Posted by: Miles | October 12, 2009

This American Life

This American Life is a weekly hour long radio program produced in the states. Each week they pick a theme and do a series of related stories, most of the time they are real stories told by real people, occasionally they are comedy routines or fictional stories. They can be funny, heart warming or spectacularly depressing. The show can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes the theme is a really tenuous link between stories. Each piece can also be a bit weak at times but is just as likely to turn out to be an amazing personal insight or investigation into something you think you should have known about a long time ago. In addition to the radio show they have a TV show but i haven’t looked into that yet. On their website you can subscribe to the podcast which will send you a show each week, you can also stream any past shows, check out their favourites or, probably the most important thing, donate some money to keep the show going.

I’ve cut out two stories from two separate episodes, if you’re going to listen to both of them i suggest you start with Life After Death, because it’s horribly depressing and you’ll need the charming and funny story about putting a band together using only the classifieds to cheer you up.

Download Life After Death – 23min – This one’s horrible but very good, though i think it could have been a shorter piece. In the full show the sad story you’ll find here is followed by one about a retired soldier who stabs his girlfriend multiple times in a bout of post traumatic stress disorder. I thought i’d spare you a double bout of crushing despair but if you’re keen for the whole episode you can stream it here.

Download Classifieds – 15min – This is from a week where they put together a show based only on what they could find in the classifieds section in a newspaper. This is my favourite story, a cute little piece about putting together a band that will only perform once. You can find the whole episode here.

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