Arts & Life

Music News
8:44 am
Sat January 24, 2015

In Modern Klezmer, 'The Oldest Old Guy' Is The King Of The Scene

Pete Sokolow (center) and his bandmates in Tarras Band, a group of younger musicians inspired by the work of 20th-century clarinetist Dave Tarras.
Michael Macioce Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:18 pm

During the the 1980s, when the traditional dance music of East European Jews known as klezmer was enjoying a revival, Pete Sokolow was called "the youngest of the old guys."

"Now I'm the oldest old guy," Sokolow says. "Most of the old guys are gone. Pincus is gone. Dave. Sidney is gone. All my old friends. I miss them."

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Author Interviews
7:59 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me'

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:16 pm

Thomas Maggs is a lonely little boy. When Esther Freud's new novel Mr. Mac And Me opens, he is 13 years old. His brothers have died, his father, who runs a bar, drinks too much of his own stock and beats his son. Thomas dreams of sailing away – and then World War I descends on his small English sea coast town. Tours stop coming, blackout curtains go up, village boys enlist and go off to war.

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Code Switch
7:56 am
Sat January 24, 2015

A Japanese Singing Competition Blooms In Colorado

Two performers rehearse a traditional Japanese dance for Denver's 2015 Kohaku Uta Gassen.
Chloe Veltman KCFR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:00 pm

At a Buddhist temple in downtown Denver, Junko Higdon is rehearsing a traditional song for one of the local Japanese community's biggest annual events.

Higdon is one of 30 amateur singers competing in two teams at this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen, which means, "red and white singing battle."

"White is for the men, red is for the women and whoever gets the most points out the teams wins the trophy," she says.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Do You Have To Read 'Frog?' No, But You Might Want To

Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2012.
Yin Li

There are books you read because you want to read them and there are books you read because you have to read them. The former category can include anything that tickles your particular fancies — teenage wizards, goopy aliens, hunky Scotsmen, shark attack survivors, the history of Vladislav's Wallachia, whatever Malcolms your Cowley.

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Movies
5:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Sundance A Lab For Changing Models In Film, TV

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Author Interviews
4:36 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

Frank Sinatra captured by photographer William "PoPsie" Randolph during a 1943 concert. Author Ben Yagoda points to Sinatra as one of the interpreters who helped revive the Great American Songbook.
William "PoPsie" Randolph Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:18 pm

Writer Ben Yagoda has set out to explain a shift in American popular culture, one that happened in the early 1950s. Before then, songwriters like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern wrote popular songs that achieved a notable artistry, both in lyrics and music.

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Movies
4:13 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

'American Sniper' Exposes Unresolved Issues About The Iraq War

Bradley Cooper stars in American Sniper, based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:18 pm

The movie American Sniper is a surprise box-office hit, but it has also become a lightning rod. Some critics say the film, based on the life of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, glorifies war. Others say it doesn't accurately portray the real Kyle. Still others say the movie — and the reactions to it — are an example of the deep disconnect between civilians and the military.

The vitriol has been ugly, the story complicated. There is no one truth. But when it comes to war, the most credible sources are often people who've experienced it firsthand.

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

5 Surprises From President Obama's YouTube Interviews

President Obama poses for a selfie after being interviewed by YouTube stars GloZell Green (left), Hank Green and Bethany Mota.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:06 pm

The White House has been hitting it especially hard on social media these days — it rolled out several previews ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address and an enhanced "river of content" during the speech as well.

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Monkey See
9:32 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Broad City' And Required Reading

NPR

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, we're joined from Boston by PCHH's official enthusiastic librarian, Margaret Willison. We begin with a conversation about Broad City, the Comedy Central show that recently kicked off its second season (you can see the event Stephen talks about right here). We talk about some of the show's influences, some of what makes it special, and some of the ways it pushes against the boundaries of typical television.

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TED Radio Hour
9:31 am
Fri January 23, 2015

What's Your Coming Out Story?

Ash Beckham speaking at TEDxBoulder about how we all have our own closets.
Courtesy of Kit Chalberg TEDxBoulder

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:35 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Keeping Secrets

About Ash Beckham's TED Talk

Equality advocate Ash Beckham offers a fresh story about empathy and openness — and it involves pancakes.

About Ash Beckham

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