Friday, November 03, 2006

Vicky's Pick

Hello! I’m Vicky Markovitz, the All Songs Considered Intern. I put together the Open Mic page for All Songs, which features unsigned and independent artists. Each week, I’m going to put up my favorite of all the favorites I picked, or some artist that stood out to me in some way. So… here’s this week’s pick, Rising Appalachia.

Rising Appalachia includes sisters Leah and Chloe Smith and percussionist Forrest Kelly. Despite being incredibly jealous of them, because they are touring Europe right now and called me from Ireland, I enjoy their twist on traditional Appalachian music. They don’t stray too far from old tunes, but enhance the songs with sisterly harmonies and an energetic, plucked string sound adorned with the twang of a fiddle and occasional horns.

I picked their track "Say Darlin’ Say" because I vaguely knew the tune and liked being able to hear the personal touches in their version. The fact that Leah and Chloe knew the song because their father used to sing it to them as a lullaby also made it too adorable to turn down.

Another track of theirs I really liked, but isn’t on their Open Mic page, is "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss," which includes trumpet. I’m a sucker for horns. You can listen to a snippet of it on their website.

Both the songs are off their self-titled album.

Here is the link to their Open Mic page if you want to check them out for yourself!

Let me know what you think!

Rock and Roll Sunday

This coming Sunday, The Black Angels and The Black Keys are both performing at the 9:30 club in D.C. The Black Angels go on at 8:45pm E.T. followed by the Black Keys. For those of you not in town or who are here but simply don't want to brave traffic in the city, NPR is webcasting the live concerts and as usual, fans can chat to All Songs Considered intern Vicky Markovitz here. The link to the online chat will appear during the start of the concert.

-Bertina Yu

Thursday, November 02, 2006

talking about elections...

It isn't any surprise that campaigns have been going extremely negative lately, but there seems to be a crucial difference between the way the people talk about male and female candidates. Why is it considered okay to invalidate female candidates based on their appearance? I have heard far too many comments by potential voters on why they're voting against say Katherine Harris, not because of her ignorant remarks like "if you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin, " but because they find her unattractive. As a young woman in her mid-20s, I find this disparity between men and women very, very disturbing. Does anyone else find this troubling?

election mania

After years of being a passive viewer of election news coverage and watching the election at home, I am amazed that I get a chance to participate behind the scenes! As a volunteer for NPR's election night, I am extremely excited over it but at the same time, I'm a little nervous that I'll make a huge mistake. So the countdown begins, just 5 more days until November 7th! And make that 5 more days of crazed squabbling among candidates and political pundits...

-Bertina Yu

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I thought I saw a...giant chicken superhero?

Strange things are occurring up here on the 3rd Fl. We just got visited by a costumed Halloween superhero wearing a chicken mask. It is this particular superhero's duty to bring Halloween spirit here at the news desks. Too bad he wasn't giving out interviews. :)

If you spot the chicken, take a picture and put it on the blog. Maybe you'll get an extra treat.

yummy recipes to try

I know it’s only Halloween but it’s not too early to start dreaming of Thanksgiving food. Every year NPR den mother, Susan Stamberg, shares her mother-in-law’s recipe for Cranberry Relish, a “Pepto-Bismol pink” concoction that contains onion, cranberry, horseradish and sugar. Sound doubtful to you? Well it sounds (pun absolutely intended) delicious to me.

Her segments from past years are archived here:

Her segment from last year with Martha Stewart is genius. It’s charming, warm and funny.

Check it out!

-Joanna Stein

3rd Floor Block Party

At this very minute, I can hear the strains of the Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun" being played, cheering up everyone on the 3rd floor of the NPR building on Mass Ave. Thank you to whomever is giving it a spin on the speakers. I have a personal attachment to this song and if you haven't listened to it before, you should play it on a wintery, blustery day for warmth.

-a Beatles fan

Not Playing At A Theatre Near You: “Return of the Office Zombie”

As an NPR intern getting adjusted to the “nine to five” life, and being in this fast-paced, sometimes frenetic environment (which I love most of the time), I feel I’ve been transitioning pretty smoothly. However, it does require a lot of energy and I’m not exactly the most chipper person on the block. After years of late nights, erratic schedules, and confusing my biological clock to no end, I admit it’s a struggle to find that energy at times.

To avoid becoming a permanent fixture on the Halloween horror movie scene yourself, I've come up with a few suggestions I think are more realistic than the usual “go to bed at 9pm” dictate that the establishment likes to recommend. I mean, really, we all know how unlikely it is we’re going to bed early.

Beating the Zombie Syndrome:

1) Let’s face it, when the time comes to get ready for bed, it’s probably not anywhere near a reasonable hour. Common sense says try to squeeze in at least six hours of sleep.

2) It’s sorely tempting to crash on the couch immediately after getting home from work but beware—those 3 hour "naps" will keep you from getting great zzzz’s at night.

3) Personally, my bedroom has morphed into a multi-purpose kind of room, which includes me doing activities other than sleeping like watching movies. But experts suggest we only use our bedroom for sleep.

4) If you’re already at the office and feeling tired, a simple walk around the room may re-energize you. Plus, an added bonus is that when you’re at NPR, interesting things always seem to be going on and you never know who you might run into.

5) If all else fails, turn to the drink that never lets you down. I knew a girl who used to call coffee “ambrosia of the gods” and I think she was right.

-confessions from a former office zombie

Monday, October 30, 2006

New Feature Coming Soon

The Intern Edition Blog is going to be rolling out a new weekly post from All Songs Considered intern Vicky Markovitz very soon. Stay turned for further details. And don't forget tonight's concert featuring The Decemberists at 9:30 p.m. ET. There will be a live webcast from Washington D.C.'s 9:30 club. In addition, fans or newbies can chat with Vicky about the band. There will be a link to the chat from here.

-Bertina Yu, Blogmaster

"The Google"

If you want at least one giggle for today, you should go to Morning Edition's story titled "President and the Google." Apparently, bloggers are still having a laugh over President Bush's answer to a question in an interview on CNBC.

-Bertina Yu

Third Coast Festival

Maybe you, like me, were devouring updates from the Third Coast Festival Conference in Chicago last week... but if you weren't...

Third Coast is an annual gathering of audio producers from across the radio spectrum -- public radio, experimental sound, documentarians. It's held each fall in Chicago and draws regulars like Ira Glass and NPR's Robert Krulwich and Danny Zwerdling.

Previews of all the winners' stories are available on the Third Coast site. Here are links to a few of the full stories:

Thembi's Diary -- Joe Richman, Radio Diaries
Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu -- Ann Heppermann, Kara Oehler and Rick Moody
Rhapsody in Bohemia, Alan Hall, Falling Tree productions
My Lobotomy -- Dave Isay / Soundportraits


Commissioned before the conference, each of these shortdocs represents a different production style, lasts 2 min and 30 sec, starts with some manifestation of the sentence "To begin with, they never got along," and includes the following sounds: a pre-recorded voice, a rhythmic noise and an exclamation (in that order). Some highlights:

#3: The First Attraction by Lawrence Lanahan and Bruce Wallace. The myth of Narcissus reimagined: the north pole of a magnet bar falls tragically in love with the north pole of another magnet bar. Production style: "mythomagnetic."

#27: The Secret Life of an Australian Mother by Eurydice Aroney, Tom Morton, Stuart Brown. A domestic duet for a mother and six year old. Production style: "hysteria verite."

99 Ways will continue accepting submissions until December 31 or until they reach 99 (they're currently at 73), whichever comes first. So get busy!

-'s blog about the talks and events at Third Coast (, for the uninitiated, is a boundless audio resource). Bloggers include Robin Amer and Greta Pemberton of PRI's Open Source and, formerly, the world-famous Brown Student Radio.
- Third Coast's
links to audio sites
- Third Coast 2006 audio archives, with stories by Rick Moody, Danny Zwerdling, among others.

That should be enough to keep you busy for a few months! Enjoy.

- Adeline Goss