June 6, 2003

Lost in America

Stories of people who are lost, histories that are lost, and things that are lost. This show was recorded onstage in front of audiences on a five-city tour in May 2003. The cities: Boston, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Denver and Chicago. Featuring house band OK Go.

Thanks to the public radio stations who presented the show in those cities: WBUR in Boston, WAMU in DC, Oregon Public Broadcasting/OPB in Portland, Colorado Public Radio in Denver, and Chicago Public Radio in our hometown.


Host Ira Glass tells the story of Chris Sewell, who was living on the street and yet somehow managed to find $610,940 of lost money that belonged to the city of New York, hidden away on the Internet. (7 minutes)

Losing It

If you're going to do a show about people who are lost, you pretty much have to include a story about adolescents. Jonathan Goldstein tells a story from his teenage years. He was trying to lose something—namely his virginity—which turned out to be harder than he expected. Jonathan's the author of the book Lenny Bruce is Dead. Content advisory: He acknowledges the existence of sex in this story, though with no explicit scenes, words, or ideas. (12 minutes)


“Tough to Have a Crush” by OK Go

Teacher Hit Me With A Ruler

Sarah Vowell tells the lost story behind a patriotic song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." An early version of the song celebrated an American terrorist. She's accompanied by Jon Langford and the band. Sarah is the author of The Partly Cloudy Patriot and other books. (16 minutes)


“Hell's Roof” by Jon Langford and the Lost in America Tour Band. Jon's the lead singer and songwriter with the Mekons, the Waco Brothers, and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts.