PRX Review: THE UNSEEN WORLD OF ISLAM

February 9, 2007

Producer: A World of Possibilities

 

Review by David Swatling for PRX (Feb. 4, 2007)

“There’s an abundance of fascinating information in this first of a series of programs about Islam and the West. The first half-hour focuses primarily on the history of Islam and the second half puts that information in perspective in post 9/11 America. The five experts interviewed by the very well prepared host are all excellent speakers. The most time is spent with an Iranian author who was particularly engaging and thought-provoking. This is a polished magazine-style program dealing with an important topic in an intelligent way. If the rest of the series maintains this quality, it’s definately worth sharing with your listeners.”

 

Listen to the program here

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PRX Review: TALES FROM THE MORGUE: CAN’T STAND THE HEAT

February 8, 2007

Tales From the Morgue: Can’t Stand the Heat (20:00)

producer: Mark Sawyer

Reviewed by Joseph Dougherty  for PRX ( Feb. 2, 2007)

“If there’s a radio equivalent to the gooey indulgence of macaroni-and-cheese, this is it. Gleefully derivative of everything from “Lights Out” to “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” this audio evocation of those youth destroying EC horror comics, the ones Stephen King used to hide under the mattress, is pure guilty pleasure. Uncontaminated by seriousness and higher purpose, produced with a careful eye for B-movie details, the piece is unrepentant balderdash and should be welcomed at any time of the programming day. “But, Jasper, you’re a scientist. Surely you don’t believe in this nonsense.” “

 Listen to the program here


PRX Review: RADIO LAB: MORALITY

February 6, 2007

Radio Lab, Show 203: Morality

Producer: WNYC

Review by Chris Chambers for PRX (Jan 21, 2007)

This is excellent radio. It’s thought-provoking, amusing and, most importantly, brilliantly produced. The use of music is perfect and the innovative way the two presenters interact within each feature has the effect of drawing you in futher to the discussion. This is a great example of how quite simple features can become transformed using imaginative production. There was superb editing work in there.
I give five stars as sparingly as Howard Hughes gave interviews but I have no hesitation in recommending this and no doubt all the other Radio Lab programmes too.”

Listen to the program here


PRX Review: ANDY STATMAN’S JOURNEY

February 5, 2007

Andy Statman’s Journey (27:47)

producer: Jonathan Groubert

Review by Jon Kalish for PRX (January 22, 2007)

5 Stars if you’re a fan of Klezmer clarinet or bluegrass mandolin. Jon Kalish has produced an expertly knitted, rich, tersely woven and well presented journey into the heart of the virtuoso musician and Jewish mystic Andy Statman.

This is excellent radio that hits all the right beats in terms of pacing and uses the form to create a three dimensional person from his early success to his inexplicable contemporary obscurity.

Highly recommended to anyone. Excellent programming for the weekends or Jewish holidays or pairing with programs on Klezmer.”

Listen to the program here


PRX Review: SAY IT PLAIN

February 5, 2007

Say it Plain

Producer: American Public Media, (60:00)

review by John Hingsbergen for PRX (Jan 27, 2007)

“This is an excellently-crafted and moving documentary, ideal for Black History Month. Characteristic of the American Radio Works series, this is a highly-polished production filled with compelling content that demonstrates the power of long-form radio. 

NPR’s Michelle Norris hosts this program featuring excerpts from eloquent speakers such as comedian Dick Gregory, the Rev. Dr. Marting Luther King, Jr, Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and Representative Shirley Chisholm. 

I was especially interested in the 1895 recording of educator and presidential advisor Booker T. Washington. 

Whether your listeners lived through events documented in this show, or have merely read about them in history books, they’ll be informed and inspired by the actual voices of these speakers 

I’ve scheduled it for use on WMUB for the second year in a row during Black History Month. I can offer no higher endorsement.”

Listen to the program here


Listen: Gulf Coast Blues: The Clarence Williams Story

January 31, 2007

from PRX

Producer: Riverwalk Jazz 

PRX Description: “Born in the Mississippi Delta in the late 1890s, pianist Clarence Williams was Creole and Choctaw Indian. As an adult, he produced and performed on thousands of recordings with artists who became legends ? Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong and more ? but he took credit for composing a long list of jazz standards.

Hosted by David Holt and starring The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and special guests Vernel Bagneris and Topsy Chapman, “Gulf Coast Blues: The Clarence Williams Story” chronicles Williams’ life with all of its contradictions. Was he a prolific composer or just a hustler and occasional song thief? “Gulf Coast Blues” reveals that, like the story of New Orleans itself, Clarence Williams is a study in opposites. ”

Listen to the program here 


PRX Review: Dear Skinwalker

January 30, 2007

Producer: KRCB Voice of Youth

Reviewed Taki Telonidis by for PRX (Jan. 27, 2007)

From the first note of music, to the haunting quote at the end, ‘Dear Skinwalker’ is a magnificent piece of radio. This story is so different, that it’s difficult to describe. As the summary states, it’s a letter from a young Native American woman locked up in a detention center written to a spirit creature called Skinwalker. She talks about her troubles, fantasizes about the future, regrets her past, and muses on the wisdom a long-dead Indian chief. The writing is superb, at moments real and gritty, at others surreal and impressionistic. The story flows like a stream of consciousness–a collage of thoughts, sounds, and music that takes unforeseen turns, yet holds together for the most part; only once during a digression about a high school debate club did I feel lost. To experience this piece is to feel like you’ve penetrated the subconscious of this young woman, seen her dreams, and felt her anguish. Congratulations to KRCB and Voice of Youth”

Listen to the program here