Arts & Culture

Ways to Connect

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's finish up today talking about last year's box office juggernaut. You know you saw it, maybe more than once.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's talk Oscars now. If you're a fan of the Academy Awards, maybe you've gotten used to those long, long, rambling acceptance speeches that seem to go on all night.

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Some siblings find it hard just to be under the same roof, but Mark and Jay Duplass have teamed up to make more than a dozen films. They've recently branched out into television with their HBO show Togetherness.

Since these brothers get along so well, we've asked them to take a break from writing, directing, acting and producing to play a game called "Hating you is like hating myself." Three questions about brothers who didn't see eye to eye.

HBO's music industry drama Vinyl comes at you like a classic rock song you can't get out of your head.

Powerful. Emotional. But also kind of predictable.

It's obvious from one of the earliest moments in the first episode, when Bobby Cannavale's out-of-control record company owner Richie Finestra stumbles into a smoky club circa 1971 and finds the New York Dolls.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Hundreds of reporters are lined up in rows, looking at flat-screen televisions like bettors at a racetrack. Producers are recording on iPhones, and reporters are deploying selfie sticks to capture live shots, while crews toting video cameras stalk bigger game.

The quarry — presidential candidates and their surrogates — are announced by a party staffer carrying a vertical placard, hoping to draw the attention of the fickle journalistic hordes.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Belinda McKeon's new novel takes the prize for having one of the most exquisite endings I've read in some time — but first, you have to get there. McKeon has followed her debut, Solace (which won an Irish Book Award in 2011) with a microscopically examined tale of lopsided, obsessive love between two college-aged, fledgling adults who meet in Dublin just as they're starting to define themselves apart from their provincial parents.

There was a time when the world of World Cafe and the world of the Grammys only intersected with a few Contemporary Folk nominees. These days, that category doesn't even exist — hello, Americana! — and World Cafe guests like Melbourne's Courtney Barnett are cropping up as nominees across the board.

With its elaborate headdresses, colorful sequined gowns and statuesque dancers, Jubilee is the classic Las Vegas show. It was the last showgirl extravaganza on the Vegas Strip, and now it's closed, its last performance on Feb. 11.

Women go through eight to 12 costume changes in a show that packs in at least as many different routines in about 90 minutes. There's a patriotic medley, the story of Samson and Delilah, even the Titanic.

T.J. Miller has played a dragon slayer in the How to Train Your Dragon movies, a man who doesn't always change his underwear in Big Hero 6 and a pothead who thinks he's a tech rock star in HBO's Silicon Valley. Now Marvel fans will know him as bartender Weasel, best friend to the titular superhero in the new, R-rated comic book movie Deadpool.

Rokia Traoré's Commitment To Her Culture

Feb 13, 2016

When we hear about Mali, it's usually about that country's civil war.

But the west African nation has long been a shining star of music and culture. It's where the annual Festival in the Desert once attracted visitors and pop stars from around the globe.

The Record Company On World Cafe

Feb 12, 2016

L.A. band The Record Company first connected over a John Lee Hooker album called Hooker N' Heat, on which the legendary boogie bluesman collaborated with Canned Heat.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

I'm not sure there's ever been a record release as confounding as the one for Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo. He's changed its title and track listing several times in as many weeks, and even up until the very moment I'm writing this, it's not 100 percent certain what will be on that final album, whenever and wherever it comes out.

The Danish entry in the foreign language Oscar sweepstakes, A War, begins in Afghanistan, deep in Taliban territory. A Danish patrol is walking single file across a field. Each man steps where the previous man stepped ... alas, to no avail. A land mine explodes, killing the baby-faced last soldier in the line.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli in for Terry Gross.

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Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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

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Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

If you follow the vast world of fermented grapes, you may have noticed an influx of so-called natural wines. I fell under their spell a few years ago. Apparently, I'm not alone. There's something of a natural wine cult blooming in shops, bars and restaurants around the U.S.

Money May Not Buy You Love, But It Sure Helps

Feb 12, 2016

A candlelit dinner, a bottle of bubbly Champagne and a beautiful date. You tear your gaze away for a second to glance at the check your waiter just gave you. Your heart skips a beat at the sight of the three-digit number. But never mind, the stunning smile across the table is worth it.

Right?

Relationships come with sweet romance and accelerating heartbeats, but money, unfortunately, is often a crucial ingredient in the mix as well. Think about it: Weekly date nights, vacations, wedding, honeymoon and even divorce ring up bills of all sorts.

In September 2014, Glen Weldon (a great recommendation engine for podcasts) talked in our What's Making Us Happy This Week segment about Pitch, a show I'd never heard of about which I said with some interest, "I'd listen to that." Hit your little fast-forward button and jump about a year and a half, during which we adopted Pitch as one of the things we think is nifty and befriended its producers, Alex Kapelman and

On last year's Abyss, Chelsea Wolfe explicitly rendered the metallic tendencies that have always existed just below the surface of her music. Wolfe's soulful howl found its bite in gigantic riffs and devastating volume that suited some of her most significant songwriting yet. But at the Tiny Desk, Wolfe took her songs back to their primal form with just her voice, a muffled electric guitar and a loop pedal.

Like many romance readers, I have a list of authors whose new releases are always on my shopping list. But this winter I've been looking for new (to me) novels that reflect the people I see around me. I wanted to read books by authors of color. I also looked for interracial relationships, protagonists from different cultures, and class differences without power imbalances (the Women of Color in Romance website was a great resource). Here are a few that I found.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

If you've been keeping up with the latest offerings from Hollywood, you have probably seen a commercial for the movie "Deadpool." And if you haven't...

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