110 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.

Across the Margin: The Podcast Osiris Media


    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 20 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.

    Episode 109: Sun Ra's Chicago

    Episode 109: Sun Ra's Chicago

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with author and Associate Professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago, William Sites. Sites’ first book, entitled Remaking New York: Primitive Globalization and the Politics of Urban Community, focused on the transformation of New York City during the final quarter of the twentieth century. His latest — which is the focus of this episode — is entitled Sun Ra’s Chicago: Afrofuturism and the City, a book that can be aptly described as a comprehensive exploration of the formative years of American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet Sun Ra. Sun Ra’s Chicago persists as much more than simply a biography, but an analysis of the urban spaces and relationships that shaped the transcendent musician into the otherworldly philosophical leader of his band, the Arkestra. Sun Ra, born Sonny Blount, was one of the most wildly prolific and eccentric figures in the history of music. Renowned for extravagant performances in which his Arkestra appeared in neo-Egyptian garb, the keyboardist and bandleader espoused an interstellar cosmology that claimed the planet Saturn as his true home. In Sun Ra’s Chicago, Sites brings this grandiose musician back to Earth — specifically to Chicago’s South Side, where from 1946 to 1961 the accomplished artist lived and relaunched his career. The postwar South Side of Chicago was a hotbed of unorthodox religious and cultural activism. It was an unruly musical crossroads where Sun Ra drew from a diverse array of intellectual and musical sources — from radical nationalism, revisionist Christianity, and science fiction to jazz, blues, Latin dance music, and pop exotica — to construct a philosophy and performance style that imagined a new identity and future for African Americans. Sun Ra’s Chicago shows that late twentieth-century Afrofuturism emerged from a deep, utopian engagement with the city — and that by excavating the postwar black experience of Sun Ra’s South Side surroundings, we can come to see the possibilities of urban life in new ways. In this episode host Michael Shields and William Sites converse about Sun Ra's birthplace of Birmingham, Alabama and examine how the city’s extraordinarily vibrant musical culture began to shape a young Sonny Blount. They then explore Sun Ra’s time in Chicago, where he grew to fame gigging at Club DeLisa and in Calumet City as they explore the myriad of influences and relationships (particularly his friendship with Alton Abraham) that became central to the development of his music and mythology. Ultimately, this episode serves as an ode to the legend and legacy of Sun Ra and serves as a celebration of the intergalactic genius of a true visionary.


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    Episode 108: The Art of The Interview & New Beginnings with Jimmy Chairman

    Episode 108: The Art of The Interview & New Beginnings with Jimmy Chairman

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast introduces you to producer, writer, filmmaker, and media expert Jimmy Chairman. From 2006 until 2020 Chairman interviewed celebrities for a living. All told, he conducted over 10,000 interviews. On the red carpet night in and night out working for E! Entertainment — in the channel’s heyday — Chairman admirably picked the brains of the world's most famous actors, athletes, and artists. Beyond his work on the red carpet, Chairman helms his own production company, Chairman Media, and has been releasing captivating content across a bevy of platforms for decades. In this episode host Michael Shields and Jimmy Chairman confer upon the art of interviewing while considering their shared experiences conversing with thought leaders and artists. They celebrate the opportunities that working in media and television offer, while Chairman recounts a myriad of magical moments and encounters across his many years in showbusiness. Chairman also expounds upon his latest venture, an enterprise called Fix Your Shot, which is a leading hands-on videoconferencing aesthetics support company. Chairman even makes time, throughout the diversified conversation, to share his theory — potentially confirmed by writer and executive producer Terence Winter — of how The Sopranos really concluded, and much, much more.
     
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 107: Row with Daniel Goldstein

    Episode 107: Row with Daniel Goldstein

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast celebrates, through an interview with director and playwright Daniel Goldstein, the release of the inspiring new musical Row, adapted from the moving memoir A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure. Goldstein has directed over 100 plays and musicals worldwide, including work at major theaters across the United States and Asia. He was most recently represented on Broadway by the revival of Godspell and his Off Broadway credits include Walmartopia, Indoor / Outdoor, and Lower Ninth, to name a few. As a writer, Goldstein is currently under commission by the Public Theater, for which he recently wrote the musical adaptation of Tori Murden McClure's aforementioned memoir A Pearl in the Storm with singer/songwriter Dawn Landes. Row, which tells parallel stories of Tori’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat and through her life, is a heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story of finding your heart in the middle of the ocean. It was scheduled to make its stage debut at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in the summer 2020. Instead Row just made its world premiere as a recording available on Audible. In this episode host Michael Shields and Daniel Goldstein discuss the complexities of Tori Murden McClure’s inspiring journey across the Atlantic, the unique challenges of bringing a musical to life amid the pandemic, the weighty themes present in Row (faith, isolation, self-doubt, fear), the outstanding sound design featured in the performance, and ultimately, they celebrate the birth of the first ever traditional book musical.


    Listen to Row now at Audible!
     
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    • 34 min
    Episode 106: Louder Than Bombs with Ed Vulliamy

    Episode 106: Louder Than Bombs with Ed Vulliamy

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Ed Vulliamy, former reporter for The Guardian and The Observer. He is the author of Amexica: War Along the Borderline and The War is Dead, Long Live the War — Bosnia: The Reckoning. His latest book Louder Than Bombs — part memoir, part reportage — is a story of music from the front lines. In Louder Than Bombs, Vulliamy offers a testimony to his lifelong passion for music. Vulliamy’s reporting has taken him around the world to cover the Bosnian War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism, the Iraq wars of 1991 and 2003, narco violence in Mexico, and more. All places where he confronted stories of violence, suffering, and injustice. Through it all, Vulliamy has turned to music not only as a reprieve but also as a means to understand and express the complicated emotions that follow. Describing the artists, songs, and concerts that most influenced him, in Louder Than Bombs Vulliamy unites the two largest threads of his life — music and war. Vulliamy’s book is a wildly exciting and informative journey that covers some of the most important musical milestones of the past fifty years, from Jimi Hendrix playing “Machine Gun” at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 to the Bataclan in Paris under siege in 2015. Vulliamy was present for many of these historic moments, and with him as our guide, we see them afresh through his unique perspective, along the way meeting musicians like B.B. King, Graham Nash, Patti Smith, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, and Bob Dylan. As Vulliamy discovers, when horror is unspeakable and when words seem to fail us, we can turn to music for expression and comfort, or for rage and pain. Poignant and sensitively told, Louder Than Bombs is an unforgettable record of a life bursting with music. In this episode host Michael Shields and Vulliamy converse upon the cathartic power of music while waxing poetically about the ways musicians channel and give birth music. They explore Vulliamy’s interactions with B.B. King and his experience seeing Jimi Hendrix mere days before his passing while recounting the importance of a band called The Plastic People of the Universe around the fall of the Berlin Wall, and ultimately celebrate Graham Nash’s aim to change the world through music, and so much more.
     
     
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    • 49 min
    Episode 105: Up From Nothing with John Hope Bryant

    Episode 105: Up From Nothing with John Hope Bryant

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader John Hope Bryant, in a thought-provoking episode which centers on Bryant’s latest book, Up From Nothing. Using the inspiring story of his own rise from humble beginnings, and that of his parents and grandparents, Up From Nothing sets out to display how individually we can change our mindset from survivor to thriver to winner, and move beyond just getting by or being financially independent, to becoming wildly successful. John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, the largest non-profit provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment services in the United States for youth and adults. The last five U.S. presidents have recognized his work, and he has served as an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents from both political parties. He is responsible for financial literacy becoming the policy of the U.S. federal government and he has been named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “The Power 100 Most Influential Atlantans of 2020,” Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Most Admired CEOs” in 2018, and one of Time magazine’s “50 Leaders for the Future." He has received hundreds of awards and citations for his work, including Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life Award, and the John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education from the U.S. Treasury. In this episode, host Michael Shields and Bryant discuss American optimism while expounding upon how valuable a positive mindset and believing in yourself can be. Bryant also shares his Five Pillars of Success, a roadmap to success he believes every American should have access to, and ultimately Bryant celebrates the idea that America will be a much stronger and happier place if we were to make the effort to invest in each other’s success and well being.
     
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    • 32 min
    Episode 104: Saint Disruption's Jeff Firewalker Schmitt

    Episode 104: Saint Disruption's Jeff Firewalker Schmitt

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with musician, folk healer, ceremonialist, and scientist Jeff Firewalker Schmitt. Schmitt, along with renowned jazz musician John Medeski (of Medeski Martin & Wood), have formed a musical collaborative called Saint Disruption bringing together musicians, video artists, and visionaries to create music, art, and experiences that explore the human condition. Saint Disruption, in conjunction with its record label Root Doctor Media, is a model for harnessing collective wisdom, self-organization, recording technology and creative artistry to create compelling works of beauty. Profits from their works are used to support the greater good through alliances with NGOs and nonprofits. Schmitt is also the founder of the Eagle Condor Council and Tobacco Freedom, and is an advocate for indigenous healing and wisdom traditions while working closely with the Wisdom Keepers. As both a noted scientist and practitioner of Peruvian Folk medicine, he seeks to build bridges of understanding. He is a challenging and evocative speaker/storyteller who in 2011 presented the first TEDx talk on Ayahuasca — inspired by his life-changing sojourn with the Secoya of the Amazon rainforest. In this episode host Michael Shields and Jeff Firewalker Schmitt dig into the origins of, and inspiration behind, Saint Disruption, discuss the charitable aims of the collective, explore the profoundly socially conscious themes of the music, and speculate on all that might lie ahead for this exciting, multi-faceted project. 
     
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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 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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