Comments by Hans Anderson

Comment for "Eye Contact"

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Review of Eye Contact

An unwitting couple makes eye contact from across the subway and the game begins. Through some coincidences, the male ends up nearly stalking the female.

We hear the voices inside the head of the pair, from the perspective of "thought." I liked this piece and think it fits evening free form shows the best.


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Review of Johnny Cash: The Legend (deleted)

Great series on Johnny Cash, in front (but unrelated to) the new movie soon coming out. Any time is a great time for a Johnny Cash series.

The music covered is comprehensive and the show feels like a jam session where Johnny or his family is telling old stories. I was thrilled to find out that Rodney Crowell was narrating, as I've just been introduced to some of his music. He lends instant credibility and his delivery is enough unlike typically NPR monotone that this piece comes off very well.

I am a big Johnny Cash fan, I remember going to a dingy Las Vegas show by the Henry Rollins Band (he pretty much just screams). Before the show, before the music was so loud you couldn't hear outside of the theatre, they were playing Johnny; MTV had just rediscovered him and us younger guys were getting to like hmi. When I began to learn the guitar, Cash is where I started. I think anyone can associate with Johnny Cash, but if your audience is over 45, you are gold with this series!

Comment for "Heat"

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Review of Heat

I listened to this piece three times, but neither time did I understand it. The text on the piece's page helped, but I felt confused while listening.

I did like the mix and the elements that came and went throughout the piece. I felt the main actress sounded like she was reading too much, trying to affect the pace and accent of someone having an intimate conversation with a radio audience but not quite pulling it off. I know the sound well, because that's what I sound like when trying to do that. It's difficult.

This sounds muffled. It was made in 1990, so it could be from an archive that needs to be restored a bit.

Comment for "Turkish Work Exchange"

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Review of Turkish Work Exchange

This piece focuses on a work camp -- travelling long distances to do volunteer work -- but features more about the social interaction between the diverse flock of strangers gathered together to do the work. This social interaction is likely an important theme in getting people out to help, else they'd probably just clean up their local park. Focusing on the social aspects is okay, environmentalists should be friendly with the other environmentalists they meet. And, what brings them together pushes this piece fits into the Green Theme.

The quality of this piece really stands out. The reporter's warm style draws you in, from the opening description to the linked wrapup at the end. This piece is 10 times as good as it might have been because of the things she chooses to describe and how she describes them.

Comment for "The Greening of Salt Lake City"

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Review of The Greening of Salt Lake City

Interesting look at a liberal mayor in a conservative city and state (Salt Lake City, UT) and his promise to meet Kyoto Protocol standards, even if the federal government will not. This is a solid piece that fits in with many environmental themes, and perhaps several political themes.

While coastal cities can see the impact of global warming and rising sea levels, Salt Lake can see losing it's snow. The ski industry is huge there, and that's helping the mayor sell his agenda.

Listen, invest in some fluorescent lightbulbs and marvel at the strange bedfellows in Utah.

Comment for "Fire-lighter -- a little too close!"

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Review of Fire-lighter -- a little too close!

Fun piece about an older volunteer helping to perform controlled burns. This woman knows her stuff and it's almost scary how much she enjoys her work. PDs, this is a fun piece your listeners will enjoy, especially during the spring.

Comment for "Snowballs at Midnight Mass"

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Review of Snowballs at Midnight Mass

What starts out as a light-hearted commentary about plugging a priest with a snowballs turns into a contemplative piece about religion. I was chuckling at the beginning and nodding in agreement at the end. PD's - next Christmas grab this one for your listeners.

Comment for "THINK GLOBAL: Ernesto Zedillo commentary"

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Review of THINK GLOBAL: Ernesto Zedillo commentary

Mr Zedillo's believes globalization is good and the world needs more of it; but he says globalization isn't guaranteed to continue.

Mr Zedillo's background as Mexico's President gives him clout and instant credibility. He seems to know his stuff and has prepared a well-argued commentary on globalization. He takes rich countries to task for not helping enough but doesn't lay out a lot of advice on how to proceed.

Comment for "Soybean El Dorado"

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Review of Soybean El Dorado

American farmers buying a stake in Brazilian soy farms that supply China's increasing need for soy products. This is an excellent painting of how farming/commerce is becoming global.

This is a straightforward news report. It's enlightening and would be an important part of a series on global economics.

Comment for "Fragile (2005) (Audio Drama)"

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Review of Fragile

The writing and acting was very good on this short radio drama. It didn't quite what "Best Confessions" had technically, but "Fragile" is very enjoyable. It's engaging and grabs you quickly.

PD's, I think you'll find short radio dramas have a place in your day. I recommend you give this one a listen, then try to find a place in your day for work like this.

Comment for "Chasing Love"

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Review of Chasing Love

Excellent work. This is one of the best documentaries on any topic. The producer takes chances, and has put together a compelling look at a topic that occupies everyone.

Comment for "Hi, I'm Jesus, With the Loan That's Right For You"

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Review of Hi, I'm Jesus, With the Loan That's Right For You

This is a really good commentary, agile and humorous. I was taken in by the title (being a church-going man, myself). Merle hits on the contradictions many Christians, including (perhaps especially) ones like me, live in nowadays. Christian lending networks? Contradiction. Merel doesn't challenge beliefs, but challenges those who are believers and who aren't toeing the line, and Merle shows a solid grasp of the Bible.

This piece is well-done and works for Christians who know we aren't perfect and for non-Christians who wish more of us would admit that.

Comment for "The War of the Gods"

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Review of The War of the Gods

Bravo! I couldn't even get past the E's in listing the tones for the piece. Well produced, read by a real voice. I don't much like poetry; pretty much "Casey at Bat" and Shel Silverstien and I top out. I know, I know. This was good, though, and I think even I can tell. I like the addition of music and "style."

Comment for "Autograph Policy"

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Review of Autograph Policy

Solid narration. If it's good enough for Only a Game, it's good enough anywhere. This is a solid piece that grabbed me when I read the description. I like what the Diamondbacks owner has done, and I laugh -- LAUGH -- at the absurd response from Luis Gonzales. This is a piece for any baseball market, major or minor. Good interviews and sound.

Comment for "A Menace As Great -- or Greater -- Than Steroids"

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Review of A Menace As Great -- or Greater -- Than Steroids

A good commentary -- I've heard a few of Dick's and I don't always agree with his view, but he forms his opinions and doesn't pull punches. This one is very timely with baseball season and the whole steroids thing. Grab it while you can.

Comment for "The Best Confession (2005) (Audio Drama)"

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Review of The Best Confession

I'm inspired technically, and that's often the first thing that reaches me in a piece. This piece is very well-produced.

Oh, and the content. Well, that's pretty darn good, too. There is some really great stuff to hear in this piece. But it goes beyond that. This piece is concise, well-acted, and the ending is... it's a surprise, but it's also telling; it's human. I could hear this on TAL, because of the material and what it says about humans and our relationships.

Comment for "Flashforward (2005) (Audio Drama)"

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Review of Flashforward

One of the best things about this was it was short. I don't mean that in a slam, but these radio dramas, which I tend to dislike, are often too drawn out and fluffed up. They often only have a half-dozen voices, but that might be too many. This quirky little radio drama hits the mark because it is concise, to the point, utilizes two voices (male and female, so there is no confusion at all). It is also well-acted and the concept is cool. The ending didn't pay off quite as well as I hoped, but there was a good payoff. I would love to hear these short radio dramas, one-offs, too, not a series (which can be hard to follow if you miss one or two). Pieces like this would be great "spice" drop-ins for a radio station. It would give your station some attitude.

Comment for "Rockin For Jesus"

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Review of Rockin For Jesus

Exactly! I might love the content of this piece too much to give it a fair review, because I agree with the rockers so much. A couple of years ago I found out that the "Christian" music is a lot better than I thought it was. Rocking Christian music is what kept me in my untraditional church for a couple of months while the then-less-than-agreeable sermons got to me. Now I like the whole package. It works.

I'm almost sure I've heard this before, it seems so familiar, even some of the things they said. Christian musicians, especially hard-rockers, are between a rock and a hard place. Some people love the message, but hate the music, others like the music but not the message. It's almost as if Christian rockers like this are intending to be forever outsiders. But, guys like Kanye West are now making it big in the rap world, and no one is really sure about bands like Evanescence and P.O.D. -- couldbe/maybe they are.

PD's, where to put this? Any show about modern religion of course. Otherwise, to me PR seems a little skeptical of religion in general, and probably moreso of evangelic hard-rockers. But, I know my mom loves her Yellowstone Public Radio, is religious and would call me if she heard this story. So, aim it at Methodist baby-boomers like Mom.

Comment for "Goat Farm"

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Review of Goat Farm

This is a very interesting piece, and it ties into Easter well, so attention PD's! This piece ties into Easter loosely, but is really about food habits of immigrants and how a small farm is flourishing by selling a whole animal, instead of slaughtering and selling only the "good parts" by American standards. This is really a synonym for many cultural differences in America, and serves to remind us all where our roots are. After all, even the non-immigrant Native Americans used to use the whole buffalo.

Comment for "Primary Sources - A Candy Investigation" (deleted)

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Review of Primary Sources - A Candy Investigation (deleted)

I was looking for the tone "Strange" for this one, because who really sends a candy back because it wasn't good? We all just suffer, toss it, and never go back. It's like those rebates at Best Buy. They don't really expect you to fill them out; that's why they always seem to mess them up, they are shocked you were cheap enough to spend the time to send it in. And, how do you send in the unused portion, if the last candy was misshapen and not enough chocolatey?

That's what is great about this piece, it takes us to a little-thought-of place and has a nice ending. It would have been funny to real conversation with someone at the complaints at Mars, or with the Consumer Affairs people. But this is more of a commentary-type story and sounds good as-is.

If told in the third person, this one could have made it as an April Fool's day focal piece. But, it's good any day of the year.

Comment for "Paternalism"

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Review of Paternalism

I love hoaxes, and the find of this show is the piece about the fairies put forth by the Museum of Hoaxes curator. That piece actually doesn't fit into the theme of Paternalism, and I looked up the pictures referenced and, though I doubt I would have been fooled by them, they did look pretty good.

The main portion of the show was focused on Paternalism, especially how fatherhood had evolved between the Civil War and World War II. The relationship between Magaret Truman and her presidential father, Harry, was also explored. Truman didn't mark a big change in Paternalism, as I thought would be pointed to by the end of the first piece and the WWII era. But, he did signify the start of much of the civil rights and feminist movements, before toning down the platform white and males weren't ready to vote for in the late 40's and early 50's.

This is a rock solid piece, well-produced, good info; it was heavily academic with guests either published by the Cornell U press, a curator of a presidential library or a curator of an online museum. Heavily historic, at least this time around, it would sound great on any traditional public radio station.

Comment for "Jim Moore Fishing Tales"

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Review of Jim Moore Fishing Tales

I thought this piece was fun to listen to, but could have used more focus, specifically on the details like the cow that sunk the Japanese boat, or the bizarre fish they've found. Early on, the piece builds up on Jim's reasons for moving to Alaska, but then doesn't touch on it afterwards, except for the final moments when Jim reflects on his luck for living the life he's had.

Having said that, there is payoff on many of the short stories that go into this piece. Jim sounds like a fun interview. Half the stuff sounds like a big fat fish story or an urban legend forwarded from a friend, but the cow story for one is so ridiculous it has to be true.

Comment for "Lewis&Clark_week45" (deleted)

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Review of Lewis&Clark_week45 (deleted)

I listened to five segments and all of them have a solid, consistent sound that will reward regular listeners. Lewis & Clark's bicentennial is hot. As a Montana-born guy, and a history minor at the UofM in Missoula, I know my fair share about the expedition. Probably my feelings that it rates among the most amazing things a group of men have ever accomplished taints this review, but Yellowstone Public Radio does an excellent job of pulling off this series. On this day 200 years ago, as I write this, L&C were in the early stages of the expedition. That's cool.

If you are a PD of any station, chances are your listeners are interested in Lewis and Clark. They were important to the entire country, and not just the future states they explored and mapped. They were botanists, explorers, early mountain men and future trappers. They discovered and named hundreds of new plants and animals, rivers and other geographical landmarks. They are an important and ultimately tragic historical pair that should be celebrated with radio like this. The production sounds good, with a good Montana-sounding voice (not redneck, not too weathered, but substantial and a reflection of the solid men that made up the Corp).

Comment for "Primary Sources - How I Became A Christian" (deleted)

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Review of Primary Sources - How I Became A Christian (deleted)

This piece would fit well in the role that short commentaries on ATC or your local news programmer do. It's about the micro-event that led to the narrator's becoming a Christian. Although, I must say that I found the relationship between the events in the piece and the moment of alteration to be poorly defined. Maybe this wasn't the intention, but the word "Became" is prominent in the title, so I was expecting "the" story; the story of the moment it clicked, or the evolution of the smaller clicks that eventually brought the commentator from one to the other. Despite this, I did find the piece personal and compelling, and it would certainly sound good on the air.

Comment for "Consistency of Jell-O"

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Review of Consistency of Jell-O

This is a very informative piece produced without a narrator. It is well produced, with interviewees leading into each other very well.

I was amazed by some of the information in this piece... how the brain heals, dumb "replacement" cells, the comparison to Jello. Amazing. It doesn't even cover HOW the brain and the cells can "remember" information, and I'm still impressed.

It's a sad story that hopefully will turn out for the best. It's weird how medicine can have this effect: we are so good at saving lives, that people are living with strange new disablilities.

Comment for "The Promise of Hydrogen - two parts"

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Review of The Promise of Hydrogen - two parts

This is a good piece about the potential and problems with hydrogen, as seen through the eyes of the tiny island country of Iceland. Iceland is pushing to convert from fossil fuels and thereby reap the benefits of a) not relying on fossil fuels b) being the one who did it first. Personally, I'm all for it. Countries like Iceland or states like California like to be cutting edge and take the considerable risks the edge requires.

I thought this piece was a little too much like me, the listener. I would rather root for them instead of being led to do so. This piece seemed tied closely to journalism and wasn't a loose, goofy piece. Therefore the more straightforward tone left less room for the shades of ... I don't want to say bias, but that, a little.

This isn't to say the piece is any less of a winner, and it shouldn't mean that a PD should pass it up. I still thought it was well done and certainly interesting. I wonder what kind of problems we'd have with the Middle East, or if we'd care at all, if Iceland pulls it off. Does Iceland worry about terrorism to shut down the hydrogen so the oil must still flow? Questions, maybe, for a future show.

Comment for "The Sunshine Hotel"

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Review of The Sunshine Hotel

Great sound, good mix of voices. This is a high-quality audio documentary that could play anywhere, at any level. Nathan, the narrator of the main piece, was fantastic, but some of the script didn't sound like him, it sounded like a script someone had written for him. Good glimpse inside some of life's seediness. I feel both like I have a good view of the hotel, but I also want to visit the Bowery, as some sort of strange New York tourism exchange.

"Charlie's Story" excellent, too. Kudos to producers that can pull this off. I would recommend this to any PD who wants a memorable story, especially if the topic is skid row. The age of the piece is irrelevant.

Comment for "Sarah's Dream"

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Review of Sarah's Dream

Another good Salt piece. Very reliable. Sarah is a young girl who has a passion for hot air ballooning. While others cringe at the ground dipping away, Sarah goes out in pitch black nights, she goes high, and drifts low.

Sarah is already helping run a business to save money to help finance her habit.

Good interviews, good story, fun to hear about. Maybe another candidate for Bill Littlefield's Only a Game show, or if you are doing a piece for or about kids (or both).

Comment for "Dr. Pong"

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Review of Dr. Pong

Oliver owns a table-tennis bar. Cool. I've heard of weird bars, like art bars, TV watching bars (think soaps, or an episode of Friends). Table tennis (ping pong) isn't really the focus, but the architecture of the bar plays a role. And, it sounds fun, with a rolling game of ping pong involving 20 or so people. And a franchise? Maybe, says Oliver.

The audio has very sharp echo but is understandable. It seems mostly like a dream sequence but becomes less noticeable as you get used to it.

I liked this piece. It's just Oliver, no narration, and some music. Short, sweet and interesting. Good for a Public Radio Weekend type show, or Littlefield's Only a Game.

Comment for "Slots of Fun"

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Review of Slots of Fun

Well-produced, fun piece about a quirky topic. I know so many people like the focus of this story, people can carve wooden horses for carousels, people who race belt sanders, people who like to windsurf. It's great to hear about these people. It's a slice of life. Salt always does a great job, so this is a safe, fun bet for a time slot that needs a little life.