The Overnightscape Underground

your late night radio trip

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Frank Nora Show 1643 – Night Versions (2/2/11)

1:21:57 – The weather is  horrible, ice pellets and tree shelter, angry bus driver, classical music, Overnightscape Central, The Overnightscape as a place we enter hosting or listening to shows, an exploration of th night, the basic mystery of life, singer in the Corridor of Losers, finding The Overnightscape, Jean Shepherd, the authority, Creative Commons, media companies, subway, fashionable blind kid, a cinnamon roll and the universe, in defense of the ending of the movie “Blue Velvet” (1986), college professor, National Enquirer, David Lynch, mechanical robin, Boz Scaggs, understanding the 20th Century, finished watching Fringe – Season 1, Kolchak, alternate reality, mythologies, Onsug – January 2011, sirens, tomorrow, the next morning – Groundhog’s Day, the ice storm last night, strong hedges, different clothes, umbrella, time loop holiday, acthogs, January total, new website layouts, Corridor of Loser, Mr. Children – Supermarket Fantasy, Brian Jude and Rob Usdin met Weird Al Yankovic at the Princeton Marketfair mall, personal branding, more video billboards, Akuku Danger, Google Art Project, night again, in a weird mood last night, coconut water craving, fruit juice obsessions, Sun Chips, bus terminal alternate reality, superhero game Antebellum / Otherjers, annoying people, terminologies of the archive, people listening in the far future, The Night Pool, the siren mystery, cigars, 48th Street, night versions, Spotify, early 21st Century nostalgia, Virgin Megastore, Virgin Cola, amazing Flickr account “JasonLiebig”, Marathon Bar, Curlywurly, cool scans, Foxs News, records printed on cereal boxes, Super Sugar Crisp, Count Chocula Goes To Hollywood, Just Pack Konbu-Ame kelp candy, Times Square, what would I say to the me from 2000?, Obliviana, exploring the brand new subway entrance at 11 Times Square, and a strange new  escalator announcement.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Attribution: by Frank Nora – more info at

Released February 2011 on The Overnightscape Underground (, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

posted by Frank at 6:38 pm filed in Feb11,Frank  


  1. I think the low participation for the last Overnightscape Central was that the question was a bit broad and boring and pandered mostly to you (Frank). There should be a more reliable mechanism for generating the topic. Perhaps any past contributor could suggest one?

    Comment by Sinisterpurpose — February 3, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  2. I disagree – I think it was a great topic with a lot of potential. As I understand it, PQ came up with the topic before hearing my segment – the fact that I talked about the Lost ending was a coincidence. I think PQ’s topic choices have all been superb and I would not want to change a thing about the process.

    I think the lack of participation stems more from our broader problems of context and all that.

    Comment by Frank — February 3, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

  3. I’d love to be a part of Overnightscape Central. I recently found out about it and will record a contribution soon. And your theory about absorbing might be true: I absorbed podcasting from you!

    Here’s a cool link I think you’ll enjoy: Beautiful old photos of the Time Out Amusement Center arcade. For some reason Firefox is telling me the site is harmful to my computer, so click with caution. Great photos though. (When I get a chance, I’ll save them to my computer and upload them to my Flickr account so people won’t have to worry about potential malware.)

    Comment by Rob — February 3, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  4. Don’t worry about the central thing, it was just a low week. I personally didn’t think of anything that I thought was good enough to present.

    Comment by Bob LeMent — February 3, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  5. I think I need to clarify things more than a little.

    First, I was in no way saying that there was a problem with the previous (previous to the most recent) Overnightscape Central topics. The last one just felt forced. I understand that coming up with a topic seems relatively simple externally and can be very frustrating and time consuming in actual practice. My suggestion was geared more toward the responsibility and frustration of the topic generation spreading out a little to ease production. It was a suggestion, not a criticism, based on my own experience with generating topics over time.

    I realize that my tone will now grow more emphatic and could be construed as needlessly confrontational or simply hostile. This is not the case. If I didn’t actually care about where these projects were going I’d simply stop listening to these podcasts. And it’s so easy to quit a podcast. It’s ten times harder to start listening to a podcast then to quit one.

    The podcast is a creator and user defined format. That’s the terriffic and terrible freedom of them. They can continue for years while offering no meaning or connection to the audience because there is no mechanism which forces the podcaster to stop except his or her own will. Podcasts are a performance based entertainment that have the freedom to disregard the audience completely. Which can be incredible and lead to really thought provoking material with real emotional depth. It’s akin to the thrill of watching a live working comedian work out new material. However, if dismissal and disregard becomes the default position of a podcast or podcaster, the result is a more like listening to a comedian’s album. The audience’s ability to affect the comedian’s work is totally removed and the work becomes static.

    Frank, that last topic, without doubt, absolutely pandered to you. I am so sure of this because I’d heard your entire explanation of how Lost should have ended before. And I am not a time traveler. I am not living out alternate timelines. You pontificated, verbally, on it for weeks after the show ended. Man, was that shit boring for a couple of reasons. I mean, I had to start fast forwarding level tediousness.

    The first reason is that I never cared about the show. I didn’t like it because I saw it writing itself into corners in the first and definitely second seasons. I’m not boasting now. I don’t have a superpower. Analyzing narrative is what I went to college to do and I’m pretty good at it. As an aside, and continue reading this only if you’re interested in why Lost was doomed fromt the start. I was tipped off to this conclusion by the writer’s actively running from resolutions to plotlines in order to “deepen the mystery”. Whenever a narrative is convoluting and diluting rather than resolving, the writers are running from the ending and not toward it.

    The second reason I was bored by your discussion of Lost was because I can’t always get behind the things you’re saying. And I shouldn’t. And it shouldn’t be a wieght on your mind that I don’t. The Frank Nora Show shouldn’t have to be all about what I want to get out of it. I absolutely recognize that. I’m not so unsophisticated a member of the audience that I need to connect with the show on a nanosecond by nanosecond basis. But my time is as valuable as any other audience member and I felt like that segment wasted my time. Sort of unapologetically.

    So a quick thing about context to wrap this up, I think the problem with context some of these shows confront is that the audience isn’t always considered. (As a disclamer, I have by no means listened to everyone’s shows and it should not be automatically concluded that I am speaking to anyone in particular.) Context is what you provide for the benefit of the audience in order to create a point with which they can psychologically and emotionally connect. Have you ever noticed that it is always kind of difficult to start reading a book? There’s always that inertia to overcome because at that particular moment there is no connection to the book. It’s simply an object. Well, an mp3 isn’t even an object in the traditional sense so imagine that the inertia is even greater. Context is the blurb on the back of the jacket. Context is a tagline. Context is a trailer. Context is marketing. Context is king when it comes to attracting an audience.

    Comment by Sinisterpurpose — February 4, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  6. Definitely some insightful observations SP.

    What encourages me to keep going is 2 things. First, the audience response – from stats and comments. This is something I am always paying attention to. Second, is the raw joy of doing the show itself – when things are going well, it’s the best feeling. I really feel like I’m tapping into something, an energy, something worthwhile. Of course, this doesn’t happen on every recording, but often enough.

    Since 2006, podcasting has been more and more of an uphill battle. Especially for this kind of independent, non-topic-driven format. Back in ’09, I really reached the end of the line – and I did stop doing it for awhile. But I decided to keep going in what I thought was more of a hobby, casual level. That was when all the other shows started up on the channel – which is retrospect was such a strange and wonderful thing. This thing growing this way, with a great overall weakness in the background, for me personally and for the podcasting world in general.

    And yet things continue, to this day, always changing and moving forward, but with the weakness always present. It’s a confusing situation, a weird situation. Really seems to be something vital and important to it, and at the same time it all seems relatively pointless.

    With the world as it is right now, I don’t know if we could do very much to improve the situation (that is, get more listeners, be more relevant, have context). However – as the times continue to change, the environment could become more welcoming for the kind of stuff we are doing here.

    Comment by Frank — February 4, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  7. Just a heads up – Frank had NOTHING to do with the topic – dunno why Sinister would think there was pandering to anyone aside from my own brain… There are millions of other endings than Lost and aside from that, Frank is far from the only person who was unhappy with that ending. Lets see how you do on next week’s show where you can pick your own topic….

    Comment by pqribber — February 4, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  8. Wow, this really turned into something, to bad it couldn’t have been captured for a ClusterFlux show.

    Comment by Bob LeMent — February 5, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  9. After all that (lol)…I was just going to say there are alot of good episodes for Fringe Season#2 Frank! I won’t say anymore so as not to ruin it. Current Season# 3 I’ve been missing alot of since they moved to Fri nights. Now I need to catch up!

    Comment by Smidge — February 10, 2011 @ 10:32 am

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