Sunday, January 31, 2010

special bunny named bunny

"See the world through third grade ears."

Have been hooked, recently, on
Third Grade Audio works. Whether it's collaborative farewell poetry, imaginary interviews with Martin Luther King Jr., or ruminations on stuffed animal names, these kids have got it going ON, radio-wise. The honesty! The imagination! The lack of self-consciousness, and absent desire to sound like All Things Considered hosts! (Though the 'special bunny named bunny' contributor may be a young Brooke Gladstone in the making...public radio listeners should be so lucky?)

Big props to their teacher David Green, for guiding these wee producers so skillfully toward future careers in radio/audio production. Now let's just hope they get a few years of solid sonic storytelling in, before their economics teacher dashes all hopes of actually making a living in this field...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

here baby

no image for this post.

still glued to internet, reading, reading, reading, watching videos, trying to keep up. the vids are all starting to blend in my mind - the shambles, the dust, the bodies - arms frozen in death, reaching, the wide-eyes, the absolute wreck of everything.

but i can't stop thinking about
one particular video, where an australian reporter covers the miraculous recovery of a an 18 month-ish old girl who'd been trapped for three days underneath a building. i know a lot of such videos are circulating, but somehow this one's still very distinct for me (despite the kind of awful, cliche narration produced around the live footage) and i think it's because of the sound, as much as the images.

first - you hear this little girl shriek in response to voices outside the building [a shriek you will never, ever forget] and then when they extract her, the reporter - who up until that moment has retained the calm, cool, collected (and somewhat condescending) professional veneer - pulls her up into his arms and is so fucking freaked and incredulous he just keeps repeating, for nearly 30 seconds: 'here, baby. here, baby. here, baby.' someone hands him a bottle of water, he pours it over her head and into her mouth, 'here baby. here baby. here baby.'

the rest of the video unfolds like so many others - a blend of french/creole/english broken communication about the situation, surrounding people shell-shocked, trying to understand what's just happened, a quote or two from the heroes, acknowledgment of this miracle in the context of thousands of others dying at that very moment. but i was just bawling by the end of this one and can still hear that reporter: 'here baby. here baby. here baby' in my head.

we're all connecting with/slamming into what's happening in haiti at different moments and for different reasons. please, after reading this, make a donation to your organization of choice. and then make another one when you can. and maybe another one next month. and the month after.

Friday, January 15, 2010

sound for haiti

Like the rest of the world I've spent the last few days glued to the radio and Internet (or tv. or newspapers. or twitter feeds.) trying to grasp what's happened in Haiti. And, like most, I've been wondering what I can do to help. Send money, yes. But what else?

Here's another way: Sound artist Glenn Weyant has mobilized a dozen experimental/electronic/improvisational musicians to donate songs to a record [ New Music Haitian Relief ] that's available for download at whatever price you choose. 100% of proceeds will go to Food for the Poor - an organization Glenn has researched and believes will most efficiently turn donations into tangible help / food / support for the thousands and thousands of people who are dying in Haiti.

I've downloaded the album, and will be thinking about other ways - fiscal and creative - to continue supporting the awful situation there. Please do what you can, ok? Like, now.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New year - new list

Inspiration struck this weekend, aided by my new favorite snack - graham crackers + nutella, and a whole lot of time in which to let it, thanks to the most amazing Ragdale Foundation. This burst of click has resulted in many things, including an urge to share a few things at once, in this first post of 2010.

1. gallopinging
I've begun 'spinning' (as if) all sorts of music from 6-9am on wednesday mornings on - a new Chicago radio project about (January 17th) to launch online. You can listen all this week if you wish to be a Beta Listener by signing up for the email list. Or you can wait a few weeks and tune in / click on then. There are a lot of neat people involved, and while we may sound a little shaky at first...well just keep listening. P.S. Gallopinging's the name of my show. Why not?!

2. too much information
My good pal and esteemed radio colleague Benjamen Walker is back to his old (and occasionally offensive) tricks - thank the stars. You can podcast his
new show TMI, via WFMU, now my second favorite independent, community radio station out there. (see #1.)

3. live music
Am over the moon to see/hear three bands/musicians i like a lot playing in Chicago in the next month or so.
Mountains, the Necks, and James Blackshaw...all en route. So look out for some thoughts post-those shows.

4. a parting thought/quote
Just finished Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne - a collection of essays about cities he's visited over time, largely framed through the lens of having ridden a bicycle through them. Except for all of the parts that have nothing to do with pedaling through these cities. I'm not super-overwhelmed by the book I like DB well enough, and it does have its great moments, and a beautiful cover. And then there's this single sentence that very nearly leapt off the page at me, and which I'll share with you now.

The world isn't logical, it's a song.

- D. Byrne

It's kind of almost too...something. But I like it.

5. more soon.