Sunday, October 6, 2013

It's Welcome To Night Vale Time

by Leann

Do you know what a podcast is? If you grew up enjoying radio, as I did, you might want to explore podcasts. They can be downloaded from itunes for free and there is one, Welcome to Night Vale, that I find highly entertaining--partly because I am closely related to one of its creators, my son-in-law Jeffrey Cranor. I've written often about my talented daughter, who is a performance artist in NYC, so now it's time to share about Jeffrey.

He writes the twice-monthly episodes with Joseph Fink and though I may be prejudiced, there's a little genius going on here. You can also go to Youtube to listen and here's a link to all 33 episodes created in the last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4Tf8vwgBSA&list=PLNFb9tJmiDYZzcniV5RYQa81r0FEtqNI-

The podcasts have gone globally viral--bouncing between the #1 and #2 spot in the U.S. with This American Life. Pretty nice company. But they are also in the top ten in places like Australia, the UK, New Zealand ... the list goes on. There will be a book in the future and the creators and Cecil have done interviews on PBS. Their first "live show" in NYC sold out in about thirty seconds. Yup. That's viral. But what is it? Well, that's a good question.

The narrator is Cecil Baldwin, radio announcer in a small Southwest desert town, who reports on events in Night Vale with his calm-yet-scare-you-to- death voice. (He's brilliant, in other words.) Cecil reports on community news, weather, gives the sheriff reports--everything you might listen to if you were taking a road trip and tuned in to a small local radio station. But even a weather report can go horribly "off." You'll hear Cecil talk about the "glow cloud" or the dog park where no dogs are allowed. Yes, it's different.Their latest T-shirt (there is plenty of merchandise and fan art) sold out before I could buy one. Drat. Love it.

If you enjoyed The Twilight Zone or the offbeat, the weird, the mysterious or the paranormal, Night Vale is for you. But really, it's for anyone who loves words and how they can transport us to places we may or may not want to visit.

And yes, there's a website: http://commonplacebooks.com/welcome-to-night-vale/

Check it out, friends. It's fun to catch a virus like this one.