Faulkner County, Arkansas, has a whole lotta shakin' going on these days. Some of it is from the cash infusion brought on by the gold-rush like influx of natural gas fracking in the community, with over 3,000 new wells drilled in the area since the mid 2000s. But even more is due a mysterious wave of thousands of small earthquakes that have rattled the towns of Guy and Greenbrier since September, 2010.
Long Haul went down to Arkansas to check in with residents about what's going on – literally – under their feet. And we then shared the tape we collected with musician Bonnie "Prince" Billy, known as musician Will Oldham, who wrote an original song to contribute to the narrative. It's the latest in our Song+Story series.
The small town of Baudette, Minnesota, sits on the U.S./Canadian border, about as far north in the contiguous U.S. as you can get. Famous for snowy winters and a giant concrete walleye that sits downtown, it's also home to a now-decommissioned Coast Guard navigational beacon, a LORAN tower built to guide people across and around the Great Lakes.
The Tower is a Baudette landmark, rising hundreds of feet above the bog that surrounds town and signaling to drivers that they're almost home. But recently, it marked the sudden end of another traveller's journey. In the latest installment of their Song+Stories series, in which musicians contribute original songs that contribute to the narrative, Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister worked with the band Mountain Man. Together, they share this tale of avian navigation gone wrong.
(At left: The Lovely Ladies of Mountain Man: Amelia Randall Meath, Molly Erin Sarle, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig)
DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN NOW! And hear an entire episode of KCRW's UnFictonal devoted entirely to our Song+Story project. , including debuts of The Natural State, with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (known also as musician Will Oldham), and The Tower, with the great new band Mountain Man..
UnFictional, hosted by Bob Carlson, is part of KCRW's Independent Producer Project, one of the few that support the work of independent producers. We're grateful.
American schools teach students that with hard work, they can realize their dreams. But some kids do everything right, only to graduate from high school and find the American Dream isn’t for them.
Sam was brought to the United States by his parents as a young child, but his family overstayed their visas.They’ve lived here now for fourteen years, and in that time Sam grew from a small boy to a young man — taught in American schools, and churches, he grew up like any other American kid. But it wasn’t until he was asked to fill in his social security number on a financial aid form that he began to realize the consequences of being undocumented.
We met Sam just before he graduated from high school and share his story. American Dreamer was produced with help from the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media and the National Endowment for the Arts. It was recognized with a 2010 Edward R. Murrow award for Best National Radio Documentary, and a 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival "Radio Impact" award.
We're grateful to KCRW's Independent Producers Fund, as well as longtime supporters and friends Katie Hangley and Howard Simon, for support of this work.