Comments by Hans Anderson

Comment for "Autumn's Story"

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Review of Autumn's Story

Autumn's story will be heard by my daughter. There are several lessons to be learned from this simply produced, but emotionally charged piece. Autumn's story is no doubt often repeated, sometimes nearly verbatim, sometimes with dissimilar plots. Having pieces like this reach teens will help the teens in the short-term; nothing better than learning a lesson where the mistake is made not by you, but by someone else. In the long-term, it can bring a younger audience to public radio.


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Review of Kentucky Works - Louisville Slugger (deleted)

I chose Lou-a-ville Slugger because I'm a sports fan, and hearing about things like how baseball bats are made is actually more fun than watching baseball.

This piece is excellent, lots of good sound, history and information. I'd like to hear some crack-of-the-bats, too, but this was about the making Lou-a-ville Sluggers (we used to call them Leweyville Sluggers, but I'm from Montana).

This piece showed me that baseball stars actually get better trees, better timber, in their bats than those average players. Maybe that is what separates them?

The piece is put together well, with history and tidbits intermixed, even the tinny voice of what is surely a history box at the factory. Press a button, it gives you information about a slide or museum piece.

This piece made me think more than I thought a piece about baseball bats, would. For instance, they used to make these bats by hand until recently... I never even thought that maybe some of those Louisville Sluggers I used as a Little Leaguer would have been made by hand, that's pretty cool.

Comment for "Firefighters Pt 1"

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Review of Firefighters Pt 1

I liked the editing style, tight and offbeat, with a lot of interesting music mixed in. Along the lines of TAL, but with one theme and music between the informal interviews about firefighting, life in the station, the politics of the station house and the chain of command. It is very interesting to hear about this line of work -- many kid's dream job and how it came to be. Personal, rich with a variety of songs and interesting to hear.

Comment for "Confusionism. . . Offramp" (deleted)

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Review of Confusionism (deleted)

Short piece of Bushisms. I'm not sure where this would fit, maybe in a montage of funny things Bush has said or done?

Comment for "The Anniversary Party"

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Review of The Anniversary Party

I'd like to hear pieces like this in between some not-too-serious fare so as to liven up the airwaves a bit. This is pretty dark and might get the phones going if that is what you are looking for. Any show or station looking for a little more attitude that most PR stations have might look to air pieces like "The Anniversary Party."

Comment for "Little Odessa in Brooklyn"

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Review of Little Odessa in Brooklyn

This might be the best mini-documentary I've ever heard. Well produced with a lot of found sound and appropriate interviews. Very good variety of sound. This piece would fit on any PR station in an area with a large recent immigrant population, especially Russian; someplace like Spokane, WA, might have an interest in this piece.

Comment for ""And I Walked..." Stories from the Border"

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Review of "And I Walked..." Stories from the Border

The news in states sharing a border with Mexico will include a stat you don't hear in Montana or Maine -- the current year-to-date death toll of attempted, futile and eventually fatal border crossing attempts. That's the backdrop of this piece about Mexicans crossing illegally, often not making it. There are lots of voices and some good sound. Obvious focuses are on immigration, Mexico-US relations and borders, the piece could fit nearly any human nature or human versus nature theme.

Comment for "Harvey Pekar: Stetson Shoes" (deleted)

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Review of Harvey Pekar: Stetson Shoes (deleted)

When I worked at a commercial rock and roll station our PD had a list of Spice songs to place very infrequently -- once a shift or so, and they were deep-into-the-album stuff or things we didn't play often so you wouldn't hear it. These songs brought a little spice to the station and people would call way more often about these songs than any others; because they were fresh, people really stood up and paid attention. They also probably told a friend about it.

I give that story because that's what Harvey can bring with pieces like this. They can slide in a few minutes, but bring interest and spice to a station. While the rest of the station might be the important but sound-alike news or interview shows, Harvey can break up the day.

Comment for "One Last Haircut"

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Review of One Last Haircut

Good story, fits anywhere, talking about haircuts or not. Maybe use on April Fool's Day, but as a true story (fun to play with listeners like that... pick the true story).

Comment for "Family"

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Review of Family

This program belongs on every public radio station. It would best be placed at a time right after school, or mid to late morning Saturday, or early afternoon Sunday. Place it somewhere children 5-15 can hear it. A show dedicated to children's literature, I love how specific and fractured radio can be sometimes. To be able to focus this sharply and come away with a well-produced show should inspired listeners and producers alike.

Comment for "Mutiny on the Bounty"

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Review of Mutiny on the Bounty

This piece would need to be edited -- there are some references to the political campaigns and the goings-on when this piece was produced.

The guts of the piece is the interview with the author of "The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty" by Caroline Alexander. The interview flowed well and was interesting and last from about 6:30 to 21:30. This piece would fit in any historical show, especially history maritime or perhaps a show about works of literature and oft-told stories.

The book sounds interesting. Caroline put this into context that I hadn't heard before.

Other things in the show -- how the French lampooned LBJ the way they are dealing with GWB.

Comment for "8 Minute Soulmate"

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Review of 8 Minute Soulmate

Good use of sound, works well for any relationship show, Valentines, how the dating world has changed with technology.

I think that doing reality-style shows would work just as well on radio, maybe better, because of the closeness of radio. This wasn't quite like that, but it would be interesting to wire several people for a date and record everything they do or say, interview them afterwards, then produce a show. You could cover things and do things reality TV can't. Plus, it would be cheaper. If reality TV didn't turn me off so, it would be worth a shot. I bring this up here, but it re-triggers that idea in my head. The 8 minute date.

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

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Review of Alimentary, Watson (deleted)

Improv like this might be lost on the radio. I can't quite put my finger on it. This piece was well produced, good voices... but it just didn't click for me. Odd because I've liked the other pieces Offramp and 60 Second Radio has done.

I put Experimental because I haven't heard a lot of stuff like this. Maybe I'm just not listening in the right place. I heard a piece last month on where the woman who produced it did the narration by ad-lib, and they put together the best takes. That, along with attempts like this, keep radio fresh. I guess this piece, IMO, lacked highly compelling, content. Not bad, it just didn't turn that corner.

Comment for "Dear Harold"

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Review of Dear Harold

Great piece -- would work great for any relationship segment or show, especially about breakups. I could see this as part of a Theme show, or during Valentine's Day (as counter-point to the lovey-doveyness, except for the ending).

Comment for "Earth & Sky parody "Air & Dirt"" (deleted)

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Review of Earth & Sky parody "Air & Dirt" (deleted)

Well done. These could fit almost anywhere. I've listened to a variety of these -- they could be used en masse on April Fool's Day in replacement of the 'modules' it is making fun of (in this case "Earth & Sky"). There are also some BBC parodies.

Comment for "Journey to the Underworld" (deleted)

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Review of Journey to the Underworld (deleted)

This reviewer was happy to hear more fiction for the radio. I'd like to hear this as part of the Offramp show to see how it fits.

Comment for "Smells Like Money to Me"

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Review of Smells Like Money to Me

Great title, especially when the fisherman point out that the funny smell is actually money. Descriptive voiceover during good natural sound. I could easily hear this anytime on a national magazine show. Interesting on it's own, doesn't need to be part of a fishing segment or anything like that. I really like pieces like this, that bring into focus a work-life that I wouldn't otherwise know about it. It took a couple of interesting tangents, too.

Comment for "Tupperware"

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Review of Tupperware

Despite that this story is almost a quarter-century old, it's still fresher than most of what you hear on public radio. Inspiring to me as a producer, fun to listen to for anybody, great style but with substance. Lots of energy, which matches the saccharin-sweet voices they interview. Great use of sound. Very nice. I think many stories could benefit from this 'voice' -- this energy.

Comment for "Socrates of Athens"

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Review of Socrates of Athens

Interesting concept. A radio interview with a historical figure. An interesting contrast to a documentary.

I did learn more about Socrates than I knew before, but I knew very little before. Where would this fit? Perhaps during a contrast of philosophy or psychology or religion.

Comment for "Songs of Freedom - A World Cafe special"

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Review of Songs of Freedom - A World Cafe special

Disclaimer on the '3' for rating: This is an excellent piece. The rating asks for how much I want to hear this on the radio. ...

This piece wasn't as political as I anticipated, but that brings to the forefront the idea that democracy isn't all political. It wasn't until I was in the middle of the gospel section that I realized this. I would have expected to hear a lot more from the sixties, but I'm glad I didn't. It is commendable that they focused on hip hop at the beginning, but to really round it out, I was waiting for some pro-war songs, which are forms of free speech as well, even -- especially -- if we disagree.

David did an excellent job hosting this piece and it's great to hear the opinions from so many perspectives. I don't favor gospel music, but it's great to hear someone talking about God on the radio. I don't favor hip hop, but it's great to hear serious discussion about it. Music is powerful, emotional, and perfect for speaking out.

Comment for "The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski"

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Review of The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski

What can I say? There is a reason why so many people love this piece, it's amazing. It's not the sound quality which isn't that great (but come on, 35 year-old magnetic tapes gathered in the wet jungles of Vietnam... it's amazing for that). But, there is no sound so personal as this piece. I am the foxhole with him. He's whispering in my ear.

Amazing. I've never accidentally used a hang grenade as a microphone.

Comment for "The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke"

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Review of The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

I am just amazed at what VPR is doing with these excerpts. This is the second one I've reviewed and I'm surprised at the quality of the voice acting/reading. This piece would be great for any spot where there longer pieces would fit. Like any story it begs to be paid attention to, or you become lost. Any time when a listening can stop what s/he's doing for 30 minutes and listen, especially in the target audience of younger listeners, that's when this could be aired.

Comment for "Present Progressive"

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Review of Present Progressive

A very impressive piece, hard to qualify. A nice merge between story telling and story showing. Sly remarks dot the landscape with narration, actors, and what sound like real interviews. This might not fit any specific area that I know of, but it also isn't restricted to any specific area. It is worth a listen and to find a place to air.

Comment for "Beep"

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Review of Beep

I liked this piece, too, it's a great way to do a commentary on anything -- social commentary, etc. I thought this piece was a little long, but there was an unintimidating creepiness to the caller's cluelessness. This appears to be a series, and I think it could fit just about anywhere because it's not too deviant from a short play format that is somewhat familiar, but it also tackles interesting topics with a unique style and with wit and speed. I would love to hear this coming from my local PR station. It appears that the Tampa station is trying new things, and that's fantastic.

Comment for "Apology Accepted"

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Review of Apology Accepted

I would love to hear this on public radio. This format could be used to bring a fresh voice to a variety of topics. This particular piece focuses on the individual perspectives of a father and a son during a late night phone call -- I figured out the ending before the end, but it was a sweet ending nonetheless. I'm off to listen to more of these.

Comment for "Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen"

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Review of Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen

I put "polished" because none of the other Tones really fit. Mysterious would be a Tone, perhaps Colorful or Descriptive. This is an excellent piece. Reader Matthew Morgan captures the tone perfectly. The reading quality is that of a good audiobook, exceptional voice acting. Hiaasen's writing is compelling and captures you right away. Apparently, the series runs in 30 minutes pieces, meaning that if you have 30 minutes somewhere, this piece will fit. It's aimed at boys and young men, but I don't think the stories are only for them. The topics and perspective is from high school, but that's somewhere we've all been.

Comment for "A Cook's Notebook: Brussels Sprouts"

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Review of A Cook's Notebook: Brussels Sprouts

I thought this must have been a misplaced piece... I found it in fiction. But it's not, it's a nice, sweet cooking story. It probably would help if I knew more about cooking, and perhaps about French. Well written.

Comment for "A Cook's Notebook: Oh Licorice..."

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Review of A Cook's Notebook: Oh Licorice...

This would fit in a spot a PD is looking to put a short segment, like a Star Date, but wants to focus on cooking. Or, if you have a local cooking show, the host could do his/her thing, then introduce one of these short pieces and come back with more on the local cooking or food-related show. This show focuse on licorice and has some interesting information about it.

Comment for "Getting Lost/Hidden Waters"

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Review of Getting Lost/Hidden Waters

Engaging beginning, hooks you quickly. Great piece for outdoor shows. Story is accompanied by stereo sounds like cars passing hitch-hikers, sounds of the 60's, good descriptions and a forward leaning narrative. I didn't feel the suspense a "lost" piece should give (mostly because it was being told first-person, we are sure she got unlost), but I absolutely flat-out loved the way sounds were used, in almost a sound-track way.

I like Barbara's unsinging voice, storytelling voice, interesting and energetic, without the danger of putting me to sleep. The sound effects (sparse) and music were very appropriate is choice, tone, and level. I'd say the demo would be roughly a baby boomer, but not just a baby boomer. At 57 minutes, this piece is an easy hour to drop in, with even a natural break at 27:00 minutes when the show transitions from Getting Lost to Hidden Waters. If you like this piece, you might ask the producer to provide it as multiple individual pieces, as well. This piece could work as several different pieces.

There is some long songs in the piece, too, something that may affect your placement on your station.

Comment for "Surviving Church"

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Review of Surviving Church

For PD's looking for a piece done with the well-known PR sound, this will work well. The piece focused on the People's Temple, the church who brought us the Jonestown Massacre, through people who were members of the People's Temple but didn't die at Jonestown. The piece alternates between two interviewees, who at times even pick up on each other's sentences via edits (not just a married couple interrupting each other). The editing is nicely done, good sound, good music, it is an energetic piece. Very little reporter voice, just at the front and end, but it couldn't be edited off (BG music).

This piece is 10 minutes long, and I was surprised when it was over, because it seemed much shorter. It is very engaging. While I listened, I surfed a little to find out more about the People's Temple.