May 11, 2012

Ira Glass Pron II

Went to see This American Life Live, the second live telecast of my favorite public radio show. It was all that, and a bag of chips. First, the disappointment. One of the most amazing things about the first telecast (2009) was watching Ira Glass produce a radio segment, live. He has two CD players, one with voice tracks, and one with background music and effects. And to watch him mix the show live - intermixing his voiceovers, the music, the subject audio clips - well it was almost ballet. Enchanting. And there was none of that. He seemed to be running some things via a handheld iPad (and got off a little inside joke about his relationship with Apple). But no live radio show. But, other than this one small thing - it was a total win. I am sure I will miss some things, but my morning after highlights.

Item 1: Tig Notaro. Think I am in love. And her surprise guest star (no spoilers) had me laughing my ass off.

Item 2: OK Go. I'm not a huge fan in general but they were amusing and fun and their use of technology and smartphone apps to create a huge, multi-player version of Guitar Hero was clever and made me smile. If you are going to a future rebroadcast, download the app ahead of time!

Item 3: David Rakoff. Funny and brave.

Item 4: David Sedaris in somewhat questionable stage make-up. Funny story, ratcheted up to the surreal by the live presentation.

Item 5: A piece about street photographer Vivian Maier - an artist who worked alone and in obscurity. Her work was brilliant, copious, and never shown to the public, nor intended to be shown. When a storage locker containing her life work was abandoned and auctioned off, her prints became known. The work was amazing, and the musing about privacy, art, life, death as we watched her work flash by was very moving. A documentary Finding Vivian Maier is currently in production.

Item 6: Monica Bill Barnes & Company. Witty and charming. Real people with real bodies dancing. Loved.

Item 7: Getting to see Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington. I've listened to the show quite a bit over the past year or so, and my initial opinion was "an urban This American Life", and sometimes it is a little too "in your face" for me. Gained a better appreciation for the way that show is mixed and created, and will listen and appreciate with a fresh ear.

Item 8: Mike Birbiglia created a short film featuring Terry Gross of Fresh Air. I laughed. A lot.

The whole evening made me smile. If you get the chance to go to one of the rebroadcasts, take it!

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