Posted on April 25, 2004 at 01:49 PM
Radio is so well suited to the neurotic interior monologue, and Matthew Cowley's words capture the inner ambivalence and rationalizing that leads to a particular kind of yearnful paralysis. All the while, he keeps things entertaining for the listener by being funny without trying too hard. A part of the fun of listening to this is recognizing yourself in The Man in the Odd Hotel Bar, while at the same time being thankful that you aren’t The Man in the Odd Hotel Bar. This could be dropped into a program dealing with dating, romance or into a Valentine’s Day show to cut through the treacle.
Posted on April 25, 2004 at 11:45 AM
This is piece a good example of how PRX can be used to not only distibute work but to aid in its creation and betterment. I first heard the 15-minute version of this piece and offered Ms. Dunn some suggestions to edit and remix it into a feature that could be used by most news magazines. She went through two more incarnations of the piece and offers this 5:55. Now the commentary, reportage, interviews and field ambience work together to create a newsy yet off-beat feature. There are still some levels that could be brought up and some of the background ambience doesn't work as well for my tastes but this is a solid piece. The info about China's one-child policy and the effect the porn industry is an unsual take on the challenges of family planning and sex education. Any Pacific Rim radio station would do well to air this piece. Certainly Pacific Time should air this piece...Let's hear hear more from this producer in the future...Dmae
Posted on April 25, 2004 at 07:55 AM
At first I was a little lost, it seemed to be rambling, but then it all came together about 60% through and I was inspired by the link.
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 04:11 PM
It’s pretty impressive how much ground Torturing Terrorists covers in so little time; it’s just that the time it takes for the conversation to leap to Hitler is also little. Hitler pops up so much in ethical conversations, doesn’t he? The metronome-like back-and-forth is an odd but interesting structural format. It’s so ripe for parody, too… if there are any would-be radio humorists out there. These would be fun to listen to in the morning… to stimulate office debates around the coffee machine.
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 03:31 PM
There is a nice mix of interviewing with Ani personally, reviewing her past works & projects, and playing selected songs. It's a really great introduction to Ani if you are unfamiliar. Die-hard fans might see it more of a mix tape than an interview. Althugh live performances of some newer songs should appease them.The tone is informal and very personal. This is a solid interview profiling a unique artist.
Posted on April 24, 2004 at 09:52 AM
Ani is amazing. In her music she says the things that a lot of us want to say but may be too afraid. I love this interview.
Posted on April 23, 2004 at 06:29 AM
Autumn's story will be heard by my daughter. There are several lessons to be learned from this simply produced, but emotionally charged piece. Autumn's story is no doubt often repeated, sometimes nearly verbatim, sometimes with dissimilar plots. Having pieces like this reach teens will help the teens in the short-term; nothing better than learning a lesson where the mistake is made not by you, but by someone else. In the long-term, it can bring a younger audience to public radio.
Posted on April 23, 2004 at 04:56 AM
I remember the day my mother passed away and thought how wonderful it would be if see just opened her eyes and became a new person. During her life she became very dark and I missed the fun times, This piece reminded me when I was young with my mother and it made me happy and sad at the same time. Very provocative and interesting since it made me stop and listen so I wouldn't miss a thing. Thanks
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 10:26 PM
There are many times during a standard interview where you find yourself questioning the person who’s asking the questions. They go for that ‘head on’ approach which ends up usually diffusing the power of the interview itself. Rita Houston doesn’t make that mistake in this interview by allowing Ani Difranco to speak her mind. Her questions are open ended, and they allow the artist to elaborate on the topic so that it evolves into more of a personalized definition of the subject matter. It’s this type of intimacy that sets the stage, early on, so that the listener can embrace the full essence of the artist.
As the interview progresses you can almost equate the relationship between artist and interviewer, like two people sitting down at a coffee shop for some afternoon refreshments. It’s as introspective as it is entertaining, and provides the listener with an in-depth look at one of the nations most outspoken artists. The honesty found here, whether it‘s hearing Ani’s response to a question, or a lyric in one of her songs, is genuine. It’s after hearing pieces like this that one can truly take pride in the fact, that they have had their cake, and eaten every last crumb.
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 02:58 PM
In terms of production this piece is very polished and it has the sound quality of something you would hear on "All things Considered," "Morning Edition," or "Market Place," however, it does not share their sensibilities. This is a great subject but this piece leaves you wanting to know so much more about the taxicab industry: the hard-core economics of owning a cab, what exactly is a hack license? What's the history of the medallion? Where are they manufactured? It would also be nice to hear from more dirvers and a couple of passengers. To Joel Meyer's credit this piece piques your interest but it doesn't follow through and the lack of forward motion leaves the listener stuck in first gear.
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 06:38 AM
There’s a level of pathos here that you don’t get all that often, on the radio or any other medium for that matter. Carvings is poetic, honest and full of a yearning that’s almost palpable. It doesn’t adhere to any kind of formula. The difficult sense of hope it contains does not feel tacked on or clichéd, but feels earned. You’re never alone when someone speaks to you like Mathew Cowley does.
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 04:41 AM
Tongue in cheek, self-deprecating, and so very true. A little inspiration for the small business person who feels all alone in a big, bad world.
Posted on April 22, 2004 at 04:36 AM
Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, the local public station [WGTE] used a piece like this to fill the 30 seconds between their overnight national feed - Night Music, as I recall - and the beginning of Morning Edition at 6:00 am. Theirs was bird song from the local marshes and lake. It was a gentle and almost subliminal wake up when the alarm went off rather than the "Drive Time Report" which many stations use. NOt sure if WGTE still does this, but I wish my local station did.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 07:48 PM
I travel a lot for work, and heard this on a Public Radio Station, and am glad to have the opportunity to hear this again & offer my review.
Why has no one delved into the historical aspect of marriage...bush keeps talking about the sanctity of marriage, claiming some religious origin of marriage. Marriage is a civil union, and can also be religious one. Looking at the root of bush's religious marriage, the man owned his wife, or wives, as chattel, the same way he owned his slaves. Marriage is older than religion, and the state has no place mandating a constitutional ammendment that is so utterly & completely contradictory to the constitution.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 06:50 PM
I found this piece to be inspiring,honest and contemplative. I would like to hear this on the radio as it reminds me how all tribes on our planet are conected and how important it is to remember your roots.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 12:08 PM
However, speaking of playing to type...the "our side" references mentioned by another reviewer are a bit troubling, because it could be exclusionary (but not to the point that someone would be offended or not enjoy the piece). It's hard to tell if the writer refers to "our side" as in "her and the listener" (assuming the listener is liberal--a dangerous assumption) or as in (the less troubling) "her and her friends." This is very easy to fix, either by changing the references to "my side" or offering some parameters for what "our side" means early in the piece.
The pacing is a bit fast, and the breathy delivery seems a little forced at times, which makes it feel less personal/conversational and more like a comedy performance. The music bed under the last minute isn't necessary and doesn't feel purposeful, but it isn't distracting or bothersome at all.
Almost any station can use this piece, especially between now and the fall election. It would be a fun and refreshing addition to what, inevitably, will be a long, nasty, and monotonous election season.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 11:53 AM
This piece provides a behind the scenes look at the WTO protests in Mexico in September 2003, from the perspective of several US protesters; it uses the benefit of hindsight to reflect on the problems and successes associated with the protests and touches on the links made between the disparate groups endure.
This piece could provide some context for the upcoming G8 meeting in Georgia in early June, which is expected to be heavily protested by many anti-global trade groups, and puts a human face, or at least a human voice on the motivations of the protest movement.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 08:54 AM
I loved this piece!
As a collector of things myself, i always find stories like this a bit frightening... will i end up collecting discarded pieces of rope?
Great sound. The music worked very well, it allowed the age of the collectables and often times the collectors to come through.
nice ending... "the recycling of america" - indeed it is, thanks for a great piece. i would love to hear this on the air.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 08:21 AM
A plain-speaking and brief discussion of an ethical dilemma, in this case, the torturing of captured "terrorists". This piece might over-simplify things (if all ethical problems could be solved in 2 minutes the world would surely be a better place) but it does address important issues in a simple and easily understood fashion, and allows feedback through a website, and as such encourages a dialogue, a laudable and essential ingredient in developing an ethical life. If this is part of a series, which I believe it is, it could be aired as a regular spot during ME or ATC and make a good addition to those shows.
Posted on April 21, 2004 at 07:35 AM
This piece is a testament to the sheer will of the human spirit to overcome adversity and move ahead. Wonderful use of the family's recordings interwoven with Kitty's incredible story make this piece an easy "yes". Especially for mother's day. The writing is strong, the editing seamless. Great flow. This piece deserves airtime.