public radio

Seriously? Alec Baldwin? For real?


Too Handsome for Radio? Yes.
Seriously, Baldwin, gimme a break.

Come ON, Studio 360. Our man Explodo goes on vacation and you sub in ALEC BALDWIN?

Listen to the show at here, or download it directly here. You can also grab their podcast in iTunes. The show also features an interview Laura Linney, about whom I won't say anything nice, because I think my wife has reached her breaking point with regards to me saying nice things about Laura Linney.

Anyway, Baldwin, don't quit your day job. Even though you're good at this job. Actually: especially because you're good at this job.

How to Interview


When people ask me how to interview someone for their radio show or podcast, I usually refer them to the This American Life comic book, Radio: An Illustrated Guide. There's not a lot of how-to-interview content there, but what there is is excellent. It's certainly the only guide I used.

Now, I'll just refer people to this excellent guide by our own Podthinker, Colin Marshall. Colin hosts his own public radio show and podcast called The Marketplace of Ideas, and it just celebrated its 100th episode. I was on the show last year.

John Moe's Wits


Our pal John Moe, former host of American Public Media's Weekend America, past Sound of Young America guest and all-around nice guy, is hosting a very cool series of shows in Minnesota called "Wits." John will be talking to some really awesome funny people, including John Hodgman, George Saunders, Dana Gould, Chuck Klosterman and Amy Sedaris, among others. If you're in St. Paul, this isn't to be missed. More information here.

Louis CK on Q with Jian Ghomeshi


This show was recently piloted in the US of A by PRI. I haven't spent a lot of time with the show, but Ghomeshi has done a great job in the shows I've heard.

This American Life iPhone App


Our friends* at This American Life have a new iPhone app. It costs $3, and you should definitely buy it. You've probably heard of This American Life, and maybe you think you're either not cool enough for it or too cool for it, but you're wrong. It's for everybody. Really, This American Life is a very successful show for two reasons: Ira Glass' captivating interview on The Sound of Young America, and the fact that it is a truly amazing program, maybe the best radio show of all time. Anyway, fire up those iPhones and go to town.

*Friends is probably kind of strong. I mean, some people who've contributed to the show are my friends. John Hodgman, for example. And I did meet Ira one time, and he was very gracious. And Julie Snyder, one of the show's producers, was the news director at KZSC once upon a time, and I was the news director there once upon a time (and so was Nick, our editor). I don't want you to think we're enemies or anything. I'm just saying: when I say they're our friends, I'm speaking of a general bonhomie that I feel towards them, and maybe they feel that way. Oh! Seth - I met that guy and he was really nice. He works there. Seth. Anyway, buy the fucking app.

KALW gets a new news home...

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Our San Francisco affiliate, KALW, launched a major new initiative today - a beautiful website for their local news operations. KALW is a small station that literally operates out of some classrooms in a San Francisco high school, but over the last few years, they've really put together an amazing local news operation. They're even featuring a story about Kasper Hauser on their homepage.

Werner Herzog on The Treatment

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A) Elvis always brings the insight.

B) Werner Herzog is one of the greatest New Sincericists of our time.

C) This interview is the most fun you'll have between now and New Year's.

D) Below: Werner Herzog gets shot by an air rifle.

Tracy Morgan and Terry Gross


This is old news now, but I hadn't had time to give it a proper listen yet.

A) I feel that Tracy's emotion is very real in this. Some people have suggested it's a put-on of some kind. Tracy is obviously kind of a ridiculous guy, but he's a sincerely ridiculous guy. And I think Tracy talking about appreciation of someone caring about his story for real is true.

B) Terry Gross' greatest strength as an interviewer, among many strengths, is her humility. She doesn't make any assumptions, she just asks sincere questions. Which was exactly the right thing to do in a situation where Tracy is a little uncomfortable and not afraid to poke her a little. And that's why he responded so honestly.

C) There is a moment where Morgan starts to break down. There's an eternity of silence (in radio terms - long enough that it may have been longer in real life, because they couldn't have left it any longer on the air or people would think their radios were broken). Then Terry starts to ask a question, then asks if Morgan is OK. I've heard criticism of Gross' approach here. I think it's worth remembering that they (I presume) weren't in the same room, and it was a very tough situation for Gross to read and navigate. I think she did a great job.

D) Morgan's analysis of his work in SNL is very trenchant. Tracy Morgan has *always* been as funny as he is on 30 Rock. Always. He was also very tonally different from the tone of SNL when he joined (like many of the show's black castmembers have been), and he isn't a writer. He talks insightfully about how Lorne Michaels changed the course of his career - taught him that he had to stretch. He gives great credit to Tina Fey for finding a way to put what's funny about Tracy on the air. He admits that he had to learn to collaborate with people who were very, very different from him to share that. Those are great insights, in my opinion.

E) As someone on Twitter shared with me, anybody dissing Terry gets The Gas Face from me.

Greg Kot Interview: The Sound of Young America

Greg Kot

Greg Kot is the music critic at the Chicago Tribune, host of the public radio program Sound Opinions, and has written for the likes of Rolling Stone, Details, Blender, and Encyclopaedia Britannica among others. His new book is Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music. We'll talk about how the music industry got to where it is today, and what might be next.

Elvis Mitchell Interview


Interview with Elvis Mitchell from Thomas Attila Lewis on Vimeo.

A lovely interview with the great Elvis Mitchell.

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