"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.
23 May 2011
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
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
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.