This American Life Live

I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of This American Life. The sometimes sweet, often absurd, and at times heart wrenching tales of, by, and for ordinary people move me. I can often be found laughing or crying, sometimes during the same episode, and usually in my car. I could listen to Ira Glass all day long. Something about his voice, his wit, his compassion, and that infectious giggle of his mesmerizes me.

I felt so lucky to go to the live This American Life event that was staged last night at UCLA. It was the last stop of a six city promotional tour for the upcoming companion television show. The night was amazing and magical. Watching Ira do his thing deepened my appreciation for him. He comes off as a bit nerdy and self-conscious in a down-to-earth way.

Aside from clips from the tv series, some of which will not actually air, we were treated to monologues on the theme "What I Learned From TV" by very talented and funny This American Life contributors Sarah Vowell, the adorable John Hodgman, and Dan Savage. There was also music and performance by the outstanding Ok Go (yeah, the treadmill guys!)

I'm not sure why I was in such awe, but I honestly spent most of the night close to tears. I laughed a lot, but I felt like I was part of something special that was somehow personal at the same time. This American Life is one of those things that I usually enjoy alone while in my car or my kitchen. I can't help feel like Ira Glass and his guests are talking just to me.


madretz said...

Thanks for mentioning this. Jimmy's heard of it but I hadn't so we're going to subscribe to the podcast. Really sounds like something I'll enjoy.

Nanette said...

Brent has always loved This American Life, but I just started getting into it this year as we've downloaded the shows onto my iPod and listen to them during car trips, like the one we just took up to No. Cal. Makes the drive go by so quickly and I always learn something cool!

Stan said...

That treadmill video was great. Reminds me of the DEVO's 1981 "New Traditionalists" tour show when they performed the whole show while walking on treadmills. But that was supposed to symbolize the futility of life, while this one is more just having fun with the treadmills.

And hey. What's up with the 'no anonymous comments' thing? It's a pain to have to sign in. Doesn't the word verification kill off the spam enough?

Jodi said...

Mad and Nanette: I highly recommend the story "Squirrel Cop," if you haven't heard it yet. There's a link on Showtime's website.

Stan: Sorry, I was getting some rude and weird anonymous comments. I'll change it back and see how it goes.

The Mad Doctor said...

The fact that Ira Glass is going have a tv show is enough to make me get cable.

I caught This American Life a few years ago (in Berkeley, I think.)

Just finished reading Sarah Vowell's Bring the Cannoli and it's much better to hear her read it on TAA.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

glad you had fun - sounds like another great way to take advantage of living in los angeles!
if you keep your blog closed to anonymous comments, i won't be able to leave comments from work anymore, as they have prevented us from signing into google (probably because they saw i was playing "color junction" on the home page too much)

Joanne said...

I really dig Dan Savage. I've read two of his books and they are really good. (The ones about his kid and getting married, not the one about his sex column which I do read and like but I don't know about a whole book of it.) :)

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