the faux bohemian

Posts tagged npr

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So you know when you desperately try to open up Soundhound to catch the snippet of a song played as a bridge between NPR stories and you miss it like four times?

When you finally do figure out what song they’re playing, it’s usually pretty great.

Filed under npr burial mike snow soundhound great success music

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Sax is back?

I’m listening to the new Bon Iver album (streaming on NPR HELL YEAH) - it’s really great, especially the diverse instrumentation. The more I’m thinking about it, I realize that I like his use of sax. And then I slap myself because I realize again that I’ve been watching new music like a hawk for sax ever since I read this Slate article about its GREAT COMEBACK (the herald angels of which are Clarence Clemons and Lady Gaga, natch).

I think that I’ve been hearing it everywhere now, of course, just like in 2007 when every new song I heard sounded like a Springsteen cover after reading an article (Slate again!) about the “indie-rock cult of Bruce Springsteen” reflected in new releases from Arcade Fire and The Killers (not to mention The Traveling Wilburys).

Is this just confirmation bias, or do musicians really all get together at the beginning of the year and decide what they’re all going to do in their next album to give Slate something to write about?

Filed under music slate bon iver npr clarence clemons lady gaga springsteen traveling wilburys the killers arcade fire

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"Aside from the fact that he insisted on incorporating extra vowels into his name and killed his wife’s lover, Eadweard Muybridge was an unusual fellow."

Understatement of the day, via NPR: The Picture Show

And don’t forget that he invented the walkin’ around naked photo:

Filed under muybridge npr

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There’s a cool story on NPR this morning about Julius Shulman, the photographer responsible for a group of iconic photographs of Los Angeles architecture in the 1960s, like the one above. (And coincidentally, this is the NPR program that I might be working with this summer)

The story includes a quote from Shulman’s partner, Juergen Nogai:

"Nogai explains: ‘People are not thinking anymore; they’re just shooting.’ Some would agree that the digital age has enabled a decrease in deliberation. If you can fill up a memory card with 1,000 images until you get the perfect one, after all, why stop to carefully compose?"

This bothers me, because it assumes that when photography is available to more people, the quality of the overall photographic output gets worse.  It’s the same argument that has been made time and again over the course of photographic history - first it was inexpensive tintypes, then the first Kodak camera, then Polaroids.  In each case, although many more photographs were being taken with the new technology, each also increased the range of the medium, allowing more, not fewer, photographers to take substantial photographs.  There are entire cultures that we would know little or much less about if those members of the culture weren’t constantly snapping photos.  Honky Tonk is an example - a book that my boss worked on with a photographer of 1960s country music culture.

And besides, if there are more photographers in the world, the proportion of those trying to take artistic, well composed photographs doesn’t change.  Just browse through the pages of flickr, where there is some amazing work that will never make an art gallery opening.  There is no reason to be so elitist about a mass medium that offers so much promise.

Filed under photography art honky tonk npr julius shulman


From NPR news in Washington…

The Washington Post is reporting that a record number of people are listening to NPR this year, and the audience keeps growing.  Here’s a key quote: “One strength of NPR, he said, is its original foreign reporting — something that is now largely unavailable elsewhere on the radio. The organization maintains 18 foreign bureaus, more than any of the major broadcast TV networks.”  Kinda sad, but it seems like that’s the nature of the game; radio news is so much different, necessarily involving better analysis and broader perspectives in the absence of concerns about soundbite-videoclip brevity that underlie frenetically-paced television news.

Whereas higher-than-ever listenership would be great for any other station, it doesn’t have direct dividends for NPR, though, since advertisers aren’t clamoring to get their spots on the air for the audience.  A bit of a catch-22…

Filed under npr radio news listeners washington post

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A great NPR story on Astral Weeks

Recently, Ben and I tried to narrow down a list of our top ten favorite songs, which has been growing much harder over the years as I get more in to music.  I couldn’t decide which song from Astral Weeks is my favorite.  That album is my desert island-trip to Mars-play at my funeral necessity.  A few days ago, I played it for Ben straight through, with the volume loud enough to fill the room.  It had been a while since I listened to it that way, and it was awesome.

This story is only a few minutes long, but it’s definitely really interesting, even just to hear Van’s voice mixed in with snippets of the songs.

Filed under van morrison music astral weeks npr