This past month I started to delve back into Emil Amos’ Drifter’s Sympathy podcast. He just released some new episodes and I figured I would start back from the very beginning. I discovered Emil while listening to The Duncan Trussell Family Hour back in 2016. I figured if Duncan’s such a weirdo and they grew up together, as good friends Emil must be just as interesting of a person.
Being a music lover, I fell in love with the podcast immediately. In a way it reminded of listening to Little Steven’s Underground Garage when I was a kid, it used to play on the rock station Sunday nights when I was in high school. I would sit in my room with all my backlight posters glowing, soaking up every minute of the music and stories. I could always count on terrific music recommendations way before the internet was so accessible. For that, I’m forever grateful. Anyways, back to Drifter’s Sympathy…
The podcast delves into the idea of the Outsider or Loner archetype. How it emerged throughout history in music and movies, how we came to admire and relate to the myth ourselves. I enjoy the format of the podcast, not only because it highlights lesser known tracks by some often over-looked artists, but also how Emil’s own personal tales are woven effortlessly throughout the episodes.
Each episode has its own theme and as he chronicles music history it parallels his own experiences. I picture it almost as a fireside storytelling session. Unusual interactions and strange states of mind, what it was like growing up in the 90’s set to a killer soundtrack.
There are some seriously hilarious anecdotes he shares. Especially early on in the the podcast during the “Ron Trilogy”, a few episodes where he discusses his teenage guru Ron, an older gay Deadhead.
My favorite episode so far is probably Episode 19: Insidious Mind Control. I laughed myself to tears listening to these old prank call recordings from Emil and Duncan as they sow dissent amongst the general population of their small college town.
See the link below to check it out.