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Playlist: Music Station Picks for April

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37232503@N00/228253734/">Fanch</a>
Image by: Fanch 
Curated Playlist
Here are the April picks for music stations from PRX Music Format Curator David Srebnik.

Click here for David's music station fundraising picks.

David produces Virtuoso Voices, an interview clip and fundraising service heard on 115 stations. As an Associate Producer at NPR, he programmed the music heard on Performance Today, and directed news and music programming at stations in Texas, Michigan, Florida, New Orleans and North Carolina.

What David listens for in music programming:

"I look and listen for programming that puts the listener first, speaks listener language and answers 'yes' to questions like:

* Is it enjoyable, beautiful, entertaining or substantial?
* Will it be memorable?
* Will it advance understanding and enjoyment of the music?
* Will this contribute to making public radio indispensable?

"I'm not big on music education on the radio, especially in the form made infamous by the so-called 'old-school' of classical music announcing.

"Radio can, however, educate in a compelling and entertaining way. David Schulman's Musicians in their Own Words series and WNYC's Richard Wagner documentaries are good examples of music education without the academic shackles that have made that term deadly on the radio."

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Music Box Healer

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 05:47

Here is a short, sweet piece on the life of a music box healer. Michael Everett restores broken music boxes to their natural state of sweet sounds. Independent producer Emily Eagle tells the story of a man with a love of machines, machinery and music in his blood. At 5:46, this is a good fit for your arts magazine program or other local slots where lighter musical features provide the proper touch or transition.

Nice piece to balance a story on iPods and other new means for collecting and downloading music.

Default-piece-image-1 The fancy new iPods that we listen to music on today will probably be out of date in five years.  As portable music players get smaller and sleeker, the old versions are tossed and forgotten. But music players haven’t always been disposable. 

A century and a half ago music lovers and talented craftspeople designed and created music boxes.  These elaborate machines are considered antiques, but many of them can still play music--if they’ve had the proper repairs.  Michael Everett is a music box technician in Wiscasset, Maine.
Independent producer Emily Eagle has the story.

The Best of South by Southwest Music 2009

From KUT | 55:04

David Brown, Andy Uhler, Peter Babb and the rest of the radio-gifted crew of Texas Music Matters (KUT) have put together a fast moving sampling from the just concluded South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin.

Taking moments from shows, showcases and KUT studio events, there are, forgive the cliché, too many high points to list, but include The Low Anthem, Asa, T-Bird and the Breaks and the Somalia-born K’Naan who delivers a most dynamic and rousing pay off to a moving but somewhat odd intro during his moment on the show.

Host David Brown and the entire Texas Music Matters – KUT creative group deliver a musical production that will hit home with your station’s music lovers. Music choices, flow and tasteful, minimalist hosting make this program a good fit during afternoon-evening dayparts on weekdays and weekends.

KUT and Texas Matters are well represented with long and short pieces on PRX – including, Amazing Grace: The Story of Willie Nelson, recently awarded First Place for Documentary Reporting and the Grand Prize for Radio at the 75th Annual National Headliners Awards.


Join Austin-based music journalist David Brown for an hour of musical discovery as we check out exclusive live performances captured at Austin's annual new music conference.  It's the best of SXSW 2009.  (And you don't need no stinkin' badges!)  Produced by the award-winning music journalism team 'Texas Music Matters' at KUT Austin.  Enjoy!

Martin Atkins: the dude knows.

From Katie Ball | 18:49

One of the more entertaining, informational and pleasing looks into the music business, specifically bands.

Martin Atkins has made every mistake possible, broken all of the rules, made up rules on the fly and can tell your listeners how and why bands make it in the business – sometimes in spite of themselves.

Host/producer Katie Ball brings out Atkins' very best storyteller and sage capabilities in this honest and unpretentious look at the music business. Ideal radio entertainment and schooling for music lovers, would be musicians and almost anyone who wonders, “how did THAT happen?”

At 18:48, I know this piece poses a timing, placement and scheduling dilemma. (Producers please note: features over a certain length create scheduling challenges and impossibilities for station PDs – something really worth a longer discussion on PRX and AIR with producers and program directors.)

But just as the “network” breaks formats at the right time for the right reasons, the content here is too good not to audition and at least weigh some possible scheduling options.

The producer recently added a suggested host intro and outro for your convenience.


Picture an irreverent big brother who's been there - done that, and surprisingly lived to tell the tales. Drummer Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails and more) knows the music business. Seriously, he KNOWS it. In addition to being an artist in his own right he also owns the Invisible record label, teaches various marketing courses at Columbia College in Chicago and has written the bible for touring bands, Tour Smart (And Break the Band). But if you're picturing stale data analysis and tired, overused marketing mantras, think again; Atkins is funny, snarky and straight-up about the pros and cons of becoming a “professional” musician.

In this piece Martin Atkins and Katie Ball discuss topics ranging from the messy (and funny) lessons learned in some of his past bands and also what musicians are doing to sabotage their careers, and why.