Arts & Culture

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

Lili K / facebook.com

Milwaukee songstress Lili K appeared on Lake Effect back in February after her first album Ruby was released. She has been featured on an array of albums and projects with artists, such as Chance the Rapper and was Tidal's first artist featured on "Tidal Rising."

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Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The machinery inside Conner Bottling Works doesn't sparkle like it used to. In fact, everything and everybody in here looks like they could use a break.

"We are the last family-owned independent bottler in the state of New Hampshire," says Dan Conner, part of the fifth generation to work here. "A hundred and fifty-three years, from start to today. Never shut down, never stopped."

"Dogs are better than human beings," wrote Emily Dickinson, "because they know but don't tell." That sentiment comes to mind when considering Emily Bitto's debut novel, which showcases a dazzling, gabby and ultimately doomed collection of stray human beings. Assembled under one bohemian roof in 1930s Australia, most of these characters tell all to a fault. But one, an adolescent girl named Lily, sees all but keeps her mouth firmly shut — until she comes to narrate this book.

There aren't many Shakers left.

Sister Frances Carr, one of three remaining members of the religious group commonly known as the Shakers, died Monday at the age of 89.

According to the group's website, Carr died due to cancer at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, "surrounded by the community and her nieces."

'Bambi' Artist Tyrus Wong Dies At 106

Jan 3, 2017

The Hollywood artist and calligrapher who designed Disney's Bambi has died at age 106. Tyrus Wong, a Chinese immigrant, survived Angel Island, the Chinese Exclusion Act and racial bias, before receiving acclaim for his work, late in his career in the 1990s. NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Pamela Tom, who made the documentary, Tyrus.

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In India people worship many gods. Aravind Adiga's new novel is about one of the most powerful ones.

When spirits entrepreneur Steven Grasse considered writing a book about early American cocktails, he already knew it was a subject that had been, in his own words, "done to death."

When Lin-Manuel Miranda was a teenager in the 1990s, he liked to make eclectic mixtapes for his friends. In those cassettes, he experimented with the rise and fall of energy in music: A musical theater number might play after a hip-hop song, only to be followed by an oldie or an obscure pop song. It was through mixtapes that he could bridge the gap between two seemingly opposing passions — Broadway and rap.

(Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

The cable sports giant, ESPN, announced in October that it will soon launch a "reimagined version" of the network's signature show, the 5:00PM (Central time) broadcast of SportsCenter.  In the hosts' chairs will be Jemele Hill and Michael Smith, currently co-hosts of "His & Hers" on sister network, ESPN2.

Doug Bradley, Craig Werner

The Vietnam War marked a turning point in American history. The war took place during a time of turbulent social change – the 1960s and early 70s saw huge strides in women’s rights and civil rights. The country also witnessed the assassinations of a president, a presidential hopeful, a civil rights icon and the killing of unarmed protestors at Kent State by National Guardsmen.

It's 1968 in New Bordeaux, La. On the surface all looks tranquil as you drive through the bustling city in your red Pontiac, tapping your foot to Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang."

But as you take a sharp left down a winding back alley, an alarming sight gives you pause. Behind you, trucks painted with the Confederate flag begin to appear, the white men behind the wheel angry and visceral as they shout racial slurs.

Your name is Lincoln Clay. You're a 23-year-old biracial man — but in this place, this time, you're black, and instances of racism and bigotry are commonplace.

There's a reason that some readers view contemporary coming-of-age novels with suspicion. Too many play out the same way: An odd but winsome young person goes on some kind of journey of discovery, either literal or figurative, and learns something about himself or herself in the process. Often, there's an awkward romance. And the ending, whether happy or otherwise, can usually be described as bittersweet.

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