Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Courtesy E.C. Hanes

When E.C. “Redge” Hanes was looking for a backdrop for his latest novel, he decided to draw from his own experience. He once raised hogs on a farm with his brother, and he also participated in an environmental study commission looking into the impact of hog farming on North Carolina’s ecology.

Hanes’ new book “Justice By Another Name” (Rane Coat Press/2017) is a tale of love and revenge set in fictional Hogg County, North Carolina.
 

An image of UNCA professors and co-hosts Marcus Harvey and Darin Waters
David Allen / UNC-Asheville

Asheville has been home to an African-American community for centuries. However, African-American residents in Asheville and western North Carolina have historically suffered from systemic inequality and racial disparities.

In the new radio program and podcast “The Waters and Harvey Show,” co-hosts Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey examine western North Carolina’s cultural history and the narratives of marginalized communities.
 

Village Bakery

Mar 13, 2017

Courtesy Western Carolina University

Davy Arch grew up on a subsistence farm in western North Carolina. As a boy, he learned the value of traditional Cherokee culture from his grandfather, who taught him the old stories, how to hunt and fish, and how to identify valuable medicinal plants.

Today Arch is a practitioner of traditional medicine, a historian, storyteller and a folk artist with work on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
 

Chess, Romance, and Kathmandu

Mar 13, 2017
Bokara Legendre
Amanda Kowalski

Maurice Ashley describes his development as a chess player under the tutelage of The Black Bear School of Chess.
  Bokara Legendre attends the coronation of a Nepalese king in Kathmandu.

Cynthia Riggs is in her golden years when she reconnects with a coworker from her youth and a romance blooms.

REVEAL Fundraiser Episode Spring 2017

Mar 10, 2017

For the 2017 spring fundraising season, here are three of our favorite recent Reveal stories.

Listener Letters: Jeopardy Players Buzz In

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This week, we took a moment to gaze into the dark heart of our mailbag/inbox/voicemail aka listener comments.

First up Carl from Dearborn Michigan chides Rico and Brendan for their pronunciation of “restaurateur.” Duly noted, Carl.

Jay Som DJs an Anachronistic Get-Together

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Jay Som first gained attention with songs she wrote in her bedroom and posted online. Not long after, revered indie label Polyvinyl signed her and her debut album of smart lyrics and pop hooks called “Everybody Works,” comes out on March 10.

Here she is to spin music for a Halloween party in Spring… because why not?

Andy Shauf – “To You”

Gillian Jacobs Fakes Love and Tipsiness

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

For six seasons, actor Gillian Jacobs played the wannabe activist Britta Perry in the cult hit comedy show “Community.” She also did a star turn on Season four of HBO’s “Girls,” playing Mimi-Rose — a foil to Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah.

Gillian now stars in “Love” — a show about dating and relationships in modern Los Angeles. She plays Mickey, a program manager at a satellite radio station who struggles with alcohol, romance and just being a good person.

Sam Richardson Gains Confidence Through a Bad Joke

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Comedian and actor Sam Richardson has become a standout on HBO’s “VEEP” as a White House staffer who “fails up” better than anyone in history. Sam also stars in the new series Comedy Central series “Detroiters” with “Saturday Night Live” alum Tim Robinson. The show is about two best friends trying to eke out a living in advertising in the Motor City. In the audio above, Sam shares a tale about another best friend… or is he?

Why Rorschach’s Inkblots Are Still the Best Blots Around

Mar 10, 2017
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Douglas, Emerald

Our topic for Chattering Class this week: Psychology’s infamous Rorschach test. And our teacher is author Damion Searls.

VOTE: Martini Madness

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

(Click to enlarge)

Wait, what is this?

It’s the perfect time of year for a totally made-up poll we’re calling Martini Madness! Think of it like a basketball tournament, except with booze instead of athleticism.

An image of James Phillips, Stacy Harden and Daniel Michalak of Bombadil
DL Anderson

A few years ago, Durham-based indie-folk band Bombadil decided to do some soul searching. After one of the band members left the group, the rest of the band decided to take a step back and find a new direction. The group eventually picked up new bandmate and worked with a data scientist to create “the perfect Bombadil song.” The band’s new style guides its latest album “Fences.”
 

The smuggler

Mar 9, 2017

In 2015, French radio reporter Raphael Krafft was covering the refugee crisis. On the border with Italy, he met desperate families turned away by his country. Then one family asked Krafft for his help crossing the border. As a journalist, he was supposed to be objective, but that was getting harder to do. So he followed his moral compass, which led him on the journey of a lifetime.

Sound Opinions: One and Done

Mar 9, 2017

Some artists deliver a fantastic debut album, yet never make another LP again. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot select some of their favorite “one and done” bands and explore what makes these one-album wonders so great. Plus, a review of the new record from multi-genre bassist Thundercat.

United Nations Photo

“Seven” is a documentary-style stage production that tells the stories of seven women who have made positive change in their countries.

The show features the true stories ranging from a woman in Pakistan who champions education for girls in disadvantaged areas to a woman in Russia who created the first domestic violence hotline in her country.

‘Stained-Glass Millennials:’ Keeping The Faith In A New Era

Mar 7, 2017
Jessi Lancaster

Millennials are the least likely to go to church and less religiously oriented than generations before them. It’s a statistic that has been repeated often in recent years to explain the drop in attendance at Christian churches across the country.

But Rob Lee, a Methodist millennial, says that the faithful in his generation have been lost in that narrative.

Ben Vereen
Courtesy of Isak Tiner

Ben Vereen made a name for himself on Broadway in the late 1960s with performances in hit productions like “Sweet Charity” and “Hair.” He later won a Tony award in 1973 for his role in “Pippin.” Since then, he has also acted in more than a dozen television shows, including the 1977 hit miniseries “Roots.”
 

In his one-man show “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen,” Vereen performs hit songs from Broadway and pays tribute to iconic performers Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.

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Lopez, Kristina

Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s first novel “The Sympathizer” won a raft of awards — including the Pulitzer Prize. He’s just published his second book to great acclaim. It’s a collection of short stories called, “The Refugees.”

People, Problems, Places

Mar 6, 2017
Ray Christian
Dare Kumolu-Johnson

Ray Christian struggles to realize his dream of graduating from law school.

Alyssa Ladd is embarrassed to run into familiar faces while working at a Michaels craft store.

Nestor Gomez is stuck driving an unruly Uber passenger during rush hour.

Steven Carr is given a photo collage from his mother of he and his "friend."

Melanie Kostrezwa learns her daughter must undergo a craniotomy.  

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Lopez, Kristina

We’re taking our show on the road to South by Southwest!

An image of the gospel singer Mary D. Williams
Charlie Shelton-Ormond / WUNC

When Mary D. Williams was a kid growing up in Garner, North Carolina, she often visited her grandparents in Johnston County. She remembers passing a sign that said, “You are in the heart of Klan country” along the way. The sign was a visible example of the racism her grandparents endured in rural North Carolina.

Kaia Kater
Polina Mourzina

The birth of the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the 2005 Black Banjo Gathering at Appalachian State University has become the stuff of folk music legend. “Of course it was an academic event,” Dom Flemons notes of the conference, “but it was also based on the idea of confirming that you weren’t the only one out there.” Once launched, the Drops’ music spread like wildfire. With it emerged a new public appreciation of the African American roots of old-time, bluegrass, and country music.

A picture of Sarah Shook
disarmers.com

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.

On this episode, Eric Hodge chats with Sarah Shook of Sarah Shook & The Disarmers about her song 'Dwight Yoakam' from the album Sidelong.

Shook says 'Dwight Yoakam' is a song of irony. It tells the tale of a person being left behind not for a famous person, but for someone who can sing like a famous person.

Up against the wall

Mar 4, 2017

President Donald Trump wants to build a wall between America and Mexico. Hundreds of miles of border fence are already in place, but most of the nearly 2,000-mile stretch is uncovered. The next episode of Reveal explores the political, logistical and geographic barriers that may get in the way of the president's plans.

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