Comments by Sarah Levine

Comment for "Hello, Mr. Slickenmeyer?"

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Review of Hello, Mr. Slickenmeyer?

This piece is light and nimble, and it's great fun to hear the back and forth between the voice of the speaker and the voice of the answering machine. We hear from several wrong numbers, and each message gives us just a sliver of somebody else's life.

The piece even creates a slight bit of melancholy, as we listen to poor Herr Slickenmeyer forever waiting for a return call.

A fun New Year's greeting for all of us connected strangers out there.

Comment for "Our Name is Rogelio Bautista"

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Review of Our Name is Rogelio Bautista

This piece is terrific. I'd sit in my car to hear the end of it. Teachers will play it for their students in school.

The narration is precise and in some places poetic without being pretentious or unreal. The use of five different narrators who speak as Rogelio helps to push the story forward. Later, when Rogelio has died, the the five voices seem to speak for Rogelio's friends and family, and we understand more clearly the shattering and scattering after a death occurs.

Some of the writing has the impact of a punch. When, for example, the now-dead Rogelio wonders how he could have become a painted outline on a street "for moms to roll over with their baby strollers," you feel the enormous pain and waste of this death, and the waste seems all the more tragic because the youth who tell this story are clearly aware of how quickly the meaning of their lives can disappear.

However, the final song of the piece, a Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" with its "every man has to die" lyrics, seemed a little too pat for this much more complex and thoughtful analysis of a death. That's the simple answer that this otherwise rich, complex, and real piece avoids in every other part.

Comment for "The Emergence of Bob Dylan" (deleted)

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Review of The Emergence of Bob Dylan (deleted)

Terrific. It's just the kind of piece that would keep me next to the radio. I listened to the whole piece while making dinner, and I definitely stirred more slowly so I could hear more.

It's detailed, takes time to give us long song excerpts, does a great job of blending an explanation or a story about Bob Dylan with archival sound and song. Occasionally highlights the over-the-top adoration fans have for Dylan (examination of his yearbook messages, for example), and that's fun to listen to as well.

Sound rich, of course, and well-crafted visual details -- just a pleasure.