I like what I hear: Audio Documentaries and Archives 1

This is the first part of a collection of sound pieces that I like. Eventually I would like to list the main podcasts and radio shows I listen to, explore archival and historical audio, and write more about episodes and pieces that are particularly meaningful.

The Sunshine Hotel

Sound Portraits Productions was the predecessor to the national oral-history project, StoryCorps.

But I first heard this audio documentary, “The Sunshine Hotel,” on one of my favorite podcasts, 99% Invisible.

I imagine the guys in this hotel as a stop in Odysseus’ journey in a 20th century, New York version of the epic. I also like seeing the current Bowery with the lens of audio walking tours, such as the New York Times‘ Weekend Explorer (“Weegee’s Naked City”) or by reading books set in the area.

Tony Schwartz

The New Yorker Tony Schwartz has made thousands of interesting sound pieces, hosting a show called Adventures in Sound on WNYC, and the Library of Congress has a few pieces online. The Kitchen Sisters have featured Schwartz on Lost & Found Sound, and his website has more. Also, JSTOR Daily has this nice piece, which includes a link to a Spotify playlist.

I first heard the piece “Nancy Grows Up” on Radiolab‘s “Time” episode.

But I heard more of his recordings and about his biography on another 99% Invisible episode:

Dead Animal Man

This last piece is from a show called How Sound, which I haven’t listened to a lot of. But this episode, dissecting an early story by This American Life‘s Ira Glass, is a great introduction to all of the artistry involved in a radio piece.