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Monday, October 31, 2016

Ghost/Horror Stories on the Radio

I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about for this posting. It's been about a week and a half since I last wrote anything, and I wanted to get one last posting in before the end of October.  And then I turned my radio on. It was set to WBEZ 91.5FM, Chicago's NPR affiliate, and heard Snap Judgment's Halloween special.

Horror stories done on the radio are amazing!!! They are able to create such a sense of fear and unease. It's really unbelievable. I'm actually going to stop writing so that I can hear the end of this episode. Here's the episode below.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Whole New Appreciation for Arcade Fire's Reflektor

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When it was released back in October of 2013, Arcade Fire's fourth LP Reflektor left me feeling a little lost. You see, it didn't sound like a typical Arcade Fire album. Being produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Reflektor had a techno/dance element that, at the time, I thought didn't match who Arcade Fire was as a band. Because of this, whenever I went to listen to Arcade Fire, Reflektor always was at the bottom. Until today.

I had a great conversation with a current student of mine who just started listening to Arcade Fire's catalog, and as we were talking he told me about how much he enjoyed Reflektor. It got me thinking that I haven't listen to the album in awhile, so I figured I would throw it on and give it a listen to. Within 30 seconds of listening to the first song, I was immediately hooked! There are some absolutely fantastic songs on this album. Reflektor, We Still Exist, Here Comes the Night, and Afterlife are some great examples that stand out in my minds eye.

But as I was listening, I think it dawned on me why I'm beginning to appreciate this record now. It's David Bowie. Up until this year, I wasn't the biggest David Bowie fan in the world. I appreciated his music, but wouldn't describe myself as a fan. After his untimely death, I went and begin exploring his catalog, and began to understand his greatness. Reflektor is a "David Bowie" style record. It has a distinct dance, art, indie pop sound that Bowie perfected over the course of his 40 plus year career.

I think it is safe to say that it is because of David Bowie's music that I now appreciate Arcade Fire's Reflektor. And a nice hidden surprise, Bowie is a guest vocalist on the album's title track. I've included it below.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

John Lennon's 76 Birthday

Today would of been John Lennon's 76 birthday. To celebrate, I've decided to go back and listen to a few of his solo records. My first selection was 1974's Walls and Bridges. Now I must admit, this is not my favorite offering by Lennon. In fact, I've probably only listened to it a hand full of times.

However, it's a pretty interesting record. If you can get past the very mid-1970s sound, there's like a funky sax on every other song, you are in store for a very surprising and very good record, and is home to a few hidden gems such as: "Steel and Glass", "Whatever Gets You Through the Night". But the one song that particularly caught my ear is "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)". What a heartbreaking song!! I'm really surprised this song doesn't get more airplay, or isn't mentioned in the same breathe as songs like "Woman", "Well, Well, Well", or "Borrowed Time". You can check it out here. (For some reason, blogger won't let me embed two videos.)

The second Lennon record that I listened to is his debut 1970 release: John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band. To this day, this is the angriest record I have ever heard in my entire life. In my opinion, the only solo Beatles record that is better than this offering by Lennon is: "All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison. The perfect song that showcases the angry that Lennon was going through during this time period is his song "God". If you have never heard it, you must. It's unreal.


 

The Two Newest Episodes of the Looking Glass

So I've just finished production on two new episodes of my monthly podcast series: "The Looking Glass". Thus far, writing, editing, researching, and producing this program has been an incredible challenge for me, but overall I've really enjoyed the experience. It's tested my limits as a storyteller, which at the end of the day is what I wanted it to do.

In fact, the episode I released in September is in my top 10 favorite audio pieces I've ever created. It's entitled: "Figures with Real Wrestling Action" At first you may think that it is just a story about toys, but it is so much more. It's a very thoughtful and humanizing listen. Which you can do below.



The episode I released in early October is clips from some of my various interviews I've conducted over the past year. The overall theme of this episode is to encourages individuals to take that first step, and begin crafting their own creations. Working on it for the past few weeks really reinvigorated me. You too, can listen to it below. And please, share it with your friends.

Delay in Postings

Life as certainly gotten busy the past few weeks. Between work, getting sick, producing two new episodes of my podcast: "The Looking Glass", I feel like I have neglected this blog.

I hope to remedy this with two additional post.