The Selection Committee

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Maija Mäkinen
August 20, 2023

  1. Onkija by Noitalinna Huraa, 1988
  2. Sudenkorento/Life on Mars by Hector, 1974
  3. Muistatko Monrepos’n by Annikki Tähti, 1957
  4. Lapin tango by Tamara Lund, 1972
  5. Hopeinen kuu/Guarda che luna by Olavi Virta, 2020
  6. Lounging by Guru, feat. Donald Byrd, 1993
  7. Creator Has a Master Plan by Brooklyn Funk Essentials, 1994
  8. Brimful of Asha by Cornershop, 2006
  9. Papa Was a Rodeo by The Magnetic Fields, 1999
  10. Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell, 1975
  11. Kiss an Angel Good Morning by Charley Pride, 1971
  12. Ghost Town by Sam Outlaw, 2015
  13. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash, 1970
  14. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine by Jimmie Rodgers, 1957
  15. Mackie Messer/Mack the Knife by Lotte Lenya, 1955
  16. The Model by Belle & Sebastian, 2000
  17. Condolence by Benjamin Clementine, 2014
  18. Vaquinha mansa by Cesária Évora, 1999
  19. Vem tänder stjärnorna by Eva Dahlgren, 1991
  20. Bayou by Paul Cantelon, 2009
  21. Van den Budenmayer Concerto en Mi Mineur by Zbigniew Preisner, 1991
  22. La Mer by Charles Trenet, 1992
  23. Helsinki Shangri-la by Paleface, 2010
  24. Cha cha cha by Käärijä, 2023

Maija Mäkinen is a Finnish-born writer and translator. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Boston University.
Portrait: Matthew Leifheit
Rebecca Bengal
July 23, 2023

  1. Don’t Be Cruel, Billy Swan, 1974
  2. The Tide Is High, U-Roy, 1970 
  3. Railroad Bill, Etta Baker, 1999
  4. Someone’s Gone, Brother Theotis Taylor
  5. Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 2), Outkast, 1998
  6. Everybody’s Gotta Live, Arthur Lee, 1972
  7. U Got the Look, Prince, 1987
  8. Eye Know, De La Soul & Otis Redding, 1989
  9. Back to the Future (Part I), D’Angelo, 2014
  10. Crazy, Pylon, 1983
  11. Dr. Doom (Alternate); Hall, Sutherland, 13th Floor Elevators, 2012
  12. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Waylon Jennings, 1964
  13. If You Want Me to Stay, Sly and the Family Stone, 1973
  14. Sorry You’re Sick, Ted Hawkins, 1982
  15. Son Of a Gun, The Vaselines, 1992
  16. Margaritas at the Mall, Purple Mountains, 2019
  17. Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, 1975
  18. Here Come the Warm Jets, Glenn Mercer, 2015
  19. Amassakoul ’N’ Ténéré, Tinariwen, 2004
  20. Pendulum, Broadcast, 2003
  21. I Pity the Country, Willie Dunn, 1971
  22. Time, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, 1982
  23. Fire and Brimstone, Link Wray, 1971
  24. Strawberry Letter 23, The Brothers Johnson, 1977
  25. Where Eagles Dare, Bratmobile, 1994
  26. Suspect Device, Stiff Little Fingers, 1979
  27. Breaker, Breaker, GZA, 1999

Rebecca Bengal: Born and raised in rural western North Carolina, formerly of Austin, Texas, currently living in Brooklyn, plus many places in between, I’m a writer of fiction and nonfiction. My collection Strange Hours: Photography, Memory, and the Lives of Artists was published in June 2023 by Aperture, with an essay by Joy Williams. A new short story by me appears in Kristine Potter’s monograph Dark Waters, also just published by Aperture.

I am a MacDowell fellow, a contributing editor at Oxford American, and a past editor at DoubleTake, American Short Fiction, The Onion, and, among others. I received my MFA in fiction as a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. My stories, interviews, essays, reported pieces, and collaborations with artists have been published by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Criterion Collection, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Paris Review, The Believer, The Guardian, Aperture, Guernica, Pitchfork, The Washington Post Magazine, SSENSE, and Transgressor, among others. My short fiction has been published in Southwest Review, Greensboro Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and by Aperture Books. Many of my stories center on place; all on language. My sister, the photographer Joanna Welborn, and I are working on a project about our family’s history of Deafness, a unique rural sign language, and moonshine. (I’ve written short fiction loosely connected to this for Southwest Review, edited by Ben Fountain). I write about literature, photography, music, film, and nature (I’ve reported extensively from Standing Rock and the U.N. on the climate emergency).

Some of my other favorite stories to write are the hardest to classify: whether looking into the unsolved disappearance of the musician Jim Sullivan, dropping in on Prince’s former houses in Minneapolis, with the Artist’s onetime neighbor Alec Soth, or telling the story of eden ahbez. But I’m also partial to an essay I wrote about Charles Portis’s Norwood, and this one, looking back at the time I interviewed Linda Manz.

Nate’s 2000s Mixtape
July 9, 2023

A mixtapes of songs from an obliviated decade!
For this summertime music-only show, host Nate Heiges plays classics, bops, and a couple of outliers from the 2000s. Why does nobody listen to music from the aughts? Because America lost its mind in the wake of 9/11? Welcome back home. Some art, some salt, some cheese, and some gold.

Complete playlist below.

  1. Happiness, Chastity Belt, 2013 (oops)
  2. L. E. S. Artistes, Santigold, 2008
  3. Walking with a Ghost, Tegan and Sara, 2004
  4. Fuck the Pain Away, Peaches, 2002
  5. Fake French, Le Tigre, 2001
  6. Bohemian Like You, The Dandy Warhols
  7. Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning), Kaiser Chiefs
  8. Hate to Say I Told You So, The Hives
  9. An Honest Mistake, The Bravery
  10. Emerge, Fischerspooner
  11. Daft Punk Is Playing at My House, LCD Soundsystem
  12. Danger! High Voltage - Soulchild Radio Mix, Electric Six
  13. Roses, Outcast
  14. Jesus Walks, Kanye West
  15. Islands, The xx
  16. Leaf House, Animal Collective
  17. Young Liars, TV on The Radio
  18. No More Drama, Mary J. Blige
  19. I Thought You Were My Boyfriend, The Magnetic Fields
  20. The Only Exception, Paramore
  21. To Be Alone With You, Sufjan Stevens
  22. Echo’s Answer, Broadcast
  23. I’ve Been Thinking, Handsome Boy Modeling School w/Cat Power
  24. Mykonos, Fleet Foxes
  25. Mushaboom, Feist
  26. No Child of Mine, PJ Harvey
  27. The Great Divide, Ashley Park
  28. Tear You Apart, She Wants Revenge
  29. Little Kids - Ladytron Fruits of the Forest Mix, Kings of Convenience
  30. Ike’s Mood I, Visioneers
  31. Ladyflash, The Go! Team

Marie Lorenz & Kurt Rohde
Newtown Odyssey
June 18, 2023

On this episode of the Selection Committee Radio Show, artist Marie Lorenz and musician and composer Kurt Rohde introduce their opera Newtown Odyssey, named after the same creek as Newtown Radio.

Marie Lorenz has been making boats and navigating urban waterways since she was 19 years old. Her explorations began when she was a student in Providence, Rhode Island, and they have taken her as far as the Neva River in Russia. In the summer of 2005, she established the Tide and Current Taxi, a rowboat taxi designed to take advantage of the tides and currents directing city waterways. In 2008, she was awarded the Rome Prize, and while staying at the American Academy, she met fellow residents Kurt Rohde and author Dana Spiotta. Once back in the US, Lorenz took both Rohde and Spiotta out on boating excursions and the idea for Newtown Odyssey slowly grew, with Spiotta agreeing to write the libretto.

Kurt Rohde shares both old and new music, and he discusses his interest in memory and historical (and not-so-historical) vernacular American music, which has informed his recent work. He discusses what it was like for him to transition away from being a dedicated performer to someone who works exclusively as a composer. Rohde has previously collaborated with other musicians and writers, including poets Scott Hunter and Donna Mason, but Newtown Odyssey marks his first time collaborating with an active industrial waterway replete with traffic, heavy machinery, LaGuardia’s flight path, and the intense society of local avians.

We discuss the nature of collaboration, chance, and making work that responds to particular spaces. We hear a piece from Harry Partch, the experimental composer and inventor of strange and beautiful musical instruments who has inspired both Kurt and Marie. Marie describes the Plank Road Public Shoreline, a semi-hidden point of intersection between surface roads and the creek where the opera will be performed, and outlines the opera's themes of manmade engineering, politics, money, toxic waste, and the implacable power of nature.

Newtown Odyssey will be performed live on September 9 & 10, 2023; tickets will go on sale in early July. Folks who can’t afford the price of the ticket can still attend thanks to sponsorship through the Newtown Creek Alliance. Find information and sign up for the mailing list at, and follow the opera on instagram

Marie Lorenz is a visual artist based in New York City. In her ongoing project ‘The Tide and Current Taxi’, Lorenz transports participants through New York waterways in boats that she designs and builds, using the tidal current to propel the boat. Recent exhibitions include Waterways at Bennington College in Vermont, Ash Heap at the Lamar Dodd Gallery in Athens, Georgia, and Ezekia at the Albright-Knox in Buffalo, New York. Her work has been included in recent exhibitions at The Contemporary in Austin, Texas, and the Thomas Cole House in Catskill, New York. Other residencies and honors include the Rome Prize, Harpo Foundation, and Creative Capital Grant. Lorenz is represented by Jack Hanley Gallery in New York. ︎

Kurt Rohde [h/h/h/t/t/t] plays viola, teaches and composes, and lives in San Francisco on unceded RamaytushOhlone land with spouse Tim and dog Hendrix. Kurt is fascinated with finding ways to incorporate notions of failure and catastrophe as part of the pursuit of making something beautiful. Kurt is Artistic Advisor with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Artistic Director of the Composers Conference, and teaches Music Composition at UC Davis. ︎