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Playlist: Wanna Listen

Compiled By: Ruji C.

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Death Qualified

From Alison Freeland | 15:51

A woman describes being on a death penalty jury in North Carolina.

200206 The case concerned a 17-year-old boy with a gun, and a 16-year-old victim. His guilt wasn't in question, but his punishment was. (Featured on Transom).

God is Talking to Me

From Hans Anderson | 09:24

When God talks to me, sometimes it means I have to do things I don't want to do

Default-piece-image-0 This piece was produced in response to a call for fiction for B-side Radio in Berkeley.  Learn more about B-side at http://www.bside-radio.org. For more information and conversation, visit this feature on Transom.org.

Finding Miles

From Sarah P. Reynolds | 27:11

A story of transition; from Megan to Miles.

1984-4-13_megan_swing_small Miles was born in the wrong body.   He was born Megan and after 15 years of serious depression and confusion about his place in the world, at age 28, he decided to do something about it.  He chose the name Miles and began his slow and difficult transition into manhood.  He brought an audio recorder with him.  This is his story.

Featured on Transom.org.  For more information and conversation, visit "Finding Miles" on Transom.org.

#51 - Portrait of a Psychic as a Young Man

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | Part of the SaltCast: the Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling series | 11:47

Ninety-nine percent of the time, using the pronoun “I” in a story is a journalistic no-no. But sometimes, it's a useful storytelling tool.


Ninety-nine percent of the time, using the pronoun “I” in a story is a journalistic no-no.

The reasons for this prohibition are many. One is objectivity. Remaining aloof and distant helps a reporter achieve the goal of objectivity, or so the conventional thinking goes.

Another is focus. The story isn’t about the reporter. It’s about the people they report on.

But sometimes, the pronoun “I” is a useful storytelling tool. For instance, “I” unlocks possibilities for framing and entering a story.

In the case of today’s feature on Saltcast, “I” (and it’s cousin “me”) allows the reporter to act as a surrogate for skeptical listeners when no character is available to play that role in the story.

Katie Mingle’s “Portrait of a Psychic as a Young Man” is a timeless tale of adolescence told through fifteen year old Nathan Dyer. Katie gently uses the first person in the story — sometimes directly, other times through carefully understated observation. She artfully achieves both objectivity and focus while employing “I.”

Just off the top of my head, I can think of two reporters who are masters of “I” –  Sean Cole and Neenah Ellis. They manage to navigate the tricky waters of objectivity and focus while writing in the first person.

Sean Cole has a lot of work posted at PRX. Many of his stories are archived at NPR.org. He also wrote an excellent essay on “I” for transom.org.

Many Neenah Ellis productions can also be found at PRX and NPR.org. I especially like Neenah’s opening piece in a series on centenarians.

Feast your ears on other stories by Katie Mingle at her website.

#53 - Left For Dead

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | Part of the SaltCast: the Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling series | 17:50

"Left for Dead" is probably the most gruesome story reported by a Salt student. It's not for the faint of heart.

Scraig_s10__980_small "Left for Dead" is probably the most gruesome story reported by a Salt student. It's not for the faint of heart. The piece retells the story of gruesome home invasion and attack on the Gurette family by two intruders with machetes. 

Girl Detectives

From Sue Mell | 17:57

The aftermath of a friend's murder and the search for resolution in the face of an unexplained death.

Girl Detectives
Sue Mell

Grldet Girl Detectives is a poignant and personal piece about the struggles of three women to cope with the murder of a beloved friend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Frustrated and unsatisfied with the findings of the police, they try to do some investigating of their own but are ultimately unable to provide any clear resolution. In the end, they can only continue to search inwardly for peace. As it tells the story of Susan and Stephanie--two lively and determined women--and their attempt to step out of their assigned roles as providers of comfort and take action on behalf of their friend, it also reveals the producer's attempt to make something meaningful and worthwhile out of these terrible events. Featured on Transom.org. For more information and conversation, visit the "Girl Detectives" on Transom.

Transit Duchess

From Marjorie Van Halteren | 02:10

Inner thoughts riding bus late at night in New York

Default-piece-image-2 This is audio from a collection of poems written by Marjorie Van Halteren and produced with Lou Giansante and the NY IPS in the 1980's. Some have been broadcast separately - for prx the entire collection has been made available in short pieces as standalone poems. The early efforts of New York IPS has been written about on Transom in the rubrique "Beginnings."

Polk Street Stories

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the The Transom Radio Specials series | 54:00

An oral history of the Polk Street neighborhood in San Francisco, as told by those who have called it home.

River_small Public Historian Joey Plaster spent over a year gathering more than 70 interviews from people experiencing Polk Street's transition from a working class queer neighborhood to an upscale entertainment district.  This hour contains stories from the alleys and bars, churches, shelters and clubs.  It is an oral history of a place invented by those who had no other home.  

As Joey says in his introduction:

"The Polk Street scene predates the modern gay rights movement. In some ways, it was a visible manifestation of the stereotypes the movement has worked to scrub clean over the past forty years: queer people as mentally ill, criminal, licentious, and doomed to lonely lives. Instead of repudiating this history, I wanted to embrace and learn from it.

"I came to San Francisco in part to figure out what it means to be queer – I came to what my uncle called the land of fruit and nuts. If the famous gay Castro neighborhood was scrubbed clean and glossy, I was always more attracted to its black sheep sister, the queer world of Polk Street. It was a whole world to itself, just about ten blocks of low rent hotels, bars and liquor stores, all sandwiched in between the gritty Tenderloin, City Hall, and the upscale Nob Hill. But by the time I got there, that scene was receding, and luxury condos and posh clubs were taking its place. People said gentrification was displacing the down and out folks who had long made Polk Street their home. Young queer activist groups held protests. Drag queens led take back the Polk marches. The press chimed in – some called it a death, some a renaissance.

"For me, it felt like an enormous loss. Like I was losing part of the history I’d come to San Francisco to claim, to become part of. I knew the Polk Street scene predated the Castro and the Stonewall riots, that it reached back to the origins of the early gay movement. But I found that its marginal history wasn’t written down and hadn’t been recorded. I feared it too would disappear with the neighborhood. In a way, I started to think about Polk Street as this parent I never knew, now elderly and dying. And it became an obsession to save its history – its collective wisdom and secrets -- before they were gone completely.

"Some of the stories were painful to hear. They’re from people who are often out of sight and forgotten. In this hour, you won’t hear a full history of the neighborhood, you’ll hear stories from the extremes, about the rewards and perils of the freedom Polk Street offered."

This Transom Radio Special is produced by Joey Plaster with Jay Allison and Transom.org at Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Chasing Love

From Miguel Macias | 59:46

A poetic and creative exploration of the notion of romantic love, and the way it drives lives and societies.

Chlove_small Chasing Love started as a meticulous look at the arrival and evolution of the idea of Romantic Love in Western society. But since the very beginning, I felt attracted by the connection that Octavio Paz establishes between capitalism and Romantic Love. During over 80 hours of interviews, I asked questions having to do with psychology, anthropology, biology, linguistics, history and philosophy. Chasing Love is a one-hour audio documentary that explores the ways late capitalism has affected and is affecting the idea of Romantic Love and consequently, the way relationships are handled and viewed in American society. In the three years it took to produce this documentary I explored the field of computer music, video art, radio drama and try to mix them all together. The results are contained in Chasing Love. Chasing Love proposes a way of conceiving a piece as a whole, where music is composed as the bits of interviews are blended together, where secrets are told behind words of narration. Where the producer is nowhere to be found and present in every second of it.

The Creative Remix

From Benjamen Walker | 58:30

a lawyer free exploration of the remix in music, art and literature.

Img3530_small If remixing is an Artform why are the lawyers running the conversation? The Creative Remix, with host Benjamin Walker, is an hour-long “lawyer free” examination of the art, culture and history of the remix. The hour kicks off with a musical analysis of DJ Dangermouse's infamous remix of the Beatles and Jay-Z. Then we go back in time to check out the ancient Roman art of the poetry mash-up, or the Cento. We make our way back to the present stopping off in the 18th century to check out the birth of copyright and how it effected writers like Alexander Pope; and the early 20th century when the visual artist Marcel Duchamp used the remix to reinvent everything. We also take a field trip to the Mass Mocca museum of modern art to check out the exhibit “Yankee Remix.” Walker brings along a few grad students and a pair of curmudgeonly New England antique collectors to investigate different attitudes towards remixing. In the second part of the program Benjamen Walker speaks with three unique remix artists: The historical novelist Matthew Pearl, Gideon D'arcangelo the walkman buster, and Cory Arcangel, a Nintendo hacker and one of the youngest representatives at this year’s Whitney Biennial.

Too Much Information (Series)

Produced by WFMU

Most recent piece in this series:

It's All Over

From WFMU | Part of the Too Much Information series | 54:02

It's All Over

Tminub_small G.S. recalls how bad karma took him from Devon, England to the C.U.T. bomb shelters in Montana. Author Robert Brockway explains how everything is going to kill everybody, and Matt Jarvis explains what it means to be a prepper. Pamela Walt has bad vibes in general, and our DC correspondent "Chris" has a bad feeling about the Tea Party. Also, astronomer Chris Impey explains how dark energy is the ending of all endings.

CBC Award Winning Radio Programs (Series)

Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Most recent piece in this series:

Debts of Gratitude (Thanksgiving Program)

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the CBC Award Winning Radio Programs series | 46:41


'Debts of Gratitude' is a variety of light hearted conversations and a retelling of experiences about the way we say "Thank You" and why sometimes we don't say it at all.  

Lost opportunities to say thank you. How does an anonymous organ donor ever say thank you to the person who gave them a second chance at life?  When Canadian actor Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) made her thank-you speech at the Golden Globes, who did she struggle to remember?  Also, hear about the etiquette of "thank you" in North America, and how it contrasts with the customs of some folks from Somalia, Iran and Burma. 

Hosted by the CBC's Alan Neal, 'Debts of Gratitude' is a Thanksgiving Program that won silver at the 2010 New York Festivals Radio Program and Promotion Awards.

Catalogue of Ships (Series)

Produced by Michael Kraskin

Most recent piece in this series:

The Twelve

From Michael Kraskin | Part of the Catalogue of Ships series | 08:52

Default-piece-image-2 A contemplative trip to Mount Olympus results in observations of international relations on the micro level. For one brief moment, America had the good will of the whole world.