Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History / http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/hartman

All this spring,  during AMC’s final Mad Men season, we're working with the Hartman Center at Duke University to bring you some real archival advertisements based on the content of each Mad Men episode. (The center specializes in advertising and marketing history.) Our collaboration is based on their blog called “Mad Men Mondays.” 

From his contributions to the sixties Asheville band Innersouls, to helping found North Carolina Central University's Jazz Studies department, Stanley Baird has been influencing the North Carolina jazz scene for decades. Today he leads the jazz band, The Stanley Baird Group. The group is saxophonist Stanley Baird, vocalist Connie Rodgers, guitarist "JP" James Perry, bassist Christopher "Spanky" Thompson, drummer Carl Gerald, and keyboardists Glenn Williams and Jonathan Perry.

™ & © 2013 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved

 

For many, Dr. Seuss is an icon of clever rhymes and fantastical children's book characters. But few people know he also created elaborate paintings and sculptures. Or that he had a room filled from floor to ceiling with hats. Curator Bill Dreyer describes one use Seuss had for the hats:

If a party was lagging a little bit, he would go into the hat closet, bring out hats, put them on people's heads and ask them to spend the rest of the evening in the persona they might expect the person wearing that hat would have.

 The touring "Hats Off to Dr. Seuss" exhibit includes paintings, sculptures and hats from Seuss' personal collection. The collection is on display at The Art Shop in Greensboro through April 19th. Dreyer believes Dr. Seuss is just beginning to receive the recognition he deserves as a fine artist:

Here we are, 23 years after Ted Geisel passed away and he's now really being considered a significant 20th century American artist because people are viewing his art as separate from... his most important legacy, children's literature.

Musician Captain Luke (right) is 88-years-old. He talked with Music Maker Relief Foundation's Tim Duffy
StoryCorps

The StoryCorps Mobile Booth opens today. The first very first interview was between the musician Captain Luke Mayer, and Tim Duffy of the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Captain Luke has a wonderful deep rich baritone. He came to music early in life. Music Maker has documented the story of his life and music:

Groundhog Day, The Movie
Wikipedia

You know that movie. The one you can almost recite verbatim. The one you just cannot stop watching over and over. The one that comes on the television and for some strange reason, you just can't change the channel.

Marsha Gordon, film professor at North Carolina State University and Laura Boyes, film curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art, return to The State of Things to talk with host Frank Stasio about those films we have watched over and over.

The Great Gatsby movie set
Wikimedia

  The Hunger Games. Harry Potter. The Great Gatsby. Blockbuster films or popular literature? Do you ever walk out of the movie theater and hear, "The book was so much better than the movie."? Or do you prefer the silver screen adaptation of your favorite novel? Turning a book into a movie poses all sorts of challenges.

A picture of the Durham Bulls mascot with the Merge Records logo.
Merge Records

It's a big year for Merge Records. The Durham-based label is celebrating its 25th birthday with a series of events, which has included concerts, limited release recordings and a 25K run.

Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance founded the label in Chapel Hill to promote their band, Superchunk. A quarter-century later, dozens of other celebrated artists have jumped on board, including the Grammy-winning Arcade Fire.

Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History / http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/hartman

AMC’s final Mad Men season debuted this week. Many staff members of the Hartman Center at Duke University tuned in. The center specializes in advertising and marketing history. Their archives are full of the sort of ads seen on the series. In fact, the AMC show even consults with them from time to time.

The Steep Canyon Rangers 'Tell The Ones I Love'
Rounder

Our series of Back Porch Music album reviews continues this week with three new releases reviewed by the hosts of Back Porch Music.

Steep Canyon Rangers - Tell The Ones I Love
review by Freddy Jenkins

North Carolina-based bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers follow up their 2013 Grammy Award-winning Nobody Knows You with their second recording for Rounder Records, Tell The Ones I Love. The group’s profile has been raised in recent years by their collaborations with Steve Martin and this new recording showcases their many strengths.

Working with producer Larry Campbell at Levon Helm’s Studio in Woodstock, NY, the band continues with their blend of bluegrass, country and folk-pop, adding just a bit more percussion on this outing. They are fine instrumentalists and have a great vocal blend. And the songwriting of Graham Sharp and Charles Humphrey is first rate as well.  A train song, “Tell The Ones I Love,” kicks off this collection of a dozen original compositions and is a highlight. Other notable selections include “Camellia,” which brings to mind Helm’s group, The Band, the shuffling “Mendocino County Blue,” and the somewhat melancholic “Boomtown.” 

The Old Ceremony
Django Haskins

  

Chapel Hill band, The Old Ceremony, celebrates a milestone this weekend: their 10 year anniversary. The band will mark the occasion with a show at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw at 8pm Saturday.

First, they play live and host Frank Stasio talks with band members Django Haskins on vocals and guitar, Mark Simonsen on the organ, Gabriel Pelli on the violin, Dan Hall on the drums, and Shane Hartman on the bass.

Over the Rhine
Darrin Ballman

Eight years ago, musicians and husband and wife Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler moved from Cincinnati to a brick farmhouse in rural Ohio. Linford had seen the house and loved it at first sight. Karin took a little convincing. But when she saw it, she was smitten: "Sure enough we rounded the bend in the road, and I saw it. It was an old, old brick house that looked like it had a lot of love in it at some point."

The space around the building was inviting and green with rolling fields. "It felt like home," Karin says.

Ed Williams spent almost half a century writing for newspapers in Mississippi and North Carolina. His journalism career started at The Daily Mississippian and continued through 35 years at The Charlotte Observer.

Chapel Hill bus
bendertj / Flickr/Creative Commons (Image cropped)

David Ellis Dickerson is a writer, a storyteller and a teacher. He might be best known for the stories he's told on "This American Life." He also has a book about greeting cards, and an online series of video shorts called "Greeting Card Emergency."

Sepia upper half of the cover is a tone image of a marsh and bottom reads Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee
books.wwnorton.com / WW Norton and Company

  

When Li-Young Lee's parents received a classical education in China, they memorized dozens of poems. As a child, he heard his parents playfully recite poem after poem to one another. Today Li-Young Lee draws much of his poetic influence from that same classical Chinese poetry. 

My White Friends

Apr 8, 2014
Myra Greene

Photographer Myra Greene spent years taking self portraits exploring her own black identity. But after sharing these photographs with a friend, she realized that not everyone thinks about race as much as she does. 

  

When Michele Tracy Berger was a young girl, her mother gave her a gift: a walk-in closet. Looking back, she thinks of this space as her first portal to creativity. Creativity served as a survival tool for her during a difficult childhood involving abuse and poverty. Today, she's a creativity coach and professor of women's studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

  The documentary Bronx Obama follows the story of Luis Ortiz, an unemployed man living in the Bronx who one day in 2008 is told he looks an awful lot like a guy named Barack Obama from Chicago who is running for President—and that changes everything. 

Jon Gardiner for PlayMakers Repertory Company

What would have happened if John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald had met? Stephen Sonheim's musical, "Assassins" imagines a time when nine presidential killers or would-be killers can walk into a bar together. The show raises questions about what the pursuit of happiness means in America. Performed by PlayMakers Repertory Company, "Assassins" runs through April 20 at the Paul Green Theater in Chapel Hill. 

  

Chapel-Hill based band Dark Water Rising mixes southern rock, gospel harmonies, and traditional Lumbee influence to create their "rocky soul" sound. They got together in 2008, when none of them had any formal music training. Since then, they have gained local and national recognition throughout Native American communities. 

A picture of musicians on a stage with the Converge NC logo
Converge NC

The ConvergeNC Southern Music Festival is underway on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  It's organized by students and faculty.

Co-founders Libby Rodenbough  and Gabe Chess spoke with WUNC's Eric Hodge about this year's event.

Chess said the desire to start a music festival on campus came after his freshman year of college, so he reached out to Bill Ferris at the Center for the Study of the American South, who found a lot of support from university leadership.

Ralph Epperson, founder of WPAQ. Photographed 07/20/05.
Megan Morr / Winston-Salem Journal

This weekend people in Surry County remember a radio pioneer and North Carolina broadcasting legend, Ralph Epperson. A special WPAQ broadcast of the long-running "Merry Go-Round" program and a screening of "Broadcast - A Man and A Dream" documentary are scheduled for Saturday morning and afternoon at The Earle Theater in Mount Airy, NC.

WPAQ - "The Voice of the Blue Ridge"

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has begun in Durham.  One of the films making its world premiere is The Supreme Price, which follows the return of Hafsat Abiola back to her home country of Nigeria.   Hafsat Abiola is the daughter of the former president of Nigeria, M.K.O Abiola and Kudirat Abiola,  who spoke out boldly against political corruption in that country in the 1990’s and ultimately lost her life because of it.

Lawyer and freedom fighter Albie Sachs is one of the lesser-known heroes of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He spent time incarcerated and years in exile before nearly dying from a car bomb. 

Full Frame Theater at ATHD
Gurnal Scott

Documentary film enthusiasts are in downtown Durham today through Sunday for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.  City leaders like the business. 

There could easily be an extra 12,000 to 13,000 people packed in a few city blocks because of Full Frame.

“And they’ll be laughing and smiling and talking about the films that they’ve seen.  It’s really a great, great event.”

  Darius Monroe was 17 years old living in Texas when he committed a crime that would shape the course of his life.  He and two friends robbed a bank in their hometown making off with tens of thousands of dollars.  He was caught and spent 5 years in prison. A decade later, he returned home to try to figure out what impact his crime had on his family and the others who were in the bank that day.                     

Hot & Crusty is one the chain delis in New York City that line most street corners, offering fast, affordable food one step up from the fare you might receive at big national chains like McDonalds, or Subway.   Many of the employees at chains such as these are undocumented workers.  They are men and women that are here in this country with no papers, working long hours without the benefit of insurance or job security.  The new documentary ‘The Hand That Feeds’ follows the plight of one group of workers fighting for better working conditions at a Hot & Crusty restaurant on the Upper

The North Carolina Literary Arts Festival logo
lib.ncsu.edu/literaryfestival/

In the pre-digital era, storytellers were a specific category of individuals who regaled live audiences with their tales. Now, anyone with a smart phone or a YouTube account can be a storyteller who reaches audiences across the globe. What is the future of the art of storytelling?

The North Carolina Literary Festival asks that question of a panel of experts this Saturday at 12:30 pm in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University. 

A picture of hands playing a video game controller
Creative Commons

The widely held notion – that people who play computer games are loners – might not be true after all.  A new study from North Carolina State University finds that gamers are expanding their social lives and often wind up meeting the people they compete against. 

Nick Taylor is an assistant professor of Digital Media at NC State, and worked on the study.  He says the findings were consistent regardless of the types of games being played.

Jade City Pharaoh
Luis Franco / http://francoproject.com/
Adam Savage tells his story on The Moth stage
Noriko Shiota Slusser / The Moth

I'm pretty sure you've heard about The Moth. It's that project where people stand in front of a live audience, without notes, and tell stories.

The stories are often funny, touching, surprising. They are recorded and shared via podcast and a radio show, The Moth Radio Hour.

I say "pretty sure" because so many WUNC listeners contact us to say "Will you carry The Moth Radio Hour?" Well....I'm happy to say, yes! We will! Beginning Sunday!

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