Arts & Culture

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Moments That Define A Presidency

Jul 19, 2018

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NOEL KING, HOST:

When Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear first came on the scene a few years back, it was only natural that people would fixate on the familial facet of the folk duo's identity — a mother, Ruth Ward, and her son Madisen making music together — particularly with a back story as charming as theirs.

For solo musicians playing fingerpicked acoustic guitar, technical skill and physical dexterity are kind of important. So important, in fact, that it could be tempting to concentrate on technique, letting musical creativity – i.e. actually writing unique, compelling songs – take care of itself. That might work for some, but it's never been Daniel Bachman's way. He's always been more interested in following ideas, making his chops serve his songs' journeys, not the other way around.

OK, look. I don't want to waste your time. It's hot, it's muggy and the news is an ever-widening gyre of flaming airborne chili-festival Porta Potties. So how about we forgo a review that seeks to advance any cool, objective argument on the relative cinematic worth of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the sequel to the 2008 film adaption of the longest-running jukebox musical in Broadway history? How about, in the interest of efficiency, I just answer the questions I know you to have about the film — because I had them, too — in order of importance?

On The Seventh Day, They Played Soccer

Jul 18, 2018

Jim McKay used to walk into video stores back in the 1990s, where he'd see versions of himself: white males, in all kinds of movies. Then he tried to imagine being someone else.

"You'd go in these aisles, and you'd see box after box after box of VHSes," McKay says. "And you'd just realize, like, for [a] young woman [of color], there's nothing there. She's not there. You're really not visible."

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer has words of praise for Sarah Sanders, his successor on the podium, and says she has figured out how to please President Trump in the job in a way he struggled to do.

"I think Sarah has done a great job of making sure that she understands what the president wants," Spicer told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly in an interview on Wednesday in advance of next week's release of his book The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President.

MGM Resorts International, the company that owns Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, has named victims of last year's music festival massacre as defendants in a lawsuit late last week. MGM is not seeking money from the victims, but is instead asking a court to declare that the company is not liable for the shooting at Route 91 Harvest music festival last October.

Earlier this week, Guns N' Roses' video for "November Rain" hit a curious milestone: Released in 1992, it's the oldest video ever to be streamed a billion times on YouTube.

It's been nearly six years since Cat Power, a.k.a. Chan Marshall, released a new album. Now, we've got news — Wanderer will come out Oct. 5 — but not a whole lot else to share.

A record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide or national office this election cycle, the most since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made Islam a political target for many, according to Muslim political groups.

Republican Reaction After Helsinki

Jul 18, 2018

A day after President Trump appeared to side with Russia instead of American intelligence agencies during a press conference with Vladimir Putin, the president said he misspoke.

One of Broadway's hottest tickets is coming to small screens: "Springsteen on Broadway" will be launched as a Netflix special this December.

The one-man show, which was written by Bruce Springsteen, earned him a Tony Award in June. Directed and produced by Thom Zimny, it has been a sensation in New York, where it's been seen by intimate audiences of less than 1,000 people per show at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Comic Bo Burnham was still in high school when the satirical songs he posted on the Internet went viral — making him one of YouTube's first stars. Now 27, he's taken a turn behind the camera with a new film, Eighth Grade, that looks at what it's like to grow up in the age of social media.

The film centers on a socially awkward 13-year-old girl named Kayla who's navigating the final year of middle school. Burnham says the character was inspired by a period in his early 20s when he was dealing with panic attacks onstage.

You're at a party and see your old boo (with a new boo), who is looking very fine. When you go in for the obligatory hug, it brings up aaaalllll of the feels — that weekend at the cabin, the six-week anniversary dinner that was totally unnecessary but still very sweet, that one shirt you like.

The eternally smiling D.R.A.M. knows that feeling, and the smoove synth-bop "Best Hugs" lays it all out: "Reminiscing about those days take me / Back to the days when she drove me crazy."

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