Best of Across The Margin 2019, Podcasts

As 2019 comes to its close, Across the Margin takes a look back at some of its most treasured moments from Across The Margin : The Podcast, and the ATM-affiliated film and television podcast Welcome To The Party Pal…

Throughout this final week of 2019, Across the Margin has been be seasoning the air with thanks for all those who have spent time within our pages while sharing our picks for the “Best of Across the Margin, 2019.” Our best-of compilations continues with a look at our choices for our finest podcasts released this year…

Across The Margin : The Podcast

We invite you to join along as host Michael Shields guides you deeper into the stories told at the online Arts & Cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as he takes you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, musicians, filmmakers and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere…

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Episode 55: Wasn’t That A Time With Jesse Jarnow

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In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast host Michael Shields welcomes author Jesse Jarnow to the podcast to discuss his latest work, Wasn’t That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of AmericaJesse Jarnow’s writing on music, technology, and culture has appeared via Pitchfork,, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and elsewhere, and he is a contributing editor at Relix. He is the author of Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America and Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie RockJesse hosts The Frow Show on the independent Jersey City radio station WFMU and is the host of the podcast Alternative Routes (Osiris Media). His latest, The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America, is a deeply insightful book which details the remarkable rise of Pete Seeger’s unlikely band of folk heroes, from basement hootenannies to the top of the charts, and the harassment campaign that brought them down.


Episode 57: The Bounce and The Echo With Ian Johnson

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In this episode of Across The Margin:The Podcast listeners are introduced to the latest release from ATM Publishing, The Bounce and The Echo, with an interview with author Ian Johnson. Ian is a former pro basketball player who, for the first three decades of his existence, saw his life revolve entirely around the game. Ian played high school basketball at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy alongside Carmelo Anthony, was a star player during his four years at Davidson College in the lead up to the Stephen Curry era, and went on to play five years of professional basketball in Europe. He won multiple championships and a large number of personal accolades along the way, but Ian spent his career living a double life, both as a committed athlete who thrived on competition and as a skeptical observer who struggled to accept that he was devoting his soul to a game. Ian was a star in a cutthroat system, yet also an unwitting cog, his outward personality indentured to a sport, a fact he didn’t fully understand until he tried to walk away from the game at the age of 27. The Bounce and The Echo is a memoir enriched by the enthralling history of the sport of basketball, from its inception unto its current state. It is the story of one person’s attempt to discover himself anew while on a venture to find peace with a game he so desperately wanted to love. The Bounce and The Echo is a story for every athlete who has ever picked up a ball and wondered why, and a book for anyone who has ever wanted to know what happens to a star athlete once the spotlight fades away. In this episode, we learn what compelled Ian to write such a vulnerable and telling memoir, what the word “Dying” in the subtitle of the book truly refers to, how Ian’s struggles with mental health threatened his career and well-being, what the game of basketball and sports in general can better do to prepare athletes for life’s challenges, and much, much more.


Episode 58: Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero With Eric Mahoney

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In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast host Michael Shields sits down with filmmaker/musician Eric Mahoney to take a look back at the legacy and genius of the the Dayton-based indie-rock band Brainiac (3RA1N1AC). On the cusp of a major label deal and breaking into the mainstream, Brainiac’s lead singer and driving force, Tim Taylor, died tragically in a car accident halting the band’s trajectory and forever affecting everyone in Taylor’s orbit. Mahoney’s documentary, Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero, explores Brainiac’s rise to prominence and dissects the intricacies of their unique sound, one that was light years ahead of its time. The documentary intimately whisks viewers into the lives of those closest to Taylor as they attempt to recover from, and process, the fallout from such a monumental loss. Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero celebrates the life and creativity of one of rock music’s unsung heroes, exploring with humor and heart the way in which individuals cope with the changes that extreme and sudden loss precipitate.

Eric Mahoney is a Dayton, OH born musician and filmmaker now residing in Brooklyn, NY. He fronted the band Murder Your Darlings and his film work has been screened at Tribeca, Cannes, and numerous other festivals around the world. His film, Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero, features interviews with artists who were deeply affected and influenced by Brainiac such as Fred Armisen (who played drums in the Chicago band Trenchmouth before his SNL career), Nirvana/PJ Harvey producer Steve Albini, The National’s Matt Berninger, Cedric Bixler-Zavalaformer of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta, Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, the Jesus Lizard’s David Yow, and more.


Episode 61: Between Me and My Mind With Steven Cantor

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In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast host Michael Shields interviews filmmaker Steven Cantor about his latest film Between Me and My Mind, a documentary providing an in-depth and personal look at the life and career of Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. Steven Cantor is best known as the director of such hit documentaries as Dancer (2017), Chasing Tyson(2015), loudQUIETloud: A Film About Pixies (2011), and What Remains (2007). He is also the producer of such films as STEP (2017), Devil’s Playground (2002), Reporter (2011) and Unraveled(2012). He is the founder of NY-based Stick Figure Productions, and the topics of his films have encompassed Willie Nelson, ballet star Sergei Polunin, photographer Sally Mann, boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, musician James Blake, and more.

Between Me and My Mind finds Cantor following Trey Anastasio as he writes songs and prepares for the band’s 2017 New Year’s Eve concert at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. In addition, it tracks Anastasio through the writing and recording of his deeply personal new solo album Ghosts of the Forest, which came out in April. This podcast episode offers a behind the scenes look at a film that offers an in depth look at the life and career of Anastasio while shining a light on the massive heart and creative force behind a modern day rock n’ roll legend.


Episode 64: William S. Burroughs & The Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll 

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In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast host Michael Shields sits down with author Casey Rae to learn more about his deeply insightful release, William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll. William S. Burroughs’s fiction and essays are legendary, but his influence on music’s counterculture has been less well documented — until now. Examining how one of America’s most controversial literary figures altered the destinies of many notable and varied musicians, William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll reveals the transformations in music history that can be traced to Burroughs. In this episode, Michael and Casey bring to life Burroughs’s parallel rise to fame among daring musicians of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, when it became a rite of passage to hang out with the author or to experiment with his cut-up techniques for producing revolutionary lyrics (as both the Beatles and Radiohead did). They converse on the plethora of musicians influenced by Burroughs, the aleatory literary style known as the cut-up technique championed by Burroughs that was employed by many notable artists, the amount of research it took Casey to bring this book to life, and much, much more. Join in on a celebration of William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a book that finally gives Burroughs his just due in the pantheon of rock ‘n’ roll!


Episode 66: Ida Mae With Christopher Turpin

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In this episode, Across The Margin: The Podcast celebrates the Nashville-based roots rock outfit Ida Mae through an interview with one half of the duo, guitarist and vocalist Christopher Turpin. Ida Mae, comprising the teaming of Christopher Turpin and vocalist Stephanie Jean Ward, recently released their debut album entitled Chasing Lights which blends elements of vintage Delta blues and gritty rock ‘n’ roll with bold modern arrangements and audacious punk swagger. Ida Mae’s music is sincere and honest, where a classic Americana sound is bolstered by rocking British blues moments. Notably, Turpin and Ward achieved a considerable amount of stardom throughout Europe with the alternate rock band Kill It Kid, but despite the successes the duo decided to move on from Kill It Kid, following their hearts towards playing the sort of Americana roots rock music that inspired them to become musicians in the first place. In this episode, the conversation centers around Ida Mae’s musical influences, their decision to move on from Kill It Kid after a major record deal turned sour, the intricacies of their stunning debut album (crafted with legendary producer Ethan Johns), life on the road (with Greta Van Fleet, Blackberry Smoke, Marcus King, The Lone Bellow, etc.), and much, much more.


Episode 67: The War and Treaty Episode

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Recently The War and Treaty — the husband and wife duo of Michael and Tanya Trotter — were named Emerging Act of the Year at the 2019 Americana Music Association Awards in Nashville. In the wake of this prestigious honor, Across The Margin : The Podcast is proud to feature an interview with the extremely talented duo that comprise this exciting act. In what amounts to a celebration of the soulful, heartfelt gospel-inspired music of The War and Treaty, this episode draws you into the world of a remarkably talented act that appear to be just warming up. As The War and Treaty, Michael and Tanya serve up funky bass lines, keys, lap steel, acoustic strings, and stripped-down percussion to create a swampy Southern soul bed for the couple’s superior vocals. Their latest album, Healing Tide, is an enchanting testament to the group’s talents, and an inspiring tour de force of a release rife with themes of unity, devotion, and above all else, love. In this episode, Michael and Tanya Trotter reveal the details behind their fateful meeting and discuss their musical and personal influences all while expounding upon their remarkable backstories (which includes the extraordinary tale of Michael’s time in the U.S. Army and at war in Iraq which unbelievably steered his life toward a career in music). Join in on a tribute to one of the most intriguing and affecting up and coming bands in all of Americana music.


Episode 68: Climate Change & The Future with Samuel Miller-McDonald

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In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields converses with author and researcher Samuel Miller-McDonald about Climate Change, exploring its intricacies from a vast array of crucial and compelling angles. Samuel Miller-McDonald is a regular essayist at such notable publications as Current AffairsThe New Republic, and The Baffler (to name but a few!). Currently, Miller-McDonald is working towards his PhD at the University of Oxford, researching the intersection of grassroots movements and energy transition. Through a deep dive into Samuels hard-hitting, timely, and important articles, this episode explores the absurdities of our current fossil-fueled food system, the under-discussed scandal of the U.S. bipartisan commitment to fossil fuels, how a new generation of authoritarian leaders are using Climate Change to seize power, what millennials can do to fight Climate Change, and ultimately, what decarbonized, climate-resilient, and equitable cities of tomorrow could look like.


Episode 69: Beyond The Known

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In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields sits down with longtime Across The Margin: The Podcast contributor Georg Guidotti to examine the latest release from Paul SeligBeyond The Known: Realization. As the story goes, in 1987 a spiritual experience left Paul Selig clairvoyant. Since then, Selig has established himself as one of the foremost spiritual channels in the self-help world. Expanding on and transcending his previous work, the first volume in the Beyond the Known trilogy, Realization, is composed of the pure, unedited words of “The Guides” as they share their wisdom and knowledge through Selig. It serves a psychological-spiritual guide to take readers beyond the perceived limitations of accepted reality and open their minds to ultimate manifestation. Throughout the episode, which marks George Guidotti’s 6th appearance on Across The Margin: The Podcast, Michael and George reveal how they personalized the timeless teachings found in Realization while expounding upon the ways the message of The Guides can be interpreted and applied to everyday life. Before the episode comes to its conclusion, a comparison is made between the weighty themes in Realization to Phish frontman Trey Anastasio’s Ghosts of The Forest project, which leads to an in-depth discussion concerning friendship, death, and the potential of an afterlife.


Episode 72: The G Love Interview

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Across The Margin: The Podcast offers up a career-spanning interview with G. Love, famed frontman of the band G. Love & Special Sauce, now on the cusp of his latest album release, The Juice. Born Garrett Dutton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, G. Love grew up equally enthralled with folk, blues, and rap, devouring everything from Lead Belly and Run D.M.C. to John Hammond and the Beastie Boys. After migrating to Boston, he and his band, Special Sauce, broke out in 1994 with their Gold-selling self-titled album debut, earning widespread critical acclaim for its bold vision and adventurous production. Over the next twenty-five years, G. Love would go on to release seven more similarly lauded studio albums with his band the Special Sauce (plus four solo albums on his own), solidifying his place in music history as a genre-bending pioneer.

On January 17th, 2020 G. Love & Special Sauce release their latest album, the bluesy, political-fueled The Juice. Recorded in Nashville with co-writer and co-producer Keb Mo, The Juice features appearances by a slew of heavy hitters in the music industry, including Robert Randolph, Marcus King, and Roosevelt Collier. G. Love is also currently celebrating the anniversaries of two milestone albums — the self-titled G. Love & Special Sauce (1994) and Philadelphonic (1999) — and this episode takes a look back on his diverse and successful career while looking forward to an exciting future to come.



Welcome To The Party Pal: The Mind-Bending Film & Television Podcast You Didn’t Know You Needed!

Welcome to the Party Pal is the mind-bending film and television podcast you didn’t know you needed. Hosted by Mitch Lucas (filmmaker) and Michael Shields (writer/editor), WTTPP is a celebration of the art of cinema and filmmaking, where movies and television shows are meticulously dissected and analyzed to evaluate their grandeur (or, conversely when necessary, lament their shortcomings). Guests will include the filmmakers and industry insiders that craft the works of art that inhabit the current zeitgeist. All spoilers, all the time…listeners be warned!

Episode 25: The Bill Paxton Episode

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The Welcome To The Party Pal team invites you to join in on a celebration of the career of one of the most gifted character actors in modern times, Bill Paxton. With 97 acting credits to his name, including films such as The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Near Dark, Tombstone, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, Titanic, Edge of Tomorrow, and Nightcrawler, and also starring in the HBO drama series Big Love, Paxton’s mark on the film and television landscape was profound. To celebrate such a mammoth and nuanced talent, WTTPP secured help from comedian and host of the Amigos Podcast, Mike Finoia, and the host of the Grateful Dead-centric Brokedown Podcast, Jonathan Hart, who aid in providing insight and dramatically enliven a tribute to the only actor to play characters killed by a Terminator, a Predator and an Alien (xenomorph)!


Episode 31: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

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Welcome To The Party Pal journeys back to 1969 Los Angeles to celebrate the 9th film by acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,everything is changing as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. To aid in the dissection of the film, this episode features filmmaker and comedian Mitch Lucas. Mitch’s short films (Shogun of the Upper East Side, the forthcoming Coin Catcher, etc.) have been featured at festivals nationwide and his sketches (“Cash for Pizza” / “The Reunion”) can be found on Funny Or Die .


Episode 32: Chasing The Moon with Roger Stone

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Episode 32 delves into Chasing the Moon, a film by Robert Stone, a six-hour documentary series about the space race that journeys from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969 and beyond. Chasing the Moon thoroughly reimagines the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort. The three-part series recasts the Space Age as a fascinating stew of scientific innovation and PR savvy, political calculation and media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama. While other documentaries have largely painted a familiar narrative of goals set, obstacles overcome, disasters averted and missions accomplished, Chasing the Moon tells a vastly more entertaining and surprising story. As the film reveals, the drive to land a man on the moon was fueled as much by politics as it was by technology and was a controversial undertaking during a volatile time.

To thoroughly examine the impressiveness of Chasing The Moon, this episode features an interview with its producer/writer/director Robert Stone. Robert Stone is a multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker.


Episode 33: Succession, Season 2

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Welcome To The Party Pal invites listeners into the sordid, captivating world of HBO’s SuccessionSuccession is an American satirical comedy-drama television series created by Jesse Armstrong that centers on the fictional Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of a global media and hospitality empire. The series features an ensemble cast which includes Brian Cox, Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, Natalie Gold, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, and J. Smith-Cameron (among others!). In this episode, the unique appeal of Succession is analyzed while the remarkable ensemble cast is hailed. With a focus on the recently concluded Season 2, the fallout from a riveting season finale is examined, characters motives and morals queried to sort out just who is the most heartless and evil, and the conversation concludes with speculation about what may lie ahead in Season 3 for the Roy family and their embattled empire. Aiding in the dissection of Season 2’s excellence is friend of the pod / podcaster / Succession aficionado Justin Wells.


Episode 35: Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

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Welcome To The Party Pal invites you to experience a celebration of Martin Scorsese’s latest filmmaking epic, The Irishman. The film is a 2019 American crime flick directed and produced by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, with solid co-star performances by Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, and Anna Paquin (to name but a few!). The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman and gets involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family, including his time working for the powerful Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Released by Netflix with limited theatrical release on November 1st, 2019, to be followed by digital streaming on November 27th, 2019, The Irishman has been met with heaps of critical acclaim. In this latest podcast episode hosts Michael Shields and filmmaker (and latest member of the WTTPP team!) Mitch Lucas dissect the weighty themes present in the film, hail the incredible acting performances found within, and consider the fascinating real-life story behind this murderous tale. On top of all that, Michael and Mitch mull over the merits of directors working with and releasing films via Netflix, and then dig into Scorsese’s recent criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Episode 37: The End of the F***ing World

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Welcome To the Party Pal meticulously explores the in-and-outs of the fascinating British dark comedy / drama television program The End of the F***ing World. The End of the F***ing World, which is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman, follows James (Alex Lawther), a 17-year-old who believes himself to be a psychopath, and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), a rebellious classmate who sees in James a chance to escape from her tumultuous home life. To properly break down the two seasons of the compelling breakout hit series, the WTTPP team turns to Jonathan Hart (from the famed WTTPP Bill Paxton Episode) for help. Jonathan Hart is the host of the Brokedown Podcast and a co-host of the Helping Friendly Podcast, both on the Osiris Podcast Network, and with his assistance this episode fashions itself a must-hear The End of the F***ing World companion guide that gives an emphatic hat-tip to the brilliant musical choices (Graham Coxon!) made by the showrunners.

Learn more about Jonathan Hart’s podcasts (Breakdown Podcast / Helping Friendly Podcast) at!


Episode 38: Watchmen

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Welcome To The Party invites you to a deconstruction / celebration of Season One of HBO’s Watchmen. Watchmen is a superhero drama television series that continues the 1987 DC Comics series Watchmen, created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The television series was created by Damon Lindelof for HBO, with Lindelof serving as executive producer and writer. Its remarkable ensemble cast includes Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, and Hong Chau.

To aid in the breakdown of this compelling, weighty, and ground-braking “remix” of the original comic series, this episode features comedian and Watchmen aficionado Terry Thomas Jr. Terry, who hails from Bessemer, Alabama, started his comedy career in 2010, and since then his career has been on the rise. He was a stand-out at the 2016 LA Comedy Festival via Sirius FM, he can be seen on several episodes of the hit television show Impractical Jokers, and can be found performing on the regular at New York City’s famed Comedy Cellar.


Stay Tuned for more thought-provoking and enlightening podcasts coming your way in 2020!








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