It has recently come to my attention that the Audio Kitchen, the late, great found sound program hosted by the Professor on WFMU, has found a new home. You can find it over at theaudiokitchen.net along with the radio kitchen, a sister blog about shortwave radio.
During his four years at the station, the Professor sifted through countless hours of cassettes and tape reels found at garage sales, discarded demos, answering machine messages and a wide assortment of random sonic detritus submitted to him by many, many people to weave a collection of extremely personal and engaging audio resplendent with many wtf moments.
The professor dubbed his curated stream of audio diaries, taped phone conversations and recordings of people at parties as "amateur radio". When I go to the Audio Kitchen archive page, pick any random show and then select a clip I am often struck by the feeling that if I ever heard any of the dialog recorded here in a film or written in a book I would have a hard time believing it was true. You couldn't make lots of this stuff up.
I became involved with the station in 1999 around the time the Professor started his show and a few memories stick out. I remember when Napster hit and the professor discovered that by searching for some variation of "mic in line" that you could find recordings of people singing into their computers. I also remember that during September 11, he had the presence of mind to turn on several of his radios to AM stations and record what the lay men were saying on all of the local call-in talk radio shows. While I've never heard these recordings I would imagine that they are quite likely to be a compelling anthropological relic of the time and far more interesting to listen to than say, what CNN or NPR were broadcasting at the time.
Here are a few additional links for you to peruse: