Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Live at Town Hall, New York

18 hours ago
Lynn Ferguson
Allan Onderchain

Simon Doonan tries out for The Devil Wears Prada but realizes they were interested in more than his acting.

Kemp Powers contemplates what makes his son so sensitive.

Lynn Ferguson is advised to terminate a pregnancy.

Dorrance dancing.
Courtesy of Michelle Dorrance

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and this summer’s social protest movement, 2020 has been challenging for the live performer. Michelle Dorrance is a world-renowned tap dancer who is using this time of cancellations and remote performances to contemplate new ways to use her art to incite and inspire. 

Cars at a drive-in movie
Cpl. Ali Azimi

Social distancing guidelines are pushing many social interactions outdoors — so why not the movies? Drive-in theaters had their heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, with showings of family classics, kitschy horror films, sci-fi wonders and — ahem — “adults-only” flicks. The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a resurgence of interest in the iconic activity. 
 

Album cover for Libby Rodenbough's 'Spectacle Of Love'
Sleepy Cat Records

Libby Rodenbough is taking a break from the indie Americana band Mipso to release her debut solo album Spectacle of Love. The Durham-based musician is expanding her musical pallet with contributions that include electric piano, synthesizers and even bass clarinet.  The songs are mysterious and beautiful with echoes of artists from Rickie Lee Jones, to Andrew Bird, to Gillian Welch.

A Carla Hall 4th of July

Jul 3, 2020

This week, Francis spends the hour with the irrepressible Carla Hall. Carla is a chef, author of Carla Hall's Soul Food, a judge on Netflix’s new series Crazy Delicious, a motivational speaker, and a restaurateur, but at her very core she is still a cook.

Bill Withers is beloved for writing classics like Lean On Me, but Greg Kot has long contended that Withers’ best album is Live at Carnegie Hall. This week hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot honor Withers’ life by doing a classic album dissection on that record and review the latest album from Phoebe Bridgers.

Headshot of Knapp.
Nora Knapp

Nora Knapp turns her dreams into song lyrics. Three-year-old voice memos on her phone become foundations for melodies and song titles. These chance inspirations are the building blocks of Knapp’s new album “Contradox.” 

American Rehab 1: A Desperate Call

Jul 2, 2020

Reveal’s American Rehab exposes how a treatment for drug addiction has turned tens of thousands of people into an unpaid shadow workforce.


In Episode 1, we meet Penny Rawlings, who is relieved to get her brother into drug rehab at a place called Cenikor. She doesn’t realize that getting him out of treatment is going to be the bigger problem.


Ida B Wells candle
Courtesy of Black Bright Candles

When Tiffany M. Griffin began dating her husband, Dariel, in 2014, they discovered a shared love of candles. They began researching how to make their own and soon, a passion project was born. 

All around the country, NPR member stations are not only a vital source of news but music, arts and culture, too. We are grateful that music stations never stopped providing their unique blend of programming for listeners during this ongoing pandemic. They also provided critical support for their local music economies.

We usually ask our stations to pick songs that are in heavy rotation on their broadcast logs for this series. But given that we're halfway through 2020, we wanted to know our station's favorite songs of the year so far.

Play it Again, SLAM!

Jun 29, 2020
Gabby Shea
Jason Falchook

Gabby Shea wants to impress her boyfriend's family with her macaroni and cheese.

Jon Novick reveals what his every day existence is like as a Little Person in New York City.

Annie Tan has trouble connecting with her father across a language barrier and physical distance.

Carl Banks draws upon his past to help a desperate young man on a bridge.

Anoush Froundijian is cast in a bit part in the Armenian version of Beauty and the Beast.

The Evolution of All-American Terrorism

Jun 25, 2020

The Trump years have seen an increase in domestic terrorist attacks linked by hateful ideologies that thrive online. Reveal teams up with Type Investigations to track every domestic terror incident from 2016 through 2019. We unpack the ideologies and tactics of American white supremacists and assess government attempts to combat them.

Sometimes current events inspire urgent art. This week Jim and Greg share their favorite instant commentary tracks, songs that were published in a hurry in hopes of affecting change. Plus they review the first Bob Dylan album of new music in eight years and Jim adds a song to the desert island jukebox. 

Indefinite. Or even permanent. These are words companies are using about their employees working from home.

It's three months into a huge, unplanned social experiment that suddenly transported the white-collar workplace from cubicles and offices to kitchens and spare bedrooms. And many employers now say the benefits of remote work outweigh the drawbacks.

Light Up Your Grill

Jun 19, 2020

This week, we bring you grilling inspiration with Chef Yia Vang of Minneapolis' Union Hmong Kitchen. Yia talks about the strong Hmong grilling tradition that fuels his work and leaves us with an amazing marinade recipe. Raleigh Chef Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner is famous for her way with vegetables and her grilling ideas for them are pretty extraordinary.

Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Jun 18, 2020

While the year is only half over, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot couldn’t wait until December to share their favorite albums. This week, Jim and Greg share their picks for the Best Albums of 2020 so far.

Unrepentant

Jun 18, 2020

Despite revelations of clergy sex abuse and promises of transparency, a prominent Jesuit university is doing little to punish priests who cross the line. 

In this follow-up investigation about the Jesuit order in the Pacific Northwest, reporter Emily Schwing has two stories about Gonzaga University, which among Jesuit schools has the highest number of predatory priests who worked as staff and faculty. The first story takes us to a remote Alaska Native village where a prominent priest was accused of sex abuse by four young men. 

Waltz Maynor

As we work to gain perspective during this crisis, we may find ourselves searching our personal and collective memories for precedents, stories or myths that might restore the ground under our feet. What is the relationship between collective memory and identity? 
 

Everything's Bigger in Texas

Jun 17, 2020
Christopher Scott
Kathie Tam

Alyssa Ladd attempts to be the "best Christian" at her Evangelical summer camp.
Chris Gorman adopts a dog that's been marked "unwanted."
At 12 years old, Robert Holguin infiltrates a NASA press conference. 
Christopher Scott's life is changed forever when he answers a friend’s call for help.

Tim Walter / Zoocrü

Zoocrü is a Durham progressive jazz combo embedded in African diasporic music. They describe themselves more simply — Zoocrü is Black American music.

Divided States of the Pandemic

Jun 12, 2020

The federal government’s early failures to manage the coronavirus shifted a heavy burden to local control. We look at how officials in two states, California and Florida, found their way to shutdown and eventual reopening and explore the intersection of politics and public health behind the decision-making process.


Cover Songs & Opinions on Jehnny Beth

Jun 9, 2020

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the roots of the term “cover song" and dig into the surprising stories behind some of rock's most notable examples, from Elvis's rendition of "Hound Dog" to the Feelies doing the Rolling Stones. Plus, Jim and Greg share a few of their favorites. They also review the debut solo album by Jehnny Beth of Savages.

Voicing Tough Truths

Jun 8, 2020
Nimisha Ladva
Bob Sweeney

David Litt channels his alter ego, "Lips," while working as a presidential speechwriter. Nimisha Ladva sees the subtle ways her mother defies the patriarchal structure of her extended family. Alexis Barton learns nothing good happens after midnight. Sharon Salzberg's meditation teacher encourages her to use her voice and past experience to help others

Byrd holding his fists together in front of his face, with his thumbs facing outward in opposite directions.
Courtesy of Hausson Byrd

Writing poetry in this moment of civil unrest is not much different than writing poetry at any other time in American history, according to Hausson Byrd. He says poets have been writing about police brutality, racism and violence since the beginning. 

The Uprising

Jun 5, 2020

As Americans in all 50 states take to the streets, protesters in Minneapolis, Miami, San Francisco and other cities tell us why they’re speaking out. Then host Al Letson speaks to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is prosecuting the case against Derek Chauvin and the other officers involved in the death of George Floyd.   


Next, Letson talks to Riley Lockett, a college sophomore who has been protesting with his family in Oakland, California. 


An Hour with Yotam Ottolenghi

Jun 5, 2020

This week, Francis spends the hour with the charming Yotam Ottolenghi, author of multiple best-selling books including Ottolenghi SimplePlenty, and his forthcoming Flavor. Yotam talks about the reality of feeding family while in quarantine, the excitement around reopening his restaurants in London, and answers your questions about exploring international markets, taking tahini beyond hummus, jazzing up your bowl of oatmeal, and keeping your wild children off the top of the table during dinner.

Buried Treasures & Ask the Critics

Jun 4, 2020

Looking for new music that you won't hear on the radio or almost anywhere else? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some recent songs they're loving (aka Buried Treasures) that are beneath the mainstream radar. They also answer some questions from listeners in another edition of Ask the Critics.

Courtesy of Jooselord

Inciting riots is his God-given gift, the Durham rapper admits. Jooselord does it regularly on stage and his upcoming release — “MoshPit Messiah” —  is a testament to that skill. So it was a surprise to some of Jooselord’s fans when he maintained peace at protests over the past week in Raleigh and Durham.

A Nobel Path

Jun 1, 2020
Roald Hoffmann
Sarah Stacke

Sarah Schlesinger talks about the internship at Rockefeller University that led to meeting her lifelong mentor and friend. Robin Frankel attends the Nobel Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden as the guest of a Nobel Laureate. Deirdre Bowen tells a story of competing in her school’s science fair and her struggles to impress her scientist father. Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann tells of his harrowing childhood during WWII.

Courtesy of Blair Publishing

Twenty-five years ago, renowned poet Lenard D. Moore invited a group of his peers into his basement for a session of writing critique. That monthly gathering evolved into the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective, which has supported over 60 writers across a variety of styles through their careers. 

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