Monday, May 28, 2007

fills your head...empties your head

so i made a radio piece last week for the daily arts and culture show on WBEZ called eight forty-eight. it's about experimental music, and this organization called lampo (which presented it's HUNDREDTH show this past weekend, with the most beautiful concert by philip jeck, balloons dropping from the ceiling, a five-foot trophy and tasty chocolate cake.)

my goal was to offer listeners a few more things to think [about experimental music], besides [automatically] "yuck" or "huh?"

one way to do this was with a tale about potato pancakes - works every time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

dueling live music events this saturday

well..not really. one's in new york and one's in rhode island. sadly, i can't make it to either. but maybe you can. they're both happening this saturday, may 26th.

there's the eye, ear, nose and throat festival in providence, featuring 'forward-thinking' music and experimental films made by a variety of folks, including some old friends, some musicians i've heard of but not heard yet, and one guy i've been trying to catch in chicago all year. it's seven dollars for eight+ hours of music. that's kind of incredible. you should go.

unless you're of the brooklyn/manhattan stock, in which case you should head down (up?) to the housing works books store for the cd release party [including free, forward-thinking ice cream] for michael hearst's [of the one-of-a-kind one ring zero band] new project songs for ice cream trucks. this is literally and quite amazingly a record with 13 new songs written for ice cream trucks. michael may be the only person on the planet who could pull this off with the proper respect for the traditional canon of ice cream truck music...and a little bit of class...but he's done it. i've been lucky enough to hear the cd, and it's about the sweetest thing you can imagine. no, that's not a pun. and according to the website, the album features all kinds of instruments like the claviola crickets!!

("hello. HELLO! hello. boing sound effect)

Friday, May 18, 2007

who hearts toronto?

well even if you don't love, or yet love toronto, maybe you'll feel more appreciative of the city after hearing this special broadcast - invisible cities: toronto - airing tonight only on the CBC, at 9:05 local time (that's 9:30 NT ) across canada. it's streaming too, so if you're interesting in diving in this page can help you figure out exactly how/when to do that.

according to paolo pietropaolo, one of the producers, "It's part radio documentary, part audio-musical composition, and part audio love-letter to the city of Toronto, combining the voices, sounds and music of the city in an hour-long journey that's meant to allow the listener to achieve a kind of shortcut to intimacy with the city, focusing on sounds that are lost in the din of contemporary life."

invisible cities: toronto is brought to you by the same team (paolo, chris brookes and jowi taylor) who produced one of my favorite radio programs EVER a few years ago -
the wire (nothing to do with the tv show). so i'm betting this program will astound your ears and very well MAY instill a deep love for toronto in your heart. or at least a deep like.

[ i, for one, still remember an amazing veggie hot dog purchased from a hot dog stand at about 1am one morning years ago, in the pouring rain. my crush on the city started then.]

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

happy birthday studs

here's a very simple happy 95th birthday wish to studs terkel, who is simply one of the most amazing humans, not to mention radio-dedicated humans, on the planet. here he is pictured (click! it gets bigger and more beautiful) at the third coast festival awards ceremony, back in 2002, accepting our lifetime achievement award. which is now called the 'audio luminary award.' which is equally appropriate in studs's case.

for some studs trivia check out this kind of silly web page, which reveals (in a kind of silly font) his favorite drink (gin martini), and some of his favorite musics.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


check out this evolving emotional sound map of milan. according to the handy translator, the text on the homepage reads:

"Buzzbox collects the contribution personal, authentic and lose interested in the customers who address directly to other customers, a model of networking human that produces information and reduces the waste of time and energy. The point of view of who crosses and lives the city and its places come collected and amplified, the single comment become part of the `buzz', a brus├Čo diffused and choral profit to who adventure in the city and are wanted to be have ud of of a collective patrimony of acquaintances.

got it?

my favorite emotion recorded on the map is the one with the man who says: zazazazazazazazaza. i'm not exactly sure what he's trying to express, but i know i've felt that way too. recently.



Saturday, May 05, 2007

sign here

the previous post alluded to the situation at DR (the national danish radio organization), where managment has made the decision to close down the documentary and feature departments. this means that dozens of talented producers (from those just starting promising careers to those who have been making radio for the organization for decades) will no longer be employed as of jan 1, 2008, and that denmark's about to lose a beautiful and important tradition of radiomaking.

having spent the past week at an intense radio conference hosted by these very people, i can tell you that it's nothing less than criminal that they're about to lose their jobs. and given DR's mantra "this is purely a financial decision. it has nothing to do with the quality or value of the work," repeatedly stated from the bowels of their new media house that's grossly over-budget, it's even more revolting.

disappearing funding and federal support for arts and culture is something we're practically accustomed to in the US...but to find it happening over on this side of the ocean is somewhat shocking. and hugely depressing.

what can YOU do?
well you can sign this petition, to protest DR's decision to let go of this incredibly valuable and meaningful element of its radio landscape. small detail - it's in danish, but where to sign's clear enough. ['by' means city and 'stilling' means title or position]
thanks for taking the time.

(pictured above is the petition that was circulated at the conference, and signed by 125 producers from all over europe and beyond.)

update! here's a translation of the first part of the petition, in case you'd like to know more about what you're signing. thanks MUCHLY to pejk:

The unfortunate mess of DR?s (National Danish Radio) economy will mean that DR listeners no longer will be able to hear new montages and radio documentaries on Programme 1 or elsewhere on Danish radio stations.

This is a great loss for the listeners. Who will be missing out on extraordinary radio experiences.

It is also a cultural loss for Danish society, who'll be loosing an entire radio tradition which has been recognized, admired and won prizes all over the world for decades.

It seems absurd to completely dismember this important genre. Especially considering that the programmes are relatively cheap to produce, and have a level of quality that makes them listenable many times, over many years.

It seems random that this genre, which has played such an important role in the history of the radio medium and cultural and intellectual history of Denmark since the 50s, does not figure in the public-service agreement. The same agreement saves the girl choir, the symphony orchestra, the big band and the entertainment orchestra, which to some might seem less central for DR's function and image as a public service institution.

Shutting down the Documentary Zone and Ultrasound would be a radical deterioration of DR and the Danish media landscape in general.