Arts & Culture

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

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

At a long table in the Level Up restaurant, 11 stories above Gaza City, Basil Eleiwa got a cake with a sparkling candle on top — to honor his eatery's second birthday.

"We opened two or three weeks before the 2014 war," Level Up's founder and co-owner notes, referring to the conflict that began in July 2014 between Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamist group that runs the Gaza strip.

The restaurant had closed during the seven weeks of fighting.

"The building was hit a number of times," Eleiwa says. "It didn't fall down."

Bonnie North

If your idea of accordion music begins and ends with the tunes featured on the Lawrence Welk show, Guy Klucevsek would like to broaden your horizons. He's a world-class accordionist who has founded bands and even entire record labels around the oft-forgotten reed instrument.

Celine Di-On It!

Jun 17, 2016

Kimiko Glenn was in the midst of watching Netflix's Orange Is The New Black when she was called in to audition. She was so nervous, it was all she could do to just get the words out. The next afternoon, Glenn landed the role of inmate Brook Soso, the free-spirit activist who's arrested for living in a tree to protest logging. Her first day on set started at 6 a.m. the following morning.

Show Stopper

Jun 17, 2016

No, this is not the final round of the Great British Bake-Off. Instead, to cook up this round's clues, we took the names of famous plays and musicals and ran them through our thesaurus. For example, if we gave the clue, "The Male Monarch and Me," you'd answer, "The King and I."

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

What's Wrong With Jonathan Coulton

Jun 17, 2016

In this installment of What's Wrong With Jonathan Coulton, he must discern which statement is true:

One: The city of Cincinnati, Ohio, was once widely known by the nickname "Porkopolis."

Two: The city of Eugene, Oregon was once widely known by the nickname "Cougar Town."

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

Wikisneaks

Jun 17, 2016

Anyone with a computer can edit almost any Wikipedia page they want. We imagine what would happen if famous people wrote their own pages to make them sound a little more flattering.

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

Reverse Psychology

Jun 17, 2016

In this phoner game all about clichés, contestants guess the common saying after hearing its rough opposite. If we said "dummies disagree," you'd say, "great minds think alike."

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

Queen's Queens

Jun 17, 2016

House musician Jonathan Coulton changes the lyrics of classic Queen songs to be about real or fictional queens. With tunes this catchy, resistance is feudal!

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Original Names

Jun 17, 2016

As all entrepreneurs know, one of the toughest parts of starting a company is coming up with a good name. And often the first name isn't the one that sticks. Contestants pick out a company's original name from three possible choices.

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

Give Us Some Sugar

Jun 17, 2016

This game is inspired by the Def Leppard song "Pour Some Sugar On Me." We ask contestants to pretend to be inanimate objects that want something poured on them. If we said, "Hey BLAND FOOD, should I spice you up by grabbing that shaker filled with black granules next to the salt?," you would sing, "POUR SOME PEPPER ON MEEEEEE."

Heard on Kimiko Glenn: Celine Di-On It!

This is our 300th episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour — not counting Small Batch editions, which would drive the number significantly higher — so now's as good a time as any to thank everyone who's listened, supported us both within and outside NPR, and/or appeared on the show itself. We're feeling awfully appreciative that we've been allowed to stick around this long.

Amanda Marsalis / Jagjaguwar

It's not often we see indie musicians embrace country music in the way Angel Olsen does. The Asheville-based singer-songwriter made her name writing folk and country songs that center on the unique, wavering vibrato of her voice.

Along with collaborations with members of Wilco and Cap'n Jazz, she has recorded and toured with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang.

When Finding Nemo came out in 2003, it was Dory, the plucky, forgetful blue fish, who taught us all, in the face of adversity, to "just keep swimming."

Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, says she was "flattered and honored and awed" to have her legacy tied to such a determined and positive little fish.

Dory came along during a particularly tough time for DeGeneres — "I hadn't worked for three years," she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers.

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