Logo by Rob Wilson
Clouds now. Later, light rain. Even later, drifting ash and the accumulation of time. Later still, archeologists uncovering your home.
Welcome to Night Vale is a love letter someone wrote to me, in their own blood of course, that everyone else gets to hear read aloud from an ancient speaker system.
At least, that’s what it feels like to me.
Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, Welcome to Night Vale is the community radio station of a small town where genuinely horrific things happen, but, everything is okay as long as radio vocalist Cecil Baldwin keeps narrating the downfall over the dark looping sounds of Disparition.
Keeping this gem of a podcast to myself is wrong. So wrong. It is unsettling and creepy, humorous at times on purpose and humorous at times because you’re laughing at tragedy instead. Each twenty-or-so minute episode contains important, daily life information for living in Night Vale. There is a community calender of events so you know when to bring your kids out to play with glass cleaner and grout starter at the local science museum and local sports news to remind you that, in fact, Night Vale does have a baseball player that can cripple you with his mind during mid-inning. All of this is nestled in between the larger stories of the day which range from sandstorms that seem to bring about your doppelgangers and the strangeness of how time elapses inside of Night Vale itself. I am particularly interested in brushing up on my Weird Spanish, as announced by the elementary school curriculum coordinators, but, playing favourites with Welcome to Night Vale episodes is almost impossible.
Each of the episodes are lovingly crafted to perfection. There isn’t a off-key moment in the entire run so far. Whether you listen to it on the bus on the way to work or at the gym (like me) or in darkness just before sleep (like others seem to), it colors your perception of the outside world and it feels as real as reality can feel. The woman sitting next to me could be made of spiders. The man whose hand I brushed up against could have a mutating communicable disease. I just don’t know it yet. At any given moment, anything could happen and Welcome to Night Vale reminds me of that. Reminds me of the fringe, more interesting things that could happen.
It is, in fact, the only podcast I’ve ever listened to. I have a feeling nothing will come as close to it in a long, long time. So, excuse me while I pack my bags and find myself a ride out to the middle of nowhere, it seems. Sure, the entire place seems vague and frightening and with my luck, I’ll end up behind the Ralph’s, but, it is a chance I am willing to take. You might be willing to give it a chance too, if you’d listen along with me. We could both end up a huddled mess of fabric and skin on the side of the road.
At least we won’t be alone, right?
Give their website a visit for instructions on how to get to Night Vale or access it directly through their feed . I also highly recommend their twitter feed, NightValeRadio or their Facebook, if you’re Facebook inclined.
Trust me for once, I wouldn’t point you in these directions if I didn’t think it was worth the time, energy and mental exhaustion, you know. Gushing love over the internet can be so unsightly, but, I figure it’s okay to look a little goo-ed up for this thing that has stolen my heart.
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