Posted on April 19, 2004 at 06:34 PM
Not much production, some background rumble and voices, kinda short and simple. But gosh darn it, this piece stays with you. There's something about a lone person talking intimately into a recorder telling the most personal and difficult story of their lives. Draws you in like no other high tech production can do. This is a successful first person story and I hope that Amy continues producing. It's not easy to be this emotionally engaging and she did a good job....Where to air it? A magazine show that deals in first person diary stuff definitely. Certainly a good piece for stations to air for young people and the parents who love them....Dmae
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 12:25 PM
I laugh just about every time Sharon Glassman opens her mouth. She knows how to write a conversational radio essay and does an even better job performing it. She's not trying to be funny. She just is. Also, she's not on a soapbox. Sharon knows how to give a perspective that resonates well with public radio listeners. In this case, indie and freelance workers (especially those who don't yet know about prx.org) will identify with her dilemma -- chasing down payments. WFUV didn't produce this essay as we did others, but we will air it!
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 11:58 AM
This piece reflects a nice "letter to my mom" feeling. To assuage his mother's concerns "I worry, are you happy?" the producer literally takes his mother on an audio trip of his neighborhood and the people he meets there. Good idea, and great affection. The stories the people tell are more compelling than the connecting narrative. The voices make the piece compelling, but the idea is not quite resolved. Still a nice addition to a Mother's day programming. At 10:41 a bit long for most stations to use.
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 05:08 AM
There are more than a couple small yet poignant comments by the collectors interviewed which speak to the question of "why collect these things?", as well as the American culture of disposability, of objects as sentimental anchors of memory, and the like.
Quirky yet fascinating slice of life piece with real people. Top notch human interest segment. Deserves to be aired.
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 04:48 AM
Audio production is well done, my only complaints are on pacing; sometimes Thorsen's words are run together and somewhat indistinct, and on breaking up the three distinct parts of the story (the girls' arrival, Thorsen's flashback of his family and Mormon groups he interacted with, returning to the girls at the door), with slightly longer interludes and possibly additional interstitial music to break these parts up a bit.
This should be aired far and wide. Fantastic story and a fantastic telling.
Posted on April 19, 2004 at 04:24 AM
From an audio standpoint, Lam's voice may be hard for some listeners to parse, but shouldn't pose too much of a problem as his pacing is done very well. Another reviewer mentioned that Lam's status as the son of a South Vietnamese general added some authority; Lam himself does not mention this in the piece, so this would need to be addressed in introduction or closing commentary if that angle is to be a component of the piece.
Very well engineered and very personal. Well done all around.
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 06:44 PM
Adam's peice, slowly paced & deliberate, depicts the vantage point of an outsider desiring to be accepted within a majority, and the barriers that make this goal difficult. Recalling his own childhood growing up in Idaho, an athiest among Morman peers, he describes his own attempts to fit in; and ultimately, how he discovered that he could not, without becoming Morman himself.
This story resonated strongly with me: I too grew up in Idaho, and just as in this story, recieved a suprise visit from a couple of young Morman missionaries several years after I had moved away from Idaho. As an agnostic, I found the story accurately described what I saw in my own childhood.
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 05:38 PM
This piece is both factually and emotionally accurate. The simultaneous isolation and attraction this man describes rings true to me though a generation and gender separate us. Having grown up in rural Idaho in the 50's and early 60's I could see my own experience reflected in this story.
Posted on April 18, 2004 at 10:23 AM
The format is a simple and satisfying one: Music plays and stories are told. Dave Radlauer has put together a sampling of different programs to give you an idea of what the series is like, and it is sound rich and entertaining. You get to hear jazz biographies of performers who are household names and others, depending on your level of jazz fluency, that you may have never heard of. Some of these jazz greats were hugely popular in their day but are now a little lost to us. The show rediscovers them and, in some cases, sheds new light on their musical contributions as well as their tragedies. The bios are composed of readings and interviews that create snapshots of the time, which are equally about the music as they are about race and inequality. The bios are also peppered with fascinating details, images and fun facts-- like Fats Waller earned his nickname by being able to eat fifteen hotdogs in one sitting. I did not know that. Sometimes, the music playing underneath the stories is in ironic counter-point to the stories being told… the individual tales of hard times are often playing out to the sweet music these men and women produced during those very times and it pays homage to their dedication and endurance. It also serves to show how the world of music can be an autonomous, pristine realm unto itself. If the demos are an example of the shows quality, this series is a real gift to jazz aficionados and casual listeners alike, and the beauty of it is it could slip right in with either music programming or talk programming.
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 09:33 AM
What a concept...contraception from a male perspective. Why hasn't this been done before? Kudos to Radio Netherlands for this insightful and frank documentary - I can't ever remember hearing the phrase 'trusty old rubbers" or "men who've had the snip" on public radio before. It's also interesting to hear the cultural differences of contraception in the Netherlands compared to the U.S. A woman who carries condoms in her purse is considered "intelligent" and "proud of herself" and not a slut. This doc also deals with the fears of vasetecomy - fear that Dutch men have overcome as the Netherlands has the highest rate of male sterilization in the world - and an update on the progress of the male pill. "Man's Choice" has a good mix of interviews, music and solid reporting. Certainly this is a piece that needs to be heard by young straight men for the information and reassurance that they do have options for contraception. Stations could air this half hour anytime and as often as possible...Dmae
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 08:53 AM
Great production, great story. Didn't know much about the Corridos, Mexican American ganster ballads with a long history since Poncho Villa days. Besides the colorful stories of gunfighters and gangsters, this piece interweaves beautifully upbeat ballads that have now become popular with young people in young, hip L.A. and other parts of the U.S. What a great special this would make for Cinco de Mayo or anytime really. Not just about outlaws, this piece gives insight to the rebels and heroes living out the outskirts of society and the music that keeps their stories and memories alive through song. Give a listen....Dmae
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 06:19 AM
The program feels incomplete and leaves the listener with a lot of questions. Listeners are left to wonder, specifically, why the producers decided to highlight homophobia in Uganda (as compared to--well--any other nation in the word)? Sure, terrible things have happened there, but (unfortunately) persecution of homosexuals is hardly unique to Uganda--or even Africa.
Secondly, the listening experience is somewhat flat--the listener isn't left with much of an idea what they are supposed to do with this information. Not that the program should contain a call advocacy, but the program bludgeons you with details about these terrible stories, leaving the listener a bit numbed but strangely unmoved.
An answer to this might have been to spend more time with the victims of discrimination and persecution. They appear in the program just long enough to share the basic details of their oppression and then are gone. Such treatment diminishes their humanity and relatability to listeners. Their stories would be significantly more powerful if we understood they entire dynamic of their lives.
Posted on April 17, 2004 at 12:39 AM
this piece is a quiet,emotionally charged and intimate interlude into the mind and subtle suffering a soldier takes home with him from the war. it inspires me to motivate and speak out against war and it's human costs...both the brutal bloodshed and it's quiet human damage to a person's life.
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 02:40 PM
I've re-listened and am re-reviewing because the producer recently made some production changes. So subjective, the review business. Today the piece seems stronger, or maybe my mood is different. In any event, I continue to applaud the honoring of this grandmother's strong spirit, and it's still great to hear the home-recordings of Kitty belting out a song. The writing is good throughout, there's a nice blend of text and music of the period, and Kitty is brought to life. She lived through tough times, and the piece feels timely at this particular moment. This is a fine personal offering for Mother's or Memorial Day programming.
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 01:46 PM
I'm not really a big fan of the typical "public radio essay"...they usually don't pass my "So what?" test. But this one worked so well the "so what" question seemed moot. It's fun, it's easy to get "hooked", the writing is clever,the delivery is fresh and real, it was personal without being self-centered...it's a nice light touch that will make listeners chuckle.
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 12:10 PM
This piece provides a thorough overview of the existing market, the sounds and the characters, and touches on the potential problems associated with the pending move to the Bronx. Packed with facts and figures, and sad reflections on the state of the fishing economy (eg. hardly any fish arrive by boat anymore, the tractor trailer is the name of the game these days), this piece paints a complex picture of the issues surrounding the move and as such would be a welcome addition to any show on the fishing or food industry.
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 11:08 AM
there is a voyeristic pleasure in listening in on a phone call, which we get in this piece. but there isn't really a story that's unfolding. perhaps if a series of joey's conversations were edited together, so we got a sense of life in rehab, a story could come alive
Posted on April 16, 2004 at 10:57 AM
In this piece we hear from many collectors about what they collect and why they do it. There are many differnt types of voices heard. Along with the music and first rate editing job, this piece really sings.
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 10:24 AM
The ’63 March offers some archival footage that you might have never heard before. While it doesn’t exactly offer a new perspective on its subject, it is interesting to hear the voices of the time. Of the rally, one man, who claims to essentially be all for integration says, “I think that its purpose is communism. I fear it.” It’s a real snapshot of the time, of a certain mentality that can easily be forgotten and lost to the annals of history. I can see this running on any related anniversary.
Don "Orfeo" Rechtman
Posted on April 15, 2004 at 09:18 AM
Attention-grabbing from the start, The Ring and I explores a little-understood musical aspect that almost unknowingly impacts American life across social and economical levels. From cartoons watched by impovished children to Met performances "graced" by the presence of debutantes, virtually all here have heard at least a segment of Wagnerian opera.
It is also honest in its presentation, including openly addressing Wagner's anti-Semitism.
The presentation is sufficiently broad-ranged to enrapt adult listeners (including professional musicians), yet is simple enough to warrant presenting to children as young as pre-teens. It achieves this by relating the music and story to modern music stories, especially the Ring Trilogy in the movies.
The gift of this presentation is that however stereotyped opera and especially Wagner's opera is in our minds, we are lifted beyond our prejudices to explore the possibilities his music has to enrich all our lives.