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Howard Stern interviews Chris Martin from Coldplay...

One of the best things about this interview is that even if  it is recorded in Howard Stern’s studio, Chris Martin has his piano with him. This means he can accompany whatever he says with a melody on the instrument. For example, he plays a few notes from the first song he wrote when he was 11 and tells the audience how it came about. This adds a good visual element to the audio because we can imagine him playing. It also helps that Howard Stern describes Chris Martin’s unusual piano. It seems old and rickety and is apparently covered in graffiti. Howard Stern isn’t technically a good interviewer because he takes up too much time in the conversation, but for some reason this particular interview came to mind as being a great moment of radio for me as I’ve thought about it many times since first listening to it. However Howard Stern does make up for his lack of technical ability by being particularly friendly and genuinely interested in what Chris Martin has to say. He isn’t being a stereotypical macho or aggressive interviewer trying to steal the spotlight from his guest. As a result, the Coldplay front man is very comfortable and shares interesting anecdotes and ideas leaving the audience with a better idea of what his band is really like. There is also a direction to the interview with a beginning, a middle and an end as it follows the artist’s repertoire and hit singles as well as his personal life. Once he’s made his guest comfortable Howard Stern asks him tougher questions . For instance asking him if he’s ever regretted a particular song of his, or how he deals with bad music critics. Chris Martin actually answers this first question immediately, talking about his song “speed of sound” and candidly saying how he doesn’t like to play it at concerts...
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The origin of the word “story”....

Turns out the story I listened to was about stories. Just like the stories you can read in books, but also like the storeys you find in buildings. Two different meanings, two different spellings, but really just the same origin. The explanation lies in the stained glass of medieval cathedrals and the biblical stories they depicted. The bigger the cathedral, the more stories there would be. I discovered this thanks to “99% invisible“, an american radio show about design. They shared this story from a program called “Language Bites” of RTE Choice in Ireland. This show explains the origin of english idioms in one minute. This particular episode makes use of many sound effects to illustrate the origin of the word and to help this explanation along. For example, the producer uses the robotic voice of “google translate” to sound like an automated message from an elevator. She (the producer) also punctuates her writing with recorded crowd noises such as cheers or gasps. These sound effects complement the actual script perfectly to give the listener what seems to me the perfect balance between text and...
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For Tyrell Johnson, gun control is not the solution to gun violence...

At the foot of the Empire State Building this morning, Jeffrey Johnson killed an old co-worker of his with a gun he bought in 1991 in Florida. He then fled the scene but was quickly cornered by police. A gunfight ensued in which Johnson was killed by the police and 9 people were injured. All of them are expected to survive. On Times Square, a few blocks away from where Jeffrey Johnson went on his shooting spree, Tyrell Johnson of Newark New Jersey didn’t necessarily think that making access to guns more difficult is the solution to gun violence. This morning’s shooting came after a man was shot down by police on Times Square on August 12th. And a month after James Holmes killed 12 people in a movie theater in...
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Scavenger hunt Hallway education sound

The entrance hallway of Parsons New School for Design on 42nd street and 7th avenue, shelters its occupants from the noise of the very busy Fashion Avenue. The sound level suddenly dips so that the steps of students and faculty as well as the conversations of the security guard echo throughout the room. Working as a refuge from the world outside, the school can become the creative hub and the educational institution it’s meant to be.     Listen from 4:51 to...
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Listening to the radio

Tuning into KRLD Newsradio 1080 (Dallas/Fortworth), I listened through weather and traffic reports as well as advertisements until one specific interview caught my attention. In the studio, the journalist was talking to a local entrepreneur who had started her own app that compiled coupon opportunities in the Dallas area. I thought this was the perfect local story because it portrayed a compelling local character but also a trend that affects a larger geographical area. This meant that even if I have never set foot in Texas in my life, I wanted to listen to the whole thing. This interview was part of a series called “C.E.O spotlight with David Johnson”. I then switched to CBS news where amid the talk of presidential elections and debates, there was a short story about the danger of metal baseball bats. I thought this was a really good story too because even if it is a distinctly American problem, I clearly understood all the issues at hand (I am French and have zero experience with the sport). Metal bats are more fun for kids who start learning the sport because it means they can hit the ball farther and faster, but it also means that the children on the catching end aren’t ready for that kind of power. In some instances, there can be horrific consequences to this. The story was narrated in the first person too, which made it more real and more appealing to the listener. I finally decided to listen to a podcast of “This American Life”. Even though I’d heard people rave about it for years now, I’d never actually gotten around to listening to it. Instantly, I felt like I’d missed out. It was extremely enjoyable to have a full hour to go through a story. Especially when it is pieced together so effectively. Be it the use of background music or the tone of the speaker, everything is done to draw the listener in for the longest time possible. The show made me realize the importance of writing in radio. This particular episode was an obituary for David...