Music

Word of Mouth
12:11 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

5.1.14: Space Farming, The Birth of 'Cool', Caspar BabyPants, The Bitter Barista & The Audio Orchard

Credit via nasa.gov

Make a lunch date today with your loyal friend, Word of Mouth. We're revisiting some favorites from the last year, and our nostalgia is set to max capacity. Kicking off the show are two stories about farming. In space. Then hit the juke box and press play for a segment on the origin of 'cool'. Speaking of cool, Chris Ballew of the band The Presidents of the United States of America talks about his family friendly musical persona Caspar Babypants. Then, the internet can provide a place for venting about Ventis. Wrapping up the show, Producer Zach Nugent shares his latest picks for The Audio Orchard.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

5.1.14: Space Farming, The Birth of 'Cool', Caspar BabyPants, The Bitter Barista & The Audio Orchard

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Word of Mouth
12:39 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Classic Video Game Music: From Bosses To Beats

Credit Coleman via flickr Creative Commons

Classic video game music evokes a special kind of nostalgia, a mixture of childhood whimsy laced with pixel-fueled frustration. For musicians, sampling video game music adds an extra layer of fantasy in otherwise hardcore genres like rap and metal. Spin even compiled 50 Rap Songs Based on Video Game Samples (Some are NSFW. All are awesome). In metalcore, sampling video game music resulted in an entirely new genre in the late 1990s at first jokingly called NintendocoreWizards and Warriors is pretty great, as are most of the songs by Horse the Band. Themes from the NES and Super Nintendo eras are especially popular. I tapped into my Nintendo nostalgia for some of the best classics (and admittedly my favorites):

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Word of Mouth
1:56 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

4.8.14: Debunking A Painting's Origin Myth, Medieval Teens, & Loudon Wainwright

Students contemplate Pollock’s "Mural", the star work from the University of Iowa Museum of Art collection on display at the Figge, while the UIMA cleaned up after massive flooding.
Credit Courtesy of the University of Iowa Spectator. March 2010

From the Mona Lisa to the Sistine Chapel, sometimes the story of how a work of art was created is as important as the work itself. Today on Word of Mouth, breaking down the myth behind a breakthrough Jackson Pollock painting

Also today, Game of Thrones fans know that kids and teenagers play a prominent role in the series: think evil King Joffrey. We’ll tease out fact from fiction, with a look at what life was really like for young people in the Middle Ages.

Plus, singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright approaches his own late middle age.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
2:09 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Audio Orchard For March

Credit Sara Plourde

Each month producer Zach Nugent handpicks his favorite new songs for a playlist called 'The Audio Orchard'.

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Word of Mouth
12:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

3.31.14: Oculus Rift, The Sabermetric Revolution, Audio Orchard, Dinosaurs & The "Pee Bus" Project

Credit upenn.edu, Sergey Galyonkin, Phill Roussin & Ian Thomson via flickr Creative Commons

Facebook is making headlines once again with its two billion dollar acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR. Today on Word Of Mouth, a look into why the social network has put so much stock in virtual reality. And it’s opening day for the Red Sox as they take on the Baltimore Orioles today. Fans are hoping this year’s roster will bring them to the World Series again, but how much can we really predict at this point in the season? And are stats the final word?

Producer Zach Nugent has been scouring record stores for the best new music offerings in a new segment we're calling The Audio Orchard.

Then we talk with a National Geographic columnist who argues for lifelong love of  dinosaurs.

Finally, NHPR environmental reporter Sam Evans-Brown brings us the story of a UNH "pee bus" project. Urine, it turns out, can be pretty useful.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

3.31.14: Oculus Rift, The Sabermetric Revolution, Audio Orchard & Dinosaurs

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Word of Mouth
1:17 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

3.27.14: Marty Glickman, The Art Of Tinkering, Element Names & Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds

Credit Michael May via flickr Creative Commons, amazon.com, Rui Costa via flickr Creative Commons and via sistersparrow.com

In 1936 18-year-old Marty Glickman was one of the fastest sprinters in the country, earning him a spot on the U.S. Olympic team and a trip to the Berlin Games. Today on Word of Mouth, we have the story of how he was removed from the competition to appease Hitler and how he then became a legendary sports broadcaster. Then lessons in science with The Art of Tinkering and a conversation about how elements were named.
Finally, Producer Zach Nugent spoke with front-woman Arleigh Kincheloe of the band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. Their new album is called Fight.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

3.27.14: Marty Glickman, The Art Of Tinkering, Element Names & Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds

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Word of Mouth
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Johnny Cash: The Lost Album

Back in the 1980's, Johnny Cash recorded an album that never saw the light of day; his record company at the time, unceremoniously shelved the project. Lucky for all you Johnny Cash fans, Legacy Recordings got a hold of the long forgotten dusty tracks and released them. Virginia spoke to Robert Baird, music editor for Stereofile about the new/old album, Out Among the Stars. You can hear that interview, right here.


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Word of Mouth
11:43 am
Tue March 25, 2014

3.25.14: Walter Kirn, Snake Oil, Johnny Cash & "MFA Versus NYC"

Credit via amazon.com, Chris Devers and Heinrich Klaffs via flickr Creative Commons & nplusonemag.com

No fooling: today's show deals with some dangerous imposters. It's not all lies and deception, however. We also have some "lost" sounds from the man in black himself. Finally, Chad Harbach talks about his controversial essay about making it as a writer. Grab your headphones and turn up the volume; we've got the stories behind the stories.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

3.25.14: Walter Kirn, Snake Oil, Johnny Cash & "MFA Versus NYC"

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Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

3.24.14: Democracy of Germs, Permafrost Virus, Darth Vader Courthouse & Josh Ritter

Credit Penn State, Kat Masback & Ricky Brigante via flickr Creative Commons and Josh Ritter

Today on Word of Mouth we're exploring the macro influences of the micro world. Then 99 Percent Invisible brings us a story about a menacing courthouse. (Perhaps a phantom menacing courthouse?) Finally, a conversation with Josh Ritter, whose album The Beast in its Tracks was recently released.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
2:02 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Sex Ed By The Dashboard Light

Credit Ben Miller via flickr Creative Commons

The talk” is a rite of passage for many young Americans. It often happens either too soon, too late and usually leads to hilarious tales of awkwardness between parent and child. But when it comes to the real nitty-gritty of sex education - that’s when the classroom takes over, for better or worse. For Word of Mouth senior producer Maureen McMurray, it was probably for worse.

Listen to what just might be the most awkward talk about the birds and the bees ever told.

Senior Producer Maureen McMurray's Sex Ed with Meatloaf

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Word of Mouth
2:48 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Best Songs For St. Patrick's Day

Credit via thechieftans.com

Top o' the mornin' to ya, lads and lasses! Ahem. We'll drop the attempt at authentic brogue, but our St. Patrick's Day continues with a playlist that has enough Irish inspiration to make up for it. We reached out on Facebook to find out what tunes you play to celebrate St Patrick's Day. 

Click Read more for our top St. Patrick's Day songs!

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Word of Mouth
1:01 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

3.17.14: Redeployment, Prosthetic Drum Arm & Paddy Moloney

Credit via philklay.com

Happy St. Patrick's Day, the day when everyone gets to be Irish! Doff your green cap, sip (or chug responsibly) your green drink, and tune into Word of Mouth. Slàinte! 

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.

3.17.14: Redeployment, Prosthetic Drum Arm & Paddy Moloney

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Word of Mouth
1:12 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

3.6.14: Daylight Saving Time, Marissa Nadler, Revolving Doors, Wood & Animal Tracking

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth wishes you a happy Daylight Saving Time! (Can you believe it's this Sunday already?) But why exactly does the practice of changing our clocks even exist? We explore the ins and outs of Daylight Saving (without the extra "s") with a guest who wrote the book on it. Then Zach Nugent talks with Marissa Nadler whose most recent album was released in early February. We take an architectural turn with a look at the invention of revolving doors followed by a hot architectural commodity: wood. Finally, producers Logan Shannon and Sam Evans-Brown bring us a story about a wild winter activity. No, not skiing or boarding, but animal tracking.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.!

3.6.14: Daylight Saving Time, Marissa Nadler, Revolving Doors, Wood & Animal Tracking

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Word of Mouth
12:37 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Marissa Nadler

Credit Marissa Nadler

The Boston Globe describes Marissa Nadler's  voice as “an intoxicating soprano drenched in gauzy reverb that hits bell-clear heights, lingers, and tapers off like rings of smoke."

On Sunday, March 9th, Marissa Nadler will be performing at the Portsmouth Book and Bar. Producer Zach Nugent spoke with Marissa and asked why her new album is called July, when her music is often described as dark, sparse, and even frosty.


Word of Mouth
2:27 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Many Genres of Drone

Credit NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via flickr Creative Commons

The cosmos is full of noisy wonders including, strangely enough, black holes that have been emitting drone sounds for millions of years. And art truly does imitate nature in the genre of drone music. Marcus Boon wrote about drone for Boing Boing, and despite a knee-jerk reaction to pass it off as potentially annoying, it turns out that drone music is pretty popular.Popular enough, even, to have several sub-grenres.

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