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In the age of SoundCloud rap, 19-year-old Demo Taped's rise from unknown Atlanta-bred music prodigy to 300 Entertainment signee isn't all that unusual. That he's ascended from hip-hop's bedrock city to the house that Lyor Cohen built while making something other than hip-hop? That's totally out of the ordinary.

Author and founder of the Decatur Book Festival, Daren Wang has a new book. "The Hidden Light of Northern Fires" offers a fresh take on the American Civil War. It was released earlier this month. He joined us in the studio to talk about his first novel.

The back-flipping, glowstick-flinging, twerk titans of the EDM main stage have been succeeded by an unlikely assembly of bedroom beatmakers. Cashmere Cat, Mura Masa and Zhu are, in many ways, the polar opposite of DJs who sparked the genre's recent commercial boom. Soft-spoken and enigmatic, they're homebodies-turned-headliners who are more interested in eccentricities and atmospheres than builds and drops.

One of the world's best-known opera stars, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has announced that she will never sing in public again — bringing a long, storied career to a close.

The Man Booker Prize rolled out its 2017 shortlist on Wednesday, delivering a list of six nominees showcasing a hefty dose of literary heavyweights and a pair of newcomers. Of the six novels on the list, just one will go on to win this year's prestigious literary prize at gala ceremony next month in London.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums By Women.

'World Without Mind' Is An Urgent, Personal Polemic

Sep 13, 2017

Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the forthcoming book Strange Stars (Melville House). Twitter: @jason_m_heller

Lookman Adekunle Salami, who writes and records as L.A. Salami, is a storyteller and a poet. His songs are deliberate meanderings on the mundane and the poignancy in everyday life. And in the way Bob Dylan took his guitar and harmonica to accompany his rarely repeating ramblings, L.A Salami embraces a similar aesthetic, albeit as a black Englishman instead of a white Minnesotan.

Few traumas in life feel as suffocating or isolating — or are as relatable — as enduring a broken heart. The shallow breaths and loneliness can be overwhelming. For Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan, it's not unlike a solo journey through the deepest, darkest reaches of space, or walking alone in an empty city.

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As usual, the headline from "Monday Night Football" this week was the score - Denver Broncos, 24; LA Chargers, 21. But there was another storyline. For the first time in 30 years, a woman, Beth Mowins, provided play-by-play in a regular season NFL game.

Nicole Krauss' fourth novel, a cerebral, dual-stranded tale of disillusionment and spiritual quest, proves heavy going for its characters — and its readers. Her two protagonists, a powerful, 68-year-old Manhattan attorney and philanthropist named Jules Epstein, and a celebrated novelist on the cusp of 40 named Nicole, have come to question the aridity of their lives. Both believe they'll find relief and transformation in Israel, a land of "never-ending argument" that also offers them abundant time and light in which to examine things more deeply.

Ever since the early days of Pop Culture Happy Hour, we've set aside the occasional block of time to champion a few of our favorite entertainers in a segment we call People We're Pulling For. We keep the criteria pretty loose: They can be little-known up-and-comers, major stars at a crossroads, or anything in between. The important thing is that we're rooting for them, and we think others ought to root for them, too.

Tonight, the Americana Music Festival will host the 16th annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards show, honoring the singers, songwriters and instrumentalists in the field of American roots music (including alternative country, folk, bluegrass and blues & R&B). The ceremony, hosted once again by Jim Lauderdale, will be held at the Ryman Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. CST/7:30 p.m. EST. NPR Music, World Cafe Nashville and WMOT are providing this exclusive live web stream.

The event has now ended.

NPR Music critic Ann Powers will kick off NPR Music's coverage of the Americana Music Festival today, Wednesday, Sept. 13, with a performance chat exploring the eclectic sounds and legacies informing Americana music. The conversation will take place at 11:30 a.m. CST/12:30 p.m. EST at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at the Ford Theatre.

Ride On World Cafe

Sep 12, 2017

Along with contemporaries like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, Oxford's Ride was seen as one of the definitive bands in 1990s shoegaze. The band had success in the '90s with a fervent fanbase and music that crept up the UK charts.

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Among the deals being signed that shape the way the world experiences culture, a new partnership will exert a great influence on the flow of content from the world's three remaining major record labels to an enormous and growing marketplace — as long as everyone plays by China's opaque rules around expression.

About halfway through Claire Messud's new novel The Burning Girl, our narrator, a 12-year-old girl named Julia, makes this pronouncement:

Sometimes I felt that growing up and being a girl was about learning to be afraid. Not paranoid, exactly, but always alert and aware, like checking out the exits in the movie theater or the fire escape in a hotel. You came to know, in a way you hadn't as a kid, that the body you inhabited was vulnerable, imperfectly fortified.

During Donald Trump's campaign for president, there were times at his rallies when he singled out one reporter for criticism. Katy Tur, who covered the Trump campaign for NBC News and MSNBC, remembers those instances vividly.

The village of El Clavo lies just an hour bus-ride from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, practically hidden in the lushness of the jungle. Centuries ago, the settlement was founded by rebel Africans who set up secret free communities deep in the brush of the region.

In this riveting detective story, Vancouver writer Deborah Campbell goes undercover in Syria in 2007. At first, she is a journalistic sleuth: On a tourist visa in Damascus, her aim is to collect the stories of Iraqis fleeing to Syria as the brutal war in Iraq drives more than a million civilians across the Syrian border, stories that depict the legacy of the U.S. invasion.

It will be four years before Syria begins to come apart — but the signs are there, as past and future conflicts converge.

Two songs into his Tiny Desk concert, Jack Antonoff revealed a bit of stagecraft behind his performances with Bleachers.

Legendary theater director Sir Peter Hall might have ended up the grand old man of British theater, but he came from modest beginnings — Hall was born in 1930 in Suffolk, England to a father who was a railway clerk, and his family lived in a house without electricity.

Hall went on to run two of the most important theater companies in England — the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre — and directed Waiting for Godot and Amadeus, among dozens of plays, old and new.

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

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today, we are just getting a clearer picture of the destruction that was caused by Hurricane Irma. In different spots across Florida, first responders are on the ground, still searching for people stranded or needing help.

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Months after the world watched her endure a brutal humiliation, Hillary Clinton walks into her study. She sits down at her computer, sighs, pinches the bridge of her nose.

"OK, everyone. Shut the hell up and listen," she mutters.

And then she types feverishly for weeks — or however long it takes to pound out 469 pages.

Hillary Clinton's final campaign for office ended in a shocking defeat. But she isn't going quietly into the night.

"I think the country's at risk, and I'm trying to sound the alarm so more people will at least pay attention," Clinton told NPR.

That said, her career as a candidate is over.

"I'm done. I'm not running for office," Clinton said. But for those, including Democrats, who would like her to just go away? "Well, they're going to be disappointed," she said.

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