22 September 2008

American Icon: Superman - Airs Sept. 29 + Oct. 6

We've aired several stories from the American Icon series created by the folks at Studio 360. Listener response has been enthusiastic to the American Icon pieces on The Great Gatsby, The Wizard of Oz and Moby-Dick, so why not explore the Man of Steel?

Here's a summary: Studio 360 leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, Kurt Andersen explores the history of Superman accompanied by Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman, Bryan Singer, Michael Chabon and Margot Kidder. Is this strange visitor from the planet Krypton derivative of Jewish mythology? Is The American Way epitomized by someone who wields ultimate power for a moral good? What's up with the blue tights?

15 September 2008

The Ground We Lived On + 2 - Airs Sep. 22

The Ground We Lived On, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Summary: The Ground We Lived On documents the loving relationship between journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc and her father, Adrian Leon LeBlanc, in the last months of his life. Using recordings she made of her father, namesake and inspiration from his hospital bed in the family living room, The Ground We Lived On is an ode to the ordinary ways we continue loving even as we are letting go.

We also air two other stories on the show:

Grandpa, by Lu Olkowski
Summary: A father and son have a contest to take the best pictures of their dying grandpa, the result is an up-close portrait of death.

Meet the Bees, by Lu Olkowski
Summary: How I roped my parents into becoming characters on Creature Comforts, a claymation show on CBS. (Come on, listen to it... my parents are funny people.)

08 September 2008

The Hitchhike Plan - Airs Sept. 15

Hittin? the Road, Thumbs Out

A series of stories about hitchhiking, produced by Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices. Barrett doesn't like long descriptions. But if you like long ones, here's the playlist:

1. Belgium | All Happy Right Now | Nachtfahrt
2. Jonathan Mitchell | A Beginner's Guide to Hitchhiking |
3. Red Sovine | Phantom 309 | Phantom 309
4. Belgium | All Happy Right Now | Nachtfahrt
5. Scott Carrier | New Shoes | HearingVoices.com
6. Lemon Jelly | Ramblin? Man | Lost Horizons

01 September 2008

How Are You Who Are You? - Airs Sept. 8

In 1995, Douglas A. Nadeau of Marblehead, Massachusetts underwent a pallidotomy at Mass. General Hospital, an operation designed to eradicate neurons in his brain that no longer responded to dopamine, the naturally-created chemical that facilitates movement. Nine years earlier, while on a business trip, Doug had been bitten by an insect and developed strange Parkinsonian symptoms, such as the inability to keep his eyes open while talking. These caused numerous problems for Doug, a high-powered corporate lawyer in Boston. Over time, the symptoms worsened until Doug lost his mobility at night and was reduced to a hospital bed. Following the procedure, in which Doug practically walked off the operating table, he found he was unable to inhibit certain antisocial tendencies that, prior to the surgery, he'd kept repressed. To make matters worse, his surgery turned out to be a failure, and his symptoms returned one by one. The next nine years tested the boundaries and limits of love, marriage, and tolerance, both within the family and in the Nadeaus' wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

Also airing on Sept. 8 is a fantastic piece from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies called "I Played D&D on Monday." It's the portrait of a 25-year-old who lives at home with his parents, plays Dungeons and Dragons and is hoping to overcome a major problem.

Sacco & Vanzetti + Bible Salesman - Airs Sept. 1

Sacco & Vaznzetti: Eighty Years Gone
The trial, seven-year imprisonment and ultimate execution of Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti on August 23, 1927 was the subject of worldwide debate and protest. In the wake of the First World War, Bolshevik Revolution and "Red Scare," it was impossible for a couple of Italian immigrants, anarchists and draft dodgers to get a fair trial. In our post-9/11 world, their story continues to resonate. This 15-minute soundscape features the voices of Winnipeg anarchist Eton Harris, NYC film director Peter Miller — whose film on S&V has just been released — ACLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman, and the voices of people on Union Square, Manhattan, recalling (or not) the protests that unfolded there eighty years ago. The soundscape also features several of the songs Woody Guthrie wrote in Sacco and Vanzetti's honor. This story was produced by David Kattenburg.

Bible Salesman
It’s an occupation on the verge of extinction — door-to-door salesperson: the Fuller Brush man, the Avon lady, the encyclopedia hawker. Producer Dan Collison went in search of the last of the dying breed — in this case a door-to-door bible salesman. He found Jim Baker, one of the characters in the now-legendary 1969 documentary “Salesman” produced by David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin. This beautifully-produced story details this lost "art."