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Preview: The Bat Segundo Show

The Bat Segundo Show & Follow Your Ears

The Bat Segundo Show is a cultural radio program devoted to quirky and very thorough long-form interviews with contemporary authors, idiosyncratic thinkers, and other assorted artists. Guests have included John Waters, John Updike, Stephen Fry, Marilynne

Last Build Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:47:00 +0000

Copyright: 2004-2013

5. Compassion Fatigue (The Gray Area)

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:47:00 +0000

Emma is a top-notch psychiatrist who can change the lives of the most difficult patients imaginable. But there's a great personal cost to her formidable talents that she's not telling anyone about, an internal torment eating away at her inner life that she's hiding from her patients and her professional peers and that a quiet survivor of an abusive relationship may just have the answer for. (Running time: 25 minutes) (This story contains intense and emotionally disturbing scenes that may unsettle some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.)

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4.5. The Waiting Room (The Gray Area)

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:44:40 +0000

Virginia Gaskell finds herself on the other side of the portal that lured her in, greeted by an extremely exuberant (and strangely familiar) receptionist, some squawking avians that aren't quite okay with her love of chicken fajitas, and further mysteries about how the universes rupture into each other. (Running time: 7 minutes)

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4. Loopholes (The Gray Area)

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 23:46:59 +0000

As a thriving empire faces war with ferocious barbarians, a mischievous scholar named Minerva hopes to bring law and civilization to a great realm populated by talking birds, giant rats, gregarious knights, elemental gods, and menacing malasanders. An unanticipated dispute among the knights gives Minerva an opportunity to uphold the doctrine of moral principles, but Minerva finds herself testing her loyalty to her aide-de-camp while helping others to learn what honor, empathy, and identity really mean. (Running time: 32 minutes)

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3. Fuel to the Fire (The Gray Area)

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:31:24 +0000

An artisanal mustard retailer from Astoria finds herself in a strange realm with the ability to set things on fire. Meanwhile, Ed Champion continues his investigation into Miss Gaskell's disappearance, meeting a woman in mourning who may hold the answer to his own strange curse. (Running time: 19 minutes)

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2. Brand Awareness (The Gray Area)

Tue, 16 May 2017 23:15:03 +0000

Joanna loves Eclipse Ale. It's the best beer in the world. She has boxes of Eclipse memorabilia. She regularly wears Eclipse baseball caps. But on one rainy night, Joanna discovers that this happy relationship (along with the relationship with her boyfriend) is not what it seems. Why can't she remember what her boyfriend gave her on their second anniversary? And why doesn't anybody know about Eclipse Ale? (Running time: 28 minutes)

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1.5. Dissociation (The Gray Area)

Tue, 02 May 2017 14:07:24 +0000

Greg Sutton, a fidgety young man who is a little too fixated on selling himself, sees his psychiatrist for the first time in months, hoping to find answers about his lost childhood and how to get back the woman he loves. But his own quick fix solution to his problems is not quite what the psychiatrist had in mind. (Running time: 5 minutes)

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1. Hello (The Gray Area)

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:43:02 +0000

A man wakes up in his apartment with a hazy memory of the night before. He's greeted in bed by a mysterious woman who keeps saying, “Hello.” But she seems to know far more about his life than he ever could have told her in one night. And as the rats gnaw mercilessly from within the walls, she has a few bold and shocking answers as to why he's so afraid. (22 minutes)

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0. Prologue (The Gray Area)

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:30:03 +0000

Virginia Gaskell, an underappreciated 66-year-old cult writer forced into a rest home, contends with mysterious voices summoned from her typewriter and an obscure literary interviewer named Ed Champion. (9 minutes)

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The Gray Area – Season One Trailer

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:45:14 +0000

Strange voices, agitated psychiatrists, giant rats, magical couriers, mysterious women, and loud and disheveled men. This 90 second trailer serves as a teaser for the first season of The Gray Area, a new audio drama project that will be premiering very soon.

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Loser: A Report from the Trump Tower Protests

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:09:17 +0000

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, I attended the protests that had unfolded across the street from Trump Tower after Donald Trump had been elected the 45th President of the United States. I talked with anti-Trump activists, people who voted for Gary Johnson, people who voted for Trump, and people who didn't vote at all in an attempt to understand how these unfathomable election results happened.

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Disappearing Act

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:10:35 +0000

This five minute radio play deals with mortality, connection, and who we choose to leave behind as we continue our tricky march through life.

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The Mark Twain Special (BSS #552)

Wed, 20 Jan 2016 04:28:04 +0000

This special program devoted to Mark Twain features editor Benjamin Griffin (The Autobiography of Mark Twain), Ben Tarnoff (The Bohemians), and Adam Nee and Kyle Gallner (Band of Robbers).

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Season of the Witch (Interstitial Mix #4)

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 14:43:46 +0000

Just in time for Halloween, this is the fourth in a series of interstitial mixes. I recently worked a gig to provide a 50 minute Halloween AV mix for a party. The audio version can be enjoyed in the feed. Go to the main site to see the audiovisual version.

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Vibes, Liebe, Plucks, Horns, and Kazoos Yodeling in the Deep (Interstitial Mix #3)

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 04:29:55 +0000

This is the third of a series of interstitial mixes, this one very heavy on Germanic influence (although featuring many others!) and designed with the changing seasons, both in year and in life, in mind.

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An Elemental Race Between a Nice Guy and a Duck (Interstitial Mix #2)

Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:08:18 +0000

This is the second of a series of interstitial mixes, this time imagining a race between two very strange imaginary figures.

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Robert Smiths Slightly Mad Pop Pop Canon Cannon Bang Bang Wake (Interstitial Mix #1)

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:47:15 +0000

This is the first of a series of interstitial mixes that will be rolled out as I continue to develop some future projects. What follows is a descent into the contradictions of pop music, initiated by one Robert Smith trapped in the framework of a famous Lionel Richie composition. While the mix is enjoyable on its own terms, there are many hidden associations for those wishing to play along. Interpretations of this madness are, of course, quite welcome in the comments.

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Merritt Tierce (BSS #551)

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:58:38 +0000

There are 2.4 million waiters and waitresses now working in America. Why have our narratives failed to confront the realities of working in a restaurant? Merritt Pierce, author of LOVE ME BACK, joins us to discuss working-class narratives, the male gaze, abortion, and women as second-class citizens. This show also includes a strong critique of 2 BROKE GIRLS and one of the most startling on-air gaffes in Bat Segundo's history.

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The Cultural Redemption of Stefan Zweig: Anthea Bell and George Prochnik (BSS #550)

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:37:26 +0000

This special two hour episode of The Bat Segundo Show details the life and work of Stefan Zweig in considerable detail. It may be the most epic radio program ever devoted to Stefan Zweig. It includes interviews with translator Anthea Bell and George Prochnik, author of THE IMPOSSIBLE EXILE.

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Amanda Vaill (BSS #549)

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:31:54 +0000

Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway headed to Spain to help the Loyalists during the Civil War. Gellhorn was to transform into one of the 20th century's best war correspondents. Hemingway needed to have his romanticism crushed to write a masterpiece. They are two figures in Amanda Vaill's HOTEL FLORIDA. This conversation examines how the Civil War changed not only the trajectory of Spain, but the future of world culture.

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Mimi Pond (BSS #548)

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 22:50:39 +0000

Cartoonist Mimi Pond spent a good chunk of 1978 working as a dishwasher and a waitress in an Oakland diner. Thirty-six years later, she's collected her experiences in the graphic novel, OVER EASY. This 40 minute conversation examines that experience, looking into the difficulties of accurately portraying that era in a politically correct age and how a crisp glimpse into working-class life is generally more reliable than nostalgia.

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Joanna Rakoff (BSS #547)

Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:05:55 +0000

Joanna Rakoff spent 1996 working as an assistant for Harold Ober Associates, overhearing the likes of J.D. Salinger and Judy Blume talking shop. This 75 minute conversation, which discusses Rakoff's memoir MY SALINGER YEAR, gets into some of the underlying privilege and protective family dynamics which led Rakoff to get a later start as an adult.

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Paula Bomer III (BSS #546)

Wed, 28 May 2014 14:32:01 +0000

Author Paula Bomer has dedicated her fiction career to staring inside the abyss and seeking the human. We discuss her new short story collection, INSIDE MADELEINE, and discuss everything from Flannery O'Connor's notion of the grotesque, how sex defines relationships, boarding schools, how modest surrealism can reveal urban identity, and scatological moments in high literature. (The episode's introduction includes some thoughts on the recent passing of Maya Angelou.)

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Porochista Khakpour II (BSS #545)

Wed, 14 May 2014 11:50:16 +0000

In this wide-ranging 79 minute conversation, Porochista Khakpour discusses how she fused the romantic with the grotesque for her second novel, THE LAST ILLUSION, birds as an inevitable cultural symbol, growing up as an Iranian immigrant, quirky and pragmatic attitudes to death, Kafka and Kierkegaard, and academics who misinterpret authenticity,

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Nikil Saval (BSS #544)

Tue, 13 May 2014 13:27:05 +0000

Was there ever an age in which the office provided reasonable security for the worker? Is it possible for the office worker to be given respect and adequate compensation in the 21st century? We talk with Nikil Saval, author of CUBED, to figure out how a system designed to pit office workers against each other went wrong. It turns out that misguided philosophy, austere architectural developments, and a carefully manufactured belief culture against organized labor are all part of a very complicated narrative we all take for granted.

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Evie Wyld (BSS #543)

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 14:35:50 +0000

Evie Wyld is the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize-winning and Granta 20 author of ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING -- a novel that is arguably more alive than most of the dull literary books about flatware and chalices at pretentious dinner parties. Our conversation gets into how work defines even the natural landscape, the relationship between insects and humans, and why kangaroos are quite dangerous.

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Yiyun Li II (BSS #542)

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:36:49 +0000

In this vivacious chat with MacArthur fellow Yiyun Li (and on the occasion of her latest novel KINDER THAN SOLITUDE), we discuss nothing less than the mysteries that humans impose upon the universe, Li's secret life as an accordion player, why poison is the most passive-aggressive murder technique, how Americans are exacting more care in discussing the uncomfortable, and how storytelling can encourage people to talk about the truth.

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Ben Tarnoff (BSS #541)

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:41:31 +0000

More than a century after his death, Mark Twain is often portrayed as a jolly and avuncular figure. Yet the truth is that Twain was a savage wit and an incendiary figure, and it took this free-spirited iconoclasm to push expression forward. We talk with Ben Tarnoff, author of THE BOHEMIANS, to discuss how California writers (including Twain, Bret Harte, Charles Warren Stoddard, and Ina Coolbrith) defied the East and reinvented American literature during the 1860s.

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Islamophobia, Extremism, and the War on Terror: Arun Kundnani (BSS #540)

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:42:19 +0000

Twelve and a half years after 9/11, Islamophobia remains alive and well. Where did it come from? Why does it perpetuate in American and British culture? And what effect does it have on our democratic values? To get some answers to these questions, we talked with Arun Kundnani, author of THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING. It turns out that prominently positioned people continue to reinforce Muslim stereotypes, encouraging law enforcement agencies to adopt flawed radicalization models that are not predicated upon reality. These prejudicial policies have caused innocent Americans, whose only crime is to practice Islam, to be harassed, needlessly harangued by authorities, and falsely imprisoned. This 67 minute conversation investigates these issues at length.

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Dinaw Mengestu (BSS #539)

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:42:25 +0000

MacArthur Fellow Dinaw Mengestu's novels have been needlessly categorized as "immigrant fiction" when his work is about so much more. On the publication of his third novel, ALL OUR NAMES, Mengestu unpacks these issues with us, discussing how journalism helped him to peer into revolutionary turmoil, writing about quiet African immigrants, the American perspectives that are often overlooked, the depths of emotional trauma, and contemporary fiction's relationship with the postcolonial.

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Dorthe Nors, Save NYPL, and Blake Bailey (BSS #538)

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:13:54 +0000

In this triple-decker edition of Bat Segundo, we talk with author Dorthe Nors about Denmark, emotional connections to animals, the dangers of self-destruction and how folks songs fused with Swedish existentialism can produce an original voice, investigate Mayor Bill de Blasio's silence on saving New York libraries and report on a protest, and talk with Blake Bailey about switching from literary biography to memoir.

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