18 June 2009

Heard Here - Airs June 22

The producers here at the Listening Lounge have been editing and re-editing radio stories for the debut edition of "Heard Here: KFAI Producers Showcase."

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 Dad Plan - Airs June 15

It's never too early to start thinking about the old man. Your father. Your dad. On our June 15 show, we air a half-hour worth of stories about dads. It's called "The Dad Plan." It begins with a very funny song by William Shatner, Aimee Mann and the Ben Folds. Shatner plays the Dad, of course, one who wants to reconnect with his adult child but doesn't want to talk about anything emotional or pressing. The show also includes stories by Sarah Vowell of This American Life. Tune in and don't forget about Dad's Day. Um, it's June 21, I think. (The photo is my old man — Thomas Melby of Hettinger, North Dakota. I'm that baby in the red-and-white outfit. Damn, he looks tired.)

Thembi Ngubane Dies

In 2007, we aired a documentary by Joe Richman called Thembi's AIDS Diary, about a South African woman's struggle with HIV/AIDS. Thembi Ngubane was 19 years old when she began recording her thoughts about HIV. She also recorded her loving interactions with her boyfriend, the moment she told her father about her condition and many other touching moments. After her story was broadcast, she toured the United States. Later, she also addressed the South African parliament. Thembi recently contracted tuberculous and died June 4. She was 24. Producer Joe Richman recorded a remembrance of Thembi for National Public Radio. You can listen to it here.

Jennie's Secret - Airs June 8

Take a look at this picture. Maybe you can figure out that the Civil War soldier on the right is a woman. But the guy sitting next to her sure couldn’t, and neither could the rest of her fellow soldiers. They didn’t conduct physical exams back in those days the way the military does now. The army’s policy, one observer quipped, was “ don’t test the eyes, count ‘em.“

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.

You can read more about Jennie's Secret here and here.