Arts & Culture

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

At the 2016 Academy Awards, the film La La Land won a total of seven Oscars. Two of these awards were for best original score and best song, both created by composer (and former Wisconsinite) Justin Hurwitz. 

They were Hurwitz's first Academy Awards, although he also won Golden Globes and BAFTAs in the same categories. Friday, June 23, and the following Saturday, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will perform the complete score as the film plays at the Riverside Theatre.

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.

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Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

Jun 23, 2017

A two-time Grammy winner, bassist Eddie Gomez has been on the cutting edge of music for more than four decades. He has held down rhythm sections and set the groove for some of the heavyweights of jazz — from Bill Evans to Miles Davis to Chick Corea.

Oh sure, you could argue there are other, more important things happening in the world. And frankly, you'd be right. (For those things, by the way — which some people, in somber tones, might call newsplease see here.)

But sometimes, you just need to watch a big gorilla dance in a small pool.

Rev. Sekou is a preacher, pastor and social activist with music in his blood. In this session Sekou is joined by the North Mississippi Allstars — whose members Luther and Cody Dickinson produced his new album, In Times Like These — for a performance recorded onstage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

This post was updated on Sunday, June 25 at 3:50 PM.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The war in the former Yugoslav republics in the Balkans took place a quarter century ago. And while some of the atrocities perpetrated in those conflicts are known today, much about what transpired in Bosnia, Serbia and elsewhere is still shrouded in mystery.

If you've ever wondered what the soundtrack to a film set in Detroit, Havana and Mexico City might sound like, Jessica Hernandez has an answer for you. With a dusky-to-piercing voice and Amy Winehouse's way of hang-gliding on phrases, Hernandez — along with her band, The Deltas — has been a powerhouse act on the Detroit scene for some time.

On the surface, comedian Kumail Nanjiani's new movie, The Big Sick, sounds like a rom-com: He plays a struggling stand-up comedian, also named Kumail, who meets a cute girl, Emily, at one of his shows. Sparks fly and they start dating. But then she finds out he's been keeping her a secret from his Pakistani family; there's a huge fight and they break up. But that's just the beginning.

Until The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola had exclusively made movies about rich people. But that's not the same thing as exclusively making movies for rich people. Drawing on her own upbringing in the cradle of Hollywood, Coppola spent the last two decades turning out formally radical, narratively slight riffs on what life is like inside the cocoon of wealth and privilege. That core has remained constant, whether her subject matter was Marie Antoinette or the Bling Ring gang of pampered L.A. kids who stole from celebrities because they felt like it.

When you're a group that's performed together for more than seven decades, it might be a daunting task to keep crafting music that feels fresh. No doubt that hill is even harder to climb when you're working within a tradition like gospel, with its well-loved, and well-worn, harmonic and lyrical conventions. Yet the singers who make up Blind Boys of Alabama have always risen to the challenge with utter grace — and the group's forthcoming album, Almost Home, places a capstone on that history.

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