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Comment on piece: Father's Day Tribute: Fix'er Up, Dad.

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Review of Father's Day Tribute: Fix'er Up, Dad.

A nice thoughtful piece for Father's Day. The writing is thoughtful and contemplative. The producer articulates the feelings that I have often had about my own father. Namely, the retrospective look at a father's traits that once rubbed you the wrong way, but now have that tint of sentimentality. My only criticism is the ambiguity surrounding "the most important news they'll ever hear from my life." What was it? I'm not sure I was ready to be left hanging with that. We heard the father's response, but I think it would have been more powerful if we knew what he was responding to. There was also a tinge of self deprecation, or at least an acknowledgement of the producers own weaknesses. I don't think it was too sappy. Any personal essay I did on my father would be at least as sappy, if not more.

Comment on piece: Internal Combustion

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Review of Internal Combustion

I love this piece, with it's amazing depth. It is expertly crafted, and musical in a way I certainly didn't expect. It even has an undercurrent of jungle drumming or something to it. It sounds tribal. I especially like way the sound builds, and the ending, breaking apart back into more recognizable sounds.

Comment on piece: Subway Symphony

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Review of Subway Symphony

There is indeed a symphony of sound on the New York City subway, and it's fun to hear. This piece reminds me of the sonic IDs WCAI on Cape Cod produces to great effect. They brand their station with local sounds and voices.
Makes you think... a whole collection of sounds like these, locally or not so locally, would be a nice way to break up the broadcast day.

Comment on piece: Father's Day Tribute: Fix'er Up, Dad.

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Review of Father's Day Tribute: Fix'er Up, Dad.

Excuse me while I grab a tissue here. This one got me good. My dad's gone, so it doesn't take much, but my guess is such a tender tribute would have choked me up no matter what. We get a strong feel for the kindness of the father through the description of his loyalty to broken things, and through the writer's sincere appreciation for his father's loving ways. Though the writer never alludes to the difficult news he had to share with his fundamentalist parents, we can guess. Play this for father's day. Play it any time to remind us all to be big of heart and gentle with each other.

Comment on piece: Lend A Hand

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Review of Lend A Hand

The piece starts off about why Gen X or Gen Y is a bad stereotype but then refocuses on the author's volenteer work. Overall it's a very good piece but it kinda threw me for a curve. I came in expecting one thing and then got sent a different way. Not that it is bad, just unexpected. The piece would run well if coupled with a show on volenteerism and youth.

Comment on piece: New Jersey Honesty

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Review of New Jersey Honesty

A personal New Jersey retrospective. I want to get excited about this piece but it just comes out flat.

Some of it may be the direct comparison of NJ to VT which limits the use. The same arguments of why NJ's honesty is more real that VT could also play in almost every other state. NJ is what it is and is proud of it. That seems to be the real point here but you don't really get excited about it even after listening to it.

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Review of Intimate Strangers: The Florist (deleted)

A unique glimse into how personal people can be with people they know very little about. It also illustrates how florists can also be councelors of sort. They are there during the good times, the secret times, and the bad times. Telling the story of one florist, this piece touches many topics, much like the florist herself.

Comment on piece: Taming the Snake

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Review of Taming the Snake

This piece provides a very detailed look at the lives of herion addicts in the Seattle area, along with the treatment options available to them. It also discusses some of the direct and indirect health risks associated with IV heroin addiction. I liked hearing a realistic view of addiction, coming directly from the addicts and those who treat them, as opposed to statisticians and politicians. I enjoyed the few injections of music, and would have enjoyed a few more. All in all, a great piece.

Comment on piece: Weill and Vegas

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Review of Weill and Vegas

A kind of piece we don't get often enough on American radio: an imaginative attempt to use an opera by Weill/Brecht to illuminate Las Vegas and to use Las Vegas to illuminate the Weill/Brecht opera. This is at once a clever arts piece and a good travel story.

And it's messy: Lots of great sound, terrific use of the opera. Half the time you have no idea who's talking. My one minor gripe is that there is so much ambience that it's hard to focus on what the people are saying.

44:00 without breaks can be tough. Part of the Vegas charm is its relentlessness, but I wonder if this piece could be broken roughly into three segments, with short travel pieces from your local PRX outlet to offer a little sonic respite.

Comment on piece: Dear Lars

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Review of Dear Lars

OK piece. I really am waiting for the author to talk in a a more natural voice - more emotion. Dude - tell me how you feel :^)

Comment on piece: GB, MB, GHZ, Oh My!, Making sense of computer specs

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Review of GB, MB, GHZ, Oh My!, Making sense of computer specs

Good overview - this would be appropriate for my parents in getting them to understand some of the factors for purchasing. She makes good points on what to buy based on your usage. You don't have to buy the most expensive machine.

Comment on piece: Miracle On The Streets

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Review of Miracle On The Streets

Toward the end of the piece Miracle says "telling the truth will shame the devil" and that's what this piece does. Dmae Roberts pretty much shows you who's living on the streets, how they got there, how they are living on the streets,and how some are getting off of them. And In giving this demographic an identity it's no longer possible to write the homeless youth off as some statistic.

There's a moment when a homeless girl reveals that all she eats are Little Debbie Star Crunches because they cost only a quarter. Well when she says this you immediately get an idea of what her life is like. this little detail is a shortcut to a life that's lived moment to moment, a life that's lived in public spaces. And this piece is full of these kinds of details. Most of the people Roberts interviews are homeless because they are homosexual and have been estranged from their families. Most of these kids also use and sell Crystal Meth, which is understandable once you learn that it supresses at least two side effects of homelessness: being hungry and being cold.
Roberts does such a good job of narrating, she's right there, alongside these kids and it gives this piece a real sense of immediacy--and her subjects a sense of dignity.

This is worth broadcasting at anytime because it addresses so many relevant issues. But if you want some context you could air this on a youth-oriented show, on a show that focuses on homosexuality or a show about homelessness or additction.

Comment on piece: Kentucky Dairy Farming and Kenny's Country Cheese

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Review of Kentucky Dairy Farming and Kenny's Country Cheese

I picked this to review because I was in the mood to hear some cows mooing, and while there's less of that than I'd hoped, there's lots of well recorded sound I wasn't expecting: banging and clanging, milk flowing into vats, assorted work sounds, a radio in the background and Kenny talking while he's laboring. It all adds up to an enjoyable audio visit with some real folks talking about the family business. Kenny's mom tells us why and how he switched from pure farming to making cheese, Kenny talks about why the change is gratifying, and the time flies by. No narration, and none needed. Skillfully edited, well paced. Have to listen to the rest of the Kentucky-based series. Might just make for a good summer series for other parts of the country. And hey, these folks are still MAKING something in our service-industry lanscape, and that's a good thing.

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Review of Consent to Marriage (es#66) (deleted)

Having not heard the Ethically Speaking series before, jumping into this listen was a little odd. It's one of the rare times when putting the credits at the beginning of the piece may be better than putting it at the end. They dive straight into the ethical quesiton without saying how they are qualified to answer it. On to the actual piece.

I found the topic interesting and the teaser informative but felt like there was very little substance to the answers. It felt more like the item was an opinion to the quesiton than a 'what you should do'. After listening to it a couple of times, it seems that the answer avoids the question. The question is "does concent with the absense of certain facts still makes an agreement in marriage or nullifies it" and not "why did you not ask about the missing facts in the first place". The piece has substance but seems to lack conclusion.

Comment on piece: Jefferson & Science

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Review of Jefferson & Science

I like the concept of an engineer or a scientist reviewing the declaration. This should be introduced as part of the piece, however. If you remake this piece, please consider introducing yourself and briefly explaining why your views might be unique. And if you feel a parallel between yourself and Jefferson, mention that.

The public at large will not know what an axiom is. Include this.

You go through a bit of detail, never really hinting at what the takeaway is. Something to hint at the ending is great for setting the mode of the listener and grabbing his attention.

The take-away is fun, but required a second listen, partly for the reason above. Partly also because it was expressed as an isolated concept. Try personalizing the take-away. If this message struck you well enough to make you want to do a piece on it, explain something about the impact.

Comment on piece: The Enabled Classroom

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Review of The Enabled Classroom

This piece covers classroom technology to assist learning-disabled students of all ages. The article would be of particular interest to educators and parents of children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy, etc. It also would be of interest to those dealing with ESL students. It is a very informative and detailed piece, which is great for those who are interested, but would probably disengage anyone who is not directly interested in the topic. The piece is very polished, with excellent narration and good interviews. If it could somehow be target-marketed to educators, it would be very valuable.

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Review of Pop Vultures #9: Pink & Most Memorable Concerts (deleted)

I was really excited about listening to this program because there's such a buzz about Pop Vultures. I've listened to a number of these programs and I'm left feeling disappointed. While the style and approach is fresh and different from anything else we're served up in public radio and I applaud the persuit of different production styles, I do not feel this program respects the same core values that our listeners expect, values like substance, credibility, purpose and authenticity. Who are these people? What are their credentials? Why should we care what they think? Why should we keep listening to a bunch of people who we don't know and who barely identify themselves? Also, I understand that this program is hosted by and aimed at the younger end of our demo, but attention to detail in the use of language is important to our listeners. I have a hard time getting past the "ya knows" and "likes" and "whatevers" in the banter. I'm afraid that, while this program might attract and entertain a younger audience, it would allienate our core audience.

Comment on piece: Chess Gals

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Review of Chess Gals

Starting off as an informational piece on chess makes it quite engaging. The focus then shifts to the discussion of women, specifically girls, playing chess. Having grown up playing chess in school then not playing anymore after High School, I found the piece personally engaging and well rounded in explaining the appeal of the game and problems with engaing women into the game. It especially focuses on the learning divide of the game versus the actual learning curve and would server as a good news piece. I am not sure how it may be used but areas with school teams or hosting a national tournament in the near future would find it worth broadcasting.

Comment on piece: Stoplight

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Review of Stoplight

A nice Father's Day piece on the relationship between Father and Daughter. Like the whole series, it focuses on what we say vs. what we do in a humourous way.

Comment on piece: Cat in the Attic

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Review of Cat in the Attic

Just a funny funny piece on miscommunication. A woman gets stuck in the attic and uses the cat to send a message down to her husband who completely misinterprets it. Shows interesting communication between husband and wife/men and women.