Monday, February 7, 2011
No one has a voice like Ken Nordine, and there’s nothing quite like Word Jazz, the audio art he created. It mixes atmospheric sound effects, free-form jazz and Nordine’s unique rumbling bass voice, pondering philosophical questions, plumbing the depths of his id, or simply wondering what’s in the fridge. In December, Bob visited the 90 year-old Nordine at his house in Chicago, which he’s lived in for more than half a century. We’ll tour his home studio and hear about his early days in radio, collaborations with The Grateful Dead and Tom Waits, and how he created Word Jazz.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
In his most recent book, William Hartung presents an in-depth portrait of Lockheed Martin and how the defense contractor wields influence within the Department of Defense and beyond. He’s the Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation and the book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex. Then, in You Know When the Men Are Gone, writerSiobhan Fallon tells eight stories, each from the perspective of a military wife. Fallon’s inspiration for the book came from her own experience living at Fort Hood, Texas, while her husband was in Iraq for two tours of duty. Fallon candidly describes the extramarital affairs, health crises, and financial strife of living without a spouse who’s off at war.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Mark Pendergrast’s new book, Inside the Outbreaks, is a history of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, the front-line disease detectives of the CDC. It covers an amazing array of medical mysteries all over the world, from an insider’s perspective, and it took him more than five years to research and write. Then, after 18 years in America, Tony and Janina Wasilewski’s family is torn apart when Janina is deported back to Poland, taking their 6 year old son Brian with her. Set on the backdrop of the Chicago political scene, and featuring Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez at the heart of the immigration reform movement, this film follows the Wasilewski’s 3-year struggle to be reunited, as their Senator Barack Obama rises to the Presidency. Bob talks with director Ruth Leitman about her documentary Tony and Janina’s American Wedding.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Private eye Leonid McGill must track down a young woman before her murderers find her in award-winning novelistWalter Mosley’s book Known to Evil. Translated into over 20 languages, Mosley is best known as the author of the popular Easy Rawlins’s detective series. This is Mosley’s second novel about McGill, a bad-guy turned good-guy contemporary detective working the means streets of New York City. His book is now out in paperback. Then, in novelist Sarah Blake’s book The Postmistress, American radio reporter Frankie Bard is the first woman to broadcast from the Blitz in London during World War II. Her reports from 1940 bring war into the living rooms of millions of Americans, including two women from a small Cape Cod town who soon find their lives caught up this foreign conflict. Her book is now available in paperback.
Friday, February 11, 2011
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk politics. Next, The New Yorker dubbed Simone Dinnerstein “The pianists’ pianist of Generation X” following her 2007 break-out recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Dinnerstein returns to Bach’s keyboard works with a recording called Bach: A Strange Beauty. She is also the founder of “Neighborhood Classics,” a fund raising concert series for the New York City public school system. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Louise V. Gray. Happily ever after was not the ending of Gray’s story of young love. Over many years, she and her boyfriend came close to marriage, fell apart, reconciled, and eventually grew distant. Gray writes about the gifts of this difficult love, and what it taught her to look for in a soulmate.