Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Sound Opinions: Best of 2017...So Far

Jun 22, 2017

There are still six months of 2017 left, but there are already lots of contenders for album of the year. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorites of the year...so far. Plus, we hear picks from Sound Opinions listeners. 

Cover of 'Bohemian South: Creating Countercultures, from Poe to Punk.'
UNC Press

When it comes to bohemian art scenes and creative subcultures, the South has often been overshadowed – or sometimes even dismissed – in favor of metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco. But a new book seeks to highlight the creative thinkers and diverse art scenes that influenced culture in the South, as well as those that permeated into the art, literary, and food scenes in northern states.


Cover of 'The Whole Way Home' by Sarah Creech
William Morrow/2017 / William Morrow/2017

Over the years, country music has seen iconic women like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn become legends in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Nevertheless, country music remains a boy’s club for many artists. In her new novel “The Whole Way Home” (William Morrow/2017), writer Sarah Creech tells the story of one woman’s road to country music stardom.


Fleet Foxes

It's been six years since the last release from Fleet Foxes.  The Seattle-based band's first two records met with critical and commercial success, selling more than 2-million copies and winding up on many a critic's best of list.  The music found a home with a large and loyal fan base, but more than half-a-decade is a long wait. 

 Gal Gadot arrives at the world premiere of "Wonder Woman" in Los Angeles.
Jordan Strauss/Invision / AP - 2017

Superheroes have captured the American imagination since the 1930s. Characters including Superman, Batman and Spiderman represented men of strength and moral fiber who inspired as they fought the forces of evil. It was an easy jump to the silver screen, where today, multiple superhero films are released every year, blowing up box office records as often as they do the bad guys.


Motherlove, Money, and War

Jun 21, 2017
Jamaica Kincaid

Josh Axelrad has already lost many thousands of dollars gambling, but can’t resist stopping at a small casino.

Jamaica Kincaid longs for her mother’s love in Antigua.

Sebastian Junger reports on war in Afghanistan but only comprehends its full darkness after a profound personal loss.  
NOTE: When offensive or FCC-prohibited words appear, they are bleeped and listed in the Content Advisory.  Sensitive content will be given an on-air caution and will be noted here in the description. 

Cover of 'Be Free Or Die,' written by Cate Lineberry
St. Martin's Press - 2017 / St. Martin's Press - 2017

 In May 1862, Robert Smalls became a Union hero overnight when he stole a Confederate steamer from the Charleston harbor. Smalls had been enslaved his whole life and decided to free himself and his family by stealing the Planter and piloting it to the Union fleet outside Charleston, South Carolina. 


Brett Williams as Kate Monster and Aaron Boles as Princeton
Areon Mobasher​ / Avenue Q

“Everyone’s a little bit racist,” according to the characters in the musical “Avenue Q.” The humorous show stars humans and puppets who are grappling with the realities of being imperfect adults in an imperfect world. It involves drinking, harsh language and nude puppets. Raleigh Little Theatre brings the show to the stage with a performance featuring a local cast and original puppets. 

Artist Kate Rhudy
Kendall Bailey / Kate Rhudy

Raleigh-based singer-songwriter Kate Rhudy picked up a violin when she was just a kid. She spent her childhood at fiddler’s conventions and regularly played folk music at home with her family. Now she has channeled her reflections on relationships, romance, and life on the road in her debut album “Rock N’ Roll Ain’t For Me.” 

Chatham County Line
Patrick Shanahan / Yep Roc Music Group

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 talks with John Teer and Dave Wilson of Chatham County Line about their song 'Moving Pictures Of My Mind' from the album Autumn.

Speaking about the song, Dave Wilson says he was trying to connect the classic old movie sound to the modern experience.

Listen to the episode here:

Sound Opinions: Musical Road Trip

Jun 15, 2017

ANNOUNCER COPY:

Coming up on Sound Opinions...Jim and Greg take you on a musical road trip, playing songs about American cities and states, from the bustling streets of New York City to the beaches of California. Later, they’ll review the final album from rock and roll legend Chuck Berry.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

America's ring of fire

Jun 14, 2017

Last fall, Reveal reporters found that wildfires were spreading to new parts of the country, and to more densely populated areas. Now, we revisit that hour with a new story about Kansas, a state that’s battling not only wildfires, but also significant underfunding of its forest firefighter team.

A Daring Trapeze Artist and How The Leotard Got Its Name

Jun 14, 2017
Jules_Léotard2.jpg
Douglas, Emerald

The History Lesson

Jules Leotard was born to fly.

You wouldn’t have guessed it when he was a teen. Back then, he studied law and was on his way to becoming some kind of barrister. But his father taught gymnastics, which may explain why, in his spare time, Jules started practicing acrobatics, specifically, spectacular stunts on the trapeze. Instead of using a net, he swung around over his Dad’s swimming pool.

Picture of author, John Grisham
Billy Hunt / Grisham Publicity

 

John Grisham is a masterful and prolific storyteller best known for his courtroom dramas. But in his latest book, “Camino Island” (Doubleday/2017), Grisham breaks from the courtroom and brings readers into the underworld of rare and stolen books. 

Photo of author, Richard Russo
Elena Ceibert / Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo started thinking a lot more about the trajectory of his life once he turned 50. In his new book, his characters are going through a similar process.   

The Moth StorySLAM

Jun 14, 2017
Allison Evans

John Dubuc, a “man’s man," goes to a yoga retreat and gets in touch with his inner cat.
Leah Benson finds what she thought was a love letter, but instead was the translated lyrics to “I Will Survive.” 
Kathi Kinnear Hill in 60s Portland is forbidden from entering a club pool because she is black.
Tom Herndon watches his mother run a scam at O'Hare Airport.

DPAC, Durham, Broadway, Durham Revitalization
HuthPhoto

The Durham Performing Arts Center – better known as DPAC – is gearing up to present its 10th Broadway season. The top-notch productions and sell-out plays and concerts have surprised and delighted critics and get a lot of credit for the rebirth of this southern city.

After the bubble burst

Jun 9, 2017

America's housing bust created both winners and losers – and homeowners have been the biggest losers. Last year, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. fell to its lowest point since the 1960s. So who are the winners? This episode of Reveal takes you into the world of people who are still profiting, from rent-to-own investors in Detroit to President Donald Trump's best friend, a real estate mogul.

Picture of Nina Riggs
Toni Tronu

Nina Riggs was not surprised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She knew the disease ran in her family, and she’d spent years watching her mother battle cancer. Once Riggs’ cancer turned metastatic and incurable, she decided to reflect through writing.

Shana Tucker poses with her cello
Lei Rivera Photography

For cellist and singer-songwriter Shana Tucker, the last two years have been a whirlwind. She has been busy promoting her first album "Shine" which received widespread recognition for its original songwriting and distinctive sounds. Tucker recently left her job performing with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas to pursue new opportunities in her independent career.

Sound Opinions: Generic Promo "We're Here For You"

Jun 9, 2017

New :30 generic promo. Lighthearted, focusing on caller interaction.

Sound Opinions: Benmont Tench

Jun 8, 2017

Keyboard player Benmont Tench was instrumental in the formation of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in 1976. He's also had a fruitful career as a consummate sideman and session musician, working with artists like Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, U2, Johnny Cash, and more. Tench joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for some lively conversation about his successful career in music. And we review the latest from soul-rocking guitarist and singer Benjamin Booker. 

Fathers: Daddy, Dad, Paw-Paw, Pops

Jun 8, 2017
Karan Chopra
Caroline Lacey

David Kendall inherits his love of music from his father.

Chris Myers rides out his emotions after the birth of his daughter.

Nestor Gomez struggles to pick out his baby among a group of newborns.

Karan Chopra learns to live his life by his father's example.

Amanda Hamilton Roos confesses her sins to her father, literally.  

Jack Marmorstein realizes the role he must play in his nephew's life.

Joan Marcus, 2016

Ariana DeBose has been moving up in the Broadway world by leaps and bounds. The North Carolina native got her start in showbiz with a role on the television show "So You Think You Can Dance" when she was only 18 years old. Just a few years later, she became one of the original ensemble cast members of the hip-hop Broadway sensation "Hamilton.”

rapper 9th wonder on a stool
Creative Silence

Patrick Douthit has been making music as hip-hop producer 9th Wonder for nearly two decades. In the early 2000s Douthit gained recognition for his work with the North Carolina hip-hop group Little Brother. He went on to produce music for Jay-Z’s 2003 release “The Black Album” and Destiny’s Child’s 2004 album “Destiny Fulfilled.” He won a Grammy for his work on Mary J. Blige’s 2005 album “The Breakthrough.” Douthit grew up in Winston-Salem and remembers hearing his first hip-hop song in 1982 with Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock.” 

Courtesy Merge Records

The Durham-based band Mountain Goats' fourth release on Merge Records a tribute to Goth music, including some of the bands that didn't quite make it. The new album is simply titled Goths. Songwriter and singer John Darnielle joined Eric Hodge in the WUNC studios to talk about the album. 

89d9bf63cee5a42baa6a09006b3af60e6773714ecceb94628a989aab57f56c7ed970747761d67ac4a9624b8c0d77d9cc.jpg
Lopez, Kristina

Damon Lindelof co-created the ABC series “Lost” — widely considered one of the greatest TV shows ever. He also wrote installments of the “Alien” and “Star Trek” movie franchises. But most recently, he co-created HBO’s “The Leftovers” along with Tom Perrota, who wrote the book it’s based on.

Lynn Castle Recalls a Proposal She Was Wise to Turn Down

Jun 2, 2017
lynn-castle.jpg
Douglas, Emerald

In the ’60s, Lynn Castle was the go-to hairstylist for Los Angeles’ music scene. The Byrds, Sonny and Cher, and the Monkees came to call her “the lady barber.” But in addition to heads, she also cut a few tracks. Only two of her songs ever got a release. That changes Friday when Light in the Attic Records releases the first-ever LP of her music. Lynn’s also starting to share some stories from her life. In the audio above, she recalls two of her early loves.

Phoenix Spin Us a Très Cool Soundtrack

Jun 2, 2017
Phoenix_02-Bar-C-Photo-Emma-Le-Doyen-Art-direction-studio-mitsu_press-1.jpg
Douglas, Emerald

Phoenix‘s blend of rock, disco, and abstract lyrics has made their music the soundtrack for dance parties from Tokyo to their hometown of Paris. In 2009, their album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” went gold and won them a Grammy.

Gertrude-Bell-1921-02.jpg
Lopez, Kristina

“Lawrence of Arabia” is one of the most lauded films of the 20th century and it also cemented the legacy of archaeologist and diplomat T. E. Lawrence. While his involvement in the Middle East during World War I was legendary, another person of equal influence has kind of been forgotten.

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