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In the Catbird Seat/Joe Kirkish

Radio is still an important part of media

February 21, 2013
The Daily Mining Gazette

No doubt about it. We're living in the information age, bombarded by objects large and small, from iPhones to HDTV on room-filling screens.

Some people are multi-attended with a variety of informational units going simultaneously. Others simply tune their sets to the same information and follow it from space to space.

So much for quantity.

How about adding quality for those who enjoy the ongoing sound of radio, for instance, and who would appreciate it for both pleasure and information? OK, check out two local NPR stations any weekend just to see how much enjoyment they provide instead of only background noise.

The two stations are WGGL at 91.1fm and 92.7fm, and WNMU at 90.1fm.

WGGL has normally been associate with things cultural, but it still provides plenty of variety. Classical music is played all night until 8am on Sundays, when NPR's "Weekend Edition" brings Liane Hansen with news in depth. She is followed by an amazing talk show at 11am: Krista Tippett's ON BEING, a program which proves that a one-on-one discussion about things spiritual can be fascinating. (Last week her discussion was with a space scientist who revealed not only why it is ecstatic for her, but how it could be for us as well.)

At noon, "A Prairie Home Companion" is a repeat from its Saturday slot the evening before; for the few not yet initiated into life in Lake Woebegon, Minnesota, it's Garrison Keillor's two hours of olios ranging from classical and folk music to satirical (and sometimes scatological) sketches still one of the longest running shows over NPR.

"Car Talk" follows at 2 p.m. - an entertaining and informative program hosted by Click & Clack, the Tappet Brothers - a pair of nutty but well informed auto mechanics who answer questions regarding car problems. They are followed at 3 p.m. by "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me," with Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell and guest stars (last one was Al Gore, who brought the house down with his repartee). It's a sometimes off-color quiz show featuring topical questions regarding everything from politics to the resignation of the Pope.

At 4 p.m. it's food time with Lynne Rossetto Kasper's "The Splendid Table" full of tasty surprises, phone calls, and kitchen hints. And then, at 5 p.m., Debbie Elliott brings us up-to-date news on "All Things Considered" (ATC for short).

From 6 p.m. to midnight, there's a potpourri of events, starting with Ira Glass's highly personal "This American Life;" and after that classical music until 8 p.m., when the popular "Pipedreams" organ recital is on. From 10 p.m. to Monday at 6 a.m., more classical music.

WNMU presents more (sometime overlapping) worthwhile radio on weekends, beginning on Saturdays with the news and commentary program "Weekend Edition," followed by "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" at 10 a.m. and at 11 a.m. a most valuable economic edition, "Marketplace Money" with Kal Ryssdal.

At noon is an amusing program exploring "A Way With Words," followed by "Opera from the?Met," at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday on WNMU contains a mix of light music for lovers of jazz, folk and sometimes even country western - interspersed throughout the day and into the night. It begins Sunday morning with a local discussion program, "Media Meet" at 7:30, followed at 8 a.m. with "Weekend Edition" news and then "The Splendid Table" at 10 a.m., followed at 11 a.m. with a program of beautiful ancient music, "Harmonia;" and at noon it's the highly entertaining laughs and music comedy hour, Robert Conrad's "Weekend Radio." Jazz, folk and light music from the world over fills Sunday afternoon and evening, separated by Guy Raz's news and interviews on ATC at 5p.m.

And here's the bonus you've been waiting for: no commercials, no biased reporting, just solid music and a great variety of news authorities, end to end!

OK, the above is just a table menu to whet your appetite. You want to become addicted? Two choices: look up the stations on the web pages for easy-to-read daily schedules along with loads of other information, or contact each station directly, to be put on their monthly mailing lists. Go for it! Get acquainted this coming weekend. You won't be sorry.

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................NOTE: the annual Faculty Exhibit opens at the Finlandia University Gallery tonight, Heritage Center, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. - free and open to the public. Refreshments.

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Rotten Tomato averages: "Beautiful Creatures," C+; "Safe Haven," C-; "A Good Day to Die Hard," D+

 
 

 

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