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Playlist: Music Station Picks For October

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a  href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/">Leo Reynolds</a>
Image by: Leo Reynolds 
Curated Playlist

October picks for music stations curated by PRX Music Format Curator David Srebnik of Virtuoso Voices.

Suggestions from David:

"Are you on Twitter? PRX is on Twitter — I've found it to be an invaluable programming resource, providing information and updates on new program that are available on PRX. It's like getting an instant update from PRX without having to go to the PRX site.

"One PRX Twitter feed contains a link to each new PRX piece.

"The second PRX feed tells you which programs have been bought in real time."

Find out what David listens for in music programming

The Spectacular Legacy of Erich Kunzel

From WGUC/ WVXU | 01:58:52

This is an important, loving and thorough tribute to the late musician-conductor, Erich Kunzel — best known for conducting the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and for leading the National Symphony Orchestra on the annual nationally televised PBS July 4th and Memorial Day concerts in Washington, DC.

Host Naomi Lewin, and dozens of EK's colleagues and admirers (Dave Brubeck, Doc Sevrinsen, Frederica von Stade and Cincinnati Pops players) share the stories, insight and moments that made up this spectacular person and musical legacy.

Music is varied and well chosen (especially Cab Calloway in Porgy and Bess and Rodgers' "Victory at Sea"); the script is pristine, thoughtful and upbeat.

Overall production, mix and assembly is superb; music-to-talk ratio is perfect. (Promo included.)

"The Spectacular Legacy of Erich Kunzel" brings forward the conductor's life, musical gifts and the twinkle that was always in his eye.

Highly recommended.


Naomi Lewin hosts The Spectacular Legacy of Erich Kunzel, remembering the man who founded the Cincinnati Pops, saw the group through dozens of recordings, and left behind a legacy of musical entertainment and showmanship that will never be duplicated.

The program includes favorite selections from the Pops interspersed with reminiscences from some of Maestro Kunzel’s favorite collaborators including Doc Sevrinsen, Dave Brubeck, Michael Feinstein, and Frederica von Stade, as well as members of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Maestro Kunzel, who lost his battle with cancer September 1, 2009, especially wanted the music of the Cincinnati Pops to continue after his death, so this special is made available to public radio stations to help fulfill that wish.

A Spin Down Abbey Road (59:00 / 54:00)

From Paul Ingles | 58:59

Maybe you weren't able to creatively acknowledge the recent avalanche of Beatles news, re-releases and anniversaries.

Maybe you chose not to get caught up in the maze and daze of it all, or you were waiting for a better time and a better way.

Probably everything you ever wanted to know — and more importantly, some of the things you didn't know about Abbey Road and the making of the last official Beatles album — is likely to be found in this program produced by public radio's leading Rock historian, Paul Ingles.

The show gathers music experts, Beatles experts and articulate fans to remind us that Ringo actually was a genius of percussion; that the Beatles legacy would have been a completely different shade if it hadn't been for George Harrison, and that Abbey Road's list of significant innovations goes on and on and on.

There are warm sentiments for Paul's bass, John's gift for an economy of lyrics and insightful interpretations of what really happens at the end of "I Want You (She's so Heavy)."

As is the case with most other Paul Ingles' programs, "A Spin Down Abbey Road" lets your listeners sit at the table of a fun, fascinating and intriguing discussion.

Beatles_abbey-road_small Award-Winning producer Paul Ingles adds another installment to his series of programs spotlighting The Beatles album releases with A Spin Down Abbey Road.  A panel of music writers, musicians and Beatles fans offer historical background on the tracks and their own personal feelings about this landmark album.  Their comments are woven through the music of Abbey Road.

Featured guests are music writers Anthony DeCurtis, Steve Turner, Ann Powers, Richie Unterberger, Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot.  Musician guests include Shawn Colvin, Glen Phillips, Richard Goldman, David Gans, Phil & Tim Hanseroth and Jon Spurney.

Chamber Music at Gleason's Gym?

From Lawrence Lanahan | 03:50

Classical music is everywhere, including the gym — Gleason's Gym, the legendary New York City boxing training Mecca where Muhammad Ali trained and where future boxers of the world train.

Boxers-in-training hear the music and then box a few rounds.


It gets even odder but more interesting as the two worlds — boxers and musicians — find common ground, perspective and even appreciation. Then, they collaborate.

This piece will give you and your listeners a lot to talk about.

**FYI: this 3:50 piece is a 2006 segment from American Public Media's Weekend America. It still holds up, but will require some minor handling at the end where Weekend America is mentioned as part of the reporter close.

Thumbgym_small There's a new chamber music series in New York City and the venue has been the home of some of the most legendary names in the game: Muhammad Ali, Riddick Bowe, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson. The series is called "Strike!" and it takes place at famous Gleason's Gym under the Brooklyn Bridge. The audience walks back and forth between rings, from three-minute exhibition bouts to ten-minute fugues. Lawrence Lanahan visited an installment of the concert series for American Public Media's Weekend America back in December 2006.

A Musician's Life: Moby

From WXPN | Part of the A Musician's Life series | 05:00

Moby talks with Tracey Tanenbaum about his quest to write mournful music that is "vulnerable, enduring and beautiful."

From his latest pursuit of that ideal, he produced his 2009 recording, "Wait for Me." Moby is a highly inventive composer, player and also a worthy talker and wordsmith. In this edition of A Musician’s Life, he puts a human spin on his own music-making process that non-musicians can easily contemplate and process.

As in the recent Ben Lee portrait from this series, Moby openly addresses modern-day music economics. He recounts the licensing and over licensing of his seminal recording "Play" (1999). Moby's music beds heard frequently under advertisements generated worldwide awareness of his music and led to cries of "sellout" from sideline critics. It's a tag he accepts and regrets, but it does not necessarily keep him up at night.

An honest musician and storyteller in an honest radio snapshot from WXPN's Tracey Tanenbaum.

The series, A Musician’s Life, is worthy of consideration for a multi-part series (daily, weekly or monthly) on your station.

Moby_small Moby was born and raised in Darien Connecticut and raised in a household that savored all the arts.  As a youngster he played classical guitar but discovered the endless sonic possibilities of electronic music as a teenager.  Some hail the electronic artist as an innovative genius while others call him a sell-out.  He became a lightening rod of sorts when he released “Play” in 1999.  Critics loved the work.  So did advertisers.  Moby got flack for licensing every track.  But his music got exposure and he became a star.  A decade later Moby continues to experiment with musical forms.  His latest album is called “Wait for Me”.

A Musician's Life: Ben Lee

From WXPN | Part of the A Musician's Life series | 05:00

One of two new pieces from Tracey Tanenbaum and the WXPN series, A Musician’s Life.

In addition to his music, it is Ben Lee's questioning of how artists travel through the metrics of musical success that makes this musician's life so interesting. That multi-headed conflict between sales, stats, human thoughts and emotions become the energy that fuels his music.

In the end, how does he measure success? "What happens to a room when you're playing."

Air this on its own during your live music shift or as a feature during your arts-magazine program. A Musician’s Life is worthy of consideration for a multi-part series (daily, weekly or monthly) on your station.

Benlee_small Australia native Ben Lee formed his band Noise Addict when he was just 13.  Within a couple of years the group counted Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys among its fans.  Ben Lee is now 31.  He's got a wife, a stepchild and a baby on the way.  He also has a new solo album, "The Rebirth of Venus".  On this edition of "A Musician's Life" Ben talks about his aversion to ratings and why he hates promoting work.

Qntal: Medieval tradition plugged into electronic grooves

From John Diliberto | Part of the Echo Location: Soundings for New Music series | 03:30

John Diliberto profiles the ensemble Qntal, whose sound fuses music and instruments of old with sounds and instruments of today.

I guess this would be what techies call a "mash up," with its union of 20th century gothic rock, ancient German and Latin texts intoned over a sonic tapestry of warm, dark, mysterious moods and an ever present beat.

Qntal follows the one successful habit of all great composers and ensembles: know which rules to follow but in all other areas, the possibilities are endless.

An excellent introduction and feature for music lovers not necessarily beholden to a single musical category.

More nice work from John, Kimberly et al, now celebrating their 20th anniversary as the producers of Echoes.


Old German, hurdy gurdys and a statuesque medieval singer collide in synthesizers, textures and grooves with Qntal. Principles Michael Popp on saz and oud and singer Sigrid Hausen also perform in the more traditional early music group Estampie. As Qntal, Sigrid becomes Syrah and they make a music that storms the gothic heavens. Michael Popp talks about their medieval and modern worlds.

Old Time Jam #89

From WAMU | Part of the Old Time Jam series | 58:48

Host Hubie Green gets to the music right away — this is a nicely crafted assembly, mix and flow of music. This episode includes a Bill Monroe musical moment and Hubie Green family memory.

Old time music, bluegrass and pre-bluegrass music — not for everyone or every format, I know, but a thoughtful, well programmed music show, minus unnecessary distractions, goes a long way almost anywhere and any place.

Old Time Jam #89

This week we remember Bill Monroe on the anniversary of his birth, and document his connection to Old Time Music through his Uncle Pen, an old-time fiddler. Host Hubie King recalls the day he introduced his young children to Bill Monroe at Bean Blossom. We also listen to a variety of dance tunes and some ballads.


From Joyride Media | Part of the I Am An Elvis Fan series | 59:05

I confess…I don't know what Elvis Presley's place is on public radio.

Will Elvis and a musically splendid Elvis Documentary fit on your station? How about a sweaty Elvis?

The Elvis jump to public radio might be a big leap, but if you're up to it, this program offers all of the public radio dream elements. There's the music and storytelling, including the stories and memories of the TV producer, the musicians on camera, and an adoring fan. Find out how it was seen, heard and felt by the world at large.

But the program’s gem is the story of a near washed up superstar's sensational overnight comeback.

Before everything else, Elvis was a rock and roll king. The 1968 TV special made that clear, and this radio special from Joyride Media tells that story in an energetic, incredibly musical and sweaty kind of way.

Elvisorignalalbumcover_small One-hour radio special set to premiere August 2008 celebrates the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's historic "68 Comeback Special" TV broadcast. NBC's December 1968 broadcast of "Elvis" was a huge success for the network that helped relaunch Elvis's career as the King of Rock & Roll. TV Guide recently named it as one of the "Most Memorable Moments in Television History," but the legend of the "68 Comeback Special" is as much about what people didn't see that night.

THE 68 COMEBACK RADIO SPECIAL takes your listeners beyond the original one-hour broadcast and inside the extensive archive of unedited live shows, backstage rehearsals long praised by fans and collectors. For his first concerts in seven years, the King turned in some of the most raw, captivating performances he ever set to tape. Music: Elvis classics live from the 68 Comeback Special archives, including the leather-suited unplugged sessions reunited with Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana; backstage rehearsal sessions; alternate studio takes of other music recorded for the TV special.

Interviews: Emmy-winning director Steve Binder, guitarist Scotty Moore, and audience members discuss these performances, what they meant to everyone at the time and why they are still revered today. We also hear from Elvis, himself, through comments recorded throughout the footage.

Host & Producer: The special is produced by Joyride Media and hosted by singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell - same team behind the acclaimed 2007 Elvis Specials THE EARLY YEARS, VIVA LAS VEGAS and HE TOUCHED ME: ELVIS' GOSPEL MUSIC. Joyride also produced many recent specials featuring Carole King, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan.

Terms: Available for all US broadcasters to air at no cost with no built-in national spots. Broadcast window begins August 1, 2008. Please contact andy.cahn@sonybmg.com with any broadcast confirmations or other feedback.


From WHJE | 04:37

"And this one time at band camp..."

A pleasant look behind the scenes of a high school marching band. This program focuses more on the fundamentals and aerobics of putting on a show, rather than the more geeky, version of this American institution referenced above from the 1999 film, American Pie.

A pleasing worthy reflection on the marching band experience, that could easily tie into your local education or local music scene coverage.


Trumpets_small The 2009 Carmel High School Marching Band is already hard at work this season with their new show. Come this November, Marching Band Grand National Finals will roll around, and once again the Marching Band will perform their show. It's not just about the show; there are fundamentals to do and students to teach. Over the years marching band has evolved and changed both physically and mentally. Two of the directors of the band, Richard Saucedo and Michael Pote, explain what's happened to marching band over the years, what the marching band does and what its really like to be a part of one of the best marching bands in the country.