Arts & Culture

Code Switch
3:50 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

'Serial' Isn't About Ferguson. (But It's Kind Of About Ferguson.)

Serial focuses on Adnan Syed, who was a teenager when he was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, despite big question marks in the case. (But you almost certainly knew that already.)
Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:40 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. You can read Matt Thompson's initial entry in this conversation here.

Below is the second part of our exchange, from Code Switch blogger Gene Demby.

Matt, Linda and Kat,

Read more
Code Switch
3:35 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

150 Years Later, A Formal Apology For The Sand Creek Massacre

As part of their annual remembrance, descendants of massacre survivors erected teepees at the historic site over the weekend of Dec. 13. Some were for public visitors, while others were used in closed ceremonies.
Megan Verlee Colorado Public Radio

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 9:16 am

A stretch of dry, empty prairie where the Sand Creek Massacre took place in Colorado has hardly changed in a century and a half.

Back in December 1864, America was still months from the end of the Civil War. Gen. William Sherman was making his infamous march across Georgia. And from the Western Frontier, word of the shocking Sand Creek Massacre was starting to trickle out. A regiment of volunteer troops in Colorado had attacked a peaceful camp of Native Americans, slaughtering nearly 200 of them — mostly women and children.

Read more
The Salt
3:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Hanukkah Miracle

Not pictured: the treadmill Dan is standing on. Just 18 more miles and he'll have worked off half of this sandwich!
Dan Pashman

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:51 pm

[Today's post comes to you from Dan Pashman, a friend of Sandwich Monday. You may know him from his spots on Weekend Edition; his WNYC podcast, The Sporkful; his book, Eat More Better; or the time he stole a piece of your sausage when you weren't looking.]

Read more
Music Reviews
2:47 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Worth The Wait: The Transcendent Groove Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

Talk about a long-awaited holiday gift: D'Angelo's Black Messiah was released Monday, nearly 15 years after its predecessor.
Greg Harris Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:12 pm

There's usually reason to be apprehensive when an artist spends years in the workshop on a single set of songs. The results can seem joyless; think Chinese Democracy, which took Guns N' Roses 14 tortured years to finish. D'Angelo spent nearly as much time crafting his new record. He took his time and loaded up some of the tracks with everything from the audio candy store. Incredibly, the music rarely sounds cluttered or overwrought.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:42 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."
Simon Mein Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Before he could play British artist J.M.W. Turner, actor Timothy Spall first had to learn how to paint; over the course of two years, Spall took private fine art lessons from London artist Tim Wright.

Read more
World Cafe
2:37 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

World Cafe Next: Elliott Brood

Elliott Brood.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is the Canadian alt-country trio Elliott Brood. With five albums under their collective belt, Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso and Stephen Pitkin have been playing together since 2002, and the experience shows. The band moves with the easy flow of musicians who know each other well, which in turn lends its rootsy songs lived-in authenticity.

Elliott Brood's latest album is titled Work And Love. Hear and download two of its songs on this page.

Read more
World Cafe
2:17 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Kindness On World Cafe

Kindness.
Myles Pettengill Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:29 pm

Kindness, born Adam Bainbridge, knows his way around grooves. Otherness, his second album, is a fitting introduction to the Blood Orange collaborator's sincere, kinetic take on R&B and synth-pop. Songs begin deep in the pocket and slowly unravel in a spray of horn blasts and drum hits. In this way, "World Restart" functions as both a song title and a mission statement: Kindness is rejuvenating.

Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs below.

Read more
Mountain Stage
2:09 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

St. Paul & The Broken Bones On Mountain Stage

St. Paul & The Broken Bones.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Paul Janeway and his band St. Paul And The Broken Bones make their first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live before a sold-out crowd in Charleston, W.Va. Hailing from Birmingham, Ala., the group has a sound that forcefully channels Memphis. Comparisons to Stax Records heavyweights write themselves: the Memphis Horns, Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn and, perhaps most notably, Otis Redding, thanks to Janeway's mammoth vocal chops.

Read more
Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Rows of characters enjoying reading books.
Gustav Dejert Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:12 pm

For this year's Best Books of the Year list, I reject the tyranny of the decimal system. Some years it's simply more than 10. Here, then, are my top 12 books of 2014. All of the disparate books on my list contain characters, scenes or voices that linger long past the last page of their stories.


Read more
Holiday Music
2:00 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

An Afro Blue Christmas

Afro Blue performs live at NPR's Studio 1.
Colin Marshall NPR

A tambourine jingled merrily and spirits were high when Afro Blue visited NPR's Studio 1 to share a brilliant assortment of holiday music. The group delighted the audience with fresh, thoughtful arrangements of Christmas favorites, from a rollicking "Angels We Have Heard On High" to a sublime, weighty "Silent Night." Also on the bill were a few lesser-known holiday numbers, such as director Connaitre Miller's original piece "That Is Love," which offers a meditation on the meaning of the holiday season.

Read more

Pages