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Before Martin Shkreli's event at Harvard could even get started Wednesday night, it was set briefly on ice. The controversial former pharmaceutical executive had to wait as university police officers evacuated the building where he was speaking, after someone falsely pulled the fire alarm.

Things didn't go much smoother from there.

"Nobody Hangs Out Anymore" begins in a golden room of golden dunes as the submerged London O'Connor stares into a submerged TV screen. Our hero, who also directed the video, pours a jug of golden sand onto his golden cereal and sings: "All my friends are on the net / and all my friends are in the net / and all of us are out of it / and none of us are into it."

Fire-Toolz's hyper-digitalia sounds like a row of belching slot machines expectorating into a pachinko machine in Hades. The glowstick noise that Angel Marcloid makes as Fire-Toolz is an oblong step past The Soft Pink Truth's electronic black-metal covers project in 2014, but far more unhinged — and that's saying something — and far more fluid in how it simultaneously dismantles and celebrates its own click-and-drag melange.

Jim James' second solo album, Eternally Even, is his most overtly political musical statement yet. The outspoken My Morning Jacket frontman turns the turmoil of our current times into a contemplative set of songs with his signature psychedelic soulfulness. He performed "Here In Spirit" live in our studio.

Set List

  • "Here In Spirit"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

"It is not an accident that there is a blackout on the Black man's contributions in America."
Dr. Melvin Chapman (1928-2015), educator, Detroit, Mich.

Recipe For New Sports? Just Add A Drone

Feb 16, 2017

You may have heard of drone racing, but people keep coming up with new ways to enjoy these flying machines.

One of the latest twists on drone sports comes from Latvia.

Perhaps nobody cares about their clothes anymore.

Back in 2013, Monkey See brought you an exclusive interview — "exclusive" in the sense that it happened only in our minds and we therefore were the only ones who knew about it — with the iron, just after Monopoly announced it was being retired from the game. During that interview, the iron darkly alluded to a difficult history with another game piece: the thimble.

The profoundly personal side of tragedy often gets lost when stories of horrendous events become a sort of public property, taken up by reporters, bloggers, tweeters and talk-show hosts, even claimed as fodder for sensationalized television documentaries. Flesh-and-blood people whose ordeals are broadcast far and wide can easily get reduced to one-dimensional characters and their suffering abstracted.

Author of the monumental multivolume novel In Search of Lost Time. High modernist of the first order and reclusive titan of French letters. And, if one Canadian scholar is correct, quite the dapper attendee of a wedding in 1904.

In the more than a century since Marcel Proust was first published, the name of the great French novelist has come to be associated with many things, but film footage is not one of them. Despite a handful of photographs depicting Proust, no one living claimed to have seen the man actually move -- until earlier this month.

Peter S. Beagle Finds Magic In 'Calabria'

Feb 16, 2017

Peter Beagle owes much of his career to a unicorn — specifically, the protagonist of his 1968 novel The Last Unicorn, the lyrical, tragic, wryly funny bestseller that inspired a cult-hit animated movie and earned him a permanent spot on virtually every knowledgably curated best-fantasy-of-all-time list.

5 Ways Teachers Are Fighting Fake News

Feb 16, 2017

As the national attention to fake news and the debate over what to do about it continue, one place many are looking for solutions is in the classroom.

The FX show Baskets stars comedian Zach Galifianakis as a French clown school dropout who has moved back home to Bakersfield, Calif. There, he finds work as a rodeo clown and competes with his twin brother for his mother's affection.

Until September, journalist Chadwick Moore says his life had been lived in a liberal bubble — one that burst after he wrote a profile Milo Yiannopoulos for Out Magazine.

The Fox News Channel is under investigation by federal prosecutors to determine whether it broke securities law in making payments in the sexual harassment scandal that ultimately cost former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes his job, according to a lawyer currently suing the network.

It's been a dozen years since Alec Ounsworth became an Internet sensation, as his band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah bypassed the label system to become internationally known through support from music blogs. But as that support waned with subsequent releases, and as the power of Internet buzz grew more diffuse, Ounsworth found a way to endure.

Someone once told me I should memorize more poems, so I'd have phrases to call upon in times of emotional need. She recommended I start with that William Ernest Henley poem, "Invictus," best known for its closing lines: "I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul."

Beyoncé is no one's mammy.

So the record-scratching comments from Adele and Faith Hill shortly after Beyoncé's Grammy performance came across as absolutely bizarre. In her earnest acceptance speech for her album of the year win, Adele praised her fellow artist's vision for Lemonade, the album that Adele's 25 bested in the category. She also all but said Beyoncé deserved the Grammy.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

After decades of dogs ruling popular culture — there are three canine stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame — there's been a revolution. Thanks to a tsunami of cute viral videos, our feline comrades are now in the catbird seat, from those ubiquitous Hello Kitty stores to surprise bestsellers like Takashi Hiraide's exquisite, sneakily profound novel The Guest Cat.

The 'meaning' of music is an amorphous concept, as are the lessons of psychotropic experiences brought on by substances like lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. Recent scientific studies have attempted to tackle both of these topics and gauge whether ingesting the substance impacted peoples' experiences with and interpretations of music. By request, the poet August Kleinzahler considers two recent studies, through the lens of his own musical and psychedelic dabblings.

Though Byron Blaylock made his recorded debut as Byron The Aquarius only a year ago, by most standards his musical journey had already been long and fruitful. Born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., Blaylock had been a keyboard and hip-hop production prodigy during the golden Myspace days of the late-Aughts.

Margaret Drabble's new novel The Dark Flood Rises opens with its protagonist, Francesca Stubbs, tensely driving her Peugeot on an English highway. Fran is an expert on housing for senior citizens; she's herself in her seventies, and lately, she's been obsessed with mortality. Here's the first sentence of the novel: "She has often suspected that her last words to herself and in this world will prove to be 'You bloody old fool' or, perhaps, depending on the mood of the day or the time of the night, 'you ...

Following the introduction of two bills into the state Legislature that would legally prohibit transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identities, 142 artists — including Ewan McGregor, Amy Poehler, Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, Talib Kweli, Wilco and Whoopi Goldberg — have co-signed a letter beseeching the state senators and representatives to prevent the bills' passage.

Cab drivers have a special window into the twisted affairs of humanity, bearing witness to the full spectrum of joy and pain through the tiny frame of a rearview mirror. This cramped stage is the perfect setting for Kishi Bashi's "Can't Let Go, Juno" video, a song about heartache and the lengths one goes to spare someone else's feelings.

One of the oldest creation stories in history holds that God created mankind in his image. But what of woman? Is she not worthy of being conjured from a vision, a likeness, the stuff of greatness? King Woman, the mighty Bay Area-bred solo-project-turned-full-band helmed by vocalist and guitarist Kristina Esfandiari, grapples with this glaring omission on its forthcoming album, Created In The Image Of Suffering.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Love Songs

Feb 15, 2017

We've heard a lot about romantic love recently. Now, hear of a bond with landscape, language and the natural world, all in the finest Celtic-rooted music.

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

Think back to your college days and you can probably name at least one band that got together in its members' dorm rooms and played a couple of sweaty late nights at the local campus dive bar, but didn't make it past graduation. If that's the college-bar-band rule, Arkells is the exception. The band formed more than a decade ago in the dorms at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and last week it returned to that same city to headline its first sold-out arena show. It was a full-circle moment for a band that's earned its fans one bead of sweat at a time.

Agnes Obel, a Danish singer and writer of deeply alluring music, brought her work into what you could call its opposite — an office in the daylight. While the setting is a bit contrary to her carefully plotted, vocally dense songs, she mapped out a strategy which included her own reverb and monitor mix in the (successful, I think) hope of giving the Tiny Desk an aesthetic more suitable to these focused and powerful songs.

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