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Desert Oracle Radio

Storytelling Podcasts

Desert Oracle Radio is a weekly road trip through the weird American desert from the publisher of Desert Oracle, the pocket-sized field guide published in Joshua Tree, California. Hear tales of mysterious lights, missing tourists, lost mines, venomous creatures, weird history and weirder people. Hosted by editor Ken Layne and featuring a cast of intriguing mystics, oddballs, scientists and artists, Desert Oracle Radio is your soundtrack for a desert night. The program is broadcast on Friday nights at 10 p.m. on KCDZ 107.7 FM in the Mojave high desert, with field reports from around and across the desert lands, and is distributed by Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Location:

United States

Description:

Desert Oracle Radio is a weekly road trip through the weird American desert from the publisher of Desert Oracle, the pocket-sized field guide published in Joshua Tree, California. Hear tales of mysterious lights, missing tourists, lost mines, venomous creatures, weird history and weirder people. Hosted by editor Ken Layne and featuring a cast of intriguing mystics, oddballs, scientists and artists, Desert Oracle Radio is your soundtrack for a desert night. The program is broadcast on Friday nights at 10 p.m. on KCDZ 107.7 FM in the Mojave high desert, with field reports from around and across the desert lands, and is distributed by Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Language:

English

Contact:

7609207099


Episodes
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Call of the Blue Crow

5/17/2024
Public-land managers in the US Southwest seem determined to drive the pinyon jay to extinction. A half-century attack on pinyon & juniper high-desert woodland has led to a 78% drop in pinyon jay populations just in the past 50 years. You can take action, and the Pinyon Juniper Alliance is a good place to start. The pinyon jay is the steward of the pinyon forests, for which the forest feeds and houses this crucial blue crow. Of the thousands of pinyon nuts the blue crow puts away for the winter, usually working with its mate and both returning to the spot throughout the year to store or collect, the few pine nuts left behind grow into new pinyons, expanding the reach of the woodland. More woodland means more wildlife, more carbon-breathing conifers, more precious Western water stored in the ground, more wildlife corridors that connect mule deer and desert bighorn and mountain lions along mountain and valley to vast zones of wilderness. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Funeral for a Raven

5/3/2024
Tonight we're talking ravens, fishes & loaves, and the soul-crushing indoor indoctrination of the Empire's State Religion. Sir James George Frazer, Pliny the Elder and the Gospel Mark are all involved, whether they like it or not. (And the "Bible Friends" podcast mentioned on this episode can be found here.) Thanks for listening to the show, and for supporting the show via our Patreon page or at our online store, DesertOracle.com. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Materia Medica: On expedition with botanist-surgeon John Milton Bigelow

4/26/2024
Dr. John Milton Bigelow did not shy away from hard work, challenges, or adventure. At the age of 46, he signed on as surgeon and botanist for the Mexican Boundary Survey, following the U.S.-Mexican War that fulfilled the gold-hungry manifest destiny of the Americans. This adventure took him through the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Colorado deserts, where he catalogued the great variety of desert plants along with several other botanists on the expedition — including C.C. Parry, namesake of Parry’s Nolina. The work was so pleasing to Bigelow that he readily accepted similar appointments as field botanist in some of America's wildest lands. New soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. Desert Oracle Radio (c)(p) 2017-2022 http://DesertOracle.com Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Standing With the Giants at Mariposa Grove

4/12/2024
Mariposa Grove was a sacred grove for millennia before it became part of the Yosemite Grant, lovingly tended by Yosemite Guardian Galen Clark for more than a quarter century. Sacred groves and forests are protected for their spiritual and ecological importance. Such groves are found today throughout India (home of more than a million holy forests), Japan (many thousands of chinju no mori surrounding Shinto temples), and Ethiopia (35,000 primal forests circling Ethiopian Orthodox churches). Sacred groves protect many rare, threatened, and endemic species of plants and animals, and are often the last stand of ancient forest in a community. Biodiversity thrives within these sanctified nature preserves, while festivals dating back to antiquity provide people with a deep and lasting connection to their culture, religious practices, folklore and history. Learn more about Galen Clark from the National Park Service. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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The Old, Weird America: Full of Ghosts & Monsters

3/29/2024
On this Easter weekend, let’s do our best to bring back the ghosts, the supernatural. Let us recognize and respect the mysterious entities that come not from some imagined, distant star system in the cold lifeless vacuum of space, but from right here where we experience them! Backroads, mountains, spooky desert trails at dusk. Jesus loved wilderness and often talked to ghosts, after all. And that's something people of any philosophy can enjoy. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Spooky Tales for the St. Patrick's Storm

3/15/2024
The pyramids of Guinness 12-packs at our High Desert grocery stores reminded us of St. Patrick's Day coming up, but the grey cloudy skies and green hillsides of the Mojave Desert this month are reminders that the old pagan tales are with us still, wherever the landscape is haunted and strange. And that supernatural entities always gather in their ancient homes: wild forests, dramatic outcroppings of rock, and any lonesome place whipped by the winter winds. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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The Voice of the Desert

3/8/2024
The storms continue, the wildflowers begin to appear, and Chantel our PCT through-hiker probably made it to the Canadian border without any kind of Mountain Monster getting her, which is good. Also: What is the Voice of the Desert? New soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver, written and hosted by Ken Layne. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Make It Sacred

2/23/2024
Nothing is sacred unless we set it aside as sacred. As Americans rapidly abandon organized religion — and the formerly sanctified church and temple sites go up for sale as designer homes — where are the places that are truly sacred? The places set aside for contemplation, meditation, festivals, the rituals of life? There ain’t much. Not nearly enough. But that can be fixed. New soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. Written & hosted by Ken Layne. Thanks for supporting this advertising-free podcast at Patreon.com/desertoracle. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Among the Stately Trees

2/16/2024
Where's the beautiful part, anyway? Well, start by walking about a mile past the last parking lot or dirt road or residential car-parts dump or informal halfway house or accidental pit-bull breeding farm, and keep going in the direction of the difficult terrain: the hills and the mountains and the boulders. Not the hills covered in radio relay towers, but the ones with nothing up there at all, nothing except more boulders, more spiky yucca trees that slash your arms, gnarled junipers and needle-armed Joshua trees, up to the craggy peak where the stately pinyons stand proud. Keep going that way. On the second half of the program, Patrick Donnelly — here's his Sand & Sage newsletter — from the Center for Biological Diversity returns to Desert Oracle Radio to talk about an international land grab dreamt up by a local commissioner in Lincoln County, Nevada, along with the nation of Denmark, which plans to destroy centuries-old forests of pinyon and juniper on your public lands to mush into "bio-fuel" for container ships. What?! New soundscapes from RedBlueBlackSilver. Written & produced by Ken Layne. Thanks for supporting this advertising-free show via our Desert Oracle Patreon. Soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver; written & produced by Ken Layne. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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The Typing Life: Warren Zevon, 9/11 & the California Bloggers (With Matt Welch)

2/15/2024
Well here's an episode that fits with the past couple of episodes, as your host Ken Layne dredges up some tales from too many decades as a writer & whatever else. We got our newspaper/podcaster pal Matt Welch on the line to talk about the turn-of-the-century sensation that got everybody very excited for a little while: Weblogs! It sort of became a long career for a lot of people, and many have never quite recovered. We'd like to think that we recovered just fine. (Back to the desert on our next episode, don't worry.) Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:35:40

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The Ballad of Mojo Nixon

2/11/2024
Our old friend and mentor Mojo Nixon passed away this week, after playing a blistering set of rock 'n roll for his fans aboard a hillbilly cruise ship. Tonight, we remember the showman, songwriter and deejay who was a towering figure in American underground culture for a long, long time. RIP Mojo Nixon. With soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:01

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Horror on the California Backroads

1/19/2024
Tonight we go back three decades, to the strange time when a California newspaper hired a New England psychic to find a little girl who vanished in North San Diego County. This is a a true tale by your host, Ken Layne, who was one of the newspaper reporters working on this mysterious case, along with crime-solving psychic Johny Monti. PLUS: An Assessment of the Situation, and what's coming next for Desert Oracle Radio. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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The Hermit's Life

12/29/2023
The hermit habit has persisted throughout the four-plus centuries of North American colonization and up to the present day, including such storied American names as Henry David Thoreau, Huckleberry Finn, Georgia O’Keefe, Marta Becket, and Ted Kazinsky ... and many lesser known characters, remembered today only in newspaper stories from the past century. Happy new year from Desert Oracle Radio. Do not listen to the Joshua Tree radio station tonight (Friday 12/29) hoping to hear this episode, as they decided to close early, at the last minute, and they don't have the new show. Listen on your podcast player, like people prefer to do these days. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Gadzooks! It's Solsticetime in the Desert

12/22/2023
Night has fallen on the desert, our first big winter storms soaking the mountains and the coastlines, and now we’re getting it pretty good in the southwestern deserts. There may even be a dusting of snow on the Joshua trees and the Yuccas and the junipers at the higher elevations, here and there. But a wet winter is visiting most of the American High Desert this Week of the Winter Solstice ... which used to be the same day as Christmas and New Year's and the Birthday of Dionysus. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Live From Earth

12/8/2023
Tonight's episode comes to you live from Los Angeles, where Desert Oracle Radio opened the show for "Seattle's Slowest," the legendary group EARTH on its 30th Anniversary Tour for the Sub-Pop album EARTH2, at Glendale's Alex Theater. Sounds by RedBlueBlackSilver, words by Ken Layne. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Trivia Night in the High Desert

11/25/2023
What's better on a desert Thanksgiving weekend than 10 questions regarding the natural and human history of the Mojave High Desert? Get your pencil and notepaper, and enjoy Desert Trivia Night from Thanksgiving Eve at the Tiny Pony, with spooky November soundscapes from RedBlueBlackSilver. Desert Oracle Radio (c)(p) 2017-2023 http://DesertOracle.com Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Songs of the Doomed

11/17/2023
Looking down the barrel at 2024, from our perch in the High Desert. Mojave thunderstorms, the strange maxims of the ancient temples, Christmas-tree shopping ideas, and old+new soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. This is our 9/11 episode: Season 9, Episode 11. Please consider supporting this show via our Patreon before we go belly up, it's hard out there. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Ode to Harry Oliver, King of the Desert Rats

11/10/2023
From the World War II years to 1965, the artist and humorist and hugely influential architect Harry Oliver published his Desert Rat Scrap Book from a hand-built adobe in the California desert. He called it "the only newspaper you can read in the wind," because the whole thing was printed on a single sheet of sturdy colored cardstock, folded down to mailing size. UFO & Fortean author and Radio Misterioso host Greg Bishop joins us tonight to talk about our shared fascination with .... not flying saucers, but Harry Oliver! New soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver, written & produced by Ken Layne. This is EPISODE #205: ODE TO HARRY OLIVER, KING OF THE DESERT RATS. Listen to the radio broadcast tonight at 10 p.m. on KCDZ 107.7 FM in Joshua Tree & the Mojave High Desert. Thanks for supporting this advertising-free podcast through our Patreon. Desert Oracle Radio (c)(p) 2017-2023 ~ http://DesertOracle.com Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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Samhain Stories For All Hallows' Eve

10/27/2023
Night has fallen on the desert, and here comes the ancient festival of Halloween, as the world begins to die again ... as it does at the tail end of every year. The leaves fall and decay, the green things wither, the sun hides away. And we remember the Dead. Tonight: Samhain tales of changelings and fire, and the Holy Mountain along the Mexican-American borderland. New (& classic!) soundscapes by RedBlueBlackSilver. Written & hosted by Ken Layne. Desert Oracle Radio (c)(p) 2017-2023 https://DesertOracle.com Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00

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The Spiritual Intoxication of the Wilderness Walk

10/15/2023
One thing people like to do when they’re given some liberties — or when they take the liberty that’s usually there for the taking, if anybody wants it bad enough — is to go on a long walk. Whether you call it a pilgrimage or walkabout or "through-hike" or country ramble, such excursions really take you out of the day-to-day, even as you occasionally rub elbows with other people doing the same thing. PLUS: Information regarding the October 20 show at Jacumba Hot Springs and the October 29 Campfire Stories at Yucca Valley's Tiny Pony Tavern. Thanks for supporting this advertising-free radio show & podcast via Patreon! Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/desertoracle See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:28:00