28 December 2011

The Wonders of Childhood - Airs Dec 28th

The Magic of Falling Teeth by Sharon Bar-David
First, Sharon takes us to a whimsical world that most of us have probably forgotten. It's filled with fairies and wiggly teeth.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
We'll close the program with a bedtime story read by Basil Rathbone. A story from The Happy Prince and Other Tales published by Wilde in 1888. A giant erects a wall to keep children out of his garden, reaping the consequences of a continuous winter.

21 December 2011

Kidnap Radio - Airs Dec. 21
Independent producer Annie Correal describes the tragedy behind the documentary Kidnap Radio: "I was 19 when my father was kidnapped in Colombia. It was 1999. My mother came to my college campus to deliver the news and I flew to Bogota to be with my family for a few weeks. (My mother is American, my father’s Colombian and they divorced when I was 5.) After that, except for brief trips for a wedding and a funeral, I didn’t go back to the country where I was born until I traveled there to report this piece in the spring of 2009." To learn more about Kidnap Radio and producer Annie Correal, check out this story on Transom.

14 December 2011

All in Time - Airs Dec. 14

The clock ticks; the moon waxes; the autumn leaves turn crimson. Time is as ubiquitous as it is elusive. Guided by science and science fiction, All In Time traverses the timeless mystery of time itself. 

This 25-minute work won the Luc Ferrari International Broadcast Arts Competition and was commissioned by La Muse En Circuit (Centre National de Création Musicale), with the support of Radio Suisse Romande, Deutschlandradio Kultur, RTBF Musiq 3, Groupe de Recherches Musicales, and Radio-France.   

In 2011 
All In Time
 was presented on Radio Suisse Romande in Switzerland, Deutschlandradio Kultur in Germany, as well as at the Archipel Contemporary Music Festival in Geneva, at Festival Extension XI in Paris, at Netaudio London, at Ohrenhoch sound art gallery in Berlin, and at the Deep Wireless Festival in Toronto.  The work recently won a Gold World Medal for Best Sound at the New York Festivals Radio Programming Awards.

09 December 2011

We like the Public Radio Remix.

06 December 2011

Four Failing Lungs - Airs Dec 7th

Four Failing Lungs by Catie Talarski
Last year there were 1,770 lung transplants performed in the United States -- the most ever in a single year.
For a person with Cystic Fibrosis, the transplant may extend life by years. It could however lead to continued suffering and rejection of the new organ.
When most folks are just hitting their stride in their late 20s, Beth and Brian are instead medicating, massaging and coaxing their lungs into lasting as long as possible. Both have end-stage Cystic Fibrosis, and are struggling with decisions about getting a transplant.
Producer Catie Talarski documented Beth and Brian for a year to understand what its like to live with this chronic disease.

29 November 2011

A Charlie Brown Listening Lounge - Airs Nov 30th.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! by Kenny Fairris Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas has become a yearly tradition for generations of viewers. We'll explore the history of this program, consider why it communicates so well, and hear about some of the spiritual and artistic influence it has had.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown! by Kaye Ballard & Arthur Siegel
Several tracks from the 1962 Columbia Records' "Good Grief, Charlie Brown!" album based entirely on early strips written by Schulz. This recording marked the first time ever that the Peanuts characters were brought to life. It was conceived by Kaye Ballard (as Lucy) with longtime creative partner Arthur Siegel (as Charlie) and produced by the legendary John Hammond. The "music" was created by Fred Karlin. Karlin, an Oscar winner, put together a very odd orchestra of childrens' musical instruments, household objects, and real toys, a concept much imitated afterward.

22 November 2011

Where I'm From - Airs Nov 23rd

Halfrican from Teenage Diaries
Jeff is sixteen and lives with his family in Boston.
He is goofy, smart, and charming. Along with those adjectives, he is also these: black and white and brown. More and more Jeff finds himself thinking about race as he’s confronted with the question, “What are you?” This is his radio diary.

How the West was Won
by Lacy Roberts
Lacy couldn't wait to get out of Montana ...and then she still grappled with her roots when she became an East Coast college freshman. Most of her classmates knew next to nothing about life in her home state: "Are there cities in Montana? Is there an airport there?" However, in time, she started to become really, really, really proud to be from Montana. This change in thinking began with some pretty baffling letters from her grandfather.

16 November 2011

The Wisdom of Jay Thunderbolt - Airs Nov. 16
This is the baddest, bad ass documentary we've ever aired. It's about a guy who has been shot in the face. He recovered and now runs a strip club out of his Detroit home. Also: He likes to drink tequila and push around reporters by asking for money for interviews. Reporter: "Well, we can't actually pay interview subjects. We're a nonprofit public radio station." Jay Thunderbolt: "C'mon man, I hear you guys selling those tote bags. Can't Jay Thunderbolt get a little tote bag money?" This documentary won a big award at the Third Coast International Audio Festival. We're the first station in the country to air the entire documentary. This is definitely not recommended for young audiences. Listener discretion advised. (Produced and edited by Nick van der Kolk, Brendan Baker and Nick Williams. Originally aired on the Love + Radio podcast.)

09 November 2011

The Queen's Trek - Airs Nov. 9
Bhutan is a land of prayer flags and happiness. But people are people, and human suffering, including domestic violence, is as prevalent here as it is anywhere. Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk takes her job - creating happiness for the people of her kingdom - seriously - so much so that she treks into the most remote corners of the country to meet the people who she would otherwise never see, to find out about their lives, strategize about health care, and to help end domestic violence. Outer Voices accompanied her into a remote unmapped corner of the high Himalayas. 

02 November 2011

The Fear - Airs Nov 2nd

The Thing At The Foot Of The Bed by Rachel Yoder
The boogie man, the monster in the closet, the thing that goes bump in the night—these, we tell ourselves, are mere fabrications of an overactive imagination, childish fears that easily dematerialize with the flip of a light switch. But what happens when the boogie man starts talking? What about when we try to rise to turn on the light only to find ourselves literally paralyzed? This radio essay explores what exactly happens in those moments just as we're falling asleep or waking, those half-conscious twilights in which our brains see and hear what shouldn't be there.

The Uses of Fear by Ben Adair
More and more, abstract and ever-present fear defines us as a society. Perhaps we are all indeed held captive to fear -- but fear can also be a tool. This montage is comprised of three conversations with people whose lives have been dictated by fear. We'll hear from a mafia executioner, a horror film director and a hypochondriac. Each person gives a different perspective on fear and how fear has affected their behavior and mental state.

Shy Bladder Workshop by Hammad Ahmed
It happens to everyone at some point. You're trying to relieve yourself in a public restroom, but maybe your boss is standing next to you or there's a long line behind you, and for some reason you just can't seem to go. Paruresis is the acute version of that. We'll meet Tony who hadn't been able to use a public bathroom for 45 years. So Tony went to a workshop to find out how other paruretics get better. Turns out they build friendships of trust, drink lots of water and then practice peeing together.

25 October 2011

Poe Pourri - Airs Oct 26th

In this episode we're spinning two stories; both horrific, brilliant tales of mystery by master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. We'll start with a dramatic reading of the Tell Tale Heart performed by James Mason backed by the spooky organ stylings of Buddy Cole. The Tell Tale Heart was first published by Poe in 1843 and left me utterly haunted when I saw it performed 140 years later on an elementary school field trip. In fact, the memory of the sound of that beating heart still gives me the creeps to this day. We'll also hear Poe's story The Masque of the Red Death told by the legendary William Burroughs. As you can imagine ...it's pretty messed up too. Please join us for a delightfully spooky evening.

11 October 2011

Hark! The Acoustic World of Elizabethan England - Airs Oct. 12 + Oct. 19

Winner of the 2009 Prix Marulic for best documentary and winner of the Grand Award and a Gold Medal for Best Sound at the 2009 New York Festivals Awards for Radio Programming.

investigates the acoustic world of Early Modern England.  
Tracking down some ancient sounds that still exist, and evoking others which have become extinct, the documentary is an acoustic film building a soundtrack to imagine the noises of Elizabethan society through the ears of those who listened four centuries ago.

For more information on the producers of this documentary, go to Battery Radio.

28 September 2011

Pledge Drive - Airs Sept. 28
It's pledge drive at KFAI, our radio home. As a bonus to our listeners, we're airing some of our favorite stories from the past year, including Irv and Me. Tune in, enjoy the show and make a donation to great storytelling.

20 September 2011

That Teenage Feeling - Airs Sept 21st

In A Bubble by Hillary Frank
Frank stalks the crowded, noisy school hallways and finds the shy kids. She then amazingly succeeds in getting them to talk about themselves; w
hat it's like to be quiet and why it can be tough. "Some people don't realize I'm there until I leave," says one. These are teens who worry about how their shyness will affect their ability to get dates, talk in front of a class ...all kinds of stuff.

Fire And Ice Cream by Brent Runyon
When Brent was 14, he was badly, badly burned and ended up at Children's National Medical Center's Burn Unit in Washington, DC. Years later, yet with devastating immediacy, he dives back into the mind of that teenager struggling with love and pain. Produced by Jay Allison. Brent's story is taken from the memoir "The Burn Journals."

First Kiss
from Teenage Diaries

Josh is a 17-year old who lives in Manhattan. He has Tourette's Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and verbal outbursts. So clearly his arrival at summer camp in Bennington, Vermont poses a very unique and thrilling opportunity for a fresh start. Yep, girls, this means you.
The Teenage Diaries series is produced by Joe Richman.

"Pucker lips, slowly open mouth, slowly slide tongue in, repeat steps 1, 2, and 3."

14 September 2011

Spirit and Body Willing - Airs Sept. 14
I still remember interviewing a group of elderly people about sexuality. During an interview at a Chicago assisted living facility, one woman said this: "Some people think that when you get old, you don't want to have sex or that you shouldn't have sex. I say if the spirit is there and body is willing, go to it." Others said great stuff too that contributed to a surprising and refreshing documentary titled, "Spirit and Body Willing: Sex Over Age 70." Since the doc was aired in 2003, senior sexuality is receiving more attention from sexuality professionals. I'm happy about that. And I'm still a little surprised we were able to get a candid discussion of female orgasm on the radio (originally Chicago Public Radio) during afternoon drive time. Spirit and Body Willing: Sex Over Age 70 airs on the Listening Lounge at 6:30 p.m. Central Time on KFAI. (Todd Melby)

06 September 2011

The Science of Sound - Airs Sept 7th

exploring the mechanics behind how sound actually works. 1958, this album became asing an ample helping of sound effects and audio tricks to illustrate various points. The album is both a remarkable document of a previous era and a timeless lesson in understanding what it means to hear. Echo and Reverberation," "Delay Distortion," "Dissonance and Consonance," "The Doppler Effect," and much, much more!!!

31 August 2011

Celebration of the American Worker - Airs Aug 31st

Gumbuster by Eveylyn Lobardo
People make a living doing all kinds of odd
niche jobs. For instance: need a solution to your gum pollution problem? Here's a New Yorker who has the will and the technology to scrape those pesky gum spots off your pavement.

Rugged And Beautiful by Emily Sapienza
Tools in hand, steel toed boots on their feet, Mildred Santamaa and Dorothy Stone built Liberty Ships during WWII. But don't confuse them with Rosie the Riveter. These South Portland, Maine ladies are tougher.

Cops & Firefighters from WFUV News
Emergency personnel are, of course, needed at all times of the day. This leads to some pretty odd working and waking hours. In this segment, WFUV introduces us to a New York City police officer and a firefighter doing their duty on the late, late, late shift.

Picture Day! by Shea Shackelford
This is a profile of Sterling Hoffman, a paparazzo in the Washington, DC area. Yup, we spend a day in an elementary school with a school-portrait photographer.

Li'l Nipper from The Memory Palace
We are reminded that mines are a terrible place to work, especially if you are nine. A snap shot of one of the worst jobs ever and the horrors of child labor in the early 20th Century.

Li'l Hot Mama by Kate Szrom
Vaudeville entertainer Flossie Turner Lewis reflects on her life, including working with the family act in the minstrel show circuit and finally getting an education.

Have a great holiday. Take a break - you've earned it.

24 August 2011

Best of Youth Radio - Airs Aug. 24
Great radio isn't just produced by seasoned veterans. Many stations, including KFAI, have youth radio programs featuring the work of high school students. On this show, you'll hear Someone To Tuck Me In, by Raymond Henderson of New York City. Raymond tells the story of living with foster parents after suffering from abuse. We'll also hear Is There Such a Thing As Good Hair, by Stephanie Perry of Minneapolis; Different, Not Disabled: The Perception of My Mind, by Ian Kathan of Carmel, Indiana (pictured); and Rap Resume by King Anyi Howell of Youth Radio in Oakland.

18 August 2011

17 August 2011

Here There Is No Moon - Airs Aug. 17
A college student leaps from a bridge, a young mother walks into a lake, a widow clings to a ledge. Impulse. Depression. Illness. Grief. “Here There Is No Moon,” produced by Susan Stone, is a portrait of the suicidal mind from the perspective of those who have survived the bullet, the bottle, the jump --and those who have helped in rescue and intervention. There is the limbo in which some live: Why am I still here? Will I try again? Can I resume the life I almost left? For others, there is relief in having a second chance at life. And then there are the doctors, philosophers, counselors, and poets who grapple with suicide as epidemic, violence, and siren song. But the fundamental question remains: Why does one commit suicide, while another does not? No one really knows the answer. True stories from those who might. Read more about the documentary on Transom.

10 August 2011

Boxer Briefs - Airs Aug 10th

Before the Bell by Cally Carswell
Boxers at the Portland Boxing Club spend months and years preparing for eight minutes in the ring. We take a look inside the gym to find out what it takes to get to the fight.

Life Between the Ropes by Chris Ballman

A behind the scene sound collage of a boxing match. We'll start by hearing from the trainer, then we visit with the boxer, fight doctor, cutman, and card girls to find out what's so appealing about this brutal sport.

White Collar Boxing
by Charles Lane

In Brooklyn's salty and dimly-lit Gleason's Boxing Gym, a new type of boxer is climbing through the ropes. Now senior citizens and those recovering from cancer are using boxing for their health. The problem is what they're doing is actually illegal because of very stringent "tuffman" laws.

Boxing for Girls
by Amelia de Sousa

Gun violence in Brazil has turned Rio de Janeiro into a war zone. For young people who live in the slums - or favelas - crime offers an escape from a life of crushing poverty. But a boxing organization is trying to turn kids away from gangs. Even young women in Rio’s slums are fighting for a better future and breaking barriers at the same time.

Dambe in Sokoto by Sarah Simpson
Traditional "Dambe" boxing matches have been popular in northern Nigeria for generations. Though the number of matches being fought has declined, the type of people entering the ring has broadened. Instead of just butchers and slaughterhouse workers entering the ring, now a wide range of poor young men are boxing -- hoping to win some big prizes.

03 August 2011

Shakespeare in the Park - Airs Aug 3rd

Lay down your picnic blankets and don your headphones; Shakespeare comes to the Listening Lounge! We'll try our best to gain a general appreciation of Shakespeare as well as an understanding of the African-American experience with Shakespeare. Along the way we'll hear performances and readings by Jayne Mansfield, James Earl Jones, Sir John Gielgud, Dame Edith Evans, and many more.

25 July 2011

The Dog Days of Summer - Airs July 27th

An Actual Story in Sound of a Dog's Life by
The sound of the first year of the life of a dog; all the people the dog meets and all the situations a dog (and his humans) go through. This recording was broadcast on The CBS Radio Wordshop in 1957 and released on Smithsonian Folkways Records in 1958.

Known as the "wizard of sound," the pioneering Tony Schwartz (August 19, 1923 - June 15, 2008) was an American sound archivist, audio designer, media theorist, and advertising creator. Tony embraced audio tape technology while in its infancy in the 40s, and over the next 55 years assembled a vast collection of audio-visual materials. Schwartz’s life-long interest in people, events, and music led him to record urban soundscapes and to collect similar recordings from other folklorists around the world. Already considered a master of the electronic media, Mr. Schwartz also changed the face of tv advertising by creating socially conscientious campaigns. He developed the nation’s first anti-smoking advert and produced the infamous so-called "Daisy" spot for LBJ’s presidential campaign.

"The best thing about radio is that people were born without earlids. You can't close your ears to it." - Tony Schwartz

19 July 2011

Sink or Swim - Airs July 20
As humidity and heat fills the air, we head to the lake for a nice, cool swim. On this show, we air four stories related to swimming. We begin with Baumgartner's Got Nothing on Charette, the story of one woman's unusual relationship with distance swimming. Her adult son dies, so she hits the water. And later tries to swim the English Channel. It's riveting. And scary. And inspiring. We also air Swimming, a cautionary swimming lesson that covers all the risks -- and none of the pleasure -- of keeping afloat. And then we ease up on the throttle for Dock Jump, an essay about the joys of leaping into the unknown on a pier in northern Minnesota. The fourth story is a surprise. The water is refreshing, join us for a dip on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

18 July 2011

13 July 2011

Last Reel: Drive-In Movie Theaters of Minnesota - Airs July 13
They had names like The Cinebuff, the Bronco, The Maple Leaf, The Sunset. They were the drive-in movie theaters of Minnesota. Once, there were more than 80 outdoor movie theaters in the Gopher State. Today, only a handful remain, including the Sky-Vu in Warren and the Starlite 5 in Litchfield. Grab your popcorn, get in the car and join us for a tour of drive-in movie theaters of Minnesota. Produced by Todd Melby.

05 July 2011

Ghetto Life 101 - Airs July 6

This is the radio documentary that most producers wished they had created, including me. "Ghetto Life 101" tells the story of two teenagers growing up on Chicago's South Side. But it tells it from their point-of-view. Producer David Isay gave LeAlan Jones and Llyod Newman tape recorders so they could record themselves leaving home in the morning, riding the city bus, fooling around and interviewing their relatives. There are light moments and sad moments. But it all adds up to life. Originally broadcast in 1993 on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. We'll also air a second Isay documentary: "Witness to an Exectuion," an Isay doc about capital punishment's impact on prison guards.

Listen to an interview with producer David Isay on PRX's Saltcast
A second documentary by Jones and Newman: Remorse: The 14 Stories of Eric Morse
Photos, Transcripts and more from Ghetto Life 101
Photos, Transcripts and more from Witness to an Execution

29 June 2011

27 June 2011

Iggy & The Stooges: Raw Power - Airs June 29

A new one-hour radio version of the Listening Lounge pays tribute to new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members, Iggy & the Stooges, and their 1973 album, Raw Power. Listen to how this seminal album was made and how it influenced future generations of punk rockers.

Includes interview clips from three Stooges - Iggy Pop, James Williamson and Sott Asheton and others influenced by them, between tracks like "Search and Destroy," "Gimme Danger" and others from the original album as well as previously unheard outtakes and live recordings.
Like the classic quote about the Velvet Underground, it didn’t sell many records at the time, but everyone who bought one started a band.  We hear from three such people -  Henry Rollins (Black Flag / Rollins Band), Mike Watt (Minutemen / Firehose) and Johnny Marr (Smiths / Modest Mouse / 7 Worlds Collide) , who each count this record as a major influence on their own legendary musical careers.  Noted music photographer Mick Rock is also interviewed.
Gimme Danger, baby.

24 June 2011

SUMMER! - Aired June 22nd

Sun Tunnels by Scott Carrier
Scott marks the solstice by spending the night inside a gigantic concrete tube. Specifically, an obscure art installation called the Sun Tunnels in a very remote part of the Utah desert.

Poke Stick Scrape Dump by Bill Palladino
Bill recounts his first summer job in this rhythmic essay. It was mundane, repetitive work. It was picking up garbage at a drive-in movie theater.

Showing the Garden by Ruth Draper
Finally, monologue from the talented Ruth Draper; An English lady of somewhat advanced middle age guides her visitor into her garden. As they move down the pathway from one bed of flowers to another, they pause at each as she explains that nothing is at its best. Such a shame, too, because her Glubjullas, Seccalikums and other highly unusual flora are usually so exquisite.
"People come from far and wide, and they all agree they have never seen finer Glubjullas than mine."

15 June 2011

Your Cabin Primer - Airs June 15th

We'll be spinning some phonography again; an LP titled Voices of the Loon put out by the National Audubon Society and North American Loon Fund in 1980. Many consider this to be THE definitive loon recording (and rumor is that these are the very recordings used in the film On Golden Pond.) First up, a fascinating lesson of our state bird's calls and then we'll dive into some wonderful field recordings at the end of the program. Voices of the Loon was written and produced by William Barklow. Narration and loon call identification is provided by Robert Lurtsema. This recording was re-released in 2007 on Minneapolis' Swallowtail Records. You can order it on compact disc right here.

07 June 2011

A Good Death - Airs June 8th

Final Exit by Kelly McEvers
Our first story is a first-person essay from Kelly McEvers about her friend Bob. Bob had terminal cancer and eventually took his own life. After Bob's death, Kelly found a book that covers many aspects of planning and carrying out "self-deliverance" in his apartment. She writes because she wants to raise awareness that if the U.S. had better "death with dignity" laws more people could seek out physician-assisted death in a supportive environment instead of dying alone in a shroud of secrecy.

Bury Me Deep from Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
As hospice nurses, Alison Milne and Michael Schooley drive hundreds of miles a day, across two regions of Southern Maine, visiting patients at different stages of the dying process. Both say a person must have a calling to work in hospice. As they transgress the boundaries between the living and the dying, they enter the most intimate of human worlds.

The Art of Dying Well by Hana Baba
Dealing with death can be emotionally draining, but one man says we shouldn’t fear the experience. Instead, it should be embraced as a natural part of life. Dale Borglum is founder the Living/Dying Project. His organization helps people deal with death, gain a sense of spirituality, live fully, and prepare to die, as he puts it, a “conscious death.” Hana Baba from KALW in San Francisco sat down with Borglum and asked him what that means.

01 June 2011

The Bluesologist - Airs June 1st

We've been known to feature poetry from time to time on the program; this week (as the space shuttle returns to earth*) we'll dedicate our entire episode to "the godfather of rap." Gil Scott-Heron, renowned musician, bluesologist, and revolutionary spoken word poet, died this past Friday at 62. Tune in Wednesday night at 6:30 to 90.3 FM. No, the revolution will not be televised - it'll be on KFAI.

*Timely cogent masterpieces of satire:
Whitey On The Moon & Space Shuttle

23 May 2011

Irv and Me - Airs May 25

"I don't think the world needs another memoir." Those are the words writer Irving Brecher told Hank Rosenfeld when he suggested the pair write a book about Brecher's life. It's one of my favorite quotes from this charming documentary. Brecher was the only person to write two Marx Brothers movies alone. All the others were written by committee. Rosenfeld loves comedies and is also a writer. While this doc includes great stories about the Marx Brothers, it's really a story about the friendship of Brecher and Rosenfeld. Brecher's wit is lighting fast. Luckily, Rosenfeld kept a recorder on during much of their eight years together. Don't miss "Irv and Me," produced by Jon Kalish, a good friend of mine and a radio producer in New York City.

At The Circus - May 18

Remember the magic of the circus? The spangles and the sawdust, the unmistakeable smell of animals, the excitement as the lights dimmed? How are circuses managing in the video game technological world of today? What kind of person does it take to perform in a circus, living a gypsy existence, sometimes risking life and limb to bring us, the audience that moment of wonder? Radio Netherlands visits the circus.

11 May 2011

Polar Prom - Airs May 11

High school proms are a rite of passage that most teenagers take for granted. But not in Igloolik. It's a small, isolated Arctic town in northern Canada in Nunavut.  Recently the town's students and teachers staged the first prom in the town's history. It was a huge success and an inspiration. And the event can all be traced back to an e-mail received by the CBC's Maureen Brosnahan. Which lead to her documentary "Polar Prom." In addition to airing "Polar Prom," we air a Listening Lounge favorite: "Will You Go To Prom With Me?" It's an audio essay by a teenage boy flummoxed by the notion of asking a girl to prom. It's funny and all-too-familiar.

04 May 2011

Yesterday's Revolution - Airs May 4

Lots of folks are into vinyl these days. Some people are even making mix tapes again. But if you really want to embrace obscure, seemingly dead media, there's no better way to do it than to buy 78 rpm records. This documentary takes listeners inside the rarefied world of 78 record enthusiasts, including Greg Carr, former KFAI "Dig Out the Roots" DJ, and Scott Holthus, owner of Vintage Music Company in Minneapolis. Holthus owns hundreds of thousands of 78 records and he refurbishes the machines that plays them. Produced by Listening Lounge host Todd Melby for KFAI's 10,000 Fresh Voices series.

27 April 2011

The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski - Airs April 27

In 1966, a young marine took a reel-to reel tape recorder with him into the Vietnam War. For two months, until he was killed in action, Michael Baronowski made tapes of his friends, of life in fighting holes, of combat. 34 years later, his comrade Tim Duffie brought Baronowski's three-inch reels to Lost & Found Sound. The documentary shed light on the experience of that war, and, in some measure, of all wars. It used the power of radio to reveal the heart through the voice and to see in the dark. It combined the rare talent of the late Baronowski as a "correspondent" from the front, the compassion of his dedicated platoon mate Duffie. The documentary won the first Gold Award in the Third Coast Audio Festival competition.

19 April 2011

Twitterpated - Airs April 20th

A More Perfect Union by Eric Molinsky
A look at American self-identity through the medium of online dating services. Culling data from over twenty online dating sites, artist-programmer R. Luke DuBois made his own map of the U.S. with data from 19 million dating profiles. We'll hear who’s shy, who’s bored, who’s got moxie -- and who wants to be spanked.

Lights, Camera... Date! by Todd Bookman
Misrepresentation is simply part of the internet dating game. A few pounds here, a few inches there -- everyone does it. But when Ryan learns that the girl who arrived for the date wasn't even the girl from the profile; he felt things had gone a little too far. PS. 9 million viewers were watching his reaction.

Skit About Computer Dating by Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara
A couple is paired by a computer believing them to be a perfect match - but they think that perhaps there has been a mistake. Recorded live on April 3rd on the Ed Sullivan show in 1966.

12 April 2011

Strange But True Baseball Stories - Airs April 13th

Dock Ellis Pitches a No-No by Neille Ilel
Steroid use in Major League Baseball has muscled back into the headlines as the Barry Bonds' perjury trail jury begins their fourth day of deliberation. But drugs in baseball are certainly nothing new. Dock Ellis tells us about the time in 1970 he pitched a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while on a perhaps-not-so-performance-enhancing drug.

The Potato Ball Caper
Long Haul Productions
On August 31, 1987, one of baseball's most peculiar plays took place in the minor leagues in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It was a variation of the age-old hidden ball trick, except this time around it actually involved a hidden potato.

Nancy Plays for the Sox
by Philip Graitcer
The organ is baseball’s loudest fan, and, like peanuts and hot dogs, hearing the national anthem played on a ballpark organ is baseball tradition... but that’s changing. This season only about half of the major league teams have real live organists. Their sound is being replaced by canned music and DJs.
Nancy Faust was the Chicago White Sox organist for 41 seasons. She retired at the end of last season - but we get to sit-in with her for a few tunes before she hung up her Molly O'Morgan.

PS. Here's a great animated version of our first tale.

21 March 2011

Chemical Change - Airs March 23rd

Out of Chaos by Shannon Heffernan
Shannon has had trouble staying focused her whole life because she has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. A few months ago, she finally decided to try to do something about it. She kept an audio diary of her fears of how the medicine might change her and lets us listen in on the process.

Reinventing Fun by Hillary Frank
Sam chose Augsburg College because it was near his cocaine dealer. But Augsburg is also home to one of the few on-campus recovery programs in the country, StepUP. Eventually, (rock bottom came first of course) Sam decided to get himself clean and join. But then came the hard part: sobering up while still living with his party-animal roommates. He had to find something to replace all the drugs, pills, and booze -- fun.

Cancer Anxiety Study by Ben Adair
Pamela was anxious and depressed. After years of intensive chemotherapy, Pamela was told her Stage 4 cancer was terminal, and her death would likely be painful. After losing hope she was living out her remaining days in fear. Her doctors prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t do any good. So, Pamela volunteered for an experimental depression treatment hoping to ease the pain and trauma of a terminal illness. She took psilocybin -- a hallucinogen better known as "magic mushrooms."

16 March 2011

When Silence Sings - Airs March 16th

When Silence Sings by Joanne Coombs

Tonie Flaathen has been profoundly deaf from birth. This does not stop her from absorbing and relishing the reverberations that 'sound' through her. She contemplates what it means to hear as she takes us on an aural tour of her adoptive city - Venice.

Venice is the most acoustically transparent city in the World. It exists without the sounds of automobiles. You would think this aspect of the city's charm would be lost on Tonie. But Tonie understands audio; as a small child Tonie's father would create complex acoustic set-ups in the garden, amplifying the vibrations in nature in order to help her understand the concept of sound. And being free from the common mire of motor traffic makes it possible for the sonic details of urban life to have a surprising delicacy. Everyday sounds such as footsteps and the coos of pigeons have remarkable clarity as they penetrate and mix within the public acoustic space. Monumental sounds such as bells, ship horns, or thunder claps can travel great distances.

The Italian word 'to hear' is 'sentire'. The same word in reflexive form 'sentirsi' means 'to feel'. Different sorts of microphones were used by Joanne to reflect the way the world feels to Tonie. She captures the vibrations to create a sonic landscape of Venice - for us.

07 March 2011

Women of Troy - Airs March 9

Troy, New York was once one of the richest cities in America (thanks to its role in the industrial revolution). Now, roughly one-fifth of the population lives under the U.S. poverty line. Listening Lounge will air three audio stories documenting the lives of the women living in Troy today: “In the Office of Temporary Assistance,” “Just a Girl” and “The Cutting Place."

The series "Women of Troy" is part of “In Verse” is a multimedia reporting project combining poetry, photography and sound. This installment features poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally and producer Lu Olkowski as they document the lives of working mothers in Troy, New York. A slideshow of photos connected with the project is here.

Also on the show: "The Christopher I Knew" and "Pink" from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. A slideshow associated with "The Christopher I Knew" is here.

02 March 2011

Cigar Stories - Airs March 2

Hand rolling cigars can be boring. So in the old days, factory owners hired readers to break up the monotony. In this episode of the Listening Lounge, we learn about "El Lector - He Who Reads," a documentary produced by the Kitchen Sisters. From about 1900 to the 1930s, men in panama hats who spoke in loud, beautiful voices read to the workers as they rolled cigars in factories in Tampa and Ybor City. We'll also listen to a poem titled "Box of Cigars" by Gerald Sterns.

16 February 2011

Hitting the Road - Airs Feb. 16

We're hitting the road tonight with three quirky travel pieces. We begin with an exploration of the dark underbelly of Sin City. Producer Scott Carrier hangs out with gamblers in "Las Vegas." After that, we listen in as Jenny Asarnow contemplates vacationing to "somewhere nice" with Amtrak's computerized travel agent. In "Julie the Amtrak God," we hear Jenny and Julie battle it out. Who will win? Human or computer? And then we wrap up the show with producer Jake Warga's bus journey to the West Coast. He talks to fellow travelers or gets fooled by them and visits a friend in jail. (We like the upbeat travel stories!)

09 February 2011

Valentine's Day Heartbreak - Airs Feb. 9

Instead of sobbing into your chai this week-before-Valentine's-day, why not revel in the details of other people's love and heartache? Listening Lounge starts off with a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia--complete with wind-up bunnies--then we drop into the StoryCorps booth to hear from a Korean mother about how she learned to say "I love you.". Next, Courtenay Hameister, host of Portland's Live Wire Radio, shares the embarrassing details of her early conversations with boys. We end the hour with a sprinkling of other StoryCorps voices, and an audio collage about growing old together, from the Wandering Jew series. You don't want to miss it.

29 January 2011

Communicating With Animals - Airs Groundhog Day

Thoughts Of An Animal Communicator by Paul Messing
First, we'll hear musings from animal communicator David Louis. David bares his emotionally honest perceptions on all animals, and basic feelings of love and understanding.

Subtext: Communicating with Horses
by Jay Allison

An animal psychologist searches for the source of one horse's ennui. The horse responds with his story of dislocation and lost youth.

Sounds and Ultra-Sounds of the Bottle-Nose Dolphin by
John Cunningham Lilly


19 January 2011

Shades of Gray - Airs Jan. 19 and Jan. 26

Pro-choice. Pro-life. Most people have already chosen sides in the ongoing debate, so why revisit the issue? "Shades of Gray" shares a range of stories told by people young and old who have been directly affected by abortion, instead of the polemics of irreconcilable extremes. It's a carefully crafted audio mosaic and a stark portrayal of the intensely personal nature of our relationship with abortion. PRX Reviewer Marjorie Van Halteren described it this way: "This is impressive work - and very careful - it's artistic AND balanced. This piece does not promote abortion. It does not condemn it. But it does provide some very precise information - for example, part one includes a beautifully produced experiential moment of what an abortion might be like - totally unromanticized - just the sound. Unembellished. It's not horrific - just factual and radiophonic at the same time." (Winner of the 2004 Golden Reel for National Documentary.)

11 January 2011

Benjamin Franklin's 305th Birthday Spectacular - Airs Jan 12th

Ben Franklin Death Ray from The Memory Palace
What is the coolest thing about Franklin? Very, very hard to say. But perhaps it was the time
that those British were convinced that he was going to arm the French with electrical weapons.

Thirteen Virtues by Ben Franklin
Inspired by Philippians 4:8 the 20-year old Franklin sought to cultivate his character by charting a list of desirable personal behaviors and social traits. He followed the plan in at least some form until he published them in his autobiography at 79. While Ben admitted that he was never able to live the virtues perfectly, he had become a better and happier man for having made the attempt. Download your own Virtues Chart Here.

Ben Franklin In Analysis by Bob Newhart
Comedian Bob Newhart imagines what it would be like to have Franklin stretch out on his psychiatrist couch.

04 January 2011

The Wonders of Childhood - Airs Dec 29th

The Magic of Falling Teeth by Sharon Bar-David
Sharon takes us to a whimsical world that most of us have probably forgotten. It's filled with fairies and wiggly teeth.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde & read by Basil Rathbone
A giant erects a wall to keep children out of his garden, reaping the consequences of a continuous winter.