Redux: StoryCorps South

StoryCorps' mobile recording unit is spending springtime in the South, capturing oral histories from Texas to North Carolina. These are voices that don't make it on the radio too often, so pour yourself some sweet tea and listen in.

Redux: Park That Toothbrush

Sorry, no audio. Try the permalink.

See, I told you that brushing was bad for you. Now all we need is some carcinogenic floss and I'm off the hook for all those missed dental appointments.

Disclaimer: Don't worry Ma, I have excellent dental hygiene.

Redux: Super Duper Tuesdays on Fair Game

Okay, so it's really much more musical than political, but it seems like every Tuesday is super in some way these days. Last Tuesday, The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt serenaded Fair Game's Faith Salie with a rather dirty ukulele ditty. This Tuesday, The Mountain Goats deconstructed the literary relevancy of their lyrics. What's on tap for next Tuesday? Free ice cream for all? Only time will tell...

Redux: I Heart Hotpipes

I do, and I'm not afraid to say it. Some of my Pitchfork-loving friends might not have Hotpipes on their radar, but I am a serious fan. And apparently, WOXY's Shiv is too. It was great to hear them Live in the Lounge, talking about the new album, the loss of their fifth member, and general reflections on being in the recording studio. Take a listen, you won't be disappointed.

Blog: No Rules, Just Right (Did I Really Just Quote Outback Steakhouse?)

I'm helping out with a sound class for teens at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art (taught by Love & Radio's Nick Van der Kolk), which I'm really excited about. Last week was the first class and to get the students thinking about sound, we had them do a sound hunt where they roamed around the museum to capture sounds of "art" or "the color pink" or "automobiles." (Special props to Jones Franzel of Generation PRX fame who suggested the idea.)

They really got into it. I mean, really really got into it. At one point, we were all outside, shivering in the cold, and I hear a car horn honking. I look over and it was clear that one of the students had (rather smartly) asked the driver to help him out in the hunt. This same student also approached a guy in an elevator, saying, "I need to capture the sounds of someone working. Can you help me out?" He followed this with a, "thanks so much, sir!" leaving the man in the elevator smiling to himself as he went about his day.

All this rambling to say that I think I get so caught up in capturing "real life," in being afraid to fabricate any kind of sound since my focus is documentary work, that I forgot how much fun it can be to just play with sound. To approach people and get them in on the action. Here I was, waiting for a car to come by, waiting for natural sounds of people working, while this student just jumped right in. No qualms. No fears of doing it right, just doing it.

Redux: Cringe-worthy Goodness

This is one of my favorites of the shorter Love & Radio podcasts. Adrianne and her college ex-boyfriend dissect their relationship and what went wrong--using Adrianne's emails from that time as a window into their past. You can hear the awkwardness in their exchange and it makes you tense, wondering what's going to be said next. But I've also really admired that these two were willing to talk to each other so many years later with great openness. Have a listen and be prepared to assume cringe-mode for the duration.

Redux: Happy Radio Lab Day!

It's the day us audio geeks have been waiting for all year... the release of the new Radio Lab season. Radio Lab isn't like your typical daily news show. It's a layered, sound-rich show about the intersection of science and humanity - some pretty hefty topics to research in the first place. Then it takes months to find guests, do interviews, write the script, and most importantly edit each episode into Radio Lab magic.

This week's episode is about laughter. Why do we make those awkward gasping noises when we see something funny? Do other animals do it or is it one of those things that makes us uniquely human? From giggling rats to taciturn babies, this episode of Radio Lab has it all. My ears have never been so happy.

Redux: The National Go National

We've heard a lot about the Brooklyn via Cincinnati band The National. They were on the cover of Paste Magazine's best-of issue and made the Village Voice's top ten list this year. Let's face it: their white-collar rags-to-riches story makes for good copy and it doesn't hurt that their music is so darn good.

My favorite coverage of The National to date is their recent live set on Fair Game. Faith Salie's hyper-intelligent flirtation suits the band perfectly and the mix sounds great. My only wish is that the Fair Game blog posted some of the funny little behind-the-scenes moments that inevitably ensued after the On Air light turned off.

Redux: I Don't Shut Up, I Grow Up

Ken and Andy decide to embrace only "grown-up" radio by re-enacting such radio programs as Air America, Mike Savage, and Jesus Radio. I haven't laughed this hard at a Seven Second Delay episode in a long time--there's something about hearing Andy trying to be serious and Ken taking on different accents on a moment's notice that make this episode.

Blog: Fun with Shortlists

Have you ever looked down and laughed at the incongruity of your to-do list? Write about post-modern love, pick up turkey, paint toothpicks, etc. Transom.org has taken this one step further with their Short Lists. The concept is simple: make a list of something in your life. It can be anything - the contents of your closet, places you've eaten hot dogs, whatever. The only rule is that you can't tell us what the list is about until the very end. Try to guess this one. I'll give you a hint: If you've lived in the 21st century, you've definitely received one of these. Still confused? Sometimes it helps to listen twice

Special thanks to Strange Bird Labs' Richard Orris (aka my husband-to-be)