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Dinner, Lemmings, and the Hour

In 1972, National Lampoon expanded into recorded comedy with Radio Dinner. The album was largely a star turn for a young NatLamp contributor named Christopher Guest; when the magazine followed up on Radio Dinner's success by sponsoring an off-Broadway "satirical joke-rock mock-concert musical comedy semi-revue," he was tapped to perform in it alongside a drummer named Chevy Chase and a 24-year-old John Belushi. National Lampoon's Lemmings (original cast album) was another hit, running for 350 performances of Woodstock parody and Joe Cocker mockery. NatLamp editor Michael O'Donaghue decided the time was right to take the brand to a weekly radio show. He brought the stars of Lemmings back for it, together with Belushi's old Second City castmates Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, and Brian Doyle-Murray. Harry Shearer, Doug Kenney, and Richard Belzer helped round out the cast of The National Lampoon Radio Hour. [You should probably just assume that all YT links are NSF playing out loud at W.] [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Dec 10, 2013 - 32 comments

"Stop at nothing... Betray, violate, cause enormous harm."

"I listen to Ira’s show on and off, because I think they do the best work there is in that form. But This American Life has inspired this proliferation of programs where people tell their stories, and I think it’s gotten—there’s too much of it. I find it annoying, because it’s very uneven. Now it just seems like everybody’s telling a story, and it’s beginning to sound narcissistic, and I’m thinking, Who gives a shit about your story? You’re just another person telling your story. How many do we need?" Joe Frank interviewed by Jonathan Goldstein for The Believer [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Nov 9, 2013 - 71 comments

We Must Consider the Sounds of Knives and Forks

Noise: A Human History is a cool 30-part radio series by David Hendy in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive and the BBC that explores the past 100,000 years of sound and listening.
posted by Lutoslawski on Oct 22, 2013 - 6 comments

This Australian Life

Each week we choose a theme and bring you a variety of stories on that theme... well, not quite. But the Australian radio station ABC Radio National has had a program, Now Hear This, running for almost three years now. It showcases storytelling efforts from amateurs and pros, each given five minutes to tell a story on a particular theme. The results are funny, sad, and beautiful, sometimes all at once. You don't need to be Australian to appreciate them. Official site. SoundCloud. [more inside]
posted by Quilford on Oct 7, 2013 - 10 comments

FIP Radio

In 1971 Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou began to dream of a radio station that could calm even the drivers stuck on the Paris Périphérique. It would play wonderful, unexpected music chosen by people who knew their onions. The tracks would be drawn from diverse genres and chosen to seque enchantingly. There would be no jingles, commercials or self-aggrandising DJs - not even defined programs - just some announcers chosen for their mellifluous voices but paid to mostly stay quiet. The result was - and is - FipRadio. Fans have included residents of Brighton in the UK who enjoyed an illegal re-transmission of the station for many years - and journalist David Hepworth who describes the thrill of hearing "a voice you want to marry whispering words you can't understand". Listen! [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Sep 26, 2013 - 29 comments

"Ask Dr. Science. Remember he knows more than you do."

The comedy troupe Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre started in 1975 when five University of Iowa graduate students hoped to score some free beer. You may have heard Ask Dr. Science (Wikipedia) sketches on All Things Considered. Ask Dr. Science first ran in 1982 (or maybe on New Year's Day 1981) as a project of Duck's Breath members Dan Coffey and Merle Kessler on KQED. [more inside]
posted by knile on Sep 20, 2013 - 15 comments

The Moth: True Stories Told Live

Formed in NYC in 1997, the Moth celebrates the art of story through performances of true, first-person stories without notes in front of a live audience. Stories are told by celebrities including Steve Burns dealing with his fame and DMC of Run-DMC discussing how Sarah McLachan helped him overcome his depression as well as everyday people like: a research scientist detailing her relationship with her parrot and a woman with CP falling in love for the first time. These stories are recounted in several cities across the USA and are later disseminated through weekly podcasts, a weekly radio show distributed by public radio stations (requires a free account), and a book out today. An interview with George Dawes Green, novelist, and Founder of the Moth from the Rumpus. More stories are available on youtube and their website.
posted by fizzix on Sep 4, 2013 - 19 comments

Dial A Trade: An AM Radio Flea Market

Dial a Trade (link to charming You Tube documentary) is an AM version of a flea market on KURM out of Rogers, Arkansas. You might be able to listen to it occasionally on this Tunein station.
posted by PHINC on Aug 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Film Nerds, Rejoice!

Lantern--a search platform for the collections of the Media History Digital Library that enables access to over 800,000 pages of digitized texts from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound (from 1904 to 1963)--has gone live. (Previously.)
posted by carrienation on Aug 14, 2013 - 9 comments

Mostly Musical in Nature

Sound Opinions, the ever-excellent radio show / podcast based out of Chicago, have embarked on a 'world tour'. With the aid of a local musician or journalist, each episode covers the history of modern music in a certain country. They look at what's new and exciting in both the mainstream and underground as well as what foreign music is cracking the market. So far the tour has touched down in Mexico, Japan and Sweden, and Greg & Jim are encouraging feedback on where they should go next. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Aug 7, 2013 - 3 comments

The City Of Dreams Resurfaces After A Long Slumber

In the pre-podcast days of 1999, the then Sci-Fi Channel website worked with the Seeing Ear Theater and Bablyon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski to produce a series of Twilight Zone-inspired radio stories called "City Of Dreams" along with a cast that included Steve Buscemi, Tim Curry, Kevin Conway, and John Turturro. 13 episodes were planned, but only 8 got produced, and with the decline of Real Player and the Seeing Ear Theater, the episodes were thought to be lost to the mists of internet history. Until someone uploaded all of them to Youtube. (each episode about 30 min, link goes to the first video for the episode) The Damned Are Playing At Godzilla's Tonight!. Rolling Thunder .The Friends Of Jackie Clay . The Tolling Of The Hour. Night Calls. Samuel Becket, Your Ride Is Here. The Alpha And Omega Of David Wells . MSCD 00121J [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 1, 2013 - 16 comments

I have to be clear. Clear as glass.

"Echo Point" is a chilling, sound-rich supernatural radio drama written by Australian author Louis Nowra. Originally aired on BBC Radio 4, it is now available on SoundCloud via producer/director Judith Kampfner. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Jul 31, 2013 - 6 comments

Next you'll be telling me The Record Peddler is back

Once upon a time, there was a little yellow house in Brampton, just northwest of Toronto, that housed what we used to know as CFNY. (Americans: think WKRP, but without Bailey Quarters.) Before it turned into the slick abomination 102.1 The Edge, CFNY was the commercial station that (along with community/university stations CIUT and CKLN) supported new and independent music. But starting at noon today, Indie 88 will be inheriting CFNY's mantle, except that kids these days don't wear mantles, so they will have Alan Cross in place as their Guidance Counsellor instead, which is way better than any silly old mantle. They're promising a pretty eclectic playlist, but for the next 12 minutes, this is the one song you'll hear (if you can actually pull in a signal on your terrestrial radio).
posted by maudlin on Jul 31, 2013 - 37 comments

Devon, GET THE TABLE.

A 45 minute interview with pro wrestler Bully Ray. Also known as Bubba Ray Dudley of the Dudley Boys. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar on Jul 19, 2013 - 13 comments

Ovaries! Time MAchines!

British comedian Josie Long explores All the Planet's Wonders in a very short series on BBC radio: Collecting. Animals. Astronomy. Plants.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 comments

Hey I Just Heard You, So Remember Me Maybe?

NPR presents a non-chronological megamix of every hit " Song Of Summer" from 1962 to 2013
posted by The Whelk on Jun 21, 2013 - 45 comments

Sturgeon! Dick! Asimov! Heinlein! DeCamp! Bradbury! Sheckley! Pohl!

The very first major science fiction series for adults on radio was Mutual Broadcasting System's 2000 Plus (1950-1952). An anthology program, 2000 Plus used all new material rather than adapting published stories. Just one month after its premiere, NBC Radio began airing Dimension X (1950-1951), which dramatized the written work of such young writers as Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut. In 1955, NBC relaunched Dimension X as X Minus One (1955-1958), drawing from stories that had been published in the two most popular science fiction magazines at the time: Astounding and Galaxy. 17 of 30 episodes of 2000 Plus, all 50 episodes of Dimension X, and all 125 episodes of X Minus One are available for free download as individual mp3s from the Internet Archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 12, 2013 - 23 comments

John Oliver: "The most formative comedy of my teenage years."

There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.
John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 10, 2013 - 64 comments

The Pride of the South Side

The WHPK Record Library. Scans of notable (or notably commented-on) records from WHPK's rock collection.
posted by kenko on May 30, 2013 - 13 comments

Andrea was tall and angry. I was a little bit shorter.

Daniel Handler, best known for A Series of Unfortunate Events and his accordion work with Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, reads a chapter from his novel Adverbs, which made Dave Eggers describe Handler as "something like an American Nabakov". An excerpt from another chapter, Immediately, is available courtesy of the New York Times. Handler's first adult novel, the nightmarishly satirical The Basic Eight (think the movie Heathers with a less reliable a narrator), is also well worth a read (excerpt from Google Books).
posted by Rory Marinich on May 18, 2013 - 16 comments

Easy as the breeze...

The Boston easy listening station WJIB has developed a cult following among senior citizens, children, and young artsy types. Before local radio legend Bob Bittner revived the call letters and format of the beloved beautiful music station, the 740 frequency had an unusual and eccentric history. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 on May 14, 2013 - 16 comments

The Modern Moloch

Jaywalking, in time and space
posted by eotvos on May 9, 2013 - 8 comments

JoJo Cookin' kicks off your weekend

Write this song down: WORD. UP. This'll get you $106 if you count to win ON THE Q! [more inside]
posted by absqua on May 8, 2013 - 11 comments

Sick from it all

"At night, [Nicols Fox] wears a shirt woven with silver fibers to reduce her radio frequency exposure, and though her house has electricity, she shuts it off and uses gas lamps whenever possible. During our conversation, her voice would occasionally get cracked and raspy if I got too close with my audio recorder. In the five years since she’s moved to the Radio Quiet Zone, she hasn't left once."

Despite consternation from locals, sufferers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) have begun moving to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia, to live in the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, an area established to minimize interference with radio astronomy. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Apr 13, 2013 - 146 comments

From NPR News, it was the talk of the nation.

Talk of the Nation, NPR's beloved afternoon call-in show, is going off the air at the end of July, replaced by Here and Now, which is jointly produced by NPR and WBUR. NPR is running a $7 million deficit, but the organization says it is responding to demand for "a stronger news presence in the middle of the day". Host Neal Conan will leave the organization after 30 years. Science Friday will continue.
posted by jbickers on Mar 29, 2013 - 106 comments

How a Live Nation Deal Cornered Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake likely made his new album to fulfill a contract he signed with Live Nation in 2009.
posted by reenum on Mar 28, 2013 - 36 comments

Women Hosted Podcasts

"Though these numbers may not surprise, they should alarm you too. And they point to the disappointing truth: that podcasting – hailed back in 2004 as a “revolutionary” new tool for freedom of expression and endless creative opportunity – quickly copped the same gender stereotypes and realities that traditional broadcasting environments have demonstrated throughout history."
posted by Doleful Creature on Mar 1, 2013 - 53 comments

Why IS The Pepsi Blue?

From the Beatles' White Album to the Pink Panther's Fiberglass, Richard Branson's rebellious red to the Queen's posh purple, CBC's Under The Influence takes a look at How Colours Make Us Buy.
posted by mannequito on Feb 16, 2013 - 10 comments

The Man Behind The Brilliant Media Hoax Of "I, Libertine"

"In the 1950s, a DJ named Jean Shepherd hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. 'There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here,' he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. 'Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion.' Shepherd's approach was summed up by his catchphrase: a mock-triumphant 'Excelsior!', followed by an immediate, muttered 'you fathead ... '" (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Feb 15, 2013 - 24 comments

BBC Radio 4 Book Club: 179 episodes now available online

Book Club. This 30-minute programme's been on Radio 4, the BBC's premier speech radio station, since 1998. Books are announced a month in advance, giving listeners a chance to read the chosen title before the discussion. James Naughtie then interviews the book's author about it in front of an audience of his (or her) readers, who also put questions of their own. My favourites from the programme's archive include Alan Bennet (Writing Home), Clive James (Unreliable Memoirs), Douglas Adams (a 1 hour special on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Elmore Leonard (Rum Punch), James Ellroy (Black Dahlia), PJ O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell) and Stephen Fry (The Hippopotamus). No doubt you'll have your own. [more inside]
posted by Paul Slade on Feb 12, 2013 - 8 comments

" . . . voted to let rural residents drive a bit drunker"

In rural Ireland, pub business is down due to stricter drunk driving laws. In order to increase business, some counties are considering loosening the laws - in one county, "councilors voted to let rural residents drive a bit drunker."
posted by insectosaurus on Feb 1, 2013 - 35 comments

Battered Vinyl Retaliates

BBC DJs Mark and Lard show of some of their treasured vinyl recordings which are "particularly hard to find these days in this kind of condition": Mull of *Kintyre, Messing about on the River, Rocking around the Christmas Tree, Bright Eyes (more). NSFW - although somehow they got away with broadcasting it in the middle of the afternoon.
posted by rongorongo on Jan 30, 2013 - 13 comments

The Real George Orwell

The Radio 4 on the BBC is presenting a month of readings from George Orwell's books. Some of them will only be available for one week from the date of broadcast, so be quick. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 29, 2013 - 5 comments

Christ, What an Asshole: an NPR hour on a word they can't say on-air

To the Best of Our Knowledge does a program on assholes. Much bleeping/blanking ensues, along with a lot of use of "a-word" to describe both word and the persons it names. [more inside]
posted by Mngo on Jan 27, 2013 - 34 comments

"Someone is assigned when there is no one else."

The Designated Mourner (2002); a radio adaptation of Andre Gregory's 2000 revival of the Wallace Shawn play, starring Shawn, Deborah Eisenberg, and Larry Pine.
posted by Iridic on Jan 25, 2013 - 5 comments

Will the real Ian McKellen please stand up?

Perhaps you've seen this youtube video of Hunter Davis's Sir Ian McKellen imitation (if Sir Ian were to perform Baby Got Back). Hunter Davis came to a radio station to do an interview, and then the real Sir Ian called in - but turned out to be fake. And then the real Sir Ian actually called in - or was he a fake too? [more inside]
posted by insectosaurus on Jan 20, 2013 - 10 comments

The Value of Culture

The Value of Culture is a five part BBC radio series by Melvyn Bragg (which can be downloaded as a podcast) which explores the modern concept of 'culture' from its roots in mid-19th Century Britain, specifically Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy and Edward Burnett Tylor's Primitive Culture (vol. 2), and exploring the discourse and uses of the concept until the present day. There are five episodes, each a little over forty minutes long, focusing in turn on Arnold and the roots of the concept of culture, Tylor and the anthropological conception of culture, C. P. Snow and the 'Two Cultures' debate, mass culture and culture studies, and then ending with a debate on the value of culture today.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 6, 2013 - 11 comments

"I have thrown a terrarium of land crabs on the floor at a party in a drunken rage, I have known regret. "

Actor and writer James Urbaniak (Venture Brothers, American Splendor) has a wry, occasionally upsetting "fictional podcast" with every episode written by a new author. Getting On With James Urbaniak.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 19, 2012 - 23 comments

Lester Bangs interviewed for Australian radio.

Lester Bangs interviewed by Sue Matthews for Australian radio in 1980 Originally posted here, with transcript.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 16, 2012 - 14 comments

Rebel Radio '98

In April 1998, Ninja Tune duo Up Bustle & Out traveled from Bristol to Havana. They were greeted by legendary flautist Richard Egües, who would be their guide to meeting and recording a number of Cuban musicians over the next two months. The result was the two-volume Rebel Radio: The Master Sessions, an adventurous meeting point between 'the smokeyness of Bristol and the coolness of Havana'. UB&O's Rupert Mould kept a journal which he would later publish as The Rebel Radio Diaries.
posted by mannequito on Dec 8, 2012 - 7 comments

If a reader ends up confused, it’s not their failure as a reader but yours as a writer.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named the 2012 winners of their science journalism award. The winning text, radio and TV segments -- which cover subjects ranging from bat ecology to nuclear power post-Fukushima -- are all free access. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Nov 21, 2012 - 2 comments

Letter From America archives replenished by Newquay man.

BBC's Letter From America archives replenished by Newquay man. Most not kept by the BBC. Amazing piece of radio in and of itself. [previously].
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 19, 2012 - 7 comments

Backstory with the American History Guys

Hosted by three professors of US history (one a specialist in the 18th Century, one in the 19th, and one in the 20th), each episode of the radio show and podcast Backstory takes a subject from the news and looks at the American history behind it. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Nov 17, 2012 - 34 comments

90 years of (British) radio in 90 seconds

90 years of (British) radio in 90 seconds. That is all.
posted by Paul Slade on Nov 15, 2012 - 19 comments

Live From the Inside

Radio Colifata is a beloved weekly Buenos Aires radio show run by psychiatric patients that breaks down boundaries between the "interned" and the "externed." During his Argentina tour, radio supporter Manu Chao invited a few Colifatos to join him. LT22 Radio La Colifata is 94 minute a documentary (in Spanish) shot over ten years that celebrates the station and the tour.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 14, 2012 - 7 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

. .. and now, it's time to scare you half to death.

Nightfall was a popular and controversial horror and sci-fi series that aired on CBC Radio between 1980 and 1983. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Oct 27, 2012 - 18 comments

John Peel - The scope of music on these shows is still gobsmacking.

A user on Soundcloud has posted 458 full John Peel shows. The shows range from 2004 BBC episodes all the way back to several 1967 Radio London shows. Some of the shows playlists can be found on the John Peel wiki as well. John Peel has, of course, been mentioned on the blue before.
posted by BigHeartedGuy on Sep 11, 2012 - 32 comments

The London Circuit

Artist Yuri Suzuki has made a map of the London Underground as a functional radio circuit board. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Sep 10, 2012 - 15 comments

Round Britain Quiz

The world's hardest radio quiz is back.
posted by Paul Slade on Sep 5, 2012 - 41 comments

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