158 — A Plea for Peace: Leonard Bernstein, Richard Nixon, and the Music of the 1973 Inauguration
Play • 35 min

Music and poetry were powerful headliners at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris signaling change and new beginnings. This was not the first time the arts have reflected the mood of the country and a new administration.

In January 1973, following the Christmas bombing of Vietnam, conductor Leonard Bernstein gathered an impromptu orchestra to perform an "anti-inaugural concert" protesting Richard Nixon's official inaugural concert and his escalation of the war in Vietnam. One of the main performances of the official inaugural was the 1812 Overture with its booming drums replicating the sound of war cannons.

In 1973, the United States was reaching the concluding stages of our involvement in Vietnam.  And while the war would soon come to an end, the weeks leading up to the second inauguration of Richard Nixon were met with some of the most intense and deadly bombing campaigns of the war.

The anti-war movement was unhinged. They had marched, they protested — to seemingly no avail when it came to changing Nixon’s foreign policies. So what to do next...

Leonard Bernstein gathered an impromptu orchestra for an “anti-inaugural concert”— a concert for peace—following his belief that by creating beauty, and by sharing it with as many people as possible, artists had the power to tip the earthly balance in favor of brotherhood and peace.

This story was produced by Brandi Howell with special thanks to Michael Chikinda, Alicia Kopfstein, Matt Holsen, and Bernie Swain. Find more of her stories at: theechochamberpodcast.com

Radiolab Presents: Gonads (Radiolab)
Radiolab Presents: Gonads (Radiolab)
Gonads: Sex Ed
If there’s one thing Gonads taught us, it’s just how complicated human reproduction is. All the things we thought we knew about biology and sex determination are up for debate in a way that feels both daunting and full of potential. At the same time, we're at a moment where we’re wrestling with how to approach conversations around sex, consent, and boundaries, at a time that may be more divisive than ever. So host Molly Webster thought: what if we took on sex ed, and tried to tackle questions from listeners, youth, reddit (oh boy), and staff. But instead of approaching these questions the way your high school health teacher might’ve (or government teacher, who knows), Molly invited a cast of storytellers, educators, artists, and comedians to grapple with sex ed in unexpected and thoughtful ways. To help us think about how we can change the conversation. In this episode, an edited down version of a Gonads Live show, Molly's team takes a crack at responding to the intimate questions you asked when you were younger but probably never got a straight answer to. Featuring: How Do You Talk About Condoms Without Condom Demonstrations? Sanford Johnson. Wanna see how to put on a sock? What Are Periods? Sindha Agha and Gul Agha. Check out Sindha's photography here. Is Anything Off-Limits? Ericka Hart, Dalia Mahgoub, and Jonathan Zimmerman Why Do We Do This Anyway? And Other Queries from Fifth Graders Jo Firestone "Sex Ed" is an edited* recording of a live event hosted by Radiolab at the Skirball Center in New York City on May 16, 2018. Radiolab Team Gonads is Molly Webster, Pat Walters, and Rachael Cusick, with Jad Abumrad. Live music, including the sex ed questions, and the Gonads theme song, were written, performed, and produced by Majel Connery and Alex Overington. One more thing! Over the past few months, Radiolab has been collecting sex ed book suggestions from listeners and staff, about the books that helped them understand the birds and the bees. Check out the full Gonads Presents: Sex Ed Bookshelf here! For now, a few of our favorites: Share book reviews and ratings with Radiolab, and even join a book club on Goodreads. *Our live show featured the following additional questions and answerers: How do you talk to your partner in bed without sound like an asshold or a slut? Upright Citizens Brigade, featuring Lou Gonzales, Molly Thomas, and Alexandra Dickson What Happens to All the Condom Bananas? Rachael Cusick With live event production help from Melissa LaCasse and Alicia Allen; engineering by Ed Haber and George Wellington; and balloons by Candy Brigham from Candy Twisted Balloons Special. Special thanks to Larry Siegel, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Emily Rothman and the Start Strong Initiative at the Boston Public Health Commission. Radiolab is supported in part by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. And the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, enhancing public understanding of science and technology in the modern world. More information about Sloan at www.sloan.org. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.
48 min
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect
WNYC Studios
The Most Perfect Album: Episode 9
This season, More Perfect is taking its camera lens off the Supreme Court and zooming in on the words of the people: the 27 amendments that We The People have made to our Constitution. We're taking on these 27 amendments both in song and in story. This episode is best listened to alongside 27: The Most Perfect Album, an entire album (an ALBUM!) and digital experience of original music and art inspired by the 27 Amendments. Think of these episodes as the audio liner notes. In More Perfect's final episode of the season, listen to liner notes for two amendments that contemplate the still-unfinished status of our Constitution. "27" is an album that marks a particular point in our history: this moment when we have 27 Amendments to our Constitution. What will be the 28th? Maybe it will address our nation's capital. The capital has been a bit of a Constitutional anomaly for much of our nation's history — it's at the heart of the democracy, but because it's not a state, people in Washington D.C. have been disenfranchised almost by accident. The 23rd Amendment solved some of the problem — it gave D.C. the right to vote for president. But it left much of D.C.'s representation questions unanswered. D.C. still does not have voting representation in Congress. Instead, D.C. sends a "non-voting delegate" to Congress. For this liner note, More Perfect profiles that delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and her unique approach to fighting for power in a virtually powerless role. The song for the 23rd Amendment is by The Mellow Tones, a group of students from D.C. high school Duke Ellington School of the Arts, along with their teacher Mark G. Meadows. The chorus, "Why won't you count on me?" reflects on the continued disenfranchisement of our nation's capital. The final amendment of the album, the 27th Amendment, put limits on Senators' ability to give themselves a pay raise, and it has arguably the most unusual path to ratification of all 27. The first draft for the amendment was written by none other than James Madison in 1789, but back then, it didn't get enough votes from the states for ratification. It wasn't until a college student named Gregory Watson awakened the dormant amendment centuries later that it was finally ratified. The 27th Amendment song is by Kevin Devine and tells Watson's story.
24 min
Here Be Monsters
Here Be Monsters
Here Be Monsters
1: HBM141: Filthy Riches
When a group of broke college students start throwing lavish feasts, HBM host Jeff Emtman begins to wonder at the source of the food, initially assuming it was stolen.  But he’s soon corrected.  Confronted with the shocking amount of food waste in the local dumpsters, he quickly turns into a freegan dumpster diving evangelist (https://civileats.com/2014/05/27/online-map-helps-makes-wasted-food-visible/) , but is often thwarted by an angry employee of a local produce stand.  An employee whose face is always hidden by a bright headlamp.  These encounters rattle him, making it hard for him to separate reality from his recurring night terrors about the incidents.  But, years later, and more than a hundred of miles away, he has an encounter in a chocolate dumpster (https://fallingfruit.org/?z=13&y=47.65546&x=-122.33685&m=false&t=roadmap&l=false&locale=en&f=1385,2,2085,4247,821,836,837,838,839,843,845,846,848,852,853&c=forager,freegan) which cures him of those nightmares.  Many thanks to Jesse Chappelle and Hallie Sloan, who helped in the research of this episode.  Producer: Jeff Emtman (http://jeffemtman.com/) Music: Serocell (https://music.unclassedmedia.com/) , August Friis (https://www.lydfil.dk/) , The Black Spot (https://theblackspot.bandcamp.com/) Sponsor: Coffee Beer (https://www.coffeebeerdelivers.com/) of Portland, Oregon  Coffee Beer gets you to and from the best parts of your day.  Located at 4142 SE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97206 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/COFFEE+BEER/@45.492837,-122.6187558,15z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x0:0xa506114387303658!2sCOFFEE+BEER!8m2!3d45.492837!4d-122.6187558!10e1!3m4!1s0x0:0xa506114387303658!8m2!3d45.492837!4d-122.6187558) , they serve coffee, beer, snacks and groceries for pick-up and delivery.  Order yours at coffeebeerdelivers.com (https://www.coffeebeerdelivers.com/) Coffee Beer’s merch can be shipped!  HBM host Jeff Emtman especially likes their “Leave Me Alone” shirt (https://www.coffeebeer.me/products/leave-me-alone-mens-short-sleeve-teee-1) .  Shirts, mugs and more, at coffeebeer.me (https://www.coffeebeer.me/) Thank you Coffee Beer for sponsoring HBM!
40 min
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