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The Beat

Holiday Disasters and Big Box Swindles

Dave Beck
12/14/2006

The perfect holiday almost always a disaster. Today on The Beat, Minnesota storyteller and NPR commentator Kevin Kling tells us why the worst holiday traditions make the best family memories. Then, author Stacy Mitchell reveals the hidden costs of inexpensive big box stores.

07:00 - Big Box Swindle
What is the cost of shopping at a big box retailer? According to author and small business advocate Stacy Mitchell, the price exacted by the mega-store is far greater than the price tag would indicate. She tells us about how these stores hurt the local economies of the towns they go into, detract from the level of civil engagement in those communities, and, to top it all off, don't always offer cheaper prices. Mitchell joins us to talk about her new book, Big Box Swindle.

20:00 - Kevin Kling
The perfect holiday almost always a disaster. Watch enough Christmas movies and you get the sense that the holidays are just one step away from oblivion. According to Minnesota storyteller Kevin Kling, that's exactly the reason for the season: Kevin Kling is in Seattle to share his Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log. Today, he tells us why the worst holiday traditions make the best family memories.

34:00 - Sounds Familiar: 'White Christmas'
Amanda Wilde, host of The Swing Years and Beyond, joins us with the little-known history of songs we didn't know we knew so well.

55:00 - The Roches
The Roches are a trio of singing sisters, namely Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy Roche. The Roches blend influences from church choir music, traditional Irish folk, contemporary folk, rock, country, and pop with their own innate musical sensibilities to produce what can only be called Roche music. We'll listen to their CD The Roches with a Holiday Twist later this hour.

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