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We Woke Up Like This: 366 Days Later

Nov 9, 2017

Anyone who didn’t stay up all night watching the election returns last year woke up to news that felt inevitable the night before, but nearly unpredictable a month earlier.

Unfathomable. Unimaginable. These are among the words used to describe the recent mass shooting in a rural Texas church, which left more than two dozen parishioners dead, eight of them children. For many of us, the inhuman horror of this act literally defies comprehension. The dimensions of the tragedy are all too familiar for Jimmy Greene.

"Can we please stop with the remakes of Murder on the Orient Express?" I ask upon exiting Kenneth Branagh's fatally tepid new reading of the Agatha Christie classic.

The protagonist of Thelma is immensely powerful. But does teenage Thelma (Eili Harboe) derive this mojo from her budding sexuality? Does the woman, just beginning college in Oslo, squeeze demonic juice from rejecting her parents' austere Christianity? Is the small-town naif's chandelier-shaking force a medical matter?

Or is Thelma just a fledgling filmmaker?

There's always been a special, red-stained place in our culture for the splatter film, which has the unique power to reveal society's, um, insides.

But the current state of the world is threatening to put the genre out of work. John Waters's Serial Mom and Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America were both about everyday people going on murder sprees over petty grievances, but one came out in 1994 and the other in 2011, and in-between the concept of the out-of-nowhere mass shooter morphed from a horrifying anomaly to a fact of American life.

It was the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Seven when Frances McDormand collected her Academy Award for playing Marge Gunderson, the lovable pregnant cop heroine of Fargo. At that same time, Martin McDonagh was fast establishing himself as the savant terrible of the Irish and English stage, a brash and brilliant playwright who was more Noel Gallagher than Noel Coward — and more like a long-lost Coen Brother than either. Four of McDonagh caustic tragicomedies, all set in rural Ireland, premiered in 1996-7.

Chris Forsyth On World Cafe

Nov 9, 2017

After many albums over the last two decades with many and varied lineups — the band Peeseye, solo, in duo, amongst many other configurations — Chris Forsyth has settled down some, playing and releasing with The Solar Motel Band for a few albums now. That includes his latest, from this year, Dreaming In The Non-Dream.

For this session, recorded during a WXPN Free At Noon Concert at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pa., Forsyth brought his three-piece band, with Matt Stein on bass and Ryan Jewell on drums. Hear the interview and performance in the player above.

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Whether you saw the movie five years ago or 50 years ago, it doesn't take much to evoke "The Graduate."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE GRADUATE")

WALTER BROOKE: (As Mr. McGuire) Just one word.

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Director Ridley Scott is replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the upcoming film "All The Money In The World."

(SOUNDBITE OF THE ZOMBIES SONG, "TIME OF THE SEASON")

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Univision has named Ilia Calderon as co-anchor of Noticiero Univision — Spanish-language media's most important evening news broadcast. Calderon is the first Afro-Latina to anchor a national news program, which is a big deal for a network often criticized for racially insensitive content and its lack of darker-skinned on-air talent.

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

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

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Psychotronic Film Society on Facebook

Looking for something to do this weekend? Bill Dawers of the Savannah Morning News and hissing lawns and Bevin Valentine Jalbert of Paprika Southern have you covered.

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

Nov 9, 2017

Formed in 1975, trend-setting "Avant Garage" rockers Pere Ubu emerged from Cleveland, Ohio, with an eccentric sound that has sustained four decades of orchestral blue-collar rock, infused with synths, layers of guitar, and the distinct vocal style of David Thomas.

Heard here is Pere Ubu's appearance on Mountain Stage with Larry Groce, recorded and broadcast live from Charleston, W.Va., on Oct. 6, 1991.

Graphic journalist and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton was browsing an antiquarian book fair on a Saturday morning in San Francisco when one book caught her eye. "It was open to a spread of a painting of a bowl of bright pink borscht in this gorgeous mint scalloped bowl. It had hand-lettered calligraphy recipes and it was absolutely exquisite," she recalls.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills has spent his career taking a close look at the Roman Catholic Church. But for all that thinking about religion, he had never read the Qur’an until recently. What he learned about Islam is the subject of his new book, “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why It Matters,” and this episode of “Two Way Street.” 

Wikimedia Commons

Finding your true calling can take years, even decades. Children’s book author Christopher Paul Curtis found his calling in his 40s. After spending more than a decade working at a Detroit car factory, he began writing young adult fiction about the African-American experience. He was the first American man to win the Newbery Medal literary prize. 

In a career spanning three decades, Beck has remained one of music's most intriguing shapeshifters. From the warped folk of his earliest recordings to the chopped-up samples, hip-hop beats and lush orchestral arrangements of albums that followed, Beck has never lingered in one sonic world for long.

Those close to Adrianne Lenker know her by many names. The lead singer of Big Thief is Anne or Anna sometimes to her parents; Anna or Annie to her grandmother. She's Dran to her sister and brother, and Lunx to her college bandmates. She's Charlie sometimes to Mat Davidson of Twain, who opened at the first Big Thief show, and 'Aderrianne' to Max Oleartchik, the bassist in her own band. "She's probably many things to many people," an old teacher of hers from Berklee College of Music says. She calls her Adriannie.

Terry Riley's In C might be considered one of the seminal pieces of minimalism, but at its heart it's an open invitation. The score resides on a single sheet of paper with 53 phrases to be repeated by an indefinite number of musicians.

It was only a matter of time before Hamilton mania invaded Romancelandia. Hamilton's Battalion — a new anthology from romance authors Courtney Milan, Rose Lerner and Alyssa Cole — features three novellas connected by Eliza Hamilton and her project to collect the stories of the soldiers who served in her husband's battalion at Yorktown. In the spirit of the musical, these novellas reflect the diversity of America today, though they set their stories during Hamilton's era. But true to the genre, the focus is always on the romantic relationship and a happy ever after.

'This Mortal Coil' Will Get You All Twisted Up

Nov 9, 2017

There is a species of book that presents itself as the thing it's skewering, making it tricky to review; do you cover the experience of reading the bulk of it, or do you let the twists, reversals and switches work backwards, changing everything, and cover the experience of reading it in hindsight?

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This year's Country Music Association Awards were meant to provide healing for an industry shaken by the mass shooting at a country festival in Las Vegas last month. Last night's show (Nov. 8) paid tribute to the fans who became victims, but it also reinforced how few artists want to talk about the gun debate reignited by the tragedy.

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President Trump has made it very clear how he feels about CNN.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Fake news. CNN. Fake.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

The Thistle And Shamrock: Seasons Of Mist

Nov 9, 2017

From the Celtic colors of Cape Breton Island to the amber of Highland Perthshire and the stunning autumnal displays of the Appalachian Ridges, we feature music from Maddie Prior, Dougie MacLean and The Critton Hollow String Band.

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

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