Worth a Listen: Top Audio Tracks for June 8, 2013

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Photo courtesy SXC.

In this post, I highlight four tracks that show different aspects of excellence in audio storytelling – a side-splitting personal recollection, a masterful consideration of the underlying elements of our society, a life review of what drives an interesting woman’s passion for connecting with people, and a brilliant description of a visual process by two masters of radio storytelling.

Claudia Solotaroff on the worst job she ever had: Original #radiostory via @Joannna Solotaroff

No, I’m not including this early offering from the Working Now project because they recently published my audio story on Jeremy Smith. I’m including it because Claudia is so laugh-out-loud funny with her deadpan delivery as she relates the many horrors that awaited her when she took a job working at a bar in Oregon. Your sides will hurt at the end of this – I promise.

Episode 75- Secret Staircases | 99 Percent Invisible

This recent episode of 99 Percent Invisible, a podcast/radio show by Roman Mars that uncovers the fascinating underpinnings of design in everyday life, is so representative of what makes the show so irresistible to me: he takes a topic that sort of buzzes irritatingly at the fringes of consciousness (“why are there so many public staircases around here?”) and turns the exploration into a meditation on the choices we as a society make as we design our world to suit our needs and desires. The other great thing about the blog for the show is that you always get photos and additional information on topics of each episode.

I want to be Roman Mars when I grow up.

You’re US: Diane Belnavis

I’ve had some sweet Twitter conversations back and forth with the You’re US folks lately, so I wanted hear what they were up to. Founded by Emile Klein, You’re US is a national collection of artists and craftsman who are collaboratively using their skills to provide an honest and contemporary representation of diverse Americans through portraiture, radio-quality oral histories and bio write ups on the You’re US site. This oral history, voiced by Diane as she leads us through her enjoyment of people in all the jobs and hobbies she’s pursued, really brings out the woman’s personality and makes me want to me her! You can view her portrait and bio at the You’re US site.

The Unmaking of a Typewriter | Kitchen Sisters

God Bless the Kitchen Sisters; for more than a generation, Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva have been making stories for public broadcast about the lives, histories, art and rituals of people who have shaped our diverse cultural heritage. They have partnered with San Francisco public radio station KQED to explore who’s making what (material objects) in the Bay Area, and why. This episode takes a a fresh look at the idea of “making,” as it starts with the destructive act that sculptor Jeremy Mayer of west Oakland must take in order to disassemble typewriters and reassemble them into full-scale, anatomically correct human figures. He does not solder, weld or glue and only uses parts that come from typewriters. Their piece is a shining example of how audio can easily be used to add a new dimension to describe something that is at its heart a visual process – and finished product!

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