NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

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British actor and comedian Russell Brand is known for his outspokenness, his outlandish appearance and his wit — not to mention a series of raunchy on-air prank calls that ended his tenure as host of a BBC radio show. But he’s best known in the U.S. for his role as a caddish rocker in the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and for hosting the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Recently, he’s put his over-the-top persona on the page with his memoir My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-up. My Booky Wook chronicles Brand’s struggle with addictions to sex, drugs, and stand-up. The memoir became a best seller in Britain after its 2007 release, and it has been slightly revised for its American publication. The New York Times called the book “a child’s garden of vices” and “a relentless ride with a comic mind clearly at the wheel.” ALSO, Pop legend Prince has a new triple-album release called Lotusflow3r. It features two solo albums by Prince and a debut album by Bria Valente, co-written and co-produced by Prince. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review.


Hour One
We discuss corruption in Luzerne County’s judicial system where judges francesperkins_1.pngMark Ciaverella and Michael Conahan have been charged by federal prosecutors with taking $2.6 million in kickbacks from youth detention centers. Our guests are MARSHA LEVICK, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Juvenile Law Center and LAURENE TRANSUE, whose daughter was sent to a Wilderness camp in 2007 after appearing before Judge Ciavarella for mocking an assistant principal on a MySpace page. Listen to the mp3

Hour Two
Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve on a presidential cabinet, was FDR’s Secretary of labor, close friend and advisor. She helped shape the New Deal legislation, including minimum wage laws, child labor laws and Social Security. Our guest, journalist KIRSTIN DOWNEY, is a former staff writer and current contributor for the Washington Post. She’s written a biography on Perkins called, “The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience.” Listen to the mp3

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Dan Auerbach isn’t afraid to multi-task: The multi-instrumentalist, producer, vocalist, collaborator and songwriter can now add “solo artist” to his resume. In addition to touring with the bluesy rock duo The Black Keys, he’s built his own analog recording studio, where he’s engineered albums for Radio Moscow, Brimstone Howl and Patrick Sweany, as well as his protege, fellow Ohio native Jessica Lea Mayfield. It was in this studio that Auerbach recorded and mixed his solo debut, Keep It Hid. While it’s not a huge musical departure from The Black Keys’ raw, foot-stomping sound, its songs conceal a melancholy and introspective side. With a mix of psychedelia, soul and bluegrass, Keep It Hid features vocals by Mayfield, as well as performances by a full backing band. Driven by reverb and riffs, Auerbach’s solo work sounds authentic, blunt and powerful. These songs, one of which was penned by his father, revisit the genres he played as a boy. In this interview with host David Dye, Auerbach discusses his musical experiences growing up.


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