Comments by Hans Anderson

Comment for "The Ones That Got Away"

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Review of The Ones That Got Away

This piece left me hanging a little bit. It wanted to be a personal look into a relationship and why it didn't work, but it was mostly an abstract of the relationship. It was working. Then it didn't. On again. Off. But never why or what happened. I don't need to peek into lives, but if you are going to put it on exhibition, that's information the listener wants. I like the central idea and the production method, that each is the one that got away to the other and by listening to the equivalent of found audio. But I felt like it was more a story pitch than it was a follow-through story.

Comment for "JFK Inaugural Address Revisited" (deleted)

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Review of JFK Inaugural Address Revisited (deleted)

Okay, I'm a little late in reviewing this... Bush's second inauguration was over a week ago. But, this is a piece that could fit in several places... interesting audio, new audio forms, a look at JFK, a look at great speeches.

This is a great speech, well-written and delivered and very high in ideals. All we want from a president, mostly. I think in this form, with the music, it could have been split up and paced differently. I mean, go the whole nine yards and slice and dice. It wouldn't have to been the old "repeat the catchy phrase 20 times in a row" or lots of stutter, but it could have been sliced to fit the music a little more. I know people might have said "don't mess with the speech" but hey, it's already being messed with, so go for it.

I like it, though. I'd never heard the thing in it's entirety before and I think it's a good listen.

Comment for "I've Seen That"

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Review of I've Seen That

Life in the view of a blind student. This is a wondeful piece that acts as a personal story about the focus (there is no narration, just good editing) and a documentary or how-to guide for the rest of us. For instance, if you see a blind person at the crosswalk, pull right up so they can hear the car engine. Don't run them over, but don't stay so far back they don't know you are there. I love pieces like this, they are so engaging and easy to hear. I have more driveway moments with pieces like this than I do with stories or music. They capture me well, and I'm betting there are others, too. This is not a timely or geographic piece, so pick it up and air it!

Comment for "Coming Attractions" (deleted)

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Review of Coming Attractions (deleted)

Good niche, and not only because I'm 30+. This is a well-produced series describing, but not really reviewing, upcoming movies and home video releases. There are probably other series like this, and you can find a lot of places to read about movies, but this one is well produced and tight and feels like PR, so it will be familiar to your listeners. The concise format makes it easy to drop in during the morning hour on a Friday. Apparently grown-ups buy movie tickets, too, and this series is aimed at a demo that PR reaches, so it could prove popular.

Comment for "Airline Travel and the Family"

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Review of Airline Travel and the Family

Nice piece about travel, paints a picture of traveling home for the holidays from the perspective of a traveller who enjoys travelling on holidays. Good sound, humor and an essayist style. I'm writing this right after the holidays, which is where it really fits best. It won't be dated by the next holiday season, though, and might fit in a travel show any time of the year.

Comment for "The Hiphoptic Tragedy is Born" (deleted)

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Review of The Hiphoptic Tragedy is Born (deleted)

This story is more about two men than the new genre they may have created. But, it's a good piece nonetheless, and it focuses on a different group than the normal quarry. There are a lot of interesting elements in this piece, poetry, stage-type acting, the hiphoptic tragedy. I like what the two men, Rose and Ferguson, are doing. This is a good piece about a couple of men doing something fresh in their creative world.

Comment for "A Beginner's Guide to Hitchhiking"

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Review of A Beginner's Guide to Hitchhiking

Another good hitch-hiking piece. This one was put together well, with an almost stereo echo from the "hitchhiking is fun, safe and interesting" camp and an echo from the "hitchhiking is dangerous and full of psychopaths" camp. It falls more on the "safe" side, though, and with a couple of short anecdotal ties. This was a perfect piece for Savvy Traveler, where it apparently has already aired (which backs up my notion that this is a very well-produced piece). The pacing is easy and comfortable, and the sound is praiseworthy. If you are a PD in a region with a hitch-hiking issue, or maybe a travel season is approaching, this piece would fit.

Comment for "Terminally Blonde"

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Review of Terminally Blonde

A very fun piece! Great "color" to a monochrome broadcast. The producer takes sound clips from two very different movies and spliced them together to get a unique story. Very well done. I can only imagine how time-consuming this must have been. I'm impressed.

Comment for "RN Documentary: On the Edge of a Volcano"

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Review of RN Documentary: On the Edge of a Volcano

This is a review of the second half without hearing the first-half. Radio Netherland consistently puts out top-notch audio and this piece is no exception. This is a profession piece in every way -- writing, research, production. No one should hesitate running this if it fits.

The piece fits with any story about Israel, the Middle East, the issues that the ME confronts. And, this is such an amazing story -- I really haven't given the Wall the attention it deserves. I pictured a string of wire fire with razors but didn't imagine the mammoth structure that they are constructing.

Comment for "A White Stripe Crosses a Life" (deleted)

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Review of A White Stripe Crosses a Life (deleted)

I'm not a big poetry guy. I went here because I like Marjories non-poetry and had heard most of them. I also thought this would be about the White Stripes, but alas, it's 22 years old.
But, nothing should take away from the piece. I'm guessing that PR poetry is important (Garrison Kiellor seems to do okay with it). So, for PD's that have a need for poetry, listen to all of these for something you like. This one is professionally produced and though I confess to being a poetry neophyte, I know a good piece when I hear it. There were two small audio hiccups, but it might have been my internet connection.

Comment for "Jerry Stearns' Dialogue with Martian Trombone"

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Review of Jerry Stearns' Dialogue with Martian Trombone

I like these goofy stage pieces by GNAP. I thought the Napa one was funnier, but this one was pretty good, and if you are a PD looking for something to go along with a "history of radio" piece (this piece isn't really historical, but it's an interesting take on WOtW) or a documentary on War of the Worlds, this would do nicely.

This was a bit out there, in a good way, and if you like this style of audio you'll appreciate the way this is written. They took some pains to blend the story of what really happened in WotW so modern listeners who aren't familiar with the story (amazingly, I've met a few) can understand the context.

I like the unique premise -- the orchestra hired for the music for the famous show, etc -- where it's not so much about the event, but an offshoot. Or, a bigger, more important event blossoms from a strange sidebar. It'd be like a documentary not about civil rights hero Rosa Parks, but about the white man who tried to force her to move (maybe it was the driver). A premise like those always inspire me.

Comment for "Electricity: Paying the Price"

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Review of Electricity: Paying the Price

Good solid report about what the search for coal is doing to parts of Ohio. I'd recommend this to any Ohio PD or any PD looking for some insight to electricity and mining and hazards -- this story focused not so much on the environmental impact, but the specific impact on one person. That makes the piece that much more potent.

The narrator/reporter puts everything into easy to understand terms and didn't load up on what would seem to be the obvious "bad guy" -- the mining company causing all the trouble (the real culprit might look a little bit more like you and me). But, she didn't hold back from going there.

About 75% of the way through, the audio got a little echo-ey, but just for a moment. And, it ends a little abruptly, due to the way the last sound byte ends. It needs a quick exit take from the local talent, but those small issues shouldn't prevent someone from airing this piece.

Comment for "My Dad Died"

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Review of My Dad Died

My wife and I were fighting when I heard this, and I went and made up. Life *is* too short. This is an essay about a woman's love for her recently passed father. I cried at the description of the church services at Easter, with the elderly man who sat next to her. I've never cried at a real-life funeral. This piece was very well-written and really hits the mark. There are several points made in such a wonderful way that they could be modern-day Proverbs. From the touching metaphors about grocery bags to the expressive narration, I very much liked this piece. At it's length and topic, it may not fit perfectly on a lot of shows, but I can certainly hear this one capturing an audience.

Comment for "Muddy Waters"

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Review of Muddy Waters

This is a rainy day piece in it's perfect setting. It sounds like a piece to hear on a rainy day. There are thorough descriptions and it's well-produced. It sounds like a melancholic time-killer and I'm not sure I understand it's purpose. I expected a lost-love in the arms of another to enter through the car-wreck doors. Perhaps I've missed the point of the piece.

Comment for "Media Mea Culpas Encouraging Sign"

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Review of Media Mea Culpas Encouraging Sign

I always enjoy pieces that analyze the news. They never fail to intrigue me. This time was no different. "Media Mea Culpas..." is a commentary piece about how several big major media hoo-hoos forthcoming in admitting and publicly handling their problems. The commentator ties it into general life, too, bringing home the point. Very straightforward no fluff (this is strange... I'm critiquing a critique), this piece is a good year-end look back at a couple of pluses that offset initial minuses.

This piece opens quickly, it needs a strong intro (I imagine this will be provided).

Comment for "Subway Etiquette"

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Review of Subway Etiquette

This was about what I expected when I found "Subway Etiquette" to review. It's a nice little piece about how to act on a subway. I thought perhaps there would be some strange do's and don'ts but mostly it was straightforward stuff. The piece was well produced, without narration, and I can hear it fitting in a lot of places, like in a travel show about NYC (or, I suppose, other subway-enhanced cities). It's a good pace and is easy-going and could be a part of many shows -- maybe psychology. I did find myself wanting to hear some of the students in action, hearing what was said when they asked their questions.

Comment for "Jerry Stearns' High Moon/Tell Them NAPA Sent You"

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Review of High Moon/Tell Them NAPA Sent You

These are two recorded stage skits. They remind me of some of the good Prairie Home Companion skits, like the "Life of the Cowboy" skits. These are well-done with many good actors and despite the I-can-hear-but-not-see-the-actors situation, it still sounds great. I would recommend this to any PD looking for a half-hour of humor. The introduction on the PRX page for the pieces would be good to include during the lead in, to help set up what the people are about to hear.

Comment for "Among the Navajo - A Journey into the In Between"

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Review of Among the Navajo - A Journey into the In Between

This is a good piece, ending up much an indictment of modern culture as it is a picture of problems on the reservation. The perspective is not unusual -- the government has torn the culture of the Navajo from it's roots through the original chemical weapon (alcohol), Christianity, boarding schools and relentless modernization. There are problems on the reservation, but it's not easy to come to a single conclusion. This piece feels more like an introduction to the problem than an introduction to a solution to the problem. That's okay. It appears to be aimed at a European, or at least eastern US audience, and it is necessary to get this perspective.

I gave this piece a 3 instead of a 4 because there are many areas where the interviews are nearly inaudible. I struggled to hear them at all (the medicine man, for one). For PD's interested in this piece, I recommend dusting off whatever dynamic processors you have to bring up the volume of these interviews.

Comment for "Dog Park: Jason, the Cheap #@*%!"

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Review of Jason, the Cheap #@*%!

This is a good idea, but the piece could be tightened up a little bit, shortened to eliminate a couple of slow spots, especially the ending. Perhaps I was missing a humorous natural sound, though. It's great that the producer is putting together pieces specific to fundraising. I would like to hear more stuff like this, so stations have a wide variety of really good material to use heading into a fundraiser.

Comment for "Sweet Tooth" (deleted)

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Review of Sweet Tooth (deleted)

Chocolate is good for you! And, DARK is best! Ammo for me! (sorry about all the exclamation points, but come on -- chocolate is "loaded" with good stuff).

I learned much during this hour of Fresh-Air like radio (that's a good thing). Overall, the show is both interesting, enlightening and compelling. Oops, that's three things, but that's okay. It's all of those.

Did you know that chocolate has mood-enhancing effects? Probably you guessed it. This show starts out chocolate heavy, with a couple of interviewees raving about chocolate the way some people rave about the health benefits of other things once (or often, still) considered very unhealthy. Red wine, for instance. So, the jury is probably technically still out on chocolate, but if you need a little lighter conscience, this show's your savior.

There are lots of candy lovers in the show, including Steve Almond (I'm not sure I have his last name correct). Steve describes some tasty candy, and how much variety we once had. He also says candy and those who love candy is boiled-down obsession, and in fact "all great writing, all great living is obsessive" -- that's the good obsessive, by the way.

There is some historical information about desserts and the French, and we learn a bit about candy in Asia (pucker up) and the famous Pop Rocks. My teeth are rotting in my head just thinking about all of that! Only listen to this show while strapped into something hefty, to assist you to fight the urge to go eat some sweets.

While the music was a perfect match for the show, I did hope to hear about candy canes (I'm reviewing this about Christmas time).

But, Chocolate with cheese inside, yuck! I'll stick with my Chicko-sticks.

And, yes, I did describe it with "sweet" because of the obvious pun.

Comment for "If You Build It, Then So What?"

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Review of If You Build It, Then So What?

Interesting analysis of cities dropping a bunch of money into a new stadium, big and small. This is obviously done with a slant on "fun" -- there is good information, but it's presentation is not the straight-forward "here are the facts," then "here are some voices of people with professional sounding titles." The producer plays with the information presentation (but, not the facts), presenting with flair the connections he'd put together. Just about any city is going through a new public works entertainment project at any given time, and there is little dated or geographic information in this piece (short references to the new-to-2005 Washington Nationals baseball club and "hometown" meaning D.C.), so it could be used nationally or locally fairly easily. I personally would love to hear many, many more producers create pieces with an eye on the fun, like this. I liked best that it was sportive, but not in the normal, stodgy PR way, like people who can't possible know how to have fun trying too hard. The concepts flowed easily and were fun to listen to.

Comment for "Metrology"

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Review of Metrology

Very engaging story -- about "metrology," the scientific study of MEASUREMENT! But, it is actually SO interesting, complete with philosophical quotes and some good writing. This is an engaging piece that could be short enough to put in during many programs.

Comment for "Anchors Say Goodbye"

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Review of Anchors Say Goodbye

Quality piece on TV's major network news anchors. It's pretty timely, though, referring to a date that has now past, and some future dates in a time frame that will soon date them. But, it's an interesting glimpse into the change that's coming with the networks. Amazing timing, too, as just when network news is becoming less and less relevant as the main news source for many Americans, the entire face and personality of these divisions will be changing.

Comment for "RN Documentary: The Day the World came to an End"

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Review of RN Documentary: The Day the World came to an End

This piece is billed as a look at Delft, a now small and not-as-significant-as-it-used-to-be town in The Netherlands. It has a big history, though. This piece winds us through a bit of the history of Delft via a huge event, an black-powder explosion heard 150km away and felt 20km away.

Through this event and the look at 17th century Delft, we learn about Delft's arts culture and an artist that might have been as famous as any of the greats had he not been caught in the explosion. The reason for the black powder in the middle of the city was because an ongoing war with Spain and the inability to defend a remote black powder dump. It all fits in there nicely, though a couple of times I felt like the story was broadened to that extent simple because the topic of the Delft Thunderclap wasn't expansive enough to fill 30 minutes. Whether that impression be true, the centerpiece of the look at Delft, the conditions that brought about the explosion and the results of the explosion made for an interesting piece.

Comment for "Befuddled in Boonville" (deleted)

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Review of Befuddled in Boonville (deleted)

I had to look up Boonville on a map to make sure that this wasn't a spoof from the bottom-up. It sure felt like it. I really liked the beginning, which had a humorous and fun feel. The remainder of the show was also interesting, but I think the real focus could have been the language, and just hearing it spoken. The whole area sounds like a candidate for a hilarious reality TV show.

This would be a good spice piece for any PD, drop it in the liven up a newscast. Also for any travel show. If Boonville wasn't such a distance from me, I'd definitely drive up to check it out.

Comment for "Do-It-Yourselfers Reuse Scrap" (deleted)

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Review of Do-It-Yourselfers Reuse Scrap (deleted)

This program would be perfect for Earth Day. It had a soft-feature feel, but provided a lot of information, even to the point where I could go online and know what keywords to use to find a reuse-dealer in my area.

I spent 10 years in Missoula, MT and one summer I helped a builder around a house he built for himself in the Rattlesnake Valley. He used as much recycled materials as he could. Beams from an old stadium in town, milk jug tile floor, a cut up oak door for a spiral staircase railing, etc. I thought it was cool then, but then it was much more expensive to build this way. Now, according to this piece, it is cheaper. Ka-ching!

Any PD looking for an enviromental show, or any show about home building or construction could use this. It is an interesting piece to stuff in the middle of an ATC telecast. In short, this piece could go anywhere except a specialized show dedicated to something else (music, children's stories, etc).

Comment for "With This Ring-Pledging Abstinence: Inside Out" (deleted)

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Review of With This Ring: Pledging Abstinence - Inside Out (deleted)

Excellent piece on abstinence. I am a Christian and I favor abstinence for my children, several of whom are close to that age. This brought up some good information on both sides and I'm going to stick with my practice to encourage them to wait, but not to hide all the information about sex, so they don't fall down the road that many promisers do: breaking the pledge, but without a condom, and ending up with and STD.

I like the way they do this ... no stodgy old lecture, but a show filled with pizzazz for the kids to link to. BTW, I don't feel that a generation that can follow "no less than three things at once" is a bad thing. Isn't it a requirement that a mind be sharp to process that much information? I don't disfavor quiet time thinking by oneself, but to claim that a person isn't fully intelligent because they can do three things at once has never made sense to me.

These are credible Christians -- I know people like this and there isn't an alterior motive (though non-Christians might not agree with the Biblical history behind the movement), and the seeming irony or incongruity that many of these leaders had premarital sex themselves. They are interested in these children and they know from experience, as do I, that sex-too-soon isn't a good thing. One thing that didn't seem to be covered was how difficult it is to refrain from sex when your body is going 100 mph to that end and every thought begins and ends with sex.

Sean does a wonderful job of tying it all together without jumping on either side. It reminded me of the way Ira Glass narrates stories. And, it works because Sean seems skeptical about abstinence-only education. He's not rah-rah about it. For some reason, that seems to give the Silver Ring Thing program more credibility.

Any PD with a show aimed at teens or families could air this program.

Comment for "Public Art in Indianapolis - with comments by Meryl Streep"

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Review of Public Art in Indianapolis - with comments by Meryl Streep

This piece focuses on a new piece of public art unveiled in Indianopolis. Via a press conference and short interviews participates -- Don Gummer the architect, city officials, art lovers and Don's wife actress Meryl Streep -- the piece covers a little of the history of the piece and why it is important.

There was a unique style in this piece. The reporter mostly introduced speakers and then let them speak. There were few edits, and probably should have been more to tighten it up. There were some good thoughts about public art and why it is important. Thoughts as, not-quite-an-art-lover, I hadn't had before.

Since this piece focuses on art, a station with a show on art might find it interesting. It's also local to Indianapolis and might find some legs there. Overall it's mostly about the unveilingly and therefore someone timely to that event.

Comment for "TOE/Cell Phones"

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Review of TOE/Cell Phones

My first thought was: Oh, my God. A cell phone for pets. But, amazingly, this isn't such a bad idea. For those who can't be home a lot, though.

I've always wondered, Why do we talk so loud while on the cell phone? This piece addresses questions like that. It's surprisingly interesting. For instance: According to research, users of hands-free phone connections appear to be crazy. Or, they offer some of the same actions as people in insane asylums. Maybe crazy people have had cell phones for decades?

I must say, this piece surprised me. I like pieces that are unique, and the production of this piece was pretty straightforward. But, it was engaging and interesting. The production technique varied between a back and forth on the phone to some no-narrator sections where the interviewee held it all together and a bit of a Joe Frank soundalike (offering up an interesting phone story). The topic was cell phones, but it wasn't dry. Turns out, we can tell a lot about ourselves because of how we use our cell phones.

It also makes a case for not talking while your driving: people pay so little attention while they are talking and walking they've been hit by cars or run into buildings.

Comment for "Kids for Kidd"

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Review of Kids for Kidd

Jane Kidd speaks to children about voting, government and what she stands for as a candidate for a State Representative office.

At one point the reporter gives her microphone to a fifth grader to interview a friend, and it was an interesting technique. The question and answer weren't vital to the piece, but I like the idea.

This piece would have fit best last month, but it could be played around any election, primary season, etc. All in all, it was a good report following a worthy event.