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HOME: Stories From L.A.
2 minutes | 3 years ago
Goodbye (for now)
I started this podcast in the fall of 2015 with a notion to tell stories of the many ways people think about home. For 27 episodes, that’s what I’ve done. I don’t think that going in I ever conceived HOME as a project that would go on in perpetuity, and now, in the fall of 2017, I’m finding that it’s reached the end of its natural lifespan. So I’m putting the show on an indefinite hiatus. Producing this show has been one of the best and happiest experiences of my working life. I’ve learned so much about the world of podcasting, where there’s such excellent work being done by independent producers of all kinds, and about the place where since 1990, I’ve made my home. However you came to the show — whether it was via my friends and partners at Boing Boing, particularly Mark Frauenfelder, or through the flattering press the show received in LA Magazine, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor and The NY Times — however you got here, I’m grateful that you did. I’m deeply appreciative for the early support from friends in the podcast community, like Devon Taylor, Harry Duran and Dan Lizette, and for the advice I’ve received from podcasters I admire, like Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace. And to the people who’ve let me stick a mic in their faces and tell a version of their stories — my thanks as well. One more thing. Podcasting has enjoyed explosive growth over the two years I’ve done this show. It isn’t going anywhere. And neither am I. I have ideas for a couple of new series and I’m planning to bring at least one of them to you in 2018. They’re sort of like HOME, but also sort of not. I hope you’ll keep an eye peeled on the Facebook page or the Twitter feed, or you can follow my personal account at Twitter and I’ll keep you updated there. Thanks for your support, thanks for listening, and I’ll see you with a new show in the new year. “Jackie” and “Ah Clouds” are by the generous and talented Chad Crouch, a/k/a Podington Bear, whose music has been a big part of HOME.
17 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 26: Going Tiny
HGTV and glossy magazines have sparked a boomlet of interest in tiny homes, but they’ve also made them look fun, cute and easy. The realities of a tiny lifestyle can be more daunting. Municipalities often don’t know what to make of tiny houses, and living in one legally is, in many places, challenging. There’s a lack of infrastructure for people who want to build them. And although they’re in many ways an imaginative solution to some of the most vexing urban housing issues, they don’t yet have a high profile in cities. Is there a place for tiny homes in Los Angeles? One woman thinks so, and has founded a collective of like-minded people to make it happen. Learn more about LATCH Collective here, here and here. Music: “Animal Fair,” by Trevor Thornton “Vinyl Baile,” by Podington Bear “Lleb,” by Podington Bear “Proliferate,” by Podington Bear Top: Photo by Ben Chun: Creative Commons Photo of Tessa Baker courtesy of LATCH Collective
21 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 25: Lost Heroes and Miniature Histories
“The best historians in L.A. are storytellers. They’re gangsters in east L.A., they’re ex-cons, they’re guys who worked in their garage their whole life, they’re guys who’ve worked at one business for forty years, people who’ve lived on one street for forty years… “ “All Night Menu” started with a question: What is a well-known photograph of William Faulkner not telling us about his time in Hollywood? Since then writer Sam Sweet has spent four years prowling LA for its most closely-held stories. The result is a lovingly-produced, meticulously-researched and gorgeously-written three volumes of the city’s secret history. Top: Photo of the Maravilla handball court by Sam Sweet. Read Sam’s remarkable story on the Maravilla court in its entirety here. Music: “Tangle,” by Blue Dot Sessions “Sprout,” by Podington Bear “All The Ways,” by Podington Bear “Morning Mist,” by Podington Bear “Peas Corps,” by Podington Bear “Prelude No. 2,” by Chris Zabriskie “Life In A Moment,” by Scott Holmes Audio assistance for the episode was provided by Sameer Sengupta. Summer 1942: William Faulkner at the Highland Hotel, 1922 Highland Thanks to Sam Sweet, whose non-fiction novel “Hadley Lee Lightcap” will be published in September by All Night Menu Books. You can order the three volumes of “All Night Menu” published so far direct from Sam, or if you’re in Los Angeles, find them at Skylight Books and South Willard.
21 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 24: Life, Death, Ego and Eternity
The original Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in the hills above Glendale, may be best known outside California for inspiring the sledgehammer satire of the 1965 cult comedy “The Loved One.” For tourists and curiosity-seekers, it’s the gonzo life’s work of Hubert Eaton, who memorialized himself as The Builder in the park’s every corner. For the families of the people interred there, though, it’s something more, and harder to joke away: A place of their own, green and quiet, and eternity-adjacent. Take a video tour of Forest Lawn. MUSIC: “Prelude No. 20,” by Chris Zabriskie “Locked Up,” by Scott Holmes “Pick Up The Tempo,” by Podington Bear “Glass Slipper,” by Podington Bear “Prelude No. 21,” by Chris Zabriskie “Ascending Light,” by Scott Holmes “Gentle Reminder,” by Blue Dot Sessions “Cylinder Six,” by Chris Zabriskie The Builder Thanks to Adam Papagan, Adrian Glick Kudler (whose excellent story “Los Angeles Is Killing Us” is here) and Elizabeth Harper.
28 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 23: The Last House On Mulholland
How will we live in 20 years? Or 50? Or 100? A one-of-a-kind, only-in-LA plot at the very end of Mulholland Highway inspired some of the world’s best designers to think hard about the home of the future, in Los Angeles and beyond. MUSIC: “One More Time,” by Quincy Jones Theme from “The Jetsons” “Hollywood Holiday,” by Frank Samuels “On A Wing,” by Podington Bear “Business Gateway,” by Scott Holmes “Oui,” By Podington Bear “Netherland,” by Podington Bear “Cylinder Three,” by Chris Zabriskie *** Welcome back for Season 5 of HOME! You can follow the show at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to the mailing list here. And don’t forget to subscribe to the show feed — it’s just above, it’s one-click-easy, and you’ll get every new episode in your favorite podcatcher the minute it’s released. Finally, if you get a second, please visit the iTunes Store and leave the show a review and a rating. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference in helping to spread the word. Thanks! — bb *** For more information about The Last House on Mulholland, visit the web site. There’s more information about The Ambivalent House here, and about the Hollywood competition here. Photo: Steve Alper at the Last House site, May 2017 Rendering of The Ambivalent House by Hirsuta: Jason Payne, Michael Zimmerman, Joseph Giampietro & Ryosuke Imaeda Special thanks to Steve Alper, Jason Payne and Nick Graham.
2 minutes | 4 years ago
Update: Season 5 starts July 5
6 minutes | 4 years ago
Update: The Future of HOME
Join me, won’t you, as I peel back the curtain on this podcast and kick around some thoughts about its future. (TL;DR: I’m slowing the production cycle a bit to make the project sustainable over the long haul. New season is coming this spring. Also, if you’re a social media wizard and would like to help me flack this thing, drop me a note. ) MUSIC: “Tiptoe Through The Tubas,” by Sam Fonteyn “Alien Village and Flute Solo,” by Podington Bear “The Spy Set – Closing 2,” by R. Sharples “Requiem For an Elevator,” by Steve Combs “Jackie,” by Podington Bear Photo: Cape Town, January 2017
1 minutes | 4 years ago
Update: New Season Coming
HOME is going on a between-seasons hiatus, but will return in the New Year. Sköl!
13 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 22: Kodachrome, Pt. 2
Who were we? How did we live, and what did it look like? The vast archive of castoff slides captures, in vivid colors, images of the American family at midcentury. But the stories that go with the pictures are most often lost, and we’re left to create our own, and reflect on millions of conscious decisions to untie the knot of memory. (Click slides to embiggen) MUSIC by Podington Bear: “Motivate” “Poise” “Wilt” “Aria Area” “Arp Arc” “Gymnopedie 2” Thanks once again to Charles Phoenix.
21 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 21: Kodachrome, Pt. 1
Color slides were once the state of the art in family photography — vibrant, immersive, ubiquitous. So ubiquitous, in fact, that millions, maybe billions of them survive. This week it’s a conversation with midcentury pop culture expert Charles Phoenix: What can we learn from the vast shadow world of orphaned slides about the way we used to live in our homes? Music: “Leaves In The Pool,” by Podington Bear “Diamond Bossa Nova,” by Francesco de Masi “Clog Dance,” by Dick Walter “Spills,” by Blue Dot Sessions “Kingbeat 9,” by Podington Bear Thanks to Charles Phoenix, whose “Disneyland’ Tour of Downtown Los Angeles returns on November 27. Tickets are also on sale for his Retro Holiday Slide Show in Brea, CA December 17 and 18. Read Richard Baguley’s essay on Kodachrome color slide film at Medium. There’s also this lovely video by Deborah Acosta at The New York Times.
17 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 20: Everything Must Go
Some stories don’t end when you think they do. Some stories just pause. And then they sneak back around and whap you across the back of your unsuspecting head. So here’s one I didn’t expect to revisit, although maybe I should have: Part 2 of Episode 7, “Unmaking A Home.” Music: “Driftwood,” by Podington Bear “Trailing Comma,” by Blue Dot Sessions “Something In The Distance,” by Scott Holmes “Empires,” by Scott Holmes “Bless,” by Podington Bear “Busy Life,” by King Palmer “Hard Won,” by Podington Bear “By Grace,” by Podington Bear Special thanks to Ellen Barol, Peter Clark and Jennifer Cecil.
21 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 19: Almost Utopia
What happens to a utopia that never got off the ground? Bits and pieces of one, an experiment in postwar living for the masses, are hiding in plain sight in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Architect and author Cory Buckner talks about Crestwood Hills, a Modernist vision for a cooperative future that never quite arrived. MUSIC: “Melange,” by Podington Bear “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive,” by Johnny Mercer “Bargains Galore,” by Stuart/Crombie/Dennis Barry “Solan,” by Podington Bear “Pink Gradient,” by Podington Bear Thanks to Cory Buckner, whose excellent book on Crestwood Hills is available here. Video: The Siegel family moves into their brand-new Crestwood Hills home in 1950. Groundbreaking, October 1947 (Courtesy Cory Buckner) Buckner House (formerly MHA site office): Photo by John Dooley
21 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 18: Cooking With Mihrette
What happens when you bring a kid from the other side of the world into your home forever? How does it change what home means to her? And to you? This week it’s the story of one mom, the daughter she chose, and the way they keep Ethiopia alive in the home that’s now theirs. PROGRAM NOTE: This is the last episode of Season 3. See you back here in October for Season 4. Subscribe to the newsletter for updates and between-seasons bonus content. Can the Web series be far behind? Cook With Mihrette here. Music by Podington Bear: “Poppyseed” “Pink Gradient” “Airlift” “Windy”
19 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 17: Dancers In The House
A roving, shifting company of dance and performance artists is nudging its audiences to think about home differently — by bringing one-off, site-specific performances to houses, live-work spaces and tiny apartments all over the Los Angeles area. Meet homeLA. Music by Podington Bear: “Tuxes” “Happy Transit” “Osprey” “By Grace” At top: Flora Wiegman, Swimming Laps, at the home of Chloë Flores and Tim Lefevre in Mount Washington. Performed by Flora Wiegman Here’s a gallery of photographs from past homeLA performances. All photos by Andrew Mandinach for homeLA. For more information about the Rose Hills performance on September 24, visit homeLA.
20 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 16: TV Dreamland
When TV producer Phil Savenick started collecting vintage TVs and TV memorabilia, he didn’t anticipate that he’d end up with what he now calls a “dreamland of televisions” in the living room of his West Los Angeles home — or that he’d end up helping the family of the man who invented TV heal some old wounds. See more of Phil’s TV Dreamland here. You can learn more about Philo T. Farnsworth here. I also recommend Jeff Kisseloff’s excellent oral history of the early days of television, “The Box.” Music by Podington Bear: “Puzzler” “QuasarGroove” “Towl” “Hard Won” “Crow” “Wellness” Thanks to Phil Savenick and Janis Hirsch.
20 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 15: Belushi, Bette and Beverly Hills
The process by which one place stops being home and another starts — it’s a mysterious thing. It happens, most often, when we’re not paying attention. And sometimes, as it did for comedy writer and transplanted East Coaster Janis Hirsch, it happens in stages. First she started to feel at home in Los Angeles; but it was only later, after a series of addresses and a run-in or two with Bette Davis, that she landed in the exact place that would be, finally, her home. HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network. NEW: The HOME mailing list is live. Sign up now for instant-ish notifications of new episodes, behind-the-scenes information about the show and bonus content. It’s free and ad-free, and we promise we’ll never ever ever sell your address or otherwise use your information to annoy you. Music: “Domestic Fun (a),” by Ernest Tomlinson “Prismatone,” by Podington Bear “Wook,” by Podington Bear “Star Prizes (a),” by Tony Kinsey “Lena Sequence,” by Roberto Prgiado “Jackie,” by Podington Bear “Fashion on Parade,” by Ronald Hanmer “Playmate,” by Podington Bear Thanks to Janis Hirsch and Larry Shulman.
28 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 14: Rose, Mercedes and The Days Of The Dead
Actress/writer/artist Rose Portillo lives in the house she was born into, in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles. It’s the annual scene of her legendary Day Of the Dead parties, and it was the setting for her family’s story of ascension, assimilation and culture clash — as well as the long, wary dance of accommodation, spanning life and death, that Rose has performed with the formidable spirit of her grandmother, Mercedes Mendoza Portillo. Music: “Los Chucos Suaves,” by Lalo Guerrero Y Sus Cinco Lobos “Pachuco Boogie,” by Cuartato Don Ramon Sr. “Solido “Joaquín,” by Dacita & her Orchestra “Ay Jalisco,” by Jorge Negrete “Chicano Boogie,” by Cuartato De Ramon Martinez “Chicas Patas Boogie,” by Lalo Guerrero Y Sus Cinco Lobos “El Bracero Y La Pachuca,” by Dueto Taxco Con Mariachi Caporales Del Norte “Los Blues,” by Don Tosti Y Su Trio Altar photo from Day Of The Dead 2009 (upper left) courtesy of CJ Gronner. Thanks to Rose Portillo, Roger Bowers and Mark B. Perry. To learn more about Young Theaterworks, go here.
17 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 13: A Pod To Call Your Own
Not a hotel, not a dorm, not quite a hostel, open by design and communitarian in spirit — Los Angeles-based PodShare is something else. And, potentially, something bigger: An affordable way to foster community in a city that’s increasingly stratified by class. This week, to start Season 3, it’s the story of one young entrepreneur and her unstoppable enthusiasm for her big idea. Music: “Happy Wanderer” by Louis Prima “Hey Bellboy” by Gloria Wood “On A Wing” by Podington Bear “Twinkle Toes” by Podington Bear Photo by Jay Kantor, courtesy Elvina Beck/PodShare
2 minutes | 5 years ago
Updates: New Season June 22, and Opening It Up To The Room
Here’s an audio update on the upcoming season. In extra bonus content — and let me stress that this is 100% free of cost to you, the home audience — I beg for your help! (That is, if you’re a social media or business development ninja.) Music: “Frosted Glass,” by Podington Bear
14 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 12: Home With A Side of Fries
It looks like a Hopper painting plunked incongruously down on a busy commercial street in West Los Angeles — The Apple Pan, home to freshly-baked pies and what hamburger aficionado George Motz says may be the best burger in America. But the affection Angelenos have for The Apple Pan only starts with the food. It’s an oasis, a rock, a spot out of time, essentially unchanged since the day it opened in 1947. It may not be the kind of place where everybody knows your name, but if you’ve been going there for a long time, as it seems like most of its customers have, it is the kind of place where the countermen most likely know your order. Warmth, familiarity, stability in a rapidly-changing landscape… aren’t these some of the things that make a place a home? Music: “Feather,” by Podington Bear “Equazione,” by Gianni Ferrio “Flute A La Carte,” from Capitol Complete Production Music “Route 66,” by Bobby Troup “Forecasting,” by Podington Bear Thanks to Sunny Sherman and Martha Gamble of The Apple Pan, 10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. George Motz of Hamburger America visited The Apple Pan a couple of years ago for his Travel Channel series “Burger Land.” Here’s an excerpt. And what are the odds, I happened to be having lunch there that day. That’s me half-obscured by the register at 00:38, sitting (uncharacteristically) on Hector’s side. Here’s a piece I wrote for Forbes when the great Manhattan burger joint Prime Burger closed its doors in 2012. This episode concludes HOME’s second season. We’ll be back in June with all-new stories; subscribe and you won’t miss a thing.
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