Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding has a problem with using the phrase "protest song" to describe her new recording, "We Are America." The song, along with its accompanying music video, demands congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
" 'Protest' doesn't seem accurate to me," she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "We weren't thinking of a 'protest' song, we're thinking of a 'let's get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive' song."
Now we take a moment to highlight and salute another artist. Jazz-great Arturo Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week from President Obama. Sandoval was born and raised in Cuba, where he was once jailed just for listening to jazz music. So he packed up his trumpet and moved to the United States. A country he says gave him the freedom to fill the air with his music. Here's what the president said about him at the ceremony.
First Night Springfield, Springfield's most-attended public event to celebrate New Year's Eve, will host a 5K race this year. The run and walk will take place around the Scheels store off of MacArthur Boulevard. It's a new addition to the roster of activities that include various arts performances. The race will take place on December 29th.
Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West — and shows how these fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.
Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology's power to improve lives and change the world. But he says technology and science can't do everything: "There's something inside of us that is beyond our understanding." Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, reflects on her father's idea of the nature of faith.
What aspects of religion should atheists adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a "religion for atheists" that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:51 pm
"We're more than a body and a mind. We are a soul. And there's something inside of us that is beyond our understanding. That's the part of us that yearns for God, or something more." — Rev. Billy Graham
This week's show features something you will very rarely hear from us: bleeping! By which I mean: actual, literal bleeps. Because we're kicking things off with a discussion of profanity, in movies including Anchorman and Die Hard, and in TV shows on cable and broadcast.
Two Illinois rock groups will return to their stomping grounds to benefit those who had losses in last week's tornadoes.
Rock groups Styx and REO Speedwagon will headline a benefit concert to raise money for victims of last weekend's Illinois tornadoes.
The bands, which both have strong Illinois ties, will headline the event called ``Rock to the Rescue Extends a Hand to Those in Need.'' The concert will be held at Bloomington's U.S. Cellular Coliseum on Dec. 4
Tickets go on sale Saturday and cost between $28 and $58.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 1:06 pm
There are, among connoisseurs of pornography, many stratified tastes. To cater to those tastes, there are many levels to which the pornography itself might rise (or sink, depending on your moral stance on the topic). There are categories, boundaries, territories of smut that run the gamut from the (relatively) tame to the out-and-out horrifying.
Second movies in a series can be such a comfort: we already know the key characters, we have a sense of where the plot is going — we just have to hang on and enjoy the thrills. Which is what happens with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Not counting a 16-year break the British science-fiction TV series took around the 1990s, Doctor Who is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday. There's a special in 3D that's going to be simulcast in 75 countries, and the BBC has made a movie about the history of Doctor Who.
It's that time of year again. Time for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every year since 1972, around Thanksgiving, I've shared my mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. It's appallingly pink, like Pepto Bismol — but it tastes terrific.
This year, I bring my relish recipe to Thanksgivukkah. Next week, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It's a rare convergence.
This week, New York City lost a cultural landmark. The site known as 5Pointz was a graffiti museum, of sorts — the walls of a 200,000-square-foot warehouse complex covered with ever-evolving spray-painted art. It spread across a block in Long Island City right across the water from Manhattan in the borough of Queens.
In Narco Cultura, director and photojournalist Shaul Schwarz interrogates the collision of pop culture and Mexico's drug cartels — as personified by bands like Los Bukanas de Culiacan (above), who perform narcocorridos, or songs glorifying the drug trade.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:03 pm
Following police through Mexico's Ciudad Juárez — reputedly the world's homicide capital — the Israeli filmmaker Shaul Schwarz finds mutilated corpses and gutters running with blood. But the resulting documentary, Narco Cultura, is not nearly so vivid as its most gruesome footage.
Effie Trinket taps Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, right) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) for the Hunger Games arena again — but this time the rules are different and the stakes are higher as rebellion brews in Panem.
Credit Murray Close / Lionsgate
The third point of the movie's love triangle, Katniss' hunting partner Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), remains stranded in District 12 without as much to do as the other two.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:10 pm
There's a moment of chilling violence in Catching Fire, the second of four planned movies adapting Suzanne Collins' dystopian Hunger Games novels, a moment in which the difference a director makes becomes immediately clear — and one that should give hope to readers who might have felt some disappointment with the first movie.
Heid Erdrich's new book Original Local is part cookbook, part memoir and part meditation on the interplay of tradition and fusion in American cooking. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to the author and poet about the Native American food traditions Erdrich grew up with in the Upper Midwest.