Mixdown: The KUAF Blog

04/29/2014 - 12:15pm
by: Antoinette Grajeda


I realize we are barely into spring, but I'm already looking forward to summer and the music festival season. If you're searching for some regional fests to attend this year, I recommend Loufest, Center of the Universe Festival , and Wakarusa. If you're thinking about going to Wakarusa, I suggest you start preparing sooner rather than later because tickets go fast for this festival, which is scheduled for June 5-8 on Mulberry Mountain. If you're looking for tickets, KUAF just happens to be giving away four festival passes. You can register for this giveaway here.

Once you've got your tickets, start thinking about camping supplies. A tent is a must (if you don't happen to have a friend with a motorhome). If you don't want to bring a tent, Wakarusa is offering something new this year – glamping. The word is short for glamorous camping and you can find out more about these packages here. While you're packing, I cannot stress the importance of rain gear enough. I don't care if there isn't a big chance of rain in the forecast, bring rain boots. It has rained every time I have attended a festival on Mulberry Mountain and every time I am beyond grateful for my little blue rain boots.

When preparing to get the most out of your Wakarusa experience, it's essential to have a plan for what bands you're going to see when. The stage schedule was recently released and you can review it here. One group I highly recommend catching is The Mowglis. I have seen them at a handful of festivals and they are always such fun. This playful band is a perfect fit for a music festival with their upbeat tracks and audience interaction. Kevin Kinder from NWA Media is one of my companions at festivals and he recently shared his thoughts on the schedule on his blog.

If you're wondering what you can expect to see at this year's festival, check our pictures from last year's Wakarusa here. Hope to see you on the mountain this June!

04/29/2014 - 10:13am
-by Timothy Dennis

In the wake of the tornado and severe storms that struck Sunday in Central Arkansas, several organizations have stepped up to support relief and recovery efforts by accepting donations, contributing profits from special sales and by other means. This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some ways to help.

  • The Red Cross is accepting donations online and through text message from mobile devices.
  • The Salvation Army also provides a number of ways to donate to storm relief efforts.
  • The United Way of Central Arkansas is accepting donations of goods and cash at its office in Conway.
  • States of Mind Clothing Co. in Little Rock is producing a special run of T-shirts, and all of the profits from the sale will support relief efforts by The One, Inc.
  • Convoy of Hope has dispatched its trained disaster response teams to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas, and the organization is asking for financial contributions to help with recovery efforts.
  • The United Methodists of Arkansas are accepting supplies and monetary donations to help in relief efforts.
  • The University of the Ozarks, as well as a handful of other sites in Clarksville, is serving as a drop-off point for donations of goods.
  • Barrett Baber and Backroad Anthem will perform a benefit concert Wednesday night at George's Majestic Lounge. Proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Arkansas tornado relief efforts.
03/24/2014 - 3:08pm

-by Jacqueline Froelich

I recently reported on a national trend, what I refer to as supply-chained college instructors—contingent faculty barred by an “ivory ceiling” from progressing toward tenured positions. Critics refer to the phenomenon as the “Wal-Martization” of academia, an outcome of institutions seeking to contain wage and benefit costs. Finding adjunct faculty to talk on the record for my story was exceedingly difficult.

I spoke with a number on background. In the end, only one brave individual agreed to came forward, anonymously. She feared she would be fired. But most adjuncts? One college spokesperson pointed out to me? Have primary jobs outside of college. Problem is no such data, exists. Data does show a majority of college faculty are contingent, a generational paradigm shift.

What is also clear is that many adjuncts and even full time instructors want to secure permanent teaching careers. Instead, they end up living contract to contract. Still there is good news. Certain institutions, like the University of Arkansas, are aware of the problem and are starting to take stock. And some colleges have already extended longer contracts to adjuncts. But systemic change is needed, advocates say, and will only occur through persistent organized labor.

Listen to my report, which aired last week on Ozarks at Large.

03/20/2014 - 10:55am

-by Antoinette Grajeda

Paley Collection

I'm not sure I'll ever get used to walking around a corner just to be greeted by a painting or photograph I've only seen in books. But this is what sometimes happens when I'm at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Even if I don't recognize an artwork, I am often familiar with its creator's name.

The museum's latest traveling exhibition, The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism, includes works by Matisse, Degas, and Cézanne. During a recent tour of the exhibit, I found myself staring at Picasso's Boy Leading a Horse. I was standing close enough to it that I could have reached out and touched it – but of course I didn't because I know the rules. :)

What struck me about this painting was not just the size of the canvas (approximately 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide), but the fact that it was not at all the kind of work I had in mind from Picasso. When I think of the Spanish painter, I think of Guernica, one of his most famous works where the people and animals all sort of meld together. You don't have to guess about the images in Boy Leading a Horse because the painting depicts exactly that – a young boy leading a white horse without the use of a rein.

The new exhibit has plenty of other pieces of art to examine. You can hear assistant curator Manuela Well-Off-Man's thoughts about some of those works in this recent Ozarks at Large report.

02/21/2014 - 4:51pm
-by Katy Henriksen

Missouri-born singer-songwriter Angel Olsen was worried that the raw energy of her deeply personal sound would be difficult to translate once she entered a professional studio with bandmates in tow for her Jagjaguwar debut Burn Your Fire For No Witness. She was able to maintain artistic integrity, however, by carefully communicating exactly the sound she wanted, which in one case meant a detailed assessment of how the mic picked up the acoustic guitar. She elaborated on this process when I talked to her recently all about the process and you can catch that conversation here.
Catch Angel's fuller full band in action when she takes the stage at JR's Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville Sunday night, Feb. 23, when she plays with touring band Cian Nugent and locals SW/MM/NG. For more information on that show click here. Also worth checking out, Angel Olsen's Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.
02/10/2014 - 12:50pm
-by Timothy Dennis

Winter weather has been wreaking havoc on area streets and school schedules. And the cold weather and wintry precipitation has also had a significant impact on operations here at KUAF.

If you haven’t been able to pick up our over the air HD signals during the past week or at different times throughout the winter, the problem isn’t with your radio. Our transmitter is on a tower in southeast Washington County at about 2,125 feet elevation. While weather on a given day may be favorable in Fayetteville or Bentonville, the conditions could be dramatically different at our tower site.

When wintry precipitation, or even fog with freezing temperatures, moves in on our tower site, that moisture tends to freeze on the antenna that beams our HD signals over the air, and that ice reflects power back to the transmitter. Normally, that reflected power would overheat and destroy the equipment, but the transmitter is designed to shut itself down if it detects too much reflected power, which is why our over-the-air signals for KUAF 2 and KUAF 3 have been off-air intermittently throughout the winter. Similarly, our FM transmitter automatically reduces its power if reflected power is detected, resulting in static and poor coverage in areas that would normally receive a crystal clear signal.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to prevent winter weather from affecting our transmitter site. However, in the event of any transmitter malfunction, there are a number of ways to listen to our programming.

  • If you have an iPhone, you can listen to any of our three program streams through the KUAF app, and on Android, you can listen on the NPR News app.

  • Internet or Wi-Fi connected radios should also be unaffected by any weather-incurred problems at our transmitter.

  • And, you can always listen to our Internet streams from the pop-out player here on our website, or you can download the streams to your computer and listen through Windows Media Player, iTunes or many other audio playback programs for PC or Macintosh.

For more information on the different ways to listen to our programming, click here.

Also,help us better serve you with our HD programming by telling us how you listen. Do you pick up our over-the air signal, or do you mainly tune in through our Internet streams? Let us know by sending an email to kuafinfo@uark.edu.
01/27/2014 - 5:11pm
- By Pete Hartman

Time to give you some exciting programming updates! First off, tomorrow night beginning at 8 p.m., we'll air the State of the Union address. Join NPR's Robert Siegel for in-depth analysis and reaction from members of Congress. You'll also hear the Republicans' response to the President's speech. It's an NPR News Special--President Obama's State of the Union Address--tomorrow night, Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 8pm.

Also, as many of you are aware, the Metropolitan Opera season is rolling along and you can hear the Opera each Saturday at noon on 91.3 FM. But what about those great programs that are part of our regular Saturday line-up? Well, you can now hear them over on KUAF-3 - our digital news and information signal. Listen to Humankind at noon, ,Travel with Rick Steves can be heard at 1pm, Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour begins Saturdays at 2 p.m., NPR's All Songs Considered is at 3 p.m. and KUAR's Tales from the South begins at 3:30pm.

We've also added The Backstory to our KUAF-3 line-up, which can be heard Mondays at 1 p.m. If you haven't heard it yet, you should. It's a great hour-long program that takes one subject per episode and gives you the 'backstory' on it.

Stay tuned to KUAF-3....we will continue to add quality programming to that signal and remember, it's only made possible through listener-support. Listen to KUAF-3 or KUAF-2 (an all-Classical music digital signal) at our website, with an HD- or Internet Radio, or by using the KUAF APP on your iPhone.

Until next time....thanks for listening! Pete
01/22/2014 - 5:38pm

-by Katy Henriksen

Claudio Abbado

The classical music world lost a giant with the passing of Claudio Abbado Monday, Jan. 20 in Bologna, Italy. Read a tribute from the NPR Classical Music Blog Deceptive Cadence about this conductor's illustrious career.

The blog attests that: "While he was a self-effacing personality who only rarely granted interviews, Abbado, who memorized every score he led, was widely revered among his fellow musicians and his fans, the most fervent of whom are known as 'The Abbadiani.'"

We'll pay tribute to Abbado in this week's KUAF Sunday Symphony 7 to 9 o'clock Sunday night with legendary recordings featuring the conductor.

01/17/2014 - 4:19pm

-by Katy Henriksen

Little Rock doom metal band Pallbearer returns to Fayetteville tomorrow night, January 18, for a show at the Lightbulb Club with locals Thunderlizards and Terminus. I had a chance to talk to lead Brett Campbell right before their album Sorrow and Extinction dropped, which was later named by the likes of Pitchfork best metal album of the year. Listen to the archive here. If you're in the mood to soak yourself in drones and catch an adept metal vocalist in action, this is definitely a show worth checking out. Come early to be thrashed by Thuderlizards, fronted by Nick Shoulders who stopped by to play the Firmin-Garner Performance Studio with Shawn James. Their video performance of John Legend's "Who Did That to You" now boasts more than 200,000 views. That's Shoulders opening the track on harmonica

01/16/2014 - 1:03pm
-by Antoinette Grajeda

NPR's partnership with The Race Card Project "explores a different kind of conversation about race" by asking people to think about their experiences and observations about race or cultural identity and then explain those in one, six-word sentence. Every so often, NPR Host and Special Correspondent Michele Norris looks into those stories and discusses them on Morning Edition.

Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning and 12 Years a Slave was nominated in nine different categories. The film has inspired The Race Card Project to discuss the topic of slavery this week on Morning Edition. On Wednesday's installment of the special series, the story had a connection to Arkansas. In case you missed it, you can listen to the segment here.
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