Arts & Culture

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On paper, few things may seem more navel-gazing than a memoir about being in a book club. But Anne Gisleson takes that ostensibly narrow premise and goes universal in her debut book, The Futilitarians. She writes about her time spent in a circle of friends who call themselves the Existential Crisis Reading Group — nicknamedThe Futilitarians. Their portmanteau of "futility" and "utilitarian," while playful on the surface, isn't chosen lightly: They gather regularly to read and discuss books, as well as their lives, in post-Katrina New Orleans.

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Whatever time it is where you're listening right now, let's pretend for a minute that it's the early '90s, 3 a.m. You're somewhere in the New York area, tuned in to WKCR, absolutely glued to your radio because you're hearing explosive live performances by artists you don't know, but who you know are soon to be something big. We're talking Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, The Fugees, Fat Joe, DMX, Nas, and Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killa and Method Man.

Moments like that happened weekly on the radio show hosted by my guests Stretch and Bobbito.

The Antifa Handbook

15 hours ago

With guest host Stephen Henderson.

In the wake of Saturday’s violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, condemnations of the marchers’ cause came quickly.

Except from the White House. In remarks Saturday and in the following days, President Donald Trump made references to “many sides” and violent responses from counter-protesters. Conservative critics were more explicit in pinning some blame for violence on Antifa.

Actress Pamela Adlon has grown a successful TV career over decades, without ever becoming the stereotype of a tabloid starlet hounded by paparazzi. She starred in Californication, co-created Louie with comedian Louis C.K., and won an Emmy for her voice-over work as 12-year-old Bobby Hill on the animated show King of the Hill. Now she's doing the most personal work of her life, with the comedy, Better Things.

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The artist Chronixx, born Jamar McNaughton, is 24 years old. But he's already been hailed as the leader of Jamaica's roots revival moment: an island-wide return to old-school reggae.

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The Venezuelan government has cancelled the upcoming U.S. tour by the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and its star conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who is also the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

El Nacional, a major Venezuelan paper, reported yesterday that the cancellation was ordered by the presidency.

Syd has developed quite a voice for seduction. Between her solo work and group efforts helming The Internet, her burgeoning discography of softly-sung R&B hook-up anthems could turn any amateur PUA into a pro.

Comedian, actor and director Jerry Lewis died Sunday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91.

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The estate of Prince Rogers Nelson remains a bed of thorns, in some ways. A $30 million deal between Universal Music Group and Prince's NPG Records, being overseen by his estate, is now the subject of a special investigation into whether it should be canceled outright, according to documents filed today in Minnesota.

Songs For The Eclipse: An All-Day Playlist

20 hours ago

Last week we asked listeners to tell us what songs they think would provide the best score for viewing today's solar eclipse. We took the most popular tracks, and a bunch of our own, and put them in one big playlist you can hear all day today on the All Songs Considered 24/7 music channel.

At 46, Ben Jaffe is almost exactly the same age as Jazz Fest. Like a lot of New Orleans natives, he has memories of the annual event stretching back to childhood, though his experience is a little more rarefied than most. "That's where I got to sit on Fats Domino's lap and then hear him play," he says. It's where I heard Allen Toussaint play for the first time as a child.

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The comedian, filmmaker and philanthropist Jerry Lewis, he of the nasally voice and epic pratfalls, has died. Here he is with his longtime partner and straight-man Dean Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Three-time Grammy winner DJ Premier, one of the definitive architects of New York hip-hop, brought a new type of life to NPR's Tiny Desk: our first concert helmed by a DJ.

We're recapping Season 7 of HBO's Game of Thrones here on Monkey See. We'll try to turn them around overnight, so look for them first thing on Mondays. And of course: Spoilers abound.

A supersized episode this week, 70! Glorious! Minutes! Of walking and bonding and mauling and wight-snatching and deus-ex-machining. It starts with the credits map, on which we once again scooch sideways from Castle Black over to Eastwatch, as so much of this week's action takes place just a hop, skip and a Gendry-jog north of it.

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And finally, yesterday, we asked you to contribute to our solar eclipse soundtrack. Here's what you came up with.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THAT'S AMORE")

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Jerry Lewis, a comedic fixture on big screens and charity telethons for decades, has died at the age of 91.

His death was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and confirmed by NPR with his publicist and spokeswoman Candi Cazau.

Cazau provided the following statement:

"Famed comedian, actor, and legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home in Las Vegas with his family by his side."

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(SOUNDBITE OF MANUEL GARCIA-OROZCO AND MAYTE MONTERO SONG, "OYE MI MAMA (AFROBEAT) [FEAT. AIFF])

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Speaking Spanish).

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

On-air challenge: The answer to each clue is a 6-letter word that rhymes with the last word:

Ex. Cause of muscle pain ---> STRAIN

  1. Time of year when birds start to sing
  2. Having glaring light
  3. What follows Sunday
  4. What's raised in a mound
  5. More than twice
  6. Place where you might find a vassal
  7. Tool on a mechanic's bench
  8. What you can use to fill in a stencil
  9. Bank feller
  10. Traveling theater group

Wild Things, Bruce Handy's new book about "the joy of reading children's literature as an adult," recounts a famous Maurice Sendak anecdote: After sending a young fan a drawing, Sendak got a letter back from his mother saying that the child had loved it so much that he ate it. "He didn't preserve it ... He ate it. I mean, that's how primal, that's how animalistic, that's how passionate we are as small people," Sendak said in a 1991 interview with Larry King.

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In her new book, Good Booty, music critic Ann Powers embarks on a wide-ranging history of pop music in America. The title, she says, was inspired by Little Richard's 1955 hit "Tutti Frutti."

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