30 April 2008

Three by Joe Frank - Airs May 19

When I first heard a Joe Frank radio piece, I was mesmerized. His approach is deceptively simple. Write an essay, play music under the narration, done. His writing is crisp, his storytelling is imaginative and his take on subjects is unconventional.

Salon magazine writes that Joe Frank "conjures up the nightmares that This American Life and Prairie Home Companion have when they go home at night. Read more here.

He's the bad boy of public radio.

On May 19, we'll play three stories by Joe Frank.
  • Palestinian Dreaming
  • News
  • War v. Peace
Here's what a couple of reviewers have written about Joe Frank's work.

"You don't have to close your eyes to appreciate Joe Frank's dense audio universe cascading out of your radio. It helps, though, because there are so many layers - of sound, philosophy, of reality-coursing through his dramas .... Come to think of it, after awhile, you won't want to close your eyes because in Frank's short stories for the radio, the tension and pathos are as enveloping as they are intriguing .... No one else in radio is doing what Frank does."

The Washington Post

"A strange, different, wondrously offbeat, frequently hilarious, altogether brilliant piece of work .... There's never been anything quite like it .... Joe Frank is an audio Fellini."

The Los Angeles Times

Seamus Heaney: Bogging In Again - Airs May 12

I don't care what month it is. Poetry doesn't get enough attention. So on May 12 we bring you an entire half-hour dedicated to the Irish poet Seamus Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. According to Radio Netherlands, "his lines have been quoted by world leaders, his new translation of Beowulf: A New Verse Translation has become a best-seller and he has praised rapper Eminem for encouraging interest in poetry among young people."

In his latest collection, District and Circle, Heaney returns to some of the darkest images of his work in the 1970s ... when the violence in Northern Ireland was still his main preoccupation.

Listen to Seamus Heaney: Bogging In Again (produced by Radio Netherlands) at 7 p.m. on May 12 on The Listening Lounge.

The Grandma Plan - Airs May 5

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11. But where would your Mom be without your Grandma? That's right. This show gives your Grandma some love because she deserves it. The program begins with U.S. Marines singing and marching to the tune of "My Grandmother was 71," continues with a piece by the talented Jake Warga called "Eat Your Eggs" and goes on from there. Listen in.

21 April 2008

American Icon: Wizard of Oz - Airs April 21 + April 28

You may think you know the story, but Kurt Andersen and guests will take you to places in the land of Oz that are more wonderful, and weirder, than you ever imagined. We'll meet the original man behind the curtain, L. Frank Baum, who had all the vision of Walt Disney, but none of the business sense. We'll discover how Oz took over the Soviet Union. We'll check in with filmmakers Neil LaBute and Nora Ephron, novelist Salman Rushdie, performer Bobby McFerrin and others from across the world who find magic, meaning and inspiration in Oz.

The Listening Lounge airs Mondays at 7 p.m. (Central Time, USA) on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.

14 April 2008

My Lobotomy - Airs April 14

"My Lobotomy" is the story of Howard Dully's quest to discover why his parents had a doctor perform a transorbital "ice pick" lobotomy on him at age 12.

Produced by Sound Portraits, this documentary explores the history of lobotomy in America through the story of one person. It's a moving, riveting tale.

This is the kind of great radio we bring you every week on the Listening Lounge on KFAI Radio. If you love this kind of storytelling, show your support by pledging tonight at 612/375-9030. Or do it online.

Every dollar counts. I'd love to receive several $10, $20 or $60 contributions to the show. Thanks.

06 April 2008

Show us the love, baby

It's pledge drive at KFAI, our broadcast home.

Which means we have a very special "Listening Lounge" show planned for 7 p.m. on April 7.

Join us for The Change in Farming, a 1998 classic by Adam Goddard, a Toronto-based composer. It is a celebration of the life and character of his grandfather, a farmer in rural Ontario.

We'll also air Embroidery Felon, a Jonathan Mitchell story about an imprisoned armed robber who turns to embroidery for salvation and profit.

Be sure to pledge your support for great radio by calling us on Monday night or by pledging online and mentioning "Listening Lounge" as your show of choice.