Arts & Culture

The Thistle & Shamrock
1:01 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Tales For All Hallow's Eve

The Whistlebinkies.
Courtesy of the artist

Hear music for the season and spine-chilling Scottish tales, narrated by host Fiona Ritchie.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Song Travels
12:56 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Leftover Cuties On 'Song Travels'

Leftover Cuties.
Courtesy of the artist

The Los Angeles noir-pop band Leftover Cuties has a sound that's both retro and refreshing.

On this episode of Song Travels, host Michael Feinstein talks with Shirli McAllen, Leftover Cuties' lead singer and ukulele player. Here, the band performs a set of originals from The Spark And The Fire, along with its unique interpretation of "You Are My Sunshine."

Read more
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:34 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Kenny Drew Jr. On Piano Jazz

Kenny Drew Jr.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

The son of pianist Kenny Drew, who rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s, Kenny Drew Jr. made his own way with a virtuosic career in both jazz and classical music. He favored direct, single-note lines, but could also play in a full orchestral style.

In this 1992 session, Drew interprets Monk's "In Walked Bud" — and he and host Marian McPartland collaborate in a performance of "Falling In Love With You."

Read more
10:43 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Halloween Makes Us Think Of ... Diversity In Romance!

Once upon a time, when I was just out of college, I worked in a magical place called the Washington International School. The old Lower School building was a former D.C. public school on Olive Street in Georgetown, drafty and problematic, but full of character — and full of children from all over the world.

Read more
Music Interviews
10:24 am
Fri October 31, 2014

In Conversation With George Clinton

George Clinton backstage at the Museum of the Moving Image, in Astoria, Queens, NYC.

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 12:15 pm

Earlier this week, the inimitable George Clinton sat for not one but two conversations about his work and where it comes from. First, he spoke with the host of NPR Music's R&B channel, Jason King, about soul music, swag and Kendrick Lamar.

Read more
Drum Fill Friday
10:03 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Otis Brown III

Drummer and composer Otis Brown III performing live earlier this year in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

This week's Drum Fill Friday comes courtesy Otis Brown III, a young jazz drummer and composer who's best known for his work with Joe Lovano, but who recently released his own debut solo album, The Thought Of You. Brown's selected a number of intros and fills from some of his favorite vintage jazz tracks, along with some funk, soul and R&B classics, showcasing some of the greatest drummers of all time. Good luck, careful listeners!

Read more
Tiny Desk Concerts
9:38 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Watch A Live Tiny Desk Concert With The Sun Ra Arkestra

Cover of In The Orbit Of Ra, the new album by the Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen.
Courtesy of Strut Records

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 1:08 pm

Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left us more than 20 years ago. But his spirit lives on, and so does his music.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling Exposes Origin Of Harry Potter's 'Twee' Nemesis

J.K. Rowling reads to children at the 2010 White House Egg Roll. According to a new essay, her own experiences as a young student helped inform the Harry Potter character Dolores Umbridge.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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

Read more
Code Switch
9:04 am
Fri October 31, 2014

The Creepiest Ghost And Monster Stories From Around The World

Popobawa promo.
Phoebe Boswell for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 12:57 pm

It's Halloween — a time for Frankenstein monsters and vampires and werewolves. But many of us have our own monsters from different cultures, and when we threw out a call to our readers asking what ghost stories and folktales they grew up with in their own traditions, we got back stories of creatures stalking the shadows of Latin American hallways and vengeful demons from South Asia with backward feet. (And that's before we get to the werehyenas and the infernal bathroom stalls.) Below are some of the best we've found or that were told to us by Code Switch readers.

Read more
The Salt
4:21 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

Dr. Curtis Chan, a dentist in Del Mar, Calif., loads up a truck with 5,456 pounds of candy to deliver to Operation Gratitude during the Halloween Candy Buyback on Nov. 8 last year. Chan personally collected 3,542 pounds of candy from patients.
Courtesy of Curtis Chan

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 8:34 am

If your little ghosts and goblins dump their candy on the living room floor tonight, go ahead: Let them at it. They can sort, then trade, and gorge on their favorites.

But if you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you may want to get rid of some of this candy glut.

One possible solution? Check out the Halloween Candy Buyback program, which was founded by dentist Chris Kammer in Wisconsin. Kammer's office offers $1 a pound to buy back candy collected by the young trick-or-treaters in his practice.

Read more