Mixdown: The KUAF Blog

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.
01/13/2014 - 4:59pm
-by Katy Henriksen

The HBO New Orleans noir series True Detective debuted last night with reviewers from the likes of Forbes and The Daily Beast remarking on its originality. The NPR "Monkey See" blog says the show's best quality is its "unconventional structure."

Starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, the series is the brainchild of UA MFA grad Nic Pizzolato who sold the series for a two-year contract at HBO and wrote the first eight episodes all by himself. Ozarks at Large's Katy Henriksen discussed the series with Pizzolato in a story she did on MFA grads breaking in to TV/Film writing in November 2012. If you missed it, here's the archive.

01/10/2014 - 1:08pm
-by Timothy Dennis

We are happy to announce that starting January 13, BackStory with the American History Guys. will join the KUAF 3 schedule. Airing at 1 p.m. Mondays, this hour-long weekly program brings historical perspective to contemporary topics. Recent episodes have explored the historical context of topics such as "Alcohol in America," "A History of Scandal," and "Wall of Separation: Church & State in America." Monday's broadcast will focus on the history of domesticated animals in America, with everything from the contributions of pigs to early European colonization, the involvement of elephants in some unusual criminal proceedings in the 19th century, and insight into squirrels as pets.

According to the BackStory website, the show is currently broadcast on 36 primary public radio stations serving 72 communities in 20 states and Washington, D.C., but KUAF is the first station to carry BackStory in Arkansas, Oklahoma or Missouri. This is the first of hopefully many new programs we add to the KUAF 3 lineup in 2014, and we hope you like it.
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