[joe-frank-list] Chicago performance

BILLMILOSZ at aol.com BILLMILOSZ at aol.com
Fri Oct 29 21:01:08 PDT 2004

Wonder if anyone else on the list here caught the Chicago Joe Frank 
performance tonight?

I found it entertaining, although in a way it was like "Joe Frank Lite"  - 
maybe he toned it down a little for the Third Coast Audio Festival  (see note, 
below) people who made up the bulk of the audience.  A bit more humor than I 
expected.  Not that Joe isn't funny- it's just it seemed he was more out to get 
laughs than I expected, looking for attention and audience approval.  Like we 
all do.

I had never seen Joe Frank in person before, and I found he looks far  older 
than I expected based on his voice and the other pictures of him I've seen.  
He looks old but he doesn't look dilapidated, though; not that appearance is 
all that important, but it is part of the overall impression.  He  looked rather 
distinguished, really.

The biggest treat were clips from some Joe Frank films- parts of the "Inside 
Out"  series and maybe also part of "Memories" which was done by Paul Rachman. 
The whole thing, with a dancer and a fluglehorn player along with Joe reading 
and the film clips, was nicely tied together.

The worst part about it- at 90 minutes in length,  it was over too soon.

I think this is the same show he's bringing to Great American Music Hall in 
San Francisco, and tickets for that are still available.  If you're near San 
Francisco, or maybe would just like to go there anyway (it's a great place to 
go, I used to live there) you should most certainly check it out.  JOEFRANK.COM 
has details.The show here in Chicago sold out, so maybe it's wise to get 
tickets early for San Francisco, although it's in a bigger venue there and there 
are two shows.

One thing I didn't like- the sound guy miked Joe wrong, in my opinion.  It 
was nice crisp audio  but sounded a little "thin" to really have that "Joe Frank 
dark" sonic color. They need to EQ it differently, in my opinion, so it 
sounds more like his broadcasts, that rich warm mellow DARK sound.  He sounded a 
bit too reedy, the upper overtones were not balanced right to give that "Joe 
sound."  He is about the sound, after all.


THIRD COAST AUDIO FESTIVAL is an annual international conference / series of 
talks and exhibits which focuses on radio documentaries and also some 
"nondocumentary" forms like Joe Frank, Gregory Whitehead, etc.  See 
www.ThirdCoastFestival.org  for more info and they have a lot of interesting stuff there to 
listen to.  It's tied in with the program Re:Sound  which originates at WBEZ in 
Chicago.  Interesting, isn't it, that Third Coast Festival, Re:Sound and This 
American Life, three of the most interesting cross-boundary radio programs are 
based in the Midwest, which folks on the coasts think is so conservative and 
square. I can't think of any other programs which are widely distributed in the 
US which make such creative use of the media, except maybe The Next Big Thing, 
out of NYC.  Nothing from L.A. at all.

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