Arts & Culture

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

Beginning Thursday, May 18, at 12:00 p.m. ET, watch a live stream of the sassy vaudeville duo Nancy And Beth (better known as actors Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt) and the pioneering alt-rock band Pixies. They perform as part of this year's Non-Comm convention, held at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

The show streams live via VuHaus; find approximate set times (listed in Eastern time) below.

The low end has always been terra firma for Buster Williams, one of the all-time great bassists in modern jazz.

On February 28, 1967, The Beatles were in Abbey Road Studios in London working on a new song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Today we're premiering "take one," the first attempt The Beatles made at recording it.

When a band is capable of many musical styles, it can be thrilling to hear them all on a single album. But it can be just as fun when the group dives deep into one mode, focusing their musical experience and artistic imagination into a coherent vision. That's how the Heliocentrics' fourth album, A World of Masks, feels. The UK-based ensemble, which has included up to nine members, has in the past delved into hip-hop (first making their name on DJ Shadow's 2006 album The Outsider), jazz, psych, funk, Afrobeat and more.

The livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are intimately tied to weather and the environment. But they may not be able to depend on research conducted by the government to help them adapt to climate change if the Trump administration follows through on campaign promises to shift federal resources away from studying the climate.

Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, joins World Cafe to chat and to perform songs from his new album, Pure Comedy. In this session we talk about Tillman's childhood: He spent his formative years at a Pentecostal school, where he was regularly told there were demons inside of him that needed to be exorcised — a process Tillman says is strangely relaxing.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Chris Cornell, the unmistakable voice and frontman of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died overnight in Detroit at the age of 52. He was discovered just past midnight at the MGM Grand Detroit, according to police.

The office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner on Thursday determined the cause of his death to be suicide by hanging, noting that a full autopsy has yet to be completed.

When Josh Groban takes his final bow in Broadway's Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812, he'll leave some very big shoes to fill. Fans of the multiplatinum-selling recording artist have flocked to see him in this exuberantly offbeat musical, which is based on a section of the Russian novel War and Peace.

Donald Trump's first overseas trip as president begins Friday with a pilgrimage of sorts. With stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, Trump will be visiting the centers of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the three major monotheistic religions.

But he's wading into deep waters with potential for missteps and disagreement. He'll meet with Muslim leaders despite declaring that "Islam hates us" during the campaign; he'll meet with Pope Francis, who advocates for countries to be welcoming to refugees.

Chris Cornell Of Soundgarden Dies At 52

May 18, 2017

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Now, let's remember the life of a grunge rock pioneer. The musician Chris Cornell has died. He was the lead singer of Soundgarden.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK HOLE SUN")

SOUNDGARDEN: (Singing) Black hole sun, won't you come? Won't you come?

If you don't know Maysa Leak by name, you've almost certainly heard her voice. She started singing 25 years ago in Stevie Wonder's female backing group Wonderlove, and later became the vocalist for British funk band Incognito. Since venturing out on her own as Maysa in 1995, she's recorded 13 solo albums, and her latest, Love Is A Battlefield (due out May 26 on Shanachie), is a collection of her favorite songs. These covers embrace R&B's established heritage while adding a contemporary sheen.

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