Earlier this year, the radio classic This American Life moved away from its longtime distributor, Public Radio International (PRI), to an independent model. Ira Glass, the show’s host and producer, has been doing more rounds in the press of late, discussing where the show is after 17 years, and where he is at this point as a journalist. The takeaway from the New York Times profile earlier this month was that Glass is, literally, dancing as fast as he can, working as both professional talking head (the bulk of his income comes from speaking appearances) and as the soul of a really good radio show when he’s not harboring dreams of Broadway. Whew! … Read More
Children of the ’90s, do you remember Real Audio? How about Sonicwave, the world’s first Internet radio station, and the first time you heard the word “podcast”? As Sonos reminds us in an attractive and educational new infographic, these milestones are all a part of the 120-year history of radio, which kicks off with Nikola Tesla in the 1890s and stretches all the way through to today, with services like Turntable.fm and Spotify. Give yourself a crash course in the medium after the jump. … Read More
As holiday roadtrips grow imminent, it’s time to plan how you’ll while away the hours you’ll spend in transit. Here at Flavorpill, we’re stocking our iPods with playlists for every time of day, part of the country, and state of mind. But listening to music only goes so far when you’re craving good conversation and your shotgun rider has fallen asleep (or you’re taking the bus or plane solo), which is why we’re filling up on brain candy in addition to ear candy. Below the jump, browse through the engrossing, educational, and entertaining podcasts we highly recommend for the road. … Read More
Yesterday we shared an iPhone add-on that turned your cell into a vintage camera. While you’re still busy drooling over that, check out Devin Ward’s vintage radio hacks. The Los Angeles electrician takes tube-amp radios and replaces the original wiring with new electronics and a speaker — basically leaving you with a swanky-looking shell that you can plug your iPod, iPhone, or other iDevice into. You can read more about the technical fine print on his Etsy page, where he sells the rehabbed radios for around 200 bucks each. Whet your vintage whistle, below. … Read More
In the first big David Foster Wallace documentary since his suicide, the BBC’s Professor Geoff Ward discusses the author’s childhood, legacy, preoccupations and battles with the gentleness of a true fan but the exactitude of a scholar. On the radio missive, which first aired on the BBC on February 6th, Ward interviews Wallace’s contemporaries (Rick Moody and Mark Costello, who was also Wallace’s college roommate), Don DeLillo, Michael Pietsch, editor of Infinite Jest, Wallace’s agent, Bonnie Nadell and his sister, Amy Wallace. He also mines archives of interviews with DFW — some of the most wonderful are with Wallace discussing irony — and accents his ruminations and conversations with passages from Infinite Jest as well as the forthcoming The Pale King.
If you’re a reader, a writer or even just a member of the television saturation generation, it’s worth a listen, and if you’re a fan of Wallace, the program may tug at your heartstrings, suggesting what might have been, but celebrating the man as he was. As Don DeLillo tells Ward, “I can’t think of anyone quite like him, at all… Wallace stands alone.” Click through to hear the documentary in its entirety. … Read More
National Public Radio chronicles four decades of broadcasting independent-arts and political programming across America with a new book presenting the faces behind the radio dial.
A constant companion to daily commuters and fans of arts and culture journalism, NPR celebrates what it does best in This Is NPR: The First Forty Years, combining stellar graphic design, in-depth interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, and rare anecdotes from its best-loved voices. And if reading the radio is too strange, there’s also an audio version. … Read More