Passport

By Cerca & Frequency Machine

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Description

| YOUR TICKET TO EVERYWHERE |

Passport is a show about the world. And all the stunning, strange and breathtaking stories waiting to be discovered… if you just listen.

The world has never been more connected. But in reality, there’s still so much we don’t understand about each other. Join hosts Neil Innes and Andrés Bartos as they take you to places you didn’t realize existed, introduce you to people who you would never have otherwise met, and experience the rush of traveling the world, without ever leaving your home.

For more, check out frequencymachine.com/passport.


Episode Date
Passport Presents: Greetings From Somewhere
00:25:15

While we gear up for all new episodes of Passport and MisInfoNation we wanted to share something with you guys in our feed. Greetings from Somewhere is a beautifully produced podcast about the world. 


A show after our own heart, obviously. 


A charismatic host named Zack Mack, some excellent sound design, and we were instantly in. So we wanted to share with you one of our favorite episodes so far. 


Zack has gone to Burning man, Mount Rushmore, Disneyland, he’s taken trains, planes, automobiles and wheelchairs, he’s lived the van life… and asked a man who walked 4,000 miles across the USA the big questions… 


But to get into this brilliant new show we wanted to share with you Episode 1… It’s the story of Marfa, Texas. 


Enjoy!

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Aug 10, 2022
A Special Announcement - Introducing Cerca
00:03:38

Neil and Andrés make a very special announcement. Or is it just a thinly veiled apology for not having season two ready just yet...


Introducing CERCA by Frequency Machine. The world's best audio travel guide.


Want a sneak peak? Want to help shape what we make? Drop us a line at info@cercatravel.com

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Apr 01, 2022
Australia - Part 2: Asteroids and the Outback
00:50:08

For every Celestial Emu there’s a planet-killing space rock on an inevitable path towards earth. In our season 1 finale, Passport producers Jennifer Carr and Andrés Bartos head back Down Under to talk about asteroids, the scars they leave, and the stories they’ve created.

For all of the wonder and the fascination the night sky holds, it’s also filled with warnings, omens and pure chaos. Australia’s First Nations Peoples have been interpreting those signs for longer than any other culture on earth - and their myths and stories are an ecstatic truth used to pass that knowledge down through generations. But can these fables live side by side with science? This week, Jenn and Dre talk with the world's original astronomers about the scars of the people, and on the land, to find out.

Plus, a conversation with very special guests Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog - master travellers and directors of the new documentary Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Jan 26, 2021
Australia - Part 1: Stargazing with the Original Astronomers
00:44:29

For this season one finale of Passport, we head to Australia to explore the star-studded skies of the country’s Western Outback. Scarce on people and heavy on sheep and cattle stations, the vast expanses of land and desert here offer pure darkness and one of the top global destinations to stargaze. Astro revellers travel from all over the world, but what many miss out on is the rich tapestry of indigenous creation stories, myths, and customs that the stars can all point to.

The Australian Aboriginals have been reading the skies above this land longer than any culture on earth. They possess a deep understanding of cosmology and how to accurately read the stars for navigation, water sourcing, animal migration and breeding patterns, natural law, customs, and spirituality. For thousands of years, this profound astronomical intelligence has been buried. Fortunately, this is changing.

Passport producer Jennifer Carr took a trip Down Under for Part 1 of this double episode season finale of Passport, and discovered there’s a whole lot more to the Cosmos than meets our Western eyes.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jan 19, 2021
South Africa: Black Panther, Tribal Mythology & Afrofuturism
00:50:57

South Africa, the rainbow nation. A place of dazzling sun, incredible wildlife, rugged coasts, and tabletop mountains, with a people as diverse and creative as the landscape. The country’s art scene too is in rude health, one of the most forward thinking on the continent. But South Africa as a place of space, of technology, of the future? It’s not where your mind immediately goes.

Today, the country’s creatives are not remaining stuck in tradition. Take one look at South Africa’s best young artists, especially those in the vibrant city of Johannesburg, and you’ll notice a theme. They’re all following a code, an aesthetic, known as Afrofuturism. It’s an artistic concept which places people of the African diaspora in the future.

But why are South African musicians, writers, and artists looking forward not back? To space not the earth? How did apartheid cause utopian visions of the future? What links ancient African mythology with Black Panther? This week on Passport, we’re headed to Johannesburg to meet the South African afrofuturists to find out.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jan 12, 2021
Paris: The Serious Business of Clowning Around
00:44:05

Clowns: freaky, funny or downright mystifying?

This week, we tread the boards of the French capital and dive into the city’s age-old love affair with this very distinct form of theatrics.

Paris has been an epicentre for performance artistry since the 1800s, but today the face of clowning and the circus look and feel very different. These days, clowning is cutthroat – demanding, grueling, and for some in the industry, a dying art that few can master. Besides a look at some of Paris’ most competitive clown schools, we also delve into the dark side of clowns and how pop culture has given us more than we bargained for beneath all that grease paint and innocent smiles: coulrophobia – the fear of clowns.

Join Passport producer, Jennifer Carr, for a fantastical journey full of conversations with clowns and artistic directors and a front row seat for an impromptu performance by Russian clown Igor, in our Barcelona studio.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jan 05, 2021
Barcelona: The Magical Pooping Log of Xmas
00:43:51

Traditions are weird, almost by definition. But where do they come from? In this week’s special Xmas episode of Passport, Neil and Andrés talk to Sergi Del Bas and historian Dani Cortijo about one of the most misunderstood regions of Spain. Catalonia. Or as the locals call it Catalunya. This is Spain, but it is very much not Spain.

And here in Catalunya, there exists what is perhaps one of the strangest Christmas traditions in the entire world. There is no Santa here. Here Xmas involves a log. About two feet long. With a face. Named Caga Tio. The Sh!t Log.

This week, Neil and Dre take you home for the holidays to put on your scatological detective hats and try to figure out how the personality of a culture created one of the most incredible symbols of the festive season in the world; A log, with a face, that you beat with sticks to encourage him to poop gifts.

For more, including pictures of Neil’s very own Caga Tio and others from all over Barcelona, plus links to the places we visited and a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport. Just click on Episode 34.

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Dec 15, 2020
Disney: MisInfoNation - Magic, Wonder, and fabulous (no, really!) food!
00:47:57

The mission of MisInfoNation is to help us understand whether our ideas about a place are real or just Imagined. But what about a place that was built on imagination? A place that would be the most visited country on earth… if it was a country? This week, we’re finding out with a trip to Disney.

Disney’s films are burned into the memory of nearly every single person alive. It’s world is immense, unavoidable, unmatched and undeniable. But the parks… well the parks are the real country of Disney. Deep Disney. A place where you walk, ride, eat, and meet the locals.

This is no cartoon, this is a place where you will certainly need a map, a plan, a schedule and a guide. And this week, we’ve got a good one. A parks mega fan. A snappy dresser. A foodie and a theme park journalist and the host of her own Disney podcast, Very Amusing: the whip smart, bubbly fountain of Diz wisdom, Carlye Wisel.

On this episode of MisInfoNation, Carlye’s going to help us sort out what the world gets right about Walt Disney World (and Disneyland. And Epcot. And Tokyo Disney.) and what it gets wronger than Goofy leaning against a wall with his head off. What’s it like to live as a Citizen (AKA a cast member) of Disney? Is there such a thing as good food in a theme park? And does Disney really make its own… smells? And of course the most important question of all - we’re going to the happiest place on earth… to find out if it really is.

Plus, if you think food at a theme parks is all bland hotdogs and overpriced sodas, Caryle’s got some Saved Pins to prove you wrong.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Dec 08, 2020
India: Love on the Rails
00:48:43

On this episode of Passport, we go across India by train to find a melting pot of culture sitting within the carriages. From history, literature, Bollywood and real love, you never know what’s round the corner when you hand the conductor your ticket and take your seat.

Why have trains inspired poems, films and writing throughout India? What makes them the perfect protagonist and why they are a great place to start a story? Especially love stories. This week, tales from inside the trains and a microcosm of Indian life - one that only exists on the railway.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Dec 01, 2020
Coming Up on Passport!
00:03:13

The Passport team is off for Thanksgiving this week, but we’ve got a taste of what’s to come.

This season we’ve taken you to over 30 countries. We’ve met the world’s most famous extra in Belfast, investigated a stolen Van Gogh in Amsterdam, met mafia fighting chefs in Palermo, spent the night in the hotel that inspired The Shining, and set the record straight on Italy, Iran, Iceland and Russia. But we’re not done yet!

Coming up on the show: we search for love on the rails in India, visit Disneyland to see if it really is the happiest place on Earth, go back to the Afrofuturism in South Africa, and try to figure out just why the French love clowns so much. We gaze up at the stars in Australia with the world’s very first astronomers, and do our best to figure out what the deal is with Barcelona’s very… shall we say unique… Christmas tradition - Caga Tió.

So enjoy the holiday if you’re celebrating… and we’ll see you in the next place! 

For more, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Nov 24, 2020
Italy: MisInfoNation - Exorcists, The Mafia, and Italian Weather Girls
00:50:36

Guisepe Verdi said, you can keep the universe, just give me Italy and if you’ve ever been, you know instantly what he means. Italy seems to have it all. The madness and romance of Rome. The pristine, perfectly colour coded class and style of Milan. The rugged and rich and endlessly tasty islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Cliché wise, Italy is a glaringly obvious choice for one of our MisInfoNation episodes. The whole world thinks it knows exactly what Italy is like. But those clichés can’t all be true. Can they? Is Italy really a country full of tall, dark, mafia-connected, passionate people who love pasta and make some of the best food on earth?

To find out, we’ve called in Milan-born photographer, Dario Flores D’arcais to help us sort through the facts and fiction (stylish fiction, but fiction nonetheless) of that big old beautiful boot jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea - Italia.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Nov 17, 2020
Portugal: Wine, Women, and Resilience in the Douro Valley
00:44:35

Portugal’s Douro Valley is one of the toughest places on the planet to grow wine. Steep, terraced hills, treacherous river rapids, and blistering hot summers are a sharp contrast to the rolling hills of Spain’s Rioja or the Cypress-lined country roads of Tuscany. And yet, the Douro is actually the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. And even though a vine plague in the 1800s nearly wiped out every vineyard in the region, the Douro survived.

That’s because the people here are famed for their resilience and ability to repeatedly outsmart nature, no matter what it throws at them. And that goes double for the women. In fact, it was one of the valley’s daughters that saved wine in the region. Who are these remarkable women? What makes the Douro Valley, and its world-class wine scene, so special?

And will the threat of climate change - and now Covid - finally be their undoing?

Passport’s Jennifer Carr invites you to open a bottle and discover a place for wine lovers, warriors, and the women who are changing the face of winemaking - one glass at a time.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Nov 10, 2020
Passport Goes to the Polls
00:41:27

The 2020 US presidential election is probably the most important in a century. Everything is at stake: from the health of the world’s most powerful nation to the very nature of truth in the modern world. It’s been a frantic race, with many despairing at the divisiveness of modern US politics. But elections don’t always have to be doom and gloom. This week on Passport we take a look at two elections from around the world which tell us a lot about each country and prove the true power of democracy.

First, to the UK, for a bizarre story about election night, satire and two intergalactic space lords vying to become Prime Minister. In 2019, a character from an obscure 1980s Star Wars spoof known as Lord Buckethead - picture a budget Darth Vader - was resurrected to stand for election. But he had cylindrical headed competition: Count Binface. In a tale which highlights bizarre copyright law and some absurd quirks of UK politics, these two joke candidates faced off against Boris Johnson, proving British comedy goes all the way to the top, and that satire is the best way to bring politicians down to size.

And next, to Uruguay, a tiny country on the Atlantic coast of South America. Well, to a tiny farm in the grasslands outside the capital Montevideo, really. It’s not the most obvious place to look for someone who genuinely changed the world, but on this farm you’ll find Pepe Mujica - an old farmer who ran the country from 2009 - 2015. His story, which saw him transform from anarchist guerilla to peace-loving man-of-the-people president, shows what can happen when pragmatism meets progressive politics.

So, if you’re nervously watching the polls or want some respite from it altogether, come on a journey around the world to see what really happens when the smallest of people speak truth to power.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Nov 03, 2020
The Stanley Hotel - Part 2: King, Kubrick, and 45 Years of The Shining
00:46:32

45 years later, the effect of The Shining on pop culture is undeniable. From writers, to musicians to filmmakers, comedy, and every facet of the artistic world. It’s been praised, parodied, sequeled and more. So in this, the concluding episode of our two-part Halloween stay at the Overlook Hotel, we look at just how far it has gone.

The frontmen of Muder By Death and Devotchka tell us about their surprising musical connection to the novel and the hotel. Historian of hauntings, Rebbeca Pittman, returns to tell us about working there, Room 237 director Rodney Ascher tells us a story you wouldn’t believe, and horror legend Mick Garris tells us about the version of The Shining unfairly forgotten by the world…

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport 

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Oct 29, 2020
The Stanley Hotel - Part 1: The Shining, King, and Kubrick
00:37:08

In 2006, Passport host Neil Innes found himself outside the house of Stephen King in Bangor Maine. He didn’t get to meet King that day… but it didn’t change how he felt about his work. A lifelong fan of King and Kubrick, The Shining has always held a special place in his heart. And so this Halloween, Passport traces the legacy of a single nightmare - one that still echoes 45 years later - all the way back to the place it all began: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

Stephen and Tabitha King only spent one night in The Stanley - The only guests in an old hotel the night before it closed for the winter. That night, King awoke from a nightmare, smoked a cigarette, and outlined The Shining - one of the biggest horror novels of all time. But that’s not all that happened. King’s The Shining changed the genre, Kubrick’s film adaptation changed horror cinema. But The Stanley has a remarkable story of its own.

In part 1 of Passport's 2-part Halloween special, Neil checks into The Stanley to investigate that story with the people who know it best - historian and writer Rebecca Pittman and filmmaker and paranormal expert Karl Pfeiffer. It’s a ghost story that stretches from 1909 to King’s only night in the infamous Room 217. And for those of you wondering about Room 237, Neil and Andrés also journey into the hedge maze of the definitive adaptation - Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Oct 27, 2020
Oaxaca: The Day of the Dead, Santa Muerte, and The Witch
00:50:14

On this episode of Passport, we go to Oaxaca, the heart of Mexico, to find out what the Day of the Dead really is. It’s history, it’s present and it’s future.

We’ll sit at the dinner table with spirits. We’ll dive into folklore, fables and rituals to see how this celebration has lasted so many life times, through so much hardship, and repression. We’ll hear the stories of the people closest to the festival and discover the power of storytelling, and reinvention of stories in Mexico, that have kept the festival alive. But how can death be so celebrated in a country with such a high mortality rate? And why do people look to this hub of culture, history and creativity for inspiration in dark times, for better or worse?

Plus, we’ll meet a witch who has drawn from the history, used the spirits, a forgotten tradition and the folk music of Mexico to turn it into a powerful forward thinking statement about sex, death and gender.

La Bruja De Texcoco.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Oct 20, 2020
Vienna: Timothy Leary's Long Strange Trip
00:56:57

Vienna is a city of Old World baroque charm, cafés, and waltzes. It consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the world. It’s the city of Mozart, Freud, Klimt, and Strauss. Except this story is less Blue Danube, more Orange Sunshine.

This week, Andrés and guest producer Aisha Prigann plunge into a 1970s acid flashback and return with a tale of mind-expansion, revolutionary politics, and the dangers of meeting your idols. It’s the story of a group of accidental filmmakers getting caught up in a psychedelic act of diplomacy starring the Chancellor of Austria and Timothy Leary, the high priest of LSD on the run from the law. What kind of mad chemistry could have made this happen? And how did the manic sparkle of the 1970s transform Vienna into the city it is today?

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Oct 13, 2020
Texas & SpaceX: The Doorstep to Mars
00:54:35

On the southernmost tip of Texas, where the US and Mexican borders meet the sea, sits the tiny town of Boca Chica. Surrounded by nothing but wild open scrub land, eight miles of virgin beach and a rich array of wildlife, the twenty-something residents of Boca Chica live in peace and disconnection. Away from the noise of the modern World.

It was that peace and disconnection that Maria Pointer, AKA Boca Chica Maria, and husband Ray sought when they made their plans to settle down and retire in Boca Chica. But dreams of a quiet retirement are to be thrown out the window when new neighbors SpaceX move into town, right outside their bedroom window.

In today’s episode of Passport, we take a very special look at one of the most important journeys we may ever take via a quiet town in the South of Texas. A town which has become the launch pad to new possibilities and discovery for the human race.

The launch pad to Mars.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Oct 06, 2020
Dubai: The End of ‘The World’ as We Know It?
00:56:25

Super Skyscrapers, Lamborghini police cars, streets where it rains 24/7 in the middle of desert… Welcome to Dubai, the UAE’s most populous city and one of the richest and most absurdly ostentatious places in the world. Those stories of diamond encrusted Hummers? They’re all true. It’s the epitome of luxury.

And nowhere is this more true than in the city’s islands. Well, artificial islands to be exact. Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, loves them, and in the mid 2000s he built his most ambitious to date. We’ve been around the world on Passport but now we’ve found the world in one place. ‘The World’ islands, a 300 island archipelago off the city’s coast.

It’s one of the most ridiculous pieces of architectural engineering you’ll ever see, but the story behind them is equally absurd, and incredibly dark. This week we’re headed to Dubai for a story about obscene luxury and how it all gets paid for. The answer? Corruption. On a big, big scale.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Sep 29, 2020
Peru: The Real X-Files
00:47:49

Peru has everything. Dense jungles, imposing mountains, and a long coastline. A rich history that combines breathtaking Incan archeological sites with the original seats of colonial power on the southern continent. But people also treasure Peru for something else: UFOs.

To those in the know, Peru is the Mecca for unidentified flying objects. Peru’s capital, Lima, even has its very own X Files-style UFO investigations office -- an official department in the Peruvian air force.

Recently the Pentagon released footage of US air force pilots tracking mega-fast unidentified objects that left no vapor trails -- this has been stirring up a lot of mainstream interest.

In Peru, they don’t need much convincing. UFOs are already part of the national psyche The reason? Just the sheer number of sightings and weird goings-on. So are UFOs really visiting Earth? And if so, why have they singled out Peru?

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Sep 22, 2020
London: The Spy Who Whistled
00:43:51

On this episode of Passport, we go to the fog of London, and walk the fine line between the glamorous lifestyle of James Bond and the realities of spies sitting on the complicated grey streets of England’s capital. We see this fictional world through the eyes of writers and films, from Bond to Villanelle, a stylish femme fetal character from the new series, “Killing Eve.” We dive into what could possibly have inspired these characters, and the city they all have in common.

Our touch of reality is Annie Machon, a legendary ex-MI5 whistleblower who fled the London streets leaving any possible spy devices at home, to escape one of the most surveilled cities in the world, and disappear into the picturesque countryside of France.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 15, 2020
Amsterdam: Stealing Van Gogh - Art and Crime in Amsterdam
00:54:16

Amsterdam is a city of canals and coffeeshops: of charm and sin. Nowhere is this better encapsulated than in its art scene. The Dutch capital is a hub of both contemporary and classic art - from incredible graffiti to world leading institutions like the Van Gogh museum.

Van Gogh still holds a lot of sway in the city - he’s the Netherlands’ most famous artistic son, after all. But his work is also under threat from art thieves. In the twentieth century, Amsterdam has been home to two of the world’s most notorious art thefts, and they were both Van Goghs.

This week, we’re going to meet the man behind one of those heists: Octave Durham, he’s an art thief. But when a Van Gogh is stolen, there’s someone in Amsterdam whose job it is to get them back. We’re going to meet him too: Arthur Brand, he’s an art detective.

It’s a story straight out of holywood, taking us to the heart of stunning art and audacious crime in the Dutch capital.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Sep 08, 2020
Silicon Valley: Fighting Robots and Mind Uploading - The Untold History of Silicon Valley
00:54:01

The Bay Area around San Francisco is home to beautiful beaches, gorgeous wineries and the people who are creating the future. Because if you head south from San Fran, you’ll find Silicon Valley, the center of global technology.

The place today is filled with artificial intelligence, billionaire tech-bros and people trying to become immortal. Silicon Valley might be the wealthiest town in America, but behind the Teslas and the venture capital is an origin story defined by people who bucked all the rules. The history of this town was written by adventurers, with an ethos of “nothing is impossible, everything is permitted”.

This week on Passport we’re going inside the Matrix, into the real Silicon Valley, mapping its history through the hackers and freaks who made it boom. We’ll meet secret societies, burning men and giant fighting robots from San Fran’s past, as well as the AI overlords, transhumanists and mind uploaders who dominate the place today. Strap in, it’s going to get weird.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Sep 01, 2020
Russia: MisInfoNation - The Banya, Conception Day and Other Names for Putin
00:53:22

This week on MisInfoNation we talk to Ekaterina Markelova about a mystery wrapped inside a riddle inside an enigma - Mother Russia! A smart, funny, double PhD with a rather disarming smile, Ekaterina, takes on some of the craziest questions about her home country!

Western views of Russian culture are dominated by drinking, the cold and election hacking right now… But that can’t really be all there is, can it? So this week on Passport we wanted to see just how much of the deep deep Russian stereotypes remain true. Turns out the largest country on earth really does have a lot more to offer than you think it does.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Aug 25, 2020
Bonus: Presenting The Alarmist from Earios
00:51:36

The Passport team is off this week, making more shows. But we’ve got a special bonus episode: a fantastic show called The Alarmist.

Have you ever wondered who’s to blame for history's greatest tragedies? The Plague. The sinking of The Titanic. The break-up of the Beatles. If you answered yes, then Writer/Comedian Rebecca Delgado-Smith is here for you. Each week she and a special guest (or guests), scrutinize history’s greatest disasters to figure out what went wrong, and most importantly, who’s to blame. And not too long ago she invited Neil and Andrés to help determine who is to blame for the death of Che Guevara. Everyone at Passport HQ loves this show. We think you will too!

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This week on The Alarmist, Rebecca Delgado Smith decides who is to blame for the death of Che Guevara. She is joined by Neil Innes and Andrés Bartos (hosts of the new travel podcast Passport), Professor Michael Bustamante, Fact Checker Chris Smith and Producer Amanda Lund. On the board this week: Castro, American Fat Cats and Merch.

Tell us who you think is to blame at http://thealarmistpodcast.com

Email us at thealarmistpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram @thealarmistpodcast

Follow us on Twitter @alarmistThe

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Aug 18, 2020
Jerusalem - Part 2: The Fence Liers
00:46:15

| USING ART TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE |

In part two of our journey to Jerusalem, we cross the Green Line and talk to some remarkable people. An artist whose family roots in the city go back over 1000 years, but who still doesn’t qualify for a passport. An Amenian Jerusalemite, one of the city’s smallest minorities, whose work has crossed boundaries. And two Israeli entrepreneurs who found a novel way to create a safe space, free of soldiers. Plus, we hear the true story behind the Casino de Paris and what it was like to live in a neighborhood plagued by suicide bombers.

Also, we’ll have some blissfully good meals - but that almost seems beside the point. This episode is about what it truly means to be from Jerusalem.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Aug 11, 2020
Jerusalem - Part 1: The Weight of History, Hip-Hop, and Kebab
00:44:10

| How to have fun in Jerusalem |

Sha’anan Streett might be Israel’s biggest hip-hop star and he also might own the most important bar in Jerusalem. In a tiny courtyard in the Mahane Yehuda market sits the Casino Du Paris, a little oasis in the bustle of one of the world's craziest markets. What you might not realise, sitting there with a cold one, is that this bar started a movement. In an era filled with conflict, this little bar helped the nightlife of the market explode into a bustling and remarkable place, helping turn around an entire neighborhood.

The first three days of our Neil and Andrés’ trip to Jerusalem were an upside down carnival ride; Little sleep, lots of delicious food, trippy live music, colorful art shows, a taste-test of the best kebabs in the world, so many laughs and friendly faces. We quickly realised, like everything in Jerusalem, the story of Sha’anan’s bar was much, much bigger than we thought. The ritual and practice of having fun in a historically dangerous place is complicated, but Sha’anan has a plan - and importantly, a map. Which we followed to discover a whole new side of the city - through the people who are pushing Jerusalem in new and wonderful directions.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport.

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Aug 04, 2020
Iran: MisInfoNation - Down with America, Garlic Shampoo, and the Incredible Hulk
00:49:52

This week on MisInfoNation we talk to Sohail Jannessari about what could be the most misunderstood country on the planet. Iran. A political scientist with a cutting sense of humour, Sohail takes on some of the most divisive questions about Iran and Iranians.

Today we turn the view of Iran that’s been shaped by Western media upside-down. From the food, to the etiquette, the oppression of women, how to guarantee you’ll get into a fight, who pays the bill and the weight of being from a nation with an incredibly negative media slant - which sometimes turns Sohail into the Incredible Hulk. Plus, should you travel to Iran if you’re American?

We can’t think of a more important place to understand a little better.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jul 28, 2020
Taipei: Supreme Master
00:42:41

Welcome to Taiwan, nicknamed Formosa - or beautiful island. For hundreds of years influences from all over the world have created a fascinatingly rich culture and an equally rich cuisine. The food of Taiwan, and its capital Taipei, is some of the most delicious on planet earth.

Recently, a food craze that took root in Taipei has spread across the globe: the plant based diet. Vegan food has a long history in the region, but a particularly interesting story in Taiwan. And as we began to explore this unique food scene we found a rabbit hole that none of us expected.

Today on Passport, we’re heading to Taipei to find out how a restaurant entrepreneur and vegan evangelist may actually be leading a worldwide cult, with a following in the many thousands, a small fortune, and a truly bizarre origin story. Also, she calls herself the Supreme Master.

We’re going to walk the line between religion and cult and find out if the Supreme Master is responsible for the vegan craze that began in Taiwan and swept the world. And if you think this is just a Taipei story, think again - with over 200 locations and counting, you may already have one of Supreme Master’s restaurants in your city!

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jul 21, 2020
Paris: How to Propose in the City of Lights
00:46:36

| A Freeform Engagement In the City of Lights and Love |

"I’m going to Paris with my boyfriend and I want to ask him to marry me, how should I do it?"

Asked by a listener named Monica to find the perfect plan for a proposal in Paris, Neil and Andrés face off in a race to produce an answer.

Jazz and wine, architecture and getting lost, chocolate, cabaret and croissants. Neil and Andres scour the city, with the help of some locals, to plan the perfect itinerary and the perfect moment to pop the question. Along the way they uncover stories about Charlie Parker, Aida Bricktop Smith, and Serge Gainsbourg. They dig into what Paris actually means to the people who live there.

In the end, they produce two remarkable trip itineraries, and a ton of amazing, local-recommended places to visit. But only one host can win. Find out who - and let us know if you agree!

A Tale of Two Cities may have nearly killed Neil and Andrés but it was all worth it!

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: http://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jul 14, 2020
Bonus: Manson Conspiracy Theories, More Monsters of Greenland, and Extra Kpop!
00:29:20

No matter what we do, we simply can’t fit all the great stuff we find into the show. But we don’t want anyone to miss out! So we pulled together some of the greatest material that never made it into our episodes. The “best of” deleted scenes.

First, Duke Haney takes us back to the Manson murders in LA to deliver a couple of theories about what Charles Manson did after the Sharon Tate and Cielo Drive murders, including leaving a very important pair of eyeglasses. 

Then, Maria Kreutzmann gives us her top 5 monsters of Greenland. All of them, truly terrifying and awe inspiring.

And finally, we’re going back to Seoul to learn more about Kpop and get some insight from the inside with Koki, the star of EXP Edition.

Plus every great love story starts with a “meet-cute.” Neil and Andrés share theirs.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jul 07, 2020
Greenland: The Monster Hunter
00:48:35

The world’s biggest island, Greenland, is a harsh and unforgiving place. Think minus fifty temperatures, three-month long nights and deadly storms. To have any semblance of control over this chaotic world, the native Inuits developed a belief system of spirits, monsters and taboos; ways to make sense of the senseless violence inflicted upon them by mother nature.

In modern Greenland these same spirits live on today, having survived colonisation, christianity and modernisation. But how? And perhaps more importantly, why?

In this episode of Passport, we journey through Greenland’s past and present with a monster hunter whose weapon is her paintbrush and a historian descended from some of the earliest Greenlanders - all to confront the ghosts, spirits and monsters that shape modern Greenland as it is today.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jun 30, 2020
Palermo: Fighting the Mafia With Food
00:46:58

| NO PIZZO, NO PROBLEM |


Palermo has the distinction of being the most conquered city in Europe. It’s been invaded, beaten up, and bashed about for two millennia. But all this foreign influence gave Sicily one great gift: truly spectacular food. Pastas, cannolis, pizza, biscotti, rice and fish and meat dishes, all layered with flavors brought from around the world. But Sicily’s modern enemy hasn’t inspired culinary greatness - maybe because this threat is entirely home-grown: La Cosa Nostra. The Sicilian Mafia. 


Outside Italy, the Mafia conjures images of Scorsese and Coppola films - of criminals that operate under a strict code of honor. Wise guys who love their mothers. There’s an allure, a sort of glamour. The truth for those who have lived under the thumb of the Mafia is much darker and bloodier.  


But now, on this island that is a melting pot of cultures and flavors, a grassroots movement is rising. 


This week on Passport, we head to Palermo to meet a group of brave foodies, chefs, and activists who have decided to stand up and fight back. And to take on La Cosa Nostra the community is utilizing something the Sicilians pride above everything else. Some of the most amazing food anywhere on earth.


For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://wwwfrequencymachine.com/passport

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Jun 23, 2020
Iceland: MisInfoNation - Elves, Nudity, and Fermented Shark
00:46:40

The Icelandic people are a rare breed. Literally. There are only 360,000 of them, but Passport is lucky to call Björg Valgeirsdóttir a friend of the show. It’s a good thing too, because Neil and Andrés have a lot of questions about the top hits, myths, and truths of one of the most unique places in the world.


Polar Bears, volcanoes, igloos? What does the world get wrong about Iceland and more importantly what does it get right? On this MisInfoNation, Björg talks us through being mistaken for Björk, putting babies outside to sleep, eating puffin, and the strangest Christmas celebration you’ve never heard of...


For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jun 16, 2020
Helsinki: Doomsday Bunkers and the Finnish Sense of Humor
00:41:11

| HELSINKI: THE UPSIDEDOWN |


The history of Finland is one filled with war and conflict. And yet, the Finnish people consistently rank as some of the happiest on earth. In this episode of Passport, we head to the capital to dig into the psyche of the happiest nation on earth. And to dig into something else too. Underneath Helsinki is the infrastructure for an entire city - below the surface. Parking, churches, swimming pools, soccer fields, go-kart tracks - all the comforts of above-ground living. It’s the most luxurious doomsday bunker you’ve ever seen. But why?


Has their tumultuous history - and their proximity to Russia - driven the innovations going on under the city of Helsinki? Turns out, there’s a lot more to the story than “prepping”.


For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jun 09, 2020
Scotland: MisInfoNation - Haggis, Braveheart, and Unicorns.
00:49:03

| MisInfoNation: What the world gets wrong, and right, about Scotland |


There are things we think we know about countries. But viral videos, tiktok and 24 hour news has made everything we understand about other places somewhat misinformed, twisted or just downright incorrect.


Today on Passport we take this misinformation and turn it on its head, upside down, the wrong way round and inside out. That’s why we're calling it MisInfoNation. Think of this as a cultural mythbusters. 


So we’re heading to Scotland to find out the truth about Haggis, the story behind Irn-Bru, if there’s anything the Scots won’t deep fry, how they feel about Donald Trump’s heritage, and what’s really going on under a kilt. Also, we’ll discover the absolute best view in all of Scotland.  


We laugh a lot during this episode, fittingly, because the Scots take great pride in their sense of humor. Which explains their choice of national animal. Be sure to listen for that. 


For more, including links to the things we talked about, the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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Jun 03, 2020
Seoul: Is K-pop the Soul of Seoul?
00:49:40

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard about K-pop by now. South Korea's homegrown popular music is huge. Like, really huge - BTS, the world’s most popular K-pop band, are basically the new Beatles. And it’s not just Korean music that’s blowing up - this year a Korean movie won the most exclusive award in film - Best Picture at the Oscars. All this popular pop culture is drawing fans and curious onlookers to Seoul - South Korea's hi-tech capital and Korean culture’s epicenter.


How did we get here? How did a little Asian country on a divided peninsula, which has been pummeled by centuries of war and dictatorship, manage to cultivate the world's most exciting new music trend? And can the country's pop music tell us anything about the soul of its biggest city? This week we’re jetting off to Seoul to find out.


For more, including links to the things we talked about, the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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May 26, 2020
Love In The Time of Corona
00:47:05

With the whole world on lockdown and the entire team working hard to launch a new show - this show - we all began to look for stories which made us happy, during a scary time. Stories that helped us feel connected, while we were isolated under quarantine. What resulted was an episode filled with stories from around the world about the one thing that connects us all - love.


This may not be what you’re expecting from a travel show, but every single story, no matter where it comes from, feels universal. In this special episode of Passport we explore what makes us all more similar than we are different.


For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, visit: www.frequencymachine.com/passport

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May 19, 2020
Jackson Hole: The Chinese Wild West
00:45:45

| JACKSON HOLE, CHINA - BORN IN THE PRC |


Nestled between snow-capped mountains there is an American wild west town called Jackson Hole, where the 1% ski in the winter and talk tech in the summer. Gorgeous wooden architecture, decor studded with antlers and leather accents, live “cowboy” shows, even a potato club. But the Jackson Hole we’re talking about isn’t the American wild west... it’s actually in China. Just two hours north of Beijing. What Neil and Andres want to know is WHY???


We’re going to journey to Jackson Hole, China and find out what it is about the wild west that the Chinese elite can’t get enough of, and why that led them to build this facsimile of an American town. We’ll talk to the Chinese real estate mogul and the American designer who built it. Plus, what’s the Chinese obsession with copying everything American anyway? And how did they end up with something called “Tuna Jello”.


For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visit: https://www.frequencymachine.com/passport-episode-3-jackson-hole-born-in-the-prc.

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May 12, 2020
Los Angeles: Charles Manson’s Dream
00:54:54

| CHARLES MANSON'S DREAM |

This week Passport takes on a theory of the Charles Manson murders in Los Angeles with some help from a few amazing people, including Hollywood legend Guinevere Turner. How did Charlie forever change the music in the City of Angels? We discovered something that isn’t often discussed about why he was in LA in the first place: Charles Manson wanted to be a rock star. The roller coaster journey leads us to a pivotal question - is it possible a record deal could have diffused the bomb that ended a decade of free love?

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport-episode-2-losangeles-charles-mansons-dream

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May 05, 2020
Belfast: How Game of Thrones Saved a City
00:44:57

| WHAT DO WE SAY TO THE GOD OF DEATH |

On this episode of Passport we fly to Belfast to explore a city that has been shaped by two very different wars - one real, and one fake. Northern Ireland was divided by decades of conflict and marred by bloodshed, but this landscape is changing dramatically with the help of an unlikely force, Game of Thrones.

Passport producer, Billy Craigan Toon, traveled to Belfast to learn about the city with the help of Game of Thrones actor and Northern Ireland native, Andy McClay. The history is dramatic, and violent. But Belfast is about to be pivotal on the world stage, and how it has evolved into a powerhouse city could change the course of world events.

But first, we start with a confession… Neil has never seen an episode of Game of Thrones.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, visit: https://frequencymachine.com/passport-episode-1-belfast-what-do-we-say-to-the-god-of-death/

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May 05, 2020
Introducing Passport - Coming Soon From Frequency Machine
00:04:33

| YOUR TICKET TO EVERYWHERE |

Passport is a show about the world. And all the stunning, strange, and breathtaking stories waiting to be discovered… if you just listen.The world has never been more connected. But in reality, there’s still so much we don’t understand about each other. Join hosts Neil Innes and Andres Bartos as they take you to places you didn’t realize existed, introduce you to people who you would never have otherwise met, and experience the rush of traveling the world, without ever leaving your home.

An all new travel podcast from Frequency Machine, taking off May 5th, 2020.

For more, check out frequencymachine.com/passport.

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Apr 21, 2020