WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Evan Dawson

Host of Connections

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.


In modern media, success usually means following up with the same thing that brought success. Music, television -- think about why the characters on Friends only became caricatures of themselves. But 25 years ago, a band went against the popular grain.

R.E.M. had found massive commercial success with their 1991 hits like "Stand" and "Shiny Happy People." Suddenly, just as popular as Madonna, the band had a chance to fire off more and similar hits. But their 1992 album, Automatic for the People, is one of the darker pop albums of the era. Songs about suicide prevention and tragedy were not exactly what the producers were hoping for, but the band stayed with their vision. Is there a lesson there? We examine with our guests:


What would it sound like if a number of local musicians all wrote their own versions of a song with the same title? Music fans will be able to hear more than 20 original takes on the title "How Did We Get Here" during a special concert next week at Hochstein Performance Hall. It's part of an event appropriately titled, "If All Rochester Wrote the Same Song."

We preview some of those versions and talk about the song writing process with our guests. In studio: