March 27, 2016

The Audio Signal #49 (one egg hidden in a lavender wreath)

#48
Welcome to the Audio Signal by Dana Gerber-Margie, a weekly audio digest for the curious.
I am an audio archivist, which means I organize, preserve, digitize, and manage sound recordings for a large historical institution. I listen to a lot of archival material, podcasts, radio shows, and audiobooks, and then curate it all for you into this little thing.
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Oh, friends, oh friends. I have had a very antsy week; I am itching for something new, something better. Some of the things considered: fencing classes, teaching English (in Thailand; inspired by Brittany from the podcast broadcast!), moving to a farm/art commune in Maine, and a range of entirely new careers. I’ll keep you updated. I’ll keep me updated. Is this common for one’s late twenties? How have you handled it, folks?
 
Also, SURPRISE ISSUE! A short issue. I know I said I wouldn’t be here, but here I am. I couldn’t keep myself away. Derek and I finished our Easter egg hunt very quickly, mainly because we literally only have eight plastic eggs that we hide for the other, find, drop the candy in a bowl, refill with candy, and then the other hides.
 
That’s all I got. Derek let me download Sims 4 onto his computer since mine is too old, so I’m going to lose myself in Sims and pizza for the rest of the night.
 
How to Be a Girl
School, Part One (26 minutes) and Part Two (28 minutes)
Part two came out this week, and honestly is the main reason I wanted to write an issue when I expected to take the day off. As an avid listener of podcasts, and lately such an avid listener that I have to listen to a lot of stuff at 2x or 1.5x the speed, I crave the kind of stop what you’re doing, sit down, lose sense of time, and listen experiences. Both of these episodes were that for me, and my husband included: we did it wordlessly, intuitively, laying down to listen right when it started, like we were compelled to by Marlo Mack’s voice. These two episodes are about M, a transgender 7-year-old girl, and her mom Marlo as they navigate the waters of school. M starts at a new public school, and struggles with privacy and friendship, wanting to keep her secret because who’s business is it to care about her privates?, but also wanting to let her new best friends know because it’s part of her. And Mack struggles with similar questions: will the teachers openly talk about even the word “transgender,” will the kids even care or is it the parents to worry about, should my daughter come out now and let the chips fall where they may? Hearing this story is an honor I don’t take for granted, for Mack and M to so openly (and carefully) share this story, this narrative, this life.
 
Where There’s Smoke
Stop, Look, Listen (Criticism)
37 minutes
I’ve been reading Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, which opens up a lot of questions about the human need to criticize and shame. So does this episode!
 
Gridlocked
Outside/In
22 minutes
An experiment in common sense, less expensive ways to tackle energy efficiency.
 
Scene on Radio
Things I’m Afraid to Say
20 minutes
One grew up during the Bosnian War, the other grew up in New York City, waging her own kind of war. And music connects, and speaks for, the two.
 
Planet Money
The Great Unbundling
27 minutes
Some more insight into coffee break chatter about all these new fandangled subscription services, so expensive, wish it could just be bundled ...
 
ARRVLS
Norman’s House
25 minutes
An operatic story about three friends (two lovers), AIDS, death, and finding a new home.
 
Witness
The Easter Rising
8 minutes
One hundred years since the Irish rebellion against British troops, that left bullet holes in Dublin’s General Post Office and sparked the republic.
 

I’m working my way through a pile of newly created podcasts, with shiny new episode ones. Here are some that receive my stamp of approval (I suppose in the form of my face + top bun):

 
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Photo of the week:
Contemplating audio archives and free bagels
(screenshot from CSPAN’s coverage of the Radio Preservation Task Force keynote speech)