Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

The band Natural Born Leaders
Courtesy of Natural Born Leaders

The band Natural Born Leaders describes its sound as “the Fugees meets Black Sabbath.” The Asheville-based group is comprised of five members whose musical styles and influences range from metal and hard rock to hip-hop and folk.

Dante High Debuts With Abundant Hooks

Oct 12, 2018
Brian Livingston

Ari Picker's first band Lost In The Trees was known for cinematic, orchestral folk music that incorporated many layers of instrumentation including strings and horns. It was beautiful, complex and artful. His new project is more direct and takes its lead from keyboard synths, guitar and a driving rhythm section. Dante High's debut is eight tightly performed, taut songs that clock in at just 30 minutes.

Buried Treasures and Remembering Geoff Emerick

Oct 11, 2018

It's Buried Treasures time yet again. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some new under-the-radar music that you need to hear! Plus, they revisit their 2006 conversation with Geoff Emerick, an audio engineer who worked on the classic Beatles albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Emerick passed away this month at the age of 72.

DeWayne Barton in the Burton Street Peace Gardens
Angeli Wright / Asheville Citizen-Times

A highway expansion project in Asheville is set to destroy several homes in a historically black community for the third time. Parts of the Burton Street Neighborhood in West Asheville were demolished by state highway projects in the 1950s and 1960s. Now the proposed Interstate 26 connection project will go through the neighborhood again.

A picture of The Felice Brothers
The Felice Brothers

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

This time, we're talking with The Felice Brothers about 'Plunder,' a song off of their 2016 album 'Life In The Dark.'

The song has all the qualities of a great Felice Brothers tune, catchy guitar riffs and quirky lyrics. 

Listen to the episode here:

Pasta Party Bracket - Round One

Oct 11, 2018

We here at The Splendid Table love our pasta, and we know a lot of you do as well. So, as part of our monthlong Pasta Party, we want to find out what pasta style is your top noodle. Our Pasta Party Bracket pits our fans' most searched and enjoyed pasta styles head-to-head in a three-round bracket. Each week, you'll vote for your preferred pasta in each pairing, narrowing it down to a final winner at the end of the month.

Hunting the Ghost Fleet

Oct 10, 2018

We hike through the jungles of El Salvador to find an elusive fleet of shark-fishing boats implicated in overfishing and possible human trafficking. Then we join a UN mission to intercept a crewmember from one of those boats who might be a victim of human trafficking. Finally, we investigate a U.S.-based seafood company that purports to be a model of sustainability. From reporters Sarah Blaskey, Ben Feibleman, Robin McDowell, Margie Mason and Martha Mendoza, producer Michael Montgomery, and editor Brett Myers. This show was originally broadcast June 30th, 2018.

Areon Mobasher

Marie Antoinette’s biggest crime was being born to a family of wealth and privilege during a time of political upheaval. She was executed by guillotine. 

Cooking with pheasant: new recipes and advice from Hank Shaw

Oct 10, 2018

"It tastes like chicken," is something we often hear when someone describes the flavor of another meat. In the case of pheasant, it's particularly true. Pheasant is a game bird found in and near farmland of the Upper Midwest. Biologicially speaking, it is a close cousin to chicken. While it's meat is somewhat darker, denser and tougher than chicken, you can cook a pheasant pretty much any way you would a chicken.

photo of Tena Clark
photo by Stephanie Rocha

 Tena Clark may not be a household name, but most people have heard her music. She has written and produced for legends like Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Leann Rimes. She won a Grammy for her work with Natalie Cole, and contributed to the soundtracks for hit movies like “Hope Floats” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

Clever beer hacks transform beer lovers into MacGyver

Oct 9, 2018

Here's the situation. You’ve got friends coming over for beers after work. You get home, and there it is. Your beer. On the floor of the garage, not in your fridge. And you can’t find your bottle opener. Have no fear; the King of Beer Hacks is here! Ben Robinson is the author of Beer Hacks: 101 Tips, Tricks, and Projects.

Beer Hacks: How to make your beers cold - quick!

Oct 9, 2018

The following is an excerpt from Ben Robinson's book Beer Hacks. Hear Robinson's creative workarounds for when you find yourself a legit bottle opener and his suggested glassware for specific serving temperatures in his Splendid Table Selects interview with Sally Swift.

Something Borrowed, Something New

Oct 5, 2018
Trystan Reese
Photo by Jason Falchook

Omar Qureshi tries to find acceptance in a home that hates him. Kari Adams faces up a storm of trouble when an uncontrollable force comes crashing into her wedding. Donna Otter attends a tantric body painting party on the heels of her divorce. Trystan Reese must deal with the world’s reaction when he goes viral for becoming a pregnant trans man.

a poster of Brett Kavanaugh that says "Kava Nope" in front of the Supreme Court Building in D.C.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) / AP

Millions of Americans were glued to their screens last Thursday when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford told her story of sexual assault to the Senate Judiciary Committee and an angry Brett Kavanaugh defended his name against the allegations. A similar battle played out more than two decades ago during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

From left to right: JAMM, Naima, J Rowdy, Lil Monsta, and Zone.
Amanda Magnus / WUNC

Two years ago, the Afrofuturist digital makerspace in Durham started offering hip-hop workshops. Local students gathered at Blackspace to learn about writing and met each Friday night in a public park to rap and make beats. Out of those gatherings, a group of students – who call themselves the Blackspace Afronauts – put together their first album: “Revenge Of The Afronauts.”

Edna Lewis was called the Grande Dame of Southern Cooking so many times, the words are literally etched into her gravestone. No one disputes that honor, but it did make us think: Miss Lewis grew up with such a particular version of Southern cuisine in central Virginia; we wanted to know more about that region. Francis Lam called on the culinary historian Jessica B. Harris to tell us more about it.

Toni Tipton-Martin is an acclaimed food writer and the author of The Jemima Code, a book that presents the history of African-American cooking told through 200 years of black cookbooks. It paints a picture of a cuisine that’s more diverse, technical, and sophisticated than the stereotypes of black food.

Generations of home cooks have been inspired by the recipes and writing of Edna Lewis. Among them is Elle Simone, food stylist and test cook for America's Test Kitchen. Managing Producer Sally Swift sat down with Simone to hear about the Miss Edna-inspired America's Test Kitchen recipe for Chicken and Pastry, a hearty soup with a thick broth that contains bits of dumpling-like pastry. Try the recipe at home for comfort food at its best!

Photo: Chef Scott Peacock (left) | Peacock working alongside Miss Edna Lewis (right)


Famed Southern chef Scott Peacock first cooked with the legendary Edna Lewis as her assistant at a Southern food dinner in Atlanta. He was in his 20s; she was 74. Over the next 15 years - up until her passing in 2006 - they continued cooking together and became dear friends. Francis Lam talked with Peacock about what it was like to be in the kitchen with Edna Lewis, and how her sense of observation, wonder and patience still guide his work today.

10 Years or Life

Oct 4, 2018

An accused man faces an impossible choice in New Orleans. Plus, a new district attorney in Philadelphia sets out to undo the work of those who came before him. From reporters Eve Abrams and Laura Starecheski, and editor Catherine Winter.

Sound Opinions: Wayne Kramer of the MC5

Oct 4, 2018

As the lead guitarist of the groundbreaking political rock band the MC5, Wayne Kramer experienced both the highs of recognition and the sting of defeat. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Kramer 50 years after the band's iconic debut Kick Out the Jams. They chat about his new memoir, the '60s Detroit rock scene and discuss his experiences with overcoming drug abuse and jail time.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The man once known fondly as “America’s Dad” now faces three to 10 years in state prison. 81-year-old Bill Cosby was sentenced last week for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, one of more than 60 women who has come forward with assault allegations against Cosby.

Nina Williams-Mbengue remembers aunt Edna Lewis

Oct 4, 2018

Photo: Nina Williams-Mbengue (left) and Edna Lewis (right)

There are many lenses through which to look at the life of Edna Lewis. You can talk about her career as a chef, an author, a farmer, or an activist. But, first and foremost, she was a woman with loving friends and family. We wanted to know more about what Miss Edna was like on a personal level. Francis Lam was able to talk with Lewis's niece Nina Williams-Mbengue, who runs the Child Welfare Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures, about her Aunt Edna.

Photo: Sara B. Franklin (left), Edna Lewis (right)

photo of Mirsad Hadzikadic
courtesy of Mirsad Hadzikadic

Mirsad Hadzikadic left his home of Yugoslavia in 1984 to earn a Ph.D. in the United States. He spent more than three decades as a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte but never forgot his roots.

Pasta Party! A collection of pasta recipes and video

Oct 3, 2018

October is National Pasta Month, and we wanted to celebrate by throwing a pasta party featuring some of our favorite pasta recipes and videos from The Splendid Table website. Check out the recipes and clips below. If you are looking for more ideas, visit our complete Pasta Recipe Collection. We love to hear about your favorite pasta styles and recipes, and we particularly enjoy seeing your pasta dishes.

The Places We Tell Our Stories

Oct 2, 2018
Larry Kerr
Photo by Libby Lewis

Edgar Oliver 
sets the mood in Greenwood Cemetery.

Sheri Holman is convinced a curse has latched onto her family and life.

Larry Kerr concocts a plan for love amidst the rage of war.

Anoush Froundjian parts from her reserved lifestyle to see how the other half lives.

headshot of author and former radio DJ Jo Maeder
courtesy of Jo Maeder

When writer Jo Maeder’s parents split up, she vividly remembers her dad announcing: I’m retiring and moving to Miami. Who is coming with me? She was eager to pick up her life and start anew and spent her late high school and early college years under her father’s supervision. But despite the time they spent together, Maeder feels like she did not really get to know her father until after he passed away.

Pluto Press

Scholar Lawrence Grossberg has spent decades documenting the rise of the political right. In his latest book, he places the rise of President Trump within the historical timeline of American conservatism.

“Under The Cover Of Chaos: Trump and the Battle for the American Right” (Pluto Press/ 2018) digs into how the turmoil of the Trump presidency has spurred an “explosion of vital and diverse forms of organizing” on the left, but also how that organizing has bypassed real conversations that acknowledge the core of political disagreements and develop long-term strategy.