Comments by Eric Winick

Comment for "Sound Opinions Show 365, November 23, 2012, 11/23/2012"

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Brilliant dissection as always

Great to hear these guys getting their due. What a fantastic interview with Jody Stephens.

Comment for "We High On... Caffeine"

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Wired for sound

Interesting, informative piece produced by and for the people most affected by it. I've never consumed one of these so-called "energy drinks" (they look vile to me) but I've seen them everywhere and wondered about the folks who do. Well, here's the truth behind Red Bull, Rockstar, Amped, and now Cocaine, in just under 11 minutes, with man on the street interviews, the word from a manufacturer, and even an expert in the field. Comprehensive stuff, for sure. I just wish the producers had given us a sense of how many energy drinks = the doctor's recommended caffeine/sugar levels, to keep it all in context.

Ultimately, is this a cautionary tale, an expose, or a soft feature? In some sense, it's all of the above, though this split focus doesn't make it any less entertaining.

Comment for "The Tinman Diner"

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Locals save the day, for now

I checked this out because of its title (I'm a diner enthusiast), but stuck with it because its characters were so compelling -- and then the story got me. What shines through is the sense of a community banding together to save a local institution. Even when the chips are down, when people are cutting back, you get the sense that places like the Tinman will survive, simply because its customers won't allow it to die.

The piece is well-produced and sound-rich, with a nice balance of narration, background/ambient effects and interviews.

Comment for "The White Album Listening Party: Revisiting The Beatles' Top-Seller (3-Hour / Newscast-Length Version)"

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Number nine... number nine...

Ideal for listening over a couple days or sittings, Paul Ingles' tribute to the weirdest, longest, and perhaps best Beatles album was a delight for me, who first listened in the late 70s and grew up fascinated and terrified by the recording. Here are explanations of the songs you thought you got (Honey Pie), wish you'd got (Sexy Sadie), and never got (Revolution 9), made understandable and palatable by a gaggle of musicians and fans. You understand the woman who hates the album because you hated it too, for a moment, maybe longer. Just as you get in line with those who extol its virtues.

What a feast and a treat for Beatles fans everywhere.

Comment for "The Stories of Hanukkah"

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True enough!

I hear you, brother: Hanukkah is definitely the pinnacle of assimilation. As usual, Molinsky shoots and scores, laying out his argument neatly, with facts, humor, and best of all, the sound of frying latkes. He sets the scene beautifully, interviewing a former Orthodox Jewish woman (in Brooklyn, we all seem to know one) and a rabbi to tease out the 'ugly truth' about the secularization of one of our favorite holidays -- both today and in ancient times.

Perfectly mixed, and just the right length, this is an ideal piece for this crazy, mixed up time of year.

Comment for "Dissonance is the New Harmony"

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Your mind works a little harder...

... and I don't like it that way, but that's just me. This is a fun, succinct piece about a small revolution happening in one of music's most fabled towns. Will Noise catch on -- beyond the 21 year old fan who gushes about its possibilities? We may never know. Hovering somewhere between sound sculpture, performance art, and the gothic sensibilities of bands like Ministry and KFMDM, Noise seems destined to find a small but dedicated niche of listeners who like their pop music straight-up. No lovely lady lumps here.

On the whole, a thoughtful and informative glimpse into a questionable trend. It may not be new (avant-garde music's been around for a while) but as a contrast to the mindless, brainless pop that's dominating the airwaves, it's a welcome primal scream.

Comment for "Love Triangle"

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Raw, honest, emotional

Having co-produced a piece this year about a woman grieving for her late transgendered husband ("How Are You Who You Are?"), it was fascinating for me to hear this dispatch from the eye of the storm. In my piece we heard from a woman who learned to live with her husband's predilection for cross-dressing. Here one has the advantage of hearing from both parties, a wife and her transgendered husband, now a woman, and the result is a painful but human glimpse into a marriage that couldn't compromise. No fairy tale endings here. It just didn't work.

I could have done without the metronome-like soundtrack pulsing throughout, but on the whole, this is an affecting, honest, and well-mixed human interest piece. Bravo.

Comment for "Guitarist Larry Coryell - Still learning."

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Review of Guitarist Larry Coryell - Still learning.

As with her piece "Dish: Dynamics of the Duo," Katie Ball presents another thoughtful and sound-rich portrait of a musician at the height of (his) powers, and the result is a fun, informative, and swingingly upbeat snapshot.

Larry Coryell's work has gone largely unrecognized outside of the music industry, but that doesn't mean he hasn't made his mark on the business as a whole. As Katie points out, Coryell's been at the forefront of a movement he helped create, and now, having achieved an inner peace, he sounds as content as ever.

Katie Ball has an instinctive feel for the lives of the musicians she spotlights, and her voice remains as mellifluous as ever.

Comment for "Shy Bladder Workshop"

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Review of Shy Bladder Workshop

I think it was the title that pulled me in. It's something you don't really think about: the fear certain people (in this case, men) have of using urinals in public restrooms. But Hammad Ahmed dives in full-force, and the result is a revealing and surprisingly candid portrait of men who are, apparently, going through hell each time they step up to the plate.

Only comments: a bit more about the psychology behind the paralysis brought on by paruresis would have been helpful. We get a sense of the human toll, but it might have been nice to learn what actually happens inside the brain at the moment of truth.

The choice to include the urinating sounds may be a chancy one, but it helps you get the picture.

And yes, to a greater or lesser extent, most of us have been there. Thanks for sharing this experience.

Comment for "First Love & First Kiss"

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Review of First Love & First Kiss

Adorable. The range of voices here is impressive. Alix Blair captures what's awkward, sweet, and terrifying about the first kiss, transmitting that through young and old alike. The standouts are her bookends, the nine year-old whose criteria for love are as simple as can be, and the elderly woman ("Kip," love it) whose first kiss was as chaste as can be.

As with the best pieces, what I was left with was a question: where was my own first kiss? What was I doing? Did I blow it or was I the romantic wunderkind I remember? Was it as wonderful or as harrowing as those depicted here? Any radio piece that gets one thinking along those lines is worth a repeat listen. Nicely done.

Comment for "Hi Plains Basketball"

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Review of Hi Plains Basketball

This is one of those stories that makes you wonder about the so-called flyover states, wonder about the people there, what they do and why they do it. That's a good thing, in my book -- especially when the subject is as innocent and playful as that in Zachary Barr's piece on High Plains High School's determination to win the state basketball title. My God, only forty-three students in grades 9-12? There were 1,000 kids in my high school (in the Northeast), and that was considered small. And only a few well-wshers turned out to support our team -- here, the entire community shows up.

This is a quick, short piece that shines a spotlight on a tiny, out of the way place. Attention should be paid to such places, and to such pieces. I won't spoil the fun by giving away the outcome, but I will say this: when one proud father congratulates his son towards the end of the piece, it's impossible not to be moved.

Comment for "Aftermath"

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Review of Love & Radio: Aftermath

Brilliantly produced and upsetting as all get-out, Love & Radio's "Aftermath" is one of the eeriest pieces I've heard in ages. It's also mightily effective, painting a portrait of a job that's practically unheard of -- cleaning up after accidents, murders, suicides, and individuals who just can't seem to throw anything away. Tim Reifsteck's stories are harrowing, but what gets you is his voice -- calm, level-headed, almost dispassionate. He clearly cares about his work, but if it affects him on another level, you'd never know it.

Production is spotless, with interview questions and prompts left in -- an interesting way to "let the seams show." Music choices are apt throughout, and pauses are well-placed.

I'll be thinking of this one for quite some time.

Comment for "RCF-08-29: Bob Franke" (deleted)

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Review of RCF-08-29: Bob Franke (deleted)

Bob Franke is a national treasure, and sometimes it takes a show like River City Folk to bring him out into the spotlight. Speaking as someone who's been following Franke's career since the age of 18 (me, not him), it's always refreshing to hear the man speak in simple terms of his simple faith, and to hear clips of his beautiful, inspiring songs -- including a live, in-studio take of "The Great Storm Is Over." Albums like "For Real," "One Evening In Chicago," and "The Desert Questions" (released after this was recorded) are modern folk classics that deserve a place in the American pantheon. Tom May's audio portrait allows Franke to opine on all things musical, name and play some of his influences, and to provide a dash of insight on his own process. It's a thoughtful, well-produced piece, that like Franke himself, deserves a wider audience.

Comment for "Dish: Dynamics of the duo."

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Review of Dish: Dynamics of the duo.

Okay, I want to see this band NOW. That's the strength of Katie Ball's piece. There's something honest, raw, and hearteningly real about band member Roberto Aguilar's assessment of his strengths, and those of his bandmate, his brother Nathaniel. It's refreshing to hear a profile of a band that isn't chockablock with glittering adjectives -- Ball gets those out of the way up front, then basically lets us do the appraising. Fortunately, the piece has such great sound, I instantly pictured them banging away on their buckets.

After listening, I sought out Dish on Google, and found only their MySpace Music page. It was frustratingly spare. How does one find this band on the interweb?

Last note: Katie has a radio voice TO DIE FOR. Watch out, Starlee Kine!

Comment for "Folks, Fireworks, and Independence" (deleted)

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Review of Folks, Fireworks, and Independence (deleted)

Nice work. Having just returned from my ultra-patriotic home town in Massachusetts and survived throngs of children shrieking at the top of their lungs every time a firework lit up the sky, I am definitely feeling the need for this piece. While Mr. Pryor's aim seems to be to defend Americans' rights of expression, what he ultimately says is, Do it if you must, just stay the hell away from me.

I have to say, after this past weekend, I agree with that sentiment 100%. Only I'd add, keep the people away from me as well. They may be the ones getting damaged by firecrackers, but their enthusiasm practically burst my eardrums.