27 July 2009

Stories Sans Narration - Airs Aug. 3

Most radio stories feature a narrator (usually the reporter) to provide the listener with context and descriptions. But sometimes a radio story is more powerful if the reporter can get out of the way and let the subject tell us what's happening. Or better yet, show us.

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

Road Trip - Airs July 20 + July 27

Host Larry Massett spends a "Long Day on the Road" with ex-KGB in the Republic of Georgia. Scott Carrier starts in Salt Lake and ends on the Atlantic in this cross-country "Hitchhike." Lemon Jelly adds beats to the life of a "Ramblin' Man." The band Richmond Fontaine sends musical postcards from the flight of "Walter On the Lam." And Mark Allen tells a tale of a tryst with a "Kinko's Crackhead."

And on the July 20 show: "Home from the Road," a commentary by Nanci Olesen.

09 July 2009

Buffalo Commons - Airs July 13

The problems of the Great Plains have been chronicled for decades-- lack of industry, an aging population, towns closing up shop and reverting to prairie scrub.

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

Street Gangs in the Midwest - Airs July 6

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.