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Author: Bill Barol

Update: Not Podfade Away

Because I’m a mole person who comes late to everything I’ve only just discovered the term “podfading.” It’s a good term. It’s punchy. It’s descriptive. I like it. But because you’re a friend of the show and you I LOVE, it occurs to me that I owe you some clarity on this: It doesn’t describe what’s going on here at HOME. Pull up a chair and let me explain.

I published the most recent episode of HOME in December, then put up a “Gone Fishin'” sign and went on hiatus. That hiatus has gone on longer than I intended. There are a number of reasons for this, and some have nothing to do with the show. For example, my wife and I have taken two extended trips out of the country since January, which will put a serious dent in your ability to wrestle with Logic Pro. (Well. Could I have wrestled with Logic Pro while on safari in South Africa? Sure. Did I want to? No.)

The bigger reasons why this hiatus has distended, though, do have to do with the show, and some thinking I needed to do about its future. I sketched some of these issues out in an update in February. Mostly I needed to think about sustainability, about how to continue to do good work as a solo operator, and how to avoid the entropic spiral the term “podfading” describes. I needed to think long and clearly about big things, like what I want this show to be, and smaller ones, like the mechanics of the process through which I bring it to you. Frankly, I also needed to reconnect to the spirit of energy and enthusiasm in which I launched the show back in the fall of 2015.

I’m glad to say I’ve done all these things, and they’ve been good for me, and — much more to the point — good for the show. As of this morning HOME HQ is reopened for business. Plans are in place to fix some of the under-the-hood issues that dogged me in seasons 1 to 4. (You don’t care, believe me; they mostly have to do with stuff like publicity and marketing, and also with getting some help in editorial research.) Meanwhile, preliminary reporting for Season 5 is underway. The show will relaunch this summer. Sometime. Do I have a date in mind? Not yet. Will I keep you posted? You bet, because you’re my favorite, {your name here}!

I sincerely appreciate the kind things listeners and friends in the podcasting community have had to say about HOME, and the patience you’ve shown while I tried to figure out the best way forward. I hope you’ll agree with me that the time off was worth it.

See you soon.

“Let’s get back to work.” — Assoc. Producer Scout

 

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:

Photo: Cape Town, January 2017

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:

Thanks once again to Charles Phoenix.

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:

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. 

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:

Special thanks to Ellen Barol, Peter Clark and Jennifer Cecil.

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:

5-x-7-1Thanks 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. 

 

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Groundbreaking, October 1947 (Courtesy Cory Buckner)

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Buckner House (formerly MHA site office): Photo by John Dooley

Meanwhile, on another podcast…

HOME returns for Season 4 in October. In the meantime, here’s a story I told at a recent live recording for the excellent Two Truths And A Lie podcast. It was my first time doing a live storytelling event, and I think the half a beer I was brave enough to down pre-performance may have helped create the illusion of confidence. (Two Truths records at Angel City Brewery in downtown L.A., so they were in essence our hosts and look, I didn’t want to be rude.)

You can, and should, subscribe to Two Truths And A Lie here.

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:

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