Comments by Hans Anderson

Comment for "Old Together"

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Great format

I just happened to hear this today -- I bought the Wandering Jew album on iTunes and caught this one. I love the format. There are several (I couldn't tell for sure how many) different couples talking about love and how they met or what the first date was like and about getting old together. It is a charming piece, warm and perfect for Valentine's Day. I wish I would have heard it a week before so I could have recommended it for yesterday!

Comment for ""Best Friends Seriously Forever" read by author Elizabeth Crane"

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Great piece

I'm inspired by these short pieces -- hearing how the author came to create this piece and just how good the snapshot in life is. Bikinis from Target, boys who aren't heroes, a girl who is. BFF's who end up being BF's for Awhile. Well done.

Comment for ""I Lied" read by author Scott Barbour"

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Fun piece; great idea with the "prompt" and the absurdity of the lies interspersed with what might actually be things someone would really say in a job interview.

Comment for ""Sleeping" read by author Katharine Weber"

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Comment for " Teen Spending Way Down"

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The voices sound young... "we" -- "my friend" -- "my school" -- easy even for a casual listener to know this is a younger producer, but you wouldn't know unless told. This piece is well-produced, informative and from an almost insider angle.

Comment for "Telling Your Story: Recording Oral Histories At Home"

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Great Layman's intro to Story Recording

Good intro to how to record and archive a story from a friend or family member. This is a great piece to play around the holidays, to encourage families that are going to gather to record the stories of family members who won't be around forever.

Comment for "A Mother's Shortcut"

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I'm Late

So, I missed this one this time around (Mother's Day 2009) but I want to rate it and alert PD's that this is a good Sunday Morning Mother's Day piece. I can picture hanging around drinking coffee, hanging out with Mom or Wife and enjoying this eclectic piece.

Comment for "horrible deaths" (deleted)

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Interesting History (deleted)

Following PRX on twitter, catching some of these pieces as they first arrive, and based on an earlier listen to a John Wilkes Boothe piece by Nate, I figured this one would please, too. I was right.

These are gruesome, cringing deaths found in the archives of the New York Times. And, they are horrible deaths. It's a personal look at history, which is often so high-level you wonder what it really felt like to live in a certain era. These are not finely detailed portraits of people, but this piece quickly touches on and humanizes a lot of people who died an inhumane death.

Comment for "the brothers booth" (deleted)

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Imagine Drew Barrymore killed Abraham Lincoln ... (deleted)

This is a highly impressive short story from history. I absolutely love things like this. I like to look at old pictures and wonder who the guy standing off to the left was, and what became of him. Did he have kids? A wife? How did he die?

In this one, we find out about how popular John Wilkes Boothe's family was, in particular, John's brother, who had to live down the assassination.

Comment for "Fun, Intentional or Not"

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I don't hear this kind of thing very often, but this is really good. I like the poems and the voices. A good poem is like a music-less song. Or the reverse maybe. A good song is just a poem set to music and repeated a few times.

For PD's, I was confused by the intro, which mixes several voices. I had to listen again to get it (an announcer is giving teasers, but as I said, I was too slow to pick it up the first time).

Comment for "Polly's Boa"

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Not a welcome mat!

A boa constrictor "asleep" on in the vestibule? "No one would ring the doorbell." Yeah, no way! :-) What do you do with a dead boa's body when you no longer have a use for it?

Definitely an odd tale, in a good way.

Comment for "Fundraising Voices - Leonard Nimoy (Contribute and Prosper)"

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Famous Listeners

Nimoy has a good voice, a recognizable name and is a good tie-in to getting out the fundraising/support word. I wish my station played stuff like this ... might cut down the length of the fundraising a bit. People like famous pitchmen.

Comment for "Podcasting Fundraiser"

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Well done

Good fit for most stations & programs. Most people have no idea how much any of this shift in technology costs -- unless you tell them.

Comment for "Father's Day"

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Happy Father's Day

Trip down memory lane with found audio from save-everything family. I always wondered what it would be like to see videos of myself when I was young, or tapes. I actually have a few old cassette tapes my Mom recently gave me.

But I find out, and confirm by listening to this piece, is more important than hearing me, it's going to be hearing my Mom & Dad. They are still alive right now, and I cherish the times I see them and hear them. But there will be a time. I reflect on it when I see my Grandma Gert on old videos where she's holding my newborn son.

Comment for "Nonsense At Work: Become a skeptic" (deleted)

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Mommmmm! (deleted)

Maybe I've taken up skepticism as a position instead of a method, especially with medical reports (drink red wine, don't, do, don't), but I agree. I've begun to tune out what the "experts" think in a lot of categories because I guess the facts are hard enough or cold enough for an ironclad conclusion. But it's good to engage the brain and the Internet offers up the ability to research a little, too.

Comment for "Reviving Golf" (deleted)

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Human touch (deleted)

Interesting human touch put on a starting-to-be-forgotten immense tragedy.

Comment for "Weird Beliefs"

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Weird beliefs = a filter for the un-serious

Weird beliefs = a filter for the un-serious. Interesting, I think he has a point. Perhaps God likes them, too. A test? Maybe.

At least the author has a background to cover weird beliefs -- he once had them, denounced them and moved onto a more-middlin' stance.

Comment for "The Crabby Hermit considers coming out of his shell"

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Review of The Crabby Hermit considers coming out of his shell

This is a nice spirited first person style essay about a guy who puts in his time at work but is irked by a friend who doesn't have to work, cuts the classes his parents are paying for and spends his evenings -- this one included -- getting hammered.

I like the piece, it has a good pace and is a fun listen. It seemed to end abruptly, but that might just be that I was enjoying myself and wasn't ready for it to be over.

Comment for "The Hurricane"

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Review of The Hurricane

A category 4 hurricane descends on a 13 year old girl and her Mom.

This piece is meant to be, among all other things, suspenseful. The music seems to be in all minor keys. There is a scary situation in the bathroom, the place of refuge, then the eye of the hurricane.

This is a good piece, and well produced. I didn't get the suspense, though, it didn't really build for me. That took away from the piece, for me, but it is still strong enough for airplay, especially if nothing but to educate on the good reasons for evacuating from a hurricane.


Comment for "Evil Spirit Log" (deleted)

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Review of Evil Spirit Log (deleted)

I really like producers who push the edge out a bit, which widens the road and lets other unambitious producers play within a wider middle. This is such a piece. It is interesting to listen to, though I confess to have had a lot trouble following the storyline, due to the entwined voices covering some of the main voice.

Comment for "The Reunion"

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Review of The Reunion

This is a well-done six-grade reunion story. Someone gets together their sixth grade class, most of them reunite and they are all surprised at how everyone turned out. In sixth grade, it's hard to really know how a person will be as an adulit. It's different than a 12th grader, who probably has been twice as shaped and molded into their 50 year old self as a 6th-grader.

I really like the narrator's voice and the editing pace; the audio of the other former students was used well, small stories, catching the accent or the rough quality to a voice that just admitted to a hard life of drugs and alcohol.

Comment for "J Walter Hawkes"

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Review of J Walter Hawkes' Near Death Experience

This is a short piece about a life-twist that turned J Walter Hawke around. He wasn't a good enough musician until an accident and eight months in a wheelchair gave him enough free time to do nothing but play music and get better.

This is a good piece with snappy editing and good music. But the style is of the "interview with just the interviewee's voice answering the questions" though it's pretty clear this was pre-written, practiced and carefully read (and it's listed on PRX as first-person-essay). To me, it sounds a bit strange this way.

I would have loved to hear more about his writing music for cartoons. I always thought the music in Tom and Jerry was so amazing.

For PD's, this is clearly something that would fit in a Jazz show where people might know of Hawkes, or at least Norah Jones, and it would probably work in a broader sense (musicians, accidents, things to do when you are temporarily in a wheelchair).

Comment for "Icebox Radio Theater: Buzz"

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Review of Icebox Radio Theater: Buzz

I don't think the radio has enough of shows like this. Too much story telling relies on video; for better or for worse. Icebox is putting out some pretty good stuff, and for the family (it appears at least; this one talks about drunk cows but doesn't get worse than that).

These are well-produced, with good audio and writing (in the "describe as you go" sense) that sketches a good outline for the imagination to paint. I thought some of the acting sounded a little more like reading, but not too much, and probably I'm being over-picky. There were good voices that fit the characters. The plots are crazy enough to be fun -- you can do special effects in radio that you can't do in video unless you have a big Hollywood budget.

Where do they fit in a PD's schedule? That's the hardest part. What is your audience expecting? Do you have a family hour once a week? One of the Christian stations I listen to when alternating with the local NPR station has a show like this. So, yeah, some people will listen.

Comment for "Dad and Sam (Locked in Brotherhood)"

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Review of Dad and Sam (Locked in Brotherhood)

Holy cow, this is one of the best pieces I've heard in a long time. I can't believe I'm writing a review for it instead of listening to it on some sort of "The Best Audio of the 20th Century" showcase. When you hear Dad introducing Sam, it's like listening to an old time radio show. Then the story about Dad's brother really gets under way. We should all do a story like this about all of our family members. We should all be so good at putting together such a piece.

Comment for "Science Fiction Friction"

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Review of Science Fiction Friction

This wonderful offshoot of the traditional "commentary" is backed up by a lot of good audio and effects. It's about Sci-Fi, so there are sci-fi effects. I'd like to hear one of Frank Deford's harangues with some sports sound effects and see if it improves it this much. This is what radio is about, right? I'm not saying everything needs lipstick, but this unconventional piece is a much better listen when written as an open letter to an old school teacher and with some good production values. Yeah, I'd like to hear stuff like this on the radio. Beats most commentary-types.

Comment for ""One side is windy, the other is not.""

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Review of "One side is windy, the other is not."

Interesting piece from inside two women on a ferry. This is one you need to be alone with; you will want to be able to focus on it. It has good production values, though some will be lost to a listener in the car. It sounds great with headphones, though.

If you give this one a chance, you should look at the other HW Theater productions, too.

Comment for "B-Side: Coping"

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Review of B-Side: Coping

I like B-side. It's like an amateur version of This American Life. I don't mean that in a bad way. B-side seems to attract (deliberately?) less sophisticated story-tellers, but they are no less effective. With their honest and sometimes not-as-polished stories, it's easier to connect. I think B-side is looking to put these shows up as a whole, and not piece by piece. And that's good. They are well-made and fun to hear.

Comment for "Are Animals Creative?"

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Review of Are Animals Creative?

I heard this on the PRX Station Showcase podcast. What a great piece! It's a pretty good topic, but I bet Sean could take any topic and make it an interesting listen. He's not flippant, but he doesn't take it too seriously (at least this topic, on Are Animals Creative). This is the kind of stuff I point to when people say public radio is boring and monotone.

I put "Amusing, Light, Humorous" as the tones, but all but the "dark" types would fit. It's just a good overall listen.

Comment for "Buddy Guy: Can't Quit the Blues"

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Review of Buddy Guy: Can't Quit the Blues

I'm not a big fan of Buddy Guy's blues style; I favor the simpler sound of acoustic blues. Thankfully, being the #1 fan of Buddy Guy isn't required to like this piece. It's very well done, sprinkled with Buddy, hosted sparsely. The host only glues the piece together, but he stands aside and let's the total show shine. Easily ready for any station, any show, national, regional or local.

Comment for "A Lesson from Mr. Fur Face"

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Review of A Lesson from Mr. Fur Face

I've never had to worry about slamming my beard in a truck's tailgate, or need to roll it up to make sure I don't roll it over. But the reigning Mr. Fur Face does. He also gets stopped in airports and wins actual competitions about big and full beards and 'staches.

This is a light-hearted one-man-narration piece with some nat sound. The story of how and why he got into competing with his beard tugs on the heart strings a little bit.