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The Frozen World of the Familiar Stranger

The Frozen World of the Familiar Stranger

About the show

Playing tracks by

The Gants, Drakes Hotel, Lettermen, Surface of Eceon, Elliott and more.

The title is from the late psychologist Stanley Milgram's 1970's paper of the same name. The article's "familiar strangers" are those who urbanites meet everyday in public settings, such as a subway stations, and with whom they never speak or otherwise acknowledge the other's existence. Milgram was interested in this sort of comfortable anonymity unique to city life and how that unspoken agreement to not interact might be broken if perhaps two familiar strangers were to meet outside their usual setting. He found that it was more than likely that they would say their first words to each other in this instance.

Now, what does the title have to do with the music on this CD? To me some of these songs capture feelings of comfortable isolation and other songs ooze with feelings of uncomfortable lonliness. So forcing them to bunk together at summer camp seemed like a good idea. Will they say anything to each other in the cafeteria line or wait until they unexpectedly meet at the ARCO

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