Arts & Culture

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

On his first full-length solo album, Fantasmas (Ghosts), Alexander Zavala appears to us — amidst specters — as a messenger of sonic relief.

In the northwest Indian village of Ajrakhpur, 37-year-old Sufiyan ­Khatri stirs several stinky vats: one of bubbling indigo, another simmering pomegranate skins and a third containing a black, gummy brew of rusty bicycle parts fermenting with sugar cane. The mixtures are used to dye textiles with a traditional block-print method called ajrakh.

We Have Always Been Bored — 'Yawn' Wonders Why

May 20, 2017

Boredom is a going concern, particularly in a Western culture over-saturated with things designed to make every moment count. Freelance researcher Mary Mann began writing Yawn: Adventures in Boredom because she was concerned with her own restlessness; was she succumbing to the depression that ran in her family? Was modern malaise taking hold? Was she fundamentally ungrateful for life, as her parents had always suggested about bored people? If she was broken, was there a cure? (And if you're already rolling your eyes at Mann, this is not going to be an easy read for you.)

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 19, watch Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Robert Cray and more perform during the final night of public radio's Non-Comm 2017. The show streams live via VuHaus from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Find Friday evening's full schedule below; all set times are shown in Eastern time and are subject to change.

Friday, May 19

7 p.m. — Holly Macve

7:30 p.m. — The Growlers

Dee Dee Bridgewater On Piano Jazz

May 19, 2017

Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater began her career as the lead vocalist of a jazz band. She honed her talent and headed in 1975 to Broadway, where her performance in The Wiz was honored with a Tony Award.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 2003, Bridgewater exhibits her knowledge and enthusiasm in her performances of "September Song" and "Beginning To See The Light."

Originally broadcast in the fall of 2003.

Set List

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A painting of a skull by Jean-Michel Basquiat broke records at Sotheby's last night. The work sold for more than $110 million. As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, that is the most ever for an American artist's work at auction.

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We're going to turn now to the week in music news with NPR's Jacob Ganz. Hey there, Jacob.

JACOB GANZ, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

Robb Rosenfeld / Mongrel Media

Romantic comedies geared towards general audiences can often be clean-cut, full of predictable plots, romantic and escapist.

A Salute To 30 Years Of 'The Simpsons'

May 19, 2017

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved legislation Friday allowing Japan's emperor to abdicate the throne. If the bill passes parliament and if Emperor Akihito steps down, the event will mark Japan's first abdication in 200 years.

Mexico City is not known as one of the international jazz capitals of the world. New York, Tokyo — even Havana. But not CDMX (the new abbreviation of Ciudad de Mexico).

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