28 December 2009
We'll also air a short feature from the Memory Palace, "in which Guglielmo Marconi, the Father of Radio, dreams of a super radio that would allow him to hear every sound ever made. Melancholy ensues."
21 December 2009
19 December 2009
We'll air a documentary on this holiday spiritual, produced by the CBC. Listen in at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21.
11 December 2009
Jim has been playing piano at an infamous bar for twenty-some years. He was trained young by his strict, religious, and secretly-loving father to embrace music "Soli Deo Glorio" (only for the grace of God). Jim's dad could never approve of a musical career that wasn't religious and this weighed on the both of them for years. Yet Jim states, "What I do does good...it helps people get through things" and although a Christian's mission may be to proselytize, "you can't really do that without having a drink with the town whore."
Hard to Say by Bente Birkeland
Former state-park ranger Ed lives alone in a quiet, isolated area of Maine. At the age of 90, Ed reflects on his second marriage, revealing a relationship characterized by love, loss, loyalty, and uncertainty.
A Voice Of Warning by Anne Penman
A heroin overdose left Jade blind and mute and unable to take care of himself. Today he communicates with his head, tapping Morse code into a computer which generates his "voice." Trisha has been Jade's friend since his partying days and remained by his side through rehab. In the face of this consequence, Jade has gone from daily wishing he were dead to boldly being happier than he was before the tragedy.
01 December 2009
Matthew wanted to be a soldier forever; then he went to Iraq. While raiding houses and hunting for Saddam Hussein, he came to find that farmers are the world's most powerful force. Upon his return to the States, he decided to become a farmer too. Now, he'd like to go back to Iraq, but not as a soldier.
I'm Relatively Human by Selena Simmons-Duffin
We meet Marty who once seemingly had it all: a loving wife, a beautiful home, a great job. He threw it all in the wind to realize a deep, life-long desire and became a woman. Perhaps her story is less about the transition but what happens after you have arrived at your destination and are forced to consider what has been gained and what you've lost.
My Criminal Life from Blunt Youth Radio Project
Finally, a step into the mind of Mark, a young man who feels hopeless against the cycles of drugs and violence in his life. After being in and out of the Long Creek Youth Development Center six times for various drug-related offenses, he is about to turn nineteen and "age-out" of the system.
SECRET BONUS TRACK! Plummeting Approval by Nate DiMeo
Sam Patch went from working in the mills of early 19th century to become America's first daredevil. The guy jumped off of really tall things for a living. He survived every time but one.
16 November 2009
In this half-hour radio documentary, "survivors" of solitary paint a picture of what solitary confinement looks, sounds and feels like. These are the voices of both men and women; Black, White and Latino; old and young.
Listen to "Survivors: Solitary Confinement" by independent producer Claire Schoen at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30. (Photo of Robert King Wilkerson, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement, was taken by Terry Foss.)
In "Heat Of The Moment: Inside Out," science journalist Daniel Grossman takes us to places where the effects of climate change are acutely felt. He reports on the heat wave that killed 40,000 people in Paris and from the low-lying coastlines in India and Bangladesh that may soon be affected by global climate change. Grossman won the 2008 Science Journalism award from the Association for the Advancement of Science for an earlier documentary on global warming.
Listen in to this great documentary from Grossman and WBUR/Boston.
12 November 2009
Nathan is just like any other teenager - except that he’s a Certified Energy Healer giving psychic advice over the internet. Plus, "the kid blows light bulbs." We find him trying to locate his lost Nintendo Gameboy and looking into his own future.
Crystal’s Ball by Tatiana Harrison
Next, we go home-shopping with “Future Crystal” in her old rivals’ neighborhood. Crystal is a gang-affiliated youth who’s been in juvenile hall and expelled from all district schools. Regardless, she envisions a day with steady job and buying a house with a husband. It’s a wonderful trip until she realizes the toll this goal will take on her other big dreams.
Genetic Fortune Teller by Neille Ilel
Most of the women in Neille’s family have died from cancer. So Neille visits Joyce, a genetic counselor, to have her family tree read and get tested for the "breast cancer gene." If a woman has this mutation, she's almost guaranteed to develop breast cancer and has an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Her mother does.
06 November 2009
On our "Gender Bender" show, which airs on Monday, Nov. 9, we'll air stories about gender stereotypes and talk to one of the producers from the film Straightlaced: How Gender Has All Tied Up.
We'll start the show with "Dressy Girls," a story about a group of fashion-conscious high school girls and the connections between what they wear, self-esteem, body image, and their relationships with boys and other girls.
Then we'll talk about the film "Straightlaced" with producer Brittney Shepherd. This educational film has its Minneapolis debut at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16 at Children's Theatre. Tickets are available here.
We'll also air "Mea, Me, Mine," the story of Mea Tavares, who was born female and shpet the rest of his life redefining what it means to be male
27 October 2009
22 October 2009
This documentary — Death's Footprint — features an embalmer, an undertaker, a Roman Catholic cemeterian, a 34-year-old woman who wants to have her body composted by worms, the sounds of a crematorium and an exploration of the newest, greenest body disposal technique: Resomation
Death's Footprint was produced by Diane Richard and Todd Melby of 2 below zero for Chicago Public Radio. The documentary won an Edward R. Murrow award for best documentary.
19 October 2009
Jewish burial rituals and beliefs place great importance on treating the deceased with the utmost honor and respect. This is especially important during the "taharah," a ritual involving the physical cleansing of the dead body.
In "Honoring the Body: Tahara" — winner of the 2006 Third Coast International Audio Festival Directors' Choice award — three people who have taken part in taharah share their experiences. In addition to taking us through the steps of this intricate ceremony, they offer their personal views and insights on how taharah encouraged them to confront their own mortality and grapple with the existential questions of life and death.
We'll also air two other stories related to death: "My Sister's Brain Cancer" by Nance Olesen and "Horrible Deaths" from the Memory Palace.
Like Phillip Baggett of Curie Youth Radio in Chicago.
He wants to go to prom. But he's having a tough time asking. We'll air Phillip's funny, anxiety-inducing story on getting a date — or not getting a date — for prom.
We'll also air these stories:
The N Word: It Represents Hatred, by Veralyn Williams
Dominican Republic by Angely Tavare
I'm the Guy Who Parks Your Car, by Pablo Ponce
Thanks Dunkin' Donuts Lady, by Jasmine Gonzale
To My Aunt Who Crossed the Border, by Elizabeth Pilego
Relive your youth! Tune in.
06 October 2009
First, we'll visit a racetrack in Maine where we meet enthusiast, Roland Thurlow. Just like lots of guys, he is serious about his cars. Roland's are a little different though - they measure only about 4". These are slot cars.
Are There Any More Rare, Plastic Ponies? by Julie Shapiro
While some ladies are at the barn brushing their living & breathing ponies, others are devoted to their diminutive, mass-produced, painted plastic counterparts. An unknown pastime to most, competitive (?!!!??!) model horse collecting is a serious passion for women of all ages. Either way, one thing's certain: Girls love horses. We'll spend some time at the stable & at the show ring talking with riders ...& collectors.
LISTEN TO PROMO
28 September 2009
22 September 2009
Make your own list of favorites, send me an email and I'll link to them here.
21 September 2009
We'll hang out with a miner in the Congo, a banker in London and a sex worker in Azerbaijan. The link to the entire Working series is here.
And then we relax with a lighter story. The story of how the CIA wired a cat to spy on the Soviets in DC parks. Weird, but true. It's from this LA producer named Nate DiMeo, who likes to produce obscure
historical stories called The Memory Palace. We'll air more stories from Nate in the near future, including one called Horrible Deaths, which is scheduled to air around Halloween.
07 September 2009
On the occasion of her retirement, this Chicago judge borrowed a cassette recorder, and with her family, reflected on her 18 years on the bench. Produced with Judge Susan Snow, Brent Runyon and WBEZ Chicago.
31 August 2009
In this two-part series, we air Jay's collection of stories about women at work. On our Labor Day program we hear "A Pastor's Journal." For two months, the pastor of Park Union Church in Chicago kept an audio journal chronicling her daily life and thoughts about the career and the calling of the ministry. Produced with Rev. Susan Johnson and WBEZ Chicago.
24 August 2009
17 August 2009
By Hillary Frank
Lucy can never meet her best friend in person because it might cut her life expectancy in half.
Lucy, a 28-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis, meets the "Bike Girl," who has the same disease, in an Internet chatroom. They are both, against the advice of friends and doctors, trying to get pregnant, and they find that they have a lot in common. They quickly become friends, but can never meet in person, because the Bike Girl carries a bacteria in her lungs that is toxic to anyone with cystic fibrosis. This piece was an experiment in combining fact and fiction. The interview tape is all from a real interview; the narration is fictional. Hide full description
Dyana, Goddess of the Moose Hunt
By Jamie Yuenger, Salt Institute of Documentary Studies
Dyana is going on her first moose hunt ever. Only, she's never even fired a rifle before. So, she enlists some help. But she gets more than she bargained for.
10 August 2009
And since we have music on the mind, we'll pair that story with a piece called "Radio Rorschach Test" by producer Aaron Henkin. In this puzzling piece, Henkin gets average folks to respond to sonic inkblots. Play along with us on Monday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. Central Time on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis. The show is also archived for two weeks after airing on the station's website.
03 August 2009
A sound-rich profile of Ataiba, chief of one of the last bands of nomads in the Americas, as he leaves the Bolivian jungle to live with evangelical missionaries. The story is told by Ataiba and the missionaries from starkly different points of view. Part of the Vanishing Homelands series, chronicling the dramatic changes to land and culture across the Americas. By Sandy Tolan and Nancy Postero.
We'll pair this documentary with a short feature from The Memory Palace, a new public radio effort by Los Angeles-based producer Nate DiMeo. It's super cool. Listen in.
27 July 2009
On this edition of the Listening Lounge, we'll air a podcast produced by Rob Rosenthal of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. In a recent episode of the Saltcast, Rob discusses non-narrated radio pieces and showcases a story by Sarah Reynolds called Look Me in the Eye. The story is about guy named Bill Bouffard who likes to play quad rugby.
We'll also air a story I produced a couple of years ago about the St. Paul Winter Carnival's Bouncing Girl competition. It also lacks narration and I had to give the story quite a bit thought before I bounded over to downtown St. Paul on a chilly January evening for the event. (By the way, a Bouncing Girl competition involves men holding a circular canvas blanket propelling a tiny woman into the air.) The Bouncing Girl story can also be heard here.
And I'll play a third non-narrated story: The Rolling Diamonds, a non-narrated story about a husband-and-wife rollerskating circus act. Tune in on Monday, Aug 3 at 7 p.m. Central Time on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis.
20 July 2009
And on the July 20 show: "Home from the Road," a commentary by Nanci Olesen.
09 July 2009
That's where the idea of a "Buffalo Commons" comes in. Backers want to accumulate big swaths of the Plains, and repopulate the land with bison and other native species.
A group called the American Prairie Foundation is trying to do that in northeastern Montana, around the town of Malta. It's knitting together a hodgepodge of old family ranches and public land, with the hope of eventually luring in ecotourists.
It's a pretty radical idea for a part of the country that's pretty, but decidedly NOT radical.
Here's a portrait from the Plains from producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister.
01 July 2009
Any way you slice it, St. Louis is one of the most violent cities in America. A primary cause for that distinction is gang violence. In a special three-part series, KWMU reporter Adam Allington speaks with Crips, Bloods, police, lawyers, and the people living in some of St. Louis' most notorious gang neighborhoods. We air "Block by Block: Street Gangs in St. Louis," recent winner of an Edward R. Murrow Award and "Watching My Cousin Sink Into Gang Life," by Julie Palido of Curie Youth Radio in Chicago.
18 June 2009
We'll begin the show with "Joe Savage: Perennial Sideman," a profile of a local pedal steel guitar player by Joel Grostephan. Unlike traditional public radio stories, Joel doesn't narrate this piece. Instead, we hear from Joe Savage and his crying pedal steel. It's a moving piece and you won't want to miss it.
Then it's on to a pair of funny essays on the subject of "People We Like Who Don't Like Us, But We Can't Help But Fancy Them." Diane Richard remembers the girl's bathroom at high school that she was supposed to avoid. Kristina Lund tells us about trying to convince her friend at work to become her friend in real life. "I have plenty of friends outside of work ... I just don't like them as much. They'll do in pinch, especially when I need to know that I am likable and not desperate. Sometimes when I run into you when I am out and about, thankfully I have one of my slackies with me."
08 June 2009
The non-bearded soldier in this picture was known to her comrades as Albert Cashier. But she was born in Ireland on Christmas Day of 1843 as Jennie Hodgers. This is the story of a woman who posed as a man during the Civil War and went on to live most of her life as a man in the tiny town of Saunemin, Illinois. Through the years the town has been ambivalent about their most famous citizen & has struggled to figure out what to do with her old house.
This show includes an interview with producer Linda Paul.
28 May 2009
18 May 2009
Beginning in 1926, that metaphor for hope and unfulfilled dreams was Route 66, a highway that connected Chicago to the Pacific Ocean. In a two-part documentary airing on the Listening Lounge, you'll hear what the highway meant to 20th century America.
Says one woman, "I do think that losing Route 66 was like losing a member of the family. It was a part of what people in Chicago could identify with, people in Oklahoma, people in Texas, people all the way to California. It was like a ribbon that tied us together."
Route 66 airs at 7 p.m. May 18 and May 25 on the Listening Lounge on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.
27 April 2009
24 April 2009
During and despite the Great Depression, the entertainment industry was working overtime. Listen to some of the gems and the stories behind them. The roughest years in American history produced what many consider the greatest era of popular music. Elliot Majerczyk looks at the songs that became the soundtrack of the ‘lost generation’ and helped pull America through the hard times. He says that given the state of the economy, we may get to hear more songs like these in the near future.
30 March 2009
In this documentary from Radio Netherlands, Chris Chambers uses his own experiences with dealing with chronic lyme disease to look in to what it's like to suffer from a disease that is little understood and which is causing a great deal of controversy in the medical world.
"The whole band would just like have an orgasm every time Bird or Dizz would play."
Those are actual words spoken in this eclectic, moody one-half hour of radio produced by Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices. It's called "The Jazz Plan." And it dips into all things jazz: Reflections from Cassandra Wilson, a poem called "A Mother*ucker Too" by Patricia Smith, an excerpt from "The Best of the Beat Generation," a fictional interview between Mister Rogers and a jazz musician, and of course, some damn good music.
Tune in. 7 p.m. KFAI.
Light up a cig when you do.
20 March 2009
Spring is here! Fishing time is near.
Down South, they snare catfish on their hooks. In the playful documentary Catfish Culture, you'll hear true and mythical stories about giant catfish. Stories like these:
"I caught a catfish that weighed 82 pounds."
"I caught a 75. I've been with boys that caught a 94. Same boys catch an 84."
"I caught one I didn't even put him in the boat. I didn't even want him in the boat with me. Woo. He weighed well over 100 pounds."
And if you remember Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi," you know that sometimes the catfish is portrayed as a menacing monster. That's referenced too in this jaunty story by Dan Collison, an award-winning radio producer.
So, tune in Monday, March 23 at 7 p.m. on the Listening Lounge. You won't need a fish finder to locate us: We're at 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul on little ol' KFAI.
12 March 2009
Kristina and Emily love whales. And so before Todd returns to Listening Lounge after his 5-week vacation, the two of us have decided to dedicate a half-hour show to whales. Whales! It’ll be fun, people!
First up, a piece from Barrett Golding’s show, Hearing Voices. (This should be your favorite audio documentary show—after the Listening Lounge, of course). “Blackfish” tells the story of a guy who can identify which pod an Orca whale is from simply by listening to its call. Dr. John Ford spends his nights on the water, with a hydraphone, an underwater mic, dangling off the side of the boat.
Next, a more somber story that we think everyone should hear. “Sonar and Whales,” from Spectrum radio’s Jean Kumagai, investigates the military's use of Low Frequency Sonar to detect foreign sea vessels and its often devastating effects on the ocean's sea life, particularly whales.
And we’ll round off the show with some old crazy fun stuff. First, “The Fisherman and His Wife,” a story from the Hanky Pank Players’ 1960 recording of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. (Ok, it’s just about a “big fish,” not necessarily a whale… but close enough, right?) Finally, “Sarah the Whale,” a little song from the 1962 self-titled album from Mr. Peppermint.
02 March 2009
First, "Inside the Glore:" A visit to one of America's most bizarre museums, the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, MO. This documentary, from producer Michael Paul Mason, is a vivid look into the history of psychiatric treatment. And after all the restraint cages and tranquilizer chairs and other disturbing contraptions, the question remains: have we really come so far, or is mental illness still an illusive world that we'll never quite know what to do with?
Next, "The Education of Sarah Brodie:" Sarah is an art therapist who wants to help Adele Lerner cope with living in a nursing home. But ultimately, it is Adele who teaches Sarah about making connections and putting up boundaries. The piece is from producers Jessica Brando and Neil Sandell.
23 February 2009
17 February 2009
Tune in for a healthy dose of Black History Month-related pieces. Kristina and Emily liked them, and they think you will too.
Toilet Paper Scrap Chronicles Civil Rights Ordeal: Within the archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison rests a carefully-preserved six-foot swatch of toilet paper. Miriam Feingold used it as stationary while incarcerated in a Port Allen, Louisiana Jail in September of 1963. She tells the story of a brutal civil rights struggle during a voter registration drive during which hundreds of people were arrested.
Navigating in Nebraska: Two years ago, 166 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans ended up in Omaha, Neb., and most of them have decided to stay. Building a new life is never easy, but it's especially difficult when you have to deal with various bureaucracies. Producer Lawrence Lanahan brings us a story about one man's mission to help himself by helping other evacuees get back on their feet.
Experiences with the “N” Word: Producer Paul McDonald reflects on his experiences hearing, using, and understanding the “n” word—you know which one.
Black Tension: Over the past decade, the African immigrant population in the United States has increased rapidly. Their numbers doubled in the 1990s, and the latest estimates say there are over one million US residents from the African continent today. This piece looks at the sometimes tension-filled relationship between African immigrants and Black Americans.
Identity in this Society: Chicago teenager Sean Reed gives a spoken-word performance about the complexities of identity in America, especially for a young black male.
13 February 2009
“Lynching’s End?: the Great 1930 Texas Courthouse Race Riot” is the story of one of the last incident’s of the so-called “race riot era.” Thousands of white men, women and children besieged, burned, dynamited, torched and destroyed the Grayson County Courthouse in Texas to get at a confessed black rapist on trial inside. The mob drove off Texas Rangers and National Guards, then went on to terrorize the town of Sherman's black community and torch the black business district. African-Americans, scholars and citizens alike still struggle to understand why it happened. But one immediate result was the formation of the pivotal Association of Southern [White] Women for the Prevention of Lynching. Listen in at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 on the Listening Lounge on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.
02 February 2009
26 January 2009
19 January 2009
"Learning to Live: James' Story" won the Edward R. Murrow Award; the Third Coast International Audio Festival Public Service Award; and the 2002 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. Judges in the latter competition called it "a tightly straightforward report that skillfully wove actuality and narration, James telling his story as only he could. It was clear, concise and remarkably comprehensive."