Comments by Jay Allison

Comment for "I Don't Know"

User image

gets better each time I listen

Carefully, lovingly made. Intricate and dimensional, but also inviting. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

Comment for "Tony Schwartz for the Next Generation" (deleted)

User image

Review of Radio Open Source - Tony Schwartz for the Next Generation (deleted)

Fabulous hour. Full of concrete stuff and the philosophy behind it. And a lovely curve to the conversation too-- following the paths of manipulated truths.

(Incidentally, this review is a re-posting from a note I left on the Open Source blog page: ...but it will serve as a PRX review too. Note that the Hearing Voices Schwartz tribute is now on PRX too.)

Maybe it's the sign of a good teacher, but over the years I think I've actually absorbed some of Tony's ideas to the point that I now believe they were mine to begin with.

I wish I had good Tony stories but I never met him. My cohorts The Kitchen Sisters spent time with him and made this piece for our Lost & Found Sound series:
In a way, that entire series was an homage to Tony's work. He was the bona fide "sound hound," the man possessed by recorded sound. I think his example--one guy sitting in the middle of a ton of gear, totally absorbed with his mission--helped me feel less odd in my own enthusiasms. We are led by people at the extremes.

One thing you didn't cover was his careful examination of his own zipcode (NY 19), a function of his agoraphobia. In the early 80s, we had a group of producers in New York, informed by Tony's work, and we did a kind of homage in a piece called "New York City: 24 Hours in Public Places." You can hear it here:
and our friends at Hearing Voices will be including it an upcoming hour they're dedicating to Tony.

Anyway, thanks again for this affectionate, informative tribute.

Comment for "Dads"

User image

Review of Dads

There are unexpectedly poignant moments in these brief interviews which are somehow simultaneously casual and intimate. Because of the collage treatment, you don't really get to know any individual characters--either the speakers or their fathers--in a coherent way, but instead, you receive an oddly affecting composite portrait of fathers, or, more precisely, the EFFECT of fathers. The ending is a bit truncated, leaving you with a mid-stream feeling. For that reason, I'd recommend using this in a larger context, as an element in a larger consideration of fathers. If anything, this piece should be longer, more developed, which might give it more cumulative impact

Comment for "Joey's Phone Call Home"

User image

Review of Joey's Phone Call Home

The trick to programming this would be the framing. The call itself is not consequential, but the IDEA of the call is. It doesn't resolve or go anywhere particularly, but it opens a window that's worth listening through. If it were contained in a longer piece about Joey, it might feel too long as a "moment." By itself, it would be a challenge to frame, but I think it could be done. Maybe in the context of a series of overheard conversations or verite moments between parents and their kids. The techhnical quality is good, at least over computer speakers, and you at least come away knowing you have heard something real. It would definitely be a break from standard public radio fare, which is something most stations can use.

Comment for "Confessions of Teen Stripper"

User image

Review of Confessions of Teen Stripper

I would put this on our air, mainly because it's a very particular first-person perspective we don't hear from much. Yes, as other reviewers said, it has some flaws on the radiophonic scale, but if we were doing a call-in show, for instance, on the sex industry with journalists and social workers, this piece would bring it home. The context would be key, but a good programmer could make the right nest for this, by preparing the listener. I would be appreciative to a public radio station that included this perspective, even thought it might not be as well developed as it could be.

Comment for "Kohler Factory"

User image

Review of Kohler Factory

Solid arts feature. The kids voices at the top are full of life and the sonic arrangement flows well, although it bogs down a bit in the middle. If you were doing a series on artists or residencies, this would be a good addition. I think the visual environment might have been better drawn. I didn't get enough mental pictures and I know there must have been plenty available. You'll need to cut off Kurt Anderson's Studio 360 intro and outro, and you need to be careful of an ambience cut at the end. It would be better to upload pieces like this without the program hosts.

Comment for "50 States in 5 Minutes"

User image

Review of 50 States in 5 Minutes

Hey, this isn't the kind of thing you hear every day. I sort of wished you knew which state *every* song was linked to, but most of them were self-evident and it was a really satisfying listen. If the piece were nested in the right context, it would be the kind of thing you'd tell people you heard and be grateful to the eccentric person who took the trouble to make it, and to public radio for putting it on.

I should mention that this piece is the tip of the iceberg. The producer has put up ALL 50 STATE SONGS IN THEIR ENTIRETY here on the PRX, enough for a weekly series for a year!

Comment for ""Being Photographed""

User image

Review of "Being Photographed"

A while back, Jake mentioned he'd done this piece (we put up a lot of Jake's early work on and this piece is tied to that fact), but I just now got around to listening to it. It has a nice curve -- movement through time and space, a full outing, with commentary and revelations along the way. It's just self-deprecating enough to keep you from feeling that unfair potshots are taken, but it does look coldly at what passes for journalism. It made me think of doing an hour at our station on backstage media stories. I bet there are some other good ones here at PRX. Now, to find them...