Posted on February 01, 2004 at 10:19 AM
Posted on February 01, 2004 at 10:00 AM
An escalation of humor and darkness reminiscent of Joe Frank. Rushed, but fun. Well written, delivery OK but had an air of acting. Produced a good laugh and a good shutter.
Posted on February 01, 2004 at 06:42 AM
This was such fun to listen to—completely entertaining. The progression of answering machine messages is such a satisfying structural device. I was a little disappointed that the end point was farcical, because some of the emotional places the story goes to feel genuine. Anyway, I can imagine the format of the sequential answering message becoming a whole genre unto itself. There’s so much to be done with it. It’s sort of the closest you can get to the panel-by-panel sequence of a comic book on radio. Valentine’s Day is coming up and a story like this would offer such a nice counterpoint to all the romantic stuff that’ll be going on.
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 08:42 PM
This was hilarious smart stuff -the hip ones defending their "uncool" tastes as guilty pleasure. and so articulate but like "totally". I wish I could get behind some of the music but hey, anything can happen. I'll be listening.
I would absolutely listen to this with my kids and they wouldn't have to be polite about it! (or impolite). Nothing slick, or fake or over produced. Programmed on the weekend, when kids are kicking around the kitchen, this show could absolutely last. Yeah, I'm moving over, making some room.
Alex van Oss
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 08:39 PM
As a painter, the only critique I have of this piece is that the producer missed a great opportunity to explore why clothing is harder to paint than the human body. That's a fascinating point.
Pieces about the visual arts are hard to do on radio. So is humor. This piece presented much food for thought -- but unfortunately, too quickly. It needed to breathe more. Also, the humor it contained tended to be unnecessarily broad and cutesy, especially when the producer assumed that I was thinking (wink, wink!) of...you know what (wink, wink, wink!).
Well, I wasn't. I was thinking of something else:
I was thinking about the time one of my art reports was censored on public radio (the only time). It was in the mid-1990s, when I produced a story for a national news program about an exhibition of work by a gay photographer of yesteryear -- Wilhelm von Gloeden.
Even National Geographic Magazine acquired some of Von Gloeden's more chaste photos, of 19th century Sicilian landscapes and village life. But it was his depictions of peasant youths posed against scenic backdrops of Roman ruins and Mt. Etna, playing pan-pipes, wearing veils or leopard skins -- or nothing at all -- that became all the rage at the turn of the last century.
Wilhelm von Gloeden got along just fine with his neighbors in Sicily, and -- honorable man -- paid his models a commission. His nudes were extremely popular; and so they remain, for they are wonderfully sensual and evocative -- and poignant too, for the lads would be around 120 years old by now.
According to modern critics (and this was the crux of my radio report), Von Gloeden's pictures struct a chord for reasons beyond the erotic:
Apparently the Victorians and Edwardians suffered from generational angst brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the First World War, when a generation of golden youths perished in the trenches. These were shattering events, and for some people Von Gloeden's nudes offered not only a certain frisson, but also escape from the present into an imaginary Arcady, a Never-Never Land, a past Golden Age that was so much pleasanter than anything the grim, grey 20th Century seemed likely to offer.
That at least was the gist of my report, but it got yanked from the show at the last minute: the program editor worried that listeners would think the network was condoning...child abuse.
So much for presenting male frontal nudity -- on radio.
-- Alex van Oss
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 07:57 PM
An interesting story to try to tell- it's a little surreal, mixed with prayer and language and stage adaptation; a little puzzling to understand the plight to maintain the identity of a hidden religion when it is no longer a mortal necessity, in this country. Also, strangely, the piece ends with the beckoning from the rabbi which sort pulls it down a notch in terms of documentary.
I don't understand why you'd want to be a crypto-jew if you could just embrace judaism. I went back to listen more than once because I felt I might be missing something - and I think I was right. The piece is only 6 minutes and has to cover some history, a historical adaptation for the theatre, the practise today - and it just isn't enough time.
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 07:13 PM
immediately grabbed me. Nice duet of the artist's thoughts and her singing - keeps you present, waiting for more. Remarkably meaningful content in a short span - without getting too heavy or glossing over. Can't speak for the whole series but if they are all as full of talent and articulate as this - it's a prize. This should be an endless series - excellent respite for ANY of the mainstream news shows or music programming.
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 06:17 AM
One of the short docs commissioned by the Third Coast Festival on the subject of "thirst."
"Wets" are the name given to the Mexicans illegally crossing the desert between Tucson and Mexico. Author Charles Bowden provides a poetic, spare commentary which also includes haunting interviews with border crossers about the experience of walking 30, 40, 60 miles in the blistering sun and heat.
I'm thirsting to hear all of these pieces presented together. Could work nicely in summer.
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 06:01 AM
One of the pieces on "thirst" commissioned by the Third Coast Festival this fall. It's a compelling, moving remembrance by a Russian man about his trip as a boy to the Siberian Gulag. For him thirst was physical torture as well as an emotional and existential nightmare.
The piece is thoughtful and engaging. I'd suggest running all of the Thirst pieces together. Together, they tell a kind of radio story.
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 05:34 AM
This is an interesting, sound rich piece on the theme of "thirst" commissioned by the Third Coast Festival. It's well produced; the original violin music is terrific and the old Dr. Pepper ads are a curiosity. Running all the "thirst" finalists would be an interesting segment on its own. This one could also be used during next summer's certain heat wave.
Posted on January 30, 2004 at 05:16 AM
This is the freshest sound I've heard on public radio in a long time. I've listened now to all of the available "Pop Vulture" shows and I think this is a hit. It sounds exactly like what it's meant to be -- young people talking about music --which isn't so easy to pull off. It's very conversational, it's funny, it's well produced, it's full of music, it doesn't sound forced or earnest or contrived, the weekly themes are fun and creative (bad pop music, angst in pop music, music we're afraid to admit we like). I'm a new fan and so are my kids. Station Programmers: want young listeners? Put this on the air on the weekends.
Posted on January 29, 2004 at 09:33 AM
I am just amazed at what VPR is doing with these excerpts. This is the second one I've reviewed and I'm surprised at the quality of the voice acting/reading. This piece would be great for any spot where there longer pieces would fit. Like any story it begs to be paid attention to, or you become lost. Any time when a listening can stop what s/he's doing for 30 minutes and listen, especially in the target audience of younger listeners, that's when this could be aired.
Posted on January 28, 2004 at 06:48 PM
Posted on January 28, 2004 at 01:20 PM
Public health researcher and curious female M.D. plugs her book based on several years of visiting the Mustang Ranch. Very non-judgemental piece lacks the expected grit the subject lends itself to with a rehearsed interview style. Mild, but still interesting. Appropriate for mild mannered adults.
Posted on January 27, 2004 at 12:45 PM
Thoughtful producers provide two versions, one with a sweet scene – the pianist outside Carnegie Hall – one without. It’s just wonderful to hear this pianist talk -- he’s so excited -- and his playing is amazing. This is perfect to air around his extensive upcoming US tour, the producers offer the details. But as is the case with the others in this series, any time airing is fine. To hear these kind of pieces in the middle of the news day is like when the sun surprisingly breaks through on a solid gray afternoon. There's nothing like a little hit of art oxygen to refresh the soul. sl
Posted on January 27, 2004 at 12:15 PM
Lovely to break up the radio day with this extraordinary voice singing and sharing thoughts on her instrument. Could be aired any time, but happily Bartoli is touring the U. S. this February and the producers helpfully provide her tour schedule, so this piece is timely to air soon, up and down either coast and in the Midwest. sl
Posted on January 27, 2004 at 10:46 AM
What a treat. Some guy in a hotel talking about his heart, lonely longing, carving soap. It’s like a scene from a film, intriguing, surprising, sending you off on your own thoughts. It would be a good drop-in on NPR, news from the middle letter, the one we don’t always hear from….the public. sl
Posted on January 27, 2004 at 09:14 AM
This is a series of interviews of Canadian childrens' advocates working in Nicaragua, Bolivia and India. Some are very compelling: an economist describes the widespread practice of waste-picking in the slums of Bangalore, India. Kids sort through huge, overflowing concrete trash bins which line city streets and sell recyclable material to neighborhood waste buyers to supplement family income. The piece doesn't seem to stand alone but offers a window into child homelessness, poverty and hunger that would work well as a set-up piece for a talk show.
Posted on January 27, 2004 at 06:34 AM
Good character study of the man who's made a mission of proving the existance of Bigfoot. I found my attention drifting about two or three minutes into it; maybe a minute could be cut. The Yogi Bear theme music at the end is an unwelcome attempt at being cute. Overall the piece is well-produced, thought-provoking, and entertaining.
Posted on January 27, 2004 at 06:17 AM
I'm not really sure what the point of this piece was.