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the memory palace

Author: Nate DiMeo

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From public radio producer, Nate DiMeo, comes The Memory Palace, a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award and one of iTunes Best Podcast of 2015. Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, often a little bit of both.

"The most potent pieces of audio being produced today." - The AvClub

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The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm
279 Episodes
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A White Horse

A White Horse

2024-06-1211:371

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Radiotopia is a collective of independently owned and operated podcasts that’s a part of PRX, a not-for-profit public media company. If you’d like to directly support this show and independent media, you can make a donation at Radiotopia.fm/donate.  I have recently launched a newsletter. You can subscribe to it at thememorypalacepodcast.substack.com. This episode was originally released in 2016 in the days after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is re-released every year on the anniversary of the incident. A note on notes: We’d much rather you just went into each episode of The Memory Palace cold. And just let the story take you where it well. So, we don’t suggest looking into the show notes first.Notes and Reading:* Most of the specific history of the White Horse was learned from "Sanctuary: the Inside Story of the Nation's Second Oldest Gay Bar" by David Olson, reprinted in its entirety on the White Horse's website.* "Gayola: Police Professionalization and the Politics of San Francisco's Gay Bars, 1950-1968," by Christopher Agee.* June Thomas' series on the past, present, and future of the gay bar from Slate a few years back.* Various articles written on the occasion of the White Horse's 80th anniversary, including this one from SFGATE.Com* Michael Bronski's A Queer History of the United States.* Radically Gay, a collection of Harry Hay's writing.* Incidentally, I watched this interview with Harry Hay from 1996 about gay life in SF in the 30's multiple times because it's amazing.Music* We start with Water in Your Hands by Tommy Guerrero.* Hit Anne Muller's Walzer fur Robert a couple of times.* Gaussian Curve does Talk to the Church.* We get a loop of Updraught from Zoe Keating.* We finish on Transient Life in Twilight by James Blackshaw
Episode 218: Olga

Episode 218: Olga

2024-06-0618:111

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.A Note on Notes:I always prefer that the listener goes into each episode cold, not knowing what it's going to be about. So, you might want to tread carefully, as there are spoilers in the notes below. Music L'espagne pour memoire by Michel Portal Find me Tomorrow from Christophe Beck's score to Charlie Countryman The old Soviet philharmonic plays some Shostakovich. The London Symphony Orchestra plays The Blue Danube Waltz. We hear Walt by Mother Falcon. Sombolero by Luiz Bonfa Notes Like a lot of people below, say, 55, I first heard about Olga Fikotova-Connolly when reading her obituary in the New York Times. By far the best thing you can do if you want to know more about her is track down her out-of-print memoir, The Rings of Destiny, which, despite its rather puffed-up title, is so warm and detailed and intimate. It's a delight.  You might also enjoy this late-in-life interview with Olga as well. 
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.Music Traffico from Carlo Rustichelli's score to Divorzio All'Italiana and Una Braveta, from his score to Amici Miei. Tema Grottesco from Giovanni Fusco's score to L'avventura.  Gloving it from Moondog. Musica Bionda from the score to The Sweet Body of Deborah The Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra plays Natascha from the score to The Perfect Marriage.  Waltz from the Brendan Eder Ensemble Christa Schonfeldinger plays Grieg's Smarthold - der Kobold, on the glass armonica.
Episode 216: Awake

Episode 216: Awake

2024-04-1817:153

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.Music A synth stab from As if it Would Have a Universal and Memorable Ending by Shane Carruth's score to his film, Upstream Color, a movie I love deeply.  Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by the Platters The Girl Who was Frightened of Ashtrays by Charlie Megira Sambolero by Luiz Bonfa.  Water by So Percussion Divertimiento Fur Tenorsaxophon Und Kleines Ensemble (Part 4) from Carl Oesterhelt and Johannes Ender. Ball by Duval Timothy Piece 3 by the great Warren Ellis. Chora tua Tristeza from Lalo Schiffrin Growing Up from Ben Sollee's score to Maidentrip (Vibraphone, Marimbaphone, Malletted Wood, Two Synthesizers) and (Two Bells) by Josiah Steinbrick Main et lee from Michel Portal
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.Music Momento Ritmico and Papete aru by Piero Umiliani Opus 13 from Sven Libaek's score to The Set French Doll by Larry Ashmore and David Francis The wonderful Sewentuwa by Hailu Meriga Wave I by Elor Saxl Green by Hiroshi Yoshimura NotesI originally learned about the Elephantine Colossus years ago in David McCullough's Brooklyn... and How it Got That Way, which still holds up.
Episode 214: Newsboy

Episode 214: Newsboy

2024-03-2115:50

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.Music Un geant dans la mer and Triste soiree III from the score to Marie et les naufrages by the genius, Sebastian Tellier.  Love is Blue by Jackie Mittoo and the Soul Vendors. Rocky Passage by Jeremiah Chiu and Marta Sofia Honer Morris Visits Dr. Pratt from John Barry's score to The Wrong Box Adios Muchachos from Andre Popp Moonlight in Vermont from the great Dorothy Ashby.  Midnight Moon by The Portland Cello Project Dance PM by Hiroshi Yoshimura And we hear Blind Andy Jenkins' "Floyd Collins in Sand Cave" followed by Vernon Dalhart doing the same song under the name, "The Death of Floyd Collins." We also hear Jimmy Osbourne do Andy's, "The Death of Little Kathy Fiscus." Notes I have a note in my years-long running list of possible story ideas that says, "event songs," but I could never remember why. Then I was reading Charles Hirschberg and Mark Zwonitzer's, Will You Miss me When I'm Gone?: The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American Music and was reminded of Andy's story (that book is great). I also recommend the always-useful, Country Music USA, by Bill C. Malone for more on Andy and his era as well as Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity by Richard A. Peterson. If you want more about poor Floyd Collins, you could turn to Robert K. Murray and Roger W. Bruckner's, Trapped!: The Story of Floyd Collins.
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.Music Abisme by Shida Shahadi Ellen’s Image from Lalo Schiffiren’s genius score to The Fox Circulation by H. Takahasi Liquid Spear Waltz from Michael Andrews’ score to Donnie Darko A8 from a terrific record called NuNu by Clever Austin NotesI found a lot of insight in a terrific book called Extraordinary Beliefs by Peter Lamont. In it, there’s a smart historical, psychological exploration of why spiritualism was able to flourish despite all sorts of evidence opposing it. 
Episode 212: David Mills

Episode 212: David Mills

2024-02-1110:361

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music Una Bravata from Carlo Rustichelli’s score to Amici Miei. Sunshine on Fish Skin by Girls in Airports. The Vienna Glass Armonica Duo performs Mozart’s Adagio for Glass Harmonium. The Fellowship by John Shabason Notes The best read on Mills is a 2022 article by Nate Hopper in The New Yorker about the challenges of keeping time on the internet.
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music Je ne pas si c’est tout le monde - Theme Comedie from Vincent Delerm’s score to the film of the same, long name. Forbin’s Hi Fi from Michel Colombier’s score to Colossus: The Forbin Project Boo’s Lullaby by Maria Chiara Agriro and Jamie Leeming Helle (Ballade) from the great Phillipe Sarde score to that picture. L’Espagne pour memoire from Michel Portal’s score to Un et a la garoupe The Rain Never Stops on Venus by Michael Wollney Je t’ai meme pas dit by Vincent Delerm. From a Dream by Oregon A version of Narcisus for Clarinet and Electronics as played by Thea Musgrave. Notes Good sources if you want to know more are Peter Manseau’s book about spirit photography and the spiritualist age (Cutting intersects interestingly with that crea), The Apparitionists, as well as this article by Jerry Ryan about the history of aquariums in Boston.
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. This is a special holiday bonus episode, a sequel to Episode 210. You’ll want to listen to that one first. Music The Parisienne by the Henri Crolla Ensemble Violette… by Philippe Sarde Gift by Makasuta Takagi The Sammy Herman Sextet plays The Bells of St. Mary’s
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music I Believe in the Night by Keith Kenniff Improvisations sur les folies d’Espagne (extraits) from Marin Marais and Jordi Savall Finally by Lambert Voltige by Marin Lizotte Violin Solo no. 1 by Peter Broderick Fratres fur violin und klavier by Avro Part as played by Ursula Schloch and Marcel Worms Dungen by Henrik Lindstom Notes There are plenty of places to go to read about Smoky and Bill but why would want to go anywhere else than his book, Yorkie Doodle Dandy?
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music We move between three different pieces from Camille Saint-Saens': Suite, Op. 90: II Menuet, and two from Carnival of the Animals:Aviary and the Cuckoo in the Heart of the Woods. We hit Juneau from Danny Bensi and Sander Jurriaans' score to Wildlike. And The Waltz from their score to 5 to 7. And there's a total gem from George Mukabi called Dila Ni Dila in there too. Notes Do yourself a favor and read Frances Hamerstrom's autobiography, My Double Life: Memoirs of a Naturalist. Do your kids a favor and Jeannine Atkins take on Frances in her book Girls Who Looked Under Rocks. And then watch Frances teach David Letterman how to cook a snake.
Episode 209: Wake

Episode 209: Wake

2023-10-0714:215

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music Dave Pajo/Aerial M does Plastic Energy Man Patricia Rossborough played To a Wild Rose Mal Waldron plays Warm Canto We hear Muff Gets a Share from Joel P. West’s score to Band of Robbers We hear another song I absolutely love, Turned Out I Was Everyone, by Sasami We finish on Popcorn and Life from Ben Sollee’s lovely score to Maidentrip.
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music The Theory by Clem Leek Hiddensee by Caeys The Clock Tower by Hampshire and Foat Notes If you want to know more about Gardner, I’d suggest Witness to an Era: the Life and Photographs of Alexander Gardner, by Mark Katz. On Brady, Matthew Brady: Portraits of a Nation, by Robert Wilson. I’d also suggest reading the New York Times’ review of the exhibit. It’s pretty stunning.
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music Inception by radio.string.quintet.vienna Julie With by Group Listening Nice Breeze Isn’t It? by friend of the show, Simon Rackham Wet by Taylor Deupree Times Like This II by Jean Kopperud and Stephen Gosling Broad Channel by Bing and Ruth Cradle (with Akira) by ghost and tape Lithosphere by Caoimhin O Raghellagh and by Caoimhin O Raghelagh and Thomas Bartlett Notes You can find the website I mentioned here; it’s a one-stop shop, really, for information on the 6888t. .
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music Halcyon and Photosynteses and Embryo by H. Takehashi Intro by Library Tapes The Florist Wears Knee Breeches by M. Sage Notes I found Andrew Isenberg's book, The Destruction of the Bison, An Environmental History, completely fascinating. If you want to do a deep dive on Madison Grant, I'd recommend Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant by John Peter Spiro. If you want to do a deep dive on the Catalina Buffalo, this site is a fun place to start.
This show is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. This episode was originally released in November, 2015. Music * Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth’s Modesty Blaise score. * They first meet to a piece called Brouillard (version 1) from Georges Delaure’s extraordinary score to Jules et Jim. (A second version comes in later when J.J. Audubon is living the high life in England). * We also hear Waltz by Mother Falcon. * I go back to the Marcelo Zarvos/Please Give well when the Scotsman arrives at their store. Note: it’s the go-to soundtrack for “People Arriving at One’s Store With A Life Changing Proposition” here at the Memory Palace. Also: go watch Please Give. * The little piano piece is from Nathan Johnson’s score to The Day I Saw Your Heart. * Lucy and John titter like plovers to Andrew Cyrille’s dope, skittering drums on Nuba 1. * The especially sad bit, right before the end is Dream 3 (in the Midst of my Life), from Max Richter’s giant, From Sleep album. * A couple times, including the ending, we hear “the Lark Ascending” from Ralph Vaughn Willliams. It is beautiful. You should buy it. Notes As per usual, I read a lot about the Audubons and the Bakewells. I relied most upon the charming and smart, On the Road with John James Audubon by Mary Durant, and Carolyn DeLatte’s lovely, thoughtful book, Lucy Audubon: a Biography. * Just a quick note: there’s a very enjoyable PBS/American Masters/Nature documentary about Audubon. It’s a fun and informative watch. But, I’ll say, you come out of that thinking that things were fundamentally swell between Lucy and John in a way that I’m not entirely sure is supported by the facts. Or jibes with, you know, human nature.
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Radiotopia is a collective of independently owned and operated podcasts that’s a part of PRX, a not-for-profit public media company. If you’d like to directly support this show and independent media, you can make a donation at Radiotopia.fm/donate. This episode was originally released in 2016 in the days after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is re-released every year on the anniversary of the incident. A note on notes: We’d much rather you just went into each episode of The Memory Palace cold. And just let the story take you where it well. So, we don’t suggest looking into the show notes first. Notes and Reading: * Most of the specific history of the White Horse was learned from "Sanctuary: the Inside Story of the Nation's Second Oldest Gay Bar" by David Olson, reprinted in its entirety on the White Horse's website. * "Gayola: Police Professionalization and the Politics of San Francisco's Gay Bars, 1950-1968," by Christopher Agee. * June Thomas' series on the past, present, and future of the gay bar from Slate a few years back. * Various articles written on the occasion of the White Horse's 80th anniversary, including this one from SFGATE.Com * Michael Bronski's A Queer History of the United States. * Radically Gay, a collection of Harry Hay's writing. * Incidentally, I watched this interview with Harry Hay from 1996 about gay life in SF in the 30's multiple times because it's amazing. Music * We start with Water in Your Hands by Tommy Guerrero. * Hit Anne Muller's Walzer fur Robert a couple of times. * Gaussian Curve does Talk to the Church. * We get a loop of Updraught from Zoe Keating. * We finish on Transient Life in Twilight by James Blackshaw
The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music Pollen and Photosynteses by H. Takehashi Ediacaran Moonrise by Barry Walker, Jr. To the Cellar from Krzysztof Komeda’s wonderful score to The Fearless Vampire Killers. Blue Sutura from Piero Piccioni’s score to Il medico della mutua. 3-Sized PF and Let’s Go Crazy!, both by Takahiro Kido Emerald Ash by Golden Brown Merry-Go-Round by Domenique Dumont Aquel Senor by the mighty, Frankie Reyes Tesko Me Ja Zaboravit Tebe by Banko Mataja Notes You can read the article by Katherin Parkin here.
Episode 204: Wolves

Episode 204: Wolves

2023-04-1010:374

The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Music In My Heaven All Faucets Have Fountains by yes/and A snippet of Runaway from Olafur Arnauld’s score to Gimme Shelter Spectral Canon from Conlon Nancarrow from James Tenney The Hourglass by Ben Crosland.
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Comments (76)

Cheri Anderson Phillips

The background music distracted greatly from the story. Almost impossible to hear and concentrate on the words. Don't do that anymore.

Mar 24th
Reply

Chak Olate

the difficulty with a newsletter is that we can't hear your lovely voice in a newsletter. Just saying...

Feb 11th
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Maria Lora

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Feb 9th
Reply

Steven Maurice

6888

Dec 20th
Reply (2)

Denise Nichols

the stories are great!! Unfortunately the commercials take up half the time.Made me craazy. It's a shame bc the narrator has great voice. and I really enjoyed the stories. : (

Sep 14th
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Sarah Gardner

So many emotions hearing this story, great work. Humans are savages

Jul 17th
Reply

Kaitlyn Llewellyn

This is one of my favorite podcasts. It is entertaining & informative. I recommend that if you're interested in history and creative story telling, that you listen to it.

May 12th
Reply

Natasa Lengyel

loved it, great one nate 🙌 bonus points for the word play(:

Feb 2nd
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Carrie Tucker

Such a sorry state.

Sep 23rd
Reply

Jermaine Williams

Great episode…can almost smell the sea grass! Love your storytelling style!!

Jun 5th
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Place Holder

Dude. You gave me the laugh of the day with the guy who confessed his affairs and didn't die.

Feb 13th
Reply

Heather in Vegas

This could have been a great podcast, the info is interesting, but the huge fatal flaw is the rediculous length of the terribly repetitive commercials at the beginning of the very short episodes. I'm all for folks getting paid for what they do, but this is just horrible.

Feb 13th
Reply

Place Holder

There is such a delectable melancholia in your story choices, as well as the way you deliver it.

Feb 11th
Reply

Captain Freedom

great episode to revisit considering the events of this week.

Jan 12th
Reply

it

lovely. I can so picture this!

Dec 13th
Reply

Nancy

Agreed, Nate. ❤

Nov 14th
Reply

For The Love Of a HORSE

Inaudible ignorance spoke volumes, opposed to audible ignorance, in the ways of Jackie Kennedy and all those brainless white women. I'm ashamed to say in that race I belong, little feelings, small mind and smaller heart. The House Of Lowe you stand tall forever.

Oct 24th
Reply

clean bee

thanks ♥️ your podcast. really nice to see how history throws conservative folks in a tizzy 🤣🤣

Oct 12th
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Ayn Carey

haunting, as are so many of these stories.

Sep 30th
Reply (1)

Ayn Carey

excellent. American entrepreneurship meets the butterfly effect.

Sep 9th
Reply