Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

VG Photography

Comedian Aparna Nancherla is well known for her absurdist wit and introspective reflections. Her style is captured perfectly on her Twitter account, where she shares one-liners like, “I like to call therapy baggage claim,” and, “I once dated an apostrophe.Too possessive.”

A picture of Jason Isbell with a guitar.
Michael Wilson / Jason Isbell

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

This time, Eric Hodge sits down with Jason Isbell to discuss his song "Cover Me Up" from the album Southeastern.

Isbell says the song is an intimate look at a broken relationship, but also a plea for redemption.

Listen to their conversation here:

Ottessa Moshfegh’s 3 Favorite Wanderers and Weirdos

Feb 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Ottessa Moshfegh is a frequent contributor to the literary magazine The Paris Review. And her novel “Eileen” was shortlisted for the twenty-sixteen Man Booker prize. Her latest work is a collection of stories about characters on the fringes of society — it’s called “Homesick for Another World.”

Beer for Breakfast? We Try the Danish Dish Øllebrød

Feb 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

We’ve talked before about the rebirth of Scandinavian cuisine and Brendan did a story from Copenhagen on how their open-faced sandwiches are a thing that’s become trendy, but we’ve never heard about a common Danish breakfast food that Brendan has been calling “beer porridge.”

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Lopez, Kristina

Ian Simpson, better known by his stage name Kevin Abstract, is a Texas native who won a diehard following online with a series of confessional hip-hop mixtapes. His new album “American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story” moves in a more pop direction, and sees him both rapping and singing about never quite fitting in. He heads out on a national tour later this month. Here’s Kevin with a playlist that’ll keep your party moving… through time itself.

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Lopez, Kristina

[Ed note: The audio above is an extended web cut of the interview. The transcript below reflects the broadcast version of the chat.]

Our guest of honor this week is playwright/actor/rapper extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda. In 2008, his musical “In The Heights” won the Tony for Best Musical. His follow-up “Hamilton” — about our nation’s first treasury secretary — broke box office records and earned him a bunch of Tonys, a Grammy and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Deadly waters

Feb 10, 2017

The U.S. Navy spends tens of billions of dollars each year building and repairing ships. But how safe are the shipyards where that work is done? Reveal investigates how lax safety has been allowed to persist at shipyards that thrive on military contracts. The hour also will explore one of the newest warships in the Navy’s fleet and whether it’s living up to expectations. And we'll tell the story of one man’s unexplained disappearance on the high seas.

Courtesy Marsha Gordon

Starting in the 1950s, filmmaker Sam Fuller produced war films that gave his characters room to question the design of war and their role in it. He also raised conversations about equality of men on and off the battlefield. North Carolina State University film professor Marsha Gordon authored a new book on Fuller's work called, "Film is like a Battleground" (Oxford University Press/2017) that explores his legacy of genre shifting war films.

Will Gehrman / Courtesy The Pinkerton Raid

Durham-based band The Pinkerton Raid released a new album this week called "Tolerance Ends, Love Begins." The new music melds rock and pop with bright harmonies and the twang of traditional Southern instruments. It is the band's third album.
 

Tinariwen – ‘Assawt’

Feb 9, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Sound Opinions Show

Feb 9, 2017

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, love is in the air. And what's more romantic than that cute moment of love at first sight? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite tracks about first impressions. Plus, they review the new album from DC punk band Priests and pay tribute to the influential composer David Axelrod.

An image of the book cover for 'Perfect Little World'
Ecco Books

In his new novel “Perfect Little World” (Ecco/2017), writer Kevin Wilson examines a literal interpretation of the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But instead of a village, Wilson’s story takes place at an experimental facility that houses The Infinite Family Project.

An image of comedia Myq Kaplan
Mindy Tucker

For more than a decade, comedian Myq Kaplan has concocted witty quips about time travel and veganism. He has appeared on programs like “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Last  Comic Standing,” and his own special, “Myq Kaplan: Small, Dork and Handsome.”

In his new comedy album “No Kidding,” Kaplan shifts from one-liners to a more long-form comedic approach, all the while mining the theme that he does not want to have children.

Photo Yoon Kim

Comedian Hari Kondabolu has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His work explores his experience being raised in Queens, New York by Indian parents. And though his parents have provided him with plenty of comedic gems, Kondabolu does not use Indian accents in his stand-up.

Mark Holthusen / Merge Records

For his first recording in five years, "Hey Mr. Ferryman," Mark Eitzel traveled to London to work with Mercury Prize winner Bernard Butler. Among other things, he said the songs are about celebrating musicians and music, and how death waits for you even in the happiest place on earth: Las Vegas.

"We were staying at the El Cortez (in Las Vegas) because it's the cheapest casino around. It's $12 a night," Eitzel said.

How American Money Upgraded From Coins to Paper

Feb 3, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Those dollar bills in your wallet wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Nine Years’ War.

That was one of a bunch of wars between France and Britain. Which, among other things, involved fighting in what’s now called “Canada.” The British wanted folks in their American colonies to fight as soldiers on their side. Which was fine with the colonists… as long as they got paid for it.

Arcade Fire – ‘I Give You Power’

Feb 3, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Steve Aoki’s Hardcore Dinner Party Soundtrack

Feb 3, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This week for our party soundtrack we have an actual DJ manning the controls — one of the most popular in the world, in fact.

Steve Aoki spins and mixes electro house music at massive parties from Las Vegas to Beijing. He collaborates with the biggest names in pop music, and a concert film about his work called “Steve Aoki: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is up for a Grammy on February 12.

Here’s Steve with a playlist that’ll probably wake your neighbor at three in the morning.

Rachel Bloom Gives us Some Not-So-Crazy Advice

Feb 3, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Rico Gagliano: Each week, you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this time around is actor, writer, and musical number belter-outer Rachel Bloom. A few years back, she set the Internet ablaze with a heartfelt and highly vulgar musical tribute to the late…

Brendan Francis Newnam: You can talk while he’s doing this, too. It’s totally Ok.

Rachel Bloom: Oh, I can?

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yeah.


A picture of the Gravy Boys
Christer Berg

Triangle-based Americana band, The Gravy Boys, recently emerged from the recording studio with a fresh batch of songs with influences ranging from pop to bluegrass. Their new tracks are rich and layered, and channel their foot-stomping stage performances.
 

illustration of grass
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Some mysteries take years to solve, and a certain type of person to solve them. In this week's Criminal podcast we'll hear of a steadfast woman who made it her personal mission to find the missing bodies of two children she'd known only from stories on the news.

Sound Opinions Show

Feb 2, 2017

Of all the artists in the English folk revival, Shirley Collins was the most devoted to traditional song. After a nearly 40 year recording hiatus, she's finally released a new album. Shirley Collins joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to discuss her career and her experiences traveling through America to collect field recordings with Alan Lomax. Plus, reviews of the new albums by Japandroids and Ty Segall.

Trial by fire

Feb 2, 2017

In 1988, two powerful explosions shook Kansas City, Missouri, killing six firefighters. Nine years later, five people were convicted of arson and sent to prison for life – but were they innocent? Reveal investigates problems in the case and whether federal agents pressured witnesses to lie. This month, one of the defendants will make his case for freedom before a federal judge.

Baysha Bernales
StoryDriven

The Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has awarded a Durham-based production company an Emmy for excellence in visual storytelling for a suicide-prevention video with students from N.C. State University.

Courtesy of Anna Shternshis

More than two million Soviet Jews were killed during the Holocaust, yet their lives and experiences are not well documented in Holocaust history. 


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