Arts & Culture

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

Rinse, Pete, Repeat

Apr 28, 2017

This word game is inspired by our favorite prefix! We invented alternate definitions for words that start with "re." If we said, "I GIVE UP trying to WRITE MY NAME at the bottom of this letter," you would say, "Re-sign" or "resign."

Heard on Penn Jillette: Fool Us Once

Penn Jillette: Fool Us Once

Apr 28, 2017

Magician Penn Jillette prefers tricks to illusions: "which is just gluing two front surface mirrors together at 45 degree angles, and then the sides look like the back!" He doesn't particularly like spending time with his stage partner Teller: "We wanted to work together, but there was no sort of affection." And he doesn't even like magic: "I was never fond of it."

Are We There Yet?

Apr 28, 2017

In honor of our long flight from Brooklyn to Phoenix, this final round is called, "Are We There Yet?" Every answer contains something that sounds like a method of transportation. For example, if we said, "This astronomer was the original narrator of the science show, 'Cosmos,'" you'd answer "Carl Sagan..." which has "car" in it.

Heard on Penn Jillette: Fool Us Once

Mystery Guest

Apr 28, 2017

Our Mystery Guest Stacey Gordon has an interesting job that takes her from Phoenix to a street in New York City. Can you guess what it is before Ophira and Jonathan?

Heard on Penn Jillette: Fool Us Once

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

Daylight Saving Time Travel

Apr 28, 2017

Fun fact! Phoenix, Arizona does not recognize Daylight Saving Time! So we wrote an audio quiz with clips from famous works involving time travel.

Heard on Penn Jillette: Fool Us Once

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

Lauren Groh

It's been a little over a month since contributor Lauren Groh embarked on her through-hike of the Appalachian Trail. And as she happily reports, the experience has been "ten times better than I ever imagined it would be."

When Groh started the hike at Amicalola Falls, she had a panicked moment doubting whether she could do it.  "We got started and it just kind of fell into place. It's just put one foot in front of the other and just do it."

The target that New York's Endless Boogie aims to hit with its music is about an inch wide and 10,000 feet deep. That the band threads the needle every time speaks not to the message implicit in its name (yes, this is fried electric-blues boogie; yes, its songs tend to roll on for considerable lengths), but to the satisfaction that message suggests.

We're always excited for the beginning of summer movie season. Despite the fact that it's almost guaranteed to contain some major disappointments and jarring disasters, we often find goofy fun, sharp writing and new stars blowing up (sometimes literally) our cinematic seasons.

Regina Carter On Piano Jazz

Apr 28, 2017

Jazz violinist Regina Carter is one of today's most original and daring musicians. Classically trained, Carter grew up in Detroit, where she absorbed all the music that Motown had to offer. While in high school, Carter became inspired when she discovered jazz violinists such as Noel Pointer, Ray Nance and Eddie South.

In many ways, the traditions of flamenco and jazz could not be further apart, but in the hands of a few Spanish jazz musicians, these two worlds commingle and find common ground. Antonio Lizana is one such musician, both a saxophonist and vocalist with one foot firmly planted in each tradition. As a vocalist he has mastered the Moorish, note-bending improvisations that make flamenco singing so beguiling, while the fluidity of ideas he expresses as a saxophonist place him in the time-honored tradition of composing while playing.

When you listen to Sylvan Esso singer and lyricist Amelia Meath talk about the band's new album, What Now, you quickly learn how profoundly she's motivated by love. There's the love of magical sounds and the euphoria she feels when music "lifts you off the earth." There's the love for the audience, of connecting with and freeing them through song. And, especially for Meath, there's the love of dance and of feeling the body (literally) become the music.

"Marcus Gavius Apicius purchased me on a day hot enough to fry sausage on the market stones."

So begins the tale of Thrasius, the fictional narrator of Feast of Sorrow. Released this week, the novel is based on the real life of ancient Roman noble Marcus Gavius Apicius, who is thought to have inspired and contributed to the world's oldest surviving cookbook, a ten-volume collection titled Apicius.

Paula Hawkins' 2015 book — The Girl on the Train — was a massive bestseller. A tense domestic thriller with a boozy, unstable narrator, it caught the imagination of a reading public desperate for the kinds of dark deeds and desperate women Gillian Flynn pioneered in Gone Girl a few years earlier.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago, LA was on fire.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER #1: Reported structure fire, 2329...

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER #2: There are reports of gunfire, cars on fire.

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