Sunday, January 28, 2007

story plus

some stories make for excellent print articles. and some excellent print articles make for excellent-er multimedia presentations, complete with visual and audio complement. david gonazalez's house afire series, about a small pentecostal church housed behind a simple storefront in new york, is a great example of how audio can help tell a story in a way that photos and written words can't. though the article itself is illuminating and full of vivid descriptions, after hearing the voices of the congregants - from the youths to the minister - singing, praying and talking about their experiences with the church, you have an even clearer, more emotional sense of this small community that gonzalez documented so well. i highly recommend that you take the time to absorb all of it. thanks to producer juliet gorman for pointing me to the series...

(photo by NYT photographer angel franco)

Monday, January 22, 2007

wait for the beep

many months ago a friend called and left a lengthy message in* my voice mail about philip roth. he had just finished a roth-binge consisting of six or seven novels, and was imploring me to read a few of them, and fast, so we could discuss. (maybe he should join the philip roth society?!) at the time i had never read a novel by philip roth, though it was 'on the list' of things to eventually see to in this lifetime. after hearing that message i DID read one of roth's novels (the human stain) and would have continued, on my own binge, if i'd had that kind of time on my hands. i kept the message saved for a long time, and would listen to it every once in awhile, inspired by the enthusiasm in his voice, the sheer excitement he was feeling about the power of words, and story. i probably listened to the message a dozen or so times, when checking other voice mail messages, just for the small boost it gave. finally, i erased the message around the end of last year, during a wider-reaching effort to clean, simplify, sort, lighten my load.

too bad, because if i hadn't dumped that little audio treasure, maybe i would have sent it to laura kwerel, who's collecting phone messages to make an audio piece for she's urging anyone who has a message saved, and a story behind that message, to send them right over. so maybe YOU didn't just delete a special phone message, and you'd like to send it to her. drop her a line for more information.

*IN my voice mail? ON my voice mail? which is it?

Monday, January 15, 2007

short films / dance bands

we like to talk about how audio stories are like 'films for your mind.' but sometimes you just want a good old ' 'film for their eyeballs.' or maybe a handful of short films, from around the world, for your eyeballs. that's where the chicago short film brigade steps in. come out this week for the premiere of this premier short film-slingin' series.

it's thursday, january the 18th, at the
hideout (yes, there again. such a stronghold of chicago culture) starting around 8:30. the brigade beckons: "Nothing better on a winter’s night than some cozy company, hot popcorn and huge variety of international short films." and it's hardly arguable, especially now that it's acting like winter here.

and while i'm busy shouting out about loved ones' doings...AFTER the brigade show, consider sharing a cab over to
schuba's for the occidental brothers dance band international (african/jazz/dance) / alla (latin/pschedelic/soul) show. don't forget to get your nap on earlier, so you're up for the big night out on the town.

Monday, January 08, 2007

daily dose

i'm telling you, it's going to be a good year. not only do i just like the LOOK of 2007 better than 2006 (something about that 7)...but an encore production of the 365 days project (originally compiled in 2003) is being undertaken possibly as i write this, and will continue all year long. this means that every single day of this you can hear an audio treat along the lines of the 'david cassidy - welcome to my fan club' 7" single, or obscure candy bar theme songs. these are gems dug up from the darkest corners of thrift stores, estate sales, dumpsters and places i'm sure i can't even imagine, or offered up straight from the collections of more than seventy appreciators of all things bizarre, painful and enchanting in the history of recorded music. if you missed the first version of the project you may want to double up your daily listening and enjoy both runs at once. [while you're there, check out the april 7th entry - slumber boat - one of my favorites.]

Thursday, January 04, 2007

audio at the dollar store

pleased to be starting the year off productively...

tomorrow night i'll be presenting a short story/audio documentary hybrid as part of the monthly dollar store show. the series is curated by jonathan messinger of featherproof books and features stories written/read/performed by a few writers each month. Each story in SOME way incorporates an item from a local dollar store that has been carefully* selected by messinger for the occasion.

though i'm not afraid to acknowledge that this "hybrid" i've created has huge trainwreck potential, on the other hand it just might work, and i'm sure the other writers who'll be reading (nic pizzolatto and rocky russo) will tickle your fancies.

the show's at the hideout, starts at 7 pm and costs a buck. all and all it's not a bad way to get the weekend rolling...

*Immediate impression, after receiving my item.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

sound poetrycast

happy 2007 and what better way to start off the year than with a photo of marie osmond? (follow links below to a reference point.)

if you've spent any time listening to the sound poetry at
ubuweb, you'll especially appreciate this interview (produced by curtis fox productions for the podcast) with ubu's founder kenneth goldsmith, who reveals some of his favorite selections and explains some of the history behind how the archive began and continues to grow.

and while you're at it, give a listen to
kenny's session from the 2006 TCF Conference - the only presentation that sent people fleeing from the room both in horror and ecstasy. It was brilliant.

p.s. you should check out the interview even if you have no idea what ubuweb is.