PRX Remix

Erika LantzThis Is Criminal

Erika Lantz posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Blog, PRX, PRX Remix | No Comments

I admit it. There’s not much I love more than a good murder mystery. I’m a sucker for detective novels and forensics shows.

So I was instantly intrigued when I came across Criminal, a new podcast devoted to crime.

Lauren Spohrer, Phoebe Judge, and Eric Mennel worked together until this October on The Story with Dick Gordon at WUNC. When the host, Dick Gordon, moved back to Canada, the eight-year-old show went off the air.

“When the show ended, we had this sort of restlessness in us,” Eric told me over the phone. “The podcast was a great way to harness that restlessness.”

Lauren had the idea to start a show about crime. Because who doesn’t love a crime story? Breaking free from the broadcast clock with an indie podcast would let them dive deeper in the long form they’d come to love at The Story.

The three of them have day jobs, with Eric and Phoebe still working at WUNC. That means they’re making pop filters out of tights and coat hangers, recording in Lauren’s closet and mixing stories at one in the morning.

Criminal_Closet

“I don’t think we’re reinventing the wheel,” Eric says. “Some of the oldest stories in print are crime and mystery stories.”

You hear that in Episode 1, “Animal Instincts,” which finds odd parallels in two crimes five hundred years apart.

But unlike typical whodunnits, Criminal isn’t interested in solving crimes. Once you dig into a story, Phoebe says, you realize it’s hard to pin down the truth.

“A lot of times, when we read crimes stories, we read headlines, we read just the facts: this man was convicted, this is the crime he committed, this was the victim,” Phoebe says. “It’s never simple. In crime stories, there’s victims, there’s perpetrators, there’s the other people who are affected. When you are able to give time to a complete story, you start to see all these different ripples, the ripple effect of it. We’re learning that you can’t just say this guy is guilty because of x, y, z. It’s always more complicated than that.”

With that mantra, and with the show’s slow, driving rhythm, Criminal is a little dark, a little playful, a little melancholy, and entirely engrossing. Episode 3 comes out Friday.



Erika LantzFour Takeaways from Media That Matters

Erika Lantz posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 | Blog, PRX, PRX Remix | No Comments

 

I’m back from the 2014 Media That Matters conference at American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact. I got to spend the day there with experts in film, social media, games, comics, and interactive experiments.

I attended to take part in a panel on sound, but left buzzing with ideas that pushed me outside my radio comfort zone. Here are a few.

1. People pay attention to games, says Kunal Gupta, director of the games exhibition collective Babycastles—and failing to see that means losing potential audience. Too often, media makers don’t see games for what they can be: entire worlds, or art that empowers people and communities. If you want to make an impact, don’t discount a game.

2. “Games are not good for facts. Games are good for feelings.” Colleen Macklin warned against looking to social impact games to teach information, or serve as “Games for X.” A game is a system with moments of choice that create an emotional, visceral experience. Society’s biggest problems are systemic, she said, and games encourage systemic thinking — especially when players start to make their own rules.

3. To engage different age groups, use a variety of media.  Marissa Valeri says a comic can jumpstart engagement and mobilize a new audience. While some people will latch on to an image, others want to read information themselves. Greg Pak produced the graphic novel app Vision Machine, but pointed out that for all the fancy stuff you can make, sometimes a simple comic strip can reach the most people.

4. People are breaking the boundaries of their medium in new ways all the time. Take Operation Ajax, an interactive comic book for ipad that brings together all sorts of media — comics, sound design, video, archived documents — into what creator Daniel Burwin calls a “curiosity path for the audience.” The result is pretty magical.

How do you think we radio producers can use these ideas to make better stories? Let us know in the comments.

Erika LantzRemix in Rhode Island

Erika Lantz posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 | Blog, PRX, PRX Remix | No Comments

Big news! Starting March 1, you’ll hear two hours of storytelling radio from PRX Remix on Rhode Island Public Radio every weekend.

Remix’s Rhode Island debut is part of a whole new weekend lineup of superb shows, including some from PRX: The Moth Radio Hour from PRX, and Snap Judgment, a show from PRX and NPR that’s hosted by Glynn Washington, winner of PRX’s Public Radio Talent Quest.

We’re thrilled to start working with the folks at RIPR. Rhode Islanders, tune in Saturdays at 6 a.m. or Sundays at 8 p.m. for an hour of mind-bending interviews, found tape, cool sounds, and the some of the best radio stories from PRX and beyond.

Those of you living outside The Ocean State, take heart: PRX Remix airs on radio stations across the country. You can hear us streaming 24/7 at PRX.mx, on XM Channel 123, and in your pocket. And there’s no harm in asking your own public radio station to put some Remix on.

Sam GreenspanTrumpets? Seriously?

Sam Greenspan posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 | PRX Remix | No Comments

The first striking thing about this story is that it starts with 30 seconds of trumpets.

The second striking thing is that suddenly James Franco is copping to it. “You’re probably saying to yourself, seriously? Is this for real? Trumpets? And I’m saying, yeah.”

But of course it only gets stranger from here. In no time at all, Franco is conjuring images of horses galloping through thunderstorms, and surreal dialogue happening in parking lots that might or might exist–all while extolling the virtues of the medium of radio.

And then Franco admits to you, “gentle listener,” that he is the Angel of Death.

This strange piece of radio fiction is part of The Organist, a new podcast from The Believer magazine and KCRW. The Organist is an odd mix of arts reporting, celebrity interviews, and other audio oddities, all told with the McSweeney’s moxie that we all know and love. Listen for The Organist on PRX Remix (stations, download it for your audiences here).



Lots of News from PRX Remix

Rekha posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 | PRX Remix | No Comments

There’s lots happening at PRX Remix these days.

PRX Remix logo

Welcome, new Assistant Producer!
We are thrilled that Erika Lantz is joining Roman Mars and Sam Greenspan to make Remix even more awesome. Read her introductory blog post (a rite of passage for all PRX newbies) and say hello sometime.

Thanks to all who applied – it was quite a group!

We went mobile.
Many of you know that we recently launched a new name, new look, and new mobile apps. And a new website: http://prx.mx Short and sweet, so you can tweet

Roman, Erika, and Sam are Facebooking , tweeting twitter-bird-white-on-blue, and blogging recent Remix additions and general audio faves.

We’ve updated the license terms.
The new terms more clearly capture Remix’s expanding cross-platform nature. Please go here to review the new language. You can always manage your Remix permissions in My PRX under Outside Purchaser Preferences, or in Edit Piece.

PRX treats your work with respect and care. Remix is breaking new ground in the public radio and story listening experience, and we’re grateful for the role your work plays in this effort.

Any questions? Contact us.

Erika LantzIntroductions

Erika Lantz posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 | Introductions, PRX, PRX Remix | 2 Comments

Hello! I’m Erika, the new Assistant Producer for PRX Remix. I feel very lucky to join a team of such imaginative people.

I grew up in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes and Minnesota Public Radio. I spent a lot of time making music and thinking about words, and feeling torn between the two. Then it hit me that words and sound work together all the time. I turned to radio.

I got my start at KFAI in Minneapolis. Since then, I’ve spent time at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, APM’s Performance TodayState of the Re:Union, and, most recently, WBUR.

I’ve worked in other media, but sound affects my emotions more than any other thing I perceive. There’s no better way to get drawn into a story, a perspective, a place. Good radio makes me feel connected, in some new way, to the world around me. It seems to me most of us spend our lives looking for connections like that.

PRX Remix lets you roam a sonic world more immersive and surprising than you find on traditional radio stations. There’s a whimsy to the random curated stream. You can bump into subjects you might not have thought to learn about, trip over shows otherwise unencountered, and get lost in archival sounds from the past. I’ll be spending my days scouting for new producers and sounds. I’ll share the best on PRX Remix.

Beyond building new platforms, PRX keeps looking for ways to push the medium while supporting storytellers. In the few days I’ve been here, I’ve already learned about upcoming projects I think you’ll want to hear about. I’m excited to get to work. Stay tuned.

Sam GreenspanPigs. Deal With It.

Sam Greenspan posted on Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 | cool, PRX, PRX Remix, shows | No Comments

Nearly three minutes of uninterrupted squealing. It’s challenging. It’s painful. And it’s total genius.

HARK!, a documentary by Chris Brooks, Paolo Pietropaolo, and Alan Hall, “investigates the acoustic world of Early Modern England.” Even though the historical record may give us some clues as to what the Elizabethan era might have looked like, we have almost no inkling what it sounded like.

Almost. This stunning work takes us back 400 years into a long-extinct sonic world–a world absent of the noise of cell phones, car traffic, household appliances, and recorded music. A world where the “sonic event” of the day might be the livestock getting fed.

So when you start hearing pigs around the 22-minute mark–and you keep hearing pigs through 25-minute mark–don’t fast-forward. Let the pigs take you through a time warp. And then be glad that you don’t have to clean up after them.

Listen for HARK! on PRX Remix.

Sam GreenspanAn Auditory Unghosting

Sam Greenspan posted on Friday, September 6th, 2013 | PRX, PRX Remix, shows | No Comments

How can one make sense of an untimely death? Especially the death of someone who spent his life working to make his country a more fair and compassionate place?

In 1963, NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith. Evers’ life and legacy has been commemorated in song, film, and TV. Now, author Frank X. Walker gives a new take on Medgar Evers’ story in poetry.

In this hour-long special, “The Unghosting of Medgar Evers,” Frank X. Walker and WUKY producer DeBraun Thomas present a stunning remix of poetry, music, and historical context.

Sam GreenspanChicago Gets Curious

Sam Greenspan posted on Monday, August 26th, 2013 | PRX, PRX Remix, shows | No Comments

Have you ever wanted a radiophonic go-to source for info on legends, rumors, and lore about your city? If you live in or love Chicago, then you’re in luck.

Curious City, based at WBEZ, is a new project from AIR‘s Localore initiative. It invites listeners to ask questions about The Windy City. Upcoming episodes will have WBEZ staffers investigating queries such as, “What is it like to live on a minimum-wage job in Chicago?” “What economic impact do local colleges and universities have on the city’s economy?” “What is the average income of a street performer in Chicago per year?”

So far, my favorite stories have been about how Chicagoans speak. On a request from a listener, the Curious City team produced a story about the origin of the Chicago accent. But after hearing that story, another listener pointed out that Chicago is really home to more than just one accent–there’s also the Chicago “Blaccent” (as in, black accent). Take a listen.

If you’ve got some curiosity about Chicago, find out how your question can become a radio story over at wbez.org/curiouscity.

Episodes of Curious City are making their way onto PRX, and you can also catch them on PRX Remix.

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GenevieveSeeking PRX Remix Assistant Producer

Genevieve posted on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 | Jobs, PRX Remix | 6 Comments

Job Description
PRX Remix Assistant Producer

This position has been filled

THE OPPORTUNITY

The PRX Remix Assistant Producer will seek, find, screen, and recommend great story-driven audio for use on PRX Remix. If you are a critical and even somewhat obsessive listener to public radio, podcasts, intriguing sound of various kinds, and can pick out the most compelling audio from the mediocre and mundane, your curatorial ears might be just the right fit for PRX Remix.


Working under the direction of PRX Remix Program Director Roman Mars, and coordinating with PRX editorial staff, you will also get your hands dirty writing, producing, recording, editing, voicing and interviewing to create short-form interstitial content for use on PRX Remix. You will be in frequent touch with producers and podcasters about using their work, and communicate closely with the PRX team.

Strong candidates should have:

  • Great ears and great taste – you’re open-minded but discerning, and in sync with the PRX Remix sensibility.
  • Great chops – you can quickly edit audio using your favorite tools of choice like ProTools, Hindenburg, and know your way around PRX.org and tools like Dropbox, SoundCloud.
  • Great writing – you can whip up short copy for promos and pieces, fire off well-composed emails to producers, collaborators, partners, and occasionally contribute to the PRX blog and social media presence.
  • Great personality – collaborative, enthusiastic, adventurous, with the maturity to work with minimal direct supervision and communicate across a busy team.
  • Great balls of fire!

We strongly prefer that the producer work out of our Cambridge, Mass. office. However, if you are interested and do not live here, you may still apply. This is a part-time opportunity with some flexibility in scheduling. Exact hours and days per week will be dependent on the chosen applicant.

To apply, upload your cover letter and resume here. Application deadline is 11:59 PM ET on Friday, August 16.

Please email jobs [at] prx [dot] org with any questions.

About PRX Remix

PRX Remix is for people who love to listen to great stories. We handpick the best short works from shows like The Moth, 99% Invisible, and Snap Judgment, from independent radio makers on PRX.org, and from podcasters everywhere. Then we mix it up in a never-ending stream. PRX Remix can be heard on XM 123, mobile apps, and stations around the country. Learn more.

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