Welcome To The Sonic Society!
Each week Jack Ward and David Ault are pleased to showcase the very best Modern Audio Theatre (Radio Drama) from around the world. From the days of Old Time Radio in the early 20th century until the modern age of broadcasts, podcasts, and streaming simulcasts, audio plays are movies for the mind!
Posted By Jack on April 5, 2017
It had been quite some time since I’d heard much about about Dan Dare, at least twenty or more years until the classic comic character’s adventures were rebooted by ace author Garth Ennis in 2009 for Dynamite Comics. I was glad to hear that B7 Media, those folks responsible for the terrific Blake’s 7 adventures from a few year back have revived the man with the iconic name: Dan Dare.
Taking advantage of the audio drama format these three new Big Finish Dan Dare adventures are truly terrific entertainment. They’re modern boy’s own-style space adventures, a kind of apologetically forthright solar space opera, and starring no less a figure than Britain’s most iconic test pilot turned space adventurer, Dan Dare. For those unfamiliar, Dan Dare is was one of those lapping over delights from the end of the British Empire days, an ever just so slightly alien import – like the Rupert Bear books, or Captain Britain, or even Judge Dredd – and as delightful as a tin full of Turkish delight!
Read the rest of the review by Jesse Willis on the SFFAudio site, and fight for the future!
Posted By Jack on April 2, 2017
Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the world powers, there was an age undreamed of. Hither came Bill Hollweg. An audio hooligan. An artist whose pen was as sharp as Aquilonian steel, and whose steely gaze and keen hearing forged many an audio story. A man of gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth who loved Audio Drama, and was beloved by the AD Community.
Ask anyone who has been around for the Gold and Silver Ages of Modern Audio Drama, who they would pick as someone who loved the medium more than anyone else; and you’ll see one person consistently top everyone’s list: Bill Hollweg.
Bill began working with Darker Projects, almost fifteen years ago when modern audio drama was in its infancy on the Internet. Growing up like so many people our age, he had a love for old time radio (which he did his best to share in his show OTR Swagcast), and a uniquely talented hand for artwork. Bill made his money as a commercial artist. While he drew fantastical worlds, he listened endlessly to audio drama. He loved the theatrical and cinematic aspects of the medium, and had little time for audio books. Books? He’d rather read them!
Partnering originally with Paul Mannering, David Sobkowiak, and Mark Kalita, the four of them founded Broken Sea Audio and drew a lot of talented people in their wake including Stevie K. Farnaby, Steven Jay Cohen, Alexa Chipman, Cary Michael Ayers, Brian Bochicchio, Elaine Barrett and so many others. Bill penned most of the artwork for the website, and delved into developing a number of projects himself, as well as lending his prestigious production might to a number of other shows.
Bill was tireless. He often worked three day time jobs, and was up early in the morning at three or four editing audio drama.
Early on, Bill and I connected. He has said to me and publicly many times since then that one of his proudest moments in his audio drama career was getting his work showcased on The Sonic Society. Bill was a great early supporter of our Sonic Summerstock Playhouse, and for many years provided excellent shows that either kicked off the season or acted as finales. He was encouraging. Exuberantly so. But that was Bill. Bill made everyone feel like they were family. Calling everyone who shared his love for Audio Drama “brother man” and “my sister”. We were family.
Bill and I shared so many childhood loves, and I was honoured when he included me in many of his projects. I was Milo and Mendez in his long form adaptation of The Planet of the Apes. We shared a mutual love for Battlestar Galactica and he gleefully cast me as Apollo- a childhood dream of mine. Among the many roles, Bill asked me to play Hitler for his pulp action star Jake Sampson- Monster Hunter. Later I got to perform in his sequel to Jaws, Amity: Dark Waters. He gave my wife Ginny her first role in his science fiction original series 2109 Black Sun Rising where I acted as narrating host.
Bill’s enthusiasm was infectious. Many times after we spoke, I’d go off on a writing tear, returning hours later to talk to him about plot points of a script I wrote. He tirelessly reminded me to complete my John Carter- A Princess of Mars long before the movie came out. He similarly reminded me how often he listened and relistened to Firefly: Old Wounds– telling me it was fan drama that drove him to check out the original show. We talked continuously about putting together new episodes of M*A*S*H* set in a science fiction future war. He always called me “Hawk”, as his pick for the audio version of Hawkeye Pierce. Of course, I called him Trap.
Bill and I loved Conan the Barbarian and I was determined to come visit some day. He’d drive the two of us out to the Robert E. Howard Museum (our own pilgrimage). Bill’s adaptation of Howard’s Queen of the Black Coast is one of the finest I’ve ever heard.
To list off all of Bill’s projects and beloved audio dramas would take a post that would dwarf this one. He touched everyone in the community and communicated faithfully with so many on a regular basis.
Bill Hollweg leaves a legacy in family and friends and through his enormous talents in art and audio works, and he leaves a hole the size of a Black Sun Rising in our hearts that can never be filled without him.
Go listen to the legacy yourself at Broken Sea Audio Productions for her was and is for me the Grand Master of the Modern Age of Radio Drama.
Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen, Trap.
Posted By Jack on March 24, 2017
A live Old Time Radio evening is planned at the Midland Seventh Day Adventist Church on April 1st this year. According to the Midland Daily News:
The program features a live radio drama, instruments and a gospel quartet. Audiences can see how radio was produced in the “old days” with songs both vocal and instrumental, and a radio drama story by live actors with sound effects.
The format is the Strong Tower Radio Old Time Radio Variety Hour. This is the 11th variety hour and the second performance in Midland.
Originally cast in Mount Pleasant as a church social program that was so well-received, it took a life on of its own. Other things came out of it including a quartet that now is the station’s musical ambassadors. The Strong Tower Radio Quartet went on to produce a CD and performs concerts across Michigan and they will open both segments to the two-hour recorded session for the Strong Tower Radio Network. The network currently has 10 Michigan radio and one TV station. The program will be broadcast on 90.7 FM
The church is located at 2420 E. Ashman St. The event is free but a freewill donation will be accepted.
If you’re living in the area go support live Audio Drama!
Posted By Jack on March 21, 2017
David Ault returns to the Sonic Society tonight after his tour with the No Sleep Podcast Live show, and we’re proud to feature a creepy tale to celebrate: Campfire Radio Theater’s Abduction at Willow Woods from John Ballentine!
P.S. Check out the old promo at the beginning!
Posted By Jack on March 21, 2017
At the beginning of 2017 a new audio drama based on the crimes and passions of Hollywood was released and named appropriately: Hollywood & Crime. It’s success spawned a new podcast Inside Psycho. Read more and listen to an exclusive teaser at Fangoria:
Neither documentary nor straight narrative. Neither radio drama nor true crime story. Inside Psycho is a biopic without the pictures. It’s a movie with sound only. Every word is either true or tells a larger truth about the making of this classic movie. This is, first and foremost, an entertaining tale of creation and destruction, birth and death, success and failure, awards and notoriety, fear and loathing, firsts and lasts.
If you thought you knew Psycho, hear it with all new ears.
Inside Psycho weaves an entertaining tale of the horrible mass killings that inspired the movie Psycho and the extraordinary struggles involved in making a movie that, against all odds, became one of the biggest hits of all time. A movie that was the biggest risk of Alfred Hitchcock’s career. A movie where the star dies after only 47 minutes. A movie its studio hated. A movie the New York Times called “a blot on an honorable career.” A movie now regarded as one of the finest ever made. A movie that changed…everything.
This is not just a show for film-buffs or horror fans. It’s a show for anyone with a love of entertainment who wants to hear about the rollicking adventures behind the scenes of a great motion picture. It’s a show for anyone who has ever created something great but was still full of fear and doubts. It’s the creative journey, and the hero of that journey is the famed filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.