Comments by Richard Paul

Comment for "Confessions of Teen Stripper"

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Review of Confessions of Teen Stripper

This sounds like an interesting experiment that's not quite ready for air. I love the idea of having a commentary that sounds like a monologue. But the producer is being much too kind in assessing the quality of the delivery. At times they hit it right on the mark and it sounds like you're hearing an edited piece made from an interview. But most of the time it sounds like someone reading out-loud off a sheet of paper. In terms of content, I would have liked to have heard more about the feelings and emotions of this woman. This could almost have been done in the third person.

Comment for "Spam-o-Rama!"

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Review of Spam-o-Rama!

Cute little piece. Nothing especially special. A ripe topic dispensed with in a straight-forward manner. And -- hoping not to sound like a snob -- the "H" is silent in "homage."

Comment for "Pop Vultures #8: Guilty Pleasures" (deleted)

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Review of Pop Vultures #8: Guilty Pleasures (deleted)

This show has improved so much since the last time I heard it. They have finally figured out how to make it not-confusing when people come in and out for no particular reason.

Comment for "The Mascot"

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Review of The Mascot

This is a mildly interesting piece, though we don't get much of a sense of the personality of the guy who is the center of it. It may be because he is not that interesting. The only reason I come to that conclusion (rather than suggesting that the piece is not more interesting because of some fault of the reporter) is because mid-way through the piece we hear from another mascot and that guy is very engaging. Some technical points: The natural sound does not have much presence and there is a really nasty edit right near the top. Overall, I wish the reporter had gotten out of the way. She seemed to be trying to impose some sense of attitude on the piece. I would have loved to have heard her try to put this same information across without being such a personality in the story. She almost over-shadows poor Tim who -- as I mentioned is not the most sparkling personality.

Comment for "GeoQuiz Parody"

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Review of GeoQuiz Parody

No pans or slams. Recall your mother's words: "If you don't have anything nice to say..."

Ah! Ah!!!! I... Want... To... Say... What... I... Thought. Must. Be. Nice!!!!! Must. Not. Speak. True. Ah! Ugh! Opinion!!!! Uh! I think this is ... I want to say that this is ... Be nice! BE! NICE!
Judge for yourself.

Comment for "Homeschooling Dance Party"

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Review of Homeschooling Dance Party

Great sociology lesson. You learn a lot. But as a radio piece ... To my ear, it's a bit too much me, me, me (the reporter, that is). My thoughts. My impressions. They gather around me and shout out answers to my questions. As a listener, personally I'd much rather hear the kids. I didn't hear two kids speaking in a row until 4:30 into the piece. Then there's the section with Josh, the kid who wants to go to public school so he can meet girls. Let me hear Josh, please. Why does the reporter tell the whole story? I can see doing that in a newspaper feature, but the great thing about radio is you can capture someone's voice and, with it, their emotions and let THAT tell the story. This is a valuable slice of life that few of us know. I wish I could have experienced it with less of a wall put up between me and the individuals covered.

Comment for "Alimentary, Watson. . . Offramp" (deleted)

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Review of Alimentary, Watson (deleted)

This piece wants to be Firesign Theater (a bunch of people speak all at once) and those Guy Noir sketches that Garrison Keilor does (a guy does the sound of liquid going into a glass). It's also sort of like Crank Yankers (people talking on the phone). But, for as long as I could listen to this, nothing really happens. Back in high school, when I used to smoke a lot of pot (my mom's not on PRX, is she?) I used to like stuff like this.

Comment for "From Anarchy to the Ballot Box: Punx for Dean"

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Review of From Anarchy to the Ballot Box: Punx for Dean

This is a standard, public radio news piece that offers one scintilla-more of information about the young people who back Howard Dean, over-and-above what you probably already know. I have to say that what struck me most was: For a piece about people who are devoted to passionate, energetic music, there could have been more passion and energy. There's one nice piece of tape with a woman giving a pep talk to the Punx For Dean and she sounds as if she’s near tears because she is so excited that that people drove all that way to help out (she may be the same passionate woman who appears at the top of the piece, but neither woman is ever identified). But all the other people interviewed have a sort of flat, matter-of-fact delivery. To me they sound bored. Maybe they're just exhausted from campaigning, but they just came across as flat. Also, the clips of live music sound like they were recorded from a spot very far away from the speakers. That also diminishes the energy. This is a good start, but could use the hand of a firm editor.

Comment for "Avoiding Major Highways" (deleted)

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Review of Avoiding Major Highways (deleted)

I really feel like you buried and then ignored the lede. I want to hear about the little pink house. I want to hear about the bait shop. And I want to know who Megan is. That would have kept my interest.

Comment for "Two-Minute Danger Theater 01: The Voice "Death Stalks at Midnight" Ch 1"

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Review of Two-Minute Danger Theater 01: The Voice "Death Stalks at Midnight" Ch 1

This is the sort of module they used to run on commercial AOR stations back when all the GMs were on coke and all the DJs were smoking pot. You don't hear this sort of thing anymore. Funny is in the ear of the beholder. But you know what they say, "If I can make just one person laugh ... well then I need to do a little better."

Comment for "All Things Remixed: A Youth Radio Spoof"

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Review of All Things Remixed: A Youth Radio Spoof

Humor is a very subjective thing.

Comment for "NPR Geeks"

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Review of NPR Geeks

OK, how geeky would it be of me to point out that "This American Life" is a PRI show. It's no skin off my nose -- I'm not the person running PRI's branding campaign. But still, I'd hope that at least on public radio we could get it right. As for the piece, I like it a lot. It's a great topic that public radio is afraid to tackle. It makes light of who our listeners are but with no malice whatsoever. It's produced in an unconventional manner that is very appealing. I didn't find the last story as compelling as the producer obviously did (I'd have shortened it), but that's a quibble. And you know what they say about opinions.

Comment for ""Being Photographed""

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Review of "Being Photographed"

The open for this piece really grabbed me -- always a good thing. The script is very nicely delivered. He's so engaging and personable. I chuckled a few times and had a good, solid laugh at the end. Nice job. Someone -- please air this!

Comment for "People Don't Have Anything to Say"

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Review of People Don't Have Anything to Say

A cute, little interstacial piece that sounds like the 70s -- when "anything went" on public radio and people felt free to experiment. One could see using this at the close of an hour or as a transition between pieces.

Comment for "An Interview with Joe Barbera"

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Review of An Interview with Joe Barbera

This is a meat-and-potatoes Q & A about the production and marketing of the Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. The audio on the cartoons is of much higher quality than the audio of the interview. Unfortunately the interview is the bulk of the segment.

Comment for "Lessons From the Fall: A Losing Candidate's Reflections"

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Review of Lessons From the Fall: A Losing Candidate's Reflections

Would have loved to have heard more of the candidate and less of the reporter. The candidate is very engaging and lively.

Comment for "First Menstruation Stories"

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Review of First Menstruation Stories

It's brave of the young woman who put this together to tell her story, but this piece can use some editing (I counted 5 uses of the term "rough terrain" in one of the stories). If the rights to this piece allow you to cut it, I recommend using it. It's frank (though it's clear an adult went through the final mix and kept it from being too potentially offensive) and doesn't mythologize the event; which is refreshingly post-feminist. It's also refreshing to hear these stories related by women of an age not too far removed from the event they're discussing.

Comment for "Family Vacation"

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Review of Family Vacation

This piece is absolutely delightful. If you are allowed to re-use it (I notice that she SOQs out by saying "For the Savvy Traveler") do! The young narrator strikes just the right balance between cynical and adorable and the "adults" are a hoot.

Comment for "Pop Vultures #4: Nirvana, American Idol & Snoop Dogg" (deleted)

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Review of Pop Vultures #4 (deleted)

Presentation: Interesting attempt to shoot for a different sound. The (I guess it's) host sounds like she's speaking off the top of her head. Sometimes this works well, but sometimes it sounds a bit too scripted and "fake real." Nine minutes into the show she's gone and I'm listening to two guys. I assume if I listened more often I would know what's going on here and maybe I'm just too rigid, but I found this confusing. I liked very much the "college radio" sound to this program. It was just loose enough without being totally out of control like some college radio can be.

Content: Assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the listener. So it comes off a bit exclusive and confusing. I understand that they don't want to waste time telling the audience things they might already know, but it might help to assume that some listeners don't know everything about the bands being discussed and could use a little "filling in."

Comment for "Joey Interviews a Cutter"

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Review of Joey Interviews a Cutter

People expect to turn to public radio and hear what they won't hear anywhere else. THIS is a piece that you would not hear anywhere but on public radio -- a window into a life that we would never see otherwise. At first the raw nature of this put me off. I thought it was staged. But within minutes I realized it for what it was -- an incredibly valuable contribution to our understanding of others.