nervous.  But hopefully over the course of the hour you can listen to someone who is a master at the art of acting and hear her articulation of her ongoing life and career with all of the excitement and enjoyment I had in being so blessed and fortunate to have Ms. Burstyn as a guest." Ms. Burstyn's Biography Ellen Burstyn's sixty year acting career encompasses film, stage and television. In 1975, she became the third woman in history to win both a Tony Award and an Academy Award in the same year for her work in Same Time, Next Year on Broadway and in the film Alice Doesn't Live H as a guest.for which she also received a Golden Globe nomination and a British Academy Award for Best Actress. She became a “triple crown winner” when she received her first Emmy for a guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU (2009). She won her second Emmy for her role in Political Animals (2013). Additionally, she has received six Emmy nominations and five Academy Award nominations, including her nomination for Best Actress in The Exorcist (1973). Her most recent films include Pieces of a Woman (2021) and Queen Bees (2021). Her past work includes The Last Picture Show (1971), Resurrection (1981) and Requiem for a Dream (2000). She most recently starred in 33 Variations in Melbourne. Ellen is currently co-president of the Actors Studio alongside Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin. In 2006, she became a national best-selling author with the publication of her memoir, Lessons in Becoming Myself. Links to Ms. Busrstyn's stunning body of work:
August 09, 2021
"When what you love finds you: Robin Mahaffey Conversation"
"Robin Mahaffey comes to as guest courtesy of our producer, Laurie Strickland. I must say that every time Laurie has recommended someone she knows personally for a guest, whether Kerry Lilly or Joey Romer, it has turned out to be a most memorable episode experience.  Robin is no exception. Also, like some of our other guests, she has lived several lives, artistically and otherwise. I was in awe of Robin, not only her many accomplishments but also in her attitude towards life itself. She has made dolls and sculptures can knit and sew all sorts of creations, has been a seamstress and even worked in an assembly line for General Motors. Her work is no stranger to whimsy - one of the pieces was inspired by Shel Silverstein - and she has used her artwork to help others in her community. As I said to her she is one of those artists uniquely gifted in creating visually within physical space, and most importantly, being able to see how to create with their own hands for that space, something I have observed to be essential in certain kinds of visual artwork and is little remarked upon or even taken for granted by many. Of course at our podcast we make note of this feature and I can't think of any better representative of this gift than our guest.” Robin’s Biography People often ask me where I get my ideas. I have no real answer for that- they just seem to pop up in my head. Sometimes they come to me in a dream, or in the shower. Never any rhyme or reason, ideas just have their own minds, and come to visit when they feel like it. The key is to be aware of when and how they visit- and- to pay attention. I keep note pads everywhere- so when an idea does show up-I need to be able to write it down- or, it quickly leaves my brain- and goes to live in never-never land. I grew up in Delaware in the sixties on a small farm. My grandparents had 100 acres and gave my parents 1 acre on which my father and mother built the house I shared with a sister and two brothers. It was a wonderful childhood. There was an adjoining farm of 100 acres I was allowed to play on, so my playground consisted of 200 acres of pasture woods, a croc, and ponies. Ah….. The ponies. My grandmother put me up on the first ( which was actually a mule) when I was two. I was smitten by the horse bug- and have been addicted ever since.I rode almost every day- and when I wasn’t riding horses- I was reading about horses- or braiding binder twine into leads, halters, and harnesses for them. When I was inducted into the honor society in school- I received a special award ( a box of quaker oats) for reading every book in the library that had a horse in it. Growing up on a farm made me be resilient. I learned how to amuse myself, make do with what I had, and to be creative with my surroundings and materials available. My grandmother and mother made most of my clothes. They usually had some type of hand work going on at all times- knitting, crochet, rug working. It seemed very natural to be able to create things with my hands. This is a skill I have honed for many years. It is just an inherent part of my makeup, rooted in my DNA. I usually have many different projects going on simultaneously. That way if I hit a snag on one, I hop over to another. When I least expect it, as in the shower, or 3am- the answer to fixing the snag shows up. Sometimes those pesky little ideas have their own mind-and show up hone they are good and ready. One of my favorite sayings I live by and share with others is, is “Sit up straight and pay attention”. More details here:
July 20, 2021
"Teaching as an art and a calling: A Conversation With Michael Bennett"
“Of course there are many learnings that are little else but a mechanical skill, and in such cases there may well be a best way. But to become a different person because of something you have learned - to appropriate an insight, a concept, a vision, so that your world is altered - that is a different matter. For that to happen you need a reason. And this is the metaphysical problem I speak of.”  Neil Postman " It is a rare thing to encounter somebody with the character and spirit of our guest Dr. Michael Bennett. This episode occurs at a time when society has never been more obsessed with the question of education and what it is for. Bennett came recommended by our producer Laurie Strickland. Like some of our other guests he has had more than a single career in one lifetime; listening to him speak felt as if he were also recounting more than one life- time!  Bennett loves teaching high school as much I believe as any teacher possibly could.  He also has a scholarly side as he is working on his dissertation.  Now I must confess I could easily listen to him discuss his sales career with as much interest as when he is discussing teaching high school English and if you think about it, the fact that he had a rich, working life prior to becoming his calling, a teacher, might be one of the reasons why he is a good teacher.  One of the main themes I took from our fascinating episode (Bennett is one of those great talkers who you never want to shut up, admittedly rarer than the alternative) is the impor- tance of passion in a human life and identity in the special sense he appears to use that word. I don't want to say too much in these notes because I really don't want to spoil the effect of him telling his own story which, as I am sure he would say, is what education is all about.”  Mike’s Bio  “It’s a known fact that we don’t get to choose the circumstances of our birth.  Born a long time ago, Dr. Bennett grew up in a home that was full of darkness and resentment. As the years passed, Dr. Bennett escaped into the pages of lit- erature. While he thought it was escaping his reality, in fact, the escape was the beginning of his journey.  After a stint as a Combat Medic in the Army, Dr. Bennett went to school, earned his first degree, and join the treadmill of corporate America.  After selling his soul for too many years, he walked away from the wealth and the expense account to enter the classroom and embrace what Dr. Bennett calls, “the voice.”  Along the way, Dr. Bennett has earned four more degrees and taught in a variety of settings. He’s married, enjoys travel, ultramarathons, cycling, kayaking, and of course, reading.  Links to Michael’s beautiful body of work: Dr. Michael Bennett Ed.D , Allatoona High School Honors 9th Literature & Honors British Literature, AHS Travel Coordinator JV Girls’ Soccer Coach  Links to Dr. Bennet''s Dissertation:  Vocational Identity: What Makes a Teacher and Why Do They Teach? A Qualitative Narrative Study tent.cgi?article=1030&context=seceddoc_etd 

July 06, 2021
Singing as a calling: A Conversation with opera singer and Cantor, Colman Reaboi
Colman Reaboi , like Dmitri Matheny, is one of the people I have known since my Interlochen High School days. I am fifty-three now and since so much time has gone by it only makes sense that somebody of Colman's enormous talent and, above all, work ethic, would have done as many things with his abilities as he has as the decades have progressed.  When last I checked in with him I was mostly familiar with his singing. But when you think about the fact that he has had careers in both opera and popular musical theatre and has entered the world of synagogues and being a cantor, even though there is the common thread of the voice it seems like a remarkable range by any estimation. As he pointed out on our episode it is most hard for a vocalist to switch from opera to popular or "Broadway" styles as the techniques are so very different.  Even some fine vocalists in opera or classical never make the transition.  Colman is one who has.  And the fact that Colman's spiritual life has only grown as he has grown places Colman among the ranks of our multi-talented guests to be sure. As always on every one of our episodes, I learned things about Colman about which I had no knowledge whatsoever beforehand. It is one thing to encounter even someone you know, whether in passing or a scheduled meeting; a podcast episode is an other meeting entirely.  It makes possible far more than could be achieved in other settings. This episode is no exception. I certainly hope you enjoy hearing what a world class vocalist, and much more, has to say as much as I enjoyed hearing him say it.  My episode with Colman was a beautiful occasion.”  Colman’s Bio Cantor Reaboi’s career has led him to serve three synagogues in Tampa Bay, Fla. In New England he served Temple Torat Yisrael in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and Temple Tifereth Shalom in Peabody. Most recently, Cantor Reaboi served as cantor and educator for Emanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City. Cantor Reaboi is a professionally trained spiritual leader and singer who also has extensive experience performing concerts of classical, Broadway, and Jewish repertoire. “As a Spiritual Leader, I strive to help connect Jews to Judaism…through study, prayer, a shared history, or a newfound identity. Whether it is connecting spiritually or culturally, Judaism offers something for everyone,” said Cantor Reboi about his new home at Ahavas Achim. “  As a human being, I desire to create connections between myself and my new community…to help strengthen the bonds that connect G-d, the Jewish people, and others from outside of Judaism who wish to be included.  The Torah commands us to love the stranger in our midst.” Cantor Reaboi attended the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he majored in Vocal Performance and Opera. He is a graduate of Hebrew College in Newton, and of the Cantorial Internship program (CICA) of the Cantors Assembly. He is an alumnus and past soloist of the Zamir Chorale of Boston.  He was also a guest cantor for the Prague Jewish Community, where he conducted services, performed concerts, and lectured at the Prague Jewish Museum. More highlights about Cantor Reaboi: Spiritual Leader at Congregation Ahavas Achim, Westfield, MA and works at Jewish Chaplain at Westfield State University and Enrichment Instructor, 4th Grade Teacher, Holocaust studies teacher at Temple Shir Tikva A link to a wonderful story featuring Colman’s beautiful work with the community during Hanukkah 2020/Covid-19 :  More links to Colman’s Beautiful Work Facebook: Instagram:
June 10, 2021
The 70s Show: A Conversation with Historian Bruce Schulman
"My first encounter with Bruce Schulman was, of course, through his book on The Seventies.  This would have been in 2003, just a couple of years after September 11th in fact, and I think I first saw the book and was compelled to gaze at its cover on account of its title. I may have bought it at one of those mass market bookstores then in abundance at the time, possibly at a Barnes And No- ble. I bought the book and read it in its entirety in one night, an- nounced to the paper for which I was then writing, Organica (and of which there exist no digitally archived copies whatsoev- er, for all sorts of complicated reasons I won't get into here) that I was determined to find the man behind the box in person and do a story on him.  This wasn't difficult to do since I was living about a mile away from where he was teaching then at Boston University. I found him to be an unusually warm and open man, utterly without pretensions, and beautifully, more than once during the interview a student and then a student's parent stopped by to say him and tell him how inspirational his class was. I hope that his book continues to be the major text on the sub- ject of that era for the foreseeable future.  People often ask me why I am so interested in 1970s.  Part of it is my love for the underrepresented, the orphaned, and the, for lack of a better word, "unloved."  I am always drawn to that which society considers undramatic, which of course relates to my love of the quotidian. Now we are discussing perception here not facts.  Often something initially thought of as completely irrelevant or a waste of time emerges in hindsight to be the most important thing in the world: one era's costume/period drama is another era's kitchen sink drama". It continues to be the case that the 70s are sandwiched, like a middle child, hell like out entire "generation X" be- tween these other incredibly dramatic and huge in demo- graphic eras. I believe "the 60s" continues to be more popular an unreflective catch phrase far more than "the 70s".  I further believe that when you get past the 60s branding as "cool" or "revolutionary" you realize that not everything im- portant happened within its confines. People often say that not everything can be explained by a gen- eration or an era.  Of course that is true, but neither is it the case that generations or eras are unimportant. Since I look at the present with the eyes of Chuck Klosterman in his, in my view, master- piece of non-fiction, But What If We're Wrong? Thinking about the present as if it were the past, I see contempo- rary things with some critical distance and this makes me keenly at- tuned to how much of the contemporary is in a highly specific style unique to our age, and not ultimately better nor worse than earlier styles, but still a style all the same.  Style is that which you can't ignore and never shuts up.  Bruce Schulman is one of those innovative historians who regards popular culture and the arts as central to history, as im- portant if not more decisive than the actions of politicians. gras roots political campaigns or what generally gets counted in the history books.  Speaking to him was a delight from beginning to end and I hope you share in that enjoyment as you listen. “  Links to Bruce’s Published Works:  For Bruce's extended bio , visit our show Facebook page here:
May 28, 2021
The Sanifu Al Hall Jr. Reunion Episode
"Sanifu Hall never does things in a predictable way.  When last we met him it was in the very beginning stages of our podcast, in 2019, in fact. ( click to listen to that episode). Since then he has composed a great body of music. Not only that, but he has assembled world class musicians who happen to be in his home base of Jacksonville, Florida , to perform it and, most of all, a gem of a recording studio in which to record it.  And he has told me he is going to go to California for a reunion of sort with Henry The Skipper Franklin , one of the giants of bass in the West Coast, who will be part of Sanifu's project. Sanifu has had the longest association with Henry Franklin going back at least to the 1970s and their Black Jazz Records label.  A wonderful NPR segment about the label can be found here:  Such is the nature of his musical journeys. I will be talking to him about the Los Angeles of the 70s, a personal favorite topic, and he will remark in passing that he was on the same bill as both singers Carmen MaCrae and Dinah Washington at the club Donte's!  Now these were two of the greatest female vocalists of their generation and Sanifu shared the stage with them. That is the kind of career he has had and the kind of man that he is that he is more than willing to discuss it with vivid detail but sees is it but one stop on the journey.  Not all musicians or even artists are as articulate as is Sanifu, which of course makes him a perfect guest. He speaks in a way that I think connects even with non-musicians,  and when he does get a little technical it is never off putting and always engaging.  I always enjoy speaking with him as much as I do his music.”  Sanifu’s new Promo Video for his upcoming album he speaks about in the episode: “Although the music is based with a Jazz  foundation, it is also infused with elements of other music genres.” Sanifu Al Hall Jr.  Additional links to Sanifu Al Hall Jr.’s beautiful body of work: Facebook: Twitter:  Link to our previous episode with Al in 2019: Links to  Al’s Blogs:  More links: For an extended look inside the episode with Sanifu, visit us here:
May 13, 2021
"Drawing From Life: A conversation with artist Elizabeth Williams"
“The decision to approach Elizabeth Williams has a long journey; indeed one connected initially more to prose, rather than drawing or visual art, and going back a couple of decades. In 1984 the writer/journalist and film and t.v. producer Dominck Dunne wrote an extraordinary essay for Vanity Fair magazine that had much influence upon me.  Titled "Justice: A Father's Account of the Trial of his Daughter's Killer", the piece, including the aesthetic details and judgements of, say, the judge, the jury and the defendant's demeanor, as well as the psychological dimensions of Dunne's experience ranks for me as among the best writing of that decade at least (and of course launched him as a major crime reporter on O.J. Simpson and others).  The connections between the many episodes on our show is immense.  Dunne's daughter who was murdered was, of course, Dominque Dunne who at the time of her murder was not only featured in an episode of Hill Street Blues, the plot of which was precisely the subject of domestic violence, but was also prominent in a number of t.v. movies that Amanda Reyes and I discussed. (I had offered on my latest episode with her to do a whole show on The Day The Loving Stopped.)  (Link to listen to the episode with Amanda Reyes mentioned can be found here: Dominck Dunne's son, Griffin Dunne, is also quite accomplished. But that one essay had a long lasting effect on me. It made me most conscious of the plight of crime victims and their families and loved ones, and thus, the victim's rights movement. And this was further complicated still by my then anti-death penalty activism, as these two communities, both of which I have great sympathies, often have come into conflict. So the daughter Dominique Dunne was on track to be a major star in Hollywood and you can observe her work on Hill Street Blues as well as other productions. In turn this one essay caused me to be a moderate "true crime" buff.  I should mention the late Michelle MacNamara in this regard, probably the best or most representative of this kind of interest. And all the while I was haunted not just by Dominck Dunne's written account but all of these high profile criminal cases. They are almost always used not only in televised news reports but in so many prominent documentaries.  Of course one of the themes of this podcast is calling into question the boundaries around fine art, utilitarian art, and the commercial and obscure and so on. So you could say that this episode is very much in keeping with the spirit of our podcast. I was excited to discuss the things we did on this episode and I should note, not a moment too soon that the nature of our discussion is unconventional given the subject matter. We are discussing the the nature of the worst crimes that have been committed by men in the past forty plus years; you could say the nature of evil comes into play. But we are also discussing them in the terms of public service: Williams' illustrations of these perpetrators or predators are essential for the legal system as well as basic, everyday journalism, yet they also keep alive the tradition of portraiture and illustration, which is fundamental to the history of art. Also, speaking more generally, Williams' story is the story of anybody who endeavors to become good at something; meeting mentors or masters in the chosen field, and all the stops in the journey along the way. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did creating it! “ Links to Elizabeth’s beautiful work: For a deeper look into Elizabeth's work, this episode, visit our show Facebook page, here:
April 30, 2021
"History and Photography: A Conversation with Henry Horenstein"
*Please note: Henry's work is so comprehensive and gorgeous, we have only selected a few images to highlight. Visit to dig deeper and truly appreciate the scope of his work. From Mitch's Notebook about this episode: "I must immediately mention a film in which I played a role in its kickstarter funding that Henry Horesntein made called Partners , if only because we failed to get to that stage of Henry's career on the show, so prodigious has been his output. The film is an unusual portrait of these couples, whose lifestyles are contrary to the "mainstream" of society, talking about their romantic and sexual lives in a most immersive and direct fashion, using a single backdrop. When I watch it I am reminded above all of Shirley Clarke's masterpiece Portrait Of Jason, though that is black and white and of a single person talking rather than a diverse group of individuals speaking intimately of their lives. All of this of course only confirms why Henry Horenstein is a perfect guest for our podcast. That I wanted to spend some time discussing his study with the great E. P. Thompson - perhaps the premier socialist British historian of his generation (in a way the Howard Zinn of England) as well as our mutual friend and, like Henry, RISD instructor Richard Merkin is all testament to the wide and highly diverse career Henry has had. As for Merkin, he remains a major influence on my own dress and I am fortunate to own a signed painting of his which I proudly hang in my living room. Henry describes his art in terms of history and documentary. One of the things that is most important to me on this show is hearing how a creator talks about their own work. Of course when I look at any of Henry's photographs I am seeing photographs I love to look at and can return to again and again without ever losing interest in them.  I certainly am not thinking of any of the more pulitosophic terrain that we were fortunate enough to get into in this episode. Still less do I ever really know what was behind or went into making an artwork; only the actual author can know that. And I know that we always want to hear as much about that as the artist is willing to express. I enjoyed the hour we spent in this episode immensely and certainly learned a lot from it.” Henry’s Biography: Henry Horenstein has been a professional photographer, filmmaker, teacher, and author since the 1970s. He studied history at the University of Chicago and earned his BFA and MFA at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. Henry's work is collected and exhibited internationally and he has published over 30 books, including several monographs of his own work such as Honky Tonk, Shoot What You Love (a memoir), Histories, Show, Animalia, Humans, Racing Days, Close Relations, and many others. He has also authored Black & White Photography, Digital Photography, and Beyond Basic Photography, used by hundreds of thousands of college, university, high-school, and art school students as their introduction to photography. His Shoot What You Love serves both a memoir and a personal history of photography over the past 50 years. In recent years, Henry has been making films: Preacher, Murray, Spoke, Partners, and Blitto Underground, which will premier in 2021. Henry is professor of photography at RISD and lives in Boston. Additional Links to Henry’s beautiful body of work: Henry's Books: Website: Facebook : Visit our show Facebook page for a more in depth look at Henry's maginifent body of work:
April 14, 2021
Our new show sponsor! Skillshare Ad Spring 2021
Hello there! We are SO excited to share that Skillshare is our new show sponsor!!!! Here is more about the new partnership from our show host, Mitch Hampton about this relationship and how Skillshare reflects so beautifully what our podcast is all about.  This is Mitch Hampton , the host of the podcast Journey Of An Aesthete. I'm not much for multitasking. You'll notice I played a little piano - the theme song to our show in fact - and then I started talking. I didn't try to do them together.  And I never went into that style of music where you sing while you accompany yourself on the piano.  But just because you decide to do one thing at a time doesn't mean you can't do it at your very best and even improve on what you already have.  And that's where an organization that has something in common with our podcast, SkillShare comes in. In Skillshare the sky is the limit, There are thousands of courses on every subject imaginable. Just give you a small examples here. Dani Shapiro teaches personal prose- writing from your own biography, Gia Graham is teaching the art of handcrafted lettering and stationary. If you want to redesign your entire home you could take a course with Emily Henderson.  If you want to leave your house and do art in the woods - watercolor - you could take a course from Rosalie Hazlitt. And you can photograph from your own home - Sean Dalton will teach you how to do that.  That's just a handful of the people you will encounter when you get involved with SkillShare.  I should say that I am a big believer in "lifelong learning" that learning isn't something just for kids; it doesn't end when you get into middle age or older age. It's lifelong.  And Skillshare is a big part of that.  These are folks that are good at what they do, that excel at what they do and they try to impart wisdom, and help you realize your potential. And if you do the premium of course, the choices are totally unlimited.  Unlimited access. So everyday is important.  Decide what it is you want to learn and get good.  So checkout Skillshare to realize that potential.  And click here is a Free Trial , on us !!!!!!!! Thank you. Mitch and the Journey of an Aesthete Podcast Team!
April 12, 2021
“ Music, Healing, and Service: A Conversation with Dr. Philander Ratliff ”
“I never know how I am going to connect with a guest. Some- times the guest comes to me and there was no instance of this more welcome than when Dr. Philander Ratliff introduced himself on the fb. While I was ensconced on a feed from the fb, I received the fol- lowing song: knew next to nothing about who was being this music, but I loved what I was hearing, everything about it. I have always been a fan of popular rhythm and blues and soul and this cut was deeply rooted in all of that. It was only later that I learned that one of the people behind the cut also had a career as a nurse and, finally, a doctor.  Dr. Ratliff has deep roots in the music scene of Chicago. Indeed the choir director of the church he had grown up in was no less than Ramsey Lewis' father. All artistic creation is rooted in various traditions and styles, these can come from literally anywhere and Chicago , of course has always been at the forefront of such contribution. I found my conversation with Dr. Ratliff nothing short of a de- light. As in all of my episodes I learn so much from the guest. In this case I learned that, much like Joey Romer or Kerry Lil- ly, Dr. Ratliff has seemed to have lived more than one lifetime with a single life; I was always learning of many accomplish- ments. Someday, when we turn a corner in this moment we all find ourselves in, I look forward to meeting with him in person, hopefully with a piano alongside us. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did recording it.” This clip of a news story about Dr. Ratliff’s work, says it all: der-ratliff-guitar-impact-family-center/2111120/  Phil’s Bio Dr. Philander Van Ratliff FB: Philander Van Ratliff Tatemusicgroup.- com Philander Van Ratliff/Reverb na- tion, I tunes, Spotify, SoundCloud Dr. Philander Van Ratliff Professional Guitarist/Singer/Writer/RN/Medical School Graduate 2018 from IUHS School of Medicine Raised in Chicago ,Il Projects in The 1960's-1970 Graduated from Proviso East High School, May- wood, Il. 1979. Studied Classical Music at Triton College, River Grove ,Il. Graduated From Triton College in 1990 ADN Nursing (RN) Became a Trauma/ER Nurse at Cook County Hospital in 1992-2017 Sworn State Certified Part-time Police Officer -Bellwood ,Il 2001-2016( Retired) Guitar Instructor/ THE IMPACT FAMILY CENTER ,CHICAGO, IL. -Founder Marsha Eaglan Appearances on Chan- nel 5, 7, Telemundo television on Teen De- pression and Suicide Prevention. Discussed Violence in the Com- munity at large and po- tential solutions with teens and their peers. “Well I was raised in the City of Chicago. In 1972 we moved from the projects to Maywood , Il . I was an avid member of Friendship Baptist Church, on Chicago's Westside. There I sang Soprano in The Angelic Choir! In 1973 I had Cancer, Ewing's Sarcoma! The Docs didn't expect me to live ; but God made the final de- cision. Forty eight years later I'm still here!! I always had my Guitar with me for comfort through my De- pression during Chemotherapy/Radiation and My Celebration of Survival! I've always been a positive individual and reflect that in my Music. It's Amazing to watch those children learn music and poetry at THE IMPACT FAMILY CENTER of Chicago. At THE IM- PACT CENTER of Chicago the Children were able to Dis- miss the Violence in the Streets and relax and focus on Poetry, music, computers and most of all, be- ing them- selves! Lastly, when my Residency in Psychia-try complete, I will Center my focus on PTSD in Children and Violence Prevention in the Community!! I love to save lives and My Heart is in My Music"! Additional links and an expanded view of Dr. Philander Ratliff’s beautiful life, legacy and work can be found on our show Facebook Page here:
April 02, 2021
" Theo Horesh : The Politics Show "
"Theo Horesh is one of the guests on my show I have known personally, from the all too brief (in my opinion) time he happened to have been living in the Boston area.  I would run into him at a coffee shop in Cambridge and we would discuss many matters of note. He was very well read, could and would talk about practically anything and everything in a fearless manner, and I don't need to tell you that these are not traits to be found on every corner. He usually stands out in any room because of his tall height, his rock star hair, and bodybuilder physique. But you would never necessarily want to bring any of this up to him because Theo is one of those old souls who truly wants to change the world for the better, and that is pretty much his raison d'être.  What I didn't know at that time when we were just being casual interlocutors was how deeply he has been a political activist for practically his entire adult life, and in many respects a successful one. Interestingly for somebody as young as him he is, (he is an Xer and not a Boomer), he is like the archetypal 1960s activist who never compromised or gave up. I certainly can't see him burning out!  A great part of this could be his work not only in massage therapy for many years but also his serious devotion to spirituality, meditation practice in particular.  His goal is nothing short of the fullest development and improvement of the world over time, and he has a skill in working with others that is exceedingly strong.  While he has enormous integrity and ethical conscientiousness, he also understands how to work with the widest variety of other people, knowing what will bring the most possible outcome and he is certainly more good natured than a lot of politicos.  What I didn't know at that time was how deeply he has been a political activist, for practically his entire life. Since this would have been 2010 or '11 this was the time in my life when i had started my abandonment of most of politics and political life, (my only concession is that I do continue to vote, and when I say vote I mean viable candidates who are front runners) but all of this is a topic for another day) a project upon which I embarked around the Y2K. (Remember the Y2K?) But before then I had been an activist for who seemed to me the longest time, in the 80s and 90s. (It felt to me like fifty years which is one indication it was time to change course). I realized that art was much more important to me that politics and I had to make certain choices.  All of our journeys are very different which I believe our guest Theo would be the first to note. Theo is also an author, and a prolific one who is on mission to write highly readable and accessible political prose on things that matter to everyday people.  His latest book, a combination of polemic and sober analysis called The Fascism This Time And The Global Future Of Democracy is to my mind a must read. Theo and I have disagreed sharply over the years, a fact which makes this episode sure to not be a boring one but on the main issue at hand he and I are decidedly united.  I decided to call this The Politics Show, ever mindful that there is an art to politics too, though whether the art is good or bad might be more important than is usual." For am extended look at Theo's bio and works, list our show Facebook Page, here:
March 22, 2021
"It's all about helping people": A Conversation with Joey Romer about his careers in law enforcement, dog training and much more "
“Back in the day, in an era that now seems ever more remote, the early 00s, there was this phrase in popular culture that got started about the virtues of being the kind of guy (I think it was the gender specific "guy", but maybe not, let's say person in the current interests of 2021) that you "could have a beer with." It was never really specified what this meant, yet everyone just seemed to know what this was and that it was a good thing, indeed the very best thing. It usually applied to people that had some kind of flaw in their job performance, especially politicians, (I think a certain U.S president then, but don't quote me) but were just so damned likable that it made whatever flaw the person had sort of evaporate under the power of likability. Perhaps "someone you wanna have a beer with" meant someone relatable; perhaps, even more intensely, somebody who "had your back." In popular cinema Tom Hanks is a figure like this, as was Jimmy Stewart in a much earlier era. On the surface, Joey Romer and I have little in common in terms of life experience, but that, in essence, is what our podcast is all about. I want people on my show who have different skills than mine and have seen different things. I have never been surfing, have never had anything to with law enforcement - on either side of the law - and am not a dog owner. I am also, as far as I can guess, not anybody who would be mistaken for a humanitarian. Yet Joey is all of these things, and possibly a whole lot more, surely more than can be contained within thirty minutes. Romer's people skills are genius level in terms of intelligence and that made this half hour among the best I have had the privilege to have on this podcast. Every guest on my show has something that is totally unique that I love, and these are quite different from guest to guest. With Romer it is his spirit, his enthusiasm, and, well, his character, not to be too pretentious about it. He has also seen Point Break twice which tells you a lot already. I hope this podcast episode is as enjoyable to listen to as it was to create.” Joey’s Bio Joey is a retired Saint Johns County Sheriff’s Deputy. He started training dogs at age 11. He has trained with the Renowned German Police K9 Dog Trainer, Sascha Bartz, in Germany. He has over 40 years of training experience. He specializes in behavioral issues, obedience, protection, tracking, odor detection and also an evaluator for Canine Good Citizen with the AKC. Joey was a member of the K9 unit of the St. Johns County Sheriffs Office for 18 years and served as a K9 Sergeant. Prior to his retirement, he was the head of training for the department’s K9 unit. These K9s were trained for bomb, weapon or drug detection, human tracking, search and rescue, criminal apprehension, handler protection or a mixture of any of the above. Joey has trained and certified Police K9 units with both American K9 Detection Services LLC and Southern Coast K9. He as worked with K9’s in multiple countries such as Germany, Panama, and Indonesia. As a certified AKC trainer, he will assist you with all training needs. Links to Joey’s beautiful work and organizations dear to him:
March 08, 2021
"Criticism as an art: A Conversation With Jonathan Rosenbaum"
"One of the earliest film critics I ever read was Pauline Kael , who was an enormous influence on so many of us in the 70s. I would literally read all of her reviews for films as I watched them in theaters, comparing notes. I Lost It At The Movies was a late 70s favorite and I could recite whole passages of her prose from memory at that time.  Yet this was only a prelude to further developments, even changes of heart. In the beginning of the early 80s I had not yet discovered the great Manny Farber, nor our guest Jonathan Rosenbaum .  I think my first encounter with Rosenbaum was through a now classic book on Jacques Rivette from the 1970s but that I was to read only later, in the 1980s. (I was not that precocious as child - Kael was about my limit.) I was so hungry to read anything about Rivette that it was inevitable I would discover Rivette: Texts and Interviews (BFI, 1977). This in turn led me to realize what an unusually diverse thinker Rosenbaum truly was.   Like Farber, Rosenbaum is adamant that criticism is an art form and he treats it as such, in attitude as well as in the prose style that is reflective of his whole attitude. In this sense he also follows Henry James. One of the hallmarks of a great critic, and not merely a good or competent one is if you can tolerate reading them when their opinions or verdicts are contrary to your own. For example, I certainly don't agree with Rosenbaum about Tarantino just as I strongly disagreed with Kael about Tarkovsky and Cassavetes. I think there is room, and room should be made, for both Quentin Tarantino and Kelly Reichardt.  I might be unusual in this sense.  I told Rosenbaum at the outset of this episode that "he really gets inside of the movie".   If any of us "gets inside" of an artwork, really inside of it, we will grow and expand as people. One of the blocks to doing this is too much extraneous stuff that gets in the way. I appreciate that Rosenbaum can talk as freely and knowledgeable about McCoy Tyner and Billie Holiday as much as Jerry Lewis, Pedro Costa, or Anna Biller and Guy Maddin. He is good friends with filmmaker Mark Rappaport who was also friends of my late father, Rosenbaum has always championed the underrated or unknown, like our very first guest on this podcast, Jon Jost .  Sometimes the personal and artistic commingle and this is where a culture can really develop. It was heartening to hear him say cinephilia is living and living well. As he continues to teach into the future I hope others, too, become cinephiles.”  Jonathan’s Bio: Jonathan Rosenbaum was film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. His books include CINEMATIC ENCOUNTERS 2 (2019), CINEMATIC ENCOUNTERS (2018), GOODBYE CINEMA, HELLO CINEPHILIA (2010), THE UNQUIET AMERICAN (2009), DISCOVERING ORSON WELLES (2007), ESSENTIAL CINEMA (2004), MOVIE MUTATIONS (coedited with Adrian Martin, 2003), ABBAS KIAROSTAMI (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, 2003, 2018), MOVIE WARS (2000), DEAD MAN (2000), MOVIES AS POLITICS (1997), PLACING MOVIES (1995), THIS IS ORSON WELLES by Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich (edited, 1992), GREED (1991), MIDNIGHT MOVIES (with J. Hoberman, 1983), and MOVING PLACES (1980). He has taught at State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York University, the School of Visual Arts (in New York), the University of California branches at Berkeley, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, the University of Chicago, the University of St. Andrews (in Scotland), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, KinoKlub Split (in Croatia), and FilmFactory (in Sarajevo). He maintains a web site archiving most of his work at . Visit our show Facebook page for more extensive links to Jonathan’s beautiful work.
February 17, 2021
A Show on Art, Autism and More with Stephanie Persephone
“I often have the reconfirmation of the dictum that each individual life is so vast, mysterious and, in part, a process rather than any final thing, that we would all do better to take a step back and be more cautious in what we are prone to say about others, and this quite apart from whether the assertion is positive or negative. Robert Riskin , the socialist screenwriter of It's A Wonderful Life, 1946) has his angel Clarence say that "each mans life touches so many others' lives. When he isn't around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"  One of the things our podcast is about is preventing any additional holes, mainly though what goes by the term connection. Among all the guests on my show, Stephanie occupies a piston in between those I know quite well and those whom I have never even met.  Talking with, for the first time after close to a decade brought back memories of my life in Boston, especially the world of vintage clothing and fashion more generally (and come to think of it all thrift stores!)  Thus in a way this episode links in my mind two periods of time that appear to at once be most far and most near and connect to our episode with Amanda Maciel Antunes. I really discovered a whole different part of our guest through her facebook page, neurospace, which is a sort of community for people, like, your podcast host, identify as neurodivergent in one way or another. Stephanie is most gifted visually, as well as many other endeavors (like so many of our guests), and as is clear from this episode, her artistic output dates back to her youngest years. I really loved speaking with her for many reasons; of course I enjoyed hearing her story as well as her interpretations of things.  Of course none of us ever knows the connections between individual people. Back in 2008 I knew her as an expert on clothing, and would see her dating pieces with great accuracy and conscientiousness. I could never have known we would be speaking again, and about autism no less, during a pandemic, with me in little town in North Carolina, and her in the grand city of Los Angeles.  Accordingly I do consider the technology that enabled us to speak across such great geographical distance nothing short t of a miracle. If I am often the severest critic of the internet, age, and I will continue to be so long as I am alive and we are still in such an age, I am also aware of the many pluses alongside the minuses. Looked at in this way you can consider this episode one of our most important as well as a symbol or emblem of our podcast. I have managed to overcome some of my (originally, considerable) trepidation at every discussing what I would call my private life.  Thus, this episode marks a continuation of that decision as well.  Near the end of our episode I express a wish that she come back and we continue our discussion: the passage of time these days reveals that many more changes are bound to occur in any interim, however small, or so it appears. My hope is that our listeners enjoyed this episode as much as did we and are not averse to a return engagement. The journey of our podcast continues.  Stephanie’s Bio : Stephanie Persephone is an autistic poly- synesthete who has been creating art since they were able to use a crayon, without any formal training or education. Their current works are inspired by the seen and unseen elements of nature and reality. They are a multimedia artist exploring the multidimensional universe in Los Angeles, where they currently reside. Links to Stephanie’s Beautiful Work: Website: Instagram : stephaniepersephone / Twitter: RedBubble: persephone777/shop? artistUserName=persephone777&asc=u
February 04, 2021
“INTIMATE STRANGERS episode with Amanda Reyes “
Inside the episode with Mitch Hampton  "There are literally thousands of t.v. movies that Amanda Reyes and I could have covered.  I often ask myself why I like this particular one so much.  I think that, in all honesty it comes down to at least three reasons: the emotional directness of the content, the production style(s) of the period in which it was made and the many sided treatment of the social problem it attempts to represent.  Emotional directness in dramatic art is a long and abiding interest of mine. Some of my favorite works of art happen to not be emotionally direct in the sense that I am thinking; this quality is not a requirement for me nor an assurance of greatness in and of itself. But when I am thinking of emotionally direct visual drama I do think of Intimate Strangers alongside Cassavetes' A Woman Under The Influence.  The many sidedness is Intimate Strangers' greatest strength; it might also be the one quality likely to not be embraced or to be misinterpreted by a contemporary audience. Yet it is nevertheless a fact that people who do evil in the world are always human, never monsters.  This film judges harshly Dennis Weaver's character but never stops letting us in on his interiority, his hopes, wishes and dreams. It is the role of the artwork to get into the weeds of all of this. Intimate Strangers ones fairly far for a television production.  I always love speaking with Amanda Reyes.  She has a love for and knowledge of popular culture that is positively encyclopedic - far greater than my own - and she brings to the subject an intelligence and sensitivity noamtmer the material.   Her tastes appear to tend towards the highly supernatural and gothic; mine are decidedly more "naturalistic" but our shared love makes for most interesting episode if I may so myself.”  Link to the film so you can enjoy it with us !   Amanda’s Bio and Links to her beautiful work: Amanda Reyes is an archivist, author, film and television historian and academic.  She edited and co-wrote Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999 (Headpress, 2017) which celebrates the made for television film, and was featured on Barnes and Noble’s Best of Horror list for 2017.  She's been a guest speaker at international film festivals and conferences in such places as the UK, Australia, and the United States. She's also contributed commentary tracks for several made for television Blu-Ray and DVD releases, including the made for TV movies The Girl Most Likely To... (1973), Nightmare in Badham County (1976), Amazons (1984) and Death Dreams (1991), all of which were released through Kino Lorber in 2019.  For 18 months, Amanda also curated a quarterly series of made for TV mystery screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse, and has hosted other screenings in conjunction with the Austin Film Society.  When she has a moment, she also podcasts and blogs about anything vintage small screen.  Links: Made for TV Mayhem (blog): Made for TV Mayhem Show (podcast):  Social media:  Twitter: @madefortvmayhem  Facebook: Made for TV Mayhem  Instagram: @madefortvmayhem

January 25, 2021
“ From the Earth To The Heavens: A Conversation with Kerry Lilly”
“I usually mention that our guests can be categorized into those i know personally and those I have never met, in the case of the latter, making our conversation on the podcast the very first contact with them.  Of course among the ones I have never met I try and become well aware of what we could call their accomplishments, in most instances, well before the airdate. Kerry is someone that our producer Laure Jill Strickland knows personally and I was most fortunate that she suggested him as a guest.  Like many of our guests Lilly has done many things with his life, so much so that it would appear he has had multiple lifetimes within a single lifetime.  He has worked as a coal miner, and, significantly, during a period in United States history when mining happened to have been a major source of basic energy in large parts of the nation,  Yet he is also an ordained Methodist minister and steel drummer!  Of course those three accomplishments do not exceed the full scope of our guest but you can see with that resume that he is full keeping with the spirit of our podcast more generally. I really enjoyed listening to hims speak about his life and the things he has seen and observed, and could easily have listened to him for an hour more.  I hope out listeners share in my enjoyment.”  Kerry’s Bio and more about his passions:  Born in Beckley WV to two wonderful parents. My mother was a life long educator. My father was a coal miner, butcher, farmer, and grocery store owner. I have four wonderful siblings. I have 3 kids and 6 grandkids. I am a graduate of West Virginia University. I have a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. I served 6 churches in West Virginia. I was also a regional director for YouthWorks! I started working in the coal mines in 1973. I have worked at mines in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  I was a Co-founder of Red Bone Mining Company along with my brother Charlie. We mined coal for 35 years as a small mining company.  I have been a coal miner, a pastor, youth worker. I was a founding member of I was a founding member of FAITH Food Pantry in West Hamlin, WV. I was an original member of the Woodburn Commission in Morgantown WV.  I have been a mine rescue team member and captain.  I have an AA from Liberty Bible Institute. I am a retired Elder in the West Virginia Annual Conference of the Untied Methodist Church. I am currently a member of Grace UMC in St. Augustine, FL.  My greatest joys are my grandkids, biking, kayaking, and camping.  Visit our show website and facebook page  to see more links and wonderful photos! Additional links to places dear to Kerry : Concerts in the Loft, Wesley UMC , Morgantown WV
January 07, 2021
The January 2021 Mitch Solo Episode (All Dressed Up With No Place To Go) Mitch Hampton
On this solo episode to inaugurate the New Year of 2021, Mitch Hampton gets a little more personal than usual, plays some brand new piano music at his home Steinway, discusses his autism diagnosis, what he loves about his guests, some recent movies and more! More on the episode from Mitch's notebook: "Doing a solo episode in an historical moment in which I most assuredly have spoken less in four months than I normally would have in a single day in the prior means that I certainly feel out of practice in speech and thus more nervous than is usual for these episodes - ones in which I don't have the luxury of leaning on a guest. So I leaned on my piano instead. Getting a little serious, I tried to have a "personal" touch in this episode.  Another problem when I do a solo episode is that after making an enormous list of thousands of things I could possibly talk about I then have to decide which ones to eliminate - necessarily the majority of these -, both in the interest of time and the listener/audience's sanity.  Then, when I finally commit to press the record button, after all is said and done I usually realize how nothing  ever turned out as I had planned. (John Lennon's definition of life). "I forgot to mention that, and this, and that over there. How could I have forgotten all of that? I talked about that? What am I crazy? What are people going to say? I wrote it down. Now where did I put that piece of paper. I need to do that again."  And so on.  The most obvious omission would probably have to be my failure to mention that the company form which I was fired was one in which I kind of one of the people who started the damned thing and in which I had a comprehensive experience, including assembly line factor work, silkscreening bottles, talking to health food stores all over the U.S., sales, bookkeeping, and having to have regular conversations with the likes of Jerry Garcia when he called to place an order. Of course every single work of art ever made, now and in perpetuity, is made as much out of absence and presence.  And I fully embrace what I did for January of this new and hopefully, minimally decent new year much as I embraced the moment when I pressed play.  I hope this ultimate commitment was communicated to my listeners. Finally, there is the question of my interests, which are passionate, intense and diverse. I talked of MANK because it was fresh in my consciousness  But I could have just as easily discussed  Never Rarely Sometimes Always, in every way the aesthetic opposite to Mank, but utterly qual in excellence, a "road" movie of two teen girls traveling from Pennsylvania to New York City to obtain needed medical procedure that has all but been banned in their rural town.  Or I could have discussed the many, usually four or five books, I have been reading, since I can never read one book at a time. Just as there is always more to say, in future episodes, these forgotten things might get said, or not, or transformed into things better off saying so that there is no longer any question.  Such is the journey of our podcast, and art itself.
December 28, 2020
"The Varieties of Musical Experience: A Conversation with Candace English”
“The manifold connections by which one individual touches another can be a quite mysterious and beautiful thing. In the case of our guest Candace English everything starts with this film by a man named Jon Jost called Rembrandt Laughing. I happened to see it on television in the 1980s in the middle of the night, I am going to guess 2:30 AM, that kind of thing, and this little picture touched me very deeply. A composer and instrumentalist Jon English happened to be one of the actors in that film and eventually, as I became a "fan" of Jost's oeuvre, I noticed that this one Jon English composed music for many of Jost's films. When one thing leads to another like this you are definitely on a journey, and you wouldn't be crazy to suspect it is a "guided" one. Jost, of course, was our very first guest on this podcast. Listen to his episode here: Later on I did a live music session with Bill Fouty the bassist. Bill was impressed that I even knew who Jon English was. He said to me, "well do you know Candace English? You gotta talk with Candace English; she's a good friend of mine." What united these three people was of course the San Francisco of the 80s, but it was also something else a little more ineffable, a love for art itself in all of its forms. I marvel at people like Candace English . I could never really carry a tune with my mouth; she sings some of the most difficult music ever written for a vocalist and pulls it off masterfully and beautifully. She also composes, of course, and probably lots of other things we didn't even get into on our episode. She is equally adept in the classical and jazz styles and was a major figure in the avant-guard music scene. I hope you enjoy listening to this one as its one where I was more than a little surprised by some things I did not know, as you will hear. Candace has been involved in practically every aspect of music and that diversity shows in the topics we discuss on this episode.” Links to Candace’s Beautiful work
December 28, 2020
A Conversation With Danielle Norris: A visual artist's journey from the South to the North and beyond
Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton “From South to North: A conversation on visual art, Geography and personal biography with Danielle Norris” Danielle Norris is an artist who I knew very well when I was living in Boston. She had been working, among other gigs, as a waitress in one of the oldest and more famous of spots in Cambridge  . You can see that she did the artwork for Tyler Bejoinas' album on which I played keyboards. But even as I knew her personally, there were many things I did not know about her art until much later and this opened a whole world in much the same way as her artwork is unafraid to open up a world. The word that Danielle first used when describing her artwork was “realism”. And notably and uniquely, her work is unafraid to use representations of culture and real life, many times quite popular ones. Her work comes out of her own experience as well as the images and symbols of pop culture and photography. I really enjoyed this conversation and learned a lot from it. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much we enjoyed doing it and hope you engage with her artwork and more info in the links provided here.” Danielle’s Bio Danielle Norris is a painter working to explore the framework of conceptual photo realism. Originally from the mountains of western NC , she studied art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston , graduating in 2014. Since then she has moved to Upstate NY where her multidisciplinary practice has turned primarily to painting. She was accepted into the Yale Norfolk painting residency in 2013 , and has shown work in Boston , New York City, and Hudson NY. She also currently works as a painting assistant to the artist Jeffrey Gibson. Links to learn more Danielle’s wonderful work: @danielle____norris
December 07, 2020
"Ultimate Values: A Conversation with Jim McCoy"
“Readers of this blog and listeners to this podcast will know that I made a dramatic change in geographical address in the year of 2017, from Boston to Weaverville, North Carolina. In the interest of full honesty, I was and remain ambivalent about this move as it was made for reasons of unforeseen circumstance and not for any I would call personal choice - by any definition of the word choice. One of the unequivocal positives of this move is that I am able to record this podcast out of my home; equally I am able to work from my favorite instrument, Steinway. And then there are the personal connections that are most positive. I think I first met out guest Jim McCoy at the weekly music open mic they used to have here at Blue Mountain Pizza. I did not know who he was but heard him sing an old anti- Vietnam War Phil Ochs song! Needless to say this was not the usual repertoire I was used to hearing at this open mic. Well it tuns out that the singer was none other than Jim McCoy, who, until his retirement, was the pastor at the Weaverville Baptist Church here just one block away from the pizzeria. He is part of what can only be called a thoroughly musical family (his daughter is a pianist with her own rock group, his wife has been a Minister Of Music at the church, music teacher and choral conductor). I want to say that Jim McCoy's all around friendliness, intelligence, even integrity has been an invaluable boon to me as a displaced yankee. I also thought that this episode would make a most appropriate one for December. The question of religious affiliation and tradition is one of the most complicated ones in human society. It happens to be a subject on which I happen to be widely read, as it so happens as a side effect of my intense interest in intellectual history and philosophy, but I won't go into all that here. I think there is both good and bad religion in human life and that this situation is no different from any other field or human endeavor. I really appreciated this conversation with Jim McCoy; he is representative of all that is best in Christianity, but I hope that the subjects we cover - vast, considering his erudition - will be relevant for all our listeners.” Jim’s Bio I was born in Salisbury, NC into a musical family. My Dad played guitar in bands prior to World War II, and Mother was a church pianist/organist. At home they played everything from 'St. Louis Blues' to hymns. I received my first guitar in the eighth grade during the British invasion and played in Beatle bands. In 1973, I was selected to be a member of a summer folk group. The other guitarist chosen for the five-member ensemble would become my wife three years later. Jane is a vocalist and voice teacher, having taught privately and at several universities. She is also a church musician. Our two grown daughters are Claire and Sarah. Both are married, and both are piano teachers. I have been in several ministry positions: campus minister, hospice chaplain, and pastor. Currently, I am a chaplain at a state prison unit in Asheville, NC. I help facilitate religious practices and services, and try to offer honest conversation with those who seek it. I also strongly encourage any expression of creativity - reading, writing, drawing, singing, etc. In his memoir Wrestling with the Devil, Ngugi wa Thiong'o writes, “ I experience of survival in a maximum-security prison as a testimony to the magic of imagination. The power of imagination to help humans break free of confinement is truly the story of all art." I blog occasionally at my word press site 'Borrowed Language' and at the Ekklesia Project website ( Organizations dear to me are: "The Ekklesia Project has become a gateway into some wonderful ecumenical conversations and friendships. *Baptist Ministers Union in Asheville is an African- American group of pastors. They have welcomed me into their fellowship. and the newspaper in new ways. *Jubilee Partners
November 26, 2020
“From the Desert to the City: A Conversation with Flugelhornist and composer Dmitri Matheny”
“Of all of the guests I have had on my show whom I have had the great fortune to know personally, I believe Dmitri Matheny would count as the oldest of friends since my association with him goes back at least to early 1983 - at Interlochen Arts Academy . When we were both living in Boston, I was the pianist with a wonderful group he organized.  I have to say, without reservations, that not only is Dmitri a superb all around musician but is one of the most organized and conscientious people in the arts I have ever known and it is a rare thing indeed when those coexist in the same soul. He was able to get us a lot gigs in that band and he is that rare artist who also happens to have a business sense. He also happened to have made his instrumental speciality one of my favorite of all the horns: the flugelhorn. (And made what I still consider the greatest Christmas Jazz album , to which I contributed an arrangement) new-bag You will note that we talk a lot in this episode about the music and musicians we love. I truly believe that to be the best artist one can be requires finding an individual, you can say a mentor, to help be a guide. This is education of the highest sort and of course can happen either in or outside of an institution. This is a very old school, "apprenticeship" method and I can't imagine having gone about things in any other way. One of the advantages of having that one mentor like this is that you are getting a partial glimpse into that mentor's mind on a one- to-one, intimate level, something I can't see happening to the same effect in a crowded classroom. In Dmitri's case this mentor was none other than the great Art Farmer, no less. In my case it was pianist/composer Stanley Cowell. Of course it is a truism that sometimes the best performers aren't always the best teachers; in my case I was most fortunate that the two coincided., since Cowell remains one of my favorite pianists. We talk a lot about Art Farmer on this episode and you will know why if you know Farmer's playing. I really enjoyed this conversation; it was like a reunion of sorts after about two decades and it was one that was a joyous occasion. One of the reasons his business sense was so welcome, at least in the case of our kind of music, is that he would show up to a gig or a session and everything was so well planned and executed in terms of logistics that you could really be most free, let go, and blow, like the old expression, "that cat's charts play themselves."  Dmitri Bio Winner of NW Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year honors in the Seattle Earshot Golden Ear Awards, flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny has been lauded as “one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” (International Review of Music). An honors graduate of Berklee College of Music , Dmitri Matheny vaulted onto the jazz scene in the 1990s as the protégé of jazz legend Art Farmer. Since then he has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal international following, releasing eleven CDs and touring extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. The San Francisco Chronicle calls Matheny “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players.”  Links to Dmitri’s beautiful works:  Website Tour Touring History Biography Music Videos Discography Wikipedia Instagram Twitter YouTube https://dmitrimatheny.bandca
November 12, 2020
"Being Open To One's Entire Environment: A conversation with singer/songwriter Tyler Bejoian"
Inside the episode with Mitch Hampton “Being Open To One's Entire Environ- ment: A conversation with singer/song- writer Tyler Tyler Bejoian ”  Tyler Bejoian is one of a handful of guests on our show with whom I have had a personal association, long before we had this podcast, and even before podcasting was a thing.  Originally we were friends because of shared cinephilia, back in the day when people gathering together to look at pictures on a shared screen was a thing.  Where we were living in the Boston area had some of the greatest repertory and current movie houses in all of the United States: The Brattle Theatre , the Harvard Film Ar- chive, and the Coolidge Corner Theaters .  Only later was I a keyboardist in his band, Tyler And The Names which can be found here: gone-carrier  This was noteworthy because it had been at least twenty years since I had performed that type of music in any capaci- ty.  Then again, to put it more accurately, it was an entirely unique experience overall because the music had a lot of in- fluences, from folk as much as rock, and some other things in there as well which I think Tyler can explain a lot better than myself.  I always have liked Tyler's lyric content, his sense of humor, and the sensibility in his songs.  The experience of playing with loud electric guitars and so on had its pleasures to be sure. This episode was recorded wayback in February.  I'd like to think, though, as with all of our episodes, that it has a timeless quality, both in the topics of conversation, as well as the spirit in which the topics were discussed.”  Tyler’s Bio and links to his beautiful work:  Tyler Bejoian is a Massachusetts based musician. He has been playing with his band Tyler and the Names for the last several years.  Their most recent al- bum is Outskirts of the Gala . long-gone-carrier tyler-the-names
October 19, 2020
"From live Theatre to Streaming Television: A Conversation with Melanie Mayron"
“ I think the very first time I became aware of our guest Melanie Mayron it would have to have been in the August of 1978 when, at the age of eleven, I went on a hot and blissfully underpopulated New York City in August 1978 late afternoon to see this movie called GIRLFRIENDS. I dearly wish I remembered the exact theatre that was exhibiting it in that first run. (Was it The New Yorker? Bleeker Street Cinema?)  But it was in Manhattan of August of 1978 which was the location and time of so much of that film's subject.  I loved this picture as much as an eleven year old could and I loved this protagonist by the name of Susan Weinblatt .  A few years later in the 1980s I would see her on stage in the play debut of Crossing Delancey, which was in fact written for her.  As I mentioned on this episode Mayron was in two of my all time favorite moves: Girlfriends just mentioned, and the other was CAR WASH . Both are are on my 100 Greatest list in fact. She was one of the names on this dream list that our producer, Laurie Strickland urged me to start and maintain.  Mayron is remarkable on a number of levels. One thing which I feel is taken too lightly by many is her flexibility with a the widest breadth of styles, not as easy as some might think.  Not only does she excel in the broadest of comedies like Car Wash and the severest of dramas ( Playing For Time , Missing ) as well as stage and screens large and small, she is at the forefront of the current streaming revolution in home entertainment in shows like Grace And Frankie , Jane The Virgin , Glow and more.  Thus her career has encompassed the many historical changes from practically five decades, from somebody in the thick of experience as a creator of those changes. She is also an accomplished director, producer as well as actor and, in what was news to me, the world of skin care and cosmetics, Mayron’s Goods and Supply:  I truly loved speaking with her on this episode as it was a chance to visit some of my favorite touchstones of film and t.v. in our time and from the point of view of someone who was one of its chief creators.”   M E L A N I E  M A Y R O N Melanie Mayron was nominated three times and won an Emmy Award for her role on the groundbreaking ABC drama “thirtysomething.” She was nominated for a British Academy Award for her starring role in the film, Girl Friends and won the Best Actress Award at the Locarno Switzerland Film Festival. Melanie has acted in feature films as well as television, among them Car Wash, Costa Gavras’ Academy Award winning Missing, and My Blue Heaven. She was last seen as Professor Donaldson in a recurring role in the CW’s Jane the Virgin. She performed on Broadway and Off. Melanie has forged an additional career as a director in movies and television and has directed episodes of the critically acclaimed HBO series, “Tell Me You Love Me “ as well as “In Treatment.”  She was nominated for a Director’s Guild Award for Toothless, for ABC, starring Kirstie Alley. She has directed over a hundred episodes for television including this season’s Tommy on ABC starring Edie Falco, Lincoln Rhyme for NBC and for ABC The Baker and the Beautis.  Her extended bio and links is on our podcast Facebook page.  She is also the brand owner of Mayron’s Goods and Supply, a botanical line of skincare formulated by her chemist Dad.
October 05, 2020
Amanda Maciel Antunes, From Brazil to Los Angeles: A Conversation on Art and Life
Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton  "Regular listeners to our podcast will note I mention that there are both guests I have known personally and then there are those I have never even met. Amanda sits firmly in the former group as I got to know her through a mutual interest (in my case a most serious hobby): clothes, fashion in general and vintage in particular. We were all part of the same larger artistic community for a good decade centered around a woman named Amy Berkowitz who owned a truly fabulous thrift store (and has since unfortunately passed).  The spirit in Boston at that time - the early to mid 00s - was most generous; people from all walks of life could gather and attend events and parties and feel they were a part of something exciting and there was a real sense of that often overused word community. Still better, since some of the vintage clothing was extremely affordable, and there was this community spirit,  people who maybe did not have as much budget wise were able to get involved as well. When first I met our guest Amanda Maciel Antunes she was from Brazil , working and making her way in a new country and city. What I did not yet know at the time was the full extent of her talents and interests.  She had a passion not only for clothes and design (she works as a costume designer in addition to other projects) but also for performance art and even publishing, as she created a magazine in those years and managed to put out several issues. You could say that Amanda Antunes fits the profile of an all around visionary and producer, the kind of artist who seems able to make things happen successfully not fruition after the initial ideas are developed.  Lately she has  become involved in archiving, as she is part of a project involving the legacy of Anais Nin and the history of Los Angeles, her current and new home.   It is hard for me to accurately and precisely describe the nature of her artistic practice as I feel she expresses these best herself, in her own words, as she did so well on this episode.  Like some other episodes there is a lot to ponder and reflect upon here: the nature of the art scene, immigration, different languages, personal history and  memoir, and probably  even much more. I do hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed the conversation!  Amanda’s Bio  In my artistic practice I’m interested in our perception of language as myth and how the mind manifests them into matter. In a variety of mediums, painting, writing, film, assemblage, sound and performance; my work seeks a conversation between the extremes of selfhood. I was born and raised in a village in rural Brazil named after a ruined river: due to the environmental impacts of mining which directly and indirectly affected its biodiversity. I have always been concerned with the nexus of people and their transitory environment, raised a daughter and granddaughter of farmers to pursue avenues of interrogation and affinity to our habitat. In 2015  I established a residency studio practice in LA and have since been active in the community, in my work as an artist and activist as the co-founder of Nasty Women LA . Links to Amanda’s Beautiful body of work  Website:  You Tube Recent Interview: More current projects shared on Instagram:
September 15, 2020
A Consummate Actor: A conversation with Austin Pendleton on his life in the theatre, movies, television and much more
"I talk with veteran actor, write, producer, and teacher on his life in the art of acting." Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton: "The diverse group of guests on our podcast encompass both those I have never met and only know from their work in what you might consider a "public" sense. Then there are those guests whom I have had the good fortune to know personally. I have never gotten to know the actor Austin Pendleton in a personal manner but I know for sure my first conscious awareness of him was most probably from his role in the Peter Bogdonavich masterpiece What's Up Doc (1972), which I saw on the big screen at the age of six, with Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.  I was not so fortunate to have seen his early 1970s musical or theatre work, yet it feel like I have seen him in so many television and movie productions as well as on Broadway (Doubles comes to mind from the 80s) and my now father produced his play Orson's Shadow, that I can confidently say that he has been such a large part of the world of both theaters, movies and t.v. that I feel that I grew up with him to the extent that one can group up with a "named actor."  I never dreamed I would have had the opportunity to speak with him on this context in my own podcast. Austin Pendleton is, among many other things, what sometimes people call the real deal. He is one of the greatest living actors, period, regardless of genre or style of production. He is also beloved as a teacher of acting and playwright and director in his own right. It is always an honor to be able to talk to someone who cells at what they do artistically, especially if they are as generous as is Austin, as well a clear about his own life experiences and what they have meant to him. " Austin's Bio Austin has appeared on, off and off-off Broadway, in such productions as The Diary of Anne Frank (with Natalie Portman), Fiddler on the Roof (the original cast, with Zero Mostel), Doubles (with Ron Leibman), Educating Rita (with Laurie Metcalf), Mother Courage (with Meryl Streep), Romeo and Juliet (with Lauren Ambrose), The Last Sweet Days of Isaac (for which he won an Obie and a Drama Desk Award), Hail Scrawdyke (for which he won the Clarence Derwent Award, a production directed by Alan Arkin), and in such roles as Richard III, Richard II, Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, Shylock and many others. He is also an Ensemble member at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and has acted and directed there and in many other regional theatres. He has acted in over 100 film and television shows. Film credits include My Cousin Vinny, A Beautiful Mind, 2 Days in the Valley, Finding Nemo, Searching for Bobby Fisher, Catch-22, The Muppet Movie, and many more.  Television credits include Homicide, Oz, Law and Order, Life on Mars, Miami Vice and many other shows. His Broadway directing credits include Spoils of War, The Runner Stumbles, and a Tony nomination for directing Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton in The Little Foxes. His three plays (all published and all widely produced) are Orson's Shadow, Uncle Bob, and Booth; he has also written the book for a new musical called A Minister's Wife, in 2009 at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois, and scheduled for production next spring at Lincoln Center in NY.  He is the star of Everyone's Carol, as Ebenezer Scrooge. He teaches acting at HB Studio in New York. Links to Austin's beautiful work: HB Studios , Steppenwolfe Theatre Everyone’s Carol Starring Austin Pendelton Documentary, Playbill
September 08, 2020
Democracy and Empathy: A Conversation with Azar Nafisi on the Importance of Literature
“ I came across the work of Dr. Azar Nafisi at exactly the same time I was undergoing a spiritual transformation regarding the value of the arts and letters. This was the time of the years 2001 and a few years after.  At that time I gave no thought at all to the internet (though perhaps I should have!) and podcasts were not yet even an idea (as far as I know) on anybody's mind. But I was giving a lot of thought to the arts in its many forms and books as specific medium were a big part of that.  You could say that of all of the episodes thus far this one is the most bookish one.  Dr. Azar Nafisi's knowledge and wisdom on literature is unsurpassed.  You might say that some of the themes I am pursuing now in this very podcast were present as something like an acorn in those years. I was already primed to enjoy her Reading Lolita In Tehran by the very nature of its subject matter and what I was undergoing personally: in a phrase the value of art and the defense of such value against all those who are insensitive (or worse) to its value.  The very style and meaning of her book was what I needed to read the most then and it is a book I have returned to many times since. One of her strengths is her ability to weave politics and aesthetics in the truest way, and moreover, in a way that really communicates with a wide audience. Her decision to teach Nabokov and F Scott Fitzgerald in the Iran of the mid 1990s was, to my mind, one of the most valuable political acts anybody could have done at that time. (Similar in certain respects to Susan Sontag's producing Waiting For Godot in Sarajevo in 1993).  As she makes clear in this episode she regards the medium of the novel itself as "democratic." Yet she is wise enough to know that not everything can or should be always so political. In Reading Lolita there is a most arresting passage in this regard:  "It is said that the personal is political. That is not true, of course. At the core of the fight for political rights is the desire to protect ourselves, to prevent the political from intruding on our individual lives. Personal and political are interdependent but not one and the same thing."  I really enjoyed discussing Henry James and Jane Austen and many others with her. I hope you enjoy hearing her discuss these as well. I hope at a future date she can return and discuss even more, so rich is her knowledge and erudition.”  Dr. Azar Nafisi's  Biography : Azar Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.  Earning high acclaim and an enthusiastic readership.  Read her full bio here: Additional links to Dr. Nafisi's beautiful work here: Twitter @azarnafisi  Facebook @azarnafisi 
August 21, 2020
“A Kaleidoscope of Creativity, A Symphony of Souls ”
Featured Artists in this episode:  Hannah Sharafian: is an actress, playwright and teacher in NYC Tyler Bejoines: is a singer/songwriter and leader of band Tyler And The Names, based in Massachusetts  Jane LeCroy: is a poet, punk/folk/rock singer and bandleader of The Icebergs and teacher in the NYC public school system, resident of NYC  Heather Kapplow: is a multimedia artist based in Massachusetts.  Her Walking In The Time Of Covld, is an interactive and collaborative work specifically about current life.  Lin Marcoux is a Bodywork therapist and healer in North Carolina  Amanda Maciel Antunes is a multimedia artist, costume designer, and archivist in Los Angeles “I have said many times before that on my show there are both guests whom I have never met in person, as well as those who I can count as closest friends.  Of the six people who make an appearance in this episode only one, Hannah Sharafin, is someone who not only have I never met before the show, but was relatively unknowledgeable about her work.  The others include people who I have known quite well, more or less, and over at least a couple of decades.  I say all of this because one of the results of something like Covid19, and this result is something I have seen little remarked upon in the popular media/press, is that it encourages or even necessitates a certain soulfulness, in Thomas Moore's sense of that word.  One aspect of soulfulness concerns friendship and human connection more generally, and conversation is key.  This increase in soulfulness does not necessarily constitute a full stop silver lining. I harbor suspicions that much desired improvements (should they come to pass as many activists want, to name one example)  to come out of this will prove to have downsides themselves in the long run, compromised as they are by the corrosiveness of what we are living through.  I would be dishonest if I did not state these doubts. There are times for civility and then there are times when one must be true to oneself and to one's own convictions.  You will also note that I am more forthcoming, even blunt, in this episode about some of my own convictions, for example by Camus', or Schoppenahuer brand of pessimism (as explicated in the Joshua Foa Diensteg book Pessimism) in the Jane LeCroy section, or my willingness to make jokes about the phrase "flatten the curve" since the phrase sounded to me like the name of a jazz fusion instrumental song from the early 80s, thus my reference to the musicians Will Lee and Steve Gadd in the Tyler Bejoines, and knowing upon reflection this might be in bad taste to many since it ignores the actual meaning of the phrase (which is most serious) in favor of it's sound in a different context.   But all of these are examples of soulfulness in that they are a way for me to reach back into things I love most deeply, and these are usually things from the past, like beloved music or works of philosophy. There is no excerpt where this tendency is more apparent than in my conversation with Tyler Bejoines.  But what all of these examples have in common is that not only might they be seen as "trivial" or off topic to the centrality of this virus in some quarters, but that they are supreme examples of art of all kinds, which, if you think about it, is why this podcast exists to begin with.  Read more about this episode here:
August 10, 2020
" I love being a maker of things!": A Visit With Mangum Pottery
Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton “I confess I tend to lay it on pretty thick when making self deprecatory jokes about all the many things I claim to not be able to do well, whether it is drawing or, not able to do at all in the case of our current episode any kind of sculpture. In this particular episode I happen joke about how I am "impaired" in seeing objects in three dimensional space for example, and sing the praises of Beth and Rob Magnum in their "visual intelligence" and their ability to turn out beautiful and handcrafted works of pottery. But all joking aside, my point in all of this is actually more far reaching. My point is never to judge or compare in a thumbs up/thumbs down juvenilia.  Rather, my aim is a philosophical one: to emphasize that are as many different paths as to the way of art as there are ways of being in the world. That, although all the arts are one, nevertheless the arts come in many different mediums of expression. There is nothing I love more than spending quality time with people who have skills that I personally lack. Not only do I learn an enormous amount about what it is like to walk in another's shoes, I am also reminded that there are no "little things" in art and nothing can be taken for granted. Being in the physical space of Magnum Pottery and hearing heir life stories was to me what our podcast is all about. I hope you enjoy listening to it every bit as much as I enjoyed bring there. “ More about Mangum Pottery: Nestled into the Blue Ridge mountains Of Buncombe County near Asheville, North Carolina lies the historic town of Weaverville. Stroll down Main Street and you may wander into this working pottery studio. As you step into the gallery you’ll see displays of pitchers, teapots, and tableware next to hand built vases, ceramic furniture and banjos. Beyond the wares are craftsmen hard at work. Potters Rob and Beth Mangum continue a creative tradition started by Rob’s parents over forty years ago. Continued here….. Links to Mangum Pottery’s beautiful work: Website: Facebook: You Tube: Instagram: Links and details about Rob's beautiful music, gratefully used in this episode, thanks Rob! Featured songs are : Opening song is Evie Ladin featuring Bob Mangum called “Checkin' on the Taters”.  The closing song is from Bob Magnum called “Primordial Chowder” from “In The Midst, Migratio”.
July 27, 2020
“Season Two: The Solo Episode with Mitch on the Mic or Where we are Now”
Mitch's Note on this episode: "As we find ourselves in the middle of Season Two of our podcast, Journey Of An Aesthete I thought I should like to record a second solo episode which I guess means me sitting in front of the microphone and speaking all alone with the listeners/audience. I always get really nervous with these episodes as, speaking historically I have done very little in the way of public speaking like this, by which I mean it has happened so infrequently that I don't feel as practiced as I should like - though this podcast itself is making up for lost time. It isn't that I have a phobia or fear of public speaking - in truth whenever I do it  I feel at least moderately comfortable - it is just that it is a conviction of mine, whether founded or not, that one always does something best the more they have done it. I really don't know much about being a "natural" or whatever the term is. Alongside that vein I thought I would play just a little bit of piano, in this case the first (and in part the only) music I have committed to composing in the times since late March or early April. It promises to be a much longer piece, and aside from the somber tone of the opening that you will hear here, will have as many passages that are upbeat, even joyful in the fullness of the completed work.  I gathered some selections to read on this, our second solo show. I always have a deep feeling of indebtedness to others, thinker and artists that have come before me and I always to try to utilize my show as a platform to honor them. When I am forced to talk about my own piano playing I always try and mention my debt to my teacher Stanley Cowell, to name but one example. But some influences are people whom I have never met; I only know the works authored by the creator, not the creator herself. I have always felt that "the work" this might be the "best" part of themselves, which, though might be controversial to say (even though daily news reports sort of confirm my theory. And I mean no disrespect to any family members or loved ones of artists who really feel that the artist in their life is really great as a human being, never mind what they have made or that they are also known in public).  I read Elizabeth Bishop's One Art which for me is a truly perfect poem which is saying a lot. I then read one of the first life changing books I ever encountered, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, by Shunryu Suzukim book I was most fortunate to encounter at the age of 13 or 14 and which has accompanied me on just about every "stage" of my life until the present at age fifty-one.  I do read it as a beautiful work of art, even poetry. I don't know if this is the correct or, in Suzuki's common formulation, the "right understanding" to read it in such a way but for what it's worth I also happen to think it accurate in many respects as a document of our daily lives, speaking in a broad register, thus making it in at least one instance a confirmation of Keat's proposition of Truth and Beauty being synonymous.  The book Foregone Conclusions has a review from The New Republic that I uncovered from wayback in 1995: The Frank Loesser letter is a hoot and very funny. Its prankish and insouciant tone I feel has some seriousness in calling into question our received categories of artistic evaluation more generally even as I am not now prepared to take on fully the "populism" (egalitarianism?) of Loesser's narrator in the letter.  As far as the arts go, I have no caution. I love all of them without reservations, enthusiasm that I hope is expressed in episodes like this one.”  Links to Mitch’s Body of work:Journey of an Aesthete Podcast
June 29, 2020
Embracing every facet of music: A musical conversation with singer/songwriter and music educator Erin Kinard
From Mitch’s Notebook about the episode “As with some other guests, Erin Kinard is one who I have known personally, at least since the two years of living here in Weaverville. While I did know her for her singing as she has been a regular at Blue mountain here with just her and her guitar, and I did know her to possess both a truly beautiful voice and gift for songwriting there was much more. I did not know until later that she is the president of Girls Rock in North Carolina, is an instrument maker, plays drums, has her own rock duo Rooster, and probably a whole bunch of other things we never got a chance to even get to on this particular episode. We played together on a couple of the selections. I always enjoy the opportunity to really accompany someone and try and match their style the best that I can, particular when it is in a style of music that I don't often get to perform. True to the spirit of our podcast, Erin Kinard is somebody who does many kinds of things in music, never content to be pigeonholed or stick with one genre. Much like my episode with Bill Fouty, this one where we talked a bit about the nature of music making itself as an art and craft as well as play some numbers. I hope it is as enjoyable to listen to as it was for us to record it.” Erin’s Biography Erin Kinard Musician / community organizer / sign language interpreter Erin Kinard has been a member of the Asheville community since 2010 and a lifelong supporter of the arts. Born and raised in Charleston, she attended the Charleston County School of the Arts, studying dance and music. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music History at the College of Charleston. In 2014, Erin founded Girls Rock Asheville, a camp seeking to create more space for more women and girls in music. She currently serves on the board and council of Girls Rock Asheville. Erin earned an associates degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Blue Ridge Community College and has worked in this field in public school, spiritual and mental health settings. Since 2016, Erin has been playing drums and singing in the folk-rock duo, Rooster, with Annie Myers. In February of 2020, the band released an 11 song album of original music. Check their wonderful music out here: Erin plays guitar and drums actively and also passively plays bass, piano, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica and whatever else she can find. Erin is a lifelong learner, lover of science and courageous adventurer.
June 15, 2020
The MANU (Make American Nuanced Again) show, with Meghan Daum
From Mitch’s Notebook about the episode “Meghan Daum is somebody I became acquainted with as part of my ongoing love for creative non-fiction, the kind of prose that comes out of a meeting of literary criticism, personal memoir, the opinion column and essays, and some other genres thrown in for good measure. Reminiscent of Joan Didion, George W. S. Trow, and others, Daum's nonfiction writing is thoroughly independent: she is beholden to no fixed political point of view or ideology and is always open to the newness of experience and what life might throw at us tomorrow but never so open as to lose an indispensable, critical skepticism. Best and most of important of all, she is very funny and she is one of the best humorists in prose today.” Her latest, The Problem With Everything, is her take on the state of the world of the past four years or so and there is in a large sense no better guide to such matters than Meghan Daum.” Meghan’s Bio Meghan Daum is the author of six books, most recently THE PROBLEM WITH EVERYTHING: MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE NEW CULTURE WARS.  A Los Angeles Times opinion columnist from 2005 to 2016, she is now a biweekly columnist for Medium’s GEN Magazine.  She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 NEA grant and is on the adjunct faculty of the Writing Division at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vogue. Links to her body of work: Twitter: @meghan_daum Facebook:  Website:
June 01, 2020
"All About the Golden Age of the Made For T.V. Movie with Amanda Reyes
"All About the Golden Age of the Made For T.V. Movie with Amanda Reyes  From Mitch’s Notebook about the episode:  “One of many, in my view, most unwelcome developments in public commentary as of late are the explicit demarcations being made regarding culture - usually between the trivial and the essential, or between the irrelevant and the mandatory.  The suppressed question then becomes, who gets decide where that line is and should we all fall in line? I am not suggesting that some works of art are not in fact better than others in all sorts of ways, but I am stating that those evaluations have little or nothing to do with the style of art and when, where, or how it was made.  I have been a fan of Amanda Reyes' podcast, Made For T.V. Mayhem for sone time now and one of the many things I love about her show is that, for her, dramatic feature productions made for television in the 70s and 80s are never irrelevant and always valuable. Reyes is both a film and television historian and scholar as we all as a film archivist and thus it was a real joy to finally sit down with her and discuss some frankly forgotten gems that happened to have been made for the small screen over several decades. Is Night Terror (Night Drive) starring Valerie Harper dated or irrelevant?  Since it is a film representing in frank terms a woman trying to find herself amidst an extreme situation, and since things like that do happen in life, for better and worse, we feel that that particular t.v. movie is always ever relevant. If you listen to our episode you might be inclined agree. We hope you enjoy our discussion as much as we did having it. I learned a lot from Amanda Reyes.  Her mind moves very fast and I have to struggle to keep up with her, which in itself was lots of fun. She knows more about television and television history than anybody I have ever met and is a genuinely warm and engaging conversationalist. "  Amanda Reyes is an archivist, author, film and television historian and academic. She edited and co-wrote Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999 (Headpress, 2017) which celebrates the made for television film, and was featured on Barnes and Noble’s Best of Horror list for 2017. She's been a guest speaker at international film festivals and conferences in such places as the UK, Australia, and the United States. She's also contributed commentary tracks for several made for television Blu-Ray and DVD releases, including the made for TV movies The Girl Most Likely To... (1973), Nightmare in Badham County (1976), Amazons (1984) and Death Dreams (1991), all of which were released through Kino Lorber in 2019. For 18 months, Amanda also curated a quarterly series of made for TV mystery screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse, and has hosted other screenings in conjunction with the Austin Film Society. When she has a moment, she also podcasts and blogs about anything vintage small screen.  Made for TV Mayhem (blog):  Made for TV Mayhem Show (podcast):  Social media: Twitter: @madefortvmayhem  Facebook: Made for TV Mayhem Instagram: @madefortvmayhem
May 18, 2020
“From 1470 to 2020, with a few stops in between: a musical conversation with bassist Bill Fouty "
Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton “From 1470 to 2020, with a few stops in between: a musical conversation with bassist Bill Fouty " “Bill Fouty is one of the many fine musicians I have had the privilege to meet and work and play with over the years. He is an expert on the bass and I was quite overjoyed at the prospect of playing with him as he unearthed an actual cello from Italy in the year of 1470 (!) I had not known he was going to bring that particular instrument to our episode but bring it he did. Bill is one of those consummate musicians with whom I have been privileged to associate. He has an understanding of music and expression and has played the widest diversity of musical styles with proficiency and then some. He also has deep connections to the West Coast jazz scene of the 1960s through the 80s, a scene I have always admired for its own inimitable style. In my language, he knows "the changes." Our episode had a casual rehearsal type atmosphere. We did some things you could call pedagogical or "Music 101" and some things that were just purely improvised music of the kind we are most fond of doing. I hope you enjoy listening to this as much we enjoyed performing it. “ Links to the body of Bill’s beautiful work:
May 04, 2020
"George Kateb: The Importance Of Attention"
From Mitch’s notebook about this episode: “I have always been almost as interested in certain topics like history and philosophy as much as the arts. The first time I encounters the name George Kateb was in a quite old book from the early 1990s where the phrase "positive alienation" was attributed to one George Kateb. More familiar with the word alienation as being (only) a pejorative the curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to find out what in the world a positive form of that would even look like.  I eventually found myself basically reading (almost) everything the man has written .Kateb is perhaps unusual on our podcast in that he is specifically a political philosopher and not, say, a playwright, actor or musician. But if you dig a little deeper into his work, especially the fact that Emerson, that most aesthetic minded of American philosophers, was one of his biggest influences the choice of Kateb seems in every way a perfect one for Journey Of An Aesthete. I really enjoyed our discussion and both for those familiar as well as unfamiliar with what is called political philosophy I certainly hope it is as enjoyable to listen to as it was for us to have this discussion with one of my favorite writers and thinkers.” Links to more about George and his beautiful work :
April 20, 2020
Patreon Subscribers: A personal note from your host, Mr. Mitch Hampton about the extra perks of becoming a monthly subscriber to our show
A personal note from your host, Smith Hampton, about becoming a Patreon subscriber and what it means for you, and, to  our show. Thanks for listening and please share our links with us~ The Journey of an Aesthete Podcast Team
April 15, 2020
“Kindness and Diversity: A conversation and collaboration with poet and teacher Jane LeCroy”
From Mitch’s Notebook on the episode:  “I aim to have guests of every stripe on my show. The reasons are many. Part of it is my conviction that the arts come in different mediums - visual and aural, for example. One of the other reasons (I am sure I will leave out or forget some reasons - there are many) is actually more idealistic. I actually think that people different from one another. even to a degree that we can say is profound, should have a seat at the same table, so to speak, in order to actually, well, speak.  Some of my guests I know personally, others I have never met. My interest in alternative art spaces in general, particularly those spaces unafraid to mix sometimes radical politics and aesthetics, brought me into contact with Jane LeCroy, I believe, if memory serves, because we shared the bill on one event or another in Manhattan. I have always enjoyed collaborating with her because I am able to have a maximum of musical freedom, especially improvisation, while being able to honor the words she both writes and performs.  Jane, true to the spirt of our podcast, is many things, never content to stay with a single medium.  She is a poet who also is part of a postpunk rock band as part of her poetic practice, She is also involved in avant-garde sound performance which is different from her rock music project. She is a political activist, a mother, freethinker and atheist, vegetarian and many other things. And being a native New Yorker, has has also been a teacher of poetry in the New York City public school system, which if she did nothing else, would alone certainly qualify her to be a notable guest on our show.  Jane LeCroy's poetry engages with large ideas, stemming from her interest in both philosophy and science, including physics and cosmology, and she is unafraid to write and perform poetry on some fairly universal subjects - love and justice are two favorites - and to do so in a way that can communicate so effectively with a wide audience.  Jane LeCroy embodies the spirit of Journey Of An Aesthete. “  Jane’s Bio  Jane LeCroy is a New York based poet, singer and performance artist, home-birthing mother of 3, teacher, atheist, vegetarian, hedonist.  She serves the poetry gods.  By day she surfs the subway lines from one borough to the next, teaching kids creative writing, and publishing their work.  By night, she writes porn under a pseudonym, or you might find her seducing patrons as a feature character in The Poetry Brothel. Three Rooms Press published, “Signature Play” a multimedia collection of her lyric poems.  Her writing is in the Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Poets House, Yale Library, and you can find her DNA in the Library of Congress, where her hair binds one of her poetry chapbooks, “Names” published by Booklyn’s award winning ABC chapbook series that is part of the institution’s collection.   Jane’s recording career began in the early 90’s with the punk label, Bloodlink Records, release of her spoken-word vinyl 7inch titled “Guilty”.   Since then she has made over a dozen recordings, with various projects, including the feminist poetry collective, Sister Spit and the 90’s major label punk outfit, Vitapup.  For more info, a sampling if her gorgeous poems and more of  Jane's links, visit our show podcast page for an extended look here:
April 06, 2020
“ Movie Talk with Mike White”
In this episode I discuss with Mike White his movie podcast The Projection Booth, the movies he loves, his approach to interviews and podcasting and all matters of cinephilia."  "Movie Talk with Mike White”  From Mitch’s notebook on the episode:  “I first discovered Mike White through his wonderful cinema podcast, The Projection Booth. There are two reasons I love it, and I am speaking as a cinephile, I hasten to say.  One is that he has really long form explorations of single films, thus treating the films as artistic texts to be taken seriously, in terms of analysis. There is no cute thumbs up.thumbs down brevity. Secondly, he does this from the perspective of a regular guy/gal.  That is, he exhibits the joy and love for cinema of people who are not necessarily academic experts while at the same time delving deep into film as an art. Thus, he achieves a balance rarely found in discussions of this kind.  Also I really appreciate his civility. He always talks with guests in the most gracious and respectful manner, never lording it over anybody or indulging in overwrought pretensions.    Listening to his podcast gave me inspiration for my own podcast, actually even though our sensibilities are different in certain respects. his relation with discussion gave me one model for how to behave on a podcast. And, last but not least, I like the way he themes his show, centered around a single film.  This goes back to turning attention to the text itself  which is also one of my guiding principles on my show.  I learned a lot on this episode.  We discussed the zine culture of the 90s, his background in the American Midwest, and much more.  He was every bit the gracious conversationalist I knew he would be. " Mike White’s Bio:  Often mistaken for the ginger screenwriter/actor of the same name, Mike White began publishing the film fanzine Cashiers du Cinemart in 1994 and has been a contributor to publications such as Cinema-Scope, Paracinema , Detroit's Metro Times, and  He's served on juries at the Slamdance , Cinekink , MicroCineFest , Blue Water, and Kansas City film festivals. Additionally, he's been featured in the documentaries David Goodis: To a Pulp and The People Vs. George Lucas. In 2010, BearManor Media published Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection.  Mike’s wonderful podcast link is here: 
March 23, 2020
“Jon Stepp: The Value Of the Handcrafted”
Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton “Jon Stepp: The Value Of the Handcrafted”  From Mitch’s Notebook about the episode: “ I first became acquainted with Jon Stepp more for the joy of conversation with him than for any particular knowledge of his artistic practice. Later I was to discover that he was a visual artist in all sorts of media and was quite eloquent in expressing what it means for him to do his art. It is true that many artists are not always the most articulate on such matters perhaps for reasons of psychological introversion as much as the strength that visual artists have which, of course is not the same as prose of speech of course. One my cardinal rules on Journey Of An Aesthete is that if you can and are willing to talk about your artistic practice you are most welcome to do so and I'd love to have you as a guest. For me there is an inherent interest and value in having a oral record of the artist in their own voice. And the proof has been in the listening on my show since everybody on my show, no matter their personality style or what kind of artistic medium they practices has been most interesting to listen to. It makes it all the better, of course is they are as versed in the art of conversation as is Jon which one of the reasons, among others, of course, I loved having him on my show. Links to check out more of Jon’s beautiful handcrafted work:
March 10, 2020
Andrew Bujalski: Making Films As If People Mattered
A comprehensive look at the career of filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, including detailed discussion of how his films up to now were made, especially the originality of their style, his educational background at Harvard with Chantal Akerman, working with both professional and nonprofessional actors, issues of reception and distribution, films both of us have loved, and much more.  Inside the Episode with Mitch Hampton “Back in the period around 2001 or thereabouts I was fortunate to have been an early viewer of Andrew Bujalski's Funny HaHa. This low budget character centered comedy of manners set in the Boston area was destined to change the course of American cinema forever. In a very real sense, though Bujalksi being ever humble among other qualities would not give assent to this, had Bujalski not made that first feature, you could argue there might not have ever been Lena Dunham's Girls. Bujalksi made it okay for filmmakers to make extremely awkward and naturalistic movies primarily about relationships but completely outside of all of the conventions of studio filmmaking. Bujalski's films are as complex emotionally as anything from Harold Pinter, and by design they use ellipsis to keep viewers on the edges of their seat as to what is going on between the characters. I actually did not know at the time that he was or had been ensconced at Harvard and had studied with the likes of Chantal Akerman. I also had not idea that his work would have the large effect that it has. At the time it was extraordinarily divisive and I could count among my friends both those who hated the films, considering them meandering and plots or overtly consumed with the whining of relatively privileged characters, as well as those like myself who though that Bujalksi was one of the precious few people expressing what was actually going on in human relationships in the contemporary world, warts and all. Bujalski, like most good filmmakers, knows his cinema history and our conversation proved wide ranging as we talked about everything from Francois Truffaut to the Rocky movie franchise all off which made for a one of a kind conversation, as one of a kind as his movies. His latest Support The Girls should be seen wherever you can.”  Andrew’s Bio "Andrew Bujalski has written and directed six feature films. He types 89 wpm." Some website links to his works: Support the Girls | Magnolia Pictures RESULTS: Computer Chess: Beeswax: FunnyHaHa :
February 26, 2020
Martha Coolidge's “Valley Girl”: A Valentine’s Day special film exploration of all things love, sex, romance and the nature of, true love.
From Mitch's Notebook:  "I have an archivist’s passion for things past and largely for aesthetic rather than political or sociological reasons - and the fact that it is aesthetic makes all the difference. I suspect that my psychological state is really about the same as the Thora Birch character’s response to the old artifacts she discovers from her friendship with the Steve Buscemi/Seymour character in the wonderful film version of Ghost World. She instantly falls in love with the objective beauty of the old blues vinyl record as well as animations and illustrations from the thirties to which she is exposed. Her curiosity and openness is essentially the aesthetic capacity of the human being and it is not coincidental that her character is someone in her late teens. The film Ghost World is discussing the first time you experience a work of art as much as it is discussing first friendships and loves. (The main reason I am taking this time to emphasize it in this context). There is a special understanding that you can have for something by it being completely new to you while you are also aware that what happens to be new to you in particular is in actuality old to many more other people and and is not tied to your actual lived experience. This is how I suspect historians and anthropologists must feel towards some things, as well as art preservationists. Conversely, there is a way to know something by virtue of having directly experienced it that is superior in ways to not having experienced it. But my main point is that you need both, contrary kinds of responses and reasons in your interaction with the culture. You need both the observer distance and participant closeness, not necessarily at the same time or for same things of course, but in the fullness of lived experience over a lifespan.  Thus when Laurie Jill Strickland gave me this wonderful present of the original artwork for the poster of Martha Coolidge’s Valley Girl a powerfully similar state as in Proust’s Madeline took hold of me - because the dress the illustration depicts being worn by Deborah Foreman was identical to the one worn by a girl I had loved in my teenage years. I always have reservations about discussing the subjects of both love and sex, not out of any coyness on my part: to put it bluntly I am about as opposite a prude as you can imagine a human can be. I am not much less reserved when it comes to the subject of my personal life in general.  You could chalk it up to my Libran sense of diplomacy. Or you could say it is my (inordinate) need to be loved, much like the part of me who plays piano. It is also most curious, even ironic, that something so universal as love can also be so controversial. Then again, universal things involve the most people which increases the chance of disagreement. I am anxious about all of these things. And yet….On the other hand, here we are in February and both love and sex are inevitably on everybody’s mind at this time. As well as movies of course, surely one of the most romantic of art forms. What I am really saying is that this movie Valley Girl is a beautiful and fun movie; it is as much entertaining as it is edifying in about equal measure. " For more information and for all those many links we mention in episode , visit our show Facebook page here:
February 12, 2020
At home in San Francisco and the World: A Conversation with Daniel Kremer
Mitch talks with Daniel Kremer about both his cinema scholarship as well as prolific filmmaking on the occasion of the release of his Overwhelm The Sky.  “I guess I first became acquainted with Daniel Kremer before actually seeing any of his films because the man has an encyclopedic knowledge of film history; he knows as much if not more about cinema than anybody I have ever met. But being an expert on film doesn't necessarily mean you can make good or great ones. In Kremer's case I have to say that all of that knowledge has more than paid off. In terms of his output of movies since he is quite prolific, patterning his production procedures on the Zoetrope model of  Francis Ford Coppola in the 1970s. Region is also important, in terms of connecting the art to a unique place and the people within it, in Kremer's case, San Francisco. Kremer's beat is the power and centrality of the actors. In his films this approaches the quality of Cassavetes, or Rivette or Pialat. Kremer's films do have structures and plot, in some cases quite intriguing, even suspenseful ones, but he is also committed to the art of improvisation within that narrative structure and what it cam do for a narrative film. In a Daniel Kremer film there are never overlooked characters and everyone matters and has "their say". His current film Overwhelm The Sky is becoming something of a hit and I have to say that every positive review is well deserved. The film has an epic feeling and is visually beautiful while holding to Kremer's commitment to respecting the actor. His Raise Your Kids On Seltzer is one of 4th most interesting films I have ever seen on the subject of fundamentalism and the effects of cults on family life. Kremer is also a film archivist, working with the celluloid itself as well as a writer and critic. His book on film director Sidney Furie is highly recommended, and I eagerly await his forthcoming book on one of my favorite film directors , Joan Micklin Silver. " IMDb Bio: Filmmaker, film historian, biographer, and professional film archivist Daniel Kremer grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated Temple University's film program and now lives in San Francisco. In 2007, while living in Philadelphia, he directed his first feature Sophisticated Acquaintance (2007) and was presented with four Best Documentary prizes for Yarns to Be Spun on the Way to the Happy Home (2007), a personal essay film about having grown up with a severe stutter. His second feature A Trip to Swadades (2008), which was shot on black-and-white super-16mm film, won three Best Feature Film awards. Following that film's international festival tour (which included Rotterdam), he moved to New York City, where he lived for nearly seven years. At one point, he studied to be an Orthodox rabbi, but gave it up to continue pursuing film. In 2011, he completed his acclaimed follow-up feature, The Idiotmaker's Gravity Tour (2011). The film was lensed predominantly in India and is distributed on Fandor. Subsequent to that, he directed Raise Your Kids on Seltzer (2015), Ezer Kenegdo (2017), Overwhelm the Sky (2018), and Even Just (2019). Trailer for Overwhelm the Sky: Check Journey of an Aesthete Facebook for more details.
January 14, 2020
New Year 2020 with Doug Kurtis
Ring in the New Year with us with this inspirational episode as we sit down with Olympic Marat