Arts & Culture

Favorite Sessions
9:48 am
Thu January 9, 2014

KCRW Presents: Rokia Traore

Rokia Traore performs live on KCRW.
Rob LaFond KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 2:19 pm

When Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore stopped by KCRW's studio, she was in the middle of a cross-country tour and bound for Northern California. The travel-ready artist is the daughter of a diplomat who has been all over the world and cites her rich cultural experiences as her source of inspiration. Singing in both English and her native language, songs like "Mama" function as a tapestry of her life.

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A Blog Supreme
9:25 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Drummer Who Invented Jazz's Basic Beat

It doesn't take an expert to identify this sound as a jazz rhythm:

Musicians call it "spang-a-lang," for obvious phonetic reasons, and it's so synonymous with jazz, it no longer occurs to us that someone had to invent it. But someone did: a drummer named Kenny Clarke, who would have turned 100 today.

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The Record
7:02 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Loving Morrissey The Way We Used To, Despite Lacerating 'Autobiography'

Morrissey performing in Seattle last March.
Mat Hayward FilmMagic

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:31 am

"Loudly and wildly the music played, always pointing to the light, to the way out, or the way in, to individualism, and to the remarkable if unsettling notion that life could possibly be lived as you might wish it to be lived."

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Book News: Cache Of Letters From 'Frankenstein' Author Found

An image of author Mary Shelley, circa 1830.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:40 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Author Interviews
3:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

A Former Child Soldier Imagines 'Tomorrow' In Sierra Leone

Orphaned by the civil war in Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah told his own story in A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Radiance of Tomorrow is his first novel.
John Madere Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux,

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 9:21 am

Ishmael Beah was just barely a teenager when his town became engulfed in Sierra Leone's civil war in the mid-1990s. In his 2007 memoir, A Long Way Gone, Beah describes how, after he lost his parents and brothers to the conflict, he wandered the countryside with a band of boys and was recruited as a child soldier by government forces. The memoir describes the hellish atrocities committed by child soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

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The Salt
2:47 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Blending Red Wine With Porter Ale: A Crossover Beer Worth The Buzz?

Sebastian Zutant is the owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Washington, D.C. He's also a sommelier. He and a friend at DC Brau have developed their own beer-wine mashup.
Allison Aubrey NPR

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 9:21 am

If you're a beer lover and your significant other tends more toward wine, is there a drink that can satisfy both of you?

How about a beer-wine mashup, combining two of mankind's oldest beverages?

"To me, it's kind of the magic in the middle," says Sebastian Zutant, sommelier and owner of the D.C. restaurant The Red Hen.

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Science
2:38 am
Thu January 9, 2014

There She Blew! Volcanic Evidence Of The World's First Map

A reproduction of the mural from a room in Catalhoyuk, a Neolithic settlement in Turkey.
Sarah Murray Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 9:21 am

A new study of volcanic rocks suggests that an ancient mural may indeed depict an erupting volcano, adding new weight to a theory that this image is a contender for the world's oldest known landscape painting or map.

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The Salt
2:37 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Fruits Of Free Trade: How NAFTA Revamped The American Diet

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 9:21 am

Walk through the produce section of your supermarket and you'll see things you'd never have seen years ago — like fresh raspberries or green beans in the dead of winter.

Much of that produce comes from Mexico, and it's the result of the North American Free Trade Agreement — NAFTA — which took effect 20 years ago this month.

In the years since, NAFTA radically changed the way we get our fruits and vegetables. For starters, the volume of produce from Mexico to the U.S. has tripled since 1994.

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Author Interviews
6:08 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

In An Age Of Slavery, Two Women Fight For Their 'Wings'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:29 pm

Sue Monk Kidd's new novel is a story told by two women whose lives are wrapped together — beginning, against their wills, when they're young girls. One is a slave; the other, her reluctant owner. One strives her whole life to be free; the other rebels against her slave-owning family and becomes a prominent abolitionist and early advocate for women's rights.

The book, The Invention of Wings, takes on both slavery and feminism — and it's inspired by the life of a real historical figure.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

ESSAY: Cabin Fever Gets to Us All

Unrelated to his North Woods cabin, essayist George Berdes is experiencing some cabin fever.
Credit Ian BC North/Flickr

Lake Effect essayist George Berdes reflects on his cabin fever.

In the midst of such a harsh winter, cabin fever is affecting young and old alike, as Lake Effect essayist George Berdes can attest:

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