So there I was, sitting in traffic, round about where the 110 meets the 5 and everybody seems to think polite merging involves cutting off other drivers, when I heard the opening riff of “Marquee Moon”. On the radio, because you know, it’s not so unusual for me to hear that song on a mix CD. But on the radio? During a radio show about money, markets, and business?
Anomaly, I thought. Until the Luna song. At least I’m pretty sure it was Luna. They definitely played Wilco, and I’m almost positive I heard a bit of Bob Mould. Alas, Marketplace from American Public Media isn’t a show about music. It’s a show that takes a daily look at the news of the world from the perspective of how it impacts business. The centerpiece of every show is “The Numbers”, a wrap-up of how the various markets did that day, though you can guess because they play happy or sad music as an intro, depending. Yesterday, by the way, was the sad music.
Right now, I’m looking at the website. Mostly clouds with a ray of sunshine peeking behind the S&P 500.
I get impatient with NPR because it’s just so serious (Day-to-Day being an exception). I anticipate my daily half hour of Marketplace because it takes the news seriously, but has an irreverent attitude. They make jokes about Warren Buffett. Every Friday afternoon, host Kai Ryssdal talks to stockbroker David Johnson about the week that was on Wall Street — Johnson is the type of stockbroker who comes right and says things are just plain crazy in the world of investing…and it’s working for him.
When I started listening, the host of the show was David Brown. I loved David Brown. He was having a good time behind the mic. I always thought that if David Brown could take over “All Things Considered”, I might actually develop an interest in the program. Unfortunately, David Brown decided to go back to school in Austin (he didn’t totally leave radio, so every now and then I hear his voice). I wasn’t sure I’d warm to the new host, Ryssdal. I mean, was his name Kai or Kyle or what? Yeah, I get a little whiny about change.
We’re pretty comfortable friends now. When he took the helm, he didn’t try to be David Brown — Kai developed his own style. He has a good time, too. And when he’s out on assignment, we have substitutes like Tess Vigeland and Cheryl Glaser. Maybe it’s because Marketplace is a product of Los Angeles, but I feel like it’s being produced for people like me. My eyes glaze over at the thought of financial minutiae. Make it interesting, and I’ll sit happily to hear why Ford decided to cut its dividend.
If you can’t sit in your car every day to catch the show, you can always listen in via the website. They podcast the whole program or segments of the show. There’s even a helpful list of the music they played, just in case you need to verify what your ears thought they heard. Like “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in my Hand”. There are even helpful links to buy the song. If you’re an early riser, you can also catch the “Morning Report”, but be warned that Kai Ryssdal doesn’t host that one.