Archive for the 'radio' Category

‘Eff Sirius

Still waiting… Thank god for Bittorrent, or I’d be bored out of my mind at work.

In fact, I think a lot of people at work are listening to my shared iTunes library – I hear my boss laughing every once in a while.

Damn Sirius

Sirius Sportster ReplayWell, it’s going on damn near a week since I finally ordered my Sirius radio, directly from their online shop, and I still haven’t heard boo. My order status has been set to “checked-out” since last Friday, but I’ve received no shipping confirmation.

I decided to order directly from Sirius because every retail outlet that I checked were sold out the day after Christmas… I guess a lot of us didn’t get what we wanted under the tree, (I’m looking at you, mom).

And, I’m convinced their customer service representatives’ job is to blatantly lie to their customers, in order to cover up deficiencies in order fulfillment. When I called up the hotline, the man on the other end couldn’t tell me anything more than the web site could, however he added that I would “probably get the shipping confirmation in a day or two”… when I asked him how he knew this, he replied that it usually takes 4-5 days to ship. Nevermind that Howard Stern is going on-air next monday! (I suspect that they are back-ordered.)

Of course, considering that every retail outlet (both online and traditional) are sold out of this model, I’m not crossing my fingers. Good thing I paid extra for Overnight shipping!

Howard’s Last Day

Howard Stern on FlickrI woke up at 6am this morning, to listen to the final Howard Stern show on terrestrial radio…

Apparently, they’re expecting thousands of people on 56th street, and Yahoo! is covering the entire thing, including live video at 9am.

In fact, Howard has gotten all Yahoo!ed up – Flickr photostreams, 360° profiles, podcasts, and widgets.

“Underground Man” update

Thanks to Mint, I noticed that a few visitors were referred here looking for the text of a New Yorker article writted in February 2004 titled, Underground Man: Can the former C.I.A. agent who saved New York’s subway get the Tube back on track?. I had scanned the text a while back, but my directory security settings on my server were tightened, and the scans were no longer available.

So, if you’re looking for the article, it’s is now properly linked in the orginal post.

I still wish I had a way of extracting the text via OCR…

NPR + Podcasts, Part II

A follow up on my NPR + Podcasts post, it seems that NPR is indeed investing in podcasting of its programs. They’ve launched a Podcast Directory, but it is interesting to note that they are not yet providing full-length programs:

This service is our first step in podcasting and we are experimenting with a number of program formats… Podcasting full-length programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered could be extremely expensive. Over the next several months, NPR and its public radio partners will be experimenting with a number of formats and offerings, and we invite your feedback.

And, a lot of the more worthwhile Public Radio content is actually produced at local stations, and syndicated nationally. For instance, WBUR in Boston produces excellent programming, such as On Point, Only a Game, and Here and Now. But, they haven’t yet joined the bandwagon, again because of cost:

Legally we are not allowed to make available for download via mp3 ANY broadcast which contains un-licensed copyrighted material (e.g. music heard throughout shows)… We are currently working on a podcast solution for all of our programming content. Please bear with us.

Similarly, WHYY in Philadelphia produces the highly popular Fresh Air, but they don’t currently offer a podcast of the program.

Still, it’s a step in the right direction, and interesting to note that we likely have Apple iTunes to thank for pushing podcasting into the mainstream.

Stellastarr* tonight

I got a nice surprise from our friends at FNX:

Congratulations! You and a guest have been added to the VIP list for the PRIVATE WFNX / Smirnoff Off the Radar concert with Stellastarr*.

This private concert is Wednesday August 31st at the Middle East Downstairs (472 Mass Ave in Cambridge). The doors open at 9pm. HOWEVER, your entrance is based on club capacity. SO GET THERE EARLY – it’s a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE admission.

Last time I saw Stellastarr, we were down in front, and all the college kiddies were making out with each other. How romantic

NPR + Podcasts

I see that NPR is not renewing their Audbile contract:

NPR’s beloved shows like “All Things Considered” and “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” used to be available on Audible, but after what I can assume was a lackluster performance, have since been pulled from Audible’s library.

There is a new poscasts page on the NPR site, however it isn’t yet clear if the local stations that produce content, such as WBUR in Boston, will follow the national plan.

The End of The Connection, Follow-up

A follow-up on the cancellation of The Connection, the Boston Phoenix’s Mark Jurkowitz has a fascinating interview with ex-host Dick Gordon. I almost feel bad for the guy.

(page 2 isn’t linked as of now…)

I for one am still waiting for Bostonist to post a word about this… Public Radio scandals are like celebrity news in this town!

The End of The Connection

I’ve been meaning to comment on the cancellation of the NPR morning program The Connection, and the firing of host Dick Gordon.

Though I’m sorry to see one locally-produced show get axed, I can’t say that I’m not giddy to see Gordon go. First, there is his thick Canadian dialect, and predilection for all things Canadiana… hopefully we won’t be subjected to another hour on Arcadian fiddle music. But, it seems that fellow ex-CBC reporter Jennifer Westaway is getting a lot of air time recently, and I think she is quite good.

So, if it’s not necessarily the hoser accent that turns me off, it must be Dick himself — he’s always seemed a bit disconnected on air. While I won’t fault Gordon for trying to embody the show’s high-brow billing, he never succeeded in holding my interest longer than it took to switch the station. He may be an excellent reporter, but charisma is something he lacks. Even his defenders are boring, and quite obviously of a certain age.

But, there is hope! On Point, which will move into The Connection’s slot, is an excellent show. Host Tom Ashbrook does have an interesting radio voice, and the show topics rarely bore. Also, the pacing is quick, and Ashbrook is adept at managing debate. Plus, he’s just a likeable guy.

Moving forward, I wonder what (if any) changes will be made to On Point, as it transitions to mornings. And, whether or not the NPR affiliates that currently broadcast The Connection will continue once the switch to On Point is made.

I’ve always professed a fondness for the logotype of WBFO, even if the University at Buffalo station only broadcasts NPR news for a few hours on the day. I remember seeing it on bumper stickers in the car parking lots—i swear they were only to be found on older european junkers, like a mustard-yellow Volvo 240 diesel, or a white 1979 BMW 320. Anyway, their web site spiffed-up the old logotype with some very lovely color. Kudos.

Boston University’s WBUR has a good logotype too.

SO – maybe I’m on to something here… NPR stations are non-commercial, yet their audience demographic is highliy-educated, and wealthier than the AM-talk set. Therefore it might make sense to have a more sophisticated image. Here’s the logotypes for other cities my fellow suckahs reside in:

washington, dc new york city, ny
bloomington, in los angeles, ca

albany, ny

Does my theory hold? Well, WAMC is a huge station, yet their logo resembles an AM talk station. WNYC is funky. i like it, but for seperate aethetic reasons. Remminds me of the subway. But the others are in the league with WBFO and WBUR. What do you think?

Katya Katya Katya

I read Paul Greenberg’s first book Leaving Katya, after hearing an interview with Bruce Gellerman on WBUR, and I was so very pleased. The least I can do is recommend it to anyone who’s gone through a ‘Russian phase’.

And, I suspect the author is a web-savvy guy, cause he found me, and sent me this e-mail:

——-Original Message——-
From: Paul Greenberg
Sent: Saturday, April 06, 2002 6:45 PM
Subject: LEAVING KATYA readings in Boston

Dear Ned,
Thought you might be interested in these upcoming Leaving Katya events.

Paul Greenberg

Paul Greenberg will be doing a series of readings from his Russian American love story LEAVING KATYA in the Boston area coming up in April. Carolyn See in The Washington Post called LEAVING KATYA “A terribly funny novel.” The New York Times wrote that in LEAVING KATYA , “Greenberg, comic and knowing, has done a rare thing supremely well.” Bruce Gellerman of WBUR’s Here and Now said, “The writing in LEAVING KATYA is rich, funny and forceful” while Vogue Magazine wrote “this tale will resonate with anyone whose infatuation with an exotic person or place has revealed dissatisfactions that lie a little closer to home.”

Exact details for the readings are as follows:

April 8, 2002
6:30 PM
Dinner and Book Club Discussion at
The Hamersley’s Bistro
553 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
For reservations call 617-423-2700

April 9, 2002
Author reading
Barnes & Noble at Boston University
660 Beacon St., Kenmore Sq.
Boston, MA

April 11, 2002
4:00 PM
Russian Tea, Reading and Discussion
Russian Studies Department
Marston Hall
Brown University
Providence, RI

April 18, 2002
7:30 PM
Author reading
Newtonville Books
296 Walton Street
Newton Massachusetts
(for directions call: 617 244 6619)

(Note: Beginning April 1 Leaving Katya will be available at all Barnes and Nobles in the “Discover Great New Writers” section of the store.)