Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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Lopez, Kristina

Damien Chazelle’s latest movie, “La La Land,” has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards, tying it with “All About Eve” and “Titanic” for the most nominations of all time.

It’s an original musical set in modern Los Angeles, about a jazz musician who falls for an aspiring actress — both of whom have come to Hollywood to pursue their dreams.


The Health Nut Who Invented Corn Flakes

Feb 17, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

The History Lesson

John Harvey Kellogg wasn’t your average 19th-century doctor.

At a time when the American diet was mainly meat and potatoes, he advocated vegetarianism. Today, we’d laud him for that, but we might question some other moves he said would lead to excellent health. Like, standing inside an electrified metal cage. Or undergoing — sorry, there’s no nice way to put this — daily water and yogurt enemas.

School haze

Feb 17, 2017

Across the country, thousands of public schools are within 500 feet of pollution-choked roads like highways and truck routes. Next time on Reveal, we investigate the high levels of exhaust surrounding U.S. schools and how the bad air is affecting the millions of children who are breathing it in.

Krista Tippett, host On Being
Peter Beck

Many people think that listening means just being quiet while someone else talks. But public radio host Krista Tippett says it an art form that must be practiced.

The Collection

The Collection started out as a Greensboro-based group with 15 members rotating in as a part of the group’s line up. The collective has now become more of a band with seven concrete members. But the group still sticks to its indie folk roots in it’s upcoming album “Listen to the River.”

A drawing of a body and an empty canoe.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

When people imagine having a superpower, invisibility is a popular choice. On this week's Criminal podcast, we'll hear stories about people who successfully disappeared by faking their own deaths.

Criminal host Phoebe Judge says it's a tough trick to pull off, but has been a popular pursuit. How-to guides were popular in the 1980s, but those are now outdated, Judge says, now that we all have digital footprints to follow.

Sound Opinions Show

Feb 16, 2017

The Gotobeds are known for outrageous stage antics and a biting sense of humor. But behind that is a lyrical sophistication and tight musicianship. The Pittsburgh post-punk band joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a raucous performance in the studio. Plus, a review of the new album from Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco and Jim has pick for the Desert Island Jukebox. 

A picture of Mike Doughty
Rachelandthecity / Chartroom Media

Rocker Mike Doughty has a new collection of songs called The Heart Watches While The Brain Burns. It's his ninth solo record and his first since leaving his longtime home in Brooklyn for the southern comforts of Memphis.  He recently played at The Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, and came to WUNC for a chat.

You can hear more of Mike's songs on WUNC Music on our HD2 channel, streaming at WUNC.org or through TuneIn.

Courtesy Michael McFee

Poet Michael McFee is known for creating rich images of his native Appalachia that are grounded in the simplicity of everyday life and in the unique language used by his family over generations.

In his new collection, "We Were Once Here" (Carnegie Mellon/2017), the cast-iron skillet, chewing tobacco spit, and linguistic peculiarities of the mountains become anchors for stories woven from memories.

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.

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