Monday, January 04

Music Monday: Folkways

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Scott's starting out this year with an exciting tribute to the always-interesting Smithsonian Folkways label, home to some of the least-known and most-sought-after vinyl records ever produced. Thankfully they have also gone digital so modern people can listen too. Want to find some examples? Sure ya do!

Surf Textures


Of course this is the relaxing classic, just plain ol' ocean sounds behind a lovely cover. This one probably surprised more than a few people who were expecting a slow moody jazz record, but it also probably made more than a few people pretty happy. Releasing nature sounds is always risky, but surprisingly, it's not the most risky thing that Folkways has ever done. You'll find out what I mean by that in just a few seconds.

Four more, coming up. And hey, if you like these, you can visit the Folkways website and discover some more insanity genius.

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Saturday, January 02


Friday, January 01


Thursday, December 31


Wednesday, December 30


Tuesday, December 29

The Debunker: Does the Mississippi River Divide All the 'K' Radio Stations from the 'W' Ones?

by Ken Jennings

On December 12, 1901, Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi stood on a hill overlooking St. John's, Newfoundland, and received the first radio message ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean. That fateful message was just a few Morse pulses—the letter 'S', in fact—but it changed the face of the twentieth century. This month marks the 114th anniversary of Marconi's milestone, so we've asked Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings to get on the air and clear the air about some of the most appalling misconceptions from radio's first century.

The Debunker: Does the Mississippi River Divide All the 'K' Radio Stations from the 'W' Ones?

This may mystify Millennials, but TV and radio stations haven't always been able to call themselves anything they wanted. Wait, let me go back further. There used to be a thing called "local TV and radio," and broadcasters used three- or four-digit letter combinations to ID their stations. Growing up in the western United States, all our local stations started with a 'K'; it was only by watching Mr. Rogers and other PBS shows from back east (and, obviously, WKRP in Cincinnati) that I realized that other, weirder parts of the country used 'W' as their station prefix. My parents explained that 'K' was used west of the Mississippi River and 'W' in the east. They meant well, but it turns out that's not exactly the case.

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Monday, December 28

Music Monday: Best Of 2015

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! As always, we end the year with the five songs Scott found this year that he a: liked the most and b: could find on YouTube. So here we go! Let's say farewell to 2015 together!

Mdou Moctar - Adounia


This Nigerien (he's from Niger) got famous because of the trading culture in West African music, via cell phones and memory cards. Yeah, seriously. Isn't that the best? He turned to Kickstarter to help him finish his masterpiece Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It. And now, he's starting to tour all over the world, and he's getting some airplay on the little indie radio stations of America. It's a nice mix of African flavor and pop skills and he's hopefully going to have a grand future. One of my favorite finds of the 2015.

Four more of Scott's 2015 discoveries to wrap up the year. And then, it'll be YOUR turn!

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Saturday, December 26


Friday, December 25


Thursday, December 24