Arts & Culture

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Some basketball viewers on Friday night were subjected to television commercials that were guilty of peddling some alternative facts.

That's because in some markets with conservative-leaning districts, commercials aired praising some Republican House members for their efforts in repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

Charley Pride, one of the first African-American stars in country music, has sold more records for RCA than anyone not named Elvis Presley. Since Pride has a lot to be proud of, we're going to quiz him on shame — three questions about people who've made big mistakes. Click the listen link above to hear how he does.

On today’s show, we’re going to talk about something that’s completely free of charge but that many, many people might call the most valuable commodity in the world: sleep. It’s supposed to be a restful and restorative process. So why does it produce such anxiety?

Washington, D.C.'s Capital City Public Charter School feels like a mini United Nations. Many of the school's 981 students are first-generation Americans with backgrounds spanning the globe, from El Salvador to Nigeria to Vietnam. So when the staff of the literacy non-profit 826DC began a book-publishing project with the junior class, they picked a topic everyone could relate to that also left room for cultural expression: food.

In July 2015, the music industry moved its formal release day for new records from Tuesdays to Fridays. These days, though, it seems like almost every day is New Music Day. Keeping track of all this new music can be a challenge, but that's why we love being music fans.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Women in the Castle, the new novel by Jessica Shattuck, tells the story of three women, and their children, who take refuge in the ruins of a Bavarian castle at the end of World War II. The women are war widows — war resistance widows, really — whose husbands paid with their lives for the July 1944 plot against Adolf Hitler.

If you're a fan of The Americans, you probably have strong feelings about Alison Wright's character, Martha. Poor, loving, trusting Martha had to be smuggled out of the U.S. because she married a man who was no good for her — a man who turned out to be a Russian spy.

Valerie June started performing in the Memphis club scene when she was still a teenager. She's a New Yorker now, with a vocal style that takes traditional blues, country and soul and pushes them into another realm.

Copyright 2017 KUNC-FM. To see more, visit KUNC-FM.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CITY GIRL")

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: The following program was written in 2003 by a 12-year-old girl.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) "City Girl."

SARAH RAMOS: I'm Sarah Ramos. I am the creator of "City Girl."

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

'Girl In Disguise' Is A Spunky Spy Saga

12 hours ago

Pluck. Kate Warne, the heroine of Greer Macallister's detective romp, Girl in Disguise, personifies the attribute (I hear an echo here of Mr. Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, informing Mary she has "spunk," before dropping the other shoe. "I hate spunk.") Warne was in real life the first woman hired by the famed Pinkerton National Detective Agency, back in 1856 — and in this historical novel, she sets herself immediately to solving the crime of what took them so long.

It's hardly unusual for athletes, both amateur and professional, to have pregame rituals. But the NBA's peculiar commitment to one grade-school snack goes deep: ESPN Magazine calls the PB&J sandwich the league's "secret addiction."

"In every NBA locker room, you'll see a variety of different foods on the table, but PB&J — if there's a locker room that doesn't have it, I haven't seen it," ESPN reporter Baxter Holmes tells Scott Simon.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Unexpected releases, surprise announcements, the loss of giants - this week the music news kept coming. And here with the latest, NPR music editors Jacob Ganz. Hey there, Jacob.

JACOB GANZ, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We first met Becca Stevens when she sang a show-stopping solo vocal line on a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" during a World Cafe session with David Crosby. She was part of Crosby's young, Brooklynite backing band, and we were thrilled to learn that they also write songs together.

A Food Festival Celebrates The Rebirth Of Jewish Life In Berlin

Mar 24, 2017

Inside a Berlin bookstore on a recent Friday night, an unusual scene unfolded. Thirty people sat around a long table, sharing Israeli-Moroccan dishes like matbucha (a side of roasted red peppers and tomatoes), ptitim (a toasted pasta shaped in little balls) and a modern twist on the traditional challah or egg bread — a vegan one filled with dry fruits, quinoa, herbs and pomegranate juice.

There's new music from Lucius: The New York quartet's song "Million Dollar Secret" will be featured on HBO's Girls this Sunday.

Kendrick Lamar wasted no time following through on his mysterious "IV" Instagram post. Last night, the Compton MC released a new song, "The Heart Part 4," and it's a no-holds-barred lyrical onslaught.

Within the span of five minutes, over shifting beats produced by Syk Sense, The Alchemist, DJ Dahi and Axlfolie, Lamar waxes philosophical, adversarial and political while dropping heat on everyone from phony rappers to President Trump.

Peace. It's a powerful word and a powerful idea. When you find it — if you're lucky enough to find it — you, understandably, never want to let it go.

In her quietly hopeful love song, "All The Beds I've Made," Nashville-based songwriter Caroline Spence sings about feeling a little bewildered, a little wary and very grateful to have, quite unexpectedly, discovered total peace in a romantic relationship.

Tale as old as tiiiiiiime ...

By which, of course, I mean "tired people return from South By Southwest."

But in any event: this week's show kicks off with a discussion with our pal Katie Presley of Bitch Media about the live-action version of Disney's Beauty And The Beast. How are the candlesticks? How's the new music? And, as Katie wonders, is there adequate eroticism within the Beast, compared to the cartoon Beast who set Katie's young heart aflutter so many years ago? And what's the Les Miz-iest part of the Beast's new tune, anyway?

Nighttime is restless. Even in our sleep, we are moving in our dreams, or involuntarily flopping around the bed disturbing a loved one, be it a significant other, a dog. Lullabies are written to calm these restless minds, but maybe they should also recognize the motion of the day.

Nick Hakim begins with a bit of a fake-out — languorous strings like something out of a Stars Of The Lid record rumble from a sampler, somber and hesitant. But as he begins to sing in a heartbroken falsetto, surrounded by optical fibers hanging from the ceiling of SXSW's Optic Obscura installation by Raum Industries, the ambient intro morphs into a quiet, psychedelic croon.

Thanks to La La Land, Hollywood is getting shine for its magical skyline and hamster-wheel hustle. But if the film's characters had been more into house music than old-school jazz, Phantoms could've provided the perfect soundtrack. The production duo — Kyle Kaplan and Vinnie Pergola, two former teen actors who traded the red carpet for the recording studio — makes escapist, vocal-heavy dance music inspired by the city's surreal nightlife, an amusement park of gritty warehouses and glitzy nightclubs in which everyone's trying to make it.

For more than a decade, the members of The Builders And The Butchers have specialized in a kind of white-knuckle Americana: Their acoustic folk-rock sound is shot through with nervy, hellfire-and-brimstone intensity.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Maysoon Zayid's TED Talk

Maysoon Zayid teases herself for all the ways she's different: she has cerebral palsy, she's Muslim, she's Palestinian. By making us laugh at it, she gets us to think about acceptance.

About Maysoon Zayid

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Kevin Breel's TED Talk

The image of the "sad clown" can seem like a cliche. But for Kevin Breel, it's very real. He describes how he struggled with depression while performing as a standup comedian.

About Kevin Breel

Negin Farsad: Can Humor Fight Prejudice?

Mar 24, 2017

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Negin Farsad's TED Talk

Comedian Negin Farsad traveled all over the U.S. to clear up misconceptions about Islam while making people laugh. She calls this form of activism "social justice comedy."

About Negin Farsad

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