Arts & Culture

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

When John Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2014 for his undulating orchestral piece Become Ocean, you'd be forgiven for thinking of him as something like the Jacques Cousteau of contemporary classical music.

Burial's been lurking in some subterranean realms lately.

Goldfrapp's new album, Silver Eye, is visceral dance music — an album you feel in your body before you process in your brain. The band is Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, who've been musical partners for the better part of two decades. Their debut, Felt Mountain, came out in 2000. It's lush and well-loved, and it was a real breakout for the U.K. duo. In the years since, Goldfrapp has put out a handful of records, and each one sounds a little different.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If our next guest's career had a soundtrack, it might go pretty much like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Ortiz to right field, back goes Souza, looking up and it's gone.

First, let me remind you: we've still got tickets to see us live in L.A. on June 15, where our fourth chair will be Shereen Marisol Meraji. We've got lots of good fun planned, since we figure everybody can use a night of good fun, so join us!

We've been known to enjoy a mix of the sublime and the ridiculous, and it's a week that's a little bit like that as we take on one of the best shows we've covered in a while and one of the most vexing movies.

Oh, Code Switch fam: Has there ever been such a week? Because of the virtual smorgasbord of unfortunate news, you may have skipped putting these on your plate. Dig in. Keep a chaser of Pepto handy.

Of course it's a story about death and Seattle music.

I woke up this morning after bad dreams last night, only to find the real nightmare — that Chris Cornell of Soundgarden was dead. As with all these losses it seems surreal, untrue, unimaginable. But there it is.

PWR BTTM has responded at length and in detail to allegations of sexual misconduct directed towards Ben Hopkins, a member of the Brooklyn-based duo. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Hopkins acknowledges a sexual relationship with a woman who accused the musician of rape in an anonymous interview posted on Jezebel last week, but reports a different version of events. "[T]he statements made about me by the anonymous source did not line up with any sexual experience I have ever had," Hopkins writes in the statement.

In 'The Commune,' Where We Live Is Who We Are

May 18, 2017

It's the 1970s, and a Copenhagen family has just inherited a very large, rambling mansion on the outskirts of town. What to do with it? The time is right for a group living experiment, and if the new Danish film The Commune were a different sort of movie, it would stage everything that follows — the group skinny-dips, house meetings about dishwashers, and Elton John songs — as warm, raunchy comedy.

'Alien: Covenant' Continues To Mine Old Ground

May 18, 2017

Almost 40 years ago, Alien was a B-movie with A+ production values and performances, and the scariest monster the movies ever gave us.

There's a whiff of John Cheever-ish unease in Wakefield, a quietly unsettling drama about a man who disappears from his suburban home, only to spy on his family's response from a house across the street. In fact, the movie is based on a 2008 New Yorker short story by E.L. Doctorow, which in turn was inspired by a Nathaniel Hawthorne tale with the same premise, written in 1837.

Based on Nicola Yoon's YA novel, Everything, Everything is about an 18-year-old girl who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a condition that's kept her inside the same house her entire life, due to potentially fatal vulnerabilities to allergens, viruses, and other infections. SCID is a real disease — David Vetter, the famous "bubble boy," died due to complications after a bone marrow transplant in 1984 — but for Yoon's purposes, and the film's, it's mostly a romantic obstacle, a thin but impenetrable barrier between the girl and whatever her heart desires.

From the pages of sober financial journals to Hollywood's slapstick-econ adaptation of The Big Short, commentators often note that no American banks were indicted in the wake of the 2008 financial cave-in. Hoop Dreams director Steve James is here to say that's not true. In May 2012, New York's district attorney brought charges against Abacus Federal Savings Bank and 19 of its employees.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now, a correction. On Tuesday, we ran a story about the famous Renaissance painting the "Birth Of Venus" by Sandro Boticelli.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And now we remember this voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK HOLE SUN")

CHRIS CORNELL: (Singing) In my eyes, indisposed, in disguises no one knows...

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