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The Duplex Planet Radio Hour

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Album Review

"Duplex Planet" creative force David Greenberger and NRBQ's Terry Adams got together for a series of performances during the mid-'90s at St. Ann's in Brooklyn, NY, and selected two of their favorites for this double-disc collection. The performances featured Greenberger reading selections from the "Duplex Planet" (both anecdotes and the "Duplex Planet's infamous question-and-answer format), musical interludes by Adams, and readings by actors, including Lili Taylor. Within the walls of the Duplex nursing home, Greenberger found a vital world full of lively minds. And it is a credit to his vision that over the years he has been able to both see this world and creatively translate it to audiences. Disc one picks up on the theme of music, pondering such questions as "Do you sing in the shower?" and "How are records made?" and documenting the elderly characters' surprising, interesting, and often hilarious answers. Disc two addresses the importance of relationships and is at turns heart-rending and humorous. What really makes this an outstanding listening experience, however, is Greenberger's ability to inhabit the characters in a casual, non-performance manner, catching their nuances and idiosyncrasies without "acting." Meanwhile, Adams' paradoxical blend of eclectic nostalgia and contemporary eccentricity is the perfect musical complement. For those who have not been indoctrinated into the world of the Duplex Planet (all of which sprang from the 'zine Greenberger started in 1979 and continues to publish), this is a perfect starting point.

The Duplex Planet Radio Hour, David Greenburger
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