[joe-frank-list] Joe- started an industry?

BILLMILOSZ at aol.com BILLMILOSZ at aol.com
Sat Mar 26 22:30:22 PST 2005

I just heard a radio program called "Theory of Everything" - a docutainment 
magazine format, interviews and discussion of a certain topic.  But the 
production style had the looped music, not quite as dark as Joe's, but definitely 
that same production technique pioneered by Joe of the looped music with a 
certain "feel" forming an audio counterpoint to the spoken part.  This is something 
Ira Glass picked up when he interned with Joe Frank and then built into the 
very popular PRI /Public Radio offering "This American Life"  and now this same 
technique is being used in "Theory of Everything"- a loop that sets the mood 
and which swells up for emphasis when there is a pause in the story.

And while this audio production archetype is now so pervasive that it might 
seem like it occurred "naturally" or is an "obvious method"- the truth is this 
is something Joe developed, ha ha, hope he can collect roylaties from these 
Johnny-come-latelies. Or maybe the Third Coast people were acknowledging this 
when they gave Joe that Lifetime Achievement award.  (I hope that there was a 
check that came along with that award, but I bet there wasn't. Most people in 
Public Radio are starving.  The average production drudge in an NPR affiliate 
making documentaries gets paid minimum wage -or less, if the station can get 
away with paying by the piece rather than hiring staff by the hour.)

Actually, I WOULD like to hear Ira Glass acknowledge his debt to Joe. Glass 
tried a lot of different formulas on the radio - including a self indulgent 
program called The Wild Room which seemingly had no actual content- before he 
scored with This American Life, a program which is COMPLETELY beholden to Joe for 
it's "look and feel". Ira has even been known to use some of the exact same 
music to loop as Joe....

Don't get me wrong, I like This American Life, I've heard some interesting 
stuff.  I also liked what I heard so far of Benjamin Walker's "Theory of 
Everything" (except the announcer's stop-and-start vocal pacing which also has kind 
of breathy whine in it-  very annoying) but these guys owe A LOT to Joe and 
they should acknowledge it.  

Yeah, right- as if some artists is EVER going to acknowledge that their work 
isn't only about them and their own incredible genius.....
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