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Comment on piece: At Home with Ani DiFranco

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Review of At Home with Ani DiFranco

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.

Comment on piece: Autumn's Story

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Review of Autumn's Story

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.

Comment on piece: The Day My Mother's Head Exploded

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Review of The Day My Mother's Head Exploded

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

Comment on piece: At Home with Ani DiFranco

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Review: At Home with Ani DiFranco

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.

Comment on piece: NYC Taxi Medallions

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Review of NYC Taxi Medallions

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.

Comment on piece: Carvings

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Review of Carvings

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.

Comment on piece: The "Laggy" Awards

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Review of The "Laggy" Awards

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.

Comment on piece: :60: Peepers

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Review of :60: Peepers

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.

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Review of Same Sex Marriage (deleted)

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.

Comment on piece: My Father's Songs

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Review of My Father?s Songs

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.

Comment on piece: My Bi-(Partisan) Boyfriend**

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Review of My Bi-(Partisan) Boyfriend**

This is a sharp piece. Crisp, witty writing that evokes a lot of imagery. The humor is smart and original (a rarity for political humor) and plays with stereotype without becoming stereotypical.

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.

Comment on piece: W.T.O. Protesters Reflect on Cancun

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Review of W.T.O. Protesters Reflect on Cancun

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.

Comment on piece: Naked Barbies and Deflated Basketballs: A look inside the world of collectors

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Review of Naked Barbies and Deflated Basketballs: A look inside the world of collectors

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.

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Review of Torturing Terrorists (es#57) (deleted)

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.

Comment on piece: Kitty Keeps On Singing

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Review of Kitty Keeps On Singing

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.

Comment on piece: The Ring and I: The Passion, The Myth, The Mania


Review of The Ring and I: The Passion, The Myth, The Mania

The ideas in the work (and this piece) are so many, and so varied, that they do that job for you. In perhaps in the strongest testament to Wagner's musical genius (or the piece's editing?), the ideas are held tightly together by the promise of the music itself, deftly interwoven through key musical passages. The disparate interviews (talking about Food, Jung, Zeppelin, Incest, Answering Machine Messages) and music work together to give a resounding, if impossible to summarize, answer to that nagging question radio listeners everywhere must ask about a piece: "so what?"

A fast overview of the Ring at the beginning might have been nice -- but probably also impossible. This thing is too big to digest in any less time. And the ending is exactly right. Well worth the hour.

Comment on piece: Naked Barbies and Deflated Basketballs: A look inside the world of collectors

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Review of Naked Barbies and Deflated Basketballs: A look inside the world of collectors

There are 2 kinds of collectors -- those who collect for condition (mint coins, toys in the original unopened package, vinyl records that have never been played) and those who love the energy of objects that have been thoroughly used. This piece is about the latter -- people who love the texture of wear and tear. The topic of collectors is always fresh because it is about passionate and quirky people who have created interesting identities for themselves. This would be great on the air.

Comment on piece: Yo-Yo Ma: In his own words

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Review of Yo-Yo Ma: In his own words

Yo-Yo Ma is possibly the most congenial human being on the planet and it shows on this episode of In Their Own Words. I would urge classical stations in particular to find the three and a half minutes in their otherwise relentless walls of music to drop this in.

Comment on piece: The Zildjian Cymbal Tester

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Review of The Zildjian Cymbal Tester

Who knew that a recording of someone performing quality control would be this much fun to listen to? This story deserves airtime.

Comment on piece: RN Documentary: The Music House

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Review of RN Documentary: The Music House

Lovely, respectful documentary, filled with great sound, interesting information, and vivid details. The producer does an excellent job of weaving the elements into an almost hypnotic portrait of the music house-building project. The Baka live in the dense rain forest and learn to navigate by sound, which makes them a perfect radio subject. Interviews with various Baka, the musicians who are funding the project, and the builder give a strong sense of place and culture. Great range of tape -- everything from the trip ferrying tin into the forest, to Baka voices merging with the birds – engages the ear in a variety of ways. About art, life, honoring ancient ways, and creating community across cultures. An excellent way to spend half an hour. Can be broadcast any season, but feels timely this spring moment as our ears brighten at the sounds of birdsong.