Arts & Culture

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

Gianofer Fields

As a student of material culture, Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields examines the meanings behind objects - what they signify historically and to an individual. But what happens when the meaning of a treasured object is hidden and lost to time?

image courtesy of the author

The page of the country's newspapers can sometimes be rough - stories of crime and mayhem, contentious politics, and - depending your rooting interests - losing sports teams.  But fortunately, there are always the comics to fall back on, some literal comic relief in the midst of everything else.

Iron Brigade and Beyond: In the Wake of Antietam

Oct 12, 2012

With election season in full swing, it's easy to think that today's political environment is more polarized than in the past - that back in the old days, consensus was the norm, politicians didn't calculate with precision their next moves, and war wasn't politicized.

Of course, one has to merely rewind about 150 years to the American Civil War to rejigger that assumption.

Keegan Wenzler

The Delta Routine came to play their songs I Wait Alone and New York Avenue today and to talk music, business, and art with Bruce Winter. The band and Bruce cover the fun of recording gritty music in even grittier places and the challenges of promoting the final product.

Band Website: http://www.thedeltaroutine.com

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum

Knick-knacks, tchochkis, collectibles...whatever you want to call them, there are objects we love to collect.

Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook is perhaps best known for her Broadway roles: she was the original Marian the Librarian in The Music Man, Cunegonde in Candide, and Amalia in She Loves Me. And her cabaret and concert interpretations of Stephen Sondheim's songs have no peer. But now, nearing the age of 85, the legendary singer and Kennedy Center honoree has taken a far jazzier approach.

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Mike Mangione stopped by the studio today to catch up with Bruce Winter and to share some of his original "sonic bumper bowling" music.  Bruce and Mike discuss and listen to the songs Fields of Evermore and Red-Winged Black Bird Man.  Mike reflects on his major influences and how he tries to position himself and his music in the minds of his fans.

Band Website: http://www.mikemangione.com

Remembering the Initial Emancipation Proclamation

Sep 28, 2012
Courtesy of LOC

"That...all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..." We know those words: they're from the opening lines of the Emancipation Proclamation, which upon being issued by President Abraham Lincoln, went into effect January 1, 1863.

Most of the commemorations in this second year of the Civil War sesquicentennial revolve around analyzing the military history of the conflict. But Marquette University wanted to mark the anniversary by presenting another angle: the meaning of freedom.

Editor's note: Audio for this story is pending.

One of the defining stories of India in the last fifteen years has been its ascent to becoming a worldwide economic power.  That ascendancy has also shone a spotlight on some elements of Indian society - like its long-standing caste system, which made it a practical impossibility for millions of people to achieve upward mobility.  But another part of the story of Indian society has remained largely under the radar in the west - and that is the country's strong bias toward men.

Chris Murphy

The truth behind the phrase “starving artist” scares a lot of otherwise artistically inclined folks away pursuing an arts career.

Bruce Winter

Annie B and her special guest Scott Holloway came to perform in-studio today. Bruce and Annie cover the past 15 years of her career. They listen to and discuss songs such as Kiwi Cafe, Hide, and To You. Annie talks about her "sledgehammer voice," the scope of her singing abilities, and her multi-directional journey of a career that started on the West Coast and brought her here to Milwaukee.

Band Website: http://www.anniebmusic.com

Bruce Winter

Bruce Winter welcomed The Vitrolum Republic into the studio today to listen to thei songs Lady of Stone, Don Prevotchka, and Beautiful Release. The band uses non-traditional pop instruments to find their "unique voice," or genre, which they have coined "gypsy-noire," and discuss just exactly what that genre means and how it came about.

Band Website: http://thevitrolumrepublic.com/

Iron Brigade & Beyond: 150 Years After Antietam

Sep 17, 2012
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

One hundred and fifty years ago to this day, Union and Confederate soldiers met up near Sharpsburg, Maryland - by Antietam Creek. The ensuing battle would be a turning point in the American Civil War - and some say, a point of no return that committed the country to a prolonged and deadly conflict.

Photo courtesy of LOC

Before the break, we heard the story of the Iron Brigade’s role at the battle of Antietam. It was a group of fights that are commonly remembered as the bloodiest day of battle in American history, and for good reason.

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