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Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesFriday MP3 Shuffle: Happy Birthday Ira Glass Edition

[photo from The A.V. Club]

Today on the MP3 Shuffle we wish a very Happy Birthday to Ira Glass, as much a modern radio pioneer as we have in the 21st century. His radio program This American Life, originally produced right here in Chicago, is the standard for non-commercial radio interview/news/essay/non-fiction variety shows. This program is, in this writer’s opinion, a national treasure with a knack for making the local universal as well as addressing the big issues of our time. Check out the show archives for a couple of hundred examples. (I rank “The Giant Pool of Money,” “Plan B,” “The Fix Is In,” "Somewhere in the Arabian Sea," and “Fiasco!” among the best examples of journalism produced by any media outlet in the last few decades.) Moving from local to national and international distribution at a time when radio was being written off as a dead medium, Glass proved that public radio could compete with multi-million dollar media operations when it comes to telling intelligent, compelling stories that matter to people.

Like some others who got their start in Chicago, Glass has taken his talents elsewhere (he currently resides in New York), but there’s no question that his show and voice are an institution tied to Chicago. Let’s wish him a happy birthday by playing the MP3 Shuffle: Take your MP3 player, press the “shuffle” button, and share the first 10 songs you hear…

1. The Byrds – My Back Pages (Younger Than Yesterday): Original ‘60s Psychedelic pop

2. Edwin Collins – Subsidence (Gorgeous George): Mellow acoustic from the lead singer of Orange Juice

3. Bruce Springsteen – Hungry Heart (The River): One my favorite pop songs from The Boss. This was his first album to go to #1

4. Benoît Charest – Tour De France, Jean-Claude Donda (The Triplets of Belleville): A brief interlude from a movie I haven’t seen yet but critics say is pretty amazing

5. Kelley Stoltz – Marcy (Double Exposure): Modern pop with a definite Brian Wilson-esque vibe

6. M.O.T.O. – It’s So Big It’s Fluorescent (Single File): It’s too bad we can’t play most of M.O.T.O.’s stuff on air, because it’s pretty catchy

7. The Ronettes – Do I Love You? (Back To Mono [1958-1969]): A great track from the decade when Rock and Roll discovered hormones

8. September – Stump (Groove Merchant Turns 20: 14 Selections from Behind the Counter): Deep West Coast soul-jazz theme for your next lounge party

9. Twin Shadow – I Can’t Wait (Forget): ‘80s synthpop revival from a fantastically talented musician

10. White Hills – Pads of Light (Frying on This Rock): An excellent way to drown out the sounds of the world



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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ira glass

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