12.15.16: Amazon Counterfeits, Alloy Orchestra, & 10-Minute Writer's Workshop

Dec 15, 2016

The holidays are fast approaching, and for the procrastinators among us, the online retailer Amazon.com offers a ray hope. But what if the gift you've purchased isn't what it claims to be? Today, the supply and demand chain for counterfeit goods

Then, in the early days of cinema, soundtracks were played live.  A single pianist or orchestra accompanied those early silent films with sometimes written and sometimes improvised, music and sound effects. The Alloy Orchestra keeps that tradition alive by live scoring old silent films using state of the art electronics, and...a rack of junk. 

Listen to the full show.

Amazon's Counterfeit Problem

The holidays are quickly approaching, and for the procrastinators among us, with quick shipping and millions of sellers, the online retailer Amazon.com offers a ray hope. But what if the gift you've purchased isn't what it claims to be? What if it's a counterfeit? For years, Amazon has been fertile territory for counterfeiters, and now it's fighting back. Spencer Soper, a reporter with Bloomberg News who covers Amazon, joined us. 

Making a Book From Beginning to End

Earlier, we talked about the issue of counterfeiters selling fake items on Amazon, so now it's time for something real...dare we say, authentic. This story comes to us from KALW's series "Crosscurrents" and producer Angela Johnston.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Alloy Orchestra

In the early days of cinema, soundtracks were played live.  A single pianist or orchestra accompanied the film - sometimes written, sometimes improvised - music and sound effects. Recorded sound predates motion pictures, but combining the two took some time. In 1927 The Jazz Singer paved the way for Talkies and within a decade, silent movies and the musicians that accompanied them began to fade away. The group known as the Alloy Orchestra revives that old tradition of live scoring silent films by combining found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics. With just three players, they can create just about any sound you could imagine. 

The three man ensemble features Terry Donahue, Roger C. Miller and Ken Winokur who joined us from a studio in Boston.You can hear the Alloy Orchestra live scoring of Buster Keaton’s The General at 3S Art Space in Portsmouth on December 17th.

10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Emma Donoghue

Irish author Emma Donoghue may be best known for Room,  her novel written in the voice of a young boy confined with his mother in a single room.  It was nominated for a Man Booker prize and made into an Oscar-winning film, for which she wrote the screenplay. Her most recent novel is The Wonder, about a "fasting girl" in 1850s Ireland.

You can listen to this episode again here: 10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Emma Donoghue