Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Image of Dan River Girls
Dan River Girls

Each of the Winston-Salem sisters Fiona, Ellie and Jessie Burdette started taking music lessons at five years old. When the youngest sister, Jessie, turned 7, the three decided that it was time to combine their musical talents and form a band--the Dan River Girls. Their music ranges from traditional bluegrass to pop-rock. They released their first album last year and continue to play at venues and festivals around the state.

Turnpike Troubadours
David McClister / All Eyes Media

The Turnpike Troubadours came roaring out of Oklahoma ten years ago with a sound that has been described as a synthesis of Woody Guthrie and Walyon Jennings with the guitars turned way up. Their fourth release is self-titled, and it swings from melancholy ballads, to out-and-out rockers fiddle not withstanding. Turnpike Troubadours play in Raleigh tomorrow night at the Lincoln Theatre.

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Thinkstock

Molly Birnbaum, executive editor of Cook's Science for America's Test Kitchen, turns her attention to mushrooms. She tells Sally Swift how these fungi bridge the gap between plant and animal, why fresh doesn't equal better flavor, and what happens to a mushroom after you cook it for 40 minutes.

[More from Birnbaum]

Sally Swift: What's on your mind today?

Molly Birnbaum

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Chalabala/Thinkstock

Award-winning restaurant critic Patric Kuh explores the soaring popularity of so-called "artisanal" food and drinks in his new book, Finding the Flavors We Lost. He talks with Russ Parsons about why those flavors went away, what artisanal actually means, and why small doesn't always mean better.

Jade Chang Shares a Riches-to-Rags Story

Oct 7, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

L.A. author Jade Chang’s novel “The Wangs Vs. the World” appears on just about every list of the fall’s most anticipated books. Elle Magazine calls it one of the best debuts of 2016. Jade reads an excerpt above. The audio was edited for time (and for some very salty language). Get a taste of the full (uncensored) flavor in this excerpt from a chapter of the book below.

Bel-Air, CA

CHARLES WANG was mad at America.

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Lopez, Kristina

Tom Krell, who records under the moniker How To Dress Well, is a Chicago native – and Ph.D. candidate in philosophy. He first turned heads in 2010 with earnest bedroom recordings. But on his fourth album, “Care,” he injects his heartfelt lyrics into dancey electro-pop.

Salteña: The Bolivian Dish That Divines Your Fate

Oct 7, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

Imagine a dish like a dumpling, but with a crunchy, flaky skin like a pie crust, mixed with a spicy, gooey filling like a stew. No, we’re not reading your mind. What we described exists in reality. It’s called a Salteña and it’s a Bolivian delicacy that was hard to come by in New York… until three brothers of Bolivian descent started selling them.

A drawing of a brain scan.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On the last Criminal podcast, we heard from a woman who learned that her mother had stolen her identity, ruined her credit and never came clean. Axton Betz-Hamilton now suspects that her mother was a psychopath. In this week's episode, several experts explain what it really means to be a psychopath. 

Jim McKelvey

The Piedmont Melody Makers has been jamming together formally and informally for years. The band is a who’s who of North Carolina old time and bluegrass musicians, and in the past year they decided to formalize their musical union and record an official album. “Wonderful World Outside” is a 16-track record with a blend of original tunes and covers.

 

Michael Rank (right) with Heather McEntire
Andy Tennille

Michael Rank has released his sixth record in about four years. Being that prolific can lead to self-indulgence, but not this time. Red Hand contains nine taut songs of what has been called outlaw folk, damaged country and backwoods Americana. Whatever you call it, it comes with duet vocals from Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire on every song.

Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian poet and human rights activist living in London. Her poem, “We Teach Life, Sir,” is powerful and poignant reminder of the human condition in conflict. 

On this bonus episode of Stories with a Heartbeat, host Will McInerney reflects on some of the stories from our past episodes covering the Chapel Hill Shooting in season 1. Rafeef's beautiful and moving poetry is emblematic of the legacy and the lasting message of life that Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha, and Razan Abu Salha left behind. Listen to Rafeef's poem with the link below. 

Jonathan Tommy

Is your family more Focker or Corleone? For the next Movies on the Radio, The State of Things is asking, “What’s your favorite movie about families?” Whether functional or dysfunctional, biological, adopted or chosen...heartwarming, funny or dark… we want to know which films capture what family means to you. Send an email to sot@wunc.org or tweet #sotmovie. 

Courtesy of Zanele Muholi

In 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. While social justice activists around the world saw this event as a tremendous victory, the country was still in a lot of turmoil. Homophobic hate crimes and violence were on the rise, and many individuals reported being subject to “curative rape,” a hate crime in which someone is raped to “cure” them of their sexual identity.

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

Whether it is a scathing satire or a chilling suspense film, plotlines about politics and the political process make for great drama. For this month’s edition of Movies on the Radio, listeners draw parallels between their favorite political movies and the current election season.

Image of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
ASSOCIATED PRESS/ Eduardo Verdugo

Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian writer and journalist best known for popularizing the form of magical realism. His work blends the fantastical with the real and political, and there is no better example of this than his seminal novel “100 Years Of Solitude” (Harper And Row/ 1970). The book is considered by many to be the most influential piece of Spanish fiction since “Don Quixote.”

Breakwater Studios

Rwanda & Juliet: In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet asks: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The oft-quoted passage takes on new meaning in a production of Romeo and Juliet staged in Rwanda with both Hutu and Tutsi victims of the 1994 genocide. The documentary film “Rwanda & Juliet” follows the production of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy in Kigali, Rwanda in the spring of 2013.

While still a very young person, Martin Fisher fell in love with a very old machine. It was Christmas in Tennessee, and Martin's parents kept pestering him to submit his list. Martin remembers that his quirky, nine-year-old self wasn't all that interested in gifts. But his parents persisted, and Martin came up with a response: "I finally said, 'Ok. I'm gonna call their bluff.' And I said, 'have the elves hook up a cylinder player.'"

World of Bluegrass festival performers
Evan Millican / WUNC

The World of Bluegrass held its annual StreetFest in downtown Raleigh last week.

The event included hundreds of offerings for bluegrass professionals and music aficionados -- and plenty of banjos and fiddles.

Image of Michelle Moog-Koussa with the minimoog.
Courtesy of Michelle Moog-Koussa

More than 50 years ago, Robert Moog revolutionized electronic music with the invention of the Moog synthesizer. It was one of the first widely-used electronic instruments and has been featured in music by artists ranging from The Beatles to jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. But despite his immense career success, Moog kept his professional and personal lives separate. In fact, it was not until his death that his daughter, Michelle Moog-Koussa, began to learn about his professional influence.

Mandolin Orange
Scott McCormick / Sacks & Co.

Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz are back with a new Mandolin Orange recording. It's called Blindfaller.  The duo recorded its fifth album in their hometown of Chapel Hill during a week off between tour dates.  The record builds on a mix of folk, country and bluegrass while always keeping the spotlight on their captivating vocal harmonies.

Photo by John Davisson/Invision/AP

The International Bluegrass Music Association is underway in Raleigh with the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards. The group The Earls of Leicester won Entertainer of the Year for the second year in a row. The group led the field in nominations. Host Frank Stasio talks with John Lawless, editor of Bluegrass Today, about notable awards and emerging bands in bluegrass.

Claire Lynch Band

Bluegrass music traditionally draws inspiration from the back porches, front porches, swamps, mountains and hollers of the South. But for her new album, celebrated bluegrass artist Claire Lynch looked north. The album is called “North By South,” and it is a celebration of the often underappreciated catalog of bluegrass songs written by Canadians. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Claire Lynch about her Canadian muses and listens to some live music from the band.

Courtesy of Laughing Penguin Publicity

Kenny and Amanda Smith have been professional musicians as a duo for 15 years but have been playing music together as husband and wife for decades. The pair's new album is called "Unbound." Amanda Smith was a nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, and Kenny Smith was nominated for Instrumental Performer of the Year on the guitar in the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards.
 

Eric Andre Shares His 3 Favorite Awkward Interviews

Sep 30, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

We’ve got a brand-new “Guest List,” in which an interesting person lists some interesting things. This time around, our guest is comedian Eric Andre, host of “The Eric Andre Show.”

That title is the only conventional thing about series. Each episode begins with Eric destroying his own set, and then he lobs bizarre questions at often-unsuspecting interview guests.

Here’s Eric to list a few disastrous interviews that served as… “inspirations.”

Kennedy & Major Lazer

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Lopez, Kristina

Rico Gagliano: Each week you send us your questions about how to behave, and here to solve all of your problems this week, is Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

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