145 episodes

Host Michael Shields brings you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online literary and cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, activists, musicians, and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere.
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Across the Margin: The Podcast Across the Margin / Osiris Media

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 21 Ratings

Host Michael Shields brings you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online literary and cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, activists, musicians, and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Episode 145: Chris Forsyth's Evolution Here We Come

    Episode 145: Chris Forsyth's Evolution Here We Come

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with musician Chris Forsyth. It isn't hyperbole to describe Chris as one of rock’s most gifted improvisers. Chris got his start in Brooklyn's experimental circles in the early 2000s and promptly grew into a masterful technical player. As the bandleader of Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, he composed mostly instrumental pieces that channeled both the psychedelic jamming of the Grateful Dead and the precision of art-punk guitar acts like Television. Whether with the Solar Motel Band or on his other solo projects, Chris sources from an extensive pool of influences — psychedelia, folk, noise, classic rock — melding the varying influences into Chris’s own brand of cerebral improvisational rock. Chris’s latest album — the focus of this episode — is entitled Evolution Here We Come, a largely instrumental album and a powerful and driving work of art. Featuring contributions from Douglas McCombs (Tortoise), Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Linda Pitmon (The Baseball Project), Tom Malach (Garcia Peoples), Ryan Jewell (Ryley Walker), and co-producer Dave Harrington (Darkside), Evolution Here We Come is seven sprawling sonic journeys that exhibit just how talented of a guitarist Chris persists as. In this episode host Michael Shields and Chris Forsyth discuss how music from the 80s and bands such as ZZ Top influenced Evolution Here We Come while talking about what it was like co-producing the album with Dave Harrington (Darkside). They recount how Chris was able to get Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra) to play on the album, what it meant to cover Richard Thompson’s “You’re Going To Need Somebody,” his forthcoming tour with Meg Baird, and so much more.


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    • 38 min
    Episode 144: Kenny Roby's Kenny Roby

    Episode 144: Kenny Roby's Kenny Roby

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Woodstock, New York via North Carolina singer-songwriter Kenny Roby. Roby is the former lead singer of 6 String Drag, which he formed with bassist Rob Keller in the early 1990s, a band which quickly became one of the more notable bands of the Americana movement. The band's style ranged from old style country with a hint of soul and gospel to rock. While 6 String Drag broke up in the late 1990s, Roby continues to make records and play live shows with the Mercy Filter, which includes Scott McCall of $2 Pistols. Roby has released seven solo albums, his latest album — the focus of the episode — is self-titled and written and recorded in Woodstock, NY. Throughout Kenny Roby, the gifted storyteller embraces the spirits of songwriters who once inhabited the very same hills like Fred Neil, Van Morrison, Tim Hardin, Karen Dalton, Bobby Charles, Levon Helm and, of course, Bob Dylan. Over the album's dozen tracks, Roby — supported by a cast including Daniel Littleton (guitars), Jeff Hill (bass), Tony Leone (drums) and superb guest vocals from Amy Helm and the legendary John Sebastian on harmonica — takes us on a sprawling walk through the neighborhood of his mind. In this episode host Michael Shields and Kenny Roby discuss Kenny Roby’s genesis and the themes present in the album. They talk about the outstanding players on the album such as Amy Helm and John Sebastian while exploring how living in Woodstock, New York led to who contributed to the album’s enthralling sound. They discuss Roby’s friendship and working relationship with Neal Casal and the gifts that deep acquaintanceship still award Roby, and so much more. 


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    • 53 min
    Episode 143: The National's Boxer with Ryan Pinkard

    Episode 143: The National's Boxer with Ryan Pinkard

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with author Ryan Pinkard, a music journalist from Denver, Colorado. Pinkard is the author of the new 33 1/3 book, Boxer, which is the focus of this episode. Boxer is a comprehensive and enlightening oral history of the band that traces The National's early career and struggles, culminating in the creation of their watershed album. He has just begun work on his second book for 33 1/3's new Genre series, in which he'll explore the ethereal genre of Shoegaze. We all know the story of the Boxer. That grisly, bruised American allegory of a fighter who somehow gets up more times than he's knocked down. Pinkard’s 33 1/3 book, Boxer, chronicles the fight that nearly broke The National but turned out to be the one that allowed them to become champions. Released in 2007, The National's fourth full-length album is the masterpiece that veritably saved them. For fans, Boxer is a profound personal meditation on the unmagnificent lives of adults, an elegant culmination of their sophisticated songwriting, and the first National album many fell in love with. For the band, Boxer symbolizes an obsession, a years-long struggle, a love story, a final give-it-everything-you've-got effort to keep their fantasy of being a real rock band alive. Based on extensive original interviews with the fighters who were in the ring and the spectators who witnessed it unfold, Pinkard obsessively reconstructs a transformative chapter in The National's story, revealing how the Ohio-via-Brooklyn five-piece found the sound, success, and spiritual growth to evolve into one of the most critically acclaimed bands of their time. In this episode host Michael Shields and Ryan Pinkard dive deeply into what made Boxer such a game-changing album for The National while exploring the challenges and pressures the band faced while working on bringing the album to life. They discuss the importance of lead singer Matt Berninger’s wife Carin becoming his lyric writing partner during the Boxer sessions and how that has shaped the band to this day. They converse upon the political climate of the day that inspired the album’s essence and, ultimately, they ruminate on what Boxer means to the band’s legacy and to their enduring success.
    Grab a copy of The National’s Boxer 33 ⅓ by Ryan Pinkard here!

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    • 46 min
    Episode 142: From The Hood to The Holler with Pat McGee

    Episode 142: From The Hood to The Holler with Pat McGee

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Pat McGee, a documentary director in both film and television who works to unearth character-driven stories that push to find common ground. Most recently, McGee directed and produced the award-winning From the Hood to the Holler — the focus of this episode — a feature on political activist Charles Booker of Kentucky, one of the rising stars of the progressive political movement. McGee’s other film credits are notable. Also this year he executive produced and directed the soon-to-be-released project about Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Former Latter Day Saints, for Warner Bros. / Discovery. His debut feature documentary, American Relapse, won feature documentary honors at film festivals across the country. In 2018, Vice TV launched the original Pat McGee Pictures series Dopesick Nation, a 10-part documentary about the opioid epidemic in Florida. In early 2020, Pat McGee directed and produced the feature documentary Bernie Blackout for Vice TV. Other documentary feature credits include The Deported featuring Rosario Dawson, From The Hood To The Holler finds political activist Charles Booker working to unite people of all socioeconomic backgrounds while fighting against big money in politics, voter suppression, and systemic corruption. Running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell, Charles Booker attempted one of the biggest upsets in political history by challenging establishment-backed candidate Amy McGrath. From The Hood To The Holler follows Booker’s campaign across Kentucky, from the most urban to the most rural settings, with Booker and his team rewriting the campaign playbook. Instead of exploiting divisions, they lean into the idea that average Kentuckians have common bonds, united by their shared day-to-day fight to survive. Booker works to represent Kentuckians, both Black and White, who feel entirely left out of the political process. In From the Hood to the Holler, McGee captures a young man finding his voice as a leader and his incredible journey against the odds. Booker’s message is simple: Whether you are from the city “hood” — like Booker — or the Appalachian “holler,” you are not invisible. In this episode host Michael Shields and Pat McGee discuss what makes Charles Booker such a special candidate, one that is particularly suited for tackling the problems facing Kentucky in these uncertain times. They discuss how genuine of a human and public servant Booker is, and how painful losses in his life and the Black Lives Matter movement affected his campaign and life. They expound upon Booker’s “New Southern Strategy,” his uncanny capacity to thoughtfully listen to his constituents on the campaign trail, his forthcoming electoral face off with Rand Paul in November, and so much more.
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    • 31 min
    Episode 141: Stupid Don't Get Tired with Alonzo Bodden

    Episode 141: Stupid Don't Get Tired with Alonzo Bodden

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with comedian Alonzo Bodden who has been making people laugh for over twenty years with many fans knowing him as a regular panel member on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. A professor of comedy and life, Bodden’ first big comedy break came when he was on the “New Faces of Comedy” showcase at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. However, it was as the season three winner of NBCʼs Last Comic Standing where Bodden was first introduced to America. Since then, he has starred in two comedy specials for Showtime: Historically Incorrect and Who’s Paying Attention. His television appearances include ABC’s Dr. Ken and Fresh Off the Boat, Dr. Phil, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and Californication. His latest comedy special, which is tremendous and the focus of this episode, is called Stupid Don’t Get Tired, a must-see performance that emphatically exhibits Bodden’s uniquely meaningful yet light-hearted approach, cunning worldview, and all around savvy. In this episode host Michael Shields and Bodden converse over a bevy of the themes present in his new stand-up special including COVID, cancel culture, pandemic dogs, being a self-described news junkie, anti-vaxxers, the 1989 Los Angeles Clippers, and beyond. They also dig into Bodden’s first forays into comedy, his widely popular aforementioned NPR podcast, jazz music, and so much more.
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    • 31 min
    Episode 140: Asking For a Friend with Joel Cummins

    Episode 140: Asking For a Friend with Joel Cummins

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with musician and founding member/keyboardist for the progressive rock band Umphrey's McGee, Joel Cummins. Joel’s keyboard wizardry is widely established throughout the music world. Beyond his heralded work with the increasingly popular, must-see live act that is Umphrey’s McGee, Joel has released impressive solo work and plays in bands with the likes of Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction, and Chris Poland of Megadeth. Beyond that, he has collaborated with such acclaimed artists as Huey Lewis, Joshua Redman, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Buddy Guy, Thundercat, A$AP Ferg, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, and Les Claypool. Throughout their now twenty-four year career, Umphrey’s McGee has slowly but surely become one of America’s most crowd pleasing live acts. The band has been completely DIY their entire existence and have been extremely successful at it without any major label or management influence. While grouped within the genre, Umphrey's McGee doesn't fit a traditional "jamband" mold. With elements of prog and classic rock, and even heavy metal, influencing their sound and live performances, Umphrey’s McGee is a unique and captivating beast of band, one which has fostered legions of hardcore fans and has propelled to the top of festival bills, annual multi-night stands at venues such as Red Rocks and the Beacon Theater, and an extremely successful touring career.  Their latest album, Asking For a Friend, — the focus of this episode — is the band’s fourteenth studio effort and it might be their most emotionally charged and powerful yet. The reason for this heightened potency is pandemic related. Recorded over the course of three sessions at three different studios during the pandemic, Asking For A Friend represents a new approach for Umphrey’s McGee. With less pressure to finish the album quickly due to the industry-wide pause caused by the pandemic, the band was able to spend more time perfecting each track. In this episode host Michael Shields and Joel Cummins discuss the fascinating way Asking For a Friend was recorded amid the pandemic while expounding upon the band’s songwriting process in general. They talk about the lyrical themes of the album, what it has been like adding the music from Asking For a Friend into their live repertoire, and a great deal more!
    Grab the vinyl or a digital copy of Asking For a Friend here!


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    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Daddy Unscripted Podcast ,

Fascinating Minds, INDEED!

There are so many excellent episodes to choose from with this podcast. And, I don't just find myself going to the ones that I immediately think: "Oh, yeah... that's in my wheelhouse". And bonus: the ones that aren't maybe something I would necessarily imagine myself being wowed by... I am usually very pleasantly surprised! Can't wait to see where else this podcast goes down these roads!

letsbabbleon ,

A podcast and a road trip

We were getting out of DC and driving to a new hiking location in VA. We decided to listen to Beyond the Margin's first podcast. As we were traveling through the winding roads of VA, the segment The Banjo came on. I could picture the father and son sitting on the porch of the houses we were passing by and I quickly got lost in the story. When we got to our location we had not finished the podcast. It was a sunny day out so we laid on the ground, starred up at the sky and listened to the segment Pinwheel. We sat around for awhile, not even realizing that the podcast had ended. We were both deep in our thoughts about a bond with a family member, a 30 second segment of our day and a chance encounter when we realized that we should start our hike.

We cannot wait for the next podcast and see where it will take us. Maybe it will be the next soundtrack to our road trip.

chazferrari ,

Wonderful story telling

For fans of The Moth, This American Life, and other story telling / journalistic shows with a bit more of an artistic flair. Great accompaniment to their online publications, which are also worth checking out. Looking forward to see how future episodes develop!

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