The Signal

Format: 2014-07-13


Art historian Kerr Houston explores the history of music as a weapon, from the drone of Scottish bagpipes to the screaming guitar assault of Metallica

Philosopher Crispin Sartwell takes to the streets of Baltimore on an aesthetic tour of the mundane, looking for beauty in the forms that surround us every day

Photo developer Lev Bar Av shares his thoughts about our life as he sees it, in an endless stream of freshly printed snapshots

Plus, a spoken-word collaboration from Native Son and Femi the Drifish



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March 30th & 31st, 2012, on The Signal…

South Baltimore’s Filbert Street Community Garden was a trash-strewn lot when Jason Reed showed up there two years ago.  With the help of Curtis Bay Elementary Middle School students, he’s transformed the area into a flourishing green space, and we’ll drop in on Jason and the kids as they dig in for their spring planting season. 

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March 23rd & 24th, 2012, on The Signal…

An unlikely musical friendship blossomed thirteen years ago between two Americans and two West Africans in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.  Together, they formed the band Zieti.  Since then, political turmoil has kept the old friends half a world apart.  But thanks to modern technology, they’ve made a new album nonetheless.  The American half of Zieti joins us with the new tunes, and the stories behind them.

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March 16th & 17th, 2012, on The Signal…

Was Thelonius Monk crazy, or did he just want us to think so?  The new biographical play, “Sphere:  The Thelonius Monk Story,” puts the jazz legend in conversation with a young psychiatrist, and together they try to make sense of his unconventional genius.  We’ll visit with playwright Max Garner, director Rosalind Cauthen, and actor David Mitchell, who bring the story to life on stage.

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March 9th & 10th, 2012, on The Signal…

An excerpt of the documentary project, “Out of the Blocks,” from producer Aaron Henkin and electronic musician Wendel Patrick.  They went to 3300 Greenmount Avenue with a simple goal:  One city block, everybody’s story.

Ukulele songstress Victoria Vox shares her unlikely blend of serious songwriting and playful instrumentation.

World War II veteran Charles Wells was one of the first African-American US Marines, and he shares his memories of training at an outpost for black recruits called Camp Montford Point.

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March 2nd & 3rd, 2012, on The Signal…

Novelist Bernice McFadden joins us to discuss her new book, “Gathering of Waters,” a story that mixes historical fact and magical realism in the town of Money, Mississippi.

We preview the 2012 NOVO Instrumental Music Festival with curator Mat Leffler Schulman and performers Mike Shank and Ruby Fulton.

Baltimore tap legends Buster Brown, Baby Laurence, and Hawk Hawkins may be gone, but their spirits live on.  Modern tap dancer Quynn Johnson shows us how two toes plus two heels can equal infinite rhythms.

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February 24th & 25th, 2012, on The Signal…

A lot of great writers have been late bloomers:  Charles Bukowski wrote his first novel at age 49.  Frank McCourt published his first book at 66.  But Baltimore’s Isaac Rehert has got them all beat.  He’s just published his first book of poetry - at age 90.  Mr. Rehert joins us this week to share some poems from his aptly titled collection, “Renaissance”

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February 17th & 18th, 2012, on The Signal…

We hear about The Greektown Reading Series – a showcase of literary arts, music and food, all with a decidedly Greek flavor

Jen Grow joins us for a reading of her short story, ‘Small Deaths’

We head to the University of DC for visit with historian George Derek Musgrove, author of Rumor, ‘Repression, and Racial Politics:  How the Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post Civil-Rights America’

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February 10th & 11th, 2012, on The Signal…

The late Nina Simone was dubbed “The High Priestess of Soul,” and she’s about to be honored in a tribute performance at The Creative Alliance.  Baltimore playwright Rosalind Cauthen is organizing the event, and we talk with her about Simone’s lasting impact

A conversation with Ira Kip and Nicol Moeller about “She’Baltimore,” a play about the sometimes overlooked (and under-reported) issue of domestic violence in the LGBT community

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February 3rd & 4th, 2012, on The Signal…

August Wilson’s play, “Jitney,” stars a gruff, disenchanted cab dispatcher named Becker.  Actor Roscoe Orman plays the part expertly, and that’s a testament to his theatrical range:  He’s best known to the world as ‘Gordon’ from Sesame Street.  We drop in at a rehearsal with Mr. Orman and the rest of the cast as they prepare to stage Morgan State University’s production of “Jitney”

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