Arts & Culture

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Promising online shows that run from comedy and reality to live sports, Facebook says its new Watch platform will let creators connect with their audiences — and earn money in the process. The social media giant's plan calls for using ads to monetize video.

When a band says it's over, we've gotten to the point where there's a good chance that's not necessarily a lie, but... it's basically a lie. Every band reunites, even the ones you never knew existed.

Ian Svenonius doesn't like to sit still. The singer, bandleader, and author is always juggling multiple projects, and the one he's helmed longest — the garage-rock group Chain And The Gang — has gone through multiple configurations in its eight years of existence. In June, he released a sampling of their catalog re-recorded by recent members, and now, just a few months later, he's back with a completely original album, Experimental Music, made with a new set of co-conspirators.

What a Diff'rence a Day Makes, released in 1959, was her biggest record, and not a single person who knew Dinah Washington could describe her any better than that. Her temperament was so changeable that a producer at Mercury Records reportedly kept four to five different playlists of prospective songs that she might sing during a recording session, hoping that one might match her mood. But Washington's mood — like a sneaky left hook — was not so easily divined. Some of those songs probably never got sung.

Catch A Philosophical Wave In 'Surfing With Sartre'

Aug 10, 2017

Jason Heller is a senior writer at The A.V. Club, a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the novel Taft 2012.

To make the Iraqi and Kurdish dumpling soup kubeh, Melanie Shurka dedicates hours. There are the broths to make, such as the beet-based selek or the lemon-infused hamusta enhanced by rounds of zucchini and Swiss chard. But more time is dedicated to making the dumplings themselves.

When Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's dueling Michael Caine impressions went viral during the first season of their food-tasting TV series, The Trip, it was more or less inevitable that the show's 6.5 hours of eating scallops and celeb impersonations would be edited down into movie form.

Nashville gospel singers the McCrary Sisters know how to make a 500-strong crowd feel like they've been personally invited to the party.

There was a time, earlier in their careers, when Alabama-born sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer took care to give each other space. They seldom showed up on each other's recordings or offered on-the-record comments on each other's careers.

When Rainer Maria first surfaced in the punk-rock basements of Madison, Wisconsin, 20 years ago, its sound was a tense and jagged jumble of youthful feelings: of confinement, of frustration and of having too many words rushing through your brain to capture and convey everything you want the world to hear.

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 was supposed to be the next Hamilton. It was going to invigorate Broadway and attract younger and more diverse audiences — and it almost succeeded. Instead, it's closing on Sept. 3, in part because of a controversy over casting and race.

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

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This week's show features music inspired by the rolling hills and moorland of the border country between Scotland and England, a landscape of forbidding beauty with a turbulent history of feuds, raids and conflict. Hear songs from Archie Fisher, Capercaillie, Kathryn Tickell and more.

Picture what would happen if Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin met Ali Farka Touré in a garage in West Africa, and you've got an idea of what my guests today sound like. The band is Songhoy Blues. They're from Mali, and their new album is titled Résistance.

I talked with the band's lead singer, Aliou Touré. He is originally from the northern Mali city of Gao, but fled south after Islamist militants and rebels took over parts of northern Mali in 2012, causing a massive political crisis and banning music.

Remembering Glen Campbell

Aug 9, 2017

With guest host John Donvan.

Earlier this year, I sang the praises of the debut full-length album by the group ÌFÉ, a dramatic meditation on traditional Afro-Cuban rumba and santeria music.

After seeing the band live in Philadelphia, I was even more convinced that its spirit of innovation is just as intense as its dedication to tradition.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Back in the late 1980s, when I was first starting out as a critic for The Village Voice, one of the books I was assigned was Laura Shapiro's Perfection Salad, a social history of the home economics movement during the turn of the last century.

When President Trump hit the links at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in February, it seemed like just another round for the golfer-in-chief. But it wound up quite the international news story — thanks in part to a scoop by a little-known blog.

Kelela is not here to play — she makes that clear from the outset of her new video for the hook-up single "LMK."

The latest artist to be lured by the dazzling lights of Broadway: Bruce Springsteen, who will be doing a limited run beginning in mid-October.

Information about The Boss' Broadway debut was first leaked in June to the New York Post, which at the time quoted anonymous sources. Springsteen's team made the official announcement Wednesday morning.

In a 2008 episode of the sitcom "30 Rock," the fictional NBC executive Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) proudly promotes the season finale of his new hit reality show, MILF Island. In the shamelessly tawdry program ("25 super-hot moms, 50 eighth-grade boys, no rules"), middle-aged women contestants are kicked off one by one with the show's signature catchphrase: "We no longer want to hit that. Get off MILF Island!" In a culture that objectifies women, older women aren't treated with any more respect than their younger counterparts; they're all equally disposable.

We're (hopefully) far enough removed from "emo revival" trend pieces to let this music grow as it should. That's not a knock against the bands that mine disparate '90s sounds, or others that seek to evolve it, just that the continuum isn't a straight line, but a spiral. Over three albums and a scattering of EPs, Prawn is a sterling example of emo's possibility, even as it continues to outgrow the genre's parameters.

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Aug 9, 2017

At this stage, it feels like Wilco has headlined nearly every festival — including its own Solid Sound Festival. But the band's sunset Saturday Newport Folk Festival demonstrated why, year after year, Wilco gets top billing: Twenty years in, the Chicago band has staying power without sacrificing a sense of sonic exploration.

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