World Cafe Next: Black Pistol Fire

May 2, 2016

Black Pistol Fire is the stomping, blues-inflected duo of Kevin McKeown on guitar and lead vocals and Eric Owen on drums. Originally from Toronto, the two now call Austin home. Black Pistol Fire's fourth album, Don't Wake The Riot, comes out later this month.

As a co-founder of the band X, John Doe helped define the punk scene that emerged in Los Angeles in the late 1970s. Doe tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that punk was about breaking rules and challenging the norms of the existing music scene.

Amid pressure from both U.S. and European antitrust regulators, two of the world's biggest oilfield services companies, Halliburton and Baker Hughes, have called off their $28 billion merger.

In April, the Justice Department sued to stop the merger, saying it would have eliminated competition, NPR's Jim Zarroli reports for our Newscast unit.

Alex McCray was in the news a lot last week — he was on TV, in the newspaper, and here on NPR Illinois -- because he had reached a settlement with the Williamsville School District expanding services for transgender students.

 

Here's a more extensive talk with McCray, and with David Root, superintendent of schools for the Williamsville-Sherman school district.

Ballerina Misty Copeland, who made history when she became the first black female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre last summer, now has her own Barbie doll. The doll wears a costume similar to Copeland's for her Firebird role.

Philadelphia's historic Italian Market is known for its cheeses, meats, fresh pastas and chocolate. Running 10 city blocks through south Philadelphia, it's one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in the country. But what would a tour through this vibrant neighborhood be like without the ability to see?

That's where Philly Touch Tours comes in. The guide company specializes in offering hands-on tours of Philadelphia.

The Chicago new-music ensemble Eighth Blackbird is on a roll. Just after winning its fourth Grammy in February, the group received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions; the prize came with a $400,000 grant. Hand Eye — Eighth Blackbird's second album in seven months — just came out, and this season the group marks its 20th anniversary. The celebration includes an extensive tour, with world premieres of music by Bryce Dessner and David T.

We've put together a roster of moms, and a dad or two, who will join us on Illinois Edition to take on issues that matter to those trying to successfully raise children in these hectic modern times. Rachel Otwell, NPR Illinois reporter and the mother of a toddler, hosts the rotating panel.

Yes, it's been a couple of days, but we felt compelled to share:

At 100 years old, Ida Keeling set a new world record for the 100-meter dash on Saturday at Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

She completed the race against competitors 80 and up in 1 minute and 17.33 seconds — the fastest time recorded for a centenarian. (For comparison's sake, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt holds the 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds.)

Parents from around the state chat with host Rachel Otwell about issues of the day affecting parents and their children,  as well as age-old dilemmas. From discipline, to how to talk about complicated news items thru tips on saving money and keeping a clean house - hear from parents with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

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