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L.A. Salami sings and fingerpicks his acoustic guitar like an old truck winding through windswept blue highways. The British artist's debut album Dancing With Bad Grammar was one of Bob Boilen's top 10 albums of last year, saying it was a "hidden gem in 2016."

20 years ago, a low-budget film with a great soundtrack (Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Blur) became a huge hit. And then a lot of people ended up with a poster on their bedroom wall featuring an epically profane rant that began, "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family ..."

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF "OVERTURE/AND ALL THAT JAZZ")

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When PWR BTTM takes the stage, it doesn't take long to figure out what you're going to get. From the first glitter-smeared seconds of the set-opening "Silly," the band came to shred and swagger with infectious joy, complete with backbends and solos and spangly outfits — at least one of which wouldn't survive the band's set at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, recorded live for NPR Music Wednesday night.

If you've only heard Lizzo's hit "Good As Hell" — and if you haven't, listen now, I'll wait — you might think the Twin Cities singer is a funny and ingratiating but fairly straightforward purveyor of self-affirmation and charismatic confidence. But as her joyful and explosive live show unfolded, complete with the arrival of the ecstatic backup dancers she calls "The Big Girls," it became clear that Lizzo has something more powerful going on.

"I'm ready for the world," Alynda Lee Segarra sings in the chorus of the rousing "Hungry Ghost" — and her band's set told that simple truth again and again. In the past seven or eight years, Hurray For The Riff Raff has blossomed slowly but fully, transforming its sound from intense-but-delicate one-woman bedroom recordings to the rip-roaring full-band jams that dominated the group's set at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, recorded live for NPR Music Wednesday night.

At a ceremony in New York on Thursday, one of America's most celebrated writers had a new reason to celebrate. Louise Erdrich won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for her novel LaRose, the story of an accidental shooting — and the fraught tale of family and reparation that follows.

On Friday, the streaming service Netflix unveils the entire first season — all 13 episodes — of its newest children's series, called Julie's Greenroom. It stars Julie Andrews, who also is its executive producer along with her daughter, children's book author Emma Walton Hamilton.

Mystery Guest

Mar 17, 2017

This episode's Mystery Guest, Autumn Stanford, just started an interesting late-night business. Can you figure out what it is before Ophira and Jonathan?

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

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Zero G

Mar 17, 2017

In this final round, every answer is a two-word phrase where the first word ends in "I-N-G" and the second word sounds like the first word, with the last G removed. But don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems! For example, the answer to "Brushing dirt off of the actor Hoffman" is "Dusting Dustin."

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Literal Songs

Mar 17, 2017

Jonathan Coulton makes songs with one-word titles even more straightforward, by changing their lyrics so that each song is quite literally about the title. Contestants buzz in to identify the song.

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

This, That Or The Other

Mar 17, 2017

In this week's edition of This, That or the Other, contestants are given the title of a book and must guess if it was written by an FBI agent, an Olympic athlete, or a participant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Mar 17, 2017

For comedian Judy Gold, having older parents meant that feedback in her household was often quite negative. "I remember the first time I did the Tonight Show. My mother leaves me a message, 'So...I...watched...and there are so many commercials! I mean, I waited and waited...' I'm like, 'Hello! Are your other kids doing the Tonight Show?'" she told host Ophira Eisenberg. "But you don't appreciate it until you're old...and they're dead."

Mr. Shouty

Mar 17, 2017

Hollywood's most famous yeller, Samuel L. Jackson, finally stars in his own game! Contestants must identify movies starring Mr. Jackson just from clips of him shouting.

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

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Toy Joy

Mar 17, 2017

Did Twister ever give you a blister? Or chess give you stress? In this game, every answer is a toy or game paired with a word that rhymes with that toy. So if we asked, "What's the game where the first player to get rid of their cards wins a trip to the capital of Alaska?" the correct answer would be "Juneau Uno."

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Whether it's vinyl records, disposable cameras or magnetic tapes, the present resurgence in outdated media use is worth reflection. What makes these imprecise, expensive recording devices superior to the ever-improving resolutions of their digital counterparts? According to the experimental German label PAN, the answer lies in the Japanese term mono no aware: the transience of things.

Derek Walcott's work explored the beauty of his Caribbean homeland and its brutal colonial history. The prolific, Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright died Friday at his home in St. Lucia. He was 87.

Walcott wrote dozens of books of poetry and plays, among them his epic poem Omeros and his Obie-winning drama, Dream on Monkey Mountain.

The 1,500-mile Appalachian Mountain range stretches so far that those on the northern and southern sides can't agree on what to call it: Appa-LAY-chia or Appa-LATCH-ia. The outside perspective on the people who live there might be even more mangled. Stories about Appalachia tend to center around subjects like poverty, the opioid epidemic and coal, but since 1966 a series called Foxfire has been sharing food, culture and life as it's actually lived in the mountain region.

Katy Perry's "Chained To The Rhythm" is one the year's low-key-subversive pop songs with a title that suggests Top 40 pop, but is actually about how They Are Controlling You. WAKE UP SHEEPLE.

"Turn it up, keep it on repeat / Stumbling around like a wasted zombie / We think we're free / Drink, this one's on me."

First, it was the iron. Then, it was the thimble. Now, Monopoly has kicked two more longtime tokens out of the game.

Step away, boot. Roll yourself away, wheelbarrow.

On Tuesday, Feist's new album, Pleasure, was announced with a release date of April 28 — amusingly, to the surprise of Leslie Feist herself. Now we have the title track, her first new original song in six years.

While we're waiting for Stephen Thompson to return from South By Southwest, we wanted to bring you two of the segments we did on our fall tour with friend of the show Guy Branum, who hosts the Maximum Fun podcast Pop Rocket and is also the host of the upcoming TruTV show Talk Show The Game Show, based on a live format he's been doing for a while. Guy joined us at the Now Hear This festival in Anaheim to talk about memes and fads, and to offer some pop culture advice to our listeners.

Late yesterday evening, Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Katie Presley and Stephen Thompson wandered the streets of Austin recapping a day of music. For everyone, it was a day of political music that still made space for joy. Katie saw mostly rap yesterday, and she was especially struck by Moor Mother, whose fiery set had also inspired an excellent performance from New York-based rapper SAMMUS.

Kwame Alexander believes that wonder lies between the lines of poems.

His new book Out of Wonder, is a collection of original poems for children written in the style of some of the world's most famous poets — Rumi, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou. The poems were written by Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth and illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

There are three aims for the book — to encourage kids to read poetry, to introduce them to great poets, and to inspire them to write poems of their own.

NPR's Scott Simon spoke to James Cotton in 2013. Hear an encore of their conversation at the audio link.

In 1919, a German miss and a French gent gingerly approach each other across the no-man's-land between their two countries. For Francois Ozon, director and co-writer of Frantz, the romance is less tentative. The French filmmaker's melodrama is a love letter to German-born director Ernst Lubitsch, as well as to painter Caspar David Friedrich.

From time to time in Hirokazu Kore-eda's gently incisive family drama After the Storm, the soundtrack produces a few bars of casual whistling backed by a soft fragment of melody that noodles along with its lead character, stalled novelist and private detective Ryôta Shinoda (Hiroshi Abe). As he bumbles through another dispiriting day in the life, we learn that a typhoon is on its way to the Japanese town where he lives.

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