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Playlist: Music Station Picks for August '10

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/56502208@N00/3263933316/">Shermeee</a>
Image by: Shermeee 
Curated Playlist

Here are August picks for music stations from PRX Music Format Curator David Srebnik, producer of Virtuoso Voices and Classical Music Format Manager for Sirius-XM Satellite Radio in Washington, D.C.

Find out what David listens for in music programming.

Suggestions from David:

"Are you on Twitter? PRX is on Twitter — I've found it to be an invaluable programming resource, providing information and updates on new program that are available on PRX. It's like getting an instant update from PRX without having to go to the PRX site.

"One PRX Twitter feed contains a link to each new PRX piece.

"The second PRX feed tells you which programs have been bought in real time."

A note from PRX Editors: Check out the PRX Editors' curated twitter feed, which includes timely and curated daily editors' picks.
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Here are August picks for music stations from PRX Music Format Curator David Srebnik, producer of Virtuoso Voices and Classical Music Format Manager for Sirius-XM Satellite Radio in Washington, D.C.

Find out what David listens for in music programming.

Show full description

Sound Opinions Episodes (Series)

Produced by Sound Opinions

This is one of the finest talk shows with music currently being presented on public radio. Suitable for AAA stations, (some) news/music stations, stations with an eclectic music format and all stations wishing to present thoughtful introductions and discussions regarding popular music.

The perfectly paired Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis are the charismatic, down to earth and smart hosts who specialize in reviewing, reporting on and discussing new and recent rock.

Interesting and entertaining — minus the Tower Records clerk attitude and over-inflated expertise — they knowledgeably talk to interesting musicians and play their music.

n.b.: Sound Opinions shows are in a private network and are available to pre-approved stations. Sound Opinions is available on both PRX and Content Depot. See instructions on how to get the show. Stations that want to hear Sound Opinions, but that aren't pre-approved and in the network, can listen to sample podcasts.

Most recent piece in this series:

968: Carole King's Tapestry, 6/14/2024

From Sound Opinions | Part of the Sound Opinions Episodes series | :00

no audio file

Newport Folk Festival 2010 Concerts (Series)

Produced by NPR Music

At "press time," NPR Music was embedded at the Newport Folk Festival with some quick concert turnarounds, including the band Calexico. There's something straightforward, likable, yet incredibly rich and passionate heard and felt in their category and genre busting music.

Other performers in the series worth your awareness and potential audition time include Brandi Carlile (her performance gains momentum quickly), A.A. Bondy (mesmerizing guitar sound and accompaniment paired with a plaintive singing voice and lyrics), Blitzen Trapper (a treat and a trip), Liz Longley (authentic and imaginitive singing and songwriting) and NNenka (a blend of Nigerian music with American Soul...very danceable).

And from, perhaps, a new music category, the "Gothic folk-punk" band O'Death provides an experience worth hearing and thinking about.

Broadcast rights for NPR member stations are generous. Non-member stations can talk it over with programservices@npr.org

Recording concerts in outside venues has its real world challenges and uncontrollable elements. Some of the concert lengths in this series will not fit neatly into the standard radio hour. Sound levels in a few settings are low and distant-sounding at times, but they seem to get corrected quickly along the way.

Most recent piece in this series:

Braves Organist Tweets a New Tradition

From Philip Graitcer | 04:15

Social media meets the baseball ballpark organist.

Not only do the Major League Baseball Atlanta Braves use a live organist at Turner Field for the seventh inning stretch and the traditional ball player introductions, the organist takes music requests and tweets from the fans in attendance.

Nice 4:15 feature, and equally nice work from Philip Graitcer. It might make a grand addition — with a tie-in to summer baseball or your local music scene — on your local magazine program.


Baseball is a game filled with tradition – like singing along when the organ plays “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” But in many major league ballparks, technology has replaced tradition - the organist is gone, and fans sing to a recording.


At Atlanta’s Turner Field - home of the Braves - live organ music is making a comeback - with a 21st Century twist.

This piece won 2011 "Best Sports Feature" from GA AP Broadcasters Association and a Region 13 Edward R. Murrow Award. 

Soldiers Soundtracks to War--IRAQ (Series)

Produced by Jake Warga

What music do American soldiers on active duty in Iraq have on their iPods and why?

It's all about the "why": Eight soldiers' stories, and their music, from metal to gospel and "Send in the Clowns" — each story (1:18 - 4:02) speaks for itself, including some in-the-trenches perspective on the progress of the current U.S. Iraqi military campaign.

First person storytelling at its absolute finest, produced by Jake Warga (Hearing Voices). Run one at a time as a series, but I think they work best running back to back without interruption. (Language advisory for the piece from Specialist Bowers.)

Strongly recommended.

Most recent piece in this series:

Specialist Bowers

From Jake Warga | Part of the Soldiers Soundtracks to War--IRAQ series | 02:01

100103_028_small “Specialist Bowers and I’m from Pennsylvania and I’m 20 years old. This song is basically the story of my life and half our company. Half of our company is split up between the West Virgina country boys and then Pittsburgh city kids. It’s called “Kiss My Country Ass” – Rhett Akins..."

Herbie Hancock - The Imagine Project Part 1

From Reese Erlich | Part of the Jazz Perspectives series | 05:41

(Part 1) A lovely (5:41) profile of Herbie Hancock's "Imagine Project," and the many sides of putting together another artist's music, in this case, two sides of John Lennon's "Imagine."

Produced by Reese Erlich, the Imagine Project is "Hancock's artistic reaction to the unending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the international economic crisis," but these are primarily music and musician pieces — and the art of collaboration, musically and globally.

Part 1 is a musical portrait; Part 2 (7:21) tells the story, with music, behind the Hancock's Imagine Project. Consider running both parts, starting with Part 2.

For jazz and AAA music stations to insert within local music programming and arts magazine shows...and a possible insert during news and public affairs programs as well — with tie-ins to global economics, globalization in general, trade and international affairs.

Imagine_cover_small The Imagine Project brings together jazz and popular musicians. It's Hancock's artistic reaction to the unending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the international economic crisis.

Gems of Bluegrass #1031 The Evolution of Bill Monroe’s Singing Style

From Philip Nusbaum | Part of the Gems of Bluegrass series | 06:09

More nimble musical and biographical work from Phil Nusbaum.

This time on "Gems of Bluegrass" (1031), the evolution of Bill Monroe’s singing style. As the "Father of Bluegrass," who has broken through to more mainstream ears and recognition, your listeners might enjoy this musical snapshot. Worth considering for stations with Americana formats and programming, some AAA stations and for eclectic music stations.

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When you study the work of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, you learn that his ideas actually changed over the years. When he started the Blue Grass Boys, Bill had come from years of touring and recording with his brother Charlie. The Monroe Bros was a duet singing act, and this was the type of singing most often featured in the early Blue Grass  Boys

Cheerful Brazilian sounds

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide | Part of the Hear the World 2010 series | 58:01

Cheerful indeed.

A dance-centric mix of Samba and Samba-Rock, bordered by plenty of jazz and funk influenced silver linings and a really good beat.

Good feelings, vibes and polished playing are present throughout — near Perfect August fare.

This and many other programs from the Radio Netherlands "Hear the World" series are highly recommended for jazz, AAA and eclectic programming, and definitely worth an audition at news stations playing music at night or on weekends.


Cheerful Brazilian sounds, which get people on the dance floor, recorded at various editions of the annual Music Meeting in Nijmegen. Swinging samba rock by Trio Mocoto and by Clube do Balanco, electronic dance music by DJ Dolores  & Aparelhagem and Brasilectro-jazzfunk by Zuco 103.

Hawaii Ukulele Festival

From Heidi Chang | 04:31

Sweet, superbly constructed feature (4:31) on the underestimated and incompletely understood ukulele.

Honolulu based reporter, Heidi Chang profiles the instrument and one of its current international spokespersons, Jake Shimabukuro. Your listeners will meet others who are keeping the tradition alive and moving it forward.

Heidi Chang knows the music, the culture and the language, and presents it all effortlessly.

You and your listeners may change your mind or rethink the ukulele — at the very least, you'll definitely change the way you pronounce the instrument's name.

(Disclosure: In 2008 and 2009, the reporter and I spent time talking about music features and features production within what might be considered a volunteer consultation context.)

Jake_shimabukuro_prx_small Reporter Heidi Chang takes you to the 40th Annual Ukulele Festival in Hawaii, which is considered the grandddady of all ukulele festivals.

You'll hear from ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, and musicians from France and Japan, as well as an ukulele orchestra featuring hundreds of children, and a few other surprises.  

Roy Sakuma founded the festival in 1971 to showcase the versatility of the instrument, which has touched the lives of so many children and adults.  

Watch Jake Shimabukuro play "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the Hawaii Ukulele Festival on video.


The 40th Annual Ukulele Festival was held in Honolulu on July 18, 2010.  See you there next year!