Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Courtesy of Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Gabrielle Calvocoressi was born with nystagmus, a visual condition where the eyes are constantly in spasm. It took Calvocoressi a while to learn how to walk and balance, so the young child spent a lot of time sitting on the floor, daydreaming and observing the world. 

Best Albums of 2018

Dec 7, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.

Beloved North Carolinian musical legend Nina Simone graces the cover of Oxford American's Southern Music Issue.
Amanda Magnus

The latest issue of the Oxford American magazine is all about North Carolina’s musical past and present, from Doc Watson to Rapsody. The issue features essays on musicians from the Tar Heel State from writers across the South. It also features a companion CD full of samples of the state’s iconic music. 

A jazzy twist on a classic, Marcus Anderson blends music, coffee and entrepreneurship with his brand.
Courtesy of Marcus Anderson

Marcus Anderson is a fusion jazz artist whose performances include not only playing the saxophone, but also singing and choreography. But Anderson is more than an artist — he is also an entrepreneur. In 2015 he started a coffee line called AND Coffee. And he is in the process of organizing a jazz festival in Asheville for August, 2019 called “Jazz AND Coffee Escape.” 

A picture of Michael Rank
Bowie Ryder / michaelrankmusic.com

Michael Rank is doubling down on his musical move to funk and soul. The Triangle-based singer/songwriter was known for his Stones-y, outlaw country swagger and dusty folk on a series of recordings before pivoting to Sly and The Family Stone and D'Angelo on last year's Another Love.

Sound Opinions: The Best Albums of 2018

Dec 6, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.

Monumental Lies

Dec 6, 2018

The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, but the Confederacy didn't completely die with it. Monuments, shrines and museums are found throughout the South. We teamed up with The Investigative Fund to visit dozens of them and found that for devoted followers they inspire a disturbing – and distorted – view of history: Confederate generals as heroes. Slaves who were happy to work for them. That twisted history is also shared with schoolchildren on class trips. And you won't believe who's funding these site to keep them running. Plus, the story of New Mexico’s great monument controversy.

Photo of women's history trail in Western NC, cutting through red tape and blazing new trails.
Courtesy of Karen Lawrence

A new women’s history trail in Franklin, North Carolina highlights the overlooked stories of entrepreneurial women in the western part of the state. The trail celebrates both individual women and women’s organizations, like the Main Street Milliners: a group of hat-makers and business owners who worked in Franklin in the 19th and early 20th centuries — a time when women rarely owned businesses. 

Photo of Amy Ray
Carrie Schrader

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 take a look at Amy Ray's 'Didn't Know A Damn Thing,' from her latest solo album Holler. The song starts off like a country song complete with banjo, pedal steel and two-step back beat. But as the lyrics build, out comes a story about a white kid growing up in the Jim Crow South.

Listen to the episode here:

Photo of J.D. Cortese
Courtesy of J.D. Cortese

From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, tens of thousands of Argentines who were believed to be political dissidents were kidnapped, tortured and killed by military and security forces. Those who were never seen again are called los desaparecidos. 

Moonshine: America's original rebel spirit

Dec 4, 2018

Moonshine is a spirit that goes by a long list of nicknames: white lightning, corn liquor, stump water, skullcracker, wildcat, ruckus juice, and that is a short list. Moonshine, which is most often distilled from corn, has a deep connection to the history of the United States and is seeing a recent boom in popularity. John Schlimm is the author of Moonshine: A Celebration of America’s Original Rebel Spirit.

A picture of singer-songwriter Doug Paisley.
LP Photographs

Doug Paisley's new record Starter Home is a quiet beauty. The Canadian musician will remind you of Guy Clark, John Prine and Gordon Lightfoot, even as he puts his own stamp on a long tradition of singer-songwriters.

He recorded the new songs over a few years at several home studios in Toronto. Paisley will be at The Cat's Cradle Back Room in Carrboro tonight. 

Enter to win The Great Minnesota Cookie Book

Dec 3, 2018

December 2018 Giveaway

Every month, The Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens, stock their pantries, and fill their bookshelves. This month, three (3) winners will receive one (1) copy of The Great Minnesota Cookie Book by Lee Svitak Dean and Rick Nelson. The retail value is $24.95.

Enter before December 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

Nathaniel Rateliff “Tearing at the Seams"

Shambling their way through the Triangle and into your heart this December.
Courtesy of Ellis Dyson & The Shambles

Growing up, Ellis Dyson loved listening to music on the radio until many of the songs started to sound the same. They had similar beats and were often formulaic. This epiphany led him to old-time jazz and artists like Jelly Roll Morton, and eventually to playing his own music. He began on the fiddle, moved on to the banjo, and started his own band as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chef David Nayfeld is a terrific chef. His restaurant is called Che Fico, in San Francisco, and it’s an Italian restaurant with a focus on the food of the Roman ghetto. He was recently in New York to be named one of Bon Appétit magazine’s best new restaurants of the year. While he was in town, he was kind enough to drop by Francis Lam's home to show him how his family makes stuffed potato pancakes. While cooking, they talked about the Jewish roots of Roman food.

Air fryers: America's Test Kitchen equipment review

Nov 30, 2018

There's no doubt about it. The last couple years have been the Age of the Instant Pot. But there's a new cooking appliance in town, one that also touts quick countertop convenience - the air fryer. Some home cooks, bloggers and cookbook authors are getting obsessed with air fryers! So, Lisa McManus and her crew of equipment testers at America’s Test Kitchen set out to test them. She shared her thoughts with Managing Producer Sally Swift, and gave us their short list of recommendations.

Recommended Air Fryers (by America's Test Kitchen)

We all know that Champagne is the drink of choice for toasts at holiday parties or for ringing in the new year. But wine writer and expert Peter Liem says Champagne is a drink that should be enjoyed 12 months of the year - not just during the holidays.

Sound Opinions: Singer-Songwriter Amanda Shires

Nov 29, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have a conversation with country singer-songwriter Amanda Shires at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. They discuss her literary lyrics, her latest album To The Sunset and how becoming a mom has influenced her art. She'll also perform live.

Cover of the book, Elvis, Strait, to Jesus: An Iconic Producer's Journey with Legends of Rock 'n' Roll, Country, and Gospel Music, by Tony Brown.
Rick Caballo - Dead Horse Branding

Tony Brown is a music industry legend who produced 37 number one singles for George Strait. His legacy is large, but his roots are firmly planted in North Carolina. Brown was raised in Walkertown where his family cherished two things: church and gospel music. 

Courtesy of Hal Crowther

Hal Crowther has a fascination with getting people’s stories right, especially after they are gone. It started with the death of his beloved great-grandmother Mary Ann Naylor Crowther. When the 94-year-old passed away, he realized that deceased people are often “defenselessness as others tell their stories and rank their accomplishments.” 

Doctors, Prom, and Ellen

Nov 29, 2018
Hasan Minhaj
Christan Leonard

Hasan Minhaj faces racism from his prom date's family.

Catherine Smyka comes out to her grandmother.

Mel Dockery was trying to become an American citizen and just had to pass one final test.

Jeremy Orvik is a doctor who must make decisions about the treatment of his ailing mother.

When offensive or FCC-prohibited words appear, they are bleeped and listed in the Content Advisory.  Sensitive content will be given an on-air caution and will be noted here in the description. 

Trial and terror

Nov 29, 2018

The recent killing of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue refocused the nation’s attention on right-wing extremist terrorists. Meanwhile, the Trump administration points to radical Islam as the bigger threat to security. On this episode of Reveal, we investigate which terror threats get tracked and which are ignored.

Nik Sharma is a cookbook author, photographer and chef in training who embraces global flavors in his food. He grew up in a bicultural household; his father is North Indian and his mother is from Goa - a former Portuguese colony of the West Coast of India. He is also the author/photographer of the new cookbooks Season, a personal book about being a gay Indian immigrant that uses powerhouse flavors and beautiful visuals to connect us to his story.

Photo of a performance of Black Poetry Theatre
Courtesy of Black Poetry Theatre

What is a hero, and who gets to be one? A Durham-based spoken word, theater and poetry company tackles these questions in its upcoming production. “Definition of a Hero” started as a piece focused on men’s relationships with their fathers but broadened out to look at the many manifestations of heroism in people’s lives.

Stock image of banjo
Creative Commons / https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1098772

The public face of Bluegrass in North Carolina has long been male and white, but the genre is now undergoing a transformation. The star-power of Rhiannon Giddens has drawn new attention to the music and the history behind it.  And legacy organizations like the International Bluegrass Music Awards have started to pay more attention to women’s contributions.

Photo of Susan Ladd, journalist and social justice advocate.
Courtesy of Luckyshot Productions

Susan Ladd grew up in a conservative, white family who taught her that black people were dangerous and should be feared. In the early 1970s, her parents chose not to send her to the recently desegregated Little River School near her home, but instead to a makeshift “pop up” school which was quickly erected and hastily staffed so that white children could avoid attending a black school. But despite her parents’ intentions, Ladd developed an intolerance toward racism and sexism and became a defender of the underdog. 

Alex Bailey / Twentieth Century Fox

Films that draw us into the gritty highs and lows of the music world are having a big cinematic moment. There’s the new head-banging Queen biopic, a film that takes on the rise of Elton John, and yet another reincarnation of “A Star is Born.”

For the next edition of Movies on the Radio, we want to know which movie about musicians resonates most with you? Is it the dark poignancy of “Ray?” The drug and music fueled tour in “Almost Famous?” How about rise and fall of N.W.A. in “Straight Outta Compton?”

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