Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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.

Chris Charles / Creative Silence

Triangle-based jazz singer Yolanda Rabun wears many hats. She is a musician, actor and corporate lawyer. She says that each role allows her to channel her creativity in different ways.

[Ed Note: The audio above is from our extended interview with Jordan.]

You may know Jordan as half of the comedy duo behind “Key & Peele.” The Comedy Central show produced some of the funniest and most incisive satire of the last many years, often centering around issues of race.

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Lopez, Kristina

Memphis singer and guitarist Valerie June‘s last album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” was produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

A drawing of people crossing the border.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

You might recognize the name Wildin Acosta from WUNC News coverage.  The Durham teen came to the United States illegally from Honduras in 2014 to escape gang violence. He spent months in immigration detention before being released on bond.  

In this week's Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge spoke to Wildin Acosta about his experience, and what's at stake under the Trump Administration's renewed resolve to ramp up deportations. 

Criminal is recorded here at WUNC.

Sound Opinions: Gene Chandler

Mar 2, 2017

From 1962 to 1970, Chicago soul singer Gene Chandler recorded nineteen top forty hits, but he'll forever be known as the "Duke of Earl." As a young artist, he performed across the country, including the Jim Crow South, later transitioning from performer to award-winning producer. Gene Chandler joins hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis for a conversation. Plus, Jim and Greg review the new album by New Jersey rock band The Feelies.

A promotional still with John Wayne and Claire Trevor from the 1939 American Western film 'Stagecoach'.
Wikimedia Commons

A gun-slinging cowboy on a mission of revenge takes down the enemy in a quick-draw duel.  He then rides off on his trusted steed with the setting sun casting long shadows on the rugged landscape. This is one of the iconic narratives in Western film, a genre which has gone through a massive evolution since its “good versus evil” and “cowboys versus Indians” days.

Here's a look at the top songs WUNC Music is playing in March.

Mondo Cozmo - Shine

Band Of Horses - In A Drawer

An image of a poster for the symposium 'Jewish Food in the Global South'
Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

The American South has influenced Jewish culinary traditions for more than 100 years. From combinations like pastrami biscuits to matzoh ball gumbo, the South is creatively reinterpreting centuries of Jewish foodways. 

'Lovie: The Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship' (UNC Press/2016) explores the legacy of North Carolina's first nurse-midwife.
UNC Press

Lovie Beard Shelton was a pioneer in her field. As the first registered nurse-midwife in North Carolina, she helped birth more than 4,000 babies born to mothers from diverse backgrounds.
 

Folklorist Lisa Yarger first met Beard Shelton in 1996 and spent the following 20 years documenting her life. “Lovie: The Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship” (UNC Press/2016) is the culmination of that journey.

Ryan Knighton
Jessica Taves

Ryan Knighton visits a small town with his brother for a rattlesnake roundup.

Amy Biancolli deals with the aftermath of her husband's suicide.

Sasha Chanoff must make difficult choices while on a rescue mission.

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. 

The religious freedom loophole

Feb 24, 2017

America was built on the idea of protecting religious liberty. But what happens when religious groups take advantage of these special freedoms to make money, skirt rules or hurt children? We revisit an hour of Reveal that explores the tricky territory of religious freedom and how different groups have exploited this loophole.

Two dancers Fana Fraser and Beatrice Capote strike a youthful pose in a photo for the dance piece 'Black Girl: Linguistic Play' choreographed by Camille A. Brown.
Christopher Duggan / Courtesy Camille A. Brown

A new dance piece by choreographer and educator Camille A. Brown digs into the nuanced way black girls play and communicate. “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” documents the historical roots of street games like double-dutch, stepping, and tap. It also examines how they’ve been used to connect and communicate for centuries. 

Eric Kelley

Daniel and Lauren Goans have had a busy five years. They got married, formed the band “Lowland Hum,” and recorded three full-length albums and an EP.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treaures

Feb 23, 2017

Many great albums are released each year, but only a handful get the attention they deserve. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some recent Buried Treasures – the best albums that flew under the radar. Plus, they give the drummer some with a tribute to Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's legendary sideman. And Jason Narducy joins us for a new segment called Hooked on Sonics.

Matt Sayles / Associated Press

Earlier this month, pop singer Adele took home the Grammy for album of the year for her album “25.” Many people, including Adele, believed the award should have gone to Beyonce for the album “Lemonade.” But Adele’s accolade is in line with how Grammys have been doled out in recent years; a black artist has not won album of the year since Herbie Hancock in 2008.

Dom Flemons, the host of WUNC’s American Songster Radio Podcast, has a role in the new CMT TV series Sun Records, which premieres tonight (Thursday 2/23) at 10 PM on CMT.  

Courtesy of Frank Stephenson Jr.

Moonshine has shaped the culture and economy of North Carolina for hundreds of years. In the 19th century, sales from moonshine helped fund Civil War efforts, while in the 20th century, moonshine jump started the careers of prominent NASCAR drivers. North Carolina writer Frank Stephenson Jr. considers himself a lifelong student of moonshine. As a youth, he joined his father, a part-time deputy, on moonshine busting raids.  As an adult, he set out on a quest to explore the legacy of moonshine throughout the state. 


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Douglas, Emerald

Comedians John Early and Kate Berlant are frequent collaborators and have performed together across the country. The duo also has a new Vimeo series, “555,” produced by Tim and Eric’s Abso Lutely, It tells five different tales of Hollywood desperation.

In the audio extra above, John and Kate talk about their favorite moments from “Waiting For Guffman,” how a teenage Kate got rejected by an agent for child actors, and how John threw his back out working at an ice cream shop in high school.

Brendan’s Sunday Stuffed Olives (VIDEO)

Feb 21, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This past Sunday, Brendan joined Hannah Kirshner of Sweets & Bitters for a special Facebook Live with Food 52. We figured we all hate the Sunday blues, right? Monday is looming around the corner, and with that in mind, you can’t go too heavy on going out.

You might say, “But what about brunch?!?” Well, don’t get us started on what’s wrong with brunch.

Cowboy Songs: American Songster Radio Podcast Episode 9

Feb 21, 2017
Dom Flemons, 2nd from left, with Brian Farrow, Cowboy Celtic, Sourdough Slim and Robert Armstrong
Vania Marie Kinard

What makes a song a folk song, anyway?

One familiar answer is that a folk song is a song without an author. Folk song scholars even have a name for the theory that some songs emerge without any one person composing them. They call it "communal creation."

Brandon Eggleston

In his new novel “Universal Harvester” (Farrar, Straus, Giraux/2017), writer and musician John Darnielle revisits an era about 20 years ago when video rentals were in high demand. The book features a young man named Jeremy Heldt who works at a video store in rural Iowa. Heldt discovers that somebody is splicing mysterious footage into some of the tapes.

Live from the World Science Festival

Feb 20, 2017
Michael Massimino
Jason Falchook

Mike Massimino must take to swimming before he can take off to outer space.

George Church tests his own strength of will as a human-guinea pig for science.

Sylvia Earle explores the ocean's depths as a pioneering aquanaut.

Menu Mysteries: Wolfdown Edition

Feb 17, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This isn’t just any ol’ Main Course segment this week. We’re launching something new: an occasional series we’re calling “Menu Mysteries.” In which we check out a restaurant’s menu and have the chef decode some of the lesser known ingredients on it.

For this inaugural outing, Rico went to Wolfdown in Los Angeles — a new restaurant from chef Jason Kim, who also runs the beloved local joint Forage.

FINAL-AUTHOR-PHOTO_George-Saunders-©-David-Crosby.jpg
Lopez, Kristina

Each week you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this time is author George Saunders. He is a bonafide MacArthur genius, and he has won international acclaim for his work in almost every prose form from hilarious satire to short stories to a children’s book.

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