19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie
. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 29, 2010 -
Right Wing Radio Duck "Donald's life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck. "
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr
on Oct 2, 2010 -
"But this wasn't quite enough and so then I got the idea of having all thirteen of the lowest tones of the piano played together... In other words, I was inventing a new musical sound later to be called 'tone clusters'... Anyway, this was my professional debut as a composer." Henry Cowell's musical autobiography
. Cowell was one of the most important figures in 20th-century American music, described
by John Cage as "the open sesame for new music in America." In this hour-long program recorded four years before his death in 1965, compositions from every stage in Cowell's career are contextualized and discussed by the man himself.
posted by No-sword
on Aug 8, 2010 -
The days of the legendary late-night FM DJ are pretty much behind us...with one notable exception. Vin Scelsa
, whose radio career spans 43 years on six different New York City FM stations, has developed a uniquely passionate following through his free-form show Idiot's Delight
, which blends an idiosyncratic array of music new and old, commentary, and book recommendations
. For decades, Vin has used his on-air time to read entire chapters of books, wax philosophical, and add to his remarkable roster of guests
. Faithful fans
chronicle every aspect of the show
, archive past playlists
, and even create works like this very homemade but very informative and worthwhile Unofficial Documentary: Parts 1
. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Jun 29, 2010 -
to The Beulah Show
. "After Beulah
was cancelled, the three networks and independent television producers, fearful of being accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes, stopped casting Blacks in their shows almost entirely for the next fifteen years."
posted by unliteral
on Jun 14, 2010 -
"Why? Philosophical Discussions" about everyday life may be the world's first call-in philosophy show. Its mission is to create a large-scale conversation between philosophical professionals and the general public.
radio, from the University of North Dakota's Institute for Philosophy in Public Life
, is a monthly, call-in radio show hosted by philosophy professor Jack Russell Weinstein. "...the show was created to illustrate how day-to-day life is steeped in deep philosophical commitments and to provide a venue for exploration of those same commitments."
Shows feature notable guests such as Martha Nussbaum, Amelie Rorty
, and Amartya Sen.
posted by Lutoslawski
on May 17, 2010 -
Cult Radio A-Go-Go.
"Our radio crew, including your hosts Terry & Tiffany, Cragg our drive-in movie gargoyle and Wicked Kitty, welcomes you to our world of exploration into the very bizarre genre of ultra rare B - pop culture in comedy, parody. horror, sci-fi, exploitation, sexploitation, T.V., Old Time Radio & drive-in movies! We are stationed at the abandoned drive-in near death valley where we are broadcasting our pirate internet radio signal to you, for the audio pop culture junkies needing a fix!" [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses
on May 5, 2010 -
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain
" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87
. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog
, Tom and Jerry
and Diver Dan
, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody
. His nephew has posted a remembrance
on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight
." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 28, 2010 -
On February 3, 2010, Autechre
celebrated the month-early release of their new album Oversteps
with a 12-hour netradio broadcast. [more inside]
posted by mkb
on Mar 18, 2010 -
You guys know about BBC Radio 4's In Our Time
, right? Each week, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg hosts a 45-minute discussion on some aspect of culture, history, philosophy, religion or science. His guests are always three academics with expert knowledge of the chosen subject, and the tone is serious and detailed but never inaccessible. By respecting his audience's intelligence, Bragg delivers a programme of unrivaled interest, depth and educational value. The topics covered this year alone include The Frankfurt School
, The Glencoe Massacre
, Silas Marner
and Ibn Khaldun
. Eclectic, yes, but never less than fascinating. The good news is that the programme has just redesigned its website
, making all 440 episodes to date available for your listening pleasure in its eminently browsable archive
. In the dumbed-down 21st Century, it's a miracle that a programme like this still exists, so let's all make the most of it while we can.
posted by Paul Slade
on Feb 4, 2010 -
Jon Ronson On
"Each week in a series of interviews, short location reports, scripted monologues, phone calls etc, Jon Ronson delves into a world of personal stories surrounding the central theme which all shed light on the human condition." You can download all the episodes here
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Feb 2, 2010 -
Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio
. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via.
posted by amyms
on Jan 11, 2010 -