Underground: Sound Effect, Episode 46 | KNKX

Underground: Sound Effect, Episode 46

Nov 21, 2015

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme and this week we bring you notes from “Underground.” 

We begin with an underground culture on the streets of Seattle. The 1984 documentary film “Streetwise” shed light on a hidden society of children living on the downtown streets. They were doing drugs and turning tricks, but also falling in love, being bored, discovering themselves, and going through the things all kids go through. We talk with "Streetwise" director Martin Bell about making the original film, and about the follow-up on one of its main characters: “Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell.”

And then we meet Blackwell herself. Three decades after "Streetwise", Blackwell lives in Kirkland and still faces some of the same demons that dogged her as a 14-year-old street kid. She also still has the same warmth and humanity.

KPLU’s Paula Wissel gives us a glimpse into the Underground GI Movement, a network of subversive publications and meeting places, catering to the military, which sprung out of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam era. We learn about one particular underground newspaper published near Ft. Lewis.

We travel along with Chris DeLaurenti into the pitch-black tunnels that run beneath a mothballed nuclear power plant at Satsop, Washington. DeLaurenti is a phonographer and sound artist, and he used little more than his ears to guide him through the creepy tunnels. That recording became the audio odyssey, “To the Cooling Tower, Satsop.”

And finally, KPLU’s Jennifer Wing unfolds a tale of how three World War II aviators went down on a Greenland glacier, and how a Seattle man is hoping to go reclaim their remains. That’s in spite of the fact that the wreckage of their plane is likely buried beneath 40 feet of ice.