Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

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The best-selling Aboriginal musician in Australian history has died. Dr. G. Yunupingu had a sweet tenor voice and a gentle guitar style that took him far beyond his homeland. He was just 46 years old when he died on Tuesday in Darwin, Australia. His record label, Skinnyfish, announced his passing, but did not disclose its exact cause, citing only a "long battle with illness."

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Most readers these days who know Chester Himes know him for his detective fiction, novels like The Real Cool Killers and Cotton Comes to Harlem, which were written late in his career during the 1950s and '60s. These hard-boiled stories — featuring black New York City police detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson — are brutal and wildly surreal. But no more brutal and surreal, Himes may have said, than the situation of being black — even of being a prominent black writer — in mid-20th century America.

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Songs We Love: Bang Data, 'Ya No Más'

4 hours ago

Bang Data, the dynamic Bay Area Latinx group led by Deuce Eclipse and Juan Manuel Caipo, is giving fans a look into its more sensitive, romantic side. "Ya No Más" ("No More") projects a sweet, melodic vibe and is driven by the peaceful sound of the charango, a 10-string Andean-Peruvian instrument that sounds similar to a ukulele,

The country-music business is show business, whether the bright lights shine at the Grand Ole Opry or at a small dance hall on a lonely Western highway. Mark Wystrach, lead singer for Midland, learned the ropes of that business working at his parents' restaurant and dance hall, the Steak Out, in Sonoita, Ariz. Later he became an actor in Los Angeles, where he met Jess Carson, an Oregon farmer's son, and Cameron Duddy, a Hollywood kid whose love of music had led him to country, too.

As part of NPR Music's Turning the Tables, we are looking closely at some of the albums on our list of the 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women. Today's feature is Pirates, the second album by Rickie Lee Jones. She will perform the album in full at Lincoln Center Out of Doors on Wednesday, July 26.


The pirates first announced themselves to Rickie Lee Jones in New Orleans, in the fall of 1979, with a delivery of mysterious gifts.

The last three months have been bad for Venezuela – some of the worst months in a string of bad months, the worst year in a string of bad years. Violent confrontations between government forces and protesters have left dozens dead in the streets. Families are scavenging scraps of food from trash bags. But there's one silver lining: The arepa, the sine qua non of Venezuelan foods, the give-us-now-our-daily-bread for Venezuelans, has finally made it big — but only outside the nation's borders.

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The Koch Marshall Trio did not stop by the Lake Effect studio to play around. The group, which consists of lead guitarist Greg Koch, his son and drummer Dylan Koch, and Toby Lee Marshall on the Hammond B3 organ, say they came to share their heavy grooves mixed with blues sensibility. 

This week, our intrepid host Linda Holmes calls in from L.A., where she's attending the Television Critics' Association press tour, to host a discussion of the filthy, freewheeling and very, very funny Girls Trip. She's joined by regular panelist Stephen Thompson, Code Switch's Gene Demby, and special guest Aisha Harris from Slate.

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