WBUR may have just idiotically yanked their arts coverage, but public radio is still what the brainy boys and girls like to listen to. Lisa Phillips, a former radio reporter-cum-SUNY journalism professor, is as passionate about talk radio as commercial stations are about their pre-selected Top 40 playlists. In Public Radio: Behind the Voices, Phillips pays tribute to NPR darlings Ira Glass (This American Life) and Terry Gross (Fresh Air) -- both of whom, oddly, declined to be interviewed for the book. A section on News and Information includes portraits of Bob Edwards (he left Morning Edition for Sirius Satellite); another on Music profiles hosts such as Marian McPartland of Piano Jazz. Phillips will sound off about her various broadcast heroes tomorrow, July 20th at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7 pm | free | 617.566.6660.




Phillips's website is in need of a redesign

POP VULTURES, one of the coolest PRX shows ever, got the axe in 2004 after only a dozen eps received airplay (too hip for the oldsters) but you can find your way to streamable versions here. You will not be sorry, friends.

Stream This American Life staff favorites. All are amazing, but check out Notes on Camp, My Experimental Phase, and Pray if you want your mind blown. Without visual stimulation!

Terri Gross is a brilliant interviewer. She can make or break an author on her show. Unlike Oprah, Gross has both good taste AND self-control. Okay, so Gross had Augusten Burroughs -- and he might be a little nuts, but it's not like he's the conductor of his very own Cruisazy Train. Check out the Fresh Air archives for more book reviews, stories, and author interviews than you'll know what to do with.

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