Arts

NPR Bestseller List
11:03 am
Fri September 27, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of September 26, 2013

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Dance
10:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Project Plié: Bringing Color To Ballet's Corps

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 11:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we take a closer look at iconic public service ad campaigns like Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog. And while everyone knows the good causes they promote, do we know if they actually work? We'll hear more about that just ahead. First, though, we talk about a new initiative that's taking a leap to bring diversity to the world of ballet.

(SOUNDBITE OF "SWAN LAKE")

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Books
10:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Competing Interests Behind Smokey Bear And The Crying Indian

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 11:26 am

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Monkey See
10:08 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Who Are You Calling A One-Hit Wonder?

Seen here in 2005: Ladies and gentlemen, The Click Five.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 10:53 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, we start by breaking down last weekend's very somber Emmy ceremony, from the repeated death announcements to the perplexing dance routines to a couple of welcome victories that put a more positive spin on the whole thing. Did the host impress? What about poor Shemar Moore? And who will defend interpretive dance?

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Monkey See
6:49 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Point Of View: How So Many Rooted For 'Breaking Bad's' Walter White

How could you not feel sorry for this guy? Vince Gilligan even admitted that he loaded up the Breaking Bad pilot with "reasons to give a damn about" Walter White.
Doug Hyun Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 9:13 am

If you were still cheering for Walter White at the start of the sixth season (or, as AMC contracts call it, the second half of the fifth season), a mustard stain on a doctor's jacket might be one reason why.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Book News: Apple Seeks Patent For Digital Book-Signing Technology

The Apple logo.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:58 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Sax, Drugs And Jazz: Charlie Parker's 'Lightning'-Fast Rise

Charlie Parker, shown here in an undated photo, was a legendary jazz saxophonist.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:53 am

Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, early 1942. The Jay McShann Orchestra from Kansas City, Mo., has the stage, and Charlie "Bird" Parker picks up his alto saxophone:

"The rhythm section had him by the tail, but there was no holding or cornering Bird. Disappearing acts were his specialty. Just when you thought you had him, he'd move, coming up with another idea, one that was as bold as red paint on a white sheet."

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Movie Reviews
2:55 am
Fri September 27, 2013

'Trials' Relives Painful Past Of Muhammad Ali

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:07 am

Three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has been the subject of many documentaries. But a new one has arrived in theaters: The Trials of Muhammad Ali looks at the former champion's religious and political beliefs.

Author Interviews
2:04 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Diane Ravitch Rebukes Education Activists' 'Reign Of Error'

Yunus Arakon iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:11 am

Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, spent years advocating for an overhaul of the American education system. She supported the No Child Left Behind Act, the charter school movement and standardized testing.

But Ravitch recently — and very publicly — changed her mind. She looked at the data and decided that the kinds of changes she'd supported weren't working. Now she's a prominent critic of things like charter schools and school choice — and she's particularly opposed to privatizing schools.

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Movie Reviews
5:42 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Music Doc Packs 'Muscle' (Plus A Whole Lotta Soul)

Roger Hawkins, a member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as the Swampers), is just one among the many musicians captured in this documentary about the famous town.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:32 am

Most fans of '60s soul know of Muscle Shoals, the tiny Alabama town that produced huge hits. But only the genre's most studious followers will be able to watch Muscle Shoals without being regularly astonished: Even if it sometimes gets lost in its byways, Greg "Freddy" Camalier's documentary tells an extraordinary story.

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The Salt
5:10 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

McDonald's Says Bye-Bye To Sugary Sodas In Happy Meals

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's has made a commitment to stop marketing sodas as a beverage option in kids' Happy Meals.

Instead, the chain has committed to market and promote only milk, water and juice with the children's meals.

Now, if parents order a Coke or Sprite with their child's Happy Meal, they won't be turned down. But sodas will no longer be marketed or promoted visually in any of McDonald's advertisements or in-store visuals.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

For Richer And For Poorer, But What Of That Vanishing Middle?

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, takes a look at growing income disparity in Inequality for All.
Radius/TWC

The U.S. financial sector's 2007-2008 swoon hurt a lot of people, but it's been a bonanza for documentary filmmakers with an interest in economics. The last five years have seen dozens of movies about the dismal science, most of them pegged to the Great Recession.

The latest is Inequality for All, a showcase for former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich. (He served under Bill Clinton, who borrowed much of his fellow Rhodes scholar's rhetoric, if fewer of his prescriptions.)

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'What We Are': Fresh, Grade A Horror, (Re)Made In America

In We Are What We Are, Iris (Ambyr Childers, right) must take up the responsibility of ... let's say "putting food on the table" for the Parker clan, including her younger sister Rose (Julia Garner, left).
Entertainment One

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:41 pm

The best advice for those looking to remake foreign horror movie hits? Don't.

At best, the results tend to be well-made but redundant copies (The Ring, Let Me In). At worst, the misbegotten rehashes that result miss capturing the originals' frights so completely that they nearly take their inspirations down with them (The Grudge, The Vanishing). Everyone's better off if you just leave these things be.

Unless you're Jim Mickle.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'Out In The Dark,' Where Nothing Is Black Or White

Nicholas Jacob (Nimr) and Michael Aloni (Roy) are star-crossed lovers of a different stripe in the Israeli drama Out in the Dark.
Ran Aviad Breaking Glass Pictures

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 7:25 am

Paving the way for a brand-new subgenre — the gay romantic thriller — the atmospheric neo-noir Out in the Dark tells of a Palestinian university student who seeks refuge from the homophobia of his traditionalist West Bank village in the more gay-friendly atmosphere of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

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Theater
3:51 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars

In a Broadway transfer of the American Repertory Theatre's acclaimed production of The Glass Menagerie, Cherry Jones plays Amanda, mother to the very troubled Laura (Celia Keenan-Bolger). The play cemented Tennessee Williams' reputation as an American original when it premiered in 1945.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:19 pm

Pop-culture aficionadoes will know Zachary Quinto as Spock in the cinematic reboot of Star Trek, and Cherry Jones as President Taylor from television's 24.

But both are accomplished stage actors as well. And tonight, they're opening on Broadway, in a revival of Tennessee Williams' classic play The Glass Menagerie.

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Television
1:50 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'Masters Of Sex' Get Unmasterful Treatment On Showtime

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan portray pioneering sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson in a new Showtime series.
Craig Blankenhorn Showtime

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:34 pm

Way back in the 1950s — before people tweeted snapshots of their privates or posted their hookup diaries online — it was considered inappropriate to talk too much about sex. The guardians of culture treated it as something better kept in the dark.

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The Salt
12:24 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Why Can't Fish Oil Supplements Keep Our Brains Sharp?

If you eat fish, rather than take a fish-oil supplement, is there more likely to be a benefit? There's more than a suggestion that this is indeed the case.
Verena J Matthew iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:22 pm

Lots of people think of fish as brain food. And there's good reason.

Many kinds of fish — think salmon, sardines, tuna — contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a class of polyunsaturated fat, which have been shown to fight inflammation and improve the function of our neurons.

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Race
11:17 am
Thu September 26, 2013

The Root 100: A Who's Who Of Black America

Donna Byrd is the publisher of The Root.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:18 pm

The online journal TheRoot.com, which focuses on African-American politics, culture and society, recently released its list of the 100 most important black influencers between the ages of 25 and 45. The list includes several known leaders and achievers, including NPR's own Audie Cornish, and Gene Demby and Matt Thompson of our Code Switch team. But there are also religious leaders, community activists and others who may not be household names ... yet.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Book News: North Carolina County Reverses 'Invisible Man' Ban

Ralph Ellison testified at a Senate Subcommittee hearing in 1966 on the racial problems in big cities.
AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Julian Barnes 'Levels' With Us On Love, Loss And Ballooning

General Photographic Agency Getty Images

"Every love story is a potential grief story," Julian Barnes writes in Levels of Life, a quirky but ultimately powerful meditation on things that uplift us — literally, as in hot air balloons, and emotionally, as in love — and things that bring us crashing to earth: to wit, that great leveler, the death of a loved one.

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Code Switch
5:07 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Jewish Tradition Meets Contemporary Design

Sukkah City finalists spread out across New York City's Union Square Park in 2010.
Babak Bryan BanG Studio

At Georgetown University this week, an outdoor religious display looks more like a public art installation than a commandment from the Torah, Judaism's holy book.

First, the basics: It's called a sukkah, a temporary dwelling — translated from Hebrew as a "booth" — where observant Jews traditionally eat and sleep during the weeklong harvest holiday of Sukkot.

The holiday, which began the night of Sept. 18, also pays homage to the 40 years during which the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary structures.

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Television
5:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Lots Of New TV Shows Air This Fall But Not Many Are Original

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The big broadcast networks are rolling out their new fall shows right now. And how many do you count, Eric Deggans?

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: I count about 26 new shows debuting in the next few weeks.

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Arts
4:20 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Willie Nelson Cancels Springfield Show

Willie Nelson has been forced to pull out of the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival and three other shows due to a shoulder injury.  
Nelson's publicist said Wednesday that the 80-year-old country music star is under a doctor's orders to rest his shoulder for a week, meaning he'll miss shows in Carmel, Ind., Charlotte, Mich., Springfield, Ill., and Saturday's appearance at the festival hosted by Zac Brown in Nashville, Tenn. The individual dates have or will be rescheduled.  

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:16 pm

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

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Monkey See
1:58 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

In His Silences And His Songs, An Unmistakable Note Of Genius

McCraney in rehearsal for The Brother/Sister Plays at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where he's a member of the ensemble.
Mark Campbell Steppenwolf Theatre

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:22 pm

In my memory, Tarell Alvin McCraney's plays are weighted with silence. It fills the stage like a stone, so that even when characters are talking or singing or shouting, the emptiness echoes hard and heavy.

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Disrict 186 & The Arts
12:23 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Local Benefit For The Arts In Public Schools Features Area Talent

A new local non-profit is using art, music, and comedy to help raise funds for local students. The Illinois Independent Arts Association hosts what's called a 'Springfield Renaissance' show this Saturday at Donnie's Homespun restaurant and venue in Springfield. Local musicians include Carrie Jo Stucki aka CJ Thunder Stucki, and band Lowder featuring Josie Loweder. Proceeds will benefit the band program at Washington Middle School. Rachel Otwell recently spoke with Eric Heyen and Jaimie Kelly of the group about it: 

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Music
11:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Syleena Johnson And Musiq Soulchild, Making Music In Nine Days

Syleena Johnson with Musiq Soulchild.
Jeremy Horton

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 8:52 am

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NPR Story
11:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

David Dinkins: Leading New York Is The 'Greatest Job There Is'

Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins
Jenny Dossin PublicAffairs

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:31 pm

As New York City enters the final stretch of its latest mayoral campaign, Tell Me More host Michel Martin hears from a former Big Apple mayor who made history: David Dinkins.

Winning the office in 1989, Dinkins earned the glare of national attention not only as the mayor of one of the country's most important cities, but also as that city's first black mayor.

It was a difficult time for the city. Race relations were fractured, the economy was struggling, and many neighborhoods were gripped by a crack epidemic.

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The Protojournalist
11:46 am
Wed September 25, 2013

How It Sounds To Be 50

Nancy-Lee Mauger

Nancy-Lee Mauger, 50, lives in Needham, Mass. If you ask her, she will tell you: She has dissociative identity disorder. She used to be a professional French hornist. And she is now a visual artist.

**

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The Salt
9:48 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden's 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 2:03 pm

From vacant lots to vertical "pinkhouses," urban farmers are scouring cities for spaces to grow food. But their options vary widely from place to place.

While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green.

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