Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

Set over the course of one week in June of 1939, the new novel The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews is a story about siblings, the joys of music, love (mutual and unrequited), and the meaning of home.

It is a New York novel, but also one of the world, of big dreams and big love and what it means to be willing to pay any price for your family. 

Mayhem: A Memoir

Sep 26, 2017

In the summer of 2012 a woman named Eva was found dead in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans K. Rausing. The couple had struggled with drug addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines. Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint, Hans’ sister, the editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing, tries to make sense of what happened. 

In Mayhem, she asks the difficult questions those close to the world of addiction must face. “Who can help the addict, consumed by a shaming hunger, a need beyond control? There is no medicine: the drugs are the medicine. And who can help their families, so implicated in the self-destruction of the addict? Who can help when the very notion of ‘help’ becomes synonymous with an exercise of power; a familial police state; an end to freedom, in the addict’s mind?”

Sigrid Rausing is the founder of the Sigrid Rausing Trust. She is also the owner of Granta magazine and Granta Books. Her book is titled Mayhem: A Memoir. 

O+ was founded in 2010 in Kingston, NY by a small group of artists-activists, doctors and a dentist. It is now a national nonprofit working in cities around the country that builds long-term relationships between creatives and health & wellness providers to help strengthen local communities. 

Their year-round efforts culminate in one-day and weekend-long celebrations, during which underinsured artists and musicians create and perform in exchange for a variety of services donated by doctors, dentists and complementary care providers.

This year’s O+ Festival in Kingston takes place October 6-8 and the line-up includes Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Amanda Palmer, San Francisco-based rock band Deerhoof, songwriter/guitarist Steve Gunn of Brooklyn, New York's White Hills, Baltimore rap artist Abdu Ali along with local favorites The Mammals and The Big Takeover.

Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Al Gini and Book Cover - The Importance of Being Funny
The Main Edge

When E. B. White said “analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog; few people are interested and the frog dies,” he hadn’t seen Al Gini’s hilarious, incisive, and informative take on jokes, joke-telling, and the jokers who tell jokes. For Gini, humor is more than just foolish fun: it serves as a safety valve for dealing with reality that gives us the courage to endure that which we cannot understand or avoid. Not everyone tells jokes. Not everyone gets a joke, even a good one. But, Gini argues, joke-telling can act as both a sword and a shield to defend us from reality. As the late, great stand-up comic Joan Rivers put it: ‘If you can laugh at it, you can live with it!’ 

Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago. For over twenty-seven years he was the Resident Philosopher on National Public Radio’s Chicago affiliate, WBEZ-FM, and can currently be heard on WGN/Tribune Radio. His newest book is The Importance of Being Funny: Why We Need More Jokes In Our Lives.

9/26/17 Panel

Sep 26, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

The second annual “Brew U” is on tap for Saturday, October 7th at The Egg in the Student Commons at the Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, NY campus. Brew U is an exciting beer festival that will combine sampling from top breweries - including the Brewery at the CIA - with delicious food from the CIA and fun, educational seminars for beer and culinary enthusiasts.

You have the chance to tour the CIA Brewery, learn about the college’s Art & Science of Brewing course, and meet CIA Head Brewer Hutch Kugeman and other New York State brewers and beer experts, all while sampling beers and ciders. You’ll also enjoy delicious dishes perfectly paired with beer and prepared by CIA chefs.

Hutch joins us along with CIA Professor of Hospitality and Service Management – John Fischer. 

The 29th annual Hudson Valley Garlic Festival will take place this Saturday, September 30th from 10 - 6 and Sunday, October 1st from 10 - 5. Held at Cantine Veterans Memorial Complex in Saugerties, NY, the festival is a major fundraiser for the Saugerties Kiwanis Club.

Over 200 food, crafts, and garlic farmer vendors participate in the festival – there is live music, chef lectures, and garlic farmer lectures and a children’s area that includes a rock climbing wall.

This two day celebration of the yearly garlic harvest was started in 1989 at Pat Reppert’s Shale Hill Farm in Saugerties and has expanded from a few hundred attendees to thousands of garlic lovers enjoying each day.

Chairperson of the Festival Richard Kappler and Treasurer of the Festival Beth Becktold join us.

After adopting an Irish sight hound, Laura Schenone discovers a remarkable and little-known fight to gain justice for dogs and for all animals.

The Dogs of Avalon introduces us to the strong-willed Marion Fitzgibbon, born in rural Ireland, where animals are valued only for their utility. But Fitzgibbon believes that suffering is felt by all creatures, and she champions the cause of strays, baffling those around her―including her family―as she and a group of local women rescue any animal in need and taking on increasingly risky missions.

Laura Schenone is an award-winning author who has written A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove ​and The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken. Her newest book is The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Brian Hassett, President and CEO, United Way of the Greater Capital Region joins us to tell us about its Dial 2-1-1 program and Rensselaer Runs United.

9/25/17 Panel

Sep 25, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, and Director of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University, Keith Strudler. 

National Voter Registration Day is on Tuesday, September 26th this year. Organizations all over the state will be participating in the event day by holding voter registration drives. 

The League of Women Voters operates a non-partisan electronic ballot website www.vote411.org. The ballot site provides non-partisan election information about all the candidates New Yorkers will be voting on in November.

We welcome Jennifer Wilson - Program and Policy Director for The League of Women Voters of New York State and Kathy Koebrich from the Saratoga League and Patricia Sibilia of the Albany League. 

In addition to providing critical support to a wide range of artists, Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts welcomes audiences of all experience levels into the inner world of the contemporary performing arts, giving them opportunities to witness the creation, as well as the performance, of new work. 

Each year in Catskill, Lumberyard will present a summer season consisting of premiere and work-in-progress performances by celebrated professional artists and companies, serving residents and attracting tourists from across New York and beyond. From October through April, the facility will be available for collaborative residencies; subsidized and commercial rentals; and community programming.

Lumberyard’s End of Summer Shindig is tomorrow and will feature performance excerpts from Urban Bush Women’s new work SCAT! featuring composer/performer Craig Harris; bluegrass music by Steve Lutke and Appalachian Uprising; American Glory BBQ; beer by Rip Van Winkle Brewery, wine, gifts, and more.

Adrienne Willis is Executive and Artistic Director of Lumberyard.

Comedian Kevin McCaffrey will be headlining Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors tomorrow night.

McCaffrey made his network TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman in November 2013, and was hired to write and warm-up for the show for the remainder of its run.

In addition to Letterman, Kevin has also written for VH1, National Lampoon, Fuse TV, and various celebrity awards shows. Kevin hosts College Stories with Kevin McCaffrey, a weekly podcast talking to comics, writers, and actors about their stay in college, and their best/funniest/craziest stories from that time.

Yellowstone is America's premier national park. Today Yellowstone is often a byword for conservation, natural beauty, and a way for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. But it was not always this way. Wonderlandscape presents a new perspective on Yellowstone, the emotions that various natural wonders and attractions evoke, and how this explains the park's relationship to America as a whole.

John Clayton is an independent author, journalist, essayist, and ghostwriter based in Montana. His new book is Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon.

9/22/17 Panel

Sep 22, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Corporate Attorney Rich Honen, Siena College Economic Professor Aaron Pacitti.

The story begins in 2007 when Deborah Campbell travels undercover to Damascus to report on the exodus of Iraqis into Syria following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There she meets and hires Ahlam, a refugee working as a “fixer”—providing Western media with trustworthy information and contacts to help get the news out. Ahlam, who fled her home in Iraq after being kidnapped while running a humanitarian centre, not only supports her husband and two children through her work with foreign journalists but is setting up a makeshift school for displaced girls. She has become a charismatic, unofficial leader of the refugee community in Damascus, and Campbell is inspired by her determination to create something good amid so much suffering. Ahlam soon becomes her friend as well as her guide. But one morning Ahlam is seized from her home in front of Campbell’s eyes. Haunted by the prospect that their work together has led to her friend’s arrest, Campbell spends the months that follow desperately trying to find her—all the while fearing she could be next.

Deborah Campbell is an award-winning writer known for combining culturally immersive fieldwork with literary journalism in places such as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, Israel, Palestine, Cuba, Mexico and Russia. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, the EconomistForeign Policy, the GuardianNew ScientistMs., and other publications.

Her new book is A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War.

Jesse Feiler - Coding

Sep 21, 2017
Code on computer screen
TechCrunch

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to set us straight on the ins and outs of coding.

Jesse Feiler spends his time writing, consulting, and building apps — sometimes at the same time. With Gail Nayowith, he’s finishing The Nonprofit Risk Book due out in October from De|G Press (DeGruyter), and The Nonprofit Risk App currently in beta test.

Children in Uganda
Jajja's KIds - Uganda Facebook page

Begun by Diane Reiner of Latham, Jajja’s Kids houses, feeds, schools, and nurtures nineteen former street children in Uganda and serves as a community center for children and families in the surrounding area. Its program director is Ronnie Sseruyange, also a former street child, who lives in Kampala, Uganda. 

Currently, Jajja’s Kids has outgrown the house they rent in Kampala. Their numbers have increased and as the children have gotten older, their needs have changed. Thus, the time has come to take a much needed leap toward establishing a permanent residence.

On Sunday, September 24th, Jajja’s Kids is hosting a Gala at Revolution Hall in Troy to launch a fundraising campaign to purchase land in or near Kampala. The funds will be used to begin the process of building a home and developing a small farm to provide food for the children and staff as well as being a source of income to support Jajja’s Kids operations. 

In this sweeping history of popular music in the United States, NPR’s acclaimed music critic examines how popular music shapes fundamental American ideas and beliefs, allowing us to communicate difficult emotions and truths about our most fraught social issues, most notably sex and race.

In Good Booty, Ann Powers explores how popular music became America’s primary erotic art form. Powers takes us from nineteenth-century New Orleans through dance-crazed Jazz Age New York to the teen scream years of mid-twentieth century rock-and-roll to the cutting-edge adventures of today’s web-based pop stars. Drawing on her deep knowledge and insights on gender and sexuality, Powers recounts stories of forbidden lovers, wild shimmy-shakers, orgasmic gospel singers, countercultural perverts, soft-rock sensitivos, punk Puritans, and the cyborg known as Britney Spears to illuminate how eroticism—not merely sex, but love, bodily freedom, and liberating joy—became entwined within the rhythms and melodies of American song. This cohesion, she reveals, touches the heart of America's anxieties and hopes about race, feminism, marriage, youth, and freedom.

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: California Typewriter

The High Kings
The Egg, Albany, Thursday 9/21, 7:30 PM

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 9/21-Sunday 9/24, various times

Yarn/Wire perform The Music of Enno Poppe
EMPAC Concert Hall, Troy, Friday 9/22, 7:30 PM

Sex With Strangers
Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, Friday 9/22 at 8 PM through October 15

Lark Fest featuring Cloud Nothings, Jackal Onasis, Jouska, more on 2 stages
Lark Street, Albany, Saturday 9/23, 10 AM-6 PM

Abstract Expressions: A Musical Exhibit in Four Parts featuring International Contemporary Ensemble, Conor Hanick, Abstract for Winds, Ensemble Connect
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Saturday 9/23 beginning at 1 PM

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 9/23, 7 PM

Cheryl Wheeler
The 8th Step at Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 9/23, 7:30 PM

The Young Dubliners
Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 9/23, 8 PM

Rodriguez
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Monday 9/25, 7:30 PM

Upcoming movies: Brad’s Status, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Rebel in the Rye, The LEGO Ninjago Movie

9/21/17 Panel

Sep 21, 2017

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: Daily Gazette Editor Judy Patrick, Professor of Political Science at Siena College Vera Eccarius-Kelly and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

Princesses Wear Pants

Sep 20, 2017

From NBC’s TODAY coanchor Savannah Guthrie and educator Allison Oppenheim comes an empowering fairy tale with a twist.

In the tradition of Not All Princesses Dress in Pink and Princess in Black, Princesses Wear Pants follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. 

Savannah Guthrie is the cohost of TODAY on NBC as well as an attorney and legal analyst. Allison Oppenheim is trained in clinical psychology and is the mother of three.

Craft And Home Brewing

Sep 20, 2017

Homebrew Emporium has five retail locations in Massachusetts and New York, they provide supplies for making beer, wine, and cheese and cater to all levels of brewing, from Master Brewers to First Timers.

This month they are celebrating 20 years at the forefront of the craft and homebrew revolution and founder, Roger Savoy and his wife Anita, are opening a brewery.

In The All-Or-Nothing MarriageHow The Best Marriages Work, renowned relationship expert and Northwestern University professor, Eli Finkel shows that the best marriages today are better than the best marriages of earlier eras. In fact, they are the best marriages the world has ever known.

Finkel reverse engineers the best marriages to better understand the new modern marriage, and shows how any marriage can be better. What does a modern marriage look like? And how can today’s couples seek personal fulfillment in a marriage while remaining committed to it for the long run?

Finkel first introduced this idea in a popular 2014 New York Times op-ed of the same name. Divorce rates may be down from their 1980s peak, but so is general marital happiness, which is what Finkel’s “All-or-Nothing” theory can change in a big way.  

Loudon Wainwright III, the son of esteemed Life magazine columnist Loudon Wainwright, Jr., is the patriarch of one of America’s great musical families. He is the former husband of Kate McGarrigle and Suzzy Roche, and father of Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Lexie Kelly Wainwright. With a career spanning more than four decades, Wainwright has established himself as one of the most enduring singer-songwriters who emerged from the late 1960s. Not only does he perform regularly across America and in Europe, but he is a sought-after actor, having appeared in many movies and TV series.

There is probably no singer-songwriter who has so blatantly inserted himself into his songs. The songs can be laugh-out-loud funny, but they also can cut to the bone. In this memoir, Wainwright details the family history his lyrics have referenced and the fractured relationships among generations: the alcoholism, the infidelities, the competitiveness—as well as the closeness, the successes, and the joy. Wainwright reflects on the experiences that have influenced his work, including boarding school, the music business, swimming, macrobiotics, sex, incarceration, and something he calls Sir Walter Raleigh Syndrome.

Loudon Wainwright III's new book is titled Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay, & A Few Of My Other Favorite Things.

We all want to be happy. Yet as we consume ever more in a frantic bid for happiness, global warming worsens. Alarmed by drastic changes now occurring in the Earth's climate systems, the author, a climate scientist and suburban father of two, embarked on a journey to change his life and the world. He began by bicycling, growing food, meditating, and making other simple, fulfilling changes. Ultimately, he slashed his climate impact to under a tenth of the US average and became happier in the process.

Being the Change explores the connections between our individual daily actions and our collective predicament. It merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming.

Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University. His new book is Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution.

9/20/17 Panel

Sep 20, 2017

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Salman Rushdie’s is best known for his novels Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses, among others.

While those take place in India and the United Kingdom, his latest, The Golden House, is set in New York City against the backdrop of modern politics from Obama to Trump. 

Cathy N. Davidson is a lifelong educational innovator - and instigator. After twenty-five years as a professor and an administrator leading innovation at Duke University, Davidson moved to CUNY in August 2014 to direct the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center. Appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities (2011-2017), she also sits on the Board of Directors of Mozilla. 

In her new book, The New Education, Davidson argues that the current approach to education is wholly unsuited to the era of the gig economy. Our system of higher education dates to the period from 1865 to 1925, when the nation's new universities created grades and departments, majors and minors, in an attempt to prepare young people for a world transformed by the telegraph and the Model T. From the Ivy League to community colleges, she introduces us to innovators who are remaking college for our own time by emphasizing student-centered learning that values creativity in the face of change above all. 

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