Entries tagged with: This American Life

3 result(s) displayed (1 - 3 of 3):

Stephin Merritt

The five-day RadioLoveFest is coming to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June, featuring various live radio shows with a variety of performers including Andrew Bird, Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen, They Might Be Giants, and Jonathan Coulton. On June 7th, Ira Glass will host an episode of This American Life live from BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, and though it is being billed as "one night only", it is now two shows in that one night. This is the updated description:

This American Life uses this evening at BAM as a chance to try something it's never attempted before: true stories staged as radio dramas. One of the stories will be an original mini-musical by Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of In the Heights and Bring It On. In another, The Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company will perform while Glass narrates. Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) is writing and performing a mini-musical of his own, built around a real story from This American Life, and Mike Birbiglia will narrate another true story in his inimitable comedic form.

This American Life is a public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to 2.2 million listeners each week. Another million people listen each week by podcast. It's produced by WBEZ Chicago.

Tickets at BAM's website.

Stephin Merritt, who has a book of Scrabble-based poetry coming out in the fall, also has a show coming up in North Carolina as part of Merge Records' continuing 25th anniversary celebration. His Merge25 performance, not part of the actual Merge25 fest, is instead part of a special Merge parternship with the 'Duke Performances Concert Series', as part of Duke's 'Music in the Gardens' series on the Duke University campus. All shows in that series are listed below:

Continue reading "2nd 'This American Life' BAM show added (Stephin Merritt included) ++ Merge25 Fest updates (Duke University shows)"

photo by Dale May
Dave Hill

You are probably familiar with Dave Hill by now. He's the brains behind the book Tasteful Nudes, which was released earlier this year, he performs locally in NYC a good deal, was one of BV's own Klaus Kinski's favorite local comedians this year, and he reviewed Morrissey's Radio City show for us. Oh yeah, and maybe you read his review of Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford?

Dave just gave us his list of his top ten favorite things of 2012. It includes some shows he saw (like the Def Leppard one), a show he didn't see, and his own book. The whole thing (plus commentary) is a pretty great read, and it's below for your viewing pleasure...

Continue reading "Dave Hill's Best of 2012 list"

David Rakoff

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer -- an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

"I can see a great beauty in acknowledging the fact that the world is dark," Rakoff said in a 2010 interview. It's healthy, he insisted, to employ "a certain kind of clear-eyed examination of the world as it is."

Rakoff was born in Montreal, studied East Asian literature and was diagnosed with lymphoma at 22. He recovered, and wrote a fan letter to humorist David Sedaris, which led to frequent contributions to This American Life. In his first essay on This American Life, Rakoff reflects on his role as -- oddly enough -- Sigmund Freud in the Christmas display of an upscale department store.

"In the window I fantasized about starting an entire Christmas Freud movement: Freuds everywhere, providing grown-ups and children with the greatest gift of all: Insight."

In May, Rakoff and some other This American Life contributors appeared onstage before a live audience in New York City. By then, a recent surgery to remove a tumor had severed nerves in his left arm, leaving him unable to feel or move that limb. He spoke wistfully about the pleasure he once took in the rigorous study of modern dance:

"You become this altered humming -- dare I say beautiful -- working instrument of placement and form and concentration," he said. "But like I said, that's a long time ago and a version of myself that has long since ceased to exist. Before I became such an observer ..." His voice trailed off and he was not able finish. He just stood there on the stage. But then, he did something wonderful: He danced. Gracefully, always gracefully. [NPR]

Rest in Peace David.

Some videos starring David are below.

Continue reading "David Rakoff, RIP"