Comments by Tina Antolini

Comment for "Monhegan Island in Winter"

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Review of Monhegan Island in Winter

The one-room schoolhouse is the conduit through which we meet the inhabitants of Monhegan- an community that is isolated, tightly-knit, full of vibrant characters. Through their voices, their activities, listeners become aquainted with a whole town in 13 minutes.
And despite the reference in the intro to the "one room schoolhouse" as an institution from another time, once we're in the classroom, it's clear that this is a living-- and essential-- part of this small community.

The best moments in this piece are the action: the play rehearsals in the school, a local resident whipping up egg nog, children sledding, the community christmas party that caps the piece. The narration seems a bit wistful; as if longing, to some degree, for a time when this sort of insular community was more commonplace. On the whole, though, this is a loving and rich portrait of a place.

Comment for "Larkin Gifford's Harmonica"

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Review of Larkin Gifford's Harmonica

What could have been a simple story about a man composing a piece of music is made a much broader commentary about a place, a history, and how we memorialize people and times that have passed.
This piece delves into how music references place and time, and also provides insights into the act of composition, how new music can be formed from old sounds. It's also beautifully sewn together, in an intuitive way that doesn't follow the usual formula for radio reports. We follow the path of the music, its construction from old recordings to listening to it with various audiences, and thus hearing it through their ears.

Comment for "School Front Office"

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Review of School Front Office

The chaos of the school office is immediately apparent from Paul's construction of this piece-- the subject can barely get a word in to us, her audience, between demanding children, phones ringing, greeting people. The effectiveness of this piece lies in the way it communicates this juggling of responsibilities, the way in which we depend upon the staff of public schools to accomplish a somewhat super-human collection of tasks.

Mr. Paul's entrance into the piece (presumably a host intro would reveal who he is!), asking questions and offering the subject a summary of the situation, sometimes interrupts the flow of the piece; it also could be just as effective if a minute or two was cut. However, overall, the piece does a great job: with rich sound and characters,
a "secretary" is revealed to be a massively important figure in the school, both to kids and the functioning of the institution.

Comment for "A Red State Thanksgiving"

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Review of A Red State Thanksgiving

In this age of partisan politics, this little essay piece is a refreshing story of an attempt to bridge the gap. It gets at the tricky business of deconstructing cultural sterotypes through the ritual of familes sitting down together for Thanksgiving dinner, putting differences aside. Would be a nice addition to a holiday programming.

Comment for "Poetry Combine"

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Review of Poetry Combine [Larry/Andrei]

A group of poets (lead by the inimitable Andrei Codrescu) wander a New Orleans neighborhood searching for fodder for their writing and man, what they find! A hot dog seller who writes songs, a bar owner espousing the power of dreams, and a Burlesque performer with a masters degree in counseling that Codrescu describes as "a model New Orleans citizen that has developed an aggressively post modern form of strip tease." Codrescu leads this troop of writers through the neighborhood (and us through the piece) with his usual wit and eloquence. PDs: as April is National Poetry Month, this would be a great addition to the mix.

Comment for "The revolution never tasted so good"

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Review of The revolution never tasted so good

A trip with two dumpster divers to collect a feast's worth of food evolves into a political portrait of two anarchists who see the rescuing of trash as a revolutionary act. The documentary is artfully put together: the two main characters' political beliefs are slowly revealed over the course of the piece, as they drive around town, discovering loaves of ciabatta and pounds of cauliflower in their neighborhood dumpsters. This piece would be an excellent and unusual addition to a show on political activisim.

Comment for "Neil Feather's Musical Chop Shop"

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Review of Neil Feather's Musical Chop Shop

The sounds of these instruments alone make this one worth a listen . But producer Aaron Henkin manages to make it more than just a "wow, isn't this dude cool" kind of a radio piece. By situating Neil Feather in the wider context of musical evolution throughout history, Henkin gives Feather's instrumental creations a new depth. Well written and well recorded.

Comment for "Pop Vultures #6 : OutKast & More Outkast" (deleted)

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Review of Pop Vultures #6 : OutKast & More Outkast (deleted)

I'll just say this flat out: I think every public radio station needs this show. For all of the listeners out there who deride pop music as meaningless bubblegum, unworthy of serious consideration. For those listeners whose musical tastes stretch beyond public radio's traditional jazz and classical offerings. For those listeners who simply want some fresh, intelligent, entertaining radio. One may not agree with all of the opinions about music expressed on this show, but it will get listeners thinking. Pop Vultures for the masses.

Comment for "The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski"

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Review of The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski

This piece hit me so hard I had to listen to it twice in a row, just sitting there at my desk. For someone of my generation (I'm 22), whose knowledge of the Vietnam War was little more than a series of cliches about protests and government mistakes, this documentary brought the war to life. Airing this piece at any time would make a vast impression on listeners, but especially now, as our country struggles with another controversial war in Iraq, we need radio like this to help us experience what war is really like,

Comment for "Hassidic (yes, Hassidic) Reggae"

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Review of Hassidic (yes, Hassidic) Reggae

What a fascinating subject. This piece offers listeners an example of the ways in which young people have learned to blend cultures to fit their needs: reggae music making Judaism accessible to young Jews. The non-narrated middle section, alternating clips of the (very good) music with the singers' opinions on the subject is especially revealing.

And the beat boxing is UNBELIEVABLE.